Federal trial court holding that Indiana’s SORA was unconstitutional on the grounds that it infringed Plaintiffs’ Right to Travel, denied them Equal Protection, and constituted an impermissible Ex Post Facto law.
Colorado Court of Appeals holding that requiring lifetime registration for juveniles adjudicated of sex offenses constitutes punishment for Eighth Amendment purposes, and remanded the case for consideration of whether the Eighth Amendment is violated when the state mandates lifetime sex offense registration for juveniles.
United States Supreme Court opinion holding unconstitutional a provision of federal law that mandated imprisonment for preponderance findings that new crimes had been committed while on supervised release.
SORN Secondary Materials
More than forty U.S. states currently track at least some of their convicted sex offenders using GPS devices. Many offenders will be monitored for life. The burdens and expense of living indefinitely under constant technological monitoring have been well documented, but most commentators have assumed that these burdens were of no constitutional moment because states have characterized such surveillance as “civil” in character — and courts have seemed to agree. In 2015, however, the Supreme Court decided in Grady v. North Carolina that attaching a GPS monitoring device to a person was a Fourth Amendment search, notwithstanding the ostensibly civil character of the surveillance. Grady left open the question whether the search — and the state’s technological monitoring program more generally — was constitutionally reasonable. This Essay considers the doctrine and theory of Fourth Amendment reasonableness as it applies to both current and envisioned sex offender monitoring technologies to evaluate whether the Fourth Amendment may serve as an effective check on post-release monitoring regimes.
Sex offender registration and notification (SORN) laws have been in effect nationwide since the 1990s, and publicly available registries today contain information on hundreds of thousands of individuals. To date, most courts, including the Supreme Court in 2003, have concluded that the laws are regulatory, not punitive, in nature, allowing them to be applied retroactively consistent with the Ex Post Facto Clause. Recently, however, several state supreme courts, as well as the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, addressing challenges lodged against new-generation SORN laws of a considerably more onerous and expansive character, have granted relief, concluding that the laws are punitive in effect. This symposium contribution examines these decisions, which are distinct not only for their results, but also for the courts’ decidedly more critical scrutiny of the justifications, purposes, and efficacy of SORN laws. The implications of the latter development in particular could well lay the groundwork for a broader challenge against the laws, including one sounding in substantive due process, which unlike ex post facto-based litigation would affect the viability of SORN vis-à-vis current and future potential registrants.
The Takeaway | July 17th, 2019 As the trial of Jeffrey Epstein unfolds, more and more details of his life have come under scrutiny, including the fact that he was embraced by high society despite having to register as a sex offender in New York and Flo …Posted: July 18, 2019
[Huffington Post] — Sex Offender Registries Don’t Keep Kids Safe, But Politicians Keep Expanding Them Anyway
By Michael Hobbes | July 16th, 2019 The first time Damian Winters got evicted was in 2015. He was living with his wife and two sons in suburban Nashville when his probation officer called his landlord and informed him that Winters was a registered sex …Posted: July 16, 2019
By Lawrence Hurley | June 26th, 2019 For the second time in three days, conservative U.S. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch on Wednesday sided with his four liberal colleagues in a 5-4 ruling in favor of a criminal defendant, on this occasion an Oklah …Posted: June 29, 2019