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AG won't appeal sex-offender law ruling

January 1, 2008
The Office of Indiana Attorney General won't appeal a federal court's decision last month that ruled a law requiring sex offenders to allow for blanket consent of computer and home searches is unconstitutional.

Instead of appealing, Attorney General Steve Carter said in a press release Thursday that the office will work with legislators this fall to create a law that will protect children from Internet predators but would not violate the Constitution.

Carter also cited the cost to taxpayers as a factor in the decision, saying it could cost $100,000 or more to appeal the ruling.

On June 24, U.S. District Chief Judge David F. Hamilton of the Southern District of Indiana struck down a major portion of a new law set to take affect July 1 that required registered sex offenders - including those who already served their sentence and aren't on probation or court supervision - to consent to unlimited searches of their homes and computers by authorities.

Two convicted sex offenders who had already served their time filed a class-action lawsuit with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana against prosecutors in the state.

The District Court ruled that portion of the law was unconstitutional and would require those sex offenders to choose between committing a new crime by not consenting and giving up their Fourth Amendment rights to privacy and security in their own homes.
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