Legal Scholars to Consider Elimination of Public Registry Next Week


Members of the American Law Institute (ALI), the most important and prestigious organization of legal scholars and prominent attorneys in the nation, will consider a proposal next week that could significantly change the nation’s sex offender laws.  The most significant of those changes would be the elimination of public registries in all 50 state.  The proposal also includes, but is not limited to, recommendations to abolish all public notification laws as well as most residency restrictions, internet restrictions and GPS location monitoring.

“The ALI drafts model laws that often become statutes as well as restatements of the law that are widely cited as authority in judicial opinions,” stated ACSOL Executive Director Janice Bellucci.  “ACSOL thanks ALI for focusing its attention on the plethora of laws that harm registrants and their families and that do not increase public safety.”

The outcome of the ALI members’ voting is uncertain.  As of today, there appear to be at least three different groups of members — those who support the proposal, those who oppose the proposal because it goes too far and those who oppose the proposal because it doesn’t go far enough.

One organization that opposes the proposal because it goes too far is the U. S. Department of Justice.  The federal agency stated in a formal comment that, if adopted, the proposal “would attempt to unravel sex offender registration and notification systems nationwide, severely limit law enforcement information-sharing capacity, weaken youth-serving organizations’ ability to conduct background checks to protect children, and strip victims’ and the public’s right to know if convicted sex offenders live, work, or go to school in their communities.”  The federal agency sharply criticized the ALI proposal because the agency believes the proposal “relies on questionable and discredited research regarding the effects of sex offender registration and repeatedly draws conclusions that are unsupported by scientific evidence.”

In his reply to the U.S. Department of Justice comments, ACSOL board member as well as ALI member Ira Ellman, stated that “what is discredited by the clear and rather overwhelming consensus of the peer-reviewed scholarly work are the central factual assumptions…that are usually offered to justify the registry system.”  Ellman explained that there are three kinds of studies that establish the limited value of a public registry.  He also pointed out that a study commissioned by the federal SMART office concluded that residency restrictions are ineffective.

“It is important to keep in mind that the registry is not and cannot be justified or explained as punishment for the crime that triggers its imposition.  Everyone required to register has already been punished,” Ellman stated.  “No similar regime has ever been imposed on any other group of law-abiding former felons who have fully served the sentence for the crime they committed years earlier.”

Those who oppose the proposal include journalist William Dobbs because he believes the ALI proposal does not go far enough.  Instead of restricting the registry only to law enforcement officials, Dobbs advocates the total elimination of all sex offender registries.

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TD 5 DOJ Comments

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Please please please we PRAY for this everyday. Please God, may we live to see this come true in our lifetime. We want to end the suffering for our families. We want to be redeemed and we want to be productive members of society. Please end this for all.

At some point in time, humanity will overtake the insanity of hysteria and moral panic. We are seeing this process slowly developing now with a few significant steps like this one. I doubt I will see the end of the Registry in my own lifetime, however events like this give great hope that the Registry will eventually be completely abolished.

Most sex crimes are committed by someone the person knows, so why does the public need to be involved? Our country is filled with way too many people who can’t mind their own business.

All this money wasted could of been used for real treatment and other resources benefiting the community and country. Allow people to live without big government making more problems. Monkey see, monkey do government I don’t rely on you!!

One step for man, one giant leap for mankind! Positive direction and praying for results and anything forward for change.

I agree fully with doing away with the registry, it serves no purpose and it destroy lives. Thank you (ALI) for under taking this project. States that offer plea for these people do not live up to their end of agreement (plea). These people pay taxes try to live better lives but they do not receive fair representation of government. Thank you again (ALI) hope you are successful.

weaken youth-serving organizations’ ability to conduct background checks makes no sense. They can still do background checks and the charges are still listed. PLEASE abolish the registry. The only thing it does is puts a target on the backs of our loved ones who have already done their time, paid their debt to society just like any other person convicted of a crime.

The registry may not be considered punishment by law enforcement or judges, but tell someone on the registry the it is not punishment. ALL registrants feel it is punishment, and this “non-punishment” effects them mentally. It IS punishment to the children and spouses of registrants also. Try and tell them it is not. Only narcissists will punch you in the mouth and tell you that you are not in pain, because they didn’t feel it so you must not either.

The registry does not work as intended. Sure, law enforcement can keep tabs on those who have committed a crime. But we all know that if a problem occurs in the community, while law enforcement questions the known offenders (causing mental distress), the TRANSPARENT offenders (usually a family member) are allowed to continue to reoffend.

Recidivism for sex offenders, according to many studies, is around 2% to 3%, and the longer it has been since they offended, the less likely they are to reoffend. Far less than for drug dealers, who do not care if the victim dies of an overdose as long as the money keeps coming in. Compare the number of victims of overdose and/or failed drug rehabilitation with victims of a sex crime. Track these victims for ten years and tell me which group is significantly larger, and which group is doing better.

The registry does not keep the public safe, as many studies show that most sex offenses are committed by someone the victim knows well- usually a family member (or close friend). Stranger danger exists only in movies. Junior high and high school kids are more likely to rape or kill a classmate than a stranger is likely to offend a child they don’t know. But there IS the vigilante side to the registry. Because registrants are made to wear a scarlet letter for all to see (not punishment?), and registrants are at the bottom of those society feels protective of (and are the group it is okay to demonize), vigilantes, who are many times more dangerous than most on the registry, feel that it is okay to take their hate out on registrants with impunity.

Lastly, most, if not all, of registrants have, in their past, when a small child, been sexually abused themselves. Either the grown-ups they told didn’t believe them, or there were no grown-ups to tell. The act itself does harm, but not being believed, or having a safe place to go and recover, does lasting and serious harm. These people should all be loved and cared for until the shame goes away. Instead, the internal shame causes them to act out in some way, landing them in prison and then be forced to wear the scarlet letter of shame for all to see. We are not civilized- no civilized society would destroy childhood victims the way we do.

Been on the registry since its beginning. Hard enough to find work with a criminal record, but when I DO find work, workmates discover me on the SOR (Sex Offender Registry) and either persecute me or spawn lies about my conduct which inevitably leads to my dismissal.

A few years back I applied for a pardon – to have my record expunged. In the application I was asked to provide recommendations from my neighbors. Everyone I asked gave a glowing report about me. A total of 10 personal reviews, including one from the local Chief of Police. Yet, the state where the offense occurred apparently didn’t give any weight to those recommendations. Including the Chief’s letter, which clearly stated that he has NEVER had a call to my address.

My wife and I have been living here just 15 years this month (June 2021). We’ve never gotten any complaints from anyone, though some have decided to er on the side of caution. And I understand that. But that just shows how people live in fear of me simply because my name appears on the registry.

I would sincerely like to see the registration ended because I’ve done my time. All 3 1/2 years of it, including 5 years probation and 4 years plus sex offender treatment (successfully completed).

Today I’m building my own woodshop because I can’t find work. When I DO find it I can’t keep it. People just don’t want anyone who’s bearing the scarlet letter emboldened across their forehead, such as I and all other registrants must wear. I’ve not only done my time I’ve done my time and then some. And then some more. And if this goes on I’ll continue to do a life sentence of registration. It’s time to end this useless and fear stoking registration.

The draft proposal also reduces the number of offenses that trigger registration to the offenses below. The proposal lowers nearly every crime level for sex offenses.

1) Triggering offenses. Section 213.11A sharply restricts the class of individuals to whom the duty to register and other sex-offense collateral consequences apply. It precludes registration of nearly all juveniles, and for adults, it imposes the threshold duty to register only upon conviction of offenses that most strongly arouse public concern, specifically:

(i) Sexual Assault by Aggravated Physical Force or Restraint.
(ii) Sexual Assault by Physical Force, but only when committed after the offender had previously been convicted of a felony sex offense.
(iii) Sexual Assault of an Incapacitated Person, but only when committed after the offender had previously been convicted of a felony sex offense.
(iv) Sexual Assault of a Minor, but only when the minor is younger than 12 and the actor is 21 years old or older.
 (v) Incestuous Sexual Assault of a Minor, but only when the minor is younger than 16.

Leslie, you summed it up so nicely. Everything you said is correct and makes so much sense.

” Let There Be Light ” !!!!! The registry does ” NOTHING ” Except hold entire Families Down, For a life time, In most cases retroactively applied too thousands of citizens years after a conviction has been served. Has never prevented a crime from happening just disables over 1 million citizens from being equal or able too provide for their families because a public registry stops people from a fair chance at work or housing at the least. Very punitive for those forced on them via renegade politicians. NOT COOL !

Would love to be off this crazy registry . It would be great after over 30 years and to be able to move with my wife out where we belong , I don’t want to gets my hopes up to high . But I thank all for trying to end this , and of course I wish the best for all stuck on this list made by the criminal minds of the state

This registry has haunted my entire family. Watching our love one come into deep depression, homelessness and nonproductive. No place to bath even if you had a job. Sad! Lawmakers need to review carefully. An elderly man was murdered a few weeks ago and his status was a sex offender.

I heard CP is not addressed in any documents produced? Is that true?

Longtime Gone

This November will be 48 years. Trying for a COR. The funny thing is that they have told me my tier is NONE, because they have the right to tell me for the nixed two before they make up their minds. 30 years is nothing!

I don’t see how we’re treated is any different than a slave? First the state is the owner and parole is the overseer,after “leaving”the plantation we’re given a “medallion”(GPS) just like slaves were given. If we want to go out of town we have to get permission from the plantations overseer being subjected to the overseers capriciousness. If we want to go to college we have to inform adults in the office(present our scarlet letter). According to John Roberts S.O.’s commit new sex crimes at 80% if that were true then Coalinga State Hospital should be over capacity! Registration is for public safety?So why aren’t gang members required to register or have GPS since gangsters will always recidivate (commit new crimes)in furtherance of their gang!?