TN: Tennessee argues to reinstate sex offender registry requirements at Sixth Circuit

Source: courthousenews.com 12/7/23 CINCINNATI (CN) — Reporting requirements for sex offenders convicted before 1995, which can include in-person reporting, administrative fees and movement restrictions, do not violate the ex post facto clause of the U.S. Constitution, the Volunteer State argued Thursday at a federal appeals court. The state sought to overturn the ruling of a federal judge who found the exhaustive regulations punitive in nature when applied to individuals convicted before the registration system was established. A class of convicted sex offenders filed suit in 2021 and claimed the onerous…

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TN: Class action lawsuit challenges retroactive placement on Tennessee’s sex offender registry

Source: tennessean.com 11/29/23 Eight people on Tennessee’s legally troubled sex offender registry filed a federal class action lawsuit last week asking that thousands of people with decades-old convictions be removed from the registry. The eight plaintiffs, who are using pseudonyms in the lawsuit, all have convictions from before or shortly after 2004, when the state’s current sex offender registry law, the Tennessee Sexual Offender and Violent Sexual Offender Registration, Verification, and Tracking Act, was passed. They are seeking class status for people on Tennessee’s sex offender registry whose convictions predate the law…

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

Source: news.wttw.com 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…

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IL: State Supreme Court weighs constitutionality of lifetime restrictions on child sex offenders

Source: ipmnewsroom.org 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.” Kopf, now 54, pleaded guilty in 2003 to aggravated criminal sexual abuse for an incident involving…

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CT: Connecticut disclosure rules for sex offenders deemed unconstitutional

Source: courthousenews.com 9/14/23 But the ruling only applies to the man who brought the case, since he did not file a class action. (CN) — Although he declined to grant class-wide relief, a federal judge determined Thursday that disclosure of online aliases chilled sex offenders’ ability to communicate freely, and also pointed out Connecticut has yet to use the law to prevent or detect any criminal activity. U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Meyer, a Barack Obama appointee, acknowledged at the outset of his opinion that Connecticut General Statutes 54-251(a) and 54-253(b)…

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MI: Michigan sex offenders lose appeal to hold state officials liable for registry rules

Source: courthousenews.com 5/30/23 The Sixth Circuit on Tuesday ruled a class of registered sex offenders failed to establish supervisory liability against Michigan state officials for enforcement of unconstitutional registry laws. The group of anonymous plaintiffs went after current Governor Gretchen Whitmer and former Governor Rick Snyder, as well as Colonel Joseph Gaspar and Kriste Etue of the Michigan State Police, in their individual capacities and claimed they were liable for enforcement of the state’s Sex Offender Registration Act by lower-level law enforcement agencies. Two sets of amendments to SORA, passed…

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MI: Michigan sex offenders seek individual liability for enforcement of vacated rules

5/30/23 UPDATE: MI: Michigan sex offenders lose appeal to hold state officials liable for registry rules   Source: courthousenews.com 5/3/23 A lower court found state officials immune over their continued enforcement of unconstitutional sex offender registration requirements. CINCINNATI (CN) — A class of anonymous sex offenders urged the Sixth Circuit on Wednesday to reverse a judgment that granted several state officials immunity. The class had brought a federal lawsuit in 2021 over a series of amendments to Michigan’s Sex Offenders Registration Act, otherwise known as SORA. Importantly, the 2006 and…

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PA: Megan’s Law hearing canceled

Source: altoonamirror.com 5/12/23 HOLLIDAYSBURG — Blair County Senior Judge Timothy M. Sullivan won’t be hearing arguments today on the constitutionality of the state’s law requiring sex offenders to regularly register their addresses and other information with state police. Because the state Supreme Court is taking up the constitutional issue on May 23 when it reviews a Chester County case, today’s hearing before Sullivan was canceled. Decisions by the state Supreme Court, expected after the May 23 arguments in Commonwealth v. Torsilieri, are likely to be influential on Blair County cases.…

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MI: Court: Sex offender registry not cruel and unusual

Source: thealpenanews.com 4/11/23 ALPENA — An Alpena man’s lifetime appearance on the Michigan Sex Offender Registry does not constitute cruel and unusual punishment, the Michigan Court of Appeals said. … ____’s argued through his attorneys, Christine Pagac and Steven Helton, that his lifetime listing on the registry was unduly harsh because the trial court hadn’t proven he demonstrated an ongoing risk to the community and because the lower court hadn’t done an individualized assessment of his risk of reoffending. The appellate court ruled the registry listing was not harsh because…

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Janice’s Journal: SCOTUS Made a Terrible Mistake

The U. S. Supreme Court made a terrible mistake 20 years ago.  As a result of that mistake, millions of Americans who are required to register and their families have been harmed, some even killed by vigilantes. The mistake to which I refer is the decision, Smith v. Doe, in which the Court found that the requirement to register was the same as applying for membership in Price Club.  That registration is an administrative requirement, not punishment, and therefore new sex offender laws could be passed and applied retroactively. The…

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Mexico: Court closes to the public registry of sex offenders of the CDMX

Source: eluniversal.com.mx 2/16/23 [NOTE: This article is in Spanish, so we used online translation to get the following English version. Of course, there may be translation errors] Faced with the argument of violating the right to social reintegration and the presumption of innocence of the sentenced, the Court closes the registry to the public. The vote for its validity will take place on Monday, February 20 The Public Registry of Sex Offenders (RPAS) of Mexico City, created in 2020, violates the right to social reintegration, generates stigma and a double…

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PA: Judge to weigh sex offender registration

Source: altoonamirror.com 1/12/23 A Blair County senior judge has scheduled arguments in May to consider a constitutional challenge to state law requiring convicted sex offenders to regularly register their addresses and related information with state police. In recent orders, Senior Judge Timothy M. Sullivan set an April 11 sentencing date for Colby James ____ of Tyrone and a May 12 hearing date to consider the constitutional challenges being raised on ____ ‘s behalf to the state’s Sexual Offender Registration and Notification Act. ____ , 22, who pleaded guilty in March…

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Canada: Jamie Sarkonak: What counts as a sex crime is too broad and it’s ruining people’s lives

Source: nationalpost.com 11/7/22 If some sex crimes are of such low significance that it’s considered a civil rights violation to put convicts’ addresses in a database for police eyes only, Parliament should re-examine its approach to sex-related offences as a whole. The recent Supreme Court decision in which it was declared unconstitutional to order all sex offenders onto a national registry upon conviction highlights a problem, not with the registry itself, but with the ever-widening scope of what constitutes a sex crime. It’s a sign that Parliament should return to deciding the…

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Canada: Supreme Court rules mandatory sex offender registry is unconstitutional

Source: nationalpost.com 10/28/22 Mandatory listing on Canada’s sex offender registry is, for some offenders, an unjustified infringement on their liberty that is not rationally connected to the goal of investigating or preventing sexual crimes, the Supreme Court ruled Friday. Automatic lifetime listing in the case of multiple sexual offences is similarly “overbroad,” the court decided in striking down both laws to permit discretion by sentencing judges. … Imposing those automatically, with no regard to an offender’s circumstances or risk of re-offending, is not justified by any rational connection to the…

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How can sex offender registries be constitutional?

Source: quora.com  There are two short answers: (1) For the most part, the courts have found them to be constitutional because a) they weren’t created with the intent of inflicting punishment and b) they are not punitive enough in effect to override the government’s “legitimate interests.” I would argue substantively that both of these contentions are false. It wouldn’t require a monumental effort. Generally, though, the registries are considered “civil, regulatory” measures. Except that practically no “real” regulatory, civil requirement is so intrusive or stringent while carrying the threat of…

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11th Circuit upholds Alabama’s sex offender registry law after waiting seven years

Source: talkingpointsmemo.com 8/3/22 The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling in a case on Monday more than seven years after the matter was first filed, and hours after TPM published an article about the delay. The 81-page ruling was per curiam, meaning that all three judges on the panel – Ed Carnes, Jill Pryor, and Kenneth Ripple, visiting from the 7th Circuit – signed off on it, but no one judge claimed authorship. The case first hit the 11th Circuit in 2015. Michael McGuire, a homeless Black man…

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PA: Pennsylvania Court Decides State Registry Laws Violate State Constitution

Source: ACSOL A court in Pennsylvania decided this week that its state registry laws violate the state’s constitution for two reasons.  First, the laws are based upon a false presumption that all registrants have a high risk of reoffending.  Second, the laws are punitive.  “This decision by a Pennsylvania court is the clearest statement available to date regarding how registries punish individuals convicted of a sex offense and yet are ineffective at preventing future sexual abuse,” stated ACSOL Executive Director Janice Bellucci.  “Although this decision is binding only in Pennsylvania,…

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PA: Court upholds sex offender registration as constitutional

Source: huntingdondailynews.com 8/3/22 An attempt by a Petersburg man to be released from lifetime sexual offender registration failed last month when Pennsylvania’s Superior Court asserted registration is a “non-punitive, collateral consequence of his conviction” and not a violation of his constitutional rights. … According to the decision issued by the Superior Court in Howard’s case, Howard argued lifetime registration is “cruel and unusual punishment” and therefore violates his constitutional rights as outlined in the U.S. Constitution’s 8th Amendment. In its decision, written by the state Judge Alice Beck Dubow, the…

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