Court of Appeals Ruling on Sex Offender Registry - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Court of Appeals Ruling on Sex Offender Registry

Posted:
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP/WBOC) - Sex offenders in Maryland can't be forced to register in the state's sex offender registry if they committed their crimes before the database was created in 1995.

The Maryland Court of Appeals noted that's the case even though there are "federal obligations" to register them. The court says the federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act includes exemptions for registrations that would be contrary to state law.

Last year, the court found that retroactive application of the state's registry rules violated the state constitution.

"The state cannot legally accept a sex offender's involuntary registration when that individual's registration is unconstitutional under Maryland law," Judge Clayton Greene Jr., wrote Monday for the majority.

The ruling upholds the right of circuit court judges to order names removed from the state registry that provides information to several federal databases.

It's unclear how many people will be affected by the court's decision. There are more than 8,700 people currently registered, according to the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services. In May during oral arguments before the court, lawyers for the state said 1,500 people were registered for offenses that took places before October 1995, when the database was created.

Officials with the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services deferred comment to the attorney general's office. David Paulson, a spokesman for the attorney general, said the agency is studying the decision.

Lisae Jordan, executive director of the Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault, called the ruling "disappointing but not surprising." Jordan said it would be challenging for the state to establish "reasonable alternative procedures" Greene recommended.

She said one way would be to create a non-public registry accessible only to law enforcement or people who work with children.

"That's cold comfort to parents of a child who want to know if a child sex offender is next door," Jordan said.

 Click here to view the Maryland Sex Offender Registry.
  • Delmarvawide NewsDelmarvawide NewsMore>>

  • Gov. O'Malley Says Don't Turn Away Immigrant Kids

    Gov. O'Malley Says Don't Turn Away Immigrant Kids

    Sunday, July 27 2014 6:27 AM EDT2014-07-27 10:27:14 GMT
    Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley told Nebraska Democrats that the United States shouldn't be turning away children from Central America.More
    Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley told Nebraska Democrats that the United States shouldn't be turning away children from Central America.More
  • Korean War Vets Honored With Memorial

    Korean War Vets Honored With Memorial

    Sunday, July 27 2014 6:58 PM EDT2014-07-27 22:58:40 GMT
    Sunday marks the 61st anniversary of the end of the Korean War. A memorial in honor of the Korean War Veterans was revealed Sunday in the Veterans Memorial Park in Dover.More
    Sunday marks the 61st anniversary of the end of the Korean War. A memorial in honor of the Korean War Veterans was revealed Sunday in the Veterans Memorial Park in Dover.More
  • Harper Sentenced in Sussex Kidnapping Case

    Harper Sentenced in Sussex Kidnapping Case

    Sunday, July 27 2014 1:47 PM EDT2014-07-27 17:47:57 GMT
    A teen convicted of participating in the kidnapping and carjacking of an 89-year-old woman in Sussex County was sentenced Friday in Delaware Superior Court.More
    A teen convicted of participating in the kidnapping and carjacking of an 89-year-old woman in Sussex County was sentenced Friday in Delaware Superior Court.More
Powered by WorldNow

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service