Public Safety and Privacy Analysis Term Paper

Download this Term Paper in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from Term Paper:

Privacy Law: Requiring Convicted Sex Offenders to Register and Allow Their Personal Data to Be Published by the State

One of the most heinous crimes any individual can be accused of is the crime molesting a child. In the hearts and minds of most of the public, perhaps even in the hearts and minds of most legislators and judges, convicted sex abusers exist within a particular category of their own. They are seen as living beyond the pale of common morality and decency. No parent would want to knowingly live near a convicted sex offender. However, how should the law, which is supposed to be cool and dispassionate, deal with the issue of the need for public safety and protection with the rights of the individual, regardless of the crime that individual has committed? The question arose in the case Connecticut Dept. Of Public Safety v. Doe which was heard before the U.S. Supreme Court on March 5, 2003.

The state of Connecticut passed what is commonly called a "Megan's Law." Megan's Laws require convicted sex offenses to register with a Department of Public Safety (DPS) upon their release into the community. This is so the DPS can post a list of all convicted, released sex offenders. In Connecticut, this list is available to the public on the Internet. In the case, a Mr. Doe filed an action on behalf of his own interests and others subject to Megan's Law and claimed that the law violated the Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause. The first section of the Fourteenth Amendment reads: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws" ("U.S. Constitution: Fourteenth Amendment, 2008. Findlaw).

The Connecticut District Court granted Doe a summary judgment, and agreed that "Megan's Law" was unconstitutional. The Second Circuit agreed and stated that the law deprived citizens of a liberty interest, and violated the Due Process Clause because officials did not afford registrants a predeprivation hearing to determine whether the offenders were likely to be currently dangerous. In short, the convicted, released offenders were deprived of their rights through the punishment of public defamation, even though they had no hearing that justified this continued punishment. The Second Circuit was also presented with the argument that Megan's Law was an ex post facto law and was therefore unconstitutional. An ex post facto law is a law that imposes a criminal penalty after the prohibited conduct has occurred and is therefore unconstitutional. For example, convicting individuals of, for example, tax fraud on their returns from 2005 based on laws passed in 2006 is an ex post facto conviction. Ultimately, the Connecticut court "declined to rule on the issue" (Dorf, 2002).

The U.S. Supreme Court, in 2003 lead by Chief Justice Rehnquist, disagreed with the Second Circuit Court. It decided that the Connecticut Second Circuit's judgment should be reversed because the court required that the defendant have a hearing to be subject to the public list, which the Supreme Court did not feel to be necessary. The court unanimously decided that due process does not require a convicted defendant have an opportunity to prove a fact and an injury to an individual's reputation in a hearing. Also it believed that potential defamation of character does not constitute the deprivation of a liberty interest, even if the individual was not proven dangerous to the community. Due process does not entitle a defendant to a hearing that he is not currently dangerous because the convicted offender had already had the due process of trial. In the words of the Chief Justice the: "Respondent expressly disavows any reliance on the substantive component of the Fourteenth Amendment's protections, and maintains that his challenge is strictly a procedural one," even though he had already had his 'day in court' ("Privacy loses to security," 2003, LSU Law Center)

Of course, it is difficult to support any law that…[continue]

Cite This Term Paper:

"Public Safety And Privacy Analysis" (2008, February 10) Retrieved December 8, 2016, from

"Public Safety And Privacy Analysis" 10 February 2008. Web.8 December. 2016. <>

"Public Safety And Privacy Analysis", 10 February 2008, Accessed.8 December. 2016,

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • Public Safety Privacy Analysis Illinois Concealed Carry

    Public Safety Privacy Analysis Illinois Concealed carry ban tossed by federal appeals court The ruling by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel in Chicago allows the public to engage in personal delivery possession of ready-to-use guns and other weapons of death. The court ruled that the public should be allowed to carry their weapons for self-defence outside their homes. Some lawyers who had fundamental details concerning the need to prevent the public

  • Threat of Terrorism Weighing Public Safety in Seattle

    Terrorism in Seattle Even before the World Trade Center attack in September, 2011, most major cities in the United States were not only aware, but anticipatory regarding the potential for a terrorist attack. Seattle has been fortunate in that it has never experienced an actual international attack, but has had three major domestic incidents since 1999 that continue to be in the minds of Emergency Management professionals. In 1999, Ahmed Ressam,

  • Privacy or Surveillance Political Topic Privacy

    Privacy or Surveillance -- Political Topic Privacy or Surveillance? We live in an age of heightened concerns about terrorism and public safety. The events of 9/11, the constant threat of future terrorist plots and mass shootings and public bombings have put both the American people and government on high alert. Some of the government's responses have included development of the Department of Homeland Security and terrorist threat level systems (Hiranandani, 2011). Other

  • Public Service the Modernisation of

    3. Changes in structure. In order to facilitate the above needs and requirements that are envisaged for the police services, the government has introduced a policy with regards to the structure of the police services. This is related to the view that there should be less of a "top-down" structure to the police services than was the case in the past. In other words, there is more of an emphasis on

  • Campus Safety Over the Past

    It is inevitable that behaviors of students inside a college classroom in a way depend on their race or ethnicity, which does not make it very neutral place of learning and social interaction. Studies have shown non-native speaking students struggle depression because they are in a different country and away from family. Scholars argue whether this is the implication of the alienation to students who form the mainstream population

  • Privacy for High School Students

    Internet: Privacy for High School Students An Analysis of Privacy Issues and High School Students in the United States Today In the Age of Information, the issue of invasion of privacy continues to dominate the headlines. More and more people, it seems, are becoming victims of identity theft, one of the major forms of privacy invasion, and personal information on just about everyone in the world is available at the click of

  • Privacy Rule HIPAA Ethical Health

    But the failure must be corrected within 30 days from the time of notification of the violation. Criminal penalty will be imposed on a person who knowingly obtains and reveals identifiable health information and violates HIPAA Rules at a fine of $50,000 and up to 1 year imprisonment. The fine can increase to $100,000 and the imprisonment to 5 years if the violation involves false pretenses. The fine can

Read Full Term Paper
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved