photo - A federal court judge in Denver has called the public sex offender registry in Colorado “cruel and unusual punishment.” Courtesy photo.
A federal court judge in Denver has called the public sex offender registry in Colorado “cruel and unusual punishment.” Courtesy photo. 

The Colorado Attorney General's Office plans to appeal a federal judge's ruling that questioned the legality of the state's sex offender registry.

The plans were announced on Wednesday, roughly two weeks after U.S. District Judge Richard Matsch in Denver ruled in a federal civil rights lawsuit that the law subjected three male sex offenders to "cruel and unusual punishment" and violated their due process rights.

For now, the ruling applies only to the three plaintiffs and is unlikely to change how Colorado tracks sex offenders, but that could change based on how higher courts interpret the case, legal experts say.

The appeals process in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals can range from months to more than a year. The higher court's decision can potentially be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, leaving the issue bound up in litigation for the foreseeable future.

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