noticed numerous page/blog visitors being directed from FrederickNewsPost.com
and wondered ….WHY?
visited the site and found thebelow Editorial.
Excellent! I’m so pleased journalists,
columnists and editorialists from across the country continue to find this
website informative and factual!
legal mandates against those labeled Sex Offender are unconstitutional even
though Legislatures everywhere keep passing these laws. In 2006 and 2008 the
Virginia Legislature retroactively reclassified hundreds possibly thousands of
RSO’s from Non-Violent to Violent and in 2008 the Virginia Legislature
retroactively increased the minimum time Non-Violent Offenders must register from
10 years to 15 years just to mention two examples from the very long list of
legal restrictions and regulations that have become law in Virginia years after
a conviction, without any due process and most of the timeno
notice of the change in law from the VSP to the RSO that the new restriction
takes someone who has the time and the money to challenge these unconstitutional
mandates to over turn them.
Citizens who have money is the only way to uphold the Constitution against rogue lawmakers these days.
2014’s version ofRobby’s Rulethat I was ready to oppose
but died-on-the-vine and the upcoming 2015 version of Robby’s Rule that I will
oppose, the Legislature can not go back decades and
mandate someone be added to a list (private or public) as a Sex Offender for a
conviction 20, 30, 40 or 50 years ago.
to share one Virginia Delegates public comments on retroactive mandates with
Back in2011 HB2412patroned by Delegate Landeswas a retroactive
mandate that would have voided all past plea deals accepted by the Virginia
Commonwealth Attorneys and Judges where registration as a Sex Offender was not
required and forced all of those Virginians to now register as a Sex Offender.
I opposed this bill twice (once in the House and then again in the Senate) and it
died in the Senate Courts of Justice Committee on 02/14/11.
Virginia House Courts of Justice Committee heard the bill
first on 02/02/11 and it passed out of committee unanimously with a vote of
8-0. BUT before it passedDelegate Rob Bell said something very
interesting to the Patron (Landes) and the Virginia State Police Legislative
Liaison (who stood up and voiced their support for the proposal) and to the
I’m paraphrasing here….but basically Delegate Bell said, If I
took a plea deal years ago that said I did not have to register as a Sex
Offender and now all of a sudden the State tells me we’ve passed a law that
says I now must register, I would fight that change in law ALL the way to the
…..And after saying that Delegate Bell voted for HB2412.
lawmakers know these laws are unconstitutional and that they could and should
be challenged and yet, they keep proposing and passing them knowing that most
people do not have the financial resources to do just that. And until a legal
challenge is taken these unconstitutional mandates remain law in the
Maryland Court of Appeals ruling has resulted in the removal of hundreds of
names from the state’s sex offender registry. Those names belonged to
individuals who committed their crimes before the General Assembly created the
registry in 1995.
reported in a recent Baltimore
Sun story, the Court of Appeals ruled, as The Sun put it, “that laws governing
the registry were subjecting some offenders to a form of retroactive punishment
bigger question here, however, involves the existence and nature of the
registries themselves. In 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that sex offender
registration is an administrative procedure and not punitive in nature.
a blog devoted to keeping Virginians informed about this general subject,
states took the ruling and ran with it. They began incorporating residency
restrictions; employment restrictions; bans from many public places such as
parks, museums and even libraries; bans from using social media, and
participating in Halloween or Christmas activities; mandates for home, vehicle
and computer searches of registered individuals, to name a few.
words, what may have been envisioned as a list of offenders has evolved into
much more, something that affects the registered individuals’ ability to find
housing and employment — their lives in general.
to the Sun story, “Experts say there’s little evidence that the registries help
keep the public safe, and can unfairly punish offenders,” and “While the
registries have many supporters, researchers have found little evidence that
they reduce the rates at which sex offenders commit new crimes.”
these registries do serve a purpose, especially when they alert the public to
the presence of a person who has committed a violent, heinous crime such as
public has a right to know the whereabouts of such individuals. But how many
people in the registry didn’t really need to be listed in the first place, or
could have been removed over time for good cause?
compromise mentioned in the Sun story makes a lot of sense: Use a sound
risk-assessment system to flag the more dangerous offenders. That would help
ensure that those who would pose a significant public risk would be listed in
the registry — and those who don’t would not be. That would also involve
periodic reviews of past offenders, as the risk associated with someone who
originally earned a place on the list might diminish over time to a level not
deemed a threat to the public.
registry can be a useful tool if used properly and wisely. We don’t argue for
its demise, but rather that it be more refined, accurate and practical.
story profiles a 50-year-old man who, as a teenager, committed burglaries and
rape. He pleaded guilty and went to prison. Released in 1993, he has been clean
since but says his name on the registry caused a business he had started to fail
and that he lost jobs when his employers discovered he was listed.
was removed from the list due to the Appeals
Court ruling. Had that ruling not been issued, he
would still be on the register — and dealing with the consequences — more than
two decades after being released from prison. Maryland should keep its sex offender
registry, but rework it so that it really means something — that it holds the
names of only those deemed to truly represent a threat to the public.