Turner v. Commonwealth (P)

The appellant was required to register as a sex offender in Idaho. Pursuant to Code § 9.1-902(F)(ii), he was required to register as a sexually violent offender in Virginia. When he failed to reregister within the 90-day period, he was prosecuted and convicted for failing to reregister. The court of appeals properly upheld his conviction.

The plain import of subpart (ii) is to place within the definition of “‘any offense listed in subsection B,’ ‘criminal homicide’ as defined in this section, ‘murder’ as defined in this section, and ‘sexually violent offense’ as defined in this section” all persons convicted of “any offense for which registration in a sex offender and crimes against minors registry is required under the laws of the jurisdiction where the offender was convicted.”

The effect of the statute is to treat some persons convicted in another state differently than some persons convicted in Virginia by imposing on some out-of-state convicts a more onerous registration regime. Although the policy basis for this difference in treatment is not clear, it is not an internal inconsistency in the statute. The plain language interpretation also does not render the statute incapable of operation. Accordingly, this court will not resort to the absurdity canon to circumvent its plain language.


Turner v. Commonwealth (P), No. 180644, Apr. 11, 2019. SCV (per curiam) from CAV.

Categories: Opinions, Published, Supreme Court of Virginia


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