By Larry of NARSOL
On June 14, 2023, a court decided the question of whether a “retroactive application of the Sexual or Violent Offender Registration Act violated the prohibition against ex post facto punishment in Article II, Section 31 of the Montana Constitution.”
Larry says that “states appear to be unable to help themselves, continually piling on more requirements that transform what was originally a relatively benign regulatory system into something clearly punitive.”
As difficult as it has been for people on the sex offender registry to live with a growing number of harsh and punitive regulations, the silver lining is that states are turning what was once considered nonpunitive regulations in the late 90’s into a system of unconstitutional and inhumane laws. Even FDLE has warned our Florida Legislators in Tallahassee that if more registry requirements are added, courts will most assuredly start ruling the whole registry is unconstitutional – a fact that we already know to be true.
As so often has happened in the past, in 2003 the Montana Supreme Court issued a decision that Montana’s Sexual or Violent Offender Registration Act was not punitive. This same court has ruled this summer that registrants are being “placed under a probationary surveillance system in perpetuity which is designed to facilitate social ostracism.”
Thank you, Larry, for keeping everyone updated on this recent win.