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NH: Supreme Court Rules That Retroactive, Lifetime Registration Requirement Is Unconstitutional As Applied To ACLU Client

CONCORD – In a victory for fundamental fairness, the New Hampshire Supreme Court held today that New Hampshire’s law requiring the registration of certain criminal offenders is unconstitutional as applied to an ACLU client because the law retroactively imposes lifetime restrictions on individuals who were convicted before these lifetime restrictions were enacted. Full Article

Also see: N.H. Supreme Court: Disabled sex offender eligible to get off sex offender registry 

Join the discussion

  1. Robin Banks

    This is the greatest news I’ve heard in a long time! Hopefully this will be the beginning of a shift in our courts – finally, and rightly recognizing the punitive nature of the sex offense registry.

  2. c

    Works for me.

  3. Clark

    What’s that Rock……If you smelllllllllllllllllllllll what the Constitution is cooking..!!!!

  4. Q

    I wan’t to hear this from the California Supreme Court;

    “the act as currently constituted is excessive” and certain aspects of the act “serve no readily-apparent non-punitive purpose.”

    If I ever hear this in Cali I’ll fall out of my char!!! And if I ever hear this from a Florida court I’m pretty sure I’d have a heart attack on the spot!

    “[w]e find the lifetime duration of the registry in particular to be excessive, when considered with all of the act’s other impositions. If in fact there is no meaningful risk to the public, then the imposition of such requirements becomes wholly punitive.”

    All kidding aside; this is great news for the victime of the registry in that state and I hope and pray this decision by the court can be used here in Calif and all across the nation! Finally!! An honest court!!!!

  5. Gerald

    It’s always nice to see justice in action.
    Kinda reminds me of how fresh it smells after a nice rain shower.

  6. David

    But the remedy determined by the Court was that the petitioner have a hearing in which he has to prove he is no longer a danger to the public. So it wasn’t just an automatic “Nope, no registry for him – it’s unconstitutional.”
    Sorry, it seems like a half-assed decision. How can it be unconstitutional, but he still has to have a hearing, prove that he is not dangerous, and still hope that another judge agrees? (What if the hearing judge doesn’t agree and decides he belongs on the registry? Then what? Constitutional or unconstitutional?)

  7. G4Change

    WOW…if I’m dreaming, please don’t wake me!

  8. David

    Furthermore, if the additional hearing were to find that he remains a threat to the community and he is, therefore, forced to register, it would nonetheless still be retroactive punishment for a crime for which he had already been punished years before.

  9. mike

    This is defenitly a step in the right derection but it amazes me how much of cowards these judges are they make the decision that the law is unconstitutional but refuse to stand up and grant relief instead letting the violations continue for years of further litigation.

  10. td777

    This is great, but lacking at the same time. Yes, it provides a possibility of relief at some point for a lot of those convicted before these things came into effect, but doesn’t do a thing for those convicted after the restrictions came into effect. What about the recently convicted, it is every bit as unconstitutional to put them through this for life.

  11. James Townsend

    The old saying is don’t count your chickens before their hatched. While this may be a victory for some there is still a lot more to go. Yes, I pray that all brothers and sisters caught up in this sexual nightmare of the sex registry get relief and the registry is put to rest for good. While their are many on the registry with various types of offenses there is still a burden to bare. Yes the registry hinders a lot on it from jobs, housing, living amongst others that are more astute than the low life sex offender, in other words its degrading and to others we are outcast but change is on its way but we still need people in all states’ to stand up for this issue.

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