Today 10 legal professionals from six different states submitted a formal response to the U.S. Department of Justice regarding proposed SORNA regulations that could adversely affect the daily lives of almost one million people required to register as a sex offender. The response is 36 pages long and includes a request that the federal agency issue revised regulations and allow for additional comments from the public in the future.
“ACSOL and its allies have prepared a comprehensive response to the proposed SORNA regulations,” stated ACSOL Executive Director Janice Bellucci. “The federal government now has an important decision to make, that is, to ignore the responses it has received and issue a final regulation or to change the regulations in accordance with those responses.”
The ACSOL and Allies response includes the following major points:
- Clarify that a registrant’s duty to act under SORNA is triggered only by interstate travel or other circumstances supporting federal jurisdiction.
Elimination of the requirement that registrants report their intended departure from or termination of residence in a state prior to interstate travel.
Clarify that a registrant’s compliance with SORNA is a two-party transaction that depends upon his state’s acceptance of the information provided by the registrant.
- Eliminate the proposed regulations shifting of the legal burden from the government to the registrant regarding “affirmative defenses” such as a registration office’s refusal to register an individual more than once a year.
- Eliminate the requirement to disclose “remote communications identifiers”.
- Eliminate the requirement to report unspecified information with “whatever definiteness is possible under the circumstances.”
- Clarify that the reduction in the duration of registration obligations for Tiers 1 and Tiers 3 are automatic.
- Conduct a federalism assessment to quantify the financial burden of the obligations upon states and local governments.
The legal professionals who worked on this effort include attorney Adele Nichols of Illinois, attorney Chance Oberstein of California, attorney Jill Sanders of New York, attorney Richard Gladden of Texas, attorney Janice Bellucci of California, law professor Ira Ellman, Amber Vlangas of the Restorative Action Alliance, Guy Hamilton Smith of Kentucky, Tara Ellman of California and Carlton Morse of California.