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Court Upholds Fla. Sex Offender Registry

A federal appeals court upheld two Florida laws that require sex offenders to register with the state after getting out of prison and to submit DNA samples.

A group of sex offenders challenged the laws as violations of their federal constitutional rights, but the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (search) disagreed in an opinion issued Monday.

The registration law was enacted after the 1994 kidnap, rape and murder of 7-year-old Megan Kanka (search) by a convicted sex offender in New Jersey. Her slaying spurred the creation of similar "Megan's Law" statutes nationwide.

The requirement is "rationally related to a legitimate government interest," Judge Stanley F. Birch Jr. wrote for a unanimous three-judge panel.

The DNA collection law requires samples from people convicted of a variety of sex crimes as well as non-sex crimes including any offenses using firearms, murder, burglary, carjacking and elderly abuse.

The appeals court ruling upheld U.S. District Judge Daniel Hurley's dismissal of a lawsuit filed on behalf of sex offenders suing anonymously under the name John Doe.

There was no immediate response Tuesday to calls seeking comment from attorneys on both sides.