NJ Appellate Court rules internet ban unconstitutional

By Mike Desk . . . SOMERVILLE – A state appellate court ruled on Monday that it is unconstitutional to ban a convicted sexual offender from using the internet to access social media sites. The court wrote in its 43-page decision that the social networking ban violated the constitutional rights of a sex offender, identified only by his initials R.K.,…

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Gov. Cuomo’s Social Media Proposal Does Not Make Those Sites Safer

By Guy Hamilton Smith . . . Last month, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo unveiled a legislative proposal billed as a way to “prevent convicted sex offenders from using social media accounts, dating apps and video game chat functions to exploit children.” But Cuomo’s proposal would do little to stop sexual harm on these platforms—and would most likely undermine public safety…

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The ruling that changed everything (and nothing at all)

By John P . . . On June 19th, 2017, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a ruling that was read and noticed by a relatively small segment of the population. Packingham v. North Carolina overturned an oppressive state law that had made it a felony for anyone registered as a sexual offender to access social media sites…

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The real danger in stranger-danger

By Lenore Skenazy . . . This summer in India, two dozen innocent people died at the hands of mobs convinced that they were meting out justice to kidnappers. One was a software engineer beaten to death after giving chocolates to children outside a school. One was a 65-year-old woman who got lost on a trip to a temple with her family…

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Once a sex offender always a sex offender — even beyond death?

  By Sandy . . . Who was Benjamin Gran? Registered sex offender sentenced to a lifetime of supervised release after he was caught with a massive amount of child pornography; Autistic young man caught in a “witch hunt” after being duped by an unrepentant pedophile; Third fatality in the deadly Amtrak derailment; Member of the Special Olympics team; Member of…

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“Sex offense is the one crime that you can never pay for”

By Sandy . . . Some of you will remember a story from a little over a year ago about a registrant named Daniel Silverman. Dan was convicted of a sex offense in 2009, served 13 months, and has been out in society since late 2010. Based on polygraphs and his probation officer’s recommendations, his probation was terminated early. Knowing…

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Defining terms. What exactly is “sexual misconduct” and who decides?

By Robin . . . Every day brings new charges, it seems, of sexual misconduct on the part of a man in a prominent position. No area is safe. Among the accused are those in the entertainment and media fields, political leaders, sports figures, and even a past president or two. Like a tornado spinning off multiple, smaller tornados, every…

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Oh look! Is that another sex trafficker?

By Lenore Skenazy . . . We are in the midst of a massive mommy moral panic. Across the country, mothers are writing breathless accounts on Facebook of how sex traffickers nearly snatched their children at Target/Ikea/the grocery store. While at Sam’s Club, one such post explains, “a man came up to us and asked if the empty cart nearby was…

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For a registered sex offender, how much rehabilitation is enough?

By Sandy . . . Three years ago, a spokesperson for NARSOL, then RSOL, was interviewed for an article about a young man named Guy Hamilton-Smith. In 2011 Guy had graduated from law school in the top third of his class, applied to take the Kentucky state bar exam, and, in spite of numerous awards, supporters, and testimonials on his…

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KY: Federal judge strikes internet restrictions, online identifiers

By Bruce Schreiner . . . LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky went too far in restricting internet access for registered sex offenders, violating free-speech rights by clamping down on their use of social media, a federal judge ruled Friday. In striking down the restrictions, U.S. District Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove said [the] state law could keep sex offenders from participating…

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