The Kansas Supreme Court issued the following published decisions July 17, 2020
Appeal No. 116,515: State of Kansas v. Christopher M. Harris
Archived oral argument
Harris was convicted in Sedgwick County District Court of criminal possession of a weapon for carrying a pocketknife. Under K.S.A. 2019 Supp. 21-6304, it is a crime for a convicted felon to possess a knife. The statute defines knife as "a dagger, dirk, switchblade, stiletto, straight-edged razor or any other dangerous or deadly cutting instrument of like character." In an opinion written by Justice Caleb Stegall, the Supreme Court held the residual clause "or any other dangerous or deadly cutting instrument of like character" in K.S.A. 2019 Supp. 21-6304 is unconstitutionally vague because it fails to provide an explicit and objective standard of enforcement. This lack of an explicit and objective standard of enforcement impermissibly delegated legislative power to the executive and judicial branches. Thus, the court reversed Harris' conviction and remanded the case to the district court with instructions to dismiss the charge of criminal possession of a weapon by a convicted felon. Justices Dan Biles and Eric Rosen and Court of Appeals Judge Henry Green Jr. dissented, concluding that K.S.A. 2019 Supp. 21-6304 is not unconstitutionally vague on its face or as applied to Harris and would remand to the district court for a new trial so Harris could pursue his mistake-of-law defense.