Powell v. KeelAnnotate this Case
A South Carolina circuit court's granted summary judgment in favor of Respondent Dennis Powell, Jr. on his claims challenging the internet publication and lifetime duration of his mandated registration as a sex offender under the South Carolina Sex Offender Registry Act ("SORA"). The circuit court held SORA's lifetime registration requirement was punitive under the Eighth Amendment and violated Respondent's rights to due process and equal protection. The court also determined SORA did not permit publication of the State's sex offender registry on the internet. Mark Keel, Chief of the State Law Enforcement Division ("SLED"), and the State of South Carolina (collectively, "Appellants") appealed the circuit court's decision. The South Carolina Supreme Court held SORA's lifetime registration requirement was unconstitutional absent any opportunity for judicial review to assess the risk of re-offending. Furthermore, the Court held subsection 23-3-490(E) permitted dissemination of the State's sex offender registry information on the internet. Accordingly, judgment was affirmed as modified in part and reversed in part.