Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Sex Offender Regulations: Punitive v. Regulatory

Sex Offender Regulations
Punitive v. Regulatory

Evidence of Laws since Smith v. Doe
July 7, 2008

To whom it may concern:

This letter is sent in the effort of shedding some light on the recent laws that have been passed in the effort of protecting our Nations children from Sex Offenders. In Smith v. Doe, it was put forth by the Supreme Court that the Sex Offender Registry was considered to be a “Regulatory action and not a punitive consequence.” But, in the years since that verdict, several states have gone so far as to pass new laws that restrict our Nations Sex Offenders to ever farther reaching boundaries. Lately, many of these have come under fire for being “Unconstitutional.”

Here are some examples of Sex Offender Laws being challenged across this Country:

“Utahn can ignore state sex-offender registry”

“Federal judge halts sex offender law”

“Sex offender law goes too far, court rules”

“Dover defends sex offender ordinance in NHCLU challenge”

“Deltona takes steps to relax residency rule for sex offenders”

Apparently there is a lot of consensus these days that the Laws being passed by our Legislators across the Country are considered to be Unconstitutional.

If one believes them to be Unconstitutional, then that would lead one to believe that they were written to do more than Regulate. Might one then consider that they were in fact written to be Punitive? To the point that in Georgia, Sex Offenders are banished to ONE county out of 129!! How is that Regulatory? They even tell the Sex Offenders that they can’t use “homeless” as an address. They say that if you can’t afford a place to live, then you are in violation of the Registry and you will go to jail. This is being argued in court as you read this.

In Florida, they found that they needed to relax the city Residency Restrictions of 2500 ft (the States RR is only 1000 ft) to now exclude “bus stops.”

New Hampshire is fighting a battle right now. The NCHLU has determined that the RR’s in New Hampshire actually are against the States own Constitution.

Here are a few examples of Legislators who are bent on punishing Offenders beyond their terms:

“La. could allow confinement of sex offenders beyond prison sentences”

“Jindal runs into voter backlash”

“Sex offender lawsuit”

In Louisiana, the Governor has come under fire for attempting to circumvent the Supreme Court. He even goes so far as to call their actions “atrocious.” He has vowed to pass as many laws as it takes to provide an equivalent Death Penalty in the hopes of getting around the Supreme Courts Decision.

In Ohio, the law has become so strong that a clerk at a Hustler store is suing the state. She is afraid that she might be forced to Register as a Sex Offender because she sells pornographic materials (which is seen as “obscene material”). Anyone possessing or distributing “obscene material” could be forced to register as a Sex Offender, even if they have no victim.

More and more, it is becoming apparent that the Legislators are attempting to pass laws to show the public that they are “tough on Sex Offenders” and that they want our votes. They create and try to pass laws (sometimes behind closed doors) to further box in the Sex Offender. New laws are being passed in Missouri that would keep Sex Offenders (even those that haven’t reoffended in decades) from participating in Social Networks (i.e. Facebook, MySpace, etc.). So, now they can’t live within 2500 ft of parks, schools, churches, daycares (Florida); but they also can’t go online to try to form socially acceptable relationships (for those that don’t target children). Tennessee now requires them to have a “special license” stating that they are Sex Offenders.

So my question is, where does the Regulatory action end and the Punitive Damages begin? With all of these laws, it become increasingly hard for Sex Offenders to find jobs, keep friends and family, and to acquire adequate housing. No longer does our Nations Legislators work to regulate. They now work with the intent of helping the Nation “feel” like it’s being protected. As in the case of Georgia, they will just send any law that gets knocked down back to have the phrase that got it rejected reworked. This shows a lack of concern for the “reason” that it was knocked down in the first place.

We appreciate your attention to this matter. We hope that you will look into this with an intent to see the true nature of the laws. Punitive!


Anonymous said...

you are on point .Our justice system has become more of a violator and unjust than the people they punish. OUR JUSTICE SYSTEM HAS BOWED DOWN TO HURT PARENTS THAT HAVE TURNED VIGILANTY AND ARE OUT TO HURT OR EVEN DESTROY ANYONE WITHOUT CONCERN FOR ANYONE ITS PURE rage

Anonymous said...

He to whom the present is the only thing that is present, knows nothing of the age in which he lives.