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ACSOL Nationwide Action Alert: Write to Support the Approved ALI Model Penal Code

Source: ACSOL

During its May 2022 meeting, Members of the American Law Institute (ALI) will consider revisions to the Model Penal Code approved by the ALI Council last week.

“ALI members must vote upon the version of the Model Penal Code approved by the ALI Council,” stated ACSOL Executive Director Janice Bellucci.  “The ALI members will do this during their annual meeting which is scheduled to take place on May 16 through May 18 in Washington, D.C. If ALI members do not agree to what their Council has approved, we cannot start the long and arduous process of making change happen possibly in all 50 states and in the federal government.”

ACSOL members are encouraged to send letters soon to ALI to voice their support for the Model Penal Code that was already approved by the ALI Council. Ask that ALI’s members approve them at their meeting May 16 through 18. 

Letters can be sent by email to
ali@ali.org

or by U.S. mail to
The American Law Institute
4025 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Here is ACSOL’s letter. Please write your own letter in your own words:

ALI Letter – March 202203072022

 

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I am very doubtful that letters to politicians and lawmakers are even read, let alone make any difference. In this case, I would like to know more why you support it and how it will change anything regarding the registry? From what I understand, it put some limits on the amount of time to register, but doesn’t say anything regarding anyone that has to register for life. In my case, I am lifetime not because of the actual crime, but because in CO, they have an added statute that says if you have more than one conviction even if it is on the same sentencing, there is no option to ever request to be removed from the registry. Furthermore, after watching the 6th Circuit court rule against the registry THREE times, not one thing has changed in that district, everyone still has to register, law makers are doing whatever they can to work around the 2nd highest court in the lands ruling and since SCOTUS won’t hear it, everyone else in the rest of the country is still screwed. Especially after the brutal ruling in the 10th circuit recently, that no one had the courage to take to SCOTUS – which with the ultra extreme conservative court, would get destroyed and likely make things worse. I am sorry for such pessimism, but as much as I have followed all of this, what is this Penal code change actually going to do, and if it does anything, will be decades before any of us see it? If anyone could please clarify this for me, oh, and how this would affect SORNA who just made things even worse and more damaging to anyone currently on the registry – the letters and opposition fell on deaf ears, hard on that one, there wasn’t even ANY discussion!

Thank you Janice for all that you do. I will be writing a letter immediately and encourage others to do so too

Here is what I sent:
Hello:
I wish to urge all members of ALI to vote to approve the new proposed model penal code at your May 16 – May 18, 2022 meeting.
The changes regarding the sexual offence registry are appropriate because they follow the science. Jurisprudence should be based on established facts and not on attempts at prognostication. 
Only your esteemed body of scholars has the authority to push for change in this area of law, which has, for far too long, been codified by fear, ignorance and malice.
Government sponsored hate in the form of a public blacklist and the suspensions of habeas corpus, the right to travel, the right to quiet enjoyment (et al) is NOT a solution. It is Jim Crow resurrected!
Please have the courage to do what is just. Vote Yes to approve.
J****** W**** R******
A Citizen Forced to Register
A Natural-Born US Citizen 
A Taxpayer and Holder of Real Property
3## C********
N**********, FL 339##
PS: An added point: I and many other registered citizens are forced to pay property taxes, although we are permanently barred from public facilities in our communities such as the beach, the parks, the tennis courts, the swimming pools, skating rinks, boat ramps and other properties! And here in Florida, we are forbidden (by state constitution) from voting!

Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe. -Frederick Douglass
When you forgive, you in no way change the past – but you sure do change the future… Bernard Meltzer
Driven by Evidence rather than Ideology – Gavin Newsom

Thanks, Janice! I’ll certainly send a letter to encourage ALI members to vote in favor of the MPC. 👍🏻

This is probably one of the most important times to write. This could be a huge game changer with how much it would help change. No negative comments, lets get it done and at least we can say we tried everything.

Done via email! Janice et al., thanks for all the good work.

March 11, 2022

David L. Levi, President
The American Law Institute
4025 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Dear President Levi:

I encourage the membership of The American Law Institute (ALI) to approve Sections 213.11A through J of the revised Model Penal Code (MPC), which was approved by the ALI Council in early March 2022. I have no particular comments regarding Section 213.8, titled Sexual Offenses Involving Minors. This section requires knowledge of the appropriateness of criminal law, a subject about which I have only a layman’s understanding. These concerns are best left to experts such as the ALI membership.

Section 213.11 addresses sex offender registration, which is not part of sentencing for a criminal act, but a collateral consequence of that conviction. Registration sanctions are imposed after an offender has fully paid any debt owed to society, and are considered as civil regulatory measures rather than as court-imposed punishment. Although ostensibly implemented only to protect society, registration requirements have devolved into de facto punishment that negatively affects not only registrants but their spouses and children as well. These punishing collateral consequences are often imposed for decades, or even the offender’s lifetime.

Specifically, I wish to comment on assertions made to the ALI in letters from the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), signed by 37 state attorneys general1, and from the Department of Justice Office of Legal Policy (OLP)2. Both of these letters represent the views of law enforcement officers, who are charged with and skilled in enforcing existing laws not in developing laws. Often such persons and organizations are predisposed to believe that more laws with harsher penalties will always create a more desirable society. If this were true, I would heartily agree. At least in the case of sex offender registration, harsher sanctions and greater restrictions are counterproductive.

As is the case throughout this and the OLP letter, dire predictions are made without any supporting documentation. The opening paragraph of the NAAG letter asserts the ALI changes would “undermine the effectiveness” of sex offender registration regimes. Of course this NAAG assertion begs the question of whether sex offender registries are actually effective in preventing recidivist sexual crimes. That question has been answered in the negative by numerous studies. This conclusion appears in the Reporter’s Notes (pg 107) of the draft MPC3; “Before-after studies have found no significant correlation between recidivism rates and the passage of registration laws, public registries, and community notification.”

After listing proposed crimes not triggering registration, the NAAG letter bemoans that “[s]erious and dangerous offenses”, such as child pornography possession and kidnapping, would not be registerable offenses under the proposed MPC. Again the authors offer only dire predictions with no substantiation regarding how imposing registration requirements for those crimes would enhance public safety. This is particularly poignant in light of the fact that 93% to 95% of child sex crimes are perpetrated by those not on the registry and who are known to and trusted by the child.

The NAAG letter goes on to decry “the proposed removal of online enticement and crimes related to child sexual abuse material” from registration requirements. The letter claims that the “proposed changes completely disregard the victims of these atrocious crimes”. I don’t wish to sound insensitive, but the stated justification for registries is to inhibit future crime, not to assuage former victims. Victim retribution and reparations are fully addressed by the courts at sentencing, where victim input is paramount. The NAAG letter goes on to assert that removal of the indicated crimes would “leave open the opportunity” for future such crimes by former offenders. This is not accompanied by any discussion of precisely how registration inhibits online crime or predation.

The OLP letter presents similar unsubstantiated assertions. Any further analysis of the two letters would be redundant and merely belabor the point that the letters offer little of substance to argue for rejection of the proposed changes to the MPC.

Respectfully submitted,

1National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) letter to ALI dated December 9, 2021
2U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Legal Policy (OLP) letter to ALI dated March 1, 2022
3Model Penal Code: Sexual Assault and Related Offenses, Preliminary Draft No. 11 (MPC11), October 16, 2020

Hi Janice,

What was the outcome of the meeting ALI meeting May 16-18? Thank you for all you have done and are doing.

*Mother of SO, not Mother is SO (typo)

Last edited 2 months ago by Mother is SO
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