FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dec. 2, 2019
CONTACT: Mark McCormick, Director of Strategic Communications, 913-490-4113, firstname.lastname@example.org
OVERLAND PARK, KS - Bo Dana Rupert, is no longer “banished” from the state of Kansas as the result of a settlement reached Monday between the ACLU of Kansas and Montgomery County Attorney Larry Markle.
As a part of a previous plea agreement, which the ACLU argued was as archaic as it was unlawful, Rupert had agreed to leave Montgomery County for good. This settlement removes that probation stipulation and Markle has agreed not to prosecute Rupert for his absconder status, which Rupert received solely as a result of complying with the plea agreement's banishment terms.
“We hope attorneys on both sides will think twice before adding stipulations like this one to probation agreements in the future,” said ACLU of Kansas Legal Director Lauren Bonds of the settlement. “This was an unusual situation, to say the least.”
Mr. Rupert has agreed to dismiss his lawsuit against Larry Markle, County Attorney for Montgomery County, in exchange for an amended plea agreement. As a part of the resolution of the case, Rupert has clarified his defense attorney, Heath Lampson, prepared the problematic terms of the plea agreement, not Mr. Markle.
The ACLU of Kansas had argued that the banishment provision in Rupert’s agreement had been all but eradicated by a compact between the States as early as 1935.
For almost a century, states “that have considered the question have unambiguously found that banishing a criminal defendant from an entire state is a form of illegal sentence that violates state public policy,” the ACLU’s previous filing read.
But when Rupert’s lawyer told him, “Don’t still be here tomorrow when the sun comes up,” Rupert felt he had no choice but to accept the agreement.
This was the second case the ACLU of Kansas has filed against Markle. The affiliate along with the national ACLU, filed a June 2018 suit in the Kansas Supreme Court to force Markle to follow state law and begin notifying every defendant about Montgomery County diversion programs. That suit is ongoing.
# # #
About the ACLU of Kansas: The ACLU of Kansas is the statewide affiliate of the national American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU of Kansas is dedicated to preserving and advancing the civil rights and legal freedoms guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights. For more information, visit our website at www.aclukansas.org.