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High Court Hears Offender Registry Case

Associated Press - September 11, 2014 2:34 pm

The attorney representing a convicted child molester has urged the Kansas Supreme Court to take a fresh look at the state’s criminal offender registry because social media has made the Internet the new town square for public shaming.

Attorney Chris Joseph said during oral arguments Thursday that the world has changed dramatically since 2003, when the U.S. Supreme Court found criminal offender registration was not punitive.

But Assistant Attorney General Christopher Grunewald argued that justices should overturn a Kansas judge’s finding that removed a Lenexa man’s name from the offender registry. The state contends the case seeks to end the dissemination of public information to third-party websites.

The outcome of the case has implications for people whose listing requirements were retroactively lengthened when the state changed its law in 2011.