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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“Keeping fear at a low boil” — homelessness and failure to register

By Steve Yoder . . . The Oklahoma City Police Department pulled off a social media coup on July 7. “Meet the top 10 most wanted individuals being sought by our Sex Offender Registration Unit,” the department posted on its Facebook page. “It’s important we keep tabs on these guys (and gal), so help us find them.” The post engaged…

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CT attorney agrees with NARSOL, condemns Patch’s “annual, indefensible, fear-mongering practice”

By Timothy Moynahan . . . Patch, a local electronic news outlet, has continued its annual, indefensible, fear-mongering practice of publishing the names and addresses of people in the communities they cover who are on the sexual offender registry. Ostensibly pushed as a public safety courtesy in preparation for Halloween, after being called on the inadequacies in their promotion by the National…

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Reason agrees: No red dots marking those on sex offense registry at Halloween

Originally published 10/1/2020 at Reason; reprinted in full here with permission. By Jacob Sullum . . . Every year in the run-up to Halloween, Patch publishes maps showing the homes of “registered sex offenders” in various cities. Ostensibly, this information is aimed at helping parents who worry that their children might be molested while trick-or-treating. But research shows that such fears have no basis in…

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A father’s response to the “sex offender big red dots”

By Charlie . . . Every year around Halloween, we start hearing the stories about the dangers lurking for our children. From razor blades hidden in candy, to people handing out candy laced with THC; it seems there’s always some “urban legend” that makes us think twice about trick-or-treating. I don’t know if you’ve ever looked at a “red-dot” map…

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The truth behind virtually all child sex trafficking rings: there are no rings

By Michael Hobbes . . . Human trafficking has been having an eventful summer. In July, internet sleuths accused online retailer Wayfair of selling missing children in overpriced cabinets. In August, QAnon supporters (along with some well-meaning if ill-informed influencers) held nationwide “Save the Children” rallies. And last week, there was the trailer story. “U.S. Marshals Find 39 Missing Children…

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The insidious policy of blanket exclusions for registered sex offenders

Abstract reprinted with permission by author By Catherine L. Carpenter . . . Saying something is true does not make it so. And saying it louder does not make it truer. But such is the legislative posture behind modern day sex offense registration laws that punish those who commit sex crimes because of entrenched myths that overstate the laws’ positive…

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