Will a law stand up in court if the very basis for that law is based on false information or outright lies?
The basis for the registration and notification laws in every state, the basis for the federal law is one simple fact, sex offenders have a high recidivism rate. With this statement the government justifies creating the laws that discriminate against a given group of people. The base law is the registration law all the other laws that came after it are built on top of this one law without it the others cannot stand because the justification goes away.
First we must define what recidivism is. It is not rearrested, it is not parole violation, it is a reconvition for the same type of crime. If a study attempts to use rearrested and/or parole violations to prove recidivism it is just not true and needs to be pointed out. Also the study must meet the “Daubert”** standard to be admissible in court.
The statement high recidivism rate is unambiguous at best and it does not defined what they consider a high recidivism. We must assume since it is aimed at a specific criminal class that the group in question has a higher re-offend rate than any other criminal class that is not subject to the laws and that this information is coming from studies that are accurate and complete, and are based on hard figures not suppositions or guesses and that there are multiple studies to prove this information to be true.
The problem is the government has done its best to hide the truth, thereby taking away the possible challenges to the laws. The legislators suppose victim’s advocates and special interest groups that financially benefit from the myth of high re-offense rates have promoted these biased laws, but even their own studies that only look at selected groups and not the entire registry, have continually shown low re-conviction rates in new sex crimes for people with prior sex crimes. Two studies have recently come to light that have actually looked at all the people on the registry, one is the Nebraska sex offender registry study completed July 31st 2013 which was actually commissioned by the Nebraska Legislature, where it shows that the re-offense rate for people on the Nebraska Registry is 6/10 of one percent. The second one was done in Ohio where they tracked 21,750 people that were on their registry for 10 years in any given year. The re-offense rate was less than 3/10 of one percent “Note: re-offenses in one year. There are more RSO registered than what is shown above for this data, this is only for the ten years from 2000 to 2010. Ohio has had their registry since 1996. During the following four to five years there have been an additional 5000 RSOs who have now been on the registry from 10 to 15 years and they only add about 1 re-offense a year at the most. The re-offense rates for each year after released is based on the information found in “ODRC Ten-Year Recidivism Follow-Up Of 1989 Sex Offenders Releases” ; By Paul Konicek, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections, Office of Policy, Bureau of Planning and Evaluation. At the end of the study comparing the people who did not re-offend against the people who did . They came up with the re-offense rate of 1/100 of 1% so there doesn’t seem to be as high of a re-offend rate for people who are on the registry as bias government officials and special interest groups would have us believe.
In a report by the U.S. Department of Justice, National Incidence Studies of Missing, Abducted, Runaway, and Throwaway Children, an estimated 1,325,600 children went missing in 2002. Of those children, 115 were still missing at the time of the study or were stereotypically kidnapped and killed possible by a sex offender.
What are the chances a child will die by means other than being abducted and killed by a sex offender?
Our children are:
16,770% more likely to hang themselves
18,090% more likely to shoot themselves
38,880% more likely to be murdered by a firearm
47,520% more likely to be stabbed, strangled, burned alive, or poisoned
183,960% more likely to be killed in an auto accident*
than to be abducted and killed by a sex offender
*Of the children killed in auto accidents, 68% were riding in a vehicle driven by a drunk driver. Over 50% of those drunk drivers were a parent of the child.
If the idea is to protect our children from dangerous people then why haven’t there been laws passed requiring drunk drivers to register and have community notification, or drug dealers and people that supply alcohol to minors, or people involved in the domestic violence, or child neglect? All these types of people have higher re-offense rates than sex offenders and by a long ways cause more deaths and disfigurement and lifelong trauma to children than repeat sex offenders.
The simple answer to this is that the laws are based on bigotry and hatred of a specific group of people and that they have used lies and misinformation to justify the laws. It is time to challenge the very basis of the laws. Sex offenders do not have high re-conviction for the same type of crime and they are no more a danger to children or anyone else than any other class of criminal. This country was based on second chances, once a debt to society is paid a person should be allowed to get on with their lives. If they are stupid and make a mistake again then they should be punished more severely, but if they do not re-offend they should be allowed to get on with their lives without the interference of the government.
So what we do if the supposition that the registry is effective in protecting children? Simple, we propose a new law that would actually be based on statistics to protect our children and adults from the truly dangerous people that are out there. After all wouldn’t you want to know if the soccer mom that picks up your children has multiple convictions of DUI or DWI?
Purposed new Law:
The Legislature finds that people in alcohol and drug related crimes present a high risk to commit repeat offenses. The Legislature further finds that efforts of law enforcement agencies to protect their communities, conduct investigations, and quickly apprehend these persons are impaired by the lack of available information about individuals who have pleaded guilty to or have been found guilty of those crimes and who live, work, or attend school in their jurisdiction. The Legislature further finds that state policy should assist efforts of local law enforcement agencies to protect their communities by requiring alcohol or drug related criminals register with local law enforcement agencies as provided by the dangers criminals Registration Act.
Instead of alcohol or drug related put in any criminal class with a higher re-offense rate then sex offender (oops, that means all but murders).
But here’s the thing, let’s not stop at some state government that must put together the law that is proposed here. Let’s get a petition signed to get it made into a federal law, let us see how many people can we get to sign the petition. How bout 900,000 sex offenders and their families and their friends and their employers? By the time you’re through you would probably have over 3 million people signing the petition to pass a law like this and a lot of people very upset and looking for ways to have the law annulled and in the process, it would be grounds to have a sex offender laws crushed.
Let’s write our own bill and submit it to the legislative committee?? With the collective brain power we have here, why not? Here are some addition random brain farts to that extent…
First and foremost is to rename the law to reflect what its actual intent is.. remove the word SEX and the media implications of that. Call it the “Child Protection and Community Notification Act” maybe? Maybe something that can me made into an acronym that is catchy so it gives the media a hook to satisfy their cravings? If it is about protecting children, lets state it from the beginning, this would give the Senators an opportunity to redirect media focus from something that is sensationalized, thereby saving political face to their voters and public by coming across that they are trying to protect children and not going soft on sex offenders.
Everything must be based on scientific data. Taking the New York times approach by basing their stories upon a minimum of two independently verifiable sources.
The focus of the list must be on infractions that DIRECTLY involve a child with the INTENT of doing harm or poses a provable RISK to children. So no college pranks or Romeo & Juliet cases. Someone that manufactures child porn distributes it, not somebody that clinks on a computer link. Somebody that kidnaps a child with ulterior motives, not parents in a custody dispute. Someone that has been assessed as a child predator by very stringent health care guidelines … you get the general idea here.
Conviction of child neglect..
Puts a child at risk for injury or death = 10 years on list
Results in minor physical or psychological injury = 20 years on list
Results in major injury or death = Lifetime listing
Child abduction/kidnapping = Lifetime listing
1st offense DUI with no injury or property damage = 5 years on list.
1st offense DUI with property damage = 10 years on list.
2nd offense = doubles the above
3rd offense = triples the above
Further offenses = lifetime listing
DUI resulting in death = Lifetime listing
1st offense DUI and completes certified outpatient treatment program with no further re-offenses = deduct 2 years on list.
2nd offense DUI and completes certified inpatient treatment program with no further re-offenses = deduct 5 years on list.
Providing alcohol /tobacco to a minor = 5 Years
Providing alcohol to a minor resulting in injury = 10 Years
Providing alcohol to a minor resulting in death = Lifetime
Conviction of selling/delivering marijuana = 5 years
Conviction of selling/delivering marijuana to a minor = 15 years
Conviction of selling/delivering other controlled substance = 10 years
Conviction of selling/delivering other controlled substance to a minor = 20 years
Any existing laws in other states that this could be based on.
Needs to be made retroactive.
Risk assessment panel Representative of law enforcement, judicatory, prosecutors, defense lawyers and health professionals. Appointed by the Governor and approved by the Legislator? How are parole boards done? Majority assessment must be based on objective information and not subjective opinions. Completion of a certified treatment program statistically proven to reduce recidivism counts as major impact.
Due process and appeal procedures for special or exceptional conditions.
**Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceutical s, Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993), is a United States Supreme Court case determining the standard for admitting expert testimony in federal courts. The Daubert Court held that the enactment of the Federal Rules of Evidence implicitly overturned the Frye standard; the standard that the Court articulated is referred to as the Daubert standard.
After Daubert, it was expected that the range of scientific opinion evidence used in court would be expanded. However, courts have strictly applied the standards in Daubert, and it has generally been successful in excluding “junk science” or “pseudoscience”, as well as new or experimental techniques and research that the decision might have been expected to deem admissible.
Discerning between science and “pseudoscience” was the theme of a book by Karl Popper whose summary was quoted in Daubert: “the criterion of the scientific status of a theory is its falsifiability, or refutability, or testability.” The book, Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge (5th ed. 1989), pp. 34–57, explains how psychology is more like astrology than astronomy because it does not make predictions about an individual which are falsifiable. He wrote that “the impressive thing about” Einstein’s predictions “is the risk involved…If observation shows that the predicted effect is definitely absent, then the theory is simply refuted.” But “it was impossible to describe a human behaviour” which would be accepted as proving psychology false.