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National

MA: Our view – SJC ruling makes sex offenders ‘invisible’ to the public

____ had already served a lengthy prison sentence for rape when, police say, he posted a fake apartment listing on Craigslist earlier this month, luring a woman to his Swampscott apartment, where he beat and sexually assaulted her.

The victim of ‘_’_’s alleged May 3 attack should have been able to learn of his criminal past before meeting him. And his neighbors in Swampscott deserved to know a sexual predator was living nearby. However, thanks to a highly questionable ruling two years ago by the Supreme Judicial Court, no one outside of the police officers who dealt with him knew of his background. Full Article

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  1. Chris F

    Ugh….yet another fear mongering “journalist” trying to infer the crime wouldn’t have been committed if the person was on the registry.

    Complete garbage. First, the woman most likely wouldn’t have looked him up before meeting, and second, he probably wouldn’t use his real name if he was on the registry.

    At least it sounds like Massachusetts moved in the right direction by requiring people actually be deemed a threat of future crimes by a trial before being stuck on the public registry. I didn’t know any state made this type of progress! Are there others?

    • AJ

      @Chris F
      You touched on the exact points that came to my mind as I read this. Apparently we weren’t the only ones, as the comments attached to the op-ed say likewise. In fact, every comment attached (as of my viewing it) is pro-RC/anti-registry. Very heartening to see that sort of support.

      What made me chuckle a bit was the writer’s complaint that, “[m]aking things worse, the Supreme Judicial Court backdated its ruling, saying it applied to already classified offenders.”
      The writer seems to have a problem with retroactive (“backdated”) decisions. Where was that displeasure when SORAs were implemented like that? Oh wait, that served their agenda so the Constitution didn’t matter.

      Also, “[a]uthorities say it could be years before all the reclassification hearings are held. In the meantime, newly convicted offenders aren’t being classified.”
      Maybe if the process didn’t force monitoring and hounding the 95+% who are of little risk, they’d have the time and resources to move a little faster on those who actually pose a risk. To me, another example of the system and scheme hindered by its own ridiculousness. [Cue crocodile tears.]

      Lastly, does anyone else see the irony that this op-ed comes from Salem, MA? Didn’t they have a problem with this sort of baseless fear a few hundred years ago…? 🙂

      –AJ

  2. mike r

    imagine that the goid ol’ clear and convincing evidence standards, it seems like I’ve heard someone saying that for a while now..hmmmmmm

  3. Tired of this

    Typical fear-mongering. Use a rare worst-case example to drum up fear and rage toward the other 95+% of law- abiding registrants who are just trying to get on with life in peace.

    And Chris F, I have to disagree with you on one point: having a trial to determine one’s future risk is akin to being put on trial for a crime one might commit in the future. I don’t think that’s necessarily progress. I don’t believe it is the government’s (or anyone’s) job to “predict” what someone might do in the future.

    • Chris F

      @Tired of this

      I only think it’s progress in that it involves the judicial system and not just legislature declaring all committing certain crimes need to be on it. A public registry won’t work no matter who says you should be on it though.

      It should be done the same way it was done before the registry. If someone is a very high risk of re-offence based on multiple prior convictions, and failed rehabilitation, then either keep them locked up or set up strict monitoring when they get out. A judge could also order neighbors be alerted directly. Take away his passport if he engaged in foreign travel sex tourism.

      The public web site is never the solution, as the “public” isn’t trained to deal with it.

  4. ReadyToFight

    I had two Judges and my evaluator all state that I’m not a danger to society.
    Wish California was more fair about who they do and don’t deem a threat.
    Nope! Throw em All to the Lions!

  5. Jack

    I love the witch at the top of the paper. Pretty much tells you everything you need to know about Salem. Last time I checked those guys pretty much invented the witch hunt. Classic.

  6. David M

    “When people in power invent their own facts and attack those who question them, it can mark the beginning of the end of a free society,” said Clinton. “That is not hyperbole. It is what authoritarian regimes throughout history have done. They attempt to control reality, not just our laws and our rights and our budgets, but our thoughts and beliefs,” said Clinton.

    Me…. Yeah I can totally relate.

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