#MeToo Too Far: Reflections on a Judge’s Recall in California

#MeToo Too Far: Reflections on a Judge’s Recall in California

A week after residents of Santa Clara County in Northern California voted, by a lopsided 60–40 margin, to toss out Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky for his lenient sentence in the Brock Turner sexual assault case, disquieting concerns linger about the implications of the recall vote.

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A FLURRY OF BILLS FOLLOWED LARRY NASSAR’S CONVICTION. HERE’S WHY THAT’S A PROBLEM.

A FLURRY OF BILLS FOLLOWED LARRY NASSAR’S CONVICTION. HERE’S WHY THAT’S A PROBLEM.

“The injustice in many of the laws involving sex or sex-related offenses is that they are passed without debate,” said Lawrence A. Dubin, a law professor at the University of Detroit Mercy, “without an examination of the underlying data that would show their ineffectiveness in accomplishing their intended goals and in creating people as monsters who are often not dangerous to anyone.” The Senate Judiciary Committee approved its bills in just one day. House hearings, which are already underway, are planned to go on for a number of weeks but the package is expected to easily pass.

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Opposition to Blanket Community Notification in New Jersey

Opposition to Blanket Community Notification in New Jersey

Today, SLAP Center delivered a letter to Assemblywoman Amy Handlin and Senator Christopher Bateman outlining our opposition to their proposal to allow for community notification of New Jersey’s Tier 1 registrants. New Jersey has three tiers of registrants, with only Tiers 2 and 3 currently available to the public. Tier 1 registrants are assessed as having little to no risk of re-offense and are not included on the publicly accessible registry, as such; the public is not notified of their registration information.

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REASON AND THE SOHO FORUM WANT TO KNOW, DO WE ABOLISH THE REGISTRY?

REASON AND THE SOHO FORUM WANT TO KNOW, DO WE ABOLISH THE REGISTRY?

So, who won? Surprisingly, the audience voted for the abolition of registries. Prior to the debate 39% voted in the affirmative, 22% in the negative, and 39% were undecided. 72% of the audience closed ranks around Dr. Horowitz after she razed the hastily constructed fortress of feelings about the registry. 16% sided with Ms. Hamilton and 12% were still undecided.

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It Could Be You Registered with Dignity

It Could Be You Registered with Dignity

Yesterday, SLAP Center was honored to speak on It Could Be You, with host John S., about our recently released reentry guide for registrants – Registering with Dignity (RWD). During the hour-long interview, we stressed that registration and incarceration isn’t a period; it doesn’t have to be a full stop and the end of your life. Use RWD as your semi colon and get a new clause on life. Understandably, life will be more difficult, and sometimes feel impossible, but your life is still waiting for you. Whether or not you find the strength to take control of it is up to you.

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Registering with Dignity: A Practical Guide to Reentry & Life on the Registry

Registering with Dignity: A Practical Guide to Reentry & Life on the Registry

“…except registrants…”

Anyone who’s been recently released, is already registered, an ally, an advocate, or a family member has heard this phrase uttered and a door promptly shut in their face or a dial tone in their ear. Although, it probably wasn’t registrant they heard, but “sex offender.” Reentry programs frequently cite this when turning registrants away from their services. Politicians slide the phrase into their policies to further their goals. Criminal legal reformers advocate it to push their own agendas. The only time registrants are included is when the conversation shifts to discuss the politics of punishment with the likes of Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, and Roy Moore. Attention spotlights the offense and those causing harm without creating space for repairing harm and restoring lives.

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Zoned in: Finding Housing in Child Exclusion Zones

Zoned in: Finding Housing in Child Exclusion Zones

A relatively recent Google Play app, CSZfree, seeks to aid registrants in need of housing but bound by residency restrictions. These laws limiting where people on the registry can lawfully reside have been an increasingly popular measure to punish registrants. Over the past decade a number of states and localities passed legislation banning registrants from living near parks, swimming pools, day cares, schools, and other such places where children frequently congregate. The specified distance from such places varies from 500 to 2,500 feet depending on the jurisdiction.

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Shawna: A Life on the Registry

Shawna: A Life on the Registry

Start by taking a moment to watch this original commentary from the Marshall Project or read more here:  https://www.themarshallproject.org/2017/09/17/shawna-a-life-on-the-sex-offender-registry

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The Dobbs Wire: Colorado Registry Declared Unconstitutional Cruel & Unusual Punishment

The Dobbs Wire: Colorado Registry Declared Unconstitutional Cruel & Unusual Punishment

A federal judge declared Colorado’s sex offense registry law unconstitutional! The court ruled the law is *punishment* and went even farther, finding the law is such severe punishment (“cruel and unusual”) that it violates the 8th Amendment. In addition the court found the law fails to deliver constitutionally mandated basic fairness (“due process”) and violates the 14th Amendment.

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It Could Be You Registered for a Sex Crime

It Could Be You Registered for a Sex Crime

Your child is more likely to be victimized by the registry, than by someone on the registry. There is a load of truth to her claim, and it points to a much larger issue. These registries are punishment, and the lengths of punishment are only bound by the creativity of policymakers.

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TTYL: SCOTUS Overturns Social Media Ban in Packingham v. NC

TTYL: SCOTUS Overturns Social Media Ban in Packingham v. NC

While the government must work to protect those under its reach, it also has to consider the rights afforded under the Constitution. North Carolina’s statute was so sweeping, it undercut basic First Amendment principles.

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One Strike and You're Out: Is Redemption Possible for Luke Heimlich?

One Strike and You're Out: Is Redemption Possible for Luke Heimlich?

Luke observes “the only way forward was to work each day on becoming the best person.” He understands ”many people now see me differently,” but hopes he “can eventually be judged for the person I am today.” It is incredibly senseless that the Oregonian is implicitly calling for more punishment. We should be supporting his rehabilitative efforts, especially if our expectation is for Luke to not harm another person.

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Response to: Say no to restorative justice for sex offenders

Response to: Say no to restorative justice for sex offenders

Michael Dolce, in an opinion published for the Hill, argues restorative justice is “horribly insufficient for handling sexual abuse but, in many cases, actually serves to leave an offender free to offend again.” Dolce’s argument evokes a “tough on crime” rhetoric, which is not only patently misleading but grossly capitalizes on fear-based responses to sex offenses. Other than perpetuating unfounded conventions, Dolce’s most egregious mistake is his failure to account for the nuances of sex offending.

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Is Queer Sex Legal? How Homophobia Is Fueling Today’s Sex Laws

Is Queer Sex Legal? How Homophobia Is Fueling Today’s Sex Laws

Gay rights groups have made great strides in repealing anti-sodomy laws on federal and state levels, and these efforts should be commended. And yet–prosecutions for sex crimes are growing faster than any other type of crime, with an exponentially rising rate of arrests and convictions. Gay men are arrested in cruising stings, HIV-positive men sent to prison for merely being sexually active, sex workers and “johns” arrested for victimless crimes, adults busted for sexy online chat with cops posing as minors that don’t exist, consensual teen relationships torn apart, and lives ruined by forced lifetime sex offender registration.

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