Reply To: Soho Forum: Horowitz, Hamilton face off over sex offender registries

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Kendal

I finally took a moment to listen to this. I was actually appalled by Marci especially her ending story. To think that she is in favor of these people saying that there is a person that is abusing children simply because they are on the sex offender list. This is in and of itself the major problem with the registry. People assume that if someone is on that list they are actively involved in abusing other children.

It has been 25 years or so since the incidents that landed me on the UN-constitutional registry. A registry that was neither in effect in New Mexico where this took place, or in Colorado where I ended up moving. And yet, I find myself on that list. I served my time, I did my treatment at the New Mexico State Hospital STOP program, a program that I might add had 1 person re-offend in it’s entire history (No, it wasn’t me). When I moved to Colorado I had a visit by CBI to my place of work to tell me I had to register. They did not even have the decency to visit me at home, they had to come to where I worked. I am not a rich man, so I have not been able to afford an attorney to get me off this stupid thing, and only recently, have been able to see some glimmer of hope through the recent rulings of Judge Maentz.

I have lost jobs, I have had employment offers rescinded, I have been kicked off facebook, I had a convention that I started get closed after ten years, all because of this registry that I should not have been on in the first place, because no matter what any court says, it is punishment, and it happened after the fact. And I can’t say for sure, but if there had loomed the spectre of this list, I may not have plead guilty in the first place. I probably would have because the main reason I plead guilty was I could not see forcing these 3 kids to appear in front of a court to tell their story. I felt that would do a huge amount more damage than what I had done. And Emily is right, the registry has nothing to do with whether or not I will re-offend. That is a choice I make every day and keep in the front of my mind to keep myself from ever harming anyone else.

And my dear Marci, there is treatment that works. There is a way for those of us to never ever harm another person. And the stats don’t lie. The registry doesn’t help, it does nothing to prevent recidivism. This noted by the fact that most sex crimes are perpetrated by people not on the registry. And even the Larry case could not have been prevented by the registry as he was not on the registry. Yes it is horrible that he had over 150 victims, but still the registry did not have any bearing on his case.

There is a story in the newsbeat of a YMCA that recently had an issue with a sex offense, and their solution was to say they were going to check the registry every day, and again, the person that did this was not on the registry and therefore could not have been prevented by checking the registry. It is feel good legislation that does nothing but ruin lives.

Or at least that is how I see it.