Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Nevada Sex Offender Law in Legal Limbo

UPI.com ( Nevada) : Nevada Sex Offender Law in Legal Limbo

CARSON CITY, Nev., July 1 (UPI) -- A U.S. judge says he has blocked Nevada's new sex offender law from going into effect until constitutional challenges are resolved.

U.S. District Judge James Mahan said he was concerned that if the law went into effect Tuesday as planned, low-level sex offenders would be publicly identified on the state's sex offender Web sites. They would then be unable to regain their anonymity if the law is later found unconstitutional, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported Tuesday.

"It's a matter of due process," he said. Mahan is set to hear arguments Aug. 26 on whether the law is constitutional.

The new Nevada sex offender law is being challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada and local defense attorney Robert Langford on behalf of 12 sex offenders. They argue that the change in law is cruel and unusual punishment by punishing sex offenders again for crimes they have already paid for.

It would change the way Nevada classifies sex offenders, who currently are categorized by their risk of re-offending. Under the new law, sex offenders would be classified by the crimes they committed, with the number of Tier 3 sex offenders in Nevada increasing from about 160 to more than 2,500.