The Supreme Court and lower courts have typically upheld sex offender laws and sentencing policies in the face of constitutional and other legal challenges based on the belief that the recidivism risk of sex offenders is “frighteningly high.” These courts also tend to accept assertions by elected officials based on scientific studies that are often not appropriately supportive. In other words, officials tend to use junk science on which to base their restrictive policies. Dr. Hamilton reviews recent “wins” where certain courts have been willing to refute junk science in favor of more accurate scientific results, thus potentially creating momentum for other courts to revisit their assumptions.
Recorded at NARSOL’s conference, Building a Strong Foundation for Advocacy, June 1-3, 2017, in Atlanta, Georgia.
Melissa Hamilton – Confronting the “Junk Science” Concerning Offender Risks