The California Coalition on Sexual Offending (CCOSO) a multidisciplinary organization which includes mental health professionals, attorneys, probation and parole officers, group home staff and administrators, polygraph examiners, law enforcement officers, and victim advocates has sent a letter to Governor Schwarzenegger opposing the Sexual Predator Punishment and Control Act – Jessica’s Law Initiative.
“The ABA opposed those provisions of the Adam Walsh Act (SORNA) that apply to juvenile offenders. A large percentage of “sex offenses” occur within families and do not rise to the level of sexual predation that is the target of the Act. The "Lifetime Registration" provisions of the Act are likely to have a chilling effect on the reporting of these crimes and will reduce admissions (guilty pleas) to the charges in the cases that do get reported.”
Agues why SORNA Should Not Be Applied Retroactively to Children and Youth Adjudicated within the Juvenile Court System: 1) The Attorney General “underestimates how difficult it would be for the states to apply the mandates of the Act retroactively.” 2) CJJ asserts the retroactivity runs afoul of fundamental fairness. At the time of disposition, neither the judge nor the juvenile nor the prosecuting or defending attorney were proceeding with the expectation that the child’s adjudication would trigger the additional sanction of registering for 25 years to life as a sex offender.
American Prosecutors Research Institute (written in 2006) provides an overview of how, state legislatures have implemented sex offender registration for those adjudicated delinquent in juvenile courts, and how appellate courts have construed those requirements. In so doing, this article aims to demonstrate the protections for juvenile offenders that are stake with the SORNA Act’s passage.
The Tribal Court Clearing House summarizes the implications of SORNA on Indian Tribes. “Non PL 280 tribes that do not pass a tribal resolution by July 27, 2007 will automatically delegate jurisdiction over sex offender registration to the state.”
This Brief, filed by National Association of Social Worker and numerous victim advocacy agencies, argues on behalf of the petitioner in Kennedy v. Louisiana stating that the court should eliminate the death penalty for child rape as it harms, rather than helps abused children. They assert that permitting the death penalty : will worsen the problem of under- reporting sexual abuse Will increase the incentives that child molesters have to kill their victims Will magnify the trauma that child victims already experience in the criminal court process Would equate the severity of that crime with the most egregious murders, thus impeding victim's recovery
Kennedy v Louisiana (6-25-2008). This 5-to-4 Supreme Court decision found the death penalty unconstitutional for cases of child rape. The decision overturned death penalty laws in Louisiana and five other states.
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers argues “The interim rule violates the ex post facto clause; The extensive community notification provisions of SORNA publicly disgrace and humiliate the registered offender in his or her community; SORNA imposes affirmative restraints and disabilities on the offender; will cause widespread confusion and may tend to destabilize offenders who have paid their debt to society and are living productive, non-offending lifestyles.”
National Association to End Sexual Violence’s legislative analysis states that they are “concerned that the political discussion surrounding sex offender management issues, both on the national and state level, has become greatly skewed towards efforts to increase penalties for offenders and create more restrictive offender management programs in lieu of addressing the underlying issues which lead to sex offending behavior.” The document analyzes sections of the SORNA act stating the position.
National Conference of State Legislature’s summary of P.L. 109-248 (AKA SORNA, AKA Adam Walsh Child Protection Act) is an easy to read, 5 page document that provides a section by section summary of the act.
This report from The Human Rights Watch illuminates research on sex offender registration, community notification, and residency restriction laws demonstrating that they are ill-considered, poorly crafted, and may cause more harm than good.
Adam Walsh Act (SORNA) Part I gives a brief overview of the Adam Walsh Act and suggests some (certainly not all) legal challenges that can be raised to its provisions.
Part II “describes SORNA’s complex requirements, tries to predict how the law might operate, and suggests some challenges it appears to invite.”
PART II supplement provides updated legal information after AG’s interim ruling on SORNA.
Amendments to sex offender registration laws enacted after defendant's duty to register began could be applied retroactively, as registration is not punishment. But residency restrictions and GPS monitoring requirements apply prospectively only.
The Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending Registering and Tracking office SMART Office was created to administer the national standards for sex offender registration and notification and to assist registration jurisdictions in their implementation. It is within the US Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs. This 49 page document is their proposed guidelines
This 27 page analysis is a complete section by section analysis of the entire bill.
This 71 page document is the entire SORNA. Some of the features of this act: 1. Expands The National Sex Offender Registry. 2. Imposes tough mandatory minimum penalties for the most serious crimes against children. 3. Provides grants to states for civil commitment of dangerous sex offenders 4. Authorizes and funds a regional Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce
The Department of Justice answers 36 questions about the SORNA
The court held that the application of the three-strikes law resulted in a constitutionally excessive penalty.