By Fred . . . Imagine that life is good as you and your smiling wife walk hand in hand at the fairgrounds. She is seven months pregnant; both of you are excited about starting your family as you trade ideas for the baby’s name. You just drove 120 miles to enjoy the North Carolina State Fair. You planned to enjoy the over-priced pineapple drinks and ride in the tractor pulled taxi to keep your wife off her sore feet. You have no reason to think anything could go wrong on this day.
Suddenly you are surrounded by up to 30 police officers and torn away from your wife. You are thrown to the ground and your arms are twisted, then cuffed, behind your back. Your wife stands frozen in shock and fear as you struggle to ask the officers what you are being arrested for.
Onlookers stare in disbelief at the scene unfolding before them. Surely they must think you are a terrorist or a fugitive on the FBI’s Most Wanted List, but it is actually nothing like that at all. You are merely on North Carolina’s Sex Offender Registry. You were convicted 10 years ago for an incident that happened 3 years prior when you were only 16.
The police whisk you away, leaving your scared wife standing there with no idea whom to talk to or where to go. As she makes her way back to the car, she is overwhelmed and struggles to fight back the tears when the realization sets in that this is the family life she has to look forward to, a family life where her husband can not fully participate, and her child is going to want to know why.
As surreal as this scenario might seem, this is what happened several weekends ago when a North Carolina registrant and his pregnant wife made a 120-mile drive to enjoy the North Carolina State Fair. A new law went into effect on September 1st that bans 17,000 registrants from fair grounds within the state.
He was convicted when he was 19 years old for something that happened when he was only 16. He had completed his entire sentence and had not been in any trouble since.
The City of Raleigh, where the State Fair is held, sent people door to door to notify all registrants of the new law. However not every city in North Carolina used this method, and obviously because the law is still new, not every registrant has been informed yet.
This is a perfect example of how sex offender laws prevent registrants from moving forward with their lives and establishing the stable support system that is necessary in order for one to grow and strive to reach their full potential. These laws cripple an entire class of people, forcing them under a rock and away from civilization. These laws also effectively break up families, therefore causing emotional and psychological damage to the children of registrants, which in turn can set them up for risk in their own adult lives.
This system of oppression would be very fitting in Nazi Germany, but it has no place in the modern United States. The land of opportunity is supposed to exist for all. Even convicted murderers have more opportunities to change their lives and become productive members of society than former sex offenders, who in far too many cases were charged for having sex as teens or in victimless police stings. However, regardless of age when convicted or the severity of the crime, in the United States the right to Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness applies to all citizens.
Many other groups struggle to get ahead in the United States, but when it comes to former sex offenders, actual laws are written and passed with the sole intention of keeping them down and out of society. That is wrong. That is un-American.
Fred began volunteering with NARSOL as a gatekeeper and correspondent. Later he became involved with the tech committee to help with the development and maintenance of our many website projects. He devotes much of his time to helping the team ensure that NARSOL’s operations are running as smoothly as possible so that we can continue to grow and reach more people.
18 Thoughts to “Sex Offender Laws are Un-American”
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I agree! Where is the list for ” Registered Murderers list?” ” Registered Child Abusers list?” Etc. it’s unconstitutional to single out one group of individuals for WHATEVER reason. And once their time is served, that should be that!!
To be fair, some states do have registries for murderers and other criminals. Some murderers complain that their inclusion on such registries causes neighbors to think they’re sex offenders.
Because we live in a society that cares more about sex than murder.
I’m sure the police who arrested this man feel like heroes. Like seriously, was a “take down” necessary? No! It was for showing off!
They could have easily approached him and said he had to leave. Simple as that.
But I want to know HOW THE HELL DID ANYONE KNOW HE’S ON THE REGISTRY??? Are they checking identification at the entrance????
Unfortunately, the courts have said the person cannot be ignorant of the laws and must be aware of them at all times regardless if it is not well known or publicized.
Was a take down necessary? No, don’t think so. But this is an ego trip that will be used for political gain.
There is a recent Seattle Times article (http://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/tracking-violent-ex-cons-registries-grow-but-do-they-work/) that details the various registries around that don’t help. This is in addition to the OH drunk driver registry, the animal abuser registry in various locations, etc. It is about labels, shaming and political gains.
If one was to gather all of the registries, regardless of the offense, a true portrait can be painted of what we have become as a society…..maybe then, and only then, can registries be painted as what they truly are, punishment and not for the safety of the public.
If this community ever has to show any demonstration this is the best time ever. It will take only 5 people each to stand in front of white house, senate and supreme court. Take only few banners. “Homeless Sex Offender”, “Bill Clinton”, “Donald Trump”, “John Walsh”, “Clarance Thomas”, “Anthony Weiner”, “Registry is Punishment”.
No explanation will be required. If any questions asked, response could be “checkout on Wikipedia”.
This is so unfair to the families who are trying to make a move to go forward with their lives. I agree that this is like being punished over and over again. Each time they add a new law to the register. The register most go! It is not good for our society to be restricted from progressing and their families to be separated from their parent. What kind of children are we raising? When there has been proof that a 2 parent home is always better for a child…
In this article you are right it is unjust! But I want to talk about what you said near the end. That we as sex offenders have to hide under a rock. That is not true because with the laws of today we are even not allowed to do even that! No one want us around but they do want to let us go either! We have to report so where can we go? At least lepers could go to the forest.
Ok I didn’t want to do this but it seems everyone’s in a panic on here and doesn’t know which way to go. Now all of you on here think that you are being punished, well believe it or not you are. and I wonder why. Did you kill anybody, play doctor and get caught physically with your pants down, have sex with a teenage girl and the girl didn’t feel right or wanted to get back at you for some reason, or did one abuse someone, or maybe just maybe someone just got on an internet and had a potty mouth to some person on the other end and they use their craftiness to get you to come down to their level there four breaking your will and your choice’ or are we all carnal by nature?
All these laws that take away your liberty and your pursuit of happiness seem to be going down the tubes because you are are letting them. Is man killing man or are you letting man kill you by keeping you stigmatized and frightened of yoru own shaddow? I would say there is no second chances after one has did his prison time or probation to get a clean slate. Once a sex offender always a sex offender, right…… wrong.
Now use some common sense on here. I will be going back to court myself because I got on face book. Oops, that must be a no, no. Well lets see if its a no, no. Lets see if this State Fair banning sex offenders is a no, no. Lets see if this sex registry is a no, no. to a greater or lesser degree.
Do you all remember several months ago when someone commented to me about using the bible and christian belief’s. I’m sure you do. How many on here think that “Ministers of God” should deceive. Now there is no true or false answers in this. How many think they are breaking the Ten Commandments? How many believe they are taking your right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness away? If you get the answer right than your on your way to court and fight
Yes we all have choices and free will, if we didn’t than we would be like a puppet on a string and just let everyone push us around, government included. I can’t force you to do anything but remember if someone didn’t use force on you than why are you in this situation in the first place?
Well James, some of the people are in the place they’re in because they had no idea of the law they were violating or of the additional repercussions that would come with it. You really think that someone who’s drinking on a beach, relieves himself there, and is henceforth charged with displaying himself in public had any idea he’s end up on a registry for 15 years (or more)? How about the 19 year old mentioned by Fred? You think he knew? Saying that no one forces us to do this or that is hardly the point.
I agree that this is un-american. The whole registry itself is un-american. i have been on the registry for almost 13 years(only had 10) and I have become kind of numb to it.It has gotten to the point that I don’t stand for the national anthem anymore. They may as well strike the phrase land of the free out of the song because we as registered citizens aren’t truly free. As far as life,liberty and the pursuit of happiness goes about all we’ve got left is life and we don’t have much of that . If those idiots who made these laws had to walk in our shoes they might see how unconstitutional these sex offender laws really are.i feel for the guy that got arrested at the state fair and for his wife also. I believe it should have been handled differently.
JR if you go back and look at the Declaration Of Independance you will see a sentense in it Endowed by the Creator, and yes we are all created equal. Should the point be whats good for me is good for you. JR just listen. We all have a conscience. I’m sure we were all brought up to know right from wrong. None of us are saints. I’m sure you can tell that from this election.
I’m just saying theirs’ a right way and a wrong way. I’m sure if one need any other understanding the bible can help one out with man’s deceptions. We all make mistakes but to be branded for life is going a bit overboard wouldn’t you THINK. As a matter of the bible was one of the first books used in schools when this country got started or should we all least forget. We all make mistakes
Well JR I would rather be 100 times wrong than be right on anything. Maybe we should all just toss our bibles away before reading it and understanding.
I came across the definitions of the word “Genocide” according to the United Nations (UN), and I thought a definition/s might be applicable to the group, sex offenders, in the United States of America.
Link – http://www.preventgenocide.org/genocide/officialtext-printerfriendly.htm
Excerpt from the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide (For full text click here)
“Article II: In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
I am not a student of law, perhaps someone well versed in law can argue further.
Our sex crime laws are human rights abuses by any civilized standard and flagrant violations of our own constitution. There is a history of Eugenics in the U.S. which has been brought up by other commentators on here…it seems like far-fetched paranoia until you start reading the history. There’s always some law-maker(s) somewhere pushing for castration of those convicted of sex crimes.
Rajendra , we could find examples of everything on the list of genocidal crimes you shared which have been inflicted on RSO’s.
Now that the election is over and we have a new direction its time now to open your eyes about this sex offender registry. Do I believe in the sex registry I sure do but truth is stranger than fiction. I hope the USA doesn’t have the Archie mentality that this Nation can come together again. Some guy is talking about genocide and wanting to use that as some type of defense. Others on here talk about how wrong it all is and unfair. As far as myself I use biblical right. While the USA may use Civil right and the constutution they themselves are breaking the constitution and things that America stands for.
Who says a person can take away another person’s rights? Who says they can discriminate others for whatever they wish? Who says justice should be blind to their own God? Are you all slaves or bondservants to the USA? Sure their has to be laws but unjust is unjust. While I agree a lot with RSOL and these other advocates one has to say who’s principal is right. Are man’s pricipals right or are advocates principals right? Were only human.
Hi every one I’m new on here but I would like to share my storie back in 2012 I had started helping out my new neighbor kids there dad was a Poor drug addict so I hired the 14 yr old neighbor gierl to watch my three kids so my wife and I could go out or even just to go grocery shoping and we came home to finde my 18 yr old brother in law at the house after I told him not to be there with her when we wasn’t home so I yeld at him telling him that if she got mad at him all she had to say is he did something to her and his life would be over little did I know that she was paying atintion a few months latter she used are phone to make a long distance call to her 21yr old boyfriend and she tried to get me to drive her to Indiana so she could see him she had just met him online when she told me how old he was I told her that I would not take her to see him and she couldn’t use my phone to talk to him any more and I told her I was going to tell her dad about it she stated crying so I gave her a hug befor she went to bed on my couch her and her little brother would stay at my house most of the time do to the fact that there house was unfit to live in and they had no food the next week the girls dad took her and her brother up north hunting for 4 weeks while they where gone I was fighting for custody of my older to boys and it was a hard battle when the get home the girls dad starts shooting his high power rifle at me saying he is going to kill me and and rape my wife and kids this whole time my wife was on the phone with 911 they heard every thing from the threats to the gun shots officers come out to my house to see what was going on and then told my wife and I we needed to leave are house for are safety my neighbor then barricaded his self in his house and the cops told me they was unable to talk to him and that we shouldn’t come home for a few days so they could talk to him 3 days latter I get a call from the local sharif and asked to come in to speak to them after the 2nd day him and his daughter call the cops on me saying I raped her and they was trying really hard to get me to admit to with the detective threatening me with charging my wife and with questioning my minor children and trying to tell me that if I was inisent I would take a polygraph then they moved on to question my wife and tried to tell her that not taking the polygraph ment I was guilty and went on threatening her for not telling them what they wanted to here needless to say they let us go because of the lack of evidence so then they take the girl to the dr and gusse what she’s a virgin so the prosecutor throws it out for the lack of evidence 5 different times the girls story changed every time she was questioned in the mean time I’m going threw a custody battle for my 2oldest kids and my ex wife’s step mom was a county sherif in the same county so here comes the paper work back to the prosecutor for the 6th time gusse what the evidence steal hasn’t changed but know there is a worent at this time I already retaind my attorney and he had me go stay with a friend that know wone new I had until the next morning so the cops couldn’t pick me up befor court other wise I would have been stuck in jail the intire court case I fought the charges all the way to jury trial I turned down every offer they made that involved jail time finally just befor trial they made me a offer to plead no contest to aggravated indecent exposure with no jail time I had to think long and hard my attorney said I had a 85% chance of winning the case but I still wasn’t satisfied with them odds the fact that the 15% chance of loosing and going to prison for 15yrs for a crime I did not comit so I to took there plea deal and lost my career and the hamillyation of being a reggesterd sex offender and my exs step mom still try’s to get me vialated on my probation for being around my kids cousins which are her other grand kids.
We all need to stand together and get rid of these bad laws. I wrote a book called NOT Tier Three and Violent. That is the label that was given to my 18 year old grandson, when he was with a girl who lied about her age. It is on Amazon.com
My son is in the same boat as your grandson, he is awaiting sentencing on 2/6/16. The girl lied about her age, afraid of prison he accepted a plea deal for 1 count of carnal knowledge. He will begin registering as a sex offender in Feb. I have been sick about this. He was a senior in high school when this happened. I wish there were laws to protect my son/your grandson. They are still children. My son was not a predator, he did seek out someone, he did not rape her. He believe her age was what she stated. This law is not meant our family members who are really victims themselves.