For registered sex offenders, court victories slow, but they are coming

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.

Read the full piece here at Overpasses for America.

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  • This topic has 22 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 2 years ago by AvatarMarlin S..
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    • #39291 Reply
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      Tammie Lawson

      Continue to fight and raise awareness. These small victories are huge to RSOs. I’m thankful that someone somewhere has seen has harsh the Sex Offender Registry is and how it doesn’t give second chances fir citizens on the registry to become normal in today’s society. Thanks to everyone involved for all your efforts to prove RSOs deserves a good life after their release.

      • #39401 Reply
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        WC_TN

        This ruling gave me hope for the courts to finally be coming around the bend and calling these travesties what they are, but then the Illinois Supreme Court rules that it is rational to base sex offender restrictions on KNOWN FALSE RECIDIVISM STATISTICS. Judicial cowardice and dishonesty if ever I saw it. If a higher court upholds that idea, then NARSOL and all the rest of the advocacy groups need to pack it up and go on home because the intent will have been made clear. Screw these offenders and their rights; false data not withstanding.

    • #39288 Reply
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      Timothy D.A. Lawver

      Judge Matsch got it right. SOR is………

      An electronic pillory.

      Always was and will be.

    • #39289 Reply
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      Marty vestal

      This registry is overkill and overreach! It hurts families, especially the children! It adds years to a sentence served and debt paid. Unjust and unfair! It pulls in thousands who should never be on it ! First offenders who’ve had no contact, no violence, etc. threat assessments psssed. So why are they on this despicable registry??? It should be abolished completely!!!! Not to mention violation of civil rights!! Abolish The Registry!

    • #39312 Reply
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      Bobby

      I am in Michigan and they still have not done anything to fix the registry like they were told to do my the 6th circuit Court. My Conviction was way back in 1992 before there was in a thought of a registry in Michigan.

      So I should of never ever, been placed on it and in my opinion, I should be compensated for all the time I have spent on this unconstitutional registry. I have been on it now 25 years, and again should not have been placed on it at all, so for my pain suffering and the pain and suffering of my family, the state of Michigan should be coughing millions like, five hound-thousand a year for every years I was on it. hell a million a year for every years I was on it unconstitutionally, and I should get ALL my rights back including the right to bare arms. I got an e-mail back yesterday from a staff member of Rick Jones,and this is all they had to say.

      Groups are still working on it and it should be fixed by the end of the year.
       
      Staff

      • #39358 Reply
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        Rick O

        They didn’t say much but I liked what they said!

    • #39399 Reply
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      WC_TN

      Just to show you the mentality of those who support our draconian and inhumane, cruel sex offender restrictions, I thought I’d post a comment made on http://www.quora.com

      This is the kind of punishment this person thinks child abusers/molesters should receive:

      Sexual abusers, child abusers and certain cases will receive the following.

      Castration if Male and if female removal of sexual organs by force and no Anesthetic. Following this each joint will be severed from their body after the bone is pulverized and inject with a sensation stimulant and anti incapacitation chemicals. After this is accomplished each sense will be pared off by violent means. Stopping at the trunk of the body for further processing

      Eyes will be blinded by acid or fire.
      Ears will be blown by loud sound at bleeding decibels. Then the ears cut off.
      Tongue will be cut out piece by piece. Then burned closed and the mouth forcibly closed too breaking of teeth.
      Rip remaining teeth from mouth and proceed with removal of lips and eye lids.
      Use a strong aromatic too burn the nostrils useless(in a painful manner). Then cut off the nose and ensure bleeding is stopped.
      Skin them alive. Followed by entrails removal and slow harvestation of organs until dead.
      At this point the eviscerated pulp will be cremated and the ashes collected for addition into concrete mix made into bricks to make a wall of horror. The bones that survive cremation are crushed and turned to sand like material spread wherever.

      Video footage posted as a warning to the would be offenders and no exceptions or exemptions ever.

      If you have read this far then I commend your stomach and your sanity. For this isn’t a logical or even insane answer but the logic of a madman. So please no hate comments or shock and horror.

      This is a reflection of my mind yes but it comes from a direct result of the uselessness of current protocol too deal with these issues. Is the measure extreme yes, does it violate every law of humanity yes, Do I seem unhinged and biased yes, DO I CARE TO REHABILITATE RAPISTS, PEDOPHILES OR MASS MURDERERS NO.

      Have a pleasant day please direct your vomit to the cells to your right or left but avoid puking to your immediate front or rear that is the path of the law abiding.

      Here’s the link so you know I didn’t make this up.

      https://www.quora.com/What-kind-of-crimes-deserve-to-be-punished-by-using-the-death-penalty

      • #39419 Reply
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        Henry

        You shouldn’t post info like this. The person who made this comment is disturbed and may very well be a professional victim. Even if people don’t like us, they don’t normally believe this is acceptable.

        This individual has issues.

        • #40147 Reply
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          todd

          this is a disturbing post, and someone who is clearly has issues, but, what is scary if you go back to the dark ages, crusades, etc, christianity (and other extreme religions) did these kinds of things to ‘non-believers’ and anyone against that church – documented, factual – there are even torture museums showing some of these methods (but even this one was extreme compared to that). how many so called ‘witches’ were tortured and burned alive? I am saying this because some of those roots still exist in our society, it may not be as blatant, but for hundreds/1000’s of years man has found ways to do this to others that don’t fit into their agenda, or extreme punishments – on the other side, many countries around the world think that the US is nuts (with our extreme conservative society, they are right), some countries marry very young teens too.

          The victories are slow, but they are coming, may be years before the registry ends (and it WILL END) completely, but every little victory builds on to the next one – they are all important, society doesn’t pay attention, but the great attorneys and judges do. WE ALL need to stay diligent, EDUCATED, as hard as it is, take the emotion out and support RSOL, attorneys, get involved, testify, whatever you can to help the cause. We can bitch all day, but in the end, how does that help anything, money is what is needed most – which many of us don’t have, but there are ways we ALL can help end this barbaric registry

    • #39407 Reply
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      Kendal

      Is NARSOL going to file a brief, especially to rebut the brief filed by the attornies general with all the bad stats in it? I am sure we could use all the help we can get.

      • #39409 Reply
        Robin Vander Wall
        Robin Vander Wall
        Admin

        That is the plan, yes. We are presently discussing strategy for such a brief with three attorneys.

        • #39420 Reply
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          Henry

          NARSOL rocks!! You show it by what you do. I remember when you guys got started. I had my doubts because of a certain old conception of one person, but you guys worked hard and proved we could unite as a national advocate for registered citizens. Thank you for what you do.

        • #39555 Reply
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          Sandra Alvarez Morales

          I pray and hope for a change immediately, I am shocked by all the rights being violated im living a nightmare, this is taking away the chance to recover as a family. My children are at higher risk now of the bullying and harassment by there peers and adults and people who think they have a right to hurt children in the name of protecting children, so my children don’t matter and we have to live this way forever? All because my husband wanted a cheaper deal on a phone someone sold him one that was locked he took it to a repair shop where they found pictures and reported it and next thing we know they came for him but unwilling to give names of the person a known gang member and company for the real fear of retaliation on us was accused and found guilty and due the only lawyer who wasnt promising over $15,000 guaranteed no conviction costs us the mortgage payments and he did nothing in our favor. This trauma followed by losing our home and run out of our county, and it never ends…. It’s changed him he has broken the bond between himself and all of his family and friends and we have become a recluse family even today he needed emergency room care and they made it obvious they didn’t want to help him so he threw away his urine sample and walked out… And I was left shamed and hopeless staring at my phone looking for any real help

    • #39584 Reply
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      obvious answers

      sooo..for every 1000 cases we lose and for every 5000 new restrictions imposed we are to the level that a delayed restriction or a delayed imposition in a sweeping legislation is now a victory..really? it is time to look at a more direct approach because most Americans are blindly not comprehending that the facts that what is taken from you will be them next..

    • #39581 Reply
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      James Coghill

      Progress is slow? I’ve seen tar move faster. But you have to understand what’s really going on in the courts. All the lawsuits that are currently in the works are state and event specific. Appeals usually raise claims regarding the conduct of a trial and are not likely to included attacks on the registry. This means that there are 50 battles in each state while the war in the nation marches on. Which would you rather fight? 50 battles or 1 war? We need cases in the US Supreme Court. Just one victory there will stop the registry forever. In Connecticut Dept. of Public Safety v. Doe, 538 US 1 (2003) SCOTUS ruled that the registry was not a form of punishment subject to double jeopardy because it was administrative. However the court added that there had been many changes regarding the registry since it’s creation that might change their opinion, but they weren’t allowed to consider them in that case. That suggests that SCOTUS would rule favorably to a challenge to the registry if only a case could be heard there that raises the right claims. Meanwhile the lower courts will try to keep that from happening through their own rulings. That’s what’s going on and that’s why progress is so slow.

    • #39582 Reply
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      James Coghill

      To Sandra,
      I feel for you and your family. I met a man in prison who bought a hard drive at a swap meet. When he hooked it up he found the drive had the owners files on it and had not been formatted. Then he found the child pornography so he took the drive along with his receipt to the police immediately. He was promptly arrested and charged. And the receipt? Well that sort of disappeared leaving him with no defense. Family is as important as living a happy life. You can’t do either under SO probation. Which is why I would recommend moving to another country if you’re not on probation. I plan to do the same.

      • #39620 Reply
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        Brian

        Im surprised Michigan didn’t do what PA did, came up with a so called FIX for pre SORNA registrants, keeping most of us in pa that are due relief tied to the sht list, I think that can’t come up with a legal fix in Michigan, that’s why they haven’t changed anything, unlike pa, it will be challenged and re struck down again, some needs to say, wait a second, STOP, no more, leave these people alone.
        I was originally charged in CO, now pa is saying that psp is going by original states registration time to be applied due to act 10, so I’m wandering if sense CO registry has been struck down they legally can’t apply that states statute to me, am I correct in my thinking?

    • #39708 Reply
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      Jay

      Are we getting some help in New York State like this? We are trapped in shelters doing time after time served with life registry. We have homes and families to go to but can’t. It’s sad and unfair to our kids that we can’t unite as a family and go out to picnics and birthdays together because a past that we already paid for. Please let me know something asap if anything will be done or is in the works for New York State. Great job NARSOL for all your accomplishments.Thank you stay strong. God bless.

    • #39914 Reply
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      NH Registrant

      Here in New Hampshire, the registry is one of the main sources of revenue for the state – along with the prison systems. Come on vacation, leave on probation. The state is run by ultra-conservatives who are ‘tough on crime’ except when it comes to police officers and those in government committing crimes. The divide between the connected and non-connected here is the deciding factor whether someone sees the inside of a jail/prison cell – much less a courtroom.

      If the registry gets abolished everywhere else, New Hampshire will be one of the last holdouts. They will drag their feet because they LOVE that free money they can distribute among each other and their friends.

      • #39940 Reply
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        Facts should matter

        South Carolina and Florida will be the last holdouts. When SCOTUS declares the registry unconstitutional, those states will defy it and go down with a death-grip on the AWA and Megan’s Law.

    • #41713 Reply
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      fed up

      I think we need huge huge class action lawsuits file with Narsol and Florida action committee leading. As i’m sure you have read about the dismal problems we have in south Florida. The rest of the state isn’t much better. Governor Rick Scott, Ron book and his daughter Lauren are some of the biggest crooks and our taxes pay them to be that way. I own a home for 21 years now that I cant live in due to not only state laws but my city is able to pass ordinances to declare the entire city off limits to me living there regardless if i’m 10 miles from a school or park. I cant live with my wife or even legally stay the night because i’m not even allowed to list it as a temp address. If the people who made these laws and ordinances aren’t crooks then show me who are. I’m now at a point of 6 yrs being out and doing well for my and me and are prepping the house to be sold so we can legally purchase another place to live.

    • #42942 Reply
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      Marlin S.

      Several years ago the North Carolina Courts struck down the use of ankle monitors used on alcoholics. I am in recovery for alcohol addiction and have seen to relapse statistics of this decision. My question is how the use of ankle monitors be struck down as being useless for repeat addictions yet some sex offenders are required to wear them for life? And why aren’t any of my posts or questions never answered on this site?

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