Appealed from the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (Dec. 22, 2008)
Oral argument: Feb. 24, 2010
EX POST FACTO, SEX OFFENDER, SEX OFFENDER REGISTRATION, SORNA
The Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (“SORNA”) requires convicted sex offenders to register in any jurisdiction in which the offender resides and imposes criminal penalties on any sex offenders who travel in interstate commerce and knowingly fail to register. Before SORNA was enacted, Thomas Carr, a convicted sex offender, moved to Indiana but failed to register. A federal grand jury indicted Carr for his failure to register under SORNA. Carr appealed to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, arguing that applying SORNA violated the ex post facto clause as his conviction and travel predated SORNA. The Seventh Circuit held that SORNA did not violate the ex post fact clause because the failure to register occurred after SORNA was enacted. The Supreme Court’s decision will settle a circuit split over whether SORNA can punish sex offenders who traveled in interstate commerce before its enactment.