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Oklahoma v Timothy Lynn Smith

10-28-2010 Oklahoma:

Oklahoma v Timothy Lynn Smith

Appellee, Timothy Lynn Smith, was charged by Information February, 18, 2009, in the District Court of Roger Mills County, Case No. CF-2009-4, with Failure To Register As Sex Offender (57 O.S. 583 (2008)). At preliminary hearing, held October 14, 2009, the magistrate refused to bind Appellee over, finding that the State had presented insufficient evidence to support the charge. The magistrate also found that, at the time that Appellee entered his plea and received a deferred sentence, the Sex Offender Registration Act (57 O.S. 582 / 57 O.S. 583 (1998)) did not require Appellee to register. Alternatively, the magistrate found that if the current statutes, requiring registration, were applied to Appellee such application would violate the constitutional prohibitions against ex post facto laws and bills of attainder.

In the present case, the amendments to the statutes are substantive. The amendments do no simply alter or clarify the procedure or method of registration. If the amendments were given retroactive effect they would create an obligation that Appellee register. As retroactive application of the amended statutes would alter Appellee's obligations, the amendments are substantive and, without a clear expression from the Legislature that the amendments were to be given retroactive effect, must only be applied prospectively.

The amendments to the Sex Offenders Registration Act which became effective after Appellee's plea and the order deferring sentence are not applicable to him. Because the amendments are not applicable to Appellee, we do not decide the issues of whether the Sex Offender Registration Act is punitive in violation of the Ex Post Facto Clause or the prohibition against bills of attainder as applied to Appellee.

Therefore, finding the District Court properly determined that the amendments to the Sex Offender Registration Act which went into effect after Appellee's plea and the order deferring sentence did not apply to Appellee, the State's appeal is denied and the matter is remanded to the District Court for further proceedings consistent with this Opinion.

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