We’ve written several times over the last few years about the lack of any consideration for people who are elderly or sick when it comes to registration requirements. Simply, there are no exceptions. Even if someone is bedridden or in a coma, there is nothing in Florida Statutes that provides an exception to IN PERSON registration.
The fact that these individuals are being prosecuted and jailed for registration violations while they are terminally ill, elderly or suffering with mental illnesses or dementia completely lacks common sense. Not only, in many cases, does their condition make it difficult or impossible to comply with the myriad of requirements imposed on them, but it also, in many cases, renders them incapable of re offending.
In North Carolina, a 61 year old man died behind bars this week. He was jailed for failure to register as a sex offender. He had stage 4 cancer and didn’t even make it two months in jail. Not a new crime, just a failure to register – a technical crime.
We don’t know the full circumstances of his case or how much his terminal illness played into his failure to register, but we do know that people who are at the end stages of a terminal illness, elderly or who have a mental or physical condition that renders them unlikely to re-offend and difficult to comply, do not deserve to be jailed for technical violations that are beyond their control.