$12 Meat Theft Can Create Sex Offender Registration Requirement

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By Patrick L. Gregory

An Illinois law subjecting sex offenders to lifetime registration requirements if they commit any felony after 2011 doesn’t violate the U.S. Constitution, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held Jan. 17.

Anthony Johnson was convicted of rape in 1983, and received a felony conviction for stealing $12 worth of meat in 2013, the court said in a decision by District Judge Robert L. Miller Jr. Miller sat by designation from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana.

Because of the theft conviction, Johnson is required “to register for life” under Illinois’s Sex Offender Registration Act, the court said.

That requirement doesn’t violate the Constitution’s ex post facto clause, which says new laws can’t punish individuals for offenses that took place before their enactment, the court said.

It was “Johnson’s post-Act felony that caused today’s problems,” the court said.

His “prior criminal record simply increased the consequences of the 2013 conviction,” the court said.

Judges Daniel A. Manion and Michael S. Kanne joined the decision.

The federal public defender’s office represented Johnson.

The Illinois attorney general’s office represented the state.

The case is Johnson v. Madigan , 2018 BL 15605, 7th Cir., No. 16-3189, 1/17/18 .

To contact the reporter on this story: Patrick L. Gregory in Washington at pgregory@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: C. Reilly Larson at rlarson@bloomberglaw.com

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