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Organize for 2013

By Randy English

Randy English is a writer for RSO Advocacy Magazine

Another year has passed and SOSEN is still in the fight for reform. Membership is growing steadily and our forums are very active. It is no surprise really; with each new law that is passed the dragnet is pulling in more and more offenders and their families. Their lives are ultimately ruined and they seek understanding, information and hope.

2012 saw the uniting of SOSEN, RSOL and WAR to form a more united front in the fight. This was an important step towards becoming a force for change. The splintering of the movement has been our greatest weakness from the start. Now, perhaps we can come to a better understanding of what we are wanting to reform. Or perhaps the courts will beat us to the punch.

Questioning the Deprivation of Sex Offender Rights and Opportunities

There is no question that registries are bad for the country, but don’t take our word for it, read the article below.

http://uspolitics.einnews.com/247pr/280622

 Sex offenders who have served their time are subject to an ever increasing number of restrictions once they have been released. Are these restrictions wise or just?

May 17, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/ — Across the United States, approximately 747,408 individuals are listed on sex offender registries. Contrary to popular belief, they are an incredibly heterogeneous group; they come from all walks of life, represent varied demographics and have criminal histories that range from a single relatively minor infraction to a laundry list of antisocial behavior.

Despite their diversity, sex offenders are treated much the same: they are listed on registries for all the public to see, they are prohibited from holding certain jobs or living in particular areas, they are often kept under the watchful eye of law enforcement officials long after they have completed their sentences. As part of a growing trend, sex offenders are even being banned from social networking, online dating and virtual gaming. The question we must ask is, “Do these policies make sense?”

Those Convicted of Sex Crimes Reoffend Less Frequently

Are laws fair to registered sex offenders?

http://letterstotheeditorblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2012/04/are-laws-fair-t.html

By Dallasnews.com/letters

1:03 PM on Thu., Apr. 5, 2012

Sex offender laws broken

Re: “Sex offender sues city over policies — Family says restrictions forced it to stay for 2 years in motel room,” Saturday news story.

States have sponsored studies that conclusively show residency restriction laws are ineffective, except for the harm they cause. The citizen quoted in the story, Keith Long, seems not to understand that a loving father will fight to protect his children from the effects of unjust, capricious laws regardless of what he may have done in the past. That’s what good fathers do. I’ll bet Long would do the same.

Most men on the sex offense registry treasure all the anonymity they can keep. That’s why the courage of the Duarte family is so impressive. They are willing to stand up for themselves and thousands of other families to tell us that just because we label a person “sex offender” doesn’t make it right to gratuitously mistreat him and his children.

Philip Taylor, Dallas/Lake Highlands

Offenders have rights

A man required to register as a sex offender is suing the city of Lewisville over an unconstitutional residency restriction, which violates due process, equal protection under the law, ex post facto, and double jeopardy. Hopefully, this case will educate many Texans regarding the sex offender issue.

This particular registrant was convicted of soliciting a minor online. Most people think that means that he tried to lure a small child for sex. Unlikely.

In fact, most on the state registry (now almost 70,000 and growing more than 100 each week) never touched a little kid or forced anyone. In a June 2010 Texas senate hearing, Sen. Keith Whitmire asked the DPS representative how many registrants are actually dangerous. After calling his office for the answer, he stated a figure representing less than 13 percent. Consequently, limited resources are spent policing, monitoring, and harassing those who pose no risk, while the truly dangerous few hide in the crowd.

If the constitution still means something in Texas, Lewisville will lose this case. Furthermore, if Texans are paying attention, they will demand that the laws change to focus on the real dangers to children.

Sherry Robinson, Woodway, Texas
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SOSEN Comment
Well said Sherry. Every year the restrictions placed on former offenders increase. The public feels safer but in reality they are not. Since an estimated 97 to 99% of all new sex crimes are commited by people not on the registry, the public is left with a false sence of security.