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July 22, 2010

The messy realities of Ohio's adoption of AWA sex offender registration rules

A helpful reader altered me to this local article which provides a window into just some of the many messy issues involved in Ohio's on-going effort to get conform its sex offender registration rules to comply with the federal Adam Walsh Act.  The piece is headlined "Sex offender reclassifications will take months; One case shows how new ruling affects law on registration," and here are some highlights:

George Anderson, a rapist designed a Tier III sex offender, was convicted by a Montgomery County jury for failing to verify his address. On Friday, July 16, the Ohio 2nd District Court of Appeals voided his conviction, citing the June 3 Ohio Supreme Court decision that eliminated reclassifications under the Adam Walsh Act....

These types of decisions will likely continue during the coming months, said Margie Slagle, staff attorney with the Ohio Justice and Policy Center. “Thousands and thousands of petitions were filed across the state,” Slagle said.

Twenty-eight counties were awaiting the Supreme court’s ruling before taking any action on challenges to Walsh. Nine, including Montgomery, issued county-wide stays, according to a brief filed by the Ohio Public Defender.

Anderson was originally classified a “sexually oriented offender,” the lowest designation under the state’s Megan’s Law. He was required to register his place of residence annually for 10 years. Under the Adam Walsh Act, which replaced Megan, he was reclassified as a Tier III offender — the highest level — and required to report every 90 days for the rest of his life....

The high court’s ruling kept the Walsh system for new offenders, but ordered the 26,000 offenders who were reclassified to be returned to the old system and its requirements. “It’s going to make it confusing,” said Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey, who heads the Buckeye State Sheriff’s Association’s committee on sexual offender notification.

Under the old system, 77 percent of offenders were in the lowest category and 18 percent were in the highest as “sexual predators.” Under Walsh, the highest category, Tier III, contained 54 percent.

That tripled the workload for sheriff’s offices, with more offenders visiting four times a year instead of annually, Grey said. “That’s less time that we have a deputy out physically looking” to see if offenders live at the addresses they give, Grey said.

Attorney General Richard Cordray, whose office notified all affected offenders in 2008 that their designation had changed, has asked the Supreme Court to reconsider its decision.  He also has included a request for clarification concerning those offenders who did not have court hearings to determine classification, such as those convicted in other states.  Ted Hart, a spokesman for Cordray’s office, said staff was manually going through all records to determine which defendants had court hearings.

July 22, 2010 at 01:38 PM | Permalink

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Comments

Sounds like some serious stalling to me.

The courts made a ruling, now live with it Cordray. In the meantime, the delay in letting those affected by the court's ruling are left to the mercy of the local authorities.

In my particular county, the corruption of the "Good Ol' Boys Society" (otherwise known as the sheriff's office) is a widely known secret.

For those offenders who are left in limbo by the state dragging its feet and seemingly refusing to accept the ruling, they are left to be harassed and arrested for their own ignorance.

If the state could quickly get 26,000 letters sent out to inform offenders they were going to be screwed over by the AWA, then surely they could notify those people about the partial repeal in similar short order.

Posted by: Questions Authority | Jul 22, 2010 2:34:14 PM

Thank you for posting that professor, lots of people's lives in legal limbo and in danger even though there was a court order to return those 26,000 back to their original classifications. The Ohio AG's office says they are under no time restraint to switch back, so of course they are going to drag their feet if they think they can get away with.

Posted by: tbucket | Jul 22, 2010 8:46:07 PM

Even though I have no specifics on if what details require disclosure (even though I assume those too would go back to pre-AWA conditions), I've suggested to those I know who are affected by this ruling to print out a copy of the ruling and keep it with them. In their gloveboxes, by the phone, on the fridge, anywhere it would be handy. Just to make sure they can try to cover themselves in the event that law enforcement tries to pull a fast one on them.

I just find it disturbing that even though letters have not been mailed, and websites not changed, even probation officers and attorneys are unable, or unwilling, to answer questions on the matter.

Posted by: Questions Authority | Jul 22, 2010 9:07:26 PM

seems to me that those individuals still being listed or forced to register after the supremce court has ordered their removal could file a class action lawsuit against the state for failure to obey a court order after a "reasonable timeframe" which last time i looked the U.S SUPREME COURT has pegged at 14 DAYS!

the govt wanted that quick number now let them choke on it!

Posted by: rodsmith | Jul 22, 2010 11:19:24 PM

This goes to show just how dim witted and ignorant the people who elected these fools are. Naivete has become the norm in the US and its an embarrassment. Take Georgia as another example of how quick politicians are to shame and punish. Georgia had some of the toughest SO laws, only to scale back them back years later.

Posted by: Huh? | Jul 23, 2010 10:12:38 PM

"I've come down from the upper class to mend your rotten ways.
My father was a man-of-power whom everyone obeyed.
So come on all you criminals!
I've got to put you straight just like I did with my old man --
twenty years too late.
Your bread and water's going cold.
Your hair is too short and neat.
I'll judge you all and make damn sure that no-one judges me.

You curl your toes in fun as you smile at everyone -- you meet the stares.
You're unaware that your doings aren't done.
And you laugh most ruthlessly as you tell us what not to be.
But how are we supposed to see where we should run?
I see you shuffle in the courtroom with
your rings upon your fingers and
your downy little sidies and
your silver-buckle shoes.
Playing at the hard case, you follow the example of the comic-paper idol
who lets you bend the rules."

Sound familliar?

Posted by: Noodles | Jul 28, 2010 1:21:49 PM

Easy solution to all this.

Get the state to rescind compliance with the Adam Walsh Act.
Put everyone back on the State Sex Offender Laws...
Past, present and future all go by same rules, the old rules.. classify each person on their likelihood to re offend.

Posted by: cfcamericadotorg | Aug 3, 2010 1:08:58 AM

Did you know that treatment for former offenders has been proven effective and that most sex offenders never commit another crime? Did you also know that making it more difficult for former offender to reintegrate into society increases recidivism?

Would you like more *FACTS* ? If so, look at this website and please sign our petition:

CanadiansForAJustSociety [dot] webs [dot] com

Posted by: Steven Yoon | Aug 17, 2010 12:44:44 PM

I know someone that was affected by all of this BS. He was sentenced in 1998 and was released in 1999 and was pre AWA tier 1 offender. They up and decide they want to change the law and make him do it for 15 years instead of 10 for no reason what so ever and without telling him they passed the law. And also not telling him it was reverted back to the original system. Fast forward, he thinks he is off of It and moves but they hit him with a failure to change address charge and are now trying to give him more time when he should have been off of it already. I don't see how the authorities can change the laws like they do and go against what was put into the dockets and journal entries because they feel its "necessary."

Posted by: Hangman | May 30, 2013 10:42:20 PM

To whom
I am 67 year old orientated sex offender. I fell down in the city of Marlboro New York On January
29th 2004. my left leg muscles ruptured above my knee cap. the injury made my left leg swell up turn black from my hip to my ankle. it took me 4 days cuz we had to stop in Allentown Pennsylvania because the man driving the truck had to make a pickup. so I bounced around the front seat walk with crutches and was in great pain. I arrived home well with my wife to babysit my granddaughter for four
Hours. in that condition my wife 20 feet away in the house I was charged with rape to my granddaughter. in a normal person term. there is no proof my DNA evidence came up clean the hospital said there was no evidence of any kind of contact. so a story was written
By my attorney Which is your pure bullshit. so on my way to the hospital with no prior convictions other than
Traffic violations I was sent to prison for 6 years. I now have a
Dead muscles In my left leg A dead wife And they destroyed family. it's quite obvious to intelligent
person that I am innocent. is this really America I killed
The Yellow Man So that The rich get richer I think my country let me down. is this what you want for your kids
Douglas Matthews

c violations

Posted by: Douglas Matthew | Dec 13, 2013 8:51:05 AM

Hello everyone, I am a student currently seeking a very complicated topic. If defendant plead guilty in 2004 sexual imposition misdemeanor of the 3rd degree; and was required to register for 10 years, does his/her registration end date change or is put on hold if they become incarcerated on a separate offense?

Posted by: Marcos Donatelli | Nov 14, 2014 1:34:31 PM

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