By JAMIE MARKHAM — In a post last year, here, I discussed some of the issues related to sex offender registration for out-of-state offenses. Among other things, I noted a federal case in which a registrant challenged the constitutionality of North Carolina’s process (or, really, lack of process) for determining whether a conviction from another state is substantially similar to a North Carolina crime requiring registration. A subsequent case prompted a legislative change that is the main subject of today’s post.
The background rule at issue is in G.S. 14-208.6(4)b.—a conviction from another state is a reportable conviction in North Carolina if it is “substantially similar to an offense against a minor or a sexually violent offense,” which are the main categories of North Carolina crimes that require sex offender registration. A version of the same rule applies for federal convictions, including convictions by court martial. G.S. 14-208.6(4)c.