The following is a Law Review Article that appeared in the Arizona State Law Journal.
Thanks to Prof. Tamara Rice Lave (Co-Counsel on the Ex Post Facto Plus Challenge) for writing it.
In this Article, I consider ways in which Arizona’s laws regarding sex offenders should be reformed. I begin by focusing on laws that are designed to deal with the danger posed by convicted sex offenders: registration requirements, residence restrictions, and civil commitment. I contend that the state has overstated the risk posed by convicted sex offenders and that the laws meant to control them may do more harm than good. Next, I turn to police sexual violence. I argue that the state needs to go further in criminalizing this abhorrent conduct in order to promote the rule of law and protect vulnerable persons.
I. LAWS DESIGNED TO CONTROL CONVICTED SEX OFFENDERS
I start this Part by considering the motive for laws controlling sex offenders: fear. I then discuss studies that show convicted sex offenders actually pose a significantly lower risk of reoffending than most people believe. Finally, I turn to the three primary laws Arizona uses to control sex offenders: registration requirements, residency restrictions, and civil commitment.