Vander Wall denounces North Carolina’s ban against registrants attending state fair

By Sara Pequeno . . . In the face of a tragedy, it’s difficult to parse out the best course of action. Egregious acts of terror or deviance lead people to seek punitive justice without nuance. It’s how we ended up with mandatory minimums, and why we have to take our shoes off in airport security.

Sex offenders in particular are seldom given the nuance and rehabilitation we afford to other people with criminal histories. Their lives are forever affected by the convictions they carry, just like other people convicted of crimes. But unlike some others, they face additional punishment at the hands of the state, even after they’ve served their time. In North Carolina, residents who are registered sex offenders . . .  are not allowed to attend any agricultural fair, including the N.C. State Fair underway in Raleigh. . . . .

Laws like this come from an understandable desire to protect people, particularly children. The reality is that it’s a difficult law to enforce that does not differentiate between varying degrees of sex crimes, or take into consideration the everyday situations that are most responsible for childhood sexual abuse. Advocates for sex offenders see it as an extra burden that is not applied to other offenders with criminal records of violence. “It’s egregious and outrageous. It’s overkill,” Robin Vander Wall, president of North Carolina Association for Rational Sex Offense Law, said in a press release. “This is a matter of fundamental fairness and equal protection under both the state and federal constitutions.”   . . .

[U]nder the law, people convicted of crimes must serve their punishments. Once those punishments are fulfilled, they should be allowed to re-enter society. That’s how it works for other criminal offenses, and it’s the best way to reduce the number of people who re-offend. Even people convicted of manslaughter or assault are allowed to return to society and try to be better people. We don’t ban them from the fair.

Read the full  piece here at the News and Observer.

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16 Thoughts to “Vander Wall denounces North Carolina’s ban against registrants attending state fair”

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  1. Derek

    I just want to know, what ever happened to the constitution? It seems like people who make laws don’t follow it or realize that it exists! Unless there are some kind of consequences to these people who make these unethical laws they will continue to do so.

    1. CherokeeJack

      That is why there is the “Great lie”. The great lie that NOTHING having to do with the registry is punishment, rather civil, therefore it can be imposed. What I want to ask is, name one other non-punitive law that can send you to prison for life. Please anyone humor me. And not even going to get into the retroactive application so many of us have experienced many years past our crime or even our sentence.

      Those who committed a crime while the registry was already in place, had the chance to somewhat use that as a bargaining chip in court. Myself and many others had never even heard of a registry when we went to court, otherwise we may have fought harder for less punishment. Or perhaps go to trial instead of taking a plea, but that was stolen from us.

    2. Sex Offender Truth

      I agree totally. Who do these holier than though people think they are? Certainly NOT Christians. Forgiveness is one of the foundations that our nation WAS built on…clearly NO longer.

      This delusional sh^t has gone on long enough! If men can be women and women can be men then I can identify as a NON REGISTERED SEX OFFENDER. It appears that delusion has taken over America completely at this SAD point in time! I am not sure that we can ever get back from this point.

    3. Jim

      Simple, the constitution is just what it is. A piece of paper that has become useless. Because we as a people do not enforce it, as it was meant to be. Together as a people against a tyrannical government. Lawyers and judges make too much money rendering the constitution useless. Die on your feet or live on your knees.

  2. Trey

    So will Sex offenders be able to attend state fairs in NC from now on? Hell might as well let sex offenders be able to enjoy parks and also theme parks as well!

    1. CherokeeJack

      A sex offender is someone who is actively offending. Calling someone that implies they are still committing crimes. Some of us have gone 3 or 4 decades since our one and only misstep. I was in my young 20s at the time and am almost 60 now.

      1. Derek

        Bro I feel for you , I was also 20 and I’m now 41 wow can’t believe it , I don’t wanna be 60 and still be on the list , I know it’s been tuff mental process ,,

    2. Tim in WI

      For the sex offender the DDI is a theme park and a playground all wrapped into a one convenient venue commonly referred to as the internet. Rapper and Actor “Superfly” thought so, and made use of the venue to his advantage, but to the disadvantage of others. Many others have done the same and it continues to this day. There’s lots of ways to use a database.

    3. No. The restriction against registered people remains in place. If you are registered in North Carolina, DO NOT go to the fair or you risk being arrested. We also know that State Fair officials are using facial recognition technology to identify registered people at the gates and throughout the fairgrounds.

      1. Bob

        I would imagine there is a lot of drug dealing going on at these fairs.Then why don’t they use this same facial recognition technology to catch the drug dealers. They’re a much bigger threat to human lives than we are.

  3. Screwed over in Mississippi

    Every word he says is true. Though bc of the
    media whether it’s the news or shows like svu have painted a different picture one build to serve the need for someone to be held accountable to the point of basically ending their lives. I know my own situation has lead me to thoughts of ending my life due to the restrictions placed and the hollow existence. I say existence bc we aren’t truly allowed to live nor are he free to have a life. I fully believe as long as we allow politicians to pass laws that benefit their elections then nothing will ever get better. To many ppl don’t understand much less care about sex offenders. At the mention of the word you are tried judged and executed every time. I’m sure some of you if not all have had a conversation and you watch the look change to condemnation. This country this nation has lost it way. I fear for the next generation.

  4. Tim in WI

    I’d motion to create an assembly meant to head on mass to NC state fair next year. 5000 mostly out of state offenders would be plenty enough to shake it up. We can all have t-shirts with scarlet letters. Complete with advance notice and All. If they want to brag about 5000 arrests, let them. This action would make the point that being compelled to advertise oneself as such is absurd.

    1. Not a bad idea, Tim. Registered people from outside of NC can remain here for up to 15 days without needing to register. As such, visitors are NOT subjected to the restrictions of Article 27A (N.C.G.S.). It would cause quite a stir, but you can pretty well bet that the state would tighten that visitor window post haste.

      1. Tim in WI

        NC law may not apply to out of state individuals, but reporting movement in the home state might be.. depending upon home state rules. If I were to report my intent to attend NCSF 2023 to WIDOCSOR, they may have impetus to report my intent to be in NC to authorities. This brings the Feds into the picture because of interstate travel & comparitive question of laws of two states. NARSOL could take the unusual step of warning the NC legislature of the possibility of dealing with 5k out of state offenders at next years fair. That may get their attention! Imagine expressing such an intent to Raleigh news outlets now, and letting the drama play out for 11 months. Heck, the NC legislature may attempt to enact a new law providing for the visiting offender but that action would come after the stink was brought to light. Either way I suspect fair attendance would take a hit. As for NC registrants they could still assemble immediately adjacent to fair grounds points of entry.

  5. Sean Ford Bloodworth

    What is odd it that someone convicted of DUI (Driving Under the Influence) Manslaughter is allowed to drive after release and even consume alcohol after their probation is complete. What is the recidivism rate for DUI? How many people have been assaulted by a registered citizen at the state fair in the past? Kind of like North Carolinas treatment of registered citizens who are on probation on Halloween. Pointless.

  6. Jim

    Whenever they tell me I can’t go to a place or business because I’m a forced abused citizen, I Go There!! Just to go there. Who wants to be around all of the arrogant americans anyway? I do it to prove a point.