Nevada High Court Upholds Law Requiring Registration for Juvenile Sex Offenders

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Nevada Supreme Court, Carson City, Nev.

J. Stephen Conn / Flickr (license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/deed.en)

Nevada Supreme Court, Carson City, Nev.

In a narrow 4-3 decision, the Nevada Supreme Court upheld a state law requiring the registration of certain juvenile sex offenders, even though all seven of the court’s justices had written previously that the law may not be an effective crime deterrent.

The majority opinion was penned by Justice Michael Douglas, who wrote that the law, which took effect in 2007, “easily passes rational basic review.” However, Douglas also wrote that he had questions as to whether the law commendably serves a public safety purpose or aides juveniles in the rehabilitation process.

“Of upmost concern,“ Douglas wrote, “it does not appear from the legislative history that the Nevada Legislature ever considered the impact of the bill on juveniles.”

The decision overturns a ruling issued by a juvenile district judge in Clark County, who invalidated the law. Under the law, juveniles over the age of 14 who have been adjudicated delinquent for sexual offenses must register with local law enforcement officials, who may then share the offender’s information with public groups.

Before the law was passed, the state’s juvenile judges were allowed to decide whether a delinquent should be required to register on sex offender lists. According to Douglas, the state legislature passed the law partially out of a fear of losing federal assistance.

Writing in dissent, Justice Michael Cherry said the law was unconstitutional, since it applied retroactively to juveniles who were declared sex offenders before the legislation had even been passed -- an act “akin to the historical punishments of branding and shaming.”

4 thoughts on “Nevada High Court Upholds Law Requiring Registration for Juvenile Sex Offenders

  1. They’re sex offenders, they should be shamed and branded. Sex crimes are the ones most likely to be repeated; one rapist can ruin hundreds of lives, a pedophile can ruin more. The last thing this country needs as it spirals farther into rape culture is people that try to protect the perpetrators of these heinous crimes.

  2. How much more can you say about a governing body who places the 10% Byrne Fund Grant money they receive from the Justice Department and SMART office as MORE IMPORTANT than young people’s successful re-integration into society after being adjudicated, paying their debt to society and trying to live a law-abiding life. How much more clearly, without shouting it from the rooftop of the capital building, can you imply that young registrants are “throw-aways” and you are authorizing them being placed on the public “hit list!” Which, also makes the family members who also live at that residence a target for “hate crimes” such as the one last week in South Carolina where Charles and Gretchen Parker were shot and stabbed to death in their home. Shame on you!
    Our organization, Women Against Registry advocates for the 2,500,000 family members of registrants who you see as throw-aways too.

    Maybe someone needs to send the members of the Nevada Supreme Court a copy of “Raised on the Registry” by Jennifer Bleyer (http://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/us0513_ForUpload_1.pdf)

    Vicki Henry
    Women Against Registry dot com

  3. There is no doubt that we live in a heinous and troubled world, but perhaps nothing is more so than the act of sexual predation against children. It is a revolting fact to process, but nearly 750,000 registered sex offenders are accounted for in the United States, and an additional 265,000 remain under the supervision of corrections agencies.

    • You are so mis informed and spreading falsities. I speak not only as a mother of a so called sex offender but as a victim of molestation til age 13 when I left home for good, and a violent rape survivor and a mother of two adult females and a now adult male who was falsly accused when he blew off a 15 yr old on his 19th birthday and she got butt hurt and decided to lie to make herself be pityed, She of course recanted but by then my son was in jail on 25k bail and I dying of cancer and on SSDI.. so being poor, he got 15 mins with a public defender. He spent 4 weeks in solitary prior to being seen, he was 19 never in trouble before and not in the five years since. He was scared and of course there is no such thing as equal justice, especially in areas that do not have public defenders offices and pay a PD 500 to represent even capital murder. So we have almost 800000 so called offenders, ranging from age 6 yrs to elderly. Only apx 8 percent are actually “preditors” the rest are or where kids doing what I did, my parents did and my grandparents. All who would be sex offenders if the laws of today where in effect then. WAKE UP AND GET SOME FACTS. In several studies conducted by several professional organizations and scholars it is proven that sex offender registration actually endangers you more than not. That the truely scary ones are either in prison, or never caught prior. That by this type of stigma these kids cannot find shelter, jobs and therefore are arrested for violations which of all the crimes is punitive and actually considered a sex offence again. The law make ZERO sense and is a false security blanket. The laws that can send you to jail are as benign as peeing in the woods, flashing your boobs in a bar, prostitution ( which is no ones business and should be also legal) , sexting where teens are both victims and perps, children being curious and playing Dr or tickling. I am sick of the propaganda. Do some facts checks than speak some intellangent statement. Beware, your husbands, sons and brothers are in the sites of these pathetic liars called our public officials. Hitler did the same thing. Read some history and stop giving away our freedoms to the Private Prison Economy and the false flag freedom crap. End mass incarceration… we are a sick country.. and you need to wake up ( please excuse my grammer, my keyboard is whack)