ILNews

Federal suit targets new sex-offender law

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2008
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The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana filed a federal suit Thursday against every state prosecutor and sheriff's office, hoping to stop them from enforcing a new sex-offender law set to begin July 1.

Specifically, the class action suit challenges a provision of the new law that will require those registered on the statewide registry to give blanket consent for searches of their computers.

The challenge comes less than two weeks after Gov. Mitch Daniels signed into law the measure that hails from Senate Bill 258, entailing a larger pack of restrictions against convicted sex offenders and violent offenders. Those individuals would have to also provide authorities with any e-mail addresses they have, and some would be required to wear Global Positioning System devices.

Those registered offenders would have to sign a consent form agreeing to searches of computers or Internet-enabled devices at any time. They would also have to install Internet-monitoring software at their own expense.

"The amendment (to Indiana Code 11-8-8-8) represents a flagrant violation of the Fourth Amendment and is unconstitutional," the suit says.

The suit was filed on behalf of a Marion County man using the name "John Doe" and a 41-year-old Scott County resident named Steven Morris. Doe was released from prison in 1999, isn't on probation, parole, or supervised release, and must register for life on the statewide registry; the suit gives no information regarding the crime or crimes of which he was convicted. Morris was convicted of child molesting and sexual misconduct with a minor; he is also not under any supervision and is required to register for life, the suit says.

The two plaintiffs use their home computers for financial transactions and business purposes, and neither wants to give blanket permission for the searches, the suit says.
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  1. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  2. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

  3. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

  4. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  5. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

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