FC: U.S. Supreme Court to hear case over Internet list of sex offenders

From: Declan McCullagh (declanat_private)
Date: Wed Feb 20 2002 - 09:59:59 PST

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       High court mulls legality of online sex offender lists
       WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to consider the
       constitutionality of Internet registries listing the names of
       convicted sex offenders who long ago completed their punishment.
       The ruling could affect sex offender laws in about a dozen states that
       publish the names, addresses or other personal information about
       convicted sex offenders on the Internet. The question is how far
       states may go in requiring previously convicted sex offenders to be
       included in a state registry that is available to anyone.
       The court accepted an appeal from Alaska, where part of the state's
       sex offender law was struck down last year.
       Alaska's sex-offender law, modeled after New Jersey's pioneering
       "Megan's Law," allows the public to track known sex offenders. All
       states have some version of a sex-offender law.
       In general, such laws have withstood court challenges if they were
       narrowly directed at improving public safety. It is unconstitutional
       to punish someone twice for the same crime.
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