ACLU says offender registry unconstitutional

Police Lights (KSN File Photo)
Police Lights (KSN File Photo)

WICHITA, Kansas (AP) – The American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas is urging the Kansas Supreme Court to uphold a judge’s finding that the state’s criminal offender registry is unconstitutional.

The registry includes sex offenders as well as people convicted of certain violent crimes and drug offenses.

The ACLU said in a filing Tuesday that instead of improving public safety, the registry laws impede offenders from reintegrating into a community.

The arguments come in a lawsuit filed by a child molester seeking to have his name removed from the Kansas offender list. Shawnee County Judge Larry ruled a law extending his registration requirement was a punishment that couldn’t be retroactively enforced under the U.S. Constitution.

But the National Center for Victims of Crime says upholding the ruling would “profoundly affect” victims.