“Colorado Politics” quotes NARSOL, Professor Ira Ellman in case showing flaws in registry system

By Michael Karlik . . . Even while recognizing the defendant’s only sexual offense happened 25 years ago, that he had served his prison sentence, and that he had the cognitive abilities of a second grader, the federal appeals court based in Denver declined to order a lesser sentence for Kayode Dobosu’s failure to comply with certain conditions of his sex offender treatment.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit on Wednesday emphasized its limited power to second-guess the trial judge who sentenced Dobosu to five years of supervision for, among other things, visiting the Denver Zoo with his social group for intellectually-disabled people.

“(T)here is simply not a right answer when it comes to this corner of the discretionary sentencing context,” wrote Judge Allison H. Eid in the panel’s June 13 order.

Dobosu is required to register for life as a sex offender, but courts have repeatedly ordered him into supervision and sex offender treatment stemming from registration-related offenses. His most recent discharge from treatment prompted the government to seek Dobosu’s arrest after Dobosu did not comply with the terms of his program.

Specifically, Dobosu’s violations were possessing a personal computer and PlayStation 3, which were not connected to the Internet and which his probation officer tacitly approved; visiting places where children were present as part of his social group’s activities; and receiving consensual text messages from men that featured pictures of genitals.

A spokesperson for the National Association for Rational Sexual Offense Laws said Dobosu’s case illustrated the inherent problems of mandating lifetime registration as a sex offender, even when a person has not recommitted any sexual offense in decades.

“The treatment he is being required to undergo has nothing to do with his original offense. Rather, it was imposed more than two decades later due to his failing to keep his address current,” said Sandy Rozek, NARSOL’s communications director. “NARSOL’s view is that anyone who finds themselves in Mr. Dobosu’s circumstances would have difficulty complying with the sex offender treatment program’s requirements. Providers typically require that a person have no sexual relationships or sexual urges. Such expectations are not realistic nor are they constitutional in our view.” . . .

Ira Mark Ellman of the University of California at Berkeley, who has written and presented about sex offender laws, said data is clear that people who have not reoffended after more than a decade are unlikely to do so in the future. While he acknowledged the rationale behind the 10th Circuit’s opinion, Ellman questioned why the government was continuing to expend resources ensuring Dobosu’s compliance with technical conditions not related to his original offense.

“If his trouble complying with them doesn’t pose a risk to anyone else, why are we doing this to him?” he asked. “I think that’s a reasonable question to raise.”

Read the full piece here at Colorado Politics.

This case will be discussed on the July 16 episode of Registry Matters.

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3 Thoughts to ““Colorado Politics” quotes NARSOL, Professor Ira Ellman in case showing flaws in registry system”

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  1. Tim in WI

    All I can say NARSOL is that this is a guy who could be defended in the context of state felony FTR indictment. It would take a jury of “honest people” though. I infer he plead to the original case. Meaning state has the signed standard waiver in hand? Either way with or without waiver, the original record IS in play in that context. The law & constitution doesn’t permit states to use evidence twice to convict, but that notion does not preclude an individual from using the record itself is in own defense! Any person identified on the Judgement of Conviction underpinning FTR infraction is in play. If per chance or choice the original conviction was appealed too is in play. Usually the first jury question is: The person was a person who was required to register under sec….” That is 2 was(es) meaning you must refer to the past twice, the specific meaning of “was” could be interpreted as “at the time of conviction.” Why? We don’t go indicting persons for jail brake or absconding without first providing the proper paperwork affirming the procedurally applied obligation in the first place. See KY v Pedilla. Whichever syndromes the man suffers is also fair food for jury along with expert testimony.

  2. James in Indy

    Another example of how the system has taken treatment and supervision and essentially defined them as punishment. Sentencing him to treatment and supervision even though his choice to not follow registry rules. That’s punishment, NOT treatment. I was in treatment with a man who served 96 months for possession of CSAM, spent 6 years of his LIFETIME supervision in the so-called “treatment” with mandatory 6-month polygraphs (which he consistently “passed”). After he graduated the treatment program (6 years weekly at $85/wk), he used his wife’s unmonitored laptop to do some legal research that his monitored smartphone would not access. He admitted the 1-time use, passed his polygraph, then his federal supervisor ordered him BACK into weekly treatment, at $85 per week. The treatment program he completed!! Yes treatment works, but NOT when it’s used as punishment.

    1. Tim in WI

      Ya see that is the difference between him and me. When I got out on MR, treatment was “mandatory”+ so was the fee ( @$5.00 per, lol), I refused to pay the guy, and took him to small claims court over it and won! Why? No record of such an order by a court for the forfeiture or treatment. I had plead not guilty. Judge told the state’s man ( a psychologist) he could do it for free ( for me) if he chose. My Parole Agent said I did the right thing. She knew the score because I’d brought the trail transcript to her to read. I tell ya that record plays a powerful role in the context of FTR. If you’re gone use the database driven infrastructure to promote drama & dissension via state sponsored social media why not make the most of it for of the local jury? Ellman gets the point: “A reasonable question to ask” except the affectation is a referral is to the legislative, and not to the people themselves. While FTR bench judges will attempt to limit the temporal scope of the (ex post facto )FTR trial nonetheless has the ” touchstone ” itself to cope with in a trial 30 or X yrs. removed. How much a gov spends on registration is an irrelevant question in FTR context, or at least a worthy of objection by the prosecution. Preliminary legally relevant question resolve in lines: What is the registry really?, How does the registry machine operate. Where is the people’s property kept?. How is it maintained & funded? Who does what? What technology is involved specifically etc. are all valid and necessary questions for the people. The path of the registration form is fair game. NARSOL and others need to focus on the database machine itself. It is the effect of natural law that certain high justices are experiencing the ” road map functions ” sex offenders each have experienced in some ways. Thanks internet!