By Steven Yoder . . . In the early 1980s, rehabilitation counselor Robert Longo could hardly have known that his work with convicted sex offenders would make him a minor celebrity. At the time, he was running a program at the Oregon State Hospital to treat and rehabilitate prisoners who had committed sex crimes. It was a new field, and Longo says they were using what at the time were considered innovative approaches: aversive conditioning, administration of Depo-Provera to reduce testosterone levels, and penile plethysmography to measure arousal.
In 1985, documentary filmmaker John Zaritsky heard about Longo’s work and gave him a call. Oregon’s program was featured prominently in the resulting HBO special, Rapists: Can They Be Stopped? While the film was being shot, word got around about Longo’s methods, which were seen as a potential solution to ending rape. He started getting invitations to appear on Oprah — he was on five times in all, he remembers — and now he was being quoted in the New York Times and national magazines.
The following year, Longo and a colleague were invited to write an article for Psychology Today about what could be achieved through treatment programs like his. In it, they included this line: “Most untreated sex offenders released from prison go on to commit more offenses — indeed, as many as 80 percent do.”
It’s not that the statement was an invention — Longo says it was an estimate based on the numbers he was seeing in his program for some subpopulations of sex offenders who didn’t finish treatment. And he points to other research from that era that reached similar conclusions — for example, the 1990 Handbook of Sexual Assault noted in a literature review that up to 71 percent of untreated exhibitionists had been found to re-offend in studies with follow-up periods from four to nine years. Still, Longo’s assertion wasn’t meant as an estimate of rates among offenders in his own program, which he says ranged from 10 to 15 percent depending on the offense. The point of the piece was to show that effective treatment works.
But the sentence, it turned out, would change history.
The Constitution bans ex post facto punishment — the retroactive application of new laws to crimes committed before those laws were enacted. In 1994, Alaska’s legislature passed a measure that put those who’d committed a sex offense onto the state’s new Internet registry — even if they’d been convicted before the law passed. In 2003, the United States Supreme Court upheld the law, overturning a lower court’s decision.
In arguing for the majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy relied on his own language from an earlier decision. It characterized the risk of a sex offender committing another sex crime as “frightening and high” — as high as 80 percent, Kennedy held.
In an essay last summer in the journal Constitutional Commentary, Arizona State University law professor Ira Ellman traces Kennedy’s “80 percent” reference to a 1998 Department of Justice practitioner’s guide for treating incarcerated male sex offenders. In turn, Ellman found that the guide cited just one source — Longo’s quote in Psychology Today.
(Please read Steven’s full article here)
44 Thoughts to “A single Supreme Court justice’s stupidity ruins thousands of lives, families”
I can only feel hopelessness for anyone that gets wrapped up in the Justice Machine. I can’t believe the way this system works. You are telling me that 1 SC Justice, merely quoted one statement by one person involved with experimental “whatever”, and turned it into a legal precedent, that overrides not only the truth, but it began the Sex Offender Industry of the World. (That’s not a typo. I mean “industry”. Just think of the thousands of government employees who would lose their jobs, the after-prison-sex-offender-commitment-internment-facilities operating on blank checks approved by congress and the tax dollars the states will lose from federal subsidies supporting that industry if SORNA was ruled unconstitutional)
Do you know why I believe this story. Because I have 1st hand knowledge of one of the most well kept secrets of the system. This is how it worked!
My lawyer tells me that if I force a trial, and found guilty, which I will be because in our county, the juries always believe the tearful alleged victim and that I definitely will go to prison, not because of a crime, but because I forced the state to spend money on the trial knowing that I would be found guilty. The pre-sentence investigators will surely recommend that. But she can make a deal with the prosecutor. I refused. 5 months later, during a motion hearing, my lawyer told me that if I walk in, and tell the judge that I want to change my plea to guilty, that the prosecutor will agree to a suspended execution of a 10 year sentence, 5 yrs probation and my nightmare will be over. So I agreed. Then, I am instructed by my lawyer, after I say I want to change my plea, the prosecutor will ask for a recess. I was told when we go back in, the prosecutor will reduce the charge count and I will plea to that. But this is where the secret comes into play. The judge will ask me if i was promised anything by anyone for my guilty plea. She told me that no matter what I think of what’s right or wrong, I must tell him “no”, and he will ask me if I’m sure and I must tell him that “I am”, or the deal is off and I will guarantee myself prison time. This is our system? Really? This is pissing down our legs and telling us that it’s raining. This is a system of clearing the court docket, and the DA office spending very little of state money to get the conviction “notch” in his belt which is worth election points and power, and let’s not forget the promotion points for the police who made the felony arrest that “stuck”.
Last but not least, since I said in court that I was not offered any deal, and I reiterated that statement a number of times, for my plea of guilty, that was written in stone and it never can be undone. And that is one of the reasons the Federal court system says they don’t recognize “plea deals” with the state. It’s because there’s no record of it!!!!
You know how many people I told this story to, and they believe me? Zero! Because they are so cocky and so sure that the truth will come out in court, and that they would never plead guilty to something they didn’t do. These are the same people who say that they plead guilty to a speeding ticket only because they didn’t want to lose a couple of hrs one evening in traffic court, when they could have been home watching TV and drinking a beer. They can’t even begin to imagine what it feels like contemplating every waking moment, of every day, of every week for almost a year, of spending 10 yrs in prison. What it feels like to have people that love you trying to stop you from suicide and people who hate you, hoping you will.
One month went by, my lawyer got $8500, all the papers were signed, all the financial restitution was paid to the court, my kids were returned to me, I got my job back, and I was a new man walking out of that courtroom. For 15 years! Then SORNA became law! I’m not back to square one but some days I feel like I am.
JOhn, I feel you!!! Your case and the way it was handled sounds exactly like mine…. Except I was facing 30 years.. I actually seated a jury… The entire time my lawyer telling me if that girl cries they wlll hang you….. After seating the jury.. i walk in one day and the prosecutor offers me 1 year if i agree today.. right now.. within minutes….
Got my life back after one year in… 3 years SOTP 3 years conditional… THEN SORNA!!!!
I just want to be free..
I’m sorry John. It’s crazy and senseless. Hopefully we will see some positive change soon.
You are not alone. I can assure you that almost everyone on this board was asked by a judge if they were “promised anything” knowing darn well that by not pleading guilty, the promise is a decade or two less spent in prison, each one of us had to say “yes”. If someone comes up to you on the street and puts a gun to your head and says “give me all of your money” they promise to spare your life if you do it. Once they walk away, you can assume they kept their promise. Do make that promise in a declaratory fashion? No, but it is certainly implied. Same thing, here.
And if someone asked “We’re you promised anything by the people who put a good to your head if you gave them the money they asked for” and you said “no” you’d actually be lying. Because if that wasn’t the understanding, you’d never give a stranger all of the money in your wallet.
By the way, in the previous post, I meant to say that each one of us had to say “no” to a judge, not “yes”.
John W. You plead guilty, finished your sentence and many years later you were forced to register, in essence you were sentenced again by the government. Have you reoffend in any sexual crime?
Commit another sex crime? Absolutely not!
I finished my probation in Jan. 1991. Between 1991 and 2007, I was called to Jury Service 4 times, and actually sat on a trial, even though I told the judge, both plaintiff and defense attorneys of my “conviction”. I have been to 8 other countries, including Can., Mex., and the UK. I traveled all over the US, worked for the government on military bases that required security clearances, i handled some of the most expensive military defense systems in the world. I’ve been invited to a Presidential Fund Raiser, I have meant US Senators, a couple of State governors and 1 state supreme court justice.
There have been a countless number of laws passed after the dragnet of SORNA pulled me in. Those laws, not only had stifling affect on me, but also my wife, my children and my grandchildren were all affected in a negative way.
I took advantage of the break I received from the justice system, and turned my life around. I raised well behaved, career oriented, college educated civil minded children. But then, came the destruction of SORNA. Anything that I had done that was good, right or proper had become irrelevant. In fact, I just read the other day that I won’t be able to be buried in a National Cemetery because my Register Sex Offender status has cancelled out my Viet Nam War Military Service.
My question is this. If after my conviction, It was okay for me to do the things that I mentioned earlier, than why can’t I now do some of the little things in life? Such as, attend my grand daughters school function and not have her be embarrassed because I need to be escorted?
Why is it illegal to go to a family reunion just because of playground equipment in the park?
Why did I have to report to the CLEO and have my mothers home address listed on a on-line sex offender registry because I was in her home for more than 3 nights in one year while she was on Hospice?
Why is it that I can bob for apples at a Halloween party with my grandchildren on Oct. 30th or Nov. 1st, but I will be arrested and sent to jail if I do that on Oct 31st between 5 pm and 8 pm? (That one proves legislatures are imbeciles, and because the police actually drive around to RSO’s homes to enforce it, they look like the Keystone Cops)
I’m sure 850,000 RSO’s could fill volumes of books with questions of why. But as of today we learned that Justice Kennedy may have violated a common rule of interpretation of “a text, out of context, is a pretext”. From the kid in the back seat mooning the car behind the school bus, to the most vile of all predators. There is no difference between them. He assigned that pretext to all. What a complete ass!
This title scared me. I thought you were referring to something that is happening now. Yes this is something that we are working to over turn as it is biased and not based on actual facts.
That is really true and sad I can attest to how these so called friends and officers of
The court barter and pander the system at every length they can. It is extremely and severely corrupt.
A person who looked at porn that lead to child porn out of curiosity on his computer in the privacy of his home over 23 yrs ago proven in court records by investigators,tech experts hard drive was not open nor was there any distribution.(it happened when he lost his job, his home foreclosured, depression, bill collectors, ) 3 heart attacks, open heart by passation, diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure,high cholesterol, sentenced7-1/2 yrs , charge” mild possession of. Child porn,” no doctor at LaTuna Prison, inmate died today, my son will die having medical issues , hasn’t seen cardiologist in 1-1/2 yrs, in medical trouble. Only child of 85 yr old mother with declining health, thousands of miles separate them
Man’s mistake can be stupid and so can women’s. You know I always wondered why Eve ate that fruit first instead of Adam, and than Adam went along with Eve? Look we are all human even these comments that should have free speech but no we have some monitor that monitors everything even the good, bad and ugly.
Seems that you all can’t understand about this sex registry thing. This is man’s attempt to enslave others when the man is just a sinner as anybody else.
Now I posted a comment on here last night and it was tossed to the wind but that’s alright. I’m sure if we leave this thing up to ROSL it will all be dissolved.
I think I have said my final piece on all of this matter.
I respect what you all are doing but a lot of you all are looking at this negatively and its making you all downers.
MAYBE the USA should go back to the monkey trail. I’m finished with this site that wants to help but doesn’t know how to help themselves.
Like any responsible organization, RSOL pays close attention to the content of postings to our website. On occasion, but very rarely, we determine that a submitted comment is not appropriate for a variety of reasons. Chiefly, those reasons include 1) excessive proselytizing, 2) extreme ideological content, 3) attacks against another individual, 4) unwarranted criticism of RSOL or its activities, 5) promotion of one political party over another, 6) too much length or 7) too many grammatical errors to conveniently correct. We regret any disappointment caused on account of a comment deletion. But, these are our editorial guideposts and we do the best we can to accommodate a wide array of opinions and perspectives, nonetheless.
Rwvnral, excuse me but I couldn’t resist this opportunity to try and understand your point. Now I use my real name not some made up screen name. If I had anything to ruin my life again I’m sure I wouldn’t go to the court systems and say set me up and ruin my life as you do thousands of others.
To really understand this sex offender black list one has to be on it and I am on it. I am sure none of us wanted to be on the registry or go to jail if that was part of the punishment.
You have never been on the sex registry I can tell just by your writing. As far as organizations go they are there to help solve, resolve, or dissolve the issue at hand.
Don’t get me wrong, you all are doing the best you can with your ideological thinking but the point is we are to think of others better than ourselves.
Now missy… there is good and bad in everything and there is also right and wrong.
Do you think any of these people on here wanted to whine up on the sex registry after talking to some fictitious gal on the internet. Doesn’t matter if it was sex or going to a football game.
The main point is it is what it is for right now. And believe it or not the sex registry is a downfall for the American Justice system. There is no God-center in it. It is more devilish than those that took slaves back in the early years.
I’m just saying the bible holds the answer to the whole thing so remember the bible that book that should be back in America today.
I feel like we (RSOs) are THE only ones to TRULY understand what we are put through. Yet, I think it is AWESOME that others are standing up for this cause, wanting to see a change. We are all in this together. I take it your religious, so am I. However, remembering that, we must also respect that not everyone is. And its ok. Please stick around! Your opinions matter!
My point was exceedingly clear. We have a policy governing what comments will be allowed on our site. And I gave you a few examples of what the criteria looks like. Please refrain from calling me, or anyone else, “missy”. And please do not presume to know whether or not I’m a registrant.
James, I also am a Christian. I also know that we should always be in a state of prayer, for one another in perilous times as well as the good times.
At the same time, I know that the US Constitution calls on the government to be impartial to my faith, but I believe they have interpreted that to mean that they can’t and won’t consider anything of my faith. Therefore, if I stand before man’s law, I can only discuss man’s law. If I speak of God’s Law, then I become marginalized and the courts will turn a deaf ear to me. I can’t speak for other people, but please don’t interpret my silence of Faith as having forsaken my Savior.
It’s been 36 years since a judge passed a sentence on me by saying something about incarceration, plus a lot of other things that he went on and on about of which I don’t recall. A thing that I do remember was thinking that this wasn’t the deal. I remember my thoughts of despair were drowning out his words. I could hear his voice, but I couldn’t understand the words. My wife was the only one seated in the courtroom and I could hear her sobbing. I remember the passing thought of when I kissed my kid’s good-bye before school that morning, that it really was a good-bye. I remember what it felt like having court officers stand on each side of me while cuffing my hands behind my back. My legs felt like they were on fire. I could hardly stand. I was being held up by the officers. That’s the day when I felt alone.
I don’t know what all of the inner motives are for people who want to help me, or why they would care enough to donate their money, time, and effort on my behalf, but I’m sure thankful to God for them.
You mean the bible that promotes rape, pre-teen deflowering by older men and slavery? That bible? Perhaps we need to keep religion out of these discussions since the very people who enact the laws and rules against us also proclaim religious beliefs and tout the name of “god” as their justification for our punishments. Thank you.
James, I consider you a valuable participant to this community and I believe that we all need to stick together. I hope you will reconsider and stay with us.
We all come from many different backgrounds and belief systems, but we share a common goal and I feel that we can still work together despite our few differences.
Its clear that you feel strongly about your religion and that is an admirable quality. I am sure you understand some of us may not share the same perspectives when it comes to religion and may feel tension if it seems like it is being pushed on us.
I am hoping that we can all keep our personal beliefs or opinions about things that are not directly related to our cause at bay, but still work together towards the common goal that we all share.
I for one would really like to see you continue to participate with us on here and I am sure many others feel the same way.
This site should have a forum where we can all discuss different topics and even vent or ask for assistance in certain areas of living the life of a RSO.
But for now, all we can do is comment on articles and have to (kinda) stay on topic.
I’d love to reply to so many of the comments on these articles where so many of us keep bringing up religion. Why did Eve eat the fruit first? Because it gave the men who wrote these stories a legitimate reason to treat women as second class citizens. And it’s not just the Muslim religion that does that. Read your Christian bible again….closely.
Ok. That’s all I’m gonna say on it.
Can we PLEEEEEAAAASSE have a forum board in this site to discuss all types of topics? Thanks.
We do, we do! For members of National RSOL, we have a closed forum, open only to members. Go to our home page, click ‘become a member,’ and go from there.
We do, we do! For members of National RSOL, we have a closed forum, open only to members. Go to our home page, click ‘become a member,’ and go from there.
Ok thanks! I was unaware of them. I guess it makes sense for me to become a member and I hope there are lots of members (I’m assuming paid memberships get to use the forum boards..?) because we all know that for RSO’s $$$ can be an issue even in minimal amounts.
We do have a forum that we can communicate on with out just replying to articles. I hope you will join us there.
Maestro, I know what your saying and I’ve also stated that since the US Courts can’t use religious reference for the basis of law, we need to figure out ways and strategies of using Constitutional Law that proves our standing as American Citizens.
I believe the legislative branch over a period of time, have used their congressional powers to write laws for a large mixture of justifications, good and bad, of which resulted in such a maze of rules and procedures that only experts can figure out how to zigzag their way through in order to “redress our grievances”.
I also believe that there are bureaucracies of non-elected officials who were given congressional authority to create and enforce rules and regulation. Such as, ICE, who actually created and enforced “Angel Watch” 9 years before it was authorized by IML. Even a Northern District Federal Judge thought it was law instead of a bureaucratic procedure.
How about that Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, and Tracking known as SMART? I wonder what surprises they’re planning under the guise of the Dept. of Justice? Who voted them into office?
I don’t want to leave out the Sex Offender Rehabilitation Treatment Service (SORTS) which in Missouri is ran by the non-elected officials of the Dept. of Health, which has been authorizing the involuntary commitment of Sex Offenders into a state hospital/prison, upon the end of their sentence, without due process of law. A hearing without a defense and no right to have a lawyer. Sex Offenders have been committed into that system since 1999 in which only 17 prisoners have left because they died of old age. FYI, in Mo. it was ruled unconstitutional by a Federal Court but the Governor Jay Nixon(D) is fighting it.
I have read my “Christian Bible”, a number of times, and I’ve studied it. I HAVE been wrong about a lot things, but I’m not wrong of this: There is nothing, absolutely nothing, not anywhere in the old or new testament, that teaches, condones, applauds, or celebrates the injustice, hate or vengeance by anyone or towards anyone, regardless of their standing. I can’t even imagine where a notion would come from that Jesus taught that raping and deflowering teenagers, and slavery as good, right and just.
If I read my bible a little closer, I find that, Eve, indeed ate first, because she was deceived by a liar, but Adam was not. Therefore, I offer to you the idea that Adam already knew it was wrong, because he wasn’t deceived. But in the scheme of things, the debate is nonsense. They both were punished at the same time, the same way. So maybe the truth is: doesn’t matter the order in which a wrong is done, it’s still wrong.
Therefore, I declare that I am listed on a Sex Offense Registry. I believe it’s unconstitutional, I believe that it doesn’t do what it was intended to do. It destroys lives and families, in a manner that no one has foreseen. My life reflects onto my children, and my children’s children, even for generations. And I pray that there are men with the knowledge and ability to petition and intercede, if not on my behalf, but at least for the sake of my children because they are innocent victims, as much as the victims of whom lawmakers claim to protect. I pray for all of us. I am imperfect and I was wrong in what I did. The lawmakers are wrong in what they are doing. It doesn’t matter who did the wrong first. I only speak for myself alone. As I have sown, so have I reaped. That, Maestro, is a Christian Principle and truth.
And that’s all I got to say on the subject.
There’s also a sister site called Tales from the registry (.org) that once accepted as a member, you can write your own posts for others to comment on. The only issue I have with that site is that people comment more on their own situation in their replies rather than addressing yours
My story sounds like so many of what I just read. I was out of jail for almost 10 years and moving forward with my life when back in 1998 I received a letter telling me that if I had a felony conviction between October 1988 and October 1998 I was required to register on the SOR, or be subject to a Class D felony for not registering and I would be arrested and put back in jail. I called my Dad and my attorney and they both told me to just register and do whatever the Dept of Public Safety tells me, After all it will only be 10 years and then you will be free… That’s total bullshit- 18 years later I am still on the SOR even though I have tried countless times with an attorney researching and writing letters to get off of that insanely illegal list.Sadly, it did not work.
I was told that I will be on the list for life. I also found out the hard way that I will never be able to get a new career. You see, I have always been self-employed but this past year times were hard and I wanted to go work for a local company that wanted me and my professional marketing and design skills. They told me as a matter of protocol they will need to run a background check. Of course I was concerned because if they run a true background check my felony conviction will show up. However, most companies don’t want to spend the money so they have people Google candidates and check local sex offender registries.
Well I knew it was curtains, so I told them the next day that my business started booming so I wouldn’t be able to work for them at this time. This has ruined my life and has ruined any travel or fun that my wife and I had wanted to do. Every time we go out of state, even for a few days, we are obligated to register with the local police. So we never go for more than 3 days. Again, total bullshit.
When they convicted me and I accepted their terms the SOR was NEVER a part of any of this. This is all ex-post facto, illegal and double jeopardy! Something needs to be done because not everyone on the SOR is a piece of garbage. Most I would guess are just trying to get their lives back.
We should start a new registry for all murderers, all arsonists, all drug dealers and all corporate greed-mongers who have bankrupt families, businesses and individuals. Let’s see how they like being a part of a public list that anyone can research and find out. I don’t know about you, but I would guess the same parents looking for would-be sex-offenders in their neighborhood, might be just as worried if they found all the murderers, arsonists and drug dealers living next door to them.
Its a bad ordeal they are putting on us and very un-American. I am confident that in the not too distant future with us all working together as one we will see the entire registry abolished. We are growing stronger every day and our active numbers continue to increase as so many good people such as yourself are uniting here and working together to raise awareness.
I’m with ya on that, Fred. I am a Democratic-Socialist just like Bernie Sanders. The two-party system fails all of us in so many ways, not to mention those of us on unconstitutional public sex offender registries.
Sure, Democrats play on emotions too, but not on revenge, retribution, and hate emotions like Republicans do. Look what the “War on Drugs,” War on Crime” and the “Three Strikes and Your Out” laws have done to state and federal budgets. The key is who benefits from politicians knee-jerk reactionary laws? Right now, it is those who build prisons, and those who run private prisons … in other words, people who make a ton of money on false policies that on the surface sound good, but in reality don’t work and keep a perpetual cycle of taxpayer money going into the hands of the wealthy instead of into programs that really do work to reduce recidivism by treatment and job training instead of perpetual punishment.
I won’t go into taxpayer money that continues to flow heavily into war-making machines that enrich the few at the expense of many, but there is a pattern here.
Organizations like RSOL need to flood the media with facts like the hard Right does about nonsense about boogie men and why we have to keep wasting money and American lives in the Middle East.
The judiciary and the media are our only hope, and I fully believe we can win the battle to put an end to public sex offender registry through rights granted to all of us under the U.S. Constitution … not just rights for those who benefit from bad laws.
I like Bernie too and I heard that he has a record of voting against sex offender laws. I haven’t confirmed that yet.
It is my firm belief that the SOR is a money game that many people of both parties benefit from. In Michigan we pay 50.00 per year for the privileged of being on the registry. There are over 40,000 registrants in Michigan. You do the math. That is a big part of why they are reaching back as far as they can to find people convicted decades ago and force them on the registry. Its all about MONEY.
We are the product they are getting rich off and its not just the money they make from us Registrants paying annually fees, but it also creates business ventures for tracking and monitoring offenders, software creation, vigilante groups, and so on. And don’t forget, every time someone gets arrested for non compliance reasons, someone else gets paid in the form of legal fees, court fees, and jail fees. Sex offender laws have to be a multi-billion dollar industry.
As I said before. Civil Rights were not won during the Civil Rights Movement because attorneys had built a strong case. It was won because thousands of people were actively protesting and making their voices heard. They could not just be ignored. We need to do the same thing. This organization needs to continue growing, getting stronger and more vocal. We are getting there and we will see the results we want, because we are all in this together. .
Danny SC. I know what you’re saying. I also think it’s good when people get to tell their story because it allows other RSO’s to know that we’re not alone in our struggles. There is really no one else we can talk to. I’ve been married for 37 years and my wife and I, still enjoy each others company, but, she won’t talk about SO laws, because it’s so depressing. Sometimes it can be a good therapy to sit down at a keyboard to reflect on the pass and ponder on the future, even if the only person that reads the story was a moderator.
In Missouri, the law made the registration retroactive to 1979, and included any and all child abuse convictions, sexual or not, and had we all were required to be re-fingerprinted, except they used a new technique of rolling the hand to get a side palm print. Now, why would they do that? I use to be cop. I fingerprinted a few people in my day, but I don’t remember rolling the hand all the way over opposite the thumb. Sometimes I wonder about a State Representative in Missouri who was instrumental in getting that law passed. I also remembered that there was a horrible murder in his county and the only evidence they talked about finding was a latent print of the side of a hand. Witch hunt? Maybe!
When SORNA was signed into law, they required all RSO’s to report to the CLEO so they can obtain everyone’s DNA. Another witch hunt? Probably! Then they posted all RSO’s information with picture on the internet and said that every citizen has the right to know if a sex offender lives in their neighborhood. That’s weird. I always thought that “neighborhood” meant an area of 2 or 3 blocks. Congressman apparently meant “the whole world”. What makes me think that? probably that IML thing that’s suppose to be for sex traffickers. (They use to call them pimps or sugar daddies)
Also 2 years ago, in this state, they passed a constitutional amendment, and that’s not a law, but an amendment to the Missouri constitution that says if a person is charged with a sex crime, that the prosecutor can introduce into evidence, past convictions, suspicions, investigations, innuendos, hearsay, or any other thing that shows the defendant has the mindset to commit a sex offense. That amendment is only for sex crimes. No where in a court of law is a defendant’s past history to be used as evidence to a new crime, let alone innuendo and gossip.
I wonder what’s next. Sometimes I think the reason some people want to make gun ownership illegal is to make a round-up of citizens go easier, like in they did in another country back in the 1920’s. Nah! They wouldn’t do that. Would they?
I hear ya, Danny SC! I’m 100% in agreement with what you write. In your case, it is clearly against ex-post facto laws, yet some conservative 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court majority has found a cleaver way around it. Presidential elections have consequences.
I’m sick and tired of justices being placed on the U.S. Supreme Court based on their political ideology instead of their ability to apply the law to a set of facts. This started with that REAL criminal, Nixon, after the Warren Court, the last U.S. Supreme Court to make decisions based on sound legal principles and to not let personal ideology and politics get in the way of settled law, applied the Bill of Rights to the states. The Warren Court really made America live up to its promise of equal justice for all. Prior to the Warren Court, the “justice for all” only applied to White, wealthy males instead of all American citizens. But the Warren Court angered conservatives who are always more interested in vengeance and retribution for blue-collar crimes instead of looking for ways to reduce such crimes, but have no issues with special treatment for white-collar criminals, so they did something about it while Democratic Senators slept. Conservatives are more interested in punishment than treatment. But when you ask them who would Jesus severely punish, they have no answer.
Because of Nixon, Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II, we have a Supreme Court more interested in placing persons who steal a 45k SUV in prison for several years where they have to watch their back, whereas some banker or investor steals millions, including the last few thousands of dollars from an elderly couple living on a measly pension, simply goes to a “country club” prison to do his time. Who is really more of a threat to the general public? Under our current system of injustice, corporations and wealthy individuals can contribute hundreds of thousands of dollars to political parties and candidates for elective office so they can get favorable laws, but if we offer a police officer $50 to not write us a ticket for going 55mph in a 35mph zone, it is called “bribery” and we go to jail. This is “justice for all?” Really??!!
Clearly, sex offender registration is against the U.S. Constitution for many reasons and serves no legitimate purpose, but we cannot do anything about it until we ensure Hillary Clinton gets elected president so she can replace Antonin Scalia with a REAL justice since the Republican U.S. Senate won’t do its Constitutionally-required job and fill the position with President Obama’s nominee … someone who will REALLY apply the Constitution to the knee-jerk Megan’s Law and all other unconstitutional additions for eligibility to be on a public sex offender list. Elected politicians don’t have the guts to do what is right. Instead of listening and relying on empirical studies by professionals about sex offenders, they have reacted to media hyperbole about sex offenders and special interest groups pressure to try to make themselves look good. Now they do not dare do what is right and constitutional by rescinding sex offender laws for fear of being labeled as “soft on crime” by some slimy conservative with his/her own skeletons in their closet.
With the additional eligibilities added for placement on public sex offenders lists, such as the idiotic, arbitrary rule that sex between 19 year-old and a 16 year-old is legal, but if one party is 20, it is statutory rape and eligible for placement on the sex offender registry, the time clearly has come to put an end to this list. Danny, I, too, am on that damed list because in my state, non-graphic semi and nude depictions of anyone under age 18 is considered possession of child pornography. My state’s “one size fits all” law says I am treated the exact same way as someone who had depictions of minors under the age of 18 in sexually graphic poses, being molested, or engaged in sex with other minors or adults. Is this right?
We CAN stop this. Those of us living in states where we still have voting rights need to stay on top of the news and vote for appellate court judges who are not political ideologues, or in states where judges are appointed by the governor, we must vote for Democratic candidates for such office. Unless you live in a state where Democrats control the legislature and the governor’s office, you will NEVER get sex offender laws repealed. It has to be by courts where judges do not have to fear the ballot box and can do what is right by law not what appeases conservatives thirst for vengeance and retribution.
Jerry, I read through your comments with interest. There is no doubt that you believe the problems of our country are due to political differences within our government of one side vs. the other side. There is little room for argument on that, because the country seems to be equally divided on all issues, or at the minimum, they are ready to pounce on the ideas of a politicians solely on the basis of a “R” or a “D” behind their name. I could point to the “Patriot Act” to prove my point, but this is a RSO forum.
I can side with you on the fact that the Republican Party is not interested in our plight. But, I will tell you of an important observation.. A couple of months ago, I actually did a study of many of the laws in Missouri that were sponsored and co-sponsored by dems and reps. concerning SO’s. I looked at the writings, the amendments, what got tabled, what got voted on, what got vetoed, which vetoes were overridden, what side of aisle was the governor on. There was no doubt the Rep’s wanted to get elected and/or re-elected at my expense. I don’t want to take the time to go into all of my notes and all the precise numbers because it really don’t matter. For the sake of the argument, I will present this analogy. If there are 90 out of 100 Reps writing laws against me, and there are only 50 of 60 Dems writing laws that are against me, than I will say there are140 out of 160 Reps and Dems who are against me. I have no ally!
Don’t even get me started on the Supreme Court.
The laws that have already been enacted will not be reversed by a politician, regardless of their party. Politicians make laws. They don’t end them.
I am very vocal when it comes to politics and sometimes I consider the possibility of running for office one day, but this is the one area where I do not think how we vote in upcoming elections will matter one bit as far as our cause is concerned.
A republician controlled congress passed IML with no opposition and a Democratic president signed it into law with out a second thought. It would appear that the one thing our political leaders can agree on without conflict is making life harder for RSO.
Fred is right, politicians make the laws. What is sad is that many Democrats sit on their hands when laws regarding offenses eligible for placement on a public sex offender list are added to existing statutes, but of the current two-party system that dominates American political discourse, people like us are more likely to get some empathy and possibly relief from a Democratic elected official than a Republican one. Democrats, as imperfect as they are too, are still thousands of times more likely to listen to reason about crimes and punishment than Republicans.
Until organizations like RSOL become successful in providing the public with factual evidence regarding sex offenders and public sex offender lists and the overall damages caused by persons being placed on such lists through media saturation–like the John Walsh-types did with emotion, fear, revenge, and hate in the 1980s–sure, Fred is right about legislators, but we don’t have to wait for them. Our only hope right now is through the courts, just like all other groups of people before us who have been wronged by bad laws from legislators and signed by governors and presidents. And who is more likely to appoint federal appellate court judges who are more interested in justice instead of retribution? Donald Trump???
Until the general public becomes fully educated about the overall costs and collateral damage resulting from public sex offender lists, legislators are just going to keep patting themselves on the back for ignorantly responding to short-sighted, single issue special interest groups more interested first in “tough on crime policies” (that don’t work) and then the protection of their children. There is a strong correlation regarding retribution and revenge for criminal acts and political ideology. So while they are doing that, we need band together and assist groups like RSOL in the fight to educate the public and the media, and to vote for judges (in states that elect appellate court judges, or governors who will appoint such judges) who will put the rule of law and equal justice under the law ahead of vengeance and political ideology. Today, that isn’t going to come from a Republican politician or judge.
Even though Democrats seem to promote compassion more than Republicans, their liberalism means catering to emotions rather than facts. Republicans will be the ones to take the hard nose stance against crime including SOs and Democrats will be the ones to push for the knee jerk reactionary laws in response to an emotional pleas. Both of them are equally guilty for using SOs as a whipping boy when it comes to getting public approval. Our relief will not be in politicians, but in the Courts.
And Jerry I 100% agree witht hat we need to band together part. We are lucky that all these good people are coming togethere here to do just that. I am confident that we are going to be seeing some progress in the not too distant future.
Just for the record, I am a Libertarian. I don’t mean to sound like I am leaning Republican in the last post.
I agree this is total b******* my case stems from 1983 before all the laws that came about in 1996 down here in Texas I am still suffering because of the mistake that I made it has a 16 year old boy I do not have a child victim the victim in my case was 32 years old at the time what is being done to keep us from becoming subhuman now I try to live my life on a monitor every year they did not me from coming off the monitor for no reason how am I to reiterate myself into society if I am blocked in a room this like a pitbull if you do not socialize this aggressive dog to the dog become as men and unmanageable but if he is socialized everybody loves him true you have some people that just did not learn their lesson but the majority of sex offenders do not offend sexually we are trying to put our lives back together then go on and leave the past in the past
Awesome wording , I had a SIS, 30 years ago. No conviction , it was buried. I’ve been on that freaking list since 03. Then in 06 I was off until 2010, then I had to resign again. Try that ,off again then on again, that’s enough to drive someone crazy with revenge. That Walsh is a maniac !!!!!!!.
My heart and empathy go to all of you. Wesley, your comment meant something, though. I, too, have a monitor. It controlled my life, in every way, for the first couple of years. Then I said if they are doing this to me for the rest of my life, ok. But I WILL not allow it to control me. Even my p.o said this is stupid. If the state wants you to wear it, they can pay for it. Meanwhile, we are ALL still trying to fight this. Best of luck to all of you!
I doubt any parents will worry about drug dealers or gang members or repeat arsonists living next door to them. Nothing in the USA is more dangerous than the mighty PENIS. I’m surprised we haven’t deemed it an “illegal weapon”.
I meant “deadly weapon” but I’m sure you all got the jist.
Maybe one day in this sexually repressed country we’ll have to get a “Penis Permit” the same way we have to get gun permits
And you will need to get your CPL if you plan to carry your penis concealed.
If you are on parole at that time you don’t have full rights. Their are those on that list who are suffering from a severe disability that can’t be fixed. I find it so stupid those with medical issues so severe that will die as a result has to register. This list started as a reaction to violent Sex offenders but what the states and congress should of done is put these violent offenders away for their natural lives and if they get a terminal illness then they should be placed in a hospital getting round the clock medical care not released back onto the streets. Besides few of these offenders who get released have so much wealth are lucky to find somewhere to live away from people while 90 percent are unemployable the remaining 6 percent can get employed and lucky to not live on the streets. Many employers won’t hire sex offenders and not consider it when hiring parolees because a Sex Offender can kill business. I was personally told by a hiring manager they won’t consider a sex offender because it would make people uncomfortable. My criticism of a Sex Offender registry system and parole system for them is that they are highly unemployable and a unwelcome type of parolees. Conditions of parole/probation for sex offenders is the same as others that they must work even though they are unlikely to get work. If we end Parole and Probation for Sexual Offenders and say they have to serve either straight life or till age 90 in prison we can reduce tension that surrounds sex offenders entirely for the safety of the public and the offenders themselves.
JD your right. But while I was in prison, they NEVER checked my cancer. And that ticked me off. But there was nothing I could do. So now that I’m out, I’m on parole. Ok. But if ANYTHING worsens with my cancer, I am going to Houston.I wpn’t let her tell me I can’t when its my health. But I don’t even think they consider that when implementing these laws.