Changes Are on the Horizon: Is SORA Unconstitutional

The sex offender registration act was officially upgraded to the sex offender registration and notification act. This was an important landmark in resolving issues dealing with current and repeat sex offenders. A sex crime lawyer has to stay up to date on the current stipulations, especially with these latest changes.


Federal laws are often updated to reflect the changes in society. SORNA was a much-needed improvement to the original SORA. It covers all 50 states, including the District of Columbia. All of these territories have signed onto the new law by agreeing that it was a necessary upgrade. After serving a term, registration is no longer the end goal. Notification is the final act, and one that is meant to help victims without needing any additional involvement. Reformation from sex crimes how takes years of being a good Samaritan instead of being a one-off punishment. This is how some people view SORNA, and it is the big reason why it is so hotly contested as an unconstitutional law.

How Does It Work?
In 2006, Congress worked out the details that ended up being the foundation of SORNA. States have their own categories to define what is considered a sex crime offense. This doesn’t make SORNA convoluted, and instead has the opposite effect. With each case being unique, the flexibility to decide an appropriate punishment ensures fairness across the board – both for the victim and the accused.

Offenses are ranked in tiers from I to III, with III being the worst. Every tier has its own requirements for reporting the crime. These tiers are mandatory, and leave little room for guesswork from a sex offender.

Tier I – Offenders must register for up to 10 years. The timing remains consistent as long as other offenses are not added on top of the original crime. For Tier I, any associated treatment program is a major part of keeping a positive registration status.

Tier II – This offense covers more of an involvement with the crime instead of just abuse. It includes knowingly trafficking minors or transporting them to illegal activities. Due to the seriousness of the crimes involved, there is a 25-year registration status. Reporting needs to be kept up to date to satisfy local and state laws.

Tier III – The most serious crimes go into this category, and therefore have a lifetime reporting requirement. It’s possible for any tier to get upgraded to a Tier III if the previous reporting requirements aren’t met.

The Fairness Of SORNA
SORNA is effective, and does so in a way that is fair to all parties. The biggest fear of victims is retribution from their attackers. SORNA steps in without overreaching by guaranteeing that justice runs its due course. The repeat offender list goes down, and communities can rest easy knowing that the law is doing follow-up work. SORA and SORNA are an evolution of sex offender law that was multiple years in the making.

Wrap Up
SORA was put in place to protect victims of sex crimes. SORNA takes it a step further and ensures that those victims receive continued protection. With all 50 states signing on to the law, it is a law that has earned its constitutional respect.

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