People in the Interest of T.B.
2021 CO 59. No. 19SC690. Colorado Sex Offender Registration Act—Juveniles—Cruel and Unusual Punishment.
June 28, 2021
The Supreme Court considered whether mandatory lifetime sex offender registration for offenders with multiple adjudications constitutes cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the US Constitution’s Eighth Amendment. The Court concluded that, under the test articulated in Kennedy v. Mendoza-Martinez, 372 U.S. 144 (1963), mandatory lifetime sex offender registration for offenders with multiple juvenile adjudications constitutes punishment. The Court further concluded that such punishment is cruel and unusual. Accordingly, the Court held that the Colorado Sex Offender Registration Act, CRS §§ 16-22-101 to -115, violates the Eighth Amendment to the extent that it mandates lifetime sex offender registration for offenders with multiple juvenile adjudications without providing a mechanism for individualized assessments or an opportunity to deregister upon a showing of rehabilitation.
The Court thus affirmed in part and reversed in part the Court of Appeals’ judgment and remanded the case with instructions that petitioner receive a new hearing on his petition to deregister.