The top court in Maryland issued a 41-page opinion just yesterday, according
to CBS D.C. News, saying that a Maryland man convicted of a sex offense
in 2006 would not have to keep registering his picture, name, and address
– in other words, he no longer faces lifetime registration – on
the Maryland sex offender registry.
The reason he can remove his name, according to the court, was that the
crime took place in the 1980s, when the sex offender registry wasn’t
even in existence. Therefore, even though he pleaded guilty in 2006, it
would be a violation of the Maryland Constitution to require someone to
be punished for a law that didn’t exist when the crime took place.
The man’s defense attorney said the court’s ruling was “definitely
a victory,” according to CBS News, but that the ruling probably
would not operate automatically across the board for all other 8,300 people
currently registered on Maryland’s sex offender registry. These
folks, if their circumstances are similar, would have to see if they could
remove their name on a case-by-case basis.
For more information about the sex offender registry and how different
offenses are punished under the law, take a look at our article about
the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act.