Questions that must be answered

By Sandy….A post recently appeared in our Tales From the Registry. It is in the form of an open letter to those who make–and those who support those who make–public policy and legislation that is contradicted by facts, research, and evidence. It puts forth a case against a public registry from the perspective of the family members of registered citizens.

It poses several rhetorical questions…questions that, at least to the informed, require no answer becasuse their answers are obvious. I would, nevertheless, like to explore some answers to these questions.

“Has anyone bothered to even remotely begin to think about what it might be like living with your address designated as the town’s witching grounds?”

Dr. Jill Levenson and other researchers have verified the fact that the homes of registrants–and the people in those homes–are targets of vigilante actions, actions that range from spray-painting all the way to brutal, violent physical attacks and murder. As valuable as these studies are, no study can capture what each individual registrant and family member must feel knowing that his house has a virtual target painted on it that could result, at any moment and at the whim of anyone who has a computer, in a nightmare of horrors.

“Has anyone given thought to the child in the home who will be reminded of a possibly long ago occurrence that they had nothing to do with?”

One of the greatest ironies of the registry is that its selling point, its mantra used over and over by politicians and registry advocates, is the protection it offers children. The irony is bitter and cruel; the registry is directly responsible for physical, mental, and emotional damage to the children of registrants, much of which has been documented and verified, while the protection it offers, if any, is minuscule. Virtually all sexual mistreatment of children is committed by those NOT on the registry, rendering the registry impotent in providing any safety benefit.

“Did it even occur to anyone that publicly registering every known man, woman, and child–in some states–by widely marking any and all persons convicted of a sex offense, no matter the circumstances and no matter how much time has elapsed since the conviction, would create a lifelong, everlasting gobstopper and prevent what we want criminals to do in the first place? Repent, rebuild, and live a healthy lifestyle?”

Every state, whether directly stating it or not, prizes rehabilitation of wrong-doers as a hopeful consequence of punishment. Research, once again, shows the clearest path to achieve that goal. Meaningful re-entry programs, valid treatment programs, and family and societal support systems are the keys. The public registry and all it has spawned act in direct opposition to these necessities. The very presence of a person’s name on a public sex offender registry shouts to the community that this is a dangerous person, someone who has to be watched and tracked and monitored for life, someone to shun, someone incapable of repenting, rebuilding, and living a healthy lifestyle. The fact that this is vehemently and verifiably untrue for the vast majority of registered citizens is lost in the roar of the uninformed and the willfully ignorant.

To us the answer is as obvious as are the answers to the questions. We as a society must find a way to recognize the inability of the public registry to bring about what is wanted. We must find a way to move beyond it, and a movement to a law-enforcement only registry is indeed a good beginning point.

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    • #11397 Reply
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      Terri Day

      This is an excellent article and I can totally relate and agree. My whole family has suffered because of my son’s outrageous persecution and unjust sentencing.Thank you for your efforts to change these laws.

    • #11398 Reply
      Fred
      Fred
      Admin

      Why don’t we print this and circulate it around the country. We need to do more. We need to inform and educate the masses. We need to show that this can happen to ANYONE. Anyone can end up on the registry. It is not just exclusive to low lives. I think that if the public can see just how easy it is to end up on the registry for life it will scare them at least a little to the point where they will want to take steps to make sure it never happens to them or someone they care about.

    • #11399 Reply
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      Anon

      Unfortunately politicians are better at scaring these people, also at twisting their views.

    • #11400 Reply
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      RLJ

      I have to say this is a breath of fresh air. Like minded people wanting to make this world a better place for everyone. The key is registries have solved nothing and created harassment for the families of those trapped in the AWA loop. Sadly, by their own design they made a victim less likely to report abuse. Then they say they are protecting children, no reality is they are protecting their votes from a pack of undereducated people who listen to Fox News and Nancy Grace like they are experts. The problem is how about they use real experts to solve the problems. I am a criminal justice major, and now a master’s in psychology. I can say this the use of fear mongering towards sex offenders needs to end. It is not making this world safer at all. Please tell me if we can not come up with a way to rehabilitate and reform offenders. Honestly, my ex a murderer was treated better than sex offenders and he killed our son.

    • #11401 Reply
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      Bobby Smela

      Sorry for your loss, but I agree I was convicted way back in ,1992 when Michigan did not even have a registry. I was put on it retroactively and required to register for 25 years,but with all these unconstitutional new rules I now have to register for life with no chance to get off the STUPID and unconstitutional registry, that protects no one.it is as useless as personal protection order.

    • #11402 Reply
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      rpsabq

      Criminial Justice reform is becoming a hot topic, coming out of the mouths of presidential candidates and the president himself. We have people like Bill Clinton admitting publicly how wrong he was to sign into law these ridiculous sentences for non-violent crimes. Our cause is very much linked to the national debate on criminal justice reform. It is becoming common knowlege that what we have done is exacerbate the problem, not help it by thinking we have to punish and incarerate so severely. I can think of no better example than our cause and I hope that we can find a way to simply jump on this band wagon and join those who are working for a more fair, balanced system. May we be aware and be willing to participate and speak with those in power who are for change that will affect all of those involved in the criminal justice system, especially us.

    • #11403 Reply
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      Jay

      It is of my most humble observation that the registry is in fact secretly watered down in several states due to it’s vuneralbilites to lawsuits and torts unammed. By far the quasi-perfect model would be the state of oregon in its own right ,reserving a nearly a non public system ran by police only publishing seriously dangerous offenders. By all means not perfect ,but done with some sort of.concious. I only ask that we spare no corner untruned when it comes to inequality and thwart anything that contributes to the institutionalize slant of the legislative and law enforcement bodies if government who likely bask form the windfall , gifts and credits recieved from such a design.

    • #11404 Reply
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      Robert mcdonald

      I am on the sex offender registry for crimes committed in 1991, before the registry existed. I moved to another state for my wife’s promotion. I have attempted to obtain employment, but because of the offender rules I cannot accept a job within 2000 ft of a school. I was offered two jobs, but could not take either one. The penalty for taking one of these would have been a minimum of one year in jail. I now sit at home.
      I can visit these establishments daily if I wish. But I can’t work there!. Are these laws really making this community safer? I live in fear that any day now that the rules will change and I will have to report every week, or day, or wear monitoring equipment. Twenty-four years crime free. Is there no redemption, forgiveness, or return to full rights?

    • #11405 Reply
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      Michael Kuehl

      Yes, Michigan, possibly and arguably the most insane state in a country that is sui generis in its’ insanity and hysteria, increasingly deranged in it’s war on “sex criminals” convicted of nonviolent and victimless and malum prohibitum felonies that are legal acts in most European countries, to say nothing of all the other nations of the world.

      Go to “cats and tags” and click on Wisconsin and read my comments on Cassandra Sorenson-Grohall and Abigail Simon, a former tutor at a Catholic high school in Grand Rapids, an intelligent and educated women who never committed a violent or mala in se crime in her life and never will and is not a “threat to society” or to anyone but was convicted at trial and sentenced to 8-25 years in prison and registration for life as a uniquely deviant and dangerous criminal for alleged having sex three times with 6’3″, 220 lb. biological man of 15 whom she claims was the aggressor in their sexual intrigue and forced himself on her.

      And I’ve since learned that her draconian and Orwellian sentence also includes lifetime electronic parole monitoring. For the rest of her she must wear an electronic ankle or wrist tether/bracelet. In the demented imaginations of our governing-classes and ruling elites and the tens of millions of ordinary people they’ve brainwashed, she is viewed as such a danger to all the children of Michigan and the other 49 states and the entire world- from infants in their cradles to teenage criminals one day short of their 18th birthdays- that she must wear this tether, as cumbersome as it’s conspicuous, 24-hours a day, whether at home, waking and sleeping, having sex with a lover (assuming her parole agent permits this?), or at work or wherever, until she dies.. .

    • #11406 Reply
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      Michael Kuehl

      If she lives to be 88 or 94, half-blind, confined to a wheel-chair, living in a nursing home, or is dying of cancer and lying in a hospital bed, she must wear this tether on her ankle or wrist until she dies. And so, too, with her mug-shot, name, and address on the internet, in Michigan’s sex offender registry. Only then will all the children or Michigan and the U.S. and the entire world be safe from this monster and degenerate.

      In her appeal, her lawyer will argue that this is “cruel and unusual punishment.” He should argue that every aspect of her hideously draconian, Orwellian, irrational, and gratuitous sentence is “cruel and unusual punishment, most appallingly her 8-25 year prison sentence, a mandatory-minimum under Michigan law.

      The judge didn’t have the discretion to sentence her to “only” 4-6 years in prison in a country in which, during the 1990s, the average time-served for murder was less than 6-years and the average time-served for all violent crimes was approximately 4-years. And such averages are likely even lower today. But he did have the discretion to sentence her to the maximum of 25-years to life in prison for a first-offender convicted of a nonviolent and victimless and malum prohibitum “crime.”

      The circuit judge who imposed this sentence -even though he admitted that she was not a “predator” who was likely to “reoffend” and that her “victim” was partly culpable- just denied her appeal. What a surprise! So now she’ll likely be enslaved for at least one more year if not longer in one of the most hellish women’s prisons in the U.S. before a court of appeals upholds or overturns her conviction and rules on whether lifetime electronic parole monitoring and sex offender registration are “cruel and unusual punishment.”

    • #11407 Reply
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      ED

      There are supposedly 850,000 of us either on a registry or in some form of ‘supervised release’, in the last few years most of us-even non-contact down-loaders-now are routinely sentenced to a LIFETIME of this Gestapo oversight. Is there no way for us to gather in a new “Million Man” march on washington? It worked for civil rights! Why not for us? Let’s make our numbers COUNT!

    • #11408 Reply
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      Michael Kuehl

      I’ve just learned that one can never remove the electronic tether. It’s waterproof, but apparently the tethered can’t be shocked while bathing or swimming. And women on the tether can’t remove the hair on the ankle of one leg for 10-20 years or, for Abigail Simon, the rest of her life if her appeal is denied. I’ve also learned that it’s not only conspicuous and cumbersome but also “uncomfortable” -thought the article doesn’t elaborate- possibly even painful. Imagine the embarrassment and mortification for a woman at the beach or wearing shorts in summer or a dress at a wedding and so forth.

      Though forcing a woman like Abigail Simon to wear this devise until she dies is uniquely draconian, Orwellian, outrageous, irrational, gratuitous, and insane, myriads of men -men who aren’t real criminals, men who’ve never committed a violent or other malum in se crime in their lives and almost surely never will but who had love affairs and dalliances with young women of 14 and 15 when they were 19 and 20- must wear this devise, not for the rest of their lives like Abigail Simon, but for 10 or 15 or 20 years. Many of these men are now married to the women they “raped” in love affairs and de facto consensual relationships. Just imagine what it must be like to have sex, both for the men and women who are tethered and also their partners whose ankles and calves are bruised an even cut by this hard plastic “ankle-bracelet” with sharp edges.

    • #11409 Reply
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      Eddie

      You can now scratch Oregon off the list for “quasi-perfect model.” They have passed a bill requiring a 3 level tier system which will put more people on the registry who weren’t on it for many years prior.

      And here’s the worst part: at oregon.gov oregon state police-sex offender registry

      (4) If, for any reason, the board does not classify an existing registrant under subsection (2) of this section, the person is, by operation of law, classified as a level three sex offender under section 1 (3) of this 2013 Act on January 1, 2017.

      181.820 (Relief from reporting requirement) is repealed January 1, 2017. See section 34, chapter 708, Oregon Laws 2013.

      So if you aren’t classified by January 1, 2017 you automatically default to a high risk level 3 tier and you won’t be able to seek relief of your classification too!

    • #11410 Reply
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      Cindy

      I am with you. I’ve begun to dream about this.
      We shall overcome!!!
      I believe wholeheartedly in a peaceful march on Washington and/or state capitols — all states same day and time ..widespread media coverage.

      As a newcomer to reform, it is so hard not to be discouraged by the brutally bad systems in place ie legislature. The same intelligence seems to be applied as the Salem witch trials.

      Pinch me so I wake up from this horrible dream!

      (Connecticut)

    • #11411 Reply
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      John Logan

      I think a March at this point is probably premature-but I’d sure like to talk with you about trying to figure out other ways.

      JL

    • #11412 Reply
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      Sa

      What about reforms on how how law enforcement uses Craig’s list, Facebook, chat rooms and other social media to pose as a minor to advertise they like older men to have sexual based conversations set up meeting then arrest these men for intent not contact but intent then charge them for soliting sex with a minor , prison an jail an probation then registered sex offender for 10 years to life that’s what got me on the registry . What laws an guidelines do they follow to do these types of actions an who is monitoring them an why arnt these activities made public all social media should have a desclamer stateing law enforcement monitors these sites . How is a person a child molester who never touched a child ? When I was sentenced the office was smiling an laughing in the court room , words get people arrested too
      Now what about reforms how law enforcement charges people for haveing an viewing child porn when they are providing that porn then arresting the person for haveing it . If its against the law to view an transmit why are they aloud to do just that an arrest people for it ? Just more issues that need to addressed besides the registry rules an laws

    • #11413 Reply
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      Dia Trybe

      Hey therealist. How have you been?

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