Erin Heaney


A modern twist on a classic romance: Romeo and Juliet fall in love in the twenty-first century. The same youth, naivety, and passion play out in the digital age. The families fight over bitcoins and Romeo and Juliet exchange tender words of love by iMessage, Tweet, or E-mail. Everything is exactly as expected, but tragedy strikes the couple in a way no one saw coming. In this contemporary tale of young love, both are spared death, but at a cost. In this version, Romeo is convicted for internet solicitation of a minor and must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. Not the ending you saw coming? Nevertheless, such is the fate of our young Romeo, living in 2020, if he pursued Juliet through iMessage, Tweets, or E-mail rather than at her balcony window. This unexpected ending to a classic love story is the result of outdated and overbroad internet solicitation statutes prevalent throughout the United States. To prevent the unintended consequences of these laws on adolescent offenders, this Comment recommends that states: (1) revise their statutes to reflect an exception for adolescent offenders; (2) allow the judiciary the discretion to make exceptions on a case-by-case basis; or (3) offer adolescents a meaningful opportunity for review or appeal of their registration requirements after rehabilitation.



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