On America’s Civil Death Penalty: The Sexual Offense Registry

Guy Hamilton-Smith writes a guest blog post for the Comparative Penology website, explaining how U.S. sex offender registries promote social isolation and "civil death."Here is an excerpt:Oscar Wilde, writing from his cell in the Reading Gaol where he was imprisoned for homosexuality at the end of the nineteenth century, observed that "society reserves for itself [...]

NC court: No proof public safer when sex offenders tracked

A North Carolina court has ruled that long-term GPS monitoring of registered sex offenders is unconstitutional because there is no evidence such tracking protects the public. As per an Associated Press report about the decision:A divided three-judge panel of the state Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that because officials presented no evidence that satellite-based monitoring [...]

ACSOL: MA court recognizes harm to registrants

Here is a positive commentary from the Alliance for Constitutional Sex Offense Laws regarding recent rulings from the Massachusetts Supreme Court:The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Council, the state’s supreme court, has ruled in favor of registrants who were trying either to terminate their duty to register or to change the tier level on which they were [...]

MA court says state has burden to prove dangerousness

The Massachusetts Supreme Court has ruled that the state bears the burden of proof when determining whether registered citizens should or should not be moved to a less dangerous classification.Here's an excerpt from an article about the ruling at WBUR."We conclude that the risk of erroneous classification and deprivation remains in reclassification proceedings and that [...]

Failure to Comply Arrests Reveal Flaws in Sex Offender Registries

In an article at the Appeal, Joshua Vaughn notes that in just one Pennsylvania county, in one year, more than three times as many people on the sex offender registry were charged with failing to comply with registry requirements as were charged with new sex crimes.Hundreds of people every year in Pennsylvania are arrested and [...]

Did California Suppress Research on Sexually Violent Predators?

Q: What is a Sexually Violent Predator?A: A person unlikely to commit another sex crime.State laws that allow sexually violent predators to be locked up even after they have served their sentences are based on questionable assumptions that they continue to pose a danger to society, according to a study published in the American Criminal Law Review. The [...]

Appeals court won’t delay $28 million Beatrice Six verdict

The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals said it won't delay a jury's decision against Gage County, awarding $28 million to six people falsely accused of raping and murdering a Beatrice woman in 1985. The "Beatrice 6" collectively spent years in prison before they were exonerated.The decision came Tuesday, a week after the appellate court denied [...]

Expert: Crime registries turn people into pariahs with "very little to lose"

Another good article explains why registries are a bad idea. In a column at The Appeal, Jessica Pishko writes that public crime registries -- including sex offender registries -- do not work and are even harmful, even though they are popular with the public and politicians.While public sex offender registries are now required by federal [...]

Judge upends Pennsylvania sex offender registration

Pennsylvania lawmakers made changes to the state's Sex Offender Registry law after the old law was found unconstitutional. It appears the new law isn't faring much better with the state's judges, as exemplified by a recent case.WEST CHESTER >> A Common Pleas Court judge has ruled that a West Goshen man convicted of forcing himself [...]

Two years after court ruling, no changes to Michigan registry

Two years after a federal court ruled parts of Michigan's Sex Offender Registry Act unconstitutional, the state legislature has still made no changes to the law.Michigan Public Radio talked with an attorney for the ACLU of Michigan and a Michigan State Senator about what changes are needed and why they haven't been made yet.The American [...]