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SC: Columbia lawmaker pushes for juvenile sex offender registry reform

COLUMBIA — A South Carolina lawmaker is on a mission to change the way the state treats juvenile sex offenders. House Minority Leader Rep. Todd Rutherford, D-Columbia, has introduced a bill that would allow teens who have been convicted of any sex offense and have been placed on the offenders registry to petition the courts to remove their names once they turn 21. …

“By branding them that early, we have destroyed their lives,” he said. “We’ve got to figure out how to make it better.”

He isn’t alone in his thoughts. Jeff Moore, who represented the South Carolina Sheriff’s Association for more than 30 years before retiring in 2014, said to force a teen who committed a mistake to remain for the rest of his or her life on the registry essentially ends their lives. Full Article

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  1. LM

    “This is about public safety.”

    No, it’s about exploiting statistically improbable scenarios using scare tactics while profiting from it financially and politically.

  2. David

    “Branding them”,”essentially ends their lives”? Truth finally!!

    • Harry

      “We’ve got to figure out how to make it better.” Abolished the registry! Numb brain.

    • Eric Knight

      This is the only “regulatory” scheme that purposely destroys a life, last I heard.

  3. mike r

    All these statements pertaining to juveniles can be said to be true of adult offenders also. The statistics are the same except that the juveniles they talk about are the high risk type offenders that have raped and or molested lil kids if they are redemable then how can a nonviolent noncontact first time adult offender be not be redemable.

    • LM

      Yes, they are cheery-picking the lesser of the two evils just to look like they’re doing something. Either do it for all, or don’t even bother I say.

  4. mike r

    These statements are true for adult offenders to. Just replace juvenile with ex sex offender. These are the exact issues I want to bring forth in my motion all I need is 5000 dollars and chastain law group says they’ll take in the project. Only 5000 dollars yeah like an unemployed ex offender can come up with that. Just goes to show how inequality effects every aspects of a persons life.
    Attorneys from the Juvenile Law Center argued that the registration law was unconstitutional under a line of U.S. Supreme Court rulings that a law is unconstitutional when it depends on a presumption that cannot be challenged.

    For example, in 1971, the Supreme Court invalidated a law that made unwed fathers ineligible to have custody of their children based on a presumption that unwed fathers are unfit parents.

    In 1996, the state Supreme Court adopted the doctrine in a case overturning a state law that required the suspension of a driver’s license for one year after an epileptic seizure regardless of whether the driver had been deemed unfit to drive.

    The Juvenile Law Center argued that the sex offender registration act’s presumption that juvenile sex offenders are likely to re-offend infringes on children’s right to reputation under the Pennsylvania Constitution.

    The children’s attorneys argued “children subject to registration requirements suffer various irreparable harms, including difficulty obtaining housing, employment and schooling, and suffer resulting psychological effects which can lead to depression and personal safety risks.”

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