The Supreme Court heard oral arguments on May 8 that the sex offender public registry has become so oppressive it constitutes an unconstitutional retroactive punishment. The constitution bars imposing a new punishment that did not exist at the time of the crime.
A bill written by Citizens for Criminal Justice Reform to ban residency restrictions against sex offenders got a semi respectful kiss of death this week in the Senate Judiciary Committee. It voted 5-0 to send the proposal to interim study, but the Senate is not doing any interim studies this year.
Today, New Hampshire’s Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case that will turn on the basic constitutional principle that criminal laws cannot be retroactive, thus punishing someone for an act that was legal at the time. Nor can the punishment for a crime be changed after the fact.
An in-depth analysis created by Penn State Journal of Law & International Affairs