NH Supreme Court rules with registered sexual offender who employed teen

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    • #51837 Reply

      By Holly Ramer, Associated Press . . . A registered sex offender did not break the law by hiring a 16-year-old boy to work for his landscaping busines
      [See the full post at: NH Supreme Court rules with registered sexual offender who employed teen]

    • #51840 Reply

      My fellow humans,
      Another onerous iteration of the unfettered use of the database. Guilt by association. Guilt by assembly. We must remind Mr. Roberts of his first duty.
      What nation of free men can survive the equation MN>HN=null? None.
      What firm could survive without the of above? None. YOU PICK!

    • #52343 Reply

      These ambiguous laws are vague for a reason. It opens up the opportunity for situational interpretation. The nature of barrier crimes becomes very subjective, leaving any job potentially one where a RC can be fired or denied employment. As a university trained educator, I focused solely on adult Ed to avoid this issue according to the letter of the law. I studied through to the PhD level, with a degree that specifically would NOT place me in a situation where I would instruct children. Even precocious teenagers don’t get into the Masters or PhD level at college. Yet I lost my job at the University because somebody question the safety of an RSO being on campus where people who are under 18 might be present. It’s not my job that place me in contact with people under 18 it was the fact that there’s no law to prohibit people under 18 from entering the University campus for tours or even advanced placement. despite the fact that they are not my students nor do I have any instruction or care or control over them I lost my job.
      I know the Supreme Court rejected it at one time but a bill of attainder defense makes sense to me in these cases. It seems that there is a social banishment which is applied so subjectively that while a law does not specifically prohibit employment somewhere, application of the law certainly dramatically restricts employment opportunities. It’s difficult for someone on the registry to get a job at all. And to prohibit them from jobs that might conceivably they sent in contact with children means that almost any job can be barred.
      I’m glad that this court use their intelligence to parse the issue according to the facts. Although I do believe that the individual who was employing the team placed himself at extreme risk by transporting him or being alone with him. Of course, we don’t know that he was alone with him, but the argument could be made that he might have been under certain circumstances. I don’t think you should have prosecuted, but I do think that we need to be intelligently paranoid of such opportunities to be targeted ourselves. unless of course someone wants to create a case where they can appeal. But he wants to go back to jail under any circumstances? at least my PTSD driven nightmares always about having to return on a technicality. And I would not want that to happen in reality.

      • #52551 Reply
        Ed C


        Your response touches on a number of important issues, beginning with your opening statement regarding ambiguous statutes. Any statute allowing criminal sanctions should be precisely clear. First there is the requirement for “fair notice” of that which is unlawful. Any citizen of average intelligence should be able to discern legal proscriptions from the plain language of the statute. Ambiguity in law allows prosecutors to bring charges and obtain convictions based only on their interpretation, or perhaps, wishful thinking. An overturned conviction that was based on prosecutors creating “loopholes” offers little solace after the injustice of a false conviction.

        I am particularly sensitive to that. I got a federal conviction overturned through a claim of actual innocence in a pro se 2255 motion written from prison. What I had done simply was not unlawful. It took the government about two weeks to concede the issue. It was not due to some obscure nuance; rather something that was clear to me from simply reading the statute, and a published decision in my case. However, the government avoided accepting any responsibility by arguing statutory ambiguity, which the court accepted.

        Regarding bills of attainder, the Supreme Court has not closed door open to such claims. Its 2003 Smith v. Doe decision analyzed the Alaska registration statute and discussed a framework to look at such laws. Given the progress made in recidivism studies since then, questions such as whether the laws are “rationally related” to a legitimate regulatory objective could be raised again. The Court’s “useful guideposts” are “neither exhaustive nor dispositive.”

        Your warning about being intelligently paranoid by avoiding potentially dangerous situations is well taken. If accused, any former sex offender will be considered guilty until proven guilty.

        My condolences for the loss of your job. Stay positive.

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