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Supreme Court justices do botch the truth, even in cases of great importance

By Ryan Gabrielson . . . In 2007, a group of California Institute of Technology scientists working at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory filed suit against the venerated space agency. Many of the scientists had worked on NASA missions and research for years as outside employees. As part of efforts to tighten security measures after 9/11, in 2004 NASA started requiring outside…

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Colorado ruling sparks deeper debate over sex offender registries

By Kaitlin Durbin . . . When David sifted through the mail the morning of his 18th birthday, he hoped to find cards with money. Instead, he received a warrant for his arrest. The charge: statutory rape. It was 2007, and the 17-year-old junior basketball star had recently moved to a small Missouri town, population less than 500, and almost immediately started…

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Group urges RI governor to veto legislation restricting SO access to shelters

By Sophie Culpepper . . . Last month, a bill that would cap the proportion of registered sex offenders in homeless shelter beds at 10 percent for shelters whose capacity exceeds 50 people passed in the Rhode Island State House. A coalition of activists are now asking via petition that Gov. Gina Raimondo veto the bill, arguing that the legislation…

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In denying Snyder petition, Supreme Court upholds Sixth Circuit ruling

By Melissa Nann Burke . . . The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday let stand a lower court ruling that “sweeping” conditions imposed retroactively under Michigan’s sex offender registry law were unconstitutionally punitive. Michigan had appealed a 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals decision in 2016 that said retroactively applying changes to people already on the list would unconstitutionally increase…

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The ladies of “The View” need glasses

By Robin and Sandy . . . On “The View,” September 25, program regular Sunny Hostin said, in response to the announcement that Anthony Weiner had been sentenced to 21 months for sexting with a minor, that she felt the sentence was inappropriate and had she been prosecutor, she would have asked for a longer term. She justified this by saying…

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The official yearly Halloween report

By Sandy . . . Why advocate for not monitoring registered offenders on Halloween? What’s the harm? Most Halloween restrictions apply to everyone on the registry or everyone under supervision, whether or not their offense had anything to do with a child. This broad-brush application is bumping up against constitutional protections. Many registrants are forced to gather in one place for…

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Stories About Humans Needed Now!

By Brenda . . . It has often been said that until we can start changing the public’s perception of what “sex offender” means, we have an uphill battle. The best way to do that is to help folks encounter people who are living with public registration and see that they are ordinary, even EXTRA-ordinary, human beings. This is the motive…

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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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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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