By MICHAEL ROSENBERG . . . I see little in life that looks like a sex offender registry with its incumbent restrictions. School was tough when I didn’t have friends, and life can look a little bleak when I look around now at my limited social experiences. Yet while I have to skip many events that take place within shouting […]

Simple: sex offender registries are instruments of oppression


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By ADAM LIPTAK . . . Last week at the Supreme Court, a lawyer made what seemed like an unremarkable point about registered sex offenders. “This court has recognized that they have a high rate of recidivism and are very likely to do this again,” said the lawyer, Robert C. Montgomery, who was defending a North Carolina statute that bars […]

New York Times: “Vanishingly” little evidence of high re-offense rate


By SANDY . . . “There are three principal features of North Carolina’s law that make it a stark abridgment of the Freedom of Speech.” These words, spoken by attorney David Goldberg, opened the oral arguments of the petitioner Lester Packingham to the Supreme Court today, Monday, February 27. At 21, Mr. Packingham was convicted of taking indecent liberties with […]

Justice Breyer: You’re going to have everybody convicted [] not being able ...


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By ANDREW COHEN . . . Lester Gerard Packingham was having a really good day back on April 27, 2010. The North Carolina man had just learned that a traffic ticket against him had been dismissed, so he logged onto his Facebook account and gleefully told the world: “Man God is Good! How about I got so much favor they […]

North Carolina versus First Amendment: SCOTUS to decide



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By JOHN FUTTY . . . After his conviction for attempted rape in 2011, Brian L. Golsby was required to participate in a sex-offender treatment program in prison. The specific program he entered, how he performed and whether he was seen as a high risk for re-offending, though, are all confidential under Ohio law. Whatever treatment Golsby received, police say […]

Columbus Dispatch declares boldly, courageously, correctly


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Raleigh, North Carolina . . . The National Association for Rational Sexual Offense Laws (NARSOL) and its North Carolina affiliate, NCRSOL, have filed a federal civil rights action challenging the state’s amendments and enhancements to sex offender registration requirements going back more than a decade. Emboldened by a recent decision of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals that set aside […]

NARSOL, NCRSOL file suit challenging NC’s sex offender registry


By JAMIE MARKHAM . . . Last month the supreme court decided State v. Moir. It is a case about how a state sex crime—namely, indecent liberties with a child—fits within the offense tiering system set out in the federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA). It has been a while since I last blogged about this topic, so […]

Forget federalism: NC invites regulatory control over its citizens


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By STEVEN YODER . . . On Sept. 30, 2016, in a Los Angeles suburb, 48-year-old Michael Zinzun, a homeless man on the California sex offender registry, approached a woman sleeping on a park bench and reportedly asked if she wanted to smoke meth. When she turned him down, he allegedly started sexually assaulting her. As she screamed, he dragged […]

Sex offender registration policies increasing danger to public



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By DAVID POST . . . In an important decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit on Wednesday struck down [Doe v. Cooper — opinion posted here] as unconstitutional under the First Amendment yet another “unconstitutional monstrosity” perpetrated by the North Carolina legislature in its unceasing efforts to make life as miserable as humanly possible for previously […]

4th Circuit to NC: Got some statistical evidence? Anything? Hello? You there?


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By ROBIN VANDERWALL . . . While we’re happy to see that the editors at The Wilson Times understand the danger of legislative overreach when it comes to First Amendment rights, it’s clearly too late for the N.C. Legislature to correct a law that, if overturned, will set national precedence once the U.S. Supreme is finished with its judicious scalpel. […]

Too little, too late from the Wilson Times editorial board


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By ROBIN VANDERWALL . . . The United States Supreme Court has accepted the petition for a writ of certiorari from Lester Gerard Packingham who was arrested in 2012 for posting a message on Facebook in violation of North Carolina’s prohibition against sex offenders accessing social media websites. On petition to the U.S. Supreme Court since January 2016, the Packingham […]

UPDATE: SCOTUS grants cert; will hear NC Facebook case


By THOMASI MCDONALD . . . The State Fair is on pace to draw more than a million people to the fairgrounds in Raleigh this year, but residents who are on the state’s sex offender registry risk arrest if they are among them. A new law that went into effect Sept. 1 bans the more than 17,000 registered sex offenders […]

NCRSOL to challenge new premises statute, state fair ban