TRENTON, N.J. (AP) – The New Jersey Supreme Court has ruled juveniles cannot be placed on the state’s sex offender registry for life.
The unanimous decision issued Tuesday found the requirement under Megan’s Law violated juvenile sex offenders’ due process rights under the state constitution.
Megan’s Law, which created the sex offender registry, was enacted in 1994. The law was expanded in 2002 to include the lifetime registry requirement.
Justice Barry Albin wrote in the decision the old requirement brands juveniles as irredeemable “at a point when their lives have barely begun.” Those placed on the registry can now apply to be removed after 15 years.
The decision centered on a defendant convicted of sexually assaulting his adopted brother. The defendant was 15 at the time and his brother was seven.
The defendant’s attorney argued the registration requirement made it difficult for his client to travel and advance his career.
According to his attorney, the new ruling will allow the defendant to apply to be removed from the list in November.
The state Attorney General’s Office declined comment on the ruling Wednesday.
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