Court affirms Megan's laws
Court affirms Megan's laws: Connecticut Dept. of Public
Safety v. Doe, and Smith v. Doe
In two rulings interpreting what are commonly known as
Megan's Laws, the U.S. Supreme Court strongly supported the
dissemination of truthful information, turning back claims by civil
libertarians on behalf of convicted sex offenders.
In a Connecticut case, the court voted 9-0 that the state could
publish on the Internet names, pictures and other information about
sex offenders, even without holding a hearing on whether the
offender was still dangerous.
The court voted 6-3 in a case from Alaska that publishing the
information protected the public safety and did not amount to
punishment beyond the offender's original sentence.
"Our system does not treat dissemination of truthful
information in furtherance of a legitimate governmental objective
as punishment, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the majority in
the Alaska case.
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