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View Full Version : Why are sex offender registries legal?


alnorth
02-28-2007, 12:11 PM
I'm not trying to discuss the merits of a sex offender registry and whether its good or bad, etc. I am certainly not impacted by it, nor is anyone I know. I'm just honestly curious: legally speaking, how the hell is this legal and constitutional? Also, is it basically set in stone now, or would a future court possibly choose to change prevailing legal opinion on this issue?

The reason why I ask is because this is a very severe punishment imposed upon people for life. It would seem to me that if someone posed such a serious threat to the community that you would need to publicly brand a scarlet letter on their chest and closely monitor their every movement, then they should be in prison or some kind of "house arrest" until society deems these safeguards to be unnecessary. Once someone is out of jail, I always figured they have served their punishment and should go on with their lives. (Less some voting restrictions here and there for felons, but I really dont get that either for similar reasons)

L.A. Chieffan
02-28-2007, 12:15 PM
Sex offenders have a higher repeat offender percentage than other ex-cons. I'm with ya, throw em in the can forever and let Bubba and Jamal play with them till they explode.

el borracho
02-28-2007, 12:17 PM
Even if the registries were not maintained by the government, they would be maintained by private sources. In this day and age, there is no forgive and forget because computers never forget.

chagrin
02-28-2007, 12:17 PM
Sex offenders have a higher repeat offender percentage than other ex-cons. I'm with ya, throw em in the can forever and let Bubba and Jamal play with them till they explode.

Racist LMAO

Phobia
02-28-2007, 12:18 PM
Sex offenses have more long-term psychological effects than most other crimes. They're a societal hot-button and we want to be made aware. Besides, all other felons have records that stay with them as well. I don't think it's an issue.

alnorth
02-28-2007, 12:19 PM
Sex offenders have a higher repeat offender percentage than other ex-cons. I'm with ya, throw em in the can forever and let Bubba and Jamal play with them till they explode.

I'm actually cool with that too. If we believe they will be repeat offenders, then at least a life sentence would be intellectually consistent with other laws. Or perhaps we could have a punitive sentence for punishment, followed by an indefinite time in a mental institution (I think we can safely classify a compulsion to molest kids as "crazy"), until some huge board of psychiatric uber-experts certify that the guy is really cured. If that means people serving 10 years for a sex crime followed by 20 years in an institution until they can convince the doctors that they are normal, so be it.

This practice of letting them out but giving everyone their address and picture so that they can be pariahs and possible targets for violence makes no sense to me at all.

Rain Man
02-28-2007, 12:33 PM
I personally think the registries should be illegal, unless they're somehow part of the formal sentence. If a judge says, "Your sentence is two years, plus another two years of having your name on a list", then I guess it's legal. It shouldn't be tacked on at an administrative level, though, because it's an additional punishment.

tyton75
02-28-2007, 12:37 PM
I gotta say.. I'm completely on alnorth's side of this

The argument that other crimes don't have the saem recitivism rate doesn't/shouldn't matter under the Constitution

Chiefnj
02-28-2007, 12:49 PM
I believe there was an article in USA Today about some states revisiting this issue. They used two examples to show how out of hand this can get. The first was that in some states public urination falls under the sex crime umbrella and would require people to register. In another case, in Arkansas, a mom let her 15 or 16 year old pregnant daughter's boyfriend (age 17) sleep over and the mom was charged with a sex offense and had to register as an offender.

Scaga
02-28-2007, 12:49 PM
Having three kids...I think these registries are great....

Now, on the other hand, a 17 year old guy gets caught donking his 16 year old girlfriend....
Come on.... get a clue guys... :rolleyes:

Ultra Peanut
02-28-2007, 12:49 PM
Sex offenders have a higher repeat offender percentage than other ex-cons. I'm with ya, throw em in the can forever and let Bubba and Jamal play with them till they explode.RAPE IS AWESOME

Mr. Laz
02-28-2007, 01:30 PM
i mind the registration system ...... but i think they need to revisit what should apply.


public urination??
public indecency??
17 yr old having consensual sex with a 16 yr old??


registration should only be for specific stuff. I also think they should be apply to be remove from list after a certain period of time. Maybe they can ... dunno.

BIG_DADDY
02-28-2007, 01:36 PM
RAPE IS AWESOME

Just because you enjoyed it when your dad let his friends have their way with you for a hit off the ol crack pipe doesn't mean others will.

Rooster
02-28-2007, 01:40 PM
Ohio wants special car plates for sex offenders
Wed Feb 28, 2007 1:23pm ET

CINCINNATI (Reuters) - Lawmakers in Ohio said on Wednesday they want to force convicted sex offenders to use a fluorescent-green license plate on their cars so they can be easily identified.

A Republican and a Democrat in the state legislature have joined forces to propose the law, which echoes measures in several U.S. states that require convicted drunken drivers to use a yellow, pink or red plate on their cars.

"The fluorescent-green license plate will make the most egregious sex offenders easily identifiable," state Democratic Rep. Michael DeBose said in a statement.

Police said the green plates would allow them to track sex offenders, who are already required to register with the local sheriff's office and are prohibited from living within 1,000 feet of a school.

http://today.reuters.com/news/articlenews.aspx?type=domesticNews&storyid=2007-02-28T182327Z_01_N28458947_RTRUKOC_0_US-USA-CRIME-SEX-PLATES.xml&src=rss&rpc=22

Halfcan
02-28-2007, 01:45 PM
Sex offenders have a higher repeat offender percentage than other ex-cons. I'm with ya, throw em in the can forever and let Bubba and Jamal play with them till they explode.

The system is set up so when you get out of jail you have a series of classes and such that are very expensive. My friend just served 5 years and then had a ton of red tape. Cons have a hard time finding work too which compounds the problem. Missouri has very tough restrictions on what you can't do-like drinking, drugs, must attend probation meetings, hunting, going to a casino or strip club. It makes it very easy for them to slip up and go back to jail. They have one of the highest return rates in the country-something like 65% return within a year-either finish their sentence or commit new crimes.

Sex Offenders have all of the above restrictions plus more-they have to register, plus other restrictions designed to keep them away from kids. Fact is they are the biggest repeat offenders-you can't cure their disease and it is just a matter of time before they rape or kill a kid again. The system just does not work for them-plan and simple. A large % flee and then start doing what got them in prison to start with.

Castration seems to be the only true answer.

MOhillbilly
02-28-2007, 01:47 PM
I'm not trying to discuss the merits of a sex offender registry and whether its good or bad, etc. I am certainly not impacted by it, nor is anyone I know. I'm just honestly curious: legally speaking, how the hell is this legal and constitutional? Also, is it basically set in stone now, or would a future court possibly choose to change prevailing legal opinion on this issue?

The reason why I ask is because this is a very severe punishment imposed upon people for life. It would seem to me that if someone posed such a serious threat to the community that you would need to publicly brand a scarlet letter on their chest and closely monitor their every movement, then they should be in prison or some kind of "house arrest" until society deems these safeguards to be unnecessary. Once someone is out of jail, I always figured they have served their punishment and should go on with their lives. (Less some voting restrictions here and there for felons, but I really dont get that either for similar reasons)


becaue they dont execute sex offenders the second after a conviction.

you **** kids & rape you die.

but thanks to the ACLU were a nations of loving hippys.

Brock
02-28-2007, 01:51 PM
Just because you enjoyed it when your dad let his friends have their way with you for a hit off the ol crack pipe doesn't mean others will.

that's not nice

MOhillbilly
02-28-2007, 01:56 PM
Just because you enjoyed it when your dad let his friends have their way with you for a hit off the ol crack pipe doesn't mean others will.


i have visions of tightrope.

Chiefnj
02-28-2007, 02:17 PM
In Oklahoma the following are "sex offenses" that require registration - "sex offenses, such as urinating in public, flashing breasts while at a concert or streaking on a college campus."

pikesome
02-28-2007, 02:18 PM
Ohio wants special car plates for sex offenders
Wed Feb 28, 2007 1:23pm ET

CINCINNATI (Reuters) - Lawmakers in Ohio said on Wednesday they want to force convicted sex offenders to use a fluorescent-green license plate on their cars so they can be easily identified.

A Republican and a Democrat in the state legislature have joined forces to propose the law, which echoes measures in several U.S. states that require convicted drunken drivers to use a yellow, pink or red plate on their cars.

"The fluorescent-green license plate will make the most egregious sex offenders easily identifiable," state Democratic Rep. Michael DeBose said in a statement.

Police said the green plates would allow them to track sex offenders, who are already required to register with the local sheriff's office and are prohibited from living within 1,000 feet of a school.

http://today.reuters.com/news/articlenews.aspx?type=domesticNews&storyid=2007-02-28T182327Z_01_N28458947_RTRUKOC_0_US-USA-CRIME-SEX-PLATES.xml&src=rss&rpc=22

I have a feeling that things like this are going to force the issue to the Supreme Court and nobody's going to be happy with what they do.

scooter
02-28-2007, 02:33 PM
I think is neccesary just like it is neccesary to identify other hazards in our neighborhoods...no smoking signs around flammable areas...high voltage warnings...open trench...etc. As parents we use these as tools to warn our kids of dangers and that they need to avoid. When we moved to our house a few years a go, we found out after the fact that a man who had been convicted of a sex offense involving a minor lived a block down on the opposite side of the street. The same street my kids have to walk down to get to school. You can guaran-damn-tee my kids knew what this guy looked like and to stay away. He has since moved away and now there is someone convicted of indecent liberties with a child even closer....again, my kids are aware of the danger and know to stay away.

I understand that it can be taken to the extreme and others can use the information to persecute or mistreat those on the list. I also understand that there are different levels of sex offense ( liberties with a minor (probably 18 y.o boy, 17 y.o. girl or something like that) and liberties with a child (under 12)) and we cannot make a blanket statement about everyone on the list, but as parents my wife and I find out as much as we can to keep ourselves informed of who is in the neigborhood. We probably aren't going to warn the kids about the "public urinator" but I feel it's important to know about the more severe/threatening ones.

Halfcan
02-28-2007, 02:51 PM
I think is neccesary just like it is neccesary to identify other hazards in our neighborhoods...no smoking signs around flammable areas...high voltage warnings...open trench...etc. As parents we use these as tools to warn our kids of dangers and that they need to avoid. When we moved to our house a few years a go, we found out after the fact that a man who had been convicted of a sex offense involving a minor lived a block down on the opposite side of the street. The same street my kids have to walk down to get to school. You can guaran-damn-tee my kids knew what this guy looked like and to stay away. He has since moved away and now there is someone convicted of indecent liberties with a child even closer....again, my kids are aware of the danger and know to stay away.

I understand that it can be taken to the extreme and others can use the information to persecute or mistreat those on the list. I also understand that there are different levels of sex offense ( liberties with a minor (probably 18 y.o boy, 17 y.o. girl or something like that) and liberties with a child (under 12)) and we cannot make a blanket statement about everyone on the list, but as parents my wife and I find out as much as we can to keep ourselves informed of who is in the neigborhood. We probably aren't going to warn the kids about the "public urinator" but I feel it's important to know about the more severe/threatening ones.

Excellent post-couldn't agree more. The perverts are everywhere.

Rain Man
02-28-2007, 02:57 PM
In Oklahoma the following are "sex offenses" that require registration - "sex offenses, such as urinating in public, flashing breasts while at a concert or streaking on a college campus."

Flashing your breasts at a concert should get you some kind of medal. Preferably a cold one that's been kept in the fridge for a while.

Pitt Gorilla
02-28-2007, 03:10 PM
In Oklahoma the following are "sex offenses" that require registration - "sex offenses, such as urinating in public, flashing breasts while at a concert or streaking on a college campus."Yeah, those people should be put away for life.

Saulbadguy
02-28-2007, 03:13 PM
In Oklahoma the following are "sex offenses" that require registration - "sex offenses, such as urinating in public, flashing breasts while at a concert or streaking on a college campus."
****ING CHILD MOLESTERS PUT THEM AWAY KILL THEM ALL OMFG

Frazod
02-28-2007, 03:53 PM
There are two types of people on these lists

1. People who did nothing wrong other than getting caught up in ridiculous religious nutjob laws, whose "crimes" included things like being 17 and having consentual sex with their 15 year old girlfriends.

2. True, hardcore, perverted child molesters who should be EXECUTED PERIOD END OF STORY, or at the very least never let out of jail again.

So if the first group is cleared and the second group is whacked, there certainly seems to be no use for these stupid lists.

The Rick
02-28-2007, 03:58 PM
I read somewhere recently that because sex offenders aren't allowed within ___ feet of schools, daycares, etc., that there are some cities that they are unable to live in due to the dense population of those schools and daycares.

Basically, the point of the article is that most sex offenders are having to move to more rural areas as a result.

As a father of a little girl, I'm not saying I have a problem with this. It is interesting though...

DenverChief
02-28-2007, 05:07 PM
Sex offenses have more long-term psychological effects than most other crimes. They're a societal hot-button and we want to be made aware. Besides, all other felons have records that stay with them as well. I don't think it's an issue.

There are no Car Jacker, murderer ( 2nd degree, manslaughter, vehicular homicide) assault, or arson registries why should there be a sex offender regisrty? I agree that it is a societal hot button issue and in 10-15 years from now it will probably be something else but how are sex offense crimes more "important" than murder? Shouldn't there be levels of sex offenses like there are murder? I mean certainly a pedophile is the worst but should a 37 year old man who is mentally retarded (mental age of 7) and exposes himself in the middle of the mall because he doesn't know any better be lumped in with a pedophile? What about the teenager who gets nailed by statutory rape? The guy who has consentual sex and then the girl changes her mind and reports it as a rape? see there are just too many things that can get you labeled a sex offender and most people automatically assume you are a pedophile once you are labeled a such. I would hope to see a change in the law. I think that the worst kind (the pedophile) should just recieve life in prison and do away with the registry.


Using the arugument that they are the higest reoffenders is very weak because I can tell you from expereince that DUI and Domestic Violence have very high recidivism rates yet there is no registry for them....why not? Certainly Domestic Violence leaves long lasting scars and if someone is DUI and kills several people that can leave long lasting scars as well...certainly not on the dead but on the family.....

Jenny Gump
02-28-2007, 05:10 PM
In Oklahoma the following are "sex offenses" that require registration - "sex offenses, such as urinating in public, flashing breasts while at a concert or streaking on a college campus."

Good thing I haven't been to any concerts in Oklahoma.

ChiefFripp
02-28-2007, 05:16 PM
Liquid castration for repeat offenders should be the norm. I'd say for first time offenders as well but I'm sure there are some innocent people who get convicted of sex crimes.

DenverChief
02-28-2007, 05:20 PM
Liquid castration for repeat offenders should be the norm.

It doesn't work which is why they don't do it anymore. It is about the power the majority of the time not the sexual experience, so they will use other things to "do the job"

mcan
02-28-2007, 06:01 PM
I've responded to quite a few of these types of threads in the past, and they are always hotly debated. Most people who care already know that I think our laws are WAY too broad on this subject. That said, I think the punishments are probably too lenient.


Prosecute less people...
Punish much harder...

Nightwish
02-28-2007, 06:10 PM
Sex offenses have more long-term psychological effects than most other crimes. They're a societal hot-button and we want to be made aware. Besides, all other felons have records that stay with them as well. I don't think it's an issue.
Plus, sex offenders are more likely to be driven to their crimes by mental illnesses or defects than "regular" offenders. People may commit robberies, murders, drug offenses and so on out of desperation or because of dire circumstances, or because they're just plain twits, but most of them don't do it because they're insane. Sex offenders are a different sort, though, and prison simply doesn't cure them. Thus, when they get out of prison, they are much more likely to recidivate than regular felons.

JohnnyV13
02-28-2007, 06:22 PM
the basic legal reason the sex offender list is ok is that a criminal surrenders certain constitutional rights. For example, ex felons are not allowed to vote. Other restrictions on liberty are allowed after conviction.

DenverChief
02-28-2007, 07:38 PM
the basic legal reason the sex offender list is ok is that a criminal surrenders certain constitutional rights. For example, ex felons are not allowed to vote. Other restrictions on liberty are allowed after conviction.
:lame:

So basically your saying I don't want to discuss the merits/drawbacks of the system so you will hide behind the "they lose rights" argument

DenverChief
02-28-2007, 07:39 PM
Plus, sex offenders are more likely to be driven to their crimes by mental illnesses or defects than "regular" offenders. People may commit robberies, murders, drug offenses and so on out of desperation or because of dire circumstances, or because they're just plain twits, but most of them don't do it because they're insane. Sex offenders are a different sort, though, and prison simply doesn't cure them. Thus, when they get out of prison, they are much more likely to recidivate than regular felons.

That would be an interesting study to conduct but I'm willing to bet that the amount of sex offnders that are mentall ill at the time of their crime is about the same as other offenders....base that solely on my experience

JohnnyV13
02-28-2007, 11:51 PM
:lame:

So basically your saying I don't want to discuss the merits/drawbacks of the system so you will hide behind the "they lose rights" argument


That wasn't the question posed in the original post. THe question was why was a sex offender list LEGAL (as in, why does it withstand constitutional challenge) and why doesn't it violate privacy and liberty rights.

What you presume the post is asking is quite a different question, as in "is this a wise rule".

Of course its pretty easy to guess the rationale behind the sex offender list. Since sex offenders have a high rate of repeat offenses and often their victims are minors, it is within society's best interest that people in harms way be given notice of dangerous individuals in their midst.

Thus, you are not likely to put such an individual in a trusted position such as Little League coach where they have access to children or other vulnerable individuals. In the past, child predators simply moved and repeated their crimes after serving their sentances.

Obviously, the definition of "sex offender" needs some work for purposes of making up such a list, since peeing in public doesn't seem in line with the stigma of being labeled a sex offender.

Nightwish
03-01-2007, 12:31 AM
For example, ex felons are not allowed to vote.
Not necessarily true. In some states, they can apply to have their voting rights reinstated. In Missouri, for example.

Nightwish
03-01-2007, 12:48 AM
That would be an interesting study to conduct but I'm willing to bet that the amount of sex offnders that are mentall ill at the time of their crime is about the same as other offenders....base that solely on my experience
I guess that would depend on the type of sex crime in question. For instance, I can see someone of generally sound mind committing a statutory rape, especially if he didn't know ahead of time that the girl was a minor (the way some girls are developing early these days, it can be awfully hard to tell a 13-year-old from a 20-year-old just by looking). In some instances, I can even see violent rape being driven by something other than a mental defect (a moment of rage, for instance, or a desire for revenge, or something like that). But if a person has a predilection for rape, I'd say something is very wrong upstairs, something more than just a lack of morals or common sense. And with pedophilia (and even ephebophilia), I think it is a pretty safe bet most of the time that those are mentally ill individuals. Now, I'm not tossing in the mental illness card to suggest these people aren't responsible for their crimes (that's for people better skilled than I to determine), but merely to support the suggestion that they are more likely to recidivate, since there is a very real pathos involved, and prison isn't geared toward treatment of pathologies, so when those people get out of prison, they often still suffer the same predilections they had beforehand. We studied some of these comparitive statistics during my psych courses in college, and I can't recall the actual numbers, but the percentage of sex offenders who repeated their crimes after release was significantly higher than non-sex offenders.

Miles
03-01-2007, 12:49 AM
Im hardly certain on this but I think its probably legal/constitutional under a theory of once committed of the crime they do not have the same expectation of privacy as provided under the constitution. Similar for instance to the constitutional privacy rights of prisoners or parolees.

acesn8s
03-01-2007, 01:07 AM
http://www.familywatchdog.us/

If you were wondering who lives near you and is convicted of a sex crime.

Quite frankly I don'tthink that a 17 year old should be convicted because daddy found out that his 16 year old daughter gave him a bj.

DenverChief
03-01-2007, 03:20 AM
Of course its pretty easy to guess the rationale behind the sex offender list. Since sex offenders have a high rate of repeat offenses and often their victims are minors

A high rate of repeat offenders? as a group not anymore than any other criminal group, I guarantee that. If you break it down then yes certain sex offenders, such as pedophiles have a higher rate of recidivisim than others in the same group.

DenverChief
03-01-2007, 03:21 AM
Not necessarily true. In some states, they can apply to have their voting rights reinstated. In Missouri, for example.

In some states as soon as you leave custody of the D.O.C. i.e. not on parole then you automatically get your right to vote back

DenverChief
03-01-2007, 03:34 AM
but merely to support the suggestion that they are more likely to recidivate, since there is a very real pathos involved, and prison isn't geared toward treatment of pathologies, so when those people get out of prison, they often still suffer the same predilections they had beforehand. We studied some of these comparitive statistics during my psych courses in college, and I can't recall the actual numbers, but the percentage of sex offenders who repeated their crimes after release was significantly higher than non-sex offenders.


I don't necessarily disagree with what you are saying and I do now that treatment is the key not only for sex offenders but just about any criminal....I know that I have personally seen the habitual DUI criminals and the DV criminals, and the drug addicts in and out of the jail multiple times since I have worked there....the sex offender thing is kinda ironic I have seen very clearly Differential Association (Sutherland) with the sex offenders in our facility as far as who they were with before they came in and those people subsequently being charged for the same types of activity