Purpose[ edit ] State sex-offender registration and notification programs are designed, in general, to include information about offenders who have been convicted of a "criminal offense against a victim who is a minor" or a "sexually violent offense," as specified in the Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act "the Wetterling Act"  — more specifically, information about persons convicted of offenses involving sexual molestation or sexual exploitation of children, and persons convicted of rape and rape-like offenses regardless of the age of the victim , respectively.
Not all state web sites provide for public disclosure of information about all sex-offenders who reside, work, or attend school in the state. For example, one state may limit public disclosure over its web site of information concerning offenders who have been determined to be high-risk, while another state may provide for wider disclosure of offender information but make no representation as to risk level of specific offenders.
Members of the public may be able to obtain certain types of information about specific offenders who reside, work, or attend school in the state and have been convicted of one or more of the types of offenses specified below, depending on the specific parameters of a given State's public notification program. Information is hosted by each state, not by the federal government. Constitutionality[ edit ] U.
Supreme Court rulings[ edit ] In two cases docketed for argument on November 13, , the sex offender registries of two states, Alaska and Connecticut, would face legal challenge.
This was the first instance that the Supreme Court had to examine the implementation of sex offender registries in throughout the U. The ruling would let the states know how far they could go in informing citizens of perpetrators of sex crimes. The constitutionality of the registries was challenged in two ways: Ex post facto challenge[ edit ] In Smith v.
Doe , U. Reasoning that sex offender registration deals with civil laws , not punishment, the Court ruled that it is not an unconstitutional ex post facto law. However, On July 25, , Doe number two prevailed and the Alaska Supreme Court ruled that the Alaska Sex Offender Registration Act's registration violated the ex post facto clause of the state's constitution and ruled that the requirement does not apply to persons who committed their crimes before the act became effective on August 10, Due process challenge[ edit ] In Connecticut Dept.
Argued October 3, —Decided January 23, "The Act does not require pre-Act offenders to register before the Attorney General validly specifies that the Act's registration provisions apply to them. The other Doe began a new challenge in the state courts.
On July 25, , Doe number two prevailed and the Alaska Supreme Court ruled that the Alaska Sex Offender Registration Act's registration violated the ex post facto clause of the state's constitution and ruled that the requirement does not apply to persons who committed their crimes before the act became effective on August 10, DPSCS declared that Maryland's existing registry laws are punitive in effect, and therefore could not constitutionally be applied retroactively to persons whose crimes pre-dated registration.
Missouri[ edit ] Many successful challenges to sex offender registration laws in the United States have been in Missouri because of a unique provision in the Missouri Constitution Article I, Section 13 prohibiting laws "retrospective in [their] operation. In response to these rulings, in , several Missouri state Senators proposed an amendment to the Missouri Constitution that would exempt sex offender registration laws from bar on retrospective civil laws.
Phillips now styled Doe v. Keathley on June 16, The Court held that the Missouri Constitution's provision prohibiting laws retrospective in operation no longer exempts individuals from registration if they are subject to the independent Federal obligation created under the Sexual Offenders Registration and Notification Act SORNA , 42 U.
Phillips were once again required to register. On January 12, , Cole County Circuit Judge Richard Callahan ruled that individuals who plead guilty to a sex offense are not required to register under Federal Law and thus are not required to register in Missouri if the date of their plea was prior to the passage of the Missouri registration law.
On February 19, , the Supreme Court of Missouri held that a law prohibiting registered sex offenders from residing within one thousand feet of a school was retrospective in operation as applied to registered sex offenders who had resided at a location within such a distance prior to the enactment of the law. Charles County Sheriff's Department. In this case, F. Raynor, in which the Court found that Charles A. Raynor was not required to comply with R.