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Federal judge delays start of Nevada sex crime law

Last week an 8th Judicial District Court judge issued a temporary injunction against enforcement in Clark County of the newly enacted Adam Walsh Act, which mandates that sex offenders be classified by their offense, rather than their individual risk factors, for the purposes of registration, notification and other restrictions. A federal judge has not issued an injunction that is operative state-wide.

U.S. District Judge James Mahan said he was concerned that if the law goes into effect today as planned, low-level sex offenders would be incorrectly and publicly identified when their information is posted on the state's sex offender Web sites. They would not be able to regain their anonymity if the law is later found unconstitutional, he said. Those challenging the law argue that the law punishes sex offenders again for crimes they already paid for, is cruel and unusual punishment, and is restrictive. The new law would change the number of Tier 3 sex offenders in Nevada from about 160 to more than 2,500.

Additional argument will be presented on August 26.

The Las Vegas Review Journal and Nevada Appeal report on the ruling.

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