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General News

How Many More Children Will Die?

PRESS RELEASE: Women Against Registry (W.A.R.), a group of mothers, sisters, wives and other loved ones of those on the sex offender registry, are asking how many, how many more of our young have to feel so distraught and view their future as so hopeless that they take their lives? Will it take your son or daughter getting ensnared before you demand change before legislators and the Justice Department are made to understand this is too much?

On October 2, 2013 Christian Adamek, a 15-year-old from Huntsville, AL, committed suicide after facing expulsion and registration on a sex offender registry for streaking during a high school football game. At the memorial service his mother, Angela, thanked her son’s friends and said they could learn from his life. ‘Remember to smile, don’t be afraid to do something goofy and remember the consequences of those actions, ask for help when you need it, ask for help if you think your friends need it if you don’t know what to do, be quirky, be happy, be smart,’ she said.

April 13, 2013 in Little Rock AR, 18-year-old Jeremy Hannibal was found hanging from his bunk by his bed sheets. Jeremy was 4 months past his 18th birthday. He was in custody awaiting trial for a rape charge from a 14 year old girlfriend.

December 30, 2007, 17 year old David Mercado hung himself in jail. He was being held for having sex with a 14 year old girlfriend.

As published in a study from Human Rights Watch, Raised on the Registry, “Among the 281 youth offenders and family members of 15 additional youth offenders interviewed for this report, 250 people
(84.5 percent) described negative psychological impacts that they attributed to their status as a registrant, such as depression, a sense of isolation, difficulty forming or maintaining relationships, and suicide ideation. 58 people interviewed (19.6 percent) said they had attempted suicide; three of the registrants whose cases we examined did commit suicide.”

Human Rights Watch found that left with little hope of ever leading a normal life, some youth offenders on the registry opted for what they may have viewed as the only remaining route of escape—suicide. One expert told us, “Suicide [among children placed on sex offender registries] is a possibility … even predictable.”

Women Against Registry does not condone inappropriate behaviors; we do believe there should be appropriate punishment. However, a lifetime of being on a public registry, compliance visits, registration office visits for prints and pictures as well as being barred from schools, parks and pools would make someone whose brain is not fully developed feel demoralized.

Research and statistics have proven when laws are written too harshly and juvenile offenders are entrapped in them, the behaviors are likely to become more severe. Available research indicates that registered sex offenders, and particularly people who commit sex offenses as children, are among the least likely to reoffend. One study suggests that juvenile re-offense rates of new sexual crimes are less than 1%.

So where does this leave the families of those mentioned above? These laws are out of control! There has to be a better way, and Women Against Registry is asking legislators in every state to re-evaluate their approach to the one size fits all sex offense laws.

Women Against Registry
202.630.0345

Join the discussion

  1. KathieG.

    I certainly agree with this article except that it is limited to juveniles. An adult man in Iowa just recently committed suicide because he would be charged with possession of child pornography. I know that the public is more sympathetic to juveniles but the same issues apply to adult men as well. And the impact on the families of these adult men is just as horrible!

  2. Tired of hiding

    The bottom line is that these sort of senseless tragedies would NOT happen if the sex offender registry was not used as punishment AND was not used as a 1 size fits all classification!

    Even with different tiers are used there still should be a reasonable way to show an individual is no longer a treat to the community. Once that is determined they should be removed from this registry – period.

    The registry is arguably ONLY useful if it has high risk offenders listed. Still it should only be available to law enforcement and not the general public!

    There is simply NO LOGIC behind being “listed for life”. The list simply keeps growing and being “watered down” with name of people who are not a threat what-so-ever.

    If they don’t want to get rid of the damn thing completely then at least use some common sense to make it “work”.

    Thank you for listening and have a nice day.

    Lee

  3. Tim

    Apply the “what if” logic to all offenders. What if that child arrested for battery turns into another Charles Manson. What if that child arrested for conning his friends out of their money turns out to be another Bernie Madoff. What if that child arrested for selling drugs turns out to be another murdering kingpin. Make the child arrested for drunk driving register for life. Surely he is going kill someone, maybe a child. If this listing for life is just an administrative requirement to disclose public information, then apply it to all offenses.

    • td777

      …and “what if” an asteroid smashed into the earth and wiped out civilization? It’s time we quit worrying about all the “what ifs” and start dealing with reality!

  4. Robert Curtis

    There is a from of authority and power in being on the side of fighting against evil. We need to harness this power in the form of professing via question. We need to use the format of question to those that seem to matter most whether they be behind the pulpit or in government office. Truth is a strong argument for change. The Gospel and the US Constitution are the compasses we should lean on the heavest to make that change happen.

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