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March 13, 2012

Wisconsin Supreme Court addresses registration requirements for homeless sex offenders

As reported in this local press article, which is headlined "Court rules for homeless sex offender who didn't register address," today the Supreme Court of Wisconsin addressed the registration requirements for homeless sex offenders. Here are the basics:

William Dinkins Sr. spent nine years in prison for a sex crime, so he had to register as sex offender before he got out in 2008.  But Dinkins had nowhere to go, and no address to provide within 10 days of his release, so he was  charged and convicted of a new felony— violating the sex offender registration law.

The Court of Appeals reversed and on Tuesday the state Supreme Court upheld that decision.  "In isolation, the penalty subsection of the statute appears to criminalize the failure to provide required information — without regard to the registrant's ability to provide that information," the court found.

The state argued that Dinkins could have listed a park bench or some other street location where he intended to sleep in order to comply with the law.  The majority opinion makes clear that not all homeless offenders would be exempt from registration, but that listing a bench or doorway would be an unreasonable interpretation of the law in Dinkins' case.

Justice Annette Ziegler, in a harsh dissent joined by Justice Michael Gableman, accuses the majority of creating "a registration loophole for arguably some of the most dangerous sex offenders: those whose whereabouts are unknown and who are otherwise not subject to supervision by the Department of Corrections."

All the opinions in Wisconsin v. Dinkins, which are available at this link and run more than 50 pages, make for interesting reading concerning an issue that is arising in nearly every jurisdiction.

In unrelated (but weirdly connected) news, this other new story discusses an effort by a private company to turn homeless people into wireless network providers under the headlined "Homeless people turned into walking Wi-Fi hotspots in 'charitable experiment'."  Perhaps we might kill two bird with one stone by forcing homeless sex offenders to become Wi-Fi hotspots and then enable their tracking via this internet connection. And though this may all sound like a joke, if homeless sex offenders were to become a means for people to get free and fast internet access, perhaps more people would be willing to have these sex offenders in and around their neighborhoods.

March 13, 2012 at 10:50 AM | Permalink

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article: "Justice Annette Ziegler, in a harsh dissent joined by Justice Michael Gableman, accuses the majority of creating "a registration loophole for arguably some of the most dangerous sex offenders: those whose whereabouts are unknown and who are otherwise not subject to supervision by the Department of Corrections.""

me: if homeless icky pervs are such a danger, I have a radical idea - give them homes. Wisconsin is encouraged to contact Erika's Icky Perv Solutions for a full proposal covering several exciting housing options for homeless icky pervs including shelters, closed prisons/jail, off shore treatment resorts, icky perv apartment complexes, icky perv only trailer parks, icky perv subdivsions, barges, old shipping containers, etc. Just remember that no amount of tax payer money being funneled to business consultants offering obvious solutions and drastically marked up construction costs is too much to pay to protect children ;)

Erika :)

Posted by: virginia | Mar 13, 2012 11:22:58 AM

Here's a tought if you twits would stop passing ILLEGAL laws you wouldn't be having these problems.

seems everyone missed this part!

"so he had to register as sex offender before he got out in 2008. But Dinkins had nowhere to go, and no address to provide within 10 days of his release, so he was charged and convicted of a new felony— violating the sex offender registration law."

He was basicly convicted of violating the law BEFORE he ever left the damn prison. Florida has done the same illegal shit!

Posted by: rodsmith | Mar 13, 2012 11:39:19 AM

Erika:

Here's an even better idea, how about we recognize that residence restrictions are (a) a complete waste of time and resources in terms of preventing sexual offenses and (b) tend to drive the homelessness of sex offenders up, thereby making the situation less tenable and more dangerous?

Cheers.

Posted by: Guy | Mar 13, 2012 1:38:17 PM

Actually, I hate sex offender registration. Their sentences should reflect the danger each poses to society. If he or she is dangerous enough to be registered, he or she is dangerous enough to keep in prison until death.

No forced homelessness, no silly comments that registering will make them offend more. The public is protected and the punishment would fit the horrendous nature of the crime.

Keep in mind that I am NOT speaking about the 19 year old who had sex with his 16 year old girlfriend. In most cases, he will not be a threat after release and should not need to register anyway. Erika should get her Icky perv village. It is called prison.

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Mar 13, 2012 2:00:47 PM

I am not a lawyer, so I have a question for the folks who are. How specific does a registrant have to be when listing his address? Could a homeless person get by with simply saying "Wisconsin" in this case? Or "Madison" if he or she lives in the capital city?

If there are residency restrictions, are they 2- or 3-dimensional? In other words, could a registrant sleep in a balloon 2000' in the air but tethered right next to a school? (That would even meet an "as the crow flies" test! And why worry about when they're asleep? Aren't they more likely to be dangerous when they're awake?)

These may be reductio ad absurdum questions, but the point is that they don't have to go that far to BE absurd. Laws based on fear and ignorance got them most of the way there.

Posted by: Joe Power | Mar 13, 2012 3:12:29 PM

A homeless sex offender has to register his address. Kafkaesque.

Posted by: AnonymousOne | Mar 13, 2012 4:18:02 PM

forget it joe! heck florida once locked up a guy for violation of it's 1,000 ft registry requirment. he was 999 feet away. Of course when it came time for the arrest warrant from the judge...the crook of a DA forgot to mention that a large part of that 999 ft was a RIVER between him and the school.

sorry based ont he 2002 ussc decision residence restrictions are illegal on thier face.

Posted by: rodsmith | Mar 13, 2012 4:49:03 PM

might surpise you tarls! but i agree with this!

"Actually, I hate sex offender registration. Their sentences should reflect the danger each poses to society. If he or she is dangerous enough to be registered, he or she is dangerous enough to keep in prison until death."

Of course i think it should apply to ALL CRIMES not just sex offences!

also with you here!

"Keep in mind that I am NOT speaking about the 19 year old who had sex with his 16 year old girlfriend. In most cases, he will not be a threat after release and should not need to register anyway."

as for this!

"Erika should get her Icky perv village. It is called prison."

Last time i looked we already do this! heck these days you can get 25 to life for patting a kid on the ass if anyone decided you MEANT IT SEXUALLY! at least here in florida!


but tarls the be problem we have is we have decided since the late 1990's to hammer sex crimes. but are basicaly using the sex offender registry and all it's little add ons like residence restriction to ILLEGALLY go back and punish those who's crime PREDATE that time and therefore LEGALLY WE HAVE NO RIGHT TO TELL THEM A DAMN THING!

Posted by: rodsmith | Mar 13, 2012 4:54:30 PM

'TarlsQtr'

'If he or she is dangerous enough to be registered, he or she is dangerous enough to keep in prison until death.'

The registry is chock full of individuals whose only charge was looking at material on line (i.e. extremely low possiblity of ever re-offending) so your 'prison till death' statement really shows your lack of understanding of the type individuals required to be on the registry. That's what really needs to be revisited by lawmakers.

Posted by: lax | Mar 13, 2012 6:11:45 PM

When I was 11 years old and about to bat in little league, the coach talked to encourage me and then patted me on the ass. I was so mortified I hit a game winning double.

Is the statute of limitations over or can I go after this MOLESTER.

PS:

I used to be a volunteer Athletic Director at a private school from 1988-1996. At that time, I would fill in as a coach, if needed. The major problem was that every Parent's Johnnies and Sallies were so great they needed more playing time.

I wouldn't touch that job with a 10 foot pole in todays world.

Posted by: albeed | Mar 13, 2012 6:16:27 PM

ahh lax i think you are reading this wrong!

"'If he or she is dangerous enough to be registered, he or she is dangerous enough to keep in prison until death.'

When the ORIGINAL registry that was LAW ENFORCMENT USE ONLY was created it was to only list the as President Clinton stated "the WORSE fo the WORSE!" Violent and Repeat offenders.

What he and i both are saying is if someone is so damn dangerous you need to track their movements 24/7 the rest of their life...they have no business out in public. Not that all 800,000 people now on the registry fit that discription.

According to almost every study i've seen the last 10 years or so say only 10-15% of those on the registry are actualy a THREAT. That same number pretty much matches up with rearrest figures as well. 80-95% of all sex crimes reported each year are FIRST TIME OFFENDERS...that no registry in the damn world would change.

Posted by: rodsmith | Mar 13, 2012 8:03:59 PM

i'm with you albeed i have no clue where they are finding volunteers these days. I wouldnt' have a thing to do with children today if their LIVES depended on it!

Posted by: rodsmith | Mar 13, 2012 8:05:01 PM

Rodsmith stated: "Of course i think it should apply to ALL CRIMES not just sex offences!"

I agree 100%.

And thank you for clarifying my point in your other post. Lax got it wrong and you interpreted it correctly.

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Mar 14, 2012 1:15:16 PM

no problem tarls! like i've always said if your right your right and i'll back you up. If i disagree i'll tell you that too!

Posted by: rodsmith | Mar 14, 2012 6:48:43 PM

Guy, where is there any evidence that this icky perv or rapist was unable to find housing due to residency restrictions? Does Wisconisn even have sex offender residency restrictions? If so, do those restrictions keep homeless icky pervs or rapists from living in a homeless shelter?

If not, they should because like icky adult book stores and dangerous chemical waste processing facilities, icky pervs and rapists should be placed in locations where they can do the least amount of harm. The Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld zoning restrictions aimed at controlling secondary effects most of which risks are much more spectulative than the risks associated with icky pervs and rapists being around women and children. All sex offenders therefore should have to live in special icky perv villages. While an island such as my proposed Erika's Icky Perv Island would be the perfect location for the icky perv village due to its natural security features, icky perv villages can also be located on the mainland.

Obviously, icky perv village on the mainland would need to have more security than an island. While sex offender may balk at the security features including multiple sharp razor wire fences, guard towers, moats, warning signs, heavily armed guards, large vicious dogs, land mines, electric fences, trenches, armored vehicles, spring guns, secret pits, etc. the life within Erika's Icky Perv Village would be similar to the community including opportunies for employment and a variety of housing options - there would just be no children allowed within the secure fenced in area and icky pervs would not be able to leave unless they agree to undergo surgical castration in accordance with my proposed Erika's Law which requires sex offenders living in the community to have their sexual organs permanently removed.

As an additional benefit, icky pervs and rapists would be safe in Erika's Icky Perv Village because while the razor wire on the fences is facing in, the fences and land mines would also serve to keep people looking to beat up icky pervs out.

And TarlsQtr, yes prison is the ideal spot for icky pervs, rapists, and other sex offenders and yes I agree that the 19 year old with a 16 year old girlfriend shouldn't be included remember that it is unconstiutional to imprison people just because they are disgusting icky pervs or rapists - the fact that society made the mistake of not locking them up for longer does not mean we can keep them in prison for ever - but providing a safe, secure gated icky perv community for sex offenders to live is not an act of punishment - it is an act of mercy (the slicing off of sex organs of icky pervs who fail to move to Erika's Icky Perv Village is also an act of mercy). Besides Erika's Icky Perv Solutions (investment opportunities available now! Contact the investment house of Ponzi and Madoff if interested in investing large sums of money or simply receiving the full prospective.) is not exactly a public service - its a for profit enterprise. And how will Erika's Icky Perv Solutions make any money if all of our potential profit centers are being kept in prison? :)

Erika :)

Posted by: virginia | Mar 15, 2012 6:52:49 AM

rodsmith: "Last time i looked we already do this! heck these days you can get 25 to life for patting a kid on the ass if anyone decided you MEANT IT SEXUALLY! at least here in florida!"

me: yet according to a Supreme Court case out of Florida, Ingram v. Wright, its perfectly legal to paddle children in schools if you claim it is "for punishment" and not sex - and of course, parents are also allowed to beat their children for punishment. I don't know if Florida still has paddling in the schools, but they need to be consistent because otherwise icky pervs can get a free pass for sexual molestation by claiming that the touching was "punishment" and not "sexual." Just ignore that there are millions of adults who see spanking as an erotic activity and engage in spanking as consensual sexual activity and therefore how disgusting it is that such an activity involving contact with a sexual organ which would be sexual battery in any other context is tolerated as "punishment" of children.

Naturally that leads to the question on whether parents who spank their children should be labeled as icky pervs and sent to prison as sex offenders - I say yes.

Erika :)

Posted by: virginia | Mar 15, 2012 7:05:38 AM

Erika stated: "it is unconstiutional to imprison people just because they are disgusting icky pervs or rapists -"

Not sure about your statement. It seems to be much more an issue of will than the constitution. Why can't the most serious sex offenses (rape would qualify)come with a life sentence?

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Mar 15, 2012 9:27:48 AM

Rodsmith,

One thing I have always appreciated about you is your unabashed style of saying EXACTLY what you mean.

Some here have had some condescending comments to you in the past but here is some news to them. You are easily the most freethinking and least ideological person on this board.

Keep it up!

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Mar 15, 2012 9:34:45 AM

well erika i don't know about where you live in DREAMLAND but in the real world prison's don't let inmates out to house hunt! IF you had bothered to read the article the man was STILL IN PRISON when charged with violating the registry restrctions for not having an APPROVED LVING LOCATION!

would think you would have noticed.


"William Dinkins Sr. spent nine years in prison for a sex crime, so he had to register as sex offender before he got out in 2008. But Dinkins had nowhere to go, and no address to provide within 10 days of his release, so he was charged and convicted of a new felony— violating the sex offender registration law."

EVEN the supreme court agreed! and commented on what a CROCK it was!

""In isolation, the penalty subsection of the statute appears to criminalize the failure to provide required information — without regard to the registrant's ability to provide that information," the court found.

Prosecutors argued that Dinkins could have listed a park bench or some other street location where he intended to sleep in order to comply with the law.

The majority opinion said that would be an unreasonable interpretation, and would hardly have helped authorities keep track of Dinkins, who after all those years in prison wouldn’t even know the areas a homeless person might be able to stay."


what i found real interesting was this part!

"The court stressed it was not creating an exception for any homeless sex offender, but was ruling on the particulars in Dinkins’ case. He had completed his full sentence and was not subject to continued Department of Corrections monitoring, as would be almost any offenders sentenced after 1999. In those instances, DOC would responsible for placing the offender in a halfway house or such setting for extended supervision."

Posted by: rodsmith | Mar 15, 2012 11:06:29 AM

Thanks TarlsQtr

Posted by: rodsmith | Mar 15, 2012 11:08:02 AM

TarlsQtr (Mar 13, 2012 2:00:47 PM): You said, "no silly comments that registering will make them offend more."

I'm sorry, but there is nothing silly about those comments. In fact, that is what all experts say. I personally don't even think it's debatable. It is quite clear. Not only do the Registries lead to more sex crimes, they also lead to more murders and other crimes.

The Registries are truly idiotic social policy.

End the WART.

Posted by: FRegistryTerrorists | Mar 15, 2012 5:50:51 PM

TarlsQtr, its obviously Constitutional to imprison people for life for committing a rape which is punishing an action - its probably not unconstitutional (but its bad policy) to imprison someone for life simply for possessing child pornography. That is also punishing an action with is a crime.

Its not Constitutional to punish someone simply because they are a pedophile which is punishing bad thoughts. Its not illegal just to be an icky perv - however, society still can take non-punitive steps such as sex offender registration, residency restrictions, involuntary commitment for treatment, etc. to protect themselves from dangerous people such as icky pervs.

Erika :)

Posted by: virginia | Mar 16, 2012 7:11:26 AM

rodsmith: "well erika i don't know about where you live in DREAMLAND"

me: its true that currently Erika's Icky Perv Island and the chain of Erika's Icky Perv Villages are merely a dream - but every great fortune starts with a visionary idea.

Currently society just does not care enough about protecting women and children to fulfill my vision, but I have a dream that they will and when they do Erika's Icky Perv Solutions will be there.

You really should consider investing, my business model of exploiting fear for profit is very sound - plus unlike most companies who do so, we will serve a legitimate public interest.

Erika :)

Posted by: virginia | Mar 16, 2012 7:20:24 AM

virginia (Mar 16, 2012 7:11:26 AM):

There are no thinking people who believe the Registries are non-punitive. That is a joke.

Also, of the other methods that you listed to protect people, there is only one which does so. The rest are only to make stupid people feel better, make some fear mongers money, and similar goals.

End the WART.

Posted by: FRegistryTerrorists | Mar 16, 2012 9:44:28 AM

erika the fact you think the registry and all it's little add-on's that are changed retroctively every 6-10 months tells me so much about you it' s not funny!

your obviously in a dream world


your also so full of it! you should be the next thanksgiving turkey!

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Posted by: albeed | Mar 19, 2012 11:24:38 PM

rodsmith: i'm with you albeed i have no clue where they are finding volunteers these days. I wouldnt' have a thing to do with children today if their LIVES depended on it!

I stopped driving school bus a few years back for this reason. It got to the point where we were told we couldn't touch a child even if he was having a medical issue -- we were to instruct another student on what to do. Didn't want any part of it after that. I can just see the lawsuits if a school bus drivers stands by as a child dies because he is afraid of being accused of something.

Posted by: Truth | Jun 11, 2012 10:49:09 PM

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