August 4, 2013

SJC to review new sex-convict notification legislation

8-4-2013 Massachusetts:

A newly adopted law established this month to release information on moderate-risk sex offenders online is on hold until the state can determine whether it's fair and constitutional.

State Supreme Judicial Court Associate Justice Ralph D. Gants temporarily stopped the effects of the law Thursday when he reviewed a request for an injunction from the Committee for Public Counsel Services, an appointed group tasked with overseeing the legal representation of indigent persons in civil and criminal matters. The case must now be reviewed by the Judicial Supreme Court bench in August for an official ruling, and stops thousands of convicted felons' names, faces and addresses from going up on the Web.

The law in question, originally drafted by Democratic Westford state Rep. James Arciero and signed by Gov. Deval Patrick July 12, was drafted with the intent of making details only previously available through local police departments readily published online on the Sex Offender Registry Board Website. Information is already listed there for Level 3 offenders -- considered to be at the highest risk for committing their crimes again -- while Level 2 persons, of moderate risk, are not.
..continued.. by Samantha Allen

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