NARSOL condemns civil commitment practices

By NARSOL . . . In view of recent developments in the case of Galen Baughman in Virginia, NARSOL restates its unequivocal opposition to the civil commitment process occurring in at least twenty states and in the federal system. Paul Shannon, NARSOL’s board chair, states, “NARSOL opposes the practice of civilly committing sexual offenders to a locked facility after they…

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Sex offenders — decision needed

By Sandy . . . Some members of our society are shadow people, so marginalized that they are hanging on by their fingernails. Some have a slightly firmer grip, but they are perched precariously close to the edge, so close that they can be hurled into the abyss by a mere word, accusation, or click of a mouse. In Florida…

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Opinion: Virginia lawmakers unfairly target registered citizens

By Mary Davye Devoy . . . The 2018 Virginia General Assembly session is my 10th as a volunteer advocate for a smarter Virginia Sex Offender Registry. I use more than 20 years of data to support my work and offer fact-based recommendations for improving the laws. In that time, I have watched as Virginia delegates and senators take a…

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Shelter discrimination blurs separation of church, state

By Sandy . . . It’s official. Winter is here. Temperatures are plummeting in states across the nation. Cold-weather emergency shelters are opening in response, most of them managed by Christian churches and organizations. The post I wrote dealing with one of these elicited much interest and a high number of comments. This is largely due to their policy, by…

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In bizarre case, 4th Circuit panel finds forced erections unconstitutional

By Cyrus Farivar . . . A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday in favor of a Virginia man who, as a teen, was once ordered by a lower court to be photographed while masturbating in the presence of armed police officers. That warrant was ostensibly part of an ongoing sexting investigation into the then-teen, Trey Sims, who had exchanged explicit messages with…

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“Choose between homelessness and reoffending”

By NBC 12 On Your Side…. Thousands of your tax dollars are being spent to help sex-offenders keep a roof over their heads. On Tuesday, a man called 12 On Your Side, saying he’s upset he’s being kicked out of the program just as he’s working to rebuild his life. For purpose of this story, we called him Mike. “I’m trying…

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Teen offered 350 years or life as SVP for sexting!

By Lenore Skenazy . . . Zachary, now 19, is in jail awaiting sentencing for five pictures his teenage girlfriend sent him of herself in her underwear. He faced a choice between a possible (though unlikely) maximum sentence of 350 years in prison, or lifetime on the sex offender registry as a “sexually violent offender”—even though he never met the…

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Absurd laws turn sexting teens into child pornographers

By Michael Rosenberg . . . Depending on personal experience, a person in violation of the law is a monster, an errant architect of his own fate, a heedless sinner, or a victim of a cruel system. The nature of crime is that it creates victims and perpetrators, but recently, the number of people prosecuted for crimes in which they are…

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Time has come to declare voting a universal, fundamental right

By Robin Vanderwall . . . I voted today. I know. What’s the big deal, right? Most Americans exercise the privilege sorta like they wash their cars. Sometimes it’s important. Other times, whatever. And that’s all it is, you know. A privilege. Yes, it’s 2016. Yes, we talk a good game about self-government and democracy. But voting in American, unlike…

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