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Moe v Sex Offender Registry Board

3-26-2014 Massachusetts:

Moe v Sex Offender Registry Board

On July 12, 2013, the Governor signed into law various amendments to G.L. c. 6, §§ 178C-178Q, the sex offender registry law (SORL), including amendments that would require the Sex Offender Registry Board (SORB) to publish on the Internet information contained in the sex offender registry (registry information) regarding all individuals given a level two or level three classification by SORB. See St.2013, c. 38, §§ 7, 9.

Before these amendments were enacted, § 178D required SORB to publish on the Internet the registry information of sex offenders given a level three classification, but expressly prohibited SORB from publishing on the Internet the registry information of level two offenders.

The issues presented are whether the amendments are retroactive in effect "for the purposes of further constitutional inquiry," as applied to those who were classified as level two offenders on or before the date of the amendments' enactment, see Doe, Sex Offender Registry Bd. No. 8725 v. Sex Offender Registry Bd., 450 Mass. 780, 787 (2008) (Doe No. 8725 ); whether the Legislature intended that they apply retroactively; and, if so, whether their retroactive application would violate due process under the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights.

We conclude that the amendments are retroactive in effect as applied to level two offenders who were classified on or before the date of the amendments' enactment and that the Legislature intended such retroactive application, but that such retroactive application would violate State constitutional due process.

... ... ...

Conclusion.

We declare unconstitutional the retroactive application of the amendments to G.L. c. 6, §§ 178D and 178K, that became effective on July 12, 2013, to the extent they would require the Internet publication of the registry information of individuals who were finally classified as level two sex offenders on or before July 12, 2013.

The matter is remanded to the county court for entry of an order allowing the plaintiffs' motion for class certification and permanently enjoining SORB from publishing on the Internet the registry information of any individual who was finally classified as a level two sex offender on or before July 12, 2013, unless the individual is subsequently reclassified a level two or level three sex offender.

Nothing in this order affects the ability of SORB to publish on the Internet the registry information of any individual who was given a final classification as a level two sex offender after July 12, 2013.

So ordered.




Mass. court says sex offender law not retroactive

The state’s highest court has ruled that Massachusetts cannot retroactively post information about thousands of registered sex offenders on the Internet.

The ruling on Wednesday came in response to a challenge to a law passed last July that allowed the state to add Level 2 sex offenders to its online database. The state’s Sex Offender Registry had previously been allowed to make information available online only about Level 3 sex offenders, those considered most dangerous and most likely to re-offend.

The Supreme Judicial Court did not strike down the new law, but ruled that it could not apply retroactively to sex offenders who had been classified as Level 2 prior to July 2013.

The court said its ruling would affect about 6,200 Level 2 sex offenders. ..Source.. by Boston.com

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