Friday, July 31, 2009

Juvenile adjudication cannot support lifetime offender registration

I won recently in State v. Reese, No. 100,531 (Kan. App. July 31, 2009), reversing an order of lifetime offender registration and an enhanced sentence based on an alleged "persistent sex offender" status. The enhanced penalties had been based on a prior juvenile adjudication.

The COA held that a prior juvenile adjudication does not count as a "conviction" for offender registration purposes under KORA. The court stated:
The Kansas Offender Registration Act, K.S.A. 22-4901 et seq., requires that sex offenders register for 10 years on a first conviction and for life on a second or subsequent conviction. Because the legislature knows the distinction between juvenile adjudications and adult convictions and has set up a separate registration protocol for juvenile offenders, a juvenile adjudication does not qualify as a conviction for purposes of K.S.A. 22-4906(a).

The COA also reversed Mr. Reese's sentence, noting that the KSC had recently held in State v. Boyer that a prior juvenile adjudication cannot be used to sentence a defendant as a "persistent sex offender."

[Update: the state did not file a PR and the mandate issued on September 15, 2009.]

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