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Does youthful mistake merit sex-offender status?

(CNN)Zachery Anderson was a 19-year-old college student with no criminal history when he met a teenage girl on the dating app “Hot or Not” and had sex with her in December. The girl, who admitted she lied about her age, turned out to be only 14, making their encounter a sexual crime. Despite statements from the girl and her mother begging the judge for leniency, Anderson was sentenced to 90 days in jail and five years on probation.

But that is the least of his problems. The liaison also landed him on the sex-offender registries in Indiana and Michigan for 25 years. Although the judge agreed Wednesday to consider Anderson’s request to be resentenced, there is no guarantee his name will be removed. Full Article

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  1. mike r

    I have been emailing the following to every news list I can find a email to, pbs CNN, fox, Washington post, ect. Maybe it has an effect maybe not but can’t hurt anyone else feel free to copy and send all over this country.

    I really wish the media and any other organization would stop publishing, producing or relying on reports and opinions from law makers or any organizations about how great sex offender registration and notification laws work. They are using false statistics and pure myths to further their personal agendas under the guise of protecting children. None of these failed policies have achieved any positive results in the US and are in fact destroying the lives of thousands of innocent children and their families because one of their parents or family members are on such a registry. Individuals and organizations should have enough integrity to investigate their claims before they publish it or rely on it and be sure that there is some credibility to it and not just a platform to exploit children for a law makers personal gains or their own. Here are some facts from the leading authorities on this subject which indicate what a failure these registration and public notification laws are in the US. These laws are a waste of tax dollars and are a misplaced use of valuable law enforcement and government agency resources.

    California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) End of Year Report 2014. (page 13)

    Under the current system many local registering agencies are challenged just keeping up with registration paperwork. It takes an hour or more to process each registrant, the majority of whom are low risk offenders. As a result law enforcement cannot monitor higher risk offenders more intensively in the community due to the sheer numbers on the registry. Some of the consequences of lengthy and unnecessary registration requirements actually destabilize the life’s of registrants and those -such as families- whose lives are often substantially impacted. Such consequences are thought to raise levels of known risk factors while providing no discernible benefit in terms of community safety.

    The full report is available online at. http://www.casomb.org/index.cfm?pid=231

    National Institute of Justice (NIJ) US Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs United States of America.

    The overall conclusion is that Megan’s law has had no demonstrated effect on sexual offenses in New Jersey, calling into question the justification for start-up and operational costs. Megan’s Law has had no effect on time to first rearrest for known sex offenders and has not reduced sexual reoffending. Neither has it had an impact on the type of sexual reoffense or first-time sexual offense. The study also found that the law had not reduced the number of victims of sexual offenses.

    The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/app/publications/abstract.aspx? ID=247350

    The University of Chicago Press for The Booth School of Business of the University of Chicago and The University of Chicago Law School Article DOI: 10.1086/658483

    Conclusion. The data in these three data sets do not strongly support the effectiveness of sex offender registries. The national panel data do not show a significant decrease in the rate of rape or the arrest rate for sexual abuse after implementation of a registry via the Internet. The BJS data that tracked individual sex offenders after their release in 1994 did not show that registration had a significantly negative effect on recidivism. And the D.C. crime data do not show that knowing the location of sex offenders by census block can help protect the locations of sexual abuse. This pattern of noneffectiveness across the data sets does not support the conclusion that sex offender registries are successful in meeting their objectives of increasing public safety and lowering recidivism rates.

    The full report is available online at. http://www.jstor.org/stable/full/10.1086/658483

    These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of conclusions and reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community.

    People, including the media and other organizations should not rely on and reiterate the statements and opinions of the legislators or other people as to the need for these 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 fiction. They should rely on facts and data collected and submitted in reports from the leading authorities and credible experts in the fields such as the following.

    California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) (page 38)

    Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 1.8%

    The full report is available online at. http://www.google.com/url?sa= t&source=web&cd=1&ved= 0CCEQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F% 2Fwww.cdcr.ca.gov%2FAdult_ Research_Branch%2FResearch_ documents%2FOutcome_ evaluation_Report_2013.pdf&ei= C9dSVePNF8HfoATX-IBo&usg=AFQjCNE9I6ueHz-o2mZUnuxLPTyiRdjDsQ

    Bureau of Justice Statistics 5 PERCENT OF SEX OFFENDERS REARRESTED FOR ANOTHER SEX CRIME WITHIN 3 YEARS OF PRISON RELEASE WASHINGTON, D.C.

    Within 3 years following their 1994 state prison release, 5.3 percent of sex offenders (men who had committed rape or sexual assault) were rearrested for another sex crime, the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today.

    The full report is available online at. http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/press/rsorp94pr.cfm

    Document title; A Model of Static and Dynamic Sex Offender Risk Assessment Author: Robert J. McGrath, Michael P. Lasher, Georgia F. Cumming Document No.: 236217 Date Received: October 2011 Award Number: 2008-DD-BX-0013

    Findings: Study of 759 adult male offenders under community supervision Re-arrest rate: 4.6% after 3-year follow-up The sexual re-offense rates for the 746 released in 2005 are much lower than what many in the public have been led to expect or believe. These low re-offense rates appear to contradict a conventional wisdom that sex offenders have very high sexual re-offense rates.

    The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/236217.pdf

    Document Title: SEX OFFENDER SENTENCING IN WASHINGTON STATE: RECIDIVISM RATES BY: Washington State Institute For Public Policy.

    A study of 4,091 sex offenders either released from prison or community supervision form 1994 to 1998 and examined for 5 years Findings: Sex Crime Recidivism Rate: 2.7%

    Link to Report: http://www.oncefallen.com/files/Washington_SO_Recid_2005.pdf

    Document Title: Indiana’s Recidivism Rates Decline for Third Consecutive Year BY: Indiana Department of Correction 2009.

    The recidivism rate for sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05%, one of the lowest in the nation. In a time when sex offenders continue to face additional post-release requirements that often result in their return to prison for violating technical rules such as registration and residency restrictions, the instances of sex offenders returning to prison due to the commitment of a new sex crime is extremely low. Findings: sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05%

    Link to Report: http://www.in.gov/idoc/files/RecidivismRelease.pdf

    Once again, These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. No one can doubt that child sexual abuse is traumatic and devastating. The question is not whether the state has an interest in preventing such harm, but whether current laws are effective in doing so. Megan’s law is a failure and is destroying families and their children’s lives and is costing tax payers millions upon millions of dollars. The following is just one example of the estimated cost just to implement SORNA which many states refused to do.

    From Justice Policy Institute. Estimated cost to implement SORNA Here are some of the estimates made in 2009 expressed in 2014 current dollars: California, $66M; Florida, $34M; Illinois, $24M; New York, $35M; Pennsylvania, $22M; Texas, $44M. In 2014 dollars, Virginia’s estimate for implementation was $14M, and the annual operating cost after that would be $10M.

    For the US, the total is $547M. That’s over half a billion dollars – every year – for something that doesn’t work.

    http://www.justicepolicy.org/images/upload/08-08_FAC_SORNACosts_JJ.pdf

    The Supreme Court has fed the fear of frightening high sex offender recidivism rates that has proven to be universally untrue. It’s become the “go to” source that courts and politicians rely upon for “facts” about sex offender recidivism rates that aren’t true. Its endorsement has transformed random opinions by self-interested non-experts into definitive studies offered to justify law and policy, while real studies by real scientists go unnoticed. The Court’s casual approach to the facts of sex offender re-offense rates is far more frightening than the rates themselves, and it’s high time for correction.

    The sources relied upon by the Supreme Court in Smith v. Doe, a heavily cited constitutional decision on sex offender registries, in fact provide no support at all for the facts about sex offender re-offense rates that the Court treats as central to its constitutional conclusions. This misreading of the social science was abetted in part by the Solicitor General’s misrepresentations in the amicus brief it filed in this case. The false “facts” stated in the opinion have since been relied upon repeatedly by other courts in their own constitutional decisions, thus infecting an entire field of law as well as policy making by legislative bodies. Recent decisions by the Pennsylvania and California supreme courts establish principles that would support major judicial reforms of sex offender registries, if they were applied to the actual facts.

    I think the media or other organizations need to do a in depth investigation into the false assumptions and false data that has been used to further these laws and to research all the collateral damages being caused by these laws and the unconstitutional injustices that are occurring across the country. They should include these injustices in their report so the public can be better informed on what is truly happening in this country on this subject.

    Thank you for your time.

    • Q

      Hi mike r

      With all due respect, you are hitting on the wrong news/media outlets. That is to say you are going to the main stream outlets. Fact; 232 media executives control the information diet of 277 million Americans. Fact; that’s 1 media exec to 850,000 subscribers.

      The news diet of Americans is controlled by the six parent companies the above mentioned exec’s work for. These six companies have a monopoly on what most Americans think and believe, and have become very good at shaping and forming opinions, and are seemingly in bed with various factions of the government that further their agendas through these corporate giants and their news outlet holdings. This is not a paranoid conspiracy theory; this is all documented fact that you can check for yourself.

      The six companies are;
      1. GE, who’s notable holdings are Comcast, NBC, Universal pictures, Focus features.

      2. News Corp, who’s notable holdings are Fox, Wall street journal, new york post.

      3. Disney, who’s notable holdings are ABC, ESPN, Pixar, Miramax, Marvel studios.

      4. Viacom, who’s notable holdings are MTV, Nick jr, BET, CMT, Paramount pictures.

      5. Time Warner, who’s notable holdings are CNN, HBO, Time, Warner bros.

      6. CBS, who’s notable holdings are Show time, Snithsonian Channel, NFL.Com, Jeopardy, 60 minutes.

      Don’t make the mistake of thinking that these companies don’t use entertainment shows to shape opinions by planting ideas. In 2010 their combined revenue was 275.9 Billion.

      I’m not saying that what you are doing is not a good thing, because it is a good thing. What I’m saying is that perhaps you would have a greater affect if you went to independent news outlets and news outlets that report things the mainstream public never hears anything about; by design. There are allot of people fed up with the mainstream that go to these outlets for their information.

      If you are interested I will post links to a few of thew ones I read. I’ve often thought of appealing to real journalists (not presstitutes) like Glenn Greenwald to take a look at and write about our issue.

      What I’m saying is that perhaps a round about approach would better serve you; and us!

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