Appeal No. 124,493: State of Kansas v. Robert Lee Verge
Summary calendar; no oral argument
In 1998, Verge was convicted of capital murder and other crimes committed in Dickinson County. The Supreme Court affirmed the convictions in 2001. In 2021, he filed a motion challenging the jurisdiction of Kansas courts to try him because he was a resident of Missouri at the time of the crimes. He also alleged he is a “natural living soul, Indigenous Native Moorish-American National,” and not a citizen of the United States. The Dickinson County District Court denied his motion to set aside the convictions, and the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court. Writing for a unanimous Supreme Court, Justice Eric Rosen held that a defendant’s state of residence has no bearing on a Kansas court’s jurisdiction to try, convict, and sentence that defendant. Regardless of citizenship, place of birth, or place of residence, any individual who commits a crime in Kansas is subject to the jurisdiction of Kansas courts. Furthermore, under the U.S. Constitution, any person born in the United States is considered a citizen of the United States unless the person formally renounces that citizenship, and, because he never followed the proper procedures for surrendering his United States citizenship, Verge was and remains a citizen of the United States.