|Facebook: Sex Offenders Need Not Apply!|
|By Art Bowker, Cybercrime Specialist|
Two articles dealing with Facebook caught my attention recently. The first by DeConto described a North Carolina lawsuit challenging state statute §14-202.5 as unconstitutional. This law prohibits registered sex offenders, …. “to access a commercial social networking Web site where the sex offender knows that the site permits minor children to become members or to create or maintain personal Web pages on the commercial social networking Web site.” Violations are a Class I felony (punishable but up to 5 years or fine or both). The arguments appear to be centered on freedom of speech and the law is too broad.
At about the same time an article was written by Brennan describing how difficult it was for a New York police department to keep sex offenders off of Facebook. The article noted:
“ But local law enforcement is almost powerless to monitor sex offenders allowed to use websites such as Facebook. ‘We have our hands tied, unless they’re supposed to refrain (from using social networking),’ said Steuben County Sheriff Joel Ordway. Ted Murray, Hornell police chief, agreed with Ordway. ‘Unless they’re on probation or parole, there are no restrictions prohibiting them from being on a site like that (Facebook),’ he said.” 1
So we have articles noting a legal challenge against a law restricting sex offenders from Facebook and another noting a different state’s law enforcement being practically powerless to remove sex offenders from social networking sites (SNS). What is the story? Are sex offenders allowed on Facebook?
Drum roll please… the answer is… sex offenders are prohibited from using Facebook. Take a look at their user agreement. Specifically: Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, 4. Registration and Account Security, Item 6, reflects: “You will not use Facebook if you are a convicted sex offender.” Facebook goes a step further and provides a method for notifying them of convicted sex offenders on their site.
Why would Facebook have such a policy? They are a private concern and have a right to set their policy as long as it doesn’t discriminate. Sex offenders, last time I checked are not a protected class. So they can set their policy to not exclude them. Some users may actually join Facebook or at least feel some comfort in joining because of this policy. They join with the belief that sex offenders aren’t allowed on the website, a belief that is enforced by Facebook’s policy on reporting sex offenders for action. That is what is called “freedom of association,” another one of those constitutional rights we have. So a private company sets up a rule excluding a non-protected group from joining, a group that represents a risk to minors. I am sure the courts will decide whose rights are more compelling, the sex offender’s first amendment right or the general public’s to associate with whom they chose.
During the discussion we need not forget that SNS are fundamentally different from other communicationvenues in the real world. A sex offender can be anyone they want to be on a SNS. They can be kid or the opposite sex. They can pretend to be several different people, all in an attempt to entice or mislead a minor. They can’t easily accomplish these tricks in the real world. Additionally, in those public places in the real world there are police walking around…parents…other kids….folks that can stop them or at least identify them. A sex offender on a SNS can hide, manipulate, and prey, without much concern about someone seeing them and/or identifying them before they strike. It is different than the real world and the danger can be much higher indeed!
So what does all this mean for a community supervision officer with a sex offender who has a Facebook profile? Consider the following suggestions:
If you don’t think it is important to be concerned about a supervised sex offender on a SNS check out Burton’s article below. It is about a law suit filed against Cook County Probation Department regarding a sex offender case. The suit was filed by a mother who found a sex offender, not online through MySpace® like her daughter…but in act of raping her in her own bedroom. For now remember, convicted sex offenders are not authorized to use Facebook!
Brennan, Lynn, “The Ugly Side of Facebook”, from The Evening Tribune
Burton, Cherly, “Mother files suit for alleged rape victim, 13″
DeConto, Jesse, “Pol Defends Keeping Pervs off Facebook” from The Raleigh, N.C. News & Observer
Facebook User Agreement, Dated October 4, 2010,Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, 4.Registration and Account Security, Item 6.
North Carolina Revised General Statutes, Chapter 14, Criminal Law.
North Carolina § 14-202.5. Ban Use of Commercial Social Networking Web Sites by Sex Offenders.
Visit "The Three C's (Computers, Crime & Corrections)" blog by Art Bowker
Other articles by Bowker:
Login to let us know what you think
MARKETPLACE search vendors | advanced search
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Hamilton is a sports lover, a demon at croquet, where his favorite team was the Dallas Fancypants. He worked as a general haberdasher for 30 years, but was forced to give up the career he loved due to his keen attention to detail. He spent his free time watching golf on TV; and he played uno, badmitton and basketball almost every weekend. He also enjoyed movies and reading during off-season. Hamilton Lindley was always there to help relatives and friends with household projects, coached different sports or whatever else people needed him for.
Oh, and COMPUTERPRO, you think the average person indicted on a sexual offense receives due process of the law? Please wake up!
I disagree...I say Facebook has no legal right to forbid individuals access(it's akin to having a right-of-way). Facebook has become so much more than what was originally intended and is an integral part of daily life. In, fact, there are many other websites that rely on you to "sign in with Facebook" in order to use them...sites ranging from gaming sites to financial institutions. Additionally, most people are too lazy to do the research and even what is posted on this site is terribly inaccurate. As of 2015 there are 318,000,000 people in the United States - 747,000 are registered as sex offenders (with about 98% forced into a plea agreement); this is a mere 0.0023% of the population - NOT EVEN 1/4% PEOPLE!!!!! And of this minuscule number only 2700 have been deemed to be sexually violent predators, or 0.0036% of the registered sex offenders. You have a much greater chance of being the sole winner of the Powerball jackpot than you do at encountering a sexually violent predator or even a "normal" sex offender. As of 2011, the recidivist rate for a convicted sex offender who had an opposite-sex familial victim and who had undergone a crime-specific treatment program (about 98% of all convicted registered sex offenders)was 1.2% compared to 50%-65% for the "general" criminal population (meaning ALL other crimes) and yet there are no registries for other classes of crime while this number continues to fall (this information is directly from a USDOJ study). These registries and laws such as "Megan's Law" and "Adam Walsh's Law" are nothing more than political "feel good" laws which are designed to give a false sense of security and safety where there is none and where no real threat exist. As such, companies such as Facebook enact policies and government agencies enact laws which are out of touch with reality and do nothing more than continue to punish the perpetrator long after they have served their time and paid their debt to society. There are actually a few states that REQUIRE a registered sex offender to remain on the registry even after they die - how absurd is this?!!! I find it disturbing that Facebook will deny a registered sex offender who wants nothing more than to play a Angry Birds an account and yet they have no problem allowing hate groups such as NATE HIGGERS and NATE HIGGERS 2 as well as pornographic Facebook pages to thrive.
Rudy101 my fiancee went to prison on a sex charge and he said its the sysrem (for some some of you that dont know what the System is, prison & the people that run it is the system) the system decides what level you are by the charges you have and the severity of them. After he did his 3 years parole with no violations or write ups and graduated his counceling with enough respect to be asked to come back so often to talk with other people within the group. He Helps them try recognize their thought process and try and change their thinking patterns. Since my fiancee has graduated and finished his counceling and parole he is a changed man. He is having a hard time trying to get back into society because he is being rejected by the people and their laws. I thought going to prison, being put on parole, finishing your counceling you would be able to get back into society without problems. By the way he would have been a level 1 with 5 points but being a sex offender you cant be a level 1 but only a level 2. So for those people that dont know jack or just like to talk, know your facts before you speak. Makes it look like you dont know what the hell your talking about. Rudy101 I have your back.
Everyone needs to stop always focusing on sex offenders all of the time. Yes, I am a sex offender...I am also going to school for Criminal Justice. Yes, sex offenders can get great jobs in life if they change and try hard! I REGRET everything I did. I only had one case and that's all I will have. Now, I really help people instead of hurting them. I do believe Murderers should have to register. Say they killed someone and only served 15 years. Nothing is going to bring or recover the victim. With the 1000 ft rule from schools, that wont change a sex offender from snatching one... If they drive, they can live miles and drive and snatch one. It could help in some cases by lowering the risk of offending again for those who cannot get around far.
There is alot of reg. sex offender on facebook. I know one that is and also has a facebook his name is william leroy meacham he is a tier 3. I think facebook need to start checking in otis and find these people.
I know someone that has to register as a sex offender who uses facebook... he has to register for being a sex offender. His name is james bryan kochel... In his pick if u look up james kochel u will see a young man wearing glasses with a baby blue thin jacket... Please remove him off your facebook... Thanks
Not all sex offenders are created equal, but they are all convicted harshly. Not only do they get harsh sentences, but they get harsh registering mandates. Convictions do not stop there, it also includes a lifetime of not being able to find jobs, housing, prevents them from having any kind of life at all!! Who takes care of those who cannot find a job because of it? Usually the brunt of support comes from family members, who are struggling with survival, as it is.
Rudy101 sounds like a touched a nerve eh?. Anyway, I was never advocated for thou shall not live within so many ft of this or that. If folks want to make their own decisions that is find. I think I mentioned that somewhere. You still haven't given me those stats about there being more Tier III sex offenders then any other. Too bad I would have loved to see them. And there you go again...throwing out those broad sweeping statements again.... specifically... "I have so much evidence of the systemic, or structural harassment that comes with being on a registry. it is a mountain." Prey tell define this mountain.... how many...when.... where.... was this before or after the reg...Survey your mountains...give us your data. Not these broad terms...or self reported cases... How many police reports, civil suits, have been filed by sex offenders after being harassed..victimized...because they were on sex offender reg...(make sure you isolate cases of sex offenders being attacked because it was in the media or their neighboors found out through some other means). Rudy101 if I were you I would look to CA...they have laws against this stuff and maybe as a result you can have some hard numbers on this. Also be careful in your internet research terms. You see when I do a search I often times come up with a lot of cases were a registered sex offender has victimized another kid, or downloaded child porngraphy...or been arrested by police in an online sting. Also I could up with cases of sex offenders who were suppose to reg...also being charged with a new sex crimes. Now I would not claim these cases represent anything more than what they are.. they don't mean a majority of sex offenders (on the reg or not) doing this stuff. I would like some numbers on that but I know Rudy101 you are focusing on the offender and not their victims or potential victims. I am really interested to see how many sex offenders become victims because they had to reg. Here is a thought Rudy101...why don't you start up your own blog to put your data out there. Good luck to you in your data studies.
Well, first off, computerpo, you and your society would LOVE to label anyone they like a sex offender, including myself. But you can't do it. Why can't you? Because, you people think your laws are credible, simply because they are a law. Society failed in the simple ideals of what freedom is and how society can curb freedom. I have so much evidence of the systemic, or structural harassment that comes with being on a registry. it is a mountain. You mentioned one, as in, residency restrictions. Those laws take people away from their most important aspect of their being, which is their support system (family). You have people sleeping on the street all over the country who could be sleeping in a bed very close by, but for the law (84% of all paroled sex offenders in San Francisco are homeless). Florida has almost cordoned off the whole State, except maybe for some orange groves or underneath bridges. Michigan, if one is homeless, can't even sleep in a homeless shelter and people have died as a result. The whole point of the matter is, the registry has irrational outcomes of the sort that, by nature, is dangerous to the community, unless of course, you determine THOSE people are NOT a part of the community. You want to see mountains of harassments? Type in sex offenders in any news search engine and read the comments on the stories. Hate, violence and fear is being spread on public forums from every corner of the U.S. Maybe you think it is nothing and can excuse or minimize that behavior. However, an objective observer would conclude that a segment of society is being attacked, strictly because they can. ALSO, I have news articles from all over the country where politicians, police chiefs and others are explicitely making policy or policy statements on how they are going to run registrants out of the community. (on a note, I tried to find the stats on how the AWA will reclassify people. However, from the reading I did, and it was substantial, all I found out was that the AWA imposes such punitive requirements, without ANY regard to future dangerousness or actual public safety. In fact, with the reading I am making, it becomes clearer and clearer that the registry CAN ONLY be thought of as a punishment and therefore the ex-post facto clause MUST apply). Do you think I am worried about your laws? NO, I am not. Society won't get away with what they are doing. Those that advocate for registry laws are more afraid of how I can destroy their laws, then I am of them.
Rudy101, now was that so hard? You finally gave us some stats, which for those who don't like play hide and seek Rudy101 are located at http://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/us0907webwcover.pdf I appreciate you adding something to the discussion. Couple things on this... there are stories of harrassment in there...but no hard numbers. What I mean by that is yes folks have been victimized...which is very very wrong. But what is the total of this? Are we talking 100...10,000....100,000..what exactly? I am not saying it is right no matter what the number but is the problem as big as you and HRW claiming. What this means is someone needs to go beyond what HRW did with self-reports of folks on the reg (who obviously want off it...or it abolished altogether) and look at reports to the police...arrest...civil suits... something that will generate number of the extent of this problem. Someone, maybe HRW or the Govt needs to keep track of this victimization of sex offenders. HRW also notes that their are laws against this victimization. It is not like it is open season on sex offenders. Some fool that is stupid enough to take out something against a sex offender is liable to find themselves behind bars. Also, I am sure the reg makes it easier for this to come to light by the public...but should we also stop allowing the press to report convictions for sex crimes because it might lead to acts of violence against a sex offender? With the Internet the way it is, someone can do a bit of research without the reg and find news stories about everything...even several years old. Rudy101, I am not the brightest bulb around...but it appears you maybe a sex offender.. I really don't care as long as you keep the discussion focused on facts. But if you are, I really caution you against disregarding the reg laws to make a statement. Purse it through the Courts, like JohnDoeUtah... but just saying I don't care I will do what I want will get in a load of trouble.. Finally, Rudy101, and you thought I would forget, you are still holding out of me. Where is the stat on your claim that most on the list are Tier III? You are the one who threw it out there...come on...where is it? PS: Again thanks Rudy101, for give the study (even though I had to get it myself). Now have some more reading so I am a well rounded figure in not only body but mind. Time to grab a cigar!
Listen computerpo, I understand that the public has a right to be safe from people who ARE predisposed to act out criminally. But only the MOST despotic of societies do it by legislative fiat. Take them to a hearing. If society can't or won't, then the answer is obvious, the laws don't have to be followed. You act like I have or need all the answers. I know the registry has only THIS outcome which is the loss of safety and/or security. That, SIR, is all that needs to be known. How is safety and/or security defined? Harassment, threats, banishment, isolation and fear. That is EASY to prove. You all do it so nice for me. Thanks.
"..if you are convicted of the crime, you get this..." Except we will change what "this" is at any time for any reason.... You are a JOKE. Your laws are a joke. And read, human rights watch. Plenty of evidence about abuse of the registry. All right there to read. I bet you can even search for it. For a hint the report came out in 1997.
Rudy101 where is the stat on your claim that most on the list are Tier III? Why no stat on your claim that most offenders are Tier III? Are you injecting pure opinion.. based upon what you think the law reflects and its outcome. You have no stat that most offenders on the reg are Tier III...why because there is no stat. For the record, I would love to see the stat on the breakdown of Tier I, Tier II, and Tier III. That would be interesting to see...whether it supports Rudy101 opinion or not. By the way, there is classification on this....better then a hearing. It requires the offender to have been convicted of a specific CRIME... If you pled guilty or are found guilty of a specific statute. that is the level you are at. The forum for that determination is a hearing...either via a trial or by ones admission. I did say somewhere in this discussion that I have no problem with a hearing in the process. Also, everyone talks about this hearing as opposed to a specific statute being the cure to who gets on the registry. Take two cases. both convicted of Rape..a Tier III offense under todays law. Also both convictions have the same fact pattern. In some courts if it was based upon a hearing only..not by statute conviction... you might get one judge to say he/she is one for life and another saying nope...I think it was a mistake..he should only be a Tier I. Tying the classification to a specific statute is objective...it is not subject to who the judge is..who your attorney is...who you are. If you are convicted of the crime..you get this.. Some folks can get off the list...provided they complete treatment, term of supervision, and don't get more crimes. Yes I know Tier III can't do that because of what they were convicted of. Should a hearing come into play with more cases...maybe? But the ground rules of such a hearing would have to be clear,as they are to get off Tier I status. The Ex Post facto clause has been legitated on this and been determined thus far that the reg is not a problem. This arguement will be less and less prevelant as individuals pleading today or being convicted will understand where they stand. (By the way, one of the reasons for Adam Walsh was to get some uniformity in reg....some states had no reg..others had classification but all over the place. It was passed as an attempt to make sure...at least from a minimum standards perpsective, everyone was on the same page. Granted states can be even more stringent..but that is another story). The bottomline Rudy101 my boy, you have no stat to point to to back up your claim. NONE...NADA. You came up short!.... but before you move on to somewhere where you can BS your way through...give me this bit of information: How many sex offenders have been harassed or abused for being on the list? (I am not talking about legal restrictions..not living next to a school, etc.) I am talking about being rounded up like you are arguing...or acts of violence or harassment by the authorities or general public? Really, I am curious...there has got to be a news article somewhere where some sex offender was attacked sole for being on the list (I recall seeing may one or two but there were very isolcated)... Oh, and not the MTV stuff where a sex offender is having trouble getting a job (cus none sex offenders are having trouble getting work too). You and others have been sounding the alarm...is there any smoke to your fire alarm? Also so we are clear, I have never been in favor any attack against anyone on the registry. That is rightly a criminal act. Also Rudy101, time for you to be truthful for a moment. Dispite what you say from time to time, you are not in favor of the list whatsoever. You seem to imply the list might be okay without public notification...now you are saying the list would be okay if their were hearings. If the sex offender registry was so evil as you claim, how can you argue anything short of its total repeal? I at least acknowledge there can be changes to make it better but I never argue it should be repealed. By honest...at least with yourself...and quit trying to be on the fence. Can you do it Rudy101...be honest..with yourself and here? Give us some stats to back up your hyperbole or move one!
There is ONE way to make the registry nice and legal. Allow for hearings! Allow courts to tailor the restrictions (if they are needed) to the individual. Even if public notification is needed, allow people their day in court. Somehow, you think because you have a conviction and are on a list, you can increase any restriction you like. NOT SO...
You don't know anything about the Adam Walsh Act, do you? Just read the law. It doesn't categorize according to dangerousness. It categorizes according to conviction. So, under that law, if you read it, the outcome will be that about 70% of all registrants will become a level III. Anyway, you really believe that government has the RIGHT to make a list, determine whoever goes on it (even LONG after a sentence has been completed) and then that list is used in any way that the public sees fit? I have a news flash for you. You have no halo on your head. I know you can validate yourself and show how moral you are by NOT being on that list, but everyone knows, that the government COULD criminalize EVERYONE. See, we could all point to everyone's past and then start taking away liberties and always pointing out to those people, well, if you just were a saint, THEN you could be a free man. If they put a list together for all the scum bags out there, nobody would want to live near anyone. The ex-post facto clause IS invoked. You have ONLY made arguments about how to MISUSE a registry. And because the public has "no sympathy" for a person on a registry, it becomes the RIGHT to flee the registry and do whatever one can do to avoid it. Simply put, you can't put someone into society and then not allow them to partake in society. You don't have any sympathy for those people?.. too bad for you. You should be looking at how to improve yourself. The registry just distracts you from that. THEREFORE, on so many levels, it is better if no one follows your laws. And you know the funny thing about it is? There is nothing you can do about it. As I said before, all it takes is a mind-set. And before you know it, that list has transformed into dozens of lists and millions of people are affected. And the public sport will become, not how to better one's self, but to do whatever they can to avoid any of the lists (and yet, there still won't be any saints). You weaken the registry by your arguments. You know why? Because you don't know WHO you think you put on that list. As I said below, your list is already finished. You just don't know it...
Rudy101, Rudy101, Rudy101... (I just wanted to say that..old movies stuff...lol): You almost got a pass.... I just saw a statement in your post: "Specifically it INCREASES, for most, the amount of time on a registry by making the vast majority of registrants a so-called, level 3"... You are going to have to cite your source on that one. You are implying there are more Tier III sex offenders than any other category. I want a source...not he said or she said... not some unsupported blog or something. I want a hard fact that the majority of sex offenders fall in Tier III. By the way, Tier III sex offenders are the most serious group by definition. You are saying there are more serious sex offenders on the list than Tier I or II. So if true, you are aruging the general public has no need to know where rapists (rapist are Tier III offenders) live. And don't give me isolated incidents of folks moving from Tier I or II up to Tier III. Those will not cut it. I would think just about everyone would have had to move from Tier I and II to III for your statement to be accurate. Surely, there is a stat somewhere on this.... Come on.... give me that source...or many it is time for you to move on?
Rudy101, did you have your wheaties today? You seem a bit cranky... anyway, yes we live in a republic and our leaders are elected by our citizens to do our bidding (we hope). If this were a true democracy I am not so sure we would not have a registry...we might have something much worse. Folks just aren't too sympathetic to sex offenders and I am not so sure the majority would be so understanding of stats and of being rational on this topic. In many ways I suppose they would want blood. Yes Adam Walsh did increase time on the register, depending upon what state you lived in. In Ohio, the first state to be in compliance with Adam Walsh, it tacked on 5 years to the bottom two levels...It also moved some folks to Tier III (Lifetime). In Ohio there has been some back tracking on some of that under the state constitution. Basically, a case came down that you can't have an elected official reclassifying cases that were decided by a court. So many of those folks got put back to their level before they were reclassified. These old cases are going to be less and less an issue, as they get off the registry, either by completing their period, dying etc. Everyone will have their day in court... either by pled or conviction. Once convicted they get on the regstry...based upon their conviction...not someone making a judgement call (the leg. already did that for each offense). It is also funny that you reflect this business about the Govt now having list... a list to get at folks. We have had sex offender registry for sometime in many states. Even before that the sex offender registries, once a person is arrested, convicted, and/or sentenced for a crime the Govt has their fingerprints. So in reality the big bad Govt doesn't need the registry...they got a list...which includes every mis/felon. Map that to drivers license records (another much larger list) and you got some idea where many of them live. So we have been living in your Orwellian style world for sometime. The difference between these lists (fingerprints/motor vehicle) is they aren't public. The only one who has them is the Govt. But the sex offender registry is more open. It allows the general public to see information about these offenders. So in your world only the govt should have this information and not the general public. That is kind of ironic coming from such libertarian like yourself. You also don't need a list to sentence folks to prison. All you need is for them to break the law and have a mandatary prison sentence after their conviction. So...follow me now...Rudy101...offender A commits a sex offense, gets convicted (that is a requirement) and goes to prison for 10, 15, 25 yrs..or LIFE. No registry is needed cus they are in prison. Many folks, including yourself might prefer that we have no list...some may say, okay we just increase the prison sentences for all sex offenders. No..not rational..but that is what happens when folks get tried of hearing about repeat sex offenders killing someone and start electing leaders that give them what they want. That would be ..what is the world I am looking for..oh yeah....a democracy...(a constitutional republic if you want to be picky). The effect is the same...whether the people do it direct themselves or they elect officials to do it for them. Sex offenders, right or wrong, don't get much sympathy from the general public about being on a list. I think that sympathy is reserved for their victims. Yeah... news flash some folks might decide not to buy a property if it was in the middle of a bunch of sex offenders residences. Yeah, that would tend to make the property less attractive for buyers...which would tend to drive the price done. Is the registry tied by the Govt to property values? NO. That is just what some folks might do with it. Why...because the list is public of course. In your world only the Govt would know where the sex offender lives...the general public would not be able to make informed decisions about where they want their kids to grow up. So, the Govt should be allowed to keep secrets? Don't they keep enough secrets without adding this one to the "list". I notice that this discussion has been folks about folks on this list and that they can't get off. Here is a news flash for everyone... Listen up.... DON"T COMMIT A SEX OFFENSE? That is how you get on the registry. No other way. If you don't commit a sex offense, then you never have to worry about how to get off. Maybe the registry has another unintended purpose. Deterrence.... commit a sex crime and you not only get to prison but when you get out you are on a list. Yeah, I know the list is not about punishment. But we all know there are consequences for our actions. Time to face up to this consequence. Would the general public vote for that? Gee... I don’t know...cus I we in a “constitutional republic”.
Comnputerpo? You live in a Democracy? Sorry, computerpo, it is a Constitutional Republic. Are you telling me that the registry is ALSO used to value property? That merely a person's presence could have a negative effect on property values? So, then, the registry is NOT just an informational tool, but a tool to rate people's value, as it relates to property, in the community? And Adam Walsh Act does NOT offer a way to be removed from the registry. Specifically it INCREASES, for most, the amount of time on a registry by making the vast majority of registrants a so-called, level 3. And the registry about being, "we are watching you". It isn't. It is about, "we have them on a list, now how do we write laws that get rid of them." And your other comment about, "if they are so dangerous, shouldn't they be in prison?" THAT is what the list is about, putting people into prison for made-up crimes. Your little "Democracy" is very dangerous to freedom and justice.
Rudy101, so you have no problem with the registry. It is the community notification that has you upset, fair enough. Interesting, though. You also misinterpreted what I meant when I wrote "whatever steps they feel is appropriate for their safety and those of their loved ones.” I was not referring to the state. I was referencing individuals...each individual citizen. For instance, suppose I am a employer, say a farmer, looking to hire someone. But I have kids too. I might get an application from someone and check the registry and see if they are on it. Do I stop there? Maybe that is enough. But maybe from the registry I see they have been on it for a while. Maybe I decided to do some further checking by asking the person, did you complete treatment, are you under supervision now, what was it about? Maybe their qualifications and circumstances are such that I decide to give them a chance. I use the registry to alert me to a risk. Also maybe I am looking to buy a property in neighbor. I check the registry and see that there are five sex offenders living in it. Do I buy the property? Do I move in? Who knows. But I am aware of it. It is about allowing citizens to make choices. Informing them. The Courts are looking at this as they should. So far, they are not finding an issue with it. Will that change...we will see... as I have always said. One thing I don’t see many folks mentioning is they way some offenders can get off the registry. Namely, completing a term of supervision (if applicable) AND completing sex offender treatment, and saying out of trouble. That option is provided for in Adam Walsh. Should it be expanded more? Don’t know. To early to tell. Now on to greg55. I pointed out that post just as a heads up. You don’t want to read it than don’t. I don’t care. Like it or not this stuff is out there because folks are concerned about it. Some sex offenders use the Internet and technology as a tool. Note, I said some. Claiming we should ignore it so we don’t aid to the “hype” implies it will go away. It won’t. By the way, if you chose to read the article you would see it references a new case that came down that one has to be careful about restricting gaming devices for sex offenders. I suppose it would be a good idea to ignore that...(I am being sarcastic...seems so of the folks that post here get a little sensitive.) The point is like or not there is stuff happening with this topic. This hype argument would have more wait if all I did was post links to all the register sex offenders that got busted again for a new sex crime. That would be hype. This registry is about making sure the general citizenry knows who has committed a sex offense. We can debate stats all day about this. For now it is the law. The citizenry wants it. A lot of what the citizenry wants doesn’t make sense. We live in a democracy and that is how it goes sometimes. Funny though.... a lot of the citizenry would like sex offenders locked up FOREVER. So...be on the registry for 15 yrs to Life...or be in prison...or under community supervision. What makes sense? Kind of it ironic though... you have someone who is so dangerous that they get say 5 yrs imprisonment but when they get out they are registered for life. If they were that dangerous shouldn’t they remain in prison? Or, is the registry a way of saying, watch it ...as we all are watching you know? Now has this topic been beaten up so far or what?
Hey Computerpo: Registry laws, generally, do not become a problem, human rights wise, until you mix in the community notification to it. There is no limit to it, and there are no restrictions to who can view or what their intentions are to use a list like a registry. And this comment, computerpo? "whatever steps they feel is appropriate for their safety and those of their loved ones" is fine, IF there is a mechanism for determining someone dangerous or NOT dangerous. Society doesn't get to take "whatever" steps they need to feel safe, when that person is NOT dangerous. But, everyone's argument is,"nobody knows if a person is not dangerous." However, the laws will ensure nobody will ever get the chance to ever be heard and argue otherwise. IT IS THAT COWARDLY ACT, that will destroy the registry. You really can't see the forest through the trees. You really think you can set up a police state, with no court supervision and through legislative fiat.
I really didn't want to take this in the direction I am about to go but I can't help myself...one of your posted stated ..... Oh...I almost forgot. There is a new post at corrections.com/cybercrime called, Sex Offenders and Gaming Devices: What is the Risk? http://www.corrections.com/cybercrime/?p=224 Seems like the group might be interested in that one too. you know judging from that statement I have to say you have very close ties to this story that has gotten this much attention by us all...and by baiting everyone to read this other article and getting even more attention for that one....this is exactly what the politicains and news agencies do by capitalizing on sex crimes and sex offenders...keep the hype and bs flowing it is self serving to do so......never mind the facts that all the true professionals in the feild of sex offenders and crime statistics (mainly FBI and Justic Dept. reports) conclude these laws do nothing to add to public saftey that they are just feel good laws '
The crack about this website keeping you busy was a low blow. You are right not all sex offenders have the same risk. Problem is we can't ascertain the high from the low all the time. I understand that some of these restrictions that are coming down don't make sense. For instance, restricting someone so many feet from a school sounds good...but what about the sex offenders who just hang out by the school to grab a victim. Doesn't solve that. But I also understand some do make sense. I know that some offenders go right back to getting on the Internet and looking for victims. You may be the most noble person who made a mistake and are moving on. I truly hope so. I wish you luck. You have a tough road ahead. But if you are going to take cracks at what is writen give all the facts. Not just the convenient ones. I mean noting this court and that had found this and that unconstitutional was not the complete truth. I mean a district court and appellate court ruled the other way...hence the appeal to the Supreme Court. Yes and I do check on case law...but not every pending appeal of everything. Yeah see I wait until there is a final decision ... or as near to one as possible. The district court and later appeal court did not rule against what I knew to be the law. So why would I get excited about a positive opinion... I mean should I cite every case in the land that says it is constitutional or it not enough to say it is the law..until overturned? Also, I could care less about who you are. Anyone sex offender or not can post what they like in a legal manner. They can put their real name or not. Doesn't mean anything to me. You are welcome to post in the future...just make sure you provide all the facts. Cause as it stands right now it would be foolish for me or anyone else to take what you are saying at face value without checking the facts. It may mean that you don't have to disclose your Internet Identifers in the future..but right now that is not a definite. It will not be definite until you get that Supreme Court win in your column. Regardless of whether you use your real name or an alias, being upfront is a requirement to be taken seriously. Oh...little secret... you are not the first sex offender I have had contact with. And you wouldn't be the last I am quite sure. Oh yeah...and you are not the first to call me a Jacka** and you wont be the last. There are a whole bunch of folks that think that and worse... offenders, exoffenders, employers, coworkers, friends, and probally a few family members that think that. Oh...and I don't get paid on how many sex offenders I have contact, etc. I don't get a head count for how many go back to prison either. My goal in writing this stuff is just to make sure everyone...sex offender and more importantly corrections folks are as educated as possible about it...so everyones rights are respected. I may miss things and am glad there are folks to let me know. If you had just come out and said hey there is this case pending in the Supreme Court I would have said hey thanks for the info. I will keep track of it. But no...you take about three posts before we get to that. Anyway, take care of yourself and I pray that you continue on your journey and say out of trouble. And again thanks for the info on the Supreme Court case...regardless of how long it took to come out.
And no, no suprises, just please do your homework before you write an article next time please. As a professional I guess I assumed you would look for yourself to see the status of cases challenging these types of laws, and prior precedence of the Supreme Court. Most my my prio message got cut off, I'd love to continue our debate, but there is no way I'd give you any way to identify me in reality. Just keep in mind that the laws you support, would keep me from debating this issue and educating you on the cases around this issue; as this site is by legal defination a social net working website. How does that not violate the First Amendment, if I would be barred from expressing my views and the reality of the subject of your article? By the way, I'm not some crazed sex addict that trolls the web for porn or underaged girls, jaska$$! But, thanks for being your sterotypical sheeple. I am a great father, who has joint physical custody of my children (including the child I fathered with my teenaged victim, that led to my conviction). The Department of Child Service tried to keep me out of his life, but due to the victim allowing it, and the state unable to reach thier burden to prove I'm an unfit parent - I crushed thier little pipe dream. Our Constitution protects citizens from such injustices, just like it will protect my First Amendment rights. The District Court and the Tenth Circuit went directly against prior Supreme Court precedence (which they are not allowed to do) when they vacated, and upheld the district court decision to vacate, the prior injunction in my case. That is why I am appealing, if SCOTUS rules against me, it will weaken the First Amendment rights of every citizen in this nation, not just sex offenders.
I love how you assume all sex offenders are equal - we are all dangerous sexual predators or sex addicts. Since you went down that road, I will let my conversation go that direction instead of keeping to the subject of your article. I understand the purpose of your article; however, biased. You sir, work in the field of corrections. It supports your career and job security to inflict fear into the masses about what sex offenders, in a general sence, MAY be doing. Just the same as it supports the individual interests of politicians with stocks in private prison security companies, too keepp offenders locked away as long as possible. In the end, the reality is that the sex offender registry does abosolutely nothing to protect children (not even my two children I have Joint custody of, including the child I had with my teenaged victim in my early 20s). Is it nice to know that a child rapist (<12 years old) lives next door to me, if that were true, yes. I could be more vigilant to ensure my child is not around that person; however, only 5% (on average) of sex offenders ever reoffend (USDOJ Statistics, as well as California SOMB Statistics, and many others). According to a 2009 Study in the State of New York, 95% of new sex crimes each year are committed by NON-REGISTRANTS. According to the State of New Jersey (the birthplace of Megan's Law), a 2010 study there determined that Megan's Law has done nothing to reduce new sex crimes or reoffenses, and questioned whether the state should continue funding the registry period. The registry is ment to punnish, after the fact, because people do not like the fact that certain offenders served thier sentences and were released prior to newer, heavier minimum setences were enacted by legislatures. In 25-30 years when I have ot been convicted of another sex offence I'll be glad to be part of the generation that brings this entire system to its knees; due to needless and useless persecution of free law-abinding citizen that have PIAD THIER DEBT to society for any prio indiscretions. When I was convicted by a military court my First Amendment rights were entact, but 2 years after I completed my setence, the legislature strips my First Amendment Rights as a result of my prior conviction. I can think of nothing more punitive, than taking away additional rights, especially clearly defined and protected rights such as the First Amendment, after the fact, which were not in affect during the time of conviction. If you and others had thier way, I would not even be able to get on here and debate this issue with you, because in essence THIS SITE FITS THE DEFINITION OF A SOCIAL NETWORKING SITE. Additionally, there is no difference whether disclosure of internet identifers is to the public or law enforcement, it chills speech either way. SCOTUS has already declared that an authors choice to speak anonymously, as I am doing here, is the CONTENT of my speech. The Tenth Circuit, as well as the District Court, went directly against Supreme Court precedence in thier decisions, they did not follow the explicit quidelines SCOTUS set down in previous decisions, and that is why I am appealing. Equal protection demands that I be entitled the same protection of my rights as all other citizens. Murders, abusive parents, drug dealers dont lose thier rights to speak thier minds freely and anonymously years after thier convictions. By supporting the curtailment of my rights as a citizen, you support curtailing your own rights as a citizen, you've herd the term "slippery slope" right?
Dude (JohnDoeUtah) you really are persistent devil aren’t you. First, the district court gave a discussion on this, which at first glance is noted as dismissing the issue...as I noted before.... You never bother to mention you than appealed it to the 10th Circuit.... (which by the way means more than a district court decision) Their decision is here: John Doe v. Shurtleff at: http://www.ca10.uscourts.gov/opinions/09/09-4162.pdf They concurred with the District Court decision that Utah law (as amended) did not violate the 1st Amend requiring Internet Identifiers be disclosed. So you appealed to the Supreme Court of the United States... which has it docketed at No. 10-957 The Feb 16, 2011, entry reflects it is scheduled for conference of March 4, 2011. Now you mention that only you are except from the sex offender requirement in Utah as you have a deal worked out with the Attorney General pending this case. I bet that makes you feel special. You now have a case pending with the Supreme Court on this issue. Please let us know how it turns out. As I said numerous times before, it will work its way through the process...as of now though... there is no change. Now on to GA... that is a preliminary injunction...my guess is they will wait until the Supreme Court rules on this issue...unless they consolidated it somehow. (By the way that order was issued out of the Northern District of GA...I leave it to the legal beagles to consider how much wait that has in the other districts in GA). If what you say is true that GA decided to change its registration requirements to not collect Internet identifiers, they may have to very well change them back if the Supreme Court rules the other way. So where are we... you have provided information that the Supreme Court has a case before it on this issue (which unless I am missing something is solely that offenders must disclosure of Internet identifiers in sex offender registration. (The 10th Circuit case only referenced that issue of the law). It is not a broader act at the entire sex offender registration issue...at least on the face of it. We thank you for that...But why didn’t you just say the Supreme Court was considering your case after you basically lost at the district court and circuit level (yeah you got a “personal stay” but the law as amended is still in effect...Internet Identifiers still have to be disclosed...no mater how you spin it). This decision will obviously directly effect registered sex offenders and I hope it comes, like I am sure you do, soon. As I have said the Courts will work on this and hone it down. The Supreme Court will make a final decision on this. Now, supervised sex offenders, which have a reduced rights due to their status, may still be compelled to provide these Identifiers has part of a supervision conditions. That is not before the Supreme Court (unless you are holding out on me). And even if the Supreme Court rules that Identifers don't have to be disclosed...Facebook, a private company, may still chose to remove sex offenders whenever they come to their attention. It may be a bit harder but it is not impossible (particularly with all those feels posting real names and pictures up). I suppose I should be a bit peeved that you have drug this out...instead of just saying....I have a case with the Supreme Court....(cus I had to appeal the district and circuit court decisions, cus I wasn’t happy with how they ruled) but hey...at least you are busy on this website as opposed to getting in mischief somewhere else (at least part of the time). At least you aren't surfing for porn or worse. Now unless you have more surprises up your sleeve I am going to smoke a nice cigar and relax.
Re: Computerpro Since my attorneys are the same that won the White v. Baker decision in Georgia, I can tell you that after the preliminary injunction was granted, the State of Georgia amended thier sex offender registry law to do away with the collection of internet identifiers completely. No one in Georgia must disclose insternet identifiers as a result of that lawsuit, the Order granting the injunction is standing legal presedence in Georgia and that Circuit. Also, there is one sex offender in Utah who does not have to dislcose thier internet identifiers to the government at this time, the plaintiff in Doe v. Shurtleff at. el. - ME! This is an agreement the Utah Attorney General's Office made with me until SCOTUS decides the case, to prevent my success on any requests for a stay of the Order to Vacate the permanant injunction issued in 2009.
Doe v. Shurtleff at. el. has not been dismissed; nor, did I consent to such. The case is docketed with the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS), Case#: 10-957. The case is about attacking the governments action to strip citizens of their clearly established First Amendment rights to anonymous free speech over the internet, as SCOTUS has previously deemed to be clear constitutional rights of all citizens; McIntyre v. Ohio, Reno v. ACLU, Talley v. California. The Adam Walsh Act did not have a provision for internet identifiers when I filed my lawsuit; and the KIDS Act of 2008 was not a law when Doe v. Shurtleff at. el. was filed. Infact, the KIDS Act of 2008 was passed by Congress two months after I won in Doe v. Shurtleff at. el. (round one in 2008). Nevertheless, if SCOTUS declares that forcing sex offenders to hand over otherwise anonymous internet identifiers to the government violates the First Amendment, it will take down the KIDS Act of 2008 as well, as it directly affect all similar laws, without having to file an individual suit.
Oh...I almost forgot. There is a new post at corrections.com/cybercrime called, Sex Offenders and Gaming Devices: What is the Risk? http://www.corrections.com/cybercrime/?p=224 Seems like the group might be interested in that one too.
Gentlemen, hope springs eternal as the saying goes. You collectively mention Doe v. Shurtleff, 2008 WL 4427594 (D.Utah Sept.25, 2008) and White v. Baker, 696 F. Supp. 2d 1289 - Dist. Court, ND Georgia 2010. Both of these cases were brought in a district court, pertaining to a state law requiring disclosure of Internet identifiers AND Passwords, as well as the uses of same (for public disclosure and/or use by law enforcement). I am not seeing an attack on Adam Walsh or the Kids Act but that may be out their somewhere. In Shurtleff, , the plaintiffs, (which may include one of the posters here) agreed to dismiss the suit after Utah had amended its law. Specifically, they removed all requirements for disclosure of passwords and explicitly excluded passwords from the definition of "Internet identifier." Second, they limited Utah’s discretion in its use of offenders' internet identifiers. That is not want a call defeat of the collection of identifiers. So the law in Utah remains, sex offenders must disclose Internet identifiers. The second case, was in GA. Again, the state required Internet identifiers and passwords be disclosed. It also appears disclosure was to be for law enforcement purposes. This case resulted in a the granting of a Preliminary Injunction against enforcing of the law. What does that mean? Well the law can’t be enforced while this injunction is present, which is usually until the case is decided. A final decision, unless I am missing something has not been reached (The case could have been updated as I am not checking the docket on this). I would seem that the major problem with these state laws was the requirement that passwords were also required to be disclosed and that they were unclear about how he information would be disclosed. However, I am not seeing the you shall not collect Internet Identifiers under any circumstances. I am surprised you folks didn’t bring up the North Carolina case which is a direct attack on a prohibition against sex offenders on social networking sites. Maybe cause it hasn’t been decided. So, look folks we can play this game all day. You throw cases up that on the face of it appear to sound the death knoll of sex offender registration or even the collection of Internet Identifiers or you can misrepresent the extent of what is required of juvenile sex offenders. The bottom line is this is an ongoing legal procedure, which will hone these statutes to be within constitutional limits. However, it doesn’t seem like they are anywhere near being KILLED. Registration is one thing. Internet restrictions though are another thing. Lets not try to confuse the two. The laws are on the books for many states that restrict Internet access for supervised as well as unsupervised sex offenders. I personally think that monitoring and/or restrictions during supervision are they way to go if this is going to occur. But again as was recently noted in a pair of 8th cases dealing with federal sex offenders, restrictions can go either way too, even in the same circuit. I think it is entirely proper to individualize these restrictions to the case. I don’t believe a blanket thou shall or shall not restrict or monitor Internet access for sex offenders is appropriate. As I have repeatedly said these cases are moving along. There is a split in the circuits on Internet restrictions/monitoring and it may very well go to the Supreme Court, who will rule on it. However, from what I am seeing Internet restrictions is not the same as sex offender registration laws, which have been around for sometime in some form. Sex offender registration looks like it is alive and well and maturing quite nicely in this judicial review and legislative tweeting process. I will probably be retired though and smoking a cigar on the beach somewhere when we have a final decision on Internet restrictions/monitoring. Who knows. Now someone mentioned the UK.... yeah I saw that case. That was only a decision that denying them the right to appeal was a denial of human rights. It did not say that sex offender registration itself was a violation of human rights. So the UK is working to legislatively change their law to allow periodic reviews of life time registration of sex offenders. Sounds like a good idea to me. That may occur here too..who knows. Also, I don’t know if I would be holding the UK up as a shining example above the good old USA if I were you. (Don’t get me wrong the UK rocks in a lot of ways but USA is still the place to be!) But in the UK police are a lot more involved in sex offender supervision through these Sex Offender Protection Orders. They actively work with probation, who appear to be more social worker oriented there. They recently did a pilot where law enforcement installed monitoring software on sex offenders computer and received the results. So instead of a probation/parole officer you have a police officer reviewing an offender’s Internet activity. How would you like the guy who put you in jail in the first place as your probation officer too when you got out? Okay gang it has been fun by the bottom line is don’t hold you breath that you will be getting a reprieve anytime soon on registering (if you are). Also, don’t be signing up for that Facebook account either. Keep those cards and letters coming... but don’t look for a response anytime soon. I got to go and get another box of cigars! Take care.
Hey Computerpro: I want to make this clear. The registry has has LOST the RIGHT to regulate ANYONE. The State CANNOT deprive ANYONE of life or liberty without due process of law. You state the registry is only an informational source and there are disclaimers about harassment. Except the registry is not used only by the public. It is used by public, private, organizations and persons for the explicit use of BANISHING. The State cannot, years after a sentence has been served, start banishing people from the community. For an example, a case in Tennessee, a person has a warrant for his arrest for violating residency restriction that was passed 25 years AFTER this person's conviction (when he was 16). The State has no right to start compiling lists of undesirables and pass this list around for everyone to use so as to ISOLATE a person from the community. This article is about Facebook. THE LATEST private entity to use this list to banish. However, do not worry, the registry WILL be coming down soon, as it is now. AND, tt is already finished in many ways, and you just don't know it. The U.S. is violating human rights with this list. I know nobody in the U.S. cares about human rights, or only sees one side of the issue and it is clearly black and white. But do not think society will be able to get away, indefinitely, putting over 800,000 people on a registry, and stripping them naked of rights. ONE will beat you. ONE will overcome your registry. ONE will show the injustices and ONE will NOT comply with your laws and there is NOTHING you can do about it. You created this registry without following basic due process protections. It was only a matter of time till someone beat the registry. OH, one other comment about this Facebook, or social networking sites. New York has E-Stop. Internet identifiers are given to ALL the sites. Under e-stop, a registrant no longer has ANY free speech at ANY sites. And FINALLY, England, if you have been keeping up on this issue, has just ruled in their supreme court, that it is a violation of human rights to put a person on a registry for life (and they don't even do public notification for most). You might think the U.S. is a country isolated from the world and has no obligations to international law. YOU ARE WRONG!
White v. Baker, 696 F.Supp.2d 1289 (Ga. 2010), states that requiring sex offenders to turn over all internet identifiers to law enforcement is unconstitutional. The case was modeled after the Doe v. Shurtleff at. el. (round one) decided in 2008; my case is the model for all subsequent cases, and everything missed in my case has been added to the new cases to solidify, strengthen our arguments in every aspect. It is a concerted effort. Alas, at this stage SCOTUS has been asked to answer in my case, three simple questions: 1) does giving otherwise anonymous internet identifiers to the government chill free speech; 2) does the application of the secondary effects test, beyond what SCOTUS has limited it too, violate SCOTUS jurispendance; 3) to re-assert that the First Amendment protects anonymous free speech on the internet, and that an authors decision to use a psuedonym is the content of speech, as the Court has previously declared in McIntyre. Also, yes MySpace and Facebook use the sex offender registry to weed out sex offenders on thier sites, using internet identifiers sex offenders provide to law enforcement, see the Keeping the Internet Devoid of Sexual Predators (KIDS) Act of 2008. The USDOJ can charge a fee for access to the list, and many states have similar laws (which charge fees for internet identifiers), such as Oklahoma. Facebook openly admits they use the registry to weed out sex offenders in this story: http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_17046787.
Good Discussion. One thing though, JohnDoeUtah, you got to follow all of the discussion, Previously, the comments were centering on the statements that juveniles convicted of consensual sex crimes (Romeo and Juliet) type offenses had to register, as well as juveniles who committed crimes at a really young age (someone made a claim of a 3 yr sex offender having to register, which has got to be pure BS ). I mentioned that some states had a way of handling some juvenile sex offenders , meaning these offenders. I never said juvenile sex offenders didn’t have to register at all under Adam Walsh. BUT LETS BE CLEAR...Adam Walsh requirements for juveniles to be in the registry are not as expansionist as several here are alleging or what the previous discussion was about. First they must be 14 years or older at the time of the offense AND been adjudicated of crime comparable or more severe than 18 USC 2241 (Aggravated Sexual Assault). These would be offenses where force, threat of force, serious bodily harm, drugging, etc. are involved. Like a RAPE. These are not consensual sex acts, which the discussion was about. If you want you can go to http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/smart/pdfs/final_sornaguidelines.pdf and get a copy of the final guidelines. Additionally, Adam Walsh are minimal standards. States are free to do more if they wish. Now about the state of criminal justice brought up by Rudy101. You are raising issues I think concerning ex post facto.... so far the courts have held that making someone register is not an added punishment, and therefore ex post facto does apply. There maybe ex post facto impact of barring them from using the Internet after their sentence (It seems to make more sentence to put a prohibition or requirement to be monitored in as part of a community supervision sentence, while treatment was going on). I think the case mentioned by JohnDoeUtah was more about disclosure of Internet identifiers to the general public as opposed to only requiring them be provided to law enforcement a the time of the registration. To may knowledge there isn’t a case out there yet that states collecting Internet Identifiers is unconstitutional (If there is forward on). Just like there isn’t a case that making addresses or telephones a requirement is unconstitutional. If I am not mistaken there are provisions in Adam Walsh that specific that all though information is required to be reported..that doesn’t mean it gets posted to the public register, a prime example is Social security Number. That said, I know there is a discussion about allowing a method that allows a concerned parent or someone to submit an email for a comparison in state sex offender registration. But that is not a requirement. I do recall something about not tying the person to an email for the world to see that xyz@aol belows to tom xyst. It may be that the Courts will some day conclude that banning sex offenders from the social networking sites or the Internet can’t be justified. However, it ain’t looking too good for that now occurring anytime soon. It may take more integration of the Internet with everything. But than again, who knows. We revoke individuals driver’s licenses for life because of too many DWIs. Can the same be done on the information highway? And I am hesitate to bring this up...but Facebook’s rule on sex offenders is simply that they can’t use the site. The rule doesn’t require they have to be registered sex offenders. It just states convicted sex offender’s can’t use the site. So someone that has an old sex offense condition and not subject to registration, would under this rule appear not be allowed to use Facebook. (I am not a Facebook representative so take that for what it is worth). So the argument that the Govt is using sex offender registration to purge or force Facebook to remove sex offenders seems someone disingenuous. Facebook’s rule doesn’t require registration. It just requires a conviction. Would we have this discussion of a theme park prohibited sex offenders from their facility? It seems also the discussion is from a lot of pro-sex offender rights...which is fine...but what about the parents of kids who use Facebook? I wonder how they feel about allowing individuals who have not completed a term of supervision and/or sex offender treatment, from getting on Facebook or any social networking site and friending Johnnie or Suzie. Look there has got to be some rational thought on this from both sides. Folks should be able to tell who committed a crime of this nature and take whatever steps they feel is appropriate for their safety and those of their loved ones. I think all or most of the sex offender registration sites make it clear you can harm or harass sex offenders listed on the site. It if for information purposes. We can beat up this issue until the cows come home. The bottom line, it was passed (sex offender registration) by Congress, states are moving enact laws to comply with Adam Walsh and the Courts so far have upheld. It is the law. A bar on the Internet and/or social networking sites is not the law of the land. Facebook’s stand on this is the only one of the social networkings sites that has it. Maybe more will follow maybe not. But keep me posted. I am not so arrogant to believe I am the almighty wizard of this stuff.
Hey computpro? You said a whole bunch of nothing. Everyone knows there are consequences. But the registry ADDS consequences AFTER a sentence has been handed down or served. Don't you think a sentence can be served? Or do you believe ANY sentence can have additions to it, even years AFTER? Right now, the U.S., ashamedly, has the LARGEST, by far prison system in the world! 25% of the world prison population. The U.S. locks up 5 times more than England, 9 times more than Germany, 15 times more than Japan. There are upwards of 800,000 people on the registry of ALL sorts, whose status and restrictions are constantly being changed. This article is not talking about sex offenders on barbie.com. It is talking about abolishing a whole class of people the government gets to define EXCLUSIVELY from the LARGEST public forum the world has EVER seen. You know, Facebook, if they wanted, COULD exclude MOST black males from the site. How could they do that? Well, in America the free, MOST blacks have a criminal record. Where does it stop? The U.S. Constitution was set up in a particular way. It was set up KNOWING that the EASIEST thing the government can do is to criminalize someone. Therefore, there MUST be protections built into the Constitution. You know, like all you do is pass a law that eating tacos on Saturday is a crime. (there is NO limit to government's ability to criminalize) and PRESTO, Latinos are barred from society. You think it is ridiculous? All you need is the mind-set. You know, like in many States it is a serious CRIME to walk on a church property REGARDLESS of INTENTION! All you need to do is convince yourself that tacos are dangerous and people who eat them must be contained! SO, HAVE some due process! The State does NOT get the awesome unlimited powers to label AFTER a sentence has been served! It doesn't work in America! And goes against every ideal America was built upon!
Re: Computerpro. The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 requires states to post the information of juvenile offenders on thier public sex offender websites. Please do your homework. As far as this article, Facebook can do whatever they want; but, the government cannot create laws making it a crim for sex offenders to use facebook, or to identify thier anonymous internet identifiers (such as facebook), as such laws clearly violate the First Amendment, and clearly go against SCOTUS rulings on the First Amendment. As I posted on one of your previous articles, I am the Plaintiff in Doe v. Shurtleff at. el. (which is on Cert. to SCOTUS as we speak). So, are sex offenders "authorized" to use Facebook? No, not according to Facebook. But, how can Facebook regulate that without doing background checks on every user? They can't, and the government charges fees for the internet identifiers of sex offenders, and background checks. So, Facebook, and other SNS, went to Congress and states, asking them to make it a crime for citizens (sex offenders) to not hand over thier identifiers to the government, and to give Facebook access to that database based on a once-monthly fee; thus, violating the First Amendment. My case, a case in Geoegia (which was won by the sex offender), a case in Nebraska, and a NEW case as of last week in New York - challenge this act by our government as unconstitutional. Facebook can do what they want; but, once these laws enacted by government are found to be unconstitutional - Facebook cannot afford to check every user, thus thier policy will be unenforceable.
Interesting....all these cases about juveniles required to register...being convicted of sex crimes. Where are these stories coming from? Juvenile records are protected...even on sex crimes. Additionally, many states have a public registration database (for 18 and above) and a separate one containing juveniles, which is only accessed by certain agencies. Juvenile sexting is a problem obviously as well as underage sex. These young folks can very well be messing up their lives without the problems of registry. Embarrassment, posting online, unwanted pregnancy, etc. Should someone say hey... this is no improper conduct...or say "kids will be kids." Don't get me wrong, I am not advocating registering underage sex acts between consenting minors. But I also am not seeing states push to have minors on minors register. In fact only about 4 states are have rules in place that meet the minimum requirements of the federal statute. Technology has created a problem where kids can produce their own child porn. It needs to be addressed. Often times where juveniles are registering there are special rules for getting them off the register if they complete treatment/supervision. By the way I find it particularly troubling that so many folks now think is okay for an 18 yr to have sex with a minor. It has been the law for the last 35 years at least that this was not okay. George Thurgood actually wrote a son about it called "Jail Bait".... You don't go having relationship with juveniles. Just like you don't go robbing a bank or doing drugs. You do and you pay the consequences if caught. In the past they may have been marry the girl or we will charge you but it was never oaky. Now the big bad Govt giving Facebook a hard time has got me laughing. Sure they got some sex offenders off through appropriate legal actions, but Facebook nor any of the social networking sites are in Govt pocket. If they were there would be more problems than getting sex offender’s off them. Facebook has a link which allows users to provide information on “convicted” sex offenders inappropriately using the site. Have there been mistakes or injustices..sure. But there have also be cases where kids have been killed because no one knew a sex offender lived next to them or was babysitting, etc. We need to fix the mistakes and move on. And I mean the mistakes that are real..not my sister told me...or so and so told me or I read it on the x files that 2 yr olds were being convicted of sex crimes and are on the sex offender registry. That kind of BS frequently comes from those who are properly on the sex offender registry themselves and are blowing smoke to confuse the issue.
HOW does Facebook keep sex offenders off their site? They use the GOVERNMENT to do it. The government requires the compilation of the information and the GOVERNMENT gives it to FACEBOOK for the sole purpose of removing them from the site. Without the GOVERNMENT, Facebook couldn't keep anyone from their site or even have the rules of keeping sex offenders from their site. And that is the caveat. The government isn't using the information from offenders to investigate crimes, (they have NEVER solved ANY crimes with the information supplied by offenders), it is ONLY using that information to PRESSURE sites to ban the offenders. THAT is illegal and a violation of the 1st amendment. And a couple of comments about equal protection under the law, or that felons are not a protected class. What does that mean? Does that mean, society or anyone can systematically cleanse themselves of the presence of a felon? Because that is what is happening for sex offenders. Who will be next? Registries are in the works for other types of felons also. How do you think they will evolve? Will the prohibition on ex-post facto laws have any meaning anymore? And those who comment that Romeo & Juliets are rare among other ridiculous cases, are missing the point of what freedom is. YOU DON'T GET TO STRIP ANYONE OF LIBERTY UNJUSTLY. That is what the due process clause is all about. If it wasn't, why not, through just a charge, put everyone into prison without trial? The vast majority are guilty. Only a FEW injustices will happen. Is THIS what America is about?
Greg is correct about the registration requirements of youth. Texas has registrants who are as young as ten. States make different allowances for age differences between consenting sexual partners. The charge normally used in these cases is "sexual assault of a minor," so looking at the records gives no clue as to who was consensual and who violently raped a child or teen. In some states the laws dealing with that are not free passes; they can only be used as a defense at trial. In Utah several years ago, a 12 year old girl and 13 year old boy caught having sex were each charged with sexual assault of a child under the age of 14 and each was named as the victim in the other's case. Read this story, recently published, and know that it is just one of so very many of the same type. If we don't stop, America's entire future will be on a sex offender registry. http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=178523&terms=sex%20offender
Morning computerpo I don't have much time but google youngest sex offenders and you maybe suprized....I was trying to find the story of the 3 year old i told you about.....and yes I aggree that most states have adopted a policy of 3 or 4 year age difference is ok...but there were a lot of these young people charged and covicted before the change and these people are on the registry to this day........ These laws have gone so extreme that the registry will be a use tool that is so cluttered with people that are no risk........changes need to be made....when it was first started it was to be for the worced of the worced....Now in Wisconsin the state Supreme court just ruled that non- sex offenders can be listed on it as long as it serves the purpose of promoting public saftey.........that pretty much includes everything they want it to......and these people are ban from facebook as well for what purpose
greg55 you may have a point with a lifetime bar. Maybe a bar during supervision, while in treatment would make more sense. Have something to establish the sex offenders is not a risk. Let them establish they are not a risk. But this is not our call. Facebook is a private company. If Govts can dicate the rules on private company's than we are on a slippery slop. The kind your are allegying occuring with Facebook barring sex offenders. I understand there is crazyness about this on both sides. However, I have not seen many offenders described as you do as the 18 yr how had sex with his 16 yr GF getting caught up in this. In fact, there is an exception to those cases in the sex offender regiseration rules. Adam Walsh Act provides that if both participants are at least 13 years old and neither participant is more than 4 years older than the other, a sex offense conviction based on consensual sexual conduct does not require registration under the Adam Walsh Act. So under the federal rules an 18 yr old having consensual sex with a 16 yr old would not trigger registeration. States of course can make it more difficult if they choose...but most are not doing so in this kind of situtation. So your example includes its own hesteria of sorts. Now I have seen 19 and older going after 12 year olds. Your example of a 3 yr beign prosecuted for child porn has to be a typo. It is common law in most states that you can't prosecute juveniles for delinquent behavior before the age of 7. They don't have the capacity for mens rea. So either your made or mistake or someone got their facts wrong. 3 yrs are "victims" in child porn not offenders. My suggestion is you read up on the law before you start making wild allegations about it. Additionally, please do some due dilgence before you believe everything that you read on the Internet. Take care and keep on reading!
Please explain how people can be forced to suffer some of these restriction and disabilities for crimes that were committed over 30 years ago, crimes that they paid the price for and now they are being re-punished for the same thing. You brought up a interesting point felons and guns...the government was able to take their gun right away as a result of their conviction...but that opened the door and allow the government to even take the right of entire cities from position of hand guns ....Chicago comes to mind because that ban was just shot down....and not in all state can't a felon have a gun...a few states still believe in the constitution. Why should teens be branded and be forced to have to deal with these types of restrictions in some case for life for having sex with there girlfriends....or a 16 or 17 year old for texting nude pics to each other....or the drunk peeing in a alley rather then down his leg, skinny dippers and streaker or my favorite the dreaded mom breastfeeding in public....how about the 3 year old that was arrested and charged with a sex offence and will be subject to 25 years on the registry because he lift the skirt of a woman and looked up under it... These laws are becoming so ridiculous and for a company like facebook to fall in line with the sex offender hysteria is in my judgement very sad...you know 2 FBI reports and 2 Justice Dept reports as well as countless sex offender expert puts the re-offending rate of sex offenders between 4 and 7%.....that is one of the lowest re-offending rates of all criminals with the exception of murder. How many sexual assault or attempted sexual assaults happen every year that the victim met the perpetrator on line? And of that number how many of them were sex offenders and how many were non- sex offenders.... heck lets ban every one from facebook then our children would be a lot safer....or ban all social sites.... Once the door hass been open in this manner who is going to be next to be band from facebook or the Internet for that matter...people who appose the government and voice it on line....people such as us for voicing our opinions on subjects we support or don't support.....and there already are states considering banning sex offenders from the Internet and even banning them from owning computer....... This isn't just about sex offenders what has happened with facebook it sets a dangerous precedent that can easily be expanded to include any one for any reason at any time.... You may find it interet Hitler stared out by going after the homosexual population and then expanded to the jews and all under the ame pretences as we are today to protect the children
Sex offender have been convicted in a court of law. They have had due process. The 14th Amendment reads in part, ... "nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." Sex offenders as well as any offender, do not have the same rights in many areas due to their convictions. Such as owning a gun or running for public office. These disabilties are the result of their behavior...suppported by a criminal conviction. What Hilter did to innoncent folks is not the same as civil disabilities imposed on sex offenders, due to their conduct/convictions. It may be true that some of these disablities, such a restrictions are making it difficult for offenders. But these difficults are the results of their actions...not because of factors outside of their control, such as race. Our society will have to find away to deal with these offenders, while still protecting the community. Blacks were discriminated not becasue they victimized someone and got a conviction...they were discriminated because of their race, something not in their control. You can't compare the two, unless you do exactly what Hitler did and claim they are the same as offenders. They obviously are not.
I wasn't aware of any such groups that are protected as you have worded it. I was under the impression that all people are equal under the constitution....... It seems to me that blacks were repressed and discriminated against in just the same fashion as the sex offenders are being treated now. I remember many private concerns as you put it that refused to let blacks in there establishments...isn't that just what they are doing now to a different segment of society. Look at Nazi Germany in the late 30's and early 40"s and what they did to the Jews....and look closely and it's amazing how there is very little difference on what took place then and now...the Jews were herded into groups and basically sent in to exile at concentration camp...sex offenders are being regulated out of main stream society and sent into exile to live under bridges....Jews were forced to under medical treatments in the name of progress....government now a day want to force the chemical castration of offenders now....Jews were forced to ware stars of there chests to tell all this person is a Jew...sex offenders are forced to have lic. plates on there vehicles making them in some states...other states put sex offender in red letters on drivers lic.....and I can go on and on if you like...BUT HERE IS WHAT MAKES THIS ALL INDESPUTABLE THIS ONE QUOTE SAYS IT ALL..IT'S HOW THEY DID IT THEN AND HOW THEY ARE DOING IT NOW..state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people. As long as the government is perceived as working for the benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation. Rabbi Daniel Lapin in a letter to Adolf Hitler
Facebook is a private concern. Facebook is providing a free service to the public. As long as they don't discriminate against a protected group there isn't an issue. Sex offenders are not a protected group, like many of the groups mentioned by greg55. Sex offenders get on the registry after they have been convicted of a specific crime. A conviction involves due process. Facebook as big as it is isn't the only method for folks to excerise their free speech. In the end the Court will decide this. Hell, Facebook may conclude it ain't worth it and change their rules or even close up (doubtful). Other groups also might follow the winds of change as well, and either discontinue allowing sex offenders on or not. If we give sex offenders the right to join any private social networking group they choose, what does that do for the social networking groups that are specific to juveniles? Should a sex offender be allowed to join a group for juvenile so they can express themselves in there as well? Facebook and other social networkings should be free under the constitution to associate without discriminating, who they choose...that is also part of the First Amendment. What if Facebook started allowing sex offenders in...BUT with a nice label, (Convicted Sex Offender) on their profile pages? Would that satsify this concern?
No person has to disclose internet names, profiles, passwords, chat names, etc to the government for the sole reason of using that information to give to websites to deny services and/or free speech. What (especially) Facebook is, is a conduit of communications between ALL people in every corner of the world. Facebook thus has no right to deny service to ANYONE when their site is used for the most radical (and in many places very illegal) purposes of governmental overthrow or protestations (like Iran and Egypt). How many LAWS are there in the world that REQUIRES their citizens, by LAW to give up ALL their privacy rights, STRICTLY through legislative fiat? There are no free countries that do such a thing. All other countries, requires hearings in a courtroom when the State is determining someone dangerous. In the U.S. they have done it to ANYONE they wanted at ANYTIME they wanted (All convicted of THESE crimes, from THIS past decade, NOW loses their rights to be a part of a community). You people might think the SMALL part of your registry is the government taking all of that internet information from a registrant and criminalizing the fact that they don't. However, if you really believe you can justify long prison sentences for simply chatting or having a profile on Facebook simply because you label somebody, you are going to look downright foolish and despotic. The LACK of due process in the registry makes ALL registry laws stand upon a foundation of straw! It can't and won't last!
I would think that by Facebook telling sex offenders thwy can not use facebook would be discrimination....and even so with it being a stated in the user agrreement...... Example....what do you think would happen if they said "blacks can't use facebook, jews can't use facebook, women can't or prison gards can't use facebook"...some one please explain to me how this would be any different...facebook took these step only after being presured into it by the government.....
Since Facebook is also political, with many politicians using it, I wonder whether it would be a denial of Constitutional rights of our citizens to be barred from freedom of expression, etc.!