Reply To: The insidious policy of blanket exclusions for registered sex offenders


The best strategy we can employ when challenging the numerous registry schemes is to stop focusing on sensationalized, overblown recidivism statistics and start challenging the disabilities and restraints that are imposed in the modern-day iterations of the sex offender registry. The Alaska registry was upheld in Smith v. Doe was NOT upheld because of high recidivism rates, but because that first-generation registry law did not contain the byzantine code of life-crippling disabilities and restraints. That first registry was just verifying info on a registry card that was signed and mailed back in. The Internet was nowhere near as ubiquitous back then as it is now. I don’t know if the first registry was even public to start with or if it was limited to law enforcement only. There was no in-person reporting other than maybe reporting in for initial registration. There were no residency, work, or presence restrictions. There were no statutory bans on Internet access for P.F.R.s. (Think Packingham v. North Carolina that was overturned by SCOTUS). We need to focus on the restrictions and how those are unconstitutional.

Until we can get the courts to recognize that the current iterations of the registry no longer bear any resemblance to the registry the Supreme Court contemplated in Smith v. Doe, we’re not going to make any significant headway in blowing huge chunks of the registry away.