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Opening Arguments

We don't need no stinkin' ruling

The Indiana Supreme Court's invalidation of part of Zachary's law seems pretty straightforward. The state constitution bans ex post facto laws in pretty plain language, and the portion of the law requiring even sex offenders convicted prior to the registration law to register is, by intent and effect, retroactive. But at least one law enforcement officer isn't having any of that constitutional mumbo jumbo:

Lt. Bob Hanna, the overseer of the Marion County registry, told local news station WRTV “We're not going to remove anybody. We're taking no enforcement action. As far as removing faces, names and addresses, we won't do that without a court order."

Maybe a lawyer can correct my misunderstanding, but isn't a ruling by the Indiana Supreme Court pretty much a court order?

As the story notes, this ruling has the potential to bring about the release of more than 1,000 offenders from the state's two largest registries in Marion and Allen counties. That's understandably upsetting to people living in the affected neighborhoods, but the potential abuse of ex post facto laws against any of us is too great to allow them to be used against the worst among us.


Thu, 11/19/2009 - 12:45pm

I think the Supreme Court decision applied only to the case of Richard Wallace. I haven't re-read through the decision recently, but the first paragraph of the decision says, "We conclude that as applied in this case, the Act violates the constitutional provision."

That said, with the Supreme Court having issued guidance, there might be a class action waiting to happen.