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General News

Remarks by USMS Deputy Director David L. Harlow on the 10-year Commemoration of Adam Walsh Act SMART Symposium July 27, 2016

I am so pleased to be here and to witness again firsthand the incredible work being done by many different, yet all vital, agencies and organizations.

Through the continuous hard work of the Department of Justice’s Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and  Tracking (SMART) Office and this Symposium, progress continues to be made to obstruct the violent and destructive behavior of sexual predators worldwide. …

1. Research shows that sexual crimes reported to police decline by an average of 13% within a jurisdiction after enacting a registry. …

2. Research shows registrants are more than 10 times as likely to be arrested for a new sex crime as those not on the registry. To be clear, that does not mean most registrants will be rearrested for a new sex crime. But it does mean registrants represent far more risk than the general public. … Full Remarks (pdf)

Related

National Symposium on Sex Offender Management and Accountability

2016 National Symposium on Sex Offender Management and Accountability on July 26-27, 2016 at the Kansas City Marriott Downtown – Agenda

 

Join the discussion

  1. ab

    Someone should fact check this. I wonder how much is cherry picked to tell the narrative that they want to tell? Also anyone who thinks its not in the interest of any company, agency, group, organization, government, office, or movement to make themselves appear needed is in need of a reality check. That’s all this is; a government office coming out to justify its own existence and funding regardless of whether or not they are being honest.

    • Son of Liberty Child of Freedom

      Ab you speak Truth.

      “That’s all this is; a government office coming out to justify its own existence and funding regardless of whether or not they are being honest.”

      I concur & add a deeper Truth.

      It is a “Global Governmental Bureaucrat” concealing the “Pure Unadulterated Hypocracy” that the “Wicked Servants” have truly defended & protect the lives of the children who are under their care.

      “The Ugly Truth” is that children under the Wicked Servants care, with the Consent of most of the People who are their very own parents, Managed by the Legislative Branch, Executed by Presidential Branch, & with the “Final Seal of Approval” by the Jeduciary Branch aka The United States Supreme Court. & to add insult to injury, Not a single “Officer of the Peace” on the face of the land has lifted a finger to defend the lives of the Children Murdered!!!

      Today as Heaven & Earth bear witness that since 1973 under Roe vs. Wade –
      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roe_v._Wade

      “The Court ruled 7–2 that a right to privacy under the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment extended to a woman’s “decision” [Desire] to have an abortion” Making “Murder of a Child” & “Conspiring to Murder a Child” by their parents & family Legitimate & Permissible without any “Collateral Consequences”

      No less then 55 million children have been Murdered!!! by their very own family. All of these innocent & defenseless children have been Executed without Due Proccess & Representation to demonstrate they pose a danger to the “Life Style” of their so called parents.

      Furthermore once Capital Punishment has been Executed upon the children via tearing the body into pieces, the children are “Made a Merchandise Of” by the sale of their body parts.

      Ladies & Gentlemen we can not deny the Truth,

      The Creator of the Cosmos & Spiritual Worlds, The Most High of Abraham, Issac, & Jacob. Revealed to Moses & to all nations what is correct & what is incorrect aka The 10 Commandments, that is Objective Morals.

      The Global Governmental Bureaucrats have denied the existence of The Most High of Heaven because they Covet & Desire to place themselves in His rightful Position. The fruit of their tree is Murder & Accusation of others to cover over the evil they produce.

      In the same Spirit of Jona I repeat what The Most High of Heaven can not bear to look upon, I.E. Hates. And because of these acts I call Heaven & Earth to bear witness of the Rivers of Blood that cry out & Stain the Land.

      Proverbs chapter 6

      16 There are six things which Yehovah hateth,
      Yea, seven which are an abomination unto Him:

      17 Haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
      And hands that shed innocent blood;

      18 A heart that deviseth wicked thoughts,
      Feet that are swift in running to evil;

      19 A false witness that breatheth out lies,
      And he that soweth discord among brethren.

      20 My son, keep the commandment of thy Father,

      As Yehovah lives, I speak truth

    • Michael

      Begs the question, why is it called the “SMART” office?

  2. HOOKSCAR

    Ummm. Is it me, or did he just provide false statistics. Can he not be challenged over false information?
    “Research shows registrants are more than 10 times as likely to be arrested for a new sex crime as those not on the registry. To be clear, that does not mean most registrants will be rearrested for a new sex crime. But it does mean registrants represent far more risk than the general public.”
    I find this statement a deliberate lie to justify the draconian laws that exist in this country. He should be sued.

    • nomore

      It seems to me that if we’re 10 times more likely to reoffend then it should be easy to quantify that. He contradicts himself though. It’s called government doublespeak.

    • stephen

      I agree the man made false statements, the Question is, Did he do it on the governments Time Clock.

  3. mike r

    absolutely no citing for any of their Statistics. just pulling shi…outof their as…. which will be used as some kind of facts in the future by some corrupt politician or da..these people need to be challenged to produce studies and cite their sources instead of just shooting off at the mouth…

  4. Joe

    Registration provides information which allows people to protect themselves, their children and their neighbors

    Fine – but then why is Registration not required for ALL crimes? Say, Mr. Harlow – have you no interest in protecting me, my children and my neighbors from ALL crime?

    1. Research shows that sexual crimes reported to police decline by an average of 13% within a jurisdiction after enacting a registry.

    Where is that study? And how does it break down by state? And what are the averages? California has had a registry for almost 70 years. Many states only for 20. What is that “Research”?

    2. Research shows registrants are more than 10 times as likely to be arrested for a new sex crime as those not on the registry. To be clear, that does not mean most registrants will be rearrested for a new sex crime. But it does mean registrants represent far more risk than the general public.

    I thought that “4 times more likely” was sufficiently discredited. To be crystal clear – how many of these new non-sex crimes are Failure-to-Register crimes (on which the US Marshals base a lot of their existence) and crimes CAUSED by the marginalization of the very registration laws?

    When President Bush signed the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act into law on July 27, 2006, the 25th anniversary of Adam’s abduction and murder, it became a federal crime for convicted sex offenders to fail to register with their local authorities.

    Adam Walsh was abducted and murdered. Thank you for that clarification. There was no evidence that he was ever sexually abused as only his head was recovered. Sure, some delusional drifter told some wild tale, but he died before not only being convicted, but before being charged. What, pray tell, then, does the abduction and murder have to do with a guy who hugged and kissed a 14 year old girl? It has everything to do with Adam Walsh’s mother who let her small child wander alone around a department store while she went shopping for home furnishings. It has everything to do with Adam Walsh’s father who dated Adam Walsh’s mother when she was 16 in a state where the age of consent is 17. Championing father? Hero? Pffft…. Tier II or III Sex Offender is more like it.

    We will rarely know the names of the near-victims saved by registries, and this is precisely the point.

    The point being…. that they are few and far between? That this registry has to do with only 1 out of every 20 cases of abuse have nothing to do with the registry? And that the other ones are not PREVENTED by your list? At least the second of the examples was a simple probation violation (big whoop). http://wkbn.com/2016/07/06/sex-offender-arrested-after-driving-in-struthers-parade

    While these numbers are impressive, remember that more than 700,000 registered sex offenders live in the United States. USMS analyses show that, on any given day, approximately 30,000 have warrants for their arrest. Nearly 1,000 of these are for new contact-sex crimes or homicides.

    I am sorry… but do you think I cannot do simple math in my head? 1,000 out of 700,000 arrest warrants (not convictions, mind you) – is 1.5%. THAT is a number you base your salary and existence on?

    However, as a “data driven” agency, we have come to find many of the criticisms of the registry without merit or exaggerated.

    Hey Mr. Harlow – if you happen to read this (I would not be surprised if you do) – DO shut me up. DO show me your data.

    Okay…. I have just typed myself into a frenzy. I could go on and on. Pretty much every single sentence here should be picked apart, challenged, contradicted. I wish someone with a clearer head and more credence than myself would send back a formal response with a request, no, demand, for substance to this drivel dripping with pathos..

    • JohnDoeUtah

      So, if in any given day 1.5% have a warrant out for a new sex crime (and these warrants likely stand for days in many cases) how in the h*ll can they say that we are 10-times more likely to commit sex crimes when studies have show that 95% of all new sex crime is committed by non-registrants. We seriously need to push back and fact check these guys.

    • Timmr

      After arresting 105000 fugitive registrants over a ten year period of the AWA existence , that comes out to 10500 per year or 28.77 per day. If they are arresting only about 29 per day, there has to be a lot of the registrants that have been fugitive for quite a long while to account for the 30,000 on any given day. If you assume there are no new fugitives, which is unlikely, then it would take 1034 days or 2.8 years to arrest all the fugitives at 29 per day. That figure is really suspect or else it actually shows the ineffectiveness of the department to handle the stated problem.
      The service arrested 560 child abductors over the ten year period, 56 per year or 1 child just under every week. No mention is made to how many of these were made possible by the AWA, but with these numbers, other actions like education and awareness, treatment of former offenders, could easily have made claim to similar if not greater successes.

      • nomore

        There’s definitely a great deal of ironic humor in this happening at a “SMART” symposium. Obviously they’re doing a lot of word play and Fred Astaire like attempts to try and get their lies past. Unfortunately, they’re on very thin ice doing it. I’m hopeful someone will give this the proper smackdown in the public eye it deserves.

    • Michael

      “I am sorry… but do you think I cannot do simple math in my head? 1,000 out of 700,000 arrest warrants (not convictions, mind you) – is 1.5%. THAT is a number you base your salary and existence on?”

      I’m sorry, 1.5% of 700,000 = 10,500. ;-P

  5. Clark

    Taxpayer s Wake Up…you’re getting Enroned..!
    Sham info that forgetpunksname No One in this railroaded coerced to be on this list had anything to do with that incident….the communist system controls its people by coercion.
    President Kennedy said one of the main difference’s of the communist system & democracy was that the communist system uses coercion to control its people.
    Let the world see what system they use to register human beings.

  6. anonymously

    David writes “. Research shows that sexual crimes reported to police decline by an average of 13%
    within a jurisdiction after enacting a registry.”

    Research also shows that 95+% of sex crimes are committed by non-registrants. If 13% of sex crimes are now not being reported now with registries in existence, that means that the existence of a registry is stopping non-registrant sex crime from being reported. What a failure this statistic shows the registry to be.

    “o This finding is consistent across thousands of jurisdictions, and has been
    replicated across multiple high-quality and peer-reviewed studies published in
    scholarly journals.”

    Makes perfect sense.

    “2. Research shows registrants are more than 10 times as likely to be arrested for a new sex
    crime as those not on the registry. To be clear, that does not mean most registrants will
    be rearrested for a new sex crime. But it does mean registrants represent far more risk
    than the general public.”

    Why not just state what percent of registrants reoffend? O wait, that would give the truthful low number, under 1%. Not close to being over 50%, but because of the propaganda it is very necessary to dispel the myth of a majority reoffending. The stat used by David is that registrants are 10 times more likely to commit a sex crime than the general public. If the study that produced David’s stat isloated registrants who have been crime -free for at least 17 years, the result would have been that the risk of offense is the same as that of someone in the general public, as Hansen’s study indicated. But even though researchers from the study that made the statistic David uses group all sex offenders together, regardless of how long the subjects were crime-free, to get the result that registrants are 10 times more likely to commit a sex crime than someone in the general public, its still a meaningless statistic since all risks mentioned are so low., they are negligeable. Kind of like the statistic that you have a 10 times greater chance of winning a 10 million dollar lotto jackpot than a 100 million lotto jackpot. Odds of winning either jackpot are so low that having one jackpot having a 10 times greater chance to be won, does not mean any action should be taken determinant on this irrelevant stat , such as buying more lotto tickets for the 10 million dollar jackpot. Using David’s stat of 10 times greater risk for a registrant to commit a sex crime than someone not on the registry coupled with the stat used by IML proponents that there is a 4 times greater risk of sex crime committed by a registrant than a non-registrant felon, there is a 2.5 times greater risk of a non-registrant felon committing a sex crime than someone in the general public. How come no sex registries for ‘all felons’ then? Using David’s logic, implementation of this ‘felon’ registry to protect against sex crime is the action to take.

    • mch

      Research also shows that law enforcement commits more sex offenses than registered citizens, but you’ll never hear that number either.

  7. Doc Martin

    When they said ‘registrant’ I thought hey! At least they cleaned up their language. Then they had to put “sex crime” in the same sentence.
    If ‘registrants’ are 10 times more likely to be arrested for a new sex crime, then I’m still waiting for John Walsh, who dated an underage girl, to be hauled off to jail

  8. chinup

    “on any given day, approximately 30,000 have warrants for their arrest. Nearly 1,000 of these are for new contact-sex crimes or homicides. ”

    He says on any given day 1,000 new crimes are committed by those on the reg or 350,000 plus a year.
    Those are really scary numbers

    Then he discredits the advocacy group that claims that there are 200,000 juveniles on the reg, saying that there are less than 2,000.

    So what is the truth???

  9. mike

    Many if not all of these government ( see, self ) funded organizations, are propaganda, bureaucratic funding machines running unchecked. One of the main reasons that we need to have an organized PR campaign is to have a coordinated, “I call BS on that” plan. Every time that there is an account, we need to push back. If we know there will be statements made before hand, our rep should be there to ask pointed questions and respond with statements that clearly show how one sided these groups are. The government says whatever suits their purpose with impunity, no consequences. It is the allowed BS published or quoted statements that are allowed to pass as a fact which dooms us. There is no political cover for any politician, Dem or Rep to do anything to slow down this train. Even if $5 a month, the RC’s and/or their families’ contributions would go a long way to at least pushing back. Count me in for $25 more. I get sick of it. What is repeated enough becomes what is perceived as fact. The world is flat.

  10. WantsToHelp

    A few interesting observations:

    1. For the bulk of this speech he used the word “registrant” rather than “sex offender.” This is both fascinating and telling.

    2. In this speech he felt the need to not only acknowledge but defend against the arguments being raised against the registry. This is also fascinating and telling. There’s never a need to defend against a non-issue. That he chose to address these issues in a speech that could have easily ignored them indicates the challenges raised by the civil rights advocacy groups has struck a nerve.

    3. He’s using some really wonky number bending in his statistical quotes. It’s not mathematically possible for registrants to both a) commit sex offenses at a rate 10 times higher than the average population AND b) for up to 95% of new sex crimes to be committed by individuals not on any registry. I’m sure we’d all like to see the data he used to come up with these “facts.”

    • 4sensiblepolicies

      There is something important here in the fact that someone believed that the speech needed to be given. It clearly demonstrates that they feel the need to defend these failed policies. The only way they can get to their goal is by throwing out cooked-up statistics. Phony numbers and statistical manipulations helped get the registry to the point that is, so certainly more of the same will keep their ship of misery afloat and on-coarse.

      But obviously, as Wantstohelp pointed out, it is statistically impossible for registered citizens to commit sex crimes at 10 times the rate of non-registrants when 95% of new sexual crime is committed by non-registrants. The 95% rate by non-registrants is verifiable. The minimal recidivism rate by registrants is documented and provable. Even if we were to speculate a re-offense number using an extremely high-end estimate of 5% recidivism over a 10 year period, this would be about 4200 sexual crimes committed annually nationally by the 850,000 existing registrants. If Harlow’s statistic is to be believed, then the rest of the U.S population must be convicted of about 420 total sexual crimes annually. I am guessing there will be well over 420 sexual crime convictions for non-registrants in the U.S. this week alone.

      At the rate the registry has grown, I don’t believe I am out of line in speculating that there are well over 20,000 new price club members added each year. If Harlow’s statistic has any truth, then 200,000 existing registrants must recidivate each year. In 4 years, 95% of registrants will have re-offended! At that rate, the ‘SMART’ office would put itself out of it’s important business of tracking registrants and making up phony statistics, because every registrant would soon be in prison for a new crime.

      But do you think anyone other than on this forum will fact-check the guy? Probably not.

    • WantsToHelp

      A few additional thoughts:

      4. He also plays loose with the truth by stating that contrary to what’s claimed by civil rights advocates there are only 2,000 juveniles on the registry, not 200,000. What advocates have actually claimed is that up to 200,000 registrants may have ENTERED the registry as juveniles. In many states that entry is a one-way ticket. So while there may possibly be only 2,000 child registrants at present moment (assuming his numbers account for child registrants who are not publicly listed), this does not mean there were only EVER 2,000 child registrants.

      5. Without understanding what kind of data mining went into extracting his numbers for Romeo and Juliet cases, it’s impossible to take them at face value. Every state categorizes these types of offenses differently. Texas, which has the second largest registry after California, now has a Romeo and Juliet exception that allows for a 3-year age difference defense when the child was 14-17, but that’s fairly recent and not retroactive. There’s no “statutory rape” penal code in Texas. These types of offenses are charged as indecency with a child and sexual assault of a child. When the victim is younger than 14 the charge automatically becomes aggravated sexual assault of a child even if the sex was consensual. Therefore consensual sex between a 15 year old and a 13 year old does not fall under Romeo and Juliet, rather it is aggravated sexual assault of a child.

      Unless USMS data analysts went deeper than offense codes–which is quite literally impossible without having access to each individual case–it is impossible by any measure of statistical accuracy to ascertain how many registrants were placed on the registry due to Romeo and Juliet, statutory rape, or something worse. The data might, at best, reflect some loosey-goosey hypothetical numbers through estimates, conjecture, victim age, and offender age at time of offense–although that, too, would require data mining as not all state registries include offender age at time of offense, and sometimes the date of conviction occurs many years after the actual offense date.

  11. G4Change

    I call bullsh**!!!

  12. anonymously

    It’s irrelevent if that stat is true or not because the stat is irrevelent. The only stat that matters is the re-offense rate. Not the comparison of percentage numbers under 1 percent.

  13. Guy

    He plays a little sleight of hand with the remarks about declining reporting of sex offenses. It is important to understand the distinction between sex offense rates vs. rates of reporting sex offenses to authorities. In other words, it is axiomatic in all areas of criminal justice that some crimes go either undetected or unreported to authorities. This means that rates of reporting to authorities will always be lower than the rate of actual offenses.

    Research has consistently demonstrated that sex offense rates were dropping rapidly even before implementation of registration, and to my knowledge, there is no research that demonstrates that sex offense rates are impacted by registration.

    Reporting is impacted, however, but this might not be the strong point that the USMS director casts it as. Given that much sexual abuse is intrafamilial, the competing hypothesis is that since registration essentially destroys the person and the family, reporting might well have declined due to the severity of the laws and their impact on people.

  14. Punished for Life

    “Thank you for all you do to make and keep our communities safe
    , and thank
    God for the Adam
    Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act.”

    And for those of you who have been compliant for decades, Sorry!
    Sorry, if we will be moving you from Tier 1 to Tier 3. But we don’t really care who we
    screw in the process. We will do everything we can to punish SO’s and their families for their lifetimes.

    It’s for the children.

  15. Les Mis Life

    ‘SMART’ needs a new, more appropriate charter: “Saving The Underage People In Danger”(STUPID)
    Same nonsense, more sensible name

    • nomore

      I made a sarcastic crack about their acronym as well but yours was superb. Lol

  16. Chris F

    ***
    1. Research shows that sexual crimes reported to police decline by an average of 13% within a jurisdiction after enacting a registry. …
    ***
    So, you are bragging about the fact that friends and family of those that sexually abuse children are now much less likely to report sex offenses because they don’t want a primary bread winner in the family unable to ever secure a good job again??? So my kids are at risk because your “registry” has turned into such an inhumane punishment that people now aren’t getting arrested or being treated for deviant behavior and are instead likely to re-offend?

    ***
    2. Research shows registrants are more than 10 times as likely to be arrested for a new sex crime as those not on the registry. To be clear, that does not mean most registrants will be rearrested for a new sex crime. But it does mean registrants represent far more risk than the general public.
    ***
    Let’s fail to mention the part that after about 15 years the percent becomes the same as the general public even though the majority of registries are LIFETIME. Even if your math is correct, you aren’t sourcing your material or if the offenders had any type of treatment. Sure, if you jail an offender and then release him without treatment he will have a higher chance of doing it again. Why don’t you tell us the statistic for how much more likely a convicted drunk driver is to drink and drive again? I bet that will be much higher and have more of a need of public attention.

    Show us the statistics next to the statistics of other crimes. How much more often does a drug offender get caught using drugs again VS the general population?

    • Les Mis Life

      Of course! Now they can also claim that the numbers are under reported and more needs to be done as well.

  17. DavidH

    gag me!

  18. steve

    “……., on any given day, approximately 30,000 have warrants for their arrest. Nearly 1,000 of these are for new contact-sex crimes or homicides.”

    How can that even be possible. 700,000 Registrants….1000X365 days. = 365,000 warrants a year for a new sex crime. WTF!!!… so in two years every single person on the list will be re-arrested or have a new warrant. So comforting to know we have such brilliant people leading this country.
    This HAS TO BE the most grotesque, absurd stretch of the truth I have ever read regarding SR’s.
    This report must be used as an example of the outright lies that are being told.

    • steve

      Didn’t notice the homicide portion of that stat. That is complete BS also. If any sex offender committed a homicide it would be plastered all over the news everyday and at the rate they are claiming there would be calls to move us all to an island. Total crap.

    • Jeb

      That doesn’t mean 1000 new warrants per day. A warrant is issued for a “new sex crime” and it might sit there for days, weeks, or years. Assuming the average warrant sits for a month, that would be 12,000 new crimes per year. If the average is a 2 months, that would be 6,000 per year.

      Perhaps the misunderstanding on that is intentional. This guy certainly wants to play the role of the hero, so he wants the issue to seem as dangerous as possible.

      • steve

        Oh yes you are correct. My anger blurred my reading and comprehension ability.

  19. mike r

    i cant believe that out of all our donations to all these different sites that we don’t have some kind of lobbyists to put these people in check when these laws are being considered…

    • Computer Nerd

      A lobbyist will cost between $5,000 to $25,000 a month with a minimum 1 year contract. Plus all their added expenses such as travel & lodging. That’s a minimum of $60,000 to $300,000 a year, not including expenses. The better the lobbyist firm, the higher the cost. Hiring the cheapest firm to represent us would likely be worthless to us. That’s far more money than all of our advocacy groups take in combined donations each year. Plus that would leave us with no money to continue filing new lawsuits and to continue the advocacy that is already earmarked for the current donations received. Now if we had the money, the next issue would be finding a firm that would even be willing to take on our cause which would likely put them at risk to loose their other clients. I think we will have to become our own lobbyists by constantly contacting our politicians. I suppose there is no reason why someone on the registry couldn’t learn to be a professional lobbyist, although it still would take substantial funds for that persons travel expenses.

      • mike

        Nevertheless, he is right. We have got to find a way to increase membership in advocacy groups and we have to be more systematic in our approach to fundraising. This is just one example of how people on the government dime can say anything with no push back. We need more money for legal actions and another fund for PR.

        • 72 FLH

          hell at the tune of 60k to 300k we could do our own Film, and it could be about RSO’s working hand in hand to over come the freedoms that have been taken away from us , and not being monsters that we are painted to be , as well as showing a model of positive living and how we can take our power back ,

    • Roger

      Mike r, we (ACSOL) tried hiring expensive lobbyists to help us fight California bills a couple of years ago, but the results were lukewarm and not worth it. Since then, we show up ourselves, We save $$$$$$, and have had more impact.

      I’m glad you now realize the immense value of lobbying in person. We’d love to see you in Sacramento with us next time. We are just doing what has been done thousands of times since we became a state: people show up who are personally affected by a bill. It has been a proven way to influence lawmakers.

      For example, one bill that would outlaw helium-filled Mylar balloons was fought by having a dozen balloon vendors show up and passionately tell how they would all be put out of business.

  20. Clark

    Public servants.. public service is to provide HONEST service for the public pay….harlow , you need to be fired and no further public pay for the deceptive misrepresentation Soviet-Stalin-Enron type propaganda maliciously false information you’re spewing to the public.
    Your public service is full of shit.

  21. Katharine

    “Research shows registrants are more than 10 times as likely to be arrested for a new sex crime as those not on the registry.” This is a ridiculous. It’s an apples-to-oranges comparison. Those not on the registry, i.e. the general population, includes infants and toddlers, as well as about half women, who sexually offend at much lower rates than men. If I want to compare infants to registrants, I can say registrants are infinitely more likely to re-offend than infants. but it’s a meaningless statement. The only statistically valid way to do this is to compare a group of registrants, say men over 50, to the general population of men over 50. I suspect the percentage would would be much, much lower. And of course not nearly as scary.

  22. stephen

    Drunk Drivers commit more rapes, robberies, ect than any other Class.

  23. mike r

    this is from the SCOTUS blog site

    The federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, or SORNA, has been percolating in the lower courts since its enactment in 2006. Convicted sex offenders seem to have attacked its registration requirements every which way, leaving a trail of lower court opinions that address everything from congressional authority to enact SORNA to the Tenth Amendment and related federalism concerns.

    But the Supreme Court has not yet entered this thicket. Its two rulings on SORNA, both in 2010, involved relatively minor aspects of the Act, rather than the more significant constitutional issues. This case, the first set for oral argument this Term, is no different.

    im still dumbfounded by this but it is what it is i guess..
    the Pennsylvania Juvenile case in which the court granted complete relief from registration is very important and enlightening I definitely have to integrate it into my motion.. people should actually read that decision and just exclude the juvenile aspects of it and you can see how relevant it is and how easy it should be to apply their reasoning to adults as well…

    • Eric Knight

      Unfortunately, we aren’t likely to see an RSO case for years. By the numbers…

      1. John Roberts wins the landmark case Smith vs Doe that allowed states to create a database for RSO’s.

      2. One of George Bush’s advisors, Karl Rove, gets a heads up from one of his headhunters about Roberts’ case (Smith vs Doe was the final case he argued before SCOTUS).

      3. Roberts is appointed Federal Circuit judge in the DC Circuit, becomes Bush’s justice-in-waiting.

      4. Roberts originally slated to fill Sandra Day O’Conner’s slot after she retired, but when Chief Justice Rehnquist died, Bush instead nominated Roberts for the Chief slot.

      5. Roberts got confirmed, and since he’s the Chief and has at least a quorum tie on his side for the most part (Roberts, Alito, and Kennedy), his input on cases for certiorari (case acceptance) is heavily considered.

      6. NO RSO cases that will threaten Roberts signature victory, Smith vs Doe, will now be allowed for cert in the next 20 or 30 years during Roberts tenure UNLESS there are significant and unambiguous court splits around the country along with enough impetus to push cases through.

      There MAY be an exception: If the quora changes and 5 or more non-Roberts judges want to allow cert on some cases, then they MAY come through, though keep in mind that Kagan hates rapists, and may consider RSO cases in the same vein, maintaining the non-likelihood of RSO cases getting Cert from both sides of the court. An evil situation.

      More indepth article here: https://sosen.org/blog/2015/10/30/was-the-trigger-point-for-john-roberts-appointment-based-upon-smith-v-doe.html

      • Tobin's Tools

        Four justices are required to grant “cert…” not five. (It’s a common misnomer confused with 5-4 decisions.)

        • Eric Knight

          Thank you for the correction, though Roberts still holds the strongest hand in this regard. There has rarely been a case heard when Roberts was not part of the “Rule of Four,” and his clerks usually initiate the process to get the cases when dissiminated to other justices’ clerks (exept Alito’s). I’ll have to dig up this source, though, give me a bit of time.

        • Tobin's Tools

          Eric, I completely agree with your claims. So long as John Roberts sits on the high court, I don’t think a correction will be made to Smith v. Doe. SCOTUS is very careful as to protect its reputation (knowing that the institution is essentially an emperor without clothes). Knowing all too well that Roberts argued Smith v. Doe using many lies, and that Kennedy wrote opinions in Smith v. Doe and McKune v. Lile (both citing grossly inflated statistics), SCOTUS is not stupid as to admit wrong-doing and discredit its own institution. Unfortunately, our Justices are master politicians who — first and foremost — look after themselves. (After all, how embarassing would it be for the court to admit they weren’t careful to study sex offense statistics after many people have been harmed by precedent. Not to mention the public outrage that may be directed to SCOTUS if they are perceived to rule favorably to “sex offenders.” We should also note the unregistered sex offender in hiding, Clarence Thomas. Ahm… Anita Hill.

        • Janice Bellucci

          The U.S. Supreme Court has corrected its mistakes in the past such as Plessy v. Ferguson and it will be given an opportunity to correct the mistake it made in Smith v. Doe. We can only hope that unlike the Plessy case, it won’t take more than 50 years to overturn the Smith case. Overturning the Smith decision is an important reason I sought admission to the U.S. Supreme Court. I hope to be the attorney who argues the case.

        • Punished for Life

          Janice,
          We all hope that you are that attorney as well.

          Frank

        • nomore

          Doesn’t it take someone challenging it? No need to wait 50 years.

        • HOOKSCAR

          And I hope you will also. You are an exceptional person. Even if I have never communicated directly, you will always appreciated and respected for all that you are and will be doing.

        • Tobin's Tools

          It would be nice if you are able to do it. Thank you for all the effort you’ve given thusfar.

        • Doc Martin

          That’s why this election cycle is very important. Some old dogs on the court are retiring or dying in the next 4 to 8 years. Whoever is sitting in the white house to make the appointments is very important. I definitely made my choice & it isn’t the person who panders to the religious right. Not only are challenges to sex offender laws at stake, but also a woman’s right to choose. But it will be nice for SCOTUS have some new judges willing to overturn Smith vs Doe and Citizens United. Then we could see who our enemies are and what politicians they support. Then we can strategize against some these victim’s rights’ groups that hide behind PAC dark money

        • David Kennerly

          Although not a member of either dominant authoritarian party, I had hoped that Obama, being a “Constitutional Scholar” and all. might appoint Justices along such commendable lines and who had been defense attornies. Instead, we got Kagan and Sotomayor.

          The former, in her immediately previous position as Solicitor General, argued successfully in that capacity before the Supremes (US v. Comstock) for extending the power of indefinite confinement to the federal government of those previously convicted of sex offenses. In other words, she argued that individuals should be imprisoned for crimes they might commit in the future by those who would then be committing crimes in the present. It is interesting to note that, out of all the Justices hearing that case, only Scalia (for whom I have never held much admiration) seemed to be genuinely troubled by the law’s implications. Indeed, he dissented in his opinion, as did Clarence Thomas, the only two to do so. Voting to affirm were Breyer, Roberts, Stevens, Ginsburg, Sotomayor, Kennedy, and Alito.

          Sotomayor does, however, appear less authoritarian than Kagan and is more guarded in the authority she is willing to cede to governments in the realm of criminal justice. So I would count her as being moderately more likely to challenge sex offender law expansion although perhaps not those laws already on the books.

          SCOTUS is fascinating, if disheartening, to view for their responses to sex offender cases brought before them. They are not monolithic but neither are they entirely predictable. Certainly not by their party affiliations. Ginsberg has been on our side in a few cases and against us in others. The same is true for Scalia, Thomas, Kennedy, etc. It’s as if they take turns being fascistic.

          Hillary Clinton gives no indication that she will appoint Justices MORE liberal (in the original, and best, meaning of that word) than Obama who has, himself, proved a massively disappointing President for civil libertarians (need I recount the ways?).

          On the contrary, Clinton will, true to form, appoint those who will score her the greatest number of political chits. In no case will those choices be liberal nor will they be former defense attornies. Defense attornies have been considered too radioactive for SCOTUS duty for several decades, so she will not break with that defacto, tough-on-crime, standard which was wholeheartedly embraced by both parties.

          But now, just this moment, I see that Clinton has vowed that she will stick with Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, to the Court. Ugh!

          Do some background research on HIM if you think that he may offer some relief for the modern lepers of society.

          I’ve been reading the back-and-forth here on which party is better for us with some amusement knowing that, ultimately, they’re both TERRIBLE! However, I do give the slightest of edges to the Democrats (as least terrible). This has more to do with the personality of the ‘progressive’ versus that of the conservative. Progressives (who are certainly not ‘liberal’) are a bit less obdurate and slightly more willing to consider, and assimilate, new information. They’re also less likely to wear their religions on their sleeves and to force them upon others.

          Still, these are nuances that can only be shaded in the most subtle of gradations.

          In truth, we would be tragically mistaken to pin our hopes on either party. They’re way too invested in their authoritarian impulses and the benefits which have accrued to them through the domination of others and the crushing of individual liberty.

        • Timmr

          As for religious belief, the worse for registrants is the persistent Calvinist belief in punishment in responce to immoral behavior, the “Strict father” model which somehow has survived hundreds of years of humanistic thought and has been adopted as unquestioned common sense by such self proclaimed progressives and non fundamenfalists like Hillary. She is the one who wanted the predators brought to heel, a very odd comment comming from the liberal side that historically favors the “nurturing parent” model, which itself is a little presumptuous of government’s role and its authority, but stll a more human and inclusive view than what we now see mainsteam progressives promote when it comes to crime.

  24. LM

    This is one of the most disturbing and depressing things I’ve ever read.

    The word “proud” was featured prominently throughout the article which is laughable because I have never seen a group of people so PROUD of something that is not only ineffectual, but displaces the lives of human beings while subjugating those (and those forced to register) to undue and untold risk by having their personal information broadcast online for any and everyone to see.

    Do you believe that a war is being waged against you and your family now?

    They fully intend to fight us every step of the way and will most likely use this cooked data espoused at this symposium at the next Supreme Court challenge.

    Do you blame them? They are defending a million dollar industry and protecting all those cushy, security theater pie jobs and want to continue to look good in the eyes of the public while actually doing next to nothing.

    Their efforts to keep Adam Walsh from “dying in vain” will always be in vain. The registry is retaliatory vengeance, not “justice” for Adam Walsh. It’s a sick and twisted revenge fantasy and magical thinking to believe that identification is awareness and somehow that equates to prevention. NONSENSE.

    • Les Mis Life

      Maybe it will lead to the John Walsh Act that doubles penalties on statutory rape and neglecting your child.

      • LM

        Reve Walsh was the one that threw Adam under the bus by leaving him unattended playing video games “with the other boys” why she sauntered off to make a lamp purchase at the other end of Sears. If anything, she should be charged with contributory negligence in the abduction and subsequent death of Adam. She nonchalantly left Adam in an environment that contributed to his demise.

        Risk is part and parcel of life… you assume personal risk, responsibility and liability for your OWN child when in any public or private business, park or retailer, etc..

        I personally feel that John Walsh (being the shrewd businessman he is), set out to politicize his own personal tragedy in a misguided attempt to purge Reve’s guilt and failure as a mother.

        Oh, and don’t feel all warm and fuzzy about the “registrant” moniker used throughout this work of fiction,

        Registrant is just a PC euphemism and still code for: PERVERT, PREDATOR, PEDOPHILE AND ESCALATING MONSTER.

        A great way to make money in America is to make people afraid of something happening to a child. “All it takes is a second…” It could happen to your child too..”

        Fear mongering for profit.

  25. Jr.

    Keep calm, everyone. Director David Harlow (who looks like a very shady and slimy fellow) is just feeding government lies, obfuscating fact to conceal truth, to keep the corrupt law enforcement machine well-oiled and working. Unfortunely, David L. Harlow does not believe in being direct with the truth and facts. Our job is to expose these powerful liars as con men not worthy of any respect.

  26. Renny

    Sex crimes reported down 13%?
    I think he meant that reports of sex crimes are down 13%, but his words infer that 13% less sex crimes are committed and result in reports.
    The DOJ still maintains that 86% of all sex crimes go unreported. That means there are a LOT of sex offenders in the good ole USA.

    I know a woman who committed a felony sex crime in 1979. Actually of a 12 year old victim. I know her well enough to discuss this issue with her and interestingly enough, she does not consider herself a sex offender. She literally has said that only those caught are sex offenders.

    Murica!

  27. mike r

    well janice I hope that when I file my motion and start the ball rolling that you might consider joining me when I get to that level.. I believe we need to include will bassler in drafting any motions and any other highly intelligent incredibly articulate individuals such as him..by this time next year my motion WILL be filed and I will argue it with or without assistance….

  28. David

    If you go read SMART’s Twitter you will see non stop tweeting of what I would call…. Propaganda.

    No reference to studies we can see for ourselves just I will tell you.

    The numbers just don’t match up with facts. Seriously if 1,000 RSO’s are arrested for new sex crimes or homocides each day, then that’s 365,000 a year. So every third year we have all been re arrested for a new sex crime? Lol

    I have been on this registry for 15 years. I did get rearrested for going the wrong way in a boat and served two days. Lol.

    One late night police woke me up and announced a neighbor half a block away was burglarized. They searched my home then asked for ID then left. I kept saying… Do you think the burglar came here? I just didn’t know what to make of it all.

    When I get compliance checks done half a dozen LE officers show up in defensive positions. My crime was 15 years ago and im sure if LE picks up every RSO for things like, not being able to afford insurance or driving the wrong way in a boat and things like that. They can claim we are regular crime waves. Lol

  29. David

    U.S. Marshall David Harlow is just one of the many disingenuous people in law enforcement. I once had great respect for police, donated too much to the Police Protective League, and participated in neighborhood watch with the local department. I even have three retired peace officers in the extended family (who mooch off the CalPERS taxpayer-funded pension that police and sheriff love… though it exploits the very same people these officers pretended to “protect and serve”). After my mistake of not coping well, I learned that police are not the good and honest people I was brought up to believe. All people make mistakes. For Harlow to suggest that I — as well as the many labeled “registrants” — have not learned from the past is an insult.

  30. Michael

    “Research shows registrants are more than 10 times as likely to be arrested for a new sex crime as those not on the registry. To be clear, that does not mean most registrants will be rearrested for a new sex crime. But it does mean registrants represent far more risk than the general public.”

    Highly likely that David L. Harlow pulled his stats out of his a**. According to the Harris and Hanson study, the longer an offender was out of prison, the less likely he would offend. The study found that the 5 year recidivism rate for offenders who have been out of prison five years was 7%; among offenders out 10 years, 5%; and among offenders out 15 years, 4%. Exhibitionists tend to have the higest recidivism rate of all sex offenders.

    Also notable is his remarks are not in line with Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statictics data.

    This article is nothing more than a Hot Air Headline.

    ….

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