Fourth Circuit Affirms Doe v. Cooper

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued its opinion in Doe v. Cooper yesterday. A unanimous panel of the court affirmed a decision from Middle District of North Carolina finding two parts of G.S. 14-208.18—North Carolina’s premises restrictions for certain sex offenders—unconstitutional.

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Sex Offender Premises Restrictions Revised in Response to Doe v. Cooper

The General Assembly amended G.S. 14-208.18, the law that makes it a Class H felony for certain registered sex offenders to go certain places. The changes are a response to Doe v. Cooper, a federal case in which the trial judge enjoined every district attorney in the state from enforcing the parts of the law he found to be unconstitutional. Today’s post takes a look at the revised law.

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Federal Judge Enjoins 300-Foot Rule for Sex Offenders

The North Carolina law making it a felony for some sex offenders to go within 300 feet of certain locations intended for children is unconstitutionally overbroad under the First Amendment. Last week, a federal judge permanently enjoined all North Carolina district attorneys from enforcing the law.

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Federal Judge Enjoins Enforcement of Sex Offender Premises Restriction

A federal judge has permanently enjoined all North Carolina district attorneys from enforcing G.S. 14-208.18(a)(3), the law intended to prohibit certain sex offenders from being at places where minors gather for regularly scheduled educational, recreational, or social programs.

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Which Sex Offenders Can’t Go Certain Places

The premises restrictions of G.S. 14-208.18 have been in the news again lately. Here in Chapel Hill, a registered sex offender charged with being unlawfully on the premises of the public library had the charge dismissed on constitutional grounds. Meanwhile, the Graham County Sheriff made national headlines went he sent a letter to every registrant in the county prohibiting them, under the 300-foot rule, from going to church. The constitutional issues raised by these scenarios are interesting, but my first reaction in both cases was this: That law doesn’t apply to all registered sex offenders!

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An Update on Places Sex Offenders Can’t Go

An amended statute and a recent case improve our understanding of places sex offenders cannot live and go in North Carolina. First, the statute. Under G.S. 14-208.16, a registered sex offender may not reside within 1,000 feet of a school or child care center. The law has always defined “child care center” by reference to … Read more

Portion of Sex Offender Premises Restriction Held Unconstitutional

Happy New Year! I feel like I spent most of 2012 talking about Justice Reinvestment. Let’s start 2013 with a more agreeable subject—like sex offenders. In one of its final rulings of 2012, the court of appeals held in State v. Daniels that a portion of the law limiting where some registered sex offenders may … Read more