Sex Offender Registration Act Case Study

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In 2015, the Sex Offender Registration Act (Penal Code section 290) is a California sex offender registration statute. Section 290 was intended to promote the state interest in controlling and preventing recidivism in sex offenders. In addition, it serves an important public purpose by compelling registration of sex offenders who were violent and required public surveillance. This statute gave judges the choice to enforce registration on an adult who has non-forcible vaginal sex with a 16 year old or older. However, there is a mandatory lifetime registration for an adult who has non-forcible oral sex with a 16 year old. Thus, an equal protection issues had come into question.

In 2006, People v. Hofsherier, the California …show more content…

Plaintiffs plead guilty under Section 288, resulting in a two-year sentence and mandatory sex offender registration under section 290. In 2006, resulting from the Hofsheier decision, the Plaintiff filed a petition seeking to be relieved of the sex offender registration requirement under Penal Code section 290. The Superior Court denied the petition referring to People v. Manchel, a case that had rejected a Hofsheier claim by a 29 year old man convicted of section 288 (same felony the Johnson was convicted of) and the Plaintiff …show more content…

Stare Decisis
Examining Hofsherier’s equal protection analysis the majority in Johnson not only held that the analysis was wrong but also concluded that stare decisis did not compelled to court to follow Hofsheier as precedent. In addition, Johnson indicated that Hofsheier’s analysis was faulty, which resulted in a number of sex crimes against minors. The Court referred to these “broad consequences” as the reason why stare decisis should not be allowed in order to correct an error in our constitutional jurisprudence.

Stare decisis is one of the most important doctrines for the legal system. The doctrine states that courts are bound by decisions held in earlier cases. However, I agree with the reasoning in Johnson, a court should be allowed to correct the effects of a prior court ruling if the ruling was badly reasoned and has a negative impact on society. The criminal justice system, which includes the courts, was established to control crime and enforce punishments on those who violated the law. Stare decisis should not apply to a court correcting a prior court decision, which consequences resulted in contradicting the establishment of the criminal justice

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