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SD: A second chance for sex offenders

South Dakota’s sex offenders were given a new avenue to get off the state registry, but few have taken the path to clearing their name.

According to legislation passed in July 2010, sex offenders are placed into three tiers dependent upon their offenses. If they follow their treatment programs and don’t re-offend, people in the first and second tier are eligible to get off the sex offender registry entirely. Full Article

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  1. Frank

    With murder, you don’t have to worry about the victim. You just clean up the blood and deal with the family. That’s easy. When the murderer gets out of prison, they just go about their lives.

    • Nicholas Maietta

      It’s okay to Drink and Drive and kill someone, if you are okay with say, 5-10 years in prison at worst. You could be like that Affluenza guy who kills 4 and does no real time in prison.

  2. Jason

    This is the perfect picture of how people work together for the good of registered citizens who are doing the right thing!!! Kudos to S.D.

  3. TiredOfHiding

    Gotta say that I am impressed with S.D.

    They are light years ahead of California.

    Were this the case here not only would most already be off this stupid list but those still were listed would at least know that there is light at the end of the tunnel and make going on easier and more optimistic.

    I really hope that this news since it is an entire state will become a model for other states and actual facts are used and not this unfair and just clusterf*ck that we have now with no end in sight. Finally a ray of light.

    • 4sensiblelaws

      I don’t know if I would be too impressed with South Dakota. The article fails to mention that this so-called second-chance legislation came about from SD becoming substantially compliant with the Adam Walsh Act.

      The article completely fails to mention the fact that under Walsh, at least 75% of registered citizens end up on lifetime tier 3 in a virtual living hell – with restriction upon restriction piled on (in-person registration every 90 days in each county where you live, work, or attend school – public web posting including your employer – and 10 year prison sentences for violating any of the numerous requirements).

      It is actually kind of curious why the article came out and made it all sound so positive while failing to mention Adam Walsh Act by name. The reality is, the adaptation of that act made life hell for the vast majority of SD registrants and is definitely not a model for California to follow.

      • TiredOfHiding

        Well see, there you go! I finally get a little bit optimistic and let my a tiny ray of hope into my black heart thanks to this RSO crap and look what happens.

        OK, that does it. Forget it, there is no hope and America is still a police state and becoming worse with each passing day.

        I can forget that vacation to celebrate my 19th anniversary with my partner at some romantic overseas location.

        It was nice to dream even it was just overnight that there might actually be some hope for the future. Thanks for slapping me back to my senses!

  4. BeeH

    I was hopeful when reading the title of this story. But I was disappointed when reading the text of the law. The ability to get off the registry is limited to a fairly narrow group. It allows people who are level 1 and level 2 to petition. The way I read it – Level 1 and 2 are restricted to a small list of crimes, where the offender was under 21 and the victim was older than 12. Everyone else is level 3, and listed for life.

  5. Erwin

    South Dakota is no different than most other states that use the tier system. They also allow level ones to petition for early release from the registry after 10 years & like someone said, its limited to small crimes. And how many people get suspended or stayed sentences for sex crimes? Normally it’s straight to prison. And I never did understand this notion of getting sex offender treatment while in prison. That’s like putting a target on your back. I encourage someone to serve their time quietly….no other inmates need to know what your in for. Treatment should take place during probation.

    • Frank

      Agree completely Erwin. For those who have not yet begun to serve a sentence for their crime. You do not want to share anything with anyone who is incarcerated.
      I served my sentence in the Probation Departments honor camp system. I was out on a road crew each day doing weed control and other tasks that the Probation Department had contracted with the County.

      You keep low key at all times. If you boast about your reason for being there it may get you a free ride on the “Life Flight” helicopter.

      During litigation prior to incarceration, I was directed to have regular drug and alcohol testing as well as regular visits to the Psychologists and Psychiatrists. Full-on counseling came after the 9 month stint in the honor camp. All self-financed.

      Although, I’ve been fortunate to date, the more these laws keep becoming more and more restrictive, I’m now, after 25 plus years, finding the knot in the stomach comes more frequently. It’s just too bad there isn’t somewhere in the law that says. “once you are clean for xxx amount of time” your name comes off of the list. Period.

      • Erwin

        I’m really glad you got thru all of that……sounds rough but I bet it made you a stronger person. You probably wouldn’t have imagined back then that you would be sharing your experiences decades later on something called the web. I sure didn’t know what it was. We were lucky to have trash 80 computers in high school computer lab. One the one hand, the web has been a gift that makes life easier. But it has also has been a wicked beast that can ruin a person’s life. It has destroyed reputations, divided and brought legal hardship to families including my own. All we want to do is be left alone. And I’m sure after 25 years, you just one to enjoy life & freedom of travel without government harassment, snoopy neighbors, and fear mongering politicians

        • Frank

          Erwin’s quote: “All we want to do is be left alone. And I’m sure after 25 years, you just one to enjoy life & freedom of travel without government harassment, snoopy neighbors, and fear mongering politicians.”

          That’s really it. And it would be nice to see it happen someday soon.
          I won’t be on this earth forever.

      • Norman Goffney

        I totally agree, after a looooooooong time has passed (30yrs) and no other kind of incidents even closely related, one should be allowed to get off this list and lead a productive life.

        • CR

          No one convicted of sexual offense should ever be listed on a public registry. Not for 30 years. Not for 1 year. Not even for a day.

          Remember, it is not supposed to be punishment for a crime, so it should have nothing to do with paying a debt to society. Registration is required of us after we have already served our sentence.

          Multiple studies now show that public registries do not prevent or deter sexual offenses. They do not advance public safety. Recidivism among registrants is among the lowest of any class of offender. Ninety-five percent of new sex offenses are committed by people who are not on a registry. Therefore, there can be no non-punitive justification for a public registry.

          Neither do I think that a legitimate case can be made for even a non-public offender registration law. Once a person has completed his sentence, his freedoms should be fully restored. Also, the non-public registry would serve no purpose for most ex-offenders. Law enforcement already has access to everyone’s criminal history, and can usually quickly locate anyone who is not actively on the run or hiding. The vast majority of people who have previously committed sexual offenses are simply trying to live their lives, and are not in hiding at all.

          Abolish the registry, in its entirety, forever.

        • someone who cares

          Does anyone care to see what the article in this link is all about? Is it legit? Is it worth looking into more? I know that most of us would be too scared to follow through with what is written here, but I wouldn’t mind finding out if this has any legal standing at all.

        • TS


          Canada does have a registry where this linked doc says it does not. Have not looked up the org who published it, but would be very wary of this advice.

        • AJ

          @someone who cares:
          I read the document, and found it comical at best. There are a number of flaws with their reasoning and ideas (Ex.: PO boxes and DLs both require a physical address). As I read it, it brought to mind the ridiculous claim about not needing a license to drive on roads. This one isn’t too far off that.

          I suppose one should follow this advice to avoid paying state income taxes, too? What a bunch of malarkey.

  6. John

    I don’t see how they can be adam walsh act compliant when these laws are not compliant. You may get off the state registry but from my understanding you still have to register under federal law

    • lovewillprevail

      In response to Someone Who Cares regarding the article with the link.

      Do not follow the advice in that article until you first speak with an attorney or have read and re-read all relevant laws. I did not get too far in the article but already found where one piece of advice given violates Texas Code of Criminal Procedures Chapter 62 which can result in a 1st or 2nd degree felony and many years in prison.

      And if following what is in the article, stay away as much as possible from states with short time periods to register and do not forget that as soon as you cross state lines, federal SORNA applies.

  7. Jason

    Theres always one,”the worlds gonna end” in the crowd….Good news is good news and we are starting to see more and more of it…Everytime I read something good there is alaways someone crying it isnt enough…well of course its not enough but it is a hell of alot better than where we come from…Get over your pity and be thankful for our steps forward..

  8. David Kennerly

    Read the “SORNA Substantial Implementation Review State of South Dakota” to better understand how the tiers are defined:

  9. John

    I don’t understand how they can be compliant when they are not. Because sorna has accepted south Dakota to be compliant does it mean some of the sex offenders follow the south Dakota laws and if they travel interstate what happens? Are they subject to the full federal laws. Meaning a sex offender is complying with what they believe they have to do under south Dakota laws but if they travel interstate are they subject to the full sorna guidelines? If someone gets off the registry early is sorna allowing this? Or just in that state? So confusing. I almost wish my state was sorna compliant so I would have some idea of what law I’m supposed to follow. I don’t register in my state because I have completed my ten year term. So I don’t know what I’m supposed to do.

  10. mike r

    I think the article is correct but every state has different laws so you would have to be very careful, If I was single I would of already done it. But anyone that does I would not depend on those that wrote the article to come to your defense and that isn’t going to help you if your locked up. Also, with cdc talking about closing sny yards I would be very careful.

  11. mike r

    Also, you better assume they will be servailing your properties, or even yourself, waiting for you to stay one second over what your allowed as well.

  12. mike r

    Also, just as Love states, you better understand every law in every state you visit so you are not breaking that states law because in many states you could not get away with it. CA I think you could and just travel between Nevada, Oregon, etc. but definitely do not take my word or anyone else’s when the stakes are so high, at least I wouldn’t.

  13. mike r

    AJ is absolutely right. No matter what you have to register, there is no way around that. If you go homelesd or transient in CA you have to report every 30 days. The only thing transient status does is you have no address. You’re still on the registry though so good luck with that and the article is misleading at best, and kind of comical at worst as AJ suggest.

  14. someone who cares

    Thanks everyone for the spot on input on this article. Of course, I would never take that misleading advice as it would cause more hardship of course. However, the one thing about this article is that the registry should never be enforced as it IS punishment, and everyone should be able to get off this unconstitutional list that adds punishment for life to a few who made a mistake, just like others did.

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