California Juvenile Offenders Must Register As Sex Offenders for 25 Years

A federal appeals court has ruled that juvenile offenders in California can be required to register as sex offenders for at least 25 years. According to the 9th US Circuit Court Of Appeals in San Francisco, a law passed in 2006 that excluded sex offenders aged 14 and above from juvenile law confidentiality protections did not violate the persons’ constitutional rights.

The ruling came in a case involving 3 Montana youths, who were accused of forcible sex crimes on Indian reservations. These persons were aged between 14 and 17 at the time. Because the crimes occurred on American Indian reservations, the 3 were subjected to federal prosecution.

Now, the court has held that the men must register as sex offenders for 25 years after their release from custody. They must register within a month after being released, and must keep authorities aware of their whereabouts.

Their lawyers argued that requiring a potentially lifelong registration requirement for the offenders was cruel and unusual punishment and violated their constitutional rights. However, the Appeals Court has disagreed.

The persons will now be required to register as sex offenders for the rest of their lives. They will be subjected to all requirements of lifelong registration including informing officials about their whereabouts, and entering their names in the federal government registry, a government database that is accessible to the public.

Conviction of a sex crime is a serious matter, dramatically impacting the rest of a person’s life. As California sex crimes lawyers find, a person who has been convicted of a sex crime may be subjected to penalties that continue long after his prison term has been concluded. Inclusion in a sex offender registry is just one of those penalties. A registrant is required to inform local law enforcement officials about changes in name and address, and also faces restrictions on where he or she can live and work.

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