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Sex-offender laws: Heed the evidence

Should California have laws covering sex offenders that actually increase the chance of new sex crimes? Of course not. That’s why we welcome the recent decision by the state Supreme Court to reduce some of the travel restrictions imposed on sex offenders and last week’s follow-up announcement by the state that it will exclude less-threatening sex criminals from the ban on living within 2,000 feet of a school or park. Editorial – UT San Diego

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  1. Avig

    As evidenced by this editorial, reason may yet prevail.

  2. David

    Good editorial! I hope we see more like this one that advocate for sensible, evidence-based laws – not pitchforks & torches.
    (Though I snickered at the term, “sex criminals”…. Gay men (and lesbians) have been “sex criminals” throughout history and remain so in many countries around the world. It was only the recent striking down of sodomy laws in the U.S. that eliminated that “sex criminal” status for homosexuals.)

  3. Q

    I hate it when a facebook account is requires to participate in the comments.

    • Gerald

      Just setup a email account anywhere and setup a bogus facebook acct with fictitious info and post away.

    • Timmr

      Since Facebook aspires to be the premier means by which the citizens of the world communicate with each other, and they are a publicly traded company, how are they able to deny people their first amendment right to press, based on a past conviction, a conviction which for many didn’t involve targeting minors for illegal goals by internet in the first place? Might as well put a blanket rule denying registrants the use of a phone or email. I don’t deny them the right to limit speech that attacks the rights of others, but to deny service to registrants is a violation of California law and international human rights treaties which ban discrimination base on many qualities, including “other status”. See Universal Declaration of Hunan Rights.

  4. j

    “Unfortunately, former state Sen. George Runner, R-Antelope Valley, and his wife and successor, Sen. Sharon Runner — the lead advocates of the 2006 ballot campaign that gave us Megan’s Law — say they may sponsor strict new legislation and warn that changes made by the state are dangerous to children.”

    These revelations about the actual effectiveness of these laws are dangerous to bottom feeding, fear mongering politicos who are now exposed for the shameless and selfish actions designed at perpetuating their feeding off public coffers. Any public official pushing laws based on fear rather than fact should be further exposed and removed from public office.

    The citizens of the State deserve truth and integrity – nothing less.

  5. MS

    Good editorial. Especially liked the reference to George and Sharon Runner!

  6. mike

    I would love to hear some feedback from Janice or chance or any legal expert on the following motion I am preparing. Thanks.

    I the plaintiff Michael …………… do hereby bring forth this motion for declaratory and injunction relief in the county of sacramento superior court for the state of California.
    This motion is being brought forth as a as applied challenge to the constitutionality of the sex offender registration requirement under the state and federal levels in my personal situation.
    I’m asking the court to grant me permanent injunction relief from the requirement to register as a sex offender and to enjoin any and all local state and federal entities from enforcing any and all of the sex offender registration requirements as applied to me.
    There are a multitude of constitutional violations that I will outline in this motion and that I would like this court to consider and address.
    1. The sex offender registration requirement and notification acts violate my fundamental constitutional right to my liberty by severally infringing in my ability to in state intrastate and international travel.
    2. The sex offender registration and notification acts violate my privacy rights by making public my personal address current photo and criminal record that is only available to authorized individuals who meet certain criteria and has a need to know basis not to the general public at a click of a computer mouse.
    3. The sex offender registration and notification act violate my fundamental constitutional right to be free from unreasonable arbitrary and oppressive official action.
    It is unreasonable as it severally infringes on fundamental rights while not achieving any legitimate legislative purpose. Insert studies and reports. The fact that the courts have previously stated that it is minor collateral consequences of a regulatory scheme is simply unreasonable to conclude based on the severity of those consequences I endure because of the notification acts. It is also unreasonable for the court to rely on and reiterate the statements and opinions of the legislators as to the need for the laws because of the high recidivism rates and the high risk offenders pose to the public which simply is not true and is pure hyperbole and heresy. The court should rely on facts and data collected and submitted in reports from credible sources and experts in the fields such as the following. Insert studies and reports here…..
    These laws are arbitrary as they are applied in a blanket enforcement policy that makes no distinctions between those who may or may not pose any risk to the public and provides no due process to make those determinations.
    These laws are oppressive as they affect employment housing and personal and professional relationships in a severally negative way. They also cause severe psycho social stressors that cause major depressive disorders anxiety disorders. Insert studies or reports here. and real fears of being the victim of vigilante attackes harrasment and vandalism. Insert examples reports studies here.

  7. Timmr

    It’s about time. When I was in therapy from 2001 through 2005, the therapists recognized that having stable family relationships and a steady job were part of a re-offense prevention plan. I followed this wisdom, dispite the fact that the public, fed by misinformatuon, came up with all manner of laws to sabotage those goals. What they knew then has made its way back into the public dialogue. It is encouraging that facts are working their way back into the the mainstream media, slowly, but I hope surely. It’s in large part due to the advocates of justice like this organization and the alternative press.

  8. David

    Timmr, I certainly agree with you regarding FaceBook. It may have been founded as a private enterprise, but as its reach continues to expand and as some forms of communication (i.e. newspapers’ comments sections) become inaccessible without a FaceBook account, it does become an issue of free speech.
    So as the FCC begins to regulate Internet providers as “public utilities”, it would seem the analogy becomes:
    RCs can have telephone lines (Internet service);
    and RCs can have telephones (computers); but
    RCs cannot have voice receivers in the telephones (that is, you can hear the conversations, but cannot participate in them – you are not allowed a voice.)
    (I think that the newspapers should be made aware when readers are restricted fro commenting .)

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