State cannot continue incarceration without sufficient evidence

By Christian M. Wade . . . BOSTON — More than 120 “dangerous” sex offenders have been released under a 2008 Supreme Judicial Court ruling that keeps them from being locked up if at least two “qualified medical examiners” determine they’re no longer a threat, according to state data. The state Department of Correction currently oversees about 130 sexually dangerous prisoners…

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New publication finds sex offender registry driven by animus.

“No similar regime has ever been imposed on any other group of law-abiding former felons who have fully served the sentence for the crime they committed years earlier.” By Dr. Ira Ellman . . . In Romer v. Evans the Court drew a constitutional distinction between civil laws enacted for a broad public purpose that justifies “the incidental disadvantages they…

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Jacob Wetterling’s mother urges reforming the registry

The Free Press, Mankato, Minn. Patty Wetterling lost a son to the actions of a sex offender. But she now has misgivings about a sex offender registry she helped create. Wetterling’s son Jacob was abducted and killed in 1989 in central Minnesota by an area man. After Jacob’s disappearance, Wetterling worked to establish a sex offender registry that would help…

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Six chiropractors resign after voting to restore registrant’s license

By David Wildstein . . . Six members of the New Jersey Board of Chiropractic Examiners under fire for restoring a medical license to a convicted sex offender have resigned, an attorney representing the chiropractors said. The resignations come six days after Gov. Phil Murphy announced that he was replacing Brett Wartenberg, Thomas Senatore and Paul Lyons on the state…

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COVID-19 deaths rise at California state hospital

By Nadia Lopez . . . A spike in coronavirus-related deaths at a state-run psychiatric hospital in Fresno County has angered and alarmed patients, who blame hospital staff for a massive outbreak that infected hundreds and killed more than a dozen patients over the past six months. One patient who spoke with The Bee said he struggled to bring attention…

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Civil Commitment Pretends Prisoners Are Patients

By Jacob Sullum . . .  “It was my understanding that I was to do the treatment, then be released,” says Mike Whipple, who recently participated in a 14-day hunger strike at the Minnesota Sex Offender Program’s facility in Moose Lake. “Twelve years later, I’m still here, doing the same thing, over and over and over.” So far the civil…

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Laws based on inaccuracies lead to lifetime of shame for those who offended as juveniles

By Kristan N. Russell and Shawn C. Marsh . . . Few crimes stimulate such visceral reactions and deep-seated fears as sexual offenses. Accordingly, societal responses to sexual offending such as registration and notification laws tend to be quite punitive and highly stigmatizing for the offender. Yet these social control practices are widely considered by the public to be essential for community safety.…

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Will Michigan legislature ever do right thing?

By William Buhl, J.J. Prescott, and Miriam Aukerman . . . In early 2012, more than eight years ago, five people challenged Michigan’s Sex Offenders Registration Act (SORA) in court, arguing that the registry branded them as dangerous “sex offenders” without any individual review. One was a man — we’ll call him John — who met a woman at a club open only…

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Registering juveniles creates only harm

By Malik Pickett and Emily Satifka . . . Jason was 14 years old when he met his first girlfriend, a 13-year-old neighbor of the foster family with whom he lived. After a few months of dating, his girlfriend’s mother walked in on the teenagers engaging in consensual oral sex and called the police. Jason was arrested and charged with child…

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NARSOL’S NC affiliate brings lawsuit against Cherokee Co.

By Hayley Fowler . . . A group of registered sex offenders in Western North Carolina say the sheriff forced them to check in with local law enforcement or face arrest on Halloween night in 2019. Now they’re suing. At least 11 men and the nonprofit group North Carolinians for Rational Sex Offender Laws accused Cherokee County and Sheriff Derrick Palmer of…

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