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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Ind. Decisions - "U.S. Supreme Court won't hear case on sex offender visitation"

"U.S. Supreme Court won't hear case on sex offender visitation" is the headline to this AP story published this afternoon in the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel. Some quotes:

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday said it would not consider a constitutional challenge to a state policy that sharply restricts minors' visits to imprisoned sex offenders who victimized children.

The American Civil Liberties Union-Indiana, suing initially on behalf of a female inmate, had filed a class-action lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the policy.

The Indiana Department of Correction imposed the policy in 2001, stating that inmates with a record of sex offenses involving children "shall not be permitted to receive visits from minors." The agency amended the rule a year later to allow some visits under certain conditions, including one that the intended visitor had not been a victim of the offender.

The DOC justified the restrictions by arguing that sex offenders are at high risk of repeating the crime and often know their victims. * * *

The ACLU-Indiana took the case to the U.S. Supreme Court after the Indiana Supreme Court, without ruling in the case, announced last November it would let stand an Indiana Court of Appeals decision upholding the policy. On appeal, the lead plaintiff became a male inmate who had been part of the class.

For background in this case, Jane Doe v. J. David Donahue, see this ILB entry from March 4th, 2006. This is the case where, on Nov. 21, 2005, as recorded in this ILB entry, the Supreme Court, after hearing oral arguments on Nov. 10th, 2005, issued an opinion vacating its prior grant of transfer as "improvidently granted" and reinstating the Court of Appeals opinion.

Here is a list of most, if not all, the ILB entries on this case.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on May 30, 2006 07:27 PM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions