By Michael Booth . . . The New Jersey Supreme Court on Wednesday held 2014 amendments to Megan’s Law enhancing certain penalties for sex offenders who violate parole requirements unenforceable against four defendants based on the ex post facto clauses of both the state and federal constitutions.
The court, in a unanimous ruling, vacated the convictions and sentences of four paroled sex offenders who committed minor violations of their parole conditions and mounted a challenge to the laws. The ruling vacates the convicts’ third-degree convictions for the parole violations.
“A law that retroactively increases or makes more burdensome the punishment of a crime is an ex post facto law,” wrote Justice Barry Albin for the court. “The Amendment, therefore, is an ex post facto law that violates our Federal and State Constitutions as applied to defendants.”