NARSOL files amicus brief to Supreme Court, joins another

By Robin . . . The National Association for Rational Sexual Offense Laws (NARSOL), along with its North Carolina affiliate NCRSOL, has filed an amicus brief to the United States Supreme Court in an ex post facto case that originated in a North Carolina Superior court in September, 2014. The case is styled In Re: Anthony Rayshon Bethea and was last…

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Sex offender registries: A legacy of fear

By Steve Yoder . . . Quentin (not his real name) was convicted eight years ago of child pornography possession in Florida. He served his time and has since moved to another state. But his sentence required his photo and other personal details to appear on Florida’s sex offender registry, and there they will stay for the rest of his life,…

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For registered sex offenders, court victories slow, but they are coming

By James Neighbors . . . Back before the judicial system became a sprawling monster of inefficiency and inequity, justice was served in America. The punishment fit the crime, and once you got out of prison, ALL of your rights were returned, including gun ownership and voting rights. Not so much in America today. In the “kinder, gentler” America as…

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Electronic etchings: The damaging permanence of lists in the digital era

By Rebecca Beitsch . . . Mike Anderson was an 18-year-old freshman at Texas State University when he was busted with less than a gram of weed. Police arrested him, took his mugshot, and he spent the night in jail. The legal consequences for being caught with such a small amount of marijuana — just enough for a joint or…

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Sex registries as modern-day witch pyres

By Guy Hamilton-Smith . . . Perhaps the most irrefutable statement that can be made about modern day America is this: we have a penchant for putting people in cages. More than any other nation on the planet, we rely on incarceration as the fix for our social ills. America’s unprecedented prison boom spawned advocates who work tirelessly to put the police…

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Sex offender registries endanger the lives they’re meant to protect

By Miriam Aukerman . . . Our communities deserve effective public-safety measures that are based on facts and sound research, not wasteful and counterproductive measures born of fear. We all want to be safe. We have to demand our legislators pass laws that work and actually keep us safe. That’s especially true when it comes to sexual offenses. A Michigan…

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The sex-offender panic is absolutely destroying lives

By Radley Balko . . . The video below tells the story of Shawna, an Oklahoma woman who is still in mandatory treatment because 15 years ago, when she was 19, she had sex with a boy who was 14. Over at the Marshall Project, David Feige has more about the unlikely people swept up in the sex-offender panic for offenses…

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NARSOL’s ninth conference and awards banquet

The National Association for Rational Sexual Offense Laws (NARSOL) convened its 2017 conference in Atlanta, Georgia, on Friday, June 2 with Building a Foundation for Effective Advocacy as its theme. The three-day conference was well attended with more than 140 advocates, presenters, and feature speakers present. Conference guests enthusiastically received information and current legal perspectives from four leading attorneys who are…

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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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Why do crime registries that don’t work continue to grow?

By Emmanuel Felton . . . Bruce Armstrong says he’s a changed man. After spending 25 years in jail for killing a man during a home invasion, Armstrong is looking for a second chance: “I’m not in the lifestyle I used to be in. I don’t drink. I don’t do drugs. I’m just trying to build something up before it’s too…

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