JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (CN) – Eleven sex offenders are not exempt from having their names on the state’s sex offender registry, the Missouri Supreme Court ruled unanimously. The court overturned a circuit court ruling that the offenders were exempt because their offenses occurred before the registration requirements took effect.
But the high court ruled that such an exemption applies only if the registration requirement is from a state law. In this case, the registration requirement came from the federal Sexual Offenders Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).
“Therefore, SORNA imposes an independent obligation requiring respondents to register as sex offenders in Missouri,” Judge Richard B. Teitelman wrote.
“The independent registration requirement under SORNA operates irrespective of any allegedly retrospective state law that has been enacted and may be subject to the article I, section 13 ban on the enactment of retrospective state laws.”