TX: Something Is Wrong with the Sex Offender Registry, and Deregistration Is the Only Tool We Have to Fix It

Something is wrong with the sex offender registry. It is not working the way it was intended to work. Worse, the registry is causing innocent people to be harmed. Yet none of these innocent people harmed by the registry are convicted sex offenders.

Before diving into a discussion regarding the public sex offender registry, it is important to note that this article is not a critique of those who created and implemented the registry. Nor is this article a critique of those who keep the registry functioning. Rather, this article provides empirically based information about the utility of the registry and how deregistration might improve the registry. Full Article on Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association

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This is an excellent article packed with updated studies and information. Its flaw is that it puts actuarial “tools” on a pedestal, maybe because it has little choice and is working with what is available and possible to change in the present climate.

Yes, this is a wonderful collection of studies / data. I am puzzled by the recommendation, however.

“The sole function of deregistration is the removal of the individual’s information from the public registry.”

While public notification is undoubtedly one of the, if not the, most damaging aspects of SO registration, there is a plethora of other life-crushing requirements and restriction that would remain. When the most comprehensive article I have read in a long time just made the point that SO Registration is based on myths and does nothing to improve public safety. What gives?

And if it did improve public safety AND it were totally constitutional – why are not ALL criminals made to register? Is my government not interested in protecting me and my children from ALL crime? How can this be???

I think the article is trying to be a bit too clever by presenting “realistic” options in the current climate. Fair enough. But I like the last line the most: “While deregistration is a step in the right direction, the recommendations presented in this paper offer some additional steps that could potentially result in a registry that produces a positive impact on the public. Unless, of course, we just do away with Vaccine X altogether.”

Yup. Toss out the whole stash of vaccine.

It seems to have been written with a view toward persuading legislators to look at the registry differently, and giving them the information they need to promote positive changes while also providing them with the means to combat accusations that they are “soft on sex-offenders”. Legislators and elected judges know, or at least fear, that a perception among voters that they are soft on sex-offenders may end their careers.

So while I think the recommendations in the article fall short of the real fix for the registry (i.e., just throw out Vaccine X altogether), I see it as an attempt to reduce the harm caused by the registry in a way that law makers may be able to accept. Baby steps.

If the state were to adopt some or all of the recommendations from the article, I’m not sure whether that would help me. I have no risk rating, as my offenses predate Texas’ adoption of its risk-assessment tool. I am also not eligible for deregistration due to having multiple counts (not recidivism, just two charges brought at the same time), and because of the specific charge in one case.

On another note, the article mentioned a risk-assessment tool called the Static-2002 (Hanson & Thornton, 2003). I don’t recall that tool ever being mentioned here on this site. Is anyone familiar with it?

Baby steps will just keep the registry around forever and tell legislation it is ok to circumvent the courts role to punish, rehabilitate, and PROTECT the public. There is no excuse for any legislation interfering other than providing tools for judges to use at THEIR discretion.

Courts are the only entity that can taylor protecting the public to the individual and legislators are violating separation of powers with every law labeling someone or restricting them based on a crime within the court’s jurisdiction.

The sex offender registration regime was about our nation’s surveillance saints to advance their desires to utilize database infrastructure errected in Saratoga springs UT!

If a state can indenture a man to a database then the more powerful FED can go how far?

Our leadership recognized that terrorist from other nations were a big problem. The surveillance upon them was indeed crucial for protecting U.S. soil and citizen.

BUT they also had a big problem. Americans don’t want gov’t agents snooping around their business. Americans demand warrant before searches can begin. Our constitution is based on keeping gov’t agents on a leash. SO domestic electronic searches were indeed necessary to stop the jihadists like them that hit WTC. The sex offender made the perfect scapegoat for the surveillance saints.
SOR says a lot about what a state gov can do with a database for the advancement of public safety. The Utah facilities were supposed to be quarantined from misuse by FISA warrant, but the facts will show the surveillance saints could avoid that by outright misleading judges or lying to them. All this is playing out now as indeed the surveillance saints moved to attack THE DON, via a contrived dossier financed a certain campaign. This is the kind of folks who lead us. Why would the folks be law abiding when our leaders surely don’t follow the law or any constitutional boundary.

IMHO J.J. ROBERTS has to go! His action in Alaska v Doe indeed lead to vigilantism, ostricisim, and loss of civil dignity. He is culpable and I think he purposefully withheld pertinent information from the Rehnquist court to witt “having to show up in person” like P&P.
Alaska was the ONLY 1,of 50 ,which never intended in person reporting. That’s why he picked it to make his case. DIRTY BOY got himself the highest seat in our land via his deception. WHAT TO DO, WHAT TO DO?

My question is how does America hold such a man responsible for his usurpation?
I’ve but one way to do so. I posted it on NARSOL site under the “Sex offenders should be shot” article there. I’m not a member of that group. For me they are a horse with no legs.

Since courts are presided over by flawed humans, they don’t tend to always tend to rule as if lady justice were blind. So, you have a bunch of conservative, strict constitutionalist Supreme court judges appealing to a very flawed report that showed the chance of recidivism was extremely high, and so they used that as an excuse, and the false idea that it was not punitive to force us to register.
These people on the supreme court aren’t stupid. They knew it was flimsy stuff, but the national attitude was such as the people would have freaked out, and they probably had their own emotional baggage and so they played their logic games and justified the ruling.
This is one reason why precedents being set in our favor with lesser rulings in the right direction are important, and this campaign of information that has been waged from our side and from people who are on our side is important. It takes time, it takes momentum, and then it will happen. I’d say there will be a major ruling within the next 3 years at the federal level that will be in our favor, if we keep up the pressure. In the meantime, the more states that reject (all or part of their own registration laws the better. This is why bringing all kinds of litigation in every state, and taking multiple angles of attack is all a good thing. The registration monster will have to begin to die of a thousand cuts in states before the most major federal blows can be dealt against it. Swaying public opinion is hard, but the fact that articles informing people of the truth now appear when you do internet searches for terms relating to our issues is important.

Question, lets say I serve the full minimum of post 10 years after 5 year probation (15 years total). Can I stop registering with the dps? what difference does it make going through de registration? Does it allow me to get off registry sooner than the minimum?

The Texas deregistration scheme is a catch 22. I am required to register life time because my charge was a 1st degree felony. However, i served a 10 year deferred adjudication which states that after successful completion there is no conviction. I am deemed a “low risk” classification. But, the dergistration in Texas is tied to the federal AWA that tiers people according to the charge not risk level. Therefore I would be a tier 3 under the fed classification. Also, Texas is not AWA compliant. I don’t get it. I do not believe there is a clear path to getting off the registry in Texas until a challenge is successfully completed. Maybe this needs some scrutiny from legal experts. Any thoughts?

I expect a legal challenge to come regarding Texas not recognizing federal offenders as eligible for deregistration. I was convicted in Dallas federal court on a child porn charge in 2004 and served 51 months with 3 years supervised release. I am now eligible for deregistration by Texas statute, and there is no mention in the statute as to the court of conviction’s location. The Texas section on deregistration is not only unconstitutionally vague, but denial of relief based on state policy is also a violation of due process, equal protection under the law, and denial of redress of grievances. I’m not aware of any legal challenges at the moment, but I’m more than willing to be the first.

My daughter was 18 when her foster brother (would have been 16 in two weeks) had someone buy him beer and invited my daughter to drink with him. She had just lost two children after staying up all night packing bc she had to move and her two yr old son was holding pillow over her one yr old son while biting him. CPS took her children. She moved back with a foster parent, I was going thru a divorce and had no place for her to go. CPS in Ohio took her when she was staying with her older sister and boyfriend. She was in the system while having both children. She got in bad foster homes where the foster dad tried molesting her even. This was a time in her life where she was rebellious with me too. Anyway she was charged with sexual imposition of a minor and was supposed to have to only register 10 yrs in Ohio and then she moved to Texas so I could help her out and Texas put her in the National sex offender data base. She inherited severe depression from all of it, is now 42 and this horrible registrations destroyed us allot. She’s very embarrassed, police have harassed her, during a Hurricane in North Carolina she wasn’t allowed to go to a shelter with her husband and other two children, wtf?, and when she was in several domestic violence situations (due to her low self esteem) no one would help her and she tried to commit suicide bc she thought the neighbors was going to do horrible things to her bc she is on the sex offender registry. She was in icu 4 days with tube down her throat with No knowledge of what was going on. The staff at the hospital told her nothing. I was in Texas she was in Ohio. Then they sent her to rehab where it was like being in prison and she couldn’t talk bc of damage done with the tube down her throat. This non sense has to stop. There needs to be protection for anyone in any disaster or domestic violence situation. She paid her debt in jail when she was 18 and has more than paid for everything else since. It’s done unbelievable damage to us and all family and friends.