The constitutional right to due process requires the Sexual Offender Registration Review Board to give people it designates as a “sexually dangerous predator” the right to a hearing, according to the Georgia Supreme Court. In the case of Gregory v. Sexual Offender Registration Review Board, Bob Rubin and Scott Key argued that the board and a Fulton County judge denied their client a fundamental right when it classified their client at the highest level of dangerousness without even giving him a hearing. The Georgia Supreme Court agreed with Rubin and Key and sent the case back to Fulton County for a hearing.
The Board’s classification as a “sexually dangerous predator” is the most serious classification for the board, and carries with it a lifetime of restrictions for the person classified. For instance, the classification requires the person to report to the sheriff more frequently, it restricts employment opportunities, and it requires the person to wear an electronic monitor on his ankle for the rest of his life.
The Georgia Supreme Court, at Rubin and Key’s urging, held that the danger of an erroneous classification was substantially greater without an opportunity to present evidence at a hearing. The Court remanded the case back to Fulton County Superior Court in order to give Mr. Gregory a meaningful opportunity to present favorable evidence and to confront the evidence the board used against him.
Rubin and Key believe that if given the opportunity to present expert witnesses and fact witnesses before a judge, they can show that Mr. Gregory’s classification was, in fact, erroneous.
See full decision by Georgia Supreme Court.