The CCRC has filed an amicus brief in the Illinois Supreme Court in support of the appellant in People v. Bingham, a case challenging the constitutionality of a state law requiring registration as a “sexual predator” based on the commission of a non-sexual offense. The relevant facts of the case are as follows.
Jerome Bingham was convicted of attempted sexual assault in 1983 and served several years in prison on that charge. At the time, Illinois did not have a sex offender registration requirement. Thereafter, Bingham was convicted of a number of petty drug and theft offenses. In 2012, Illinois enacted an amendment to its sex offender registration act (SORA) providing that its registration requirement would apply retroactively to anyone who had previously committed a qualifying sex offense and, subsequent to the 2012 act, committed any felony. In 2013, Bingham stole goods worth $72 from a K-Mart storage lot. Although this would ordinarily have been a misdemeanor, the fact that he had a prior similar offense permitted it to be charged as a felony, which it was, thereby subjecting him to the sex offender registration requirement.