February 15, 2008
Arizona Supeme Court extends jury trial rights to misdemeanors leading to sex offender registration
In a very interesting opinion that covers a lot of very interesting modern criminal justice issues, the Arizona Supreme Court yesterday in Fushek v. State, No. CV-07-0251-PR (Ariz. Feb. 15, 2008), unanimously held that the Arizona state constitution requires a jury trial for misdemeanor charges that could lead to sex offender registration. Here is the opinion's key conclusion:
[W]e conclude that the potential of sex offender registration reflects a legislative determination that Fushek has been charged with serious crimes. As the Supreme Court noted in Blanton, “[t]he judiciary should not substitute its judgment as to seriousness for that of a legislature, which is far better equipped to perform the task.” 489 U.S. at 541-42.... We defer to the legislature’s determination that misdemeanor crimes involving sexual motivation are serious offenses and hold that when a special allegation of sexual motivation exposes a defendant to the possibility of sex offender registration, Article 2, Section 24 of our Constitution entitles the defendant to a trial by jury.
February 15, 2008 at 08:17 AM | Permalink
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very interesting followup to the post I
made yesterday about the felony/misdemeanor
distinction no longer making any sense
in the "functional era of criminal
jurisprudence" ushered in by Apprendi.
"Our inquiry is one not of form but effect"
Posted by: bruce cunningham | Feb 15, 2008 10:11:55 AM