Why are sex offender laws not a violation of ex post facto? 17 Answers as of August 31, 2011

Has the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on these issues, and where can I obtain a copy of their rulings regarding this?

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Austin Legal Services, PLC
Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
An ex post facto law punishes someone with penalties that were not prescribed at the time of their conviction. For example, if someone was convicted of a sex offense in 1973 (well before the Sex Offender Registration Act) the courts can not now come back and make that person register under the act because the laws for the registry did not exist at the time. Now when a person is convicted, the law prescribes such punishment so they are not a true ex post facto law.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 8/31/2011
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
I have not researched this issue. However, there is a wealth of free legal research available on the web. Google free legal research or free U.S. Supreme Court Opinions. I think there are multiple colleges that have free case law available on the web. Stay well.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 5/6/2011
Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law
Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law | Jules Fiani
You can get a copy of it from a law library. If you hire an attorney such as myself, the attorney can research this issue and create a report for you on this matter.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 5/5/2011
Law Office of Richard Williams
Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
I don't see how sexual offender laws could be a violation of ex post facto.This matter could be researched through the Supreme Court Digest, or through research on Westlaw.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 5/5/2011
Bloom Legal, LLC
Bloom Legal, LLC | Seth J. Bloom
Ex post facto is a complex legal concept that can apply in various manners. The term literally means "from after the action" so it is important to note that ex post facto law can both: - criminalize actions that were legal when committed and - decriminalize certain acts or alleviate possible punishments retroactively If your question is relating to the addition of punishments to sex offenders who committed crimes that were not explicitly punishable at the time, it is important to note that aspects of ex post facto law can enhance punishments.
Answer Applies to: Louisiana
Replied: 5/5/2011
    Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
    Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
    I do not know if the US Supreme Court has ruled on this, I suspect not. You could search the Court's website or hire an attorney to do so.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/4/2011
    Law Office of Andrew Subin
    Law Office of Andrew Subin | Andrew Subin
    The rationale is because sex offender registration is not "punishment." There are numerous state and federal cases addressing this issue.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/4/2011
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
    It has never been found to be punitive therefore there was not a violation of ex post facto. It is simply an administrative rule, that is how they can commit the people after they have served the sentence. The last time it was ruled on was in 2001 S. Ct. of the USA. The laws have become so much more punitive that there is hope that it is no longer just administrative, but for now, sorry.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 5/4/2011
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
    The Supreme Court has decided sex registration laws (if that is what you mean) are not punishment. If you go to a law library or schedule a consultation with a criminal defense specialist they might be able to assist you with the specifics.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/4/2011
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
    What are you talking about. Ex post facto means a prosecution of a new law on a case that took place before the new law. ie. you molest a child - there is no law prohibiting that conduct - then the legislature decides to pass a statute prohibiting child molestation. That's ex post facto.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/3/2011
    The Purnell Law Firm
    The Purnell Law Firm | Simon Purnell
    The answer is a long and tortured tour of criminal procedure and the limitation of our Constitution/bill of rights. If you want a brief look at how the US Supreme Court addressed the issue in the past few years, start with a case styled Carr v US. It addressed the unconstitutional nature of applying SORNA (the federal sex offender registration statute) to pre-enactment unregistered travel. For a more detailed analysis of your situation, feel free to give me a call.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 5/3/2011
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    There are no "sex offender laws" there are Penal Law sections that deal with crimes of a sexual nature. Sex offender statutes concern the category you are placed in after a conviction and are registered as a sex offender. There are several categories or levels that are determined at a hearing. If you commit a crime that is currently on the books you will be prosecuted and sentenced by that law. Ex post facto would be if an older law was applied to you, so that is not the case with rape, sexual abuse, sodomy, or other sex crimes.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/3/2011
    Law Office of Rankin Johnson IV, LLC
    Law Office of Rankin Johnson IV, LLC | Rankin Johnson IV
    It's not ex post facto because it isn't punishment. The ex post facto clause forbids the legislature from attaching a punishment to an act that you have already done (or making it easier for the state to convict you, or increasing the punishment). Sex offender registration is a current obligation imposed on people with prior convictions. If you have a conviction from twenty years ago, you can comply with the law right now by registering.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 5/3/2011
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    Because the courts have ruled they are not. I dont know if SCOTUS has ruled directly, but a Google search will get you the cites from appellate courts.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/3/2011
    Harden Law Offices
    Harden Law Offices | Leonard D. Harden
    New Hampshire supreme court has ruled that the retroactive changes in registration requirements are not punishment but rather administrative and directed at safety of the public. As far as I know there is no US SCOTUs opinion.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 5/3/2011
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