May 16, 2015

A gross miscarriage of justice

The author of this article is correct, in that, listing someone without a conviction is a miscarriage of justice. With that said the author clearly has no concept of former sex offenders listed and what is correct or incorrect for them, years past their convictions. The registry is a miscarriage of justice for all folks who do not belong there, and those who are forced to be listed many years past their convictions and the collateral consequences thereof none of which are part of the original sentence!
5-16-15 Michigan:

This week, I got to write what I consider one of the most important pieces I’ve ever written: One about a man wrongly placed on the sex offender registry, one of the most punishing labels a person can bear.

His placement on the sex offender registry may well have been an accident — without comment from the authorities that put him there, much of the untold story is conjecture. Based conjecture, but conjecture all the same.

What is known is that a man who served his country’s military and was discharged without incident was later given a permanent, deplorable name tag without reason or grounding.

I’m in the same boat as many who will probably read this column: It’s my belief that sexual offenders should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of our imperfect legal system. People who have the ability — and desire — to ... well, frankly, to do things like that are in need of serious corrections.

The sex offender registry is just one of the ways the law protects members of society from potential predators, but it can also be damnation if imposed on a person undeserving.
Damnation for the undeserving? Implys what? Those who are correctly included are deserving of the consequences of the registry? Damnation?
The man I wrote about has no conviction record of any sexually-offensive crime. Had he one, he would have deserved placement on the sex offender registry and all of the various and sundry extensions of that branding.

The worst part of the story around the piece I wrote was that the man in question had little to no recourse. Most American courts rightly treat sexual offenses with swift, often serious sentences.

But for all the opinion and precedent behind those judgments, there’s a surprising lack of traction in the other direction: The man I wrote about was put on the sex offender registry without a conviction — or even proof that he had committed a crime.

There was no precedent for his case. The sex offender registry itself wouldn’t remove his name without an original conviction, which didn’t exist. The Romeo & Juliet law, as it’s commonly known, protects young adults grandfathered into the age that would make them sexual offenders — a law that doesn’t apply to the man in my story.

Even with U.S. Army documents that supported his opposition, it took him months of court dates and thousands of dollars in attorney fees to make his case before a judge. More taxing was the stigma it placed on him to be on the sex offender registry for four years: It cost him jobs, friends, family and the respect of his community.

The series of events that transpired buried him deeper than he was able to dig his way out of for almost five years. Only now is he finally clawing his way back into normal society, armed with a court order that should remove him from the list that’s haunted a sixth of his life.

No part of the judicial system is perfect. But cases like this — where guns were jumped, reasons went unrecorded and a life was ruined — tells me that we need to provide recourse for even the most gravely-perceived offenses.

A man was judged guilty and legally sentenced with no factual basis whatsoever. Recorded offenders don’t deserve an easy way out — but people like that man are owed recourse. ..Source.. by Jason Dafnis is a staff writer for the Hillsdale Daily News. He can be reached at or by calling (517) 437-7351.

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