This week the South Dakota State Supreme Court ruled that the sex offender law requiring sex offenders to register with law enforcement agencies and appear on a list was unconstitutional. It violated the guarantee of equal protection and treated juvenile offenders more harshly than adults.
According to The New York Times, this decision was based on a case in Butte County, where a boy who admitted to committing rape when he was 15 was ordered to be placed in custody and register as an offender. The boy’s lawyer fought the law, saying it was unconstitutional. According to the sex offender law, adults have the possibility to get a suspended imposition of sentence. This means that if they complete probation then the conviction is wiped off his or her criminal record and the offender may be able to be removed from sex-offender registry. However, juvenile do not have this right.
With the new ruling, all juvenile sex offenders may have to be removed from the registry.