By James Neighbors . . . Back before the judicial system became a sprawling monster of inefficiency and inequity, justice was served in America. The punishment fit the crime, and once you got out of prison, ALL of your rights were returned, including gun ownership and voting rights.
Not so much in America today. In the “kinder, gentler” America as GHW Bush would have called it, sentences do not match the crimes, and convicted felons are released according to their sentences, but there’s a catch.
If you’re a sex offender, your sentence doesn’t end at the prison gates, you must then register with the County you reside once you’re out of jail.
If the same were done with those who write hot checks, the law would be slapped down in a New York minute for violating Constitutional rights.
As much as we may not like it, sex offenders have rights guaranteed by the Constitution.
Colorado’s sex offender registry still hangs in limbo seven months after a judge said it violated the constitutional rights of former offenders, subjecting them to an extended punishment and public shaming.
U.S. District Judge Richard P. Matsch’s ruling is the latest to reject states that are reaching for more stringent controls on sex offenders even after they have served their sentences.
Criminal justice reformers say it’s about time the courts strike back. The lifelong punishments that sexual offenders face beyond the courtroom and prison conflict with the country’s tradition of rehabilitation and second chances, they say.