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This is Bad:
If you're a registered sex offender, failing twice to properly register your home address is really dumb. But if you're a state legislator, punishing that with a mandatory life sentence -- as Georgia has done -- is even dumber. The Atlanta Journal Constitution has the remarkable story, via SL&P.
jim47:
What are the merits of the case in your opinion?
7.1.2008 1:24am
George Weiss (mail) (www):

If you're a registered sex offender, failing twice to properly register your home address is really dumb.




maybe. but we don't know the facts of why he failed to register. here is what we do know:

it's seemingly a strict liability offense not to register. (i.e.-the fact that you 'tried' to get it right doesn't help).

GA code ann. 42 section 1-12(n):

(n) Any individual who:

(1) Is required to register under this Code section and who fails to comply with the requirements of this Code section;

(2) Provides false information; or

(3) Fails to respond directly to the sheriff within 72 hours of such individual's birthday shall be guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than ten nor more than 30 years; provided, however, that upon the conviction of the second offense under this subsection, the defendant shall be punished by imprisonment for life.

so the criminal statute does not include any element of mens rea. nor is there a general provision anywhere in GA saying that crimes require intent if otherwise not specified.


but you'd have to be a moron not to be able to comply right?

not really.

here is all the stuff you must specify: (also from 42 ga code ann section 1-12

a(16) "Required registration information" means:

(A) Name; social security number; age; race; sex; date of birth; height; weight; hair color, eye color, fingerprints; and photograph;

(B) Address of any permanent residence and address of any current temporary residence, within the state or out of state, and, if applicable in addition to the address, a rural route address and a post office box;

(C) If the place of residence is a motor vehicle or trailer, provide the vehicle identification number, the license tag number, and a description, including color scheme, of the motor vehicle or trailer;

(D) If the place of residence is a mobile home, provide the mobile home location permit number; the name and address of the owner of the home; a description, including the color scheme of the mobile home; and, if applicable, a description of where the mobile home is located on the property;

(E) If the place of residence is a manufactured home, provide the name and address of the owner of the home; a description, including the color scheme of the manufactured home; and, if applicable, a description of where the manufactured home is located on the property;

(F) If the place of residence is a vessel, live-aboard vessel, or houseboat, provide the hull identification number; the manufacturer's serial number; the name of the vessel, live-aboard vessel, or houseboat; the registration number; and a description, including color scheme, of the vessel, live-aboard vessel, or houseboat;

(G) Date of employment, place of any employment, and address of employer;

(H) Place of vocation and address of the place of vocation;

(I) Vehicle make, model, color, and license tag number;

(J) If enrolled, employed, or carrying on a vocation at an institution of higher education in this state, the name, address, and county of each institution, including each campus attended, and enrollment or employment status; and

(K) The name of the crime or crimes for which the sexual offender is registering and the date released from prison or placed on probation, parole, or supervised release.


if ANY of this information changes at all, the new information must be submitted within 72 hours. (it presumably doesn't matter if its a 3 day weekend and all offices are closed btw.

also, you must pay an annual fee of $250 to keep your registration going. can;t afford it? i assume your out of luck.

we don't know the facts of his case. but we do know the law here, and the law is f-ed up.
7.1.2008 1:37am
OrinKerr:
George,

The story I linked to actually does have the facts of this particular case.
7.1.2008 1:39am
Should be bar studying:
Good ole Georgia. Also the site of that horrendous case where the 16 year old got locked away for having oral sex with a 15 year old. I think he eventually got out after a few years. Something along those lines.

And GA also prohibits sex offenders from volunteering at church. That law is going before the GA Supreme Court too, I believe.
7.1.2008 1:45am
George Weiss (mail) (www):
orin,

my mistake.

according to the article we seem to know that he resisted a new address and failed to move into the new address within the time required.

that doesn't really help us decide whether hes 'dumb' for not registering, becuase we don't know why he 'failed to move in.'

so i would say, no, we still don't have the facts.
7.1.2008 1:46am
George Weiss (mail) (www):
Should be bar studying:

its also the state where the state supreme court ruled (one way or another i forget) on whether laws prohibiting a person from living x distance from a school bus stop can be applied to a person who lives somewhere and has a school buss stop set up after he moves in.


oh and from the article:

But Brannen, the prosecutor, said the law is on the books and "it's not my place...to decide...what we want to enforce or not enforce."

really? has this guy ever heard of something called absolute prosecutorial discretion? or does that only come up when you don't want to prosecute someone?
7.1.2008 1:52am
Should be bar studying:
Yeah, these GA prosecutors are something else. In the case of that teenage "sex offender," he had his sentence overturned at the lower court level, only to have it appealed by the a-hole prosecutor, who was pissed that the kid snubbed his plea bargain in the very beginning. Fortunately the kid won at the GA Supreme Court, but the prosecutor effectively kept him in jail for another year because of the appeal.
7.1.2008 2:01am
A. Zarkov (mail):
"What would have happened if he had given the wrong address and had lived in a place and was harming a child next door? The law is trying to protect children. Justice has to be blind to motive."

You see they do it for the children.
7.1.2008 2:16am
BJR:
Three comments:

1. "What would have happened if he had given the wrong address and had lived in a place and was harming a child next door? The law is trying to protect children. Justice has to be blind to motive."

I see prosecutors trying to pull this trick all the time -- fact-adding is rampant during sentencing. "Sure he was found driving impaired near a school at three in the morning, your honour, but what if it had been in the middle of the day! And what if it was during recess! The children could have been KILLED!" Right, but they weren't. And for better or worse, we sentence based on actual circumstances, not what-ifs.

2. Re: the apparent strict liability of failing to register. In my jurisdiction, there is a common law presumption of a mens rea requirement for criminal offences in the absence of a clear judicial expression that a person should be held strictly liable. I'm guessing this doesn't apply in the States...?

And does strict liability in the American context still permit a due diligence or mistake of fact defence? His actions seem fairly close to "all reasonable steps to prevent the commission of the offence," based on my very quick skim of the article.

3. Even though he called into question the wisdom of the law, Peed agreed and sentenced Bradshaw to life in prison. "I'll leave it to the super Legislature, the Supreme Court, to decide the issues of constitutionality," he said.

Isn't that an enormous cop-out?! Surely a sentencing judge is capable of granting constitutional remedies. Read the law, apply it to the new situation in front of you, and issue a damn ruling. To punt the issue to an appellate court (while making a snide comment about the "super legislature" along the way) is quite the abdication of judicial responsibility. Does Georgia elect judges? Did this judge not want to be known as the guy who struck down the law against pedophiles?
7.1.2008 3:21am
George Weiss (mail) (www):
BJR-


2. Re: the apparent strict liability of failing to register. In my jurisdiction, there is a common law presumption of a mens rea requirement for criminal offences in the absence of a clear judicial expression that a person should be held strictly liable. I'm guessing this doesn't apply in the States...?




in some states, there is a statute that says something like: all crimes are presumed to require intent unless otherwise stated.

however, in GA, no such statue exists for the entire code or for chapter 42-the place where the registration statute is. there might be such a general provision in the criminal code-but the registration statute and criminal offense are not part of the criminal code.

no. strict liability means you are liable for mistake of fact and due diligence unless otherwise stated by statute.

suppose your dealing with a strict liability statutory rape offense. that means that supposing even if the girl shows you a drivers license with a false date of birth and you do the actus reus of the crime, and find out later that her age made it prohibited but the age you were shown on the false id (or mistaken birth date on a real id) would have made it ok if it had been a real birthdate-your still liable.

usually.

Does Georgia elect judges?


actually, yes. judges of the lower and high courts are elected in non partasin elections.

the case was bound to go up on appeal anyway-so it doesn't really matter what the judge ruled re constitutionality.
7.1.2008 4:03am
FlimFlamSam:
Doesn't bother me any. Sex offenders should typically get life sentences anyway.
7.1.2008 6:41am
George Weiss (mail) (www):
FlimFlamSam:

you do realize that a 'sex offense' can range from statutory rape (as it was in this guys case) to 'solicitation of a minor' to incest to (in some states) indecent exposure.

sex offense can mean lots of things. it doesn't always mean 'forcible rape' or child molestation, although the media has done a good job of making us all think that.
7.1.2008 7:13am
FlimFlamSam:
George Weiss,

Please reread my previous post. This time, don't skip over the word "typically."
7.1.2008 7:41am
David Schraub (mail) (www):
Facts via The Moderate Voice:
Barely more than a child himself at 19, Bradshaw was charged with statutory rape for having sex with a 15-year-old girl. Fine. That's punishable. I'd prefer it had been kept out of the criminal justice system (see here for more) but its punishable. He gets 5 years.

After he gets out he gives an invalid address. For that, too, he pleads guilty and is sentenced to time served. When released he moves in with his sister but can't live there because Georgia's draconian sex offender law won't let him live within 1,000 feet of a recreation center!

He moves in with an aunt but can't stay there because the home is within 1,000 feet of the First Baptist Church! Growing desperate, he finds a family friend but this time inadvertently transposes the street address!

Now the cops move in. Bradshaw is arrested because he hadn't moved into the friend's single-wide trailer within the legally required 72 hours — and lied and said he did! His mandatory sentence for this infraction is life in prison.
7.1.2008 7:46am
A Georgia Public Defender:
In my circuit, the prosecutors routinely "forget" to introduce proof of a prior conviction for failure to register. I have also seen the judges find the statute unconstitutional "as to this individual defendant in these particular circumstances."

All of that means that a lot of second and third timers get sentenced as if it were their first time. But even the sentence for that one is harsh: 10-30 years. (but can be probated, suspended, etc.)

No one in our office has been able to find any law, anywhere in the country, that imposes a mandatory life sentence for what frequently amounts to a status offense. (Many, many sex offenders are unable to register properly because they are homeless - essentially imposing a life sentence for homelessness).

Example from my case files: Defendant is on the registry a relatively minor offense - no children, no force and no injury involved. He was unable to find a place to live in his home county that complied with the statutory requirements, so he went to a homeless shelter. He properly registered his residence at the shelter. 30 days later the shelter closed down and kicked everyone out on the street. He went to his probation officer that day and told him what happened. He was promptly arrested for failure to register 72 hours BEFORE he moved. Since this was the second time this set of circumstances had happened to him, he was subject to a mandatory life sentence, but the ADA "forgot" to introduce proof of the first conviction at the bench trial.

He was sentenced to "only" 10 years to serve.
7.1.2008 8:18am
A Georgia Public Defender:
What makes the Georgia laws so bad is that there is no differentiation between the various types of sex offenses.

To give an extreme example, both of these offenses will land you on the sex offender registry.

1. Brutal, horrifying rape and sodomization of a 3-year-old. (possible life sentence right off the bat, but not mandatory)

2. Drunk frat boy grabs Hooter's waitress' boobs and is convicted of misdemeanor sexual battery (no registry). 2 years later, while celebrating his college gradution, he does the same thing. Now it is felony sexual battery and a lifetime on the registry with a life sentence hanging over his head if, 20 years later, he makes a couple of clerical error in his address.
7.1.2008 8:26am
Some_3L (mail):
FlimFlamSam:

Doesn't bother me any. Sex offenders should typically get life sentences anyway.


Same here. That's the best we can do since Kennedy v. Louisiana.
7.1.2008 8:33am
George Weiss (mail) (www):
FlimFlamSam:

so you think this guy deserves a life sentence? or not. if not. then why doesn't this 'bother you any"
7.1.2008 8:34am
Happyshooter:
No pol and no judge ever got voted out of office for 'Being too hard on sex offenders'.
7.1.2008 8:43am
Doug Berman (mail) (www):
Orin,

You describe the sentence in this case as "bad" and "dumb" and "dumber." But you dodge the toughest question: do you think it is unconstitutional?

As you know, I think courts have a constitutional obligation with courts striking down these kinds of extreme prison sentences. But you've pushed back on these ideas in other setting.

What say you here? Inquiring bloggers want to know!
7.1.2008 8:46am
justwonderingby:
My question is thus: What's the point of sex offender registries? Do we actually believe that the police routinely monitor these guys? And if your a public citizen and discover that a sex offender lives in your neighborhood (and that's even if you bother to look these things up) so what? What are you going to do, move?
7.1.2008 8:49am
FXKLM:

Please reread my previous post. This time, don't skip over the word "typically."


FlimFlamSam: Relatively minor sex offenses are much more common than the sort of extreme forcible rape or child molestation you seem to have in mind so how is a life sentence "typically" justified?
7.1.2008 8:51am
Ryan Waxx (mail):
My question is thus: What's the point of sex offender registries?


The point is to ensure that the offender is punished and hounded for life, unable to find work and unable to own property. In this, the registry succeeds brilliantly.
7.1.2008 8:55am
Mhoram:
The whole registry thing bothers me. Not in concept, but in execution.

I do want to know if a child molester or rapist is living near me, but I really don't care if the guy across the street once had sex with his 15-year-old girlfriend when he was 19 or 20. So why is that guy subject to a law that will absolutely ruin his entire life when people who commit much more serious crimes are free to go whither they will?

Meaning: When my new neighbor moved in a few months ago, why in the hell wasn't I informed that he has THREE convictions for home invasion burglaries? I am much more interested in that than in some guy who "grabs the Hooter's waitress' boobs."
7.1.2008 8:56am
Anderson (mail):
Obviously, Georgia is happy to seize upon any gimmick to keep pedophiles in prison.

Just as obviously, they can't be bothered to write their laws to distinguish true pedophiles from people like this guy.

A 19YO having sex with a 15YO shouldn't spend more than a year in jail in the first place. This law stinks.

How hard is it to create "category 1, category 2" etc. sex offenders &then stick it to the category 1's?
7.1.2008 9:02am
SeaDrive:
Why don't these guys move out of state?
7.1.2008 9:10am
FantasiaWHT:
Mhoram, I completely agree. The lists are close to useless because the signal is being drowned out by noise. I tried to use one for my town once (4,000) people, and I ran across a surprisingly large number of people with convictions, but every one I looked at was something relatively minor (statutory rape, harassment, etc.).

The prosecutor blows my mind here. Some of these guys are real asses.
7.1.2008 9:16am
Redlands (mail):
Complain all you want about the statute. I'm a career prosecutor and I'm not particularly fond of it. But if the citizens of GA don't like it, it can be "fixed." Or, where's the 8th Amendment when you really need it? On the other hand, don't commit sex offenses and it's no problem, right?
7.1.2008 9:34am
Dave N (mail):
As a prosecutor, let me add my two cents.

1) This law is probably constitutional.

2) This law is incredibly stupid.

Anderson is completely right. As is FantasiaWHT. Let's tier the sex offender registry so that the pedophiles we don't want around our children are identified (and perhaps on lifetime supervision) and those who are guilty of boyfriend-girlfriend sex or "grabbing a waitress at Hooters" are left alone.
7.1.2008 9:36am
ROgi (mail):
Of course there are federally mandated registration guidelines (an incentive to receive federal funding). As such, even lower level sex offenders have to register for at least 10 years post-release. Of course the availability of information to the public and the extent thereof varies in those cases.
7.1.2008 9:48am
Marvin (mail) (www):
This guy has lied repeatedly to the authorities. I doubt if he intended to move into the 'single-wide'.

I disagree with the you can not live within 1000 ft of this or that part of the law.

As to prosecutors who routinely forget to introduce evidence of prior convictions, they should be disbarred. They are not upholding their oath.
Think about it, if these prosecutors had properly done their duty, this aspect of the law would have already been challenged.
Likewise, those judges who ignore the law 'in this case' are not doing society any favors. Each and every defendant should face the law as written - then the poorly written laws will get changed faster.
This 'wink-wink' justice, might be fair to the defendant in that case but it is not fair to society at large.
The judges and prosecutors should blindly apply the law as written. Then bad laws will exposed and changed sooner rather than later.
7.1.2008 9:53am
Stuart Buck (mail):
What's with the commenters above who seem to agree that it's OK for a 19 year old be punished for having sex with a 15 year old in the first place? It wasn't too long ago that people regularly got married in that age range, and the facts of human biology give a pretty good explanation for why (in an era where marriage was an expectation) people would have want to get married long before their late 20s or 30s.
7.1.2008 9:54am
Dave N (mail):
Redlands,

Like you, I am a career prosecutor. I agree with your post--except that the Supreme Court has seldom found such sentences as violating the 8th Amendment, and legislatures routinely pass dumb criminal laws because prosecutors either don't say anything or demagogue on the issue.

Of course, you are absolutely correct that the easiest way to avoid registration on a sex registry is to not commit a sex crime in the first place.
7.1.2008 9:56am
Should be bar studying:
These lists are particularly useless because they give a false sense of security. So, now you know whether a stranger in your neighborhood is a sex offender. Unfortunately for you, it is probably you husband or uncle that is doing the molesting.

I will try to track down the statistics, but my understanding is that strangers account for less than 10% of crimes against children, if not less than 5%. If someone else has some data handy, feel free to correct or confirm this. The overwhelming likelihood that the sex offender is someone you know.
7.1.2008 9:56am
Mhoram:
The judges and prosecutors should blindly apply the law as written.

I disagree. There is such a thing as prosecutorial discretion, and there are frequently mitigating circumstances. If the defendant is a violent predator or if he is actively trying to decieve the police and courts as to his whereabouts, then a life sentence is probably reasonable and fair. But if not, then prosecutors and judges should use their discretion to achieve a fair and just result.

The duty of a prosecutor is to seek justice - not to blindly apply laws written primarily by men and women who were pandering for votes by being "tough on crime."

I would like to see a four-tier system for sex offenders:
Tier 1 would be violent with child victim
Tier 2 would be violent with adult victim
Tier 3 would be non-violent with child victim
Tier 4 would be non-violent with adult victim (to include close-age statutory rape)
7.1.2008 10:18am
Dave N (mail):
Mhorman, your tiers (and your overall post) make a great deal of sense. The issue would likely be defining what is meant by "violent."
7.1.2008 10:23am
emsl (mail):
The Massachusetts Supreme Court (called the Supreme Judicial Court) recently considered the problem of a sex offender who is homeless. He had tried to give as his address the shelter that he often slept at, but the prosecutor said that this was not a "permanent" address. Apparently the agency refused to accept "under the bridge in a box". Ultimately, the SJC said that there had to be provision made for persons who simply could not comply with the rules as written. It seems that other states make it just as difficult.
7.1.2008 10:30am
Oren:
Another reason why legislators should have to pair each bill creating or increasing jail-time with a revenue bill providing for the expected cost of imprisonment. $40k/prisoner/year might be enough to make them think twice about putting this guy away for 40 years.
7.1.2008 10:33am
Kubi:
Did anyone notice that he might well have been better off actually molesting a child twice instead of just failing to register twice? Per the story, the former does not carry a mandatory life sentence, though one may be imposed.
7.1.2008 11:27am
eyesay:
Kubi, that's a good observation. This story is newsworthy precisely because this punishment is so unusual, and it's certainly cruel to punish someone more strongly for transposing two digits, or for failing to complete a move, than for molesting a child. Cruel + Unusual = Cruel and unusual. QED
7.1.2008 12:07pm
DeezRightWingNutz:

I will try to track down the statistics, but my understanding is that strangers account for less than 10% of crimes against children, if not less than 5%. If someone else has some data handy, feel free to correct or confirm this. The overwhelming likelihood that the sex offender is someone you know.


That's sort of like saying you shouldn't worry about letting your kids play outside unsupervised if you live on a busy street, because <5% of all childhood accidents involve a car and a pedestrian. Well, that's the general population, not people who live on busy streets. And people who live on busy streets take precautionary measures to ensure that the rate stays low.

I'd like to know if my neighbors who offer to babysit if we're ever in a pinch were convicted of molestation. I'd also like to know if one of their uncles has been. It seems the the registries are good places to find this out.
7.1.2008 12:20pm
Angus:

Did anyone notice that he might well have been better off actually molesting a child twice instead of just failing to register twice? Per the story, the former does not carry a mandatory life sentence, though one may be imposed.
Kubi has highlighted the #1 problem I have with sex offender registries and "can't live near" provisions: They encourage the offender to re-offend rather than reform. If the offender feels that he will never again be accepted into mainstream society no matter what he does, what incentive does he have to grapple with and control his mental illness?

Honestly, can't live within 1,000 yards of a church? Did Georgians fear he would molest the church building?
7.1.2008 12:23pm
Ryan Waxx (mail):
No, they feared that the local priests might not like the competition.
7.1.2008 1:17pm
jim47:
I wonder if it is possible to compile statistics about the frequency with which this law is followed. If there are many offenders, but in the vast majority of cases the prosecutor either "forgets" to introduce evidence of the first offense or the judge rules the statute unenforceable in the specific circumstances, that would certainly seem to shed light on whether the punishment imposed here is "unusual" and might have some small bearing on whether it is widely considered excessively cruel.
7.1.2008 1:28pm
SeaDrive:
Is there a presumption that a registered sex offender can not walk 1000 yds?
7.1.2008 1:31pm
Thomas_Holsinger:
The effect of the thousand foot rule in San Francisco has been to make sex offenders permanently homeless. The city is just too small geographically. Furthermore they can't move to some other, larger, county without their probation officer's permission.

This strikes me as federally unconstitutional.
7.1.2008 1:39pm
Seamus (mail):
if ANY of this information changes at all, the new information must be submitted within 72 hours.

So if the registrant puts on a lot of weight and forgets to report that fact, he's in deep kimchi?

But if the citizens of GA don't like it, it can be "fixed."

And if they don't care enough to fix it, the rest of us should just be content, because the people are never wrong?
7.1.2008 1:47pm
Bob Goodman (mail) (www):
What if the prison is within 1000' of a recreation center? Does he then get a 2nd life term, and because he can't serve it, they carry it over to the next sex offender they deal with?
7.1.2008 2:16pm
JRio:
Good God, most of these comments seem like they are coming from heartless technocrats.

The application of "blind justice"? Is it "constitutional"?

Where has the humanity gone among all these legal minds? Is it entirely lost on you that this man's life and liberty is being taken away forever due to non-compliance with overwhelmingly difficult ADDRESS REGISTRATION?

It's an ADDRESS, for God's sake!

Many of you will think of yourselves as "religious" people, I'm sure. Yet you are so detached from your own humanity and the suffering of those around you to dwell on technicalities and in the process gloss over the life at stake here.

Totally pathetic, guys. Totally absolutely pathetic.
7.1.2008 2:24pm
Caliban Darklock (www):
I sort of think the things we do to sex offenders violate the presumption of innocence. Once they've served their debt to society, they should be treated in every respect like innocent men who have never committed any crime, unless there are exceptional circumstances determined on a case-by-case basis. I can see these sorts of restrictions being a condition of probation or parole, but not as a lifetime requirement for someone who is now - after all - an innocent person.
7.1.2008 2:33pm
Dave N (mail):
JRio,

I don't quite understand your hyperbole. I just did a count. Only five (out of 49) posts can be counted as pro-Georgia reporting law on this thread. Most others (myself included) have been neutral or somewhat sympathetic to those ensnared in it. The overwhelming majority of those stating an opinion have agreed with Orin Kerr that this law is dumb.
7.1.2008 2:36pm
ROgi (mail):
The courts have addressed the constitutionality of registration and notification laws already and found them to be compliant with the ex-post facto prohibition since they were not punitive in nature, but rather a civil regulatory measure. One of the primary rationales for the necessity of a civil regulatory scheme of sex offenders is their alleged propensity to re-offend at a rate higher than that of other criminals. Of course multiple studies suggest otherwise, and the study used by the court in Smith v. Dow to uphold said laws was severely flawed.

This is simply fear based legislation (especially the residency restrictions), which is implemented and drafted without careful considerations of its efficacy or consequences.
7.1.2008 2:42pm
ROgi (mail):
The case is Smith v. Doe.
7.1.2008 2:44pm
MJG:
Louisiana has authorized "chemical castration" for those guilty of sex crimes. Now that's an interesting case.

http://www.2theadvocate.com/news/21656994.html?index=14&c=y
7.1.2008 2:57pm
ROgi (mail):
I smell a constitutional challenge on this one. What are the aggravated crimes against nature? Bestiality?

BTW. this is not the only controversial legislation Jindal is pushing forth. The new law masquerading attempts to bring a particular ideological agenda into public school curriculum is bound to result in another Dover type trial.
7.1.2008 3:17pm
Terence50 (mail):
You Americans scare the s*** out of me.
7.1.2008 3:44pm
Thorley Winston (mail) (www):

You Americans scare the s*** out of me.


No, it's just that you are already so full of s*** that some of it was bound to spill out.
7.1.2008 4:14pm
ROgi (mail):
Maybe it's both? I love compromises.
7.1.2008 4:16pm
Happyshooter:
This was the law (still on the books) in Michigan punishing gay sex:

750.158 Crime against nature or sodomy; penalty.

Sec. 158.

Any person who shall commit the abominable and detestable crime against nature either with mankind or with any animal shall be guilty of a felony, punishable by imprisonment in the state prison not more than 15 years, or if such person was at the time of the said offense a sexually delinquent person, may be punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for an indeterminate term, the minimum of which shall be 1 day and the maximum of which shall be life.


Sort of how we are treating sex offenders now. We just changed the meaning of an 'offender' a little bit because the court likes gays this decade.

Meet the new law, same as the old law.
7.1.2008 5:45pm
ROgi (mail):
Does crime against nature constitute a sexual offense requiring registration and notification, and residency restrictions to be applied? If so, would someone convicted of engaging in bestiality or incest be required to reside a certain distance away from children's parks, school bus stops, etc.? Or is it just for dog parks, zoos, and where said persons siblings congregate?
7.1.2008 6:34pm
ray_g:
justwonderingby:
"What's the point of sex offender registries?"

The advertised reason is so members of the public can find out if any registered sex offenders live in their neighborhood.

"Do we actually believe that the police routinely monitor these guys?"

Actually, I think they do. I'm not saying this is good or bad.

"And if your a public citizen and discover that a sex offender lives in your neighborhood (and that's even if you bother to look these things up).."

There are people who just love to look these things up...

"so what? What are you going to do, move?"

In real cases in my home state (California) they make a big public stink and hound the person until they have to move. Between that and the "can't live within x distance of.." stuff it makes it hard for them to live anywhere they might have a reasonable chance of holding down a job.

Now, you might say that's OK for some scum who raped a 5 year old, but for a high school senior who had sex with a freshman? Let's reserve the term "sex offender" for the real horrible stuff.
7.1.2008 6:44pm
Thomas_Holsinger:

Let's reserve the term "sex offender" for the real horrible stuff.

Like being a Congressman.
7.1.2008 6:52pm
Toby:
I'm not sure if I am not more worried about crazy sex offender homeless person who lives in a box (properly registered) than I am of improperly registered 19 on 15 sex offender wjho lies repeatedly on his registration...

Not saying that any pary described above fits these facts, but...
7.1.2008 9:43pm
Jmaie (mail):
"What's the point of sex offender registries?"

See here.

Shortly after a registered offender moved into her neighborhood, a woman went to his house and attacked him with a baseball bat.
***

Here in Washington State we have a three tier system for categorizing offenders based on the seriousness of their offense and the likelihood of recidivism. The police send out fliers (with photographs) for the most serious offenders who move into our area, including a fairly detailed account of their crime.

This is a two edged sword - it makes some parents feel better to be given the information, but scares others once they realize just how many of these folks are living nearby.

Given the sparse local population density and corresponding low level of police presence, there is almost no real time monitoring of these folks.
7.1.2008 11:42pm
ReaderY:
It does seem odd to have a sentence for a strict-liability prophylactic designed to prevent a possibility of a harm that is much, much harsher than the sentence for actually intentionally doing the harm itself.

Given that in Georgia judges retain common-law powers, this is one of those situations where I wouldn't object if the state Supreme Court adopted a common-law rule presuming that life-imprisionment (and capital) crimes have an intent element unless the legislature specifically provides otherwise. The legislature could still specifically call for a strict-liability crime if it wanted, but at least things would be clear.
7.2.2008 5:15am
ray_g:
Darn you, Thomas_Holsinger, now I've spit coffee on my keyboard!
7.2.2008 9:00am
Christian K:
Great discussion.

I wonder if most of the problems with sex offender registries could be solved by making it a felon registry instead? Have the list broken out by crime committed so that you can tell the buglers from the rapists from the child molesters.

Thoughts?
7.2.2008 4:39pm