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June 25, 2008

Indiana post-conviction computer restriction on sex offender struck down

This local article, headlined "Sex offender law goes too far, court rules: Revision would have subjected computers to searches at any time," reports on a federal district court ruling finding constitutional problems with a new Indiana law.  Here are the basics:

A federal court in Indianapolis ruled Tuesday that a major portion of the revised Indiana sex offender law cannot be enforced.  The ruling came one week before the new law would have gone into effect.

The modified law would have required that convicted sex offenders, after they served their sentences and probation and parole time, agree to have their personal computers searched at any time and to allow their Internet access to be monitored. 

Tuesday, U.S. District Court in Indianapolis ruled that requirement of the new law went too far. "These plaintiffs have rights under the Fourth Amendment," District Judge David F. Hamilton wrote in his ruling. "The state may not force them to waive those rights under threat of criminal prosecution for failing to do so."

Marcia Oddi's at the Indiana Law Blog, I was able to find this link to the 52-page ruling by Judge Hamilton.  I suspect this case might make its way to the Seventh Circuit and perhaps further, as these issues seem likely to come up in various settings as part of the modern sex offender panic.

June 25, 2008 at 07:09 AM | Permalink


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Tracked on Jun 25, 2008 7:42:34 PM


I am a released for 10 yrs in january2010 ex sexoffender,i have gone to 4 yrs of therapy , been out of trouble for all of this time , awa has really taken every right i ever had i own a home i was lucky to get and have lived here 4 yrs now , i have never missed a a chech to my home i go to the sherif evry 3 months get a letter that is not a registration form but if I don`t send it in it is a felony changed me from 10 year reg , to lifetime reg and i was an sex offeneder now i a sexpreditor nohearing and one vctim not 2 or 3 one and that one want it to end , now i just had my querterly sheriffs visit , now they can just come in my bedroom with my lady sleeping in it to verify i have clothes here , i have lived here 4 years my god i am off probation 4 years search with out a WARANT i HAVE TO LET THEM IN HE SAID DOES NOT MATTER WHAT RIGHTS MY FAMILY HAS ABOUT THERE HOME BEING SEACHED JUST BECUASE I LIVE HERE AND HE TOLD ME THAT IF I HAVE A COMPUTER HE /THE COP / CAN JUST GET ON MY COMPUTER WHEN THAY CHECK ON ME IM NOT DOING ANYTHING ON IT BUT LOOKING TO SEE IF I CAN FIND A SIGHT THAT SAYS WHAT I CAN DO OR CANT IN THE STATE OF INDIANA , NOT GONNA HAPPEN NO SHUCH SIGHT IF THE///Tuesday, U.S. District Court in Indianapolis ruled that requirement of the new law went too far. "These plaintiffs have rights under the Fourth Amendment," District Judge David F. Hamilton wrote in his ruling. "The state may not force them to waive those rights under threat of criminal prosecution for failing to do so." /// THEN HOW IS IT THE OFFICER JUST TOLD ME TODAY ON 03/24/2009 THAT HE COULD AND HAD THE RIGHT TO TO A HOUSE SEARCH AND THAT IF I HAD A COMPUTER HERE COULD JUST SEACH IT ANY TIME HE WANTED IF HE SO CHOSE ,,,, I AM WILLING TO STAND UP SAY I DID WRONG AND TAKE THE PUNNISHMENT i HAVE DONE EVERYTHING I AM SUPPOSED TO BUT THE RULES SEEM NOT TO MATTER WHO CAN HELP ME FIGHT FOR MY RIGHTS AS A HUMAN BEING HECK I CANT EVEN GET A JOB ITS BEEN A YEAR NOW SINCE I HAD A JOB I GOT THE TIME TO FIGHT THE WILLINGNESS TO DEFEND MYSELF FOR THE GOOD I HAVE DONE WERE DO I GO FOR HELP LEGAL AID ??? WERE CAN I GO IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE I AM A ONE TIME OFFENDER I THINK IF YOU GET A SECOND CHANCE DON`T MESS IT UP , BUT THE LAWS DON`T GIVE ME A CHANCE AT ALL NO RIGHTS , NO JOB , NOWHERE TO GO NOTHING TO DO AND IF I WERE TO SCREW UP EVEN BY JUST FORGETTING A RULE I PERSONALY HAVE NEVER SEEN AND COPS CAN IGNORE COURT RULINGS THERE ARE NO RIGHTS

Posted by: scott | Mar 24, 2009 9:14:59 PM

I am a survivor of child sexual abuse. I do not feel a "person" who sexually abuses anyone, regardless of age, should feel they can have "rights". I didn't have any while I was being molested by someone I was suppose to trust. I am a student at a local community college and have chosen to use this subject for one of my papers. I wish for everyone to feel the same as I do. I feel only the guilty won't agree.

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Posted by: pandora bracelets | Nov 4, 2010 10:54:52 PM

I am currently in school to become a paralegal and perhaps an attorney I agree with Scott on this my daughter was molested by her grandfather for years and when we finally found out about it and inform the proper authorities they tell us how hard it is to prosecute people that molest children I personally thing anyone who molest a child deserves to be castrated or there hole closed I understand that you have done your time and you may be a changed person if so what is the harm in letting them check if the feel they need to if you have nothing to hide then what is the problem of letting them check. All of the victims have to live with what was done to them for the rest of there lives and face depression and some commit suicide but you want to cry because they want to be able to try to keep you from even being tempted to do it again seriously??????

Posted by: Shawna | Oct 26, 2011 9:10:12 PM

Whoever said it is hard to prosecute has it wrong. It is incredibly easy to prosecute an alleged sex offender and that is a big problem as more and more are wrongfully convicted because people cannot get their heads around "child predator" or "sex offender" to allow themselves to rationally judge the facts instead of the label.

I feel bad for victims but to the person wishing everyone could feel like them, that is an evil brought from a desire for vengeance they will not have unless they let it go and get on with their lives. There is no such thing as closure by dwelling on the past as the past cannot be changed. Only by moving past it with good goals will show your strength and solid resolve that the perpetrator has no hold on you anymore. That is closure.

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