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MO: New Law Expected To Reduce Missouri’s Sex Offender Registry Count

Missouri has about 19,300 people listed on its sex offender registry. That figure is expected to decline soon because of a law taking effect this month.

St. Charles Republican State Rep. Kurt Bahr, who sponsored the provisions included in a Senate bill, tells Missourinet the changes will show three levels of sex offenders, instead of one, depending on the severity of the crime committed.

“My goal wasn’t to recreate the wheel. It was simply to make sure that we are fully compliant with the federal law that is fully established and to make sure we have a clean and clear process that everybody knew and understood,” Bahr says. “We don’t necessarily need to be punishing people for an entire life because they happen to be peeing in public and got charged with indecent exposure. With everything, there has to be balance. I thought that adopting the federal law was the best balance we could do today.” Full Article

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  1. Ron S

    Atleast he uses the word “punish.” The idea that the government is still fear mongering communities Into thinking that the registry is an administrative act that protects their kids is shameful. It’s punitive. Very simple. And some law makers, though not enough of them, are opening their eyes.

    • Dustin

      And don’t forget that the registry does absolutely nothing to protect anyone in the first place.

  2. Tim L

    “The Act itself does not require that procedures adopted to contain any safe guards associated with criminal process…..By contemplating distinctly civil procedures the legislature indicate[d] clearly that it intended a civil, not punitive sanction.”

    So much for that idea
    FUBAR

    How hot is it there Mr. Scalia?

  3. wonderin

    No mention of why a registered citizen can’t simply be released after they have served their time with good behavior.

    • norman

      Do you have to hire a Lawyer to petition off? If so, then I guess you could call this a furtherance of the punishment in the form of another fine (Lawyer fees).

      • Dustin

        Legally? Probably not. Pretty sure the right to represent yourself in your own legal matters is in all state constitutions, but I could be wrong.

        However, because the law and so many requirements are ridiculously (and often unnecessarily) complicated, coupled with the fact that most judges won’t even look at you if you don’t have a law license (except when sentencing), it pretty much becomes mandatory by effect.

  4. Hysteria

    I would recommend emailing this man and thanking him for sponsoring a common sense (for lack of a better description)
    bill. We need more officials to know their efforts in this area are appreciated.

  5. Joe123

    “10 years”, “20 years”, “lifetime”. All Arbitrary numbers! Completely made up out of Thin Air. How has nobody questioned where are they pulling these bullshit numbers out of?

    Here’s my favorite part:

    “Under the new law, a level one offender who does not maintain their check-in requirements with law enforcement, the move could bump the person to a level two offender.”

    I’m pretty sure that Bullshit would we pretty damn illegal^

    Just because someone doesn’t register at the time you illegally (according to constitution) force them to, doesn’t mean they have become MORE dangerous. Sorry, *ssholes but it doesn’t work that way.

    I’m sure these people feel that they’re being So gracious, so generous and so smart with this reform, but the rest of us, more educated people, can see right through this illegal scheme.

    • Will Allen

      The Registration years (10, 20, life) are arbitrary numbers. But I feel like politicians who actually have a brain and think that the Registries should be destroyed think that a “tiered” Registry is all that can be done right now and it is better than no tiers. But a “tiered” Registry is a “compromise” that should not be promoted or accepted (we’ve all had this discussion on here before). Compromise should not be accepted. The Registries must be destroyed. Nothing should ever be done that ever helps anyone pretend that the Registries are legitimate. That includes accepting “tiers”.

      And clearly, increasing a person’s risk level if he/she does not Register is complete BS. Nothing but punishment. It is there to pacify stupid people.

      Further, no one should have to “petition” to be removed after their years expire. They should just be removed automatically. The petitioning is just more nonsense to make all of it look more legitimate than it is. Again, the petitioning is just there to pacify stupid people and make them belive Nanny Big Government is doing something useful.

      So as usual, the answer is to retaliate. People who support the Registries are not Americans and they should not be allowed to live in peace. Treat them as the harassing terrorists that they are.

      • td777

        I couldn’t agree more. I considered tiered registries here in California a step in the right direction, but after seeing it come so close to being a system worth considering wherein someone without a real victim such as myself that would have been Tier 1 and able to get relief from the registry immediately because of how long it has been then to see it gutted so that I’m now labeled as a Tier 3 and worthy of lifetime on the registry, I’m done with it.

        THE ONLY ACCEPTABLE OFFENDER REGISTRY IS AN ABOLISHED REGISTRY!

        The registry is punishment. If it were not so, you could not be jailed for errors or failure to register. There would be no negative repercussions in choosing not to do something if it were merely “administrative.” There would be no negative repercussions to being on the registry if it were merely “administrative.”

        The time has come for us to unite with one goal and one goal only, ABOLITION OF THE REGISTRY.

        • Will Allen

          td777 (August 21, 2018):

          Creating tiers is just polishing a turd. And really, to me, supporting tiers is anti-American. To me, it is saying, “If you go easier on 80% of the people who are on the hit list, it is fine to sacrifice the remaining 20%.” The 80% who benefit are certainly not going to be as worried about what is happening to the remaining 20%. They will join the Registry Terrorists and call them “the worst of the worst”.

          So I don’t support tiers. I don’t think it is acceptable to sacrifice 100,000 people so 900,000 can live better (those numbers are just examples, of course). I think instead of forcing 100,000 people to suffer and fight on their own, the 1,000,000 million listed should stay in the fight and recruit ten times more.

          Anyway, beyond that, you said, “If it were not so, you could not be jailed for errors or failure to register.” I don’t think that is a good argument. There are plenty of civil laws and regulations that any citizen must follow or be put in prison.

          Today, I will ensure that the hit lists are much worse than merely worthless. I will go out of my way to be around random people who have no idea that I am listed on the hit list and never will. Today, I will make the lives of Registry Terrorists worse.

      • Dustin

        Spot on, Will. Similar to the thinking of every dictator that assumed power by railing against the tyranny of the government they replaced and normally turn out more oppressive. Funny how they never consider it tyranny when they’re in charge.

        Metaphorically, take the Cleveland Browns – worst NFL team; only won 1 game in two years. On the same day, take the offensive and defensive line and send them to Baltimore to play the Ravens, the receivers and secondary to Cincinnati to play the Bengals, and the quarterback, running backs, and linebackers to Pittsburgh to play the Steelers. By tier system logic, they should win all three games because they’re “focused.”

        The registry is a complete waste of everything, and breaking it up into thirds isn’t going to make it useful.

  6. Hysteria

    Considering a lifetime was tried and seen as ineffective, the tiered is considered by most to be more economically sound, and that’s really what politicians base decisions on. The bump up if you fail to register is basically saying that if you can’t abide by the rules as written, then we will smack you. The tiers are nothing more than politician’s version of probation.

  7. Just Curious

    Just curious…did their Bill include Tier 3 for CP charges like California has?

    • Facts should matter

      It’s a nonviolent, non-contact offense. It should be a Tier 1, but this was a bargaining chip used to facilitate and appease the California board into agreeing with a tiered registry!

      I’m beyond pissed.

      • Janice Bellucci

        Please remember that we will return to the State Capitol in Sacramento next year in order to change the Tiered Registry Law before it goes into effect. The main goal of our lobbying efforts will be to move CP offenses down from Tier 3 to Tiers 1 and 2. In order to be successful, we need YOU to participate. There will be plenty of opportunities, including meetings with elected officials, testifying before committees, writing letters and making phone calls. This effort will begin in January 2019, shortly after the newly elected officials take office.

        • G4Change

          Janice, et al: If I could respectfully remind you all that (unless this has changed since the last time I read the bill) there doesn’t seem to be any way for a person convicted in CA who has subsequently moved out of CA to petition off the registry in CA.
          I’m thinking the only remedy would be for someone to move back to CA, establish residency, and then register in CA – and then, and only then, can they petition off.
          All it would take is one line added to the code – something along the lines of: “…or in the county of conviction if the registrant no longer resides in California.”
          Thank you all for considering this as, without remedy, many of us would be in a sort-of “legal limbo” if you will.

        • Hysteria

          Will instructions and directions be covered at the regional meetings?

        • Relief

          @G4Change. Excellent point. A solution is more complicated as there is a requirement that ~ a petitioner needs to be currently registered in Calif, etc.

          There is perhaps ~10,000 CA-convicted, ‘for-life’ registrants not residing in California but in compliant standing elsewhere.

          Maybe scaring the Legislature that “10,000 Sex Offenders” may need to move back to California and become a resident to get relief will provide incentive for a legislative fix.

          Or better yet, have the 10 yr / 20 yr relief apply automatically – Like Sorna Tiering.

        • AnotherAnon

          Wouldn’t the new states still require registration?

        • G4Change

          “Maybe scaring the Legislature that “10,000 Sex Offenders” may need to move back to California”

          That sounds like an excellent idea! Because as written, that’s what will have to happen for us to receive equal justice as those residing in CA.

          “Wouldn’t the new states still require registration?”

          It depends on the state. Some states specifically require the obligation to register to be removed by the state of conviction in order to stop registering in that new state. As written, the new MO law has this exact requirement. In fact, the MO law goes a step further. If you are discharged from registering in your state of conviction, then the duty to register in MO will automatically be removed as well. In other words, a registrant living in MO who was convicted in CA will not have to petition off in both states. If the registrant is successful in petitioning off in CA, then that will automatically apply in MO. They just submit the proof of being discharged from the original state’s registry to the court in MO, and then the court automatically applies it in MO. No petition required.

  8. R M

    The new law can be found here:
    https://www.senate.mo.gov/18info/pdf-bill/tat/SB655.pdf
    I browsed through it but did not read all 27 pages as my offense isn’t from that state.

  9. J.R.

    I was looking through Missouri’s bill and—while it has some flaws—was surprised to read that the registration periods, though arbitrarily set at 10 and 20 years, are automatic UNLESS you want to petition off of the Megan’s Law website OR want off at less than 10 years. Also, there is NO requirement to “successful completion” of a CASOMB-certified “treatment” program.

    Other than the corrupt special interests that have our (mostly) dirty politicians in their fists, why are these things (automatic off and no “treatment” crap) not carried into California’s bill?

    Btw, like most of you I think counseling is great. But not the perverted CASOMB “treatment” sold and peddled by special interests like CASOMB, SARATSO, and other (unknown?) dark forces.

    • Scam-99R

      Unfortunately, I fear, those things were put into the bill to generate revenue for said ‘special interests.’

      1. I hate to be the c-block; but the ‘treatment’ requirements were put in place to generate profit for the unnamed CASOMB/treatment profiteers (i.e. think Sharper Future, Open Doors, etc.).

      2. The ‘petitioning’ process, I fear, was put in place to gain support from defense attorneys (i.e. attorney fees for petitioning) — as well as to keep (bribe?) defense attorneys from objecting to the numerous illogical caveats.

      3. And the Static-99R/Saratso Tool was implemented to keep a bloated ‘high-risk’ registry, guaranteed to help keep law enforcement staffing/funding (i.e. keep the police unions happy) — as well as ‘rationalize’ more government-funded treatment contracts, to ‘high’ risk offenders, for said treatment schemes.

      If it were not any of the above, then I’d agree with you — everything should be automatic, with no petitioning process, treatment scams, nor junk static ‘sciences.’ I would think 10 and 15 years would be sufficient — so long as the legislature also appropriately (and honestly) declares sex registration as PUNISHMENT.

      • Dustin

        Strongly disagree that 10 – 15 years on the registry is “sufficient” as the registry is completely useless. The only crimes it prevents or aids in investigation are those created by or based on the registry itself, i.e. failure to register or update, residency/presence restrictions, etc. If an RSO commits another actual crime (vs. status crime; very seldom), his status as an RSO is never known until after arrest. The registry never plays a role in identifying or finding him. If it were, the press and police would be praising it to the hilt.

        I hear (cops and DAs, mostly) talk about what a useful tool it is, but I’ve never heard anything along the lines of “If it weren’t for the registry, he’d have gotten away.” I’ve heard private groups like icrimewatch.net claim “armed with knowledge, you neighborhood is safer” but not one word about what to do with that knowledge without becoming a felon yourself. Ignoring it and use a little diligence with all strangers seems the best bet, in which case there’s no point in publishing the “knowledge” in the first place.

        If anyone can find 5 cases over the past 20 years where the registry was a factor in identification and/or locating the accused of any crime other than status offenses or PO violations, I’ll print them out and eat them. And post it on Youtube.

        • Scam-99R

          Dustin,

          Fair enough. Also, just to add, there is the effect of labeling theory. Specifically, what effect does labeling theory have on a person when you impose the ‘sex offender’ label on a specific person? Does it, subconsciously, become a self-fulfilling prophecy in some cases? Do people become more likely to ‘act out’ when you ostracize and villainize them from being able to successfully reintegrate back into society — and do things such as 1. keep a stable job; 2. keep stable housing; 3. keep stable relationships? I can’t help but wonder whether ostracization was the true intent of law enforcement and politicians so that villainized people are sent into a vicious cycle of registration ‘violation’ and recidivism — and said registrants perpetuate and feed the mass incarceration machine (equating to more LE jobs and jails/prisons). When a person has little to lose, I think the dirty law enforcement and cops have realized that one would be less likely to make logical, consequence-based decisions — so their lobbyists have figured out a way to influence/fund the Static-99R ‘sciences’ to back their scheme/scam up.

          When you start labeling people as ‘high risk sex offender,’ I am going to hypothesize that this minority, labeled by the Saratso Tool/Static-99R scam, will become even *more* ostracized. Again, ostracization is the true intent of law enforcement and politicians because it will help perpetuate the revolving door back into the mass incarceration machine — and, once again, rationalize the need for more ‘law enforcement,’ as well as ‘improved’ laws based on more risk assessment ‘science.’

        • Dustin

          Scam-99R,

          Agree about the sex offender label and the uselessness of tiering. Most of the public don’t distinguish between levels anyway; simply being a registrant is enough. And yes, the entire point of the registry was to ostracize. All the arguments for it are just different ways of saying it.

          Laws simply cannot and never will prevent all crime. If they did, there would be no such thing as crime at all. All laws can do is create and define what crimes are and punish for committing them. It deters most, but does not and cannot eliminate all of it. The registry just creates more status crime (as in perfectly legal but for the status of the accused, in this case a conviction of certain offenses), compliance with which is ridiculously and deliberately onerous.

          The recidivism rate of registrants is among the lowest, second only to murderers. Nationwide, the recidivism rate for registrants is only around 5% if you remove parole/probation violations and status offenses (and around 12% when including them, again second only to murderers). Of that 5%, 3% is another sex offense (and in all likelihood by genuine vs. presumed mental health cases) and the remaining 2% by those that have to resort to crime simply to survive due to the court’s/public’s refusal to allow reintegration. Those stats are virtually unchanged from the days before the registry went public, indicating the registry is useless toward it’s stated purpose of preventing recidivism and protecting the public. Also disagrees with your self-fulfilling prophecy reasoning, though it may hold in a handful of individual cases.

          I know I’m beating the same dead horse, but it bears repeating.

    • Dustin

      Counseling is only effective if a) it’s voluntary and b) really necessary. Doesn’t apply to 90% + of living registrants. Not sure how much applies to the dead ones. (/sarc)

      Most registrants committed their offenses via poor judgment, plain and simple. As the low recidivism rate of SOs indicates (around 12% last I saw, less than 5% if you exclude parole, probation, and status offenses), prison time is a pretty effective tool for learning better judgment.

      Court ordered SO “treatment” is primarily based on the same behavior modification model used in substance abuse counseling; the perfect government solution, considering the same people run in and out of the drug courts every year and most have completed said “treatment” multiple times. Using that model to prevent the already nearly non-existent threat of an RSO committing another sex offense is like putting your arm in a cast and sling when you break your ankle. I used to wonder why they didn’t try to claim “treatment” is the reason for low recidivism until I realized they’d have to acknowledge low recidivism if they did.

      • Tim Moore

        Frankly, if the powers that be think it is effective and are willing to suspend my sentence for 5 years of probation in lieu of mandatory 8 years prison, I will take that meeting every week and get as much out of it as possible. I have had my criticisms of the therapy model they use, but the reasoning is sound, rehabilitate not incarcerate.

        • Hysteria

          Incarceration and rehabilitation have nothing in common. Therapy is more effective in that problems can be identified, addressed, and overcome. Prison only forces problems to be internalized, creating a possibility and in most cases, a probability of recidivism after release.

        • Tim Moore

          Right, rehabilitate NOT incarcerate. Yes what does one learn by the state sending you into a violent environment to get your head beat up and you can’t address your issues without showing weakness– you got to beat heads, ignore who you are and lie to survive. No wonder people keep cycling into the system.

        • Dustin

          Of course. Who wouldn’t pick paper over prison. My issue is

          The law presumes a person is of sound mind when he commits his crime and certainly of sound mind when he pleas out or to go on trial. Yet, even though he’s already completed “treatment” in prison, courts and POs play armchair psychiatrists and – with no qualifications whatsoever – what and how much “treatment” is supposedly needed, and to be done. Not needed, to be done.

          In Georgia, there’s a whole plethora of requirements a court has to meet to order a person into involuntary mental health treatment, and the “treatment” they require of registrants fails to meet a single one of them. Proof of commission of a crime is NOT among them. I don’t see how such “treatment” could be considered anything but involuntary – being forced to do it or go to/back to prison makes it compelled. Willing to bet it’s similar in all states.

          Yes, even forced “treatment” works for some. But numbers indicate there are far more failures than successes, and most successes are due to the fact that “treatment” wasn’t necessary to begin with. Again, most sex offenses are committed from poor judgment, and poor judgment is not a mental illness.

        • Tim Moore

          I am limiting my opinion to therapy in lieu of bars, before sentencing, not what happens in civil commitment after a sentence is served, which is really incarceration dressed as therapy. Poor judgement can be a symptom of mental illness. Serious poor judgement is mental illness. Aside from pure accident or to achieve a higher moral purpose through civil disobedience, personal judgements that result in acts that violate a law, for felonies at least, are a sign of a mental malady. The consequenses just aren’t rationally worth whatever temporal desire one was trying to fulfill with the crime.

  10. A. Lincoln

    Why do murderers not have a registry to be on when they are released, or felony thieves, or armed robbers, or those embezzling money from businesses. Who has to register besides sex offenders. Make all felons register for life, or at least tie the crime to this 3 tier system. Government doesn’t have a lick of common sense. I saw on the news that a man had 20 pictures of naked kids and got 200 years in prison without parole, but a convicted murderer served 8 years out of 15 yr sentence. Murderers can buy the house next door to you and you, nor anyone else will ever know. This is totally unbelievable. Same with drunk drivers that kill people with vehicles. They are drinking and driving and living next door after killing an entire family traveling in their minivan. Think about it.

    • E

      I believe Kansas is testing out the “put everybody on the registry” idea. Sex, drugs, and violent offenses. Don’t know if any other state that has followed suit. https://www.kbi.ks.gov/registeredoffender/

    • someone who cares

      A. Lincoln ~ Murderers get 2nd chances, we don’t. Came across an article about “The Judge and the Felon”. It is about an LA judge who wants to give people on skid row a 2nd chance. He started a running club and a murderer he actually sent to prison became his best friend. Google it! I wonder if this judge would have given a registrant who never physically hurt anyone a 2nd chance. Would be interesting to contact that judge to find out.

  11. AnotherAnon@gmail.com

    California has a lot of registries. Arson, drug, gang, and there was a child abuse registry, but that may have been shut down due to lack of due process. What these other non-lifetime registries prove is that the state does not think a registry has to be public to be effective. Evidently, they are effective enough to keep an eye on the registrants even if limited to the authorities’ access.

  12. freedomwriter

    As I read it Tier I and II will be automatically taken off at 15 and 25 years. If you want to get off up to 5 years sooner, then you have to petition

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