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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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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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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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Okay to ban sex offenders from social media? Who’s next?

By Perry Grossman . . . On April 27, 2010, Lester Gerard Packingham Jr. posted a Facebook status: “Man God is Good! How about I got so much favor they dismiss the ticket before court even started. No fine, No court costs, no nothing spent. . . . Praise be to GOD, WOW! Thanks JESUS!” This post appears entirely ordinary—something…

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North Carolina versus First Amendment: SCOTUS to decide

By Andrew Cohen . . . Lester Gerard Packingham was having a really good day back on April 27, 2010. The North Carolina man had just learned that a traffic ticket against him had been dismissed, so he logged onto his Facebook account and gleefully told the world: “Man God is Good! How about I got so much favor they…

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NARSOL in the news | NC lawsuit

The news of the suit filed by NARSOL and NC-RSOL along with two registrants in North Carolina spread fast. The AP picked up the story, and it went from there. This is a collection of some of the news stories. This will be a hard fought battle. We need your prayers and financial support. Please visit here to make a…

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From RSOL to NARSOL, but why?

By Robin . . . By now, many of you should have noticed (and a great many of you have been told), that RSOL is now NARSOL. But what exactly does that mean? First, nothing is going to happen to RSOL’s vision or mission. And nothing will change about our stated goals or assertions. Everything RSOL is doing–or has already…

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Abolish the public sex offender registry

By Lenore Skenazy . . . Sometimes when I post about the Sex Offender Registry, I get comments like, “Those scum don’t deserve to EVER live a normal life!” This note below is to remind us that a study of 17,000 people on the registry by the The Georgia Sex Offender Registration Review Board found that about 5% were “clearly…

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The difficulties of a risk-based system

By Larry . . . NARSOL fully supports the goal of a risk-based registration system with registration information only available to law enforcement entities. Having said that, it is important to recognize that convincing legislators in to move towards a risk-based system will be harder than it at first may seem, for several reasons. States are generally moving away from risk-based…

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8th Circuit’s ruling threatens civil liberties of all Americans

By Noah Feldman . . . In a major blow to civil liberties, an appeals court has upheld the Minnesota system that civilly commits sex offenders after they’ve served their prison terms, a confinement from which no one has ever been fully released. The decision, filed Tuesday, used the wrong legal standard, making it too easy for the state to…

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