New Jersey Supreme Court says no to removing names from registry

By Associated Press

Two offenders identified only as H.D. and J.M. pleaded guilty to sexual offenses in the 1990s and guilty in 2001 to other offenses, one for computer-related theft and one for failure to register as a sex offender, and were sentenced to probation.

State law imposes lifetime registration requirements on offenders but allows those on the registry to apply for removal if they haven’t committed a crime within 15 years following “conviction or release from a correctional facility for any term of imprisonment imposed” and are “not likely to pose a threat to the safety of others.”

H.D. and J.M. argued they are now eligible for removal since neither has had a conviction for more than 15 years, since 2001.

The state disagreed, arguing that the law bars anyone on the registry from seeking removal if they commit any crime within the first 15 years following conviction for the underlying sex offense.

But the appeals court wrote in 2018 that the relevant portion of the law is ambiguous, not regarding when the 15-year requirement starts, but “whether the clock may ever reset.”

In its 7-0 ruling posted Tuesday, the Supreme Court disagreed, writing that the statute’s language “plainly refers to the conviction or release that triggers the registration requirement.”

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    • #69809 Reply
      Love, peace, and happiness

      I would think that any person offense free for 15 years is safe to society. Regardless of when their last offense was. No?

    • #69849 Reply

      Doing the right thing would upset Rep Smith of NJ who brought the world IML…

    • #69912 Reply

      It is clear that very few lawmakers, from local to nation levels, have the courage or integrity to right the wrongs of the SO registry laws. Everything is governed by that which secures votes, disregarding even the rights guaranteed to citizens by the US constitution. It appears that vengeance is the prevailing attitude of our nation today, and character has been sacrificed upon the congressional altar of expediency.

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