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Click here for the full text of this decision “[I]t is unnecessary to decide whether appellant has a protected liberty interest because, even if he does, the information he seeks to prove [that he is nondangerous] is irrelevant under the SORP. . . . [T]he 1999 version of the SORP, like the 1997 version, is non-punitive in both intent and effect.” FACTS:William Robinson was charged with failing to comply with the sex offender registration program. He filed a pretrial application for writ of habeas corpus in the trial court arguing that the SORP statutes, found in Code of Criminal Procedure Article 62.01, et. seq., are facially unconstitutional and as applied to him. He claimed, among other things, that the SORP statutes violate procedural due process by failing to distinguish between dangerous and nondangerous offenders and that it constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. The trial court held a hearing and denied relief. Robinson appealed, and the court of appeals affirmed the trial court’s ruling. The court of appeals rejected Robinson’s procedural due-process claim because it concluded that he failed to establish that he had a protected liberty interest. It also held that the SORP’s purpose was not punitive so it did not constitute cruel and unusual punishment. HOLDING:Affirmed. The Texas statute, like the Connecticut one in Connecticut Department Of Public Safety v. Doe, 123 S. Ct. 1160 (2003), requires registration of all sex offenders, dangerous or not. Robinson concedes this and argues that this is the very flaw with the SORP that it does not distinguish between dangerous and nondangerous offenders. He seeks a hearing to establish that he is not dangerous. This is the same argument that Doe made, and, like Doe, Robinson specifically limits his argument in this court to one of procedural due process, not substantive due process. As the U.S. Supreme Court explained, there is no right to establish facts that are irrelevant under the statutory scheme. Like the U.S. Supreme Court, the court concludes that it is unnecessary to decide whether Robinson has a protected liberty interest because, even if he does, the information he seeks to prove is irrelevant under the SORP. Robinson argues that, even if the purpose of the SORP statutes are nonpunitive, this court must still consider whether its effects are punitive by applying the factors set forth by the Supreme Court in Kennedy v. Martinez-Mendoza, 372 U.S. 144 (1963). In that case, the Supreme Court set forth the so-called”intent-effects test,” under which courts consider whether a statute’s intent is punitive and, if not, whether its effect is. Rodriguez v. State, 93 S.W.3d 60 (Tex. Crim. App. 2002). Robinson relies on Doe v. Otte, 259 F.3d 979 (9th Cir. 2001), as support, in which the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found Alaska’s SORP unconstitutional by applying the Kennedy factors, even though the statute’s intent was nonpunitive. But the Supreme Court reversed this holding after Robinson’s brief was filed. The Supreme Court held that the Alaska statute’s effect is nonpunitive. Robinson is correct that the court of appeals should have applied the Kennedy factors and determined whether the SORP’s effect is punitive. But he is incorrect about the result of that application. As the state points out, Robinson ignores the fact that this court already thoroughly applied the Kennedy factors to the 1997 version of the SORP and found it nonpunitive in effect. The only question here is whether the 1999 amendments to the SORP somehow changed the result of that analysis. Robinson points to nothing, and the court finds nothing in the amendments that would alter the court’s Rodriguez analysis. The court concludes that the 1999 version of the SORP, like the 1997 version, is nonpunitive in intent and effect. As a result, it does not constitute cruel and unusual punishment. OPINION:Keasler, J., delivered the court’s opinion.

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