Yesterday, the New Jersey Supreme Court found that 2014 changes to the “community supervision for life” component of sex offender registration, which included enhanced punishment, could not be applied retroactively against 4 registrants whose offenses pre-dated the changed law.

In finding the laws violate the ex post facto provisions of the NJ and Federal Constitution, the court held:

“The Federal and State Ex Post Facto Clauses bar the retroactive application of the 2014 Amendment to defendants’ CSL violations. The 2014 Amendment retroactively increased the punishment for defendants’ earlier committed sex offenses by enhancing the penal ties for violations of the terms of their supervised release. The Amendment, therefore, is an ex post facto law that violates the Federal and State Constitutions as applied to defendants.The Court affirms the judgment of the Appellate Division dismissing defendants’ indictments.”
A copy of the full decision can be found here: https://www.njcourts.gov/attorneys/assets/opinions/supreme/a_91_16.pdf?cacheID=KCFsuXH
The correlation to Florida would be the recently enacted law that increases the punishment for a registration violation to include a mandatory minimum sentence of 6 months probation with GPS monitoring. In the words of the court, “a law that retroactively imposes additional punishment to an already completed crime disadvantages a defendant”.

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