A few reality points: This is an -as applied to him- ruling, and the court did not declare the entire registry or their sex offender laws unconstitutional. Also, this was not a class action, hence only applicable to Mr. Smith, other would have to return to THE SAME LOWER COURT to get their own ruling. See earlier report.2-2-2011 Louisiana:
An appellate court has ruled that the state cannot require a West Feliciana Parish man to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life or carry a special driver’s license and identification card.
The ruling by a three-judge panel of Louisiana’s 1st Circuit Court of Appeal overturns a District Court judge’s ruling against Jimmy L. Smith, who was convicted of indecent behavior with a juvenile and carnal knowledge of a juvenile when he was 19.
Charles Griffin II, Smith’s attorney, said Smith served his sentence for the 1995 convictions, completed his probation and complied with post-release registration requirements for a 10-year period after he was released from prison.
Smith said authorities told him in 2009 that he would have to register again as a sex offender for the rest of his life because the law had changed after he was convicted.
Smith complied, but challenged the order in 20th Judicial District Court. Unless the state decides to challenge the ruling, Griffin said, Smith will be able to get a driver’s license without “sex offender” written on it in orange letters.
Driver’s licenses for sex offenders must be renewed annually.
The opinion, issued Friday by Judges Vanessa G. Whipple, Jefferson D. Hughes III and Jewel E. “Duke” Welch, says case records show that Smith fulfilled his duty to register as a sex offender for the period of time that was applicable when he was convicted.
The opinion says Louisiana’s version of “Megan’s Law,” has a legitimate civil purpose to alert and protect the public from sex offenders who might offend again.
In Smith’s case, however, the amendments adopted after his conviction are “so punitive in effect as to transform what was intended as a civil remedy into an additional punishment for him.”
The retroactive application of amendments to the law violates the U.S. and Louisiana constitutions, the opinion says. ..Source.. by James Minton