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Federal Appeals Court OKs Indiana Sex Offender Registry Law

The Indiana General Assembly created the state's sex offender registry in the 1990s. (Brandon Smith/IPB News)

A federal appeals court said Indiana’s sex offender registry law does not violate the U.S. Constitution, overturning previous rulings.

Indiana’s sex offender registry law does not require offenders to register if they were convicted before it was created in the 1990s.

But it does require offenders who move to Indiana to register if they were registered in another state, even if their conviction came before Indiana’s law was created.

A few offenders who came from other states sued, arguing they were treated differently than offenders who’d always lived in Indiana.

Both a federal district court and an initial ruling from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with the offenders.

But the full 7th Circuit panel heard the case and reversed those earlier rulings, siding with the state. The decision said Indiana’s law might disproportionately affect newer residents, but not enough to violate the Constitution.

The case could be appealed further.

Contact reporter Brandon at or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.