MN: Group pushes to take children off Minnesota’s Predatory Offender Registry

Source: 3/5/22

MINNEAPOLIS — Patty Wetterling just wanted the person who kidnapped her son to be caught.

She never imagined her pursuit would lead to the creation of a list of more than 18,000 predatory offenders in Minnesota that could include children as young as 10 years old.

“It was never intended to have 10-year-olds on the sex offender registry,” said Wetterling, whose son Jacob was abducted and murdered in 1989 when he was 11. “It would be laughable if it wasn’t so devastating.”

Wetterling was one of more than two dozen members of a legislative working group assembled last year to examine the state’s Predatory Offender Registry for the first time in three decades. In February, the group recommended changes supported by a majority of members, including the removal of most children from the list. The minimum age on the federal registry is 14, making Minnesota an outlier.

If enacted by lawmakers, the changes would be the first steps to scale back a registry that has only expanded over the years in moments when panic over sexual predators was high. Newer research, however, has shown children are at low risk of reoffending as adults.

“Registrants are not a monolith of predators hiding in the bushes, lying in wait,” said Stacy Bettison, co-chair of the working group. “We must reform the registry so those individuals who need to be tracked are, and those who pose very little risk to the public are not.”

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This is definitely great for them to even be considering this, but what about the thousands of parents on the registry, who are only trying to obey the law and raise their children? 10,20,30 years or life on the registry for one conviction that happened decades ago, being called a predator when there is no kidnapping charge or anything what one imagines one called a predator would have done. How is that not cruel for said offender and his/her family? Why should their children suffer for a decades ago offense? Why is it the murderer or anyone else charged with a violent act can go on with their lives and make something of it for themselves and their family but registrants (not sex offender that indicates one who is still offending) is forever damned?

I think all of the people responsible for putting children on the registry should be jailed , and the registry shut down its plain as day they have miss used the registry in many ways , without even talking about the constitutional issue , and they will continue to miss use it , so how is it that the people that run it can’t be trusted to use the registry? can the people that use the registry be expected to use it in a way as to not punish the people that are on the registry? , like the many PFR’s murdered/abused as well as family members killed and abused/pets/property , the registry saves no one and only creates more victims of people and their families just that just want to move on in life and leaving a screwed up past behind and heal , You know do ones time and move along ?

Once on the registry, irreparable damage is already done to one’s character, reputation and future endeavors. This is the part the general public doesn’t care about. You will never be able to escape your past.

Every good intention always ends with “it seemed like a good idea at the time.”