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Pursuant to Correction Law…cont

In the absence of any reason to conclude that the Legislature in amending SORA in 1999 did not intend the word conviction to have the same statutory meaning given that term in the Criminal Procedure Law, we decline to interpret this important provision of SORA in a manner that would lead to unintended and absurd consequences for a New York resident based upon a foreign-jurisdiction guilty plea to a felony sex offense that requires lifelong registration in that jurisdiction. That petitioner received a discretionary, alternative adjudication (not available in New York) upon his guilty plea to a felony sex offense requiring life-long sex offender registration in that jurisdiction does not obviate the remedial objectives of SORA, which is designed to assess the offender’s risk of recidivism and the particularized threat posed to and notification of citizens of this state.

Finally, the Supreme Court correctly rejected the petitioner’s other contention that he is not required to register under SORA because his 1994 Texas deferred conviction was rendered prior to SORA’s original effective date in 1996. When the Legislature amended SORA to require offenders to register for felony convictions requiring registration in other jurisdictions, it specifically provided that those amendments shall apply to persons convicted of an offense committed prior to such date who on such date, have not completed service of the sentence imposed thereon. The petitioner’s 10-year period of community supervision was still being served in 2000 and was not completed until March 31, 2004 and, thus, the amended registration requirement applied to him. Community supervision, as imposed by the Texas court is akin to a sentence of probation in New York in which reasonable conditions may be imposed, and the violation of which may result in the offender’s arrest, detention and revocation of probation and imposition of a term of incarceration. Thus, the Board properly determined that the petitioner is required to register as a sex offender in New York, and DCJS was authorized to require the petitioner to submit the requested Internet-related information.

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