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General News

Op-Ed: They’re killing sex offenders, by Chris Dornin

I was pleased to see a recent Sentinel editorial declaring the Internet sex offender roster punitive. My nonprofit group Citizens for Criminal Justice Reform filed an amicus brief in December supporting John Doe, a former sex offender challenging the New Hampshire sex offender shaming list as an unconstitutional ex-post-facto punishment. Opinion Piece

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Good article and editorial. Does this somehow get us any closer to ruling the registry list as punitive and unconstitutional? How does that process actually work? At some point it has to get back in front of the supreme court. Is this a first step?

Many organizations, including CA RSOL, are taking steps toward overturning this Supreme Court decision which has had devastating effects upon all registered citizens. My personal opinion is that the case of Smith v. Doe, which determined that registration is NOT punishment and therefore sex offender laws could be applied retroactively is similar to the court’s decision Plessy v. Ferguson which determined that separate but equal schools were constitutional. It took the court more than 50 years to overturn that decision (see Brown v. Board of Education). We are NOT going to wait long for justice to be served.

Thank you for that thoughtful response Janice. I have not been on here long, and am not even a citizen of California, but I appreciate all of the time and effort you are putting in to the fight for all of us!

I really hope you are correct in saying that we are not far from justice! I don’t pretend to understand all of the detail of how this will all work, but suffice to say I think we are in good hands with you!

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x