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.”