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Doe v District Attorney

9-25-2007 Maine:

Doe v District Attorney
932 A.2d 552 (2007)

John Doe appeals from a judgment entered in the Superior Court (Kennebec County, Studstrup, J.) granting Evert Fowle, Craig Poulin, and Everett Flannery's motions to dismiss, and dismissing Doe's complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.

Doe argues that the court erred in dismissing his claims that the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act of 1999 (SORNA), 34-A M.R.S. §§ 11201-11256 (2006), violates his rights to procedural and substantive due process, equal protection, and a civil jury trial pursuant to the United States and Maine Constitutions.

We conclude that further factual development is necessary, and we remand for further proceedings.

... ... ...

F. Conclusion

[¶ 64] The public has a right to protect itself from those individuals whom the State has determined to be lawbreakers in the community. That protection is provided, upon conviction, by criminal sentencing to which constitutional protections apply. One of those constitutional protections is the Ex Post Facto Clause, which prohibits the public from deciding that sentences imposed and served in the past were too light and retroactively imposing more severe punishments on already sentenced offenders.

The recent amendments to SORNA have retroactively enhanced criminal punishments by:
  • (1) changing a fifteen-year registration requirement to lifetime State supervision;
  • (2) removing the opportunity for waiver of the registration requirement upon a showing of his rehabilitation or for other good cause;
  • (3) exposing registrants to punishments similar to the shaming and ridicule penalties of colonial times by identifying and targeting them on the internet, subjecting them to the documented risk of retribution and vigilante violence;
  • (4) requiring them to report in person to the police and be fingerprinted once every ninety days for life; and
  • (5) restricting their personal liberty by effectively barring them from being in certain public places.

Maine jurisprudence suggests that the State's action enhancing punishments after sentencing is violative of article I, section 11 of the Maine Constitution.

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