Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Supreme Court: Sex Offenders Can Challenge Registration Requirements

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a law requiring sex offenders to update their registration when crossing state lines does not automatically apply to those who committed their crimes before the law was enacted.

The high court ruled 7-2 that Billy Joe Reynolds can challenge his arrest for violating the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act also known as the Adam Walsh Act (AWA), according to the Associated Press.  States were required to implement the Act or be subject to loss of federal criminal justice grant money.

Reynolds was sentenced to 18 month in prison for moving from Missouri to Pennsylvania and not registering as a sex offender in his new state. He challenged the AWA saying his sex offense was before the registration act’s rules were put into place. The Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals threw out his lawsuit without ruling on the merits of the claim.

The high court overturned that decision. But Justices Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg dissented, saying the law applied to pre-Act offenders, reported the Associated Press.

The Supreme Court has bounced the case back to the Third Circuit.  The Circuits are split on whether the law applies to sex offenders covicted before the AWA.

To read more: http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/regional/s_778049.html

Read the full opinion: http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/11pdf/10-6549.pdf


charles said...

In the words of that great African American freedom fighter MLK Jr "Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty we're free at last"!!!

charles said...

I feel like a Hebrew slave at the time of the Exodus, an African Americans with the Emancipation Proclimation, like the Jews at the end of WWII, East Germans at fall of Berlin Wall, Cubans escaping Castro, getting out of prison after 20 years....

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