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Doe v Otte

This case was ultimately overturned by the US Supreme court.

4-9-2001 Alaska:

Doe v Otte
No. 99-35845. (See Amended)

This case involves an extremely sensitive and difficult question, both from a social and legal standpoint. How may society deal with convicted sex offenders after they have been punished for their crimes? How can society protect itself against future offenses and at the same time safeguard the constitutional rights of persons who have fully paid the price imposed by law for their crimes? The issues treated in the Alaska Sex Offender Registration Act we consider here differ only in degree from a host of other issues the citizens of this country regularly face in trying to resolve the inherent tensions between safety and freedom that exist in any democracy.

As it turns out, we can decide the case before us without having to resolve the most fundamental question posed by the Alaska statute: that is, in light of the fundamental liberty interest protected by the Due Process Clause, may rehabilitation, or a judicial determination of lack of future risk, be wholly ignored when imposing restrictive requirements and obligations on persons who have committed a sexual offense and been fully punished for 836*836 their crimes? Instead, we base our decision on a far narrower constitutional provision, the Ex Post Facto Clause.

... ... ...

IV. CONCLUSION

We conclude that the Alaska Sex Offender Registration Act violates the Ex Post Facto Clause. We therefore REVERSE the district court's orders granting summary judgment for the state officials, and REMAND for further proceedings not inconsistent with this opinion.

REVERSED AND REMANDED.

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