Below is a article that was posted in August of 2015 related to another article that was posted in June of 2015, in light of recent events I thought maybe it was time to resurrect this article. We have come a long way since 2015 in proving that there never was a high re-offense rate that the United States Supreme Court was given by federal prosecutors representing that registered citizens re-offense rate was 80%, The Court use that 80% to justify the need for public safety. We now have enough proof to show that the re-offense rate for people on the registry is less than 1% nowhere close to the 80% that was used to justify the decision in Smith versus Doe, in fact there were studies going back to the 1960s including the Jack study that was done in 1962 that showed a re-offense rate for sexually related crimes of 3.2% over a 15 year. That’s 2/10 of one percent per year nowhere even close to the 80%. Now this information was available to the courts at the time of the Smith versus Doe decision and it was a valid study where as the 80 percentile information was not based on any empirical evidence and since has been proved to be entirely false.
Now the Question is, What to do About It?
A number of news articles have shown up in major publications, this last couple of months starting with an article that was posted at https://casetext.com/posts/the-supreme-courts-crucial-mistake-about-sex-crime-statistics (PDF at http://ssrn.com/abstract=2616429 ) from the information within this article we created a front page article here at SOSEN presenting a challenge to legal groups across the country as a way to to correct the damage that was done by the Supreme Court decisions in the 2002 case McKune v. Lile, 536 U.S. 24, 33 (2002) and the following year in Smith v. Doe, 538 U.S. 84 (2003).
In our article “Time to File a Petition for WRIT of ERROR CORAM NOBIS in Smith v. Doe” /blog/2015/06/17/time-to-file-a-petition-for-writ-of-error-coram-nobis-in-smith-v-doe.html, we tried to point out the similarities between these decisions and the one that allow the implementation and continued incarceration of Japanese-Americans citizens during World War II. The reason then and now was that false information or lies were provided to the courts by government agencies in order to punish a politically unpopular group. You would think that after the disgrace of using false information in the Korematsu v. United States case, that the United States Supreme Court would be more careful in demanding accurate information before throwing a politically unpopular group to the wolves.
Now others are starting to see the problems with using pseudoscience as a justification for treating some American citizens differently in violation of constitutional standards including 14th amendment. Other articles are showing up across the country, pointing out the discrepancies. When the courts rely on false information or for that matter follow the political flow and cherry pick the numbers that they want to use to, and ignore other numbers scientifically more relevant that were provided, simply to justify their decisions. Later when accurate and pertinent information comes to light regarding prior decisions that have had far-reaching results including causing extreme mental, emotional, physical and financial damage to a politically unpopular groups, and collateral damage to their family members. The court should take it upon itself to correct these errors in judgment that they made based on false information. and moreover shame the people involved in providing that false information.
Here are just some of the other articles that have shown up in just the last three months related to the false information that was provided to the courts:
The New York Times article Sex Offenders Locked Up on a Hunch
The Avvo NakedLaw Blog The system for punishing sex offenders is broken http://nakedlaw.avvo.com/crime/the-system-for-punishing-sex-offenders-is-broken.html
The Washington Post More fuel for the movement to reform sex offender laws
The New York Times Thought Crimes Exist In America 20 Years Late
The Vox Policy & Politics How the Supreme Court used a made-up statistic to expand sex offender registries
The Washington Post How a dubious statistic convinced U.S. courts to approve of indefinite detention By Radley Balko
Excerpt: In a forthcoming article in Constitutional Commentary, Ira Mark Ellman and Tara Ellman note that Kennedy’s magic words about the recidivism rate of sex offenders — frightening and high — have been cited 91 times by courts around the country, most in the course of upholding state laws allowing for severe ex post facto punishments that can last from years, to decades, to a lifetime.
They include registration requirements for which compliance can range from burdensome to impossible; residency restrictions that effectively restrict ex-offenders to living in the shadows (or under a bridge); and restrictions that can make it nearly impossible to find a job, forge meaningful relationships, worship, or generally participate in civilized life.
The scary thing is, as the Ellmans explain, there’s no empirical data to support Kennedy’s oft-cited phrase, and the statistic Kennedy himself cited is paper thin.
The entire scenario about the court’s decision is based on the false information that was provided by government officials and driven by a political agenda. In actuality, there has been no studies except for the Nebraska study that actually looked at the reoffending rate for entire registry. The Nebraska study came up with 6/10 of one percent reoffense rate for those on the Nebraska Registry A true study would look at the entire registry, not people coming out of prison with specific crimes, and not people coming out of failure-based treatment programs. I suggest you look at these articles, because in actuality, the reoffense rate for people on the registry is far less than 1% and in most states, the justification for the law’s existence is the high re-offense rate , which is now proven to be a outright lie that was created to add burdens to a politically unpopular group.
Footnote added 6/18/2018
Below is a PDF that was written in 2012 before the Nebraska study came out that showed that the re-offense rate for people on the Nebraska Registry was 6/10 of one percent. the 1989 Furby Weinrott and Blackshaw study of the effectiveness of treatment programs is included in the below PDF. That shows multiple studies of low re-offense rates prior to the sex offender laws that were created in 1992 through 1994. One must recognize that these studies that were done were primarily people who were in state hospitals, making them the worst of the worst, in some cases they were people release from prison, But remember also during that time, Most people received probation, only the most severe cases were incarcerated so those numbers are skewed to the high side also. Even with the skewing of the numbers to the high side the re-offense rates were still a long ways from 80%