Tuesday, January 4, 2011

RI - State police get grant, if Assembly alters sex-offender law

Original Article

01/03/2011

By W. ZACHARY MALINOWSKI

PROVIDENCE - On the final day of 2010, the state police received a $203,000 grant that allows the authorities to change the way the state registers sex offenders and notifies the community about where they are living.

The grant is part of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act (Wikipedia), named after a boy who was abducted and killed by a serial sex offender in Florida.
- This is a lie.  It was never proven Ottis Toole committed this crime, or even a sex offender, let alone a serial sex offender.

But first, the state General Assembly needs to pass legislation that will allow the Adam Walsh Act to take hold in Rhode Island. Top law enforcement officials are hopeful that passage comes this year.

"The Rhode Island State Police urges the General Assembly to act quickly to consider implementation of the Adam Walsh Act," said Col. Brendan P. Doherty, superintendent of the state police. "Rhode Island will join with many states across the country that have taken the monitoring of sex offenders in our communities more seriously."

The funding will allow Rhode Island to use a "tier-based classification," of sex offenders and a state-run web-based notification system instead of relying on notification within the community. It also will permit the authorities to disseminate notices on juvenile offenders and consolidate information on sex offenders between the state police and local departments.


Office of the Attorney General; Applicability of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act

Original Article

This is only two parts of this large article. Click the link above to read the entire article.

12/29/2010

Summary:
By this rule, the Department of Justice is finalizing an interim rule specifying that the requirements of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, title I of Public Law 109-248, apply to all sex offenders, including sex offenders convicted of the offense for which registration is required before the enactment of that Act.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
The Department of Justice by this publication is finalizing an interim rule regarding the scope of application of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), title I of Public Law 109-248 (codified at 42 U.S.C. 16901 et seq.). The interim rule, Applicability of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, was published on February 28, 2007, at 72 FR 8894. The interim rule solicited public comments and the comment period ended on April 30, 2007.Show citation box

The preamble to the interim rule explained that SORNA establishes national standards for sex offender registration and notification. The preamble further explained that SORNA's requirements are of two sorts. First, SORNA directly imposes registration obligations on sex offenders as a matter of federal law and provides for federal enforcement of these obligations under circumstances supporting federal jurisdiction. These federal registration obligations on sex offenders have been in force since the enactment of SORNA. Second, SORNA establishes minimum national standards for non-federal jurisdictions to incorporate in their sex offender registration and notification programs. The relevant “jurisdictions” as defined by SORNA are the 50 States, the District of Columbia, the principal territories, and Indian tribes to the extent provided in 42 U.S.C. 16927. See 42 U.S.C. 16911(10). Jurisdictions that do not substantially implement SORNA's requirements in their programs within the time specified by SORNA are subject to a 10% reduction of certain justice assistance funding. SORNA affords jurisdictions a three-year period for substantial implementation of the SORNA standards, subject to extension for up to an additional two years in the Attorney General's discretion. See 42 U.S.C. 16924-25.Show citation box

The preamble to the interim rule took the position that SORNA applies of its own force to all sex offenders regardless of when they were convicted of their sex offenses. It also stated that rule making was immediately necessary to “foreclos[e] any dispute as to whether SORNA is applicable where the conviction for the predicate sex offense occurred prior to the enactment of SORNA.” 72 FR at 8896. The rule noted that this issue was “of fundamental importance to the initial operation of SORNA, and to its practical scope for many years, since it determines the applicability of SORNA's requirements to virtually the entire existing sex offender population.”Id. In light of these considerations, the Attorney General exercised his rule making authority under SORNA, see 42 U.S.C. 16912(b), 16913(d); 28 CFR 72.1, to specify that “[t]he requirements of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act apply to all sex offenders, including sex offenders convicted of the offense for which registration is required prior to the enactment of that Act.” 28 CFR 72.3; see 72 FR at 8896.Show citation box

In issuing the interim rule, the Attorney General determined that there was good cause for receiving public comment after, rather than before, the rule's initial publication and for dispensing with the normal 30-day delay in effectiveness because of the urgency of eliminating any possible uncertainty regarding SORNA's applicability to sex offenders whose convictions predate SORNA's enactment. See 72 FR at 8896-97. Accordingly, the Attorney General issued the rule as an interim rule with immediate effectiveness. See id. Show citation box

Following the publication of the interim rule, the Attorney General published proposed guidelines to provide guidance and assistance to the states and other jurisdictions in incorporating the SORNA requirements into their sex offender registration and notification programs. See 72 FR 30209 (May 30, 2007). The proposed guidelines solicited public comment and the comment period ended on August 1, 2007. Following consideration of the comments received, the Attorney General issued the final National Guidelines for Sex Offender Registration and Notification (hereafter, the “SORNA Guidelines” or “Guidelines”) on July 2, 2008, appearing at 73 FR 38030. The Guidelines, like the interim rule, state that SORNA applies to all sex offenders regardless of when they were convicted, and they provide guidance to jurisdictions regarding the registration of sex offenders whose convictions predate the enactment of SORNA. See 73 FR at 38031, 38035-36, 38046-47, 38063-64.Show citation box

In United States v. Utesch, 596 F.3d 302, 310-11 (6th Cir. 2010), the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held that the SORNA Guidelines are, independently of the interim rule, a valid final rule providing that SORNA applies to all sex offenders, including those whose convictions predate SORNA. This rule making reflects no disagreement with that conclusion but rather aims to eliminate any possible uncertainty or dispute concerning the scope of SORNA's application by finalizing the interim rule. This publication does not reflect agreement with the conclusions of an earlier decision of the Sixth Circuit holding that the interim rule was invalid at the time of its publication and that SORNA does not apply retroactively of its own force. See United States v. Cain, 583 F.3d 408, 413-24 (6th Cir. 2009).