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California

Sex offender law affects past plea deal

A 2004 state law requires the names and addresses of all registered sex offenders to be made public. On Monday, the state Supreme Court ruled that the law could apply to a Bay Area man who admitted molesting a child in 1991, when sex offender registrations were confidential. Full Article

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    It seems to me those practicing law should now advise their clients that taking a plea agreement in any criminal case can have future unforeseeable repercussions.

    Going along the thought of Justice Kennard’s dissent, if they can change the rules and you will be subject to them, you should have the right to withdraw your plea if you don’t agree with those changes. Apparently the courts don’t see it that way. If you take a plea, you are throwing yourself at the mercy of the court and zealous lawmakers to do what they will.

    Guess we’re back to needing to focus on showing aspects of registration to be punitive but even that might be moot under this absurd ruling.

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