Seeking Attorneys with a Passion for Reform
Scarlet Legal Action Project (SLAP) is seeking attorneys with an interest in sexual offender issues. Key areas being developed at this time are:
● Participating in Scarlet Legal Action Project to develop criteria and strategies for combating unconstitutional, excessively punitive laws and policies.
● Locating at least one attorney from each state with an extensive knowledge of that state's laws and policies regarding sexual offenses and sexual offenders who could act as resource person for the committee pertaining to any state-specific questions that arise.
● Building a database of practicing attorneys sympathetic to our purpose and goals. NARSOL members would be referred to these attorneys after a brief self-screening process which would help them determine (1) whether they might have a viable case and (2) whether they are willing to actually go through with that case.
Identifying the Need
There is a definite need for comprehensive reform in the areas of sentencing of sex offenders and registration; thus it is assembling a team of legal professionals who have either defended those accused of sexual offenses or who are interested in the broad spectrum of legal issues related to sex offender registration.
With limited resources, NARSOL recognizes that it cannot undertake any case unless it has broad implications for a significant number of persons. The project's top priorities are:
● Challenging the constitutionality of retroactively imposed registration requirements that result in significant diminution or deprivation of liberties applied to persons convicted prior to the existence of registration;
● Challenging significant increases in duration of registration or additional deprivation of liberties imposed after the person's registration period began; and
● Challenging the judicial imposition of probation/parole imposed sex offender registration requirements on individuals not convicted of a registerable sex offense.
Given this understanding, the committee's goals are:
● Develop a strategy to combat unconstitutional registration laws utilizing a combined approach of both litigation and legislation;
● Identify jurisdictions whose registration laws are most vulnerable to various constitutional attacks;
● Develop criteria to determine which cases could potentially have national significance;
● Provide recommendations for building a legal fund for use in significant registration cases;
● Build a referral database of attorneys with experience defending those accused of sex offenses and violations of supervision conditions;
● Provide basic information in the form of frequently asked questions (FAQ) which can be disseminated to those accused of sexual offenses or to individuals subject to registration.