I’m in total agreement with you. In 2003, I plead guilty to a 1st offense misdemeanor peeping tom charge. I never even retained an attorney. I simply went to the solicitors office and told him i wanted to plead guilty and move forward. I was going through a divorce and my ex wife made the allegation. There was never any physical abuse or contact ever alleged. Fact is, it was a stupid drunken screw-up on my part.
In any event, I plead guilty same day I went to the solicitors office with no attorney. At the time, I didn’t realize the registry was even a possibility. I was a stupid 32 year old that had no prior involvement with the law. In fact, I was a veteran having served in the military and ignorantly believed the same government I served would be fair to me.
Anyway, I received 1 year suspended to 2 years probation. It wasnt until days later I was informed by probation that I had to register….for life. And, because it was a misdemeanor charge, I only had 10 days to file an appeal. By the time I could make an appointment and get the money together, the deadline for appeal had passed. I completed my 2 year probation with no issues.
16 years later, with no re-offense…and, for the rest of my life, I will be on the registry with all its glorious ex post facto public protection benefits…it’s rediculous. I understand, I messed up. Still, I feel the punishment (oh, wait its not punishment per SCOTUS) exceeds the crime by miles.
But, you know honestly, the worst part of it for me is anyone who cares or will ever care about me (my family, friends, neighbors, emloyer, etc) will continue to be subjected to this humiliating insanity as well. And frankly, the collateral damage to the innocent isn’t fair one bit. That’s clearly not justice.
And there’s nothing I can do, no due process nor any appeal to protect people I care about. I remember growing up and believing America had the best justice system in the world. The reality is it was all propaganda. How else do you explain the registry, and the fact that America imprisons more of it citizens than any country in the world (including Russia and China). “Land of the free…best justice system in the world…” . What a bunch of horseshit.