Fourth Circuit ruled South Carolina sex offender DNA law constitutional

On March 27, 2009, the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled that a South Carolina law requiring first-degree sex offenders to submit to a DNA test and pay $250 in processing fees prior to their release does not violate the Ex Post Facto Clause of the US Constitution. The case of Eubanks v. South Carolina Department of Corrections, was brought by convicted sex offender Anthony Eubanks, who was required to undergo a DNA test after the law took effect in July 1995. This was the third case in which a court upheld the South Carolina statute because the DNA testing serves a regulatory function and is not intended to be punitive. In September 2005, a New Jersey court ruled that a law requiring similar testing in their state was constitutional on the same grounds.

Learn more about the Ex Post Facto Clause and the laws governing sex offenders from the JURIST news archive.


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