Oklahoma’s sex offender registry is about to get a lot shorter due to a state Supreme Court ruling that prohibits the Department of Corrections from retroactively applying sex offender laws.
In 2007, the Oklahoma Legislature passed a new measure that created a three-tiered risk assessment level. That law requires sex offenders to be placed on the registry for 15 years, 25 years or life, depending on their assessment levels.
The problem focuses on offenders who had been convicted, sentenced and placed on the registry prior to the law being approved. In some cases, offenders were ordered to register as a sex offender for 10 years, but DOC officials were using the 2007 law to increase an offender’s time on the sex offender registry.
Now, as many as 2,000 to 3,000 offenders may be entitled to have their names removed from the list thanks to a lawsuit OKC attorney David Slane filed against the corrections department. The DOC lists about 7,700 names on the registry.
However, Slane isn’t optimistic corrections officials will act with due haste.
Instead, the local attorney predicts most of the offenders will have to receive a court order removing their name from the registry.