He rebuilt his life, but the State of Nebraska made him a target.
- When a sentence is complete, the punishment should end.
- Nebraska law makes it OK to target some people.
- The registry should be abolished.
This is a series of Nebraska stories about life on the registry. All names have been changed, even when the registrant said we could use his or her name. But the laws that cause so much grief are very real.
Dale did federal time for his sex offense and was back home, living in the house he owns and working a good job. The work was hard but he was home, his family loved him, he was supporting himself. One morning, he woke to find “I’m a PEDO” spray-painted on his front door.
People listed on the registry consider it punishment because its public nature sets them up for harassment like this. The punishment may not be an official goal of the registry but only because publishing names, addresses, and photos lets the community do the punishing. Landlords, employers, and strangers use the registry to decide how to treat someone. The registry provides a list of people it is acceptable to treat badly.
The Legislature created a registry of second-class people it is acceptable to treat badly.