Illinois Supreme Court says no to blanket social media ban for registered sexual offenders

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois’ highest court ruled Thursday that it is unconstitutional to ban convicted sex offenders from social media sites.

Conrad Allen Morger was convicted of sexually abusing a minor and sentenced to four years of probation by a court in McLean County. That came with a binding condition he not use specific internet sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

During oral arguments, held in September in Godfrey, Morger’s representative said the ban is a violation of the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment fundamental right to freedom of speech.

“Certainly I recognize that there is a government interest here, in helping to rehabilitate offenders, in reducing recidivism, and of course keeping our communities safe, particularly our most vulnerable members of our community — children. But as the Illinois statute is written, it doesn’t meet all of those goals,” Zachary Rosen, assistant appellate defender, said.

The Illinois Supreme Court agreed in a unanimous decision among the six participating justices. Chief Justice Anne Burke “took no part in the consideration or decision of this case,” according to the opinion.

The justices analyzed Illinois’ law by considering whether the mandatory social media ban is “reasonably related” to the goal of probation — which is rehabilitation.

Morger was a teenager when he committed the crimes and did not use the internet, Justice Lloyd Karmeier wrote in the decision.

Read the remainder of the article here at Herald & Review.

 

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    • #62189 Reply
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      d

      Chief Justice Anne Burke “took no part in the consideration or decision of this case,” according to the opinion.

      Then she did not do her job because of bias and should be fired!

    • #62203 Reply
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      Crash

      “Certainly I recognize that there is a government interest here, in helping to rehabilitate offenders, in reducing recidivism…”

      The defender was terribly wrong with that statement. Rehabilitating offenders and reducing recidivism, was never in the interests of the government. The only “rehab” for SOs is strict or severe punishment(like incarceration for most who are charged, high sentences for a some of them who deserved much less, getting put on a list for the world to see, and a separate probation that is extremely hard to follow), ostracism, and forced “treatment” or “therapy.”

      SOs who want to change, find it within themselves to work towards being a better person. That is if they make it to the community at all and also not fall back into the cycle. By falling back into the cycle I don’t mean SOs committing SO crimes again, but rather SOs getting incarcerated again over failing to register and not meeting certain probation conditions. Whether or not their actions were on purpose.

    • #62227 Reply
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      Bob

      The registry itself is unconstitutional

    • #62259 Reply
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      Saddles

      I’m glad someone is making common sense. Social banning is not the best norm as millions of american’s rely on social meida for many things in today’s world. My sister is scared to use a computer but she will gab up a storm on her cell phone and yes even cell phones are use for many reasons.

      I just have an old cell phone and in case I have a flat tire or something, or something goes wrong with your care when driving, or someone want to call up someone for business purposes., I just open it up and use it. I use my land line morethan my cell phone as a cell phone can be handy for traveling use and business contacts as mentioned so good uses are good use. people even some older people need to use cell phones in case of light or power failures faiulture or many other instances we face in life.

      So taking the good, bad, and the ugly and using it wisely makes one a happy camper in many instances.

    • #62268 Reply
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      Jim

      The problem here is that this ruling applies only in Illinois, and ONLY to bans on social media as part of probation and parole rules. Companies like Facebook are still free, as part of their own terms of use, to ban offenders, which is ridiculous.

    • #62282 Reply
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      Saddles

      I have to agree with you jim 100 % on that one. Governments seem so quick to judge. I even got in trouble over face book at one time during my probation ordeal but Jim don’t you think much of this is a scare tactic in a way to keep american’s away from those group people they have type casted “Sex offenders”. I really don’t see all this reasoning.

      I can even see your view point from the many times I was drinking and being in front of the judge or magistrat. While they didn’t give me a band on purchasing alcohol they just said don’t do it again or I don’t want to see you in here again but this registry thing is a bit much in many ways for each state.

    • #62290 Reply
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      Saddles

      You know Jim I have to admire that statement more as I ponder on it and so does everybody else on here. Sure its unconsittutioal as someone said. Yes I’m over here in Virginia and they have a three strikes and your out law. Even the united mind workers had their ups and downs and many others. So the registry appears to take advantage of a lot of things to outcase one.

      Now dad was a CPA and many of you all had honorable jobs as well. He was member of the of a lot of clubs speaking out on rights and such is worthy of anyone wanting to help even speaking at women’s clubs.

      When government ignors letters and brushes things under the rug that isn’t good for any truth and honesty in any AMERICAN government or JUSTICE or even the American worker so yes your point is very well taken and makes a whole lot of sense in this jumbed up maze we all are going thru One wonders who is cheating on their tax returns in this sex registry.

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