April 7, 2012

Has the state of Missouri voted to come out of compliance with the Adam Walsh Act?

4-7-2012 National:

The buzz for the past week have been what the title of this post says, but is that correct or is something missing? It all seems to have started with this news article "Missouri House endorses changes to sex offender registry, allows petitions for removal" (I'm preserving the full article is at the end of this post).

Effectively the article says: The Missouri HOUSE passed a bill (HB 1700) which made changes to its sex offender laws. I see no mention of why its House did what it did, nothing zip. And, Missouri's Senate has yet to vote on that bill.

Assuming no Senate action, we need to look at what the House approved, and decide if there MAY BE a reason other than a purpose, to come out of compliance with the Adam Walsh Act.

Missouri State Constitution:

Section 1. That all political power is vested in and derived from the people; that all government of right originates from the people, is founded upon their will only, and is instituted solely for the good of the whole.

Section 13. That no ex post facto law, nor law impairing the obligation of contracts, or retrospective in its operation, or making any irrevocable grant of special privileges or immunities, can be enacted.
News Article citing this case: Part Of Missouri's Sex Offender Law Ruled Unconstitutional "He successfully argued it would be unconstitutional for the state to force his client out of his home. The judge writes "Section 566.147, as amended in 2006, violates Article 1 & 13 of the Missouri Constitution and Article 1 &10 of the United States Constitution as a punitive ex post facto law that is retrospective in operation that disadvantages those offenders who lived within 1000 feet of a school or day care center at the time of its amendment, like Plaintiff, and intends to criminalize Plaintiff's and other similarly situated offenders' residency." Judge Joyce writes "Section 566.147 as amended in 2006, violates the Due Process Clause of the Missouri and United States Constitutions by depriving Plaintiff and those similarly situated of their property without notice and an opportunity to be heard." Judge Joyce writes "As a result of this court declaring and finding 566.147, as amended in 2006, unconstitutional under both the United States and Missouri Constitutions, it is further ordered, adjudged and decreed, that the state of Missouri Department of Corrections is hereby permanently enjoined from enforcing the law against plaintiff and all other similarly situated offenders...""
That Missouri law (Section 566.147) violated the Missouri Constitution, which has a strange provision, "or retrospective in its operation", that sometimes covers civil matters. Could the Missouri House changes be, because AWA would have made them out of compliance with their State Constitution?

OR, read what I propose...

Before answering that, what does the Adam Walsh Act have to say about changes that would violate a States Constitution?

(1) IN GENERAL.—When evaluating whether a jurisdiction has substantially implemented this title, the Attorney General shall consider whether the jurisdiction is unable to substantially implement this title because of a demonstrated inability to implement certain provisions that would place the jurisdiction in violation of its constitution, as determined by a ruling of the jurisdiction’s highest court.

(2) EFFORTS.—If the circumstances arise under paragraph (1), then the Attorney General and the jurisdiction shall make good faith efforts to accomplish substantial implementation of this title and to reconcile any conflicts between this title and the jurisdiction’s constitution. In considering whether compliance with the requirements of this title would likely violate the jurisdiction’s constitution or an interpretation thereof by the jurisdiction’s highest court, the Attorney General shall consult with the chief executive and chief legal officer of the jurisdiction concerning the jurisdiction’s interpretation of the jurisdiction’s constitution and rulings thereon by the jurisdiction’s highest court.

(3) ALTERNATIVE PROCEDURES.—If the jurisdiction is unable to substantially implement this title because of a limitation imposed by the jurisdiction’s constitution, the Attorney General may determine that the jurisdiction is in compliance with this Act if the jurisdiction has made, or is in the process of implementing reasonable alternative procedures or accommodations, which are consistent with the purposes of this Act.
Hummmm, AWA will not allow a state to violate its own constitution, could that be why the Missouri House made the changes it did? Maybe the AWA changes would force Missouri to violate its constitution (violate the "or retrospective in its operation" provision like the above court case mentioned). Honestly, I really do not know WHY the Missouri House made those changes.

So, here I merely challenge the alleged reason the Missouri House made the changes it made, but also leave open, that, it could be to "come out of compliance." But, based on that news article there is not enough evidence -in these eyes- to support "coming out of compliance."

What do you folks think NOW? I'm all ears...

For now have a great day and a better tomorrow.

Missouri House endorses changes to sex offender registry, allows petitions for removal

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Republican-led Missouri House gave first round approval Tuesday to legislation that would allow some people eventually to be removed from the state's sex offender registry.

Sponsoring Rep. Rodney Schad said the registry must be sufficiently narrow to be a notification tool and not additional punishment. In recent years, lawmakers have expanded the public sex offender registry.

"We've piled on to the point that the registry no longer means anything to the public," said Schad, R-Versailles. "The public has become numb to the registry."

Under the legislation, several offenses no longer would require state registration, including promoting obscenity and furnishing pornographic materials. In other cases, people could petition a state trial judge to be removed if they meet certain requirements. Petitions for removal could be filed after 20 years for those convicted of particularly serious offenses such as forcible rape, forcible sodomy or child molestation — crimes that Schad labeled as the "seven deadly sins." People convicted of other sex offenses would need to wait 10 years before they could seek removal.

The local prosecutor, who would need to be notified by the person making the request, could present evidence suggesting some requirements for removal had not been met. Prosecutors also would need to make "reasonable efforts" to notify the victim of the sex offense of the dates and times for court hearings on the petition. Requests for removal would be granted unless the person has not properly registered, committed another offense requiring registration or failed to complete probation and sex offender treatment programs.

Lawmakers endorsed the legislation by voice vote during an evening session with few people watching from the public galleries. The measure needs another vote before moving to the state Senate. There was little apparent opposition to the measure, and Schad said the legislation was discussed at night to avoid conducting the debate in front of the many children who visit the state Capitol during the day on school field trips.

Besides allowing people to be removed from the registry, the legislation also would exclude juveniles who are required to register as sex offenders from the public list posted online.

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