When one person loses his constitutionally protected Rights,
We are All a little less Free.
The reasons and justifications for the sex offender laws are supposedly because sex offenders have a high chance of reoffending while this may be true for 1, 2, or 3 out of 10,000. What about the other 9997 people that have been placed on the list who will never reoffend . Those 9997 people are having their lives damaged and their freedoms taken away by legislation. These laws are creating a terrible amount of collateral damage to the lives of the offenders their children and spouses to their bosses and their neighbors and their friends.
Every criminal class has the possibility of reoffending just as every person in the United States has the possibility of creating a new crime even though they have never been convicted of one before.
A person selling drugs including to children is 300 times or likely to reoffend then sex offender, a person who does auto theft the is 400 times more likely to reoffend then sex offender, the person who does burglary is 500 times more likely to reoffend then sex offender, driving offenses without alcohol are almost 1000 times more likely to reoffend and people who drive under the influence of alcohol or narcotics and destroy lives are up to 2000 times more likely to reoffend then sex offender.
Looking at it in the light of the information from the Department of Justice studies even a non-convicted Citizen is 99% more likely to be involved in a sex crime then a convicted sex offender. how can we protect our children if the majority of new sex crimes are coming from people who have not offended before or not been caught.
The simple answer is we go out and do a psychological screening on every person in the United States to pick out the people that are most likely to be involved in any violent crime and put them on a list . That should go over real well Don’t you think?
If you absolutely have to have registration and notification it is the legislator’s duty to all the citizens of this country to set the laws down in such a way that only the 1% who have the highest possibility of reoffending are placed on that list not a general catch all for anybody who falls underneath the definition of a conviction for a sex crime. But recognized as the list gets smaller the damage to a person’s life gets greater and if you put one person on that list who would have never reoffend and that person is murdered by some psychopath in the community or even worse if that person goes out and commits another sex crime because he feels so hopeless and lost and so cut off from the community that he can only see himself was a terrible person. Then where is the blame to be placed for the loss of that person and possibly his new victim, on the community, on the legislators, on the persons designing the risk assessments. before anyone is placed on a list the legislative body had best layout the rules very very carefully using every tool at their disposal and find a very accurate way to determine if a person is highly likely to reoffend because as the Supreme Court has said time and time again it is better to release a guilty person into the public than it is to convict an innocent one. The Supreme Court has even gone so far as to say it is better to release a mentally ill person into the community then to place a Non-mentally ill person into a mental institution.
American jurisprudence is consistent on the subject of punishing innocent people. The Supreme Court first commented on the issue in 1895, when the majority opinion in Coffin v. United States 140 cited Athenian law, Trajan, Fortescue, Hale, and Blackstone all at once, to underscore the long history of the presumption of innocence, but refused to commit to an actual number. The Court did not revisit the issue until Henry v. United States (1959), which established that “it is better, so the Fourth Amendment teaches, that the guilty sometimes go free than that citizens be subject to easy arrest.” 141
Virtually all of the Supreme Court-level guilty-men jurisprudence was created in the 1970s, starting with In re Winship (1970). 142 The majority opinion in Winship stated, somewhat noncommitally, that “it is critical that the moral force of the criminal law not be diluted by a standard of proof that leaves people in doubt whether innocent men are being condemned.” 143 Justice Harlan’s concurring opinion, though, was much stronger and has been more widely cited. “I view the requirement of proof beyond a reasonable doubt in a criminal case,” Justice Harlan wrote, “as bottomed on a fundamental value determination of our society that it is far worse to convict an innocent man than to let a guilty man go free.” 144
Both opinions in Winship established 1guilty man; even though Harlan’s concurrence said convicting an innocent man was “far worse” than letting a guilty man go free, the Court recognized in Patterson v. New York (1977) that the risk society bears in protecting the innocent “is not without limits; and Mr. Justice Harlan’s aphorism provides little guidance for determining what those limits are.” 145 The value 10 guilty men was suggested in Justice Marshall’s concurring opinion in Furman v. Georgia (1972), 146 but 10 did not appear in a majority opinion until Justice Blackmun, in Ballew v. Georgia (1978), 147 called it “perhaps not an unreasonable assumption.” 148 Ballew’s mild language did not overrule Winship, which continued to be cited during the 1980s. 149
The Supreme Court has also declined to extend the presumption against wrongful conviction to the context of civil commitment. In Addington v. Texas (1979), 150 Chief Justice Burger wrote that the interests of people wrongfully committed to a mental institution would be protected by the “concern of family and friends.” “Moreover,” Chief Justice Burger wrote, “it is not true that the release of a genuinely mentally ill person is no worse for the individual than the failure to convict the guilty. One who is suffering from a debilitating mental illness and in need of treatment is neither wholly at liberty nor free of stigma. . . . It cannot be said, therefore, that it is much better for a mentally ill person to `go free’ than for a mentally normal person to be committed.” 151
The Fifth, 152 Eighth, 153 and Eleventh 154 Circuits’ rulings have been consistent with those of the Supreme Court. The Federal, Third, Fourth, Sixth, and Tenth Circuits have apparently never ruled on the issue (though district courts in the Third, 155 Fourth, 156 and Sixth 157 Circuits have dealt with the question). The Seventh and Ninth Circuits have had dissents and concurrences dealing with the question, 158 but have never addressed it in a majority opinion. 159
Other circuits have gone their own way (presumably unconstitutionally). The First Circuit ruled once on the issue, establishing 10 guilty men in 1989. 160
In 1829, before the Supreme Court had entered the lists — and even before the creation of the D.C. Circuit — a D.C. court cited Matthew Hale’s 5 guilty men . The court also pointed out that if Hale’s opinion had been required, “there can be no doubt that his patriotism would have prompted him to say, that it is better that ten guilty persons should escape punishment, than that any one of those rules of the common law which were adopted for the protection of the personal liberty and safety of the subject or citizen, should be abrogated.” 161 5 guilty men or even 10 guilty men , then, for abrogating common law rules. In the general criminal context, the D.C. Circuit restated this as “some” guilty men in 1975, 162 and narrowed it down to 10 guilty men in 1976. 163 The D.C. Circuit also established 1 guilty man for the purpose of allowing ABC to go to court. 164
The Second Circuit began its jurisprudence with 1 guilty man in 1949, 165 as a way of preempting liability for public officials. In 1926, 166 the Second Circuit had tried to adopt the British rule, from Munster v. Lamb (1883), 167 that infinity guilty men for attorneys sued for slander, but this was fortunately a dissent. A 1969 concurrence 168 stated that 99 guilty men, but the first actual ruling in a squarely criminal case did not come until 1989, 169 which cited Blackstone and set 10 guilty men . The Second Circuit is also at odds with the Supreme Court on the value of confining the mentally ill, and granted in 1992 170 that while 10 guilty men may be too high in the context of civil commitment, but is still greater than one, and is perhaps three or five. 171
140. Coffin v. United States, 156 U.S. 432, 454; 15 S. Ct. 394, 403; 39 L. Ed. 481, 491 (1895).
141. Henry v. United States, 361 U.S. 98, 104, 80 S. Ct. 168, 172 (1959).
142. In re Winship, 397 U.S. 358, 90 S. Ct. 1068, 25 L. Ed. 2d 368 (1970).
143. Id. at 364.
144. Id. at 372. Harlan’s concurrence has been cited in many cases, including Lego v. Twomey, 404 U.S. 477, 494 (1972) (Brennan, J., dissenting); and Patterson v. New York, 432 U.S. 197, 208 (1977) (White, J.).
145. Patterson, 432 U.S. at 208.
146. Furman v. Georgia, 408 U.S. 238, 367 n.158, 92 S. Ct. 2726, 2792 n.158, 33 L. Ed. 2d 346 (1972) (Marshall, J. concurring).
147. Ballew v. Georgia, 435 U.S. 223 (1978).
148. Ballew, 435 U.S. at 234.
149. Francis v. Franklin, 471 U.S. 307, 313 (1984); Rose v. Clark, 478 U.S. 570, 106 S. Ct. 3101, 3107, 92 L. Ed. 2d 460 (1986).
150. Addington v. Texas, 441 U.S. 418 (1979).
151. Addington, 441 U.S. at 428-429.
152. Handford v. United States, 249 F.2d 295, 296 (5th Cir. 1957); repeatedly and consistently reaffirmed in Ginsberg v. United States, 257 F.2d 950, 954 (5th Cir. 1958); Dunn v. United States, 307 F.2d 883, 885 (5th Cir. 1962); Washington v. United States, 327 F.2d 793, 795 (5th Cir. 1964); Turner v. United States, 415 F.2d 1234, 1236 (5th Cir. 1969); and Hall v. United States, 419 F.2d 582, 588 (5th Cir. 1969). See also, on the district court level, n = 1 in Barnes v. Mississippi Department of Corrections, 907 F. Supp. 972, 979 (S.D. Miss. 1995). Extended to habeas corpus in Pate v. Holman, 341 F.2d 764, 776 (1965).
153. Gulotta v. United States, 113 F.2d 683, 686 (1940). See also n = 1, Donnell v. Swenson, 258 F. Supp. 317, 330 (Mo. 1966). But another district court has ruled that n = 100, Smith v. Armontrout, 632 F. Supp. 503, 515 n.34 (W.D. Mo. 1986).
154. United States v. Eason, 920 F.2d 731, 736 (11th Cir. 1990). However, the rule of In re Rule of Court, 20 F. Cas. 1336, 1337 (N.D. Ga. 1877), that n = “some” for merely being arrested on a criminal charge, may still apply.
155. United States v. Michalski, 265 F. 839, 840 (W.D. Pa. 1919) (n = “some”).
156. United States v. Smith, 592 F. Supp. 424, 437 (E.D. Va. 1984) (n = 1); Salling v. Bowen, 641 F. Supp. 1046, 1051 (W.D. Va. 1986) (n = “several” for criminal punishment, and n = “several” for being denied Social Security benefits).
157. In re Fegler, 36 F. Supp. 88, 89 (E.D. Mich. 1940) (n = 10).
158. United States v. Johnson, 123 F.2d 111, 141 (7th Cir. 1941) (dissenting opinion); United States v. Banks, 687 F.2d 967, 984 (7th Cir. 1982) (concurring and dissenting opinion); McKenzie v. Risley, 842 F.2d 1525, 1545 (9th Cir. 1988) (dissenting opinion); Bunnell v. Sullivan, 947 F.2d 341, 352 (9th Cir. 1991) (en banc) (Kozinski, J., concurring).
159. But see two Seventh Circuit district court rulings. A district court in Illinois denied the maxim entirely in United States v. Ragen, 172 F. Supp. 734, 745 (N.D. Ill. 1959): “This `maxim,’ in my opinion, is fallacious, since it places the price of ten guilty men on one innocent man, thus admitting that there is a limit over which an innocent man may be unjustly convicted without violating any principles of our philosophy. Thus, the `maxim’ contradicts the `maxim.'” But a district court in Indiana ruled that n = 1 in Dean v. Duckworth, 559 F. Supp. 1331, 1337 (N.D. Ind. 1983).
160. United States v. Clotida, 892 F.2d 1098, 1105 (1st Cir. 1989). But see Smith v. Butler, 696 F. Supp. 748, 764-765 (D. Mass. 1988) (n = 1000).
161. United States v. Watkins, 28 F. Cas. 419, 440 (1829).
162. United States v. Diggs, 522 F.2d 1310, 1330, 173 U.S. App. D.C. 95, 115 (1975).
163. United States v. Greer, 538 F.2d 437, 441 (D.C. Cir. 1976). See also United States v. Herron, 567 F.2d 510, 522, 185 U.S. App. D.C. 403, 415 (D.C. Cir. 1977).
164. “It is better to risk permitting a `guilty’ ABC to defend this case than to risk denying an `innocent’ ABC its day in court.” Shepherd v. American Broadcasting Companies, 62 F.3d 1469, 1476 (D.C. Cir. 1995).
165. Gregoire v. Biddle, 177 F.2d 579, 581 (2nd Cir. 1949).
166. Yaselli v. Goff, 12 F.2d 396, 402 (1926) (dissenting opinion).
167. Munster v. Lamb, 11 Q.B.D. 588, 604 (1883).
168. United States v. Miller, 411 F.2d 825, 833 (2nd Cir. 1969) (concurring opinion).
169. United States v. Schwimmer, 882 F.2d 22, 27 (2nd Cir. 1989).
170. Goetz v. Crosson, 967 F.2d 29, 39 (2nd Cir. 1992).
171. District courts in the Second Circuit have been inconsistent on the point since 1806: United States v. Smith, 27 F. Cas. 1192, 1199 (D. N.Y. 1806) (n = 1); United States v. Allen, 24 F. Cas. 772, 774 (E.D. N.Y. 1868) (n = 1); United States v. Bonanno, 180 F. Supp. 71, 82 (S.D. N.Y. 1960) (n = 1); but see United States v. Fatico, 458 F. Supp. 388, 410-411 (E.D. N.Y. 1978) (n = 1000) and United States v. Sadiq, 783 F. Supp. 98, 101 (E.D. N.Y. 1992) (n = 10).