By Tyler Richardson
The personal information of thousands of low-level sex offenders could soon become public after Washington’s highest court ruled in favor Thursday of releasing a statewide database to a Mesa woman. The Supreme Court’s 7-2 decision reverses a ruling in King County Superior Court that the Washington State Patrol couldn’t release the names, addresses and other information of Level 1 sex offenders to Donna Zink. The decision clears the way for Zink to reveal the identities of thousands of Level 1 offenders, considered the least likely to reoffend, whose names were previously protected by law enforcement agencies.
The two justices who voted against making the records public, Sheryl Gordon McCloud and Charles K. Wiggins, wrote there is “overwhelming evidence” the offenders will face the threat of being harmed, lose out on work and become stigmatized.
John Doe A v. Wash. State Patrol
Supreme Court of the State of Washington
Opinion and decision–April 7, 2016: