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NH: ‘Hellhole’ dad on track to get 15-year prison sentence vacated

A clerical error will likely upend a guilty plea that sent a Manchester father to prison for 15 years for the abuse of his two young children in what police described at the time as a hellhole, according to court documents. …

The issue: ____ wasn’t informed that once his 15- to 30-year sentence is completed, he will have to register as a child offender. The defense lawyer who handled his original case, Paul Garrity, has said he was not aware that adults convicted of serious harm against children land on the registry, which is overwhelmingly used for child sex offenders. …

Judge Messer, who considered that case, cited New Hampshire Supreme Court rulings that determined the sex-offender registry amounts to a form of punishment. Messer said ____ should have been informed of the registration requirement when he pleaded guilty.

“Registration is so intimately related to the criminal process that failure to advise about it could constitute ineffective assistance of counsel,” Messer wrote last February. Full Article

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  1. SR

    These two sound like horrible people with well deserved sentences. But why would they have to be placed on the registry? It’s literally in the name. If there was no sex offense, then they shouldn’t placed on that registry.

    I’m betting it’s because they don’t want to create a new registry for these type of offences and others. And that’s because anything without a “sex offender” label is far more likely to be struck down. Which would then bolster the arguments for striking down the sex offender registry.

    • Dustin

      One of the criticisms against the registry is that it includes people whose crimes don’t have a sexual component. I think it’s more likely that they don’t want to acknowledge the punitive nature of the registry being applied to them.

      In the end, this guy is going to get the same 15 year sentence, be it another plea agreement or full trial. They can’t increase his sentence because he’d already begun serving it, and they’re certainly not going to compensate him for that time. The only difference will be he won’t be required to register. Curious about his wife – she was also convicted for the same thing and received the same sentence, apparently separately. Shouldn’t the same action be applied to her? If it isn’t, why not?

      • Will Allen (Registration Liberation Army guerrilla)

        I’ve heard that criticism numerous times but it is stupid. The only thing it points out is that if Sex Offense Registries are useful then there absolutely should be Registries for all significant crimes.

        I know years ago in Georgia that some people sued the criminal regime because they were on the Hit Lists because they were convicted of kidnapping! They were kidnappers! But they didn’t want to be known as a “sex offender”. At the time I was pretty astounded and thinking, “Well, you are actually an obviously very dangerous person. You certainly should be listed on the Kidnappers Registry”. But of course no such thing has ever existed or probably ever will. We only care about SEX!!! A kidnapper is pretty clearly more dangerous than a person who looks at bad pictures. But, meh.

        I can’t believe there is no Gun Offender Registry. I can’t believe these “public safety” liars have the gall to lie that “sex offenders” shouldn’t be living close to schools but people who shoot people with guns should be. I mean, is there actually anyone with a brain who believes that? Anyone?

        We know what the Hit Lists are for. The liars can lie all they like. Everyone knows. And we need to make sure they personally pay for their harassment.

        • Dustin @ Will Allen

          A guy I was in prison with was required to register for false imprisonment – an armed robbery / hostage situation where a minor was present. Nothing remotely sexual involved.

          Georgia law allows him to petition to be removed. The problem he had back then is that the superior court in the county he lived in claimed jurisdiction to hear that petition was with the court of conviction. The convicting court claimed it was in the county of residence. The Court of Appeals said it goes to the superior courts but wouldn’t specify which one. Of course, the law says any superior court.

          I used to say that I didn’t understand the point of having a de-registration procedure if it was impossible to follow. I now understand that impossibility is the whole point.

        • LPH

          “They were kidnappers! But they didn’t want to be known as a “sex offender”. At the time I was pretty astounded and thinking, “Well, you are actually an obviously very dangerous person. You certainly should be listed on the Kidnappers Registry””

          Maybe they were kidnappers… of their own children. They are or maybe are a danger… but of what? Fighting for the right to their own children?

    • Ed C

      I glanced through the New Hampshire statute which lists a number of non-sexual offenses that will land a person on the registry, and which expand the terms “sexual offense” and “sexual offender.” Granted those offenses are quite ugly, but aren’t necessarily sexual. That means being convicted of, for instance, false imprisonment of someone under 18 could require registration when moving to other states that don’t have an equivalence provision. Interesting.

      I’m encouraged that the state Supreme Court recognized registration as punishment. That provides SOs with one more persuasive reference in future court actions.

      Veritas.

    • Dustin

      What do you want to bet that the studies the Criminal Courts Committee referred to in recommending against the creation of a “violent felon” registry were those that studied the effectiveness of the sex offender registry?

      So my question is, if the demonstrable failure of the sex offender registry toward its supposed purpose is cause not to create similar registries for other crimes, shouldn’t it follow that the sex offender registry should be abolished?

  2. New Person

    Is this the second recent case where a judge identified the registry as punishment?

  3. NorthEastPENN

    “Paul Garrity, has said he was not aware that adults convicted of serious harm against children land on the registry, which is overwhelmingly used for child sex offenders.”

    And Garrity knows this for a fact?! Really? – “overwhelmingly”?!

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