Alabama has the most onerous and punitive sex offender registration law in the country. Its provisions have caused many Alabamans to be homeless and unemployed, in some situations denying registrants the right to live with their own parents, siblings, or spouse. It effectively banishes registrants from living or working in any cities. Its restrictions also create impediments to travel, levy excessive fees and fines, and impose unparalleled reporting requirements that are unmatched across the United States.
Along with local counsel in Montgomery, Alabama, Equal Justice Under Law is challenging the constitutionality of Alabama’s sex offender registration law as violating the Constitution’s ex post facto provision, which prevents punishing individuals for past crimes. In many cases, the law applies to individuals who have not committed a crime in decades. The appeal in the case — McGuire v. Strange — is scheduled for argument before the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit on February 26, 2016.