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Get real, Justice Alito! Stop misrepresenting the facts.

By Michelle Ye Hee Lee . . . “Repeat sex offenders pose an especially grave risk to children. ‘When convicted sex offenders reenter society, they are much more likely than any other type of offender to be rearrested for a new rape or sexual assault.’”-Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., concurring opinion in Packingham v. North Carolina, June 19,…

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New York Times: “Vanishingly” little evidence of high re-offense rate

By Adam Liptak . . . Last week at the Supreme Court, a lawyer made what seemed like an unremarkable point about registered sex offenders. “This court has recognized that they have a high rate of recidivism and are very likely to do this again,” said the lawyer, Robert C. Montgomery, who was defending a North Carolina statute that bars…

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A single Supreme Court justice’s stupidity ruins thousands of lives, families

By Steven Yoder . . . In the early 1980s, rehabilitation counselor Robert Longo could hardly have known that his work with convicted sex offenders would make him a minor celebrity. At the time, he was running a program at the Oregon State Hospital to treat and rehabilitate prisoners who had committed sex crimes. It was a new field, and…

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How a 1986 Psychology Today article continues to make fools of Supreme Court justices

By Joshua Vaughn . . . Licensed Professional Counselor Robert Longo has been vocally opposed to public registries for convicted sexual offenders for years. “I actually met with a group of people in New Jersey and sat across from Megan Kanka’s grandfather,” Longo said. The 1994 murder of 7-year-old Kanka gave rise to the public disclosure of sexual offender registries through what…

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Where Justice Kennedy finds his facts: Who cares? He doesn’t check them

By Radley Balko . . . In the 2002 case McKune v. Lile, the Supreme Court upheld a Kansas law that imposed harsher sentences on sex offenders who declined to participate in a prison rehab program. The substance of the Kansas law the court upheld isn’t as important as the language the court used to uphold it. In his opinion,…

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Supreme Court consistently relies upon bogus studies about sex offender recidivism

By Ira Ellman . . . Proponents of criminal justice reform never talk about sex offenders. They’re political untouchables subject to lifelong restrictions that continue long past their confinement, restrictions justified as necessary to protect the public from their propensity to re-offend. Two Supreme Court decisions established that justification. But they rely on a scientific study that doesn’t exist. “Frightening…

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