The Supreme Court keeps on accepting First Amendment cases—perhaps because among the current Court there is much agreement on the First Amendment, so being down a Justice doesn’t matter. This does not bode well for state and local governments, like North Carolina in this case. For better or worse, this case like Expressions Hair Design v. Schneiderman, accepted in September, gives the Supreme Court a chance to refine its holding in Reed v. Town of Gilbert, Arizona (2015).  

The issue in Packingham v. North Carolina is whether a North Carolina law prohibiting registered sex offenders from accessing commercial social networking websites where the registered sex offender knows minors can create or maintain a profile, violates the First Amendment.

Beginning in the mid-2000s numerous states adopted “Jessica’s” laws requiring GPS monitoring of certain sex offenders.  These statutes have been challenged on a number of grounds—including that they violate the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against unreasonable searches.  Eight states, including North Carolina, monitor for life.             

The Supreme Court ruling that GPS monitoring of certain sex offenders is a Fourth Amendment search doesn’t invalidate these statutes.  But if the lower court—and ultimately the Supreme...

The Act provides that a person convicted of rape in which a child was born as a result of the offense shall lose parental rights, visitation rights, and rights of inheritance with respect to that child; provides for an exception at the request of the mother, and provides that a court shall impose on obligation of child support against the offender unless waived by the mother and, if applicable, a public agency supporting the child.

Stateline Midwest ~ April 2013

Kansas lawmakers have removed the statute of limitations for prosecuting cases of rape and aggravated criminal sodomy. Rape cases previously had to be prosecuted within five years, The Kansas City Star reports.

The House Judiciary Committee on July 18 passed a bill extending the authorization of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act through 2017.

July 27th – the deadline for states to substantially implement Title I of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 – has come and gone.  And so far, only 14 states were reported to be in compliance by the deadline.

E-newsletter Issue #47 | May 27, 2010


States face a loss of 10 percent of their federal Byrne Justice Assistance grants if they don’t find a way to comply with the Adam Walsh Act by next year.

Problem is, the cost to implement provisions that would bring them into compliance could cost even more than what they could lose.

State eNews Issue #42 | March 17, 2010
 

A registered sex offender was arrested and charged with the rape and murder of San Diego high school student Chelsea King March 1. John Gardner had previously served just five years in prison for committing lewd and lascivious acts on a 13-year-old, despite the recommendations by a court psychiatrist that he serve a much longer sentence because he presented a continued danger to underage girls in the community.

Despite numerous efforts at all levels of government, policymakers continue to struggle to identify and implement effective policies and programs that address the myriad issues related to sexual offenders and their crimes. Complex issues around sentencing, community supervision and re-entry of sexual offenders into the community remain critical challenges for state lawmakers.

Common myths about sex offenders continue to influence public policy. States are working to balance tougher laws and public fears with effective policy to ensure community safety.

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