State of West Virginia v. Paul Edward Bostic

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The following questions have been certified to this Court by the circuit court. The State, petitioner herein and plaintiff below, notes that the questions present issues of first impression.

1. Does the 1999 amendment of West Virginia Code §§ 15-12-1 et seq., which retroactively increased the registration for certain sex offenders from ten (10) years to life based upon the age of the victim violate the State Constitution, art. III, § 4 and Federal Constitution, art. I, §10, prohibiting impairment of existing contractual obligations, the obligation herein having been created under a 1997 plea agreement between the State of West Virginia and the Respondent, a significant part of which required registration as a sex offender for a period of only ten years and not life?

The circuit court answered this question in the negative.

2. Does the 1999 amendment of West Virginia Code §§ 15-12-1 et seq., authorizing the State Police/Department of Public Safety, under certain circumstances, to impose an increase in the length of sex offender registration for earlier convicted sex offenders, from ten years to life, without notice and a right to a judicial hearing, violate the Federal Constitution and the West Virginia Constitution, art. 5, §1, relating to the separation of powers?