State v. HarrisAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Court held that the uncertainty in the residual phrase in Kan. Stat. Ann. 21-6304 defining a knife as "a dagger, dirk, switchblade, stiletto, straight-edged razor or any other dangerous or deadly cutting instrument of life character" is so great that the law is impermissibly and unconstitutionally vague.
Defendant, a convicted felon, was found guilty of criminal possession of a weapon stemming from his act of pulling out a pocketknife when he got into an altercation with another man. On appeal, Defendant argued that the district court erred by rejecting his vagueness challenge to section 21-6304, which makes it a crime for a convicted felon to possess a knife. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed Defendant's conviction, holding that section 21-6304 invites "varying and unpredictable" enforcement decisions on an "ad hoc and subjective basis" and, therefore, the residual clause in section 21-6304 is unconstitutionally vague.