Nearly a year ago, as The Post and Courier’s Seanna Adcox reminds us, the high court ruled unanimously that South Carolina’s toughest-in-the-nation sex offender registry is unconstitutional, because it gives an unappealable lifetime sentence to people most of us wouldn’t think of as dangerous sex offenders.
And the Legislature did nothing. For nearly 11 months, and counting. Three lawmakers introduced bills to create an appeals process, although that wasn’t until late February — eight months after the court order. The House bill is still sitting in committee, where it appears not to have gotten any attention. The Senate bill was assigned to a subcommittee last month, but members of the Senate Judiciary Committee haven’t yet worked out a path forward.
What Percent of the SC Lawmakers are up for Re-election?
That is the Real Question to Pose!
Of course that’s why they’re dragging their feet and semi-stonewalling.None of them wants to give the other side a free attack-ad and sink their chances at getting re-elected. All that CP boogeyman show during Judge Jackson’s confirmation hearings is still fresh on people’s minds. This whole thing is so damn predictable.
At least I think that’s what it does, but check my facts:
I’d like to know exactly how many sex crimes in the last ten years or so were the result of the “on-line grooming” and of those, how many were a) those stupid FBI, ICAC, or private citizen “look at me protecting children” stings, and b) by someone on the registry.
Experiment idea: Felonize those stupid stings and then see how much sex crime beginning with “on-line grooming” occurs. Don’t even have to write new law for it – encouraging someone else to commit a crime makes one liable for that crime (at least in Georgia, not that they have ever prosecuted as such).
How about a bill to prevent cops and other adults from using the internet to pose as minors in order to lure people into committing crimes?
What South Carolina should come as no surprise. They have the Michigan model to go by. After years of the appeal process, a federal judge FINALLY orders them to rewrite the state’s SORA, and the Legislature simply passed another law that is unconstitutional. And even if South Carolina created a method for registrants to appeal for removal, it would still be left in the hands of judges who are anxious to get reelected.
AHHH, the three D’s of Democracy: Delay, Deflect, and Deny
SC may soon find itself without a registration scheme, much as MI did a couple years ago.
Same as in Michigan two years ago, the only difference being the ruling “ordering” the legislature to amend its registry law came from its state supreme court rather than the federal one. It’s safe to assume the South Carolina legislature will leave their registry as is unless its Supreme Court issues a similar ruling to Cleland’s (i.e., declare it unconstitutional), which I don’t see happening.
By the way, did anyone else notice that most states like to call their registry schemes “the toughest in the nation” even though it’s supposedly non-punitive?
“Granted, the sentence isn’t terribly onerous” I would like the author of this article to live under register sex offender conditions for a year of their life, after every month add more restrictions that they must now abide by or return to prison. Let’s see after a year if the author still feels these are not onerous rules. Now imagine a lifetime of that and no way off. That is the ULTIMATE form of punishment.
Maybe not legally, but in my opinion, any sanctions that lead to prison if you simply overlook a rule, is 100% punitive. Why you ask? You cannot be sent to prison for non punitive reasons. Smart mouth the judge, go to jail. It is punishment. Smart off to your parents, go to your room, it is punishment. Cause and effect.
Most if not all of us, were not sentence to a life sentence. And yet we were. The registry in every way, shape and form, punishes us AND our families, every day the sun rises in the sky. Many of us look over our shoulders with every waking minute, wondering if some stupid rule will send us back to prison, possible for more than our original sentences.
This is NOT about compliance, it is about punishment, plain and simple. Any legal scholar could look at the words punishment and punitive, then align and compare to the registry requirements, and penalties for non compliance, and only come to one conclusion. Arrests, jail, prison, probation, house arrest, GPS monitoring, all things we face for simply forgetting an email address we occasionally used 10 years ago.
No other crime in the U.S has that kind of loose trigger effect than any registry violation. Again, if it is a crime to overlook a so called non punitive registry compliance, how can any sane person say it is not punishment? Let’s not even get started on the “retroactive” application of said registries. Nor should we forget the judges who are in the pockets of legislatures or afraid their careers could go away for siding with the truth.
It’s an election year….no time to start growing a backbone on something that might risk re-election.
And there it is. They all know the people running against them will run an ad showing they voted for the new law and conveniently leave out the part they had to do something because of the SCSC ruling.
Since the Department of Justice controls the law regarding such requirements, perhaps we should be petitioning the DOJ and/or Congress to pass laws that apply to all states across the board.