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National

NC: Sex Offender Premises Restrictions Revised in Response to Doe v. Cooper

The General Assembly amended G.S. 14-208.18, the law that makes it a Class H felony for certain registered sex offenders to go certain places. The changes are a response to Doe v. Cooper, a federal case in which the trial judge enjoined every district attorney in the state from enforcing the parts of the law he found to be unconstitutional. Today’s post takes a look at the revised law. Full Article

Related

NC: Federal Judge Enjoins Enforcement of Sex Offender Premises Restriction

NC: Bans sex offenders from spots children gather

Join the discussion

  1. Chris F

    I don’t understand how any restrictions can be placed on “registered” sex offenders.

    It should be a constitutional violation of Due Process to subject anyone to a deprivation of liberty after they have completed probation and re-entered society unless they have specifically had a fair hearing to determine that they are a current threat to society.

    Look at this case for instance:

    U.S. v. DAVIS•452 F.3d 991, 995 (8th Cir. 2006)

    Federal law requires the district courts to consider the “nature and circumstances of the offense and the history and characteristics of the defendant” when crafting a special condition of supervised release. See 18 U.S.C. §§ 3553(a)(1), 3583(d)(1); cf. United States v. Heidebur, 417 F.3d 1002, 1004-05 (8th Cir. 2005). That inquiry must take place on an individualized basis; a court may not impose a special condition on all those found guilty of a particular offense.

    Appropriating the reasoning from DAVIS permits Plaintiffs to argue that if a probationer may not have special conditions imposed on all those found guilty of a particular offense, then a person who has completed probation and been determined fit for release into society has the same, if not greater, interest in being free from restrictions imposed on all persons defined as “sex offender” when the term “sex offender” refers to not just one particular offense, but a large group of offenses arbitrarily chosen by legislature to have a sexual component, and for an arbitrary duration unrelated to an individual’s present dangerousness.

    • Chris F

      Janice, would my above example apply to the IML case as well since they are essentially placing burdens on all of those convicted of certain crimes without looking on an individualized basis?

      With IML, isn’t it also a violation of Equal Protection clause since different states set different criteria for inclusion on the registry and for different durations? That means someone that did the exact same crime in one state could be excluded while someone in another state gets a notice sent and their passport marked.

      I hope Janice reads most of the comments here.

  2. G4Change

    If not for laws like these, then I’m sure that tens of thousands of children would be attacked and killed by registered citizens throughout North Carolina each year. So, WHEW! I’m glad that at least some of this law survived!!! [TOTAL SARCASM]

    • Timmr

      Yeah, I am wondering how our ancestors survived without registration laws.

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