Thứ Tư, 26 tháng 3, 2014

MA - SJC ruling keeps 6,000 Level 2 sex offenders off state web registry

Off the sex offender registry
Original Article

The entire registry should be offline and used by police only! It doesn't prevent crime nor protect anybody, it's nothing more than a glorified phone book for vigilantes.


By Laurel J. Sweet

Thousands of Level 2 sex offenders will remain hidden from the state web registry of predators, thanks to a ruling today by the Supreme Judicial Court that found only criminals who were classified after a July 2013 law should be listed (Case Info).
- Not all those who wear the "sex offender" label and are on the online hit-list are predators!

While we recognize that the Legislature enacted these amendments in the belief that Internet access to the registry information of level two offenders would reduce the number of new sex crimes committed by these offenders by enabling individuals to identify them as sex offenders and take cautionary steps to protect themselves and those under their care, there is no evidence in the record to indicate that any sex crime has been prevented, or that the incidence of sex crimes or sex offender recidivism has decreased by such publication,” Supreme Judicial Court justices wrote in their opinion.

The law, signed by Gov. Deval Patrick in 2013, would have put all 6,000 Level 2 offenders on the Sex Offender Registry board’s web site alongside Level 3 convicts — those deemed most likely to reoffend. Under the SJC’s ruling, those offenders cannot be grandfathered in, and only new offenders will be listed.

Nothing in this order affects the ability of SORB to publish on the Internet the registry information of any individual who was given a final classification as a level two sex offender after July 12, 2013,” the court said, ruling in favor of public defenders who sued last year to temporarily enjoin those names from being published.

The state has made available to the public online the names, home and work addresses and sex-crime convictions of Level 3 offenders since 2003.

When SORB gave a sex offender a level two classification after the 2003 amendment (that put offenders’ names online), SORB implicitly determined that the offender was not so dangerous that the interest of public safety required Internet publication of the offender’s registry information, because SORB would have given the offender a level three classification if it believed that Internet publication of the offender’s registry information was warranted,” the SJC found. “Thus, the practical consequence of the recent amendments is that offenders whose degree of dangerousness, according to SORB, was not so substantial that Internet publication of their information was needed to protect the public safety would now be subject to Internet publication of their registry information. And further, those offenders who did not challenge their level two classification, either administratively or through judicial review because they specifically relied on their accurate understanding that a level two classification did not carry the consequence of Internet publication of their registry information, would now be subject to exactly that.”

SORB directs to local police stations anyone interested in obtaining information on the whereabouts of Level 2 offenders classified prior to July 2012.

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