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March 5, 2010

"Should registry log teen sex offenders?"

The question in the title of this post is the headline of this article from the Jackson (Tennessee) Sun.  Here is how it begins:

State legislators expect a strong debate about whether juveniles' names, photographs and other information should be put on a state registry when they are convicted of violent sexual crimes.

State Rep. Debra Young Maggart, R-Hendersonville, introduced a bill last month that would require youths 14 or older to be placed onto a public registry for violent sexual offenses such as rape or attempted rape. The bill, House Bill 2789, also states that when the offenders turned 18, they would continue to have a record as an adult and would be placed on the adult registry.

Some restrictions that apply to adult registered sexual offenders would not apply to the juveniles until they turned 18, according to the bill. For example, adult offenders whose victims were minors can't live, work or attend treatment programs within 1,000 feet of a school, child-care facility, or public park or recreation area.

Supporters of creating a juvenile sex offender registry tout it as a way to make the public aware of violent criminals. Critics of the proposal say many juvenile offenders can be reformed and the bill could harm their ability to live a normal life. An example they cite is potential problems with finding a job.

Rep. Johnny Shaw, D-Bolivar, said he sees many positives about the bill but also has some concerns. He said he'd have to see what amendments are made to the bill before deciding whether he'd vote yes or no. "First and foremost, a crime is a crime, and a sexual offender is a sexual offender whether they are a juvenile or an adult," said Shaw, who serves on the House of Representatives' Children and Family Affairs Committee. "What I'm concerned about is in realizing this out, would this mar the reputation of a child forever?"

March 5, 2010 at 10:13 AM | Permalink


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soon, everything will be on a registry....


when is the mania going to stop?

Posted by: anon | Mar 5, 2010 11:55:44 AM

I am a Mother. A Mother of 3. Sex offeneders should NEVER get out of Prison....How can we make that happen???

Posted by: A Mom | Mar 5, 2010 4:15:59 PM

while I'm skeptical of the effectiveness of sex offender registries in general, it seems much more reasonable to list the 15 year old who sexually assaults a child or violently rapes an adult than the 20 year old who has consensual sex with a 15 year old.

Posted by: virginia | Mar 5, 2010 4:21:28 PM

Dear "Mom" - The first thing you need to realize is that the term "Sex Offender" often does not mean rapist or child molestor. There are tons of situations in which one can find themselves in this situation without ever hurting anyone. One is the "romeo" factor here one participant in a consentual relationship is underage.. but it is still consentual. Another is Sexual Battery, which can be for something as little as a drunken grab of someone's rear at a bar. Another is "Sexting" which is sending or receiving a nude photo in a consentual way, but one or both participants is under age. And there are many more, like Criminal Confinement, Indecent Exposure.. even public urination can land you as a Tier I offender. Now, the problem is the blow up of hysteria in the media, making it look like every sex offender is as bad as Rapists and Molestors. Its just not true, some offenders never spend a day in jail because the courts out the truth and it ends up not being as blown up as people like you would like it to be. You see, only one sex offender kidnapped Adama Walsh, and only one (maybe) attacked that 17 yr old in california last week. The problem is, that people who are guilty of much lesser crimes, and who never even went to jail in the first place, are being posted side by side with the worst of offenders, with no reasonable way to tell the difference. Adam Walsh Act not only caused this problem, but it whipped a bunch of otherwise good people into a frenzy over half-baked facts. Fact: Recitivism rate for non rapist/child molestor sex offenders is a whopping 5 percent. Your post indicates to me that you would rather punish 95% of sex offenders who are not dangerous because of the 5% that is. I could make a lot of comparisons to racist commentary about Jews or African Americans here.. you know, they are all the same, just look at them... Should all black men be treated like criminals because one of them committed a crime? If not, then should all Sex Offenders be held accountable for the actions of the "Bad Apple"? The fact is, not all sex offenders are the same and YOU are the victim of the law change, allowing yourself to be overcome with hatred for people who you have never even met, and who have never hurt you. When you kiss a minor, and then get labeled 6 years later a sex-offender because of a law change, thats a gross injustice. You would not like to get further punished for your previous misdeeds, particularly if you have done nothing further wrong, and noone EVEN LOOKED AT YOUR CASE. I'm sorry, you may be concerned for the welfare of your previously stated 3 children, but just because someone has been found guilty of a consentual sex act does not mean they are next coming after your child. I bet you call yourself a Christian as well. Well dig this: Blessed are the falsely accused, for they shall inheret the kingdom of heaven. If you want more punishment for no further actions by these people, then in my opinion you are a worse person by far and need to get right with God. As I know people this has affected, I can forgive them. You don't know any of them, what's your beef?

Posted by: TBucket | Mar 5, 2010 6:54:42 PM

T Bucket You made excellent points. Thank you. There has always been prejudice and scapegoating, but now the media being on 24/7 drumming lies into the public's minds, and they do this for money. They don't really care about the lives of the innocent who are accused, they don't even care about the victims. They are using both to boost their ratings. I think they are the worst of the worst. I was sorry to see Larry King even go for the cheap trick on this latest sensational case. Putting that pitiful mother on there describing her feelings at the death of her daughter was so sickening. I am sure her tortured feelings are the same as the tortured feelings of a mother whose innocent son has been shafted through the so called "justice system" and been sent to prison for the rest of his life for nothing. For the latter mother, it is like watching the death of her child in slow motion.

Posted by: DLJ | Mar 6, 2010 2:03:18 AM

If they want to make juveniles register as sex offenders, they might as well execute them and save some money. The teen years define who a person is going to be and how they will fit into society. If you force teenagers to go through school, if they are even going to be allowed in school, you are condemning them to mental torture and constant abuse by his/her peers. That is just the way it is. Kids in high school are even more ignorant than their parents (if that is possible) and they will take any opportunity to bully and degrade others.

In most cases this juveniles will be kick out of school as it has happened in some states states where they have implemented this "law".

Not to mention the government has a broad definition of "violent". Even though they are giving rape or attempted rape as examples, almost every sex crime is classified as a "violent" crime.

Posted by: EJ | Mar 6, 2010 8:06:59 PM

IMHO, placing juveniles on the registry would most likely be the straw that breaks the camels backs. Fact is, if article 1 and article 10 of the Constitution does not apply, and the law is going to all encompassing, than it should apply to little Billy too.

I wonder how "A Mom" would react if one of her three kids ended up in jail on a sex offense?

Posted by: Huh | Mar 6, 2010 10:00:49 PM

Huh --

How a mother would react to her offspring being jailed for a sex offense (or any other offense) has no relevance whatever to the justice or prudence of putting him there.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Mar 7, 2010 2:50:52 AM

This story brings up the great difficulty of getting removed from a registry once proven to not be a sex offender.


I have suggested such a listing of innocent people is defamation per se. The owners and managers of the registry should be made to pay in torts litigation. Some lawyers are opposed to torts as a remedy for lawyer incompetence.

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Posted by: monica msteven | Mar 8, 2010 2:03:19 AM

While I am pleased that the law as proposed is limited to juveniles convicted of violent sexual offenses, I am dismayed that the state of Florida is even considering holding teenagers to account for crimes committed before the age of responsibility given the serious collateral consequences that attach to a sexual offense conviction. Florida, remember, is one of a number of states that has upheld the conviction of teenagers for producing "child pornography," namely, their own use of cameras or video to produce visual records of themselves engaged in sexual acts. Does the legislation expressly exclude this classification from the registry or does it leave that designation to an administrative agency?

If teens can be held responsible for the collateral consequences that attach to these convictions, then it is time to let them vote, drink and enter into contracts.

Posted by: Alec | Mar 8, 2010 7:58:43 AM

lol florida's considering? where you been they have any number of children in ADULT prison! youingest i think was 11!

Posted by: rodsmith | Mar 8, 2010 8:23:07 PM

There should be a registry of false rape accusers, such as this female.


There should be a registry of false rape prosecutors.

There should be a registry of false rape sentencing judges.

All product and service providers, including home sellers and lessors should shun them.

Posted by: Supermacy Claus | Mar 9, 2010 1:47:07 AM

My name is Robie I am a student. I used to be called Bobby all of my younger life until I graduated from a group home at the age of 18. The group home was a JSO treatment program. My crimes were committed when I was between the ages of 13 to 15. I have three victims who were 3, 5, and 7, years old.
Following graduation, I moved to berkeley california to start my life. I earned my diploma and immediately jumped into college. I also got a job and got off of probation. I failed college there and lost a relationship (completely appropriate) due to faults on both ends.
I moved to the valley area (where I live now) of california and got another job for the holidays and when that was over I jumped in school again.
Sruggling but I am making it, I've been in school now for a year and two months; will have my AA (or AS?) degree in psychology by 12/12/10.
I've known Danielle for 3 years. She's 22, I'm 22, and she's in the military and I'm doing school. I called up one of my old social workers because we're thinking about marriage. Everyone says that it's too soon but those who are saying it aren't in relationships or married. It would be rare now a days to find a married couple that lasts. this fact tells me that no one really knows how to do it or when the right time is. My other influencing thought is that I should not limit us, or our growth together just because it's been four months. We've been together since new years night (just before the ball dropped), just after a kiss to signify our start, it is now April.
The military benefits would greatly help me out with school. I could live with her on base and we could be together rather than being apart. I don't know much about her benefits but I do know that we love each other. She's mentioned having babies together, cooking for each other. Endless massages for when the rough days come down on us. We have what it takes to get through conflicts; with our own methods of coping, such as letting things go and asking specific questions when something is misunderstood.. we seem to fit perfectly.
So, I called my social worker (from my group home days) to ask about the lagalities in this. I don't want to get my hopes up. The sad thing is that I have my hopes up and I'm not that person anymore. "her military career will be over" if we get married. "If she ever wants a promotion, if she needs security clearence she will not get it" were the text messages relayed to me from my social worker who spoke with a higher ranking military member.
I'm sad. I'm hurt. I'm frustrated, annoyed, and disappointed. Sad because I'm sorry to danielle for getting her into me when I knew that this difficulty would come. I'm hurt because this baggage is heavy; it never leaves my shoulders and even after all of the strengthening exercises (group home treatment) I still am too weak to carry this baggage unwinded or weakened thanks to the judicial systems methods of "combing out the predators". I'm frustrated because this is not the first time I've had to deal with the military mixing in with my relationship matters, and each time I try to get more serious, ultimately like this marriage idea, the military is there so stop it. I'm annoyed at it's consistency and the fact that I cannot control it. I am dissappointed in myself every time a try to live my life, I am reminded that because I was sexually impulsive, and was not aware that my acts were selfish or damaging to others, that I am less capable than someone who has lived a "normal" crime free life.

If anyone has military knowledge of the possibilities of marriage, from an ex-sex offender, now a student, to a military career bound woman.. Please contact me at [email protected]
Hate mail is accepted :)

Posted by: Robie | Apr 10, 2010 9:16:53 PM

It sounds different. Steps followed in it are amazing. Well representation way. Good enough information. Thanks

Posted by: Phone Sex | Oct 6, 2010 4:54:35 AM

Personally, this teen sex offenders deserves to be placed on the registry if they continue to offend others despite after being placed in the juvenile facility. A young person deserves a chance to change if he wills it. So I think it's not wrong to give him/her that chance to be unlisted on the registry. But they need to pay their dues of course. Any wrongdoing should not be left unpunished. They still need to learn their mistakes.

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Posted by: Phone Sex | May 18, 2011 1:21:24 PM

I presumed it was just cos I'm a frigid bitch.
Can people choose how often they think about sex though? Surely if you've got a high sex drive you're just stuck with it.

Posted by: Sex Chat | Jun 27, 2011 7:38:03 AM

They are using both to boost their ratings. I think they are the worst of the worst. I was sorry to see Larry King even go for the cheap trick on this latest sensational case. Putting that pitiful mother on there describing her feelings at the death of her daughter was so sickening. I am sure her tortured feelings are the same as the tortured feelings of a mother whose innocent son has been shafted through the so called "justice system" and been sent to prison for the rest of his life for nothing.

Posted by: Brad | Aug 25, 2011 12:43:37 PM

I can definitely understand reasons for both. What does everyone else think?

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