LAS VEGAS (CN) – Nevada’s new sex-offender laws are unconstitutional, a federal judge ruled Wednesday. U.S. District Judge James Mahan made permanent the temporary injunction he issued in July that stopped the state from applying the new laws retroactively.
The new laws, which were to take effect July 1, faced numerous lawsuits from sex offenders who said they are unconstitutional.
“Sex offenders who committed even misdemeanors with any sexual element since July 1, 1956 would have fallen within the purview of registration and some notification provisions,” said the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada, which represented about a dozen sex offenders in a lawsuit challenging the new laws.
“Many, many rehabilitated, low-risk offenders whom the state of Nevada determined to be unlikely to reoffend would have retroactively become Tier 3 – high risk – offenders based solely on the crime committed,” the ACLU said.
In his decision, however, Judge Mahan stopped short of ruling on whether the new laws could be applied to convicted sex offenders in the future.