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WV: West Virginia rejects juvenile sex offender registration

West Virginia’s highest court has ruled that juveniles judged delinquents for sex offenses don’t have to register as sex offenders when they turn 18.

The registration requirement applies to any person convicted of sex offenses. The court says under West Virginia law those delinquency adjudications are not convictions. Full Article

Opinion

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  1. Nicholas Maietta

    How the hell does that work?

    I’m GLAD these young people will get their lives back, but if they are “dangerous” enough to put on the list before 18, then suddenly when they turn 18 they are no longer?

    Things really are flipping upside down. It used to be nearly everywhere that if you under 18, you were a kid that couldn’t be held to the same standard as an adult. Once you reach 18, suddenly punishments were harsher. 18+ and commit a crime? Registry for life. 18 and under? Registry ’til 18 but not after.

    If they deem a juvenile’s past should be buried once they turn 18, then it means they are seeing the juvenile as not an adult, so why the hell would the suddenly consider it okay to give this kind of punishment to the juvenile but not to the same person as an adult? My head hurts from the confusion. This isn’t logical in any way to me. Someone help me out here.

    Can someone articulate better to me why this makes any sense?

    • Chris F

      I guess they can try to justify it as a type of shock therapy. Let the kids get a taste of how bad life is on the registry so they won’t do it again as an adult. While he’s a juvenile, it’s also a way to warn others that this kid is dangerous even as a kid around other kids. That’s my best guess as to how they rationalize it.

      Of course, the registry for kids or adults just needs to be done away with entirely, as it unconstitutionally violates separation of powers by letting legislature do the punishing and protecting of public from the offender which is supposed to be handled by the judiciary on a case by case basis and tailored to the individual and circumstances of the crime, as well as have methods of appeal. If a judge declares a juvenile is current threat then he should be able to decide who needs to be notified and what restrictions need to be placed on the juvenile, and it should not be decided by a politician’s one-size-fits all approach with an arbitrary length of time, or life, as the duration.

      • Timmr

        The only catch is some extortion site scrapes your name off that temporary official list and puts you in registry internet pergatory indefinately.

  2. mike r

    I dont know exactly where it began but this pre crime predictions and future telling fantasy that they think they have some ability to perform is just that..a fantasy straight out of a Piers Anthony story….

  3. a mom

    I agree with Chris. Every case should be judged on a case by case basis. True that some underage kids make the same stupid mistakes as adults do, but they should be treated/punished differently! I don’t understand the whole law as it is stated either but like Chris said, it might be a scare tactic for these juveniles to stay clean once they turn 18.

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