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Is civil commitment protection, punishment, prison–or purgatory?

By Maurice Chammah…. If someone finishes a prison sentence for a violent sexual crime, but might still be dangerous, should he be released? How do you know if he’s dangerous? And when does it violate his rights to hold him? On Monday, the Supreme Court is considering whether to hear a case that stems from these questions, a challenge to…

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Breaking the ‘frightening and high’ myth

David Feige of Untouchable fame brings us a new film. This one is short, only a little over eight minutes. Titled “A ‘frightening’ myth about sex offenders,” the video is posted in the New York Times‘ Opinion section and referred to an an “Op-Doc.” You can also read David’s written analysis accompanying the “Op-Doc.” It traces the “frightening and high”…

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Milwaukee lifts most residency restrictions

By Mary Spicuzza…. Most residency restrictions for sex offenders would be lifted under a plan approved Wednesday by the Milwaukee Common Council. The city’s current ordinance bans many sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of places like schools, parks and day care centers. The measure, which was approved overwhelmingly, repeals such residency “buffers,” meaning that sex offenders could basically…

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Lenore agrees: registry is ineffective

By Lenore Skenazy…. A federal judge in Colorado, Richard Matsch, has agreed with what we have been saying for a while here at Free-Range Kids: The public sex offender registry is not making kids any safer. At the same time, it is cruel and unconstitutional. The judge ruled in a case filed by three men on the registry. All have…

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What is anti-registry activism?

By Derek W. Logue of OnceFallen.com . . . I have been an activist fighting so-called “sex offender laws” for over a decade; however, I’ve come to the realization a long time ago that most folks do not even know what I mean by “anti-registry activism.” This piece has been long overdue, but I’m going to explain just what anti-registry activist…

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Federal judge holds Colorado registry is punishment; violates Eighth Amendment

By Robin . . . In a far reaching opinion that is sure to send Colorado’s Attorney General scrambling to salvage that state’s registration and notification scheme, Senior U.S. District Court Judge Richard P. Matsch (a Nixon appointee who presided over the trial of Oklahoma City bombing defendant Timothy McVeigh) has held the entire Colorado Sex Offender Registration Act (C.R.S. §§…

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NO! We don’t need another sex offender law to fight

By Sandy…. A woman in Oklahoma has gotten the attention of state legislators after creating a Facebook page protesting that the uncle who was convicted for abusing her as a child was allowed to live next door to her. After his recent release from prison, Harold English of Bristow, Oklahoma, moved into his mother’s home. The mother of English and…

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Residency restrictions cut back in Wisconsin city

By Patrick Leary . . . Because of recent legal challenges to similar ordinances, Racine is making adjustments to how restrictive it is about where sex offenders can reside. According to City Attorney Scott Letteney, just 3.7 percent of the city’s housing stock is available to sex offenders under the city’s current ordinance. Under the new ordinance, which was approved…

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AWA Loses in Pennsylvania’s Highest Court

By Larry Neely . . . What follows was composed utilizing portions of an analysis written by Aaron Marcus of the Defender Association of Philadelphia. We will endeavor to answer some of the most common questions that arise after a favorable decision has been handed down. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court held that the current (2012) version of Pennsylvania’s Sex Offender…

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Alabama case now before 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals

By Cameron Kiszla . . . A lawsuit before a federal appeals court may have broad implications for Alabama’s sex offender laws, which some critics claim are the harshest in the United States. Montgomery resident Michael McGuire is suing the state of Alabama for relief from the residency restrictions, travel limits, sex offender registration and other punishments that accompany a…

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