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NJ: Supreme Court – Sex offenders who served their time can’t face penalties under new laws

Sex offenders can not be subjected to punishments under newly created laws if they committed their offense and served their time before the legislation was passed, the state Supreme Court ruled in a 4-3 decision Monday. Full Article


Please note. .. this article is from September 2014. It was previously posted here at its original date.
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  1. Q

    Someone should tell the supreme court this!

    “A well established principle of ancient origin is that the Legislature cannot increase the punishment for a crime after it has been committed,”

    And then you get the USA version of the hard core Nazi saying things like this

    “The dissenting appellate court judge said that a monitoring devise was regulatory and non-punitive.”

    This is a major victory for people forced to register in that state, and I hope this example of truth can be used here and all the other states to stop the never ending cycle of add on after the fact punishment that the liars call regulatory.

    • Anonymous Nobody

      The Supreme Court has never disagreed with this. This is a very narrow and limited ruling — it applies ONLY to ankle monitors, not to other onerous disabilities involved with registration. I do not know of SCOTUS ever ruling specifically about ankle monitors on registrants off parole.

      I would think there is an argument to bar ankle monitors for any registrant off parole, as it is arguably a form a custody, even generally used for house arrest.

      And this is a problem in many court rulings in California. Many years ago, one case referred to 290 as providing for the “surveillance” of registrants. Ever since that ruling, that paragraph has been picked up and repeated in many other rulings. But in reality, 290 never had said anything about “surveillance.” It simply was registering people to know where they lived and could be found, not to surveil their every movement.

      That kind of surveillance is far more questionable than simply knowing where they live so you can find them if you need to. That kind of surveillance isn’t even allowed in a criminal investigation unless a search warrant is issued, as per SCOTUS!

      I contend that any “surveillance” stemming from 290 is unconstitutional, especially at the burden of wearing an ankle monitor, just as SCOTUS ruled it is to place a monitoring device without a warrant on a car as part of a criminal investigation. My god, if its unconstitutional to do it as part of a criminal investigation, how can you do it without even that!?

  2. Katharine

    The justices who dissented should try wearing an ankle monitor themselves for a few months, or even weeks, and then judge whether it is a form of punishment or not. I suspect they would change their tune.

  3. Eric Knight

    Somewhat related, but not pertinent to this case:

    New Jersey has a lifetime parole requirement for anyone convicted of any crime that requires sex offender registration. This allows them to essentially increase restrictions under the jurisdiction of the court, so technically it’s not an ex post facto issue. This includes a $30/month registration fee for the rest of their lives as well as wearing a monitor.

    • Q

      Wow!!! That is so wrong. I wonder if anyone is challenging this draconian tyranny.

    • Timmr

      I am wondering, isn’t lifetime parole an oxymoron? The purpose of parole is to transition from prison to free citizen again, if it is for a lifetime it is a life sentence.
      From Wikipedia: “Parole is the provisional release of a prisoner who agrees to certain conditions prior to the completion of the maximum sentence period. Originating from the French parole (“voice”, “spoken words”), the term became associated during the Middle Ages with the release of prisoners who gave their word.”
      Clearly, traditional parole was based on trust, both on the word of the prisoner that he would follow the conditions of his release, and on the word of the representative of the state that they would not send the parolee back to prison for arbitrary, that is, unconstitutional reasons.
      I suppose now trust has vanished in our penal system as in other realms of our society, the state does not trust the registered citizen, why should he, or anyone else for that matter, trust the State?

    • Anonymous Nobody

      What is good about this ruling is that the New Jersey court says that wearing an ankle monitor is punishment, is not merely regulatory. I’m curious about all their reasoning for that.

      I was going to mention the lifetime parole New Jersey enacted some years back. Still, I don’t believe it applies to all offenders no matter what,but I would have to check. Also, in New Jersey, at least the last time I looked, you can get out from under registration in 15 years for most offenses.

      I also note, in New Jersey, only the most serious offenses have to register. Misdemeanants do not have to register, as in California, and neither do lower level felons. So these rules apply only to serious offenders — not that that makes them any more acceptable.

      New Jersey started lifetime parole after it found some offenders were moving across the state line to New York, where rules for registration were not so onerous as in New Jersey. They were mad that they could not require registrants to remain in the state — but as parolees, they can bar them from leaving the state. In fact, they could bar a registrant from even commuting to Manhattan for a job, as a lot of people in northern New Jersey do.

  4. Robert

    Please note that this is an old new article from a year ago – September 22, 2014. The case is Riley v. New Jersey State Parole Board (A-94-11) (069327) decided Sep.22, 2014

  5. David

    SCOTUS*, wake up!! Are you paying attention to this “ancient” and basic concept of law!
    No ex post facto punishment!!
    *Supreme Court of the United States

  6. mike r

    Man that’s crazy three judges say its not punishment. It’s actually cruel and unusual punishment if you ask me. To strap some device to someone for the rest of their lives we wouldn’t even let people do that animals so why humans. Disgusting.

  7. mike r

    Save the registry for repeat violent rapist if you feel safer oh wait a minute those guys very very seldom see the outside of a prison so guess that makes the registry useless

    • Anonymous Nobody

      My belief is that the registry for anyone off parole is wrong — no matter their offense. Evil is evil even when applied to a bad guy.

  8. Murphy

    I was charged with Lewdness, and told it was like peing in public. I received probation. I violated from a bar fight. Sent to prison for 5 years. Released from prison in 1993. From then tell now iv been charged four times for failing to register ster. I lost 3 homes, moneys and the last time I lost my two chat ldren. Now to this date 3/9/2016 iv been on federal probation for over 6 years and have 4 years left from a 10 year sentance. I was never ordered to register, and supreme court ruled unconstitutional. But it m still serving the 10 year federal probation. This has been a 28 year nightmare. Why am I still being prosecuted, lord plz help me in Jesus name Amen

    • Timmmy

      Then why are you not suing? I was successful in Federal court and the court ordered me removed from any registry.


        Timmmy Is there a way to reach you? I would like to ask you a few questions – I might of spoken to you before but email the moderator if it is ok


        Timmmy – I emailed you old throwaway email and never heard back – i’d like to ask more about your case and how you filed/won

        Thank you

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