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Stories About Humans Needed Now!

By Brenda…. It has often been said that until we can start changing the public’s perception of what “sex offender” means, we have an uphill battle. The best way to do that is to help folks encounter people who are living with public registration and see that they are ordinary, even EXTRA-ordinary, human beings. This is the motive behind Humans…

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Indiana Court of Appeals considers RFRA’s application to registered citizens

By Olivia Covington . . . Shortly after the controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act went into effect in Indiana in 2015, the unlawful entry by a serious sex offender statute, which prohibits certain sex offenders from accessing school property, also became law. Now, those two statutes are at odds with each other as the Indiana Court of Appeals decides whether…

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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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A young mother struggles with life on the sex offender registry

By David Feige . . . I met Shawna a year into filming “Untouchable,” a documentary that examines sex offender laws through the lives of individuals on the sex offender registry. It was at an Oklahoma treatment center where she was participating in a mandatory group therapy session. She was there because fifteen years earlier, Shawna was deemed to be…

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Need shelter from a ferocious storm? May we see your papers, please?

By Elizabeth Flock . . . It was the day after Hurricane Irma, and two residents of a mobile home park in Lakeland, Florida, sat on their porch, on a street littered with debris. The wind had torn off the roof of a nearby trailer and flooded the adjoining streets. Their park had been under mandatory evacuation, but evacuating to…

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Atty Gen Coffman to appeal Colorado ruling declaring registry unconstitutional

By Kirk Mitchell . . . Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman announced Wednesday that she intends to appeal a decision by a federal judge in Denver who ruled that Colorado’s sex offender registration law violates the constitutional rights of three sex offenders. “As Attorney General, protecting victims is one of the most critically important parts of my job,” Coffman said…

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In the midst of Irma, one group of citizens gets no shelter

Steve Yoder, a reporter who writes frequently on sex offender issues, sends us this piece: A potentially catastrophic storm is headed straight at Florida’s mid-section, which includes Polk County south of Orlando. So on Wednesday, county sheriff Grady Judd tweeted a warning — but not about evacuating or finding higher ground. “If you go to a shelter for #Irma, be advised: sworn…

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NARSOL to law enforcement: Provide reasonable & free shelter to ALL people

NARSOL Communications . . . Frustrated and angry over continued reports in the media and from personal sources of registered citizens being denied reasonable shelter from hurricane-force winds and flooding in areas affected by recent hurricanes, NARSOL has issued a press release calling on state and local officials to act reasonably and humanely in their treatment of ALL people seeking…

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ACLU to MI registrants: Please remain compliant

ACLU of Michigan . . . We recommend that all registrants stay SORA-compliant until there is a final judgment. State criminal courts are not bound by federal appellate decisions (except for U.S. Supreme Court decisions), and is not yet clear how Michigan state courts will apply the Does v. Snyder decision. We strongly recommend full compliance to avoid criminal charges or other consequences.…

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Tenth Circuit splits in holding revocation enhancements for SOs unconstitutional

By Robin . . . Splitting two-to-one in a case out of Oklahoma, a panel of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals has held that 18. U.S.C. 3583 (k) violates the 5th and 6th Amendments by requiring a revocation judge to impose a longer sentence for the original conviction based on the facts presented for purposes of revocation (and upon which…

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