Friday, May 15, 2009

A pair of state cases

I've been asked to comment on this case as I find time to review it:

Initially, I see Indiana has expanded the Registry to include several more categories of crime in addition to sex offenses: these include Murder, Voluntary Manslaughter, under certain circumstances Kidnaping and Confinement (according to the opinion). If we must have a registry at all, which is a bad idea in my opinion for reasons which have been articulated elsewhere here on this blog and by other experts on the topic to whom I have referred and linked at various times, perhaps it should also include financial crimes.

In this age of transparency nothing is private, yet why should government be in the business of publishing lists of people who have done bad things, then punishing people again for failing to self-register? It already does so in Court records should anyone care to search them. The bad guys aren't going to register anyway, so I suppose it makes it easy to identify those; the ones on the registries are not the ones who are committing these crimes. If they are not keeping communities safer, as recent research indicates, get rid of them. They are a waste of valuable government resources at all state and federal levels.

Also, getting to the technical details, ex post facto provisions of the Constitution of Indiana are in play and the court concludes registration laws are punitive in effect if not in intent. That is a contrary conclusion to the US Supreme Court's conclusion in a similar case from Alaska, interpreting that state's laws, which the opinion explains is permissible because an independent view or review is justified and well within the boundaries of the court's powers of judicial review.

Just a case from Maryland that was brought to my attention today:

Doe v. Dept. of Public Safety and Corr. Svcs., CSA No. 22, Sept. Term 2008. Reported. Opinion by Wright, J. Filed May 12,

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