IL: Illinois Supreme Court Weighs Constitutionality of Lifetime Restrictions on Child Sex Offenders

Source: 11/15/23

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Supreme Court is weighing whether it is constitutional to impose lifetime restrictions on where a person can live after they’ve been convicted of a sex crime involving a minor.

“It’s been 21 years – almost 21 years since my conviction,” Martin Kopf told the court’s seven justices on Wednesday. “I have been totally offense-free. Not even a moving violation. But yet, they still say that I’m dangerous.”

In court challenges, Kopf has represented himself while arguing, among other things, that the law enforcement agencies were negligent for failing to notify him that the property did not comply with the residential restrictions. He also argued the restrictions themselves were unconstitutional.

In a June 2021 ruling, Kane County Circuit Judge Kevin Busch dismissed most of Kopf’s claims. But he did declare the law unconstitutional, saying it violated constitutional guarantees of due process and equal protection.

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I’m skeptical IL SC will apply proper jurisprudence. The IL courts have previously shown themselves to be swayed by feelings, not facts, when it comes to PFRs.

The letter to the editor I wrote in response to the article ran discussing the Illinois Supreme Court case Kopf v Kelly was published this week. It’s titled “Change Stigma.” Check it out and let me know what you think!