Supreme Court to rule on sex offender sites

GCN Photo Courtesy of the Supreme Court

Supreme Court Building

The Supreme Court said last week it would review Connecticut's law requiring the online posting of the names, addresses and photographs of convicted sex offenders.

The case, Connecticut Department of Public Safety vs. Doe, began in 1999 when two men sued the state in federal court, arguing they were not dangerous and would be stigmatized if the law were applied to them.

The Connecticut law requires anyone convicted of a sex-related crime to provide name, address, photograph and DNA samples to the state police, which posts the information on its Web site.

Last year, Connecticut's State Police Department posted information about 2,100 offenders on the site, which gets 150,000 hits a month.

But a federal district judge sided with the plaintiffs last year, ruling the posting of the men's personal data without a hearing to determine if they were dangerous violated their constitutional rights. The Supreme Court will hear arguments next fall.

A ruling is expected by July 2003.

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