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AL: As some states reconsider sex-offender registries, an Alabama resident argues the state’s for-life requirements are too much

A lawsuit before a federal appeals court may have broad implications for Alabama’s sex offender laws, which some critics claim are the harshest in the United States.

Montgomery resident Michael McGuire is suing the state of Alabama for relief from the residency restrictions, travel limits, sex offender registration and other punishments that accompany a conviction of a sexual offense. The case is before the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Full Article

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“If I can help to protect just one citizen, I call that a success.” — Sheriff Matthew Wade Yeah, they love to play “if it saves one life/child” card! That really is a weak-ass, tone-deaf, out-of-touch and oblivious argument to begin with. Even if “public notification” DID save just one child, it wouldn’t cancel out the untold, undue and irreparable harm being done to almost a million people! In no way shape, form or fashion does the registry “safeguard” human life – it DESTROYS it. What the registry TRIES to prevent is NOT possible. When are they going to give… Read more »

Then they turn the blind eye to the family member, et al who are in the large percentage who are known or trusted to the victim because they focus outward, not inward, which is par for our country because nothing ever happens inside our borders.

By that logic, we should just put all drug dealers and people convicted of DUI on a registry with the same restrictions and public humiliation. They cannot live near schools, day care, parks or bars or liquor stores. All people since 1949 convicted will be forced to register retroactively regardless of when they were convicted. They will have a mark put on their passport so other countries will feel warm and fuzzy that no drug or DUI tourism is happening on their soil.

Because if it saves just one child then our constitution can suck it.

Well thanks alot, another list for me to be on…lol. Well I did have a DUI in 1980 when I was a teenager. So yes, I guess I need to be on the DUI offender list since although I have not re-offended for almost 40 years, I could be a danger to drive drunk again at any moment and I do live near a school, day care, park, bar and liquor store.

@ Anonymous ,,, don’t worry they would turn that into the party info site , where the haters gather to go mess with RC’s , have a good night

“For every statistic that points one way, you can get a statistic and point the other way,” [Sen. Cam] Ward said. “From what I can tell from people I talk to around Alabama, they are sympathetic to things like expungement on property crimes and they want to reduce recidivism, but for the most part, I haven’t heard anyone saying I wish sex offenders would catch a break.” Umm, no, there aren’t statistics pointing the other way, Sen. Ward. And I’m guessing if you ask people if they think arsonists should catch a break, or murderers, or embezzlers, they’d reply the… Read more »

I have been to Montgomery numerous times and can say this is the prevailing attitude there unfortunately. If it is not this Sen, it will be another or some other elected official. They don’t know how to do their homework like you suggest, that would require work, hard work at that. Whether you are from UA or LA (Upper or Lower Alabama), it makes no different with Cleatus

Ah, but there is a statistic that does point the other way Senator. Maybe not specifically to what he was talking about in that one sentence, but to the point about reducing recidivism registry rage brought up. There are many examples (at least one was peer reviewed) of laws such as residency and premise off the top of my head that have been proven to actually increase recidivism. So even if a law saved 1 or 2 kids, its going to hurt many more. People get desperate when they have no job, place to live, friends, family, or future. I… Read more »

The whole “if it saves one child” argument is akin to the moral psychology test called the Trolley Problem. ( I guess they’ll take one child over five.

Did Alabama run research work on their registry program to definitively state whether or not the registry is working? All this guy and his lawyer need to do is replicate what Snyder did in Michigan. Actually, all he needs to do is cite Snyder. But I’d like the lawyer to inquire and emphasize how the state of Alabama has been scientifically reviewing the registry. The convicted served their time. But the police and other people want EXTRA punishment levied on the convict? Well, that doesn’t make any sense. Macguire’s lawyer stated this: =========================== “He feels like he’s in prison again,… Read more »

Indeed, this will most likely replicate Snyder and even if the attorney doesn’t cite Snyder for this case which will be quite odd if they don’t, the 11th US circuit court of appeals is very well aware of the Snyder case and has been already influenced by it. They themselves cited Snyder from a case in Florida in a reversal.

Research?! What is that??!! (Sips more moonshine while lookin’ at ya from under a straw hat and in overalls)

Your point about Snyder is a good one. How many other atty’s follow closely cases like this or read websites like this for info to use going forward? Sure there as to be some inflow of intel to them from external sources staying current?

Of course, how can you take the article that serious when the writer ignores the fact that AL is NOT the only state to stamp DL’s with SO on them (Research? What is that?!). We know currently Oklahoma (where the wind blows….) does it as does FLA (the flaccid state which we all just read about the poor lady who did not check her license carefully at the DOL (or DMV/MVD if you prefer) and walked out with it stamped on hers where it was noticed at Mouseworld!) Sooo, the Anniston Army Depot must be leaking something in the water,… Read more »

I love your response banjo. I thought the story was lame too. And yes, who doesn’t notice every word posted on their Drivers License? That is unbelievable. I would believe that they noticed the error and thought “is there a way I can make money off this mistake”. But of course I’m glad this person made it an issue.

Just read that AZ and LA also mark the DL with SO while DE uses a Alpha code on theirs to note the same.

So does AL’s evil twin, MS. (

I wonder if it would be beneficial to become a SD resident, a la most RVers. You’d have to comply with both SD’s and your home state’s RC rules, but maybe could dodge the license issue? Just brainstorming, so please refrain from flaming and trolling.

Well there is a good chunk of the Bible Belt right there between LA, MS, AL and FL. Goes to show the pattern of the Bible Belt, the land of forgiveness, still living as if the Old Testament was the rule of today instead of the New Testament we are actually under. TSK TSK TSK

Wonder what they’re hidin’? Hey, still hear banjos…..

“…and the only state that puts the sex offender stamp on a driver’s license.”

That’s not true.

I live in Florida, we don’t have the literal words sex offender stamped on our license, but instead we have a numerical statute code at the bottom right corner of the license ” in small print”.

Thank goodness it’s like that because I deal with a few work related places that require me to show my ID. I would be so embarrassed if it were the other way around with the words sex offender stamped there. Of course, I wouldn’t want any type of label in my license or anywhere else for that matter.

I wonder if there’s any compelled-speech claim regarding having such a tag on a license. I’m guessing a court would say that nobody is forcing you to have a driver license, so you’re opting into however the State decides to issue them. However, maybe one could argue that there is no nexus between “sex offender” and driving. The information has no bearing on my being credentialed to operate a certain class of motor vehicle. The only apparent purpose is to inform the person viewing the license of the licensee’s criminal offense. Thankfully, I have a Passport Card that’s good for… Read more »

There is an ongoing case in OK about the very topic of compelled speech. It is in the Tenth Circuit right now and NARSOL joined as requested. Here is the link:

Thanks for this info and URL. From reading the amicus brief, it doesn’t appear the case has caught the 10th’s eye quite yet. NARSOL asks for the 10th to overturn the District Court’s dismissal. I couldn’t find the actual appeal to the 10th, and would appreciate someone sharing a URL if it’s found.

I do like that NARSOL uses US Gov’t data and quotes from the OK SC in their brief. The Gov’t will have a hard time arguing against its own data! (Though we know they sure try.)

@AJ ,,, great link , thank you

@kind of living
Twas someone else who posted the link. It was merely aimed at me. But yes, a great link nonetheless.

Heck, the whole registry is compelled speech. You have to go down to the station one to four times or more a year and renew your broadsheet that says that you are still a criminal. It is not about public information, about the past. Noone has to renew her birth certificate every year so that people can find her. It is about public confession, not past information. They have outdone the medieval church state. Then you had to confess your sins at every chapel on your way to the pillary. Then it was pretty much over, either you are dead… Read more »

Compelled speech about your privacy (basically forced to physically go to the stockade once a year to be seen on a stockade statewide, nationwide, and world wide such as the IML). But that compelled speech is a compelled service to the state. Remember, it’s your duty to register under ML. But you’re forced to divulge your privacy year in and year out. Surprisingly, California has it built into its constitution that the right to pursue and obtain privacy is an inalienable right. Yet not one lawyer is using the California Constitution to refute the registry, which is all about the… Read more »

@Timmr @ New Person ,,, good strong points the both of you , one of the things that is haunting CA is the old law past like I think in the 30’s or 40’s that made a registry , that was just for the cops , its this online law that has made for the most part unbearable , people that rent or sell houses and what not would not be so worried if when one of us was to move in if there was not a big dot showing up on a stupid on line map saying SEX OFFENDER… Read more »

In the link to the Tenth Circuit article posted here about this very topic in OK, there is a comment from FLA where someone says there is the wording on the DL. It was not but a couple weeks ago or so it was discussed here about FLA DLs coming out of the DOL/MVD/DMV with SO on the right side down low. A particular office in FLA was doing this by accident on several DLs apparently. Here is the link to the discussion here: If you can get a passport to use as an ID instead of your FLA… Read more »

SO status is also entered into the USB bar code on the back as well. So if it’s scanned at any theme park, you’re screwed. Most states have begun to secretly implement this notification tactic into their license datebases!

“Our research shows they can’t be rehabilitated…” Rep. Randy Wood
Rep. Wood, we’d all love to see that research you speak of !
Once again here’s government represenatives who equate all SO’s with pedophilia and rape.
These people really need to educate themselves before they open their mouths.

Is that like the Tuskegee experiment down there in ‘Bama? Where your research shows…..

Maybe you should get another glass of sweet tea there Representative….

Research, he means the comments on his facebook page no doubt. I wish I could give him some reasearch! Ah well that’s an idea.

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