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Michigan’s SORA is punishment, says MI Attorney General in amicus briefs

February 8, 2019 LANSING, MI – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel filed amicus briefs in the Michigan Supreme Court today in Michigan v Snyder (Case number 153696) and People v Betts (Case number 148981), arguing that Michigan’s sex offender registration and notification requirements are punishment because they are so burdensome and fail to distinguish between dangerous offenders and those who are not a threat to…

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In Pennsylvania, commit a sexual crime at 12, be charged at 25

By Joshua Vaughn . . . James is a registered sex offender. He was convicted in 2016 of felony statutory sexual assault when he was 23 years old for sexually abusing a 7-year-old girl, according to court records. His name will appear on the Pennsylvania sex offender registry for nearly another decade and he will carry a felony conviction for the…

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“Frightening and high” is phony and false

By Nick Schager . . . According to Untouchable, there’s a reason most Americans think sex offenders, and pedophiles in particular, are incurable, and thus destined to relapse: 2002’s McKune v. Lile, in which Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in a plurality opinion that there was a “frightening and high risk of recidivism” for such predators, and that “the rate of recidivism…

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The verdict is in: Sex offender registries don’t work

By Maggie Hall . . . Calls for public access to information about convicted child sex offenders occur often in Australia. It may seem like common sense that allowing the public to know the whereabouts of dangerous people should increase community safety. As in many areas of criminal justice, the real story is more complicated. . . . Child sex offenders are…

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Salvation Army, practice what you preach

By Sandy . . . Ah, it’s winter. Christmas and Hanukkah are approaching. Half the country has snow on the ground, and all the kids in the other half wish they did. Christmas lights, excited shoppers, special church services, and general joy and goodwill abound. Oh – and the homeless. The cold, the poor, the shunned. Thank God for winter…

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NARSOL CT affiliate asks for meaningful reform

By Eric Bedner . . . The state Sentencing Commission is considering its legislative agenda, which includes making changes to the sex offender registry and reducing misdemeanor sentences by one day to prevent undocumented immigrants from being deported. These and several other proposals were the subject of a public hearing Thursday at the Legislative Office Building. One recommendation is to…

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Parents support gym opened by man on sexual offense registry

By Valerie Chinn . . . A month after pleading guilty to three counts of sex abuse, Demont O’Neal opened his own gym. O’Neal, who worked as a cheerleading coach at Seneca High School and a security monitor at Minor Daniels Academy, abused a 17-year-old, according to the Kentucky Sex Offender Registry. He was conditionally discharged for two years and required to register…

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Caring for a registrant can be fatal

By Michael M . . . Here in America, we like to think that people who are convicted of a crime will be punished by court decree and according to the laws of the land, not by roving bands of killers and arsonists. We also like to believe that it is only in tin-pot dictatorships like North Korea or in…

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Criminal or civil? Right or wrong? Does anyone care?

By Scott H. Greenfield . . . It’s bad enough, both for substantive as well as factual reasons, that the Supreme Court in Smith v. Doe held that sex offender registration was not punitive, but civil, and therefore beyond the reach of the Ex Post Facto Clause. Not only was it grounded in utterly baseless statistics of recidivism, but it indulged in the fantasy that…

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Sex offenders: To bail or not to bail

By David Post . . . In a posting here on the Volokh Conspiracy last week (“Is a Categorical Denial of Bail for Sex Offenders Constitutional?“), Paul Cassell summarized an amicus brief he co-authored urging the US Supreme Court to grant certiorari in Arizona v. Goodman,a case involving a provision of Arizona law under which pre-trial bail must be denied to persons…

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