Writing sex offender laws based on fake recidivism numbers is rational, court says

More on the Illinois Supreme Court’s decision to reverse a lower court decision and uphold the state’s ban on child sex offenders in public parks. Commentary from Jacob Sullom at Reason.Last week the Illinois Supreme Court upheld a state law banning sex offenders from public parks, overturning a 2017 appeals court ruling that deemed the statute “unconstitutional on its face […]

Debate: Should the sex offender registry be abolished?

From Reason online:Should the sex offender registry be abolished? Watch a live debate at the Soho Forum between Emily Horowitz, a sociologist at St. Francis College, and Marci Hamilton from the University of Pennsylvania and CHILD USA. Drop questions in the Facebook comments, and we’ll read aloud a few of the best at the event.  Click here for […]

Scarlet-letter passports unjust and irrational

Jacob Sullum writes for Reason that the unique identifier to be added to sex offender passports is lousy policy and merely stigmatizes people who are not dangerous.The notice, which will appear on the second-to-last page of U.S. passports, is officially known as an “endorsement,” but it is more like a badge of shame. “The bearer […]

The truth about sex offenders and registration

It’s still not known whether a federal judge’s recent ruling declaring Colorado’s Sex Offender Registry unconstitutional as applied to three registrants will have broader implications in Colorado or nationwide. But, the attorney who represented the plaintiffs says the judges decision could be applied to others.The attorney, Allison Ruttenberg, is quoted extensively in this article at […]

Teen sexters subject to 15 years in prison under House-passed bill

Elizabeth Nolan Brown reports at Reason.com that teens who text explicit photos to one another could face 15 year mandatory minimum sentences under a bill that passed the U.S. House of Representatives. Brown reports on the “Protecting Against Child Exploitation Act of 2017,” introduced by Rep. Mike Johnson (R-Louisiana).  Two Republicans and 53 Democrats voted against […]

Why we still need statute of limitations for rape

Writing at Reason.com, Elizabeth Nolan Brown explains why the recent push to eliminate the statute of limitations on sexual assault cases is not such a good idea.Since the start of 2017, legislatures in Minnesota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Washington state, and Washington, D.C. have considered bills that would drastically expand or outright end the statute of limitations […]

The Unjust, Irrational, and Unconstitutional Consequences of Pedophilia Panic

Writing in the April online edition of Reason magazine, Jacob Sullom, takes on the irrationality that exists in our nation’s sex offender laws. In his wide-ranging essay, Sullom writes that public fear and disgust lead to strange and uneven outcomes in sex offenses involving minors.Under federal law…looking at child pornography can be punished as severely […]