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Janice's Journal

Janice’s Journal: The Many Wonders of a 4th Circuit Decision

The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals rendered an important decision yesterday, Does v. Cooper, that is full of many wonders. We can only hope that this wonder-full decision will serve as a guiding light for additional federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, in the future.

The greatest wonder of the 4th Circuit’s decision was the Court’s insistence that state laws which prohibited some, but not all, registrants from visiting public and private locations must be based upon empirical evidence if those laws could cover locations where people exercise their First Amendment rights of freedom of speech and religion. Such locations include, for example, public parks, public streets, public buildings, and religious institutions. The Court suggested that empirical evidence in support of such laws could include data, social science or scientific research, and legislative findings.

In fact, the Court strongly rejected the assertions of the State of North Carolina that anecdotes, common sense and logic could replace empirical evidence. The Court’s rejection, in fact, emphasized that “(w)ithout empirical data or other similar credible evidence” the State of North Carolina could not justify that its laws were based upon “the State’s legitimate interest in protecting minors from sexual assault.”

Another wonder of the 4th Circuit’s decision is the Court’s determination that one of the laws at issue was overbroad not because it applied to all of the state’s registrants, but because it applied to a smaller group of registrants who had been convicted of a violent sex offense and/or an offense involving a victim less than 16 years old. The Court noted that not all members of even that group “pose a danger to minors or are likely to pose such a danger”.

A third wonder of the 4th Circuit’s decision is the Court’s determination that another of the laws at issue was unconstitutionally vague because “neither an ordinary citizen nor a law enforcement officer could reasonably determine what activity was criminalized”. This part of the decision focused upon language in the law the prohibited registrants from visiting “any place where minors gather for regularly scheduled educational, recreational, or social programs,” without providing examples of such places or other guidance as to what the law requires.

We celebrate the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals decision and remember fondly a similar decision, People v. Nguyen, in a California state appellate court issued in 2014 that reached a similar conclusion albeit for different reasons. It is that decision which helped us, along with 31 cases filed in federal court, to eliminate virtually all presence restrictions in the State of California.

Our holiday hope is that all states in our great nation will soon follow these precedents and eliminate all laws that restrict where registrants may visit. This is particularly important at a time of year when the existence of such laws punish not only registrants but their loved ones by keeping them apart.

— by Janice Bellucci / all Janice’s Journal entries

Published Opinion

Related

4th Circuit strikes down North Carolina residency/movement restrictions on sex offenders

Join the discussion

  1. jo

    Baby Steps

    • CS

      Baby Steps? I don’t think so. This court has finally done what I’ve been complaining about for years; making them justify themselves. The court now asking for Empirical Data is huge. Maybe now is the time to argue the effectiveness on SORNA based on Empirical Data. That would question the basis of the theory (LIE) of high recidivism the registry is built upon. If this were a decision coming out of a Supreme Court we’d all be dancing in the streets.

      Where someone takes orders and others give, there has to be justification. They have a burden of proof to meet. If they can’t meet it we should be dismantling these laws. I think with this ruling we’ve begun this very process.

      The foundation of the registry is in our crosshairs. I have a lighter at the fuse, thumb on the striker. And I’m anxious like a racehorse!

      • Anonymous Nobody

        I agree, baby steps. I think this is less than it appears.

        Yes, it says they must show real evidence to justify the punishment to registrants. However, it has no automatic issue with the punishment if the lawmakers show a competing concern to justfy the punishment.

        But more important, you can get any opinion you want out of this “science,” the defense will get their’s and the prosecution will produce their’s. Under this ruling, as long as the prosecution presents there’s, its a go. OK, you could challenge it, but I’m sure the burden of PROOF would be on your side, and all you will have is an opposing opinion — opinion is all this “science” is going to be, and your opinion will be no better than their opinion, so you will not have met the burden of proof.

        So all this ruling says is that you must dress it up as legitimate, but that can just be a costume. Once NC dresses its law is a costume, it will be a go.

        • abolishtheregistry.com

          You’re probably were one of the people that said we’d never get to where we are now.

          These aren’t baby steps we’re beginning to see.

  2. American Detained in America

    When I saw that yesterday, I suspected this could be good news for not just NC, but for all registrants nationwide. Thank you for confirming this Janice. I’m curious if this decision could be used against the IML considering the IML was also passed with no empirical evidence that registered citizens traveling abroad posed a threat.

    • Davidh

      American detained in America:

      I would think so–that’s the crux of the issue: their claims are baseless, no data, how can they lump us all together and state officially to the world any of us pose a threat!

      What I am finding ironic is that we are seeing the conservative juror’s making progressive opinion’s, while we filed IML in the “liberal” 9th circuit and nothing is going our way!

      ” I’m curious if this decision could be used against the IML considering the IML was also passed with no empirical evidence that registered citizens traveling abroad posed a threat.”

      • Margaret Moon

        There is empirical evidence that “human sex trafficking” is perpetrated by gangs, not Registrants. The recent study, and there are others, done as a joint effort between the University of San Diego and Pt. Loma Nazarene University is an excellent resource.

      • American Detained in America

        Davidh, I’m a true conservative myself and I don’t see the conservative court making “progressive” decisions, but finally making conservative ones. Remember, it’s the conservative mindset not to continue to change or redefine or water down the U.S. Constitution, it’s a progressive view that it is to be constantly redefined. However, those who call themselves conservatives have been anything but conservative when it comes to crime and punishment, especially where our cause is concerned.

        • abolishtheregistry.com

          “However, those who call themselves conservatives have been anything but conservative when it comes to crime and punishment, especially where our cause is concerned.”

          Exactly.

          • pedro

            Remember bill Clinton started the registry and Pagans law (and we all know he should be on the registry) and Barack Obama caused the international problem….but we have to remember its honoring the constitution not a party….

        • Michael

          “it’s the conservative mindset not to continue to change or redefine or water down the U.S. Constitution.”

          That’s because they are too busy amending or attempting to amend state constitutions to, e.g., ban same-sex marriage, because laws attempting to do the same do not pass constitutional muster. 😉

          Let’s not forget that it was a Republican controlled Congress and a Right-leaning U.S. Supreme Court that ushered in these draconian laws back in the 90’s, and they have yet to take their foot off the gas.

          ….

          • abolishtheregistry.com

            Here’s what people like you either don’t get or intentionally disregard dishonestly.

            First.. Republican isn’t what it used to be nor is conservative. These politicians you call ‘republican’, simply aren’t.

            There’s a 3rd political group that runs both sides. They are no more liberal or conservative than a chicken is part of an Olympic track team.

            Until people come to grips with that, we’re going to continue biting at each others ankles and chasing our shadows.

          • American Detained in America

            Michael, maybe you forget that deciding that marriage is more than just between a man and a woman IS redefining the Constitution, as, at the time of the original document, the idea of a man and a man being married to each other was considered unconscionable. Anything other than the intended meaning of the Constitution is redefining it.

            • abolishtheregistry.com

              ‘that marriage is more than just between a man and a woman IS redefining the Constitution’

              You couldn’t be more wrong. The constitution defined individual liberty. Man twists it to fit their personal agenda. The constitution gives the government zero rights to marriage say so. Most who bark out things like you’ve said are only showing your ignorance.

            • David Kennerly

              The word “marriage” isn’t in the Constitution. Nor is the word “bible” for that matter. The men who crafted the Constitution also, rather brilliantly, included this lovely gem of an Amendment, the Ninth:

              “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

              The Constitution was not created as a bulwark for the prejudices of its times but to protect against them.

  3. Empirical Evidence specificity is next

    “In fact, the Court strongly rejected the assertions of the State of North Carolina that anecdotes, common sense and logic could replace empirical evidence.”

    Based upon this statement alone, Research Triangle in NC should be coughing on what the state thought considering they produce empirical evidence using scientific methods to defeat what is thought of as anecdotes, common sense and logic. (The Research Triangle, commonly referred to as simply The Triangle, is a region in the Piedmont of North Carolina in the United States, anchored by North Carolina State University, Duke University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the cities of Raleigh and Durham and the town of Chapel Hill. Wikipedia.)

    Research = Empirical evidence (aka statistical data)

    Next step, provide what are truly worthy empirical evidence generating research methods, e.g. NOT Static-99 solely.

  4. Son of Liberty Child of Freedom

    Janice,

    Thank you kindly for your overview of the wonders exposed to the light by the Judges of the 4th. Circuit Court. I Give Thanks to The Most High Father in Heaven for the clear Critical Thinking Skills He has given these Judges who now appear to see.

    Furthermore I appeal to The Most High in Heaven to bless you as He blessed King Solomon with Divine Wisdom and a Strong Heart. All say amen.

    As Yehovah lives, so should we

  5. Davidh

    Janice:

    I think the net, net of everything is that folks convicted of a sex offense would put up with and find reasonable a registry that was for law enforcement only. i believe we should advocate for what California had in place for half a century before AWA. If it’s supposed to be civil and serve law enforcement’s purposes then that’s what we should get our heads around and fully support that! Abolish any other SO law, keep it simple and useful, and constitutional…

    “Our holiday hope is that all states in our great nation will soon follow these precedents and eliminate all laws that restrict where registrants may visit. This is particularly important at a time of year when the existence of such laws punish not only registrants but their loved ones by keeping them apart.”

    • Tired of this

      I think the overarching goal should be the elimination of registration, period. If registration was to be LE only, it would be redundant and unnecessary because LE has access to our criminal records anyway. No citizen who is not on probation/parole should have to report to LE in any way, shape, or form ever.

      • PK

        Could you explain LE?

      • Son of Liberty Child of Freedom

        Tired of This, I concur!

        Any mandate to “Report or Give a Accounting of oneself” once a person has paid their debt is Indisputably “Involuntary Servitude” a clear form of practicing the “Conquest Ethic” the Antithesis of the US Constitution, and creates Divisions amongst Countrymen a clear abomination in the eyes of The Most High Creator Father in Heaven.

        I posit Wisdom from on High given freely to Moses on Sinai.

        Proverbs 6:16-19King James Version (KJV)

        16 These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
        17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
        18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
        19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

        Proverbs 6:16-19 Young’s Literal Translation (YLT)

        16 These six hath Jehovah hated, Yea, seven [are] abominations to His soul.
        17 Eyes high — tongues false — And hands shedding innocent blood —
        18 A heart devising thoughts of vanity — Feet hasting to run to evil —
        19 A false witness [who] doth breathe out lies — And one sending forth contentions between brethren.

        Mishle 6:16-19 Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB)

        16 These shesh (six) things doth Hashem hate; indeed, shevah (seven) are an abomination unto His Nefesh;
        17 Haughty eyes, a lashon sheker, and hands guilty of shefach dahm naki,
        18 A lev that deviseth wicked machshevot (plans), raglayim that are swift in running to ra’ah,
        19 An ed sheker that speaketh lies, and he that soweth midanim (contention, strife, discords) among achim.

        Proverbs 6:16-19 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

        16 There are six things Adonai hates,
        seven which he detests:
        17 a haughty look, a lying tongue,
        hands that shed innocent blood,
        18 a heart that plots wicked schemes,
        feet swift in running to do evil,
        19 a false witness who lies with every breath,
        and him who sows strife among brothers.

      • Davidh

        The difference is that California has had a registry since 1947 and they’re not about to go to zero–so calling for a return to the old is a plus!!

        • New Person

          If someone can actually post a link to where registration in California was called punishment initially would actually help tremendously.

          Why? B/c it sets historical precedent it was acknowledged as punishment.

    • Michael

      Sex offender registries are useless and give nothing more than a false sense of security. According to numbers provided by the National Association of Adult Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse, the vast majority of children who are sexually abused are abused by someone they know – parents, siblings and other family members make up the vast majority of abusers. Friends of the family, babysitters, neighbors and others within the child’s circle make up that balance. Strangers account for nighly 20%.

      ….

  6. pgm111

    Great news and very welcome this holiday season!

  7. Son of Liberty Child of Freedom

    The State of North Carolina has been trespassing on a path most wicked which has created evil. They have no compassion for those who repent of their errors but instead seek to destroy those who seek redemption for themselves and the innocent family member who suffer Unjustly with them.

    How manny times was The Most High Father in Heaven moved to forgive them their errors because He had compassion and took pity on them? But these wicked servants refuse to forgive their fellow countrymen.

    Hypocrites & Sons of Vipers!!!

    Matthew 18:21-35 KJVS
    [21] Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
    [22] Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.
    [23] Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.
    [24] And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.
    [25] But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.
    [26] The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
    [27] Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.
    [28] But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.
    [29] And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
    [30] And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.
    [31] So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.
    [32] Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:
    [33] Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?
    [34] And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.
    [35] So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

    As Yehovah lives, so should we!

  8. Ken

    Hi Janice,
    As a conservative, I believe that more and more conservative judges will see the constitutional rights that all of us understand and applaud. Perhaps the more liberal and progressive judges will find the value of factual evidence instead of “anecdotes, common sense and logic…”

    • David Kennerly

      Ken, as a libertarian, I am outside of the “conservative vs. progressive” (so-called liberal) debate and don’t like either of the duopoly choices. But I can tell you, from having carefully tallied the Supreme Court decisions relevant to sexual issues/sex offenderdom from the last thirty-five years that the Republican-appointed/conservative justices scored distinctly lower (from our vantage point) than those appointed by Democrats. There is simply no doubt about it. I scored each justice both for their rulings favorable to us and those which were not for twenty-six different cases. The worst were Scalia and Thomas. The best were Breyer and Ginsburg. It’s hard to get much more bedrock conservative than Scalia or Thomas. All of the others, except for Stevens, who was appointed by Ford but who is no longer on the Court, tracked pretty consistently along party lines. It’s all in my spreadsheet.

      • abolishtheregistry.com

        In order to tally all of that, you’d have to go through each judges personal and political life as well. Just because a person takes on a label doesn’t mean it actually fits them. Scalia was a republican, not conservative in my opinion. Real conservatives have heavy libertarian leanings. Ginsburg while being under a liberal label, is more conservative than Scalia and Thomas act lol

        • David Kennerly

          “In order to tally all of that, you’d have to go through each judges personal and political life as well. Just because a person takes on a label doesn’t mean it actually fits them. ”

          I wasn’t attempting to analyze each Justice’s “label” or, indeed, to afix one to them or consider the extent to which they identify with any such. I was showing how each, as an individual, and as an appointee by particular presidents, ruled in these cases. Really, the only label I’m attempting to afix to them is how they ruled in each case as well as which President appointed them.

          It’s very straightforward: how did each individual Justice rule in each case? Judicial philosophy and the particulars of ideology were outside of the scope of this scorecard system. Indeed, I wanted to get past our own prejudices and preconceptions to arrive at the facts of their indisputable rulings. In other words, it was not my purpose to communicate my, or others’, impressions and expectations that we might have of them and their presumed politics but to simply show what their relationship was to each case and then to score them based on the totality of these cases and to show these relationships to presidential appointments and their party affiliations.

          • abolishtheregistry.com

            I might’ve misread then. I thought you were highlighting their political bends and saying ‘liberal” judges leaned more our way and possibly mislabeling them. No offense. You’re one of the people I enjoy reading. (Even before you stated you were libertarian) 🙂

            • David Kennerly

              No problem! I think we all tend to get sloppy with labels sometimes and it is always good to point out when they are being used so. I sometimes use the terms “right” and “left” and “conservative” and “liberal” in ways that I object to as a kind of convenient shorthand that I recognize as problematic and confusing.

              My preference is to avoid the use, whenever possible, of, what I call, “derived” ideological labels rather than absolute ones, which have a fixed meaning, without pointing out what they mean on a more fundamental level.

              By that I mean many labels evolve to connote something altogether different (derived or evolved meaning) than what they originally meant (original meaning). An example would be the use of the term “liberal.” As you know, “liberal” once meant something very different in the U.S. than it does now. It still retains much of that original quality in Europe, for example, (although “liberalism” is an endangered species there) and which also complicates its Trans-Atlantic application.

              So I would describe myself as a “classical liberal” although I then often have to explain the difference, depending on the crowd, between that kind of liberal and those who might best be thought of as “progressive liberals.” I would greatly prefer to just use the term “liberal” (and sometimes I do, but for effect mostly) but in the interest of differentiating it from a more contemporary interpretation, I have to append the word “classical” (and then wait for them to ask what that means). Of course, “libertarian” is roughly equivalent today to “classical liberal.” I have embraced the expanded use by others of the term “progressive” who formerly called themselves “liberal” as it may allow classical liberals to simply go back eventually to calling themselves just “liberals” in the future. Because of that period of time in the early 20th Century in which Progressivism was all the rage (and individual liberty was under assault), “progressive” seems a much better fit for them, too. I don’t mean anything good when I say “progressive.”

              “Conservative” is a bit more complicated for me because there is not really any way in which I am a “conservative” (except in the constrained realm of wanting to “conserve” every Amendment of the Bill of Rights) and I think that its use in libertarian circles is seriously misguided and serves to confuse libertarians and non-libertarians alike and ultimately makes libertarian principles less knowable. For example, if someone truly has libertarian principles in matters of the free market but is socially conservative and wants to use the might of the state to enforce their views of human sexuality upon others, I’m not inclined to call them “libertarian” or to approach their ideology with any degree of generosity. Like “progressives” I don’t mean anything good when I say “conservative.”

              The Supreme Court has certainly been subject to the ebb-and-flow of cultural norms and societal fashion and ideological drift in its rulings has shown that culture does impinge upon its decisions, not just judicial philosophy. That’s why we can have a SCOTUS that rules against the rights of gays to engage in private behavior in their bedrooms during one decade and allows them to marry several decades later. This is a problem for us during the past three decades in which our liberties have plummeted but, who knows, may be of benefit to us later. The point is, regardless of judicial philosophy, the Justices do not operate in a cultural vacuum and the zeitgeist of our times very often intrudes into their rulings.

              Of course, the Justices must rely upon information to fairly rule but, when that information is bad and invented and pseudo-scientifically or religiously derived, as it has been about us, then the judiciary fails pretty miserably to faithfully discharge its responsibilities, as it did in Bowers v. Hardwick thirty years ago. We can only hope that the ultimate repudiation of that ruling will serve as a model for the trajectory of our own beleaguered cause of justice.

              • abolishtheregistry.com

                Superb comment. I’m of the same mind. I don’t find conservative to be bad though, it just means a respect for traditions, small government and fiscal responsibility. Political dbags have perverted it into what it’s seen as today. Same goes for liberal as you point out. I feel the urge to correct people when they use the terms seemingly incorrectly but you obviously don’t need it. Its just a silly pet peeve of mine, same goes when I see people use “inalienable” instead of unalienable.

                For those of us that understand what you’ve said and know, shorthand isn’t bad but for those that don’t know, it can reinforcing their ideas of the words. I think we as libertarians have to be careful about that. (Steps off soapbox)

            • David Kennerly

              I should add that I AM saying that Justices appointed by Republicans (and who are, themselves, known or believed to be Republicans) have scored lower than those appointed by Democrats. The one exception is (retired) Justice Stevens, who was a Republican appointed by President Ford. His record is as favorable (to our interests) as those of Breyer and Ginsburg.

              I’m not saying that I believe that Republicans, as a general rule, are worse than Democrats for our cause. Instead, I am saying, as a factual matter, that these particular Republican appointees to the Supreme Court, with the exception of Stevens, performed worse than these particular Democrat appointees; and I have included all of the Justices from the last thirty-five years in this accounting. We are free to make of that what we will but it is a matter of record.

              However, none of the Justices had a perfect record with regard to our interests. I have expressed their scores as numbers of cases favorable/versus numbers of those disfavorable. I wish I could show you the data.

      • Harry

        Thomas is on CYA show, he is someone is trying to keep a cover on the sexual abuse charges against him, by not supporting RC.

    • abolishtheregistry.com

      There’s a move towards the libertarian roots this country was founded upon and it couldn’t come too fast in my opinion. A real libertarian may find us just as disgusting as a democrat or republican but they wouldn’t support laws to oppress you.

    • Davidh

      i think progressives are afraid of being painted a weak–just as they are in politics–but you’re right about conservative judges they’ve been making all the progress in this area of law

    • Michael

      “Perhaps the more liberal and progressive judges will find the value of factual evidence instead of ‘anecdotes, common sense and logic…'”

      There is no logic or common sense in your comment. In PA, both a right-leaning and a more recent left-leaning supreme court [D’s gained control in 2015] have held in favor of sex offenders in a majority of the most recent cases going back to 2012 [when SORNA was ruled to violate the ex post facto clause of the PA state constitution].

      http://all4consolaws.org/tag/pennsylvania/

      Not everything has to be Right vs. Left.

      ….

  9. Timmr

    Basing laws on verifiable reality, who ever came up with such a novel concept? Maybe someome has verified whether laws based on verifiable reality in reality, actually, achieve the laws’ intent.
    Conversely, Santa Claus is real to those who believe.

    • New Person

      Then maybe if the California Tiering is pushed through, then we can sue based upon empirical data? We have proof of similar cases such as the People vs Nguyen case in Cali, this NC case, as well as the Michigan decision.

      What empirical data was utilized to construct the Tiers? And what exactly did CASOMB do with their empriical data of recidivism for the recent four years – all around 1%, with the latter two years below 1%.

      Get a FOIA request on CoR granting and rejections. See if that’s in favor of registrants. Regardless, the many scientific research have proven the more years away from the incident, the less likely for re-offense. If this is so, then why even petition to be removed? And why 10 years?

      Also, bring up the fact that Tier III have not direct path to privacy, as protected in the California Constitution as it is an inalienable right to obtain privacy.

  10. ReadyToFight

    @Tired of this
    I agree with your statement 110%

  11. mike r

    this decision is great news im so glad they posted its own thread.

  12. Eric

    This is heartening to read. I hope the right case can set the stage for a similar act of courage by the 9th Circuit.

    • Harry

      The IML is there now, Eric, we will see what kind of back bone, they have. The 4th Circuit ruling did come in a good time.

  13. abolishtheregistry.com

    The snowball grows! 🙂

  14. JM of Wi.

    Nice to see hope on the horizon.
    Happy holidays to all. This is a trying time for most here.
    I dream of the politician who runs on the platform of not just upholding the constitution; but getting rid of the financially wasteful registration legislation causing human suffering. — Maybe next Christmas.

  15. David

    Note: the Courts repeatedly informed the NC AG that the State must produce empirical evidence.
    Big fail, NC AG!! Your cavalier attitude is greatly appreciated! ☺

  16. mike r iscensored

    I really hope somebody takes these wins and really runs with em…that’s right show us the data in court on a record..that’s my new name it’s fitting for this site..a lot of people have been saying wheres the evidence

  17. Civil rights first

    These laws that signal out a group or individual are unconstitutional! Everyone should read up on “Bill of Attainder”
    Definition: A legislative act that singles out an individual or group for punishment without a trial. The Constitution of the United States, Article I, Section 9, paragraph 3 provides that: “No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law will be passed.”
    How is SORA, AWA, IML, RESIDENCY RESTRICTION or any law that attacks, sets restrictions against sex offenders an easily identifiable group constitutional?

    “A bill of attainder is defined by the Supreme Court as a legislative
    act which inflicts punishment on named individuals or members of an
    easily ascertainable group without a judicial trial.’ This definition has
    its roots in English common law and parliamentary history. At English
    common law attainder was an “inseparable consequence” of a death
    sentence imposed by the courts.’ The added penalty of attainder pro-
    ceeded on the theory that:

    when it is … clear beyond all dispute, that the criminal is no longer
    fit to live upon the earth, but is to be exterminated as a monster and
    a bane to human society, the law sets a note of infamy upon him…
    and takes no farther care of him than barely to see him executed.

    He is then called attaint, attinctus, stained or blackened . . . . [B]y
    an anticipation of his punishment, he is already dead in law.’
    The consequences of attainder were the forefeiture of the attainted
    person’s real and personal property” and the corruption of his blood,the latter consequence meaning he could not inherit and no one could
    inherit from him.” The attainted was “wiped out as if he had never
    been born.”‘”
    Because acts of Parliament which imposed a death sentence on a
    particular individual also carried an attainder, these special statutes were
    called acts of attainder. Similar statutes which prescribed a penalty short
    of death, such as banishment or loss of office, were called bills of pains
    and penalties. The Supreme Court has consistently ruled that the
    constitutional proscription of bills of attainder encompasses bills of
    pains and penalties, and, unless indicated otherwise, the term bill of
    attainder is used in its generic sense in this Comment.”
    The Supreme Court’s Bill of Attainder Doctrine: A Need for Clarification – Berkeley Law Scholarship …
    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://scholarship.law.berkeley.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi%3Farticle%3D2958%26context%3Dcalifornialawreview&ved=0ahUKEwjOqcnhnNjQAhVNyWMKHbURDwQQFghgMAY&usg=AFQjCNHT3EG4RfHi7BtzgC9FHmdnF0Q1tQ&sig2=b56KNGdmY90jml_q7gg9qQ

  18. mike r iscensored

    civil rights first those are extremely well articulated post on the bill of attainder claim….after I draft that into my motion we might need to come together and corroborate on how to strengthen this argument in full…excellent post….

  19. mike r iscensored

    another iss ue I need to research better and understand better when it comes to the ex post facto and bill of attainder claim is the fact that during sentencing in june of 2006 the judge stated that I had to register as a sex offender so im not clear on it but it seems on the face that that was part of the punishment that the Court ordered during sentencing…I have to articulate it perfectly in order to relieve me of duty to register as well as all the laws and regulations that were added after my sentencing…

  20. Al D.

    Don’t get your ganders in your danders just yet! We have Trump as President. We are seeing the effects of racism only based on some idiots perverse thinking that Trump, when he was elected, gave several fringe, radical groups the view that he is Hitler-incarnate. Though the S.O. Restrictions laws are slowly crumbling in many states, some power out there in the politico realms is developing his/her strategy to stop the courts from deciding in our favor in the future. Will their strategy work? Depends on who Trump removes from the bench and who that replacement will be – from District Courts to Court of Appeals on the Federal level. Well, that is the bad news for now. However… there is good news, too… From these decisions we can learn what the enemies are thinking and planning, and plan our litigation challenges (lawsuits) and develop a core legal strategy both for offensive and defensive purposes. It is actually comical that most all States and their local municipalities use the same legal defenses. The most interesting fact of these court cases is that several of the States failed to present credible evidence and empirical studies with credible statistics to show true recidivism rates based on government studies, university studies, psychological clinical studies, or proffer testimony from actual sex offender therapists. Their main support for their positions is the “common sense approach”… “if we restrict those convicted of sex offense from living near us, then we can protect our children”. Poorly misaligned, misplaced thinking – a waste of good brain cells! Then, based on that premise, these law grew into a goliath beast of harm, cruelty, and punishment purposely to exact a toll on us as an imaginary, feel-good, retribution of some sort. As the “Megan’s Law” took hold throughout the country in each state, each state was enticed by the federal dollars that went with the package; basically… you Mr/Ms State implement these laws and we give you money….Period! There was no historical data in which to use to support the implementation of these laws, because we have not had a “scarlet letter” law on the book for over 100 years, so we all forgot the damage that these laws cause. And, one tid-bit of true facts that were purposely left out when enacting these laws… That most sex crimes are perpetrated by first-time offenders! Now, with that said… In these litigations on our behalf, the most troublesome legal hurdle to get over initially was to get the ACLU backing. They did not want to dance in this arena, initially, because “it was a sex crime” and was taboo to touch or be associated with. But, as you see it now, the ACLU attitude has changed dramatically over the years. Another hurdle was convincing the Courts about the “ex post facto” violations on various levels from viewing these registration laws as punishment, enhancements, and extension of long-expired criminal sentences, to residential boundary and general movement/area visitation restriction municipal ordinances and state statutes, enacted after conviction. Courts are finally applying the ex post facto provision of the constitution correctly now. Believe me, some of the various Court’s previous decisions were bizzaro and made absolutely no legally reasoning sense. However, we are slowly overcoming these hurdles with good Court decisions. So, on that note, we are going to end this year with several positive decisions with Courts finally reviewing these archaic, scarlet letter laws under constitutional scrutiny and the dismantling process is starting! We have come a long way since these laws were enacted. The one interesting thing about this, and Attorney, Ms. Janice Berlucci and I, have discussed this… someone is preparing to challenge the constitutionality of these laws in a new, uncharted direction… (actually, we are getting ready to do this in one of the states) … the legal challenge is that these laws are unconstitutional in the fact that their “preambles” (the reason, letter, spirit and intent) to enact these laws, are based on scare tactics (to put fear in the public) and false facts about sex offenders, sex offenses, and true recidivism rates. Basically, these laws are premised and enacted on false information and facts, thus, opens the door to constitutional challenges. We now have the “empirical data” to show this through many lawsuits brought on our behalf, and most notably, compiled by the efforts of Ms. Berlucci! And… there you have it folks! Lets support ACSOL in its efforts to make this a greater country than even Trump imagined! Al D. (former attorney).

    • steve

      “the legal challenge is that these laws are unconstitutional in the fact that their “preambles” (the reason, letter, spirit and intent) to enact these laws, are based on scare tactics (to put fear in the public) and false facts about sex offenders, sex offenses, and true recidivism rates. Basically, these laws are premised and enacted on false information and facts, thus, opens the door to constitutional challenges.”

      We have been saying this for awhile….thanks for the info!

    • Punished For Life

      @Al D.
      Your words in this post are so very promising. It’s the words that thousands of us have been waiting to hear
      for many years now. Life as an RC has been very challenging. My wife and myself have taken the steps to be removed from the chains of the Nevada RC laws.

      Living month to month has made the nearly $8K investment just to seek a glimmer of freedom has been
      a daunting challenge. I feel deeply for those who cannot afford the process necessary under current law here. Nevada law says if there is a small mistake in the process of petitioning for relief, means the RC must wait another 5 years to start all over again. This prospect is devastation for many.

      It appears to me that the new tiered proposal in CA. will offer relief to those with pre-1987 convictions, sounds great on the surface, (what about the rest of RC’s?), but until the Federal Courts finally see the evidence you mention, hundreds of thousands in our country will still be in the prison that is the Registry.

      How many of us can afford to continue to spend $$$ to petition the courts with a good attorney.
      I would love to know the actual income levels of RC’s and how many can actually afford the process to gain freedom?
      Take the group living under a bridges in Florida? Are they equipped to defend their constitutional rights?
      I doubt it.

      Thankfully, there is promise that the unconstitutional AWA proposal is being looked at here in Nevada by competent attorney’s and that there is at least a State Supreme Court in Nevada willing to look deeper into the possibility that there is a real issue with the proposed law.

      Gaining progress in any individual State, is still a small step into the personal hopes of many RC’s, that there will be actual freedom sometime in our futures. The Federal Government and lawmakers need to be stopped in their tracks.

      @Al D. your post gives me hope that we are getting close.

      Thank you and Janice all for the continued efforts.

      • Tired of this

        Punished, I’d really like to get in touch with you. As a fellow resident of the Silver State (who moved here from CA earlier this year to escape lifetime registration and public disclosure), I’ve been looking into petitioning, but I keep hearing that one can only petition under the new law that is stayed, but not under the current system. I must be getting inaccurate information. I’d like to possibly contact the firm you hired to discuss this. As it stands, I’m a tier 1, but would be tier 2 if AWA is (hopefully never) implemented, which would negate my main reason for living here. Moderators, can you help? I don’t feel comfortable posting my email address here.

        • Punished For Life

          @Moderator,
          You may share my email address with “Tired of This”.
          Thank You

    • abolishtheregistry.com

      Move to Alaska and help me challenge it.

    • Chris F

      Al D, I am curious, is the challenge you talk about a “Bill of Attainder” challenge?

      It would make sense if it were. All of the evidence you talk about would be more than enough to support that. If the government would spend 1/100th of what it wastes on registration to create a real private database of all crime shared across jurisdictions than we would see more criminals caught and crimes prevented.

      All one has to do is look at the motivation behind every addition to what started as a private database to track actual child molesters and you can see that what has been created violates the”Bill of Attainder” clause.

      As an example, Mr Lunsford said publicly “I can”t get my hands on the guy that murdered my daughter so I’ve made it my job to make the rest of these sexual offenders and predators’ lives as miserable as I can.”*

      *http://www.oncefallen.com/quotes.html

  21. Matt Duhamel

    Thanks for sharing Janice. This is great news. I hope these decisions state wide will help in stopping similar city ordinances. It seems to be that this is the trend: cities passing unconstitutional laws restricting RSO’s from public locations. Take for example this story which is very sad:
    http://reason.com/blog/2016/11/22/dying-wheelchair-bound-sex-offender-must

  22. mike r iscensored

    I hope these decisions will encourage janice and team to participate in either assisting others or bringing suit herself in a challenge to the justification for these laws and the panoply of constitutional violations that are occurring because of that lack of justification ….those are the real issues and what I have been saying forever now is now being vindicated by decisions such as this…

  23. Brubaker

    Our Constitution wins.
    Our Constitution is the foundation on this outstanding ruling by the 4th District Court.
    Our Constitution has been saying it for over 200 years.
    No selfish idiot individual can take credit for that…You idiot.
    Anyways,
    The license plate motto for n. Carolina: The Unconstitutional state.

  24. USA

    Well, I don’t think anyone can argue against a tiered system. It’s a way out. I think most people (including myself) are concerned about (if they hadn’t before) having their info posted on the Megan’s Law Website. Furthermore, I hope the 10 year or 20 year requests to terminate Regiatratuon is black and white. I requested a COR some years back and the Judge stated he couldn’t find one reason to deny the motion, but it wasn’t enough/motion denied? So, this is important.

  25. The Constitution Is Dead

    All the while my life goes slowly dimmer. Whilst you argue back and forth on this and that here is the truth.
    I committed a crime. I paid society and the State for the crime under a contract of law that was my conviction. After my probation and having used that time to improve myself my thinking my heart and having asked GOD to guide me and having committed no further crime I was discharged from probation. A couple of years later I was granted a certificate of rehabilitation and my firearms rights were restored. I lived all the years until 2004 as a responsible person who worked, who loved his family & friends, who respected others. In 2004 I was forced through an unjust arrest for failure to register to a law that did not exist at that time of my conviction to register as a sex offender. Since then I have become mostly a man with ZERO LEGAL representation or VOICE. I walk among you everyday and would protect you and protect the badges I see. But you care not to protect my constitutional rights. I have lost all meaningful income. I have not been to a dentist in 15 years. I have no health insurance. I have only a small group of friends. I have lost and suffered in ways that you take for granted every single day. I have Honor. I have Respect. But the Constitution is DEAD. The land of the free and the brave is an illusion propped up for financial power mongers to steal your inheritance. It is a land full of corruption and political power mongers that do not care for the Nation or THE PEOPLE. Where is the attorney that will represent this man who has worked so hard to rebuild? Where is the attorney that will stand up for my rights? I’ll tell you where NO FKN WHERE cause it is a political landmine and not good for your career. The Legal System only works for the rich. The legal system has been designed to destroy those whom failed and committed sexual crime. My crime is so long ago. I rebuilt my life so many times. But the federal government through its bullshit laws with ZERO clinical data and actually flying in direct opposition to the real clinical data wanted to destroy me. While all of you sheep were being deceived via the sex offender registry and its promise to save children the power mongers devalued your real estate, they stole your retirements and devalued your investments. And magically almost ZERO indictments or sentences have come from the grand swindle. While you sheep sit in fear of the pedophile that is lurking in every proverbial bush yet another politician builds a career or improves it at the expense of the fallen. As you have sat mesmerized by the lies and disinformation regarding sex crimes your nation has been all but run into the ground. Large swaths of manufacturing has been exported to other nations. Foreign nationals and companies have bought up large portions of our nation while you drool over the nightly news and its pure biased bullsht.
    I have learned much from you. When I asked GOD to save me I gave him permission to use me to see the world through my eyes and so he has. He changed me, healed me so I do not need or ask for your forgiveness. The Lord made me a TIGER and so I live with the spirit of a TIGER. You can put all manner of labels upon me but you can not change me or GOD. I am his child and in the end you will hear my VOICE.
    Lord Hear my prayer. Let all those whom hold power and make laws and whom do so against our constitution let them and all their seed suffer. Let those whom swore to uphold the truth only to use a position of power to smite the weak let them feel your wrath. Let my suffering be avenged Lord Hear My Prayer.

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