CCJR supports rational, cost-effective programs and policies that rehabilitate prisoners, divert them from prison in the first place, reduce crime, lower recidivism rates and make society safer. A CCJR priority is to work toward evidence-based sex offender policies. Citizens United for Rehabilitation of Errants CURE is a Washington-based national organization with many state chapters working for a humane and restorative criminal justice system.
The group believes in the abolition of sex offender registries. Human Rights Defense Center is a nonprofit corporation headquartered in Florida that works for the human rights of, and litigates for, people held in U. It also publishes the journal Prison Legal News, which has written extensively about sex offender issues.
The Center believes using sex offender registries as a means to protect the public is fundamentally flawed. Women Against Registry is a volunteer organization that advocates for the hundreds of thousands of innocent women and children who are wrongly and unfairlypunished because they have a family member convicted of a sexual offense.
Members of the group are painfully aware that the whole family appears on the registry with the former offender. Reform Sex Offender Laws, Inc. Overwhelming statistical evidence since Smith v. Doe demonstrates that the United States Supreme Court was misinformed about the risk of recidivism among former sexual offenders. The superior court erred in not finding RSA B to be an ex post facto law because, first, there is clear evidence that RSA B was enacted in with punitive intent and, second, regardless of legislative intent, a growing body of statistical and anecdotal evidence shows public sex offender registries have a punitive effect which far exceeds that considered by this court in prior decisions.
The court in Smith v. Doe made two important — but incorrect — preliminary findings that this court may be inclined to follow: In this brief CCJR provides the facts and evidence dispelling these widely held misconceptions. First, CCJR presents evidence proving that those convicted of sex crimes re-offend at the lowest rate of all convicted felons. Second, CCJR has collected the all too frequent stories showing the cruelly punitive effect of the registry.
CCJR also presents in the Addendum to this brief references to a collection of studies and articles that provide substantial background information on sex offender registries, which information CCJR hopes will persuade the court to rule in favor of John Doe. Doe demonstrates that the U. Supreme Court was misinformed about the risk of recidivism among former sexual offenders.
In Smith v Doe, U. Although the study concluded that released sex offenders are more likely to commit a sex offense than those released for committing other crimes, www. The DOJ reported that those convicted of sexual assault have recidivism rates around 2. Other statistical evidence overwhelmingly supports these DOJ reports. Sex offenders re-offend at very low rates, including in New Hampshire. Former assistant safety commissioner John Stephen testified in in favor of HB , a bill that would allow posting the registry online.
He told the Senate Judiciary Committee that a public list was a good idea because the current sex offense recidivism rate was only 2 percent. He said of the people who had ever been on the non-public registry, only 16 had been arrested for new sex crimes, which 16 included three for indecent exposure and one for criminal restraint. CCJR has collected in the Addendum to this brief studies of sex offender recidivism rates. To the extent the US Supreme Court was influenced by its erroneous belief that convicted sex offenders represent a significant ongoing risk to the community, its decision in Smith v.
Current RSA B differs so much from the statute considered in Costello that the decision has little bearing on the current case. Doe, supra, established the standards for considering an ex post facto challenge: If the intention of the legislature was to impose punishment, that ends the inquiry.
RSA B fails both tests. It was enacted with punitive intent and a mounting quantum of evidence shows its effects to be tragically punitive.
Unlike the registration statute considered in Costello, there is clear evidence that RSA B was enacted in with punitive intent. This court in State v. Costello reviewed the legislative history of former RSA A: The legislative record supporting RSA B is different. New Hampshire adopted its risk tiers based on the crime committed, not on clinical assessments, and Dokmo told the Senate Judiciary Committee April 15, , that all the new people who would have to register for life deserved it.
Those who unsuccessfully opposed the bill made statements that underscored the punitive intent they tried to defeat including Rep. Beth Rodd, who called HB a scarlet letter bill that sets the kids, mothers and family members of sex offenders up for humiliation.
One woman who came in before the House Criminal Justice Committee said she had to get a restraining order 8 against some people in the community who were coming to her house. Regardless of legislative intent, a growing body of statistical and anecdotal evidence shows public sex offender registries have a punitive effect which far exceeds that considered by this court in prior decisions.
This court concluded in State v. A growing body of statistical and anecdotal evidence shows that public sex offender registries have a punitive effect that goes far beyond what this court considered in Costello and, under the standard of Smith v. Doe, this punitive effect renders RSA B unconstitutional.
Nine years ago Lawrence Trant stabbed a sex offender registrant in Concord, left him for dead, and tried to burn two apartment buildings with seven sex offenders among the tenants. In contrast to the colonial shaming punishments, however, the State does not make the publicity and the resulting stigma an integral part of the objective of the regulatory scheme.
Like Trant, he found them online. One of those victims, William Elliot, was on the registry because he slept with his under-age girlfriend when he was in high school. At least 18 other sex offenders have been murdered precisely because the assailants found them on the registry and, according to published news articles, more than other people convicted or accused of sex offenses have been slain in the past decade, some possibly targeted as registrants, and more than convicted sex offenders have committed suicide as well according to news accounts.
Other evidence of vigilantism against those on the registry are collected in the addendum along with summaries of other research this court may find helpful. Platt quotes Georgia House Speaker Jerry Keen in a moment of great candor during debate on the state's public registry: December 23, State of New Hampshire Merrimack, ss. Sheehan Addendum Following is a collection of articles and studies on issues related to this brief and to the matter before the court. Steve Vaillancourt read aloud the written testimony of an unnamed constituent whose family was harassed right after Channel 9 and the Union Leader obtained and published the names and addresses of sex offenders.
The registrant and his wife were both afraid of losing their jobs. Maxwell Sargent strongly opposed HB because the Internet roster would be ineffective at protecting the public. However, it may give a false sense of security to the public because if there is no registered sex offender in my neighborhood, my kids are safe. As you may know, most pedophiles offend against family members or people they know well. Released, convicted sex offenders that have been released, have either served their entire sentence or they are on strict probation and parole.
I am against the registration list completely, but if we are going to use the list, it should only be used for those who have been determined at a very high risk for re-offending. There are several standardized recognized psychological tests now to determine that, and it has been used a little bit in New Hampshire. Here is part of her testimony. I did the math because 12 I do still like to do long division. That is significantly lower than the recidivism rate for any other category of offender now at the New Hampshire State Prison.
That is an extraordinarily low rate. I think what you need to look at when you are talking about a recidivism rate of 2 percent, 16 people, is that you have other names on that list, individuals who are being subject to abuse, who have lost their jobs, who have lost their homes, who have been threatened, who have been the victims of vandalism, whose families are being threatened, whose children are being harassed and intimidated and threatened in their schools, who have not re-offended.
It seems to me that is a crucial question for this Committee to review and to consider before legislation which expands the access so broadly is even considered. Michael Iacopino spoke against HB in The Adam Walsh Act and the bill before you are based upon premises that are faulty. It is not based upon the evidence. There are no studies that demonstrate that anybody is any safer as a result of public registration or public notification of sex offenders.
Convicted sex offender Richard Willwerth asked CCJR for help in because he had been charged with failure to re-register. According to the Portsmouth Herald, a passing driver saw the troubled man stop his blue Honda on the I bridge in Portsmouth at 2: He climbed the guard rail and plunged to his death in the frigid Piscataqua River.
I take full responsibility for taking the bait and served my time. I got through my suspended sentence, my probation, and my court appointed therapy. I also made it through 6 years of registering twice a year. Sadly I had lost my job with a highly regarded Limo company in Manchester and have never recovered to make even half of what I had made previously. I have lost my self-esteem, self confidence, and self respect, and soon potentially my freedom. Due to my escalated anxiety over my life situation, I somehow lost sight of the fact that I had to register in December of I had sent in my registration letter to 13 Concord early in December of but sadly lost focus on the most important component; registration.
They took me into custody and charged me with felony failure to report. I was in no way attempting to avoid registration, in fact I had called in on Dec.
Since then I have gone into an emotional tailspin. Suicidal thoughts are with me daily and my girlfriend has since broken off with me. Nine years ago Lawrence Trant stabbed a registrant in Concord, left him for dead, and tried to burn two apartment buildings with seven sex offenders among the tenants.
A Manchester mob burned a scarecrow on the porch of registrant Gloria Huot, who was away. Her roommate watched the riot from inside the apartment with her two young sons and an infant. The Union Leader soon posted these and similar remarks about Huot: Stephen Marshall of Nova Scotia killed two registrants in Maine in Victim William Elliot had slept with his under-age girlfriend when he was in high school.
According to published news articles, more than other people convicted or accused of sex offenses have been slain in the past decade, and some of them may have been similarly targeted as registrants. More than convicted sex offenders have committed suicide as well according to news accounts.
Organized New Hampshire vigilantes. A Hooksett neighbor of registrant Joel Dutton accused him of molesting his young niece in his backyard in , and parents started a website against him with postings like this: