Connecticut’s Sex Offender Website Registry
Violates Rights, Court Rules
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, April 2, 2001
HARTFORD--A Connecticut law unfairly stigmatizes
those who are forced to register as dangerous sex
offenders without being allowed to show that they are not a threat to the community, a federal court here ruled
The Connecticut Civil Liberties Union, which
brought the lawsuit attacking the constitutionality of the state’s Sex
Offender Registry Act, greeted the ruling as a victory for the due process rights of the accused.
“This ruling confirms what we have been arguing
all along,” said Philip Tegeler, Legal Director of the ACLU’s
Connecticut affiliate, “that if the state wants to have this kind of registration law, it needs to observe basic due
process and give non-dangerous individuals a way to opt out of the listing.”
While United States District Court Judge Robert
N. Chatigny upheld the right to due process for sex offenders
who are at risk for sex offender registration, he failed to rule the entire registration act unconstitutional. The ACLU
had challenged the Act because it imposes an additional punishment that was not in place at the time of conviction.
The court will decide at a later date on the appropriate remedy for the due process violation.
Shelley R. Sadin of the firm Zeldes, Needle
& Cooper in Bridgeport, is the lead attorney for the plaintiffs on
behalf of the ACLU.