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Commentary

Time to Purge Bloated Sex Offender Registries

[creators.com – 2/22/20]

Those who fight for a more equitable way to keep track of sexual predators won a big victory in Michigan last week. That is a state with some 44,000 names on its sexual offenders registry.

U.S. District Court Judge Robert Cleland put his foot down and gave the Michigan legislature 60 days to rewrite its current “unconstitutional” registry statute. Last spring, Cleland set a 90-day deadline for lawmakers to rework the law, but he was ignored. This time, he’s serious.

Everyone agrees we need to keep track of career sex criminals after they are released from prison. Once they’ve been convicted of violent sex crimes, it’s possible they’ll reoffend. A public safety monitoring system makes sense.

But understand that these state registries — there is one in every state — are bloated beyond belief with many names that shouldn’t be there. Registries were mandated by federal law in the mid-’90s to keep watch over ex-convict pedophiles who sexually targeted children. Somewhere along the line, we lost our way.

Included in the registry over the years have been: a 10-year-old female caught “play-acting sex” and then branded with “criminal sexual conduct” charges; a 19-year-old boy caught with his 15-year-old girlfriend; drunks discovered urinating or streaking in public; average citizens unjustly accused of sex crimes during ugly divorces; and men duped into believing that an intimate partner was not a minor when she was. Many of these people, often caught up in a moment of normal human passion, have been forced to register as sex criminals — for the rest of their lives.

Do we really want to lump these kinds of “criminals” in with hardcore sexual predators?

Read the full article

 

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Everyone agrees we need to keep track of career sex criminals after they are released from prison. Once they’ve been convicted of violent sex crimes, it’s possible they’ll reoffend. A public safety monitoring system makes sense.

No not everyone agree..

Yes, career offenders should be monitored. Obviously they cant stop doing what they are doing and need to be monitored closer

There can’t be Registries. Because they are stupid and don’t work.

So I guess for career criminals it must be ever escalating punishment followed by parole.

And there are few who can’t stop. They don’t want to stop.

No ! They should NOT be monitored the way you say. ONLY THE POLICE HAVE THAT RIGHT BECAUSE FREE IS FREE AND IF THEY ARE REALLY THAT DANGEROUS….WELL , HELLO ….THEY ARE NOT SUPPOSE TO BE FREE ! DUH ! WHY ! BECAUSE IT ATTRIBUTES THE EXCEPTION OF SEXUAL OFFENDERS AND APPLIES IT TO THE MAJORITY WITHOUT PROPER DUE PROCESS OR JUST CONSIDERATION OF FACTS, PROOF AND EVIDENCE PER EACH AND INDIVIDUAL CASE BY CASE 😁 REGISTRIES ARE ILLEGAL BECAUSE THEY VIOLATE CIVIL/CONSTITUTIONAL AND HUMAN RIGHTS…THATS WHY CASTRATION AND CRUEL/UNUSUAL METHODS HAVE BEEN ALLOWED AND IT IS WRONG !!! HUMANS… Read more »

@Mathew Folks who are like those you are describing then need help from professionals and should be in a setting where they can get it and not be a threat to society if they are deemed as such. I don’t believe in civil commitment because that seems to be a one-way system, check-in but never -out, ever; but at one time in this country we used to have campuses where those who mentally could not live in society would be housed and treated (albeit with dubious methods at the time) until either they could leave or else. If folks such… Read more »

@ cool CA RC: If you quote something put the quote in “..” and reference the subject. Otherwise it is your words and some may interpret the words as your own.

The COPS hijacked the original legislative intent and goal of Megan’s Law, then reverse engineered it into their own personal PR campaign machine. They’re using it to win back the confidence of the public after they gun down children during traffic stops and no-knock raids. Just like with Bloomberg’s “stop and frisk,” the cops abused it for their own personal gain (pride, ego, grants, etc.)

@Facts should matter

Excellent observation, yes this is mostly PR fluff to influence and misinform the public and keep the gears turning on their rso machine. It’s an easy topic to exploit and creates all the fear they need to drive the point home at every election. One poster story creates hell for the many. One heinous incident is enough to launch 1,000 bills.

@ cool CA RC: What exactly is a “career sex criminal”? Are Larry Nassar and Jerry Sandusky “career sex criminals”? They’re in prison for life, so how do their crimes support the need for such an extensive monitoring system? Is Wayne Chapman a “career sex criminal”? Yes, he claims to have molested over 100 boys, was convicted for two of them, and served double his sentence through the civil commitment program. But he’s also over 70 years old, flat broke, homeless, wheelchair bound, and has Parkinson’s disease. Is he seriously considered threatening enough to warrant extensive monitoring? Is Gerald Turner,… Read more »

You are absolutely correct that law enforcement can’t really do anything to prevent any crime. Actually real crime prevention should be a social responsibility, not a legal one. Something is not prevented minutes, hours, days, weeks, or months before it happens. Real prevention occurs years and decades in advance so that the thought of the choice that could lead to undesirable outcomes is not acted upon.

I think we need to contact these journalists and tell them how much we appreciate their articles and efforts for the cause.
Interesting how many are women, but then women have always been more compassionate, understanding, and forgiving.
Tell them your personal story and re affirm to them we are not monsters.

We’re making headway. BUT, the registry needs to go entirely. It’s cruel and unusual punishment. Judge Matsch is the only one so far to tell the total unmitigated truth.

Can anyone tell me what the status is of Matsch’s ruling currently being appealed in the 10th Circuit?

Still waiting on the Tenth CCOA to rule in CO.

Really?
All the aftermath is reflection of the underlying intent of the electronic database machine regime in the first cause coming out of the Wetterling Act in OMNIBUS94!
THE INTENT WAS ALWAYS affirmative disability and restraint.
Besides that somebody figured out how to make a buck.

I’m not sure what to think of this.. could be good! Have to read the whole thing.. The first part isn’t so good lol

Any thoughts on this?

https://www.nationalaffairs.com/publications/detail/rethinking-sex-offender-registries

I only skimmed it, but I don’t but the parts I’ve read. The overall point of the story is to try to make the registry “better.” But there are absolutely no positives about the registry to improve on, largely because it’s based on a lie – that those convicted of sex offenses a) have committed hundreds of others before getting caught and b) that they will do so again. As with nearly every other law named after a crime victim, the registry would not have prevented what happened to Jacob Wetterling had it been in effect at the time. Despite… Read more »

Nicely written, Dustin. Clear and logical writing like that, brief and to the point, without rancor, should be easily consumed by anyone reading it. If posted in opposition to articles supporting the registry, or in support of articles critical of it, it could provoke positive thought in people who have mindlessly supported them, or never given them much thought. The dog shit part might need to be amended, depending on the venue.

@Dustin

+1 for your content. That should be sent on to others who opine on and advocate for the registries.

Dubious claims without facts is prevalent in the article…what a shame. “Although effective in some respects at reducing crime, today’s sex-offender registries do not work as well as they could. Current registries are too inclusive, are overly restrictive, and end up hurting some of those they are intended to help. With some common-sense reforms, sex-offender registries could become far more effective in improving public safety.”

+1

Great comment and response.

I pray this registers list will be destroyed by all 50 state’s. Too walk around in this so-called Land of the free and home of the brave. I don’t see it. I see! Land of the punishment and home of the weak minds. When something bad happens in our country. All the people jump in to OMG mode we need too pass a law so this doesn’t happen again. But then it does happen again and again. Even with a useless law that is too help make victims feel better. Our country fails 1000%. Guess why? Money to keep their… Read more »

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