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The Sex Offender Registry is Bad and Doesn’t Make People Any Safer

There is perhaps no more reviled crime in America today than sexual assault, especially on a minor. When a person is found guilty of sexual assault, he or she is forced to register as a “sex offender,” often a lifelong designation. Yet, is this a good thing?

The modern sex offender laws were born out of the “tough on crime” period of the 1990s. The laws require those designated as sex offenders to inform a community when they move into a neighborhood, makes their name and address public information, and often limits if they can travel. So while it serves as an added “punishment” for sex offenders, this was not the laws’ intent.

These laws were passed in order to keep kids safe and to ensure that law enforcement knows of any sex offenders in an area if a crime against a child is reported. It was also thought that these laws would help prevent sex offenders from committing further crimes. So, does it work? Full Article

Join the discussion

  1. Justice Advocate Washington State

    American citizens branded as ‘sex offenders’ and who are made to register with the authorities, along with accompanying public notification; are truly condemned… our faces and our names become our biggest liabilities as identity and dignity are destroyed through public shaming for all to see… anywhere and at any time the internet exists. We are not a ‘protected class’ and are without constitutional rights. We lose our jobs, homes, relationships, and our safety. The 875,000 American Registered Sex Offenders are among the most persecuted individuals on the planet… for us, this is a hostile, primitive, barbaric country where paranoia and vigilantism are encouraged.

    Crimes vary from sliding pictures of minors onto a computer screen to the more invasive tragedies of international child exploitation… but the branding and public condemnation is ‘one size fits all.’ There is no proportionality or consistency when life changing sentences are doled out. A sex offender is a sex offender… the official scapegoat of our society.

    In Washington State, placement on state and local websites provides viewers with an opportunity to ‘click to follow,’ ‘click to report,’ and ‘click to share with a friend.’ Each police district is enabled with the authority to assign risk leveling… without any kind of criteria of justification. Washington State is a dangerous place for RSO’s to live because abuse by over powered police is rampant… and because paranoia is encouraged.

    These nightmarish horrors are escalated with the news media taking full advantage to publicly display available information on all RSO’s; including mug shots, living locations, and personal information. Opinions and comments on each individual can be added… it is ‘legal’ to add assumptions and speculations not stated as fact… this further burdens the RSO with public delusion and obsession. Third party websites also take advantage by packaging the information with warnings such as ‘child predator in your area,’ then make money from worried neighbors who pay to access the map, picture, and ‘crime details.’ RSO information on individuals is also published on many national and international websites… easily accessible through FBI information. Survival is a matter of hiding in the bushes, keeping one’s head down, blending in, getting lost, and… you get it. Any country that does this to it’s citizens, should itself, be condemned.

    “Whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation, take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” — Elie Wiesel

  2. Mike

    I watched today the CNN program with Fahreed Zakaria and in today’s program it featured the President citing data as a reasons why it is not a fantasy that black Americans are much more persecuted and prosecuted by the authorities. Using data to make better only makes sense, yet this same President signed into law the IML which ignores data and puts the USA in the same company as Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia. Why it takes so long for the courts to get their heads out of their asses is beyond me. There are significant liberty rights totally not available to RC’s with no due process. For some to say that we were afforded our due process rights when we were only adjudicated does not diminish the loss freedoms suffered ex post facto. Unbelievable.

    • Justice Advocate Washington State

      Yes Mike… you are not alone in your thoughts… the President recently said this regarding all the police disruptions… “We can do better than this!” He speaks with forked tongue. I find the similarities of RSO discrimination very close to what the Nazi’s did to the Jews during the Holocaust. By deleting our safety and making us vulnerable targets through public notification and the scarlet letter on our passports is a human rights violation. It certainly is unbelievable this could happen in “The land of the free.” Frustrations are certainly bubbling over!

  3. Timmr

    I like the discussions following asking the question ‘where does this “right to know” the public is supposed to have appear in the Constitution?’ I haven’t seen it in my pocket version of the U.S. Constitution. Quite explicitly, The California Constitution specifically protects privacy. It is an inalienable right.
    https://oag.ca.gov/privacy/privacy-laws
    There must have been a lot of strained legal dialectics involved to come up with the right to know about your neighbor as some sort of sacred obligation of government to provide.

    • New Person

      Timmr… You might be onto something here.

      “California Constitution, Article 1, section 1.The state Constitution gives each citizen an “inalienable right” to pursue and obtain “privacy.”

      Doesn’t the registration run contrary to the “inalienable right” to pursue and obtain “privacy”?

      Just plain layman’s translation means the whole registration is unconstitutional because is directly infringes upon the “inalienable rights” – rights that cannot be given or taken away. Thus after completion on sentence and/or probation/parole, I should regain my privacy rights. Registering after my sentence, probation, or parole is infringing upon my California constitutional rights.

      I mean doesn’t privacy extend to no longer sharing with the local police departments nor registering aspects b/c that’s no longer privacy. I don’t see any other citizen registering, presuming when one completes their sentence and/or probation/parole that they regain rehabilitation to gain rights as a citizen again.

      If you received the 1203.4 (expungement) is states:
      “he or she shall thereafter be released from all penalties and disabilities resulting from the offense of which he or she has been convicted”

      Doesn’t this mean you’ve regained your rights as a California citizen as well as the “inalienable right” to privacy?

      Maybe this “right” hasn’t been emphasized at all, Timmr? Just like how Maryland didn’t emphasize that “restrictions” fits under ex post facto in their constitution – to which was a big win for registrants in that state.

  4. Punished for Life

    New Person,
    You and Timmer, in my estimation may be onto something.
    It just seems to me, that with all of the truly bright minds involved with our defense, I’d be amazed if this “Privacy” issue has not as yet been challenged.

    But again, when it comes to “Privacy” in our society as a whole, there really is none.
    Camera’s everywhere is one that just irks me to no end. Just think of a “Google” search.
    Technology has it’s negatives.
    If people want to find out anything at all, about anybody or anything, it’s just a click away.

    I hope you are correct. One day we’ll whip this punitive mess that is ruining more lives as we type. It just might be some hidden protection we have that might end this crap for good.

    Frank

    • Timmr

      It’s all about individual control of your life, and the right to start anew, which I am sure was meant for a select few in the 1800’s (not the Chinese or original people, but white immigrants) but that is still not what it says. Everyone, it says and the concept is pure. If you have exceptions, it is not inalienable and universal to humanity. Maybe that is a nineteenth century concept, an anachronism, when this right was penned, a chance to redeem oneself, leave one’s past behind and go forth and make a new life in a new country, one whose ideals we have now abandoned for safety and expediency in this present age — one of perceived threats everywhere and immanent annihilation posted on Facebook continually. All I ask is to be judged as I am, and what I do, not what I did or who I was. Thousands of immigrants came here expecting not less from a country, and the country was built by them.

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