NEW YORK: RULING CLOUDS ENFORCEMENT OF MEGAN’S LAW PENALTIES
Two weeks after a federal appeals panel reactivated Megan's Law, a state court ruling is preventing county prosecutors from enforcing penalties against those who improperly spread information they receive about offenders. To guard the privacy and safety of sex offenders, notification information provided to their neighbors and nearby schools has been accompanied by warning that recipients are subject to prosecution if, for instance, they post the information on a telephone pole or shoot at the offender's house. Some counties specifically warned that recipients would be subject to contempt of court charges for abusing the information. The day after Megan's Law was reinstated, July 14, by a federal appeals panel, the New Jersey State Supreme Court ruled that the warnings must be uniform and therefore no counties should include the language regarding contempt.