It is a sad world when politics takes precedence over human life and safety. NC Governor Roy Cooper was once the State Attorney General that crafted many of the sex offender laws and continues to sign rather than veto laws that continue to harm families, individuals, and advocates. For example, failing to provide information about a sex offender carries a felony in NC. That means if an individual takes a known sex offender into his/her home for shelter during a disaster and doesn’t inform authorities then both the registered offender and the people in the home can all be charged with felonies. (14-208.1lA(a)(2))
Governor Cooper is not going to issue an official statement or recommendation about sex offenders at shelters because this is an election season and the outcome may be used by the opposing political party. Even if the governor decides to interject something, it will be something to the effect “we are thankful the storm didn’t impact as we anticipated. therefore executive orders weren’t necessary.” Politicians will always spin something without actually tackling the core issue or complaint only to pass it on to the next governor. It is nothing more than politics until death occurs and there is overwhelming proof that the system failed to protect the individual.
Perhaps it is time to escalate these issues towards the ACLU or the United Nations? It may sound a bit of overkill. However, these are fundamental human rights that include life, liberty, freedom from torture and the right to be included in minimal protections during states of emergencies.
Reporters and news agencies wouldn’t touch this issue with a 10-foot pole. Why? Because of the backlash, people perceive as standing up for the rights of sex offenders. News journalism isn’t the same as “60 Minutes” or “Frontline.” The media doesn’t inform or educate its followers. It mostly incites to close a loop creating a bit more of injustices or additional conditions. I am willing to bet that future legislation in NC will mandate the registered offender’s report to a county jail during a time of crisis. It will somehow become law. Nevermind that it tears families apart. Nevermind that it adjudicates an issue where an offender has done nothing wrong but ask for help during a crisis.
Lessons learned moment with regards to Hurricane Florence proves that registered offenders are no longer second-class citizens, but now deemed “stateless” because there are no formalized plans, but only guessing, as to how to integrate them back into society.