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Constitutional or Unconstitutional: Sex Offender Registration

The Constitutionality of Sex Offender Registration, Public Registries and the ever changing and expanding Federal, State and Local restrictions and regulations (via law) is a regular topic for writers, reporters and attorneys.

Yes, the U.S. Supreme Court Smith v. Doe, 538 U.S. 84 (2003), ruled that registration is administrative not punitive but since 2003 every state took that ruling and ran with it as permission to restrict anything. Full Article

More from It’s Time to Reduce, Reconstruct, Reclassify, Rethink and Reform the Virginia Sex Offender Registry 

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  1. David

    Good article. Good points.
    Yes, it seemed is a ex post facto “punishment” case went to the Supreme Court today, they would have to consider how overreaching and punitive the rules have become.

    • Anonymous Nobody

      Well, I appreciate the thrust of your comment, however I must disagree that only the stuff added in recent years is a problem. The basic idea of registration at all is a major problem itself. In fact, back in the 1970s, simply having to appear to register once a year was ruled to be unconstitutional cruel and unusual punishment – in a case over misdemeanor lewd conduct (and then the Legislature took lewd conduct out of 290). The court pointed out how humiliating that is, among other thing, and that humiliation was punishment that was too much for mere misdemeanor lewd conduct. Gee, there wasn’t even any public access to the registration,and you had 60 days time in which to do it, not five days.

      I speak out against the idea that registration is acceptable, only the most extreme disabilities added on top are an issue. No, I say registration itself is 100% unacceptable once off parole. Parole is the mechanism to watch people, and once off, you are supposed to be free.

      Speak out against any and all the things added on top of registration, but please never accept even the idea that registration can be acceptable.

  2. The Forgotten

    Yes, KCBS covered this very briefly but did not discuss the Tiered Bill or ideals.
    We will see how long it will sit. Thanks for letting us know, Anyone else? Also thanks to Robin Banks on Living w/ article on 18 y.o. HS Senior, victim or life in punitive punishment.? How many years since then? 30? Since Probation/Parole.

    • KJ

      I was the one who wrote that story. There was a lot of little details here and there that would piece that story together, but in the essence of saving time, I just summed up the basics. I am currently 30 now. I have been off probation since 2008. Feel free to ask questions, as I will be more than willing to discuss any events in my case or after probation.

  3. Harry

    It seems to me, that the “best bang for the buck” is get the SOR back into the court pipeline so the pillars of the house can be remove.

  4. Stephen

    I still say challenge these laws for election reasons.

  5. The Unforgiven

    Long time reader but first time commentator. First though, thank you to all who participate on this site. It has been very helpful throughout my struggles.

    I recently had my annual registration in San Bernardino County, Victorville. Last year, my first time in the city, I was told to fill out the city’s OffenderWatch paperwork (about 5 pages). I was naive and filled a lot of it but not all. It contained questions regarding email and social network sites. I left that section blank, among others. This time, I was given the same paperwork to fill out again. I then asked if anyone could provide me with the penal code directing me to fill out such paperwork. The receptionist excused herself, came back, and reported that it had to be filled out but I could put N/A in all boxes. I did. Nothing more was said about the form during my time there.

    How is this form legal, in present form, which includes email and social network questions? I am aware that currently, asking for that information is not allowed at this time. I imagine that since I was not pressured or directed further, that the paperwork is illegal and/or not necessary. Can someone comment? Thanks

    To be honest, it was refreshing that I stood up and challenged it. I’m glad I did.

    • KJ

      I know the state changed up their papers with email addresses etc, but the PD department I was at XXXX’ed out those boxes after all the legal challenges took place. Another PD I registered had a separate department paper that has no penal code associated with it, IE the PC numbers on the bottom of the state paper. I just N/A’ed anything that I knew they couldn’t legally have in order to save time at the PD because I just wanted to get in an out as fast as I could. They can ask you for whatever they want but can’t legally force you to enter in any paperwork that doesn’t pertain to the 290 registration. Unless it is a local ordinance (which most have been shot down in recent past)they can threaten you all they want and be dicks, but your right is to decline to answer anything that isn’t listed in those state papers to my knowledge. The PD said they wanted minor information for their own department, I replied all the info you need to know is on the state papers and walked out once I got my receipt.

    • Harry

      I just got done updating in Yreka (Siskiyou County) it was 2 pages on the check list and there was nothing about email, social network or Offender Watch. It looks like, to me, that San Bernardino County and Victorville is operating outside the State law, again. This needs to be challenged. You may want to contact a lawyer, about this. Janice may be able to help. Did they give you a copie of this form(s)?

      • The Unforgiven

        I did not ask for a copy of that, nor, was it given to me. I was given a copy of the state form though. Hmm, interesting, now that I think about it. I am most concerned with other people after me who go to register and maybe aren’t aware of recent laws or are naive like I have been in the past. I wanted to share my experience and hopefully others can see, don’t give them anymore information than what is necessary.

        • Harry

          If, you can go back to LE office and get the copies that you have signed and take it to a lawyer, to look at.

  6. Pat

    The registry is an unlawful Bill of Attainder that was unlawfully passed. It is also supposedly not punishment for a crime and therefore unenforcable absent Contract! The Sex Offender Contract/Agreement forms that citizens of the United States are forced to sign by the government against their Will, under threat of imprisonment, are unlawful, invalid Contracts, and by Law unenforcable.
    Amendment XIII
    Section 1.
    Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

    Our Constitution!

    ” The state citizen is free from any and all government attacks and procedure absent contract.” see Dred Scott vs. Sanford, 60 U.S. (19 How.) 393 or as the Supreme Court has stated clearly “… every man is independnt of all laws, except those prescribed by nature. He is not bound by any institutions formed by his fellowmen without his consent.” CRUDEN vs. NEALE, 2 N.C. 338 2 S.E. 70,

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