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Archive for December 23, 2009

KY Sex-offender Case Appealed to U.S. Supreme Court

December 23, 2009 Comments off

courier-journal.com : Sex-offender case appealed to U.S. Supreme Court.

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to decide whether the state’s restrictions for sex offenders can be applied retroactively to as many as 5,800 people convicted before the limits went into effect in 2006. The 2006 statute made it illegal for registered sex offenders to live within 1,000 feet of a high school, middle school, elementary school, preschool, public playground or licensed day care.

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

In a prepared statement, Conway is seeking the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate (In other words, he is doing this political pandering to appear tough on sex offenders).

Conway’s office on Wednesday filed a petition asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case. The court receives about 10,000 requests a year to review cases and decides only about 80. But the question of the retroactive application of sex offender laws has arisen in several states, making it more likely that the high court will accept the case.

Conway’s office has previously indicated it would appeal. It had asked the state Supreme Court to stay its ruling, but that request was denied. The 2006 statute subjected all convicted sex offenders to the residency requirements, while the old law applied only to about 1,200 offenders who were on probation or parole.

Experts said research has shown that sex-offender registries and residency restrictions don’t deter future crimes. And some criminal justice officials said makes it so difficult for some offenders to find a place to live that they stop reporting their addresses to authorities.

In an unsigned opinion, the Kentucky Supreme Court’s majority questioned the rationale of the restrictions, noting that they bar sex offenders from sleeping near a school at night, “when children are not present,” but allow them there during the day, when children are there.

The petition filed by Conway’s office said that the U.S. Supreme Court has never considered whether the retroactive application of a statute imposing a residency restriction on registered sex offenders constitutes punishment prohibited by the ex post facto clause.
The attorney general’s office contends that the new requirements are not a punishment and are thus not covered under that clause.
It notes that a federal appeals court agreed with that view in affirming the retroactive application of Iowa’s sex offender law.

We urge readers to contact this idiot to make their voices heard, especially those in Kentucky:
Tel: 502-696-5300; Fax 502-564-2894
Office of the Attorney General
Capitol Suite 118
700 Capitol Avenue
Frankfort, Kentucky 40601-3449

NV Judge’s Son Gets Lenient Sex Offense Conviction

December 23, 2009 Comments off

cbs13.com (NV): Year In Jail For NV Judge’s Son In Teen Sex Case.

Again, we see that public officials are not held to the same standard as other citizens when it comes to sex offender registration and convictions.

Fallon, Nev. (AP) ― The son of a Fallon judge has been sentenced to a year in jail for having sex with an intoxicated girl at a party hosted by a former girls softball coach.

Jeffrey Michael Lister, 19, pleaded no contest in October to a gross misdemeanor charge of conspiracy to commit an obscene, indecent or immoral act. He was sentenced Monday by Churchill County District Judge William Rogers.

Lister, the son of Fallon Municipal Court Judge Michael Lister, originally was charged with statutory sexual seduction, a crime that would have required him to register as a sex offender. (In other words, he will not be required to register as a sex offender because he is the son of a judge).

The girl told authorities she got drunk at the January 2008 party and was raped by as many as four boys. Others who allegedly assaulted the girl were under age 18.

Maine Court Rules on Retroactive Sex Offender Law

December 23, 2009 Comments off

nashuatelegraph.com : Maine court rules on retroactive sex offender law.

Portland, Maine (AP) — Maine’s highest court on Tuesday upheld a lower court ruling that a 1999 law requiring certain sex offenders to be placed on a sex offender registry for life cannot be applied retroactively.

In its ruling, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court gave the Legislature until March 31 to revise the law.

The case was brought by Eric Letalien, a Dixfield man who was 19 when he was convicted of rape in 1996 for having sex with a 13-year-old girl. At the time, he was required to register as a sex offender for 15 years, but was also allowed to seek a waiver from the registry after five years.

Under changes to the law in 1999, he was required to register as a sex offender every 90 days for the rest of his life. The updated law also took away his right to ask for a waiver. In its ruling, the court said it was unconstitutional to apply those changes retroactively.

David Sanders, Letalien’s attorney, said the ruling was a victory for his client. He contends his client and others among the 3,000 people on the registry are not at risk of repeating their sex offenses.

“If this was truly administrative (civil or remedial), wanting to protect society from individuals, then you have to find that the individual in question who’s going to be ostracized, who’s going to be humiliated, who’s going to be shamed, is in fact a risk to society. A mere conviction doesn’t prove that,” he said.

Attorney General Janet Mills said the justices did away with the more punitive aspects of law as they are applied retroactively while affirming the state’s interest in having an Internet sex offender registry. It’s now up to the Legislature to make the changes the court is seeking, she said.

Last year, lawmakers allowed some registered sex offenders to be removed from the registry, upon their request, provided they complete their sentences, commit no additional crimes and meet other standards. In November, the state announced that 100 names of people convicted of offenses that happened between 1982 and 1992 had been removed from the list.

View court ruling here (SOIssues).