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NY Sex Offender's Risk Level 3 Classification Based on Credible Information, Thus Affirmed

Tercero Stafford, a New York prisoner, is serving a prison sentence for burglary. He had prior convictions for sex offenses in New York and Vermont, for which he was released from prison in Vermont in 1996. Vermont had no sex offender registration law at the time. In anticipation of Stafford's release on his current conviction, the New York Board of Examiners of Sex Offenders convinced a New York trial court, based in part on Stafford's Vermont conviction, to assess him to be a risk level three sex-offender. Stafford appealed, claiming that because Vermont had no sex offender registration law in 1996, New York state could not consider the fact of his Vermont conviction when assessing his current risk level.

On appeal, the New York Court for the 3rd Department of its Appellate Division found that so long as a sex offender's risk level assessment is based on credible information, such as the fact of Stafford's prior Vermont conviction, the classification is lawful. On that basis Stafford's appeal was dismissed. See: People v. Stafford, 32 A.D.3d 1133 (N.Y.A.D. 3 Dept. 2006).

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Related legal case

People v. Stafford