In Solidarity With Black Lives Matter

Racism extends to sex offense registry, which lists a disproportionate number of black people

Nebraskans Unafraid stands in solidarity with Black Lives Matter. 

Police murders of black people must end now.

George Floyd was murdered in Minneapolis because of the color of his skin.

In Omaha recently, a man was murdered because he was on Nebraska’s fear-mongering public-shaming sex offense registry.

How is it that people think they have the right to murder someone they dislike?

And how is it that the state gets away with facilitating murder, whether under the cover of police authority, or through a public-shaming registry?

A disproportionate number of black people are listed on the sex offense registry (see this study), adding to the urgency of the need to abolish it as part of the police reform movement now gaining momentum across the nation.

Listen to what Nebraska State Sen. Megan Hunt of Omaha said in a message to an Omaha-area registered person who appealed to her for help due to harassment he experienced after the Omaha murder:

“ . . . the sex offender registry does more harm than good,” Sen. Hunt wrote. 

“The harassment you’re describing is not productive for society or doing anything to keep people safe. In 1994, when Congress passed the first sex offender registration law, the list was private to law enforcement officials and only applied to the most serious offenders. But since then, driven mostly by state lawmakers, the list has consistently increased its scope and severity. There are now almost a million people on the sex offender registry.

“At least 12 states require sex offender registration for public urination; five apply it to people charged with offenses related to sex work; 29 require it for consensual sex between teenagers. According to Human Rights Watch, people have been forced to spend decades on the registry for crimes they committed as young as 10 years old. And in Nebraska, we require people from other states to register on Nebraska’s sex offender registry even if the offense they committed is not a crime in our state. The net has widened. Offenders are on there for life, there’s no mechanism to come off and there’s more restrictions than ever on employment, housing and travel.

“So, the registry is not effective,” Sen. Hunt added.

She is right. The registry is not effective. It is one chunk of law enforcement spending that could be eliminated.


Michigan Attorney General: Lawmakers’ Registry Fixes Don’t Go Far Enough

Michigan lawmakers are under a federal court order to make the state’s sex offense registry comply with the Constitution. They have been timid in response, and the state’s attorney general says what they propose so far still leaves the law in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

If the legislature continues to dig its heels in, the entire Michigan registry will be unenforceable. 

Read the Detroit News story here.


North Carolina Judge Rules in Favor of State Prisoners

From Raleigh, North Carolina: A North Carolina Superior Court judge ruled that a coalition of civil rights groups are likely to win their claim that the incarceration of state prisoners during the COVID-19 pandemic is unconstitutional.

Read the full story here.


Registry Failures

Nebraska’s fear-mongering public-shaming sex offense website fails in ways almost too numerous to count. But we have categorized some of them. This blog will publish periodic reminders of those failures. Here is today’s reminder:

The Nebraska Sex Offender Registry website includes many people who were evaluated and deemed to be of low risk to reoffend, and thus were not on the website prior to Jan. 1, 2010. Some of those people are now on the Nebraska Sex Offender Registry website for life even though their offenses were committed years ago and they long ago completed their sentences.

Published by nufearless

Nebraskans Unafraid is committed to making our communities safer by ensuring that lawmakers and policymakers do not support laws that cause homelessness, joblessness and damage to families.

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