@NCCapitol

Court agrees some NC sex offender limits unlawful

Posted 5:58 a.m. Thursday
Updated 10:51 a.m. Thursday

NC Flag, Legislative Building, Raleigh

— A federal appeals court has upheld lower court rulings that found portions of North Carolina law restricting where registered sex offenders can gather are unconstitutional because they're overly broad or vague.

A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., on Wednesday affirmed the federal lower court decisions, which the state appealed.

One provision successfully challenged by several registered offenders who sued in 2013 prohibited them from going to places where minors gather for educational, recreation or social programs. The other restriction prevented them from being within 300 feet of certain locations where children are cared for or supervised.

The legislature last summer approved replacements for the challenged laws while on appeal. The appeals court didn't consider the amended laws.

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  • Steve Smith Dec 1, 11:09 a.m.
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    There needs to be serious reform. LE is wasting a good portion of their time on non-violent misdemeanors, who get put on the registry. Most of this bunch's, offenses did not involve children. This time would be better spent tracking the true bad guys: the felonious pedophiles, predators and rapists. The way the current laws are written they are not protecting anyone, as all the time is spent on non-violent individuals convicted of misdemeanors.