« Data Leaks: Déjà Vu All Over Again | Main | More on Sex-Offender Covenants and Race »

Monday, June 06, 2005

Sex-Offender Free Living

Although I had planned to post next on a different topic, but order was skewed by an article today in my hometown newspaper, the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.  Apparently a group of three developers are planning a development that promises to be free from registered sex-offenders.  The development is on the outskirts of town in a price range higher than the median price range for Lubbock.  This sex-offender-free status will be policed by the homeowner association and restrictive covenants in the development plats and deeds.  Builders agree to do background checks and not sell to registered offenders, and homeowners will be penalized if they let offenders stay with them or sell to offenders.

This disturbs me for a number of reasons.  First, I am increasingly frustrated by our country's stated belief that prisons rehabilitate people but continued discrimination against these supposedly rehabilitated persons.  If we don't believe that rapists are rehabilitated or deterred by prison, then we should either not let them our or come up with a different scheme.  Sex offenders who have served their time or who are on probation have to live somewhere.  I'm not sure why we think that they are committing another crime by wanting to live somewhere.

Second, coming from Houston, where there is no zoning and homeowner associations have increased power to foreclose six-digit houses for nonpayment of three-digit mandatory dues, I hate to think about a homeowner's association having a new police power.

Third, I'm not sure that the restrictive covenant will be consitutional.  (Not my area.)  If it is upheld, then all neighborhoods will add this covenant.  Then where will registered offenders live?  According to the article, my new hometown, Milwaukee, passed an ordinance restricting houses to having one registered offender resident, to ward off group living.  If we don't want sex offenders living in groups or living individually in neighborhoods, then I'm really confused.

Posted by Christine Hurt on June 6, 2005 at 04:18 PM in Criminal Law | Permalink

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341c6a7953ef00d83448471053ef

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Sex-Offender Free Living:

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

A lot of people find these covenants (which are spreading like wildfire) troubling, but it is hard to pin down a legal flaw with them. I’m aware of one case involving a no-sex-offender covenant, Mulligan v. Panther Valley Property Owners Association, 377 N.J. Super. 293 (2001). The court there seemed to leave open the possibility that this type of covenant might be void on public policy grounds (e.g., each community must bear its fair share of burden, or so many communities have these that sex offenders can’t find a place to live), but gave the plaintiff the burden of establishing that type of argument.

Posted by: Ben Barros | Jun 6, 2005 5:47:20 PM

I agree with Christine. If people are that worried about having sex offenders in thier area, then maybe they should push the prison system, both state and federal, to change the way prisons are run and assure inmates of productive rehabilitation- to have on staff help for them who actually help them instead of just signing a sheet of paper. Prision is for punishment- why punish people even more when they have supposedly already paid the price. It is unfair, unconstitutional, but totally American.....

Posted by: Suzy | Jul 2, 2005 1:14:01 AM

http://www.geocities.com/eadvocate/issues/

here a sex offender link that can help

Posted by: nk | Dec 12, 2005 3:51:47 AM

i am a sex offender and one of the very much so changed ones at that.
unlike most of your natural offenders who have these sick demented destortions i can say that i don't.
but my problem is everybody is in a argument on the placing of sex offender that i dont know where to live. my charge happened when i was fouteen and i've rehabillitated... all oppinions i say. not the treatment that made me think right from wrong it was jacob.
but will some one tell me where in all BLOODY HELL I CAN LIVE???
becuase if a sex offender has no mailing address we are breaking a law but in order not to break this we must have a mailing address ... well HOW the HELL can i tell any of you stupid people where i am if u ont let me live any where.
so where do i go??????

Posted by: jacob metcalf | Feb 9, 2006 1:34:15 AM

Yeah the last comment was posted by someone using my name possibly making a libelous statement and it was indexed by Google. I would like it if you would delete the last comment. I don’t like the fact that Google has linked my name to this topic because of this post.

Posted by: Jake of 8bitjoystick.com | Feb 23, 2006 4:33:35 PM

WARNING PROTECT YOUR CHILDREN FROM SEX OFFENDER LAWS
In this Country we have 13,15,17,19 year old teens registering as sex offenders for consensual sex (age of consent laws) , exposure (mooning & streaking), sex contact (for touching a boob), Child pornography, (girls taking nude picture of oneself at 15 is child pornography), Many young children are inflicted with the label of sex offender for years, even till death. Don't forget these sex offenders. Where can they live in peace? NO WHERE? www.sosen.org, www.sohopeful.org , http://www.ethicaltreatment.org/ , http://www.sosen.org/ . I hope you check out these sites and learn how young people are caught up in these hate crimes. The media or government isn't going to inform you about the non child molesters. You can learn how to protect your Dick and Jane's. Why do you think there are 560,000 of our citizens listed? HOW MANY ARE OUR CHILDREN? Your child could be next, WAKE UP. I'm a Mom who knows what I am talking about, your child makes a mistake you will feel the hate, so will your entire family, WAKE UP. THEY DO NOT CARE ABOUT CHILDREN.

Posted by: Nancy | Jun 17, 2006 5:53:34 AM

I'm wife of a 'sex offender' and mother to Our children. let's discuss what that Really is please! He made a moral choice, a poor decision from his days of patrying and hanging with the wrong crowd. In the town he lived in when he was not yet 19, he slept with his girlfriend who was 3 MONTHS AWAY from being 18 and they slapped him with 3rd degree sexual assault. Again a poor choice at a party led him to be involved sexually, unbeknown to him with a 15 year old drunk, high chick around the same time. This was a time in his life where he was acting out of irresponsibility. But those gals live FReely with their family and without the scrutiny of a label. I'm sure they dont even realize what a man and his family are going through because of their involvement.
Now my husband and I are contemplating where we should live. Should we attempt to buy a house? In what neighborhood? Will our children be ignored by other parents and kids because of their dad? He recently asked me "when will the punishment end, I served my time, I did what they asked of me" And thats a horrible thing to have to live with inside. He was released in 02 and now they are just getting around to classifing him....The state of wyoming is trying to go for level 3..For what??? We're asking ourselves the same thing. THis is not to be taken lightly, if he is classified as level 3 and so is a CHILD MOLESTER, how serious are we taking this truly! I'm sorry (and excuse my language) but a horny 19 year old male with a consenting 15-17 year old female is so far removed from a perverted old man that classifying them under the same law is rediculous and a waste of time and effort for those who earnestly have no credible reason to be a 'sex offender'.

Posted by: Electa | Jun 21, 2006 10:40:02 PM

Hi, i am a sex offnder since 1995 and since then i have had problems holding down a job due to the title i carry. It ghas gotten so bad that i am even having problems holding down jobs in construction, now that is really bad cause construction is one of the areas of the working field where there really is no conditons of what history a person has. Now to cut this short i am wondering if there are grants or programs for people titled like i am . If so please let me know?? My email is listed up above but here it is again : [email protected] my name is scott.Thank oyu for your time and patience in this natter and a quick responce would be appreciated.

Posted by: scott | Jul 14, 2006 1:01:58 AM

I am ceo of SOSEN and we have hundreds of laws but none of them work. Society loves the idea that SO's are sick and cannot be cured. The recidivism rate does not reflect such claims and in many cases the "cure" is simply growing up.
I am not an SO but I was molested as a child. There is not and has never been laws to help kids in such situations. We don't need registration to tell us there is an offender within our family. The "solution" that we are presented with is come forward, we will take you away from everything that is familar and put you in a foster home where you can be abused by strangers. You loved one will spend 20 years in prison, be registered and the entire family will be dirt beneath or feet for eternity. No, thanks.
Most abused children are in the same situation I was in and we don't need to go online to see if there is an offender in our family.
Internet predators have become the lastest weapons againt us. Kids surf for sex, the whacko's go where the kids are, Perveted Justice is in there trolling and Dateline has the cameras rolling. It then becomes a special which keeps the hysteria going and makes all of us look like animals and it is called entertainment.
We, at SOSEN, are working on a project to expose this situation in a very voval way and push for getting the age limit raised to 18 and the nonsense will be stopped. Keeping kids on the move will help keep them out of such situations. One of the primiary advertisers is Vonage and the nation needs to know that.
We need help. Every person who wants to stop the cameras that use our kids as bait and turn all offenders into slime must work with us. Individual complaints will do no good but 100's of individual complaints directed to the proper source on specific dates will get attention. We may not be able to stop the craziness but think what a victory this would be if we win. We are going for prevention which is a different concept. We are going to ask the public to help and we are going to let the world know that the safety of the children is important to us.
If you are willing to help we need you. We have had a couple of residency restriction victories and the Maine registry is shaky.
2007 is a year when decisions will be made that shape your future. Regardless of what is decided my life will not be changed. I urgently to ask that you do something now. Tomorrow such actions may be illegal.
Shirley/ceo/sosen.info

Posted by: shirley | Jan 2, 2007 2:56:08 PM

Anyone who values their liberties and who has studied history should be afraid - very afraid - of these laws. Hitler, Himmler, Goebbels, all must be laughing and rolling in their graves seeing America enact and enforce the very laws they enacted some seventy years ago. Long before Hitler killed the first Jews in Nazi Germany, he paved the way for the wholesale disenfranchisement of human beings by — you guessed it — attacking the rights of sex offenders. From 1933 through 1936, a series of amendments were passed to Paragraphs 173 through 188 of the German Penal Law specifically targeting homosexuals and others determined to be “sexual deviants”.

The sex offender laws created under the Nazi Third Reich have been the model for “Megan’s Law” and many of the other Sex Offender laws being passed and enacted all over this once Great Nation. They established the first sex offender registry, required sex offenders to register their whereabouts and to wear pink triangles, carry special identification papers, and established draconian punishments for sex crimes that included longer prison terms, loss of voting and civil rights, civil confinement in concentration camps, and the death penalty. All of these laws were justified by the Nazi’s in the same way that our present-day politicians justify Megan’s Law: to protect the children from sexual predators. If it that reason was good enough for Hilter to use it is must be good enough for our leaders.

Of course, as history shows us, the targeting sex offenders is just a way to establish the precedent of wholesale deprivation of human rights in preparation for attacks against all the people we want to deem as unworthy to live and/or work in our communities. Even now the existing statues are being modified and applied to other crimes, illegal aliens, and even the homeless to imprison and/or banish them.

It’s doubtful that the German people would have acquiesced to Hitler’s rounding up Jews, Gypsies, Communists, Socialists, trade unionists, and so forth, and sending them off to death camps in 1933 when he first ascended to power. Hitler had to first establish a precedent, like our present day Politian’s have, that some people are subhuman and unworthy of human rights — and they started with the most universally despised group they could find, Sex Offenders. And just as Hilter moved on to others using these laws, so have we. Martin Luther King, Jr. said it all;

" Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal. "
-- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Anyone who thinks that this couldn’t and isn't going to happen again is delusional. It has already started. The simple fact is that history shows that you can’t single out one group for deprivation of civil rights without weakening those rights for everyone else. Which of us will be next? You? Me? Our children? Our grandchildren? Eventually we all will experience and become victims of these laws for ourselves!

" How fortunate for governments that the people they administer don't think."
-- Adolph Hitler

Posted by: Gallowsman | Feb 12, 2007 9:28:04 PM

So... how do we get this changed.
Entrapment by police continues. They get men propositioned by hookers (COPS) on the street, who fall for the thrill of it.
They get men/women on the internet talking for the thrill of it.
They prosecute people who are targeted by estranged family members with a vinedta against them (false accusations made in behalf of their children who are too young or too scared to say it didn't happen). We live in a society where sex is BAD, and sex involving young adults is even WORSE.
How do we stop the hate? How do we stop the people who should NOT be classified, and overrun the system so that it can not track those who SHOULD be watched? There are so many Sex Offenders registered now, that the law enforcement agencies and other government entities who are responsible for protecting the public from them, can not do the job because they are overwhelmed.
The registry needs to be purged of "rehabilitated" offenders, and just watch the ones that are not, or can not be rehabilitated. Determining that requires a system that CARES, and has a plan for rehabilitated people.

How do we get people to "think" instead of react out of fear and do STUPID things like pass laws and restrictions that are unable to be followed?
If you can't find a job because of your offense, find a place to live within your income, MUST be working, MUST register at an address where you actually live,etc... it's all a big plan to keep people crushed. Like the comment Martin Luther Kind said. " Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal. " That's what is happening right now in America.

Merle Haggard sand a song that said... "I've paid the price I owed 'em, but they're still not satisfied. Now I'm a branded man, out in the cold." It's true. NO forgiveness given. Not even the supposedly forgiving Christians want to touch this one.

Posted by: Bob | Mar 30, 2007 3:52:00 PM

my oldest brother was charged over nine years ago for being high and showing himself in public because of this stupid thing he did nine years ago he has to register as a sex offender for 10 years. he was doing really well he had a place to live and a job but then he got jumped by a gang of guys and had a heart attack when he was better and ready to go back to work the restaurant had already found a replacement for him and he couldn't pay his rent so he got put back into prison for three more years and now he has to register for another ten years and this time they only gave him five days to find a place to live or an address to register or he will go back to jail for ten years. i understand that he committed a crime but he has paid the price he did time in prison two different times and he still has to pay for his crime every day there has to be a program that helps sex offenders i rather know where they live than not to know!hopefully someone out there can help put a program together to help these people i believe in second chances don't you? if anyone has any ideas i would be glad to help set the plan in motion anyway i can!

Posted by: charity collier | Apr 17, 2007 3:24:56 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.