Monday, April 7, 2008

Supreme Courts limit sex offender residency restriction

Sentencing Law and Policy: Missouri high court limits application of sex offender residency restriction.

"violates the bar on retrospective laws set forth in article I, section 13 of the state constitution. Missouri has prohibited retrospective civil laws -- which create new obligations, impose new duties or attach new disabilities with respect to actions already past...this Court has held that a law requiring registration as a sex offender for an offense that occurred prior to the registration law's effective date was an invalid retrospective law in violation of article I, section 13. Doe v. Phillips, 194 S.W.3d 833 (Mo. banc 2006). The same long-standing principles apply here, as the residency restrictions impose a new obligation on R.L. and those similarly situated by requiring them to change their place of residence based solely on offenses committed before the statute was enacted."

Sex Crimes: The Property Rights Argument is Gaining Force.

Georgia Supreme Court ruling has refueled the debate on whether states should restrict where sex offenders live. The Georgia court struck down its residency restrictions last week, giving opponents of such buffer zones hope that other state laws will be reviewed and possibly overturned....for the past three years, opposition to residency restrictions has grown.
That’s why Georgia’s ruling was “monumental,” said Corwin Ritchie of the Iowa County Attorneys Association. “When these laws were first bantered about, they sold an awfully convincing bill of goods, that they are awfully good safety measures,” Ritchie said. “I think in Georgia they are seeing the full impact of the unintended consequences and saying this is not constitutional.”