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Action Alert — Sen. Tom Cotton: “No early release for sex offenders”

By Sandy . . . The First Step Act, now pending in the U.S. Senate, has been described as “a bipartisan-supported bill,” “an important but…modest first-step” toward desperately needed criminal justice reform. It is supported by legislators of both parties and by the President. Modest is correct; the bill would only apply to 1.5 percent of those in federal prisons, and…

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NARSOL’s attorney wins important procedural due process case

By Robin . . . Jonathan Merideth moved to North Carolina in 2004 after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor sexual offense in the state of Washington. Upon arriving, Merideth checked in with the sheriff’s office in his county of residence to find out if his out-of-state conviction would require him to register as a sex offender in North Carolina. After…

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The denial of redemption

By Rich A . . . What exactly is redemption?  Many are familiar with the religious concept of redemption:  the payment of a price, or ransom, to secure release.  In criminology, redemption often is defined as the point in time when a person with a criminal record, having had no further contact with the criminal justice system, is of no greater…

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On the registry? Do you know everything you should?

By Sandy . . . In a recent column, Dear Abby makes the unqualified statement that a person with a Level 3 or Tier 3 designation on the sexual offense registry means that the individual is “. . . the most dangerous and most likely to reoffend.” From those in the know, this drew immediate criticism and protest. In 2003,…

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The power of the written word

By Sandy . . . As a writer, I have been aware my entire life of the impact that words have on readers and listeners. NARSOL is blessed to have among its volunteers a number of people who are adept at putting words together and advocating for our cause most eloquently. One such is Mike Wilson, who serves NARSOL as…

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Sex offenders on Halloween are like zebras at church

edited 11/12 By Sandy . . . In 1996 the North Carolina General Assembly created the public sex offender registry and established the crimes, the requirements, and the consequences pursuant to it. 2005 is the first year that I am able to verify law enforcement action involving special requirements for those on the registry at Halloween. A piece from Gaston…

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The Halloween tragedy of Lisa French

By Sandy . . . I read the story of Lisa French shortly before Halloween again this year. Someone posts the story of Lisa French shortly before Halloween every year. It is a sad and tragic story. A beautiful little nine-year-old girl named Lisa French, trick-or-treating in her neighborhood in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, was restrained, raped, murdered, and dumped…

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Wrapping up Halloween for another year — and looking forward

By Sandy . . . This has been an amazing Halloween season. Overall, I sent emails to 73 Patch writers and editors in 25 states. I sent emails to 27 other media outlets and/or journalists. We sent out two press releases, here and here. I engaged in conversation on several Facebook pages, most notably in regard to this piece about a little town…

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NARSOL files amicus brief to Supreme Court, joins another

By Robin . . . The National Association for Rational Sexual Offense Laws (NARSOL), along with its North Carolina affiliate NCRSOL, has filed an amicus brief to the United States Supreme Court in an ex post facto case that originated in a North Carolina Superior court in September, 2014. The case is styled In Re: Anthony Rayshon Bethea and was last…

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Victim shaming is not a winning strategy

By Fred . . . Research shows that between 2% and 10% of reported sexual assaults are false accusations. Even though the exact percentages cannot be known and could be higher – or lower – this is a fair estimate.  It is certainly very troubling that this happens, and there is no doubt that many innocent people have been wrongfully…

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