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MI: Former judge says sex offender registry gives ‘false sense’ of security

Does the sex offender registry really keep you safe? A former West Michigan judge says it’s giving you a false sense of security. Newschannel 3 looked into those claims, taking our search across state lines to see how sex offenders are tracked in other areas.  You can search for them by your address or your entire city, finding their home address, and even where they work.

But does knowing where a sex offender lives keep your family safe? At least one former judge doesn’t think so. “People have a false sense of being protected. And it’s not,” said retired Van Buren Co. Judge William Buhl. “In my opinion it’s not protecting people.” “It’s not risk based, it’s conviction based,” he said. “So nobody looks at the individuals and asks the question, should we really be afraid of this person?” Full Article

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  1. wonderin

    So in other words, the way it was when local law enforcement notified the neighborhood of a dangerous sex offender living near them was a much better system than what we have now.
    Meanwhile, those individuals who are repentant and trying to move on with their lives (along with their families)are shamed and abused by a despicable and useless worldwide public hit list which fails to distinguish the complexities of convictions, treatment and risk factors.

  2. Clark

    Yay yay ‘wonderin’ ..after midnight (Patsy Cline song)..:)……please note injustice has NO ‘better system’ …there is no ‘better system’ of injustice.

    • Clark

      Judge Buhl. .’its not risk based..its conviction based.”………if you smell what the judge is cooking……further punishment.

  3. Timmr

    So the solution here is to beef up the registry and put on more requirements and extend parole to a lifetime (like Florida). Talk about doing the same thing over and over again, even more so, and hoping for better results. I think this country has gone insane over perceived dangers that are quite rare.

    • outsider

      @timmer yep the whole thing is a giant negative with zero positive . And I also don’t think anything positive comes from the line of thinking as (having a registry To distinguish “Those” Who Pose a current danger” ) I wonder who gets to decide who is a danger ? sounds like the same thing to me. “A stinking registry” . no matter what it still equates to life prole , even when its widely known “now I am being nice Here with the words, “steeply slanted ” courts and RC’s doing harder time and paper as well as loss of family ,then getting off paper and here folks are stuck with still having to make-believe they are not still being held captive “Punished” I see nothing positive for anyone here . now you have said nothing about what I am trying to saying , but others on here are , that’s just the reality , the same reality and fact that this registry is punishment , and it is a giant failure , only creating 1000’s 1000’s more victims , and these victims are not allowed to move on in pursuit of happiness that’s of ones choice , “another negative ” stacking more trash on top of the already painful and damaging rules will only cause a much larger chance of people failing and going back to the slammer for some infraction for further abuse by the very system they were never truly released from . you are right in saying that it is insane , They stepped over the line we can not opt out like registering a car ,
      you can sell that !

  4. Janice Bellucci

    Thank you, Judge Buhl, for speaking the truth. Sex offender laws give the public a false sense of security. Why? Because more than 90 percent of those who sexually assault children are not on the registry, instead they are family members, teachers, coaches and clergy. It makes no sense to focus most if not all government resources on those already convicted of a sex offense since the rate of re-offense is between 1.8 and 5.3 percent (according to state and federal governments). What does make sense is to create a tiered registry in California in order to distinguish between those who pose a current danger and those who do not.

  5. Q

    Why didn’t he say this while on the bench, when his statement would have had a much greater impact? Why do these public officials always wait until they’ve retired or otherwise move on before speaking.

    • Harry

      Because, most judges are elected and want to keep their jobs, until they retire.

    • Janice Bellucci

      Perhaps they are afraid they will lose their jobs. Not everyone is willing to put their principles first when they face loss of a steady paycheck.

      • Q

        I suspected as much; $ and self interest comes before truth. Where have the highly principled men and women this land once had the honor of calling citizens gone? Has this society gone so far overboard in the direction of calling truth lies and lies truth that God has removed the blessings we once enjoyed?

    • william C Buhl

      I have been publicly speaking out on this subject for 10 years while I was on the bench. Not a new thing. So don’t suggest otherwise.

  6. Clark

    Shake yourhead harry..your eyes are stuck…judge Buhl doesn’t compare to retired judge can plant I mean sit a retired judge on a case to him guilty and a retired judge doesn’t worry that elected stuff ..he knows who put him on the case and bias tilt on the scales of justice adds further as his son will sit as a judge in same county courthouse …rewarded ..??? ..he called an immediate backhall conference after prosecution witness confirms defendant’s innocence and accuser’s motive ..he kept readback of record from opencourt ; he kept a real private attorney from entering the case before sentence .. allowed prosecution to backdoor false evidence instruction to instructed to jury as proof intent…SHAM.

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