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Texas Parole Officials Can Be Held Liable Over Sex Offender Restrictions


A federal judge in Austin, Texas has ordered that state parole officials can be held personally liable by inmates suing over restrictive sex-offender conditions required of them, even though they were never convicted of a sex crime.

U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel issued the order.  Yeakel blasted the state's persistent refusal to provide due process hearings before imposing the sex-offender restrictions on an offender who was never convicted of a sex crime.

The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles and the Texas Board of Criminal Justice have argued that the state can unilaterally impose the restrictions  on any inmate without a hearing if the parole officer believes the inmate, who has never been convicted of a sex crime, might be a danger to the public. 

The ruling comes after years of legal decisions requiring state parole officials to provide hearings before they impose sex offender restrictions on felons never convicted of a sex crime.

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