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National

OK: Some law enforcement worry new, stricter law will discourage sex offenders from registering

A new law that further tightens restrictions on where sex offenders can live has some law enforcement agencies concerned it will discourage people from registering as offenders.

The law, which went into effect on Nov. 1, added home daycares to the list of locations sex offenders cannot live near. Prior to that, state law already prohibited offenders from living near child-friendly areas, ordering them to live 2,000 feet from public and private schools, churches, playgrounds, parks or daycare centers. The law did not apply to home daycares, of which Oklahoma has more than 1,500.

Some law enforcement and critics say the restrictive laws are counterproductive. Full Article

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  1. Facts shiould matter

    “If I put you in a room with 30 rattlesnakes, do you want me to leave the light on so you’ll know where they’re at or turn it off, where you don’t know where they’re at,” Adams said. “And all these restrictive laws have actually done that.”

    Oh, that’s predictably cute, but I can play the fear mongering semantics game as well.

    > If Megan’s Law didn’t exist. Children in America would NOT be less safe.

    Oh and, What you don’t know can’t hurt you. =)

    “They won’t change it,” he said. “It’s a death sentence to get re-elected, and they have told me this straight up: ‘We agree, but I’m not going to put my name on a bill because I want to get re-elected, and if I do, my opponent is going to say I’m soft on sex offenders.’”

    > This is political cowardice that we’ve had to put up with for decades now. Their silence is complicit! They DON’T care about US. They only pander to issues of public opinion that get them VOTES. They only thing you’ll get from lawmakers is feigned concern, manufactured empathy, willful ignorance, and dismissive indifference! They’re the actual monsters they think WE are. Lawmakers are fear parasites stoking unwarranted fear exclusively for cheap votes.

  2. Eric

    “Some law enforcement worry new, stricter law will discourage sex offenders from registering.” Wow, do you really think so? They have some real high level thinkers on this one.

  3. Dustin

    So are we to presume that the number of sex offenses in Tulsa by those previously convicted of sex offenses but not registered will significantly increase since this bill passed? I’d like to revisit this story in 6 months or so to see if it does.

  4. Dustin

    Emailed the following to the story’s author:

    Ms. McClung,

    The impression I get from Sgt. Adams was that he was concerned that there will be an increase in new sex offenses committed by those previously convicted for sex offenses, but not registered due to the passage of a new law further restricting where sex offender registrants can reside.

    I find that very hard to believe. There are scores of data that show sex offender registrants are the least likely recidivists (other than murderers). There are scores of data that show that when the very small number of registrants that do recidivate sexually, the new offense has nothing to do with where they live or work.

    If you can and are willing, I’d like you to revisit this story in 6 months or so, to see if Sgt Adams’ fears are founded.

    • AJ

      @Dustin:
      Nice letter. If she replies, maybe also point her to the States that don’t have residency/presence restrictions and/or don’t publish lower-tiered offenses have similar recidivism rates. To me, that in and of itself proves the uselessness of restrictions and publication.

      • Dustin

        She replied this morning that she would revisit in a few months. Hanging on to the email to remind her later on if need be.

  5. mike r

    So I did not even think about how stricter laws also encourage people to not register. So there is another reason that the laws are counter productive and takes resources away from higher risk offenders. The registries are irrational for low risk offenders and for protecting the public…Just as In re Taylor CA.

    • Dustin

      I have a hard time believing that. After 20+ years of more and more restrictions, there’s never been a rash of refusals to register in response. While failure to register is probably the main crime registrants commit, I’ll bet most of it was inadvertent. I even know of a few counties in Georgia that have gone out of their way to ensure a person couldn’t go in to register just to give them an excuse to push a failure to register charge.

      Frankly, I don’t think the registry is rational, period. It offers no protection whatsoever, even against “high risk” registrants. Again, I ask what exactly is one supposed to do when identifying a registrant, regardless of the “risk level”? And how is it different from precautions taken against any stranger? AND WHY HAS NO ONE ANSWERED THAT AFTER 20+ YEARS OF THE PUBLIC REGISTRY?

      Notice also how registry proponents will point to extreme cases like Nassar, Sandusky, and Timmendequas to say how the public registry is supposedly needed but conveniently overlook that all are either dead or serving life sentences.

      • Will Allen

        “Failure to Register” is not a crime, it is a “crime”. Anyway …

        Yea, I have never seen or heard of a sudden wave/rash of refusals to Register. I do feel like the laws do have a continuing “piling on” effect that does cause some people to eventually decide to stop Registering (and in some cases, go off and murder people!). I do expect as new laws continue to pile on and pile on that there is definitely a final straw for some people that “breaks the camel’s back” and the person takes off. I’m sure I have that at some point. As long as I can negate Registration to a degree that is acceptable to me, I will tolerate it. But if it goes past that, I’m going to act.

        The Registry does make sense to me. Why not tell everyone about people who have done something dangerous in the past? But there are some problems that makes the Registries quite useless, very damaging, and surely idiotic social policy.

        The first, key problem is that ALL crimes are not Registered. The ONLY legitimate excuse to avoid that is if people think $EX crimes are simply just the worst and most damaging and we only have enough resources to deal with the worst. That is the ONLY legitimate excuse that I can think of.

        The next key problem is that the Registries are abused. That alone makes them worthless and beyond that, counterproductive. If people could responsibly have and use Registries, they could be useful. But that’s impossible.

        The thing about Nassar, Sandusky, etc. is that even if they were not in prison and were Registered, the Registries wouldn’t do squat to keep them from finding victims. Simple background checks would keep them from working with children. Beyond that, the Registries do nothing. If a person wants to commit a crime, he/she will find a way to do it.

        I know for a fact that it is quite simple to have relationships with all kinds of families and children who do not know that you are Registered. If you are listed on a Registry, just avoid relationships with your neighbors. It is trivial and really, it is very common in America today anyway. People don’t care about their neighbors so much any longer and many people never interact with them regardless. So maybe the Registries “inform” your neighbors about you – BFD, just ignore your neighbors. I treat my neighbors like any other wildlife near my home. The only thing I have to do is try to avoid running them over with my vehicles. Other than that, who cares?

        Another point is that “knowing” about someone doesn’t help a person at all. If a person has 2 neighbors and 1 is Registered and the other is not, can that person treat the neighbors any differently when it comes to protecting themselves and/or their families? Not at all. The Registry knowledge doesn’t help at all. The only thing that the Registries help people do is to ostracize and harass the people who are listed on it. A lot of douche bags think that is useful, but obviously they are douche bags that should be avoided by good people.

        • Larry

          If people were paid the fair market to government of the civil data service they are forced to perform that might encourage compliance. At 250k per year per individual it would help end homelessness. Forcing people to perform a valuable service for free is exploitation, and that can only foster disintegration.

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