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Registries help feed nation’s thirst for mass incarceration

By Rick Anderson . . . The September 1988 rape and murder of 29-year-old Diane Ballasiotes in Seattle, Washington, followed by the 1989 rape and sexual mutilation of a 7-year-old Tacoma boy, were the seedlings of today’s nationwide sex offender registry laws – a 50-state network that tracks over 805,000 registrants and whose usefulness as a crime-prevention tool has been…

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Packingham case asks: Is First Amendment negotiable?

By Lenore Skenazy . . . When Lester Packingham beat a traffic ticket a few years back, he couldn’t contain his joy. He went online and wrote, “No fine. No court cost, no nothing spent. Praise be to GOD, WOW! Thanks, JESUS!” For this he was arrested and convicted of a heinous crime: using Facebook. Who is legally forbidden to…

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Columbus Dispatch declares boldly, courageously, correctly

By John Futty . . . After his conviction for attempted rape in 2011, Brian L. Golsby was required to participate in a sex-offender treatment program in prison. The specific program he entered, how he performed and whether he was seen as a high risk for re-offending, though, are all confidential under Ohio law. Whatever treatment Golsby received, police say…

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No evidence registries increase public safety

By Noah Berlatsky . . . “He is a lifetime sex registrant. That doesn’t expire. Just like what he did to me doesn’t expire, doesn’t just go away after a set number of years.” In a statement released to Buzzfeed, the victim of rapist Brock Turner found a small sliver of justice in the fact that Turner, a former Stanford…

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Film about sex offenders wins best new documentary director award at Tribeca Film Festival

By Jonathan Leaf . . . Why would a law mandate that ex-convicts be homeless and virtually unemployable? And what sort of government imposes such rules? That’s the question of David Feige’s startling new documentary “Untouchable,” a Tribeca Film Festival award winner. I must note here that I am not completely objective about this film. I have known Feige for…

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