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The Supreme Court Renders Another Decision Interpreting the Ex Post Facto Clause

June 2013 – The national drive to identify and punish child predators took a step backward this week.  While on its surface, the Supreme Court’s decision this week in Peugh v. United States does not deal with sex offenders, its impact will surely be felt in the sex-offender cases.  As with the Court’s decision ten years ago in Stogner v. California, the Ex Post Facto Clause has once again been interpreted to make it more difficult to incarcerate criminals, and particularly sex offenders, as I will explain below. Full Article

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  1. mch

    So, could this mean that those sentenced prior to the all inclusive registry challenge their registration? That’s THOUSANDS! Time to flood the courts based on this ruling? I realize our common sense doesn’t matter when dealing with the legal system.

    • Anonymous Nobody

      No. Because registering is NOT part of the sentence. It is simply a collateral reponsibility the person convicted will now have to do. Yes, at sentencing the court will tell you you have to register, but that is simply to inform you, it is not part of the sentence.

      This ex post facto ruling is strictly about a change in the prescribed sentence after the commission of the offense but before sentencing. Registration is not related to sentencing, and the courts have ruled the ex post facto does not apply to registration because registration is not any form of punishment.

  2. mch

    Isn’t registration a part of sentencing, apart and separate from conviction? This decision deals with sentencing terms/length, correct? So if the legal minds on here can explain to this simpleton (me) if this can or cannot apply, because in my mind the sentence is lenghtened to lifetime by the addition of a “penalty”. What am I missing here?

    • td777

      The author is a kook to begin with, and anyone familiar with her work would know she has a vendetta against sex offenders.

      The problem in this is that, at the moment, SCOTUS still stands on the idea that registration is not punishment, and from my understanding, is not subject to Ex Post Facto.

    • George

      mch, I’m not a lawyer, but the difference is registration is civil law and therefore not punishment under criminal law. Ex post facto covers punishment under criminal law, not civil law. Registration rules are considered regulations, not penal code laws. I know. I know. There is punishment for failure to register, even felony punishment, but think of it like a civil duty. I know, I know, it is often more restrictive than probation or parole conditions, which are punishment!

      Anyway, is that article some screed or what? Some of the comments are pretty good though. 10 years ago no one would have challenged her at all.

  3. Robert

    Why is this article posted? This is an old article (June 2013) based on a Supreme Court case decided in 2012. Nothing new here and a misleading article as well.

  4. tara

    Expo facto law does affect something that was not criminal and makes it crimanal which is the change the address on the identification or drivers license….there fore Expo facto law does apply…it doesn’t make registration unconstitution however it does make it unconstitutional to charge a crime for failure to change or update the address on the driver’s license in that this was a civil do not update your drivers licenselicense. and when you think about it failure to register is, connected to failure to fill out the census, so help me out on this…

  5. j

    The way this article begins: “The national drive to identify and punish child predators took a step backward this week.” makes no doubt the intention of the law is to have unfettered civil punishment against those who have already paid for their crimes. The law is a framework designed to render universal and perpetual punishment for registrants regardless of the age and disposition of their cases.

    If scotus (and anyone else for that matter) believes this is not punishment, they are simply repeating the lies themselves as they become truth.

  6. tara

    If Sex offender laws are administrative then the penalty for non-conpliance should also be administrative not incarceration as any other civil infraction.

    • Clark

      Exactamondo tara ..civil remedy….NOT criminal…its a whitewash..its a scam……register so to be used against you …..Constitution forbids self incrimination …….registration scheme legalizes it….registration scheme is as corrupt as a secret oc trial without the accused present with attorney in court proceedings .

  7. Clifford Ray Irby II

    I was charged of sex offense from March 12, 1991 in the State of Texas. I was coerced into taking a plea bargain by my attorney of deferred adjudication probation for a term of 5 years. The reasons I took the plea bargain were I would NOT go to TDCJ for a crime I did not commit, I was tire of dealing with the small town “guilty by accusation” stares, I was promised the indictment would be dismissed upon completion of the 5 year probation term, and there was no registration conditions on the plea. The court’s record even has a letter by the presiding judge stating that the laws allow for a dismissal of charges of this nature, dated Jan. 1996. I also have a sworn document from that same court that states this is not a conviction per Texas law, dated May 1, 2014. Now, I am residing in the State of Louisiana, and they have published that I have been convicted of this sex offense. La.R.S 15:541 (24) defines sex offense that requires registration as having been committed on or after June 18, 1992. Texas did not enforce registration conditions on me, yet Louisiana is doing so in violation of their own laws. I have never been under the custody of DOC as a result of that charge in any state. How is it constitutional for Louisiana to violate their own state law, their own constitution, the U.S. Constitution, as well as alter the “res judicada” of a Texas court? I have been arguing this with the State of Louisiana since 2009. The state refuses to even accept jurisdiction to alter my registration. I am at a loss as to how or what to do,even where to do it at. HELP! PLEASE!

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