November 20, 2015

Sex-offender registry requires reboot in Ohio and the nation: editorial

When the powers that be say it is not working, and th wrong people are on it, what more needs to be said; get rid of it!
11-20-15 Ohio:

Title 1 of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 created an all-inclusive state-by-state registry of convicted sex offenders.

Known as the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, Title 1 also attempted the impossible: to protect the public, particularly children, from convicted sexual predators who had done their time and were now back on the street.

It was well-intentioned, codifying rules that mandate states monitor and track sex offenders by having them publicly register their addresses.

Parents, guardians, caregivers, and anyone else can access those records online, or by contacting their local sheriff's department, to see where released sex offenders are living in their neighborhoods.

States were given three years to implement the registry. Noncompliance with the federal law would be punished by a 10 percent cut in millions of dollars of annual federal criminal justice funding.

Ohio, which had a less-rigid sex-registry law already, complied -- creating what critics now call a one-size-fits-all behemoth of a sex registry that wrongly limits judicial discretion, penalizes young people and costs sheriff's departments hundreds of thousands of unneeded dollars to monitor.

In fact, SORNA – as the federal registry law is known colloquially -- is today under attack by the very people who advocate for the rights of survivors and victims of sexual assault as well as the judiciary that rules on the consequences of such predatory behavior.

"It's like using an Atom Bomb when a stick of dynamite would do the job," said Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Michael Donnelly.

"It creates this false sense of security," said Sondra Miller, head of the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center.

Even the Ohio Supreme Court has weighed in, declaring sections of the state's version of SORNA unconstitutional, according to assistant state public defender Brooke Burns. In 2012 the court ruled that imposing automatic lifetime registration requirements on juveniles was cruel and unusual punishment. ..Continued.. by Editorial Board

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