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Tenth Circuit COA upholds Oklahoma driver’s license requirement

By Robin . . . Unpersuaded by the court-appointed counsel’s encouragement to read a prison inmate’s pro se lawsuit liberally enough to include a First Amendment complaint, the Tenth Circuit has affirmed a lower Court’s judgment dismissing a challenge to Oklahoma’s requirement that citizens convicted of an “aggravated sex offense” must have their driver’s licenses (and state-issued identification cards) stamped with the words “Sex Offender.”

The National Association of Rational Sexual Offense Laws (NARSOL), represented by John J. Korzen (Wake Forest School of Law) was joined by its state affiliate, Oklahoma Voices, in filing an amicus brief on behalf of the plaintiff-appellant, Ray Carney, an OK inmate scheduled to be released in January, 2018. The ACLU of Oklahoma, represented by Brady R. Henderson, filed a separate amicus brief also supporting the plaintiff-appellant.

Mr. Carney, who filed the original complaint and proceeded below without the benefit of counsel was represented on appeal by Atty. Andrew D. Barr. It was Attorney Barr who approached NARSOL in the Spring of 2017 about submitting an amicus brief 1) demonstrating that recidivism rates among convicted sex offenders are lower than generally accepted and 2) providing statistical support dispelling any connection between odious requirements (such as the driver’s license law) and a reduction or prevention of repeat offenses.

Having forfeited a First Amendment argument below for failing to advance such a claim (and failing to convince the Court of Appeals that it was ripe on review), Carney appealed the District Court’s dismissal of his Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment claims. Under the Eighth Amendment, Carney argued that the driver’s license requirement was cruel and unusual, an argument that Judge Paul Joseph Kelly, Jr., writing on behalf of the three-judge panel, dismissed outright:

The Eighth Amendment prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. U.S. Const. amend. VIII. Because the license requirement is not cruel and unusual, we need not consider whether it is penal in nature.

Under the Fourteenth Amendment, Carney argued that the driver’s license requirement violated the Equal Protection Clause because “as an aggravated sex offender, [he] has received a harsher  punishment than those who are similarly situated to him, namely non-aggravated sex offenders, and others who must register after committing various violent crimes and methamphetamine-related crimes.” Judge Kelly wrote:

Mr. Carney, an aggravated sex offender, cannot state an equal protection claim because he is not similarly situated to ordinary sex offenders and others that are required to enroll in public registries. He also has not shown that he is being treated differently than other aggravated sex offenders. Thus, he cannot make an equal protection claim under the Fourteenth Amendment because he cannot satisfy the similarly situated requirement.

While NARSOL would have preferred a more favorable outcome, the hope of this case really rested on the possibility of getting the First Amendment argument inserted at the appellate level. The outcome serves as a useful lesson about the need to preserve ALL possible claims at the initiation of a lawsuit even where some of them, as expected, are likely to be rejected. Failing to mention a claim renders it virtually impossible to recover on appeal…even despite the very best efforts of competent and capable attorneys.

The outcome of this case is also an important barometer of how great a challenge we face where federal courts are asked to consider policies requiring government-issued identification cards to be “marked” in such a way to indicate a citizen’s prior criminal history. This is not slam-dunk territory, by any means. And it is worth evaluating this outcome in view of prospective challenges to IML passport requirements. We all agree that these types of requirements are extremely harmful and damaging. But the federal courts, thus far, have seemed to suggest that “harmful and damaging” is not enough to outweigh the supposed benefit of greater public safety. Judge Kelly expresses the sentiment thusly:

There are several rational reasons why Oklahoma enacted this law, principally among them the safety of the community. We therefore find that the license requirement is not unconstitutional . . .


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Robin Vander Wall

As vice chair of NARSOL, Robin is the managing editor of the Digest, director of marketing, and provides assistance to the webmaster in keeping our websites running smoothly. He also serves as founder and president of Vivante Espero, NARSOL's 501(c)(3) foundation and legal fund.

This topic contains 69 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by Robin Vander Wall Robin Vander Wall 11 months, 1 week ago.

  • Author
  • #28146 Reply
    Robin Vander Wall
    Robin Vander Wall

    By Robin . . . Unpersuaded by the court-appointed counsel’s encouragement to read a prison inmate’s pro se lawsuit liberally enough to include a First
    [See the full post at: Tenth Circuit COA upholds Oklahoma driver’s license requirement]

  • #28147 Reply


    Can someone please tell me how a marked licence will help in “the safety of the community”?

    • #28149 Reply

      Registry Rage

      It won’t… it’s just to further shame, vilify, demonize and marginalize us. Megan’s Law = Safety illusion gimmick.

      The day they make this “legal” nationwide is the day I turn my license in and stop driving.

      • #28168 Reply


        You guys are missing the point. This is a GREAT THING for us. One, it proves that the registry and sex offender laws are punishment, and that punishment is cruel and unusual!!! This only strengthens our 8th amendment argument!!!!! They will rue this day when their precious registry and related sex offender laws are found to be a violation of the 8th amendment!!! CELEBRATE this ruling!!!

        • #28255 Reply


          Didn’t you read anything? They IGNORED all his augments! I’m not celebrating this BS!!!

        • #28260 Reply


          You are missing the point. It is MOT about this restriction or that restriction. It is about that any restriction is cruel and unusal. You can’t see the forest due to the trees, my brother. All this decision does is add fuel to our argument Besides, how many people do you show your license to anyways?

        • #28295 Reply

          Jonny everyman

          I show my ID when I buy movie tickets, airport, the DMV, grocery store depending on what I buy, to law enforcement, when picking up tickets at roll call. Should I go on?

          No, this law is not a good thing. Cruel and unusual punishment hasnt stopped unique identifiers in other states.

        • #28294 Reply

          Jonny everyman

          Chuck you are delusional, other states have had a license requirement for a long time. That has done wonders in taking the registry out… NOT!

          No more restrictions are not a good thing. It gives people a false sense of security that the registry is working.

    • #28151 Reply


      Why is it that a person has to prove why that law is a violation of their rights but the state doesn’t have to prove how it keeps anyone safe? I think it could be argued that the requirement is cruel & unusual punishment because it continues in effect even after the sentence is served & the person is no longer under supervision. It doesn’t appear that there is any remedy for being released from that requirement as long as the sex offender designation stands. Even if a person successfully petitions to be off the registry, they are still a convicted sex offender & would have to have their license or ID reflect that.

      Louisiana has a similar law requiring sex offenders’ driver’s licenses to show the designation. How that keeps the public safe is a mystery to me. I have never asked to see licenses belonging to my neighbors, business associates, workmen or other people I encounter. The only times I get license info is when I’m taking a check from someone I don’t know (& that’s just to verify their identity with the check) or if there’s been a car accident.

      It seems that the only thing that law does is to satisfy a need to further punish a person for their actions. That in itself should be a crime.

      • #28153 Reply



        Everything you’ve said should have been said in the argument in this case.

        • #28158 Reply
          Robin Vander Wall
          Robin Vander Wall

          This was not a panel that was going to be persuaded by the cruel and unusual argument. It would not have mattered how hard the point was argued. We have to denude ourselves of the idea that we can force judges to see it our way by being ever more overbearing in our arguments. That’s simply not the way it works . . . and it never has been.

          Under rational basis, the Court doesn’t really care whether or not the policy achieves its stated purposes. This is a federal court being asked to determine the constitutionality of a state law. The word “federal” becomes exceedingly important in this context. State laws are presumed to be constitutional. That’s where we start. And the federal courts aren’t going to bend over backwards to find state laws unconstitutional without a plaintiff demonstrating more than this plaintiff was able to muster.

          This was a good effort and it was worth taking a shot. Our side came up short. What is learned? If all we walk away with is continued ignorance about the way our federal judiciary works, then we are idiots. Hopefully, we confront the harsh realities we are facing and begin to approach our legal efforts with strategies that understand, and incorporate, what we can expect from the courts.

          The courts aren’t going to change. We must.

      • #28169 Reply


        Diane because it is the legal principle in America that a law is presumed legal until it is proven to be illegal.

        • #28265 Reply

          Tod Siegel

          First question, Because this was such a bad loss, is there any chance will it go to SCOTUS?

          What I am learning is that ‘good effort’ can create BAD law, when someone challenges these kinds of terrible state laws, rulings like this can have major, lasting affects on many areas – IML/Passports for one, and two, since this is the 10th Circuit Court, which is currently hearing the appeal on Judge Matsch’s ruling on the registy, looks like it could potentially cause major damage to any chance of winning either of these cases. Yes, there are going to be ‘setbacks’ more than steps forward, but to me, this sounds a lot worse than a minor ‘setback’ – to me, based on what I am learning about how our courts work, this essentially put the stamp on our passports, and I don’t see how they don’t over turn the district ruling based on what they said about the safety of the community. I think I read that ‘we must change’ not the judges – Per Robin – Absolutely. Perhaps not impossible, but improbable (sorry Robin, IMPOSSIBLE now) on IML – did the attorney on this not realize the impact on everyone when they presented this HIGH risk case? As in what would happen if they LOST? I want to get off the registry based on Matsch’s ruling, but was clearly told that yes, we can take it to a state judge here in CO, but in the likely case he says no – it creates bad law, which is what just happened. We can learn, but what I just learned is that because of this case, I will now have to have a stamp on my passport – now and as long as I have to register (or longer?). I am sorry to be so blunt, but to hear terrible news like this makes me angry, and lose what little hope I had. I appreciate the hard work that goes into to these truly impossible situations, and hope that what is learned can help the improbable become possible. It seemed like there was some good momentum, ugh, but this just killed it. I am so sad, it is not as bad in CO as it is in OK, but it is getting to the time to consider moving out of the country to somewhere I can truly be free.

        • #28269 Reply
          Robin Vander Wall
          Robin Vander Wall

          It’s highly unlikely this case will go any further. You’re right about the effect of bad cases. They pollute the waters by creating (or perpetuating) bad law. They weave a web of case law that cross pollinates from one district to another. That’s why it’s so important to calculate the likelihood of a positive outcome before filing an action. It’s also why a bad outcome at the District Court level should probably be left alone (not appealed).

          An important note about the attorney, Andrew Barr. He did not seek this case. This case was assigned to him after the Circuit Court determined that there was enough merit to the plaintiff’s lawsuit to provide him with counsel on appeal. The Circuit probably already knew how it was going to dispose of the case but felt that it would be more appropriate for the plaintiff-appellant to have the assistance of counsel moving forward. Mr. Barr did the best he could with what he was given to work with. And he was smart, I believe, to seek amicus support from the ACLU and NARSOL/OK Voices. This was a Hail Mary strategy that was intended to raise the credibility of the questions presented. But, unless I’m blind, I saw no references made to either the ACLU or the NARSOL/OK Voices briefs in the final opinion. And that likely has a lot to do with the Court’s refusal to allow for an added claim (First Amendment) on review.

        • #28519 Reply



          Could another Level 3 offender in OK restart the course of using the Compelled Gov’t Speech avenue in District Court from the start instead of midstream as was here and see how that goes? Is that possible?

        • #28524 Reply
          Robin Vander Wall
          Robin Vander Wall

          Absolutely. Grab the First amendment arguments used by the court appointed attorney and develop a new complaint to file in federal court.

        • #28528 Reply


          Thanks Robin. I was hoping that was going to be the answer. Guess OK Voices has a path now to pursue if they can find someone who qualifies or if someone steps up who is willing to be the voice (no pun intended) of another effort using this argument.

        • #28534 Reply

          Lori/OK Voices

          TS If you want to discuss going after this again, contact OK VOICES. I would entertain the idea and we have an expert attorney who could assist. Remember that there are costs involved.

        • #28556 Reply


          @Lori/OK Voices

          I am not in OK to be the one to do this but do sincerely hope you all find someone(s) who are and are willing to file. I was merely looking at strategy and will pray someone(s) come forth for you all to do it.

      • #28218 Reply

        totally against public registry

        I also agree with all that you said. How is it that they don’t have to prove their claim to be true!

      • #28299 Reply


        Its not administrative. It is punishment!

        By definition of Google when you type in “Punishment” you get the following definition.
        – “rough treatment or handling inflicted on or suffered by a person or thing.”

        Depriving an individual of basic civil liberties is punishment.
        if you take away freedom of speech – one suffers.
        if you take away freedom of movement – one suffers.
        if you publicly humiliate or shame – one suffers.

        Whether or not Megan’s Law is administrative or punishment one thing is clear.
        Megan Law causes suffering; either directly or indirectly.

        Thus Megan Law IS punishment because it causes suffering by means of depriving an individual of basic civil liberties.

        Can anyone find me an article from a credible source which states denying basic liberties makes one suffer?

    • #28167 Reply


      Hi, I am with Pat and Terry at the Arizona Chapter. We have been emailing and speaking for a few weeks now. I joined the committee last night. Been fighting since around 2000 for 1 misdemeanor conviction in 1992.

    • #28209 Reply


      People should stop having children. We have lost the ability to treat people with human dignity.

    • #28254 Reply


      Bottom line: if you don’t have the deep pockets needed to “bribe” the courts, your SOL!!!

      • #28261 Reply


        Apparently you don’t live in Pa or you would know that is not true. Commeeslth vs Muniz.

    • #28365 Reply


      Stories every day about this stuuf; half of America will be “stamped”; unrealistic idea at best.

  • #28154 Reply

    Lori/OK Voices

    Disappointing ruling. This has absolutely no bearing on anyone’s safety, that is what makes it so ridiculous among other things. I really like what you wrote Diane about the State having to prove how it makes the community safer. Good point and one to contemplate in any litigation where public safety is a concern and issue and can be argued.

    • #28160 Reply
      Robin Vander Wall
      Robin Vander Wall

      Diane is right. Developing cases from the start is more useful for our ultimate objectives. In this case, we had to rely on a plaintiff who was behind bars and deprived of the necessary resources and legal advice that would have made for a stronger claim. Yet, if we read Judge Kelly’s decision closely, we can see opportunity. Read between the lines. Read outside of the lines. There are hints contained in the ruling that may provide a roadmap about how to proceed in a future case. A successful case.

      Lori, we appreciate the collaboration on this effort!

  • #28157 Reply


    Might as well mark all drivers license with a big S for sinners as I still wanting to know what an offender is? I guess it is one that doesn’t like rebuke and wants to be right all the time like some big wigs……. I think you all get the drift. Here in Virginia I don’t think they have such law for driver’s license but I’m not holding my breathe on it.

    Talk about the righteousness of the Pharisees. I guess the government boys are clean on the outside but inside something’s wrong in Denmark. Each time I buy a package of cigarettes I have to show my driver’s license I haven’t been on a plane in a while . I think this would make the right brothers turn over in their grave. This is so stupid how those on the court bench can just uphold anything they want. Wait till they get to judgment day. I hope they all turn the other cheek as these court battles are like a mind over matter ….. no wonder Einstein went crazy……

  • #28161 Reply


    This would be a great law, if sexual assault victims asked to see the drivers license of an offender, prior to his/her assault, so that he/she may flee. So if you don’t want to be a victim, just check their drivers license! Hard to believe that somewhat intelligent people are supporting these laws.

    • #28163 Reply
      Robin Vander Wall
      Robin Vander Wall

      You’re right. As policy goes, it’s ridiculous! But, keep in mind that this is not the question before a federal court…and certainly not a circuit court reviewing a district court’s decision. The question is NOT whether the policy achieves its purpose. The question here is whether the state of Oklahoma has a “rational basis” to believe that the law is necessary.

      • #33773 Reply


        This is in response to Robin (Admin) on Nov.29 2017 1:54am. Your response in part is; “The question is NOT whether the policy achieves its purpose. The question here is whether the state of Oklahoma has a “rational basis” to believe that the law is necessary.”

        I would like to know who and how the criteria is established, and its guidelines, to determine what constitutes “rational basis” that proves a law or policy protects the public?

        I know we can all agree that most of these policies and laws are emotionally motivated and fear based, but how does a court approve such law/policy without valid statistical data? Why aren’t the authors of such laws/policy’s required to statistically prove their case? And, why not is more proven statistical data brought up/against these laws to fight them? How can a court deny proven statistical data? If there is not enough data than by what means can it be obtained?

        • #33796 Reply
          Robin Vander Wall
          Robin Vander Wall

          @Pete . . . There are no set guidelines or fixed criteria for determining precisely when a state’s statute is constitutional under rational basis. Rational basis is a standard of review where courts begin their analysis of a constitutional claim whenever there are no “fundamental” rights being implicated. That’s why it’s important when developing a complaint to support the constitutional challenge by demonstrating that a fundamental right is, in fact, being frustrated. The term, “fundamental right,” is also loaded with significant legal meaning because not ALL of our rights are deemed fundamental. So whenever a lawsuit is filed that doesn’t include a claim demonstrating that a state statute impedes a fundamental right, courts will hold to a lower standard of review (rational basis) in determining the constitutionality of the law in question. Remember, too, that a statute is presumed to be constitutional on its face.

    • #28271 Reply


      OK, this may be inappropriate but you actually made me giggle…. “Hey I am going to rape you” “I’m sorry, but can I see your license? Oh ok, you are a sex offender, go ahead”

  • #28170 Reply


    I guess I am just taking up space, but feel the need to say, how proud and how uplifted I feel in an otherwise dismal day having a RSO in my family who will be abused for the rest of his life…..and he has already paid beyond what he did. Proud of the outstanding manner in which this case was represented by NARSOL, John Korzen, Brady Henderson, Oklahoma Voice, and all involved. They give all offenders and their families a voice. Magnificent representation. Please don’t give up. With this sort of determination and with this sort of professionalism, you/we will be heard. Shame on you Judge Kelly, for dismissing a case for “several reasons”. ????

    • #28213 Reply

      Lori/OK Voices

      Thank you for your words HW.

  • #28171 Reply

    Darrel Hoffman

    Hey, 10 Circuit, tell that to the Jews that the Nazis branded with the Star of David on their sleeves and tell me that isn’t penal in nature!!! HYPOCRITES!!!!

  • #28164 Reply


    Bias basis? Sounds like a new one on me. Discriminational bias, religious bias, or white man speak with fork tongue bias. Come on Paul was the chief sinner in the bible so that should tell everybody something are any on the court systems just as better?
    I never really got into Cher but sometimes you have to turn back time. If one speaks their peace and uses insight instead of hindsight like most of those government people do that would be a lot better. Government is not for the little people. One should do their probation and its all over but they hold us for life it appears and infractions like walking out in public with their fly down. I agree with you all guys this is stupid or did we watch dobie gillis show to much and think?

  • #28165 Reply


    In Louisiana EVERYONE on the registry has to have their ID marked “sex offender.” So when I go to the doctor, check in to a hotel, rent an air compressor or buy a lotto ticket, I have to throw my past conviction into the conversation and this is supposed to keep others safe from me. I’ve have to show my ID on many occasions when my young daughter and/or niece is standing next to me. Believe me, Ive often wondered how my kids may be treated unfairly because the establishment knows their mother/aunt is a sex offender. Because parents have to pull out a picture ID way more often than most realize. When they register at the YMCA for basketball or get their teeth cleaned, are people looking down in me because of my label? Does it make the community any safer knowing that the woman who ordered wine that’s sitting at the table with kids and her husband of 15 years has been convicted of a sex offense?

    Additionally, Inhave to get (and pay for) a brand new sex offender license AND a state ID every year…..everyone else simply renews every 4-5 years. ($28 for a license every four years and no need for sesperate ID card vs. $224 for me over 4 years) We are the only “citizens” returned or not who are required to have both forms of ID (if we are drivers.) So not only is this license branding a total act of relentless shaming, it’s also a sweet source of extra income for the state.

    • #28202 Reply


      You are right. TN is exactly the same. Everyone on the list has a license or ID that is branded. People are punished everyday for a crime they already did the time for.

  • #28166 Reply

    obvious answers

    As I have said before. The sex offender registry is not about safety and never has been and it will never be defeated by rational means since it is not rational.
    If you honestly think you will “defeat this by rational arguments in court” You really are funny.. This wont be defeated by rational measures any more then the blacks were able to remove of the sun down laws and jim crow laws by rational means..
    I understand this post is honest and factual so it most likly will either be deleted or hidden but on the off chance someone really wants a real solution and understands that the registry is just the start of an evil much larger and much more encompassing look up what was really happening during the civil rights movement..What was the real cause they corrupted government finally decided to “do the right thing”..
    As a thought congress has a 15 mill and a 17 mill slush fund of tax payer money to cover their criminal sexual conducts..GB can go on television and shed a tear pass a few mill and cover his groping, and well lets not even talk about the clintons eh? Anyone think if they were forced to follow the same laws as the rest of us maybe those laws might change?…. good question isn’t it?

  • #28201 Reply

    Timothy L Davis

    In the State of TX, anyone on the sex offenders registry must renew their Drivers License or State ID yearly. Failure to do so can result in fines or imprisonment. If you report every 90 days or yearly, how does this additional requirement protect the public safety. The laws are designed to re-imprison those who have to register is all.

  • #28206 Reply


    This ruling just affirms how impossible it will be to overturn IML. Thankfully I do not have a U.S. driver’s license anymore, but I will have my passport stamped “sex offender” when I go to renew it in a few years. As someone who lives overseas and travels, it will be a nightmare using my passport. Then again, that’s what the people who passed the law wanted, suffering.

    • #28208 Reply
      Robin Vander Wall
      Robin Vander Wall

      Absolutely. Perhaps not impossible, but improbable . . . at least in the near future. NARSOL is developing an IML strategy with the help of several attorneys, but we are not going to throw our resources headstrong into a fight that is likely to hit the side of a brick wall. There are far too many winnable cases out there to waste time and money on improbabilities.

  • #28212 Reply

    Lori/OK Voices

    You are welcome Robin. Everyone who participated in providing statements were happy to do so. I am encouraging everyone here in OK that we don’t give up, we keep moving forward. While we may have some defeats along the way, there are other positives happening. We have to rejoice for the victories that we are seeing around the Nation. As long as we continue to educate and build relationships, we can change minds. I refuse to dwell on the negative. Every successful person or business has setbacks. This is just a setback and as Robin mentioned, we can see opportunities for a better strategy and efforts towards cases that are not impossible but probable. I like that!

  • #28214 Reply


    Obviously, the courts still believe that recidivism is “frightening and high”. Why else would they support a law that has no real proof or logic behind it. Many of the previous posts addressed how this law protects no one, and yet the courts uphold it. Why? Because it keeps people safe. How? It allows us to see who the offenders are everywhere they go. Why would we do that? Because recidivism is frightening and high, and we have to know where they are. Some of you made very good points as to the lack of logic among those who we would assume to be “intelligent.”

    No, it makes no sense, and maybe I didn’t make my point very well, but it’s obvious they are still being led by the erroneous recidivism rates and quotes, unfounded or not. Still, as mentioned above, each step in the past provides a road map for the next.

  • #28228 Reply


    Dear Readers, the current situation in the Court is that the branding of Sex Offenders is still in vogue. The litmus test for rationale is that false evidence statistical data used for the registrations of recidivism is still being perpetuated as hard facts in the courts period. The complete process of the registrations,residential restrictions and now the requirements that Sex Offenders have STATE LICENSE OR I. D. STAMPED be rechallenged in the courts.

    • #29011 Reply

      obvious answers

      money and control..control and money..that is why they do anything..that and as a diversionary tactic..why did Romans throw Christians to the lions? Because people are evil and need bloodshed..why did they burn men and women alive on stakes and entire towns throw party’s to watch the festivity and smell the burning bodys and hear the screams?? People have not changed..inherently almost every person longs for the opportunity to do evil..the only thing stopping them is acceptance of others.. The government creates a registry makes you a witch or a commie, or a jap, or a sex offender and now it is acceptable to do anything they want to…… Politicians do not want the blood shed to be theirs so the registry’s were formed and the blood is yours.. that is the truth..

  • #28238 Reply

    Art B

    A big thank you to everyone who contributed time and effort to this case. After one year being part of this organization, one thing has become clear. We must take a thoughtful and strategic approach to the cases we support. With our limited resources, we must pick the cases where we can gradually chip away at the federal and state laws, It will require careful planning and good communication across the organization. One success will build on another, which will build on another, and eventually the avalanche will occur. Thanks to the NARSOL leadership for making it happen!

    • #28253 Reply

      Lori/OK Voices

      Well said Art B!

    • #28275 Reply


      Well stated Art.
      Keep in mind all registrants still have the opportunity to defend themselves publicly in REGISTRATION VIOLATION CASES!
      Doing so may result in conviction, but your protest is heard! AND collateral evidence is permissible. I am 1-1.

      IF NARSOL is looking for the right case? 92CR7742WIS STATE OF V. TIMOTHY D LAWVER. I PLEAD NOT GUILTY to the complaint and retained my rights – (those vulnerable to plea bargain waiver). DUE PROCESS to contest the civil law.
      Using the state courts for exculpatory discovery on a case by case basis is the fastest way to direct appeal. Other evidence including state law in black and white, including demands for DNA DATABASE ACCESS & comparison. These inroads have been laid by Barry Schek over at innocence project .org. 6083638553.

  • #28288 Reply


    It appears to me that those of us who understand the extent to which individual rights and opportunities are oppressed for life by the sex offender registry laws and post incarceration monitoring by probation officers, could be more effective at orchestrating improvements to these laws. I believe coast-to-coast improvements could be accomplished by getting together the best minds from the various separate organizations which are promoting changes to these oppressive laws. The results would be a paper submitted to the Sentencing Commission, The paper would focus on the cost/benefit relationship of the current laws. The paper would demonstrate how millions of taxpayer dollars are being spent for very little, if any, benefit to communities of America. Such demonstrations would be supported by cost data collected from cities and states and from the DOJ. Further, there are several reputable studies which would demonstrate the low rate of recidivism. In view of the fact that the Sentencing Commission files a report to Congress every year, our voices might be heard. Please do not take this to mean that the efforts being made now are wasted. They are not being wasted. Keep up the good work. Just add to it.

  • #28292 Reply


    Folks now I am really pissed… I just for the first time since my conviction back in 2012 and it says communicating with a minor….. and the detective said you thought….what man knows another man’s thought? and than they add more stuff like traveling down.. Lies from government… its all a bunch of money just like these driver licenses.
    Like JB said sure its been oppressing on all that are walking thru this.
    If these texting things were real teen agers I could understand a bit about justification but actually its a money con like these licenses.
    All this sex offense thing may be a good gun battle for all but even when your in a gun battle you don’t back down, even if they are the law. I wonder if they induct sex offenders or gay people in the Army who knows these days. Isn’t there Motto take all you can instead of give all you can to the U. S. Government oops that’s Army.

  • #28298 Reply

    What stands out to me is; so many people obviously have a big problem with this law. Yet the only person who has started a challenge against it so far, is an inmate, with limited access to resources and a court appointed attorney. This law doesn’t even affect him yet while he is behind bars, but nobody on the outside who is affected by it has bothered to challenge it on other grounds. That says a lot.

    • #28521 Reply


      Can another Level 3 offender from OK start a new case in District Court using the Compelled Gov’t Speech/First Amendment angle from the beginning instead of midstream and see where it goes? Would that be worthwhile?

      • #28529 Reply


        This was answered above by Robin. Yes, it can is his answer. Sorry for the duplicate question.

    • #28530 Reply

      Lori/OK Voices

      Agreed Fred! It is difficult to listen to all the complaints, though they may be valid, but not have those who could willing to step up and do what needs to be done. It creates challenges for organizations like ours that operate solely on donation and often at our own individual expense to travel to meetings, take time from work and family etc to put the effort out to make a difference for others who are afraid to step forward and put themselves in the line of fire. It is like elections, you can’t justifiably complain if you don’t vote. I contacted far more than the ones who actually submitted statements for the amicus brief. No names were used and still, the ratio of contacts I reached out to compared to the amount of statements returned was disheartening to what it could have been if individuals would have participated.

  • #28357 Reply


    Yes, I 100% agree that putting the words “sex offender” on my driver’s License does not enhance public safety. You know what is the best way to get them to stop passing laws like this one? Wear you sex offender status with pride. Do not let them affect your behavior becuase they stamped your license with a certain Pharisees. If someone calls you out on it. Tell them “yes, I am considered a “sex offender” so what??? “ Refuse to let them dictate how you love your life. Yes, some people are going to judge you differently. Let them. Our sword in this fight is our refusal to let the state shame us.
    If enough people over a long enough period refuse to allow this law to shame them, it will become toothless”.

    When I first got on the registry the big thing to do was to check the sex offender map every few days and read up on the new “threats” to the neighborhood. Now, there is so many people on the registry, being in the regeistry has lost its meaning. People don’t have the time to keep up with all the new people.
    So be BOLD. REFUSE to allow them to shame you.

  • #28367 Reply


    Only an unlucky few got “caught”. If everybody was on this that could be on it; cops would have no time to do anything else.

  • #28421 Reply


    Forced to carry the governments message?

    More like a First Amendment issue?

    Than a Cruel & Unsual Punishment challenge?

    • #28578 Reply


      You guys freaking out over a mole hill !! It’s not about this law or that law, it’s about the totality of them all. Once SCOTUS strikes down the registry on cruel and unusal grounds, the restrictions will fall.

      • #28586 Reply

        Jonny everyman

        Chuck you continue to think delusionally. The way the court is setup now they certainly won’t strike the registry down. In the mean time we need to win every small battle.

  • #28435 Reply

    Wisdom of Solomon

    Is there any PROPONENT of SO laws that can produce EMPIRICAL research data from a reputable source, e.g., a major university study, a criminal justice committee findings, or from a researcher like Dr. Ellman, Dr. Levenson, Dr Tweksbury to support their contention that there is a high recidivism rate among registered citizens? If you do have such data please submit same to this site for vetting. Contracting, for the past 15 or so years I have been reading the findings of certain major universitites, criminal justice committees, especially the US Department of Justice, the findings of Drs. Ellman, Levenson and Tweksbury on the issue of there being a high recidivism rate for registered citizens and absolutely none of these studies have concluded there to be any such thing. For me this begs the question: Just where is it that proponents of SO laws get their information to support their contention of a high recidivism rate??? Or who are they getting it from and why don’t publish their finding(s) and the source(s)??? If proponents cannot produce such information then it is highly irresponsible and immoral for them to continue this farce. Hell, to be fair and balanced, if proponents can produce such information, I myself might be persuaded to join their cause—not likely, but at least I will understand their thinking. But again, for proponents to just put this contention out there so that they can continue to ruin peoples lives without proof, without trial, without being able to confront their accuser is just plain flat out wrong!!! So buck up proponents, once and for all, put your cards (proof) on the table.

  • #28554 Reply


    One must pay money to the STATE (DMV, etc.) to obtain that license or ID just to carry the government’s message (a/k/a/ scarlett letter) for them. If you do NOT pay the fee they are trying to exact from you to enrich themselves just so you can carry the government’s message for them and be further publicly disgraced in the process by displaying ID with the scarlett letter, then you are either threatened with imprisonment and other criminal penalties, or you are actually imprisoned. This is nothing less than government-sanctioned extortion and blackmail, both of which are illegal. The government is exacting (usury) money (property) from people under the threat of going to jail and having additional socially-damaging information released to the public for not complying with their threats by which they are profiting via the fees exacted from the individual.

  • #28795 Reply

    Kurt Martin

    I’m not impressed with the “forced speech” argument that invokes the 1st Amendment. That’s really a desperate attempt at throwing a bunch of arguments at the wall and seeing what might stick. I suppose if a judge is overly emotional and biased with sympathy to the defendant such a 1st Amendment claim might supply a plausible excuse for the judge to rule the way the judge wanted to rule all along, but legally it’s really weak. PARKINGHAM was a real First Amendment case– that registrant was denied any online presence or participation in social media by the law that the U.S. Supreme Court then struck down. I don’t see how anything that the State puts on your driver’s license that is mandated by state law can be seen as “your” communication that the government is forcing you to make.

    The “cruel and unusual punishment” argument would be stronger these days, as a case of first impression, but since other courts have found that sex offender registrations are not “punishment” at all, but merely public safety measures mandated by politicians, not by judges during sentencing, that was always going to be an uphill battle.

    I’d like to see sex offender restrictions (not just the registry itself, but the long list of things you can’t do by order of State law) found to be categorically in violation of substantive due process. The government simply can’t take your freedom by looking at your criminal history and declaring that you and everybody else who has certain types of criminal records are a threat to society and must have your freedom limited for the good of others. That kind of freedom-stripping of citizens’ rights should require an INDIVIDUALIZED assessment, and only the few people probably prone to reoffending could be restricted. If individual hearings were held, they would have to be fair, otherwise “procedural due process” rights would be the ones violated.

    • #28993 Reply


      It is NOT about this law. It’s about ALL of them put together. Each by itself isn’t that bad. I mean who cares if the guy selling you a bottle of beer doesn’t like you. I bet his boss likes your money. Same as the Dr.’s Office. They are there to heal not Judge. As far as showing your ID at the YMCA, if they have an issue with it, go somewhere else. The ONLY way we are going to turn public opinion if we show the public we are just like them. We do everything they do. Then they will get over the feeling they need to know if the guy sitting next to them at the Dr’s Office is a sex offender.
      I have a few people that believe they are put on this Earth for the SOLE purpose of telling everyone else I am a sex offender. Not rat out all sex offenders. Just me. Just becuase my niece and nephew live with me and my brother doesn’t have a problem with it.
      Don’t be scared to wear you Scarlet letter with Pride!!! YES, I am a sex offender. So what?? Why does that mean I can’t buy a bottle of beer? Why does that mean I can’t go to the Dr.’s Office?? It doesn’t and if everyone didn’t act like this was high school it wouldn’t. Where I live, they tried to say having sex offender in the same town was a safety risk for kids. Not next to a school, but in the same town. It’s just discrimination.

      In other words, We all need to GROW UP and not worry about who is doing what legally.

    • #28994 Reply


      The Pa Supreme Court just ruled on July 19th 2017 that SORNA is punishment and as such cannot be appilied retroactively.
      Commwealth v. Muniz.

      • #29811 Reply


        If a judge has ruled that sex offender registry is a punishment and I watched the featured documentary here where the architect of registry law in a certain state openly said that registry is supposed to be punishment. So will all these, can we file the legal proceeding to go to the root of the problem – Sex Offender Registry?

  • #29322 Reply

    Wisdom of Solomon

    There should be NO REGISTRY—-PERIOD!!! This is America 2017, not Nazi Germany circa 1930s. There should not even be a discussion on this issue. What the hell has happened to this Country??? We are quickly becoming “Land of the Fearful and Home of the Cowards” instead of what you used to be: “Land of the Free, Home of the Brave”. And just who in the hell are these people that what to take away our freedoms and liberties? Will you people please man-up and come forward and show yourselves. I seen the interview with the Alabama Judge Roy Moore, who stands accused of sexual misconduct of young girls back in the day and who is also running for the US Senate. He actually said that America should get rid of the first 10 Bill of Rights in the US Constitution, that America would be better off. Can you believe that? Yes, I can believe it—and he is not alone in America with this
    sentiment. If this type of people are allowed to run this Country then our grandchildren are going to be in big, big trouble!!! GUARANTEED!

  • #31595 Reply

    Dazed and Confused

    In Oklahoma, a T3 RSO must get the red badge on their DL. Can it be explained in a RATIONAL sense how this is NOT double (or triple) jeopardy?
    If a person has a conviction date BEFORE these silly laws were enacted, why does Oklahoma refuse to obey its own statutes? regarding retroactivity?
    if the government (of Oklahoma) can disregard its own laws at will, or change them to fit whatever mood their in at any given time, how is that any different than the mobsters of the 20’s-50’s? ie: racketeering?
    If Oklahoma is exploiting the RSO’s for financial gain (which it CLEARLY is – as well as other states) under the guise of public safety which CLEARLY is a fallacy. Why is the federal COA on the side of racketeering? Historically, the mobs would grease the palms of “officials” to look the other way or go easy on them. this is the apparent outcome here. has the Oklahoma judicial system BRIBED the federal coa? and if so, why is OK not criminally punished accordingly?

  • #35531 Reply


    I am required to have it on my ID in the state of TN but it is just a number under restrictions like glasses or contacts etc.
    That doesn’t bother me because its basically just for law enforcement and they are mostly all that knows what that number means. Not everyday people that I might have to show it too for whatever reason, but id I had to have Sex Offender put on my Id. I would probably cry. I’m not sure if I would even comply. I follow all their rules and don’t want to not follow them but that just seems too much. I like to drink wether at home or at a bar so I get carded for those things. I guess that would stop because it is none of any ones business at a liquor store or bar about my past. I go to cash my check at the bank or wal-mart it is non of those peoples business either. I don’t know what I would, probably have a mental breakdown from the shame and hate or disgust in peoples eyes when they would read it. Especially not knowing why or what happened just automatically assuming that I abused a child. This is wrong and is totally Cruel and Unusual Punishment.and hope whoever came up with this can sleep at night on other peoples suffering.

Reply To: Tenth Circuit COA upholds Oklahoma driver’s license requirement
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