Action Alert — Sen. Tom Cotton: “No early release for sex offenders”

By Sandy . . . The First Step Act, now pending in the U.S. Senate, has been described as “a bipartisan-supported bill,” “an important but…modest first-step” toward desperately needed criminal justice reform. It is supported by legislators of both parties and by the President. Modest is correct; the bill would only apply to 1.5 percent of those in federal prisons, and…

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Can anything change public opinion about sexual offense registries?

By Cresencio Rodriguez . . . A California law that will go into effect in 2021 is set to bring about the most sweeping changes ever to sex offender laws in the state. SB384 will allow most sex offenders to petition to be removed from the public registries in 10 to 20 years after they are released from prison, as long…

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Registry Matters 52: How homelessness can land you in jail

As we didn’t plan on recording due to the holidays, this is a special bonus episode and a somewhat abbreviated one. TOPICS: What’s up with the First Step Act in the Senate?; Prosecutors in Kansas gain access to privileged recordings; SCOTUS to hear 8th Amendment case; PA report on clergy launches investigations in more than a dozen states around the…

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Give to NARSOL on #GivingTuesday

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 27th is #GivingTuesday We need you to help support our work to fight the scourge of sex offender registries by giving to NARSOL’s foundation and legal fund today. Together, with gifts from hundreds of other registered citizens, their families, supporters and friends, your gift to Vivante Espero on #GivingTuesday sustains our efforts to educate the general public, challenge…

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NARSOL’s attorney wins important procedural due process case

By Robin . . . Jonathan Merideth moved to North Carolina in 2004 after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor sexual offense in the state of Washington. Upon arriving, Merideth checked in with the sheriff’s office in his county of residence to find out if his out-of-state conviction would require him to register as a sex offender in North Carolina. After…

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The denial of redemption

By Rich A . . . What exactly is redemption?  Many are familiar with the religious concept of redemption:  the payment of a price, or ransom, to secure release.  In criminology, redemption often is defined as the point in time when a person with a criminal record, having had no further contact with the criminal justice system, is of no greater…

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On the registry? Do you know everything you should?

By Sandy . . . In a recent column, Dear Abby makes the unqualified statement that a person with a Level 3 or Tier 3 designation on the sexual offense registry means that the individual is “. . . the most dangerous and most likely to reoffend.” From those in the know, this drew immediate criticism and protest. In 2003,…

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Criminal or civil? Right or wrong? Does anyone care?

By Scott H. Greenfield . . . It’s bad enough, both for substantive as well as factual reasons, that the Supreme Court in Smith v. Doe held that sex offender registration was not punitive, but civil, and therefore beyond the reach of the Ex Post Facto Clause. Not only was it grounded in utterly baseless statistics of recidivism, but it indulged in the fantasy that…

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