Monday, October 22, 2012

NJ - Former cop (Joseph Schubert Jr.) convicted of sex assault does not have to register as sex offender, court rules

Original Article

Of course not! Got to protect the good ole' boys. If this were the average citizen, they'd get prison time. So much for holding them to a "higher" standard! You will also notice, in many cases, when it's a police/probation officer, they withhold their photo, were your photo would be splashed all over the place.


By MaryAnn Spoto

BELMAR — A former New York City police officer who sexually assaulted his neighbor in Belmar more than a dozen years ago does not have to register for lifetime community supervision under Megan's Law because correcting his sentence years after he already completed it constitutes double jeopardy, a divided state Supreme Court ruled today.
- So what about all the other people who have had their punishment increased?  That is double jeopardy as well!  Laws are suppose to be applied equally to everyone!

Joseph Schubert Jr., 42, should have been placed under lifetime community supervision when he was sentenced for sexual assault in June 2000, but the trial judge in Monmouth County never informed him of this requirement in Megan's Law and did not impose it at sentencing, the state's high court noted it is 4-2 decision.

The state Parole Board discovered the judge's error in 2007, four years after Schubert had completed his three-year probation term. Correcting the illegal sentence, the trial judge in 2008 imposed the lifetime supervision provision, but Schubert appealed, claiming it violated his constitutional protection against double jeopardy because he had long completed his sentence. An appellate panel agreed it was double jeopardy.

Adopting the appellate division's conclusion, the Supreme Court said (PDF) today double jeopardy would not have applied if lifetime supervision was considered remedial to the defendant. But in the 27-page opinion written by Judge Dorothea Wefing, the majority on the court found the provision to be punitive, giving Schubert the constitutional protection.

Justices Helen Hoens and Anne Patterson disagreed, arguing the lifetime supervision provision is not punitive. With that finding, they said, the involuntary commitment of sex offenders to longer prison terms or indefinite sentences has been upheld by the courts as lawful would be considered punitive. In the 18-page dissenting opinion written by Hoens, they said it's long been established by the court that an illegal sentence can be corrected at any time, even if it increases the sentence for the defendant.


g4change said...

PLEASE tell me that this will serve as a legal precedent for all such cases!!!

Babachet said...

All NJ folks who are on the registry that were put on it back when they started the registry and the judge didn't tell them to register need to hop on this bandwagon. This precedent could be huge for you guys.