Sunday, June 24, 2012

Registration is not Punishment for a Crime

When presented with ex post facto challenges to ex-felon registration laws, the Supreme Court agreed with sponsors that those laws were non-penal civil regulations that did not impose additional punishment for a criminal conviction. See, Smith v. Doe, 538 US 84 (2003). Once assured that offenders are not required to appear and register in person, the Court focused on the stigmatizing effect of publishing registrants' data on a public website, which it found acceptable because criminal records were already publicly available at the local court house.