Under Kansas law, having a drug conviction means that her photograph and other identifying details are displayed in the same public registry that includes more than 10,000 convicted sex offenders. Many registrants also appear on third-party websites like “Offender Radar” and “Sex Offender Spy,” and it’s easy for a visitor to miss the single word — “drug” — that differentiates Byers’ crime from those the public judges much more harshly.
Over the years, several states have expanded their registries to add perpetrators of other crimes, including kidnapping, assault, and murder.
Tennessee added animal abuse. Utah added white collar crimes. A few states considered but abandoned plans for hate crime and domestic abuse registries. At least five states publicly display methamphetamine producers.
But Kansas went furthest, adding an array of lesser drug crimes; roughly 4,600 people in the state are now registered as drug offenders.
The Kansas legislature is currently considering a bill proposed by the state’s sentencing commission that would remove drug offenders from the registry.
Read the full article on drug offenders on the public registry by Maurice Chammah at The Marshall Project
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