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Federal Appeals Court OKs Indiana Sex Offender Registry Law

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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 bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.