Supreme Court sides with sex offender in registry dispute
By Lydia Wheeler
The Supreme Court unanimously ruled Monday that registered sex offenders do not have to update their status on a state registry when they move out of the country.
In an 8-0 decision, the justices said a straightforward reading of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act did not require Lester Nichols to notify Kansas that he moved to the Philippines in November 2012. The case, however, will have little impact since Congress recently passed legislation that requires sex offenders to notify the government when they leave the U.S.
Scotus Blog | Apr. 4, 2016
News item – the convicted sex offender wins, unanimously
By Evan Lee
In the abstract, it seems unlikely that the United States Supreme Court would rule unanimously in favor of a convicted sex offender. It seems even less likely that Justice Samuel Alito would lead the charge. But Nichols v. United States, handed down Monday morning, provided the perfect storm. Lester Ray Nichols was convicted in 2003 of traveling in interstate commerce with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor. After his release from federal prison in December 2011, he settled in Kansas, where he satisfied his obligation to register as a convicted sex offender. About a year later, he suddenly disconnected his telephone lines, tossed his apartment keys into his landlord’s drop box, and boarded a flight to Manila. He notified no authorities that he was moving to the Philippines – or that he was moving at all.
United States Supreme Court
Nichols v. United States
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