The sexual offense registry — how did we get here?

By J . . . It started with a tragic event: the horrific actions against and slaying of Megan Kanka in 1994 by Jesse Timmendequas, a convicted sexual offender no longer on supervision. Prior to this year, most sexual offenders were only required to do some kind of self-reporting to a local jurisdiction or some other supervising authority.  In the…

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Prestigious American Law Institute recommends sweeping changes to registry, including no public dissemination

By Dr. Ira Ellman . . . On June 8, 2021 the membership of the American Law Institute gave its final approval to a revision of the Model Penal Code’s chapter on Sexual Assault and Related Offenses. This project was initially authorized by the ALI Council in 2012.  The appointed Reporters, Professors Stephen Schulhofer and Erin Murphy of the New York…

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Sex offense registration for life unconstitutional, says SC Supreme Court

By Meg Kinnard . . . South Carolina’s Supreme Court says a state law requiring sex offenders to register for life without prior judicial review is unconstitutional . . . According to the FAQ section of the state’s registry website, an offender will only be removed from the registry if the offense is “reversed, overturned, or vacated on appeal and a final…

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Laws driven by misinformation or by facts — which should we strive for?

By Dwayne . . . You may know someone or have heard through news sources of individuals ordered by courts to attend sexual offender treatment. It is relatively common for courts to mandate forms of “therapy” such as polygraphs, group sessions, and elaborate treatment programs claiming efficacy. While the science community is skeptical of the effectiveness of such schemes, there…

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Legislative Advocacy Isn’t Just for Professional Lobbyists

Lobbying

Most of us are familiar with the idea that there are professional lobbyists who work full-time to have some effect on legislation being considered by our elected representatives. Yet, it rarely occurs to most of us that it is something anyone can do if you know how! With the right tools, you can lobby for or against proposals at the…

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Still no decision in Wisconsin GPS lawsuit

By Dave . . . In March 2019, a federal class-action lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court by attorneys Adele Nicholas and Mark Weinberg on behalf of eight people on the registry living in Wisconsin. The suit was a response to a 2017 opinion by then Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel to expand the class of Wisconsin registrants required…

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