|January 23, 2003
Media Contact: Jenn Meale
Phone: (850) 245-0150
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TALLAHASSEE – Attorney General Charlie Crist has today formally asked the Third District Court of Appeal to stay its earlier 3-0 decision declaring Florida’s Sexual Predator Act to be unconstitutional. The three judges ruled that the due process rights of an admitted sexual predator were violated by automatically placing his name on the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s (FDLE) public list of sexual offenders. Citizens may visit the FDLE web site, enter their zip code and then verify if sexual offenders have moved into their neighborhood.
"This law is vital to public safety," said General Crist. "It is our duty to empower the people, especially law abiding citizens, to better protect themselves and their children wherever possible. Floridians are much safer with this law than without it."
If the stay is granted, the law will remain in effect until the appeals court makes a final determination. Either party then would have the right to appeal the decision to the Florida Supreme Court.
"Given the potentially devastating impact on public safety, the complexity of the issues, the serious consequences of this Court’s opinion, and the substantial impact on the administration of justice, an order granting a stay pending rehearing is warranted," wrote General Crist.