Registration not cruel and unusual punishment, says Tenth Circuit

By Larry . . . NARSOL is extremely disappointed to announce this long-awaited decision from the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. To refresh your memory, in August 2017 U.S. District Judge Richard Matsch found that Colorado’s sex offender registration scheme was unconstitutional. The state appealed Judge Matsch’s decision to the Court of Appeals. Both NARSOL and a group of legal scholars filed amicus briefs. Unfortunately, the three-judge panel reversed Judge Matsch and remanded the case. You can read the opinion here. Also, the case was discussed in episode 141 of the Registry Matters Podcast.

Appellees David Millard, Eugene Knight, and Arturo Vega had challenged the constitutionality of Colorado’s Sex Offender Registration Act (CSORA). The  District Court held CSORA was unconstitutional as applied to the appellees because the statute inflicted cruel and unusual punishment and violated substantive due process guarantees.

The Tenth Circuit states that Congress created the federal SORNA registry to “protect the public from sex offenders.”[1] [2] SORNA continues “to condition federal funding to states’ maintenance of their own sex-offender registries, but also requires states (and registrants) to provide registry information to the federal government.”[3]

PLAINTIFFS’ CLAIMS

Millard, Knight, and Vega are subject to CSORA’s registration requirements. Together, they brought suit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, arguing that:

  1. CSORA’s registration requirements constitute cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment;
  2. It violates their Fourteenth Amendment right to privacy; and,
  3. In the case of juvenile-offenders like Vega, it violates their right to due process under the Fourteenth Amendment.

Each alleged that registration has been onerous, making it harder to hold a job, find housing, raise children, or pass a criminal background check. Millard alleged that he was forced to move to a different work location because of his sex-offender status and struggled to find new housing, and that he incurred shame from the broad dissemination of his information and loud visits from police.

Knight alleged he has experienced shame due to private businesses republishing the registry, is no longer able to enter his children’s school, and was denied employment at Home Depot after his background check was “red flagged.” Vega, who committed his underlying offense as a juvenile, contends that his placement on the registry prevents him from finding secure employment and that the state court violated procedural due process when denying his petitions for deregistration.

 DISTRICT COURT TRIAL

Following a bench trial, the  District Court concluded that CSORA (1) constituted cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment as applied to appellees in Millard v. Rankin,[4] (2) violated the appellees’ substantive due process rights[5]; and (3) violated, through the state-court’s misapplication of the law when denying Vega’s petition to deregister, Vega’s procedural due process rights[6]. The court granted declaratory judgment to the appellees. 

EIGHTH AMENDMENT CLAIM

A deprivation cannot violate the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against “cruel and unusual punishment” unless it first qualifies as “punishment.”[7] Whether a law equates to “punishment” depends on whether the legislature’s intent was to punish; and if not, whether there is the “clearest proof” that any punitive effects of the law negate the legislature’s civil intent.[8] The Tenth Circuit court has twice, and the Supreme Court has once, determined that sex-offender registration requirements were not “punishments” because their respective legislatures lacked punitive intent and their application lacked punitive effect.[9] Evaluating the Colorado legislature’s intent and comparing CSORA’s effects to those deemed nonpunitive by binding precedent in Smith, Shaw, and Femedeer, the Tenth Circuit’s conclusion was that CSORA’s registration requirements as applied to appellees do not amount to punishment.[10]

BINDING PRECEDENT

Past precedent in the Tenth Circuit shows that CSORA’s effects on appellees are not punitive enough to negate the legislature’s civil intent. To determine the punitive nature of CSORA’s effects, the court considered five factors used in Kennedy v. Mendoza-Martinez.[11] These are whether the scheme resembles traditional forms of punishment, imposes an affirmative disability or restraint, promotes the traditional aims of punishment, has a rational connection to a nonpunitive purpose, or is excessive with respect to this purpose. The Tenth Circuit stated, “… neither the District Court nor Appellees distinguish their case from our binding precedent in Smith, Shaw, and Femedeer in any meaningful way with regard to any of the Mendoza-Martinez factors, leading us to conclude that CSORA’s effects do not constitute punishment.”[12]

IS REGISTRATION BANISHMENT?

CSORA does not resemble banishment. The  District Court based its conclusion on the fact that one of the appellees was forced to move and had to file hundreds of applications before finally finding a new residence “because of a TV news story focusing on sex offenders in apartment housing.”[13] But such obstacles are less onerous than Oklahoma’s residency restrictions that place an outright ban on sex-offenders “living within 2,000 feet of a school, playground, park, or child care center,” which the Tenth Circuit court in Shaw found did not equate to banishment.[14]

Moreover, the appellees’ struggles here did not stem from state-imposed residency restrictions such as in Shaw, but instead from third parties and businesses implementing their own procedures. CSORA mandates the dissemination of information, which is not the same as “banishment.”

Last, the Tenth Circuit concluded that application of CSORA to the appellees does not amount to probation. The  District Court had reasoned that CSORA’s requirements for in-person reporting and disclosure of email addresses and chat-handles provided law enforcement supervisory capabilities akin to probation.[15] In Shaw the court concluded that in-person reporting does not amount to probation.[16] The court stated its reasoning in that case applies equally to CSORA’s email and chat-handle disclosure requirements, arguing that any monitoring capability stemming from these requirements falls short of the “far more active” role law enforcement plays in a probationer’s life, such as mandating employment, requiring consent before moving or changing jobs, and forbidding drug and alcohol use.

 DISABILITY OR RESTRAINT

For this factor, the Tenth Circuit assessed whether CSORA “imposes an affirmative disability or restraint.” The  District Court held that it did because its in-person reporting requirements and use of the registry restrained the appellees’ “abilities to live, work, accompany their children to school, and otherwise freely live their lives.”[17] The Tenth Circuit disagreed, “… because we held in Shaw that neither the in-person reporting requirements, nor the more onerous residency-restrictions, of Oklahoma’s sex-offender laws constituted an affirmative disability or restraint.”[18] It is true that Millard’s employer moved him to a different work location and that Home Depot declined to hire Knight because of his background. But the court found these effects to be less harsh than a lifelong ban on work in a particular industry, which the Supreme Court in Hudson v. United States found did not constitute an affirmative disability or restraint.[19] The  Tenth Circuit concluded “… that CSORA has not affirmatively disabled or restrained the Appellees here.”[20]

The Tenth Circuit emphasized, “Supreme Court precedent and our governing case law compel us to reject the District Court’s decision. … we conclude that the Appellees have not presented the clearest proof of punitive effect, and that therefore CSORA is not punitive as applied to Appellees. Accordingly, the Eighth Amendment does not bar its application in this case.”[21]

DUE PROCESS

The Supreme Court has held that the Due Process Clause especially protects “fundamental rights and liberties.”[22] Laws that violate such rights undergo heightened scrutiny and will be deemed invalid unless they are narrowly tailored to a compelling state interest.[23] But if a law does not violate fundamental rights, it need only be rationally related to a legitimate government interest.[24] The Tenth Circuit Court states that appellees failed to show how CSORA violated their fundamental rights. They cite no case holding that compliance with a sex-offender registration law implicates a “deeply rooted” fundamental right. Rather, all courts that have considered the issue have concluded otherwise.[25]

NEXT STEPS?

 The options moving forward in terms of this case are limited. The attorney could seek reconsideration or review En Banc, which means that all judges sitting in the Tenth Circuit would review the decision. Both are likely to be denied. If that turns out to be the case, the only option would be a Petition for Certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court. That too would be a long-shot considering that the Supreme Court only grants approximately one percent of such petitions. In addition, there are other considerations which make this case less than ideal for Supreme Court review.

United States District Judge Richard Kopf (Nebraska) has said, “In a democracy, we have legislatures to make public policy choices, and a black robe does not legitimize nullification of those legislative decisions simply because [the judge] find[s] them dumb or distasteful.”

In their decision in this case, the Tenth Circuit has shown their agreement with these words.

 

[1] 34 U.S.C. §§ 20901, 20921 (national registry).

[2] See Opinion at 2.

[3] Id at 3.

[4] 265 F. Supp 3d 1211, 1231–32 (D. Colo. 2017)

[5] id. at 1235

[6] id. at 1233

[7] See Carney Okla. Dept. of Public Safety, 875 F.3d 1347, 1352 (10th Cir. 2017).

[8] Smith, 538 U.S. at 92.

[9] Id. at 96, 105 (finding the Alaska Sex Offender Registration Act nonpunitive); Shaw v. Patton, 823 F.3d 556, 562, 577 (10th Cir. 2016) (finding the application of Oklahoma’s sex-offender reporting and residency requirements nonpunitive); Femedeer v. Haun, 227 F.3d 1244, 1249, 1253 (10th Cir. 2000) (finding the application of Utah’s sex-offender registration and notification system, including dissemination of the information on the internet, nonpunitive).

[10] See Opinion at 9-10.

[11] 372 U.S. 144, 168 (1963)

[12] See Opinion at 11.

[13] Millard, 265 F. Supp 3d at 1227.

[14] 823 F.3d at 559, 568.

[15] Millard, 265 F. Supp 3d at 1228.

[16] 823 F.3d at 566.

[17] See Millard, 265 F. Supp 3d at 1229.

[18] Shaw, 823 F.3d at 569, 571.

[19] 522 U.S. 93, 104 (1997).

[20] See Opinion at 13 -14.

[21] See Opinion at 16-17.

[22] See Washington v. Glucksburg, 521 U.S. 702, 720–21 (1997).

[23] Id. at 721.

[24] Id. at 728.

[25] See Opinion at 18.

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Larry Neely

Larry serves as NARSOL'S treasurer, publisher of the Digest, and co-chair of the conference planning committee. He also hosts the "NARSOL in Action" and "Can They Do That?" webinars and is a regular on the "Registry Matters" podcasts.

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    • #75555 Reply
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      Brian

      Larry – thanks for the overview of the case and breakdown of the details. At this point in time I guess I’m feeling pretty hopeless that any of this can ever get resolved. It doesn’t seem like there are any viable paths forward to the registry. Or am I missing something here?

    • #75556 Reply
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      The Criminalized Man

      Judge Kopf left off an important four important word sentence at the end. “That’s a jury’s job.”

    • #75557 Reply
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      Perry

      Well, I can’t say what I WAS going to say, because Wordfence-whatever THAT is, blocked me. So I’ll just say this instead. The Firestorm To End All Firestorms, is coming now.
      Done.

    • #75565 Reply
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      Jamba

      When these people who have no path forward no chance for redemption who are now forced to live their entire life in the gutter climb up into towers and start shooting people , instead of saying OH MY GOD LOOK WHAT WE HAVE DONE ,
      they will say SEE we told you they were dangerous .
      They are nothing more than legislative and judicial bullies and sadists that thrive on control .

    • #75572 Reply
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      Elliander Eldridge

      This ruling is, well, scary. It reminds me of Buck v Bell. In 1927 the Supreme Court allowed the forced sterilization of the mentally deficient, the deaf, the blind, the diseased, the poor, the promiscuous, and minorities in order to “breed out” undesirable traits. Here, too, the argument was that it’s not a “cruel and unusual punishment” if it’s not intended as a punishment. To see that used again, nearly a century later, is chilling since it means the same logic applies.

      The only reason such programs ended in America was because Hitler took it further. Rather than sterilization, he outright killed them so that they wouldn’t be a drain on society. Technically, if America also did this it would appear to be constitutionally allowed since the same logic applies which is terrifying to consider.

      I disagree with the idea that prior rulings must be upheld. On the contrary, the Supreme Court has the authority to reverse it’s own prior decisions. Personally, I think the Shaw ruling was wrong, but not just because of the impact on those on the registry. I worry for their children, who tend to be bullied at a higher rate than the general population due to being isolated due to association with their parents. How is it not banishment to put a child through that?

      I also feel that there is a vagueness problem with these laws. The registry doesn’t give context. A girl who took her own picture will have a registry entry that says she took a picture of a minor. A case involving same aged individuals charged with the statutory rape of each other will say they had sex with a child, next to a mug shot as an adult. These are the cases in which the individuals are typically allowed to raise their own children and these are also the cases where the individual poses no risk to society, but society is told otherwise. How is that not at least libel?

      I wish the judges would consider the real world consequence of their rulings.

    • #75569 Reply
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      James

      I will never understand how it is not a part of punishment or the fact how a judge whom can pretty much say what they want .
      Let’s start with punishment. Last I checked punishment was a consequence of one’s actions. Those said punishments dont even have to be issued by a person . It’s a cause and effect. Now the law is clear. You do this offense you must do this ….or face punishment… aka a ticket or felony or way worse. If you ask me I say that is punishment….wait wait wait hold on … what did I just say? I said if you “ask me” and “I say”, that everyone is my opinion and relative truth. Tell me how does someone saying something is wrong or right make it so? Also let me ask you this, If you asked many people one question, how many would give you the same answer?
      Ha, now we are on the judge’s appointed “by us” and in no way political and unbiased. What is interesting to me is how one person speaks their opinion and everyone just accepts it. I have to admit I have known one good judge whom truly did their job. The rest especially in the higher courts are mostly a joke. Who’s to say that judge did have a bad day and used that in their ruling? We all do this and no judge is immune to it. Only two reasons why in my opinion tho highly likely a judge in the 10th circuit could not see the injustice done to families thru this broken justice system that we have. One is they were afraid of the political rebound and two they were biased by their narrow minded vision. They need to see that thier is a better way that a caste system we are in today. Clearly the discrimination is there , why dont they see it?

    • #75568 Reply
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      Ernest B Tucker

      This is nothing new. The courts have been making up the laws and defining them in their own favor since before we declared our independence. This is one of the reasons that the war of independence was fought to begin with. You have to remember that Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely. And this is what we have allowed the courts in this country to do.
      When judges are not held accountable and prosecutors can legally coerce plea agreements from innocent people the law holds no meaning. And if it holds no meaning then we as a society have failed.
      It isn’t about right or wrong. It isn’t about justice. It’s all about the money.
      SORNA is all about money and control. The Federal Government tells the states that they will adopt this oppressive joke of a law or they will loose their Federal money. So the states do as they are told. The 10th amendment is totally ineffective except when the court wants it to be.
      In the case being discussed here, is a perfect example of how the courts manipulate the law. If you notice there was no mention of law, but of precedent. The courts don’t make decisions based on the LAW. They make them based on what other courts have decided. So if you dig deep enough you can find a precedent to make any decisions you want and make it the way you want. And the courts have people that do nothing else but find ways around the actual law if it doesn’t suit the decision they want to make.
      There is only one thing that will change this and it’s a repeat of an action taken in 1776.

    • #75564 Reply
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      H n H

      Any of you reading this should look on you tube at a channel called “common sense laws” and see how one person is bringing the fight over the registry to international attention.

      This is a matter of basic human rights. If the courts are the only entity who can bring forth punishment (I. E. Prison, parole, etc) then they have no right to being forth a scheme that enables entities not entitled to bring punishment to bring punishment (I. E. Residency restrictions, job restrictions, etc etc).

      The government is not to do any harm, period! It matters not what good they think their laws do, if they’re to punish people, when that punishment is over, it’s over and then it’s supposed to be done.

      Common sense laws.

    • #75578 Reply
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      Tim in WI

      People,
      Naturally now deceased Judge Matsch assessment was just going to go away as errant. Naturally the purveyors of the database driven infrastructure will deny the punitive and deleterious nature of rendering human subservient to machine need.
      Resistance is futile you must comply. The outcome here rests in the political advantages wrought through the unfettered uses of the infrastructure that was established by the upholding in DOE03 cases.

      The database infrastructure is, more or less, a perfect union of machines. Our republic however was devised primarily to form a more perfect union of people. The purveyors will continue to insist these are interchangeable or collateral when in fact it is a death blow to a traditional notions of the reason for the formation of a re: publica.

      In the next couple of years truck drivers will be replaced by infrastructure assisted automated and driver-less trucks. Teachers & traditional classrooms will continue to be replaced(covid-19 has become an additional catalyst) by electronic means. That is where the money at.

    • #75579 Reply
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      Elliander Eldridge

      You raise a very good point. Punishment is a consequence of one’s actions. That sets this ruling apart from the 1927 ruling Buck vs Bell. In it, an individual was sterilized because of their “condition” rather than their actions, but in this case a person goes onto the registry due to their actions.

      Another point to make is that in some states the punishment for failing to register as a sex offender, or update the registration, results in revocation of parole. In other words, the registry is itself treated as parole. So maybe this ruling does have an effect? I mean, the court just said that it’s not parole, so that means you can’t be punished for violating parole, right?

      With children around age 14 being the most common age for being put on the registry, and with failure to register being a class 3 felony, one possible consequence of having so many children on the registry – a number far exceeding the number of children ever victimized by someone on the registry – they will never gain the right to vote. This would result in an entire generation being disenfranchised, without the right to government representation, but that’s not a punishment?

      I wonder if America is going down the route China went down, with a registry for every citizen tracking their every move all the time and giving them a social credit score that affects everything from where they can live to where they can work to who they can associate with. All of the ideas used to justify the sex offender registry would seem to support that, and actually that would probably be the only way to accurately say this isn’t a punishment. I may not have done anything to end up on the registry myself, but I’d be a fool to not consider how such a program might affect me in the future.

    • #75581 Reply
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      AD

      Hear! Hear! All of this! 👏🏽 If its intent is punitive, it’s punitive- period. Soooo my next question is: Since the registry isn’t likely going to be going away anytime soon… how can we work toward changing those informational fields? (So when that girl -for example- grows older, there CAN be some context here, so perception can be derived from this list?)

    • #75582 Reply
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      mut

      so incestuous its hard to untangle but appearing in person to [wash a police car] in order to [keep it shiny] is labor to me and i want paid for it.

    • #75588 Reply
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      mut

      [my] legislature has the power to subpoena witnesses to appear in person and answer questions under oath but the witness has no duty to comply unless fees are first paid to the witness to cover his or her expenses.

    • #75570 Reply
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      RetroJuv

      In 1993 I was 13 years old and the product of a extremely dysfunctional and abusive childhood . I was criminalized at the age of 13 for something the legal system and the police should have been protecting me from. That was 27 years ago. My life has been a living hell. I’m thinking of killing myself. This shame is unbearable and makes it impossible to rise above the awful things that happened to me. It’s kept me in disgrace and held me back from pursuing my dreams. It makes it impossible to lay down genuine roots. This ruined any chance at a decent life I could have. It still is. I’m living in a state that doesn’t require juvenile offenders to register but my home state has felony warrants out for me making me a fugitive in half of the country according to SORNA. I can’t afford a decent lawyer. I have a failure to register felony conviction on my record from them stacking misdemeanor charges from retroactive juvenile placement and being railroaded by prosecutors. This shows up but with no explanation as to what the charge was because it’s sealed. People get to use their imagination. This has led to homelessness, addiction, severe emotional problems, and suffering beyond what these words can describe. I’m a good person. I am smart. I am not a monster. I could have and quite possibly still could do something meaningful with my life but at this point its unlikely. Where is my justice? Where is my redemption? It’s shuffled away and forgotten in a broken system. Im serving life in a prison of shame with no sure shot at release because of a behavioral consequence of child abuse when my brain wasn’t even fully developed yet. Think about that. Where is my shot at life??? Why aren’t these requirements and punishments that can destroy lives determined on a case to case basis’? The justice system has failed.

    • #75591 Reply
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      JJJJ

      Maybe it’s time for us to stop asking for our constitutional rights to be respected. Maybe it’s time we started demanding our rights. (And backing those demands up with the most extreme policy)

      Just putting it out there.

    • #75592 Reply
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      SupportOurConstitution

      We must meet with the legislators, folks.
      They are the ones in control of this.

      Not the judges. ( That is, if they are true to “upholding” the law instead of “making” the law.” Gorsuch comes to mind as one who upholds..)

      Peacefully, with discipline and tact.

      All supported by our own personal “story of redemption”.
      …How we are living a life of lawfullness, post incarceration.

      Let the legislators know, to the degree that you feel you are not lying when you speak, that the incarceration period was beneficial to your redemption process.
      Remember, they represent ALL of the people in your community. Including your victim(s) and their family.

      Legislators like to know that the tax payer’s dollar was not spent in vain.

      Assure them that it wasn’t, folks.

      This in turn shows this group (legislators and victims) that:
      1) True remorse is evident in your life
      2) That they can rest assured that they received the “justice” that was due to them, since..we..were their offender.

      Over time, with plenty of us administering this recipe to our local and state authorities, we will see change.

      We must not stop doing “the good” that we are now capable of.

      With that…there will always be HOPE.

      Blessings, everyone.

    • #75595 Reply
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      Pam

      So
      What do the men/women say??
      As usual double talk.
      I thought prison was the punishment.
      There is very little done to help these people.
      And I agree with no housing, no jobs, cannot go to church, attend functions with children.
      I think it has been tested and shown that a second crime is few and far between.
      They paid their dues….now it will be life long and branded

    • #75599 Reply
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      Maestro

      How is public shaming on a registry that people DO SHAME OTHERS FOR not considered cruel and unusual? If having to register exceeds the amount of time you’re on probation (i.e. the suspended part of your prison term) then yes, it IS cruel and unusual because it’s carrying beyond the actual punishment received. Registry should end when your full sentence is completed. There has to be a way an experienced, good talking attorney can argue this.
      When an armed robber’s full sentence ends, he/she doesn’t have anything further to report and carries on with their lives and no one can predict that he/she won’t attempt to do the same crime again. Especially when robbery is typically an act done by people “less fortunate” who want what they can’t otherwise afford (material items) or have (money).

      The registry informs people of your crime long after you’ve fulfilled your court sentence. So yes, it is punishment and there’s no argument to go against that. They’re not using LOGIC, they’re using EXCUSES.

    • #75609 Reply
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      A Mistake They Made

      Just because the Legislators did not mean it to be punitive, does not mean it is not punitive. The road to hell is paved in good intentions. We tried to do it the right way.

      A Mistake They Made

    • #75610 Reply
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      Bobby

      A lack of foresight by the attorneys and others led to this ruling.
      These cases should not be brought forth unless it is absolutely clear that the issues are novel, or that past rulings have proven to be wrong based on clear and convincing evidence, and they have been vetted in full by retired judges that can give an unbiased opinion on the likelihood of success. This was foreseeable unfortunately.
      Think tanks consisting of retired judges, lawyers, experts, etc. need to be formed and should have been formed years ago to deal with these monumental issues that have far reaching effects. What the hell have we been waiting for? Money talks, and if that is or what was needed to put together think tanks then so be it, money should have been raised or should be raised if necessary.
      Is it too late, i don’t know.

    • #75615 Reply
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      Mary

      Funny that they take into consideration what the Legislature INTENDED, but we don’t get that benefit.

      It is time to gather up all people on the registry, with their family members and FIGHT this. As was said earlier in this post…it must be respectful, professional…show them who we are…decent people!

      So where do we start?

    • #75617 Reply
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      David V C

      How can the court hold that this law is not punitive when if you fail to register you are sent back to prison according to that same law???
      You are punished for not registering so how can it be not punitive??

    • #75624 Reply
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      H n H

      Maestro, you state that registration sheend when your full sentence is complete. So, how do you deal with states blanketing any and all sex cases with lifetime parole to keep people in the system indefinitely? Seems like they always comr up with a way to cover themselves, and lifetime parole is one, even for those of us who have been declared NOT to be a court determined predator.

      I’m really shocked that Noone had commented on the post I mentioned regarding the common sense laws. A case regarding the Florida registry making a human rights case in Germany and Noone here even notices? *rolls eyes*…

      Such attention worldwide could bring sanctions against the US for the registry. Why isn’t this being covered by NARSOL? I’d like to think it would be front page news here…. Sandy?

    • #75623 Reply
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      Jim

      Hey A Mistake They Made! I hope they let my last comment post as they have blocked me some. I TOTALLY AGREE. We tried doing this nice and got screwed again. Nice people Never win in a situation like this EVER.

    • #75621 Reply
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      Jim

      They will Never Listen and will never care. Time to attack this in a much stronger force. No lawyers, waste of money. Antifa has the right idea. Time to FORCE a change. Mabie a big Dozer? Mabie a large peaceful protest where a city is Peacefully Damaged? Mabie time to think about all getting together and stop this? Mabie a civil War???? Mabie has a lot of opportunities for people who have been pushed to the end.

    • #75620 Reply
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      WearethePeople

      Thank you Larry, I would like to say to the Judges in the Tenth Circuit, walk a day in my shoes. Better yet, walk a day in my grandson’s shoes. We will rise above this, because it is cruel and unusual punishment. I could cry everyday just knowing what our Government is doing to all the mostly young men out there. Instead I am writing again. I hope this time to tell my story, and how I feel about all this. I am first writing about who I was and who he was, before this all happened and who he still is. I am retired so I have the time, I think!

    • #75635 Reply
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      Michael

      So if it’s not punitive, why can’t I travel the country like all Americans. I am 65 and retired, blessed to have an income so I don’t have to work. I want to travel across the US in an RV and do what thousands of Americans do daily, but because of SORNA and the Registry If I leave my home for more than 7 days, I have to give an itinerary to the sheriff’s department of where I am going and where I am staying. I like Boondocking and dispersed camping which is free on government land and you don’t reserve campsites you find them.(BLM Land, National forest etc.) Because of that it’s hard to give an exact place I will stay because of many factors such as are there sites available, how tired am I, traffic and weather, etc. Sometimes I will just stop at a Walmart and crash for the night. It’s very hard to nail down places and dates due to those factors. Then you have to be aware of each state’s requirements for registering in that state. Some are 2 days others are 30, each state is different. I tried once to contact several lawyers to get one on retainer to advise me when I travel and none could help. I tried calling my states registry and no one returns my calls. The sheriff’s department is not very helpful and sometimes it looks like they are just waiting for me to mesh up so they can violate me. Its been 10 years since my offense, I have served my time and paid my debt to society, so why can’t I be able to do the same things as every other person. It’s not right, it’s not those on the registry who you have to worry about its the ones who are not that are doing the most damage. When is this country going to wake up and what is it going to take to show that the registry does nothing to protect children. If anything it destroys lives, lively hoods, and families.

    • #75643 Reply
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      A Mistake They Made

      This was always going to have to go to the Supreme court of the US. They will have to determine again weather or not it is punishment and consider the new additions to the registered citizens requirements as well. Allot has been added since the last time they considered it not punishment this was an easy out for this lower court.

      Jim,

      We will see after all legal means have been exhausted. It is not yet time to beat them into submission, or break their false sense of security. This better go to the Supreme court. They must be forced to hear this case.

      -United States Constitution-
      “No person shall . . . be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb . . . . ”
      What the hell do these people think this is?

    • #75645 Reply
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      Tim

      As you know, there is a segment above the law…including Prosecutors..District Attorneys…Zionists…super rich…you get the picture…that fact of unequal legal exposure is enough to make our legal system a joke.

    • #75656 Reply
      Avatar
      Tim in WI

      Yes we should meet with Congress. A problem is the permission to meet is hard to come by, especially for recidivism meets. Once you’ve expressed your beef and intent; you get stone walled by most and worse by some. Ask Derek. Pretty soon you’re doing harassment charges. The big money and power is in big tech and the regulation OF! ( or not emphasis added) This fact was inevitable and predicted by a knowledge few. Never underestimate the ability of machine invention to replace the need for human labor!

      If you going to make a valid constitutional rights claim stick to the loss of the right to remain silent inherent in the promulgating of SOR. The registration form (DOC1796WI) is a gov agent on a warrantless electronic fishing expedition.
      And as per the statement of then Gov. James E. Doyle “We are putting a net around violentboffenders.” A “net” has a purpose & intent.

    • #75655 Reply
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      Kohli R

      Please feel free to use my statement in further court sessions. As a child victim of someone who never got on the registry and as a person who looked up the registry for no other reason but to cause myself anger and and to let hate fill me up inside……I absolutely hate the registry. I think it is a joke. This in no way protects the public. It instead causes victims to not be able to move on (I know) plus it causes potential harm to offenders which is not right either. These individuals have served their sentences, paid their debt to society and as such under the common sense law should not be further punished upon release. That is not what this country is about. America is the ONLY COUNTRY that doesn’t believe in u serve your time now you are clear. The police have the record on file and that is all they need to know. OK if you really feel that a sex offender needs to register then do it but DO NOT make it public. The public should not have access to it. There are so many people on social media claiming that all sex offenders must die. Like I said I was a victim. I was then someone who would look up just for spite. I didn’t do it to protect myself or my kids. But I couldn’t stand how i felt and the media spewing hatred on sex offenders so I VOLUNTEERED for a prison ministry called Keryx and met so many sex offenders…..they were really normal people who were either innocent or genuinely REMORSEFUL. This was 15 years ago and to this day these same people have been out and remained out and striving to be good people. And honestly people on the registry are by far the best people to have as friends because they genuinely appreciate the friends they have and don’t take friendship for granted. These people are good parents and workers and deserve to be free. You want to protect the public……..then protect us from those behind the curtain. These are the ones that for decades have been blinding the world and doing horrible things to children behind our backs.. The registry…..it is banishment, cruel and……continued punishment and they can’t say otherwise. Why are people coerced into taking plea deals? So it saves the court money on a trial and makes them guilty. More than half people on the registry were coerced into a plea even if they were innocent. Sex offenders are used in a stigma like pitbulls. I had a pitbull and they are the best dogs…..i say stop using stigmas as a way to make people fear and hate. I AM a victim of the registry………i WAS a victim of someone NOT on it. I WILL NOT allow this registry to be publicly accessible. I am a voice in an voice of many others just like me who want this nonpublic. One other thing I am a EMT, my job is to protect people. So for me to want the registry abolished or at least accessible to law enforcement alone says alot. I would be glad to be present in any fight for sex offenders rights and registry unconstitutional hearings if my testimony would be beneficial. If a victim like me could be educated and not need the registry then anyone can. People just need to stop believing everything they read on social media and following the crowd. Be an individual and stand up for the rights of others…. if you don’t understand people educate yourself, learn, research the truth, get to know someone on the registry, trust me it won’t kill you to do so. God bless all of those on the registries. Don’t give up hope, you have so many good people fighting for you and you got me i will fight for you too.

    • #75641 Reply
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      W squared

      Of course, the sex offender registry is not cruel and unusual punishment! Until you walk in someone else’s shoes, you can never truly understand the effects of this type of punishment. Judges make the rules as they go and on paper; without thinking, they simply choose just to ignore anything related to sex offenders. SORNA is about politics, a false sense of security sold by politicians to ensure the safety of the people. Sounds good to many! But we must realize that the United States government may be the most corrupt government in the world. We point the finger at China and the middle east as if we are better, but I argue that in China, at least you know you have no rights. The United States lies to Americans pushing freedoms when, in fact, the Constitution is being bypassed or ignores with amendments at every junction. Simply put, the Constitution is on hospice (dying). Atrocities committed by the US government: to name a few Trail of tears, Tuskegee experiments, and internment of Japanese Americans. My point is that the registry is not surprising by a country with a history of transgressions against so many.

      Sorry about being long-winded, keep reading, but I believe my story can be inspiring yet controversial to the SO registry. I ended up on the SO registry as a result of a craigslist police sting! After six weeks of conversation with a presumed adult, a meeting at a public place was arranged (seven-eleven). While en route to the meeting place, I received a text that this person was 15 years old. In disbelief, I did not turn around or stop all communication, I wanted to see exactly who had been toying with me for six weeks. I was arrested at seven-eleven and charged with a second-degree felony. If you have never been arrested it is all about making a deal, avoiding a trial. My choices were extreme: lifetime sex offender, convicted felon, and ten years of incarceration or 2 year probation, misdemeanor, and 10 years nonpublic sex offender registration. It was a commonsense choice, not about wrong or right at this point. No one cares about wrong or right, it’s all about the deal. Here, I am with 2 years left on the nonpublic sex offender registry.

      Impacts on my life and mental health are all related to the ability to make a living. No one would hire me once Sex offender notification was delivered. Finding a job as a sex-offender is very difficult. So, I went to nursing school with student loans. Schools are business and the bottom line is money, so sex-offenders can get student loans and go to college. I did have to give notification of my status, it is embarrassing but I’ve been forced to tell so many people that it is getting less painful. I graduated nursing school with a bachelors degree in nursing and no one in the state would hire me. Frustrated, I started volunteering at local hospitals, doing work without pay, trying to make a name for myself. It worked, I was eventually hired as a nurse with a hospital that was fully aware of my SO status. Praise god! I’m not in nurse practitioner school but the SO registry is always limiting by ability. The inability to work is the single most painful aspect of being a sex offender as I was on public assistance for 1 year to avoid becoming homeless.

      The registry is all about cruel and unusual punishment, eight amendment. One interesting fact to those with misdemeanors, I have a concealed carry license and I have bought all the firearms including night vision my heart desires. As an avid hunter, purchasing firearms and hunting gives me a false sense of freedom outside the registry. Also be aware of travel restrictions, sex offenders can travel freely but many countries will not allow us in. For example, I landed in Mexico, Mexican authorities deported me instantly charge my own credit card for the airfare. A plane was held on the runway for little old me to get on, I was in Mexico for about 30 minutes, LOL. Embarrassed, I was deported with my finance, lucky she knew my status as well. Hopefully this helps someone.

    • #75675 Reply
      Avatar
      R.Arens

      Sex offender registry ain’t meant to be punitive??? Ok. Then why do you go to jail if you violate it? Why would a violation resulting in a conviction go against a registrants criminal record? It’s funny how bigoted judges play it off like the registry don’t affect us in the least bit. It’s funny how the terms and conditions of it are extremely similar to all the Jim Crow b.s. blacks were forced to endure ex: the carrying of a label, stereotyping, segregation, violence upon their persons by (for lack of better words) haters. Frequent incarceration, shakedowns, refusal of services, employment denial and being barred from accessing places and businesses. Oh, but we don’t suffer one teenie tiny bit. Like our Jim Crow counterparts, another thing we definitely have in common is the court system rarely ever gives us a fair shake. You can take that to the bank for sure!

    • #75805 Reply
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      mut

      i agree with that. looks to be exactly what art 1 secs 9 n 10 prohibit: bills of pains and penalties.

    • #75816 Reply
      Avatar
      mut

      congress called on the states to apply federal law to state facts and classify sex offenders as Tier 0 Tier 1 Tier 2 or Tier 3 with graduated burdens based on severity.

      that is a legislative trial. they did it for money.

    • #75817 Reply
      Avatar
      mut

      registration laws would be reasonable if they applied to everyone which would make us all safer by making it easier for police to solve all future crimes.

      focussing on a subclass alone operates to deprive that class of the same benefits demanded by the master class.

    • #75821 Reply
      Avatar
      DavidM

      I would like to have a better explanation of this point. All people on the registry in different states all different but there are requirements all must meet. These are not required of the general public, only those on the registry. Right? If there not punishment then they must not be criminal matters but civil. If that be the case how is it ,it’s legal in all states to punish persons for none compliance as a criminal? Most being charged a felony for none compliance.
      If restrictions are voluntary then there not punishment. If restrictions are mandatory there punishment.
      What is so complicated about that?

    • #75838 Reply
      Avatar
      mut

      it imposes restraint because i am forced to leave the safety of my home and walk (south) while i want to go North. i am also forced to remain at the registration facility until the process is completed and can only leave with the obligation to return again and again in perpetuity.

    • #75843 Reply
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      mut

      hate to step on anyones toes but these are all conditions of slavery. a servitude or easement across my liberty akin to african slavery.

    • #75848 Reply
      Avatar
      mut

      by applying this restraint on liberty retroactively to people who expired their sentence before its passage they took it 100% out of the criminal justice process which should allow habeas review of that independant and non-penal restraint as in In re turner.

      but i am not a lawyer. or a cop.

    • #75852 Reply
      Avatar
      mut

      i see it like this: the threat of being beaten, imprisoned or killed for non-compliance is but the means utilized to force the targeted individual to perform a service (much like what was done to indian slaves of the 1800s) for which the target is entitled in this day and age to remuneration.

    • #75854 Reply
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      mut

      the punishment is the loss of fundamental rights under the 1st, 4th, 6th, 13th and 14th amendments. see cumings v. missouri.

    • #75874 Reply
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      Carol

      The registry is very much cruel punishment when a person with an intellectual and developmental disability such as my son is put on the registry. My son’s brain was still developing and needed stimulation and socialization through specialized activities. He has lost 8 years and is now regressing. Yes that’s cruel and yes that is indeed punishment.

    • #75898 Reply
      Avatar
      mut

      i am also concerned over the dangers of crime like stray bullets, drunk drivers, gangs, burglary, fraudsters and cheats but i do not have the luxury of access to a state website that may help me avoid being victimized by such activity.

    • #75897 Reply
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      mut

      hey rv camper. i think that is a clear restraint on your liberty. have you tried going to court? i am there now over similar problems. i am hopeful and it only cost me 5$.

    • #75895 Reply
      Avatar
      mut

      must be purely a civil punishment under art 1 sec 10 rather than a criminal pumishment under the 8th

    • #75931 Reply
      Avatar
      mut

      a bill that subjects one person to 10 years registration, another person to 25 years registration and a third person to life time registration has unquestionably punished that third person.

    • #75991 Reply
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      mut

      are ‘compulsion’ and ‘regulation’ synonims or antinims?

    • #76197 Reply
      Avatar
      2600 got down.

      Still Waters Run Deep the judge is playing a deadly game there’s many family members who would love to sink their teeth his bs. there’s a Revolution coming all the registrants and their family’s pretty soon we’ll be up to knocking doors down In Washington. it will cease. Stand up for yourselves be brave warriors never let another man tell you you’re anything less. 2600 said that got down bye-bye bye

    • #76775 Reply
      Avatar
      Vito

      It disturbing to me that I read of individuals who have spoken of suicide as an answer for freedom of the painful act of registering. I often wondered if that was a thought in the minds of law makers, legislators, and citizens who now 20 years later look at how it has now shaped social life. When someone speaks of suicide how do we come together for that individual to support and guide them 🙏 I empathize as I too know the sadness of waking to such an overwhelming feeling of defeat, but we must not be defeated. It’s when we are at our worst that our best will be revealed. Keep the individual who are weaker than you encouraged to press on. Remember hurt people, hurt people. Let’s end the cycle by listening to one another.

    • #76941 Reply
      Avatar
      R.Arens

      I’d like to think that if we all robbed a play from the black lives matter playbook, took to the streets in a violent rage destroying everything in our path, conservative a holes like the judges who snub cases like this would have no choice but to hear us out and give us the fair shake we deserve as american citizens. But in reality, we are people who made a foolish choice. Not people with mean streaks a mile wide with tastes for vengeance when all else fails. Most of us just don’t have it in us to pull a stunt like that.

    • #77662 Reply
      Avatar
      Mike

      This is what needs to happen before they take the registry down. If the 10 circuit judges should put there name & address & picture & all the rest of there info and have to follow all the laws that go along with being a registrant. They have to leave it up for 1 Year. Then tell everyone if you think that the registry and laws IS Unconstitutional and must be taken down immediately. They know that it is because it’s obvious that it is unconstitutional. How you’ll know that they know? Because they will refuse to put there info an such on the registry because of the irreputable damage to there lives and there families that they would be extremely lucky to regain there life back the way it was, thats my opinion.

    • #77962 Reply
      Avatar
      Mike

      Call to Action.
      I sent this to the US Government. “Hello, i have a question about why do you have the Sex Offender Registry up when The US Government did a study on ” Sex Offender Recidivism and Dangerousness ” and it shows recidivism below 5% and that 95% of those Sex Offenders that are arrested never commit another Sex Crime Again. This study is from from the ” United States Government ” from 1994, so with the study the US Government did in 1994 and every year to date that’s 27 years and that’s 27 studies (US Gov. authorized & approved) does prove they (Sex Offender s) dont have a “Frightening & High” Recidivism rate of 80%” and it proves they (Sex Offenders ) have the second lowest recidivism rate with murder being the lowest. Most murderers die in prison & most Sex Offenders are not in prison, most Sex Offenders are living  in community like every US citizens. Plus i have the studies on recidivism from every US State (50 Studies ). Why is the Sex Offender Registry up at all besides that its built on lies, vigilantes savagely beat or murder the registrant and his/her spouse and/or children because of the Sex Offender Registry. Plus they (registrant) are arrested if they miss registering because they cant get to where they register, when they cant get a job or housing because of the Sex Offender Registry and you send them to prison for 10+ years ” for missing registering ” where there are killed inside because of a Lie……….Why?
      I hope you contact our government and send your stories & studies into our US Government.

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