Crime & Courts

Court overturns judges' attempts to impose parole conditions

For the second consecutive week, the Kansas Supreme Court said judges cannot order lifetime electronic monitoring for convicted child molesters.

Two decisions, published today, followed a similar ruling in a Sedgwick County case last week, involving a man convicted of molesting a 6-year-old boy in downtown Wichita.

These cases were different, because the men were sentenced under Jessica's Law.

They included one man convicted of raping of an 11-year-old in Seward County and another serving time for sodomy with a 7-year-old in Labette County.

The court ruled Kansas law only allows the board granting parole the authority to set conditions of an inmates release. It does not allow judges to set those conditions at the initial sentencing, Justice Eric Rosen wrote in the unanimous decisions.

The ruling was consistent with another Jessica's Law case the high court handed down in May, in which the order of lifetime electronic monitoring was reversed for a Saline County man convicted of raping a 12-year-old.

In each of the cases, the court upheld the men's sentences of life in prison without the possibility of parole for 25 years.

Jessica's Law was passed in 2006 to provide longer prison sentences for first-time offenders convicted of sex crimes against children under the age of 14.

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