29 April 2012

Bright Side

Stephen McAllister looks on the bright side in 'Neighbors Beware: The Constitutionality of State Sex Offender Registration and Community Notification Laws'.

That article, in 29 Texas Tech Law Review (1998) 97-136, comments
All states now have sex offender registration laws, and all states have some form of community notification regarding, or public access to registrant information. This article evaluates two major constitutional challenges that are frequently raised in litigation involving these laws: (1) that they violate constitutional double jeopardy and ex post facto prohibitions; and (2) that they violate due process and equal protection principles. The article concludes that such challenges generally should fail and these laws should be considered presumptively constitutional. The article argues that sex offender registration and notification laws are not intended to be punitive measures, do not have historical counterparts that would have been considered “punitive”, and serve important if not compelling non-punitive public safety interests.