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Criminal Attorney Oklahoma Defense Lawyer Adam R. Banner OKLAHOMA CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY AT LAW
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The Oklahoma Legal Group Blog

Oklahoma Supreme Court Victory

Adam Banner - Wednesday, November 20, 2013

What has been over a two year wait has just recently come to an end. We finally received validation from the Oklahoma Supreme Court that our arguments regarding the Oklahoma Sex Offender Registry were correct.

 

Last week, our office the Supreme Court affirmed our lower Oklahoma County win on the issues regarding our client's requirements to register as sex offenders in Oklahoma. What's even more enjoyable is the fact that Oklahoma's highest court sought it befitting to proclaim our victory in a published opinion.

In Luster v. DOC, 2013 OK 97, the Oklahoma Supreme Court affirmed our Oklahoma County District Court victory which granted a large number of our clients their removal from the Oklahoma Sex Offender Registry. Our state’s highest Court agreed with our argument that the new laws modifying the Oklahoma Sex Offender Registry cannot be applied retroactively to individuals who have already been convicted and sentenced for a sex crime unless the new law contains an express mandate that it should be applied retroactively.

This was a huge win, because the majority of the new laws amending the Oklahoma Sex Offender Registry do not contain any directive from the Oklahoma Legislature that they should be applied backwards, in essence. The commonly held presumption in criminal law is that any new law should only be applied prospectively, or forward, to people who become subject to the law after it is passed. That had not been the practice of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, and a large number of our clients finally have some closure in the knowledge that they are not going to be subject to harsh penalties they did not agree to when they initially entered their plea agreements or were convicted of their specific sex crime.

Perhaps the most important take away from the published opinion is that the position taken by the Court in its recent line of Oklahoma Supreme Court sex offender decisions is affirmed and continued. You can read my synopsis of those decisions here. As such, the law of the land continues to hold that individuals cannot automatically be forced to register as sex offenders in Oklahoma for life just because the Department of Corrections wants them to. Regardless of your feelings about sex offenders and individuals subject to the sex offender registry, this victory is a great win for liberty and the ideals of justice. Thankfully, the Oklahoma and United States Constrictions have prevailed once again.







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