Current ex-sex offender registry laws are too broad. This results in a "demonizing" of innocent citizens that have this label. The term "sex offender" should be reserved for only rapists and pedophiles who have have demonstrated the propensity to commit future crimes involving sex and violence. Only persons who have committed multiple sex related crimes, and persons who have been examined by professionals and are deemed to be dangerous and likely to commit future sex crimes should be on the registry.
As the laws are today, if two consenting teens engage in sexual conduct they can both be labeled as sex offenders. If you stop on the side of the road to urinate, you can be convicted of a sex crime. A teenager that "streaks" can be charged with a sex offense. There is currently no distinction between the pedophile who sits in front of a school with candy luring children and the guy who stops on the side of the road to pee.
Retroactive application of these laws is unconstitutional and ruins the lives of the families effected. Whole families go from home-ownership into homelessness or living off of welfare due to the loss of jobs and houseing from the devestating stigma created from a family member being placed on the registry. People who have served their time should not have new punishments placed upon them. What father would re-punish his child for a deed done years ago. Both the federal and state constitutions ban ex post facto lawmaking, but the states and too the federal government disregard the constitution and implement these laws anyways.
This law is damaging to families, careers, and civil rights of all Americans. It also wastes government funds, our tax dollars, by keeping people under supervision who do not need it. The probation officers who are already overworked should not have trivial cases added to their load. More children and families are hurt by this law than are protected.
Denying a person any chance of a job, a career, higher education and a secure and safe place to live is unconstitutional. Placing a person on a publicly accessible registry and listing his or her photograph, address, place of employment and many identifiers opens that person and their whole family up to vigilante attacks. This makes it possible for them to be hunted, murdered, some have even had their homes set on fire endangering their children.
We, the undersigned, call on the US Senate to reform sex offender laws. Make the actual rapists and pedophiles register and continue supervision while eliminating low-risk cases.
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Citizens for Change, America
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