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no later than 02/24/17

Research Paper - Sex Offender Registry

There will be one writing assignment due in this class which will be due as described below.  All requirements of the research paper are below.    Late papers will lose some or all of the available points. 

Every state has addressed the registration and/or publication of a database of convicted sex offenders returned to parole or probation supervision.  Your research assignment is to select a state (your home state, or the state where you live now, or some other state of your choosing) for which you will conduct internet research.   Your research paper must cover topics including, but not limited to:

1          Your state's regulations that are specific to registration of the sex offender, that is, tell what crimes trigger sex offender registration.  Many sex offenses fall under the registration law while others do not.  Within this topic heading provide a link to your state's laws which establish the triggering crimes.  (In your paper identify this discussion as "Topic 1.")

2          Procedural guidelines related to the implementation of the registration/registry publication program.  Information should typically include:  a) How long after release or moving into a city/state do they have to register?  b) For how long must they register and verify their address?  c) What information must the registrant provide?  d) Who pays for registration/publication?  Within this topic heading provide at least these three links:  a) a link to your state's law establishing the procedures, b) a link to your state's offender registry, and c) a link to the registry page displaying sex offenders who reside within your neighborhood or ZIP code (clearly identify this link as being from your neighborhood or ZIP).  (In your paper identify this discussion as "Topic 2.")

3          What are the punishments (category of offense [felony or misdemeanor and grade or level] and term of confinement/fine) for noncompliance with the registration requirements?  Within this topic heading provide a link to your state's penal code, code of criminal procedure, etc., which establishes these punishments.  (Punishments for sex offenses is not sought here, only for noncompliance with registration requirements.)  (In your paper identify this discussion as "Topic 3.") 

4          Are there Constitutional challenges?  Be specific  —  have there been any court challenges to the state registration law?  If so, describe the court case in manner similar to topic 7 below; within this topic heading provide a link to the case.  If there are no challenges within your state, you may research challenges in another state if you desire.  (In your paper identify this discussion as "Topic 4.")

5          State your belief whether the laws regulating sex offender lifestyle have gone too far.  If you believe they have, in what way?  If you believe they are reasonable, state why.  Use critical thinking skills (defined at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_thinking and http://www.criticalthinking.org/pages/defining-critical-thinking/766  to define your response.  Your discussion of this topic must contain at least 250 words.  (In your paper identify this discussion as "Topic 5.")

6          State your belief whether legislation regulating sex offender registration/publication is or is not Constitutional.  (Ensure you review the Bill of Rights before you give your opinion.)  Use critical thinking skills to define your response.  Your discussion of this topic must contain at least 250 words.  (In your paper identify this discussion as "Topic 6.")

7          U.S. Supreme Court cases.  In addition to the case you discussed in Topic 4, research two U.S. Supreme Court cases dealing with issues related to sex offender registration.  In each case brief state the following:  the parties to the case and the case citation; the facts of the case; how the lower courts (trial and appellate) decided; and how the U.S. Supreme Court decided — if the lower decision was affirmed or reversed, and how the justices voted.  You may want to refer to cases decided during 2003 wherein the Court decided cases out of CT and AK (or others).  FindLaw.com is a good site to perform your research.  Within this topic heading provide links to both cases.  Cases decided by a state supreme court or an appeals court other than SCOTUS are not acceptable for this topic; cases must be U.S. Supreme Court  — ensure your cases are U.S. Supreme Court cases and not a state's supreme court.  I cannot envision a detailed and complete case brief being less than 200 words, thus this section should contain at least 400 words total.  (In your paper identify this discussion as "Topic 7.") 

Use the words "Topics 1-7" as your topic headings and below each topic heading provide the results of your research.  This is the format for your paper:  topic headings, the results of your research regarding that topic, and links to the sites you researched for that topic.  I repeat:  topic heading, your research, sites researched.  (Do not repeat in your paper the description of the topics to be responded to; merely use the words "Topics 1-7.")  APA or MLA format is not required, essay style is fine.

Cite your internet resources.  You must provide links for triggering offenses in topic 1; your state's laws for the process, state registry and your neighborhood in topic 2; punishment statute in topic 3; and cases in topics 4 and 7 above — a total of eight links.  Additionally you must cite at least four relevant references in addition to the ones in the topics.  Any information extracted from a web site should include the link following the extracted information.  Links shall appear within the topic section to whey they apply; do not put links at the end of the paper; they go within the section to which they apply.  I repeat:  under the topic, not at the end of the paper.

Your research paper covering topics 1-7 above must have a word count of at least 1,600 words.  Papers which do not reach this word count will lose some or all of the available points.

Do not embed any decorative pictures, clip art, or graphics in your research paper; charts and figures may be included so long as they contain material relevant to the text of the research paper.  Remove any HTML code that may accompany text you copy from an internet site.

Before you begin researching or writing your paper, review several sources on how to research a paper and how to write it.  This site from Rice University is a good general reference and provides information on format and methods:  http://www.ruf.rice.edu/~bioslabs/tools/report/reportform.html  . 

Others from universities and  publishers:   http://www.gale.cengage.com/free_resources/term_paper/index.htm  



Submit your paper in a BB message.  If there are charts or tables or formatting that may be lost in copying the paper into the body of the BB message, or if format problems occur when you attempt to copy it into a BB message, you may attach a Word document or other word processor document to the message.  Before submitting it, double-check to ensure all the requirements above have been met.  Do not submit your paper in an e-mail to my office.  BB message only.  Also, do not use attachments (documents) with the .WPS extension since BB will not allow me to open nor save such an attachment.  Documents with .RTF are OK.

The value of this project is up to 250 points. To be eligible for the full 250 points, ensure that your paper addresses topics 1-7 with all required links and 1,600 words and adequately covers two SCOTUS cases.  To avoid late penalty, this project is to be completed on or before midnight Tuesday, February 28, 2017.  N.B.  This is about 10 days before the end of the semester to allow me time to grade your papers before course end.

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