Summary of Decision April 17, 2014
Justice Burke delivered the opinion for the Court. Affirmed.
Case Name: RONALD S. KAMMERER, JR. v. THE STATE OF WYOMING
Docket Number: S-13-0070
Appeal from the District Court of Campbell County the Honorable Michael N. Deegan, Judge
Representing Appellant: Office of the State Public Defender: Diane M. Lozano, State Public Defender; Tina N. Olson, Appellate Counsel; Kirk A. Morgan, Senior Assistant Appellate Counsel. Argument by Mr. Morgan.
Representing Appellee: Peter K. Michael, Attorney General; David L. Delicath, Deputy Attorney General; Jeffrey S. Pope, Assistant Attorney General. Argument by Mr. Delicath.
Date of Decision: April 17, 2014
Facts: Appellant, Ronald S. Kammerer, Jr., challenges his conviction for failure to register as a sex offender, in violation of Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 7-19-302(j) and Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 7-19-307(a)(d). He contends that Wyoming’s Sex Offender Registration Act (Wyo. Stat. Ann. §§ 7-19-301 through 7-19-307) (“WSORA” or “the Act”) violates the prohibitions against ex post facto laws contained in the United States and Wyoming Constitutions.
Issues: Appellant presents the following issues: 1. Does Wyoming’s Sex Offender Registration Act violate the United States Constitution, Art. 1, § 10, prohibition against enacting ex post facto laws? 2. Does Wyoming’s Sex Offender Registration Act violate the Wyoming Constitution’s prohibition of ex post facto laws?
The State presents an additional issue: 1. Did the district court commit plain error by not finding that the Wyoming Constitution provides greater protection than its federal analog and that the Wyoming Sex Offender Registration Act violates that greater protection?
Holdings/Conclusion: We agree with the State. Both constitutions clearly prohibit the passage of ex post facto laws. Consequently, in order to find that the Wyoming Constitution provides “greater” protection, we would be forced to conclude that Wyoming’s definition of an ex post facto law, as applied to this case, is broader than the definition of that term as it is used in the United States Constitution. We have no reason to draw such a conclusion, and Appellant has provided no cogent argument or persuasive authority to support a claim that Wyoming’s definition of an ex post facto law is broader than the federal definition. To the contrary, we expressly adopted the Supreme Court’s definition of an ex post facto law, as one “which makes more burdensome the punishment for a crime, after its commission,” in Smith v. State, ¶ 55, 199 P.3d at 1068. Accordingly, we find no merit in Appellant’s claim that the Wyoming Constitution provides greater protection against ex post facto laws than its federal counterpart. Affirmed.
Summaries are prepared by Law Librarians and are not official statements of the Wyoming Supreme Court
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Thursday, April 17, 2014
Summary of Decision April 17, 2014