Justice Alito’s misleading claim about sex offender rearrests

“Repeat sex offenders pose an especially grave risk to children. ‘When convicted sex offenders reenter society, they are much more likely than any other type of offender to be rearrested for a new rape or sexual assault.’”
Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., concurring opinion in Packingham v. North Carolina, June 19, 2017 Full Article



Fact-Checking the Fact Checker

A misdirected attack on two notable sentences in Justice Alito’s Packingham concurrence

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Again and again over the years, I have read in reputable articles and research papers that sex offenders have a low rate of recidivism of 5.4%. I am so disturbed and surprised that the Supreme Court can’t get their facts correct.

When there is an error such as this, is there a way to inform Mr Alito of his error? We point out inaccurate details in article after article every day. Why can we challenge the Supreme Court about their misleading information?

This is great! it’s on the washingtonpost!

This piece, from the major “hometown” paper of SCOTUS, is fantastic for our cause. Even if Alito doesn’t read it (quite possible), the topic will be unavoidable. It’s also going to land right in the laps of every Representative and Senator, not to mention being noticed across the country by other judges, etc.

I don’t know how or why the WaPo decided to put this out–they even say they don’t normally fact-check SCOTUS–but God bless them for doing so.

Awesome article, WaPo!


The justices of SCOTUS will get another round of exposure to the true facts about SO recidivism if and when they take on the Does v. Snyder case from the 6th Circuit. It has taken a long time to turn back the tide that Justice Kennedy inadvertently started in Smith v. Doe but it is quite clear that the same Justice who started the trend, is helping walk it back.

If an employee used incorrect data which was PROVEN FALSE they would be fired for incompetence.

Certainly anyone in his position should not make decisions that affect so many lives on DISPROVEN INFO!

Q: Why is this not headline news?
A: It only affects a “small” marginalized group of people that have been demonized and dehumanized!

Until those labelled as “sex offenders” are seen as worthy as living among “good” people this shit will continue to go on.

STOP ACCEPTING LIES aka FAKE NEWS AS FACT Mr. Samuel A. Alito Jr. You do not deserve the position you have been LUCKY enough to get as a life time job! SHAME ON YOU!

After reading the WaPo, I’m in awe.

I had to read the article twice to understand the apples-to-oranges comparison that Alito was trying to disseminate in his opinion.

BTW, you have to read carefully on what Alito wrote. He said “When convicted sex offenders reenter society, they are much more likely than any other type of offender to be arrested for a new rape or sexual assault.”

Is Alito trying to compare registrants with separate other offenders or is his trying to compare registrants against all other types of offender. I looked at the PDF of the one of the citations and it doesn’t list anything about the sex crimes for released non-registrants. So I suppose the author used the “registrant vs everyone else” idea since no other links were provided, especially with the descriptors of “grave” and “more than likely to re-offend”.


A reason why the WaPo fact checked the opinion of Justice Alito, IMO, is because WaPo hosts the Volokh Conspiracy articles. The Volokh Conspriacy have reviewed sex offender policies before. Therefore, the seed was already planted inside WaPo. And great for them and all registrants! Great job, Michelle Ye Hee Lee, author of the WaPo fact checking on Justice Alito.

The quote cites two references: 1. McKune’s case of 1983. 2. Kebodeaux’s court opinion of 2013, stating that the released sex offenders are four times more likely to be rearrested for a sex crime than a non-sex offender. The author, Lee, uses the statistics from Kebodeaux’s court opinion because it is the most recent findings. Also, Lee founded the total pool of sex offenses after release to use as a proper comparison.

Alito’s rates (different divisor)————————

In words:
I. registrant sex offense after release / registrant convicts released
II. non-registrant sex offense after release / non-registrant convicts released

In numbers:
I. 517 / 9,691 = 0.0533, or 5.3%
II. 3,328 / 262,420 = 0.0126, or 1.3% (rounded up)

Total convict pool comparison (same divisor)——————-

In words:
I. registrant sex offense after release / total convicts released
II. non-registrant sex offense after release / total convicts released

In numbers:
I. 517 / 272,111 = 0.00189, or 0.19% (rounded up)
II. 3,328 / 272,111 = 0.01223, or 1.22%

Total Sex Offense comparison (same divisor)——————-

In words:
I. registrant sex offense after release / total sex offense conviction
II. non-registrant sex offense after release / total sex offense conviction

In numbers:
I. 517 / 3,845 = 0.1344, or 13.4%
II. 3,328 / 3,845 = 0.8655, or 86.6% (rounded up)


When the WaPo author, Lee, stated the comparison was apples-to-oranges, she really meant it as denominator is different. Because the denominator is not common (the same), then the proper context of comparison is lost. In fact, it can be looked upon as disingenuous how the stat was propagated as it has been proven false by the WaPo author. I showed you specifically the different denominations in both the total convicts released as well as the total sex offense contradicts what Alito is pushing now.

Registrants re-offend a 0.19% rate of all convicts when released. Released convict non-registrants have a sex crime rate of 1.22%, more than six times the rate of registrants! MORE THAN SIX TIMES than registrants’ rate!!!

The author looks at total sex crimes after release, which is 3,845. Registrants have a sex crime rate of 13.4% out of the total sex crimes after release. That does look high until you see the rate of non-registrants. Non-registrants have a sex crime rate of 86.6%.


Context is what is missing in Alito’s stat. The rate he used was within a particular category, but not used within the whole. That stat is lacking the context of volume. As you can tell, when not compared to the totality of sex crimes after release, the rate looms high. Yet, when compared upon the same totality, then there is a completely different picture.

As a registrant, I want to know specifically what Justice Alito meant. I want to know the numbers. All we have is the citation from a previous court opinion. So we don’t have much to infer, but after seeing this article, is it possible that the SCOTUS is being libel to registrants? I want to know if Alito is referring to the 80% recidivism rate.

Even Professor Ellman queried the source of Alito to make such a claim. Put a number to this, Alito. Prove yourself correct or be sued for libel. Remember when the courts decided to not use other stats in the Korematsu case to paint Japanese Americans to be dangerous that they needed to be in internment camps?

Barring what the justices said, they essentially opined because of this:

1. Smith v Doe, MAIN reason cited was “high recidivism”; since disputed through factual documentation. This high recidivism rate was brought out at that time by attorney for the state, John Roberts, now Chief Justice.

2. The lawyer for Packingham NEVER BROUGHT UP recidivism rates in ANY capacity. My guess is that he felt that he did NOT need to bring it up on the floor, but damn it!! These stats should have been submitted in FOTC briefs.

Therefore, the justices had no factual basis for negating this (barring independent research by the justices or their staff).

CONCLUSION: EVERY time ANY case is brought up regarding registered sex offenders, our side MUST ALWAYS present …hell, BOMBARD…. the court with every bit of the multitude of sources that show low recidivism statistics as can be admitted.

CASE IN POINT: When my friend had his Internet sting felony expunged in Ohio, the original argument given by the state to deny the expunction was highlighted by the “high recidivism rate for registered sex offenders.” My friend’s lawyer introduced 17 studies, peer reviews, and DOJ statistics from California, Ohio, and the US DOJ, mostly compiled with the assistance of Will B. of SOSEN. The state could NOT REBUT it, and in fact it was the first known case in which the state, after originally introducing the “high recidivism” argument, actually RECANTED their high recidivist claim DURING COURT, probably a first time it had happened in any sex offender-related case in history. That admission, in fact, broke the back of the state’s argument, and the judge ACTUALLY REBUKED the attorney for the state for introducing a non-fact (high recidivism) in court! Astounding.

In short, from now on when we (RSO-support community) can get a MAJOR sex offender case before a Supreme Court judge or justices, we MUST CONTACT THAT LAWYER and tell them that we have to prevent the continuing precedence of “high recidivism rate” from perpetuating. IT WORKS EVERY TIME ITS TRIED!!

(It must be noted that this Washington Post article was more concerned about disparaging the justices because of the justices’ non-progressive political leanings than about caring for registered sex offenders, but I digress.)

The old courthouse oath, “The truth nothing but the truth, so help me God” Apparently truth has no value since God no longer is in the loop.

My guess is Alito sees himself and the Court as the finders-of-fact, regardless of what evidence may actually say. The Court has already weighed the evidence and determined in Smith v. Doe what the facts are: that sex offenders are recidivist that must be punished perpetually. Because the decision has already been made and that fact verified by the fact-finders, the inquiry is over, and he will state it as fact forever.

Samuel Alito…the stench of the George W. Bush presidency lingers on!

The belief that “sex offenders reoffend at a high rate” is nothing more than a fallacious argument that is used for political manipulation and to convince people of the danger of sexual crimes and how dangerous registrants are and therefore controversial laws get passed.

I just finished reading the Packingham opinion, and Alito really appears to be a complete idiot. I don’t say that due to his being against my situation, but because of his flawed thoughts.

Alito: “[T]his language is bound to be interpreted by some to mean that the States are largely powerless to restrict even the most dangerous sexual predators from visiting any internet sites, including, for example, teenage dating sites and sites designed to permit minors to discuss personal problems with their peers.”
>>Maybe he should have read the Court’s opinion. Kennedy: “[I]t can be assumed that the First Amendment permits a State to enact specific, narrowly tailored laws that prohibit a sex offender from engaging in conduct that often presages a sexual crime, like contacting a minor or using a website to gather information about a minor.”

Alito: “Repeat sex offenders pose an especially grave risk to children.”
>>This may or may not be so, but Packingham was not a repeat sex offender. Nice straw man argument, Alito. Had the State to enacted a law against repeat offenders that was specific and narrowly tailored, it would probably have withstood scrutiny.

Alito: “An abuser can create a false profile that misrepresents the abuser’s age and gender. The abuser can lure the minor into engaging in sexual conversations, sending explicit photos, or even meeting in person. And an abuser can use a child’s location posts on the internet to determine the pattern of the child’s day-to-day activities—and even the child’s location at a given moment.”
>>Yep, and the “abuser” he dreams up could well be someone planning their first offense, or their fiftieth. I guess we just better ban everyone from all social media. Also, burglars can, and do, use a person’s “location posts on the internet to determine the pattern of [] day-to-day activities” in order to rob them.

Alito: “Because protecting children from abuse is a compelling state interest and sex offenders can (and do) use the internet to engage in such abuse, it is legitimate and entirely reasonable for States to try to stop abuse from occurring before it happens.”
>>Again, burglars use FB and other social media to find out when people are away on vacation so they can find easy targets. Does J. Alito suggest we ban burglars and thieves as well?

Alito: “May a State preclude an adult previously convicted of molesting children from visiting a dating site for teenagers? Or a site where minors communicate with each other about personal problems?”
>>Yes, you moron. Read your colleagues’ opinion and you will find they said the State can indeed do this! (Kennedy, supra)

Alito: “[I]t is easier for parents to monitor the physical locations that their children visit and the individuals with whom they speak in person than it is to monitor their internet use.”
>>It’s also easier to monitor them physically than seeing what they get in the U.S. Mail. Prison is easier to monitor than parole/probation, too, yet we as a society do it. That it’s more difficult doesn’t mean we automatically shift the burden or responsibility off the parent and to the State. As the old saying goes, “difficult doesn’t mean impossible.” I guess in this situation, Mr. Ultra-conservative thinks the State should indeed be a nanny.

Alito: “[I]f it is true, as the Court believes, that ‘we cannot appreciate yet’ the ‘full dimensions and vast potential’ of ‘the Cyber Age,’ [] we should proceed circumspectly, taking one step at a time.”
>> Kennedy: “This case is one of the first this Court has taken to address the relationship between the First Amendment and the modern Internet. As a result, the Court must exercise extreme caution before suggesting that the First Amendment provides scant protection for access to vast networks in that medium.”
>> Me: “[E]xcercise extreme caution” sure sounds like one is “proceed[ing] circumspectly.” I guess Alito would prefer a severe clamp-down on the First Amendment, then slowly give some back.

Given the above, as well as his half-joking comment during oral arguments about the dark ages of 2003, I’d wager Alito is not a fan of the Cyber Age.


I say keep up with the fight against those that distort information and hold them accountable for their malicious intent against American citizens that are registrants that have already paid their debt to society. The only reason why they succeeded was because we did nothing to stop them, didn’t speak out, and persevere through the fight against misinformation, and propaganda against registered citizens. Edmund Burke said “the only thing necessary for triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing “.