March 19, 2004
"This decision by the federal appeals court confirms what we have been saying for years, that the state is not violating any of the rights of convicted sex offenders by keeping track of them and by giving information about them to the public," Renkes added. "The public has a right to information needed to protect itself," he said.
The opinion issued Thursday in the case of Doe v. Tandeske said that the law does not violate the due process rights of convicted sex offenders. The plaintiffs in the case made two claims: first, that the State could not require them to register without proving that they posed an actual danger to the community; and second, that the registration law infringed their fundamental interests in life and liberty. In rejecting both claims in a five-page opinion, the Ninth Circuit concluded that the law is rationally related to its purpose of protecting the public, and that convicted sex offenders have no right to be free of the registration and public notice requirements of the law. The state's sex offender registration internet website is one of the most widely-used state websites.
This opinion is a follow-up to the State's successful effort last year in the same case in the United States Supreme Court, which rejected other challenges to the registration system. According to Assistant Attorney General Ken Rosenstein, who handled the case, Thursday's decision should effectively bring this case, which started in 1994, to a close.
Source of News Release: