T O P

Lifetime placement on sex offender list unconstitutional, SC Supreme Court rules

Lifetime placement on sex offender list unconstitutional, SC Supreme Court rules

robotsongs

Anyone feel like arguing the distinction between this and lifetime disenfranchisement for conviction of a felony?


Graham_Whellington

Lifetime supervision in my jurisdiction requires you to essentially be on probation for life. It limits where you can live and what activities you can do, such as going to movie theaters. If you travel somewhere for more than two days you have to register at the local police station. If you move and don’t reregister it’s a felony. If you ever have kids you can’t participate in any of their extracurricular activities. Felony disenfranchisement is real, but the sex offender list is another level of state supervision that is far and away more invasive of personal liberty.


genericguy4

Not only is the supervision far more invasive and live-altering, it's basically unmanageable from the government's side. Anyone who thinks the list is actually accomplishing anything is fooling themselves. Because many jurisdictions attach lifetime registrations to any sex related felony conviction, the number of people required to register is too many for the state to keep track of. Lots of people get charged with not registering, but for every person who gets caught, there are probably 2 more the state doesn't have the resources to check on. In some states, if someone is required to register for 10 years and successfully completes that 10 years, they can later be required to register for life if they get a subsequent felony conviction, even if the new felony is not a sex offense, or even a violent offense. A felony DUI could trigger lifetime sex offender registration. I know no one wants to advocate for sex offenders, but SORA is out of control and doesn't really accomplish much of anything anyway. It's the illusion of security and it needs a major overhaul.


SuperFightingRobit

And generally, every state either leaves the management to a tiny agency with no resources or to comically inept prison agency officials. Or both.


falsefox07

On my state even municipalities can get in on the action and de facto outlaw registrants from living in the city.


Countrycuz

They sound like they would have made some fine Nazi goose steppers.


NurRauch

Also, for all the talk about "peeing in public gets you put on the registry" (that's not really true), there *are* a lot of non-sexual offenses that do put on the list in many states. In my state, any kidnapping charge gets you put on the list. There are a few other non-sexual but violent offenses that do as well. They are often impulse crimes that do not imply any kind of medically untreatable issue like sexual gratification. And those people have to be on the same list as sexual predators.


Countrycuz

The nature of the crime should be irrelevant in regards to weather a person is a risk of reoffending. The purpose of the registry was not to be a tool of punishment and banishment that it has become. The burden of proof should be upon the State as to showing real evidence that someone poses a risk to reoffend. You can’t look at someone who has in spite of the registry been a productive citizen for 10 15 or 20 years and still say “ we think they are a high just because we don’t like what they did and we really wish they were locked away. So how can anyone ever get a fair ruling with such a bigoted position they hold when in truth all lawyers in SC are lackeys of the Court. I rest my case.


darkstar1031

You know who else had their personal liberty invaded? #***THE PEOPLE VIOLATED BY SEX OFFENDERS.***


purposeful-hubris

You’re not wrong, but I think a blanket approach to all sex offenders and offenses is too limited. I can have two clients with the same conviction but vastly different facts and varying severity underlying the cases.


Graham_Whellington

I can tell by this comment that you don’t practice in this area of law. I promise you an individual who is forcefully raping children or other people are in prison in my jurisdiction. They don’t just let those people walk, and in my jurisdiction if you commit that crime you’re on a lifetime tail with a best case scenario being a minimum of ten years in prison. You’re also only eligible for parole after going through a battery of psychological tests that determines that you aren’t going to reoffend.


darkstar1031

>Your jurisdiction [In Brock Turner's jurisdiction, that doesn't really seem to be the case.](https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/2/2c/IntroCrimJusticeTurnerMugshot.jpg)


Dr_seven

Why are you moving the goalposts? The point is that the registry contains a shitload of non-rapists, and frankly, if we have a Dangerous People registry, why in the world is a guy who peed on a building 45 years ago on that list, but a literal *murderer* would not be? People are not saying that we shouldn't keep track of rapists. The point is that by adding all these other penny-ante things to the registry, we not only waste resources, but it makes it harder to track the actually potentially dangerous offenders, as for every one of them, there are five people who should never have been on the list.


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SpaceForceAwakens

Not just that, but in most places it's perfectly legal to discriminate against anyone on the list for simply being on the list, in hiring, housing, etc. I can understand a manager at an apartment complex with children not wanting a person with a record of child abuse to rent from them, but that's not how it works. Instead, they just drop a blanket "if you're on the list at all, you can't rent here". This leads to a huge amount of homelessness among registrants which makes things worse for everyone. The problem isn't just that prosecutors put anyone they can on the lists, it's that it's also perfectly legal to use those lists for purposes that they weren't meant for. Both things together is a mass violation of would-be civil liberties.


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SpaceForceAwakens

Depending on your point of view, it may actually increase recidivism — those who are on the list who re-offend very often re-offend by breaking laws that only apply to those on the lists, such as not updating their addresses in time, or living in an area that they didn't know was off-limits to them. An example is one of the guys who came through our non-profit. He was living at a department of corrections-approved address that they had measured to be more than X feet from any schools or day cares. A new day care opened up right down the street but didn't have any signs or any indication that it was a day care. On a random check his DOC officer noticed and then arrested him later that day. They didn't even give him a warning, and they didn't have to, because technically he was breaking the law. So he went away for two years because of this. I don't care what the guy did, that kind of shit isn't right, but when recidivism among those on the registry is considered, *that kind of shit counts*. It should be noted that there were other offenders living in that same building and they, too, were arrested and charged, though what happened to them varied by the contents of the J&Ses. Still, it was no fault of their own, but there's nothing illegal about how DOC handled this, and DOC does this kind of thing all the time. It leads to a huge level of homelessness among those that we judge to be high-risk people. How does this make anything better?


Wolfeh2012

That would be true if the Sex Offender registry consisted of these people exclusively. Unfortunately the registry holds everyone from rapists and child molesters, to people who pissed in an alley while drunk and kids who sent under-aged photos of themselves to their bf/gf. All of those people are treated equally in our justice system.


pfeifits

Um, no. A pattern of sexual abuse of a child is punished much more harshly than indecent exposure, which usually is a misdemeanor. Apparently the registration requirement in South Carolina was the same for both, but the forcible rape warrants a lengthy prison sentence, while indecent exposure generally does not. Most states also have different registration requirements for each. For example, my state only requires registration for 5 years upon a second conviction for indecent exposure, whereas registration is indeterminate (generally lifetime) for more serious sexual offenses.


SpaceForceAwakens

I believe OP meant treated equally in regards to registration. The point is, nobody should be put on such a list for pissing in public. It's a waste of time and money and unfairly penalizes and stigmatizes someone for a very, very innocuous thing.


Wolfeh2012

>I believe OP meant treated equally in regards to registration This is exactly what I was referring to. My reservations about the system are less about people who deserve it being punished -- and more about this list of shit: [https://www.tijerinalawfirmpc.com/2020/02/6-unexpected-ways-you-could-end-up-on-the-sex-offender-registry/](https://www.tijerinalawfirmpc.com/2020/02/6-unexpected-ways-you-could-end-up-on-the-sex-offender-registry/)


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pfeifits

No reason to be on a list if you can't get out.


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GenocideOwl

Amber Guyger is likely to do less than 10 years.


Captain_Sulu

Illinois has a murderers list.


pf3

> You know who else had their personal liberty invaded? > > THE PEOPLE VIOLATED BY SEX OFFENDERS. This populist noise doesn't add anything.


wind-raven

All states have A way to restore voting rights. Some you have to petition the governor. 39 states restore voting rights at some point at or before the end of any probation. South Carolina specifically restores voting rights after all probation has been served. There needs to be reform but since there is A way it would fall to the constitutional side under this ruling. Especially for the 39 states that automatically restore voting rights at some point.


ELKronos

This isn't true. All states have a way to restore voting rights for *some* people. There are many instances where there is no path for you to have rights restored. For example, certain states bar you from regaining voting rights if you commit a certain crime. They would have to change state law to allow you to petition to have your voting rights restored. Other states make restoration of voting rights contingent on serving your sentence, and they may explicitly state that the sentence includes parole and probation. That means that if you're sentenced to a lifetime of parole or probation, you are not eligible to petition for restoration because you're still serving your sentence.


seespotrun41

Or the distinction between this and the indefinite civil commitment of “sexually dangerous persons”?


Prumps-Trick

" We hold SORA's lifetime registration requirement is unconstitutional absent any opportunity for judicial review to assess the risk of re-offending." ​ So, lifetime on this list okay, you just have to be given a chance to get off it. Seems reasonable.


SMc-Twelve

>you just have to be given a chance to get off Dude, phrasing!


SpaceForceAwakens

I believe removal from the list should be automatic for first time registrants who meet basic minimums, such as completing their probationary period satisfactorily, completing any suggested and ordered treatment, and passing an evaluation by a clinician. If a person does all of that then they should be off the list, period. Prosecutors love to charge people with sex crimes whenever they can and consequently we have people on the registries who really don't belong there. This would let first-time registrants have a chance at a normal life. The recidivism rates among registrants are some of the lowest of all criminal classes — far lower than those convicted of violent crime, drug offenses, or even property offenses — and the vast majority of such offenders never re-offend in their lives. They shouldn't be punished for life for a single offense, especially not when there are so many factors working towards rehabilitation. Anecdotally from working with offenders in a re-entry assistance role, most people would be surprised by the number of people whose sex crimes were part of a drug binge. Meth makes peoples' brains work in ways that aren't their own, and also makes people horny. That's a terrible mix that leads to a lot of these kinds of crimes. I'm not making excuses for their behavior here, *but not everyone with a crime against a minor is a pedophile*, just like not everyone with a DUI is an alcoholic. We accept one as a moral failure that can be corrected and forgiven, but why not the other? They are, from this practical standpoint, essentailly the same thing.


Wasuremaru

>The recidivism rates among registrants are some of the lowest of all criminal classes Ok but can we attribute this to sex offenders being overly-broadly defined or an overbroad category (folks who got smashed and had sex in a park at night or urinated on a lamppost aren't in the same category as heinous sex offenders, e.g.) vs to the registry and mandatory disclosure requirements keeping others safe from them? Personally, I think the list is a bit too broadly defined, or at least shouldn't exist - if you're too dangerous to be let into society without warning labels, you shouldn't be released. And if you can be released, then we shouldn't add the kind of burden that a registry is.


gnorrn

Can you clarify whether this decision is based on federal or state law? In scanning the opinion, I see citations of the Fourteenth Amendment, but all the cited cases seem to be from South Carolina.


efshoemaker

In a case like this it would typically be both. The 14th amendment is binding on the states and could apply here, but the South Carolina constitution has its own due process clause as well. Since the clauses are usually pretty similar the analysis is usually about the same. You’ll usually see state courts reference the federal constitution, but use state law for most of the analysis because then they don’t have to worry about adhering exactly to federal precedent, they just need to make sure their conclusion is not in conflict with the federal constitution. It also makes it harder for their ruling to be challenged in federal court.


nslwmad

It’s not exactly clear. They frequently reference “due process” but it seems like they cite to both the 14th amd and an analogous provision in the SC constitution.


Nointies

Its a state supreme court, so state law.


nslwmad

That’s not necessarily true. State supreme courts often have to apply the federal constitution.


Nointies

Yes, but they're doing it under state law, not federal law, even if the challenge is on the federal constitution.


nslwmad

No they aren’t. When a state Supreme Court or any state court applies/interprets the federal constitution they are applying or interpreting federal law and not state law. This may seem like a minute distinction but it is important for determining whether the State Supreme Court gets the final say on the matter. The question you responded to was likely trying to determine if SCOTUS could weigh in on this case.


Nointies

Well, yes, Scotus can review state supreme court decisions if they're hearing a challenge under the constitution. But the reason it was citing all state cases is because its of course, only really looking at south carolina caselaw on the topic, the court could take into account other states interpretation and even federal courts rulings on the state issues, but at the same time, this is on a state level, south carolina's ruling isn't going to go out and affect other states unless the supreme court says it will. If I have to place it into a binary dichotomy, I would say this is still state law, even if it could present a question to the supreme court it was pursued and ruled on under south carolina precedents ect.


octopuseric

I don’t really know what you’re saying, but it is definitely federal law. It was found to violate the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments.


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Nointies

!delete I hate trash bots like this.


Polackjoe

Link to the opinion for anyone curious - [https://www.sccourts.org/opinions/HTMLFiles/SC/28033.pdf](https://www.sccourts.org/opinions/HTMLFiles/SC/28033.pdf)


Blear

That's great news!


QuestioningYoungling

Why?


Blear

Because, after politicians latched on to sex crimes as a way to fire up their constituents, they wrote draconian laws to "protect" people from these offenders. I've worked with sex offenders who were on these lists for life because they squeezed somebody's butt in middle school or showed their cousin their penis in a locker room. Those applications of the law ruin lives for little or no benefit.


thewimsey

>I've worked with sex offenders who were on these lists for life because they squeezed somebody's butt in middle school or showed their cousin their penis in a locker room. You mean you've worked with sex offenders who told you that's what happened. These kind of examples - as well as the ever popular "public urination" canard - aren't the kind of things that put people on the sex offender registry. Forcibly held down someone in middle school and groped them? Possibly. Went into the girls locker room and showed a group of girls (which may or may not have included a cousin) your penis? Also possible, although somewhat less likely. You have to be somewhat skeptical of these claims. (The locker room claim as presented is absurd - students go into a locker room, get naked, and take a shower. That's why it's there. Everyone is nude.) But the real problem with focusing on these types of claims (aside from the fact that they aren't true), is that they don't allow you to get at the underlying problem of sex offender registries, which is addressed in the SC opinion...placement on the registry is permanent and doesn't have a connection to recidivism. A focus on spurious claims of people being placed on the registry for scratching their balls in public does *nothing* for people actually on the registry. It's just part of the general issue we have with criminal reform - that people only want to change things that relate to *innocence* (that's really what these registry claims amount to), but far fewer people are willing to make the argument that yes, this person was guilty of burglary...but that the 10 year sentence for burglary is too long.


throwthisidaway

> Forcibly held down someone in **middle school** and groped them? Possibly. > > Emphasis mine. If you can't see the issue with putting a 12-14 year old on a lifetime registry, I don't think any amount of discussion will change your mind.


ThellraAK

He got a pardon from the governor after 5 years on the list, but I know someone who while shitface drunk, at a bar, picked up a 15 year old girl and had sex with her. You gotta be 21 or with a parent to be in a bar here in Alaska, but 'strict liability' means that no matter the circumstance, it was on him. There are chickenshit reasons to be put on the list.


Dr_seven

Public urination is a frequent reason for being on it. It's utterly ridiculous that it's classified as a sex offense, but this is your country on punitive delusions.


ThellraAK

That one is crazy to me, here in Alaska indecent exposure is a misdemeanor if the people seeing it are above 16, a felony if they are below 16, but it's an affirmative defense that a reasonable person wouldn't think anyone would see it. Go ahead and pee wherever, just make sure that you are reasonably hidden while doing so.


Dr_seven

Now *that* is a good law that strikes a balance. Hell, it is even a case where the Reasonable Person standard *wouldn't* bite a common citizen in the ass or be deployed obtusely, which make it an ever rarer bird in legislation.


jinawee

Is it really frequent?


Dr_seven

Definitely. In my home state, when we removed it and the other nonviolent crimes from the list of registered offenses, there were *thousands* of people struck off the list: https://kfor.com/news/thousands-come-off-sex-offender-list-months-after-new-law/ Not all for just public urination of course, but all of those cases were exclusively nonviolent crimes. Thousands and thousands of people the state spend goodness knows how much money on trying to keep track of for no reason, and not to mention the consequences for those people as well. It is not actually known what percentage of registered offenders are actually violent offenders, but simple reason would seem to intuit it's not the vast majority, based purely on the size of the list (800k give or take).


Tunafishsam

>but all of those cases were exclusively nonviolent crimes That doesn't demonstrate anything about the frequency of people on the list for public urination. I'd guess most of those nonviolent "level one and two" offenses were for peeping or indecent exposure. I've seen lots of anecdotal claims that people are on the list for public urination, but I've never seen any evidence that it's frequent or widespread.


ThellraAK

How did they define non-violent. Grooming and sexually abusing a 7 year old probably isn't going to be violent, but is still what the registry was made for


Dr_seven

I'm sorry, *what*? Sexually assaulting a minor is absolutely considered a violent sexual offense. Are you being facetious in a way I just missed or something?


Dont_touch_my_elbows

Akon: "How was I supposed to know she was underage, *in a 21-and-older club, they say*..."


Blear

You're correct that public urination is no longer putting people on the registry in most states, and that the disconnect between the criminal acts, the registry, and recidivism is very weak.


user_name1983

My friend was put on a sex offender registry for mooning my other friend at midnight on an empty street. Cops can be total dicks and have the power to write people up for bullshit reasons. Don’t be so naive. And when I was working in the criminal section of a state AG’s office, we were defending, on appeal, the prosecution of a 14 year old for soliciting a minor because he and his 13 year old girlfriend were exchanging inappropriate pictures. It was crazy. My friend who’s a criminal defense attorney has defended three kids, under the age of 13, who’re being prosecuted for inappropriately touching a classmate or sibling. And that was in his first 6 months on the job. It’s fucking crazy.


AmnesiaCane

>I've worked with sex offenders who were on these lists for life because they squeezed somebody's butt in middle school I'm so skeptical about this but I'm not an expert in criminal law so I'll ask some questions before I write you off. In what state would a minor under the age of 15 have a lifelong public criminal record for a nonviolent crime?


purposeful-hubris

Criminal records and sex offender registration are different. In fact, many (most?) jurisdictions consider registration requirements to be civil penalties not governed by the same constitutional protections and privileges as criminal actions. But depending on the way the juvenile laws are written, there could certainly be a situation in which a juvenile is convicted of a non-violent sex offense that requires registration which could procedurally end up being a lifetime requirement even if it wasn’t intended to be.


Blear

It's not a criminal record to be on the sex offender registry, which is part of the problem. Sex offender registries are run under different rules. If my fifteen year old had committed most felonies, he'd be eligible for expungement and have no criminal record after enough years had passed. But sex offender registries operate differently. They're effectively criminal penalties but not under criminal constitutional protections, which is part of the issue the South Carolina court was addressing. For instance, sex offender registries can prevent people from living in many places, being near minors (regardless of whether their offense was against a minor), getting certain employment. It's a social and economic black hole very loosely tied to the original harm their actions caused. My guys were in Oregon, but this has been a few years ago. They may have changed the law by now.


AmnesiaCane

>They're effectively criminal penalties but not under criminal constitutional protections Holy cow, that's insane. I feel like that has all sorts of due process problems. Good for the SC Supreme Court for recognizing it.


Countrycuz

It’s called convoluted legislation. It’s like watching a Christian rationalize Exodus 21.


SpaceForceAwakens

You're assuming that the minor on question is prosecuted in accordance with the actuality of the crime. That's not the way it works — overzealous prosecutors will aggressively charge anyone with the most egregious thing that they can get away with, even if it's not accurate. So such a kid could easily be charged with aggravated assault with a sexual enhancement. Where I live — Washington State — a minor with such a charge would be considered an adult for registration purposes. If the victim was another minor — likely in this case — then it would be a *mandatory lifetime registration* and, most likely, lifetime supervision under the ISRB. I used to work at a non-profit that helped former offenders with re-entry to society and we have such people that we'd do our best to help out. One kid was 15 and gay. He had a boyfriend. Boyfriend's dad walked in on them having sex, freaked out, and had the kid arrested. He 32, just got out of prison, and is registered for life as long as he lives in the state. I have another guy we helped who was 17 and had a girlfriend who was 15. They didn't even have what most people would consider sex — it was fingers-only — but he's also on the list for life after receiving a conviction. We have another kid who's on a 15-year registration for peeing in the bushes outside of an elementary school that wasn't even in session. He was 17 years old. Have you ever peed in the bushes outside? If so, congratulations, because by most states' definitions, you're a sex offender. You don't have to be an expert at criminal law, you just need to realize that in most areas — by no means all, but most — prosecutors are politicians first, not the haggard protectors of the innocent as seen on *Law & Order*. They will over-charge in order to get a plea deal that makes them look better. The overwhelming majority of suspects never get a day in court because the system is now set up to force those arrested into deals, whether they're fair or not. That is why things like the registry have to go.


MarlonBain

This is a reasonable question that generated [a reply comment that got upvoted a lot](https://old.reddit.com/r/law/comments/nwmpa0/lifetime_placement_on_sex_offender_list/h1ab395/). I don't see why it's getting downvoted.


PennywiseEsquire

I wrote a law review article on this topic in law school. In addition to what others have said, peer reviewed studies have consistently and overwhelmingly shown the sex offender registration does little to nothing to curb recidivism for sex offenses. What it does do is increase recidivism for non-sex crimes, in that registration dramatically increases the odds that an offender is convicted of some other offense. It could be for failure to notify of an address change, violating a living restriction, or committing a crime rooted in poverty due to their inability to find suitable employment. Further, registration does very little to protected the public as offenders are usually 1) someone you know, and 2) not on the list because they’ve never been convicted. And, those who are prone to committing subsequent sex offenses are no less likely to do so because they’re on a list. True predators are predators. Putting their name on a website isn’t going to change that. The registry was a short-sighted, knee jerk reaction to a scary problem. Again, these aren’t just my opinions. This is what the data says. The registry absolutely does not accomplish what the public likes to think. The public and our children are not safer because the the registry, yet we continue to delve out these lifetime punishments.


alejander456

Yeah I don't see how it's a problem to give someone the same gift they gave an innocent child. The mental and physical torture these victims received will haunt them forever. They should be punished. Their punishment should be equal and should follow them forever.. sure pedophiles need help. But they have an addiction, one that if they indulge in hurts the most innocent in our society. Also most pedophiles understand that what they did or are going to do is wrong. They understand the long-term suffering they are going to cause. So....


IdGetFiredForThisBut

That is awesome. Next we need to end indefinite civil commitment of sex offenders AFTER they've served their entire sentence. These 'civil penalties' are worse than the actual prison time.


MrFrode

Can we assume that to be consistent with Ramos v. Louisiana that anyone already on the list stays on the list?


lezoons

This isn't a procedural rule.


rankor572

It also isn't a collateral attack. Or federal habeas corpus, specifically. Or really relevant in any way.


virtualdxs

In addition to what the other commentor said, it's opening avenues for those on it to apply to get off of it. The conviction process is untouched.


AwesomeScreenName

This is rich coming from a state that has very aggressive mandatory Life Without Parole. I'm generally not a fan of sex offender registries, so anything that limits their use is a good thing policy-wise. But this opinion seems nonsensical. The defendant absolutely got his due process when he was initially sentenced to a life on the registry. If due process now requires periodic check-ins to make sure the defendant is still a risk, it's hard to see how that principle can apply to offender registries but not imprisonment.


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AwesomeScreenName

I don't think I did leave out the most important part -- if the issue is punishment in perpetuity without any process to revisit it, then it shouldn't matter if LWOP is only available for the most egregious of crimes. It's still, under the logic of this ruling, a violation of due process. With that said, South Carolina has a [laundry list](https://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/t17c025.php) of "Most Serious Offenses" and "Serious Offenses." Any two "Most Serious Offenses" or any three "Serious Offenses" results in mandatory LWOP. Get arrested for possessing cocaine three times? Congratulations, you are now spending the rest of your natural life in a South Carolina prison.


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AwesomeScreenName

> I'm sure a court would approve lifetime sentence w/o parole for a vicious murderer or whatever. "Or whatever" is doing a lot of heavy lifting there considering the broad array of crimes subject to SC's LWOP statute. Murder, yes, but also property crimes and drug crimes. As an empirical matter, I have no doubt a court would find a LWOP statute -- even one like this -- constitutional, but I think that's somewhat hypocritical given the language in the registry opinion. Either you believe people are capable of change or you don't. If you don't, then there's no reason to give people an opportunity to get off the registry, and if you do, there's no reason not to give criminals -- even those convicted of vicious murderer -- periodic parole hearings.


Phoenix2683

Except you aren't sentenced to the registry. It's a civil regulation as a result of your conviction. The only reason the registries are deemed constitutional by the USSC is precisely because they are not a criminal punishment. So each states civil regulatory scheme is supposed to be justified by the threat each offender poses. Some sort of process to continually evaluate that threat makes sense


AwesomeScreenName

I get what you're saying from a formalistic legal viewpoint (though the idea that the registry is not criminal in nature always seemed like a threadbare legal fiction given that all criminally convicted sex offenders and only criminally convicted sex offenders appear on these registries). But my point is, it's not clear to me how a state can argue that requiring a person to register for life deprives them of a fundamental liberty interest that must be subject to periodic review but imprisoning them does not. Put differently, if there is no legitimate interest of the state in keeping on a list a sex offender who may have reformed, what is the legitimate interest of the state in continuing to imprison a criminal who may have reformed?


Phoenix2683

It's a good argument but the difference may just be civil vs criminal. An offender on the registry has served their punishment. You can deny many rights in punishing, in fact slavery is still legal as part of punishment. Once punishment concludes the rationales for depriving rights become much more stringent.


SuccessIsHardWork

Makes sense, if an innocent person is convicted based on bad evidence, it should not be a stain on his/her record for life


Beiki

Except this applies to everyone, not just someone who gets their conviction overturned.


learn2die101

After reading the headline: What the fuck? After reading the opinion: Oh, okay.


ThanosAsAPrincess

The headline sounds reasonable to me


DnD_References

Yep. Can't remember where I read it, but my understanding is these lists don't make people less likely to reoffend. I get that the public *wants* to know, but do they really *need* to know, or should they have a *right* to know. We're not talking about background checks, where you're checking on an individual -- just a list I can hop on and find out some guy 3 blocks away (true story) who I've never met and likely never will meet despite his proximity did something bad 20 years ago. So does the list make it so people are less likely to reoffend? Are we doing this because there is some evidence that shows the list makes people who live near sex offenders safer? Are we trying to isolate people who have done bad things, or reintegrate them with society? Are we doing this to continue to punish people? If the answer to those first two questions is no, then what's the benefit?


Countrycuz

The Michigan Supreme Court ruled that the registry made people on the registry into moral Lepers. After the Smith vs Doe in 2003 the States thought that they dump shit on registrants all they wanted to because the Supreme Court said that it was not punishment . Since that time many persons have been targeted and killed by scumbugs who wanted to make their lives have meaning.


learn2die101

I wasn't thinking of the broad varities of things that put you on the registry. It's much more reasonable of a headline when you're not thinking at the extremes.


MarlonBain

A lot of things aren't as reasonable as they sound once you learn the details. Glad you took the time to look into this.


ForWPD

I’m glad you realized your error. You’re initial reaction is how these things get started in the first place. More people should be like you.


bac5665

Literally no punishment should ever be permanent.


funsizedaisy

Idk. If someone's a serial killer I support life imprisonment. Or someone like Ariel Castro who locked up 3 women and tortured them for 10 years. Lifetime probation seems pretty useless, so you have an argument there, but I wouldn't go as far as saying *no* punishment should ever be permanent.


bac5665

Permanent punishment is incoherent. Punishment is, by definition, a tool to change behavior. You can't justify the intention infliction of harm without that purpose. Vengeance is evil, and science shows that the length of punishment is irrelevant for deterrence. Now, are there some people who can't be reformed? Maybe. It's not clear yet, from the science. But I'd want the bar to be pretty high before we give up on someone and do something permanent to them.


funsizedaisy

>But I'd want the bar to be pretty high before we give up on someone and do something permanent to them. That's why I said serial killers and someone who tortured people for years. In these cases, I support life imprisonment because they're far too dangerous to be outside. It's not really about punishment at this point but about keeping them away from people so they cant hurt anyone anymore.


bac5665

I agree with your sentiment, and I agree that we should have a system in place that can make determinations about who is actually that dangerous and who isn't. Right now we don't have that system. And even among serial killers and torturers, some of them can and have been reformed. Most murderers "grow out of it" as they age. Protecting the general public is important. But so too is doing the minimum possible to give the public that protection. It is critically important that the government be as lenient as possible; if we routinely use harsh punishments on the guilty, it's too easy for the government to use them on the innocent, or on the politically inconvenient.


funsizedaisy

> it's too easy for the government to use them on the innocent, or on the politically inconvenient. I do see that harsh punishments can be a slippery slope. Our government has a terrible track record and generally can't be trusted. But I also don't believe that "lenient as possible" is the way to go. Constantly letting off extremely violent repeat offenders, imo, would just cause more harm than good. I think our biggest issue is the social politics causing innocent people to be harshly punished and not that harsh punishments exist. We need to hold crooked politicians accountable not let serial killers free.


bac5665

>But I also don't believe that "lenient as possible" is the way to go. Constantly letting off extremely violent repeat offenders, imo, would just cause more harm than good. Based on what? Show me science and I'll agree with you. If it's just based on your intuition, I'd suggest to you that human intuition about criminal justice is almost always wrong. > let serial killers free. Let anyone go free *if and only if* they pose no more risk of harm. I'm not saying that we should let out dangerous people.


pf3

> Literally no punishment should ever be permanent. I like the spirit of this, but it still contains the kind of absolutism I suspect you're opposed to.


bac5665

Perhaps. I could be convinced otherwise, but I currently can't think of any exception.


snooshoe

Here's one: Genocide.


bac5665

First of, I don't think anyone has ever been convicted of genocide. Second, no, I still disagree. Genocide is a complicated crime, and it's usually stopped by removing the person from office, so it's recidivism rate is 0. Now, usual the person guilty of genocide is guilty of a bunch of other crimes, and certainly they need reformed. So let them be reformed. If, say, Hitler had honestly repented his crimes, no punishment we could provide would be a worse pain. I'm comfortable with making him get a job and pay taxes while he struggles with that, and letting him rot in jail until he learns that remorse.


snooshoe

> I don't think anyone has ever been convicted of genocide https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-46217896 https://www.vaildaily.com/news/ethiopian-dictator-convicted-of-genocide/ https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2013/05/rios-montt-convicted-genocide/315367/ http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/6171429.stm https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/article/convicted-of-genocide-inside-the-trial-of-ratko-mladic/ https://abc13.com/karadzic-genocide/1260611/ https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/bosnian-serb-convicted-of-genocide-in-srebrenica-dies/ar-AAmOPV0 https://africanlii.org/article/20191107/convicted-genocide-former-rwandan-cabinet-minister-loses-last-attempt-stay-out-jail https://unictr.irmct.org/en/news/three-media-leaders-convicted-genocide https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/rwanda-the-first-conviction-for-genocide ***** > *One hundred and fifty-two countries have outlawed genocide since it became a crime of international law. While some people who commit genocide evade conviction,* ***hundreds of thousands of people—from Cambodia to Rwanda to Bosnia-Herzegovina—have consequently been found guilty of genocide*** http://blog.umd.edu/bahaichair/2020/10/21/upcoming-virtual-event-reentry-and-reintegration-of-people-convicted-of-genocide-in-rwanda/ ***** Strongly disagree. Those convicted of genocide 100% deserve a life sentence **[right here](https://memegenerator.net/img/instances/56247763/the-agony-booth-is-a-most-effective-means-of-discipline-i-presume-youve-ordered-full-duration.jpg)**.


bac5665

No one deserves the death penalty. It cannot be earned. Nothing grants you the right to take a life. The state certainly does not and cannot possess that right.


snooshoe

> *During the trial, the court heard tape-recorded conversations between [Ali Hassan] al-Majid [al-Tikriti, aka "Chemical Ali"] and senior Ba'ath party officials regarding the use of chemical weapons. Responding to a question about the success of the deportation campaign, Ali Hassan told his interlocutors:* > > > *I went to Sulaymaniyah and hit them with the special ammunition [i.e. chemical weapons]. That was my answer. We continued the deportations. I told the mustashars [village heads] that they might say that they like their villages and that they won't leave. I said I cannot let your village stay because I will attack it with chemical weapons. Then you and your family will die. You must leave right now. Because I cannot tell you the same day that I am going to attack with chemical weapons.* > > > > ***I will kill them all with chemical weapons! Who is going to say anything? The international community? Fuck them! The international community and those who listen to them.*** > > *During the next few days of the trial, more recordings of al-Majid were heard in which he once again discussed the government's goals in dealing with the Iraqi Kurds. In the recordings, Ali Hassan calls the Iraqi Kurdish leader Jalal Talabani "wicked and a pimp," and promises not to leave alive anyone who speaks the Kurdish language.* > > *He received five death sentences for genocide, crimes against humanity (specifically willful killing, forced disappearances and extermination), and war crimes (intentionally directing attacks against a civilian population).* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ali_Hassan_al-Majid


bac5665

I'm legitimately not sure what your point is.


DefiniteSpace

So you don't agree with Life w/o parole for 1st degree murderers?


bac5665

No, I don't, not simply as a result of their conviction, absent other facts that show why they couldn't be reformed ever.


pf3

Not for all of them.


UselessGadget

I wonder if lifetime placement on the bench can be addressed for judges


khanbutnotreally

PLEASE give us your incite into what it means. It says that it requires a change in legislation. So it will not be enacted until June 2022. But since this was the Supreme Court. Does this mean that it's going to change for the entire country? Or only in that state? And if that's the case if I move to that state can RSO finally be off this list? And what does this mean for people with International Megan;s law on their passport?


Phoenix2683

South Carolina Supreme Court, so just south Carolina


khanbutnotreally

so what if i move there? from say nyc or ba, or new jersey?


Phoenix2683

Then you'd follow whatever new law they come up with. You follow the registry law of the state you live in


Countrycuz

I left SC and their lack of conciliatory consideration for Georgia. I only register once a year and pay no annual fee and I have no living restrictions. All charges before 2005 fall under this rule so screw you SC!


Countrycuz

You can petition the court in Georgia to be removed.


Countrycuz

No one talking about voting rights here!! All felons can vote in SC not on Probation or parole. This isn’t Florida, one of the most hateful States for Persons on the registry.


Countrycuz

I don’t really think your qualified to speak for all offenders and paint them with a broad brush. I am an offender. I will never reoffend and I was also as a child a victim. You can’t speak of how my mental state is as a result of that childhood. Worse things in life have happened to me than any thing in my childhood. I owned my behavior and took responsibility and as for paying my debt to society, I am sure that being successful and paying my taxes does more for society as an asset than as a burden living on public assistance. Revenge is for children and the mentally retarded.