A federal court judge’s ruling finding that Colorado’s sex-offender registry violated the Constitutional rights of three sex offenders who sued could change the way the public gets access to the list, reports the Denver Post.
U.S. District Court Judge Richard Matsch found that the Colorado Sex Offender Registration Act violates the cruel and unusual punishment clause of the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and the due-process rights guaranteed by the 14th Amendment.
Thursday’s ruling came in a civil case filed against Colorado Bureau of Investigation director Michael Rankin in 2013 by registered sex offenders David Millard, Eugene Knight and Arturo Vega.
Matsch found that the men are entitled to compensation and attorney fees, which will be determined later.
Technically, the ruling only applies to the three plaintiffs in the case, but it could lead to more universal impact — particularly if the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals upholds the decision on appeal, said Boulder attorney Alison Ruttenberg, the attorney for the three plaintiffs. There are similar cases in other states challenging sex-offender registries.
Ruttenberg said she expects the cases will eventually reach the U.S. Supreme Court.