IL: Starting over – Task force examining sex offender laws

At the end of June, ____ ____ will mark the 20th anniversary of two life-changing milestones: the year he was convicted at 21 of sexually abusing a teenage girl, and two decades without an arrest for another sex offense.

____ spent 60 days in jail and served two years’ probation for aggravated criminal sexual abuse in 1997. His identity also was included on a statewide sex offender registry for 10 years. Removal from the registry made it easier for ____ to start over in the community.

But in November 2011, ____ attendance at his son’s Boy Scout meeting at a District 87 school landed him back in the criminal justice system and onto the state registry — this time for life. Full Article

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This is a very good article in our favor! Very nice to see. I really like that they (obliquely) mention the 80% lie from 30 years ago and then give more recent, correct information on recidivism. Even more pleasing is that they are looking at risk-based assessment instead of the “alphabetical listing” that’s the norm across the spectrum.

I find it highly ironic that the same IL county (McLean) that has a case pending for cert with SCOTUS also has their State’s Attorney (DA) on the State Task Force to look into changing their draconian SOR laws. That IL, which seems to have some really bad laws for RCs, is even *looking* at change is one more step ahead for every one of us.

I know some of you will once again scream that registries need to just go away. Reality is that they won’t, especially with Smith and CT DPS long ago decided. The best case I can see ever happening is that only high-risk RCs are known publicly, and the rest will be known only to LE. Such a system already exists in a number of non-SORNA states, and they have no statistical difference in recidivism versus SORNA ones (likewise presence & residency restrictions). It’s only a matter of time until that fact defeats the frenzied, rabid fear-mongerers.

Reason does seem to be slowly creeping into some States. Praise to God!


Obviously the problem with these laws, and the state of IL, is that sex offenders don’t get the same treatment as anyone convicted of any other felony. Laws like this *SHOULD* violate the equal protection clause. Once a person has “paid their debt to society,” be it prison or probation, the offender is entitled to a restoration of his rights, with the exception of the Second Amendment [which should also be debated].

Also an issue is that “once a sex offender, always a sex offender” justification for these laws.

Reputation is a fundamental right protected by the constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Added protections of this clause include a version of due process called the irrebutable presumption doctrine. Juvenile appellants have successfully argued that sex offender registration laws deny a person their right to reputation by presuming that a conviction for an enumerated offense means they are likely to sexually recidivise. That presumption is not universally true. Commonwealth v. Muniz, Commonwealth v. Gilbert, and Commonwealth v. Reed are cases that have recently challenged SORNA based on that fundamental right. After watching a video of oral arguments in Commonwealth v. Reed, it seems most justices agree, and some even seem to believe that incarcerating a person for failing to register is punishment, therefore it violates the ex post facto clause.