Sex Offender Registry Riddled With Flaws

Connecticut's sex offender registry law needs to be updated. The state Department of Public Safety announced recently that 74 convicted sex offenders will be coming off the registry before the end of this year ... Full Story
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Suzanne

Fort Smith, AR

#1 Nov 30, 2008
It needs to be thrown in the trash!
Parker

Niantic, CT

#2 Nov 30, 2008
It's another example of the nanny-state & government supposedly protecting us. If you believe in this stuff, where is your drunk-driver registry, the murder/manslaughter registry, the drug-user registry, etc. They all have far high recidivism rates & are more likely to harm your kids. More feel-good stuff to get politicians elected & people wonder why problems don't get solved.
Just the Facts

United States

#4 Dec 4, 2008
Okay. Here we go. No one can rely on a sex offender registry to keep safe. The registry is completely out of control. I agree that time periods should be decided on a case by case basis. The article says rapists are not on the list long enough. I say there are some people on there way too long. How does a person get a sentence that ends, but they continue to be required to be on this registry for many years to follow? And I am not talking about high risk, I am talking about status offenses (20 year old guy has sex with his 15 year old girlfriend and ends up married to her but is still on a sex offender registry 8 yrs. later.) Does the general public really need to worry about this guy - of course not! We just like to brand any one who has committed a sexual offense. The registry is worthless - agreed. It comes back to learning how to protect yourself and teaching your kids how to protect themselves. If I let my kids play in the neighborhood, they need to know about predators even if there are no known sex offenders living in my neighborhood. Why? Because my neighbor might have a friend or a relative who is a sex offender visiting. And quite frankly, true pedophiles can have up to 75 victims under their belt before they are ever caught... so why in the world am I going to be worried about the guy who has already BEEN caught? I am worried about the one who hasn't - and NO sex offender registry is going to help me narrow that down! It comes back to, yet again, parents not wanting to take responsibility for raising their children. We want the government, teachers and law enforcement to do our jobs for us! Nonsense. And statistically pedophiles are not going to commit crimes in the neighborhoods they live in!!! Registration is a waste of time. For the majority of people it just creates problems for them in finding a place to live, they end up under bridges, which obviously is not where we want them - with no one knowing where the heck they are - including their parole/probation officers. The sex offender registry needs total revamping. We need to get non-serious offenses off the list, we needs to categorize the other offenses and give more detail, we need to allow the amount of time on the registry to coincide with the seriousness of the crime committed and the liklihood of re-offense. The qualified counselors should be making these decisions and the criminal justice system should listen to their recommendations instead of assigning requirements BEFORE having the individual evaluated. Honestly, sex offender registry requirements should be delayed until after the convict is evaluated by mental health professionals who can then recommend to the COURT what should be assigned for these types of restrictions. We are so backwards in our society, punish first, ask questions later. And if everyone thinks waiting until a few months after conviction is too much of a risk, then perhaps we need to require pre-sentencing evaluations (in conjunction with pre-sentencing investigations)to be done and REQUIRE them - do not let the prosecutor/defense attorney waive this. All offenders (not just sexual offenders) end up getting several continuances until they receive their actual sentence. Well, why not have the offender enter their plea and then have 60 days to report back with an evaluation for the judge to help him/her to make decisions concerning registration and offender therapy requirements? I would bet you would eliminate 1/2 if not more of the people on that list! I agree with the last blogger - we don't have lists to brand drug users, drunk drivers, MURDERERS, people who violently assault others and where is our CHILD ABUSE offender registry? You can beat a kid and make them brain dead and we don't have to worry about you I guess, but have sex with a 15 year old and we better all watch out! Let's use common sense.
William A

Atlanta, GA

#5 Dec 5, 2008
I've got some very bad news for State Rep. Mike Lawlor and other people who "think" like he does.

Registration doesn't do squat.

I've studied it for over a decade and spoken with hundreds of Registered people. Registered people who want to commit a sex crime can do it just as easily as anyone else. The Registered people who want to, are. The Registered people who do not want to, are not, and wouldn't do it even if no one had even heard of a Registry. Unlike these laws, that is true and reflects reality.

What Registration (and the rest of the increasingly worthless laws) is good at is very effectively converting people who were basically decent citizens (a good 90+% of the people on the Registries) into people who hate this country. Those people are retaliating. And they are retaliating because and ONLY because of these laws.

I know many Registered people who spend time with children very often only because they know the people who support these laws wouldn't like it. Other people have stopped giving to charities, stopped donating blood, stopped being organ donors, stopped helping anyone, and on and on. They are stopping forever.

I've had people tell me that they have observed terrible auto accidents and then just drove around it because they know the odds are the people in the accident support all these laws. I've had other people say that they intentionally avoid paying attention to "Amber alerts" (and similar "alerting" mechanisms) just because they might see something and then not be able to keep themselves from helping (which they ultimately do not want to do). I've heard many, many more similar things that I don't care to repeat.

The reality of Registration, and especially ALL the tag-along, worse-than-worthless laws that Registration has enabled (e.g. Banishment), is that it all provides very, very negligible additional "public safety" and those same benefits could very easily be achieved in numerous other, much more effective ways (that we all ought to be doing anyway). But while Registration and the rest provide no needed benefits, they also constantly promote recidivism, cost a fortune, create a false sense of security, reduce the likelihood that people will do what is truly effective to reduce sexual offending, divert precious, limited resources and attention away from trying to reduce sexual offending, and create a very large class of people who don't care at all about being good citizens.

That is reality. You will NEVER hear about it from a politician.
FACTS

Jacksonville, FL

#6 Dec 5, 2008
You rock!
Mark in Jersey

Raritan, NJ

#7 Dec 8, 2008
My comments from Gideon's blawg:

Registry reform will never happen as long as the U.S. Congress does not amend SORNA (Title I of the Adam Walsh Act).

Anything that Lawlor enacts short of what the U.S. Attorney General’s recommendations propose will have Conn. lose out on Byrne Law Enforcement funding, which, like Federal highway funds, are a carrot the Federal government uses to get State laws changed (This is one reason why all States are required to have an over-21 alcohol consumption age).

SORNA extends internet publication of registration info to all individuals, not just dangerous sex offenders like violent predators or child sex offenders.

SORNA has offense-based Tiers, which has a flaw: The child predator who pleads to Burglary I is OFF the registry, while the 18-year old kid with the 14-year old girlfriend, think consensual touching, C.G.S. 53-21(2)“Risk of Injury”, which is often charged, is branded a Tier II offender, has to register for 25 years, and is on the ‘net.

Worse off, the 16-year old juvenile who makes a mistake and touches a 12-year old, even if adjudicated as a juvenile offender, will have a predicate offense in the Tier I, with a lifetime classification as a “child molester”(The SORNA cutoff for juvenile offenders is 14!)

Even more bad news: If you have committed a predicate offense, and it has been considered “set aside” but a court sanction was imposed - think Accelerated Rehabilitation (Conn.) or Pre-Trial Intervention (N.J.)- SORNA mandates that this is a “conviction” for registration purposes:

“For example, the need to require registration would not be avoided by a jurisdiction’s having a procedure under which the convictions of sex offenders in certain categories (e.g., young adult sex offenders who satisfy certain criteria) are referred to as something other than “convictions,” or under which the convictions of such sex offenders may nominally be “vacated” or “set aside,” but the sex offender is nevertheless required to serve what amounts to a criminal sentence for the offense.”

Final SORNA Guidelines (source):
http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/smart/pdfs/final_sor...

I’ll get back with more Conn. and N.J. specific registry comments time permitting…
Valigator

Fort Lauderdale, FL

#9 Dec 13, 2008
No matter what your feelings about the registry may or may not be...you can bank on the numbers that it has saved lives. Whatever flaws may or may not be on it, you still dont throw the "baby out with the bathwater"...the first people to disembowel the registry will be the guys on it.
hateisking

AOL

#10 Dec 15, 2008
Has this saved lives or cost then? Several sex offenders have been murdered because someone decided that they were easy targets for murder. Ok well I'm sure that some say who cares. Well I'm sure these people had families to and they did .I'm sure that if you really looked into this you would find that most sex offenders don't re-offend. They are busted for other things. Like trespassing or not registering on time. or maybe just jay walking as that is a crime also. So yeah they have a high rate of offending but a low rate of committing another sex crime. take away all the harassment and I bet you will find that these monsters as some want to call them are no different then someone you have in your very own family. Considering they have 700,000 registered monsters as you want to call them. I would bet most are related to a sex offender some where down the line. So if this is the case and most every family and extended families has at least one.What does that say about everyone. This starts mostly in the home. Anyone have an idea what happens to that home after that. And we wonder why the reporting of these Haines crimes against children has gone down some state reporting 44%. Not that there not still going on but better not to say anything then suffer all this .I guess the question would have to be is who are we helping here. What if and this is just an idea. We made it so it wasn't so hard to get help for these victims of abuse. Most don;'t want Daddy to go to jail and Mommy doesn't want to loose her family either. So then what? it goes on generation after generation. These politician that promote these feel good laws promote themselves. the state also say that 90% of the sex crimes never get reported. Ok so that's the point i'm trying to make. the ones that don't get reported are not being committed by the registered offenders. Plus 97% of the new crimes being prosecuted are also not registered offenders.So where does the problem really lay?
William A

Atlanta, GA

#11 Dec 15, 2008
Valigator (Comment #9): You are wrong. What we can bank on is that Registration (and especially the rest of the BS that is has enabled) has harmed more children than it has protected. It has gotten children killed. That is reality.

People who are listed on any Registry who still want to offend, are. It is no more difficult than it ever was. If they want to, they simply find a different way and that is easy. And as every single person who knows anything about any of this knows, Registration and the rest of it increases recidivism and exacerbates all of the major factors that are correlated with sexual crimes.

If Registration is so useful and wonderful, why don't you please explain to us why, after well more than a decade of its greatness, we are not EVEN talking about Registering millions and millions of other felons who have ACTUALLY harmed children? That little detail has thoroughly exposed the lie that Registration is about "public safety" or "protecting children".

No, the idea and origin of Registration might have been noble and at least seemingly useful but the reality is that Registration (and again, especially, especially the rest of the BS) is all about giving Americans a group of people they can hate and harass. No one cares that it is worthless and actually harms society. Look back in history and you'll see that Americans have always had people to hate and a witch hunt of some type going on. It is not socially acceptable to hate those people any longer but we've all found a different target. Our governments are doing a great job promoting the idea that it is completely acceptable to harass people on their lists of bad people.
Valigator

Fort Lauderdale, FL

#12 Dec 16, 2008
"It is not socially acceptable to hate those people any longer but we've all found a different target."

I'll tell you whats not socially acceptable..having these freaks prey on our women and children! If its all the same to you, I'll take the right to know what poor excuses for DNA are strolling thru our neighborhoods looking for their next hit.
We are fine tuning the registry every day..you will be hard pressed to find a guy caught with his underage girlfriend if convicted after 2004 on the registry..in fact you can bank on the fact that almost all of these guys committed some pretty heinous crimes. You keep telling yourself that the registry is useless, I happen to feel differently...if the justice system cant keep these freaks behind locked doors its the least they can do is give the public a heads up as to what kind of guys and women they are releasing back onto an unsuspecting public..if I have any issue with the registry its this>> not enough people avail themselves to it, because if they did..they would be outraged so many of these freaks are in their airspace..
William A

Atlanta, GA

#13 Dec 16, 2008
It doesn't matter who is and isn't on the Registries because they don't do any good and they are wrong for everyone. The reality is that they have not stopped crimes and never will. Unfortunately though, they are not just worthless, they are worse. There are NO experts in our entire country who believes they are productive. None. The Registries and the rest of it have harmed far more innocent people than they have protected. They will continue to do so.

Don't worry though, Registries aren't going anywhere. You'll still have plenty of people to hate - people to target and people to call "freaks". As I said, Americans love hating people. There is literally nothing we enjoy more than watching people fall, hurt, and suffer. We really enjoy hating them.

Just remember though, that as the Registries (and again, especially, especially the rest of the BS) are doing nothing productive, they are gravely damaging society. One of the ways that is happening is that the people on them are retaliating and more so every day. That is reality and that is what the real impact of the Registries is.
concerned

West Hartford, CT

#14 Dec 16, 2008
what about those that are innocent? when my son was only 14 he was involved with a 14 year old girl. Their relationship unfortunately became sexual. Her mother supplied her with birth control pills. When her father found out all hell broke lose. He had his brother in law (an attorney) try to put in place a no contact policy at school. My son was suspended several times for even talking to her. My son had a restraining order put on in. Their family was trying to have my son arrested for sexual assault.(Even tho they would have to have their daughter arrested also, they wanted to make a point.) When I finally gathered evidence that it was the girl urging him to still have contact,(several letters asking him to come into the girls bathroom at school to meet her) people finally started listening. The school lifted the no contact policy.(I probably should have sued them for that!) I had a reciprocal restraining order put on the girl. When we went to court, my son’s lawyer pointed out the obvious - girls can say anything. What if she said you forced her - what is your defense? None. This girls mother is the one who condoned the sexual relationship by supplying (among other things) birth control pills, but rather than face the father it was easier to blame my son.
Offended

New Rochelle, NY

#15 Dec 16, 2008
I saw an offender, from the list I'm sure. positive. He was working in a kmart, and returning merchandise to the CHILDRENS DEPARTMENT. My heart fell to My stomache, I left the store with My children. I just wont go back.
I saw another one at the beach in Stratford over the summer, kept My kids away.
So, The registry may NOT be perfect, fine, but, Thanks to the registry I can recognize these S O B 'S.
hateisking

AOL

#16 Dec 16, 2008
with making laws that undo other laws such as statute of limitations i wonder. Will Oregon's ex-governor and admitted sex offender be brought to trial? Neil goldsmith admitted to having sex with a 14 year old girl. years later he bought her off and because the statute of limitations ran out he came forward and admitted the crime as it was about to break news anyway. but as there was nothing that could be done it really didn't mater.
Oh by the way Offened what is it with you do you have all the pictures memorized? Are you stalking them now or what. Well you are a prime example of why these laws are a bad idea. Way to much hype and fear with the people who would rather fear then understand. But if it makes you feel safe. Besides are you sure. maybe it was just someone that might have looked like a sex offender. Did he have the official I'm a sex offender target on his back or what.
Money talks

Redding Ridge, CT

#17 Dec 16, 2008
Offended wrote:
I saw an offender, from the list I'm sure. positive. He was working in a kmart, and returning merchandise to the CHILDRENS DEPARTMENT. My heart fell to My stomache, I left the store with My children. I just wont go back.
I saw another one at the beach in Stratford over the summer, kept My kids away.
So, The registry may NOT be perfect, fine, but, Thanks to the registry I can recognize these S O B 'S.
The problem that I have with these registries is perfectly illustrated by your post. People tend to think that everyone on the list is dangerous, AND that everyone who is dangerous is on the list. Do some research and you will find that the great majority of children who are molested or sexually assaulted are the victims of people they ALREADY KNOW. And the odds are...YOU know them, too. It's the person you trust...even Uncle Johnny or Grandpa Sal...boy scout leaders, people at church, neighbors, friends, cousins, who are the ones you should be wary of, not the guy who works in Walmart.(If your kids are with you in the store, what are you worried about, anyway?)
Victim

Benet Lake, WI

#18 Dec 23, 2008
As a victim and a survivor, the registry is necessary. More information is definately needed. I just don't understand why many sex offenders photos are missing from the registry. Who is the Department of Public Safety trying to protect and why? Who are the towns trying to protect? Why does one have to dig deaper into their website to find offenders who are not even listed? It appears as if sex offenders have a certain protected status that many good citizens will never have.
Money talks

Redding Ridge, CT

#19 Dec 23, 2008
Victim wrote:
As a victim and a survivor, the registry is necessary. More information is definately needed. I just don't understand why many sex offenders photos are missing from the registry. Who is the Department of Public Safety trying to protect and why? Who are the towns trying to protect? Why does one have to dig deaper into their website to find offenders who are not even listed? It appears as if sex offenders have a certain protected status that many good citizens will never have.
What do you mean by "dig deeper on the website to find offenders who are not listed"?
Valigator

Fort Lauderdale, FL

#20 Dec 24, 2008
Money talks wrote:
<quoted text>
What do you mean by "dig deeper on the website to find offenders who are not listed"?
Something strange is going on with the website. There is a convicted sex offender out of Nevada charged with rape of seven women. His brother lived in Weston. This guy was a chiropractor in Nevada. He was listed for about three years and "poof" he is gone from the registry. Still lives in the same house near his brother in Weston, still belongs to the tennis team at the country club in Weston..In fact when he got to Florida he opened up a chiropractic clinic..tell me how a convicted sex offender can have his lisense revoked in Nevada, continue to practice in Florida? He continues to introduce himself as a Doctor, he donates to political campaigns and list himself as a doctor..this is insane to me..
Money talks

Redding Ridge, CT

#21 Dec 24, 2008
Valigator wrote:
<quoted text>
Something strange is going on with the website. There is a convicted sex offender out of Nevada charged with rape of seven women. His brother lived in Weston. This guy was a chiropractor in Nevada. He was listed for about three years and "poof" he is gone from the registry. Still lives in the same house near his brother in Weston, still belongs to the tennis team at the country club in Weston..In fact when he got to Florida he opened up a chiropractic clinic..tell me how a convicted sex offender can have his lisense revoked in Nevada, continue to practice in Florida? He continues to introduce himself as a Doctor, he donates to political campaigns and list himself as a doctor..this is insane to me..
When he was convicted, did his sentence include the revocation of his license in all states? Was he sentenced to be on the registry forever? Was he sentenced to not be able to make political contributions and call himself doctor? I'm not trying to be insensitive to victims, but the problem lies with the legislative system. If you want convicted criminals to never be able to return to normal life, you need to lobby your legislators to change the laws. Everyone's complaining about people not on the registry or not on it for enough time, but they can't force someone to register if their sentence doesn't call for it. It's the state legislature that sets these laws and sentences, and if a criminal is sentenced to no registry or 5 years on the registry, that's that.
Valigator

Fort Lauderdale, FL

#22 Dec 24, 2008
A convicted sex offender "felon" cannot hold a license to practice in any state..I dont believe he had an active license, he just likes introducing himself as a doctor, but what threw me was he advertised himself and his wife who is or was a chiropractor in Nevada as having an office in Weston..I made noise about that. He moved here for the same reason OJ did. He has seven women in Nevada with lawsuits against him, Florida is a sanctuary state (in more ways than one) so he slithered here to protect his assets..Jeff Donner mysteriously "disappeared" from the FDLE website with his conviction only being a couple of years ago. There are specific protocols and timelines that these offenders must follow to be removed from the FDLE website, 20 years for an offender, 30 for a designated predator...something is fishy with Jeff Donner in Weston.

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