Because freedom can't protect itself
The draconian unconstitutional sex offender laws... I have paid my debt to society and have been off probation since 2003, and in 2006 they passed an ex post facto law and now I'll be on the registry for life, lost my job because of the hysteria and cannot find another job, plus all the online harassment and vigilantes attacking, beating and killing RSO's, that is what I think.
These laws are a modern day witch hunt!!!!!!
Guiding US foreign policy back to following the Geneva Conventions
The most pressing civil liberties issue is corruption in Government.
The States Bar Corporation!!
The Bar Corporation of the respective states is a private Corporation Integrated into the State Supreme Court. What upsets you more?, a state Supreme Court being controlled by the private corporation or the private corporation of lawyers being controlled by the State Supreme Court. "It doesn't matter!!!" The concept of the Supreme Court being bifurcated and out of balance with the U.S. Constitution is totally illegal and could be construed by some to be Organized Crime.
When the Bar Exam is controlled by the State Supreme Court, where the applicants are hand picked, and with no opportunity to have their cases heard by a third neutral party is not what Constitution is about.
It's time to stand up and demand accountability of those hiring lawyers. The Supreme Court Judges should not be in the business of hand picking who they want to practice law in their state.
This is not right!!!
Please contact your representitive to "try" and change this mockery of our Judicial system.
Please think about what I have told you.
I am a member of the ACLU in Jacksonville fl.
Thank you for your time.
Parental Rights. Parents are losing rights to their children tow thousand a month across America after they have successfully attended parenting classes and other court ordered treatment.
There was an interesting opinion article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune today about free speech in schools and the disparities that exist in comparing civil liberty in schools and outside of them. As a recent graduate of high school and one who personally encountered situations in which I felt I ought to have had the liberty do express myself in ways but was faced with the threat of punishment for doing so, I think the issue of a students' bill of rights or something to that extent should be addressed. The blanket notion that administrators can punish anyone for basically anything that is seen as disruptive to education creates far too subjective a system to monitor the liberties of young people. If we want to raise good citizens who appreciate their rights and protect the liberties that we all hold dear, we need to incorporate real world experience of those issues at an earlier age - in schools.
I think the overall deteoriation of civil liberities has reached a crisis level. The willingness of Americans to simply go along is even more frightening. Recent expansions of body scan strip search technology at airports is an example of the fact that American citizens effectively believe they have no right to privacy whatsoever. What has happened to us? Perhaps the recent voter turnouts are pointing to a change in attitudes. Once can only hope.
There are far too many important items to highlight in a short blog but I will touch on one subject. The anti-immigrant and anti-minority rhetoric is increasing by volumes each day spurred on mostly by radical Republicans and their supporters. Physical attacks against immigrants are increasing, non-physical but obvious dicscriminatroy tactics are increasing as state and local governments take on the ill-advised job of immigration agents. State and local officials, to include law enforcement, should by banned by federal law from taking part in any immigration action. This is something that will only be solved by comprehensive immigration reform and not fear mongering of others who are different. I for one will never cooperate with any state or local law enforcement agency that tries to take on the role of immigration agents. It is not their job. Arizona is probably the best example of the most racist state that is very unfriendy towards immigrants and minorities and they were white politicians that passed the most anti-immigrant laws and that moronic democratic governor who signed that law. I hope people stop visiting Arizona and move their businesses to other immigrant friendly states or Mexico. If enough people stop visiting Arizona and enough businesses leave Arizona then that will be a start.
Civil Rights are going to the way side and Americans are standing by, allowing it to happen! Thank goodness the ACLU stood up against Bush’s Patriot Act, but there are many other instances where our right to privacy is being violated. We now accept as normal road blocks aka “safety checks” to ensure we are wearing our seat belts. If someone is accused of a DUI and refuses to take the breathalyzer in many states (and the numbers are increasing) the police can force a blood draw. Employers are performing random drug tests on employees in non-safety sensitive jobs. The list continues to grow. It is time to stop these Big Brother activities and return to the principles our country was founded upon – Protection from unreasonable search and seizures, Freedom of Speech etc. before it is too late.
This illegal regime in DC has ignored our Constitution and laws. That is the biggest problem. The ACLU must put together an agenda to correct the situation and then sell it to the New President, Congress and the press- what is left of it.
It is a real crime that Bush has not been impeached. That fact has hurt our country and respect for our civil rights and rule of Law.
1. Societies implicit support for gang rape/abuse in prisons. This is the largest violation of civil rights on a numbers basis, on the torment it causes it victims basis, on it's violation of punishment fitting the crime, on it's potential to give people a death sentence (AIDs), on it's acceptance in our society (everyone jokes about it, everyone expects it, and everyone is OK with it). This level of accepting that people be treated this way is what allows our coulture to not care about prisoners in Guitmo. Those prisoners are treated better than our own when it comes to this. You yourselves have contributed to it by NOT taking a stand for this unofficial punishment that everyone allows, and in fact expects.
Probably more people are affected by the "war on drugs" than any other civil liberties issue.
And then there's the constitutional crisis around the balance of powers, and while that's not directly a civil liberties issue, it has made violations by the current administration much easier.
Government Corruption and the Bush administrations blantant disregard for Laws that we as a people must follow that he basically spit on. I can't take the idea that after all this man has done he isn't going to be impeached or even in a prison where he belongs along with Cheney. I'd like to see the new President end corruption in Washington and mostly in our own Congress. No more Lobbiests to buy Congressional votes. This must stop immediately!! This country belongs to the people. If large Corp.s were NOT considered "people" they wouldn't get away with all they do with their money..We need to stop selling votes through Congress for Copr interests that harm the people. Congressmen who do this should be impeached immediately also.
Stop the practice of trumping the rest of the Constitution with the provisions of Article II, Section 2.
The first civil liberties issue the new president should address on the first hour of his first day in office is the Torture Murder of Americans with above top secret directed energy neurological, etc. weapons.
the bigest problem we have right now are those MUSLIMS ,CAIR,ACLU and all the rest of your organizations ,those are the bigest problems right now.
Get rid of the Military Commissions Act and restore habeas rights.
The US Constitution means nothing anymore, that is the biggest problem, IMO. We need to get back to the constitution and uphold it, like many took office to do, which they apparently lied about, just to get into office.
POLITICS AS USUAL!!!
The biggest problem I see is the fact the fact that any policing of the citizens in the best interest of the people or children or some other reason. point is that fact that it is all being done without respecting people's constitutional rights or even childrens for that matter. I have seen way too many cases where people's constitutional rights have not been observed and nothing has happened to the policing violator. This has become rampant throughout tuhe US. Do not get me wrong I love America and for which it is suppose to stand. But the constitutional rights of people and due process of law have seemingly been thrown out the window. And another very disturbing fact is that a lot of american people are just sitting back just letting it happen. There is far too much governmental corruption for americans to just ignore the problem. The contitution is still suppose to be the basis of The American way of life." If the constitution is just ignored for any reason, even if it is for the right reason, then all you have is no rights and this creates chaos. And with this chaos anybody's life here in america can be destroyed with just mere suspicion. For this is being used far too widely by government agencies to create what they want and destroy innocent lives. With this it is affecting all of our children and they way they grow up. There are far too many rules and laws to follow without you breaking at least a law or two a day. All this while the government agents sit idly by with their immunities and not have to suffer actions of their misdeeds while the citizens pay the price. Do not get me wrong there are criminals out there that belong in incarceration. What I am refering to is the fact that they are still suppose to pay attention to our civil liberies and rights that are granted to us by The Constitution. Something that seems to be very rare these days. There is suppose to be reasons why there is suppose to be due process of law and the obsevation of our basic constitutional rights. That is so innocent people do not go to jail for crimes that they did not in fact commit. But if these are not abserved at all times then it is easy for anyone to go to incarceration at anytime for anything and be marred for life for things they did not do. Then people and even children feel contempt for the the judicial and governmental systems in place that are suppose to be there to help out the good citizens of the U.S. Then what is created is in fact lawlessness by everyone which especially includes the governmental agencies. Fact is people have rights that are supposed to be garaunteed to them by the US Constitution so where are they? Think about this people if it has not affected you yet it sooner or later will. But for those affected by it you already know what I am talking about. I have seen far too many injustices of innocent people with absolutely no regards to their or their children's rights in all walks of life. And nothing seems to stop this abuse by our system and is in fact on the rise more and more. With just about no recourse for action unless a stand is taking by the major population of the U.S. itself.
Sex Offender Laws in General - I agree...Sex Offender Laws are a Modern Day Witchhunt! Even if sex offenders pay their debt to society, they are branded for life. I am not talking about a sexual predator who hangs out at playgrounds and preys on children. I am talking about people who have consensual sex with someone under 18 and then get caught up in the sex offender system. Eventually, people may quit paying attention to the sex offender registry because it be so full of people who are not "predators" and then it will lose the purpose of protecting children.
Many Sex offenders are forced to live away from families because of districting restrictions. They have a hard time finding work because of the restrictions and the stigma. Again, I say...not sexual predators, as I believe there are two categories, not one huge category. The burden on the taxpayers will increase as this continues.
Why is it not a violation of somone's rights to do this? If you are a murderer and pay your debt to society, there is not a registry that tells your neighbors you did so. If you have consensual sex with a minor, everyone can pull up your picture and even get email alerts!
Help me here, I don't get it!
Supporting the murder of helpless babies in the sanctity of their mother's womb as if they were monsters makes you accountable before God.
May you repent and receive Jesus Christ so that God's mercy will reach you and you will be saved.
If you don't, you'll see.
Sex offender laws in the United States, along with false data presented in the media, have created a system of laws utterly contrary to the purpose and intent of the US constitution.
They act as a bill of pains and penalties (under the bill of attainder clause to the US constitution, article 1, section 9, and section 10) as defined under Cummings vs Missouri.
Further, they offer no recourse to law, no judicial overview upon being placed on the list, nor any control by jury, under the Zenger ruling or the Bushnell case.
These laws fail to fall in under civil regulatory laws for the following reasons:
1: No civil regulation, or civil law can provide prison time for violation. This is only the course of criminal law.
2: it declares a class as guilty, or tainted, not for crimes that they commit, but for crimes that they might commit.
3: It is in response to the request for increased punishment for sex offenders.
4: It removes rights without benefit of jury trial, and without a new crime.
5: It can be unilaterally morphed at will by the congressmen, and those on the registry held to it.
6: It can be used to banish, isolate, and remove a registrants rights to life, property, and honest work.
Further, at this point, it seems to have more negative effects than positive. Since the opening of the registry, registrant murders have gone up between ten and thirty times. (from 0-1 a year, to 10-30 a year) culminating in a total of over 113 known deaths.
Incidents of arson, and violence (against registrants or family members, or even third parties uninvolved) are an increasing problem.
The registry is used to prevent the reintegration into society required for successfully becoming a nonoffender.
The registry, further, purports to be 'to protect the children' but the police have been judged to not have the duty to protect any individual, under Castle Rock vs Gonzales there is no individual right or property interest in police protection, even with a court order for such.
At this point, the protection is farcical and the only net effect is to cost money, lives, and rights.
Any right removed from any person weakens that right, to where ultimately it becomes a privilege to be removed at will.
sex offender registry gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "dead man walking". I have no purpose to continue to live life when Iam denied work, denied the right to live in certain places, the right to get married and have a family because social services threat to remove my children from the home if I am living there,the shame of my name out in the world that I might hurt a child, the fear someone will do something to me and I have no way to defend myself,what use is there to live in a world you cant live in peace and be happy... it has been 10 years this way when will it end..someone please help..I am just waiting to stop breathing.. I am already dead...
I agree there is a huge difference between a Level 1, as opposed to the sex offenders who actually have sex, rape, molest etc all with intent. I also see that they are grouped together so that none of them can actually have a life or a job anywhere. Is the point of all these laws to protect our children or to create an island of sex offenders, similar to how the British handled sending their criminals to Australia? The point needs to be taken up by the ACLU as this is continuing to go tooo far. What choices to these people have? They can work under the table (maybe), they can hide out (which is against the law) or what burned at the stake? It appears to me that something must be done to protect the rights of the individuals whom have paid their "debt" to society based on the degree of their offense. I would agree that Dead Man walking is doing just that. Waiting for the roundup and burning at the stake. It is ridiculous and I really hope that someone takes a stand and makes a difference as there is an entire society out there with no place to call home, to work or to feel safe.
I agree with all the posts here regarding the status of the sex offender registries. From a personal view, I am involved in a relationship with a wonderful man who got caught up in a bogus charge 8 years ago and is required to registry for 10 years. He is unable to find a decent job or live a decent life becauseof this. He was not even given the opportunity for rightful legal representation concerning his charge of indecent liberties for which he was not guilty but forced to take a plea bargin to avoid 25 years in prison. Because of the label society has placed onhim I have had DSS called on me and lost visitation with my children. But i have investigated him throughly and am one of his strongest backers to see that his rights to life, liberty and happiness are fulfilled. How, as parents, can we protect our children when we have a list full of people where there is no way to decifer between the true pedofiles and the people who were caught up in vindictive parents of unruly teen girls? Yes, I am for hte sex offender registry but it needs to be overhauled so that its true purpose can be fulfilled.
PLEASE SOMEONE DO SOMETHING! MY SON WILL BE RELEASED SUNDAY, AND I DO NOT WANT HIM TO BE A DEAD MAN WALKING, NOT FOR A 2 MINUTE MISTAKE HE MADE. WILL OUR FAMILY EVER FILL SAFE. I AM SO SCARED.
At this point there is no current legislation to address the safety and human rights of "sex offenders". There is a lot of media hype addressing their being a menace to society but you hear nothing from the other side of the street. In regards, to those people whom choose to support their loved ones based on the bias of the legal system and the fact that almost every low level "sex offender" has had to take a plea or be threatened with PRISON, how do you protect yourself and your children? Most of the plea cases for the low level offenders should all be misdemeanors if only someone would take a look. These should not be felonies and ride with the individuals the rest of their lives. At the very least an opportunity should be provided that doesnt take twenty years for this group of "sex offenders" to get their lives back.
What happened to my comment?
The Unified National Position Statement
« on: August 01, 2008, 08:37:59 PM »
In recent years a dangerous trend in American legislation has occurred, affecting hundreds of thousands of individuals labeled as “sex offenders” as well as their family members. The current sex offender legislation has led to a number of disastrous consequences that have undermined public safety and social progress in America.
The NCSPR is made up of supporters from around the country who believe that current polices formulated to handle sex offenders are dangerous and unconstitutional. Policies must indeed have as a primary goal the prevention of future sex offenses, but they must be proven to have the benefits for which they exist. Such policies must hold sex offenders accountable while at the same time provide genuine sex crime prevention. The NCSPR supports only proposals grounded in accurate research, including collaborative efforts that are multi-disciplinary and multi-support community based. All related research must be evaluated critically and routinely to ensure accuracy.
Research shows that the majority of sex offenders are either related to, or know their victims. Current policies are generally designed to address situations in which the sex offender is presumed to be a dangerous stranger. Contrary to the popular myth of “stranger danger,” children and teens are far more at risk of sexual abuse from family and people they know. The same holds true for adult victims of sexual assault.
Community leaders need to understand the inadequacy of current measures, because without this critical knowledge, the enforcement of policies can lead to a false sense of security and undermine social reform, thereby putting children at even greater risk.
States and communities across the nation are developing measures that mistreat former sex offenders, including children, with the notion of increasing public safety. Unfortunately, these measures do not, in fact, increase public safety. Indeed, most instead put communities at greater risk. In addition, social reintegration is critical in the effective rehabilitation of all offenders, yet is often not a component of legislative efforts. Public policies should not replace or reduce comprehensive, treatment-driven strategies to reduce recidivism, nor should civil policies be used as a tool to place obstacles before reformed sex offenders. Comprehensive strategies should include:
Promoting accountability through social and education reforms;
Promoting in-depth treatment provided by qualified practitioners, paid for in whole by the state while an offender is incarcerated, to assure that fitting rehabilitation programs are completed prior to release;
Promoting reasonable supervision and monitoring by specially trained probation and parole officers who are part of a former offender’s support system;
Providing better protection through education reforms for the community, including social messaging campaigns designed for more supportive interaction with former offenders; and,
To promote advocacy on behalf of former offenders and their families.
The Official “Group” Stance on The Current Laws Are:
1. We Especially Oppose the Current Sex Offender Registration System:
Sex offender registration is useful for law enforcement agencies only, for the identification and tracking of convicted sex offenders who have been deemed by qualified experts to be genuinely at high risk to re-offend. Public notification can actually be harmful to public safety by diluting the ability to identify the most dangerous offenders. It also can disrupt the stability of low-risk offenders. Without proper limitations, citizens who are related to an offender will also be harmed mentally, emotionally, and economically by the registration system.
Community notification and Internet disclosure should be abolished and offender information kept strictly in the hands of law enforcement as directed by law. There should also be meaningful penalties for unlawfully disseminating offender information or using it for malicious purposes.
2. We Oppose Electronic Monitoring, such as G.P.S. (Global Positioning Satellite) tracking for former-offenders:
GPS is an expensive and ineffective tool which undermines compliance and personal responsibility. Current technology is hampered by limitations leading to frequent false alarms, has costly upkeep fees ($10 per day), and can easily be removed by those intent on breaking the law. NCSR believes electronic monitoring may be used most effectively in situations requiring intensive supervision and monitoring for those offenders deemed at highest risk of additional violent behaviors.
3. We Oppose all Forms of Residency Restrictions:
A number of states and locales are enacting residency restrictions in which sex offenders may not reside within a certain radius of schools, parks, skating rinks, certain neighborhoods, etc, and may not utilize emergency resources such as group homes, homeless shelters and hurricane shelters with no evidence that these laws protect children. In fact, those states that have studied the issue carefully have found no correlation between sex offense recidivism and sex offenders’ proximity to schools or other places where children congregate.
Research has shown that sex offenders with domestic stability (stable housing and social support) are less likely to commit new sex offenses compared to those offenders who lack such stability.
4. We Oppose Mandatory Minimum Sentences:
Long mandatory minimum sentences can have a number of negative consequences that serve to decrease, rather than increase, public safety. Mandatory minimums hamper judicial discretion and impede the use of fair sentencing, forcing more trials that subject victims to harmful interrogations. Furthermore, it may also give violent offenders ample incentive to murder their victims. Discretion should be kept in the hands of competent courts.
Similarly, judges or juries may be less inclined to convict a defendant on a sex offense because of the mandatory minimum sentence. Long mandatory minimum sentences can also keep victims who were assaulted by someone they love from reporting the crime. All of the possible negative consequences can result in fewer sex offenders being treated fairly; thus NCSR opposes mandatory minimum sentences. We believe that the control belongs in the hands of the Justices.
5. We Oppose Civil Commitment for First Time Offenders:
More medically defined…Civil Commitment statutes allow state authorities to hold sex offenders after their criminal sentences have expired if the offender is deemed too dangerous to be released. Such statutes usually mandate that these offenders be confined to a treatment facility until they are no longer an imminent risk to the community. Legal opinions about civil commitment have indicated that appropriate treatment must be made available to those who are confined involuntarily and that such confinement must not be oriented toward punishment.
6. We Oppose Email and Screen Name Registration:
Electronic Identity Registration Laws (EIRL) aimed at Registered Sex Offenders should target only those who break Internet sex crime laws and not former Sex Offenders simply because they are Registered. Email Registrations aimed at Registered Sex Offenders are based on the myth that they are likely to re-offend via the internet. These regulations are not practical because of the ease in which an Electronic Identity is obtained via the internet and offer no real protection against those persons who desire to commit sexual crime through the use of the internet. Email registration aimed at Registered Sex Offenders violates the US Constitution’s Fourth Amendment guard against unreasonable searches and seizures.
7. We Oppose “Romeo and Juliet” Convictions and Registration:
Romeo and Juliet Laws have created a problem for society in a way that is subverting human nature and proper childhood development. Today, orthodox religious leaders operating through America’s government are attempting to dictate to the American people what the age of consent should be. We believe that every American family should have a right to determine when their son or daughter is mature enough to have consensual sexual relations. We also believe that consensual sex between young people should be decriminalized or without the registration requirement. There is a clear difference between consensual sex and sex which is forced upon another. It is a function of the court to determine the facts in each case, without personal or religious bias entering into a case. Therefore, we oppose Romeo and Juliet cases being deemed felonies. We also oppose children and adolescents being listed on the sex offender registry unless a violent crime had occurred.
Guidelines for Development of More Effective Measures:
1. The primary goal of measures for the handling of sex offenders is to increase child and public safety. Therefore, the first question is, “Will the proposed legislation truly increase public safety?” The way to determine if a proposed measure will increase safety is through the use of accurate data analysis. Proposed measures should be based on documented research studies from competent professionals in the mental health and law enforcement industries.
2. Public resources are limited, so any resources allocated for the handling of convicted sex offenders should primarily be targeting only those at the highest risk of re-offense. The risk of re-offense cannot be accurately determined by the seriousness of the charge for which a sex offender was convicted. Licensed medical practitioners can more accurately assess the highest risk offenders through the application of evidence-based actuarial risk-assessment tools including social support systems. This assessment should occur prior to sentencing, and then again prior to release to note differences in behavioral patterns.
In order for communities to most effectively protect their citizens from the danger of sexual abuse, comprehensive sex offender policies must include community education that is fact based, rather than myth based.
This education should consist of:
Information regarding sexual assault (myths and facts, local incidence and prevalence data concerning the nature of offender practices);
Information regarding prevention and risk reduction measures, including the strengths and limitations of victim and community efforts;
Information regarding resources for victims, offenders, and families;
Social messaging campaigns on respectful interaction with former offenders.
These new educational components should be developed in conjunction with police, probation and parole departments, sex offender treatment providers, rape crisis victim advocates, municipal and/or county officials, as well as former offenders who have demonstrated a successful reintegration into their society. Community support for reformed offenders is key to the success of public safety efforts.
We are now looking to include better solutions for our representatives to consider. Post your comments/ideas/suggested solutions here.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2008, 07:50:33 AM by walter »
I have a conviction in Illinois of 1 count of possession of child pornography, an internet image the techs recovered that I didn't even know was there. By Illinois Law I am now considered a Sexual Predator - sexually dangerous person and on the registry for life and mischaracterized there
There should be no Community supervision for life for NJ level 1 sex offenders, why such restrictions for someone with low chances of reoffending. This country is no better and is very very much the same way HITLER handled the Jews. HILE HITLER that what we will all be saying real soon all because of media histeria and politicians looking for vote so they jump on the sex offender train because if they went against it ,it would be political suicide.
Some people are just plain scared to post what they think because of vigillantes. The families of sex offenders are threatened daily in many ways the normal, ordinary human being can never fully understand. If a family is a family of a sex offender, they automatically lose their civil rights.
Personal Investigation Website with SO lists like www.sherlockrecords.com suddenly appears on Google searches!
For about two years now I could Google my name and there was no listing, all of sudden this site links me.
If there is an ACLU blog monitor, is this legal?
I agree with all the posts here regarding the status of the sex offenders; I was placed on the registry before completing parole in 1996 for 25 years. I was hired by a company in 2008, the online profile and application asked if I had been convicited of a fenoy or misdemeanor within the last three (3) years; and I andwered No to the question because I had'nt. Almost a month after being hired I was fired for Withholding or Giving False Information on an application, since they've changed the question on the application to read "Have you ever been convicted of a Felony", now where is the justice and who's the criminal?
Most Important are the civil liberties of those harmed by war, like the US using depleted Uranium, that'll take your freedoms away. Or how about freeing all the non-violent drug offenders?? Or maybe dump the Patriot Act?? Ohh, so darn much to do.
I noticed on an ACLU website that they picked up an article on me and used it as an example, to show how unjustly i've been treated. I have a single, nonviolent, misdemeanor, which occurred between two adults, with No minors present. It was at a nude rock festival and we both had our clothes on the entire time. She was 29 and i was 33 and i thought it was a consensual hug.
It was about 14 years ago and I now have to comply with extensive indignant registration requirements in FLorida that are waaaaaaaaaaay more extensive than my original probation sentence. I could leave the country with a phone call during my sentence, now i have a hard time leaving the county. And, i haven't even had a parking ticket since. I could go on for many pages about the injustices and civil liberties I've lost over this ONE incident.
Please, Can't we even remove the SINGLE, NONVIOLENT, MISDEMEANORS WHICH OCCUR BETWEEN ADULTS from these sex offender registries?? I am lumped into all kinds of child cyber crime bills and constanat new retroactive laws, Pedophiile websites and the like when i had nothing to do with a minor. Please don't just do it for me, do it for all mankind as we are one.
ps. Not the judge, prosecutor or anybody informed me of any sex offender registration whatsoever, not a single word, during plea bargaining or sentencing, or when they forced my hand on a plea. I have paperwork to support all my statements. Please Help.
The laws may be well intentioned but the judicial systems are becoming suspect. I was told i'd get a year deferred sentence and probably dismissal. A defendant is told one thing and then they do another. The problem is with the passing of these retroactive laws. Defendants weigh the consequences when they take a plea. We cannot weigh what we aren't informed of until years after our sentence is completed. I would've never taken a plea had i known i'd have to register as a sex offender.
It appears the witch hunt will never stop. Society has label those as sex offenders as the worst of the worst. Those convicted who have completed the punishment set by the people of a given state through the order of the court are still punished for the rest of their lives. If sex offenders have to register for their convictions why do offenders of other crimes not have to register? Society is on a massive witch hunt for sex offenders. Let us look at Myspace and Facebook, two social networking websites who have taken action against sex offenders. Both have seem to have banned sex offenders from using their social networking websites. How can someone be banned from these sites for being a registered sex offender? They are not being banned for soliciting sex from a minor or anything that can be considered a crime. They are being banned simply because they have to register as a sex offender. Why would this not be a violation of someone rights? It seems to me that sex offenders are being discriminated just because they are sex offenders.
We as society should treat everyone the same no matter what their background. Society send the convicted to jail or prison to pay for their crimes and expects them to lead a good life after getting out and fit back into society. They want them to be a productive citizen. Yet Society puts barriers in place so that the convicted cannot fit back into society after paying their dues. Instead society deems that someone must be punished for their entire lives instead. This needs to be taken into account for both juvenile and adult offenders. We need to take a stand against the witch hunt that America has taken on!
I agree with the sex offender laws being more like a witch hunt to remove rights from a class of citizens who are often young or unable to pay for protection.
I recently saw that another class is being equally ruled on without a GATEKEEPER. I'm talking about the laws that pertain to hospitals, social workers, and schools having the state granted rights to send someone away on a lock-down for suicide watch.
I know of a lady who went to a military annual physical. During the questions regarding "have you ever thought about Suicide or harming another person" she
responded YES since she had a recent death in her family. The yes answer put a chain reaction of events in motion that required that person to be put on a
Lock-down unit for evaluation even though she gave another statement that said she thought about it but it was against her religion to actually go through with any thoughts of suicide. The resulting bill for the hospitals and ambulance were huge and the hospitals had the right to hold the person and charge thousands of dollars for that FORCED visit to lock down.
It looks like a Psychiatric assessment should have been done before the person was sent to lock down. Instead, the decision was based on an emergency room Dr. not wanting to make the wrong decision and a Psychiatric consult didn't occur until the next day at which time it was found the person had been stressed but was clearly not prone to mental illness or suicidal.
I agree that sex offender registration and monitoring are the most egregious civil rights violations taking place in this country today. It is hard to think of a Constitutional requirement that they don't flagrantry violate. Why isn't the ACLU doing more on this issue?
Sorry, I should have written "flagrantly."
Sex offenders are the offenders most likely to continue to repeat their crimes and often do not get caught. The worst human rights violations are those done to the victims of sex offenders. When you have experience being the victim, you will then realize the victims never are free of their abusers and are often stalked for years. We have paid legal expenses for years to protect our children and still look forward to years in the courts to keep the abuser away from us. There are orders of protection that do not stop the abuser from stalking us. The laws are not strong enough. Secrecy helps the pedophile not the victims.
I think the sex offender hysteria is going too far! People who are tax paying citizens that have paid for their crimes years ago have families too. When you use social networking sites like Myspace and facebook for honest legitimate reasons to keep in contact with family and friends across the country you will see that the profiles are the same as everyone else. Why do we sit by and allow Myspace and Facebook among others to ban someone just because they have to register as a sex offender? We would be outraged if they banned women or people of color but it is somehow popular to beat up on people we don't know because it's "cool". This is in fact harmful and cruel to those targeted for removal since the reason is simply because of a "status" in society due to false hysteria. Look at the facts! How many people convicted of crimes on Myspace were registered sex offenders? Answer: None! Most didn't even have a criminal record. How can these social networking sites who open up their services to everyone legally discriminate against others who haven't done anything wrong? I have been a member of the ACLU for years and wonder when the ACLU will start to become much more vocal in FORMER sex offender rights to free speech, free association, right to privacy, and right to travel on vacation with their family without harassment and restrictions. I am a law abiding tax paying citizen and should enjoy the same rights as any other American citizen.
Quote from Mother of four:"Sex offenders are the offenders most likely to continue to repeat their crimes and often do not get caught." ~~~Where is your proof of this? Whatever your situation don't say that this is true of everyone who is registered as a sex offender. If you make a statement as fact have the proof to back it up!
My brother served his time 13 years ago, " issue was with a consentual adult. He has tried so hard to lead a normal life but is not allowed too by society & law.
Has not been allowed to keep a job because law enforcment calls and intimidates the bosses, after receiving the calls they let him go although they were initially aware of his issue. They claim they do not want problems nor do they want to be harrased.
He was not allowed to live in certain areas, due to boundary restrictions. Due to not having an address he was incarsirated for 3 years just a week ago. Not allowed to live with famiily his own families because of boundary rules. If he is low risk why make him & his family pay for eternity? I have children and agree with keeping all children safe but you can't categorize everyone the same. Living in a secluded island is more than not being allowed to lead a normal life. Why isn't there a system to help people inlow risk categories? I think everyone is ashamed to protest as this issue is deffinatly, embarrasing to the individual & family. If no one speaks up nothing will ever change. What can be done to change the laws for each sex offender category? Its not fair to have my brother taken away again for not having a place to live and being threatend to take a plea and serve less time "3yrs" than more. I feel the legal system is broken, any suggetions?
Re comments by Zman and Zqueen:
I think the ACLU is far less concerned about the civil rights of American citizens than about non-American illegal immigrants or Guantanamo detainees.
In Texas, there are at least hundreds, possibly thousands, of people who are on the Sex Offenders list for a lifetime, with no way to get off, regardless of their clear and successful rehabilitation (if they were even guilty in the first place, or possibly victims of police-coerced confessions).
Like Zman and Zqueen, I'm not referring to sexual predators or repeat offenders, but to people who had a single offense, often with extenuating circumstances, completed all the probationary rehabilitation training and screening, and have had no further sex offenses after many years.
This is a life sentence, with no way out. Their names, addresses, and pictures are posted on the internet, making it virtually impossible to get a job, and vulnerable to police harassment for as long as they live.
In some cases, they were juveniles when arrested, told by the police they’d be treated as juveniles under the law; then tried as adults by aggressive prosecutors, informed by their court-appointed attorneys that they had already confessed and must plead guilty, and then given adult sentences to jail and the Sex Offenders List.
Those who were convicted before “Amber’s Laws” were retroactively and ex post facto brought under the provisions of the new law, then given a life sentence to the Sex Offenders list. Once on the Sex Offenders list, there is no provision in the law to get off, NEVER.
I have seen absolutely no evidence of any ACLU interest in such cases. I discussed it with their representative who called about two months ago, asking for me to renew my ACLU membership, and he assured me that he’d have someone from the Texas Regional Office call me, but I haven’t heard a word, nor have I seen it mentioned in any of the publications/newsletters I receive from the ACLU.
And that’s why I no longer support the ACLU.
Re: Mother of four comment:
Your point is well taken, concerning "pedophiles". I believe the criticisms you're seeing here are not directed toward true pedophiles (persons obsessed with sexual attraction to children), but to one-time offenders who have been through the entire rehabilitation program, including passing the frequent lie-detector tests, training, counseling, etc., and have been free of any sex-related difficulties with the law for a number of years... typically 10 years in Texas. As stated by another writer in this blog, many of these were convicted when juveniles, and have now been "clean" for years, but are under a life-sentence to the Sex Offenders list, making it impossible to get a job or live peaceful and productive lives, even after paying their debts to society. There is simply no way to get off the Sex Offenders list, at least not in Texas.
In the case of true pedophiles, repeat offenders, I think that most of us will certainly agree with you. But the law in Texas says "one strike and you're out, forever and ever, no matter what", and that seems extreme.
As a taxpayer, I am completely AGAINST the sex offender laws which have been enacted in the U.S. These laws do not protect anyone, but feed "for-profit" prisons - such as The Florida Civil Commitment Center," run by GEO Group, a company which is listed on the NY Stock Exchange.
Maintaining registries & GPS tracking devices for sex offenders is also very costly; but do not protect anyone.
These laws restrict those who have made a few minor mistakes from obtaining employment, a deccent home and family life and forever marks them as criminals.
I think the Civil Commitments Laws of the different states need to be addressed. My brother has been in there for almost a year now and you would not believe the conditions these men live in. Some of the things that they must endure is heartbreaking. They are not fed decent meals, they have no privacy and they are constantly being set up by workers so they will be sent back to prison. I know this first hand. My parents and I have not been able to send my brother money for his required meds nor have we been able to send him a care package so he has soap and other hygiene products. This is my opinon on what should be addressed first bu our president.
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