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Atty Gen Coffman to appeal Colorado ruling declaring registry unconstitutional

By Kirk Mitchell . . . Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman announced Wednesday that she intends to appeal a decision by a federal judge in Denver who ruled that Colorado’s sex offender registration law violates the constitutional rights of three sex offenders.

“As Attorney General, protecting victims is one of the most critically important parts of my job,” Coffman said in a written statement. “Colorado, its forty-nine sister states, and the federal government all have sex offender registry laws in place to inform the public and protect them from sexual offenders who have been found guilty of sexual crimes, including heinous crimes against children. Survivors of sexual assault are forever impacted by the trauma they have experienced, and we must never lose sight of the responsibility we have to prevent the victimization of more innocent people.”

U.S. District Court Judge Richard Matsch recently found that the Colorado Sex Offender Registration Act violates the cruel and unusual punishment clause of the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and the due-process rights guaranteed by the 14th Amendment.

“I am surprised by the court’s decision, and think the ruling contains several legal errors which we will now address on appeal,” she said.

Coffman wrote that the U.S. Supreme Court has already decided that sex offender registration laws are tools to protect the public and are not punishment. The three plaintiffs in this case are all convicted sex offenders who committed sexual assault against minors, in one instance on a 3-year-old child, her report says. Coffman pointed out that Matsch’s decision does not allow convicted sex offenders, including these three plaintiffs, to be automatically removed from the sex offender registry.

Colorado’s registry continues to be maintained by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation in accordance with all applicable laws.

Source: The Denver Post

This topic contains 23 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Brian 1 month ago.

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  • #21349 Reply

    Lovecraft

    It really does look like all this stuff is coming to a head. I have had a fairly extensive conversation with Robin on whether or not scotus will accept petition of doe v snyder and if that would even be a good thing. In the beginning, it seemed like a grant would certainly mean scotus intends to overturn the snyder case, but with all these developments the more I really think scotus will decide to take the snyder case (enjoin with muniz and colorado) not because of a difference, but to settle all the problems that are boiling up through the system. Its their choice and I think Kennedy wants to get this right before he retires….

  • #21353 Reply

    Joe

    If Ms.Coffman, was indeed concerned about Victims, and as an Attorney General who presumably took an Oath of Office that contained wording to the effect of “Preserve, Protect and Defend the Constitution—“, wouldn’t a reasonable person believe her dedication to seeing that truth was of utmost importance in determining guilt, convicting and punishing those who are accused of perpetrating offenses against another person? By relying on incorrect stereotyping of all sex offenders propensity to re-offend without even considering the validity of the data proving otherwise, her opinions are based on smoke and mirrors just like the opinions of most Americans, and not on any degree of actual truth. Is our society not capable of seeing that this approach only serves to perpetuate a never ending cycle of re-victimizing the victim over and over by expecting them to live up to a mistaken idea that they are to be permanently scarred and not able to move beyond tragedy. I would much prefer to believe that human kind remains extremely resilient and capable of surviving egregious events and returning to a full and complete life. That is where our efforts as an evolved society should be focused after any trial, the healthy healing for all persons involved.

    • #24090 Reply

      Greg

      You, sir, are absolutely correct. This AG’s statements are psychological warfare and are directed to entertain and foster self-doubt within those that may considered themselves ‘victims.’ This AG is simultaneously and genuinely psychologically victimizing many by promoting the ‘Oh, dear me, those poor, helpless, forever-future-destroyed, innocent child victims.’

      She should be called to account for this abuse of power she perpetrates.

      We all live in this fallen world. We all could say one way or another we are victims. The problem comes when we decide to wallow in victim-hood. Especially when no real harm was ever done. The victim-mentality-types simply want to blame someone for their own life not being peachy-keen all over. It all becomes a blame game.

  • #21358 Reply

    Rajendra

    “…..protect them from sexual offenders who have been found guilty of sexual crimes, including heinous crimes against children…..”

    – Sex Offender Registry includes people for trivial reasons like teens having consensual sex, adults having sex in public beach, public nudity, other non-violent sex offenses, etc.

    – Most sex offenses are committed by someone the victim already knows, like a family member, teacher, etc.

    – The recidivism rate for sex offenders is very low, lower than other crimes.

    But we gotta protect those kids from those violent strangers who new faces keep being added in the registry …..

  • #21367 Reply

    Maestro

    “Survivors of sexual assault are forever impacted by the trauma they have experienced,”

    I’m sure no one, including NARSOL wants to touch this statement by saying that this is also a flat out LIE!
    I had a sexual encounter with a 22 yr old woman when I was 15 and I am surely not impacted by this imaginary “trauma” of something I consented to do and WANTED to do as a horny MALE teenager.

    “Survivors” they keep saying, as if having sex is the equivalent of being in an airplane crash. How about debunking the “trauma” myth while debunking the “frightening and high” recidivism myth?

    Pre-pubescent children aside, let’s stick to the post pubescent age laws for a moment and talk about how age of consent laws change from state to state. A 16 yr old in Connecticut can consent to sex with a much older partner. That same 16 yr old would be considered a “victim survivor of a traumatic experience” if she lived in New York State. ….are you kidding me? In EVERY state you can operate a motor vehicle at age 16, but you cannot choose a sex partner?

    Also, who determines when a person truly knows they are or aren’t ready for sex? Age of consent laws are made by OTHER PEOPLE MAKING OUR DECISIONS FOR US. If the legislature wanted to reduce the age of consent down to 15 they could. And they could base it solely on teenage sex and pregnancy (as was the big deal in the 80’s).

    Someone has got to make a stand and talk about how sexual curiosity is NORMAL in teenagers and to stop referring to sexually active teens as “victims”.
    Have we all forgotten what it was like to be a teenager? Or maybe these people were raised in a cave, made to fear the outside world by crazy religious parents that fear their own shadows. And not a single religious person on this site can honestly say that there aren’t CRAZY, fanatical religious people out there who make their children’s life a living “hell” while raising them.
    Maybe THOSE are the teenagers who never experienced what it’s truly like to be a teenager.

    • #21381 Reply

      Kendal

      Gee, I beat you Maestro, My first sexual experience was when I was very young. I may not have known exactly what was going on, but I knew I liked it, and I wanted more of it. Now if that makes me traumatized, then so be it.

      • #23943 Reply

        Maestro

        What I did with an older woman when I was under age was nothing that I didn’t want to do with the girls MY age, but they weren’t giving it up. So I went with someone that did. And I enjoyed it.
        Why should I be “traumatized” by having sex with a 22-yr-old vs a 15-yr- old?
        It can be “illegal” that the older woman had sex with me, but don’t ever refer to me as a “victim”. Ever, Ms Coffman. Thank you.

  • #21380 Reply

    Kendal

    Oath of Office in Colorado
    ” Every civil officer, except members of the general assembly and such inferior officers as may be by law exempted, shall, before he enters upon the duties of his office, take and subscribe an oath or affirmation to support the constitution of the United States and of the state of Colorado, and to faithfully perform the duties of the office upon which he shall be about to enter.”

    Not “As Attorney General, protecting victims is one of the most critically important parts of my job”

    I realize it is probably not PC to say this, but the constitution and it’s protection should be the most critically important part of her job, and if there is a dispute upon the protection, it shall first go to the constitution.

    At some point in time we have to silence the Helen Lovejoys screaming in the background “Won’t someone please think of the children” and start screaming back “Won’t someone please think of the constitution?” You see our forefathers weren’t stupid when they drafted this marvelous instrument. They knew what would lie in store for America if certain protections weren’t put into place. And these protections were not created by the constitution but only protected by it as the inherent rights afforded to all mankind. These are not not some silly little rhetorics designed to give people a feel good attitude, but rather the rights that make us man/woman.

    I wonder what would change if when this goes before the court, if someone stood up and said “I call upon Ms Coffman to stand upon her oath of office first and foremost” Would she even be able to continue the case?

    I could go on forever, but you get the gist. Come on Ms Coffman, stand up for the constitution as you have sworn to do.

    • #21393 Reply

      Dave

      Thanks you said everything i wanted to say! I agree with this person 100%

    • #21661 Reply

      Nena

      Ms. Coffman, your statement is oh so narrow minded. You, as well as many others look at all sex offenders as child predators. This is so far from truth! These laws are ridiculous and continues to ruin the lives of harmless human beings that have made a mistake, paid for their mistakes, but are looked upon as never being able to change, so your politics feel it right to continue to punish. These hanis laws protect no one, just politicians pockets. For the love of God, you need to stop trying to be an ambassador

  • #21392 Reply

    charles pettus

    Something very strange to me. I am looking at the countenance (facial expression) of AG Coffman above. Now, I don’t know if this very grim look on her face is because of the ruling made by Judge Matsch or if there has been a personal tragedy in her life but this look, at least to me, is very scary. If this grim face is because Judge Matsch ruled CO’s registry unconstitutional, then note to Ms. Coffman—you really need to get a life sweetheart! It ain’t that serious! You look like you just had a death in the family. This sex offender (SO) crap is all political prestidigitation, no real public safety component to; it only gives a false sense of security and AG Coffman I think you know that or you should anyway. Just because someone is listed on a public web site where the general public can look them up (in their zip code) can not and will not keep anyone safe. A human being has “FREE WILL”, the ability to choose to do right or wrong. In other words, a real predator doesn’t give a damn about being on the registry, he or she will do what they do—regardless. Oh, and another aspect of SO laws, this residency crap where states have this 1000 ft, or 2000 ft barrier from a school or park etc., etc., really? Is the public that stupid to think that a real predator is going to go up to the 999 foot of a school or park and say, oh, can’t cross over, that’s 1000 ft??? Duhhh… come on man! WTF! Lets get real here people. A criminal minded human being has to change himself. He has to change his heart, his mind and his soul and decide to cease and desist from any and all criminal activity—period. No rule or regulation will prevent anyone hell bent on committing any type of crime from do so—period! Example. I spent 21 straight years in prison in TX. I witnessed guys commit felony grade offenses behind bars with no place to run or hid. So if they committed crimes under those conditions, what the hell you think they are going to do once free of prison restraints??? If that person has not changed themselves from within then hey….so AG Coffman, get a grip, it ain’t that damn important.

  • #21422 Reply

    Saddles

    I agree that this lady is blowing hot air or are we all not all sex offenders in some ways? Do not we all error in ways and try to justify ourselves? Hasn’t that always been the American way for government to try and justify their actions when someone doesn’t agree? Shouldn’t we remember that we are all carnal by nature. Is not Protecting and serving one of the main functions of law enforcment. Can one protect a fictitous person? Can one give double punishment after the fact or after imprisonment or probation whichever the case may be? Should one hold a scarlet letter over one’s head for the rest of their life when no one killed another. Now cruel and unusual punishment seems to be out of balance in all this sex offender ordeal
    Can human justice be justice if one doesn’t want to press charges in a lot of these ordeals or is conscience more justifable and human wisdom and human justice over riding and usurping a bit more than the Creators authority? We could also say this country is being more of an American pridish Justice system with all this sex offender ordeals or should we all go back to the middle ages or as one president said stoning, or could it be government disobidence in itself.
    You know All human wisdom and human reasoning can error in itself unless we have a foundation that is grounded in the word of the lord. Isn’t that what our country was founded on or was it man’s reasoning to understand his own ability or have his or her will compromised by some devilish scheme of American Justice?
    They might as well change the dollar bill to ” In man we trust” or government whichever the case. I guess under God is a bit out of balance. Today it seems they are over even there creator.

    • #21480 Reply

      Registry Rage

      They are protecting all those security theater pie jobs.. NOT children, or “vulnerable” adults.

      Privacy is a protected interest and I’m just fighting for my right to exist in this mean-spirited, revenge-fueled and “solve everything with a gun” world.

  • #21467 Reply

    jerry

    Attorney Generals and Solicitor Generals across these United States all know the law very well, its their job to know all the specifics of jurisprudence and all that goes with it. So I know that at the very least, over half if not more of these specialized attorneys are very aware of the ultra seriousness of the mistake that Justice Kennedy made by quoting a phrase out of a Psychology Today Magazine that was supplied to him by the dept. of justice to generate the very conditions that exist today regarding the registry. And knowing that this is absolutely an untrue comment, they disregard it, and keep trying to fight this thing. It reminds me of the times when a police officer makes a mistake within the dept. by shooting lets say an unarmed man, but the police dept. either covers it up or sticks up for their own though the evidence is clear. Atty General Coffman knows that this’ frightening and high’ crap is a lie, but has to stick with the status quo. When are these attorney generals going to do the right thing and say, Yes this is wrong, the courts got it correct, it is unconstitutional. Here, I’ll say it, if any of you attorney general out there have any kind of decency, own up, have some guts and intestinal fortitude by declaring this whole thing as unconstitutional

  • #21478 Reply

    This will blow your doors off

    Whether NARSOL posts this reply here or takes the article below on its own and posts it as it’s owns, the point being here is it’s political in the end as noted in this article. There is a underlying political tone to what is really happening on this case, the topic in general in CO and who wants what powerful positions in CO. It is not anything new, of course, but it is a reality about what the intention is for political people and their ambitions.

    If this is heard by the Tenth Circuit, it is a feather in her cap regardless if it is by the 2018 elections or later, it is a mark in her favor.

    The Politics of Defending the Sex-Offender Registry

    http://www.westword.com/news/attorney-general-cynthia-coffman-appeals-colorado-sex-offender-registry-ruling-9481590

  • #21664 Reply

    Nena

    Ms. Coffman you have no clue of what you are doing and the many lives you and your fellow politicians are ruining and continue to ruin with your unjust umbrella laws on sex offenders. You, as well as others, should also be added to the list for raping humans of their rights. I pray one day, that those who’s lives have been turned upside down, can come together and fight the injustice. I take comfort in knowing that my creator knows we are all broken and loves and forgives. You should pray that your name doesn’t end up on his list of unforgiven because of your choice to feel you have the right to punish all sex offenders. That ma’am is prejudice.

  • #22885 Reply

    R. Arens

    I’ve often wondered myself how much of this is financially motivated, how much is political and how much is really taken personally. It’s pretty easy to not care and put up a false front to further a agenda for some sort of personal gain. People like her make me sick and shake my faith in a fair impartial justice system.

  • #22985 Reply

    Brian

    I have been thinking all day today and yesterday about public safety and registered citizens, wasn’t sure if I wanted to post this but just fed up with people treating us like the worst thing on earth. I sat there watching the news this guy in Las Vegas on the 30th floor shooting hundreds and killing over 50 people with a semi automatic weapon while a concert was going on yet they pic on us, most of us aren’t allowed to own guns. This reminds me of the movie the sixth sense where the woman puts antifreeze in her daughters food to keep her sick so that she would get attention for it when the little girl died, I know there’s a word for it but that’s my interpretation of this lady she wants the victims to remain sick and not heal and try to move on with there lives, instead she wants to keep punishing registered citizens so she can move more to the top.

    • #24079 Reply

      Greg

      In reply to Brian’s observation, the name of the problem is Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy.

      That is a keen and true perspective. The one’s in authority are the truly sick and they are making those unfortunate enough to be ‘under’ their authority to be considered ‘sick.’ All to satiate their perverse need to control, have power, and be viewed as heroic saviors by the fawning, idiotic masses.

      Someone should remind this AG that the government is not purposed nor obligated to protect the people from anything. If it were, we could sue the government when we are harmed.
      It is a money racquet and a mass incarceration profiteering enterprise.

      • #24116 Reply

        Brian

        @Greg
        Munchausen That’s the missing word, you are correct about that also.
        The truly sick ones are the punishers, the ones whom have what are called vendettas against people who they don’t even know and the only thing they know is what we’re labeled with, there the ones whom have the obsession to hunt us like a blood hound until all of us are in chains. forget the fact we haven’t committed a crime in decades some more then one decade,
        paid our dues, lead somewhat normal lives other than being harassed by the police hear and there or by neighbors and coworkers. Excuse my rant.

  • #23951 Reply

    Maestro

    I have a question….

    When does the appeal process end? What’s the point of taking an issue to a high court if the decision from that high court can be appealed yet again? And what happens if the appeal is denied? Then who do they take it to? Is there a limit?

    • #23959 Reply

      Robin
      Keymaster

      Answering your last question first. Unless there is some sort of procedural impediment, most appeals from a lower court to a court of appeal are allowed. It’s general petitions for a writ of certiorari that we see either accepted or rejected. People call those “appeals” but that’s not really the best way to describe them. They are more like requests. When petitions are rejected, the lower court ruling stands.

      The federal system has three layers. 1) District Court (where actions begin). 2) Circuit Court (where decisions of a District Court are appealed). 3) Supreme Court (where decisions of a Circuit Court are appealed by petition for a writ of certiorari).

      Most states follow a similar tier of courts but many of them have different names for the courts at each level. Some states have four levels such that a decision of a district level court may be appealed to a circuit level court before there’s ever a real “appellate” level court of review (a state-level court of appeals). If that sounds confusing, I apologize. The important thing is that there are typically two levels of appeal beyond the trial court level. In some states, there are three.

      Every state has a high court. In most states it’s called the supreme court. A final decision by a state supreme court can be “appealed” to the United States Supreme Court by petitioning the nation’s highest court for a writ of certiorari. The U.S. Supreme Court rejects 95% of the petitions it receives.

    • #23961 Reply

      Brian

      @ Maestro
      I believe when an appeal is denied it goes back to the court whoms opinion was being challenged to start with and I believe the ruling becomes the law and they they wait until the police or whoever starts removing people from the registry . I could be wrong though. There are a few people in the AWA LOOSES IN PA forum that have a lot of knowledge about how this works.

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