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August 27, 2013

"Is it fair for sex offenders to stay listed on a registry for life?"

The title of this post is the headline of this recent lengthy article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Here are excerpts:

On one side of the latest debate over Missouri’s sex-offender registry are people such as Daniel Ray Winfrey. In 1991, when Winfrey was 15, he and three others raped and murdered sisters Julie and Robin Kerry at the Chain of Rocks Bridge near St. Louis.

Winfrey testified against his co-defendants in exchange for a 30-year prison sentence. Though back in prison, he has been paroled twice since his conviction. At those times, he was free but still listed on the state’s sex-offender registry website. That website, Gov. Jay Nixon argues, is the only way for most neighbors and others to know of the potential danger while such offenders are among them.

“You wouldn’t want to know if one of these guys moved in next door?” Nixon asked last week. He was defending his veto of a bill that would remove from the website all offenders who, like Winfrey, were under 18 when they committed their crimes.

On the other side are people such as Ali Nemec’s fiancé. He was 17 when he was arrested for having child pornography on his computer. Now 24 and still listed on the registry website, he’s had difficulty at work, has been been turned away from housing and lives with his parents.

“We can’t go to a park, we can’t go to a mall. If there’s an event with our friends near a school, we can’t go,” said Nemec, 23, of St. Peters. “He made a mistake ... (but) he is not the boy that he was. There’s no reason to ruin him for the rest of his life.”

The registry is today’s ultimate “scarlet letter.” Long after they’ve served their time, sex offenders remain barred from parks and schools and limited in their employment and housing options. Their names and faces are posted on the Internet, easily accessible to friends and neighbors.

In Missouri, they stay listed for life, even if they were juveniles when they committed their crimes. The state Legislature passed this year a bill to change that. Nixon vetoed it, potentially setting up an emotionally charged veto fight next month.

The bill would remove from the sex-offender registry website hundreds of offenders such as Nemec’s fiancé and Winfrey, whose crimes were very different but who were both under 18 when they committed them. By one estimate, the bill would cull about 870 names from the more than 13,000 on the site, in addition to future offenders in the same situation.

Those offenders would still be listed on the registry itself, accessible to law enforcement and anyone from the public who requests the information. But the bill would allow the offenders to petition for complete removal from the registry starting five years after the end of their sentences.

“These kids have served their debt to society. They are adults now and haven’t done anything wrong since,” said Rep. Dave Hinson, R-St. Clair, a co-sponsor of the measure. He and others note that listed offenders have high unemployment rates because many employers won’t hire them. “We’re just trying to give them another shot at being productive citizens.”

Nixon, a Democrat, vetoed the bill in July, arguing that it makes no distinction between relatively minor offenders and those who used force or violence. In a news conference at St. Louis police headquarters last week, defending the veto amid the backdrop of uniformed officers, the governor warned that the measure could make Missouri a haven for sex offenders from other states who want to hide from their pasts....

In Missouri, and nationally, the issues connected to sex-offender registries — who should be on them, how long they should stay listed — have been in flux for years, with opposing interests battling to tighten or loosen the requirements.

The concept behind the lists is that because of the high rate of repeat offenses among sex offenders, the public needs to be warned of their whereabouts even after their sentences are served. Civil libertarians have long argued that this amounts to an unconstitutional open-ended punishment, but courts have generally upheld the registries....

Missouri’s system is tougher than some because once a person is on the list, he or she is on it for life, regardless of the severity of the original crime or the offender’s age at the time. Illinois, in contrast, has a lifetime tier and a 10-year tier, based on the details of the crime. People who commit crimes as juveniles have to register, but they aren’t listed on the registry’s public website....

Critics claim that the registry nets are cast so widely they often catch people who most would agree aren’t sexual threats. One commonly cited example are the so-called “Romeo and Juliet” offenders, who had consensual sex with teenage lovers, sometimes when they themselves were teenagers. Critics say those pitfalls in the system are especially ominous in Missouri, where juvenile crimes are listed for life.

August 27, 2013 at 02:42 PM | Permalink

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Comments

When Missouri's governor should be falsly convicted or convicted of an actual sex offense that puts his name on the registry, we will see if he still supports his state's existing registry law, or if he will find a way to make an exception for himself the way most big shot politicians do.

Posted by: william r. delzell | Aug 27, 2013 7:23:58 PM

william r. delzell --

No one who is "falsely convicted" should bear ANY kind of government-imposed disability. No one disagrees with that.

On the "falsely-convicted" premise, however, we should tear down all the jails and never impose a fine.

Which is to say that adopting the premise of "falsely convicted" leads nowhere. I mean, DO you propose tearing down all the jails? Anyone can be falsely convicted, right?

While we're at it, do you think we should parole Daniel Ray Winfrey for the THIRD time, because, he too might have been falsely convicted?

Posted by: Bill Otis | Aug 27, 2013 7:43:55 PM

The issue, in my view, is being intelligent about what we are trying to accomplish. If the idea is some sort of pseudo-punishment because we don't have the balls to incarcerate, then we're often wasting time, money and resources. If the idea is to protect society, then sex offender registries should be limited to predators (I'll leave that term to be defined.) and should generally be limited to notification and job disqualification. It seems ridiculous that this guy will be on a sex offender registry until he's 50/60/70. As for the guy on parole, um, he's on parole. So it seems like there's a easy basis to distinguish the two.

Posted by: federalist | Aug 27, 2013 10:02:05 PM

Bill:

The failure of SO laws to distinguish the difference(s) between Daniel Ray Winfrey and Ali Nemec's fiance is why I consider most of them to be the POS's that they indeed are.

Are we really that dumb by nature or do we have to work at it? I am looking at proposed laws such as "International Meghan's Law" and "Passport Control of SO's" along with many proposed state laws (Halloween Residency, Park, et al. restrictions)and local ordinances to come to the conclusion that since the Supreme Court can justify this Unconstitutional stupidty, we are too late to save as a Nation and might as well start over.

Posted by: albeed | Aug 27, 2013 10:57:40 PM

well bill i think anyone in the state has the legal right to sneak into the state mansion and put a bullet though the empty head of this treasnous little nazi wannabee.

sorry but this right here is what does it for me!

"The concept behind the lists is that because of the high rate of repeat offenses among sex offenders, the public needs to be warned of their whereabouts even after their sentences are served."

This illegal shit has been in place ever since the USSC bought that lie or should i say FRAUD played on the court by the DOJ.

Considering the lies and fraud they put out there DAILY now. Is there any doubt they were puling the same shit then?

Posted by: rodsmith | Aug 27, 2013 11:53:20 PM

I don't think anyone feels too sorry for Mr. Winfrey. But sex offender registries have nothing to do with protecting the public. If we really believed that a registry would protect people from dangerous criminals, we'd have muderer registries, armed robbery registries, burglary registries, domestic violence registries (actually, that one's probably a really good idea), etc. But we don't. We only have sex offender registries because we Americans seem to have a psychological inability to think rationally about sex.

Posted by: C.E. | Aug 27, 2013 11:58:07 PM

"high rate of repeat offenses among sex offenders"

Unfortunately, if you repeat a lie often enough, people begin to take it as fact. Politicians do it all the time. And the above quote is another perfect example of it. Sad.

Posted by: Evan | Aug 28, 2013 12:58:43 AM

Doesn't have anything to do with being sorry for this individual. I'm more sorry for the rest of us. Each time we allow the govt to fuck over even one citizen we make it that much easier for them to do it to the next one!

We have the same problem with law enforcment. Each time an individual takes the line of bullshit they like to dish out as gospel from god and bow down to them. We make it harder for the next person to stand up for thier rights!

Posted by: rodsmith | Aug 28, 2013 3:13:50 AM

albeed, rodsmith, C.E., Evan: How right you all are.

william: I wouldn't worry about "falsely convicted" or hoping that that the immoral scumbags who support the Registries end up on them. To me, those seem like minor things compared to the huge pile of shit that is the Registries. You can't appeal to any morals or right/wrong to the people who support the Registries. They don't care. So treat them like the idiots they are.

I can't possibly explain how sick I am of people arguing about who should be on a Registry, for how long, etc. Can we all just stop the joke that these Registries actually do anything useful? Maybe that was the initial intent but look at what actually happened. The U.S. is too full of morons to be responsible.

The Registries are nothing but a weapon being used by a bunch of immoral scumbags. Most people who are listed on the Registries did something wrong and they paid for it. These immoral scumbags are doing something wrong every day but they are not appropriately paying for it.

I am very disappointed that people like this Governor are not being murdered every day. I think it is far past time for families who are listed on the harassment Registries to strike back. I expect that they are. I just wonder how much murdering is going on.

I read an article just recently about a community where a bunch of douche bags had created a park so they could keep "sex offenders" from living certain places. It would be great if the people mentioned in such article were murdered. We don't need those kind of people in the U.S.

I personally think the Registries are here to stay. The U.S. is just far, far too stupid and weak to get rid of them. So, we need to get the rest of the Registries created, get them out into the public, and get millions of people on them for life. Then the families who are listed on them can retaliate every single day. Even bigger nanny government is on its way. It will never be moral or respected.

The Registries have destroyed most empathy that I had for people I don't know.

Posted by: FRegistryTerrorists | Aug 28, 2013 8:45:15 AM

The main reason I wrote my comment was to get a discussion going; not to necessarily advocate any particular action, as my mind is not totally made up on ALL aspects of these particular laws. Apparently, this article now has several comments that cut accross the political spectrum! I-all's recken that's good. Do y'alls's agree?

Posted by: william r. delzell | Aug 28, 2013 9:31:31 AM

The rule should be very simple - anyone who commits a forcible sex offense or a sex offense against children under the age of 13 (including possession of child pornography involving young children, flashing, peeping, etc.) should be listed on the sex offender registry for life - that group should be thankful that they were not locked up for life.

Adults who commit sex offenses against teenagers who are moer than 5 years younger than them (but in no case over the age of 16) should also be listed for life.

People who commit voyueristic crimes such as peeping in bathrooms, secret cameras, upskirt photographs, etc. against victims of any age should be listed for life.

The other offenders probably should not be listed as sex offenders at all. Of course, that will only be a handful of sex offenders, which is contrary to what the anti-registry crowd tries to claim - but it makes much more sense to remove the 1% or so who shouldn't be there than to not list the 99% who should.

Its not complicated, it really isn't.

Posted by: Erika | Aug 28, 2013 9:41:30 AM

Hilarious. Here comes Erika to talk about who should and shouldn't be listed.

Don't worry, there will be enough people listed. And it will continue to protect no one.

And it will lead to more sex crimes. And it will lead to the continued decay of civility in the U.S. And it will lead to murders. And it will lead to more and more dysfunctional, useless government.

You will have your Registries so you can feel better. But you and the rest of us will pay dearly. Far more than your "good feelings" are worth.

It's not complicated.

Families who are listed on the Registries: Make sure you retaliate today.

Posted by: FRegistryTerrorists | Aug 28, 2013 11:03:15 AM

Well guess what Erika opinion are like assholes. Everyone has one. Quite a few stink!

In MY opinion hate filed individuals named ERIKA should be killed within 24hrs of their beging given that name. Get em before they breed!

Posted by: rodsmith | Aug 28, 2013 12:29:36 PM

FRegistryTerrorists,

I think you hit the nail on the head in regards to it leading to more murders. It does happen, but not that often.

Does that mean that sex offenders who do not murder their victims have some compassion or value for human life? Or do they just not want to cross the line into the death penalty phase? If it's value for human life of at least some compassion, does that mean they have more value for human life than those who blindly support the SO registry?

Just askin......

Posted by: Oswaldo | Aug 28, 2013 12:35:43 PM

Federalist: I agree with you, for once.

Erika: Of course, if you want to do anything indiscriminately, it is easy. If your intention is simply to heap more misery on these people, it is simple, as you say. If you want to actually help protect people, while giving others a chance at a productive life, it is simple too: a more discriminating, intelligent registries. That would actually be better for everyone. Instead, today's unwieldy registry does not do much protection, and makes reoffense more likely by precluding housing and employment.

Yet again, no matter what any study says, nor even what police and parole officers have voiced for some time, we simply cannot be rational when it comes to anything sex related.

Posted by: Barbara | Aug 28, 2013 12:36:30 PM

C.E. said:

"We only have sex offender registries because we Americans seem to have a psychological inability to think rationally about sex. "

As evidence of this statement, I would like to present exhibit A, Erika of 9:40 AM fame. From previous posts, she may have suffered abuse earlier in her life but the specifics are not known.

She may be getting healthier. Before, she never met a male organ that she didn't want to cut off.

I said it before and I'll say it again. Any "sex crime" that doesn't entail in any way; force, threats, coercion, incapcitation or deception with anyone over 14 years old should not be listed. We have established a non-biological and arbitrary age of 18 (21 for NAZI Germany) as the age of consent. This was for political purposes. Some penalties may be appropriate for the 14-17 age group, but they should not all be felonies and life ruining events.

All cases should be judged on the particulars and details of the crime, but that would make prosecutor's work a bit harder and the participation of the "victim" would also need to be taken into account.

Posted by: albeed | Aug 28, 2013 12:45:47 PM

I feel like adding that it would be nice to end this war. I would like to not have to harass people who support the Registries, kick them out of their homes, etc. I would like to be able to support my governments and love my country. I would like to be able to support good law enforcement.

I think all that could be done while keeping the Registries AND making them actually useful. This is what would work:

1. Get all of the rest of the Registries created immediately. All Registries would be the same in that they would list everyone for life and would all be available to the public the same way on the Internet. We can separate the Registries by crime class or not, I don't think it matters.

2. Remove all requirements of any Registered families. Governments will gather all information that is needed for their Registries. There is no possibility at all that any family member, friend, etc. could be arrested for anything related to a Registry. Of course this would include that governments would never contact Registered families for any reason.

Now that's simple. And who could complain about it?

Then I might actually know about some of my neighbors who are "dangerous" that I don't know about today.

Would it satisfy the Registry Terrorists?

Posted by: FRegistryTerrorists | Aug 28, 2013 12:51:32 PM

Statistics have shown that the recidivism rate among SO's is low, very low. And if we break it down by offenses on the SOR, the rate is even lower.
We don't need a Registry, it serves no purpose, it only ruins the lives of those who have already served their time. End the witch hunt.

Posted by: kat | Aug 28, 2013 3:31:27 PM

Erika: All vile feminist lawyers should be purged from all institutions, and get placed on a registry along with their male running dogs. Preferably for life. Feminism is to 2013 what the KKK was to 1913, politically correct, a lawyer scheme to enrich and empower itself through false legal gotchas. Also feminism has always been a racial supremacy ideology. Once again minorities will bear the brunt.

The biggest downloader and subsidizer of child porn is of course, Bill's old outfit, the DOJ just filthy with feminists. Bill could potentially make news right here by giving us insider info on the extent and budget for child porn downloading, campaign donations by front organizations for criminal syndicates producing child porn to maintain current fed price subsidies, and whether anyone is tracking outcomes. Outcomes of fed efforts and registries? A massive increase in reported child sex abuse, the proliferation of child porn sites now at 4 million, due to fed subsidized profitability, children having sex down to pre-school, prostitute outfits on every other girl in our malls, copied from porn fashions, the beginning of the end of the white patriarchal family.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Aug 28, 2013 9:52:48 PM

♀ age 12 ←consensual→ ♂ age 10

¿ For LIFE ? ‼

Posted by: Just Plain Jim | Aug 29, 2013 1:54:53 AM

The girls after whom these laws are named would not have been saved by the registry. Megan opened her front door to a neighbor, and was taken. Jessica was asleep in her bed when she was taken. They and dozens of other victims of these predators would have been saved had they been executed after age 14. Read this registry introduction.


"Welcome to the Pennsylvania State Police Megan's Law Website

WARNING

Any person who uses the information contained herein to threaten, intimidate, or harass the registrant or their family, or who otherwise misuses this information, may be subject to criminal prosecution or civil liability."

One may not even verbally criticize the predator without getting into hot water. The sex offender has the full protection of the vile feminist lawyer and its vile male running dogs.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Aug 29, 2013 4:42:04 PM

SC:

The key word is "may" as in the range of "will always" to "will never".

Just as in prosecutions for perjury for the testilying of LE, the courts seem to have conveniently substituted the word "will never" for "may" in cases involving this Megan's Law supposed abrogation.

Also, you conveniently interchange the words "predator" and "sex offender". Please don't do this. Only politicians and the mass media may do this.

Posted by: albeed | Aug 29, 2013 9:26:38 PM

yea i remember this!

"I read an article just recently about a community where a bunch of douche bags had created a park so they could keep "sex offenders" from living certain places."

My response would be

"Sorry you retarded nazi wannabee asshole. Your ideal has been tried before and went all the way to the United States Supreme Court. It LOST!"

"Therefore i'm not going anywhere and i'll be happy to burn your fucking park to the ground with your ass tighed up at ground zero if you keep pushing it!"

I'm very very familiary with this one. Since the case started about 80 miles from my house. When it was a night club that had been there for decades and a church decided to move in down the street then once in place tried to use the law prohibiting clubs from being within 1000 ft of a church to get them closed!"

USSC said tough shit. They were there when YOU moved in. You know they were there and in fact according to the media reports you specifical moved there to force them out. Not happening. Now you can live with them or YOU can move!

This is the same thing. It doesn't need to go back to courts again.

Posted by: rodsmith | Aug 30, 2013 2:42:46 PM

I believe that a law without external scientific validation violates Fifth Amendment Due Process rights. The law should be shown to further a government interest in real life or it is unfair. Rent seeking and gov jobs are not legitimate gov interest, but are crimes of theft. Why will no defense lawyer argue this? It would reduce the size of the code and defense bar jobs.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Aug 31, 2013 2:31:05 AM

Gov. Nixon is a thoughtful guy and I agree with his position on this. The Daniel Winfrey guy raped two girls and threw them off the Chain of Rocks Bridge. He ratted out is older pals in the crime who each got the death penalty. He needs to stay on a shit list.

Posted by: Liberty1st1st | Aug 31, 2013 9:12:20 PM

Gov Nixon is nothing but a flim flam politician with no spine. See him on the front page of the St. Louis Post Dispatch (Aug. 31) trying to promote spending 24.9 million on the SORTS program, Missouri's civil commitment program where "inmates" get fewer privileges than they did in prison. The SORTS program is of course where "inmates" are held not because of the crime that they did, but because of the crime that they might do.
Gov Nixon thoughtful? Maybe about the next meal he eats. He certainly hasn't missed any.
Another excellent story by the St. Louis Post Dispatch.

Posted by: athought | Aug 31, 2013 9:43:02 PM

your nicer than i am atthought.

I think the gov is an empty headed hatefilled nazi wannabe who needs their empty head blown off by one of those people the gov has no problem treating like an animal.

Posted by: rodsmith | Sep 2, 2013 1:38:59 AM

These registry laws could also put law enforcement personnel at extra risk to their own safety when they check, not to see if the particular sex offender committed a new dangerous crime, but to merely see if he or she had not registered. This practice might push some sex offenders who might otherwise want to go straight over the edge instead. If they go over the edge, they might feel they have nothing to lose anymore by defying the registry law by booby-trapping their home in the eventany police SWAT team gets a notion to knock the door down. Or, in the case of one Arkansas resident, an individual RSO decided to enter a Tacoma, Washington, Starbucks in December of 2009 to open fire on four off-duty police officers, before a fifth officer finally shot the disgruntled RSO. These registries do NOT insure public safety and actually endanger those whom we give the power to protect the rest of us from dangerous criminals.

Posted by: william r. delzell | Sep 6, 2013 12:28:54 PM

My better half was falsely accused of a sex crime that he did not commit. In my town, a very hot topic of late has been about the sex registry. First off, I want to say that I have known 5 innocent people who have to register, even though they never committed the crime. This could happen to anybody who has kids or who works with kids, or even whose neighbor has kids! And trust me, it is hell on earth having to deal with it when you are innocent! People who have to register as level one sex offenders are supposed to have complete privacy over this issue, but somehow someone got it into her head that it was her duty to tell everyone about a level one offender in this town, without even asking first about the situation he’s in. This was a FALSE CHARGE, and even the so-called “victim” came forward and said that she lied, BUT the court would not overturn it. Now he has to register as a sex offender even though he’s completely innocent. It has been a NIGHTMARE for 20 years. Now, for the very first time, we have a nice place to live,and we just want to live our retirement years in peace. The law states that a registered sex offender has the right to live anywhere, as long as he/she registers, and level one offenders are not even on the sheriff’s website because their chance of re-offending is very low. In our case, the chance of re-offending is ZERO because he never offended in the first place. But since our story has gotten out, we have been getting harassed and the neighbor kid throws rocks at our house and truck, which has caused damage. The law states that it’s a criminal offense to harm anyone on the registry, but this happens all the time, and it needs to stop. Because of the problems this one person has caused, the registry potentially could get taken down completely, and nobody will even know if a guilty sex offender moves into town if that happens. We have been one-hundred percent honest with the police, and our “friendly” neighborhood gossip has told some horrible lies, but she gets away with it because the police believe her, while claiming to be “impartial.” So, anyone can bother us and throw rocks and things at our property with no consequence, and all they have to do is claim that this INNOCENT man did something indecent, and the cops will just automatically believe it. People, you need to dig deeper before just assuming that someone is guilty, because once you are charged with a sex crime, you are tagged for the rest of your life, INNOCENT OR NOT! She posted our private business on Facebook, and someone decided that somehow we are flying “under the radar” because he’s not on the sheriff’s sex registry, but he IS registered, just as he’s supposed to be, but everyone just assumes that he’s guilty. Even if he were guilty, it shouldn’t be okay to intimidate us and damage our property, not to mention the spreading of rumors. I wouldn’t say it if it weren’t true, and I even swore in court under penalty of perjury that this was a false charge. He has passed many, many lie detector tests about this, too. It’s so stressful that I’m about to have another nervous breakdown, and certainly I don’t deserve this! Nobody will listen or help us, though the sheriff has tried. If all of you out there would learn from this, it would ALMOST be worth the 20 years of agony that we’ve had to deal with, over an issue that isn’t even true.

Posted by: Margaret | Feb 6, 2014 9:34:10 AM

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