By Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg | September 19th, 2019
Southern Poverty Law Center and Juvenile Law Center asked a federal court today to strike down Alabama’s sex offender registry requirements for young people who were convicted in adult court. The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama, argues it is cruel and unusual punishment to impose mandatory lifetime registry restrictions for conduct that occurred when someone was still under age 18.
“Kids can’t smoke until they’re 18, they can’t drink until they’re 21,” said Jonathan Barry-Blocker, a staff attorney with Southern Poverty Law Center. “And yet we’re willing to subject them to sometimes lifelong consequences for criminal behavior.”
Those on Alabama’s sex offender registry are subjected to public humiliation and devastating restrictions, according to the lawsuit. They cannot live, volunteer, or work within 2,000 feet of a school or childcare facility. Their photos, names, and addresses are displayed on a website and on flyers, which are distributed to neighbors. Every three months, they must register in person and pay a $10 fee. Some on the registry are also prohibited from loitering within 500 feet of a school, childcare facility, playground, park, school bus stop, or university. More than 16,000 people must register as sex offenders in Alabama, according to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency website.
Read at The Appeal