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KY to Appeal Ruling Limiting Sex Offender Law

October 29, 2009

courier-journal.com : State to appeal ruling limiting sex-offender law.

The Kentucky attorney general’s office has asked the state Supreme Court to delay enforcement of its Oct. 1 ruling throwing out part of the state’s sex-offender statute until the U.S. Supreme Court hears the case.

The attorney general’s office filed a motion Oct. 21 asking the state high court to stay its ruling that the law banning sex offenders from living near schools, day cares and playgrounds cannot be applied to those convicted before the statute was enacted in 2006.

The court ruled 5-2 that the statute was improperly imposed on people convicted before it went into effect. The U.S. and Kentucky constitutions prohibit laws that impose or increase punishment on criminal acts committed before the law’s enactment.

The attorney general’s office has until Dec. 30 to file a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case. No petition has been filed. The U.S. Supreme Court rejects most cases, but the issue of whether sex-offender laws can be applied retroactively has surfaced in many states.

Under the Kentucky Supreme Court’s Oct. 1 ruling, sex offenders will still be required to register, but the residency restrictions enacted in 2006 cannot be applied to offenders convicted before that date.

Kentucky.com : Sex offender residency rules still being enforced despite Supreme Court ruling.

Kentucky probation and parole officers are enforcing a law that restricts where registered sex offenders can live despite a recent ruling by the Kentucky Supreme Court that says the law doesn’t apply to those convicted before July 2006.

The state Department of Corrections has continued enforcing the law because Attorney General Jack Conway has asked the state’s high court to suspend their ruling while he appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“Our position is that the Supreme Court decision is not final,” said Lisa Lamb, spokeswoman for the state Department of Corrections. “We believe the former law is still in effect.”

Mike Hummel, the Kenton County public defender, said he was disappointed by the state’s decision.
“I think it’s wrong to disregard what the Supreme Court has said is wrong,” he said Thursday.
Lamb said the decision to enforce the old law came from the department’s legal counsel.

Residents of Kentucky need to call and write their Attorney General’s office and Supreme Court to demand that the ruling of the Kentucky Supreme Court be enforced. The Supreme Court is the highest level of legal authority in the state, but the Kentucky Attorney General does not believe he must abide by their decisions, apparently. Residents may also want to contact the Public Defender’s office which needs to demand that the legal decision be followed.

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