A convicted sexual predator, who testified he has an uncontrollable urge to engage in sexual activity with children, is challenging Kansas' constitutional law.
Leroy Hendricks, who was convicted in Wichita, filed a lawsuit when the state attempted to lengthen his incarceration by activating the state's "Sexually Violent Predator" statute, which allows the criminal to be incarcerated for an extended period of time under civil law.
Hendricks said he has served his time and needs to be released. The Kansas Supreme Court ruled that the statute violated the defendant's due process rights, which exist under the 14th Amendment of the Constitution.
Hendricks and six other offenders will remain incarcerated during the debate. They were committed under the sexual predator act and may be released from the Larned Federal Prison if the Supreme Court finds the statute unconstitutional.
Kansas Attorney General Carla Stovall will argue on behalf of the 1994 statute which permits the state to civilly commit those who have been convicted of, or charged with a violent sex crime, and who suffer from a mental abnormality or personality disorder which makes an individual likely to commit predatory sex crimes.
The Kansas v. Hendricks case should be decided by late November or early December, a spokesperson from Stovall's office said.
All four members of the Kansas House delegation, including Rep. Todd Tiarht, R-Wichita, have signed a "friend of the court" brief supporting Kansas' sexual predator statute.
"Society does have the right to protect innocent children," a spokesman for Tiarht said.