You are here

Sticks, stones break bones, but names destroy

By Steve Yoder . . . In May, the AP Stylebook changed its guidelines for how reporters should refer to people with substance abuse problems. “Avoid words like alcoholic, addict, user and abuser unless they are in quotations or names of organizations,” says the 2017 version. For those with addictions, that change won’t just shift how they’re portrayed but how they’re…

Read More

S.O. policies driven by public misperceptions, not fact

By Lonnie Burton…. Public opinion toward crime is complex. Research shows that Americans strongly favor punitive measures to address criminal behavior while also demanding the rehabilitation and treatment of offenders. When it comes to sex offenses, it gets even more complicated. A 2015 study authored by Christina Mancini, an Assistant Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, and Kristen Budd of MiamiUniversity…

Read More

Judicial courage in the face of Colorado’s Lifetime Act

Susan Walker . . . As the mother of a son convicted of sexual assault and sentenced under Colorado’s 1998 Lifetime Act, it is clear to me why Boulder District Judge Patrick Butler chose two years of jail with work release and 20 years’ probation instead of prison for Austin James Wilkerson. Wilkerson, a former University of Colorado student, was…

Read More

Texas registry gets an “F”

By Eric Dexheimer…..   Mark Lay had been a registered sex offender for more than five years before he heard there might be a way to erase his name from the public Texas list. Convicted in 2008 of a single count of possessing child pornography, he was released early from a two-year sentence, classified by the state as a low-risk…

Read More

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…

Read More

Sexophrenia: moral mania and mass hysteria

By Norm Pattis . . . I’m not hopping on the bandwagon circling the Santa Clara County, California, courthouse. Don’t add my name to the million-plus names of those calling for the scalp of Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky. Far from a goat, Judge Persky is a hero. Would that there were more judges like him. Judge Persky presided over…

Read More

Rethinking sex offender registries gains support

By Erica R. Meiners . . . When police arrived at her house to arrest her on May 8, 2013, Tammy Bond turned to her niece and said: “Aunt Tammy did something wrong.” At age 45, she had a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old. She was convicted of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and, like 26,000 others in Illinois, required to…

Read More

Laws treat children as monsters for minor sex crimes | Punishments severe

By Lenore Skenazy….. Southwestern Law School Professor Catherine L.Carpenter puts it bluntly in her new research paper, Throwaway Children: The Tragic Consequences of a False Narrative. “Truth be told,” she writes, “we are afraid for our children and we are afraid of our children.” Being afraid for our kids has lead us to create ever harsher sex offender registration laws. We…

Read More

An open letter to Laura Ahearn and Parents for Megan’s Law

Your program is advertised as an advocacy for children focused on preventing sexual abuse. Yet this, from your site, tells a very different story: “Most parents and community members believe that they are doing everything they can to protect children from sexual predators but the disturbing reality is that registered sex offenders are obtaining employment and volunteer positions across the…

Read More

NY Times cites RSOL Executive Director: Politicians lack courage

By Julie Bosman . . . Until one day in December, Zachery Anderson was a typical 19-year-old in a small Midwestern city. He studied computer science at the local community college. He lived with his parents and two younger brothers in a sun-filled home on the St. Joseph River, where framed family photos hang from the walls and a pontoon…

Read More