Maryland media is shouting from oversized headlines that THOUSANDS of registered sex offenders could be removed from the registry when the reality is that it is scarcely over 1,000.
This same sensationalized report used words such as “loopholes” and “a crack in the system” and “manipulating the system,” but in fact, Maryland’s highest court has simply ruled that our state’s Constitution must be followed.
In response to MCASA’s demand for justice for the victims, RSOL Executive Director Brenda Jones stated, “Either MCASA is deliberately misleading the public with scare tactics, or their definition of justice involves trampling the ex-post facto clause, which is one of the most cherished constitutional protections we have in America.”
While these inflammatory comments by victim’s advocates are disturbing to those who cherish our constitutional rights, Jones added, the most troublesome issue is that in 2010 “the entire Maryland legislature willingly approved legislation that violates one of the most time-honored and sacred constitutional tenets: that of protection from ex-post facto application of punishment. The state continues to force that law on at least a thousand Maryland citizens even AFTER the Court of Appeals declared its retroactive application to be invalid.” Jones concluded, “These citizens have completed their sentences and have the same rights as any other former offender to move forward as law-abiding citizens and atone for their past.”
Citizens expect their lawmakers to follow their Constitution; this is a trust placed in them. Is this trust misplaced? What will be the next constitutional protection that Maryland’s legislators will decide to ignore when it suits them? And which citizens will be harmed then?