There seems to be an awful lot of discrimination beyond just the normal amount the registered citizens and their families suffer from because of the virus. Exceptions have been made throughout the governmental systems to cause more hardships for people on the registry and their families through collateral damage and to outright deny registrants services that are being provided to every other American citizen. Some of the discrimination can be found in recent articles *(1,2,3,4)
To start with the real root of the problem is the existence of the registry itself followed by the fact that there is community notification all other forms of discrimination against this particular disfavored group begin with the registry and the False information and myth behind the justification for the registry.
So how is society in general and the government in particular justifying the exclusion of people on the registry. The simple answer is because society has been told that people on the registry have a high re-offense rate and thereby are always dangerous. It’s even written into the codification of the law’s an example is Nebraska’s justification for having the registry *(5). Where in fact the opposite is quite true people convicted of a sex crime have the lowest re-offense rate (reconviction of a another sexual activity) of any other criminal class *(6,7,8). Thereby the justification for this discrimination that the legislators and the public have used to justify their actions against a specific group of people and their families does not exist at all. Then we come to the matter of is in a form of punishment. Quite obviously being denied services available to other citizens proves that it is a form of punishment. In recent years a number of state and federal courts have come out and said because of the damage to a person’s reputation and standing in the community which by the way is a protected liberty interest that the registry and community notification is in fact a form of punishment not only to the registrant but to that family members who suffer the collateral damage.
The bottom line of all of this is that if you want to make laws that affect a group of people especially a disfavored group of people. and you want to point to studies to justify these laws than the studies had better include every member of that disfavored group not just some sub categories of it. When laws are passed to add punishment or restrictions to a disfavored group they are in violation of our Republics Constitution. they are in fact bills of attainder or lesser pains and punishments prohibited by our Republics Constitution. Legislators do not have the ability to create new laws that add punishments to a persons or group prior crimes. Punishments can only come from the judicial branch in each individual case and with the due process of law.
I believe that it is time to attack the root of the problem and put an end to this poisonous tree. First it’s already been proven that the registry is a form of punishment in state and federal cases so now it is time to challenge the federal registry as being a bill of attainder. A legislative punishment inflicted on a politically unpopular and disfavored group. Also what should be happening is pointing out that legislation and rules and regulations made by the legislative and executive branch that deny disfavored groups resources or add extra requirements to them are a violation of the 14th amendment equal protection and due process. There should be tort actions demanding financial compensation from the government using the title 18 USC 1983 action and that that financial compensation should be for registrants and their families and friends and business owners that have suffered because of the registry.
5* 29-4002 Legislative findings state of Nebraska
The Legislature finds that sex offenders 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 sex offenders are impaired by the lack of available information about individuals who have pleaded guilty to or have been found guilty of sex offenses 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 sex offenders to register with local law enforcement agencies as provided by the Sex Offender Registration Act.
Laws 1996, LB 645, § 2; Laws 2002, LB 564, § 2.
Effective date July 20, 2002.