Will a Recent Ruling Allow More Sex Offenders to Remove Their Names from the State Registry?

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Short answer: maybe.

The Maryland Court of Appeals recently ruled that a man who was convicted in 2006 of a sex offense against a child should have his name taken off the statewide registry of sex offenders partly because his crime was committed before the establishment of the registry in 1995.

The argument, which the court ultimately accepted, was that requiring him to register violated Maryland’s constitutional restrictions on retroactive punishment.

It’s unclear yet whether the ruling requires the state to remove from the registry the names of all sex offenders who all who were forced to register retroactively, as University of Maryland law professor Mark Graber suggests it might.

Surely victims’ advocacy groups will do what they can to prevent more names from coming off the registry, but sex offenders have their own advocates. And according to the Sun, there might not be a higher court to take this to, as it concerns Maryland’s state constitution, which isn’t anything the U.S. Supreme Court is ready to interpret.



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