Most crimes on the list of reportable offenses automatically and mandatorily require registration upon conviction. As discussed in an earlier post, however, some crimes require registration only if the sentencing court orders it. After I wrote that post, the Supreme Court of North Carolina issued an opinion on what findings can properly support a trial court’s conclusion that a conviction will require sex offender registration. Today’s post discusses that case, State v. Fuller, 2021-NCSC-20, ___ N.C. ___, ___ S.E.2d ___ (Mar. 12, 2021).
As in recent sessions, the General Assembly remained active in revising North Carolina’s expunction laws. The biggest changes came in S.L. 2021-118 (S 301), as amended by section 2.3 of S.L. 2021-167 (H 761). The legislation expanded the opportunity for a person to expunge older convictions of “nonviolent” felonies but with complex eligibility conditions. This post is a first stab at analyzing that legislation. At the end of the post are short summaries of other 2021 legislation revising North Carolina’s expunction laws.
For the most part, if a defendant is convicted of a crime included in the list of reportable offenses, the defendant must register. But some crimes require registration only if the judge orders it. Today’s post summarizes what we know about the process for making that decision.
In a post last year, here, I discussed some of the issues related to sex offender registration for out-of-state offenses. Among other things, I noted a federal case in which a registrant challenged the constitutionality of North Carolina’s process (or, really, lack of process) for determining whether a conviction from another state is substantially similar to a North Carolina crime requiring registration. A subsequent case prompted a legislative change that is the main subject of today’s post.
In a previous post I wrote about the complexities of putting people on North Carolina’s sex offender registry for crimes committed in another state—including how a federal court found the lack of legal process for doing so unconstitutional, and how over half of the records I checked appeared to be incorrect. Today’s post considers the related issue of people on North Carolina’s registry who do not actually live in the state. Over 5,500 of the 25,000 people on North Carolina’s sex offender registry don’t reside here. Should they be on North Carolina’s registry at all? It’s not clear.
There are about 25,000 people on North Carolina’s sex offender registry. Over 8,000 of them are registered for crimes committed in other states or in federal court. There are issues.
With another legislative session in the books, it’s time for an update to the sex offender registration and monitoring flow chart.
For a recent teaching session, I prepared an outline on terminating sex offender registration. I thought it might be helpful to a broader audience, so I posted it here [I updated the paper on July 24, 2017 to reflect a change made by S.L. 2017-158 regarding the proper venue for a petition by a person on the registry for a federal conviction].
Over two years ago I said I would someday try to sort North Carolina’s reportable sex crimes into the tiers set out in the federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA). Today’s the day.