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NEW: Failure to Register a Sex Offense???
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Doe v Keathley

6-16-2009 Missouri:

Doe v Keathley
290 S.W.3d 719 (2009)
Note 1-27-2013: There is a good possibility this case was wrongly decided, however until someone challenges it, it will stand a precedent for Missouri sex offenders. AWA has a provision which effectively says: If the state has a Supreme court decision allowing certain registrants to NOT REGISTER because of a conflict with the state's constitution, then they do not have to under AWA. 42 USC 16925(b). It seems Keathley missed that AWA provision:

Doe v. Keathley, 2009 - Missouri Supreme Court held that the federal SORNA imposes an independent obligation on sex offenders living in Missouri to register, even if they would not been required to register under state law. As a result of the Missouri Supreme Court’s opinion in Keathley, all sex offenders living in Missouri must register. For those individuals convicted of sex offenses prior to 1995, the retrospective law argument has been rendered moot.

From Doe v Keathley:

In this case, respondents are subject to the independent, federally mandated registration requirements under the Sexual Offenders Registration and Notification Act (SORNA). SORNA provides, inter alia, that "[a] sex offender shall register... in each jurisdiction where the offender resides." 42 U.S.C. section 16913. A "sex offender" is "an individual who was convicted of a sex offense." 42 U.S.C. section 16911(1). A "sex offense" includes a "criminal offense that has an element involving a sexual act or sexual contact with another." 42 U.S.C. section 16911(6). SORNA applies to individuals who committed a sex offense prior to July 20, 2006. 42 U.S.C. section 16913(d); 28 C.F.R., section 72.3. Therefore, SORNA imposes an independent obligation requiring respondents to register as sex offenders in Missouri. The independent registration requirement under SORNA operates irrespective of any allegedly retrospective state law that has been enacted and may be subject to the article I, section 13 ban on the enactment of retrospective state laws. Consequently, the circuit court erred in concluding that respondents are exempt from registration by virtue of article I, section 13 of the Missouri Constitution. The judgment is reversed.

All concur.



Now see a 2011 decision Doe (A different Doe) v Keathley. Especially the conclusion:

... Indeed, the sentence of the Attorney General's statement immediately preceding the sentence on which Doe relies states categorically that "SORNA's requirements apply to all sex offenders, regardless of when they were convicted," 76 Fed.Reg. at 1639, recognizing the distinction between an offender's statutory obligation to register, on the one hand, and a State's efforts to ensure that offenders in fact comply, on the other. Second, Doe's petition only sought relief on the basis that he had not been "convicted" of a sex offense within the meaning of the statute. He did not allege that he should be exempted from SORNA's registration requirements because he had completed his involvement in Missouri's criminal justice system at the time the statute became effective. Doe is not entitled to relief on a ground he did not assert in the circuit court.
Make sure your petition alleges the correct issues, the outcome may control whether or not you must register under SORNA.


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