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Government and Politics


Ohio court rules sex offender law unconstitutional
Court says changes to sex offender registration cannot be applied retroactively
Story by MIKE BROWN


 

Ohio cannot apply its sex-offender law to people who were convicted before the law took effect. In a 5-2 decision today (Wednesday), the Ohio Supreme Court struck down a law that enhanced penalties for sex offenders retroactively.   

The case stems from a 2007 law that changed the way the state classified many offenders to match federal laws.

Katherine Szudy is with the state public defender’s office, and describes the impact on one of her clients. 

Szudy explains

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More than 26,000  Ohioans convicted of sex crimes before  2008 will be moved back to Ohio's less rigid sex-offender registry system.

Listener Comments:

my son convicted of sexual battery at age of 17. with no dna matching his but someone elses although he never denied beating up the man he never touched the female my son recieved 25 yrs later reduced to 13 on a high price appeal yrs later sex statement from female originally said rape..but due to lack of evidince he recieved a battery charge on hear say in return now has to register...this is unbelievable how oyr children is being railroaded for life


Posted by: leslie duncan (cleveland ohii) on July 14, 2014 8:07AM
I have a friend that was convicted in Wisconsin in 1/18/91 of first degree sexual assault. 940.225. He moved to Ohio in 1992. Since the reclassification of the law, he has to register as a sex offender. Can explain to me why? Is there anything he can do? Can he get this appealed?


Posted by: Molly (Columbus, oh) on January 9, 2014 9:01AM
i was convicted of a crime of importuning before the AWA took affect.what i am asking is am i suspose to report since the change in law?please reply


Posted by: Scott (Ohio) on January 22, 2013 7:01AM
I found this information from another site and thought it might be helpful if benefited from the recent court ruling.

At first, all offenders were re-classified under the Adam Walsh Act (which carries a three-tier classification), but then a court ruling determined that was unconstitutional. As a result, those offenders had to be reverted back to classification under Megan’s Law.
****THIS IS NOT AUTOMATICLY DONE FOR YOU!!!****
******READ INFO BELOW*****
The new rulings, however are unlikely to create such a large issue.

Pike County Prosecutor Rob Junk anticipates his office will see some motions filed on past cases, but not an overwhelming amount.

“I’ll imagine we’ll see a few,” Junk said.

Cases where any of the issues are present will not automatically be altered. Defendants will need to file a motion for a change.

“It’s not our jobs to hunt them down and inform them of the changes in the law,” Junk said.

Sex offenders seeking more information about the rulings and how to file something in their case can contact their individual attorneys or the Office of the Ohio Public Defender
at 800-686-1573 or visit www.opd.ohio.gov.

I hope this helps anyone who thinks it is automatically done for them.. You still have to fight the fight...


Posted by: GoFigure (PA) on December 16, 2012 12:12PM
April 2012 Update: NO DIFFERENCE! Everyone who is "unconstitutionally" in the Tier system still is. No one has moved back to anything, whether recalled to court to be Judicially classed from a Tier level to a Megan's Law classification as they should have been in the first place. Too many have been lumped into Tier 3 since the AWA was passed simply by a code of law which was not based on any empirical evidence. They would have been "Oriented" under Megan's Law. Now they sit in the "worst of the worst" classification for now quite unfairly.


Posted by: Extremely Disgruntled (Ohio) on April 3, 2012 10:04AM
When is something going to be done about those whose crimes were committed long before any of these laws were passed but were forced to register under them? That is unconstitutional! Placing them under laws that weren't even in effect when they committed their crimes. Many were classed as predators because judges didn't have guidelines then and saw all offenders as predators. They are registering every 90 days for life and are probably the least dangerous because there were no guidelines.


Posted by: Reallypissed (Ohio) on February 20, 2012 7:02AM
February 2012 update, NOTHING DIFFERENT. All those who were unconstitutionally lumped into the AWA whose crime dates preceded 1/1/08 effective date are still in the Tier system. Apparently as the author here states that "those who were convicted" before that date, which is NOT what the Williams decision stated, all the the Prosecutors and the aG are subscribing to the wrong statement. Someone (HINT) needs to research this ongoing error!


Posted by: Extremely Disgruntled (Ohio) on February 18, 2012 1:02AM
This does not put the Adam Walsh Act out-of-compliance. It does show what a mess Ohio's law makers and Attorney General have made of the registry.


Posted by: Mary (Kendall) on October 25, 2011 6:10AM
September update, DeWine's request for clarification was never answered by the SC, and his recent reconsideration request was denied. (Reconsideration was because DeWine said on his website that he wouldn't appeal it, makes sense now because he really can't appeal it, the OSC ruled it was against the Ohio Const, not the USConst)which makes it stay as a State Court's interpretation. No FED jurisdiction allowed in State affairs.


Posted by: Extremely Disgruntled (Ohio) on September 27, 2011 1:09AM
Also, the first sentence of the story above is incorrect. "Ohio cannot apply its sex-offender law to people *who were convicted* before the law took effect." Between the stars should read *whose crimes were committed*.
Also "More than 26,000 Ohioans convicted of sex crimes before 2008 will be moved back to Ohio's less rigid sex-offender registry system." It's more like 4000-8000. Only those whose crimes are before 1/1/08. Anyone after that has to deal with the consequences on the books at the time of the offense. Whether fair or not. Repeating from above, this only affects sentences after 1/1/08 for crimes committed before that date. Those affected who have been sentenced to 3 years prison are already out of prison and on the registry already. PRC notwithstanding.


Posted by: Extremely Disgruntled (Ohio) on July 27, 2011 6:07AM
No to SCOTUS, it's an Ohio constitution issue, so it really stays here. If they deemed it USC, then the feds rule. Yes to compliance, they will STAY fully compliant, as of all later than 1/1/08 crimes. This ruling only affects crimes before that date that were sentenced after that same date. 90% of those affected are on the list already. Some are even off their PRC. Those sentenced to probation or up to 8 months prison come August 2nd, and 3 years PRC, would be off PRC already, or by then. I believe that the NY system is fair. Only level 2 (habitual equiv.) and 3's (predator/violent equiv.)are posted on website. Level 1's are NOT. Reporting yes, posted not. Only the one's we "need to worry or be concerned about" are posted publicly. NOT everyone. Dilutes the purpose. Public Enlightenment is needed. Maybe the Rodriguez couple seen on TODAY (today-not funny)will open the eyes of the public to at least one of the errors in the AWA.


Posted by: Extremely Disgruntled (Ohio) on July 27, 2011 6:07AM
The full Byrne grant is a pittance compared to the cost of implementing AWA. THE STATE NEVER SHOULD HAVE BEEN SUCKERED BY AWA. Not only is it unconstitutional, it does not protect the public. It makes the state more dangerous.

Get the FACTS:

http://www.ConstitutionalDefense.org


Posted by: JacksontheLion on July 13, 2011 6:07AM
Will the state appeal to SCOTUS?

The Feds maintain that retroactive punishment is legal for sex offenders, as is banishment, exile and civil commitment.

So now Ohio will not be in AWA compliance and no longer get the full Byrne Grant...

Interesting...


Posted by: Anonymous on July 13, 2011 3:07AM
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