State must provide due process, says NARSOL’S N.M affiliate LJC

By Robert Nott . . . The question of whether sex offenders must register in New Mexico for crimes they committed in other states is making its way through the courts again.

Eight plaintiffs, each listed as “John Doe,” have filed a petition in U.S. District Court in New Mexico, alleging the state Department of Public Safety and five county sheriffs failed to provide them due process in determining whether their out-of-state offense is “equivalent” to a New Mexico crime that would require them to register in this state.

Albuquerque-based lawyers Susan Burgess-Farrell and Barrett G. Porter, and the nonprofit Liberty and Justice Coalition, filed the lawsuit in late October on behalf of the “John Does” who already have been required to register as sex offenders in New Mexico.

The petition says the sheriffs and the Department of Public Safety, which is responsible for operating and maintaining New Mexico’s sex offender registry, failed to set up a procedural due process to properly review their cases in a timely manner.

“No notice,” the petition says. “No right to discover the evidence relied upon. No hearing in which to present evidence. No neutral decision maker. No mechanism for appealing the decision.”

Several of the plaintiffs have been waiting for a determination on a “translation” list for “several years,” the court document says. Meanwhile, they risk loss of job and housing opportunities, damage to their reputation and must report to the local sheriff every 90 days, according to the petition. Offenders are also subject to online publication of their crimes.

Under New Mexico law, a person convicted of any of 12 sex offenses or who is convicted of an “equivalent” offense must register with the sheriff of the county in which the offender lives. Failing to register is a fourth-degree felony in New Mexico, which can lead to an 18-month prison sentence.

Ashley Reymore-Cloud, a lawyer for the nonprofit Liberty and Justice Coalition, said this lawsuit is not the first to address state issues with “translation of equivalent crimes” for out-of-state sex offenders.

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    • #61644 Reply

      So much for the idea of my wanting to retire there. Theu just want to kill us all off. Making it ‘Sanctioned Murder’ by The State. We all see the writing on the damn wall. Make them admit it outright in publication and on the news!

    • #61649 Reply
      Tim in WI

      Moving into a new state with a sex conviction in the old has been an issue from the beginning. We far as I know it was U.S. V CARR where the first SC case that made issue of the distinction. Carr had move before the law had changed in the new state and thereby he was let off the hook from state charges but not immune from federal law ” requiring registration”.

      In reality it was the Congress that failed to do their jobs in establishing lawful ways and means. SCOTUS often laments about that issue. The absolute rush to impose registration left many holes in the justice system and processes regarding fairness. The rush IMHO was purposeful because the folks in the know understood full well the first underlying intent and implications on the data collection upon the citizens

    • #61651 Reply
      John S

      I remember from this year’s NARSOL Conference, that at least one speaker asserted that violations of due process were very important in getting more (hopefully) positive attention, and in getting real reforms made. This report echoes what I have read or heard about for some time, that due process is critical. Here’s hoping the end results will ultimately be the ones we want.

      • #61657 Reply
        Ed C

        I agree, John. Any claim of a constitutional violation is fodder for serious federal court consideration. Other claims, such as fairness or reasonableness, are opinions and get little sympathy for SOs. Packingham v North Carolina was a First Amendment challenge that received a positive ruling at the Supreme Court. Hopefully, this will as well.

    • #61653 Reply
      Jeremy from Indiana

      This is something I am planning on fighting myself here in Indiana. My charge was military under the UCMJ (not even a sex crime under the UCMJ either) and I was never directed to register anywhere until I went on parole. I honestly don’t plan to fight too hard because of how long courts take on these things. I’ve already been registered for 6 years and only have 4 left according to my current registration status, but I’m always worried someone will either change the law around my 10 year mark or find a way to change my status. If it comes to that, I will fight and fight hard, but right now I’m not going to tie up the courts for the amount of time I have left on the registry. Due process is one of my primary fights though and I may wait until this decision goes through the courts prior to making my fight.

    • #61656 Reply
      The Criminalized Man

      “No neutral decision maker?” What else is new? The judge in my case was firmly on the side of the prosecution.

    • #61663 Reply
      Keith Herald

      My registration was changed from 10 years to 25 years. They had me at a Level 1 at first. Then they got rid of the levels and put my registration at 25 years. They have a 15 year registration, too. I guess it doesn’t matter. My crime was in Nebraska and now I live in Texas where they make everyone register for life, even if they are off the registration completely in their former State.

    • #61662 Reply
      Matthew A

      The fact that an offender must register in New Mexico or any other state for s.o. crimes committed in another state is not uncommon my crime was committed in Utah and I had to register in Nevada within 48 hrs when I visited, nevertheless congratulate John Doe’s in this case New Mexico should follow due process just like in any other state

    • #61668 Reply

      I moved from Florida to Missouri. I was not convicted in Florida. Here in Missouri, I was recently placed after many years into a newly created tier system as a level 2 offender. My registration appeal period changed from 10 years to 25 years. I wasn’t informed about my new status. My Florida “adjudication withheld” is viewed as what they call an SIS (“Suspended Imposition of Sentence”) which is not the same as “Adjudication Withheld”. Florida will never remove me from their registry even when I am long dead and gone. Missouri will not consider an appeal to be removed from the registry that Missouri changed from 10 to 25 years without due process. Fighting the system is expensive so I don’t have an attorney to fight for me.

      Because I live alone, I approached my county sheriff’s office but they wouldn’t talk to me about my having a gun. I went ahead and bought a pistol and the FBI did not deny me my gun rights since I was “not convicted of a crime”. I applied for a concealed carry permit. I now carry a concealed carry permit on my person. I have no neighbors nearby and I carry my gun for protection any time I am out on my isolated property and I often carry concealed in public.

      When I was in sex offender counseling I had to make up a victim that I sexually abused since I did not have a victim.
      This is how stupid, ignorant and retarded sex offender issues and law comes into being. Our legislators are hateful, ignorant, retarded imbeciles when it comes to treating and managing sex offenders fairly or protect our constitutional rights.

    • #61679 Reply

      I believe someone hit the nail on the head with this due process. If a man thinkest. One wonders if hindsight is better than foresight. Tim I like your answer. Sure much of this sex registry wasn’t well thought out. I had a jack leg for a public attorney that gave up on the case and throw in the towel. So the detective come to me and offer me a plea deal, said he talked to the DA and the judge if I pled guilty. At the time I took the pled plead guilty and didn’t see the ramifications of this polygraph test, going to these classes, monthly home visits by a PO, curfew, etc. all the pressure and stress. Nerve racking & depressing and stressful if one can call it that. This registry stuff is a bit much from state to state. One can understand a car registration but humans.

      Even travel was a bit much when I had to tell them were I was going. Sure moving from one State to another can be a bit radical for one’s liberty. If due process or even a guilty plea induced by those men in blue speaks volumes than due process is actual proof of an actual physical crime and should be handled in a court of law.

      Probation well once that is finished or even incarraction than that should be it. Depriving people that move from State to State is a bit of hindsight and underhanded. Best thing to do is fight for libirty and true jutice or else someone is getting railroaded.

    • #61677 Reply

      The best thing you can do is NOT to move. That way you stay in their jurisdiction.

      In California, SB 384 was signed in 2017 to move to a tiered system as of 2021.

      AB 884 is trying to re-tier offenders again. Before SB 384 even took effect lol.

      http://(link removed by moderator, please see rules)

      So the tier 1 is a problem to prosecutors because of misdemeanors. That’s because the prosecutors rely on catch-all misdemeanors in “touch” cases. It allows them to save face when a defendent fails to meet felony charges.

      Coupled with Marsys law “victim’s rights” protections you can be accused of “touching” what literally amounts to a “phantom”. This is great for when there WAS no crime (or victim) but they don’t want to drop the case.

      So basically they can accuse and convict anyone of a sex offense regardless if there even WAS an offense. So might I suggest that “what’s good for the goose, is good for the gander.” Now YOU play the victim and go accuse…I dunno Mister Rodgers.

      Or even Abraham Lincoln.

      Because it doesn’t matter. When a prosecutor is faced with the impossible they’ll pull the strings to MAKE it possible. They can fake names, they can fake ages, they can fake offenses, they can fake victims, they can fake offenders.

      Marsys law grants nearly that same prosecutorial immunity to an accuser. In exchange for “constitutionally guaranteed restitution”.

      Thanks Mike Ramos! That’s probably why you got voted out. And why Kamala Harris is NOT going to win.

    • #61714 Reply

      Hmmm, I wonder if this will work for me, I was convicted in Missouri for 2 sex offences, both come out of the same conduct and also a Federal charge and after my release I moved back to NYS, that is where I was born and had to register, so if this turns out to be a new law can I petition to get me off the registry here in NYS? Can anybody tell me?

    • #62044 Reply

      Due Process of law. We all at times can’t seem to see the light before the dawn and even government many times get a bit out of hand with all this. Sure due process is very worthwhile and so important in any common law.

      Yes due process is very important, Is not some plea deal or get this ordeal over with, or I talked to the judged or prosecutor or are their are more pressing issues to take care of. That is callous and a bit intimidating in many of these registry ordeals. One even has to wonder if due process is actual truth and understanding in these callous ordeals.

      While facts are good in evaluating in courts of Justice where is the true justice today or proof. While providing facts and proof are two different catogory’s one wonders if the facts outweight the proof in many or much of common law and liberty and justice for all.

      While appealing is good where is true justice and understanding in many or much of this ordeal the sex offender faces in many endeavors of truth. Yes facts are good but truth is a whole lot better.

    • #66966 Reply
      Ed C

      There is currently a bill before the New Mexico legislature (HB0043) which would effectively moot the lawsuit if enacted. It amends the registration statutes to require anyone required to register in another state to register in New Mexico. Current law states that the other state’s conviction be the equivalent to any New Mexico statute enumerated in the registration laws.

      I am convinced mooting the lawsuit is the intent of the legislation. Jeffrey Epstein owned a villa on a secluded, sprawling and well secured ranch–complete with a private airstrip–in the state. Attorney General Hector Balderas expressed outrage that Epstein was not required to register in New Mexico. His Florida conviction was only for securing a 17 year old prostitute. In New Mexico, the equivalent statute sets the age at 16. Rather than changing a fundamental aspect of registration, a rational response might have been to seek to raise the statutory age. But then, no politician has ever been elected by running on a platform of being rational on crime.

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