Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth

On May 20, an editorial was printed in the Keene, New Hampshire's Sentinel. Titled "State's sex-offender registry overreaches,” it says much that is good and grounded in facts.

Its primary thesis is that inclusion on a public sex offender registry is punishment and not merely regulatory. When this scheme was first conceived, it was pronounced to be a regulatory mechanism, and the Supreme Court agreed. Since then, being placed on a public registry has indeed become, increasingly each year, a
death knell for many.

Employers have fired productive workers due to threats of boycotts and, in some cases, vandalism to their property because they employed a sex offender. Many registrants can’t even get hired.

Registrants with children suffer many varied punishments: inability to keep suitable housing in which to raise their children, forced separation from their families due to the housing and a myriad of other issues, having their children terrified by vigilantes vandalizing the home or the family vehicle, and seeing them come home in tears and even bruises from the treatment received at the hands of their peers due to daddy being on the sex offender registry.

Registrants and their family members are indeed targets for all sorts of acts of vigilantism, up to and including murder, as witnessed not only in Maine, as the article points out, but also in Washington State--twice--in California, in South Carolina, and, ironically, in a very suspicious case right there in Keene itself--and these are only the tip of the iceberg.

So--well done, Sentinel.

Until you said, "Given the recidivism rates involved in sexual assault cases, especially those victimizing children, there’s a lot to be said for keeping the public informed of legitimate threats."

Which recidivism rates, Sentinel? Those of the latest study by the Department of Justice showing the re-arrest rate for a second sexual offense by a registrant to be 5.7% and the re-conviction rate to be 3.5%? Or possibly New Hampshire's own  2010 state report of sex offenders returned to prison within five years for a sexual re-offense, as reported by the Citizens for Criminal Justice Reform. "... the 5-year new victim re-offense rate for sex offenders was just 1.2%….

"These low numbers suggests sex offenders respond well to supervision and treatment, and don't commit new sex crimes at the rate the public thinks they do, said Michael Lawlor, Connecticut’s chief of criminal-justice policy."

And as far as those who victimize children, two facts come into play. Children who are sexually abused are
overwhelmingly victims of those in close and trusted positions in their lives, many of them conditions of incest. Studies show that, once these types of offenders are arrested and dealt with in the court system, they have extremely low levels of re-offense, lower than the average lows, and it has nothing to do with "keeping the public informed." These are not the "legitimate threats"; they almost always are correlated with those whose chosen victims are random strangers, and those situations are rare.

Those who advocate for fact-based legislation governing the treatment of those who have sexually offended appreciate the Sentinel's tearing away some of the myths and exposing the facts. We will appreciate it more when all of the facts are revealed.


  1. The New Hampshire state police and in the city of Keene never found the murder or murders in their state . Is it funding ? The most important thing to remember is the people and again not only male's but female's alike are on the list . But the police work should now be under investigation . The people from All over the country come to Keene because it's college town . So who killed those people on the registry ? A cop ? It would 'nt be the first time --or a back woods person and that also would'nt be the first time . They keep that stuff really low key . Its country folk . The thing that puzzles me is when an under age girl gets pregnent from an under age boy why they don't have to register as sex offenders, and their baby registered as a child of sex offenders, federal AWA law in a tax free state .

  2. "Children who are sexually abused are overwhelmingly victims of those in close and trusted positions in their lives"

    And obviously in almost all cases no registry is needed to inform other immediate family that the individual was charged and convicted as a sex offender.

  3. Overreach.... is putting it mildly.

  4. My son is currently facing charges for Internet luring he went into an adult website where the age was to be 18 he started talking back and forth with a profile seating she was 20 after a few texts back and forth he felt there was a connection and began conversations with her then at some point she stated that she was only about to turn 15 yes he r have stopped communication then but a few more texts went and the charges came. He was not in any kind of chat room for kids gaming rooms or anything just trying to meet someone his own age which turned out to be a cop in and adult place


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