SCOTUS: Sex Offenders Can Access Facebook, High Court Says

Sex offenders who have already served their sentences enjoy a First Amendment right to use social networking websites like Facebook or Twitter, according to a June 19 ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court ( Packingham v. North Carolina , 2017 BL 208397, U.S., No. 15-1194, 6/19/17 ). …

But Ira Ellman, a law professor at Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Phoenix, said one line in the majority opinion could be an indication that the court is going to grant certiorari in a case that deals with other types of lifestyle restrictions for former offenders on the sex offender registry: Snyder v. Does. Full Article

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Ahh…a heartwarming (to us) piece to brighten my day. Let’s hope Kennedy is indeed doing a slow, sly telegraph.

Oh, the poor DAs, LEOs and rabid, salivating legislators who may lose their latest pariahs and whipping boys (and girls).

I normally don’t shout with caps too much, but the emphasis must be made.

Whoever is the NEXT litigant to go for the court MUST incorporate PROVEN VERY LOW RECIDIVISM RATES in court as a PRIMARY focus of their argument! This is key. Once we find out who any litigants are for any court, ACSOL, among others, MUST contact the lawyer staff who is arguing for our side. In addition, a STRONG amicus curiea brief has to be communicated with the justices indicating said very low recidivism rates.

This is an ABSOLUTE, UNEQUIVOCAL NECESSITY for any major case involving registrants. BAR NONE!!

Oh Alito.

“Putting the Internet on par with public spaces could negatively affect states’ abilities to regulate Internet usage in lawful ways, such as preventing convicted sex offenders from registering on teen dating websites, Alito wrote.”

Because a 35-year-old non-sex offender creating a profile on a teenage dating website doesn’t send up any sort of red flags? Seriously, man. Think before you speak! I would’ve loved for someone to directly throw back at him what I just said.

People who aim to commit these crimes will not adhere to any restrictions. All you’re doing is criminalizing non-criminal activity for citizens who have already fully completed their sentence.

“If they say these prohibitions that apply to everyone on the registry can’t be justified, then maybe the entire registry can’t be justified,” Ellman said. “There are now lots of reasons to think they will hear Snyder v. Does.”

As we all hope!

I read the article this morning and it struck me that “our” analysis of what Kennedy’s parenthetical statement had merit but also to have even a deeper analysis was a good reinforcement that we may have some hope here. The analysis of how Kennedy has telegraphed his intension in the past was interesting. Just just hope that Kennedy stays on the Court for at least one more year.

The recidivism data is sinking in. I think Packingham showed how far the SCOTUS has moved towards a reasonable position.

What the hell is a teen dating site? Last time I checked all dating sites were for adults only, due to liability issues. I say someone is talking out their…

Most dating sites are pay-to-play, which requires a credit card, to get any meaningful use out of them. Additionally, most of those sites will check each person against the registry (and have it in their TOS). Two weeks after I was off the registry I registered at one such dating site, and they revoked my membership three weeks later because “I was a registered sex offender.” After going rounds with them, and the background check company they were using who had outdated information, I was able to get my money back (which they fought tooth and nail $60.00). Even though I proved I was not a felon or registered sex offender at the time I signed up for service (pursuant to their TOS), they refused to continue the membership. They got caught doing a crappy job with a crappy background check company and couldn’t take the heat.

I really hope in Snyder they pound home recidivism rates and pound home justification for the registry…

I meant there’s no justification for the registry or any of the other laws for that matter….

Before everyone celebrates too much, please remember that Facebook is a private (abeit publicaly traded) company. As such, it has the right to exercise its rights under “Castle Law,” and can still ban “undesirables.”

What’s their point about registrants on social media as long as they keep themselves out of trouble, they think that registrants shouldn’t be on social media because they recidivate at a high rate and prey on children? Maybe the real predators are these politicians that keep wanting to pass crazy laws that are the problem and have gotten involved in some criminal acts including sex offenses.

Parenthetically, Kennedy wrote: “Of importance, the troubling fact that the law imposes severe restrictions on persons who already have served their sentence and are no longer subject to the supervision of the criminal justice system is also not an issue before the Court.”

Allow me to present the 13th Amendment, Section 1:
Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Registrants are “serving to these restrictions”, handed down by the state. Essentially, still serving the state after they “are no longer subject to the supervision of the criminal justice system”. These restrictions are what you get under parole/probation as you are serving out your punitive service supervision. For the services to continue to serve the state after no longer subject to supervision doesn’t make any sense b/c they’re a free person again.

Recidivism rates don’t matter to the 13th Amendment. But the 80% recidivism rate extreme being used in the courts is a misuse of false information, that’s another thing.

Am I the only person who sees the parenthetical to imply involuntary servitude? If it’s not punishment, then any compelled service is prohibited.

That is an unfortunate lead into the story. It should say former offenders who have done their time can access facebook.
No wonder this high recidivism lie can’t get out of the collective conscience.

Does anyone know what effect, if any, this has on those of us in states requiring identifiers? I moved to such a state (one known for its silver and casinos) recently and deactivated my fb account rather than give them the information.

See this – NARSOL calls on Zuckerberg, Facebook to change policy:

I don’t know why someone hasn’t sued Farcebook already on the grounds of discrimination based on Nationality. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it illegal to discriminate on the basis of national origin. Farcebook is a global commerce business that is selectively banning Americans with past convictions and possibly a couple other countries that have a public registry ( although we can’t even be certain of this) . Are people in the other 190 countries around the world with past convictions barred from signing up on their website? What tool do they use to vet non- Americans?

Mark Zuckerberg knows the answer to this ….. NONE.

The ruling merely states that NC law was too broad and unconstitutional. It does not say it’s ok to have a facebook account! that’s a big difference

Can someone please provide insight…

Where on Facebook does it distinguish a “Registered” vs. “Non-registered” sex offender. Facebook just states its policy is to ban “convicted” sex offenders. I have found no article or text that states that Facebook restores rights and no longer bans a convicted sex offender from using Facebook once they have completed their Megan’s Law Registration requirement. Convicted is convicted, no? As a registrant fortunate enough to be nearing completion I would like to know.

California does its primary business (California) prohibits such discrimination against sex offenders.
See California code 290.46 subsection L(2)(H):
2) Except as authorized under paragraph (1) or any other provision of law, use of any information that is disclosed pursuant to this section for purposes relating to any of the following is prohibited:
(A) Health insurance.
(B) Insurance.
(C) Loans.
(D) Credit.
(E) Employment.
(F) Education, scholarships, or fellowships.
(G) Housing or accommodations.
(H) Benefits, privileges, or services provided by any business establishment.

However, the most interesting part is the “services provided” part. Facebook Portal (hardware device) is sold nationwide similar to Amazon Echo or other similar devices. This service includes telephony (video-calling) and music services. However, to use one must have an active subscription to Facebook. If Facebook detects a registrant, then there is a piece of hardware no longer functioning because the account has been terminated.

Facebook does have “marketplace” which is similar to an eBay or similar purchase transport platform. Registrants unable to use Facebook services especially when Facebook is expanding its hardware devices in stores, to me, should be challenged by the California courts.

If Facebook decides to migrate towards online banking, then imagine a new frontier where registrants are excluded from banking choices not because of credit issues, but rather a registry issue.

Are there current California legal challenges with regards to Facebook about these issues?