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GA: Registry a valuable tool in tracking sex offenders.

October 21, 2001

Hartford - A federal appeals court in New York on Friday upheld a lower court's ruling that Connecticut's Internet sex offender registry is unconstitutional, saying the registry suggested that all offenders were dangerous regardless of whether they were or not.

State Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said later Friday he planned to take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the state's sex offender registry violated the due process rights of offenders, because offenders were not given the chance to prove that they were not dangerous to society before their names were put on the registry.

In April, U.S. District Court Judge Robert Chatigny ruled in Hartford that the online sex offender registry was unconstitutional, and in May he ended public access to the document.

The federal appeals court sided with Chatigny.

"We hold only that the plaintiff and the members of the due process class are entitled to the opportunity to have a hearing ... to determine whether or not they are particularly likely to be currently dangerous before being labeled as such," the court wrote in its decision.

Blumenthal disagreed with the Circuit Court.

"I am deeply disappointed that the court chose to continue to deprive the public of critically important information about convicted sex offenders," Blumenthal said. "Compelling interests of public safety, particularly for children, are best served by the public disclosure mandated by our Megan's law."

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Source: 2001 New Haven Register