Part of state sex offender registry is unconstitutional, Alaska Supreme Court says

Jun 25, 2019

The Alaska Supreme Court ruled that part of the state's sex offender registry was unconstitutional, saying it did not give some offenders an opportunity to prove they were no longer a public risk. (Photo by Tripp J Crouse)

The Alaska Supreme Court ruled that part of the state’s sex offender registry violates offenders’ rights to due process – and is unconstitutional.

Under state law people found guilty of many sexual-based offenses – such as sexual assault and even some kidnapping charges -- are required to register as a sex offender.

But the court’s 3-to-2 decision says the registry provides no means for offenders to show they are not a threat to public safety.

At the center of the ruling -- a man accused of sexual battery in Virginia moved to Alaska in January 2003.

He filed a lawsuit in 2016 claiming the state had no authority to require him to register in Alaska and that the law violated his due process rights.

In the majority opinion, the decision says requiring a person convicted elsewhere to register is legal -- but offenders should be allowed to prove they no longer pose a public risk.