Tuesday, June 17, 2008

State v. Ferguson : Ohio Sex Offender Law

State v. Ferguson, Case No. 2007-1427. Oral argument May 6, 2008. Does the retroactive application of 2003 amendments to Ohio’s “Megan’s Law” to sexual offenders whose crimes took place before the effective date of those amendments violate the prohibition in the U.S. and Ohio constitutions against ex post facto laws that impose more severe punishment on an offender “after the fact” of his crime than was applicable to his offense at the time it was committed? Oral argument preview. Court Docket and Briefs. Argument Video.

from: Cleveland Marshall College of Law

State of Ohio v. Andrew J. Ferguson, Case no. 2007-1427
8th District Court of Appeals (Cuyahoga County)

The video below is the "Argument Video" before the Ohio Supreme Court in this case. Basically, two areas of law are presented:

1. whether the 2003 amendments to Ohio's Sex Offender Registration Laws were meant to be prospective (looking forward to new offenders) or retro-active ( applying back to before the law was created) ...


2. whether these laws are punitive (punishment) or remedial (remedy to society).

Even the Attorney representing the State of Ohio admits that these 2003 amended laws were not intended to apply retro-actively. Its astounding, really. Even though this case relates to the 2003 amended Ohio Sex Offender Registration Law, it has relation to the 2008 Adam Walsh Act Laws, and the new law is discussed in these arguments. But the arguments that these laws are not punitive is absurd. Instating life-long requirements to register with sheriff's offices up to four times each year until the day you die ( with threat of imprisonment for failing to do so) is clearly and obviously punitive. What is truly insightful is that these public officials are often confused as to which laws they are talking about, and what requirements are included in them.

Watch Ohio Supreme Court Oral Arguments