Reasonable People—Your Opinions Needed

Cruel and unusual punishment has no exact definition in law—a number of state constitutions describe it as punishment that’s so disproportionate to the crime committed that it shocks the conscience of a reasonable person. Our notions of it have changed over time and vary across cultures. In essence, it’s something like Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart’s description of hard-core pornography–he couldn’t define it, he said, but “I know it when I see it.”

A court case in Ohio offers a test of whether we think putting those convicted of any sex crime on a public sex offender registry is cruel and unusual. Full Article

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I voted “Yes”

Because the registry is cruel and unusual punishment.

Not really a useful survey as those that are asked to take the survey are biased on the answer. Only random surveys have any statistical value. I of course voted “Yes” as I am biased towards this subject as this affects me directly. Everyone reaching out to take this survey will likely vote “Yes”.

Cruel and unusual punishment? Ha! It’s more like torture AND terrorism.

It’s actually like living in Wayward Pines. You can’t leave.. you’re monitored and tracked forever. If you don’t register on time, there’s a “reckoning.”

Then let’s call this bulls**t cruel and unusual penalty!
What makes this so unusual? How many other felons/misdemeanants have to register for life? What other group must register for life? Why does registration vary so widely from state to state? How is one sex crime in one state different from a sex crime in another state? Why is intercourse with a minor punished differently than oral/digital sex? Those things make the “penalty” highly unusual.
Cruel…the same logic can apply, but how about separation from your family, what about residency restrictions, frequent threats/vigilante activity, loss of jobs, internet identifiers, police sweeps and regular checks. No other group is subject to that kind of scrutiny, so whether it’s a punishment or a penalty, it is still cruel and unusual! Keep in mind, a penalty is not open ended, it does have a beginning and an end. Registration is for life!

I think it is more of a violation of the Equal Protection Clause. While my former fellow Americans have the right to “protect” themselves from me, there is no registry for me to reference to see if my neighbor is a drunk driver, or an ID thief. ID theft is the costliest crime in the nation and yet there is no registry. What if my new neighbor has a habit of grooming me to be my friend and get my mail when I go on vacation? I come back and I have lost everything and he is gone. If there was a registry for ID thieves, I would be able to protect myself. Same with drunk drivers, I do not want my child riding her bike on the street if my neighbor, a convicted drunk driver is driving home from work. How do I know she did not stop at the bar again? If I had a drunk driver registry, I could ensure my child is off the street when my neighbor is in her car.

I note, in the 1970s, the California Supreme Court ruled that the dramatically lesser registration of that day was cruel and unusual punishment for lewd conduct, and in the 1980s, that was extended to at least some cases, maybe all cases, of indecent exposure. But in the 1990s, the California Supreme Court threw out the previous court’s ruling and declared it not only is not cruel and unusual, it is not punishment of any kind whatsoever.

The 1970s court based it decision on simply things like the humiliation of showing up at the police station to register, or the possibility that someone being shown photos by police to identify a possible rape suspect or other might be shown your photo, and maybe even know you, and thus you suffer again. That was deemed cruel and unusual punishment for those offenses.

And look at what we are doing to people convicted of misdemeanor indecent exposure now, and that supposedly is no punishment at all.

Actually drug offenders and arsonist do have to register in CA