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Meet the activists demanding elimination of the sex offender registry

[therooster.com 4/19/18]

“The tide is going to turn against sex offender registries when people realize they’re more likely to end up on the registry than to be molested by someone on it,” says Lenore Skenazy, author, columnist and activist for the elimination of sex offender registries.

She lists off the offenses that could put a person on a public list of social outcasts widely seen as pedophiles, predators and rapists:

You could be a sex offender if you go to a prostitute. You could be a sex offender if you urinate in public. You could be a sex offender if you go streaking. You could be a sex offender if you touch a stripper. You could be a sex offender if you dated a 15-year-old when you were 19-years-old.

What’s worse, “there are a lot of wrongful convictions in sex cases. A lot of wrongful accusations,” says William Dobbs, lawyer and civil libertarian based out of New York City.

Skenazy and Dobbs want sex offender registries eliminated in the United States. And they’re not alone. Although the vast majority of the American public supports the idea of using registries to keep a close eye on sex offenders, there are voices rising in opposition, saying that sex offender registries are ineffective and often horribly cruel.

The original goal of publishing a list of sex criminals was to protect communities. Parents who worried about the safety of their little ones could pull up a map of sex offenders in their area, and feel more secure knowing which neighbor was more likely to give their kid roofie-laced Halloween candy.

But the maps served the opposite purpose. Instead of feeling more secure, parents freaked out. They’d find that they’re surrounded by sexual deviants — that each dot on the map represents a sex offender, and their map is more speckled than a Jackson Pollock painting.

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  1. Richard

    Hello, I was thinking about the Sex offender registry, and the growing number of sex offenders. Of course the growing population; means more crimes of all types the thing about the Sex offender registry is That every thing about it, is unconstitutional and all though it has been upheld in our highest courts, it was upheld from personal feelings, false data, and the pursuit of public approval. When you have public approval, and a couple judges in your pocket, you can violate the United States Constitution. And state’s across this country. The real problem with that is that The sex offender registry, is pretty much the same format State to State all Registered sex offenders face public harassment discrimination that often lead to homelessness, jobless, friendless and this can lead to crimes of survival. Not to mention the effect the regestry has on the family’s who Love these offenders we have over 850,000 registered sex offenders in the United states every one of them have family that face discrimination, and public shame not because of who they are because of the tag a family member wears, as a sex offender. And this needs to stop we live in what suppose to be the greatest country in the world, and we should live by example. By no means are sex offenders all the same, each and everyone is different and should be treated so. Give the courts, back there power to convict, and set sentencing to the individual case. If the case calls for a life sentence or if it calls for a slap on the wrist we elect our judge’s our prosecutors and should let them do there elected job with out telling them this guide line or that. If the registry is all that important then let the probation and parole office’s maintain it if sentencing is say 10 years dept of DOC then the court can also add 10 yrs of parole keeping the offender on the sex offender registry while on parole and you can bet the offender’s who deserve stiffer sentencing, will get it in the courts at sentencing the Judge’s generally know who they are sentencing. Trust that the ones who deserve harsh sentencing, they will get it let the judge do it. not a statute that is uniform code, and not a sex offender registry that goes way to far to punish a offender and there family’s

  2. Sam

    I can’t seem to find anything on Mr Dobbs to contact him aside from a PO box. I wonder if he would take the case for those of us stuck on the NY registry who don’t even live in the state or country anymore. This is an ever growing concern as they technically have no jurisdiction but can still maintain jurisdiction over our lives.

    How is this registry protecting people in the area by keeping people on that never want to return to NY let alone the US.

    • David Kennerly, The Government-Driven Life

      I’m not sure what Bill’s area of practice is although I know that he is a civil libertarian (and lives in New York). I’ve forwarded your question to him to see if he has any suggestions, though.

      • Sam

        Thanks David. Hopefully he will have some insight on how this omission in the law there extends their jurisdiction to global much like Florida and Wisconsin

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