Reply To: Victory in New Jersey: part of Megan’s Law ruled unconstitutional

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Nathan

IMO, this is not VICTORY, but it is an important step. The courts recognize that the registry “stunt his ability to become a healthy and integrated adult member of society.” Since the courts recognize this detrimental aspect of the registry, they must conclude that it is punitive in it’s very nature. And if punitive then unconstitutional on multiple grounds, ex post facto and double jeopardy to name a couple. Remember, that by the time this ruling was made, CK must have been an adult. So the ruling by necessity would apply to all people on the registry. The next step would be to recognize that any time on the registry will stunt the SOs ability to become a healthy and integrated member of society, unless the court recognizes that it is unimportant for an adult offender to become healthy and integrated.

There have been many good and poignant comments on this post and I thank you for your input because this is such an important topic. It defines who America is as a society. Do we continue down this path of ostracization much like NAZI Germany did with Jews and what they might term as undesirables? Or do we become something better and reverse the bad decisions of previous legislature and courts? Things like this provide a sense of hope, while decisions like the PA legislature and Gov. Tom Wolf made earlier this year, to create another ex post facto unconstitutional law following the landmark decision of the PA Supreme Court to call SORNA punitive and unconstitutional dash those hopes.

I would like to recount how the registry and parole has impacted me negatively in my attempt to reintegrate. I made some horrible decisions and did a terrible thing over 15 years ago. I was released on parole over 3 years ago. I had high hopes because I have a bachelor’s degree and furthered my education while I was imprisoned. I prepared a decent resume and sent it to multiple employers. Before being released, I was even given dates for several interviews based solely on my accurate resume.

When I was released to a halfway (prison) house, I was informed by my newly assigned parole officer that I was required to disclose my crime to my employee despite the fact that I was released to a “ban the box” city. So, at every interview, I performed my duty to inform and was denied repeatedly. I struggled for months to find anything. I finally settled for a position as a driver at a thrift store with a wage I hadn’t made for over 20 years. I was also repeatedly denied housing due to my requirement to disclose and have a home plan approved by parole (during this process the parole agent would meet with the landlord and disclose my crime in the worst terms possible to ensure that I had already done so). Fortunately, I was able to find a landlord through one of my co workers who was also an SO.

While a driver, I continued to search for a job or career related to my previous training to no avail. During the interview, following my disclosure, I would be thanked for my time and sent on my way to never hear again from them. And this despite the fact of more laws that specify which jobs are permitted to deny you employment.

Even with this struggle, I was able to land another job for a decent pay raise. At this position, a co worker found out about my situation per the Megan’s law website. The “facts” presented there were quickly spread through the ranks and my spineless democrat employer decided to release me even though my work ethic and talent was impeccable.

Had I not been frugal, I also would have lost my living space due to eviction. Amongst this struggle, I was subject to ostracization by potential romantic partners due to them googling my name (it is fairly unique) and my registration pops up within the first 5 search results and/or by my disclosure of my past per the requirement of my parole officer. And even random harassment by text (I’m still unsure how they got my phone number) from anonymous sources.

Following a period of unemployment, I found a minimum wage job as a driver. I have since proved myself and received some raises but am still paid well below a wage I was making following my graduation from college 18 years ago. Hope is slim to ever overcome this obstacle. Additionally, I have searched for housing in a safer neighborhood. Crime is rampant where I live. My vehicle, which was parked near where I live, directly in front of my apartment was struck by bullets fired during a shootout in the middle of the night. One potential landlord, a retired police officer, denied me immediately. A second denied me after I had paid for a background check following his reassurance (lies) that my crime would have no effect on my application. Hope is slim that my situation will ever truly improve.

I send my energy to the universe to remove the blindness from American society and it’s leaders, to make decisions based on rational sounds scientific findings. Good luck to all who find themselves under the Draconian rule of the oppressors.