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Maryland Begins Deleting Sex Offender Names from Registry

Thursday, June 27, 2013

In a move that is expected to open the floodgates of sex offenders who will appeal to get their names deleted from the registry, the state of Maryland recently deleted a sex offender’s name from its registry. The name of Robert M. Haynes Jr. has been removed from the State’s registry, and a link that contains details about the guilty plea that he filed while pleading guilty to charges of abusing a 13-year-old child decades ago, has also been removed.

The registration has been eliminated because a Maryland State Court of Appeals recently declared that requiring people, who were convicted of sex offenses before the registry was established in 1995 to register themselves, was unconstitutional.

This means that there are several sex offenders in Maryland, who committed crimes before the establishment of the registry, and may now be eligible to have their names eliminated from this registry. In fact according to official estimates, as many as one in four registered sex offenders in Maryland might now file lawsuits to get their names cleared from the registry. Officials estimate that as many as 1,800 or out of the 8,000 registered sex offenders, would appeal to get delisted from the registry.

However, they are also likely to face a tough fight. Maryland officials have announced that they will strongly resist any appeals in this matter.

In 2009 and 2010, Maryland made sex offender registry requirements even tougher, and any new lawsuits that are filed to remove names from sex offender registries are likely to make those laws more relaxed. The state laws on sex offender registration have been a source of pride for the state administration, and Governor Martin O'Malley has hailed laws against sex crimes as one of his administration's major accomplishments.

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