Names of most Nevada sex offenders to be posted Oct. 1
LAS VEGAS — The names of about 7,200 registered sex offenders in Nevada are due to be posted on a state website beginning Oct. 1, after the state Supreme Court lifted a block on enforcement of a 2007 state law, officials said.
A lawyer who two years ago won a delay of enactment of the law on behalf of 17 unnamed plaintiffs said she’ll keep arguing that the law is unconstitutional.
“We’re still fighting the case in district court,” attorney Margaret McLetchie said in an interview last week. “A mistake can’t be undone if you end up on the registry.”
The Nevada Department of Public Safety said in a statement the unanimous court decision on April 27 allows the agency to enact provisions of the law that passed in 2007 as AB 579 and align Nevada with federal standards under the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006.
The effect will be to reshuffle the tiered classification of offenders and, for the first time, make public the names of nearly 3,400 lower-level Tier 1 offenders whose crimes may have involved adults or children, but who are assessed as posing a low risk of re-offending.
Public Safety Department spokeswoman Kim Yoko Smith said very few offenders will not be affected.
The state will continue to post names of some 1,900 top-danger Tier 3 offenders, including violent rapists and sexual predators considered to be the greatest threat to the community. The law says they must report in person to authorities every 90 days, and their classification lasts a lifetime.
Names of another 1,900 people classified as mid-range Tier 2 offenders will be listed. They have felony convictions for crimes against children ages 13 to 18. They’ll remain in the registry for 25 years and be required to report in person every six months.
Tier 1 offenders will be required to register for 15 years and report to officials annually.
McLetchie has argued that posting offenders’ names, photos and addresses is unconstitutional because it treats offenders with similar convictions differently, represents double-jeopardy punishment for the same crime, and because the state has no method to correct errors or misapplication of the law.
Challenges went to the Nevada Supreme Court and the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. The federal court ruled in February 2012 that the law didn’t amount to double-jeopardy retroactive punishment.