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National

NJ: Registered Forever: NJ Offenders Fight for Reprieve

[courthousenews.com – 11/18/19]

TRENTON, N.J. (CN) — A lawyer for New Jersey urged the state Supreme Court on Monday for a strict reading of a law that lets registered sex offenders off the registry so long as they keep a clean record for 15 years.

“Conviction means what we say it does, and that’s the conviction that triggers Megan’s Law,” said Special Deputy Attorney General Frank DuCoat, referencing the 1994 law enacted after 7-year-old Megan Kanka was raped and murdered by a neighbor who had already been convicted twice for sexual assault.

The law allows information to be provided to law enforcement and the public about the whereabouts of sex offenders, but lawmakers added a provision in 2002 that gives offenders a chance to be removed from the list if they do not commit any other offenses within 15 years of conviction.

Arguments before the state high court on Monday focused on two sex offenders, referred to only as H.D. and J.M., who were convicted on sexual assault charges in 1994 and 1998. Both remained offense free until 2001 when J.M. was convicted of computer-related theft, and H.D. convicted for failing to register as a sex offender.

Though the state says the second convictions forfeited their chance to get off the list forever, the offenders say the 15-year window should reset with every new conviction, meaning they should have gotten another chance at removal from the list in 2016, 15 years after their second convictions.

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  1. cool CA RC

    Can California do the same thing?

  2. Eric

    Is this correct, that people on the registry in New Jersey can be released from it after being offense free for 15 years? This is the first I’ve heard of this. This is at minimum the way it should be. Is New Jersey that far ahead of California in civil and moral development?

    • R M

      @Eric: You said “Is this correct, that people on the registry in New Jersey can be released from it after being offense free for 15 years? This is the first I’ve heard of this. This is at minimum the way it should be. Is New Jersey that far ahead of California in civil and moral development?”

      IDK where you have been the last 20 plus years, but NJ is not a place you want to be convicted in. Yes, depending on what tier NJ places you on, in 15, 25, or never, a person can petition the court for release from this mess. Mind you, the murder and rape of Megan Kanka, the poster child of Megan’s law, occurred in this state.

      “Offense free” means no crime whatsoever; it doesn’t matter if it was a sex crime or not (this has been argued in NJ supreme court…. a “crime” is a “crime”. Violate a condition of CSL, after a court hearing or trial, you get get more time in prison, and IN THE LEAST, the clock resets. Violate of condition of PSL, you go straight back to prison, no questions asked.

      If you meet NJ’s requirements, yes you can petition the court for release. Tier 1, 15 years, tier 2, 25 years, tier 3, life.

    • Rich

      To get off CSL the 15 year clock starts from your time of Judgement of Conviction. To get off of the registry the 15 year clock starts from your time of release. The judge in this case removed them from CSL yet keep them on the registry.

  3. bobo

    i live in this godforsaken state, and i am a tier 1 for cp charges, 15 years is ridiculous, almost impossible not to commit some kind of crime considering that you are on “supervision” for that time. I have a decent p.o. right now, but that can change at any time. I believe the parole board uses the nazi playbook from WW 2

  4. dead inside

    I’m trying to get off of the SOR. Our AG in his plight for never ending vengeance, decided that if you have 2 convictions who get automatic life. I was convicted of CP in 2004. I was supposed to be removed from the SOR in 2021, now it’s life.. I’m getting a lawyer to see if I can be removed.

    Back in 2017 I was stopped for speeding. After I got a lawyer, all the charges were dropped except reckless driving. It’s classified as Fort U. According to the legal pages I looked at, it’s not considered a crime. Being a little paranoid, I’m wondering if that will prevent me from even having a chance to get removed from the SOR? I live in WI.

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