Public Safety And Privacy Analysis Term Paper

Length: 4 pages Sources: 2 Subject: Business - Law Type: Term Paper Paper: #62320555 Related Topics: Privacy Laws, Statutory Rape, Privacy, Internet Privacy
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...


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…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

Dorf, Michael. (8 Oct 2002). "Megan's Law. Copyright, free speech among issues before Supreme Court." Retrieved 9 Feb at 2008 at

Privacy loses to security: The United States Supreme Court rules that states can put sex offenders on the WWW. (Connecticut Dept. Of Public Safety v. Doe, 123 S.Ct. 1160, 71 USLW 4125, 71 USLW 4158." (2003). Biotech Law: LSU. Retrieved 9 Feb at 2008 at

Smith et al., v. Doe et al. (2003). Findlaw. 2008. Retrieved 10 Feb at 2008 at

U.S. Constitution: Fourteenth Amendment." Findlaw. 2008. Retrieved 9 Feb at 2008 at

Cite this Document:

"Public Safety And Privacy Analysis" (2008, February 10) Retrieved June 14, 2021, from

"Public Safety And Privacy Analysis" 10 February 2008. Web.14 June. 2021. <>

"Public Safety And Privacy Analysis", 10 February 2008, Accessed.14 June. 2021,

Related Documents
Public Safety Privacy Analysis Illinois Concealed Carry
Words: 1675 Length: 5 Pages Topic: Law - Constitutional Law Paper #: 84309562

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

Public and Privacy Issues State
Words: 1312 Length: 4 Pages Topic: Criminal Justice Paper #: 87911228

If Hiibel had been arrested for driving under the influence and striking a minor child, his identity would not matter. In some of the other instances cited by the majority, such as the case of a violation of a restraining order, requesting identification under the reasonable suspicion a crime was being committed might be defensible, but under the circumstances of the case, it would seem that the conviction should

Ethic Social Media Use in Public Safety
Words: 2685 Length: 9 Pages Topic: Government - Agencies Paper #: 28839473

Ethical Dilemmas in Social Media Use in Public Safety Administration Today, public safety administrators at all levels are routinely confronted with complex ethical dilemmas that demand more than a casual analysis and response. Moreover, the types of ethical dilemmas that confront many public safety administrators at present have expanded to include issues that did not even exist a few years ago, most especially those involving the use of social media platforms.

Threat of Terrorism Weighing Public Safety in Seattle
Words: 5948 Length: 17 Pages Topic: Terrorism Paper #: 79626530

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
Words: 1904 Length: 6 Pages Topic: Education - Computers Paper #: 40358021

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

Privacy Issues in Mcdonald's: As Part of
Words: 897 Length: 3 Pages Topic: Business Paper #: 91687957

Privacy Issues in McDonald's: As part of its commitment to its customers, McDonalds Corporation is very sensitive to privacy issues. While the company does not share, sell or reveal any personal information to third parties, it may share this information within the corporation, subsidiaries, franchises and affiliates. However, the use of shared personal information within McDonald's family is based on the corporation's privacy policy. Notably, companies that may be engaged by