First Department Declines to Require Sex Offender Registration Where Underlying Crime Had No Sexual Motivation or Conduct

In People v Diaz, the First Department holds that Correction Law § 168-a(2)(d)(ii), which required the defendant to register as a sex offender in New York for the out-of-state murder of a minor, violated the defendant’s substantive due process rights as applied.  Particularly, under that section, an individual is required to register as a sex offender in New York if he or she is convicted of a crime outside of the state that requires sex offender registration in that state. Because Virginia required registration for the murder of a minor, even without any sexual component to the crime, New Uork’s statute did too.

Noting that had the crime occurred in New York, the defendant would not have been required to register as a sex offender, the First Department held that registration in this defendant’s case violated his due process rights under the US and NY Constitutions because the defendant’s crime against a minor didn’t involve sexual motivation or conduct. New York’s Sex Offender Registration Act is intended to protect the public against sex offenders, and thus requiring registration for a crime that had no sexual component was not reasonably related to the statute’s purpose, the Court held.
The First Department’s order can be found here.

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