SC: Lawsuit: SC man says he still has to register as sex offender for having sex with another man

Source: 12/22/21

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) – A South Carolina man is suing Attorney General Alan Wilson and SLED Chief Mark Keel, claiming that he still has to register as a sex offender for a buggery charge in which he says he was convicted, and later pardoned, for having consensual sex with another man.

The man, identified as “John Doe” in the lawsuit, says he was convicted for the charge in 2001, two years before the Supreme Court ruled that laws that criminalized homosexual sex violated due process and are invalid under the 14th amendment.

The lawsuit states that John Doe’s partner was also convicted of buggery.

Doe’s lawyers say their client was pardoned in 2006 for the charge, but their client is still subject to sex offense registration restrictions.

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Those who are African American and 105-years+ elderly: do you remember the “wonderful”, “grand” days when you had to register with the police as a sex offender for having intimate affairs with a Caucasian partner? Wasn’t it terrific and awe-inpsiring that it was a sex crime to marry interracially?

Well, aren’t outdated traditions a lovely thing to always hold onto…

(I hope all who read knew exactly that I was being sarcastic.)

Sex Don’t kill people. Unless you have a bad heart and die having sex #1. Than there is the heart that loves you and would never think of harming you and be by your side forever That # 2 And than there is the heart that will hurt you belittle you want to control you #3 All those hearts have one thing in common… Change..Cause nothing last forever!!!!

The scary part about that article is that a pardon couldn’t get one off the registry?! It’s supposed to be statutory, but it feels as thought it’s worse than a criminal act!

I’m actually flabbergasted that removal from the registry is not automatic under these circumstances. Some might argue that they did break the law as it stood at the time, and should be subject to all consequences. I can understand that perspective because we are required to adhere to existing statutes even if they change later.

In this case SCOTUS’s decision in Lawrence v Texas declared such laws to be a violation of constitutional rights, which were violated independent of when that Court got around to its determination. SCOTUS is ok with applying registry laws retroactively. Wrongs of a constitutional dimension are so fundamental that retroactive relief should be a no-brainer. These guys perhaps have no claim to redress previous discomfort, e.g. being dragged into court. However, they should certainly not be subject to further punishing sanctions including the registry and a RAP sheet.