“Clear and Convincing Evidence” Now the Standard for Sex Offender Classification in Massachusetts

SUMMARY: In an earth-shifting case, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) increased the standard of proof necessary for the Sex Offender Registry Board (SORB) to classify a convicted sex offender. The SJC increased the burden to a “clear and convincing” standard, replacing the older “preponderance of the evidence” standard. CASE NAME: Doe No. 380316 v. Sex Offender Registry Board, 473 Mass. 297 (2015) . DECISION: Unanimous, 7-0, opinion by Justice