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Sex Offender Designation Process Upheld by Louisiana Supreme Court

On July 1, 2011, the Supreme Court of Louisiana upheld the constitutionality of the Sex Offender Assessment Panel (SOAP) process.

The Louisiana legislature enacted the SOAP in order to identify which sex offenders should be classified as either sexually violent predators (SUP), or child sex predators (CSP). Offenders receiving either designation receive closer monitoring upon release.

In upholding the SOAP process, the Louisiana Supreme Court rejected a void for vagueness challenge, holding that the SOAP was not subject to vagueness analysis because it is not a criminal statute. In addition, the court held that the SOAP satisfied procedural due process. “The SOAP statutory scheme provides offenders with notice and a meaningful opportunity to be heard at a court hearing to determine SUP or CSP status,” the court wrote. See: State v. Golston, No. 2010-KA-2804 (La. Sup. Ct. 2011).

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Related legal case

State v. Golston