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Sunday, January 23, 2011

WAYS TO GET OFF THE SEX OFFENDER REGISTRY

February 05, 2010

There have been two recent developments which potentially relieve an individual from a duty to register under Maine’s Sex Offender Registration Law, 34-A M.R.S.A § 11201 et seq. “SORNA”). On September 11, 2009, new legislation went into effect which allows certain individuals to apply to be deregistered. On December 22, 2009 Maine’s Law Court issued an opinion in the case of State v. Letalien, 2009 ME 130 which expanded the category of those not required to register. I. LEGISLATIVE CHANGES On September 11, 2009 the following legislation went into effect in response to legislative concerns about the ex post facto nature of the SORNA scheme: 1. Exception. Notwithstanding section 11202, a person sentenced on or after January 1, 1982 and prior to June 30, 1992 is not required to register under this chapter if that person submits to the bureau, in a form to be determined by the bureau, documentation to establish the following: A. The person was finally discharged from the correctional system prior to September 1, 1998; B. The person's convictions do not include more than one Class A sex offense or sexually violent offense or more than one conviction in another jurisdiction for an offense that contains the essential elements of a Class A sex offense or sexually violent offense, whether or not the convictions occurred on the same date; C. At the time of the offense, the person had not been previously sentenced in this State as an adult or as a juvenile sentenced as an adult for a sex offense or a sexually violent offense; D. At the time of the offense, the person had not been previously sentenced in another jurisdiction as an adult or as a juvenile sentenced as an adult for an offense that contains the essential elements of a sex offense or a sexually violent offense; E. Subsequent to the commission of the offense, the person has not been convicted of a crime under Title 17 or Title 17-A in this State that is punishable by imprisonment for a term of one year or more; and F. Subsequent to the commission of the offense, the person has not been convicted under the laws of any other jurisdiction of a crime that is punishable by a term of imprisonment exceeding one year. This paragraph does not include a crime under the laws of another jurisdiction that is classified by the laws of that jurisdiction as a misdemeanor and is punishable by a term of imprisonment of 2 years or less. 2. Duty continues. A person's duty to register continues until the bureau determines that the documentation meets the requirements of this section and any rules adopted by the bureau. 3. Costs. A person who submits documentation under this section is responsible for the costs of any criminal history record checks required. 4. Restoration of registration status. The registration obligation of a person sentenced on or after January 1, 1982 and prior to June 30, 1992 that is discharged pursuant to this section is restored by any subsequent conviction for a crime described in subsection 1, paragraph E or F. 34-A M.R.S.A. § 11202-A One key difference between the relief from the duty to register in 34-A M.R.S.A. § 11202-A and the Law Court’s decision in Letalien, described below, is that the registrant must take affirmative actions to deregister. II. State v. Letalien On December 22, 2009 the Law Court issued an opinion in the matter of State v. Letalien, 2009 ME 130 which had significant impact in determining who is subject to registration. The Court specifically acknowledged the extensive legislative and judicial history of sex offense registration in Maine. The Court spent considerable time analyzing the ex post facto arguments against various forms of SORNA statutes which had been previously upheld in various U.S. Supreme Court and Maine Law Court decisions. The Law Court ultimately concluded in Letalien that Maine’s SORNA statute was unconstitutional as applied to certain defendants. The Court ultimately concluded that the SORNA statute was at least in part unconstitutional as an ex post facto law as applied to certain offenders: To summarize, we conclude: (1) For ex post facto purposes, SORNA of 1999 is properly evaluated on its face, and not in relation to how it has been applied against any individuals. Our suggestion to the contrary in Doe v. District Attorney, 2007 ME 139, 932 A.2d 552, is overruled. (2) The prohibition on ex post facto laws in the Maine Constitution, Me. Const. art. I, § 11, is coextensive with the corresponding prohibition in the United States Constitution, U.S. Const. art. I, § 10, cl. 1. (3) The retroactive application of the lifetime registration requirement and quarterly in-person verification procedures of SORNA of 1999 to offenders originally sentenced subject to SORA of 1991 and SORNA of 1995, without, at a minimum, affording those offenders any opportunity to ever be relieved of the duty as was permitted under those laws, is, by the clearest proof, punitive, and violates the Maine and United States Constitutions’ prohibitions against ex post facto laws. [¶64] Because the Legislature, in its upcoming session, may wish to consider revisions to SORNA of 1999 to address the registration of offenders originally sentenced subject to SORA of 1991 and SORNA of 1995, we postpone the effective date of our mandate to March 31, 2010. See M.R. App. P. 14(c). State v. Letalien, 2009 ME 130 (emphasis added).

2 comments:

  1. how do i get a person that lives in iowa and he is on the sex affendor reg

    ReplyDelete
  2. I would suggest for the state where one is charged and go to http://nationalrsol.org/about-us/affiliates/ for that state. Contact the advocate listed
    In your case your advocate is Iowa – IOWA RSOL
    Website:https://sites.google.com/site/iowacitizensforchange/
    Phone: 563-271=1126
    Primary Contact: Michael Byars – easterniowarsol@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete

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"When an American says that he loves his country, he means not only that he loves the New England hills, the prairies glistening in the sun, the wide and rising plains, the great mountains, and the sea. He means that he loves an inner air, an inner light in which freedom lives and in which a man can draw the breath of self-respect."
~Adlia Stevenson U.S. Vice President (1893–1897) and Congressman (1879–1881)

On a Personal Note

Thanks for the opportunity to express my thoughts regarding the issue of citizens’ rights, particularly addressing certain sex offenders’ crimes that do not fit the devastating, inequitable and endless punishment given.


As you know, many young men and women lives across the nation are being destroyed by incarceration, life-time registry and restrictive laws that do more harm than good. For those individuals, there is no second chance.

Below is a personal letter to President Obama:
* * * *
“Dear President Obama,

I truly agree with your sentiments that individuals, such as ex-felons, should be able to receive a second chance at life. Since we all know that one can veer off that path of life and travel along rough, rocky terrain, sometimes running off and ending up in some ditch. We all have made our fill of mistakes and sometimes those held a costly consequence that changed life forever. So we lived through it, trying harder to make things right with family, friends and those around us, but what about those who aren’t able to make things right even if they tried…because they’re labeled as too dirty, a leper, a person who is rejected from society and home.


But what if they’re a seventeen year old and had sex with a fifteen year old, consensual at that? Or they’re a teen that had gotten so enraged after a breakup that he sent out naked pictures of his girlfriend on his cell phone or email? Or an individual urinates where someone just happens to see them?


All are wrong and a travesty but do they deserve the life of no second chance with a registry that ends all. They are labeled, no jobs, no where to live…they have been deemed a menace to society, a plague. These certain circumstances, and many other situations similar to these, I believe still deserve a second change.

Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution


Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.


After my son’s early release and two years of prison, I thought I had handled that fact graciously knowing after serving his time he would be able to get that fresh start, that second chance. He was an exemplary inmate, GED, college courses and vocational classes. Little did I know that a second chance on the outside was the farthest from the truth? He now struggles and lives in a trailer park sharing a trailer with another and surrounded by others in the same rocking boat, one to float endlessly in shark infested waters. I see him little because of probation requirements (he couldn’t live with us because we were 800 feet near a school). My family is afraid of what would happen to them if he lived with them…vigilantism. My son has no other place to stay since others condemn him of his crime that is screamed from the highest rooftop. Sex offender, sex offender!

Not all sex offenders are pedophiles or predators but some are simply young kids that make one stupid and rash decision that eventually changes everything, and they have no idea what they’ve done until their life is never their own. Exactly, where is that second chance for those sex-offenders who are lumped together with pedophiles and predators? Now, it makes me sick to think of my son’s future and many like him that are on the registry and many with no second chance…ever. I am asking you as a mother and as another concerned citizen of the United States that these laws are looked at again and taken into serious consideration in what they are doing to the Constitution of the United States, not for sex offenders in general but the future rights of every citizen, before anymore are put into effect. They unjustly strip an offender of their rights and place them in a guillotine that can be easily set off by anyone and at anytime. Where is the second chance for ex-sex offenders in the present, pending and future laws?”
* * * *
What truly saddens me is the weakness and deterioration of what the sex offense issue is doing to our once, great nation. Across Europe, others are seeing the injustice and disregard of rights, but we ignore this problem and it makes me wonder where humanity is heading….

We have become a hysterical society in which our latest witch-hunt is a sex offender--no matter his/her crime.

Below is a email sent from a foreign advocate to a father of a sex offender:
* * * *
“The tragic story of your son's death is just so sad that it's difficult to explain how. It was very hard to read your letters. It seems almost unbelievable that this can take place in a democracy! From our point of view, there is no justice in this. Not in any way: not for you, your son, the former girl friend – or even the state.

It is an abusive legal system. It seems barbaric. And we are so very sorry that this takes place. That's why it's so important for us to try to neutralize the debate with this…, hopefully making some changes. ….. to show the every day life of the sex offenders, trying to show how they keep on being punished, even after served prison time…..But we will for sure tell the story of the injustice that your son has been exposed to.”
* * * *
I appreciate everyone's commitment and backing to protect everyone's civil rights, plainly as noted in the Constitution of the United States and is presupposed, giving ALL men are “life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.”