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WV: West Virginia’s Fake News Regarding Sex Offenders

[blog.womenagainstregistry.org – 5/24/18]

I thought it started out as a good news article from The Exponent Telegram in West Virginia. A judge was reading sex offender rules to a defendant at a sentencing hearing. The author of the article correctly noted that defendants at a sentencing hearing are focused on “sentencing” and probably not absorbing much of the information the judge is providing them regarding the requirements surrounding life on the registry.

I had to agree that newcomers to the registry should be informed of what is expected of them, their life as they knew it is going to change and the rules and requirements they will need to learn are many.

West Virginia’s legislature rational is that if defendants are advised of the rules in a court of law they can’t come back later and say they were never informed of the registry’s requirements. They can’t use an illiteracy defense somewhere down the road. I wonder, has an illiteracy defense been used very often by registrants or does the author assume that there are a lot of illiterate registrants?

In this particular hearing it took 14 minutes for the judge to read the rules to the defendant. Now, if the judge covered all the questionable gray areas that the registry encompasses, let’s just say, he’d probably still be reading! While 14 minutes may cover the “written registry rules”, the unwritten rules are endless and always expanding. So I’m certain even the judge would have difficulty knowing and explaining all there is to know.

Like I said, I thought it was going to be a good article, but then it took a turn, as media representation of sex offenders usually does, to the most bizarre and unsubstantiated “facts” regarding offenders. I had to email the author and managing editor, Matt Harvey, and ask him what gives?

His first comment that I took issue with was that “most taxpayers aren’t going to shed a tear for sex offenders, what should be of interest to them is what this (incarcerated sex offender) will mean to their bottom line.”

I reminded Mr. Harvey that REGISTRANTS ARE TAXPAYERS TOO! They and their families are also concerned about the bottom line.

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  1. R M

    Where is this “news article from The Exponent Telegram in West Virginia”? It’s ironic a “fake news” story has no original source listed 🙂

  2. New Person

    I like this response.

    I really do like the idea that the judges must explain in detail what the registry will do to one’s life and what it can do in the future with newer, ever changing laws.

  3. AnonMom

    If the criminal court deems it necessary to read the law/requirements of the registry at a criminal sentencing, how are they able to continue to deem these laws as civil penalty instead of criminal punishment?

  4. Trish

    It has nothing to do with illiteracy, but those in the law are blocking defendants from any avenues for appeals, reconsiderations, legal rebuttals and any other help in legal and court matters ! We the people know it is unjust for prosecutor and hard core legalists to punish individuals relentlessly and give no legal standing or room for further in depth analysis for future eval or considerations! Why ? Because rarely are things that simple and cut and dry ! Finding fault is always easier than finding answers or why and what good thing can be done in this or that matter ! Easier to destroy than build !
    The questions that need to be addressed are like this major one? Why is the u.s. labeling people before a real in depth and legal chance to object is allowed ? Is it right for the u.s. government to imprison people without special hearings to verify and conclude individuals should have special restrictions ? Should citizens be used experimentally, while the government works out the systems problems at the expense of the so called perpetrators ? What’s wrong with this model of legal methodology? It was proven and understood long ago in history and court cases and documented ? Violated civil and Constitutional rights ! Burden of proof for rehab, stability in society, legal assistance, Mental well being, and recidivism and much much more constitutes violation a spectrum of legal and moral ethical issues !

  5. kat

    R.M.-
    The article referred to was from the May 19,2018 edition of the Exponent Telegram, the article was written by managing editor, Matt Harvey.

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