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The modern Leper: Sex Offender Law reform

Everyone who is reasonable admits (nowadays) that homosexuality is not a disease, nor should the LGBTQIA+ community be treated as irredeemable. However, there is a growing population of people, starting as low as age 7, that the law and society have decided to treat the way it used to treat the LGBT folks: “Sex Offenders.”

The Sex Offender Registry (SOR) laws are one of the last bastions of righteous indignation and medieval bigotry. It seems that, despite studies and statistics to the contrary, SOR folks are thought to be highly dangerous and at high-risk for recidivism. They are forced into highly dangerous housing situations (due to distance restrictions); they are subject to severe employment restrictions; they are subject to forced public exposure of their identities — often leading to increased exposure to assault and murder. They are subject to arrest simply for walking, unaware, through a restricted area, and when arrested, subject to revocation of what limited personal freedoms they do have because their probations are cancelled.

Even if they survive to the end of their registration period, they must jump through labyrinthine hoops in the court systems to be released — if it is even allowed in a given state. Furthermore, the DAs can demand all sorts of extraneous requirements and paperwork, delaying any action and, thus, denying any justice. Full Article

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When reading this article and reviewing the comments, I’m reminded once again of how useless a broad term such as sex offender is and yet people are content to argue apples and oranges at length.

After reading the comments you realize why the Founding Fathers didn’t trust citizens to directly vote on laws and instead have representatives, “they aren’t educated enough”. There are too many emotions running around and very little logic with the ‘common folk’. The comments section is a prime example of it.

It would be nice if people added some sensible comments but people who are listed on the Registries don’t seem to care to do that much.

@Will Allen

Lets see, at the last meeting about a few weeks ago in West Sacramento with Janice and company I estimate about 50 people attended.

There are 2,277 registered citizens in Sacramento.

I will be doing my part to try and get that number up to a hundred at the next meeting.

How about you?

I used to, seems pointless after a while. The sheeple are just to conditioned for stupidity and to let others think for them. They are all followers without individual thought anymore and only know or believe what others in the mainstream tell them to believe or know. The movie Idiocracy (for those that do not know, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Idiocracy) is reality in the making. Have any of you been to a college class lately. 98% of professors have one view and they preach that view every chance they get. It is so bad I am about to go to the dean, except… Read more »

How does one get in to comment?

@joe123, That is just the reality of any society, few are knowledgeable because human sexuality is Ill defined cross culturally. “Norms” are culturally defined so” legality” becomes irrelevant for prevention. Law will never prevent violence, but those who depend on “law” to remain relevant MUST insist they do effect abstinence from violence. Murder runs amuck in America Today! The offenders will be punished, if identified, but never prevented by law nor regulation. SOR was about the database and uses legal thereof by government agents, a civil duty. Scapegoats for Surveillance Saints. See PROJECT ANGEL WATCH. Angels remember only look after… Read more »

The “representatives” aren’t educated enough either or we wouldn’t be in this mess.

The “representatives” are perfectly educated enough and have the data. It’s called pandering – they’ll keep writing and supporting idiocy as long as they believe it’s what the voters want and there is someone to slip them something under the table to keep it coming.

@Dustin: you are correct but how do you know they really know the truth?

That opinion piece could have been better written. A reader could be left with some incorrect impressions that I attribute simply to poor writing. For example, the article implies that there is an end to the registration period, when in fact there is not for a large percentage of registrants. Also it implies that everyone on a SOR is on probation, when in fact, the majority have already completed their sentence. Finally, politicizing the opinion piece with references to the “pseudo-president” only serves to detract from the primary issue, which is the SOR, and is practically guaranteed to attract trolls.… Read more »

Daily KOS is a purely Democratic Party mouthpiece, so criticizing the president is probably the only thing the author did that would gain general approval. I like, though, that people are questioning the registry from within their own party or belief system. We are not going to change much by just turning to the libertarians. They are not in power. If you’re a Republican, work on the Republicans, Democrat, work on the Democrats, Green, Green, Christian, Christian, Jew, Jew, Atheist, Atheist and so on to change the dialogue that has infected them all.

I read a lot of comments about who is “educated” enough, or how not enough people attend meetings…..in California. This problem is nation wide, and needs to be addressed from across the country. The current SO laws in our nation are wrong, and even a very good lawyer with thousands of clients and years of experience is still only one voice. Real change only begins when the people speak out about what is wrong and why. Lawyers are the second step in a legal process for change, step one starts with the people….us, WE are the people. The reason our… Read more »

@aman Well stated. The difference between our cause and the other movements are that we really did something wrong. Many don’t want to draw more attention and cant afford any costs or exposure and may still be under supervision and restrictions. I am afraid our only hope for a good representative, is if a victim of a sexual assault comes forward where their assault was due to an unknown offender that got away with it over and over because previous victims wouldnt come forward due to the sex offender stigma hurting their family member or friend. Once people realize sex… Read more »

@ Chris f Thank you for your comment. Yes I agree, the stigma of the label “sex offender” can be overpowering, but much of that power we heap upon ourselves. We are all called sex offenders for what we did years, even decades ago, but what we are called or thought of by others is far less important than what we truly believe about ourselves. Before we can do anything we must first learn to stop accepting the label, and the fear that goes with it. It’s true that many of us still have restrictions both financial and legal, but… Read more »

I agree those with the label need to not give in and let the label define them. But I personally know about 20 from group therapy and that isnt really an issue. They had to adapt to the restrictions and stay under the radar as long as possible to maintain jobs and living arrangements as long as possible. There is another discussion on the general chat about our need to stand up and rally for our rights like blacks and gays had to do. I don’t think that is the proper way because there is a huge difference. Gays and… Read more »

Chris, regarding “The difference between our cause and the other movements are that we really did something wrong.” I have to take issue with that. Not everyone on the Registry HAS done something wrong and, amongst the “wrong” that they may have done there are huge differences. Some “wrongs” are no wrong at all. Societal overreaction and measured, temperate responses to crime should be part of this debate and we must not forfeit our opportunity to include it. But the idea that we have, somehow, lost our right to public protest or forfeited all our credibility is something I must… Read more »

I think we should overwhelm public commenting forums quoth a 100% anti-Registry message. Forget recidivism rates and similar crap. Just say the Registries are useless and un-American over and over and over again. No facts are needed.

People will see public comments. They don’t see discussions here. They don’t see meetings of Registrants.

@Chris f: You said ” I don’t think that is the proper way because there is a huge difference. Gays and blacks were born that way and they had to fight to prove there is nothing wrong with it.”. You are correct in the general sense but don’t forget that pedophilia is a mental issue people are born with. I don’t see that as “wrong” either as they were born that way. “…educating judges…” Yeah ok. The “judges” are mostly elected officials and want to stay that way. Don’t get me wrong; I do agree with most of what you… Read more »

Pedophilia didnt get someone on the registry. Breaking the law did. I would suspect a great deal of registrants arent even pedophiles since any sex offence can get you on it and even some non sexual ones. As for changing their made up minds, that wont be done until a high profile scotus case releases a lot of people from the registry and they are forced to join the discussion on the facts that lead to that decision. That is the only way to speed up discussion and in that way it is similar to the forced discussions after scotus… Read more »

@Chris f Yes, I also know people from group that have the right attitude about who they are but must also bend to the restrictions placed upon them in order to maintain their living and working conditions. The problem is that as long as we just bend a knee and stay off the radar nothing much will change. Strong lawsuits have been tried and tried again with little to no results. I believe that the judges are indeed educated, as are many of our lawmakers, but as long as the general public continues to cry out because of what they… Read more »

Well, you really don’t have to make people feel sorry for you. Many people are just not aware of what these laws are or how counter productive they are. They think everyone is a raving sex maniac and the laws are constitutional, that we don’t have families or friends, a moral code, and we can’t feel empathy. When they find out these laws are junk legislation and props to get politicians elected, that we are actually humans, and the laws are actually making things worse, doing collateral damage to children, the smart people will listen, maybe not to agree at… Read more »

@ Tim Moore “When they find out” is my entire point. Without a unified voice that speaks to the masses about the truths of this issue “they” will never find out. I read so many posts about SCOTUS and judges that need to be educated, but who will educate them….? You hit on a good point that smart people (ordinary citizens with open minds and good standing in the community) are indeed some of the best allies to go to bat for us, and you are right. Public opinion is the engine that drives our justice system in the direction… Read more »

@d k David, my opinions on the lack of effectiveness on our group protesting comes from lots of reading of books, historical articles, and talking with people. I wont say it could never work or help, but the things that have to fall into place to make that happen are a long shot. You would need the group to be composed of mostly low level or sympathetic causes, because the press or public will focus on the worst cases. You would need those sympathetic cases to join the protest, and those mostly may be the least likely to join as… Read more »

Let me add that I dont mean to discourage the California protests and those that show up to support Janice’s efforts. If you can talk with people and change some minds that is great. I tend to speak based on facts and what I really think and don’t exagerate or sugar coat things to influence people.

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