I agree that the real intent of the people was/is to Punish. No doubt; but, the stated legislative “Intent” was to protect the public. SCOTUS in 2003 basicly said they were fine with that to a point; until and unless it became (more) obvious to them that the registry is punishment. I think the courts are starting to recognize that we’ve reached that point, especially with all the legislative restrictions that have been added since 2003. Legislative bodies interpreted SCOTUS’s 2003 decision as a “Green light” to keep pounding out more punitive and restrictive laws applying only to one group. The last 15 years have been very hard on registrants. To be honest, there are so many laws – especially here in NC – as it applies to registrants, I’m cannot even be certain I’ve always been compliant, in spite of my effort to be a law abidding citizen. In other words, I try not to break the law, but the restrictions have become so massive and many, I can’t even be reasonably be sure anymore that I havent broke the law.
In retrospect of the last 15 years since the 2003 SCOTUS ruling, I think the courts may now clearly be able to see the burdens imposed since are punitive. That, and regardless of the “Intent” stated regarding the registry, it’s shown little effect toward public safety. Finally, in 2003 SCOTUS also based their decision when weighing intent vs punishment on the false reports of recidivism being “High” – that we know are one of lowest rates of any offender. My point is, the wheels of justice turn excruciatingly slow; but I think we are at point where we will begin seeing them go in a very different direction.
I think you mentioned it in a previous post, but I think it’s worth mentioning again…anytime an offender is charged with violating the registry, it’s very important that we take it all the way to trial and get every case possible in front of the court.