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Failure to Register as a Sex Offender – Re-Sentencing in Bradshaw

Failing to register as a sex offender is one of the most serious offenses in Georgia law. The Georgia Supreme Court’s 2008 decision in Bradshaw v. State, however, went a long way towards correcting this anomaly in Georgia law. Prior to Bradshaw, Georgia was the only state that punished failure to register as a sex offender with a life sentence when the person had previously been convicted of that charge:

Every state has enacted a statute punishing the failure to register as a sex offender, but no state other than Georgia imposes a punishment of life imprisonment for a second infraction. Twenty-four states (including Georgia) have statutes that specify punishment for a second conviction for failing to register or maintain one’s sex offender registration. Of the other 23 states, one authorizes maximum punishment of imprisonment for less than a year for the second offense (Tennessee: 180 days); one authorizes a maximum sentence of one year imprisonment (South Carolina); another authorizes a maximum sentence of less than two years (Ohio: 6-18 months); 11 states provide maximum punishment of up to five years’ imprisonment New Mexico (3 years); Virginia and West Virginia (1-5 years); Minnesota (2-5 years); Missouri (up to 4 years); Maine (3-5 years); Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, South Dakota, Vermont (up to 5 years); six states provide maximum punishment of between 5 and 10 years’ imprisonment for the second offense Illinois (3-7 years); Indiana (2-8 years); Kentucky (5-10 years); Michigan (up to 7 years); Texas (2-10 years); Wyoming (up to 10 years); two states authorize maximum punishment in excess of 10 years’ imprisonment Louisiana (5-20 years); Nebraska (1-20 years), and New Hampshire authorizes a minimumsentence of seven years. Of the 25 states that provide a single penalty regardless of the number of previous convictions for failure to register, the maximum punishment is less than a year in Alaska and Wisconsin; the maximum penalty is between one and five years in 15 states Arizona (6-18 months); Delaware (up to 2 years); California (up to 3 years); Colorado (1-3 years); North Dakota (90 days-5 years); Connecticut and Kansas (1-5 years); New Jersey (3-5 years); and Florida, Hawaii, Mississippi, Montana, Oklahoma, Ohio, Washington (up to 5 years). Seven states provide for a maximum punishment of between five and ten years’ imprisonment Alabama (1 yr., 1 day-10 years); Arkansas (3-10 years); Nevada (1-6 years); New York (up to 7 years); Idaho, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island (up to 10 years). Utah authorizes a minimum sentence of 90 days.

Based on this review, Georgia’s mandatory punishment of life imprisonment is the clear outlier, providing the harshest penalty and providing no sentencing discretion. This gross disparity between Georgia’s sentencing scheme and those of the other states reinforces *683the inference that the appellant’s crime and sentence are grossly disproportionate.

Bradshaw v. State, 284 Ga. 675, 681-83, 671 S.E.2d 485, 491-92 (2008). The Court in Bradshawwent on to declare the mandatory life sentence requirement of a second conviction for failure to register as a sex offender unconstitutional.

So, I wanted to follow-up on the Bradshaw case to see what the defendant was re-sentenced to on remand. Here it is:

CASE NO: 650828


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About the Author

Ben Sessions, Attorney at Sessions Law Group
Ben Sessions

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