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High Court Overturns Ban On Sex Offenders In Care Facilties

This article is more than 11 years old.

The state's highest court unanimously ruled on Friday that a Massachusetts law that targets the most serious sex offenders is unconstitutional.

The 2006 law applies only to people classified by the state's Sex Offender Registry Board as Level 3 offenders. It prohibits them from living in nursing homes or other long-term care facilities.

Justices of the Supreme Judicial Court say the state cannot infringe on people's right to live where they choose without providing them an opportunity to appeal.

The court has upheld other restrictions on sex offenders, but the ruling notes those cases offer offenders chances to appeal their classifications.

The ruling stems from a lawsuit filed by a man identified only as John Doe, who was convicted of assaulting two children in 1992.

The justices say enforcing the law would have made the man — who has Asperger's syndrome and suffers seizures — homeless.

This program aired on August 5, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.


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