By Sandy . . . NARSOL will once again this year host a Halloween Marathon. This will be the third extended program of this nature that NARSOL has done, and we hope that everyone will participate. The intent of the marathon session is to monitor law enforcement’s Halloween activities and carefully evaluate where we will litigate next. Last year we gained information that the sheriffs in two counties in Georgia, Spalding and Butts, had taken it upon themselves to require everyone on the Georgia sexual offense registry to display signs either on their homes or in their yards “warning” potential trick-or-treaters away from those homes. NARSOL sent letters of protest to both sheriffs advising them that they were acting outside of what the law permitted. In the absence of any recognition of our letters, we are, through Georgia attorney Mark Yurachek, bringing litigation against them both and asking that such action not be permitted this year.
NARSOL is committed to ending Halloween hysteria and unconstitutional practices that prevent families from enjoying the event. Our previous programs have been successful, and we expect this year’s to be even more so. We need YOU to make this happen. We need the participation of our contacts and affiliate organizations in every state. We need you to call in and report on conditions and situations in your states. We need volunteer attorneys in as many states as possible to be on “stand-by” to take calls and answer questions or comment on laws or situations in the states you are in. And we need everyone who is reading this to participate by tuning in to as much of the call as you are able and calling in to report actions being taken by law enforcement against those on the registry, especially those who are no longer under community supervision.
Do not assume that because your state has previously not enforced Halloween sanctions against registrants that it won’t. In spite of our Arkansas affiliate’s best efforts, that state’s legislature passed laws targeting those on the registry that will be effective beginning this year. And in many states, laws and ordinances in individual jurisdictions or counties are added each year, laws that in no way enhance public safety and are well-documented as having no basis in reality.
If any of our state contacts or affiliates or any attorneys would like to make an early commitment to participate in this year’s important Halloween marathon, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We need you to help us safeguard the freedoms and liberties of registered citizens during this family-oriented holiday.
Please help us help you.
Sandy, a NARSOL board member, is communications director for NARSOL, editor-in-chief of the Digest, and a writer for the Digest and the NARSOL website. Additionally, she participates in updating and managing the website and assisting with a variety of organizational tasks.