AK: Without guidance, Alaska judges to ‘muddle through’ sex offender registry removal decisions

[ktuu.com – 8/9/19]

ANCHORAGE (KTUU) – Without guidance, Alaska Superior Court judges will have to “muddle their way through” decisions over how a person can apply to be removed from the sex offender registry, says John Skidmore, the director of the criminal division with the Department of Law.

In June, the Alaska Supreme Court determined that people on the sex offender registry had a right to due process, effectively meaning they could apply to be removed from the registry if they can prove they are no longer dangerous.

Currently, there are roughly 3,500 Alaskans on the registry. Depending on the severity of the crime or past criminal history, some people are on the registry for 15 years, some for life.

Skidmore says prior to the decision, there was no legal basis for someone to apply to be removed from the registry. Now, the right is in place — but there is no clear framework for how the process would operate.

Anchorage attorney Darryl Thompson, representing his client referred to only as John Doe in court documents, has spent 25 years arguing cases over the constitutionality of the Alaska Sex Offender Registry Act (ASORA).

“A core piece of this is the fact that by doing this is, we’re undermining their ability to rehabilitate,” said Thompson on the sex offender registry. “People can’t get from underneath it.”

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“Now, the right is in place — but there is no clear framework for how the process would operate.”

Odd – there is always clear framework for how to be PUT ON the registry though; every “T” crossed and “I” dotted.

Attorney Daryl Thomson has been has spent 25 years arguing cases over the constitutionality of the Alaska Sex Offender Registry Act (ASORA). Wow! I would like to learn more about this guy. He has been fighting for us for a good part of his life.

That a regime began without substantive due process afforded to those already convicted spoke to the regime’s underlying intent. If the constitutional prohibition had been upheld by their leadership from SCOTUS fewer problems would exist for judges today. The presumption of congressional deference by the Rehnquist court when faced with the words ” A person who was in prison for….. ” in statute was incredibly one-sided, and the minority said so.
Today RBG could not call it ” a close case. ” is it any wonder the people have lost faith in leadership. Senator McConnell is suffering posted online attack threats, do I feel bad for him? No! He can blame his own leadership. When gov attacks it citizens via SOR it paved the way.

The two problems I have with the Alaska Supreme Court’s ruling are:

1) It burdens the registrant to prove the negative – that he is not a threat and should come off the registry. I figure the burden of proof should be on the state to prove he is and should remain registered. Of course, neither changes the fact that the registry doesn’t protect anyone from anything.

2) No superior court judge – an elected position, subjecting rulings based on politics, image, and electability as opposed to law, precedent, and plain old fairness – wants to be the first to release someone from the registry, regardless of circumstance. The only hope a registrant (or one accused of a sex crime) has for a favorable ruling in those courts is if the judge is retiring or has been appointed to a seat on a state appellate court or a federal one.

Is there a way for California to get on board with that? Right to privacy? Sounds good