NOTE: It has been brought to out attention that the people will be removed automatically by the police department, and you do not need to go to court or hire a lawyer to get yourself removed, if you fit the criteria. If you visit the Oklahoma sex offender registry, it says the following:
Oklahoma Supreme Court Order in Starkey v. The Oklahoma Department of Corrections and Justin Jones as Director
On June 25, 2013, the Oklahoma Supreme Court entered an Order in Starkey v. The Oklahoma Department of Corrections and Justin Jones as Director, Case No. 109,556. In accordance with the Starkey decision, the Oklahoma Department of Corrections is diligently reviewing all registrants on the Oklahoma Sex Offender Registry and will be removing offenders that are determined to be subject to the opinion. A Court Order will not be required for removal of offenders that are subject to the holding in the Starkey case. Please allow a reasonable time for this review as there are currently more than 7,000+ offenders on the Oklahoma Sex Offender Registry and each one must be reviewed individually.
By Courtney Francisco
OKLAHOMA CITY – An estimated thousands of sex offenders will no longer have to register with the State Department of Corrections. The State Supreme Court ruled their punishments unconstitutional Tuesday.
The Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional because the convicted sex offenders were still required to register as sex offenders years after they served their full punishment. [name withheld] committed a crime that changed his life longer than he ever expected.
“I wish I wouldn’t have done it,” said [name withheld].
He says he peeked over a tanning bed salon wall in 1998. At that time, the court required he register as a sex offender for ten years. It’s been 15 years, and he is still registering.
“That’s a price I’m paying,” said [name withheld]. “I just wish it hadn’t gone this long.”
In 2007, the law changed, requiring sex offenders to register anywhere from 15 years to a lifetime. The Oklahoma Department of Corrections applied that to everyone, even if they were convicted before the law.
“You can’t pass a law today and say something was illegal yesterday,” said Attorney David Slane. “There’s a real due process problem. So when they did that, that’s what became unconstitutional.”
- It's called an ex post facto law, which is forbidden by the US and state constitutions.
The Supreme Court agrees with Slane. Now, things will change. There are nearly 8,000 sex offenders in our state. Slane estimates 3,000 will be taken off the list. That does cause concern for some, but Slane says he isn’t concerned for anyone’s safety.
“Just because we have them on a list doesn’t mean they can’t commit another crime,” explained Slane.
As for [name withheld], the Supreme Court’s ruling means he can move forward.
“That was a happy moment for me,” said [name withheld]. “I started calling my sister, calling friends.”
The Department of Corrections says it expects to start pulling people from the registry in the next month.