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COA affirms sex offender’s removal from registry

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A man convicted of rape in Pennsylvania in 1993 is not required to register as a sex offender in Indiana, the Court of Appeals affirmed Monday.

The court applied the Indiana Supreme Court’s 2009 Wallace v. State opinion in upholding a Porter Superior judge’s ruling in State of Indiana v. Terry J. Hough, 64A05-1203-MI-113. The trial court held that because Terry Hough’s conviction predated the establishment of the registries in Pennsylvania and Indiana, requiring him to register would be a violation of ex post facto laws.

Hough was ordered to serve two to five years in prison, and during his incarceration in 1996, Pennsylvania established its registry. On his release, he was told that he didn’t have to register in that state because he was moving to Indiana. He was told he would have to register in Indiana, which he did.

The state argued that Hough should be required to register because under the current sex offender statute he would be required to register for life as an offender. But the court noted a similar recent case, Burton v. State, 45A03-1201-CR-6 (Nov. 8, 2012 Ind. Ct. App. 2012), was decided on similar ex post facto grounds.

“As a resident of Indiana since 1998, Hough is entitled to the protections afforded to him by the Indiana Constitution. Therefore, even though he would be required to register as a sex offender under Pennsylvania’s laws, Indiana’s law controls,” Judge Paul Mathias wrote for the court. “Because he was convicted of a sex offense before Indiana enacted (the registry), requiring Hough to register as a sex offender would violate Indiana’s constitutional prohibition against ex post facto laws.”

Left unsettled, though, is an offender’s obligation to register under the federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, which the state has argued applies to offenders regardless of the date of their crime. The same argument was posited in Andrews v. State, 29A02-1112-MI-1166 (Nov. 21, 2012 Ind. Ct. App. 2012).

The court in Hough’s case cited the COA’s opinion in Andrews: “While Andrews may have a federal duty to register under USSORNA if he engages in interstate travel, and could be subject to prosecution in federal district court under 18 U.S.C. § 2250, if he fails to do so, this is not the issue before us.”

 

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  1. You can put your photos anywhere you like... When someone steals it they know it doesn't belong to them. And, a man getting a divorce is automatically not a nice guy...? That's ridiculous. Since when is need of money a conflict of interest? That would mean that no one should have a job unless they are already financially solvent without a job... A photographer is also under no obligation to use a watermark (again, people know when a photo doesn't belong to them) or provide contact information. Hey, he didn't make it easy for me to pay him so I'll just take it! Well heck, might as well walk out of the grocery store with a cart full of food because the lines are too long and you don't find that convenient. "Only in Indiana." Oh, now you're passing judgement on an entire state... What state do you live in? I need to characterize everyone in your state as ignorant and opinionated. And the final bit of ignorance; assuming a photo anyone would want is lucky and then how much does your camera have to cost to make it a good photo, in your obviously relevant opinion?

  2. Seventh Circuit Court Judge Diane Wood has stated in “The Rule of Law in Times of Stress” (2003), “that neither laws nor the procedures used to create or implement them should be secret; and . . . the laws must not be arbitrary.” According to the American Bar Association, Wood’s quote drives home this point: The rule of law also requires that people can expect predictable results from the legal system; this is what Judge Wood implies when she says that “the laws must not be arbitrary.” Predictable results mean that people who act in the same way can expect the law to treat them in the same way. If similar actions do not produce similar legal outcomes, people cannot use the law to guide their actions, and a “rule of law” does not exist.

  3. Linda, I sure hope you are not seeking a law license, for such eighteenth century sentiments could result in your denial in some jurisdictions minting attorneys for our tolerant and inclusive profession.

  4. Mazel Tov to the newlyweds. And to those bakers, photographers, printers, clerks, judges and others who will lose careers and social standing for not saluting the New World (Dis)Order, we can all direct our Two Minutes of Hate as Big Brother asks of us. Progress! Onward!

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