MA court says burden of proof on state to prove dangerousness still exists

Associated Press: The Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry Board has the burden of proof when determining whether a sex offender should not be moved to a less dangerous classification, the state’s highest court ruled Wednesday.

The Supreme Judicial Court also ruled in separate cases that indigent sex offenders have a right to legal counsel in reclassification hearings, and that those hearings must be held within a “reasonable” period of time.

The board already is required to provide “clear and convincing evidence” when initially determining which of three classification levels a sex offender should receive, based upon their risk of committing new offenses. Those placed in the more serious Level 2 or Level 3 categories are subject to having their names and pictures posted on a public website by the state.

But when a sex offender requested to be moved to a lower classification, or removed from the registry altogether, the board argued that it was the burden of the individual to prove why he or she should deserved to be reclassified.

The court found otherwise.

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    • #44292 Reply
      Tim L

      So the MA regulatory regime now offers protections found in criminal procedure. Exactly a reason the Megan’s law ruling said didn’t exist thus bending the effects portion of the Mendoza – Kennedy test of intermediate scrutiny.

      Are not registrants being judged again on settled claims?I
      Believe the lot that benefits is the attorney set.

    • #44285 Reply

      Yes, I’m sure we all love the burcden of proof. Could we start with facts first in a lot of this sexual game. There are a lot of very interesting articles that NARSOL presents and a lot of these comments are right great if one keeps a positive attitude.

      Sure we can all go with Daniels ordeal to just give up, throw in the towel, I have even wanted to throw in the towel just for my dirty mouth or potty mouth. This labeling is man wanting to abuse their power with a label on a high and low degree of offending someone. Should we even learn not to talk back to to the one understanding or all the knowledge in the world?

      Sure we could talk about righteousness but we won’t go there. And I wonder what an advocate is if they don’t use some Christian principals or guidelines, or what a court system is if it makes its own judgement or laws on enslaving others. Should we all go back and look at what the very first Supreme Court Justice said or is America getting to an communist state. I hope not.

    • #44463 Reply
      Tim L

      Reasonable doubt is an interesting but ambiguous term. If prosecutors actually need to overcome the standard how could DNA exoneration cases exist? If there was such a barr, elected former prosecutors made it to away long ago. This implicates the numbers of pleas by percentage of cases and why some plea when they know they’re not. The state’s power overides self interest. Why fight? You ain’t gonna win. If you can afford an attorney is also key. One problem I have with all this is I do not know exactly when, day and date, I got the new commitment to state’s SOR. Safe to say I wasn’t there nor my attorney. What’s peculiar is I never waived right to process. A very different case than Connecticut DPS v Dumbass.

      Too bad my case didn’t get there first or we’d have a different story, but then again I’d have zero control of the docket. Mr. Roberts is where he is precisely because of his position in Alaska v Doe. His ability to turn the question on it’s head won the day and his nomination. The men in grey needed a man sympathetic to certain uses of an electronic surveillance by government agents. He fit the bill.

      IMHO. Roberts has always known his fall back postion is. “The Congress made a liar outta me. ” He’d be correct too, in part!

      Shame shame.

    • #44500 Reply

      Tim I have to applaud you for that. Sure we could all go with a a bible phrase on this or we could go with a civil justice phrase on that one or we could just be honest like you mentioned they made a sort of a liar out of you, or just take a plea deal and get it over with. Thats the advice my sister gave to me and its strange the detective wanted me to do after he gave me thatr little wink and said everything will be alright. Honestly Tim I dont’ think they want some of these cases to go to court or back down and lower one’s classification as that would lower their degree of man made justice.

      Sure we should all be interested in the burden of proof and Tim brings up a good point. Now I live in Virginia and yes we all could bring up civil war days but there was principal back than. Why do you think Lincoln freed the slaves. North and South fighting about everything else and their burden of proof, and yes he was Republican. All that aside we all look for change.

      Sure we’ve all wanted true justice or was Norman Lear right when he introduced “Archie Bunker”. Sure we had Obama I didn’t mind that and there was the Clintons. See view’s are a bit different in each person. Sure I’m ready for change but first where’s the burden of proof when court systems are mostly out of line these days and the constution isn’t worth the paper it is written on at times. Don’t get me wrong in this but DNA is good in certain cases but truth and justice are far better.

      • #44768 Reply

        My name is Timothy
        Look it up.

    • #45538 Reply

      My name is Timothy, I liked that. While I don’t know what direction to go with that statement you made, I only know the Timothy in the bible if that shed’s light on a lot of this lawlessness. Remember Brenda doesn’t want us to use religion but we all still have to use principals or one should use what principals they have.

      Sure the law is good if used properly. Are sting operations used properly. Sure stings can be allowed but one has to consider who’s controling the sting. Are they using the law properly or are they their own law to justify every action they do? So again I wonder who’s breakign who’s law or are we all perfect.

      Even Jim Brown speaking about Trump can be a controversy today. Sure we all face controversy in these type of things. so where is love in all this proof or all this sting operation that law enforcement seem to value so underhandedly in a lot of this sex offender game. It is all based on principal and undeniable proof.

    • #48406 Reply

      A couple of things about this topic in general strike me what should be matters of common sense, but sadly are not.

      1. Requiring the registrant to prove that he does not pose a threat is essentially giving him the impossible task of proving a negative, as found in one of the proceedings in Millard v. Rankin (don’t have a cite on hand).

      2. The state has always had the burden of proof in all stages of criminal prosecution, and there is no reason I can think of why that wouldn’t include the administrative functions of the SORB, since registration is among the consequences of a criminal act. I’ve never heard of someone having to register as a result of a civil proceeding (which should have settled the civil-or-criminal dispute a long time ago).

      3. It’s widely published that less than 3% of the national registry has sexually re-offended, and that no state reports sexual re-offense of more than 1% of their registrants. Accordingly, it defies logic, reason, and fairness for the courts/state to presume that all registrants are part of that -1% and sanction accordingly without any indications or empirical support to the contrary in any given case.

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