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Article • November 15, 2016
Utah's Sex Offender Population Filling Up Prisons by Christopher Zoukis The State of Utah is starting to feel the strain from harsh sentencing laws targeting sex offenders that it passed in recent years. While most states are enjoying a decline in prison populations in the last decade, Utah's counts are ...
Challenge to Sex Offender Passport Identifier Dismissed by California Federal Court by Christopher Zoukis A challenge to the newly passed "International Megan's Law" has been tossed out of court by Judge Phyllis J. Hamilton of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. The plaintiffs alleged that ...
Oregon “Incorrigible Masturbator’s” Life Sentence Unconstitutionally Disproportionate by Mark Wilson The Oregon Court of Appeals held on June 17, 2015 that a true life sentence for “an incorrigible masturbator” was an unconstitutionally disproportionate punishment – a decision subsequently upheld by the state Supreme Court. Under ORS 137.719(1), certain recidivist sex ...
Inquisitorial Telephonic Hearing to Screen Civil Rights Case Deemed Unlawful by In reversing an Illinois federal district court’s dismissal of a civilly committed sex offender’s civil rights action, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals did not mince words when condemning the lower court’s use of a merit review proceeding as ...
Indiana Federal Court Certifies Habeas Corpus Class of Prisoners Disciplined for Refusing to Admit Guilt in Sex Offender Program by Matthew Clarke On September 30, 2015, a U.S. district court certified a class of Indiana state prisoners who refused to admit their guilt as part of the Indiana Sex Offender ...
Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Upholds Conviction for Contacting Victim by Lonnie Burton On April 27, 2016, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals upheld the conviction of a Texas state prisoner for Improper Contact with a Victim. David Schlittler was convicted of aggravated sexual assault of his five-year-old stepdaughter. He ...
Ninth Circuit Finds Arizona's Sex Offender Registration Law Not Ex Post Facto Violation by Matthew Clarke On September 2, 2016, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found that Arizona's sex offender registration law may be constitutionally applied to persons who committed their offense prior to ...
First Unconditional Release from Minnesota’s Sex Offender Program by U.S. District Court Judge Donovan Frank ruled in June 2015 that the Minnesota Sex Offender Program (MSOP) was unconstitutional for indefinitely confining offenders who had completed their prison terms. In August 2016, a state Supreme Court panel ordered sex offender Eric ...
Appeals Court Strikes Down Stringent Sex-Offender Probation Conditions by Derek Gilna Charles Murray was sentenced to 95 months' imprisonment after he pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography, and as part of that sentence was required to fulfill "various special conditions of supervised release that, for example, require(d) him to ...
Article • September 9, 2016
4th Circuit Overturns Dismissal of Adam Walsh Civil Commitment Case by Derek Gilna The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed the dismissal of the Adam Walsh case against Walter Wooden, finding that the application of that Act to the defendant did not violate the Due Process and Equal Protection ...
9th Circuit: "Adam Walsh" Detention Doesn't toll Supervised Release Term by Derek Gilna The 9th Circuit has ruled that the period of time spent in civil confinement under the Adam Walsh Act did not constitute "imprisonment" and that a defendant's period of supervised release continues to run during that time. ...
Article • September 8, 2016
4th Circuit Affirms Dismissal of "Adam-Walsh" Prosecution of Sean Robert Francis by Sean Robert Francis, whose "Adam-Walsh" civil commitment proceedings were the subject of a recent Prison Legal News cover story, has won yet another legal victory. Francis had previously prevailed in a district court action wherein the judge ruled ...
Sex Offender Registration Requirement of Louisiana Crimes Against Nature by Solicitation Statute Unconstitutional by Matthew Clarke On March 29, 2012, a Louisiana federal court held that the sex offender registration requirement of the Louisiana Crimes Against Nature by Solicitation (CANS) statute, La.R.S. 14:89(B), was an unconstitutional violation of the Equal ...
AP: Sex Offenders Especially Vulnerable in California's Prisons by Joe Watson As soon as he arrived at Salinas Valley State Prison in northern California, Alan Ager believed his life was in danger. "The very day they let him into the yard, he was filing complaints, 'Get me the hell out ...
Article • September 6, 2016
New York Local Governments’ Sex Offender Residency Restrictions Invalid by Matthew Clarke On February 17, 2015, the New York Court of Appeals held that sex offender residency restrictions enacted by local governments were invalid because the state had already created a comprehensive and detailed regulatory scheme. Michael Diack was convicted ...
Registered Sex Offenders Fall Victim to “Vigilante Justice” by According to prosecutors, an Anchorage man assaulted and robbed three men on Alaska’s sex offender registry, keeping a notebook that listed the names of his victims and the items he stole from them. Jason Christian Vukovich, 41, allegedly plotted the attacks ...
Family of Dead Registered Sex Offender Still Receiving Registry Letters by Matthew Clarke When 17-year-old Justin Fawcett admitted to having consensual sex with a 14-year-old student at the same West Bloomfield, Michigan high school he attended he probably never thought that he would die for his crime, but he did. ...
Article • August 23, 2016
Washington State Keeps Sex Offenders in Prison, Bypasses Civil Commitment by A recent bureaucratic report says that a 2001 Washington State law intended to keep sex offenders in prison indefinitely has succeeded, in spite of research showing that—like other violent offenders—the likelihood of committing similar crimes significantly decreases with age. ...
Sixth Circuit: Requiring Admission of Guilt to Participate in Mandatory-for-Parole SOTP No Fifth Amendment Violation by Matthew Clarke On April 4, 2012, the Third Circuit court of appeals held that requiring an admission of guilt to participate in an in-prison sex offender treatment program (SOTP) did not violate the Fifth ...
Residency Restrictions Cause Homelessness to Increase Among Registered Sex Offenders in Arizona by Matthew Clarke It is well known that restrictions on where registered sex offenders (RSOs) are permitted to reside in Miami resulted in the creation of an RSO camp under the Julia Tuttle Causeway. PLN recently reported that ...
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