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AZ: Sex offenders get chance to end life-long registration under House proposal

[azcapitoltimes.com – 3/29/19]

State lawmakers are weighing whether to give judges more leeway to eliminate the requirement that certain people register for life as sex offenders.

A measure approved Thursday by the Senate Judiciary Committee would allow people convicted of certain sex crimes, when they turn 35, to petition to be absolved of the mandate.

Not everyone would be eligible.

The legislation pushed by House Speaker Rusty Bowers would apply only in situations where the offender was younger than 22 at the time and the victim was at least 15 if the sexual contact was consensual. It also would apply to things like trying to lure a minor for sex if it turns out that the “victim” was actually a peace officer posing as someone at least 15.

HB 2613 also would be limited to those convicted of one offense involving a single victim and cannot have been convicted of any other felony for at least 10 years after being sentenced.

And some categories of crimes would not qualify including sexual assault, child molestation and child prostitution.

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  1. mark

    For the most part ill bet this is pretty much a useless law (proposed) as Ill bet it probably applies to maybe 2-3% on the registry !

    • Gralphr

      You’re correct. These people always make these proposals to let people off except actual adults. Why not propose if you’ve stayed out of trouble “X” amount of years, you can get off regardless your tier level since its apparent you’re no longer a danger? I guess it makes too much sense………

      • Dustin

        Still makes more sense to just abolish the registry en totem.

        Considering that 97% of sex crime is committed by those not on the registry, I used to think that in order to justify registration after a sentence is completed, the state should at the very least make an affirmative showing that the registrant is likely to be among the 3% of registrants who do sexually re-offend. As in some indication beyond the fact that the registrant was convicted for one particular event.

        I have since scrapped the notion, as it implies that the registry has some use or purpose. Neither the public nor law enforcement needs the registry, even for sexual recidivists. Associated restrictions have no impact on the presumed “frightening and high” recidivism rates. They are ignored by the few and far between number of registrants who commit further assaults, and their registry status is never known until after arrest. The registry only encourages the public to live in fear of those who statistically never bother anyone again while ignoring those who DO pose actual threats.

        If anyone can find 10 cases where the registry played even the smallest role in the investigation or arrest of ANY crime outside of registry or parole/probation violations, I will print out every single news article and court document pertaining to those cases and eat them. In nearly 3 1/2 years of searching (and I am VERY good at searching), I have yet to find one.

        • Eric Knight

          Out of curiosity, why does law enforcement need a registry anyway? Don’t they have their own, confidential, highly detailed criminal record database that would identify a potential suspect far more than a Offender Watch Internet registry?

        • Dustin

          @ Eric Knight:

          They don’t. Period. There’s nothing on the SO registry that isn’t already on the National Crime Information Center and state counterparts that feed it. A simple query will pull the records of those arrested / convicted of SOs in a few moments, should a detective need to do so.

          The only purpose of the registry now is to get federal and state grants allocated ostensibly to maintain it, but is nearly always allocated somewhere else. That’s why they like their registries as overpopulated as they can make it, and why despite 6-figure grants, there’s only one or two officers dedicated to SO “compliance.”

          OffenderWatch is a private company that charges by the number of registrants. Another misappropriation, in all likelihood. Sheriffs still have to feed their state registries, but it’s more cost effective to them to link to the OffenderWatch site than to create their own (even though their own webmasters could probably do it within an hour or two), thus allowing the funds granted to be spent on other things (illicit or not).

        • Will Allen

          I have to disagree. Registries do make intuitive sense.

          If I move 500 miles from where I live right now, how would the law enforcement criminals there know I was there? I’m not saying that it is useful to know, but it does make intuitive sense that it would.

          Same with neighbors being “informed”. How could it hurt? Why can’t we know about all neighbors who have committed any crime?

          Registries make intuitive sense. But it doesn’t take much looking at them to realize that they aren’t needed or useful. And also that they are extremely dangerous. I am certain that I am thousands of times more dangerous only because Registries exist. Absolutely certain. No debate to be had. If these criminal regimes had any sense and actually cared about public safety, they would’ve taken me off their hit list well over a decade ago. But they’ve got no sense and are too arrogant to care.

  2. Ptdusn

    I have been on the AZ registry since 2001 and it has caused me many problems, ie loss of job, threats, etc. I hope this passes as I’m one of the lifetime registrant people that this would benefit.
    This is great news to me and my family.

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