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Commentary

Kat’s Blog: A Mother’s Plea, Not So Different Than Ours

A recent, tragic shooting in New Jersey, a Federal Judge’s son killed on the family’s doorstep, her husband hospitalized with multiple gunshots. The Judge believes she was the shooter’s targeted victim because of her position on the bench. The Judge, was uninjured.

Yesterday, Judge Esther Salas went on television and broadcast a desperate plea, asking those in power to do something to help those on the bench keep themselves and their families safe from individuals meaning to do them harm. She spoke about the “free-flow” of personal information, including home addresses of Federal Judges, that’s available on the internet, information that those seeking to do harm can easily access and then use in a malicious or in this case, deadly manner.

Judge Salas asked for a “national conversation”, not only to protect Judges, but their loved ones as well.

Her plea for protection is not so very different than the pleas of registrants and their families who have for years, been asking that the registry, a government sanctioned accessible “hit list” which provides names, addresses and other personal identifiers of registrants, be dismantled or accessible to law enforcement only.

Registrants and their family members have been killed, often on their own doorstep, by vigilantes or mentally unstable individuals who located their addresses on the internet. Mothers and fathers of registrants have had to experience the same tragedy as Judge Salas, having to bury their child or some other family member, gunned down by someone with a grudge, while merely answering their front door.

The shooter in Judge Salas’ case also had in his possession, a “list” of other Judges, other possible future targets, just as gunmen of registrants have been found to have “lists and addresses” of other registrants.

Neither the Judge and her family, nor those on the registry and their families deserve for these kinds of deadly attacks to occur. No family should ever have to experience the pain of losing a loved one to this kind of senseless violence. No one should have to live in fear of violence because their personal information is easily accessible to anyone with the click of a mouse.

We do need a national dialogue and we need those in power to do something to protect us, all of us, not only Federal Judges and their families but registrants and their families as well.

We have sought protection from the dangers of the registry for too long already. We’ve voiced our concerns regarding the hazards of a public registry and we’ve watched as deaths continue to occur when addresses of registrants are publicly accessible. Those in power have so far turned a deaf ear towards our pleas. Will they listen to Judge Salas’ plea for protection of those on the bench?  And if they do, how will they justify ignoring the same plea for protection from registrants and their families?

We all need and deserve protection from those meaning to do us harm and as Judge Salas stated, “right now, there’s nothing we can do to stop this and that’s unacceptable.”

So, is there a way to stop the “free-flow” of personal information available on the internet?

At this stage of the game, that seems highly doubtful, but taking down the public registry, that would certainly be a step in the right direction.

 

Join the discussion

  1. Roger

    Vigilantism can be economic too.

    Last month a client I have had for years texted me “Sorry, Hon, but I just can’t user your services. I saw you on the website.” She then started telling other clients of mine, who immediately blocked me from communicating with them. I explained to her how I was not the same person, and had worked hard to make a new life for myself, doing anything I could not to reoffend for 30 years. She asked why I didn’t disclose my status originally (maybe a big scarlet letter on a T-Shirt?), but before I could answer she said it didn’t matter because she was a child victim of someone. She said she was “not a mean person”, but still refused to do business with me, and implied that she didn’t care if I could make a living or not and end up homeless. I had an attorney send her a warning about the illegality of slandering me, but she could ignore it.

    Lessons learned:

    Consult with an attorney who knows registration law if you are outed and feel danger physically or economically.

    We have to continue to fight the hysteria with facts, but this is primarily a war of emotions. We counteract hysteria by registrants telling those close to us how the hysteria has damaged us and our families. Family members must be willing to share with the public (anonymously) how the registry destroys lives, similar to what other people groups have done to gain civil rights throughout history. Mothers and children hurt by the registry gain sympathy more than registrants.

    We can’t try to hide in a hole, taking no action and hoping we will not be outed. Statistically, it is inevitable that we will be outed sometime during our lives, and probably multiple times. We feel less victimized by the hysteria if we are fighting along with ACSOL.

    Together we must show up, stand up, and speak up.

  2. Tim in WI

    To ahead and uphold an obvious violations of fair trial doctrines and ex post facto language use by congress SCOTUS. Go ahead and prove to the people just how ugly American politics and politico talking heads are, AND how you support it by abdication of duty established. The Rehnquist court indeed exponentially failed. We as result know humans find themselves ever more indebted & subservient to database machines known as colloquially as “Sex offender registries.” Naturally, it is only a matter of time. Maybe it is time to develop a registry of judges complete with maps, just being ‘civil’ and all.

  3. Eric

    The word is out among the mentally unstable vigilantes and con artists that the registry is a source for scams, extortion, violence and burglaries. There have been probably a dozen people on the registry murdered, just in California, by people who found their name and address online. The state of mind pushed by the media and the politicians is that everyone on the registry has done an unforgivable crime and they will never be able to refrain from reoffending. So that is the level of ignorance in these people, and then they have full access to your name and address. I came across this video. It is pretty disturbing. A woman records her man giving a vicious beating to an elderly man that is on the registry. I don’t know the circumstances, you can only hear the perpetrator stating his point of view. Weather it is accurate or not I don’t know. But he and his woman don’t have the slightest regard for their actions since they were proud enough to post it on FB. I don’t care to have someone’s child say hello to me, and then have the parents be judge, jury, and executioner in my case.
    https://www.facebook.com/ue.a.smith/videos/10221771870711214/UzpfSTEwMDAwMDE1Nzk5NDEyNToxNTIwNDY4MTU0ODAzOTU2/

  4. Will Allen

    “national conversation”? Ha ha, sure. Fuck them.

    Get rid of the Sex Offense Registry Hit List and then we can have a conversation. Until then, you’re just a lying, immoral, criminal regime with a bunch of law enforcement criminals.

    Bad news for the judge anyway. If a person knows where someone works, then the person can figure out where they live. I don’t think that is difficult in the slightest. Perhaps it is difficult for dumb people or most murderers?

    The judge should be happy that having her information publicly available isn’t changing her risk much and that at least she is not listed on an official Hit List that is sponsored and promoted by big government.

    Sic Semper Tyrannis

  5. Dee From CA

    I just came home from work and someone posted a sign near my door saying “Megan Law lives here”…ugh

    • Will Allen

      Most people who support the Registries are dumb. They probably couldn’t think of a more comprehensible, impactful sign.

      I’d have to leave the sign and post a response. How about, “BFD, only helpless, harassing, big government-dependent morons care. Try to mind your own business.”

  6. Dustin

    First of all, the judge may not have been the target. Nothing was said about her son or what he may have been into. It’s also entirely possible that it was just a random thing and the victim just happened to be a federal judge’s son. I haven’t read anything other than the judge’s personal opinion that she was the target. Speaking from experience, parents nearly always blame themselves when their children die before them, regardless of circumstance (speaking from experience).

    Even so, her concerns regarding the availability of personal information and the dangers posed by it are absolutely correct. I hope she remembers it if and when a registry matter appears at her bench.

  7. Brandon

    When I came home last night there was a bag on my door. It was for the food bank; but the hair on my neck stood up for a bit!! I think signs of nosy people should be in their yard.

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