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Name: Doe v. Otte
Case #: 99-35845
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 04/09/2001
Subsequent History: None
Summary

The application of Alaska Sex Offender Registration Act to those who were convicted before its enactment violated the Ex Post Facto Clause of the United States Constitution. The court of appeals specifically stated it was not deciding the accompanying due process claim for those who convicted after its effective date (May 12, 1994). The court considered the key issue presented to be whether the state was punitive. After considering the legislative findings and the statute’s structure and design, the court found the Legislature had not clearly expressed its intent as to whether or not the statute should be considered punitive. The court next considered whether the Act was punitive in effect. Applying seven factors to consider listed in Kennedy v. Mendoza-Martinez (1963) 372 U.S. 144, the court concluded that four factors indicated the Act was punitive in effect. Two factors in particular demonstrated that the statute increased the penalty from the time the crimes were committed. First, the Act imposed a substantial disability by requiring personal registration four times a year for life and that listing the registrants’ names, addresses, and employer addresses on the Internet subjected them to community obloquy. Second, unlike other sex offender registration statutes which have been upheld, the Act is excessive in relation to its non-criminal purpose. An offender must register no matter how demonstrable it may be that he poses no future risk to anyone and no matter how final the judicial determination that he has been successfully rehabilitated.