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November 5, 2009

Ohio Supreme Court hears challenge to state's new sex offender registration rules

As detailed in this local article, which is headlined "Lawyers fight law on sex offenders before Ohio Supreme Court," the latest legal battle over the latest sex offender laws is taking place in my own backyard.  Here are the basics:

Thousands of registered sex offenders would be subject to less-stringent reporting requirements if defense lawyers succeed in challenging parts of a 2007 state law intended to crack down on sexual criminals.

The attorneys told the Ohio Supreme Court today that the get-tough law was applied illegally to more than 26,000 sex offenders who were sentenced before it took effect. In addition, the lawyers said, the measure penalizes people who commit sex offenses before they turn 18 by requiring them to continue to register as sex offenders well into adulthood.

The state's highest court heard four cases today challenging Senate Bill 10, which created a new system for classifying sex offenders based more on the severity of the crime than the likelihood of committing future offenses. More than half of the offenders were placed in the most-serious category — sexual predators — who are required to register every 90 days for life.

Jeffrey M. Gamso, a Toledo lawyer who argued one of the cases, said the law had more to do with securing federal funding under the Adam Walsh Act than protecting Ohioans....

State Sen. Timothy J. Grendell, R-Chesterland, said the law makes it easier for the public to monitor the whereabouts of registered sex offenders on the Internet and through mandatory notices to neighbors.   "The policy decision, from my perspective, was based on protecting public safety," Grendell said.  "The timing was based on us being told we'd get an additional 10 percent (in Adam Walsh funding) if we did this by a certain time. We would not make public policy just to get money."

November 5, 2009 at 12:39 AM | Permalink


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Talk about bad timing. Reminds me of Airplane!: "Looks like I picked a bad week to quit sniffing glue."

"Looks like a picked a bad week to argue against retroactive application of sexual predator laws in Ohio."

Posted by: anon | Nov 5, 2009 9:32:12 AM

anon, my thoughts exactly. The Ohio S.Ct., with elected justices, is not going to be too keen on ruling in favor of the defendants given the recent events occurring 2 hours north of Columbus.

Posted by: DEJ | Nov 5, 2009 12:03:53 PM

Listen, I am a mom of two young girls and they mean the world to me. Yes, some instance with sex offenders, should be reported to the community, but if you all stop and think most of the sex offenders are not bad people. I know of about ten- twelve in Licking county where I live that, got charged with every sexual relations with someone under 18. How many of you are the same age as you spouse? Probably not very many.So if you are more then 2 years about in the state of ohio you could be considered a sex offender the only difference is you didn't get caught. Have you ever stopped and realized that. Now, if the person is 30 or so having sex with a 13-14 year old that is different, but just stop to think about this. Thank you

Posted by: Kathryn | Dec 9, 2009 9:16:50 PM

This is going to do nothing to help protect the public, yet it will double the amount of those that have to register. Even if they served their time before the law came about, It could cause many to think , if I am going to have to serve time again , then why not break the law and give them a reason to make me serve again. If they can do this to people after they have completed their time, then who is next, to be punished again for their past. No one is safe from the Changing laws...of our Goverment..You right to persue happiness is no longer a factor.

Posted by: people's rights | Jan 20, 2010 11:01:50 PM

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