The day after the most recent Democratic Party presidential debate is a good time to remind voters that they should examine candidate records on draconian, grand-standing sex-offender registry laws.
The sorry legacy of the 1994 Crime Bill includes the vast expansion of these useless, extra-punitive and ugly-politics-inspired registries.
Nebraskans Unafraid has a standing invitation to anyone anywhere: Document a single instance when a registry helped to solve a crime, or when a registry prevented a crime. This invitation has stood for 10 years and no one has been able to document that a registry ever helped solve or prevent crime.
Early on, we got one pathetic response from the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, which shared a clipping from a small Missouri newspaper. It was a story about technical violations of Missouri’s draconian registry law. Well, that is BS because registry laws create vague, complicated and difficult-to-understand compliance requirements. So if someone forgets to report a new vehicle within the law’s time limit, it gets counted as a violation, even though there is no new violation of any statute involving sexual offending.
That, pathetic as it may be, is best that registry supporters can muster.
If a candidate for public office is truly interested in public safety, she or he will be against registries because all of the evidence shows that registries do nothing to advance public safety and in fact contribute to more dangerous communities because they create unemployment, homelessness and they destroy families.