According to Sandy’s article, there should be some clarifications here…
I am a former attorney on the registry in Florida, in the South Florida area. I still work with my law firm and two other law firms as a Paralegal. I am also a local Pastor of a Church that serves primarily addictions and sex offenses. I have visited many “encampments of marginalized persons on the registry. There view and position is very simple: (a) They do not want to get involved and have their names all over the news; (b) they either do not have any money, not even $1, to help retain an attorney to bring any lawsuits because they are waiting for others to pay for the attorney and bring a law suit; (c) they are just riding through and complain but never become proactive; (4) most of all, all they do is lament they cannot get jobs, cannot find a place to live, and cannot get out of their own way, and want hand-outs. The ones that are on the fringes are those who do want to get involved, help pay for an attorney, get proactive, and spend all day at either day labor agencies or putting in applications all over the place, and are working or finding ways to change things – you are talking about 8% to 15% of those who Sandy labels “marginalized”.
I am homeless, I live in my car, and I fight for people’s rights. Okay… I am Italian from New York, so my way of thinking is a bit out of the ordinary. But, I make it work for me. I was born with this personality, and as an educated man and with the personality I have, I am a true fighter. So, that leaves a question… What do we do with the others in my same position?
They need to get their support network (those who believe in them – whether guilty or not), to help bring everyone together to bring lawsuits and dialog to the Powers-That-Be. Look at Michigan, Pennsylvania, North Carolina… and other states soon to fall. I do not have the resources to bring a suit, but as a former attorney I am paying a couple of people to type-up an identical suit as in Michigan and Pennstlvania and compare the legal points and reasoning to be able to sue Florida and local municipalities. We have 75,000+/- registered sex offenders in Florida, alone, 750,000+/- across the United States. If only 1/3 of those registered sex offender had the support of 5 people that are registered to vote and want to change the law, we would have approximately 1,250,000 voters on our side. In Florida, alone… if we had 1/3 of registered sex offenders help us and can enlist 5 of their registered voter people in their support network, we would have 125,000 votes to help us. If 125,000 people only donated $1 to our Florida lawsuit, that would empower us to hire 3 law firms who will sue Florida and local Counties and Cities, on different levels, to make much more rapid changes than just “opening dialog, making people aware”.
Most “sex offender” organizations do not want to sue or go about it in the wrong way. I am involved in the suits across the country. I do not get paid, none of my expenses are reimbursed, but I do what I can do.
The reality is that we need lawsuits. The first suit that comes to fruition on the federal level as an appeal or direct suit that is in conflict with the federal suits decisions from other federal circuits, will get the U.S. Supreme Court to hear and decide the merits of the case (these laws equate to punishment, cannot be retroactively applied, the data shows that sex offender criminal acts and their recidivism is one of the lowest of all criminal categories, the residential restrictions are banishment, being placed publicly on the web sites endangers ours and our families’ lives, etc.).
Heed the advice above or we will be having this discussion online in 3, 5, 10 years from now, with worse laws in some states, and easy laws in others. Litigation is the ONLY WAY to open the dialog with the politicians who want to keep their jobs and seat.