State having trouble with sex offender law

National law applies to offenders convicted before rule was enacted

Posted: Tuesday, January 05, 2010

ANCHORAGE - Like all but one other state, Alaska has not yet complied with a 3-year-old federal sex offender registration law. The extended deadline is July.

KTUU reported Alaska is having trouble complying with the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, known as SORNA, because the state constitution bars retroactive laws. SORNA would apply to offenders who were convicted before the law was enacted. Alaska also uses a two-tier system while SORNA uses a three-tier classification system.

Ohio is the only state to meet the federal requirements, so far.

State Rep. Anna Fairclough of Eagle River said a national system is a good idea, especially to prevent offenders from taking jobs in schools or where they would have access to children.

She said SORNA requirements may be difficult to implement in Alaska. For example offenders in rural communities might have trouble reporting in person every three months.

Fairclough says state congressional representatives may be asked to revise the federal law.

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