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in a 6-3 decision, the justices reversed a decision by the 9th Circuit that held that Alaska’s Sex Offender Registration Act, which requires offenders who had been incarcerated to register with the state and submit to quarterly verifications, violated the ex post facto clause because its retroactive application was punitive. Smith v. Doe, No. 01-729. The justices held that the retroactivity was not punitive and did not violate the ex post facto clause because the state only intended to protect the public. Kennedy’s opinion was joined by Rehnquist, O’Connor, Scalia, Thomas and Souter. Stevens, Breyer and Ginsburg dissented.

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