Some Oklahoma Sex Offenders May Be Taken Off Registry List
Dana Hertneky, News 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Hundreds of sex offenders will no longer have to register with the state's sex offender registry, according to a local attorney.
An Oklahoma County judge made the ruling Wednesday telling the state to remove many names immediately.
The ruling will affect all sex offenders convicted before 2007. That's when the legislature changed the law lengthening the amount of time offenders have to remain on the registry.
Before, it was ten years for everyone. Now the worst offenders have to register for life.
"It affects my entire life," said one man on the sexual offender registry who asked not to be identified. He's been on the registry since 1996 when he was convicted of urinating in public.
"It's time consuming. It's embarrassing," he said.
When 2007 rolled around, he was supposed to be removed from the registry, but that's when the new law kicked in putting him back on the list.
"That year, for Christmas, I got a note saying I got 15 more years."
Wednesday, a district judge said approximately 60 offenders will have to be removed from the sex offender registry.
The ruling comes after two appeals courts said it was unconstitutional to apply a punishment after the criminal has been sentenced.
"I think there's literally hundreds of sex offenders that will be able to be removed from their list," said David Slane, an attorney who represents a majority of offenders in the recent case.
"I think many of them feel that they've done what the court asked of them," said Slane. "They complied with the law of registration and they want a second chance."
Still, while some people won't have a problem with offenders with less serious offences no longer registering, violent sexual offenders and pedophiles will also no longer be public record, and that's what concerns parents like Brooke Peyton.
"I think it's upsetting that myself, as a parent, won't be fully informed," Peyton said.
Sexual offenders taken off the list will also no longer be restricted from living near a park or school.
The current guidelines still apply to anyone convicted after 2007.