WI: Seventh Circuit considers challenges to Wisconsin sex offender laws

Source: courthousenews.com 4/18/24

One case challenged who gets defined as a sex offender, while another raised questions about where sex offenders can feasibly live while on supervised release.


MADISON, Wis. (CN) — The Badger State’s sex offender laws faced scrutiny on Thursday, with a Seventh Circuit panel hearing back-to-back arguments against them in the state capital.

The first two cases of the day were brought by people listed on the Wisconsin sex offender registry. Plaintiffs in both cases argued — through the same attorney but for very different reasons — that state laws concerning sex offenders were unjust. (Though normally based in Chicago, the Seventh Circuit held their Thursday argument session in Madison as part of a student event hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School.)

In the first case, a pair of convicted burglars protested that they were listed on the state sex offender registry despite never having been convicted of a sex crime.

The two men were involved with unrelated residential burglaries: one where the culprits held two children at gunpoint and another where they locked two children in an attic. Neither of their crimes had a sexual component — but under Wisconsin law, the sex offender label extends to anyone convicted of child abduction or false imprisonment of a minor.

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In the first case, a pair of convicted burglars protested that they were listed on the state sex offender registry despite never having been convicted of a sex crime.

Yup, being convicted of an armed robbery is no where as bad as being listed on the sex offender registry. I mean really, think about what being listed on the sex offender registry will do to this pair’s reputation. I feel bad for this pair – NOT!!


Prime example of why the registry is punishment and goes against the ruling SCOTUS opined years ago.

If the registry is not punishment, then why would you put two non-sex offense convicted people on it to begin with? You put them on it more than to notify the populace they stole, were convicted, and where they live today, but you do it as an example to others who think they want to do it and if caught and convicted, then that this is part of their punishment. This is an exact reason why the registry exists. No two ways about it.

With that being said, if the concept of a registry is so great and non-punishing, why not just create another registry to list them on? Because no one will look on a robber registry even if it existed, but a sex offender registry only because that is what people know and where to look for “the bad people”. Therefore, you group them all together for ease of the work required by those doing the data entry in a govt subsidized system and those who are looking for people in their neighborhood. That is why they put non-sex offense convicts on the sex offense registry.

No one will ever admit to that in a courtroom, the legislature, under oath, or anywhere about the registry and putting everyone on it, but that are the honest facts discussed in backrooms, hallways, kitchen tables, and wherever the topic is discussed. It is a wonder everyone convicted is not made to register because it is not punishment, but merely keeping track of everyone ever convicted. If the Scarlett letter works for one, then why not all, especially if not punishment? Legislative/Congressional intent be damned, they never reveal the complete reasoning why they do this type of work, but just show what will sell to the people and the courts. Isn’t a Price Club membership good enough for everyone?!

I rest my case and hope these words are brought to the benches of courtrooms and elected body’s chambers across the country for them to hear and see the reality of their actions has been uncovered.

(Side note – didn’t a few years ago someone in PA who had a non-sex offense successfully challenge their addition to the sex offense registry, the law on this action, and was removed via a court case that went to the PASC? IIRC of course.)

Last edited 23 days ago by TS

The only thing people should be asking about the burglary cases is how it is even conceivable that Sex Offense Registries exist and Burglar Registries do not. I mean, in what reality does that make sense?

Burglaries are clearly very often a LOT more dangerous than many sex crimes. They are often a LOT more harmful. Certainly, committing a burglary while carrying a gun is outrageously dangerous. Pointing a gun at children?! Or forcing children into an attic? Uhh, yeah. There is no way to justify that is not extremely dangerous and much worse than a lot of sex crimes. Certainly a lot worse than CP consumption. And probably usually worse than CP production. But no Burglar Registry?! No Home Invader Registry? No Kidnapper Registry?

All that exposes the giant lies of the Registry A**holes/Supporters/Terrorists. The Registries have nothing to do with “public safety” or “protecting children” and everything to do with SEX and making a**holes feel better.

I bet these burglars were all for the Sex Offense Registries. If they were/are, then f*ck them. List them for sure. The only people who should be listed on Registries are people who are okay with them existing.

They didn’t even commit a SO, and yet the State is convinced that they are a Frightening and High risk of actually commiting future SO, and will be for life.

If these people really were the Relentless Sexual Predators the State says they are, why did they make no attempt to assault the children during the burglaries?

Can’t wait to see the logic pretzel the State will offer up to attempt to explain that. Then the acrobatics routine they will perform to insist just because the pretzel produces mutually exclusive results, one of those results will inevitably be future SO. The pretzel will prove that, despite not assaulting these kids under ideal circumstances, they will relentlessly assault others in more challenging circumstances.

Oh and the fairytale story about how, when these guys aren’t busy getting caught for burglary, they whittle away the hours continuing their decades long spree of perfect SO crimes! Crimes that the State can provide no evidence to substantiate that these guys are guilty of, or even that the crimes ever took place. Leading into the Smoke and Mirrors magic act that proves these crimes did occur and these guys did commit them. Then the grand finale, the Song and Dance number that explains how all this proves that they are relentless sexual predators and will remain so for life.

It will be one heck of a show, with a little something for everyone! Have to wait and see what the court thinks of it.

This case points out not only the absurdity of F&H, but also how the State uses the Registry as an enhanced punishment system that they apply to whatever situation they want, with impunity.

I think people are looking too much at the burglary part, and not the kidnapping part, which is the reason why those men landed on the registry. As absurd as it seems, Wisconsin isn’t the only state that puts people on the registry for kidnapping children. Alaska named their entire registry regime the “Alaska Sex Offender/Child Kidnapper Registry.” Also, kidnapping is not the only sex offense that doesn’t involve sex. Not only don’t cyber offenses not invovle sex with a child, some don’t even involve communication, such as viewing cp. That’s less involvement than kidnappers who have to communicate with a child. Both of those offenses rely on the correlation argument. Someone probably gathered data from past child kidnapping cases and found that most of them end in molestation. Similar assumptions are made about molestation rates connected to cp consumption. That’s why I hate these “correlation” arguments.They still can’t predict future behavior of an individual.