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AZ Sup. Ct. rules unanimously against enhancements where no child is involved

By Howard Fischer . . . Judges cannot impose enhanced sentences on those convicted of soliciting sex with a minor when it turns out there was no child to begin with, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled Wednesday. In their unanimous decision, the justices upheld a lower court ruling that said Dale A. Wright can be found guilty even though the…

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In denying Snyder petition, Supreme Court upholds Sixth Circuit ruling

By Melissa Nann Burke . . . The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday let stand a lower court ruling that “sweeping” conditions imposed retroactively under Michigan’s sex offender registry law were unconstitutionally punitive. Michigan had appealed a 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals decision in 2016 that said retroactively applying changes to people already on the list would unconstitutionally increase…

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Tenth Circuit splits in holding revocation enhancements for SOs unconstitutional

By Robin . . . Splitting two-to-one in a case out of Oklahoma, a panel of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals has held that 18. U.S.C. 3583 (k) violates the 5th and 6th Amendments by requiring a revocation judge to impose a longer sentence for the original conviction based on the facts presented for purposes of revocation (and upon which…

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Federal judge holds Colorado registry is punishment; violates Eighth Amendment

By Robin . . . In a far reaching opinion that is sure to send Colorado’s Attorney General scrambling to salvage that state’s registration and notification scheme, Senior U.S. District Court Judge Richard P. Matsch (a Nixon appointee who presided over the trial of Oklahoma City bombing defendant Timothy McVeigh) has held the entire Colorado Sex Offender Registration Act (C.R.S. §§…

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AWA Loses in Pennsylvania’s Highest Court

By Larry Neely . . . What follows was composed utilizing portions of an analysis written by Aaron Marcus of the Defender Association of Philadelphia. We will endeavor to answer some of the most common questions that arise after a favorable decision has been handed down. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court held that the current (2012) version of Pennsylvania’s Sex Offender…

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PA’s high court rules retroactive SORNA violates constitution

By NARSOL’s editorial board….. Breaking and exciting news comes today from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. This is, as far as we know, the first published analysis of the case: http://ccresourcecenter.org/2017/07/19/pa-high-court-holds-sex-offender-registration-unconstitutional/ The NARSOL contact in Pennsylvania reached out to someone who is knowledgeable about the case, and he sends us this analysis: By Jerry Berardi…. In a 6-1 decision, the Pennsylvania…

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Ohio poised to remove thousands from registry

By Katie Wedell . . . Two decades after Ohio began labeling sex offenders on a public database and setting restrictions on where they can live, a major overhaul to the law is being proposed that could drop thousands of lower-level offenders off the list. Some critics are even calling for doing away with the registry entirely, saying it’s been an…

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Sex offenders have First Amendment right to Internet, social media

By David Booth . . . On June 19, the Supreme Court of the United States affirmed the value of social media as a pervasive news source and a socially ingrained forum for exchanging communications when it struck down an overreaching North Carolina statute. The North Carolina law under consideration made it a felony for any person on the sex…

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Packingham: Unanimous Court strikes NC’s social media ban

By Robin . . . In a broadly worded opinion penned by Justice Kennedy, a unanimous Supreme Court has closed the door on laws restricting access to the internet and social media forums by Americans who were convicted of a crime but who are no longer serving a criminal sentence. In reversing the N.C. Supreme Court’s decision in Packingham v.…

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WIN in Wisconsin – federal judge strikes down banishment law

(From the Dobbs Wire) Win in Wisconsin:  A federal judge struck down a Pleasant Prairie ordinance restricting where individuals forced to sign the sex offense registry can live, ruling the ordinance unconstitutional.  Laws like this are euphemistically known as ‘residency restrictions,’ but their purpose is banishment.  Officials in Pleasant Prairie, short on humanity, had made just about the entire town…

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