Reply To: Nebraska Supreme Court rules adjudicated juveniles must register

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Ed

This case simply illustrates the byzantine nature of sex offense and registration laws in the United States. When the Congress initiated registration, it left the details to the states, which have widely varying and conflicting requirements. It is nearly impossible for a registered citizen (RC) to understand all, potentially painful, nuances. Apparently even the courts can’t agree. How could an RC be expected to? This is the only genre of crime I am aware of where a citizen’s mere presence can lead to criminal liability.

An RC’s only viable options are to hunker down and never travel, or to preemptively register wherever one goes. Either option represents an undue burden on the RC. I wonder if there is not some legal principle, akin to “void for vagueness” or an “as applied” argument, that could be used as the basis for a class action lawsuit against the government; the stated intent of which would be to homogenize registration laws across the country,

I realize the ultimate goal is to eliminate registration, and that this would only be an incremental step. However, such a lawsuit would raise the issue’s profile, and stimulate public awareness. This would be a vehicle with which to undo ignorance of many issues involving sex offenses.

Any lawyers out there with creative ideas?