JERSEY SEX OFFENDER LAW OVERTURNED

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A federal judge today shot down a new New Jersey law that required authorities to notify residents when a convicted sex offender moved into their neighborhood. U.S. District Judge Nicholas Politan in Newark said the controversial law is unconstitutional because it amounts to additional punishment for released prisoners. However, the judge ruled that a provision requiring sex offenders to register with authorities is constitutional. The judge compared the law's community notification requirement to the Nazi practice of making Jews wear a Star of David. State Attorney General Deborah Poritz pointed out the Nazi mandate was imposed on innocent people, not released prisoners. She also contended the state law is not additional punishment, even though it might carry "unpleasant consequences" and stigma.