St. Louis Public Radio News
3:34 pm
Fri July 11, 2003

Sex Offenders Challenging MO's Sex Offender Law

Kansas City, MO – Eight registered sex offenders are challenging Missouri's so-called Megan's Law. That's the law that requires sex offenders to register in their home county.

The lawsuit, filed in Kansas City, claims the law is an added punishment on offenders without a jury trial and that it restricts offenders' personal freedom.

State Attorney General Jay Nixon says he doesn't expect the lawsuit to succeed because the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld similar laws in Connecticut and Alaska.

Kansas City lawyer Arthur Benson II filed the suit Thursday in Jackson County Circuit Court. The plaintiffs, not identified, are six men and two women.

The lawsuit specifically claims Missouri's law restricts personal freedom without a hearing, is applied to past offenders and adds punishment without a jury trial. It also claims the law treats different groups of offenders similarly, requires registration after other punishment ends, and creates a special class of people.

Every state has a version of the sex offender registration law, known commonly as "Megan's Law."