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Maine House Vote OK’s Sex Registry Waivers…well maybe

March 24, 2010

kjonline.com: Maine House Vote OK’s Sex Registry Waivers.

Augusta — The House voted Tuesday to allow some people convicted of a single sex offense more than a decade ago to ask to be removed from the state’s sex offender registry.

(This appears to be a political con-job. Most prosecutions and plea agreements assure that at least two charges are made to avoid such laws. Laws such as those to “expunge a first-time felony” only apply to one charge. Thus, they avoid allowing anyone to successfully apply for such exemptions.)

The bill, L.D. 1822, reflected a December opinion of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court that forcing some people to register and notify police of their addresses violated Maine and United States constitutions by imposing what amounted to punishment after sentencing.

The first sex offender registry in Maine was created in 1992. More crimes were added to the list of those requiring registration during the 1990s. A 1999 law required convicts to notify police of their addresses annually or every three months, depending on the offense.

A 2001 law made the 1999 law retroactive so that anybody convicted of certain sex offenses after 1992 also had to register. The so-called “look-back” mechanism was extended to 1982 in 2005.

Four years later, lawmakers enacted a law allowing people with a single sex conviction between 1982 and 1992 and no subsequent felony or sex convictions to apply for a registry waiver. As of January, 430 of 3,200 registrants who potentially would be eligible applied; 175 waivers were granted, said Rep. Anne Haskell, D-Portland, co-chairwoman of the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee.

The bill voted Tuesday would also allow people with a single sex-offense conviction between 1992 and 1999 to ask the department for a waiver if he or she did not then commit another sex offense or felony.

“There are some people who we need to know where they are all the time, and there are some people who will never be a threat to us,” Haskell said. Haskell said she plans to introduce a bill to modernize the state’s sex offender registry and notification system next year.

Download LD 1822 here.

Bill Excerpts:
“Whereas, in order for the Legislature to respond to the Law Court’s concerns raised regarding
the constitutionality of certain provisions of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act of 1999
prior to the March 31, 2010 expiration of the stay of the Law Court’s decision in State v. Letalien, this
legislation must take effect as expeditiously as possible;”

“1. Exception. Notwithstanding section 11202, a person is not required to register under this chapter if that person submits to the bureau, in a form to be determined by the bureau, documentation to establish the following:

A. The person was sentenced in the State on or after January 1, 1982 and prior to June 30, 1992
and was finally discharged from the correctional system at least 10 years prior to submitting documentation to the bureau under this section; the person was sentenced in the State on or after June 30, 1992 and prior to September 18, 1999 and was finally discharged from the correctional system at least 10 years prior to submitting documentation to the bureau under this section; the person was sentenced in another jurisdiction, was finally discharged from the correctional system at least 10 years prior to submitting documentation to the bureau under this section and has been in compliance with the registration duties as a resident required under
subchapter 2 since September 12, 2009; or the person was sentenced in the State on or after September 18, 1999 and prior to July 30, 2004 for a violation of former Title 17A, section 252 and was finally discharged from the correctional system at least 10 years prior to submitting documentation to the bureau under this section. For purposes of this paragraph, “finally discharged from the correctional system” includes completion of probation;”

“B. The person’s convictions do not include more than one Class A sex offense or sexually violent offense or more than one conviction in another jurisdiction for an offense that contains the essential elements of a Class A sex offense or sexually violent offense, whether or not the convictions occurred on the same date;

C. At the time of the offense, the person had not been previously sentenced in this State as an adult or as a juvenile sentenced as an adult for a sex offense or a sexually violent offense;

D. At the time of the offense, the person had not been previously sentenced in another jurisdiction as an adult or as a juvenile sentenced as an adult for an offense that contains the essential elements of a sex offense or a sexually violent offense;

E. Subsequent to the commission of conviction for the sex offense or sexually violent offense, the person has not been convicted of a crime under Title 17 or Title 17A in this State that is punishable by imprisonment for a term of one year or more; and

F. Subsequent to the commission of conviction for the sex offense or sexually violent offense, the person has not been convicted under the laws of any other jurisdiction of a crime that is punishable by a term of imprisonment exceeding one year. This paragraph does not include a crime under the laws of another jurisdiction that is classified by the laws of that jurisdiction as a misdemeanor and is punishable by a term of imprisonment of 2 years or less.”

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