Kansas man contests classification as sexually violent predator
Attaching the phrase sexually violent predator to an individual’s name is a loaded label that can stick for life. Being convicted of sex crimes holds serious consequences. One man in Kansas faced much stigma when he was convicted of being just that — a sexually violent predator.
When this Kansas man went to court to contest this classification after being convicted of committing aggravated indecent liberties with a child in 1999, he had the odds stacked against him. Turns out he is one of the few that beat the odds — the Kansas man was released from custody Feb. 22.
The Kansas Sexually Violent Predator Program was founded in 1994 and has come under question for potentially holding for life those convicted of sexual offenses and that are deemed likely to reoffend. The admittance process comes upon conclusion of the jail sentence and factors in variables such as behavior while in prison, crime committed and a psychological evaluation.
There are currently 216 convicted people within the program. The expense of this program is fairly steep at roughly $70,000 per resident per year, and only three people have successfully completed the program. In fact, the programs track record shows that the residents are more likely to die than completely the program.
However, one professor states that the criminal justice system is not so accurate at predicting when sex offenders are likely to repeat their convicting actions. This professor is quoted as saying, “Clinical predictions are less accurate than chance. You might as well flip a coin to see if a psychologist can predict.” Her research depicts repeat offense at a rate far less than most would expect — only 5.3 percent reoffended within three years the crime they were convicted of.
With the passage in Kansas of Jessica’s law, the penalties for sexual offense involving minors can be as severe as a life time prison sentence without the possibility of parole. The Kansas man that was recently released is only the third person to successfully win judicial reprieve as a sexually violent predator in Kansas. If an individual in the Kansas area has been accused of a sex crime it is imperative that they seek experience legal counsel.