The truth about sex offenders and registration

It’s still not known whether a federal judge’s recent ruling declaring Colorado’s Sex Offender Registry unconstitutional as applied to three registrants will have broader implications in Colorado or nationwide. But, the attorney who represented the plaintiffs says the judges decision could be applied to others.

The attorney, Allison Ruttenberg, is quoted extensively in this article at

Proponents of the registry argue that sex offenders are likely to commit the same crime again in the future. But Ruttenberg begs to differ. “This is based on anecdotal evidence, not any type of exhaustive statistical study. But I believe close to 95 percent of registered sex offenders in Colorado have only one offense — and it could be as high as 98 percent. So the myth of recidivism is just that: a myth. In fact, the recidivism rate for sex offenders turns out to be one of the lowest recidivism rates for any class of felons.”

Could the Colorado decision, along with similar decisions in other states, signal a shift in judicial thought regarding sex offender registration?

Writing at, Jacob Sullom wonders whether the Colorado decision, along with similar conclusions by courts in other states, will spur the U.S. Supreme Court to reconsider its 2003 decision that sex offender registration does not amount to punishment.

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