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NJ: New Jersey could soon compensate those wrongfully put on sex offender list

[ – 11/7/19]

Dion Harrell spent two decades on New Jersey’s sex offender registry.

He had trouble finding a job. He couldn’t be alone with his kids. For a time, he was homeless.

But when a DNA test finally proved his innocence, the state had nothing to offer him for those years.

“I was surprised I wouldn’t get compensation,” Harrell said at a hearing in Trenton Thursday.

If you can prove that you were wrongfully imprisoned in New Jersey, you can receive up to $50,000 for every year spent behind bars. But you’re out of luck if you were forced into treatment or supervision for a sex crime you didn’t commit, or if you falsely pled guilty to any crime.

State lawmakers could change that. A bipartisan bill (A1037) would allow people to receive $25,000 for every year spent under the state’s supervision, which includes sex offender lists and parole.

Read more


Join the discussion

  1. Tim in WI

    The habit both parties have agreed upon. JUST US! They both must elect former prosecutors who’ve in turn reduced the quality & quantity of necessary evidence to convict for given crimes. It is law makers who set the ” legal standards ” of appropriate & valid evidence of ” fact. ” Calder V. Bull makes the case in #4.The nature of proving wrongful convictions occur is difficult yet clearly demonstrates the ” lack of evidence necessary” to destroy a man’s life and liberty irrevocably. IMO such egregious act by a state should yield ten fold of 50K per. Very few truly benefit from forging felons from citizens not. It is far to easy to do so. Ask me how I know!. Unfortunately one gets the defense he can afford in America and that goes to the opportunity for DNA analysis as well.

  2. Dustin

    A good start, but I really like some of the comments on the article that say the DAs that caused the problem to begin with should be held accountable somehow.

  3. Bill

    His pain and suffering amounted to only $25,000 per year.

    I’m not thrilled about the amount he’s being compensated but it’s a first step for the system to acknowledge the punitive nature of the Registry. This is a form of admission isn’t it? That could set a precedence for a future case of doing away it away.

    Longshot I know. But sometimes all we can do is work with what we have.

  4. David

    I would love to see something similar bankrupt the State of Florida….. Compensation for every year one’s name should have been removed from it’s Registry, whether because one moved out of state or passed away. $$$ for EVERY year.

    • Will Allen

      If we want to build a wall, I want it to cut off Floriduh. Start at the Gulf of Mexico just west of Tallahassee and build the wall straight north to the Georgia/Floriduh border. Then start building east in an exact straight line starting along the Georgia/Floriduh border. Keep the wall exactly straight and run it all the way to the Atlantic Ocean.

      The land west of the wall will become part of Georgia, because Alabama is dumb. Pensacola, GA sounds okay, relatively. Then Floriduh can be its own country and we can consider them an enemy. There will be no travel allowed between Floriduh and America. Floriduh should sink under the ocean ASAP. Getting rid of Tallahassee, Jacksonville, all of Broward and Dade counties, etc., and all of the people living there, will be great for America. If it can’t sink under water fast enough, a foreign country could carpet bomb all the larger cities.

      I have a dream.

      • Bill

        @Will Allen

        More cost effective way is to build a wall around Ron Book’s property and every other supporting politician including his daughter that he parades around for his cause.

        Nowhere else. Just around those properties with no gates. Their food will be thrown over the wall from time to time.

        Hey at least their zones are “safe” from Registrants!

        • Will Allen

          That does sound fun. But there are too many scumbags in Floriduh to wall each one in. I expect it is most of the population.

  5. R M

    When NJ repeals laws that any “crime” resets the 15 year registration time frame, then and only then will I be free.

  6. AJ

    “State lawmakers could change that. A bipartisan bill (A1037) would allow people to receive $25,000 for every year spent under the state’s supervision, which includes sex offender lists and parole.”
    Doesn’t this statement help us immensely? NJ considers SO registration as a form of supervision. Hmm, isn’t supervision a measure of punishment along that continuum SCOTUS uses?

    • TS


      A certain NJ Rep will work to stop it if he has his way, I’d bet. Can’t ruin his legacy.

  7. Eric

    It will be a great day when all persons placed on the registry are compensated for the abuse, oppression, hardship, longsuffering and humiliation imposed on them for life even after they paid they debt to society, served their time, and successfully completed all requirements imposed by the justice system.

    • Will Allen

      I urge all Registered People to take compensation right now. Don’t ask the criminal regimes for it. Don’t worry what they and their boot lickers think or care about. Just take it. Make them pay.

    • Ann

      Great idea! Florida department of law enforcement and legislature deliberately inflate their registry numbers with out of state and dead people so they can receive federal and grant dollars based on size. It destroys those stuck in their fraudulent web

  8. ab

    No one is rightly put on sex offender lists. Over time example after example has demonstrated no societal benefits are gained by keeping track of individuals who have been convicted of sex offenses.

  9. Eric Knight

    So basically, 25 grand a year is the price that society places on people for being on the registry. Keep in mind this works BOTH WAYS. We can use this government-acknowledged price to argue against the “non-punitive” aspect of the registry.

  10. wihz

    Prosecutors use misdemeanor “catch-alls” to work in their favor to convict people of sex offenses regardless if there even WAS an offense. Then they count on the legislation treating ALL convicted offenders as sex offenders and the legislators in turn fead the public reports that are biased (and ill-informed) against ALL offenders and then politicians in turn use these reports to grandstand against “violent offenders and child molestors” even though many of the people on the registry are there for misdemeanors.

    In 2017 California SB 384 was signed to move registrants to a tier system in 2020. But now they are already trying to pass AB 884 to re-tier offenders before SB 384 even took effect! Because district attorneys STILL aren’t satisfied with tier I misdemeanors. They’d prefer if there was a tier 10, a tier ten, and a tier x.

    But one of the key things is that these offenses have lower requirements and that’s why former District Attorney Mike Ramos was trying to push for “touch DNA” testing.

    They want to have it BOTH ways for misdemeanors. They want to be able to skirt by on lower requirements and STILL be able to inflict extremely disproportionate punishment.

    When they go THIS FAR out of the way to prove people guilty who may not have committed an offense do they realize that that person is going to have one HELL of a payoff when it all unravels? I applaud New Jersey for this and hope it spreads to California and other states.

    Because I’ve been helping a family member deal with their false accusation and I’ve been tracking this whole system. I lost my job and I’ve put everything on the line to help this person. Because prosecutors are out of control if they need to convict someone THIS badly to save face when they know someone was truly innocent.

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