Judge rules state can repost names of sex convicts

Posted: Thursday, March 27, 2003

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A federal judge has ruled that the state can return the names and photographs of convicted sex offenders to an Internet site.

U.S. District Judge Russel Holland made the decision Tuesday in a lawsuit challenging the state's registry of convicted sex offenders. Holland's decision follows a recent ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The high court said that posting the information does not equal additional punishment, even for offenders who finished their sentences before Alaska enacted a sex offender registry law in 1994.

Holland said he had the names of 3,000 sex offenders removed from the Web site because it was an extreme hardship for people like the plaintiffs to have their names listed while the case was on appeal. That hardship no longer exists, Holland wrote.

The plaintiffs in the suit use the aliases John Doe III and John Doe IV.

Dean Guaneli, chief assistant attorney general, said there's no word yet on when the names will be back online. The state needs time to get new information and to repost the names and photos, he said.

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