Supreme Court Decisions on Sex Offender Registry and Internet

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on March 5, 2003

Today the Supreme Court ruled in two cases involving Megan’s law, one from Connecticut and one from Alaska.
In Smith et al v. Doe et al, No. 01-729, (PDF – appeal in Doe I v. Otte, 259 F.3d 979, C.A. 9, Alaska, 2001) the court upheld the right of states to use the web to post photos of convicted sex offenders. “Alaska’s sex offender registration act requires convicted sex offenders to register with the Alaska Department of Public Safety and makes offender information available to the public. The department elected to publish the information on the Internet.”
In Connecticut Department of Public Safety v. John Doe, 01-1231 (PDF), the court determined that Connecticut’s sex offender registry does not deprive offenders of “a liberty interest” nor violate the due process clause. For background on this case, see this National Conference of State Legislatures site.

See also this Cornell Legal Information Institute webpage that provides separate links to the following HTML documents in Smith v. Doe: Syllabus, Opinion [Kennedy], Concurrence [Thomas], Concurrence [Souter], Dissent [Opinion of Stevens], Dissent [Ginsburg].

Previous post:

Next post: