Wednesday, May 22, 2002

challenge to sex offender registration

The Supreme Court will hear a case from Connecticut regarding the requirement to register as a sex offender:
The case the court accepted yesterday, Connecticut Department of Public Safety v. Doe, No. 01-1231, began in 1999, when two Connecticut men, whose names are being withheld, sued the state in federal court, claiming that they were not dangerous to the community and that they would be unfairly stigmatized if Connecticut's law were applied to them.
A federal court judge agreed with the men, ruling that a hearing needed to be held first to determine their dangerousness, before personal data about them could be posted on a web site. The court held that the right to due process would require that inquiry. A number of other issues have come up in other states involving notification to communities of convicted sex offenders, and it's possible that the Court will also address those issues. The way that Delaware handles community notification will probably be influenced by the Supreme Court's decisions.