Thursday, September 18, 2003

We're still in Kansas
I'm staring at a web page that has made me cry.

I'd been trying to search around the web for more specific info on the legal intricacies of the Limon v. Kansas case. The ACLU's most recent press release, and the various tidbits of news stories never gave me answers to my question - what are the possible outcomes of this case? I was getting a post ready for this blog, and had kinda narrowed down the question to: will the Kansas court throw out the "Romeo and Juliet" law in it's entirety, or rule that it must apply to persons engaging in samesex activity? The former would be horrendous, keeping Limon's sentence in tact, and subjecting more young people to their stupid sex crime laws until (if) the Kansas Legislature rewrites the law; the latter should mean that he's already served (over 3 years, and counting..) more time than he should have, and should be released. But after digging and digging, I arrived at an official Kansas website that had the boy's photograph. I know it may sound dumb, but it just makes it even more real, more horrendous, looking into the eyes of a young man in this terrible situation. The page also included the basic info that the state is allowed (or required?) to publish - birthdate (Feb 09, 1982) offense date (Feb 16, 2000), conviction date (Jun 27, 2000), and earliest possible release date: Oct 01, 2014. Looking into his eyes, and seeing that he has at least 11 years more scheduled to be there, wondering what horrible scars have already been carved into this young man's psyche, it's terribly sad, to say the least.'s site was fairly helpful, but I think they are in error regarding the Kansas sodomy law when they say that Lawrence renders their criminal sodomy statute unconstitutional. I beleive it makes part of it unconstitutional, namely the first part of 21-3505(a) (1), between two people 16 or older of the same gender, but will probably leave most of the rest in tact (between a person and an animal, sodomy with a child 14-16 [under 14 is considered statutory rape, I believe] ) in place. (the Texas law that was declared unconstitional was only directed at gaysex, Kansas's includes more, including sex with those under 16). What I believe the ACLU is challenging is that Kansas has a "Romeo and Juliet" law, which lessens the penalty for "deviate sex" (my words, i got tired of typing "sodomy") between teenagers of opposite genders within a certain age range. This law did not apply to Limon, as he had sex with another male. My worry is, what if the Kansas Supreme Court invalidates the "Romeo and Juliet" in it's entirety, rather than forcing the State of Kansas to apply it to homosexual activity? Would that then mean that Limon's sentence stays? Most people (certainly myself) refer to the two involved here as teenagers, but for purposes of the law, one (Limon) is considered an adult, and the other a child. (Which is why the "crime" is a felony, not a misdemeanor as it would've been with 2 adults). So how does the ACLU argue that the Court apply the "Romeo and Juliet" law to Limon's case, rather than have the law declared unconstitutional (and theoretically keeping his sentence as is)? If the law is gone, and you now apply the same ridiculous penalties to all, or can the Court make the "Romeo and Juliet" law apply to those having sex with someone of the same gender?

I wrestled with the idea of putting his pic here (it's on the Kansas website, probably because of their stupid sex offender's law, as well as a leading news organization's site), but I think out of respect to him, I can't. I mean, my pages are mostly about porno and shitlikethat, and while the effect of seeing his youngface may have the same effect on others as it did for me, it just doesn't feel right, amongst all this frivolity.