Surprise ruling from Louisiana Supreme Court ends “Scarlet Letter” ID

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    • #77579 Reply
      King Alexander
      King Alexander

      By King Alexander . . . This week the Louisiana Supreme Court unexpectedly handed the forces of onerous registration an unexpected defeat on federal F
      [See the full post at: Surprise ruling from Louisiana Supreme Court ends “Scarlet Letter” ID]

    • #77583 Reply
      Avatar
      TS Rohnevarg

      Accordingly, why is it then not unconstitutional compelled speech to be subjected to public defamation by the state labeling you an “offender (which, by definition, means ‘someone who offends, i.e., at present’)?”

      • #78364 Reply
        Avatar
        TIMOTHY Miller

        Its time to challenge the Adam Walsh act and the act requiring the identifier on passports to the supreme court. thease act ar violations of our right in the constitution including the right to liberty and the persuit of happyness

    • #77590 Reply
      Avatar
      Perry

      Good for them. Finally, SOMETHING that’s gone right for US at least once. Of course; that District Attorney will go crying to The Legislature come next session because he lost-Waa, Nanna Waaaa-and he’ll get the whole things changed in such a fashion that, The State Supreme Court will end up having to be FORCED to agree with him the next time. They’ll never stop until they get what they Ultimately want: All Our Deaths!
      Done.

    • #77600 Reply
      Avatar
      Johnny Chambers

      They also need to change the fact that all S. O. ‘s have to carry an I. D. that has to be renewed annually, regardless if you have a Drivers License which also has to be renewed annually. Louisiana has just found a way to make more money.

    • #77601 Reply
      Avatar
      Tim in WI

      @All,
      The forces of onerous registration are those who in the early 1990s tactically demanded unfettered potential use of the database driven infrastructure in the first case. Who benefits most from enslavement of human citizens to database machine property…if not database manufacturers? Section 230 US CODE examples precisely the same general attitude towards BIGTECH CASH versus individual sovereignty. Sex offender registries were the key that unlocked the gate to affirmative restraint by database. Speech right is implicated by the demand for Control information demanded n registration forms. In effect SOR forms are tantamount to answering questions by cops. Speech wasnt raised by anyone in the advocacy groups complaint in the 03 doe decisions. And by avoiding that question the Rehnquist court failed the people’s republic in favor of database machine.

      • #78370 Reply
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        Larry Randol

        I would like to know how as an s.o. I have to post my rap sheet on any profile I have I already have to register

    • #77603 Reply
      Avatar
      Anon

      Hopefully all registration is ruled unconstitutional based on first amendment and compelled speech (speak or go to jail).

      Congrats for a win on LA.

    • #77604 Reply
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      Al

      This is awesome! My license is up for renewal in November, so you can bet I’ll be watching this closely!
      Now, to get them to rescind me having to pay a 4 year license fee for a one year license, and carry both a state ID card, AND a driver’s license at the same time.
      Louisiana has some stupid laws. It’s time we attack them all.

    • #77605 Reply
      Avatar
      G money

      Will they still only be valid for one year? Do we have to request a non branded DL or is that even an option yet? Will we still be required to have 2 forms of ID? So many questions, so few answers.

    • #77607 Reply
      Avatar
      Jim Coghill

      I’m still waiting for the constitutional ruling that shoots down the registry itself. When it happens in one state (and it will) the remaining states will fall like a house of cards. I can only guess that the right case and the right attorney’s are not on the scene yet. It seems like that’s how these cases go. That only the right cases and the right lawyers get any traction out of the millions of cases out there. There’s no way that falls even close to the definition of justice.

    • #77616 Reply
      Avatar
      Daphne Thomas

      This is a step in the right direction. I do not understand how any of the stuff that is done to RSOs and their families is deemed constitutional!

      Jim Coghill, I hope you are right. That’s what I keep praying for every day!!!! Until then, I’m going to continue to fight for the RSO’s rights!!!!

    • #77618 Reply
      Avatar
      Maestro

      *it could have been done by a discreet code on the back of the card such as used for other limitations like eyesight-corrective lenses for some drivers*

      This is troublesome because had this been the case, they wouldn’t have ruled against it. But people with corrective lenses don’t get harassed by cops during a traffic stop. It should be a problem for everyone in this country that any judge or even the lawmakers themselves think it’s ok to permanently mark people. This is a HUGE problem. When will someone challenge it as it needs to be and stop with the stereotypical legal banter that attorneys always use?
      What penalties is a ballsy attorney going to face for coming right out and saying: “Your honor(s), branding people for crimes they paid their price for is unconstitutional no matter how it’s done. Front of the ID, back of the ID, public registries or private registries. We don’t do this to any other criminal act and if we did, there would be a lot of people on such a list and a lot of uproar to get it abolished.”

      Just come right out and say it! Damn it all!

    • #77621 Reply
      Avatar
      Jeremy from Indiana

      I heard about this law a few years ago and was wondering when it was going to finally get challenged. It’s sad that our justice system takes 3-5 years to correct a blatantly unconstitutional law. In Indiana, the only ID issue is that we have to have our current address on our ID within 30 days of moving or it’s a violation. I think the code on the back of the license was actually a suggestion for the legislature, but what bugs me is why do they think it’s needed? LE can look up your info in a traffic stop or any other legal detainment anyways, so they don’t need it. Who else could possibly need that information?

      The issue that I find the most annoying is the multiple county registering in person crap. I live in one county and work on the edge of the next county over. Every time something changes that I have to report, I have to register in person at both county offices (the one I work in, the county seat is about 20 farther than my work and only open during business hours). The funny thing is when I register in the second place, the computer system is already updated with my info from the first place! So why did I have to take time off of work again? The county I work in also has their annual registration take place on their schedule which is in April and my annual is due in November, so now I have to do an annual registration twice a year… read that again!

      I swear the arbitrary laws are designed to make it easier for them to violate us for frivolous reasons. I’m glad I only have a few years left, but I’ll never stop fighting for this cause!

    • #77622 Reply
      Avatar
      GeorgeS

      I hope that this could be used to change the law where it puts the word “SEX OFFENDER” on all US Passports, that law is stupid and needs to be changed, especially if your sex offense is not a crime in the country you plan to visit, that would be like telling the Netherlands that this person has possession of Hashish offense, think that they would care, or does it show that you are a danger to anyone int that country?

    • #77656 Reply
      Avatar
      LoveTheBillOfRights

      Why do police need this? What exactly does it do for them that they don’t already get? They run your car plates before they even stop you so they know it is associated with a registered person. They run your driver license and it shows who you are and that you are a registered person. They could check your name just as fast against the registry. So why do they “need” this? Are they more afraid to approach a registered person than a murderer, gun dealer, drug dealer, spouse abuser, etc.? This is NOT a so-called tool for law enforcement. It is clearly meant to shame and nothing more. Further, changing to an obscure code “only police know” will not help as cops will immediately post the code online for all to act like heroes. I also see no reason to limit driver licenses of registered persons to only one year. Failure to update your address change on you license is a crime for every person and with all the constant check-ins with police and S.W.A.T. teams banging on doors to check on registered persons, this nonsense is hardly necessary.

    • #77676 Reply
      Avatar
      A Mistake They Made

      This is what happens when the Judge follows the constitution and makes a judgement without there personal bias. We just got another Constitutional first Judge in the Supreme Court Of The USA this week now is a good time to take our case to the big court!

    • #77787 Reply
      Avatar
      Crash

      -GeorgeS

      The SO designation on passports is to further put a noose around the necks of SOs. It is simply to have them live in such a way, as to when they were caught up with the justice system (i.e. a restrictive life with constant exposure of their status, missed opportunities, etc).

      The lawmakers in their pretense, have passed the passport laws over “concern” for minors in other countries. Countries that are sovereign and that they have nothing to do with. The majority of them would never even bother to give to charities which help the unfortunate minors in those countries or go to those countries and help those minors themselves, as they enjoy their expensive TV with cable in their expensive home with air conditioning, as well as Netflix, their smartphones, good restaurants, and many other things.

      There are no other crimes for which the price can linger for such a long time and in so many ways than the SO ones. An arsonist or murderer would never have to have a passport which designates would sort of crime(s) they did (or in some cases falsely accused and forced into a deal or losing at trial). Not even a parent who severely physically assaulted their underage son or daughter.

      Isn’t it funny, how in American society, SOs are hated with a passion and most people want bad things to happen to them, but when it comes to the SOs actually leaving and “making their neighborhoods safer,” the lawmakers and thus the people that they represent, have worked to hinder or prevent SOs from leaving in the 1st place?

    • #77797 Reply
      Avatar
      Mig

      Here is what is currently on the HOME page of the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles –

      The Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles is aware of the October 20th Supreme Court ruling relating to the constitutionality of a statutory requirement that persons convicted of sex offenses carry an identification card branded with the words “SEX OFFENDER.” However, the OMV cannot remove any sex offender designation from a driver’s license or ID card until the 14-day window for rehearing delays has expired.

      Does this mean that there is going to be some last minute rehearing request? How come court rulings for other things have an immediate impact (i.e. gay marriage) but any ruling in the SO favor ends up delayed?

    • #77837 Reply
      Avatar
      Crash

      -Mig

      Your question: “How come court rulings for other things have an immediate impact (i.e. gay marriage) but any ruling in the SO favor ends up delayed?” was good.

      The overall reason for this is because most Americans have a fear, bitterness, and hatred towards SOs. Anything that disfavors them (like the amendment or change to laws in FL which would allow prosecutors to “upgrade” certain charges to a higher degree, over things that actually don’t have much to do with anything) comes quickly and anything that favors them would go slow. It is “better” for society if SOs are disfavored at all costs.

      Gay/lesbian marriage is something that a large number of people, including politicians, legislators, and judges have accepted and embraced. It is an “acceptable evil,” at least if you are someone that considers themself a Christian. The gay/lesbian marriage laws exist because things took time, little by little, through the influences of the media and entertainment (as in certain shows and movies), the changing minds of the public, and the approval and acceptance of the legislators and people that they represent. Such a thing cannot happen with laws that favor SOs as that would also require the influence of the media and entertainment, overall viewpoint of the public, and the acceptance and approval of the people.

      Is is not the just gay/lesbian marriage laws that exist because things took time, and little by little, through the influences of the media and entertainment, the changing minds of the public, and the approval and acceptance of the legislators and people they represent but also parenting involving gays and lesbians, parenting involving 3 or 4 people, and minors taking hormone blockers and living as if they were the opposite gender.

      Laws that favor SOs cannot sweep the nation as have other things. It is unfortunate but things would just have to take more time I guess.

    • #77900 Reply
      Avatar
      Ellis Kitchen

      Appreciate everything being done.. I am sitting here in a little efficient Apt. Waiting to be arrested for not being able to pay registration fee for being Evicted. I am on fixed income. This Registration stems from 1985. Four sentence Please, someone HELP

    • #78176 Reply
      Avatar
      Kevin

      Hope this will have an affect on both the way AZ does their yearly SO drivers Lic, and also on the Label on the Passports of us citizens, which our country condems and tortures by the denial of equal treatment based on the type of offense it is, (even when non contact}, versus murder.. No Equal Treatment by far….

    • #78618 Reply
      Avatar
      Mig

      I live in Louisiana and the DMV has told me that on 11/5/20 the Louisiana AoG filed a request for a hearing to overturn/amend the ruling by the Louisiana supreme court.
      I have contacted the AoG office and no one there has any idea about this, and there is nothing in the media about this.
      So… nearly a month and a half AFTER the Louisiana supreme court ruled it is unconstitutional and the state is still requiring the words SEX OFFENDER on our drivers licenses.

    • #79940 Reply
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      John Hancock

      The Louisiana Supreme court ruling on the scarlet letter case appealed to highest court of the united states was it not? even though the story said this rulling cannot be appealed, it was.

    • #79943 Reply
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      John Hancock

      Wow

    • #79942 Reply
      Avatar
      John Hancock

      The louisianna supreme courts ruling was infact appealed.

    • #80295 Reply
      Avatar
      Al

      I wanted to provide everyone an update on this story:

      On February 4th of this year, I visited the main Office of Motor Vehicles to have this classification removed from my license. This is the information I obtained at that time.

      As of February 1st, 2021, the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles has begun to comply with this ruling from the Louisiana Supreme Court.
      The “Sex Offender” notification is no longer printed on a driver’s license or state issued ID card.
      Additionally, the OMV is issuing a full 6 year license to those offenders who, under this classification, were previously only able to obtain a one year license but having to pay for a 4 year one.

      Unfortunately, the rule requiring RSO’s to obtain a driver’s license AND a state issued ID card is still in effect, but the ID card will now be a 4 year ID.

      Driver’s licenses are available to be renewed within 6 months prior, and 30 days post their expiration date.
      ID cards are available to be renewed 90 days prior, and 30 days post their expiration date.
      Duplicate DL and ID cards are available at any time, but cannot be extended past their expiration date.
      There is a charge to have a duplicate ID or DL printed.

      • #81552 Reply
        Avatar
        Paul

        Al
        A friend of mine also called his local DMV office to ask about this and they too confirmed what you have said. The only question I have is will they issue it with an expiration date of your birthday? If not, then it still raises questions when someone looks at the license— since everyone else’s expires on the birthday. Do you have an answer for this?

      • #81784 Reply
        Avatar
        Mig

        Update – March 4, 2021
        Representative Bagley has written HB56 which, if passed, would require “T1”, “T2”, or “T3” to be printed on SO’s driver’s licenses. Here is a copy of the email I sent to his office earlier this week. I have not heard back from his office.

        Rep. Bagley,
        I am required by the state of Louisiana to register as a Tier 1 sex offender.
        I apologize in advance for the length of this email but I trust you will find the time to read it and to read it with an open mind.
        As you are certainly aware, a Louisiana district court and the Louisiana supreme court have ruled that requiring the words “SEX OFFENDER” on sex offender’s drivers licenses is unconstitutional for several reasons.
        The bill you have authored (HB56) would create a new requirement replacing “SEX OFFENDER” with “Tier 1” (in my own particular case).
        I realize that you have written this bill as way of skirting the unconstitutionality rulings of those courts and, in a sense, finding a loophole in those rulings.
        Respectfully, I would like to ask you why you are doing this. Can you and will you give me a reason?
        If your answer is something like “to protect the public”, then how does that protect anyone? Who among the public is going to see the letters “T1” on my driver’s license and then take any sort of protective action? What protective advice would you give someone that sees “T1” on my driver’s license?
        If your answer is so that law enforcement will know who they are dealing with, then in what way does law enforcement deal with a registered sex offender any differently than anyone else?
        If your answer is so that the public will be able to identify registered sex offenders, then didn’t the courts just rule that it is unconstitutional to force a sex offender to “brand” his/her driver’s license with that information?
        Again, I ask you why you would want “T1” on my driver’s license.
        You might answer that it is simply a code, and not intrusive to me by having that on my driver’s license. But is that code harmless?
        Prior to WW2 the nazis used symbols and codes to identify those groups they did not approve of. We all know the star of David was used to identify the Jews. But did you know that the nazis used several other symbols to identify people? Pink triangles for homosexuals, purple triangles for Jehovah’s Witnesses, green for criminals, black for gypsies, blue for emigrants, plus several others. I am NOT calling you a nazi in any way. However, your bill falls right in line with what the nazis did to their own fellow German citizens. The nazis would definitely support your bill if it had been proposed to them during their rise to, and years in, power.
        I ask you, Rep Bagley, when you entered public service did you set out to write legislature that would server zero purpose other than to create a new crime for someone that otherwise is not committing a crime?
        Do you feel as though the Louisiana sex offender registry is a punishment to those on the registry?
        Obviously, I do have an opinion on the sex offender restrictions that exist in Louisiana. For example, are you aware that Tier 2 and Tier 3 sex offenders are prohibited from driving through Lake Charles on I-210 during school hours? If they did, they would pass within 1000 feet of Lagrange High School. Instead, to be compliant with the current law, they would have to exit the interstate and drive through residential neighborhoods at 25MPH in order to stay outside of that 1000 foot zone, instead of at 60MPH on the interstate. Does that make anyone any safer for the “dangerous sex offender” to drive through neighborhoods? Does the public know that current law requires such actions? Of course not.
        Also, registered sex offenders in Louisiana are prohibited from handing out candy during Halloween. Yet, there is no restriction for them to hand out candy the day before, or the day after Halloween.

        Registered sex offenders in Louisiana are even prohibited from giving gifts to their own children at Christmas. How on earth did the Louisiana legislature ever pass such a bill? How on earth did any legislator ever think that such a law was a good thing?
        I’ll tell you how…such bills pass into law because zero legislators will ever dare to vote against any sort of legislation that puts more and more restrictions on registered sex offenders. No one ever lost re-election for being tough on sex offenders.
        There are many other such laws in Louisiana regarding sex offender restrictions that defy logic and do absolutely zero to protect anyone and/or prevent crime. All they do is create new crimes for what would otherwise be completely legal behavior and actions.
        More and more states and communities are moving back on restrictions imposed on sex offenders because they realize that those restrictions infringe on the Constitutional Rights of the sex offenders and do nothing to prevent crime.
        A few years ago, a federal court in Alabama struck down the Alabama sex offender law that required all sex offenders with an Alabama driver’s license to have the words “Criminal Sex Offender” in bold letters on the front of the license.
        The federal judge in that case stated that “once a person serves his full sentence, he enjoys the full protection of the Constitution”. He goes on to say the following – “Sex offenders are not second-class citizens, and anyone who thinks otherwise would do well to remember Thomas Paine’s wisdom: ‘He that would make his own freedom secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself”.
        That is a powerful statement and comes from a George W. Bush-appointed conservative federal judge… not a liberal Clinton or Obama era judge.

        Do YOU believe that once a person has served his sentence that he enjoys the full protection of the Constitution? Or do you believe that sex offenders need to be punished beyond their sentence? If so, do you believe that other groups need to be punished beyond their sentence? Should it be illegal for bank robbers to go into a bank to open a bank account? Should it be illegal for someone convicted of a DUI years ago to go into a restaurant that serves alcohol?

        Rep. Bagley, I urge you to educate yourself on the sex offender registration laws in Louisiana. I urge you to look deep inside of yourself to decide which side you are on… the side of the Constitution or the side of fear and knee jerk reactions which result in draconian laws that do nothing to make anyone safer. I urge you to take an objective look at these registration laws that currently exist and I truly believe that you will be enlightened and come to realize that logic, fairness, rational thought, and civil rights have been set aside and replaced by hysteria, panic, and unwarranted fear.

        I ask you this… what side of history would you have been during the civil rights movement? Would you have voted in favor of segregation laws? Where would you have been back during the Salem witch trials? What would have been your stand regarding the the non “pure” groups that lived in 1930s nazi Germany? Would you have done the right thing, or done the thing that gets you re-elected? Would you have stood up against such unjust laws, or taken the easy route and followed along and avoided criticism and controversy? Would you have gone along with the majority or would you have been courageous? I realized that, from a legislative standpoint, supporting anything other than more and more restrictions on sex offenders is political suicide, but again I ask you… do you have the courage to do the right thing? Or are you interested in siding with the majority. Just remember that Thomas Jefferson said, “One man with courage is a majority”.

        Please educate yourself on the sex offender registries by visiting the floridaactioncomittee.org and the narsol.org websites.
        Be willing to take a stand that is right, and not just a stand that is going to win you friends. Stand up for the Constitution and don’t just stand up to get re-elected.
        I ask that you withdraw HB56 for the reason that it serves no purpose other than to continue to punish and embarrass a group that already has been punished and embarrassed enough.
        Be brave and right and show courage.

    • #81327 Reply
      Avatar
      Paul

      Can the DMV issue the license to where it expires on your birthday like any other person’s license?
      This is another way that people who see your license can have questions on why yours doesn’t expire on your birthday.

    • #81785 Reply
      Avatar
      Paul

      Got my new driver’s license and ID card today. Here’s some important things to note:
      1. No red letters or SO notation on front and no discreet codes on the back of license or ID card.
      2. License was renewed for six years and expires on my birthday, so no one will know by looking at it that I am a SO
      3. The ID card would have been renewed for 4 years and expire from date of issue, not birthday; however, since I am over the age of 60, it has no expiration date and I didn’t have to pay for it.

      • #81823 Reply
        Avatar
        Mig

        Paul,
        Rep. Bagley has proposed in HB56 that a code be put on the license. It is making its way through and, as we all know, will likely pass.

        • #81972 Reply
          Avatar
          Paul

          Mig
          Thanks for the update and information and mostly for the email you sent Rep Bagley.
          I too am a T-1 and believe I have paid my price for y crime. I don’t see how any of the registration rules protect the public in any manner. I also believe that IF they do then so would rules regarding other crimes (such as bank robbery, armed robbery, murder, domestic abuse, etc). Yet those crimes have lasting consequences after their sentence. I think I will email him as well.
          Since I already have my license, what will they make me do? Go back and get them again?

    • #81989 Reply
      Avatar
      Paul

      Mig
      Here is the email I just sent to Rep. Bagley:
      I see that you are sponsoring a bill (HB56) that amends the rules for driver’s licenses of registered sex offenders. I believe that the proposed designations on the back of the license is also a violation of the constitution as it is compelled speech, whether on the front or the back. I agree with an email that another constituent sent to you regarding this matter and strongly encourage you to withdraw this bill. Nothing on the driver’s license protects the public nor does it change a way a law enforcement officer deals with the offender (or least by law, it is not supposed to do so). It seems to me the continued harassment of sex offenders who have paid their price for their crimes should end with the finalization of their sentences. Nothing you do can change the likelihood of repeat offenses. Either the offender has remorse and has changed his ways or he will repeat his crimes regardless of the designations. In addition, if these people are required to have such designations on their licenses, then even more so other crimes, such as armed robbery, murder, domestic abuse. Don’t you think that it more important that an officer of the law know he is dealing with that type person versus a T1 sex offender?

      Please Mr. Bagley, withdraw this bill.

    • #82520 Reply
      Avatar
      Herman D. Campbell

      In all of this I am so thankful to those who would stand up for those of us who are required to register. “Thank you.”

      Please read my entire post and then ponder it.

      I offended against my daughter.
      I was convicted by plea agreement in a Military Court Marshal in North Carolina.
      LA law did not have a provision for my registration until after my conviction but before my release. My lawyer and I lost this argument. I reluctantly registered.

      Here’s the problem, after registration my daughter came to me asking why the state was doing this. She was the victim not LA.

      She and I have a great relationship, however the state; in her view was punishing her because anyone seeing my license would know what happened and she was ready to move on with our lives.

      I am her only living parent and my mother and step father are her only living grandparents.

      This state has not hurt me with these laws, it hurt my children. As a father and grandfather I truly pray our lawmakers stop punishing the children for crimes of parents and further realize that this very act is what our forefathers warned of.

      I talk to my daughter, granddaughter and grandson with face time and on the web daily. I have to travel to another state to see them in person, she couldn’t take the overbearing rules here. I cant leave for now. I have custody of my 14 year old son. I have for more than 5 years raised him in what was supposed to be a joint custody agreement. Try doing this here. Its a minefield even when a judge finds that I am the parent of the states choice.

      Yes, I hurt daily at my past choice. Much more important…

      Punishment was supposed to me mine to correct my legal infraction not theirs for loving their father.

      I hope this puts a real meaning for you behind my “Thank you”

    • #83346 Reply
      Avatar
      Mig

      A bill (HB56) introduced into the Louisiana legislature that would require RSOs to have their tier level on their driver’s license was defeated 7-6 today (5/11) in a committee hearing.
      Great news!!

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