Attorney General Mike DeWine and Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell are asking the Ohio Supreme Court to clarify its decision in State v. Williams last week that struck down parts of the state's sex-offender law that had been applied retroactively to crimes committed before the law took effect in 2008.
In a motion to “reconsider and/or clarify” the state’s officials say "It’s genuinely unclear what the court meant to do doctrinally, and that confusion has significant consequences,” an article in yesterday’s Columbus Dispatch said. “That confusion, in part,” the article said, was because the justices in the majority ‘entangled’ federal and state constitutional law.”
The state of Nebraska, too, is being sued over changes made to rules for inclusion in its sex offender registry last year. “It used to be risk-based,” an ABC News article Monday said, “meaning if an offender was deemed low-risk, his or her name wouldn't be made public. Those who were likely to reoffend were placed on the registry…. Now, anyone convicted of a crime with a sexual element is on the Internet-based registry for everyone to see, and that has plaintiffs arguing that the new law should not be retroactive to those who weren't initially on the registry because they were considered low-risk.”
State Sen. Pete Pirsch, who introduced and sponsored LB 285, said the old system was flawed because it was based on subjective assessments where, he said, the law should be based on objective, scientific fact.
Pirsch also told ABC News that “the lion's share of these moving parts that were in LB 285 have been in place in other states and have been tested and have been upheld in terms of constitutionality," but the article also referred to the Ohio case, above’s ruling that the state unfairly increased punishment on people whose crimes happened before the law took effect.
Supreme Court’s summary of State v. Williams
State v. Williams, Slip Opinion No. 2011-Ohio-3374