Pope Francis to Congress: Preserve dignity of citizens; Give hope to convicted criminals

By Robin Vanderwall . . . If you’ve ever had a chance to view the Washington Monument on an overcast day, you may have noticed something peculiar. It’s not all the same shade of white. Part of the reason is by design. In building what would briefly become the world’s tallest man-made edifice (and remains to this day the world’s…

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An open letter to Pope Francis: Speak to the evils of public registration and perpetual punishment

By Robin Vanderwall . . . There is a great evil in our land that goes ignored: the public pillory of people who have been convicted of sexually-based offenses long after they have been released from lawful punishment. Consequent to several pieces of national legislation going back to 1992, every state in the United States is required to publicize the…

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Florida Action Committee sues Seminole County, Florida

By Florida Action Committee…. It’s Official! The Florida Action Committee has filed suit against Seminole County, challenging their proximity ordinance! A second county is about to get sued over their proximity ordinance as well, and we will announce that one after it is filed. The ordinance prevents registrants from being present or traveling through an “exclusion zone,” making it practically…

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Residency restrictions–“cruel and worthless”

By Lenore Skenazy . . . This fantastic editorial says what we have been saying: Enough with the post-incarceration demonizing of all those convicted of sex crimes, as if merely being within 2500 feet of “one of them” means our kids are likely to be kidnapped and raped. As they stand now, the laws regarding where a “sex offender” can…

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Strict liability schemes seriously threaten constitutional protections against wrongful conviction

By Larry Neely . . . The case of Zach Anderson has certainly been in the news in recent weeks. In fact, RSOL has joined the crusade for Zach. My opinion is that we are placing far too much emphasis on Zach’s individual case and too little attention on the underlying cause, which places thousands of young people in the…

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“Not a single piece of evidence” supporting sex offender residency restrictions

By The New York Times Editorial Board . . . It’s a chilling image: the sex predator skulking in the shadows of a swing set, waiting to snatch a vulnerable child. Over the past two decades, that scenario has led to a wave of laws around the country restricting where people convicted of sex offenses may live — in many cases,…

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Alabama sex offender statutes turn productive citizens into homeless pariahs

By Steve Yoder…. The Constitution’s ex post facto clause prohibits passing a law that retroactively increases the punishment for a criminal act that an offender committed before the law was passed. But in an ingenious 2003 Supreme Court ruling, a 6-3 conservative majority held that retroactive placement on a state sex offender registry–being put on a registry that was created…

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North Carolina sex police: Charging teen as adult for being a minor

By Robby Soave . . . A North Carolina 17-year-old caught in a sexting scandal faces charges of sexually exploiting a minor that could land him in jail for up to 10 years, since the law considers him an adult. But one of the minors he supposedly exploited is himself­—which raises an obvious question: how can a teen be old…

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