Archive

Archive for September, 2009

OH : Keeping Track of Sex Offenders is Hard

September 29, 2009 Comments off

Columbus Dispatch Politics : Homeless offenders a headache – Keeping track hard for sheriff’s offices.

Registered sex offenders live in Schiller and Goodale parks in Columbus. Another gives his address as behind Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, while still another stays in an old railroad steam tunnel in Cambridge.
And five live in vehicles parked on the streets of Marietta, from a pair of vans to a purple Dodge Neon.

How are sheriff’s offices supposed to obey Ohio law by keeping track of such offenders and notifying neighbors of their presence? Short answer: They can’t.

“This is a horrendous problem for us,” said Steve Martin, chief deputy with the Franklin County sheriff’s office. “We’re doing everything that is humanly possible to monitor these people.”

But he acknowledges that’s difficult for those who don’t have a fixed address, such as the homeless. At least 160 people are “homeless” on the state’s sex-offender database of more than 18,000 sex offenders, and many more are listed as living in such places as tents or vehicles, or on porches or park benches.

Examples of sex offenders’ “homes” from the database: “Dayton Mall area” in Montgomery County; on “Courthouse Square” in Warren; “diversified” in Columbus; in a “Ford Fairmont station wagon” on River Road in Cincinnati; “under bridge by post office” in Newark; “across from Big Lots” on 2nd Street in Ironton; and “garage behind barber shop” on Reading Road in Mason.

Deputies are supposed to tell everyone living within a 1,000-foot radius when a sex offender moves in and monitor the offenders to make sure they keep their addresses current, as required by the law. But keeping track of them is a challenge facing virtually every sheriff’s office in Ohio, said Robert Cornwell, director of the Buckeye State Sheriffs Association. “The real challenge comes in verifying that somebody lives someplace like under a bridge,” he said. “How often do you go back and check on them to see if they’re still living there?”

Martin said deputies met with the Franklin County prosecutor’s office earlier this month to explore a possible change in state law. Until then, sex offenders without a permanent fixed address are being asked — not required — to check in daily with the sheriff’s office.

Deputies struggle with who to notify when a sex offender lives in some place like a park, Martin said. Do they notify everyone around sprawling Schiller Park, for example, about the sex offender who lives there?

Just the Facts…

September 28, 2009 Comments off

No other group of citizens in our nation since the witch trials of Salem has faced such draconian punishment as do “sex offenders”.

A small population of online basement-dwelling Internet posters spout out about hanging or castrating sex offenders when they do not really understand who is included in these categories. Any one of us could wake up tomorrow morning to learn that someone we love is now a sex offender. How would our views change once that happens?

The numbers are astounding: an estimated 660,000 sex offenders are registered nationally, and that number grows each and every day. And a large number of those labeled as “sex offenders” are juveniles, children themselves, and those who did something really stupid, rather than the rare “predator monsters” you hear about through the media. According to independent research, approximately 90% of sex offenses are committed by someone the victim knows. This percentage is higher as the age of the victim decreases. And while the media often espouses falsely high recidivism rates for sex offenders, the actual official US Department of Justice statistics for recidivism is 5.3%.

Those who believe sex offenders are not treated harshly enough, or that they deserve such punishments after they have served their time in prison or probation, should study the facts. All our statistics are linked to their official sources at http://www.constitutionalfights.org.

Feel free to use this or any of our other content with a link to our blogs.

GA Sex Offenders Driven to Living in Woods

September 28, 2009 Comments off

Google/AP : Homeless Ga. sex offenders directed to makeshift camp.

In an astounding apparent attempt to emulate the disaster of Florida’s sex offender laws, Georgia is now pushing registered sex offenders to live in the woods.

Marietta, Ga. — A small group of homeless sex offenders have set up camp in a densely wooded area behind a suburban Atlanta office park, directed there by probation officers who say it’s a place of last resort for those with nowhere else to go.

Nine sex offenders live in tents surrounding a makeshift fire pit in the trees behind a towering “no trespassing” sign, waiting out their probation sentences as they face numerous living restrictions under one of the nation’s toughest sex offender policies.

The muddy camp on the outskirts of prosperous Cobb County is an unintended consequence of Georgia law, which bans the state’s 16,000 sex offenders from living, working or loitering within 1,000 feet of schools, churches, parks and other spots where children gather.

It’s not the only place in Cobb County where offenders can live — there are hundreds of other sex offenders throughout the county living in compliance with the law. But Ahmed Holt, manager of the state’s sex offender administration unit, calls the camp a “last resort” for homeless offenders who can’t find another place to live that complies with the law.

He said probation officers direct them to the outpost if other options fail, such as transferring to another county or state or sending them to a relative’s place that meets the requirements. Homeless shelters and halfway houses are often not an option, he said, because of the restrictions that bar them from being near children.

Critics say it’s an example of how laws designed to keep Georgia’s children out of harm’s way create a hazard where penniless sex offenders live largely unsupervised at the government’s urging.

“The state needs to find a responsible way to deal with this problem,” said Sarah Geraghty, an attorney with the Atlanta-based Southern Center for Human Rights who represents another man living in the camp. “Requiring people to live like animals in the woods is both inhumane and a terrible idea for public safety.”

The tent city is similar to one in south Florida, where dozens of sex offenders moved under a remote bridge because it was among the few places that complied with local ordinances. Florida officials say the sex offenders found the bridge on their own, while some residents of the camp dispute that.

In Georgia, however, Holt said state probation officers have directed homeless offenders into the woods.

“While having an offender located in a camp area is not ideal, the greater threat lies in homeless offenders that are not a specified location and eventually absconding supervision with their whereabouts unknown,” he said.

Update Sept. 29, 2009 : Camp closed by Georgia Officials, sex offenders ordered to leave camp.

Man Responsible for Fla. Sex Offender Debacle.

September 28, 2009 Comments off

Newsweek : A Bridge Too Far – Residency restrictions have forced child sex offenders in Florida to camp out under a causeway. Now the man who helped put them there is having second thoughts.

Ron Book, of Plantation, Florida, mounted a legislative onslaught on sexual offenders. Among the many measures he championed, the most significant were local residency restrictions that barred registered sex offenders from living within a certain radius–usually 2,500 feet–of places where children gather, like schools, parks, and playgrounds. By the time he was done, Book had helped pass such ordinances in some 60 cities and counties throughout Florida and beyond.

The impact on the offenders was severe. Entire cities were suddenly off limits to them. They became pariahs, confined to remote and shrinking slivers of land. The most egregious example is a colony of predators camped out under the Julia Tuttle Causeway, which spans Miami’s Biscayne Bay—a place so surreal and outlandish that it has become a lightning rod in the debate over America’s treatment of sex offenders. For a long time, Book was unrepentant about having helped create that community of outcasts. But eventually his fury began to subside, and was replaced by something Book isn’t accustomed to having: doubts.

The causeway colony may be an extreme example, but sex offenders have been similarly uprooted across the country, as lawmakers have seized on residency restrictions in recent years. Thirty states and hundreds of cities and counties—162 in Florida alone—have adopted them in some form. In Iowa, thousands of offenders were displaced, which forced many into shabby motels around Des Moines and others onto the streets. In Suffolk County, N.Y., those left homeless were crammed into a trailer that periodically moved around until finally settling on the grounds of the county jail. Such accounts dismay most experts on sexual crimes. “This very-well-intended policy is making the public less safe,” says Susan Brown-McBride, chair of the California Sex Offender Management Board. It “destabilizes [offenders] by making them homeless.”

Even some staunch supporters of residency restrictions have expressed misgivings after witnessing the chaos the ordinances sow. Florida state Sen. Dan Gelber, whose district is home to the Julia Tuttle camp, is adamant about the 2,500-foot rule. A father of three, he recently learned, to his dismay, that a registered sex offender who lived six doors down from him was arrested for masturbating in front of some children. Despite his hardline stance, however, Gelber was aghast at what he observed in his first visit to the bridge in early July–the density of the encampment, the sordid conditions. “There has to be another way,” he says.

Before long, however, the unintended consequences of these laws became apparent. Though some cities and counties passed the measures enthusiastically, just as many enacted them defensively, to prevent castaways from a neighboring jurisdiction from settling in theirs. Janice Washburn watched that happen in her unincorporated enclave of Broadview Park in Broward County, Fla. As one nearby city after another enacted residency restrictions, predators poured in. In August 2007, Broadview Park had four registered offenders. A year later, there were 39. A few months later, there were 106. “It was multiplying like crazy,” says Washburn, who now sits on a county task force to address the matter. In response, Broward County approved an emergency 2,500-foot restriction in April and is now studying whether to pass a formal ordinance. “It is ‘not in my backyard,’ and not a good solution,” says County Commissioner John Rodstrom. But “what are we left with?”

This disorder might be tolerable if the residency policies were effective. But “there is no evidence that [they] protect children,” says Jill Levenson, a professor of human services at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla., who has examined the issue in depth. In Iowa, for example, there was no reduction in the number of reported sex crimes after the restrictions took effect, she says. Moreover, a 2006 National Institute of Justice report found that only 11 percent of female victims under age 12 and 16 percent of comparable males were raped by strangers; most were assaulted by relatives, teachers, and other people they knew. If anything, the residency statutes make things worse, some activists say. In Iowa, the number of offenders who absconded doubled in the six months after the restrictions took effect. “If an offender ends up with no residence, that shouldn’t make any of us feel safer,” says Patty Wetterling, whose son’s abduction prompted the creation of the first federal sex-offender registry in 1994. “What they need is stability, support, counseling, and treatment.” (Studies have shown their recidivism rate is typically 10 to 15 percent (actually 5-6% according to U.S. Department of Justice statistics here) , and treatment often proves more effective with certain groups, like juveniles, says Richard Wright, asso-ciate professor of criminal justice at Bridgewater State College in Massachusetts.)

Earlier this year, Book began reconsidering his position—spurred by lawmakers on both ends of the spectrum who’d begun questioning the wisdom of the ordinances. “I had to take stock and ask myself, ‘Am I in the right place or not?’ ” he says. In an interview with a Newsweek reporter in June, Book admitted, “I was wrong”—three times. A few days later he had dinner with Levenson, the Lynn University professor, who’s critical of residency laws. “Five years ago, I thought of you as a predator sympathizer,” he told her. “I didn’t see the bigger picture.” He concluded the evening by assuring her,?”I will be part of the solution.”

With characteristic tenacity, Book is now trying to undo the bridge fiasco. The battle over the settlement’s fate has recently escalated. In early July the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against Miami-Dade County, alleging that its residency restrictions interfere with the state’s ability to monitor offenders. Shortly thereafter, Miami officials sued the state, arguing that the colony should be removed since it lies within 2,500 feet of a tiny island that the city claims is a park (the governor’s office replied in a letter to the city that the Department of Corrections doesn’t place predators under the causeway and that released prisoners bear responsibility for finding housing that conforms with the law).

We must be very careful to not allow Ron Book to now be held up as a ‘hero’ , just because he finally realized how wrong he was in creating this debacle. He is still responsible for inflicting tremendous pain and hardship into the lives of thousands of people and their families. And this pain still continues every day for them.

We have just become aware of a 1995 Miami News article about Ron Book’s multiple violations of campaign finance laws in Florida

Judge Scolds Parole Dept over Sex Offender Class.

September 26, 2009 Comments off

marshallnewsmessenger.com : Judge scolds parole officials over sex offender classification.

A federal judge on Thursday issued a stern rebuke to state corrections officials for the way they classify some parolees as sex offenders even though the defendants have never been convicted of sex crimes.

U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks also voiced frustration with state parole officials for ignoring earlier court decisions and a previous directive by him and ordered the state Board of Pardons and Paroles to review whether to leave parolee Ray Curtis Graham on sex offender restrictions. Graham, who served time in prison for burglary and attempted murder, was never convicted of a sex crime.

Sparks said,”The undisputed evidence established no official involved in the … process has ever made the necessary finding that Mr. Graham constituted a threat to society by his lack of sexual control.”

“I think this case displays the arrogance of power that permeates the parole board,” said Bill Habern, one of Graham’s attorneys.

Sex Offenders in Society

September 25, 2009 Comments off

JusticeFellowship.org : Sex Offenders in Society.
JusticeFellowship.org : How Should We Deal with Sex Offenders?

The issue of how to treat sex offenders causes unease for many people. Highly publicized crimes of the most heinous nature have understandably led to aggressive state and federal sanctions for sex offenders. These policies include sex offender registries, residency restrictions, and ineligibility for types of employment and licensing.

Reactionary policies have resulted in unjust and unsafe consequences.

Unfortunately, these reactionary policies not only lead to unjust sentences, but they also detract from public safety. First, many severe restrictions apply to both minor and serious offenders—teenagers who moon someone can be subject to some of the same consequences as rapists, including restrictions on where they can live and mistreatment from neighbors who recognize their names on a registry. Second, applying tough sanctions without regard to offenders’ actual risk makes the community less safe by diverting police attention away from dangerous people to people who may have only committed youthful indiscretions. Third, sex offender policies assume that sex offenders have high recidivism rates, yet the recidivism rates are relatively low—according to one study, only 5.1% of sex offenders are re-arrested for a new sex offense in the three years following release. If anything, reactionary policies encourage recidivism by barring ex-offenders from employment and housing.

Justice Fellowship advocates for common sense treatment for sex offenders so that law enforcement can focus on truly risky people; minor offenders can experience just sentencing; and all offenders have the opportunity to experience rehabilitation and restorative justice. Promising reforms include narrowing the requirements for who must be listed on sex offender databases and who must be subject to residency and licensing restrictions. Lawmakers must carefully consider the effects of sex-offender laws on offenders’ ability to live productive lives. The church also must recognize that sex offenders, like other offenders, can be restored to society—and these individuals need the church to support their journey to restoration.

Focus on the Real Threats to Safety

Unfortunately, the sex offender statutes are written so broadly that they lump many people convicted of relatively minor offenses in with the hard core sex offenders. Most states require all those convicted of a sexual offense to register with the local police and prohibit them from living anywhere near a school, day care center or park. We certainly want to keep child molesters away from children. The problem is that the term “sex offender” is so broad that it includes people we are mad at as well as those we fear will harm children or vulnerable people.

Applying these tough sanctions without regard to the actual danger posed by the offenders actually makes us less safe. The laws force law enforcement to spend a great deal of time and money keeping tabs on those who committed youthful indiscretions, when the police should be allowed to concentrate on monitoring hard core sexual offenders.

In addition, overly broad definitions of sex offenders divert public attention from those who truly pose a threat. In many states all individuals on the sex offender list are posted on the web and appear on maps of registered sex offenders. This causes tremendous fear among the public because they don’t realize that their neighbor may only be on the list because they went skinny dipping as teenager over 30 years ago. The lists and maps don’t distinguish between youthful indiscretions and those who are a real threat. So, the public assumes the worst.

In a very dangerous confluence of bureaucratic inefficiency combined with zeal to warn the public about sex offenders, some agencies have listed innocent people. Their names were the same or similar to convicted sex offenders, and the bureaucrats didn’t bother to sort them out. In January 2008, the State Controller audited New York’s registry and found that one-fourth of the records they surveyed had mismatched driver’s license information. Even worse, details of licenses for the wrong people were given out as those of offenders.

Stringent Residency Restrictions Backfire

Probation agents and police officers tell me that, though well intended, residency restrictions have made it harder to keep track of sex offenders. In many urban areas, every square foot of the city is off limits because a school, day care center, churches or other place where children gather is within the restricted zone. In California, offenders cannot live within 2000 feet of any school or park. How does an ex offender comply with the law? Many end up sleeping under bridges, in parks or behind trash bins in industrial areas. As a spokesperson for Florida Department of Corrections told USA Today, “If we drive these offenders so far underground or we can’t supervise them because they become so transient, it’s not making us safer.”

Minnesota studied the impact of residency restrictions and concluded that:

[t]here [was] no evidence in Minnesota that residential proximity to schools or parks affects re-offense. Thirteen level three offenders released between 1997 and 1999 have been rearrested for a new sex offense since their release from prison, and in none of the cases has residential proximity to schools or parks been a factor in the re-offense. Level III Sex Offenders: Residential Placement Issues

Yet, despite the evidence to the contrary, legislators keep trying to expand the reach of sex offender laws. In Virginia one proposal would prevent them from ever entering a church. While that is not the intent, the proposed bill would ban sex offenders from “the premises of any child or day care center or any other type of school both during and after school hours.” Since many churches have a day care center or school on the premises, this bill would ban offenders from church even when children were not present.

No Easy Answers

To understand the many complex issues surrounding sex offenses, I highly recommend that you read “No Easy Answers” a report by Human Rights Watch. It counteracts many myths surrounding sex offenses. One of them is that “[s]ome politicians cite recidivism rates for sex offenders that are as high as 80-90 percent. In fact, most (three out of four) former sex offenders do not reoffend and most sex crimes are not committed by former offenders.”

The report provides real life examples of the overreach of the statutes. One profiled offender said,
“What the registry doesn’t tell people is that I was convicted at age 17 of sex with my 14-year-old girlfriend, that I have been offense-free for over a decade, that I have completed my therapy, and that the judge and my probation officer didn’t even think I was at risk of reoffending. My life is in ruins, not because I had sex as a teenager, and not because I was convicted, but because of how my neighbors have reacted to the information on the internet.”

I serve on the Prison Rape Elimination Commission with Jamie Fellner, the director of the U.S. program at Human Rights Watch. She is a brilliant and passionate defender of vulnerable people. Her summation of what our priorities should be in dealing with sex offenders hits the mark: “Children deserve laws that work. And former offenders need laws that allow them to rebuild their lives because when they succeed in safely rejoining their communities, we are all safer.”

I have heard it said that sex offenders are modern day lepers. That is probably pretty accurate. And we know that Jesus didn’t shun lepers. Instead, He loved them and healed them. He expects us to do the same.

In His service,
Pat Nolan
Vice President, Prison Fellowship

Ala. Judge Strikes Down Part of Sex Offender Law

September 25, 2009 Comments off

montgomeryadvertiser.com : Alabama’s sex offender laws challenged.

A Montgomery circuit judge has struck down a portion of the state’s sex offender law, saying that a provision that requires indigent offenders to provide a verifiable address as a condition of their release is unconstitutional.

Several homeless sex offenders sought to have the Class C felonies that they were charged with for not complying with the law dismissed citing that the provision violated their rights.

Under Alabama’s Community Notification Act, incarcerated sex offenders must provide law enforcement officials a verifiable address where they will live 45 days prior to their release. Failure to comply with that provision is a Class C felony, and the sex offender is immediately taken to county jail upon release. The offender could face 15 years to life in prison if convicted because of the state’s Habitual Offender Act, according to briefs filed on behalf of the homeless defendants.

Lawyers for the defendants in the cases argued successfully that they were being punished for not complying with a law that was physically impossible to abide by, and that they were essentially being re-imprisoned after they had served their sentences.

Attorney General Troy King said he is appealing the rulings because an “actual address,” which the law requires, can be anything from a homeless shelter to a park bench. “We have argued in these briefs that homeless sex offenders can comply,” he said. “You don’t have to live at a house with a street address to comply. The law is broad enough that if you live in a park you can use that as an address.”

That’s as long as that park isn’t within 2,000 feet of a child-care facility, a K-12 school, or a college or university campus. During the 2009 legislative session, lawmakers approved adding college and university campuses to the list of places in Alabama that sex offenders couldn’t live near.

Birmingham attorney David Gespass said that many of the existing laws are based on emotion and not reality. He said cases such as that of Jaycee Dugard, who was abducted by a registered sex offender and held for 18 years, grab headlines but the truth of the matter is those cases are quite rare. Gespass says legislators and politicians often push for such laws so they can appear tough on crime, but whether the population at large is any safer is debatable.

He said the state would be better served by identifying which offenders are truly dangerous and monitoring those individuals more closely.

Tuscaloosa County Public Defender Bobby Wooldridge said people don’t want to hear it, but there are some basic rights that even sex offenders have that can’t be violated, and he expects there to be more legal challenges in the future.

King said when his office started pursuing tougher restrictions and penalties for sex offenders, it knew there would be legal challenges.

Fla. Apartments Offer Home to Sex Offenders

September 25, 2009 Comments off

GoogleNews/AP : Sex offenders welcome: Fla. apartments offer home.

Pahokee, Fla. — A cluster of one-story yellow buildings surrounding a small church caters to one of society’s most despised demographics: sex offenders.

Since the development opened eight months ago, the minister who runs it has recruited former inmates by distributing brochures in Florida prisons and plugging it in sermons at the lockups. Some 35 sex offenders now live in the complex about three miles from Pahokee, a poor farming community of 6,000 wedged into sugar cane fields of the Everglades.

“Leaving prison or jail soon? … Do you have special requirements concerning where you can and cannot live? You may have just found the answer to your prayers,” reads the pamphlet advertising the privately operated, 24-acre village.

The village has become a haven for the ex-cons, who face tight restrictions on where they can live. Nationwide, hundreds of ordinances require sex offenders to dwell at least 1,000 feet from anywhere children gather — schools, churches, parks, bus stops. Elsewhere, narrow housing options have prompted clusters of offenders to live in tents and other makeshift structures, such as the 70 or so who live beneath the bridge that connects Miami and Miami Beach.

“Society sees us as lepers, like rejects,” said Louis Aponte, who moved into Miracle Park three months ago from the nearby Glades Correctional Institution after serving almost nine years for attempted sexual battery on a young female family member. “I don’t know where I’d be without it, probably living with my family, but that would be tough,” he said.

The neighborhood is the brainchild of Richard Witherow, a minister has been preaching to inmates for about 30 years. Surrounded by nothing but sugar cane fields and country roads, Pahokee seemed the perfect fit for the venture — far enough removed from the voices of dissent, or so Witherow hoped.

Several attempts at establishing a place like Miracle Park elsewhere in Florida failed after local governments kicked him out. “People get hysterical when you mention sex offenders,” Witherow said. He said Pahokee shouldn’t fear his tenants, who pay about $500 a month in rent and work odd jobs around the site if they can’t find work elsewhere. Witherow also offers church services and classes on relationships and anger management. “The ticking time bomb here does not exist,” Witherow said.

Jill Levenson, a Lynn University professor in Boca Raton who studies sex offenders, said most of them don’t commit new sex crimes. Still, she said it’s rare to see a property owner welcoming sex offenders — much less advertising to them.

“There is a fairly small subgroup of sex offenders who seem to be most dangerous, most likely to re-offend, but the majority do not,” Levenson said.

Studies on sex offender recidivism rates have produced varied results, from as little as 5 percent re-offending to more than 30 percent, depending on the severity of the original offenses. (Official U.S. Dept. of Justice Statistics say the rate is 5.3% – see post on Sex Offender Data)

Sgt. Mark Jolly, of the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office Sexual Predator Offender Tracking Unit, said authorities have had no reports of Miracle Park residents committing new crimes.

Last month, the Palm Beach County Office of Equal Opportunity determined Witherow, his Matthew 25 Ministries, and the complex’s owner, Alston Management Inc., the company Witherow leases from, violated the county’s fair housing ordinance by threatening to evict families with children.

A letter sent in December by Alston Management informed tenants in what was then Pelican Lake Village that it was becoming “adults only.” Witherow started renting to offenders in January.

“If you have children living or staying in the apartment under the age of 18 years old, you will have to vacate the property,” or be evicted, the letter stated.

The Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County and the Florida Equal Justice Center have sued Witherow and Alston on behalf of former residents, claiming they violated county and federal fair housing laws.

Legal aid attorney Shane Weaver said the housing of sex offenders is not the concern. Legally, Miracle Park can exist because it sits in an unincorporated part of Palm Beach County far enough away from where children gather, so it violates no laws.

However, Weaver said: “You can’t just target people with children and say, ‘Leave.'”
(Apparently, people such as these believe banishing a group of citizens is legal when applied to sex offenders – so why is it wrong to do to others?)

Sexting Teen Put on Sex Offender Registry

September 24, 2009 Comments off

onenewsnow.com : Sexting teen ends up on sex offender registry.

The Iowa Supreme Court has sent a strong message about “sexting” in the most recent ruling stemming from a 2005 case involving 18-year-old male XXX.

The girl receiving the pictures was 14 years old. XXX’s attorney appealed a jury verdict to the Iowa Supreme Court, and the court agreed that the pictures involved obscenity and upheld the decision. XXX received probation. “But he also has to register as a sex offender — and [he] may be on that sex offender registry for a lifetime,” Pat Trueman, special counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, adds.

The court concluded that even though the girl asked for the pictures, XXX still had a legal obligation not to send them.

Is SORNA Going to the U.S. Supreme Court?

September 24, 2009 Comments off

sexcrimes.typepad.com : Is SORNA Going to the U.S. Supreme Court?

SCOTUSblog’s recent Petitions to Watch post, which lists cases that might be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, includes a case raising constitutional issues with SORNA. The case, which we previously blogged about, is from the Seventh Circuit with an opinion by Judge Posner. You may view the opinion here and the petition for writ of certiorari here.

This case involves the Ex Post Facto retroactive application of SORNA as it relates to inter-state travel and failure to register of persons whose underlying offense and interstate travel both predated enactment of the statute.