Justices: sex-crime law went too far | The Columbus Dispatch

There are 13 comments on the Jul 14, 2011, Columbus Dispatch story titled Justices: sex-crime law went too far | The Columbus Dispatch. In it, Columbus Dispatch reports that:

The Ohio Supreme Court struck down more sections of the state's sex-offender law yesterday, ruling that it unconstitutionally increases the punishment for crimes committed before the law took effect in 2008.

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Wicked Wanda

Westerville, OH

#44 Jul 16, 2011
If you think touching a child is bad, try just looking at child porn. That'll land you in the slammer for at least 10 years. Touching will probably get you probation. What's wrong with THAT picture? Both are bad to do, but where and how do you draw the line. I'm hoping that we will NOT get budget deal in Washington by August 2nd. Law Enforcement will have to establish real priorities based on real priorities, not a bunch of nonsense based exclusively on what someone fears.
Svejk

Bangkok, Thailand

#45 Jul 16, 2011
Nice to see that cooler heads are prevailing in this matter.

This entire sex offender registry nonsense has divided this great nation and has created a class of citizens, whom the legislature has made legally amenable to discrimination, harassment and murder. The is no better than what Hitler did to the Jews.

The whole thing is based on hysteria, fueled by greedy and gutless politicians, fat-cat businessmen who profit from ankle braceklets, and the morally reprehensible media who stir the pot and add to the paranoid hysteria of minivan-driving soccer moms.

Amerika needs to get its head out of its @$$ and let the majority of these people get on with life. They have served their time, done their penance, and 99.9% of them are truly sorry for what they have done. Unfortunately, there are a great many of them who are also factually and legally innocent or were simply a Romeo and Juliet case. If the person is truly so evil, then do not let them see the light of day again!

These people cannot get jobs, cannot support their families, are driven from living among society and their entire family is subjected to this. It is a sick society that does this to its people.

We need to get religion OUT of legislation and become the secular state that we should be. We preach to the world about human rights and democracy, and then do this to our own?

I hope Ohio is the State that starts the dominoes falling!

Since: May 08

Long Beach, California

#46 Jul 18, 2011
Svejk wrote:
Nice to see that cooler heads are prevailing in this matter.
This entire sex offender registry nonsense has divided this great nation and has created a class of citizens, whom the legislature has made legally amenable to discrimination, harassment and murder. The is no better than what Hitler did to the Jews.
The whole thing is based on hysteria, fueled by greedy and gutless politicians, fat-cat businessmen who profit from ankle braceklets, and the morally reprehensible media who stir the pot and add to the paranoid hysteria of minivan-driving soccer moms.
Amerika needs to get its head out of its **** and let the majority of these people get on with life. They have served their time, done their penance, and 99.9% of them are truly sorry for what they have done. Unfortunately, there are a great many of them who are also factually and legally innocent or were simply a Romeo and Juliet case. If the person is truly so evil, then do not let them see the light of day again!
These people cannot get jobs, cannot support their families, are driven from living among society and their entire family is subjected to this. It is a sick society that does this to its people.
We need to get religion OUT of legislation and become the secular state that we should be. We preach to the world about human rights and democracy, and then do this to our own?
I hope Ohio is the State that starts the dominoes falling!
Well said. Resources need to be focused on those who are truly a danger, and not keep punishing the masses for the sins of a sick few.

Since: Apr 10

Location hidden

#47 Jul 18, 2011
momof4 wrote:
Well it looks like the state of Ohio has found one more way to protect sick perverted criminals who prey on unsuspecting children. This state makes me sick to my stomach. What about the victims rights? My daughter was molested by a man in 2002, He was supposed to register for the rest of his life and now that is going to be taken away so he cannot be tracked and now he will be free to live where ever he wants and no one will suspect that he is a sick twisted pervert. He should have to pay for his crime for the rest of his life, my daughter will. The state hasn't even bothered to update his picture on the website for 3 years now. The officials who made this decision sicken me. I guarantee if this had happened to one of their children the law would not change. Now more innocent children and families will not know if a child rapist is living next door to them because they "deserve to be protected." I am truly sick to my stomach because of this. These people are the lowest forms of life. Thanks Ohio for leaving families in the dark about the dangers in their own neighborhoods!
I'm so truly sorry for the hurt and fear that you and your family have endured. I think the point everyone here is trying to make is that the laws to begin with are inappropriately written. In such a case as yours, most DEFINITELY there needs to be tracking and accountability. But think of this 12 year old boy... Or the person who relieves themselves in the bushes... or the 18 year old with a 16 year old girlfriend... Or even, in the case of Licking County - false reports by the police and newspapers of serious crimes which either never happened or were embellished upon to raise their own ego's, professional profiles, etc. There is just as much corruption among those sworn to 'serve and protect' as there is by those not wearing the uniform or employed by the State.

But first things first - the horrid sex and importuning laws in the State of Ohio must be revamped or eliminated altogether. Acts of true physical violence such as Rape need to have the types of monitoring that you speak of, WITHOUT QUESTION.

But all of these other gray areas??? Right now, a total waste of time, taxpayer dollars - and a way to horridly destroy people for the rest of their lives who have done basically nothing.

OVERHAUL THE LAWS.......... NOW!!!!!!!!!!
Extremely Disgruntled

Medina, OH

#48 Jul 18, 2011
Wicked Wanda wrote:
If you think touching a child is bad, try just looking at child porn. That'll land you in the slammer for at least 10 years. Touching will probably get you probation. What's wrong with THAT picture? Both are bad to do, but where and how do you draw the line. I'm hoping that we will NOT get budget deal in Washington by August 2nd. Law Enforcement will have to establish real priorities based on real priorities, not a bunch of nonsense based exclusively on what someone fears.
Thank you for being a lot more level headed than in the past (on other topics) This is what all of us "crusaders" are trying to accomplish, EDUCATION. Showing the world what a farce these laws are. They had good intentions with Megan's Law, but the way they did the AWA, its just amazing.. How WRONG they were. You are absolutely correct in that a viewing is worse than a touching. Yes, they are all wrong, but a producer who actually had the child in their presence should be punished more than a distributor, which is even than the remote viewer. Now here's a catch. Most viewers (by research) have been molested THEMSELVES as children, and psychologists say that they use the pictures as a kind of "therapy" for themselves. It's not sexual for them. Just a familiarity thing. Something they can relate to, that happened to them. Those type of viewers are NOT a threat to anyone, they need help themselves. Throwing them in prison only will get them killed by prison population, not having a CLUE to the real reason why that person was put there. Help, not prison.
I am not condoning any illegal activity, but there is always more to every story than what is told. Thank You again for trying to understand the points.
Damian

United States

#49 Jul 19, 2011
momof4 wrote:
Well it looks like the state of Ohio has found one more way to protect sick perverted criminals who prey on unsuspecting children. This state makes me sick to my stomach. What about the victims rights? My daughter was molested by a man in 2002, He was supposed to register for the rest of his life and now that is going to be taken away so he cannot be tracked and now he will be free to live where ever he wants and no one will suspect that he is a sick twisted pervert. He should have to pay for his crime for the rest of his life, my daughter will. The state hasn't even bothered to update his picture on the website for 3 years now. The officials who made this decision sicken me. I guarantee if this had happened to one of their children the law would not change. Now more innocent children and families will not know if a child rapist is living next door to them because they "deserve to be protected." I am truly sick to my stomach because of this. These people are the lowest forms of life. Thanks Ohio for leaving families in the dark about the dangers in their own neighborhoods!
momof4- let me shed a little light in your direction: first, I AM a sex offender. My crime, I had sex witha 15yo when I was 18. The sexwas her idea, and had her mother thought twice about calling the police, or bothered to question me first, I wouldn't be in this mess (and I know this because the mother ended up APOLOGIZING to me when the truth came out, of couse, by then it was to late). My point is that there are 1000's of offenderswho pose ABSOLUTELY no threat to you or your family, are on this list simply because of "laws gone wild", and your children, statistically have a greater chance of ending up on this list, then being molested. Not every "sex offender" is the devil, in fact, there are sex offenders who didn't even commit a sexually related crime. I just read a story about a mother AND son (both sex offenders), who's crime was holding to drug buyers hostage at gunpoint, when they refused. Now, I don't condone drug dealing, but WTH does that have to do with sex?! Nothing, but they're still on the list. Please take the time to look at the individual, and not what their label says. Have the time it's inaccurate anyways.
Now, with all that being said, I ALSO am about to be a first time father. My son will be born in 2 months. Do I want my son protected? Of course I do. But I want it done the right way: we need to spend our LIMITED resources on the Truly dangerous and sexually deviant. Knowing that the guy 3 houses down had sex with an underage GF 12 years ago will NOT protect you, but what it does do is "water-down" a good system, so that while your busy worrying about the guy with the underage GF, you're not worrying about the real threat: the guy in the next zipcode, who is 60 and has a "thing" for 5 year old boys. You really don't want "EVERY" offender watched, becuase to do so means the worst of worst will simply hide amoungst those of US who truly wish you no harm. Please, give this perspective some thought. I wish you and your family many blessings.

Since: May 08

Long Beach, California

#50 Jul 19, 2011
"The Fourteenth Amendment's promise that no person shall be denied the equal protection of the laws must co exist with the practical necessity that most legislation classifies for one purpose or another, with resulting disadvantage to various groups or persons. Personnel Administrator of Mass. v. Feeney, 442 U.S. 256, 271" 272 (1979); F. S. Royster Guano Co. v. Virginia, 253 U.S. 412, 415 (1920). We have attempted to reconcile the principle with the reality by stating that, if a law neither burdens a fundamental right nor targets a suspect class, we will uphold the legislative classification so long as it bears a rational relation to some legitimate end. See, e.g., Heller v. Doe, 509 U. S.___,___(1993)(slip op., at 6).

See the key word "rational".

Since: May 08

Long Beach, California

#51 Jul 21, 2011
By Brian Campbell/NJ Voices
Published: Wednesday, July 20, 2011, 10:22 AM

I have read newspapers my entire life. It's a hazardous occupation, with the negative and the stupid and the tragic far outweighing the uplifting elements of society. But I have never felt like this – sick to my stomach and full of anger. Jurisprudence in this country has died with this decision.

In Somerset County, two young boys became branded as lifelong sex offenders for, well, being boys. As fourteen year olds, they roughhoused and in a disgusting act, sat on the face of a fell student with their bare buttocks. As my grandmother once said, it is boys being boys, an unexplainable phenomenon left over from the cavemen days. I certainly do not condone it. I have never done it myself nor had it done to me. Among friends it is known to be a funny, but disgusting form of horseplay. Among those that are not friends, it is the most vile and embarrassing form of bullying and should be punished with significant amounts of suspension, community service, and counseling.

But branding them as perverts, child molesters and rapists? And for the rest of their lives? Today, their neighbors are fretting about the devaluation of the neighborhood, because a sex offender living in a section of town ruins that section of town. When they are eighteen and they go to apply for college, they will be sex offenders. God knows I wouldn't want my freshman in college sharing a room with a sex offender or even being in the same dorm as a sex offender. When they are in their twenties and start to seriously date, they are sex offenders. God knows I wouldn't want my daughter dating a sex offender, or worse yet, marrying one. At least my daughter could easily find out that he is a sex offender, so she could break off the relationship. When they head out to the job world, they are sex offenders. How often do companies hire sex offenders? When they go and buy a house, you guessed it. Never mind bringing over apple pie; the new neighbors will be protesting up and down the sidewalks. A child molester has moved in next door. If they get through all of this, and are fortunate to have a family, their children will find out that daddy is a branded sex offender.

All because they bullied another boy, did something they shouldn't have done for attention and laughter – something done by countless boys over many generations. Terrible? Yes. Bullying? Yes. Vile? Yes. A life sentence as a sexual predator? Lord help us.

I wondered when the extreme nature of Megan's Law would begin to destroy quasi-innocent people, a law where there is no rehabilitation, no flexibility, no timeline, and no way out. I could be wrong, but a young boy who sits on another young boy for schoolroom giggles is not the same as the man that assaulted and murdered Megan Kanka.

It is torture we have instituted, particularly those branded sex offenders who are not, nor never have been, true sex offenders. I got an idea: let's cut the arms off of children that shoplift.

Shame on the Somerset Appellate Court, and the judges that passed down such a decision. Shame on the trial court judge who found the boys guilty of criminal sexual conduct. Shame on the prosecutors for making a name for themselves with this nonsense. An absentee protest by one or many of them would have been heroic. But instead, collectively, they have ruined the lives of these two young boys. They did the cutting.

Shame on the makers and supporters of this law, for leaving such loopholes in place. Hopefully, the Supreme Court takes this case and changes the extreme aspects of Megan's Law to ensure this doesn't happen again. Hopefully, the decision is reversed and the boys get the boyhood punishment they deserve, not the lifelong sentence they have received.

Since: May 08

Long Beach, California

#52 Jul 21, 2011
I thought this story was pretty bizarre. But is it worthy of being on the registry for life for being a tool? I know of corporate CEOs grabbing breast left and right and not having to endure the same thing.

You be the judge:

Mark Anthony Richardson II also must serve five years on probation after his release and register as a sex offender. Last year, he fooled two women into baby-sitting him at their Oklahoma City homes, police said.

He pretended to be autistic and have the mind of a young child. He used a pacifier, drank baby formula and threw childlike fits.

Richardson, 21, pleaded guilty in June to sexual battery, a felony, for grabbing the breast of a baby sitter's daughter. The victim, then 18, was asleep.

He pleaded guilty to seven misdemeanor counts of outraging public decency for the seven times his diapers were changed.

“You've got some issues. I understand that. But, at the same time, it's time for you to grow up,” Oklahoma County District Judge Jerry Bass said.

The judge chose the punishment.

A prosecutor had asked the judge to give Richardson six years in prison. A defense attorney asked for two years in county jail because of concerns about Richardson's safety.

Richardson told the judge,“I am very sorry and promise to do all that I can to get my life back on track.”

The judge also ordered him to pay $195 in restitution to the last baby sitter, who watched him overnight several times last September and wasn't fully paid. He will get credit on his sentence for the almost 10 months he has been in the Oklahoma County jail.

Read more:
http://newsok.com/oklahoma-city-man-who-wore-...
dee

Columbus, OH

#54 Jan 15, 2012
I think the sex crime laws are stupid.Theres a lot of people in prison ,who are innocent of these crimes.Just because a child lied and couldn't get their way.There was no evidence of any kind not even DNA.And they get life in prision for a lieing child.They don't even put drug dealers or murders in prison ,that long.And the cops have the evidence on them.Our judical system is a JOKE.When we lock up innocent people.If parents would watch their children better,so many of them would't get hurt.But a lot of parents,don't even know where their children are at all times.Because other things are more important to them.Like soaps on t.v. or talking on the phone.Someone can easly grab their child.
FKA Reader

Columbus, OH

#55 Jan 15, 2012
dee wrote:
I think the sex crime laws are stupid.Theres a lot of people in prison ,who are innocent of these crimes.Just because a child lied and couldn't get their way.There was no evidence of any kind not even DNA.And they get life in prision for a lieing child.They don't even put drug dealers or murders in prison ,that long.And the cops have the evidence on them.Our judical system is a JOKE.When we lock up innocent people.If parents would watch their children better,so many of them would't get hurt.But a lot of parents,don't even know where their children are at all times.Because other things are more important to them.Like soaps on t.v. or talking on the phone. Someone can easly grab their child.
Honey, I don't know what your beef is that you dug up this old thread. But people are not convicted of child abuse solely on lies told by a child.

There has been broad movement away from the "interview" methods that were used at one point to convict day care operators of a lot of pure fantasy induced by over-eager prosecutors.

Sounds like your boyfriend got locked up and you don't want to believe you loved a louse.
dee

Columbus, OH

#56 Jan 15, 2012
NO ITS NOT MY BOYFRIEND,MY STEP GRANDCHILDREN LIED ON THEIR MOM AND STEP DAD.THEY EVEN TOLD ,IN CORT IT WAS TO BREAK THEM UP.BUT THE CROOKED SYSTEM IN THAT COUNTY.WANTED TO MAKE A SCORE,THE JUDGE SAID HE SHOULD DISMISS ALL THE CHARGES.BUT HE WOULD LET THE APPLES COURT DEAL WITH IT.THESE CHILDREN WERE KNOW FOR TELLING LIES.BUT WHEN YOUR POOR WITH NO MONEY .THE STATE DON'T CARE, AS LONG AS THEY GET THE MONEY. FOR EACH PERSON THEY LOCK UP.THE JUDGE WAS CROOKED ALSO AND SO WAS THE POSACUTOR.SHE COACHED THE KIDS TO KEEP LIEING.OR SHE WOULD PUT THEM IN J.D.C.FOR TELLING THE LIES IN THE FIRST PLACE.

Since: May 08

Long Beach, California

#57 Jan 20, 2012
FKA Reader wrote:
<quoted text>
Honey, I don't know what your beef is that you dug up this old thread. But people are not convicted of child abuse solely on lies told by a child.
WOW. Okay, ignorance at it's best.

I tell ya, most people in American have zero clue exactly how easy it is to get on the registry, lol .... yes just for an accusation. Particulary 20-30 years ago before the internet, many who were accused simply took a plea agreement, simply to avoid the hassle of a trial. Now if most of them realized exactly how much their life would be in hell 20 years later with these weird laws, most would have fought.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but there are many documented cases where a person spent years in prison for an accusation, only to have the victim admidt years later, they lied.

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