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Sexual Predator Laws

Scarlet Letters and Federal Mandates: Reconsidering Juvenile Sex Offender Registration and the Adam Walsh Act

Criminal Law & Procedure Practice Group Teleforum Wednesday, May 11, 01:00 PMFederalist Society Teleforum Conference Call

Given the understandable public fear of sexual predators, policies concerning sex offenders have often become politicized. Many critics say these policies have too often swept up consensual conduct and conduct by those as young as 10 years old into the same regulatory framework as the most horrific sexual assaults committed by adults. A growing body of research indicates that placement of youths on public sex offender registries, sometimes for the rest of their lives, can have a serious impact on their ability to secure employment and housing, that of their current and future family members. In 2006, Congress passed the Adam Walsh Act, which threatens states with the withholding of tangentially related federal funds if they do not comply with the federal policy it set forth on public registration of not only adults, but also juveniles, including lifetime registration. Dozens of states have declined to comply with this federal mandate, citing both federalism and cost concerns. On this Teleforum, several experts in the field will discuss the impact of current juvenile sex offender registration policies at the federal and state levels as well as proposals for reforms.

Featuring:

  • Eli Lehrer, President. R Street Institute
  • Nicole Pittman, Stoneleigh Fellow and Director, Center on Youth Registration Reform, Impact Justice
  • Stacie D. Rumenap, President, Stop Child Predators
  • Moderator: Marc A. Levin, Policy Director, Right on Crime

Nichols v. United States - Post-Decision SCOTUScast

SCOTUScast 4-7-16 featuring James Barta
James Barta April 07, 2016

On April 4, 2016, the Supreme Court decided Nichols v. United States. Petitioner Nichols, a registered sex offender who moved from Kansas to the Philippines without updating his registration, was arrested, escorted to the United States, and charged with violating the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA). SORNA makes it a federal crime for certain sex offenders to “knowingly fai[l] to register or update a registration,” and requires that offenders who move to a different State “shall, not later than 3 business days after each change of name, residence, employment, or student status,” inform in person “at least 1 jurisdiction involved . . . of all changes” to required information. After conditionally pleading guilty, Nichols argued on appeal that SORNA did not require him to update his registration in Kansas. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit affirmed his conviction.

By a vote of 8-0 the Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the Tenth Circuit, holding that SORNA did not require Nichols to update his registration in Kansas once he departed the State. Justice Alito delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court.

To discuss the case, we have James Barta, who is an Associate at MoloLamken LLP.

Sexual Assault on Campus - Event Video

2014 National Lawyers Convention
Heather MacDonald, Seth Galanter, Lara S. Kaufmann, Greg Lukianoff, Diane S. Sykes, Gail Heriot November 17, 2014

Sexual assault on campus is a serious issue—so serious that it is difficult for some to speak plainly about it.  As a result, disagreements abound—even about issues as fundamental as the definition of sexual assault.  This panel will discuss the nature and extent of sexual assault on campus.  It will examine the Department of Education’s “Dear Colleague” letter of April 4, 2011 on sexual violence, the numerous investigations that it has opened in colleges and universities around the country, and the effect they are having on campus.  It will also discuss the new  "Only Yes Means Yes," laws recently adopted in California and being considered around the country.  Among the questions that will be addressed are: How dangerous are our college campuses?  From where does the U.S. Department of Education derive the authority to address this issue?  Is due process being accorded to those who are accused of sexual assault?

The Federalist Society's Civil Rights Practice Group presented this panel on "Sexual Assult on Campus" on Friday, November 14, during the 2014 National Lawyers Convention.

Featuring:

  • Ms. Heather Mac Donald, Thomas W. Smith Fellow, Manhattan Institute
  • Mr. Seth Galanter, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education
  • Ms. Lara S. Kaufmann, Senior Counsel & Director of Education Policy for At-Risk Students, National Women's Law Center
  • Mr. Greg Lukianoff, President, Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
  • Moderator: Hon. Diane S. Sykes, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • Introduction: Hon. Gail Heriot, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, and Professor, University of San Diego School of Law; and Chairman, Civil Rights Practice Group

Mayflower Hotel
Washington, DC

Who Pays the Damages for Child Pornography? Paroline v. United States - Podcast

Criminal Law & Procedure Practice Group Podcast
Paul G. Cassell, John G. Malcolm May 23, 2014

white collar crime

On April 23, 2014, the Supreme Court decided Paroline v. United States, a case involving the efforts of “Amy,” a victim of child pornography, to collect the full amount of damages owed to her. In a 5-4 decision, the Court held that Amy could not collect the full $3.4 million in damages from one man convicted of possessing two images of her, because defendants should only be made liable for the consequences and gravity of their own conduct, not the conduct of others. University of Utah Professor Paul G. Cassell, who argued for Amy at the Supreme Court, discussed the impact of the decision, as well as current Congressional efforts to ensure that victims of child pornography are not forced into a lifetime of litigation to extract damages from those involved in their abuse. He was joined by John G. Malcolm, Chairman of the Federalist Society’s Criminal Law & Procedure Practice Group.

  • Professor Paul G. CassellRonald N. Boyce Presidential Endowed Chair in Criminal Law, The University of Utah College of Law
  • John G. Malcolm, Director and Ed Gilbertson and Sherry Lindberg Gilbertson Senior Legal Fellow, Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, The Heritage Foundation?, and Chairman of the Federalist Society's Criminal Law & Procedure Practice Group

Child Pornography: Proximate Cause and Restitution – Paroline v. United States - Podcast

Criminal Law & Procedure Practice Group Courthouse Steps Podcast
John G. Malcolm, Dean A. Reuter January 23, 2014

InternetDoyle R. Paroline pled guilty to possession of 150-300 images of child pornography. Included among those files on his computer were two photographs of Amy Unknown, a victim of child pornography. He was sentenced to 24 months of incarceration followed by release under supervision. Under a federal statute that mandates full restitution to victims of child pornography by those convicted of creating, distributing or possessing such material, the Government and Amy sought restitution in the amount of nearly $3.4 million. The district court denied restitution and held that the statute required the Government to prove that Paroline’s possession of the images was the proximate cause of the injuries for which restitution was sought. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit reversed and held that Paroline was responsible for restitution for all the victim’s losses even if his criminal acts occurred after the victim’s losses. On Wednesday, January 22, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Paroline v. United States. Two questions are presented to the Court: 1) In determining restitution in child pornography cases , is the award of restitution limited to losses proximately caused by the defendant’s criminal actions or may a defendant be required to pay restitution for all losses, regardless of whether his criminal acts proximately caused the loss? and 2) Is the Government correct in its argument that authorizing $3.4 million in restitution against a defendant to a victim of child pornography who has never had contact with the defendant may violate the Eighth Amendment ban on excessive fines in the absence of a proximate cause requirement in the setting of the amount of restitution assessed against that defendant? Our expert attended oral arguments and offered his impressions to a live Teleforum audience.

Featuring:

  • John G. Malcolm, Director, Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, The Heritage Foundation
  • Moderator: Dean Reuter, Vice President and Director of Practice Groups, The Federalist Society

[Listen now!]