- This topic has 52 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 8 months ago by d.
April 18, 2020 at 5:51 pm #71238
Editor’s note: This was a reply to a recent blog post on our site. After communicating with the author, the decision was made to post this as a separa
[See the full post at: “How much shame and suffering are enough?”]
April 18, 2020 at 7:50 pm #71245
Jill. I want you to know that I feel for you, and will Pray for your continued Recovery. As a 62 Year Old Black SVP on the Registry for Life, I know of The Terror I face every day. Never mind being on ‘Special Probation’ here in Pennsylvania. At least I have a more than reasonable Lady P.O. who does just about everything she can to ensure I DON’T, have to be Revoked and put back into The Prison System…mainly because of The Pandemic. I can at least be grateful for that.
We all have to some extent, experienced events that have helped shape our lives such that they end up helping make Us the People we eventually become. These events also shape The decisions We’ve made. Bad and Good. I made more Bad ones than Good, but I cannot change the Past. Nor can I go back in time to Undo the Bad Ones…until they Invent Real Time Travel, IF they ever do. But even so, I can’t ensure I’ll make any real differences in My Own Life. I could stop Myself from committing the crimes I did, but what if I started something else even far worse? So there it is.
The Media, Legislature, and Society as a whole won’t change, until everyone sees that this is Insanity. Pure and Simple!
OR, When ‘The Real Purge’ begins and more and more of Us are killed off, until there’s NO ONE LEFT!!
Then, they’ll create another set of ‘Social Lepers’.
So Jill, I pray that you continue to not only Live, but Thrive and go beyond Survival My Friend. Hopefully, one day, we’ll all be able to Get Together and have Real Fellowship…Hopefully.
April 18, 2020 at 9:08 pm #71247
You made a brave stand. May others stand with you and help shine the light so you are not always alone and the path not so dark. The reason the registry is so popular and so pervasive is not because it has any protective effect. the true monster is not those placed on the registry but rather the one’s searching it and demanding more of it..the monster is a monster of the soul, the same monster that relished those torn to bits in the Colosseum, held picnics under the “witches, and pastors” as they were burned to death, cheered and jeered as the Romans impaled their very own Messiah….It is morbidly ironic that the same Church going and bible-thumping Christians that think and say “we would never have killed the Messiah if he came to our day” are the ones so eager for tortures and damnation of their fellow man.. Sure they would have.probably would have held the nails and bargained for the robes.
April 18, 2020 at 10:58 pm #71249
The path is only as dark as you make it. Perception is absolutely everything. You can lead a pretty normal life or you can complain. Either way, the wheels move slowly towards change in terms of the registry – so in the interim, take your lives back. It is easy. You just have to make it so.
I understand that a lot of people are on supervision for life, and therefore it is difficult for you. Accept that what you did requires you to pay a price that others with lesser crimes do not have to pay. Don’t think for one moment that there is not a price to pay for violating the trust and body of the person you victimized, or for violating the trust of their families and the public at large. You deserve to pay this price, as did I for the crime I committed. We put ourselves in the position to have this happen to us; at least we had advanced warning of what was to come… our victims did not, after all.
For those currently on supervision that will eventually end, you have no choice but to grin and bear it until it is over… then, take your life back. The only other choice is prison – which do you prefer? Do what you must, follow the law – but take your life back. Move to a less restrictive environment. Have reasonable expectations given your criminal history in terms of employment or your living situation… but these things don’t determine your outlook, your perception. Have ‘new eyes’, as they say.
You can have a life; just like anyone anywhere, you are not entitled to the life you want. Make the best of your situation, and realize that you lessened your future and current opportunities by committing a sex crime.
April 19, 2020 at 7:49 am #71275
Adam, you say, “We put ourselves in the position to have this happen to us; at least we had advanced warning of what was to come…” Jill’s father’s conviction was in 1983. The sex offender registry as we know it would not exist for another ten to fifteen years. Jill’s concerns are not with the court-ordered punishment that her father served for his conviction but with the retroactive, anti-constitutional continuing punishment visited on them all due to the sex offense registry.
April 18, 2020 at 11:14 pm #71251
Hi Adam, I’m sure you mean well by your comments. But I think you would do well to consider that some of your words are going to cause pain for those who are suffering from collateral damage that is none of their doing. The children of folks on the registry suffer and enormous amount. And there’s nothing that they’ve done to earn that. Likewise the parents who are on the registry suffer seeing their children suffer and that is also not okay. so it’s important to remember that not everybody is suffering because of their personal choice. And some of the suffering that we observe even if we have something to do with that does not mean that it is easy.
There is certainly nothing easy about taking your life back while on the registry. Anyone who thinks it’s easy apparently has not suffered many of the atrocities that others have. It’s gratifying to know that it’s been easy for you. I’m glad. I would not want to take that from you. But for many of us it’s been anything but easy. Losing one job after another being evicted from homes being publicly ridiculed and humiliated and other personal losses far exceed the legal demand for justice. There is a vast difference between Justice and vengeance. The registry is vengeance. And for many that are on the registry it didn’t exist when they committed their crime or they have been released from the registry based on statute only to be put back on it when the statutes got changed or they moved to a different area.
you say that it is easy for them to take their lives back and if they’re struggling then they should move. But that is not possible for everyone. saying it is easy to negotiate life on the registry is just as insensitive as it is to tell a person who is for my minority family who is struggling with multi-generational poverty in an inner-city environment to simply get up and move to a more affluent area. I’m sure if people could move they would. I can think of no reason why someone would stay someplace where they have no choice but to suffer everyday unless they don’t have a choice. If you’re unemployed or underemployed your life is limited. The greatest barrier to success in our country is not color, creed, or ethnicity. It is poverty. And amongst the many people on the registry poverty is extreme.
in fearless groups that I have had the privilege of hosting I heard many stories that have reminded me that until I walk in someone else’s shoes I can’t possibly understand how their life affects them. I’m a counselor by trade and so I have a natural empathy towards people. Yet sometimes empathy is not enough. Sometimes we need to actually experience what other people go through before we make a judgment.
I appreciate the fact that you are trying to in your way possibly be encouraging. But I would encourage you to take a cognitive complexity view of the circumstances and see it through The eyes of others. Handing out advice to someone who’s suffering by telling them to stop suffering is not advise it is insensitivity.
If you read this article carefully you’re going to notice a few things that apparently you missed. Such as the person who wrote this is not responsible for the suffering she’s been through. And the fact that her father committed a crime and paid for that crime but still can never get past the punishment made it out by people who do not have any skin in the game is patently unfair. The Adam Walsh law is ill-conceived and is built on a mountain of fallacies. If the story is examined then we should understand that Mrs. Walsh had much to do with the loss of a child. Yet that is something that would be psychologically difficult to accept for a parent. There for the crusade for the Walsh family went on to victimize as many people as they could only serves to assuage their own feelings of guilt. This is an example of people being insensitive to the losses of others and the collateral damages that have been done in families. Please be more circumspect but the feelings of other people. I may get a lot of flack for this but I just cannot sit by and watch the words easy be thrown out that people who are suffering. it’s like advice to get over yourself. It may be practical but it’s definitely not kind. Let’s be kind. We have enough hate thrown at us collectively and individually.
April 18, 2020 at 11:40 pm #71252
You are so right about NARSOL. I rarely take the time to thank you but know I am so grateful for your work! Yes families of those on the registry suffer. I know from experience. Thank you so much for the work you do even when you do not hear from those of us who are so deeply affected by the registry.
April 19, 2020 at 6:21 am #71257
To put it bluntly, it is not insensitive to tell people that they are their own worst enemies and that only they can make their situation better by changing what ‘is’ in their lives, instead of what ‘was’.
I too suffer collateral damage; I once had a great relationship with my two youngest biological children, but by a mixture of prison time and their mother’s alienation efforts because of my crime, I have not seen them in 10 years. While the family courts have been surprisingly sympathetic and have aided me in reunification, it is to no avail, as neither wants to see me because of the demonizing their mother/grandmother have done. One is now an adult and has every right not to see me if she wishes not to. However, IT IS STILL MY FAULT. All of the things that befall us and our families that is the result of our actions as offenders is the fault of the offender, just like it is the fault of any crime perpetrator that their families suffer as a result of the criminal’s actions. It is not the system’s fault that we entered the system for committing what is morally and legally considered one of the most heinous crimes. If our families suffer, it is on us as the criminal, as our actions started the chain reaction of events that ends in their suffering. If anything, it is time to stop blaming other people or some ‘system’ for what we ourselves have wrought.
You speak of multi-generational poverty – I overcame it. You speak of the inner city – I grew up there and just recently moved out after completing supervision. I was an abused (sexually/physically) foster kid. I have been in mental institutions 13 times in my first 30 years of life (I am 40 now) with many suicide attempts. I was homeless and uneducated (no HSED/GED) until I entered prison and got them both at the age of 32. I was diagnosed with bipolar (and placed on every mind-numbing medication imaginable) when I was 12 and re-diagnosed with BPD when I was 31 and did years and years of therapy to overcome it – which I did, as I no longer meet the diagnostic criteria and have not for years. I did drugs for 10 years straight and developed an addiction that was so bad that it negatively impacted everyone around me all the time. I was given no advantages and had no advantages. I made my situation the worst it could be by committing a sex offense.
DESPITE THAT, I live a life that is fulfilling and full of purpose and hope, and that is on my terms. I am educated 3x’s over, have a wonderful wife and kids, a great career, never want for anything because I overcame all the disadvantages this world could muster up, as well as overcame the disadvantages I gave to myself by committing a sex crime. To tell me, or anyone, that it is the fault of some ‘system’ or anyone outside themselves that or they their families suffer because of what WE did… well, that is just irresponsible and not realistic. You make the best of what you have, and some wither under the pressure and others overcome it.
People need to take responsibility over their lives, their actions, and the consequences their actions have… including the unintended consequences our actions have or had on our families. If your loved ones are suffering because of the system you willingly entered by committing a sex crime, then it is on YOU, the offender, and not the system.
It doesn’t matter if the system is ‘fair’ or not – you did the deed. Own up to the consequences of your actions and deal with it appropriately by making for yourselves and your families the best life you can under the circumstances – because the circumstances in the case of the registry and all that it entails is almost wholly out of your personal control.
April 19, 2020 at 6:54 am #71267
Adam, can you please stop spouting rhetoric.
1st) out of the thousands of “sex crime laws” do you know how many of them could easily be listed as victimless crimes? It may surprise you to know many of them…..age of consent crimes, where no one considers themselves a victim and the age is different in every state? Many states dont even make allowances for being lied to or shown a false id? How about romantic couples busted having what they thought was a private romantic moment on the beach? Your teenage son that sent a picture of himself to his girlfriend? Yea.. the list goes on.. Did you know registry includes people as young as 9 and at one time even 5 years old? WHAT on earth could a child barely old enough to not be a baby any more have done to deserve that crap? ?
2nd) This particular conversation and posting that is driving it is regarding the satellite affects of children and spouses, and family members who have committed no crimes. Is it different because you are special and so crimes you commit are not criminal? yea hear that an awful lot… Geesh Sure glad those lesser crimes like murder and arsonists and drug dealers and such that are so much “lesser criminals” are so much worse then the teenager sexting or the innocent child of that teenager when they grow up and have children. Really hate conversations that just spout rhetoric.
April 19, 2020 at 7:11 am #71270
I, too, am among those so grateful for the efforts of NARSOL, and others who labor to end the suffocating and exhausting effects of registry laws. I live in a southern state where the laws remove virtually every possibility one has to recover their life, and are so ambiguous that they are open to being interpreted according to the whims of those who enforce them. So, every effort can be made to comply, but there always remains a cloud of uncertainty because so many interpret the same laws differently, and registrants are easy targets because no one cares whether we are treated justly or not. We are simply the lepers of modern society. We are a long way from the eradication of these laws, for they have been instilled in the public mind as laws which are necessary, protective, and good for the general public. Thanks again, NARSOL, for your herculean efforts on our behalf. If we did not have folks like you to fight for us we would be even greater political and social fodder than we currently are.
April 19, 2020 at 7:43 am #71272
When will we start putting the politicians & media personnel on trial. The only way to make it end once & for good is only to argue the truth & evidence of such a policy. Stop arguing about personal opinions or ideologies.
(5) factors in assessing widespread or systematic
Kunarac, Kovac and Vokovic, (Appeals Chamber), June 12, 2002, para. 95: In assessing what constitutes a “widespread” or “systematic” attack, a Trial Chamber must “first identify the population which is the object of the attack and, in light of the means, methods, resources and result of the attack upon the population, ascertain whether the attack was indeed widespread or systematic.” “The consequences of the attack upon the targeted population, the number of victims, the nature of the acts, the possible participation of officials or authorities or any identifiable patterns of crimes, could be taken into account to determine whether the attack satisfies either or both requirements of a ‘widespread’ or ‘systematic’ attack.”
Jelisic, (Trial Chamber), December 14, 1999, para. 53: “The existence of an acknowledged policy targeting a particular community, the establishment of parallel institutions meant to implement this policy, the involvement of high-level political or military authorities, the employment of considerable financial, military or other resources and the scale or the repeated, unchanging and continuous nature of the violence committed against a particular civilian population are among the factors which may demonstrate the widespread or systematic nature of an attack.”
Krnojelac, (Trial Chamber), March 15, 2002, para. 115: “To establish the crime of imprisonment as a crime against humanity under Article 5(e) of the Tribunal’s Statute . . . the following elements must be established: i) an individual is deprived of his or her liberty; ii) the deprivation of liberty is imposed arbitrarily, that is, no legal basis can be invoked to justify the deprivation of liberty; iii) the act or omission by which the individual is deprived of his or her physical liberty is performed by the accused or a person or persons for whom the accused bears criminal responsibility with the intent to deprive the individual arbitrarily of his or her physical liberty or in the reasonable knowledge that his act or omission is likely to cause arbitrary deprivation of physical liberty.”
Kordic and Cerkez, (Trial Chamber), February 26, 2001, para. 302-303: “[T]he term imprisonment in Article 5(e) of the Statute should be understood as arbitrary imprisonment, that is to say, the deprivation of liberty of the individual without due process of law, as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against a civilian population. In that respect, the Trial Chamber will have to determine the legality of imprisonment as well as the procedural safeguards pertaining to the subsequent imprisonment of the person or group of persons in question, before determining whether or not they occurred as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against a civilian population.”
(d) may encompass physical or mental harm or infringements upon individual freedom
Vasiljevic, (Trial Chamber), November 29, 2002, para. 246: “The act or omission constituting the crime of persecution may assume various forms, and there is no comprehensive list of what acts can amount to persecution. It may encompass acts that are listed in the Statute as well as acts that are not listed in the Statute. The persecutory act or omission may encompass physical or mental harm or infringements upon individual freedom.”
April 19, 2020 at 9:06 am #71276
Thank you for sharing your sorrowful story. It saddened me to read what you’ve been through. It reminds me what my crimes did to my own family. I never believed that my family would suffer if I ended up being caught. I was wrong. My family has not suffered as much as you have. In fact, most of the suffering has been along the lines of financial difficulties because I was once the sole breadwinner in my family. However, a couple of my five children have little or nothing to do with me. Their shame of me runs deep. I cannot blame them. My other children, and lately my sister, have forgiven me and I am grateful for that. Even my wife forgave me although she always reminds me that she can never forget. Recently, someone I greatly respect contacted me. He knew me from before I went to prison. It had been about 11 years and I never expected to hear from him. I waited a few days and then filled him in on the highlights of my life since then. He was shocked, to say the least. But, he was also forgiving. He knew me before and he knew me to be a good person. He felt that I had owned up to my crimes and had done everything I should be doing to reconcile and make myself a better person. He forgave me as I learned to forgive myself.
If this useless registry did not exist, our ability including our family’s ability, to reconcile and be a more normal members of society would be greatly enhanced and all of that could happen with absolutely no reduction in “public safety.” I salute NARSOL for leading the good fight. I am sorry for the things you’ve had to go through Jill but I wish you the best and thank you so much for sharing your story.
April 19, 2020 at 9:35 am #71279
First, I want to thank all of the volunteers at NARSOL for all of your efforts to right the wrongs done by a government that is out of control where this issue is concerned. Let me start by saying that I lead a good life after prison… and I made that happen with persistent effort and faith in God. Those who insist that we made our choices and must now accept the consequences as they exist are ignorant of what these laws actually are. Every one of these registry laws are “ex post facto” despite what the courts have decided they “think” they are. We did our time and should be allowed to resume our lives just like every other category of crime. Why should a drug dealer who has harmed many minors just as bad be given better consideration than us? Which brings up the Constitutional issue of “equal protection” under our laws (another area judges refuse to recognize because they fear being voted out of office). I can appreciate that I need to accept responsibility for my actions, but I will never accept that responsibility under unconstitutional laws.
April 19, 2020 at 9:46 am #71281
May God Bless you and your family ABUNDANTLY, Jill.
Thank you for your story.
Your strength is extraordinary.
Faith in God can only be the Source for strength like that, I believe.
To those whose belief system incorporates our taking responsibility and receiving whatever consequences as the offenders we once were, I offer this:
Yes. We chose to commit our acts.
In our selfish state of mind, we chose to hurt.
Regardless of the cost it had on us, our families, our friends, acquaintances and finally, our victim(s) lives and their relationships.
And then? We were punished.
Some was extreme, some was minimal.
But as a result of our punishment, most of us…stopped.
We stopped hurting people.
Some of us even became BETTER people..after..our horrible choice was made so long ago.
If I could heal those ones I hurt, I would do it in a heartbeat.
If I could erase their memory of the horror I caused? I would risk life and limb for them.
If I could give them memories of beauty, I’d sell all to achieve that.
But I can’t.
We will always remember who we once were.
What we did.
The devastation we caused.
But at some point…Forgiveness must intercede.
And Restoration…must persist.
Anything else…is horror perpetuated.
April 19, 2020 at 10:04 am #71284
I agree with one thing Adam said. Through our decision, we did put ourselves in the criminal justice system. I fully accept that.
I have paid any debt owed to society, been deterred and rehabilitated. Now get over it, society (That comment is not directed at the victims). In court mandated therapy, I asserted that I am not a sex offender. I’m a former sex offender, and I don’t believe it is healthy to internalize that present tense label. If someone robbed a bank 10 or 20 years ago, no one would insist that he carry the “bank robber” mill stone around his neck for the rest of his life. Mistake made, price paid, life resumed. Not so for those with a sex offense.
If anyone is interested in my opinion, I believe that vilifying former SOs is an attempt to push away the mirror, to pretend that the potential only exists in the “monsters” among us. No matter how much we try to deny it, humans are sexual beings. That is a great thing. It propagates the species. Nearly everyone has had a sexual thought that made him/her uncomfortable, or elicited feelings of guilt. That could be as innocuous as fleeting feeling of lust for a neighbor’s husband or wife.
Rather than examining those feelings as a form of honest self-therapy, it is much more comforting to believe that the potential only exists in those aberrant “others.” The mirror is now at a reassuring distance.
April 19, 2020 at 10:26 am #71286
Your response fails to take into account that the registry harms and shames more than it protects. You assume that punishment should be ongoing and that everyone can simply overcome it. I am in a unique position of living with both sides. I know what abuse does and how hard it is to overcome the trauma. A public registry would not have saved our family. It would have been just more shaming. Not everyone on the registry has a victim. Some are actually victims and suffer from PTSD themselves. I was so busy trying to save myself from an abusive childhood that I failed to realize my son was abused at a camp. Yes, and now he is on the registry. Who is his victim? Himself. He didn’t tell us of the abuse, he turned to the internet. When he should have had therapy he got jail time, when he should have been embraced by community he got put on the registry. Eight years of higher education and he applied for 85 jobs and finally got a low level job. He worked hard, did what was asked of him. Confessed to the feds and got slammed. We have talked about which is worse, the one-time abuse he endured at camp or the now lifetime of abuse he faces with the registry and public shamming. CP remains all over the internet. He continues to try to endure and yes try to find some success. And to complicate matters our other son and family can’t stay at our house. We are good, honest, hardworking people. Yes, we will continue to endure but the pain remains. Laws should be created in research, never in the name of someone.
April 19, 2020 at 10:36 am #71288
Let me start by saying. Not everyone chose the position that lead to being on the registry. Some states law lean way past right and wrong. I live in Mississippi and to be honest I feel the laws here lean to the defendant having to prove innocent not the state to prove guilty. Not every American person understand the laws nor do they understand or know what is always going on. TV shows and News report paint a picture that all sex offenders steal rape and kill children. That’s far from the truth.
As for the family suffering I hate myself alot of days for the pain my family bares that I feel is my fault. Yet my family feels that I was misrepresented and that the court and judge aloud the DA to lie in court. But that doesn’t change the fact I register I work and I pay I bills it’s been 10 years and I have dont nothing wrong. My intent thing was not wrong but misunderstood. I know there are people who understand and others who feel that life on the registry is fair. But statically is crap.. you cousin or uncle is more likely to assault you or your child that a person in the registry.
Careful of the words you speak or the harm you wish. One day it may be your child or family carrying that burden. Lord knows I never thought I’d be where I am. To NARSOL thank you for being on our side even when it’s hard.
April 19, 2020 at 10:46 am #71291
Adam… you make some interesting points, and your emphasis on taking responsibility is admirable, but you are making harsh black & white judgements and not allowing for the gray areas of life. I am glad you are happy with a wife and children… God Bless You… I wish others could do that. However, the Adam Walsh Law has a little add-on that prevents an offender of a minor from sponsoring anyone for permanent residency in the US. My wife and I were married eight years, when she was deported back to Japan due to an offense I had been held accountable for 8 years prior to the implementation of the Adam Walsh Law. As with Jill, my wife was punished for the crime of someone else. Where in your rhetoric is it fitting to punish others for something that they were not present for yet are forced to take responsibility for.
For the record, my wife was not some child bride I lured into marriage. At the time she was deported, she was 62 years old and fully capable of determining whether I presented a risk to her. But USCIS deemed that they knew better. I won’t bore you with the recitation, but I can lay out at least 6 Constitutional violations in their decision.
This is the problem with such one size fits all solutions. We now have a registry that is out of control and related laws that heap more and more punishment upon not only perpetrators but all those around them. You state that we knew what we were doing and the consequences…. Jill’s father committed his crime before there were active registries, therefore how can you say he was aware of all of the consequences. At the time, my offense was committed, a law restricting marriage to a foreign individual was not in place. Therefore, there was no way to consider that result in any “deliberation” prior to the offense being committed.
You also don’t take into account that there are many cases, including mine, for which the crime alleged exceeds the actual act committed. I know in my particular case that the prosecutors were perplexed in finding a statute that I violated, so they through several at the wall … none of which really encapsulated the facts of the case and exceeded what truly occurred. As with most that accepted a plea deal, the facts of the case were irrelevant. Which is another weakness in the application of the Adam Walsh law. My offense was at the State level … the victim was past the age of consent, though still under the age of 18. For State purposes, my offense was not considered as a crime against a minor…. but the AWL ignores that fact and re-labelled me as conducting an offense against a minor. Again, thrusting greater responsibility for my offense then would be contemplated at the time of the occurrence.
With regards to your life, I congratulate you for rising above your conditions and experiences and forming a more worthwhile and meaningful life.
April 19, 2020 at 10:47 am #71290
Grace I understand. My situation is the same. I have no victim seeking help I chatted online in a chat room. Not thinking on my words just wanting to tell my story without judgement. 2 days later I was arrested and charge with exploitation of a child. I never even considered there was anyone under age in the room. No pictures were sent but my words condemned me.
Thankfully my family and a few freinds have stood beside me my dad started a company and I work for him. Another family friend has taught me trades but I never work alone. I always have fear in the back of my mind.. I will pray for you and your son.
April 19, 2020 at 3:42 pm #71313
To everybody out there following this thread today,
I wanted to apologize for the incoherent post that I wrote earlier. I have gone back and edited it extensively. I should have known better than to rant into my phone and let it do speech to text and then post without looking. You deserve better than that. Charlie
April 19, 2020 at 12:05 pm #71296
Adam, it is insensitive to assume that you know enough about everyone’s suffering to pass judgement on the huge population forced to register. It’s hubris to believe you can or do hold a complete view of the enormity of the problems faced by registrants beyond your own limited experiences.
You wrote, “I must be the rare offender who isn’t really affected by the registry. My state of residence isn’t harsh with their requirements, there are places to live, jobs for offenders, I go to college, can take my kids to the park, go to their schools, trick or treat with them, and do whatever I want or need.”
In that statement you make it very clear that the registry has not burdened you over much, in your opinion. You admit that your state is not overly restrictive. That is awesome for you. For many of us, it is not the case, nor is it necessarily within our power to change things.
For some of us, we were free from any further obligation to register, having completed our statutory registration. Yet as a result of retroactive laws, many of us were put back on the registry, many for life.
For others, their crime was committed long before the registry even existed, and they were placed on it after the fact. This is blatantly unconstitutional and harms people’s lives unnecessarily. It is witch-hunting at its finest—looking for people to single out and punished. If these people had been dangerous they would have reoffended and wound up on the registry in a legitimate manner. But no, they were added retroactively in a dragnet designed to add to the registered population.
Your rhetoric marginalizes people, triggering a sense of futility and hopelessness. By blaming them for circumstances in life, which are outside their control, you disempower them completely.
Not everyone on the registry placed themselves there through knowingly choosing to harm someone. In some cases it was quite accidental. And other cases it was quite absurd that they were charged at all. Please do not paint all with a broad brush of assumption and culpability. You are not intimately aware of what goes on in other people’s lives. So you cannot and should not make such scathing comments without having facts in your hands.
You do not know my life or the immense pain that the continuous revision of the registry has inflicted on me. Like you I have done a lot to make my life better. I have taken advantage of some opportunities that presented themselves, and completed substantial education to the Phd-level, and have seven degrees to my name. Six of those were completed after I served my time and paid my debt.
Yet retroactively I’ve been thrown under the bus. My so-called crime was a crime of statutory oddity within my state, couched in an ambiguous law which my own lawyers we’re not familiar with. However, the prosecutors in the county wanted very much to pursue me to further a political agenda.
When a so-called victim is over the age of majority, is consensual, and where there is no force involved, nor are there any ethical or questionable acts, no one could accuse someone of stepping into a situation and victimizing someone knowingly.
In my case all the above was true. Yet an obscure law in my home state that was seldom used was pulled out from obscurity, in order to create a reason for a certain person to leverage my removal from the board of directors of my own company, satisfying their own political agenda.
I had zero defense since I absolutely no idea that I have broken any laws. I freely spoke with investigators who I was told were looking into something not directly connected to me. It was that conversation that resulted in the “evidence” with which they charged me with. In cooperating I unknowingly confirmed the relationship which later was declared to be unlawful.
I did not make a fuss when it was presented to me because I knew that according to the law I was indeed guilty. But there was no knowing intent on my part.
Nothingin I’ve ever been educated about or experienced would have led me to believe that I was participating in anything unlawful. I had never violated the law before, and I never have since.
I paid my price though. I did my time. I was released, and completed my requirement to register for 10 years.
However three years before my registration was up it was decided by politicians that the right to file a petition to no longer register would now be disallowed for most all sexually based crimes. This was done without provision or regard for the laws under which people were convicted which designated finite registration periods and right to the process petitioning to deregister. This change in the law resulted in approximately 95% of those with convictions for sexual crimes no longer being allowed to petition. Short of a costly appeals court process, my state locked nearly everyone into lifetime registration even if they were originally required to register for only 10 or 15 years.
This was of course the goal. Politicians have learned that they can leverage major political points by targeting sex offenders. Their ability to say that they have punished sex offenders by making them register for life and thereby making the citizens safer was too tempting for them to pass up. So they lumped everybody into the same basic classification of lifetime registration. It was nothing less than a legislative lynching of otherwise compliant citizens.
Now, you may say I victimized someone and it’s all my fault. With that same specious argument though, you would also have to say that those who were 18 while dating a 17 year old school sweetheart, and later convicted of statutory rape were inflicting egregious harm on their girlfriend. Many people on the registry we’re caught up in ridiculous situations like this and are now even married that same girl, and have a family. Yet somehow you are concluding that they were perpetrating a heinous crime and victimization their romantic partner.
The fact of the matter is that not everyone has on the registry or convicted of a sexual crime has actual victims in the in the sense of harming someone directly. And not everyone who has engaged in a sexual encounter that is statutorily illegal is a victim or is emotionally damaged.
As a result of all of these retroactive changes to laws surrounding the registry over the last few decades many of us have been hurled under every passing bus. I have lost every job that I have earned. I have had companies I founded ripped out from under me. I have been pulled in front of administrative committees to answer in what they believed was there right to continue to persecute me as if there was an ongoing crime. And in just the last couple of weeks as the covid-19 crisis has place my current nonprofit organization at financial risk, I have learned that since I am a key player on the board of directors, my nonprofit is not allowed to seek SBA financial disaster loan money in order to keep our payroll and our organization moving during the stay-at-home order.
I earned my way past any suspicion or label that I am a danger to society. I hold a high level academic degree from a prestigious university. I have invested over $300,000 in my education which I continue to pay off, even though I am chronically unemployed. I have been fired from some great jobs only because some vigilante in stirred trouble which forced my university and other employers to fire me.
I have been through bankruptcy twice now because of such events. My children lived under the stigma of something that should never have touched them. And now in my old age as I’m getting ill, especially in face of the coronavirus. I am legally prohibited from any nursing home if I need one, or homeless shelter if I were to lose my home.
You may ignorantly say that this is all my fault and that I should have known better. I say that you have no idea what other people are going through because you obviously cannot be empathetic and see beyond your own perspective.
With all due respect I suggest that you realize that you may know enough to discuss the topic to a point, but you obviously don’t know enough to understand that you are dead wrong to paint everyone with a broad brush of “you deserve it so get over it.” Or to tell these people who are doing their level best to survive in a culture that is attacking them from all directions that their flight is simply from their lack of effort.
You rudely tell us that it is our fault and how our inaction prevents us from having a good life. One that is not full of constant anxiety, stress, threat, and horror. No one deserves to be on a public witch hunt list that invites vigilantes to threaten their lives or assault them emotionally or physically.
I suggest that you get over your own self-appointed arrogance and realize that you proceeding from some false assumptions , harming your fellow registered citizen peers rather than tell them to go out and eat cake.
April 19, 2020 at 12:24 pm #71297
Thank you for sharing your story.
Im a 66-year-old. who has been on the registry since 2017, after a 5-year stint in a federal prison for possession of C.P.
I raised 3 kids alone and prior to my arrest they were grown with families of their own.
We were awfully close, including my ex-wife. At the time of my arrest, Dec 17, 2013, I was living with my oldest son and his family.
Since the arrest I’ve not heard from any of them. During my incarceration I’ve tried several times reaching out, to no avail. They have completely rejected me.
I relate to this post and hope someday my kids and grandkids read it, and open their hearts to me.
April 19, 2020 at 12:36 pm #71299
So much to read, so much to process. So many people to thank. First of all, thank you Jill for your heart rendering story. You are a good person and it sounds like your father is a good person who made a mistake.
Thank you Sandy for your tireless work for NARSOL and your always eloquent posts. And now, thank you Charlie, Moderator, for saying something that I have always thought but have not had the nerve to say or write. I believe that Mrs. Walsh also shares some blame in her son being kidnapped. What happened to that child is awful but as far as I know it has never been proved that this was a sex crime. It was a kidnapping and murder but what else has been proven? Mr Walsh seems to have made a living off of the terrible thing that happened to his son. I realize that this is his way of dealing with the awful trauma but why do so many others have to suffer?
I am the mother of an offender who is also a father to a now adult daughter. When he was in prison she wanted so much to see him but her mother and other family members said No. I’m not going to argue whether this was right or wrong. Perhaps it was right because she has turned out to be a lovely young woman. But she still refuses to see her dad. And worse still is that she does not know his side of the story. A story that involves him working full time, cooking and cleaning the house and taking care of both her and her mom. I have a good relationship with all of them so I hesitate to bring this up. I just hope and pray that someday she will want to see her father and hear his side of the story. By the way he never did anything to her.
Jill, what happened to you is awful You should never be fired from a job because of what another family member did. In addition the trauma of losing your son is almost too much to comprehend. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. So thank you again for sharing your story. It reminds me that we are not alone although sometimes it seems like we are. And of course, thank you to all the people who post on here. It takes a certain amount of courage to say what you think. Sandy, Charlie and the rest of the volunteers who give so much of their time and effort may you remain strong.
April 19, 2020 at 1:45 pm #71303
You know Adam S, my blood is really boiling right now! How dare you say the things you said??
The facts are that, 2 or 4 times per year, we (US Citizens) are being forced to report to a jail for forced interrogations.
Our 1st Amendment right to remain silent has been suspended!
This is very illegal. And it doesn’t matter what crime or how many crimes I have committed. This is still illegal!
How dare you tell us to suck it up and live with it!!
And what about the trespasses onto our property? – for residence checks and erecting signs !
How dare you ????
April 19, 2020 at 1:55 pm #71307
Thank you so much for sharing and for thanking NARSOL for all they do. These people do not get enough recognition and gratitude for all their hard work to help lawmakers, the media, and the general public understand that registrants are human and should be treated as such. All that happens to registrants after incarceration is horrible. The extent collateral damage to their families is unimaginable.
I’m with you in saying THANK YOU SO MUCH to NARSOL and those in other national and state organizations (such as OH RSOL – I live in Ohio) who sacrifice so that registrants and their loved ones can have a better life. We love and appreciate each of you! God bless you richly for your fight!
April 19, 2020 at 3:33 pm #71311
David V C
Thank you so much for your bravery in replying to a NARSOL blog.
Apart from COVID -19, we are all in this together.
Really the people that are monsters are those that scorn and shame those that have family members or spouses that are on the registry.
People like you had NOTHING to do with their crime.
Also, just because your dad is on the registry does NOT mean he is a monster or a horrible person.
What would society be like if everyone shamed the families of everyone who committed some sort of a crime?
Essentially, it would be like society saying “Your dad robbed a bank and because you are his daughter you are just as bad!”
That is absolutely ludicrous to the point of being beyond absurd, but that is how this nation and much of society has became towards those on the registry and ONLY those on the registry.
It has became ‘socially and politically fashionable’ to fervently hate and scorn those on the registry so much now their hate boils over to the registrant’s families and spouses.
Now, all other crimes play second fiddle to sex offenses.
God Himself said “The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.”
These people think they are better than God!!
Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself and ask people or your former employer ‘Is it right that I, or you, bear the guilt for what someone else did?’
I can’t imagine anyone saying or believing in their heart that it is right once it is put in that perspective.
God loves you, Jill, and we love you, and you are not alone.
April 19, 2020 at 4:01 pm #71314
Hello Jill, my name is Kevin and I’m on the registry.
I’ve been on this registry for over 19years and I understand how you feel.
I’m also a member of DARSOL a organization that helps me and gives me hope that one day I see my self getting a pardon. Yes it’s a hard battle, I’m a fighter. I have evidence of that, because I’m also a recovering addict who’s been clean and sober for over 20years. I am so grateful of DARSOL and now me and the Program Director Margaret Hawkins are close friends. We are trying to put our heads together to come up with ideals that can maybe help other registrants. Delaware is the first state and for me as a Afro-American living in this state I feel like a slave. We all make mistakes and I made a terrible one. I always wish that I can go back in time and correct this mistake or make a better decision in that situation. While I’ll been on this registry, I’ve experience being looked at as a MONSTER and my life has contradict that. Since I been on the registry it’s been hard for me to find jobs and housing. I’ve been blessed to have a great support group which helped me to believe in myself and loved me until I was able to love myself. My family has been there for me as well. They allow me to live with them and during the times I struggled to find a job, because no one would hire me, they allow me to live with them for free. I can remember when I would go to a job interview and the interview would be going well until they asked that question (Have you been convicted of a felony) once I answer that you could see in their faces what they thought of me and that’s hurtful. When this virus was spreading I had to go register and when I was there they have us isolated to a room and they wasn’t practicing social distance and one of the guys was coughing. This took place at a State police station and I refuse to go into the room. I was the only one who was courage enough to speak on it and that situation just let me know how people really feel about us that are on the registry.
I’m pushing for reform here in Delaware and I want a program that will only help people who are on the registry and the reason why I’m saying that is because all of the reform programs here DO NOT help those on the registry like they help ones with other felonies, but when it comes to us it’s so hard to get help and registrants gives up.
My goal is to help myself, so that I can help others and with the support I have I hope that I will accomplish that.
I’m keep fighting for change about the registry and I pray that we all can come together and make this happen
Kevin Wright, Delaware
April 19, 2020 at 4:12 pm #71316
I appreciate this post and many of the replies, these are heart breaking stories and they ring true for me right at this moment. Yesterday I told my 19-year old son and 24-year old daughter about my offense, which occured 10 years ago and involved their cousin, a minor. It may seem odd or even wrong that I kept this from my children for so long, but the fact is that for the past 10 years I have been able to see them, support them and be a good father, despite the fact that my offense led to a divorce with my ex-wife. I have had a loving relationship with my children, but upon learning of my offense I am fearful that this will end. As my daughter put it, “Dad I may be able to forgive you some day but not right now.” Both of them were angry and hurt, and I don’t think they had any idea that their father could be capable of doing such a thing. Time will tell if our relationship will survive.
A few more details may be relevant to understanding my story. I was on probation for 5 years, and taken off the registry after 7 years due to the State Supreme Court case involving Adam Walsh in Pennsylvania. So I am no longer on the registry, and I have a misdemeanor offense on my record that would no longer require registration in this state, although it could in other states. To my dismay, I have found that just because you are no longer on the registry does not end the consequences, including legal requirements especially as it relates to travel and residence domestically and internationally.
I was concerned to read in Jill’s story that she has been denied employment due to her Father’s offense. This seems very strange to me, I admit it’s something I had never considered, and Jill if you are reading this perhaps you or others could elaborate on how this is possible. Do you share an address with your Father? Or is this something that somehow comes up in background checks? This question is very important to me as my son is pursuing a degree in elementary education and my daughter is pursuing a Law degree. I would hate to see my offense hindering their future prospects in any way, regardless of how they deal with the emotional burden of now knowing of my offense and its impacts to our relationship.
I too appreciate NARSOL and am a supporter.
April 19, 2020 at 4:12 pm #71317
The post is so exactly on target. how much suffering is enough? And I agree that John Walsh continues to stir up furor over these ‘monsters’ whom he say he ‘hates.’
But to Adam S. I say ‘what?” I don’t know anyone on the registry that can lead a normal life. And no, not everyone put themselves there. Or, the ‘crimes’ which they committed should not warrant the draconian emotion-fueled punishment, which refuses to acknowledge the facts about re-offense. My son’s life was destroyed with a malicious prosecution and coerced plea. The pit-bull emotional rage of the prosecutor made sure we did not know that no ‘victim’ would participate in her prosecution because they said they were not victims and she just wanted to ‘hurt him.’ He has been in hospital for suicide 3x. He can’t get hired because of assumptions made about people on the registry no matter how much school he gets. Your remarks were wildly inaccurate and inappropriate in that they hurt many people who are or have a family member on the registry.
April 19, 2020 at 8:50 pm #71328
Tim in WI
Your plea for support astounded me. If you’re kooking for affirmation concerning the people’s use of the machine you’ve found the right place. It is truly an awakening to figure out most of what you’re taught in school about our benevolent government system is mostly BS. Mr. Walsh has suffered the loss of his child and so he lives and indeed thrives in a culture of victimstance. That culture is being purposely cultivated by prifiteers.
Justice Kennedy referred to these folks in North Carolina vs. Packingham as “ubiquitous internet firms.” The Packingham case was only the second time speech rights on the internet space context. Before that, the first time, was a case cited as Reno vs. ACLU(1997). Janet Reno was the U.S. Attorney General confronted in that case which was ruled unconstitutional government overreach. She (Reno) played a huge role in the development of the registries. Overreach is the issue and gov’s use electronic infrastructure has always been the foundational problem. You have a great advantage that neither politicians nor registrants have, every opportunity to confront the craziness and I hope you continue to make it heard!
April 19, 2020 at 8:53 pm #71320
This is a touching, real and tragic story that needs to be mainstreamed. the hell we live in is inhumane. I agree that this time is a stepping stone for change, we must not stop this fight. Thank you for sharing, this is of utmost importance, to make us human. We are human. How much is enough is a valid question. The scope of people that this punishment involves is unprecedented.
April 19, 2020 at 11:52 pm #71333
I now truly believe, with the virous, that the crazy sex offender laws are an experiment of how far the government would be able to go to take rights from people. They started with a class of people that made terrible decisions and took all rights very swiftly away from us. They knew that the public would back this out of fear, spread by lies from the media. I’m on the registry for life and my offence was in 1990 before there was a registry. They have tried to evict me from my home of 30 + years. I am not a svp and my charges are from a consensual relationship with a 14 year old from high school. They took people, who they knew society would back the unconstitutional acts, and stripped us of our rights. All for fear and safety. Now after years of continually removing and stepping on peoples rights, they made another Bold move and stripped ALL of American peoples rights with the fear of the virous. They made people step away from their business, jobs and forced them to just walk away from their life. And the sheepeole just did it. People will loose everything for a command from the government and NO ONE said Bull Shit. Again the media has blown this out of proportion to scare the sheepole into compliance. The government and media will always get their corrupt way if the sheepole believe they are stepping on our rights simply to protect us. Now not just the sexoffenders are screwed, but all people in this country are screwed. All in the illusion of safety. WOW.
April 20, 2020 at 7:00 am #71338
Daughter promoting kindness
Hello and thank you for your questions and well wishes.
That is fine Adam S; you are saying what our nation thinks! So how do we get an average American citizen to be compassionate and to understand what is actually happening if we can’t even get you to understand or realize what is going on? What is your goal of being on NARSOL? I feel, Adam, you are hurting deep inside and are trying to say all is ok. And maybe on the outside they are ok and maybe you are one of the lucky few, but you would be the only one I have ever heard of.
I am sad for any family members not attempting to understand who their parent is. I wish I asked questions long ago to my dad, but who really wants to discuss this topic with a loved one. I did have to be mentally ready to hear and listen and understand him. I am now 46yrs; I guess it took me this long the be ready. My dad has some heavy stories. ****I just found out my dad was sexually abused in the 80’s by a male nurse and female nurses while he was in a hospital for an urgent medical emergency. This was after the crime in ’83 while he was being evaluated at a mental institution for the court case. How was that right?? That was one of many traumas Dad suffered. I cannot go after anyone to hold them personally responsible for that crime all these years later, but that trauma, if you asked him, seems like it was yesterday
My dad paid his dues; the registry needs to dissolve. You can’t keep digging up someone’s past and shaming them over and over.
Hi Steve! Yes I was forced out of my job of 23yrs. I couldn’t handle surviving PTSD and dealing with my dad’s past all over again so I felt I had to make a personal choice; it was my mental health or the paycheck. A person who knew my dad years ago posted that my dad molested me and my siblings. THAT WAS A LIE! well it turned into a feeding frenzy and took off on Facebook. Everyone from my work life to personal life now knew my dad’s past and OMG, all I can think is, I am living this nightmare all over again. They reposted his court case from ’83. I was a practice manager at my office for 23yrs, but when my team learned about my dad they treated me poorly and lost respect for me. The worst was having my patients come in and ask questions about dad, I read messages my patients shared on Facebook, whom I knew personally, reading the comments they made, how could I ever look at those patients the same way again. I couldn’t believe what they were typing from the safety of their computers. My other siblings got questioned as well. To answer your question, YES, no matter what address your children live at, this will find them at some point in their lifetime. As I mentioned, I lost my baby boy 5yrs ago. The father of my son and I split and at the direction of all professionals, I moved back in with my parents so they could be on suicide watch. Yes, I shared the same address for a year until I moved out, but my other siblings did not. This Facebook post also got into the schools, of course, and then the grandchildren were also affected. One of my nephews was a freshman, and he lost his friends. This is the collateral damage I’m talking about. To protect them we never told the grandkids because truly, why should they know? As I mentioned, we grew up trained that my dad was a “monster.” For this reason we were always with the grandkids; they were never alone even though my dad never showed any signs. Today, now that I have learned what really happened back then, I realized my dad was NOT a personal or public threat. I am living proof that at some point in your lives with these laws, it will definitely impact your entire family. Many of you may not have grandkids at this point; that one is even trickier.
Maybe Sandy and myself can put something together for the children and loved ones to read so they can hear from someone who has lived it.
You know I asked my mom why did you stay with our dad, and she beautifully responded “Because I love him! I’ve known him his whole life since he was 13yrs old, I know who he really is.”
April 20, 2020 at 8:46 am #71341
Jill thank you for your response to my question. It truly saddens me to hear of the trauma you have endured simply as a result of having a loved one, your father, on the registry.
One of my take homes from your story is to avoid Facebook. Also limiting to the extent possible the people who know of the offense by a loved one or relative, since it is clear from your story that misinformation and misguided hate can spread like a virus. I have been fortunate so far to keep knowledge of my offense limited to a small group of people who so far have respected my privacy. Now that my children know, however, I am concerned that they will tell their friends and the news will spread since they all communicate these days with social media. I am going to try to warn them but it may already be too late, and will they listen?
April 20, 2020 at 8:49 am #71342
Adam, your whole “lift yourselves up by the bootstraps” argument is built on the fact that your own circumstances seem minor in comparison to others. This is egotism at its worst. This hollow insensitivity is simply a way to bury your own deep pain and suffering, if only for a while. It’s so much easier, after all, to distance yourself from the problems of others when you benefit from less restrictive circumstances. It gives you that warm, fuzzy feeling that you are somehow above others. It helps no one to believe such drivel.
April 20, 2020 at 9:56 am #71347
You don’t know what her father did and you certainly don’t know what was in his heart.
I am glad you have clearly found peace with your crime and seem content in your life but never presume to understand another.
April 20, 2020 at 10:01 am #71349
I am guilty of having been critical of NARSOL on these threads. I do not always agree with their methods. But you are right, where would we be without them!? NARSOL, champions of the despised.
Standing on the edge of an ocean called forgiveness, we are men without a boat.
April 20, 2020 at 12:52 pm #71360
From everything I can tell about Adam, he didn’t carefully read the post. He speaks as if the daughter is the one that committed the crime. Be careful and read what you’re replying to. Even so, he does have a point, but he has lost site of the fact that many of the laws trap innocent people, are unconstitutional, and don’t allow a person to recover. That’s what makes them wrong. I’m so excited to start a Fearless group after the virus scare is over. I’m looking forward to helping people because it gives meaning to my life. My life on the registry has not been easy, but it could be much worse. Every time I feel sorry for myself I’m reminded of the fact that there are people who can’t even get up and walk across the room. Stay strong everyone. Don’t give up, take it a step at a time, and do the next right thing.
April 20, 2020 at 5:28 pm #71374
Daughter promoting kindness
To Steve P. I feel I have discouraged you and I’m sorry for that, but yes social media is not your friend. When my dad was arressted in ’83 I was 10yrs old the media at that time was prior to internet it was mainly TV and newspapers and with this recent repost and comment made on Facebook in 2019. Its 10 times worse and it was only a post on facebook which immediately blew up the local area TV stations. So yes that is unfortunately where we are in this nation, we live on our smartphones especially kids. I am and please don’t take this wrong proud that you sat down and talked with your children. They will respect you more not now but later down the road. Don’t give up on your families and children they are trying to navigate the best they can its a lot for them but that does not mean they do not love you or wish not to have a relationship with you later down the road. They need to be ready just encourage them that the door is always open and stop everything your doing if or when they decide they are ready to speak with you. You get one shot at that when they come back. There will be anger lots of yelling and crying but that in my opinion is healthy you are at the beginning of trying to figure out things. You will never go back to normal but you will create your own new normal just like we are doing in this COVID -19 crisis.
My dad never spoke about his traumas and I found out it started when he was a child. He was somehow lead to believe if he was hurting or in pain to be quiet and suck it up. So that’s what he did his entire life he shut up and because of that it has affected his family’s entire life.
Please those who read this there is a whole life attached to what you would call scum or monster. My dad is an amazing person who has endured so much trauma I wish I could go back in time and be my dads best friend and tell him don’t go to Vietnam or tell him go to the hospital after his bike accident ( this would be the underlying pain he would endure his entire life until he finally had surgery about 10 yrs ago.) or tell him hes a good person.
You do not throw a whole life away because its a little banged up, when all it needs is time to heal. I do appreciate your comments of positivity it gives me hope. Last year simply put just sucked for me and I was trying to find help and came across NARSOL and then I knew….Finally…Some actually cares about whats happening. To have some one care was mind blowing. We are all just people some more broken than others but I think my root entangled journey has made me a better person and has given me the greatest gift of all “Empathy”.
One last thing for those of you who prior to COVID-19 were stuck in your home or property due to restrictions. My dad said “Huh the stay at home makes other people have to live like me because of this virus” and said “yes dad your right!”. Please stay safe and healthy.
April 20, 2020 at 5:33 pm #71376
Shannon Y Bhatty
I agree that these people are human and how much more shame and bias needs to come their way. Now with many states releasing inmates early due to risk of Covid-19 those labeled as sex offenders are specifically being singled out even on documents mailed to inmates that that “group” is excluded. This is discrimination because the decisions are being made in bias against these persons that wear this label most for the rest of their life. They already will have to have restrictions on where and how they live and who they can be around. They should have a right as any other incarcerated individual to have a chance at fighting the pandemic virus in our world. A lot of sex offenders are labeled as violent so that’s 2 strikes against the chance of getting out. All sex offenders do not have same story or make up. It is a blanket title given to them. Some of these sex offenders have only been reincarcerated related to probation or parole violations which did not involve new crime or violence. They have double the stipulations as a general parolee. The risk of violation is higher but does mean they will reoffend. To be honest every person with a criminal past has a chance of reoffending not just sex offenders. I feel that the states legal decisions of early release need to allow ALL inmates that are only reincarcerated for technical violations that did not involve new crime or violence be considered
April 21, 2020 at 12:36 am #71380
Many of these social distancing restrictions imposed recently are but a small fraction of what registrants are forced with everyday. I had hoped that the general public would rethink their opinion of these draconian laws and registries.
April 21, 2020 at 6:50 pm #71394
You know, the argument of “you should’ve thought about that when you committed X crime” does NOT work.
First of all, most everyone knows that various sex acts are illegal. The thing is, few people unless they’ve had direct experience knowing someone on the registry, know just *how* illegal. Most people know they’ll go to jail if they sexually assault someone. Some may even know about the existence of the registry. But few know just how much the registry affects every aspect of your life, from where you may live to even where you get to set foot. I certainly didn’t when my loved one was convicted of a registrable offense. Learning about the life-long implications in bits and pieces after the fact was a trauma in and of itself. A series of traumas, actually, where any hope you have of living anything like a “normal” life is slowly ripped to shreds.
Secondly, the ex post facto vs “regulation, not punishment” argument. People should serve the sentences for their crimes. Judges and others who have intimate knowledge of every aspect of the case, as well as knowledge of applicable laws, should determine what the punishment should be. Not some third party entity that has decided that everyone who committed a certain offense needs to be subject to x, y, and z regardless of the circumstances. Murderers get their sentences lightened if the circumstances are right – i.e. it was self-defense, remorse was expressed, it was less premeditated, the perpetrator was young and otherwise a good citizen – etc., etc., etc. I’ve known people who had to serve multiple life sentences for murder, and people who served 40 years, and even someone who served 10. Those whose sentences were not life were allowed to live wherever they wanted.
If you are going to talk about payment for a crime, then let the the payment fit the crime.
Seriously. If someone “broke society’s trust” and is deemed a danger to society, then keep them away from people whom they are actually likely to harm based on their history, proclivities, and rehabilitation potential. If someone sexually assaulted an adult (or even a teenager), they are not a threat to little kids. If someone assaulted a vulnerable adult, then don’t let them work with vulnerable adults. If someone sexually assaulted an adult, keeping they away from schools and playgrounds is patently absurd. Actually, even keeping those who sexually assaulted kids away from anywhere children “gather” is absurd. And if someone’s crime occurred on the internet, monitor or restrict their internet activities. It’s not rocket science. Downloading images, though wrong, is a far cry from actually crossing the emotional and physical line of violating another person… unless that person also violated another person, but that’s another matter entirely.
Those who groom and abduct children go for the child who is *alone,* unsupervised, left out by their friends, and/or entrusted into the perpetrator’s care. Actual people who abuse children have cited this pattern time and time again. Many places where kids gather (aka schools, daycares, community centers with childrens’ programming) are in fact thick with adult supervision and children hanging out in groups.
Oh, and finally? Even if the person who committed the crime did what they did, their loved ones did not, and most likely had nothing to do with anything. I often hear, “you can just leave,” but for many people that’s not an option. Some people just logistically can’t – including the person’s *own* underage kids. But other people, such as myself and those who support my loved one don’t and never have seen leaving as an option. They just do not see abandoning family, friends, loved ones.
And they shouldn’t be forced to.
April 21, 2020 at 11:09 pm #71399
Registry’s and tight laws are created out of fear, hatred and ignorance towards sex offenders. Only the weak minded believe what you see and hear on TV and in the media. Most anchors and publicists make things out to be 5 times worse than what it really is and mostly focus on crimes of high publicity and notoriety. They’ll juice a story up because it’ll sell. As long as there are people out there crazy enough to believe we’re dangerous threats with no other proof besides what TV says we are, then it’ll always be an uphill climb. Laws are beaten every day and new ones get put up in their places. It’s a long hard road.
April 21, 2020 at 11:10 pm #71398
Our moderator Charlie made an excellent point: “Sometimes we need to actually experience what other people go through before we make a judgment.” That is why I so often wish that all those who think the registry is so wonderful had to live on it as the worst of the worst among registrants; the repeat serial child molester. I wish that because those re the ones whom I imagine have the most debilitating restrictions of all. I’d love for all the pro-registry crowd to live this life for 10 or 15 years suffering the same prejudices, abuses, and humiliation us registrants face. Then I’d like to ask them if they think the law’s so all-fired wonderful afterward.
April 21, 2020 at 11:16 pm #71403
@madcow: Well said, well argued, well done!
April 22, 2020 at 8:43 am #71418
I feel your pain, and pray that things will get better for you. Being “collateral damage” must be a horrible thing, and I can only imagine what you’ve been through. In all honesty, if you were discharged from a job for something that was done by a relative, it’s time to “lawyer up.” No one should suffer for things their relatives have done, and it has caused you considerable pain, suffering and mental anguish. I pray that your suffering will soon abate. Thank you for sharing your story!
I take it “Dogpile on Adam” is over with. Instead of lecturing someone with long, pontificating posts and showing how superior you are to them, why not just ignore them. The long-winded gasbaggery from both sides greatly detracted from the topic of the post. ‘Nuff said.
April 22, 2020 at 10:01 am #71428
Svejk, you may consider advocating for self or the voiceless piling on, but I disagree. When good people simply ignore misinformation or outright attacks, wrongdoing will continue to flourish. There’s nothing to be gained by silently allowing our positions to be undermined. In the case of Adam, unfortunately, he open the door himself. We do not have to agree, but we can’t let bias stand in the place of fact. That’s why nearly one million of us continue to be marginalized in the community. For many of us Svejk, we refuse to be victimized any longer by anyone, even if they are our own side. Enough is enough.
April 23, 2020 at 5:29 am #71477
Charlie, a short line or to to the fellow would have sufficed. You would lecture me about standing up for myself? Son, I’ve fought PA and won, and am off the registry. I am a 100% disabled combat veteran and I have had my home and vehicle vandalized and have had to brawl my way through my harassers nearly every time. I’ve beaten the DoS at their own IML game. *I* am fed up. I have been fighting the government and laying lawsuits on them since I got locked up back in the ’90s.
I am still on the FL and NV registries in name only, and NV doesn’t even have a photo, or alleged details of the crime or any identifiable info. I am fighting those two still. Just because I’m not in here every day giving verbal consolation to my fellow downtrodden, do not think for one moment that I am inactive.
I stand by what I wrote. When you allow yourself to be distracted from the subject by long-winded and off-topic posts, you do a disservice to the original poster and to the members.
April 23, 2020 at 11:39 am #71488
No distractions here. And silence is never the answer when misinformation labels one or all. If I’m to be lectured to, then the door is opened for a rebuttal.
Btw, I would ask that you not call me son. I find that rather condescending.
We can disagree, and that’s fine.
April 24, 2020 at 11:00 pm #71526
Then we shall disagree. My original post was edited. I presume that was you. That’s also fine, but you should put a notice that you have done so. I felt you were being somewhat condescending to me as well, so we’ll call it even. Let us not make a habit of crossing swords in the forums.
Illegitimati non carborundum!
April 26, 2020 at 4:19 am #71573
I just want to say Thank you to Adam S., and everyone who commented on his post. I learned a lot. I am recently paroled in California after serving 19 years for molesting three young family members. I paroled from a private prison run by GEO Corp. and they placed me in transitional housing for the first two months. I worked my ass off for six weeks to find a minimum wage job just as the Covid-19 pandemic struck, and I was successful. So when I read Adam’s post my first thought was Right on; someone else has the same attitude I do. I almost scrolled straight to the bottom of the comments to post words of support, but I read all of the responses, and I changed my mind. I would like to explain why Adam’s words struck such a chord.
In prison, I encountered a lot of individuals who took zero responsibility for their actions. It’s rare to hear someone take responsibility for their actions, and I wanted to support his attitude. I’ve also encountered many parolees who think society owes them something (like disability payments for life) because finding a job is now much harder due to their status as a felon. So it was refreshing to hear someone else say people are not entitled to the life they want.
I’m 53 and was raised in Alaska to believe that anyone who works hard can succeed in life. The unstated corollary to that is the belief that anyone who doesn’t succeed is doing something wrong or not really trying. That is a dangerous but pervasive belief in many parts of America. I’m guilty of judging other parolees who don’t have jobs more harshly because I succeeded in finding one, totally oblivious to the other barriers to employment they may be facing.
But there is another bias that I have become aware of in my thinking that I suspect may be influencing Adam’s post as well. Because I am guilty of an egregious crime, and because I carry so much guilt and shame over what I’ve done, I don’t feel I have any right to complain about any penalty I must pay. And it makes me uncomfortable to hear other people complain or apologize for what I will have to endure. I, like Adam, see it all as a legitimate part of the punishment.
But of course, that’s not rational. That is the shame speaking. And it ignores all of the legitimate issues that have been brought up about the unintended impact of the Adam Walsh law on innocent family and loved ones. Still, I totally get where Adam is coming from and I hope the media and politicians eventually realize that shaming an entire class of people doesn’t help or protect anyone.
April 30, 2020 at 5:50 pm #71783
Daughter promoting kindness
I am the one who wrote the original post. Let me be very clear I do not want to discourage you but its reality. Im telling you all it only gets worse. I would love to actually see someones life become normal or excellent after getting out of prison. That I have never seen! I have been living in my dads nightmare for 37yrs now. My dad has never complained but as his daughter I will not just complain, I will scream about the wrong doing! One wrong anything, not of your doing and you will be taken away so fast you will have no idea whats going on at all until your back in jail. All it takes “I’M Serious” is for a teen or child to say that guy or girl over there is making me uncomfortable and it may be as simple as food shopping at the same time. The list is forever attached to you through the web even if you come off the list.
I do not know any complainers all I have ever seen is punishment beyond original sentences. For those who get in an auto accident and they put that you are/were an Registered Sex Offender with a symbol on your drivers license prepare for conflict/lawsuit. By letting the entire America and now it seems the World (with travel restrictions for sex offenders) know about your past, how does that really help you advance in life for the better. It just continually sets you back. I only see numerous road blocks for any past offender that just wants to heal and move on. If someone at your work place finds out your on a list then prepare for continued abuse. My dad wanted our love so badly and to financially contribute to our family after being out of prison that he endured over 20 years of abuse at his job because originally he had a hard time just getting this job. Someone at his work place put a cigarette out on his neck well he defended himself. Did his work take action against the other employee absolutely not. Try being on the “This List” when it originally started all the way until now. I can guarantee you that if the list is not abolished then all of you will eventually experience difficulties again.
I will give you a true short story:
I finally met a man who’s good to me and supportive. I just lost my son, he lost his dad and dog. Our relationship survived all that stress and grief only to have the unexpected happen. Every time I told the truth about my dad in the past relationships I would get dumped. I did not tell my current relationship about dad this time just the basics. Growing up we had very little money so our lifestyle was simple, but in my new relationship his mother was Martha Stewart amazing. We have Sunday dinners every Sunday, the food is yummy. I finally had the normal life with his family that I was robbed of. I was on cloud nine at this point! OK let me remind you about the sex offender registry for those who think its OK. The registry robbed me of my animity after 36 years that I fought so hard to get and it robbed my Dad from a full sentence served. You see I also kept my ex-husbands last name so I could distance myself from my family name. I absolutely hated my last name, shame was permanently attached to it. In the end I could not out run my maiden name and if I couldn’t outrun it just being his daughter how the hell does he even have a chance in this society!
One day there is was… the nightmare is back. My dads case went viral this time it was all over social media in 1983 it was TV and newspapers but not now, its so much worse. Why the hell is dads ’83 conviction all over the place from so long ago?? Someone made a post about him on Facebook because of knowing my dad long ago and what happened except the he posted bad misinformation that has now finally damaged our family for good. We worked very hard to stay a family, it was tough but we did it and now its been taken away. My boyfriends mom learned of my dads past and she wanted to speak with me right away. She told me my dad was a horrible man and why did I stay in this area. She said I should have moved. She said what he did was unforgivable I proceeded to explain he had a mental breakdown after coming home from Vietnam, she cut me off and said what he did is unforgiveable…I was thinking I agree 100% but what our military endured in Vietnam was also unforgivable. I didn’t say it to her but I wanted to. Here I am at that time 46yrs getting lectured about my dads past from my boyfriends mom for an hour. Are you kidding right now?? I lost the only normalcy id ever know how is that fair? This is happening all across America and I’m not the only one, well I might be the only one just getting scolded by my boyfriends mom. She and I are distant now as I chose my dad. My boyfriend and I are still good but he choses not to see my dad anymore. How is this registry actually helping our America? I challenge anyone to show me science proving this registry is keeping every one safe?? Because its definitely impacting my life in a negative way!
May 19, 2020 at 2:15 pm #72645
I was not guilty of the crime I was convicted of, the Jury thought I deserved to be punished anyway, because of the moral wrong i had done. My small moral mistake was tiny compared to the destructive force brought down on me by this system. I will never know peace or be content. As I am nearing a decade of wrongful punishment it takes everything for me not to lash out with my entire being at the system, and people who make light of unconstitutional treatment of others. There must be a price paid for this!