Welcome to Nebraskans Unafraid!

Nebraskans Unafraid (NU) is a grass-roots organization that works to make our communities safer. We believe the right to safety extends to registered people and their loved ones. We oppose Nebraska’s state-sanctioned violence against groups of people. We work to change the draconian laws that incite violence, deprive people of their jobs, homes and family lives. We educate the public about how to achieve safe communities.

Nebraskans Unafraid’s initiatives include FEARLESS, monthly gatherings for Registered People and their loved ones, where they can connect with others who are in similar circumstances and learn about how to survive and thrive despite the public-shaming registry. Through our Compassion Initiative outreach, we provide support and referrals to help Registered People find jobs, housing, spiritual support and social contacts.

Federal judge says registry can’t be applied retroactively

  • Judge criticizes state for flouting the U.S. Constitution
  • Other rulings against Tennessee law cited
  • Judge also cites Michigan ruling

Tennessee may not retroactively apply its registration law, according to a federal judge who ordered that eight people be removed from the registry.

“Tennessee officials continue to flout the Constitution’s guarantees,” U.S. District Judge Aleta Trauger wrote in her ruling on December 3, 2021. “The federal district courts of this state have repeatedly concluded that the same analysis applies … to Tennessee’s own, very similar scheme and policies. Tennessee officials have continued to impose the state’s repeatedly-held-to-be-unlawful policy on other, similarly situated individuals” despite rulings, she said.

Governments are prohibited from giving more punishment for a crime that was committed previously under the Ex Post Facto of the U.S. Constitution clause, according to The Associated Press

Trauger also cited an April ruling where another federal judge in the Middle District of Tennessee ruled that two men should be removed from the sex offender registry. The judge determined enforcing laws created after the committed crimes were unconstitutional.

Trauger also mentioned that in 2016, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against retroactive implementation of a sex offender law in Michigan.

Read the full story here.

Proposed amendment puts travelers at risk of violence

  • Congressman wants to make life difficult for more people.
  • Amendment does nothing but harm.
  • Legal protections abroad are as suspect as they are in the U.S.

International Megan’s Law already puts American registrants traveling abroad at risk of being detained by security forces in other countries, at risk of being exposed as a registrant in countries where legal protections may be minimal.

Now the congressman responsible for IML wants to amend it to make life difficult for more people, including some Americans who live abroad.

Tucked away in the Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act of 2021 (H.R. 5150), you will find an amendment to International Megan’s Law (IML). The 2016 IML set the requirement that some passport-holders on the sex offense registry must have an indicator in their passport showing that they are registrants and that they offended against a minor.  

Current IML makes sure that the United States does what it can to throw unfounded suspicion upon its own citizens — suspicion of future crimes — as they travel to countries where that suspicion could put them in harm’s way. This amendment will make sure that Americans who live in other countries where they are not required to register will be treated with that same suspicion; it will also collect names of citizens of other countries who have been convicted of sex offenses against minors.

Like the registry itself, which treats registrants as if they are ticking time bombs destined to commit more sex crimes, IML treats all registrants convicted of offenses against minors as if they are using travel to find more victims. That imagined danger puts Americans traveling abroad at risk of discrimination and violence when their passport makes known their history of a sex offense, and puts them at risk in a country where they may not have legal protections they would have in the United States.

Read more here.

Call to Action!

  • Register your opposition to proposed SORNA changes.
  • Three communication methods you can use.
  • Take the time to write an original letter.

Remember the proposed SORNA (Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act) changes that were published in August 2020? We registered our opposition to those changes last fall and then nothing happened. When President Biden took office in January, his administration put all proposed regulation changes on hold.

Now, the proposals are on the move again. Before it is too late, let Attorney General Garland know why he should not sign off on the SORNA changes. 

From the ACSOL (Alliance for Constitutional Sex Offense Laws) post on this topic, here are the three methods you can use to share your thoughts with AG Garland:

  • First, call the U. S. Department of Justice and leave a comment on the agency’s comment line at 1-202-353-1555
  • Second, send an online message to the agency (the general topic is “message to attorney general) at https://www.justice.gov/doj/webform/your-message-department-justice.
  • Third, mail a letter to Attorney General Garland at U.S. Department of Justice, 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 20530-0001.

To refresh your memory on the proposals:

Notes from the Handbasket: suggestions for comments on the SORNA rule changes

Make sure your message refers to the proposed regulations published in Federal Register on Aug. 13, 2020, in Proposed Rulemaking, Docket No. OAG 157 (AG Order No. 4759–2020).

More from the ACSOL post:

If you take the time to write an original letter it will be given more weight than if if looks like you just copied and pasted the same text that other people used.

There is no deadline by which Attorney General Garland must reach a final decision regarding the proposed SORNA regulations.  Therefore, that decision could be made at any time.  The decision of the Attorney General will be published in the Federal Register and Congress will have 30 days to review that decision before it becomes law.