By Kirk Mitchell . . . Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman announced Wednesday that she intends to appeal a decision by a federal judge in Denver who ruled that Colorado’s sex offender registration law violates the constitutional rights of three sex offenders.
“As Attorney General, protecting victims is one of the most critically important parts of my job,” Coffman said in a written statement. “Colorado, its forty-nine sister states, and the federal government all have sex offender registry laws in place to inform the public and protect them from sexual offenders who have been found guilty of sexual crimes, including heinous crimes against children. Survivors of sexual assault are forever impacted by the trauma they have experienced, and we must never lose sight of the responsibility we have to prevent the victimization of more innocent people.”
U.S. District Court Judge Richard Matsch recently found that the Colorado Sex Offender Registration Act violates the cruel and unusual punishment clause of the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and the due-process rights guaranteed by the 14th Amendment.
“I am surprised by the court’s decision, and think the ruling contains several legal errors which we will now address on appeal,” she said.
Coffman wrote that the U.S. Supreme Court has already decided that sex offender registration laws are tools to protect the public and are not punishment. The three plaintiffs in this case are all convicted sex offenders who committed sexual assault against minors, in one instance on a 3-year-old child, her report says. Coffman pointed out that Matsch’s decision does not allow convicted sex offenders, including these three plaintiffs, to be automatically removed from the sex offender registry.
Colorado’s registry continues to be maintained by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation in accordance with all applicable laws.
Source: The Denver Post