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National

MN: Even Sex Offenders Have Constitutional Rights

On Monday, the Supreme Court ruled that a North Carolina preventing sex offenders from accessing social media and other websites – without any attempt to tailor restrictions to potential contact with minors – violated the First Amendment. But restrictions on the freedom of speech aren’t the only unconstitutional deprivations sex offenders face. Full Article

Join the discussion

  1. Son of Liberty Child of Freedom

    I venture to expose Truth, in revealing a hypocritical reality at odds with the lawmaking
    body’s Patently False Claims.

    While this Court’s, [SCOTUS] case law holds out the possibility that a SOCC scheme could in theory qualify as punitive or criminal rather than civil, this case puts that principle to the test.

    Despite assurances that the judiciary will not deem laws “civil” simply because legislatures so characterize them, the extent of deference now offered to legislatures—particularly in light of Hendricks—saps judicial authority and presages further sweeping exercises of governmental power.

    The Eighth Circuit’s opinion below, which simply ignores the district court’s finding that the MSOP is punitive, clinches legislative free rein.

    See Logan, supra, at 1268
    (“American legislatures today are pressing the envelope of the criminal-civil distinction like never before— enacting post-confinement sanctions that betray a shrewd awareness of the importance of the ‘criminal’ label.”);

    Alan M. Dershowitz, Preventative Confinement:
    A Suggested Framework for Constitutional Analysis,
    51 Tex. L. Rev. 1277, 1296 (1973)

    (“By attaching this label [of the term Civil],

    The state has successfully denied defendants almost every important safeguard required in criminal trials. Invocation of this talismanic word has erased a veritable bill of rights.”).

    If any SOCC scheme is punitive, Minnesota’s is.

    In addition:

    If Truth be told, by extending this Logic & Reasoned Thought all Registry Laws Schemes are irrebuttably Punitive.

    I Speak a True song

    As Yehovah Lives, so should we

  2. AlexO

    That’s insane. I really hope SCOTUS takes this up. This is no different than sending someone to prison without an exit date nor any effort to obtain one through evaluation.

  3. New Person

    Wasn’t this the case where a judge ruled it unconstitutional and the state overridden his decision?

    That stat of only one person got off of the program and only through fighting through the courts is ample proof of how disingenuous the program is.

    On a tangent, that’s what I want to know about California and how many registrants are off the lifetime registry. How many have applied and been denied the CoR. These stats are important as they run parallel to MN stat of only one person being let out of CC.

    If the stats show that registrants aren’t coming off as well as being denied, then it paints a picture for all to see. It paints a very terrible story, just like the one being described in this case.

  4. David Kennerly, One-Man Thought Crime Wave

    This is extremely encouraging and I’m excited for the possibility of this reaching SCOTUS. It is also very exciting for the fact that CATO and the Reason Foundation have written an amicus brief that we should also read. I’ve been waiting for them (and lobbying them) to get more involved in SO issues and finally, they are.

    California’s own Coalinga State Hospital is just as nightmarish except that it has released about 300 people (some to prison, it should be said). The reoffense rate of those released? Mike St. Martin (a “Hosprisoner”) and his assistants there tell me that it is less than 4%. Mind you, these are people who have been classified as “sexually violent predators.” They will get me a report soon with all of the data which they have been painstakingly collecting for years.

    The Hospital’s Executive Director, Brandon Price, has a high school education (only), is a former truck driver and makes $145K/year.

    They are losing personnel in droves because no one wants to work there. The actual ( but NOT published) costs to house “patients” there is now $250K/year/per patient! Does this mean that they eat well and live in the lap of luxury? Uh, no. The food is absolutely horrendous and sparse and, in some ways, living conditions are worse than prison.

    Ironically – as they are a “hospital” – health care is at crisis levels with many, many unnecessary deaths and CSH owes many millions (believed to be 21) to local community doctors, hospitals and clinics who now refuse to provide further treatment. A “lucky” few who are so dangerously ill, such as a man with tongue cancer, have been sent as far away as San Francisco for treatment because everyone else closer realizes that they won’t be paid. A few other patients have been allowed to consult with doctors very far away via Skype to treat them for things like melanoma which has killed six men in the last several years. One very big problem has been that the doctors speak very little English. Also, how does a dermatologist rely upon a Skype image to adequately view skin and to tell the difference between melanoma or something else?

    Contract psychiatrists and psychologists cost the institution between $300K and $700K EACH per year!

    More to come…

  5. Les Mis Life

    Outcome will be interesting. Currently, Minnesota has this commitment program and only level 3 offenders are publicly outed. If this is overturned, does the public outcry demand that ALL offenders are then put on a publicly available database/website?

  6. Ann Sawyer

    When a person is legally removed from a sex offender registry, there is no obligation for other sites using this information to keep it current. In other words, the person may still be listed as a sex offender on sites evaluating neighborhoods, etc. Is there a way to find out the businesses/companies that are using this “public information” knowledge and request they remove a specific name? Or would there be possibility of legislation that would require updates say, every quarter? The individual is no longer a registered SO, and in my opinion, should not be labeled as such on sites that are not required to keep their information current..

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