104 sex offenders sue Idaho over its registry laws
More than 100 sex offenders are challenging Idaho’s laws that require registration and community notification of sex offenders, saying the laws violate an array of constitutional rights, from the prohibition on double jeopardy to freedom of religion.
Twin Falls lawyer Greg Fuller sued Thursday in Boise federal court on behalf of 104 unnamed sexual offenders, identified as John or Jane Does 1-104. The lawsuit seeks a permanent order to stop the state and its counties from enforcing some portions of the law.
Similar lawsuits have been filed in other states, including Nevada and Illinois.
The plaintiffs come from across the state and around the country. Most were convicted of sexual offenses in the 1980s and 1990s. One of their major complaints is that amendments since then to Idaho’s sex-offender registry laws amount to retroactive punishment, which is unconstitutional.
For example, John Doe 100, of Bannock County, was convicted of a misdemeanor sexual offense in Montana in 1996. His offense did not require registration in Montana. He moved to Idaho in 2005 and was not required to register until 2007, 11 years after his conviction, when Idaho authorities reclassified his offense as a felony rather than the original misdemeanor.
Another plaintiff, John Doe 80, of Lemhi County, was convicted of a sexual offense there in 1989. He was released from prison in 1993. In 2013, 20 years after being released from custody, he was told he must register for life as an aggravated offender.
John Doe 5, a resident of Texas, was convicted of a sexual offense in Jerome County in 1988. His offense was not considered aggravated until 2009, 21 years after the date of conviction. He is now required to register for life as an aggravated offender.
Here is how the lawsuit says other constitutional guarantees are violated:
Due process: Idaho law is vague, and it reassesses offenders and subjects them to new restrictions without a hearing.
Equal protection: The laws are designed to burden an unpopular group.
Religious freedom: Some churches and other places of worship fall within the places certain sex offenders cannot be, thereby interfering with offenders’ rights to practice religion.
Cruel and unusual punishment: The laws impose excessive punishment, community-notification requirements that can subject sex offenders to violence at the hands of vigilantes.
Double jeopardy: The laws impose new punishments on sex offenders previously convicted based on the crime originally committed.
Contracts: The laws impose new non-negotiated terms on previously negotiated plea agreements.
Takings: The laws place residential and movement restrictions on sex offenders, restricting property rights.
Separation of powers: The laws vacate earlier court judgments setting sex offenders’ classifications, community-notification requirements and length of times sex offenders must register.
The 73-page complaint names more than 35 defendants, including Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, Idaho Department of Correction Director Kevin Kempf, Idaho State Police Director Col. Ralph Powell, and the sheriffs of the 21 counties where the plaintiffs reside.
Wasden declined to comment.
If You Change a Baby’s Diaper in Arizona, You Can Now Be Convicted of Child Molestation Court split on solicitation case
3 thoughts on “104 sex offenders sue Idaho over its registry laws”
Leave a Reply
In this trying time we want to reiterate a few things for our registrants and families. We don't want there to be any confusion or penalties concerning registry requirements during the Coronavirus Pandemic.
Make sure you know current requirements. You can go to your Sheriff's Office website to see if there is new information there. If so, we suggest you do a screen print and save it. Call your registry office to get clarification on any questions you might have. Document the date, time, who you spoke with and their instructions regarding any address change, vehicle, employment, travel dates if required, etc.
Keep in mind if you are required to update your drivers license annually through the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) you should contact them for their status. Some are limiting the number of people allowed inside and you have to wait to receive a call from them and then come back inside. Document any instructions.Be safe, be smart, stay healthy and know we will get through this.
All information is confidential and we do not distribute any data whatsoever.
The W.A.R. Support Line:
Hi I’m from washington state walla walla and was convicted of a crime and was only required to do this for 15 years I move to idaho and been liveing here now for four years and they have me down for a life time register sexoffender I need help with fighting my rights as like every one else who’s wrongly done do to idaho laws.
Hello, Sabrina. Please take the time to read through our WAR National site to find out more. If you would like to contribute to the WAR movement please feel free to call out hotline and speak to them about the things we have going on in your state and how you can become part of our fight against the registry.
I have a similar story as the guy from bannock county,I need help Idaho has ruined my life and my family