The Kansas Supreme Court released the following published decisions today:
Appeal No. 108,103: State of Kansas v. Phoebe ShaylorKansas Court of Appeals decisions released today
The Supreme Court affirmed Shaylor's conviction in Reno County District Court for failure to register as a drug offender under the Kansas Offender Registration Act. Shaylor claimed she should not have been required to register because the requirement was imposed after her original conviction for manufacture of methamphetamine in 2002. In 2007, the Legislature amended the law, imposing the requirement on persons convicted of unlawful manufacture of controlled substances or controlled substance analogs "unless the court makes a finding on the record that the manufacturing or attempting to manufacture such controlled substance was for such person's personal use." Shaylor argued her conviction for failing to register violated the ex post facto clause of the United States Constitution, which prohibits Legislatures from retroactively punishing previously committed crimes. The principal issue for the court was whether registration requirement was punishment for the original manufacture of methamphetamine conviction. A divided Supreme Court held Shaylor failed to demonstrate that it was.
Writing for the majority, Justice Dan Biles noted under existing Kansas caselaw regarding sex offenders that registration was a nonpunitive civil regulatory requirement and not punishment. Based on that precedent, Biles continued, Shaylor needed to make a sufficient evidentiary showing in the district court to prove the prior caselaw was inapplicable to drug offenders. Since Shaylor did not do that, and raised the issue for the first time on appeal, the majority held her constitutional challenge was not valid and affirmed her conviction. Biles was joined in this opinion by Chief Justice Lawton Nuss, and Justices Marla Luckert and Caleb Stegall.
Dissenting, Justice Carol Beier argued registration requirements were punishment for all offenders and could not be applied retroactively. She was joined by Justices Eric Rosen and Lee Johnson.