Colorado Sex Crime Attorney Blog

Denver Sex Offender Registration | Judge Pronounces Sex Offender Registration Act Unconstitutional

Posted by Kyle B. Sawyer | Sep 05, 2017 | 0 Comments

A federal judge recently ruled the Colorado Sex Offender Registration Act as unconstitutional because it is a cruel and unusual punishment. Read more here.

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Convictions for most sexual offenses like Sexual Assault, Sexual Assault on a Child, and Unlawful Sexual Contact, require registration, including lifetime registration as a sex offender. That requirement was recently challenged in the Denver U.S. District Court after 3 men who are required to register filed a suit that claimed registering as a sex offender violates the U.S. Constitution's 8th Amendment cruel and unusual punishment clause. Colorado legislators in Adams and Jefferson County have maintained that the Sex Offender Registration Act is not punitive, but a measure taken to protect the community. The judge, however, found that the act causes those required to register and their families to face the threat of retribution. He said it opens offenders to punitive measures taken by the public, not under state law. He cited the 8th Amendment prohibition of public embarrassment or ostracizing, as cruel and unusual punishment.

What Does This Mean for Registering as a Sex Offender in Arapahoe or Douglas County?

In my opinion as an experienced criminal defense attorney handling cases that often require sex offender registration in Denver, Arapahoe, and Douglas County, this seems to be a step in the right direction. Whenever an extremely harsh law or act is challenged, it's good to see that some judges don't worry about politics, and can give an unbiased opinion and judgment. In this case, the court found that there was an ongoing punishment to people convicted of a sex offense – some facing the anguish for the rest of their lives. It seems that the main issue is the public access to the registration requirement, not the act of registering as a sex offender.

Modifying the Sex Offender Registration Act: No Public Access to the Sex Offender Registry Next Step in Denver?

The fact is, the recidivism rate is low among sexual offenders. There is no reason why law enforcement couldn't have access to this information, without it being shared with the public. We don't have a registry for other crimes, like drug possession or even violent crimes, so why should there be one for this one type of offense? Most of our clients who have been charged with a sex offense are good people who made a bad choice. However, the Sex Offender Registration Act doesn't allow them to pay for their crime and move forward. It effectually gives them a lifetime sentence.

If you or a loved one has been charged with a sexual crime, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and contact the best criminal defense attorneys from the O'Malley Law Office at 303-830-0880 today. Together, we can protect your future.

About the Author

Kyle B. Sawyer

I have a passion for defending others in criminal cases. I am able to empathize with my clients and understand their emotions and fears. I have a unique perspective on the criminal justice system and I understand what it feels like to be wrongly accused of a crime.


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