On Tuesday, the Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal from the state of Alaska, which has a sweeping sex-offender law that a federal appeals court overturned part of last year as unconstitutional. The laws in about a dozen other states will also be affected by the Supreme Court's decision. Megan's Law is named after Megan Kanka, a young girl who was molested and killed by a neighbor in 1994. All states have some version of New Jersey's Megan's Law, with requires the names and addresses of dangerous sex offenders by published as a matter of public safety. When Alaska's law was first passed in 1994, it was made retroactive by 10 years, ensuring that many offenders who had completed their sentences would suddenly be on the state's public list. The case hinges on the concept that it is unconstitutional to punish someone twice for the same crime. The was challenged by two Alaska men, identified only as John Does I & II, along with one of the men's wife, that the retroactivity portion of the law is unconstitutional.
DOE V OTTE No. 9935845 - 4/9/01