ILNews

Justices ready for sex-offender registry issue

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2008
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The Indiana Supreme Court will consider two cases this week asking whether convicted sex offenders can be required to register for life on a statewide database.

The state's highest appeals court will hear a combined argument Thursday in Todd L. Jensen v. State, No. 02A04-0706-CR-351, and Richard P. Wallace v. State, No. 49A02-0706-CR-498. Arguments are set to begin at 9:45 a.m. and can be viewed online through a webcast.

Now, Jensen v. State and Wallace v. State have a combined case number of 02S04-0803-CR-137.

The Jensen case comes from Allen Superior Court, where in 2000 Todd L. Jensen pleaded guilty to various child-related crimes and was required to register as a sex offender for 10 years. But in 2006 - two years after Jensen had been released from probation - Superior Judge Frances Gull determined he should be classified as a sexually violent predator and must register for life on the statewide registry. The Court of Appeals reversed in a December 2007 decision, finding that it violated ex post facto considerations and determining that Jensen should abide by the 10-year registration requirement.

Similar arguments are being raised in Wallace, which hails from Marion County. Richard P. Wallace pleaded guilty in 1989 to an offense against a child, served his sentence, and learned that he would have to register for life as a sex offender.

The Court of Appeals rejected Wallace's arguments and affirmed his conviction in a January ruling, finding that the requirement that he register for life didn't violate the prohibition against ex post facto laws.

This is the third time the justices are considering sex-offender related cases in the past two weeks. Justices heard arguments April 30 in J.C.C. v. State, No. 49A02-0403-JV-266, that asked whether juveniles - a 14-year-old boy in this case - can be placed on the state's sex offender registry for forcing younger boys into various sexual acts.
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  1. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  2. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  3. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  4. 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.

  5. 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?

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