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Indiana Court of Appeals considers RFRA’s application to registered citizens

By Olivia Covington . . . Shortly after the controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act went into effect in Indiana in 2015, the unlawful entry by a serious sex offender statute, which prohibits certain sex offenders from accessing school property, also became law. Now, those two statutes are at odds with each other as the Indiana Court of Appeals decides whether…

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The sex-offender panic is absolutely destroying lives

By Radley Balko . . . The video below tells the story of Shawna, an Oklahoma woman who is still in mandatory treatment because 15 years ago, when she was 19, she had sex with a boy who was 14. Over at the Marshall Project, David Feige has more about the unlikely people swept up in the sex-offender panic for offenses…

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Do public parks belong to all the public? Not in Oklahoma

By Sandy . . . “What is the point in doing everything right for years when it counts for nothing? Where is the incentive? What I did was wrong, but that was 15 years ago. I’m not the same person I was when I was 19….My oldest is 9, and I’ve had to explain it to her – why we can’t…

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A young mother struggles with life on the sex offender registry

By David Feige . . . I met Shawna a year into filming “Untouchable,” a documentary that examines sex offender laws through the lives of individuals on the sex offender registry. It was at an Oklahoma treatment center where she was participating in a mandatory group therapy session. She was there because fifteen years earlier, Shawna was deemed to be…

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New Mexico: NARSOL calls on mayoral candidates to repudiate attack ads

NARSOL Communications . . . NARSOL denounces “Make Albuquerque Safe” for advocating residency restrictions when such laws are contradicted by research and empirical data. An entity calling itself “Make Albuquerque Safe” has attacked a mayoral candidate in Albuquerque because, in 2011, he voted for Senate Bill 184 that would have prohibited blanket residency restrictions for persons listed on a sexual offense…

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23 yrs. ago: 5 yr. suspended sentence; today: still being punished

Editor’s note: J.B. is the owner, publisher, and editor of a small newspaper. She first came into my life at the point in her story where she was forced to place a sign on her newspaper office at Halloween stating that no candy was available at that place. She contacted me in response to a press release regarding the sex…

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Need shelter from a ferocious storm? May we see your papers, please?

By Elizabeth Flock . . . It was the day after Hurricane Irma, and two residents of a mobile home park in Lakeland, Florida, sat on their porch, on a street littered with debris. The wind had torn off the roof of a nearby trailer and flooded the adjoining streets. Their park had been under mandatory evacuation, but evacuating to…

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Atty Gen Coffman to appeal Colorado ruling declaring registry unconstitutional

By Kirk Mitchell . . . Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman announced Wednesday that she intends to appeal a decision by a federal judge in Denver who ruled that Colorado’s sex offender registration law violates the constitutional rights of three sex offenders. “As Attorney General, protecting victims is one of the most critically important parts of my job,” Coffman said…

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Breaking the ‘frightening and high’ myth

David Feige of Untouchable fame brings us a new film. This one is short, only a little over eight minutes. Titled “A ‘frightening’ myth about sex offenders,” the video is posted in the New York Times‘ Opinion section and referred to an an “Op-Doc.” You can also read David’s written analysis accompanying the “Op-Doc.” It traces the “frightening and high”…

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In the midst of Irma, one group of citizens gets no shelter

Steve Yoder, a reporter who writes frequently on sex offender issues, sends us this piece: A potentially catastrophic storm is headed straight at Florida’s mid-section, which includes Polk County south of Orlando. So on Wednesday, county sheriff Grady Judd tweeted a warning — but not about evacuating or finding higher ground. “If you go to a shelter for #Irma, be advised: sworn…

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