Corrections Department officials used that new law to retroactively increase Crawford's time on the sex offender registry. Slane said he sued on Crawford's behalf and obtained a court order to have Crawford's name removed from the registry, but said corrections officials declined to act on the court order, pending the state Supreme Court appeal that was decided Tuesday.
Slane estimated that he has obtained more than 200 court orders in recent years directing the removal of individuals' names from the sex offender registry, but said the Corrections Department has been refusing to act on them, pending the Supreme Court's decision. He estimated another 200 similar court orders were issued on behalf of sex offenders represented by other attorneys.
Slane said he expects the Corrections Department to act fairly quickly to remove from the registry the names of the 400 or so sex offenders with court orders. Others may have to wait longer, he said, adding that he believes 2,000 to 3,000 convicted sex offenders ultimately may be entitled to have their names removed.
Jerry Massie, spokesman for the Corrections Department, said department officials are discussing the Court's ruling and expect to post something on the agency's website within the next day or two, explaining how the department will comply with the decision.
Preliminary discussions have centered on department officials reviewing the registry and removing the names of sex offenders who appear to qualify under the court's ruling.
Massie said no time frame has been established for such a review, but it “might take a month or so.”
At the end of the process, sex offenders who believe they were wrongfully kept on the registry could ask to have their cases reviewed, he said.
Slane said he believes department officials will drag their feet and offenders may have to go to court to assert their positions.