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State of Ohio Establishes "Pre-Crime" Registry

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the just-in-case-you-want-to-ruin-someone dept.

761

I*Love*Green*Olives writes to tell us the Toledo Blade is reporting that State officials have rubber-stamped a "civil-registry" that would allow accused sex offenders to be tracked with the sex offender registry even if they have never been convicted of a crime. From the article: "A recently enacted law allows county prosecutors, the state attorney general, or, as a last resort, alleged victims to ask judges to civilly declare someone to be a sex offender even when there has been no criminal verdict or successful lawsuit. The rules spell out how the untried process would work. It would largely treat a person placed on the civil registry the same way a convicted sex offender is treated under Ohio's so-called Megan's Law."

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Hmmm... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16034970)

I bet Megan is hot.

Maybe she's really ugly... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16035144)

and wants a list of surefire dates?

Re:Hmmm... (2, Informative)

AriaStar (964558) | more than 7 years ago | (#16035179)

She was a child kidnapped, sexually assaulted, and killed by a known molester whose "right to privacy" was deemed more important than his neighbors' right to know that he had a violent criminal record involving children.

Re:Hmmm... (1)

Lord Fury (977501) | more than 7 years ago | (#16035183)

And now, by the power vested in me by the great state of Ohio, I now pronounce you a sex offender.

Worst idea ever. (4, Insightful)

vistic (556838) | more than 7 years ago | (#16034971)

This is so unconstitutional... isn't it? It had better be.

Now you can just accuse someone and ruin their life?

What the heck is the court even for, then?

Re:Worst idea ever. (3, Funny)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#16034998)

Now you can just accuse someone and ruin their life?

Why not? It's been happening for years in California.

Re:Worst idea ever. (3, Informative)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 7 years ago | (#16034999)

The court are the ones putting your name in that database. FTFA:
A recently enacted law allows county prosecutors, the state attorney general, or, as a last resort, alleged victims to ask judges to civilly declare someone to be a sex offender even when there has been no criminal verdict or successful lawsuit. The rules spell out how the untried process would work. It would largely treat a person placed on the civil registry the same way a convicted sex offender is treated under Ohio's so-called Megan's Law.

Who was it that said, "how convenient it is when they're all guilty'?

Re:Worst idea ever. (5, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 7 years ago | (#16035002)

This is so unconstitutional... isn't it? It had better be.

So is wiretapping w/o a warrant. But remember, as long as we are fighting terrorists, squashing sex offenders, or expanding the powers of government we're doing something great for this country.

Keep up the great work Ohio. I'm very disappointed that I moved to a different state.

Imo: (5, Informative)

Ruff_ilb (769396) | more than 7 years ago | (#16035111)

This is slightly worse than wiretapping w/o a warrant on the constitutional level. There's a name for a law that declares someone guilty of some offense and then punishes them for it without a trial - it's called a bill of attainder, and it's specifically prohibited.

Of course, the proponents of this law are going to claim that the law doesn't declare them guilty, and doesn't punish them, but they're basically saying that these people are guilt of SOMETHING, otherwise they wouldn't be worth being watched. And, obviously, it's easy to see how being on such a list would be a punishment.

Re:Worst idea ever. (5, Informative)

SachiCALaw (856692) | more than 7 years ago | (#16035021)

It's not entirely clear from the article, and I'm not an Ohio attorney, but depending on what the registry does, it might be ok. The Due Process Clause of the Constitution requires a hearing before a person is deprived of life or liberty, and that hearing must be proportional to deprivation. Obviously, a criminal case gets *more* due process than a civil case, because the potential deprivation of life and liberty is greater.

In this case, it seems that the civil registry is designed to be very different from a criminal registry, so let us not assume it would deprive civil registrants of the same rights and liberties as criminal registrants. That said, it is still creepy and upsetting, from a civil liberties standpoint, and worth looking at with a very severe eye.

Re:Worst idea ever. (5, Insightful)

Sage Gaspar (688563) | more than 7 years ago | (#16035105)

In this case, it seems that the civil registry is designed to be very different from a criminal registry, so let us not assume it would deprive civil registrants of the same rights and liberties as criminal registrants.

The issue isn't a right or liberty so much as an extreme black mark on their record. It says their picture, name, and address would be added to a publicly searchable database. Good luck getting a decent job for the next six years. And, oh, the fun when one of your neighbors decides to take a peek and it gets around to everyone in the area. All based on the decision of one judge.

I mean, what's anyone supposed to do with "by the way, this guy 'might' be a sexual offender" coming from the government? Either you are or you aren't, and if the court can't build a case as per our constitutional legal system, even to civil standards (it says in the article it doesn't require a successful civil or criminal verdict), it can't publish an official "maybe."

I'm sure someone involved in this process had the best of intentions seeing cases fall apart on technicalities or something, but just... no. This can't be the way to fix it.

Re:Worst idea ever. (1)

SachiCALaw (856692) | more than 7 years ago | (#16035150)

I agree about the black mark. I addressed the "issue" as a legal, constitutional issue, and as such the question is one of rights and liberties and whether the hearing is sufficient to deprive one of that right or liberty. That's what "due process" means, you see -- DUE PROCESS of law (a trial, a hearing before an impartial arbiter) before one's rights or liberties are taken away by the government.

Re:Worst idea ever. (4, Insightful)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 7 years ago | (#16035136)

The article says the person would have thier picture placed on the internet, labeled as a sex offender and suffer restrictions on were they could live or be at. This sounds like something violating due process. Restricting were someone could reside or even be in attendance is paramount to incarceration. You would need a conviction for that.

In a way, I'm glad we are doing something about this. Sadly, I'm dissapointed that the efforts seemingly infringe on the very basic freedoms of life liberty and the pursuite of happyness that they are trying to protect for people. This is so much different from the NSA wiretaps or some of the other infringments on freedom we have seen of late. Some people act like there is no different but couldn't be more wrong. In this law, we are singling an indevidual or ondeviduals out, creating a label for them and placing restrictions on thier movment and ability to earn a living. Further more, we are intenting to place this labeling information along with personal identifyable attributes on the internet so to publicly humiliate a person "_never convicted of a crime_". It doesn't bother me that we do it to people who are convicted, the public needs protection from convicted offenders. But just an acusation is going too far.

I hope ot see this in the courts real soon. I only hope the person getting poped on this and challenging it is actualy inocent. I would have to send money to a legal defense fund for some one who is guilty just to gat some sanity back into the laws. But i can envision a defense fund being made and lots of people funding a fight on this.

How many "terrorists" are getting that hearing? (2, Interesting)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 7 years ago | (#16035156)

Once one set of people (eg prisoners held under suspicion of terrorism) are held with no hearing, then it is just a small step to treading on others because they just look perverted. Where does this stop? When all citizens are placed under house arrest because they might be criminals of some sort or other.

Re:Worst idea ever. (5, Insightful)

skam240 (789197) | more than 7 years ago | (#16035185)

wouldn't this be defamation? i would think putting some one who has not been convicted of a sex offence in a data base for sex offenders would fall under the catagory of dafamation.

i also love this bit from the article...

A civilly declared offender, however, could petition the court to have the person's name removed from the new list after six years if there have been no new problems and the judge believes the person is unlikely to abuse again

unlikely to abuse again!? but if they've abused before then why havent they been convicted?

The article does state that this is an alternative to opening up a one time windoew to bring civil suits againts catholic priests for alleged sexual abuse but this seems like it has massive potential for abuse. even if this is only used for profiling priests it still doesnt address the issue that some of these priest may not have done anything wrong.

Re:Worst idea ever. (2, Interesting)

mrraven (129238) | more than 7 years ago | (#16035028)

Of course it's unconstitutional but will the supreme court ACTUALLY overturn it? Remember George "the constitutional is just a godamn piece of paper" Bush has appointed 2 supreme court justices.

Suggestion (4, Funny)

repvik (96666) | more than 7 years ago | (#16035048)

Hey, this is GREAT! Just accuse all the politicians in Ohio of being offenders. Ruin their lives forever! That'll teach 'em ;-)

Re:Suggestion (4, Insightful)

ResidntGeek (772730) | more than 7 years ago | (#16035071)

That would be ideal, but remember that the law generally doesn't apply to the rich and powerful. Judges would have a far smaller problem with putting a random schmuck in the registry on no evidence than they would a prominent politician.

Re:Suggestion (1)

repvik (96666) | more than 7 years ago | (#16035121)

Slashdot should add a "tragically true" moderation...

Re:Worst idea ever. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16035070)

Remember George "the constitutional is just a godamn piece of paper" Bush has appointed 2 supreme court justices.


I like that viewpoint much better compared to Al "The Constitution is a living, breathing document" nonsense. What other document is living or breathing?

Now watch the flamebait mods on this comment, even thought this is directly related to a modded up comment that utterly destroys the mindless Bush bashing.

Re:Worst idea ever. (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 7 years ago | (#16035106)

I like that viewpoint much better compared to Al "The Constitution is a living, breathing document" nonsense. What other document is living or breathing?
Wikis. (Except a wiki rarely needs a two-thirds majority)

Which country was this again? (5, Funny)

nick_davison (217681) | more than 7 years ago | (#16035119)

Sorry, didn't bother to read the article but I hear it's about some country with a repressive regime that keeps quashing citizens' rights?

With luck, the United States will soon invade, deposing that corrupt regime and give those cowed citizens the same constitutionally protected liberties Americans experience every day. Tony Blair has already pledged his support.

Do they have oil? Weapons of mass destruction? Are they trying to advance their knowledge of nuclear weapons? Do they have large chemical weapon stockpiles? Do they frequently piss off the U.N.? Can we allege they have a "School Of The [Whatever Region]" terrorist training camp? Can we accuse them of trying to destabilize entire regions? Do they "kidnap" citizens of other nations, holding them for torture and interrogation rather than uphold international law and conventions?

If we can answer yes to two or three of the above, I'm pretty sure we have grounds to invade.

Now who was it again?

Re:Which country was this again? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16035182)

Only on slashdot where a clueless poster who admits he didn't RTFA get modded up.

Re:Worst idea ever. (1)

Atzanteol (99067) | more than 7 years ago | (#16035189)

He appointed them, yes. But he can't remove them. They aren't beholden to him at this point. That's the whole *reason* the court system is setup the way it is.

Re:Worst idea ever. (1)

Ph33r th3 g(O)at (592622) | more than 7 years ago | (#16035205)

But they didn't get put there because of their anticipated lack of loyalty, either. And even though they can't be fired, turning on the president who appointed him or the ideals of his party is probably a good way to reduce other kinds of influence.

Don't worry, it is unconstitutional and will be... (1)

Antony-Kyre (807195) | more than 7 years ago | (#16035043)

Don't worry, it is unconstitional and will be declared such in due time. I'm not an expert on law, but I do know this is a direct violation and someone will challenge it, and a federal judge will overturn it.

Someone cannot be labeled something without being convicted. It sounds like some people just got angry at the system and decided to make a stupid law to appease themselves.

Re:Worst idea ever. (1)

Benzido (959767) | more than 7 years ago | (#16035163)

You don't have a constitution in any meaningful sense of the word, anymore.

You have a bunch of laws which were once drawn up under a constitution; these laws will stand just until the executive branch decides to change them. And you have no recourse in case the executive branch decides to make laws which are unfair, immoral or inhumane.

then accuse those officials (1)

wickedsteve (729684) | more than 7 years ago | (#16035173)

They probably think it is a great idea until it happens to them. Hopefully people will bring accusations against those officials and see how they think of that kind of lawmaking then.

This should be fun... (5, Insightful)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#16034973)

Hell has no fury than a scorned woman and a crazy law.

Re:This should be fun... (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 7 years ago | (#16035093)

Insightful, not funny. Definitely not funny.

Re:This should be fun... (1)

penguinbrat (711309) | more than 7 years ago | (#16035140)

Who says it has to be a woman?

After I RTFA I can see where this could be thought a good thing, but my god is Ohio's new modo going to be "I bend over, and you pucker..." - what's the ratio of people pissing off people in general, as compared the horindous crimes that mess people up so bad they block it out for 35 years?

The concept was offered by Roman Catholic bishops as an alternative to opening a one-time window for the filing of civil lawsuits alleging child sexual abuse that occurred as long as 35 years ago.

Isn't New Yorks unoficial modo - "It's every Newyorkers god given right to be an asshole..." (something like that - quote from the mayor in Ghostbusters...)? Let's hope Newyork doesn't adopt this law...

I'm not going within a state of Ohio if this is for real - how reputable is this Toledo Blade anyhow?

Re:This should be fun... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16035146)

For God's sake, get it right:

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

Kids today...

Oh well! (1)

Atmchicago (555403) | more than 7 years ago | (#16034974)

So much for being innocent before proven guilty!

Re:Oh well! (2, Insightful)

Osty (16825) | more than 7 years ago | (#16035087)

So much for being innocent before proven guilty!

You know, it's odd how one word can change a phrase. The traditional phrase is, "innocent until proven guilty," which implies that you may never be proven guilty. Your turn of phrase, "innocent before proven guilty," implies that you're going to be proven guilty, but you're currently innocent.

You'd make an excellent politician!

Great ... (2)

Sonic McTails (700139) | more than 7 years ago | (#16034977)

This combined with the mentality that being accused instantly makes you guility in our society will result in many people's lives being ruined for doing nothing wrong in the first place. I can't see one good reason why they should have this system setup at all for people who aren't convienced!

Re:Great ... (1)

Eightyford (893696) | more than 7 years ago | (#16035039)

This combined with the mentality that being accused instantly makes you guility in our society will result in many people's lives being ruined for doing nothing wrong in the first place. I can't see one good reason why they should have this system setup at all for people who aren't convienced!
Preventing the sexual abuse of minors seems like a pretty damn good reason! I don't think the pros outweigh the cons on this one, but yeah, I think that's a pretty good reason.

Re:Great ... (2)

illuminatedwax (537131) | more than 7 years ago | (#16035112)

Yes, the negatives far outweigh the small amount of added protection that minors might receive. That makes it not a good reason.

Re:Great ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16035171)

Won't someone think of the children!

The First Person (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16034984)

The first person who should go on this list is the State Attorney General

For those who aren't going to RTFA (3, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#16034986)

The concept was offered by Roman Catholic bishops as an alternative to opening a one-time window for the filing of civil lawsuits alleging child sexual abuse that occurred as long as 35 years ago.
Basically, instead of allowing all the people molested by Catholic priests to be prosecuted and sent to jail.

Here's the kicker: "A civilly declared offender, however, could petition the court to have the person's name removed from the new list after six years if there have been no new problems and the judge believes the person is unlikely to abuse again."

In other words, molesters do not have to go to jail and as long as they behave themselves (or just don't get caught) for 6 years.

This doesn't strike me as much of a Mea Culpa by the Catholic Church.

Re:For those who aren't going to RTFA (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 7 years ago | (#16035022)

You mean accused molesters who 'stay out of trouble for 6 years'. Problem with that is, any time there's a sex-crime in the neighborhood, anybody on the register gets rounded up with the Usual Suspects. Any body wanting to bet that this would 'reset' the 6-year clock every time they get hauled in?

To me, this is more of a 'throw everybody to the wolves' by the Catholic Church to protect their errant priests, something to limit their liability in the worst case scenario. How often does the Church whisk away their priests at the mere hint of scandal anymore?

Re:For those who aren't going to RTFA (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#16035067)

To me, this is more of a 'throw everybody to the wolves' by the Catholic Church to protect their errant priests
The only problem with your statement is that the rules were "submitted by Attorney General Jim Petro's office" and the people doing the rubber stamping were "the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review, consisting of members of the Ohio House and Senate."

Not one person "voiced opposition".

While I agree with your sentiment, that by even putting forward such a proposition, the Catholic Church is playing the same games, either the committee members are all Catholic... Or there is some other logic for this decision that hasn't been shared with us.

It's an election year (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16035104)

Or there is some other logic for this decision that hasn't been shared with us.

That other logic is called an election year. Politicians are not going to vote a against this kind of law. Otherwise, their opponents will air ads accusing them of helping child molesters go free and preventing the police from investigating them. And how will that politician respond? They think accused sex offenders should have a fair trial? Which statement do you think the voters will remember at election time?

Re:For those who aren't going to RTFA (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 7 years ago | (#16035176)

From TFA:

The concept was offered by Roman Catholic bishops as an alternative to opening a one-time window for the filing of civil lawsuits alleging child sexual abuse that occurred as long as 35 years ago.

The concept was offered by the Church to protect their priests. Basically, theyr'e throwing the rest of society to the wolves to protect their own, otherwise, the Church could take a serious financial hit covering lawsuits going back 35 years (at least 20 years past the allowable statutes). All they have to do is move their accused priests out of Ohio and they're golden. Since this law isn't in effect anywhere else, the priest is protected.

Re:For those who aren't going to RTFA (1)

Elemenope (905108) | more than 7 years ago | (#16035178)

Or there is some other logic for this decision that hasn't been shared with us.

Yeah, the logic goes: 'When all are guilty, none are responsible.' If every member of the committee votes for it, it's the committee's fault if it goes bad, not any indiviudual member or subdivision. Blame is spread around more thinly, and so every member survives. It's the politician's number one way to avoid responsibility. I should know, I am one. ;)

Re:For those who aren't going to RTFA (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16035031)

Basically, instead of allowing all the people molested by Catholic priests to be prosecuted and sent to jail.

Geez. First they're molested, then they're sent to jail

Some life.

Re:For those who aren't going to RTFA (1)

The Man (684) | more than 7 years ago | (#16035118)

Here's the kicker: "A civilly declared offender, however, could petition the court to have the person's name removed from the new list after six years if there have been no new problems and the judge believes the person is unlikely to abuse again."

Again? There is no again; these are people who haven't been convicted of anything and therefore have never abused anyone. No new problems? Like getting sued? Geez, that's a pretty low bar to set; anyone can, and usually does, sue for anything or nothing.

Here's an alternative idea: if a finding of civil liability relies upon proving (to civil standards of evidence) an act or acts that would constitute a crime, that finding shall be null and void absent a criminal conviction with respect to that act or acts. The civil courts were never intended to be an alternative to criminal court for weaker cases; their main purpose is to settle business disputes. If you want to accuse someone of a crime, you do it in a criminal court. If you get a conviction there, it's perfectly reasonable to sue in civil court for reparations if the criminal judge didn't impose any. Without that conviction, however, your suit should be dismissed out of hand. And that would put paid to this "civil offender" registry as well.

5th & 14th Admendments (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16034987)

The provisions requiring unconvicted persons to register as sex offenders would obviously violate the 5th admendment.

Further they would be denied their 14th admendment rights of equal protection under the law.

Hopefully this is struck down fast.

Re:5th & 14th Admendments (1)

NihilEst (976138) | more than 7 years ago | (#16035199)

I hope and pray you're right. But reason seems to go out the window -- like law does -- when politicians start discussing emotional, "hot button" issues like child molestation, the drug economy, illegal immigration, and terrorism. This makes me really sick.

this could be quite a mess... (5, Insightful)

Bananatree3 (872975) | more than 7 years ago | (#16034989)

I can see women who hate their husbands going through nasty divorces and blaming their husbands with having raped them. Even if the other grounds for divorce are legitamite, they could be placed on this "potential sex offender" list and be denied jobs left and right. Divorce lawyers rejoice.

Re:this could be quite a mess... (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 7 years ago | (#16035035)

Divorce lawyers rejoice.

*All* lawyers rejoice. Regardless of the outcome for the males, they still get paid. Fighting this kind of shit is just another thing to add to their Yellow Pages ad.

Re:this could be quite a mess... (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 7 years ago | (#16035096)

Wow, Phillip K Dick [wikipedia.org] was right!

So is Tom Cruise (1)

IlliniECE (970260) | more than 7 years ago | (#16034990)

going to have his eyes swapped out for protection against this?

Given Mr. Cruise's recent problems... (1)

ChePibe (882378) | more than 7 years ago | (#16035168)

I think only a full personality transplant will really ensure his safety.

Oh, and vitamins. Lots and lots of vitamins. Can't forget those.

Pre-crime? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16034991)

Do we get jetpacks now? And what about that cool glove-controller and large screen interface?

Witch hunts (5, Funny)

Lord Fury (977501) | more than 7 years ago | (#16034994)

I don't know why everyone is so against this. Other state-sponsored witch hunts have proven effective. There aren't any witches around anymore, are there? And we all know, that no innocent people were hurt either. Right? Right?

Re:Witch hunts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16035008)

Worked for communists too! right?

Re:Witch hunts (5, Funny)

Lactoso (853587) | more than 7 years ago | (#16035044)

She turned me into a newt...

Re:Witch hunts (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 7 years ago | (#16035117)

That was a European witch hunt. We're talking about American witch hunts. The difference: In Europe they burn their witches but in America we only hang them. Land of the free(ly hanging) and all that!

Re:Witch hunts (1)

TheDreadSlashdotterD (966361) | more than 7 years ago | (#16035148)

Don't forget drowning. After all, witches float. If the accused doesn't float, well, it was a horrible misunderstanding...

Slander? Libel? (4, Insightful)

Freaky Spook (811861) | more than 7 years ago | (#16034997)

How would this work, to accuse someone of being a sex offender, you need proof and be able to back your evidence up in court. If you accuse someone and have it published wouldn't the state or the person reporting it be able to be sued for Libel? This has a recipe for disaster and would probably be abused, as much as sex crimes are horrible this is just going to allow innocent people to have their lives ruined.

My mind is boggled (1)

rbanzai (596355) | more than 7 years ago | (#16035003)

This idea is so crazy I can't come up with anything clever to say.

Being accused of a sex crime can destroy an innocent person's life and this law appears to create a process to make the accusation alone enough for official status as a sex criminal.

I can't comprehend how anyone could think this is a good idea.

Re:My mind is boggled (1)

Ancil (622971) | more than 7 years ago | (#16035074)

I can't comprehend how anyone could think this is a good idea.

You, sir, have never stood for reelection.

Re:My mind is boggled (2, Insightful)

Dr. Eggman (932300) | more than 7 years ago | (#16035076)

Politicians that get to use their approval of this as being "tough on sex offenders." It's the same political garbage as the violent video game laws. Make up some unconstitutional laws, pass them, great publicity; make you look like you really care about solving the problem but since its unconstitutional, it'll be removed and no one's going to bring up a law that's no longer on the books against you at reelection time. Politicans win; we the taxpayers lose.

Hey, sweet! (1)

DeusExMalex (776652) | more than 7 years ago | (#16035011)

It's pretty cool to punish people for not commiting a crime.

I've got the torches. (2, Funny)

scenestar (828656) | more than 7 years ago | (#16035012)

You guys bring the pitchforks.

Time for some good ole mob justice.

(just kidding, this kind of legislation is really unnerving for eurotrash such as myself)

That's not hot. (3, Insightful)

Anthony Boyd (242971) | more than 7 years ago | (#16035024)

As a parent, I cannot begin to say how important the Megan's Law website has been for me. I was shocked to see about 20 convicted child molesters live in my area. I had no idea how prevalent it was.

Having said that, this new proposal is awful. What the hell happened to "innocent until proven guilty?" Isn't this just an end-run around the law? Of course, as it's being made into law, I guess it's a law to do an end-run around other laws. How awful.

I hope it doesn't stand. I hope the first person who experiences this sues to overturn it. I hope a huge financial penalty is imposed, and paid by the State, which in turn would hurt the taxpayers of that State. It's the only way to make them wake up and hold those responsible accountable.

Re:That's not hot. (5, Insightful)

geekboy642 (799087) | more than 7 years ago | (#16035153)

Responding to your first statement.
Something you probably don't know is what action they were convicted for.
In some cases, yes, the person committed a heinous crime and was duly punished. In many others, the person got drunk and pissed behind a bush at a party, or decided he and his girlfriend should go get frisky in the backyard.
To go out on a limb, I'm willing to bet a VAST MAJORITY of the people on the sex offender list are harmless. And that's the very problem. A list such as that should be reserved for those people that, knowing exactly what they did, you don't want to even be on the same planet with them.

Otherwise...well, this new law is just another advance in our state-sponsored witch-hunts. Remember, it's all to protect you against the Turrists.

Re:That's not hot. (1)

karpediem (837477) | more than 7 years ago | (#16035191)

I hope a huge financial penalty is imposed, and paid by the State, which in turn would hurt the taxpayers of that State.

Why should I be hurt for something I didn't vote for? I disagree that it should be we, the taxpayers of Ohio, that endure the penalty for something stupid. I can agree with you that someone should pay it, and that someone could be the legislators that created it.

Nonetheless, I don't see this as a very good thing. This could be harmful for those that get wrongly accused, since it would be difficult for them to get out of it. But this could good for those that are rightfully accused, but have little evidence against them. It is impossible to tell the difference in each case, there is no way to tell if they are being rightfully or wrongly accused. I hope this doesn't last.

Um... huh? (4, Insightful)

MBCook (132727) | more than 7 years ago | (#16035037)

OK. I'm all for removing sex offenders rights (I'd support mandatory life sentences for child molesters with good proof of guilt), but this is nuts. Let's ignore the constitutional issues here, what about the people who are falsely accused? From what I hear it is hardly uncommon for women to accuse their husbands of things during divorces to try to get custody. Let's add on top of that people who accuse family members they don't get along with, the obvious blackmail possibilities (give me a raise or you go on the list), and this is just idiotic.

I'm amazed anyone would even have the gaul to propose this kind of thing, let alone try to actually pass it.

Re:Um... huh? (1)

KORfan (524397) | more than 7 years ago | (#16035114)

It's not just women. I have an office mate who hates his ex-wife, and he openly encourages men to file false claims against their wives during divorce just to make their lives hell.

Re:Um... huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16035139)

I'm amazed anyone would even have the gaul to propose this kind of thing, let alone try to actually pass it.

You're amazed anyone would have the French [reference.com] to propose this kind of thing? The word you're looking for is gall [reference.com] .

Just need to know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16035042)

Where do I sign up?

oh, great, just what we need (3, Insightful)

misanthrope101 (253915) | more than 7 years ago | (#16035045)

Another issue to get the liberals and conservatives working together to further erode civil rights. Liberals (feminists) have long hated that you have to actually be convicted of a crime (as in, evidence, facts, deliberation) before being considered guilty of rape. They refuse to admit that any woman would lie, ever, about this subject, so of course you're guilty, and the trial only "victimizes her all over again." Hence "victim's rights," etc.

And since the subject is sex, which conservatives consider icky and horrible unless it's to your spouse (someone of a government-approved gender), you're guilty to them, too. Conservatives aren't going to come to the defense of an "accused sex offender," and liberals don't want to "victimize the victim again" by giving you a trial, so you're just guilty. So if you're accused by anyone, you might as well go out and rape an orphan, because you're going to jail for it anyway.

Protest Idea (1)

nrlightfoot (607666) | more than 7 years ago | (#16035052)

I think people in Ohio should go out and burn copies of the constitution in front of the Ohio legislature in protest.

Re:Protest Idea (1)

The Man (684) | more than 7 years ago | (#16035145)

Why? They voted for these people. They should recall the responsible individuals, vote them out in the next election, or leave the state. And everyone who voted for anyone who voted in favour of this bill is 100% guilty. Feel the guilt, feel the self-loathing you so richly deserve! And remember it well the next time you're about to vote for a major-party candidate. If you're not among the guilty masses, your only real hope is to get out. Your vote probably isn't being counted, and even if it is, the entire system is set up to perpetuate the sort of officeholders who believe in and sponsor this insanity. Save your money, pick a destination, and start learning the language; this country's beyond hope.

Who is watching out for divorced men? (1, Flamebait)

BrookHarty (9119) | more than 7 years ago | (#16035053)

With women claiming rape and abuse in divorce cases which are civil cases, these men would now be marked as sex offenders. Even though 99% of the time its false, just to win custody and child support.

I cant wait for gay marriage, so they can experience divorce, those people just love to vote. Hell, lets have more legal imigrants in the US, they like to vote too, since it seems Americans cant seem to vote. Is the only to get America back is to give it away?!

I can just see it now... (2, Funny)

Tavor (845700) | more than 7 years ago | (#16035054)

"Ohio State Attorney General accused of Sex Crime, placed on Offender List"
Film at 11...

Total Security and Safety (3, Interesting)

QuickFox (311231) | more than 7 years ago | (#16035057)

This is your loving Government, taking yet another step toward Total Security and Safety. To this end we're creating, for each and every one of our beloved citizens, the Perfect Padded Cell.

All we want in return is your Freedom.

Remember, the Terrorists hate our Freedom. We'll take it away, step by step, until there's nothing left for them to hate.

PRe-impeachment? (1)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#16035061)

Can you pre-impeach the Ohio legislators to get them out of office?

Poetic justice? (1)

abb3w (696381) | more than 7 years ago | (#16035193)

Can you nominate them for this registry? After all, they've been fucking future generations for ages....

Potential for abuse (3, Insightful)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 7 years ago | (#16035064)

The potential for abuse of this law is so insanely bizarre it amazes anyone growing up in America would even suggest it.

Sadly, things have changed a lot in the America I grew up in. It's really not the same place.

The war of words (2, Insightful)

Ignorant Aardvark (632408) | more than 7 years ago | (#16035066)

As always it's a war of words in shaping the public's perception. And calling it a "Pre-Crime Registry" is the absolute best choice of words we could go for. This term from Phillip K. Dick just sounds incredibly Orwellian. Bravo on whoever came up with this name.

What's the bill number? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16035081)

Next time when someone posts something like this to Slashdot, find the bill number (despite it being law now) and the sponsors. List their e-mail addresses in the articlel. Let them see how they like being slashdotted.

Not subject to abuse much (1)

mdhoover (856288) | more than 7 years ago | (#16035097)

Looks like another weapon to use in the typical divorce procedings debacle

Stage 1: Accuse soon to be ex-hubby, along with insinuations of child beating.
Stage 2: ???
Stage 3: Profit

You would sure hope there is some recourse available to those unfairly smeared. But as is the case with a lot of things, after your good name is smeared by such an accusation, it wont matter if it was true or not, it isn't even a case of guilty until proven innocent (just guilty).

Actual text of the bill (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16035116)

The actual text of the bill, found here - http://www.legislature.state.oh.us/bills.cfm?ID=12 6_SB_17 [state.oh.us] shows it to be a lot less scary than the alarmist article says. What it actually reads is that those accused of sex crime but have passed the statute of limitations will have to register if a court finds a preponderance of evidence that that person is guilty. i.e. a person who otherwise would have been convicted but was able to wait out the 20 years or whatever won't go to jail but will have to register.

Re:Actual text of the bill (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16035133)

I doubt it will hold up, simply because of the "preponderance of evidence" clause. It's doing an end-run around the required legal definition of "beyond a resonable doubt", and essentially creating a criminal conviction using civil rules.

I am not a lawyer.

Re:Actual text of the bill (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 7 years ago | (#16035180)

"Preponderance of the evidence" means that the accused has to "prove his innocence" rather than having the burden of proof soley on the Prosecution. This takes "innocent until proven guilty" and defenestrates it.

This is bad law. This is law that the founding fathers warned us about.

--
BMO

What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16035122)

"A civilly declared offender, however, could petition the court to have the person's name removed from the new list after six years if there have been no new problems"

Civil declaration doesn't carry the same burden as criminal prosecution. It carries the burden of "preponderance of evidence" where I would somehow have to come up with stuff to counter the Chief Persecutor's accusations, else be found civilly "guilty."

I have already been the victim of a former friend turned psycotic insane woman who went 'round slandering me and libelling me, over a perceived slight. And this would give her the power to restrict my freedom and put a scarlet fucking letter on me? Possibly making me unemployable for six years? Because of some shit she *made up in her diseased brain*?

I have not had contact with said crazy lady in 3 years, and if I ever saw her again, it would be too soon. I have _no_ illusions about any goodwill on her part. I even fear for her now current husband because _he_ can be a victim of her abusive bullshit, too. Should the above actually happen to me, I cannot predict what I would do. I do know whatever it would be, would be bad and possibly evil.

This is legislation by cowardice, and if you read the article there was "no opposition" and it was probably a voice vote. I like to think that I live in a more civilized part of the country, but then again, you can't really be sure about your own representatives. All it takes is some hotbutton topic and cowards who are afraid to stand up for constitutionality.

Anonymous, because there are really sick insane people out there.

Their next move is even more bold... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16035166)

They're going to do pre-emptive crime fighting a la Minority Report [imdb.com] ...

well this isnt much of a suprise... (2, Insightful)

La Fourmi Nihiliste (906448) | more than 7 years ago | (#16035167)

paranoa is strong, all across the land of the free... this isnt new: it always has been. amreicans have already given up parts of their civil rights for an impression of safety from a spooky theoretical external threat (formerly known as Communism now conveniently know as terrorism).

The next logical step is to ask some rights to be given up for internal threats.
the more rights are given up in the name of 'freedom' then the less the americans are actualy free. I just dont get this part. And then i wonder: do americans see this process going on? And if they are, why are they letting the system eat them up? Or are american totaly blind to such a process? in this case what makes them blind to it? then again some americans i met on some trips there would've told me that i think too much.

I have my own story... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16035170)

When I was about 13 living in LA I used to hang out and play videogames with this kid (maybe 8 years old, I don't remember now) in one of the apartments nearby but eventually it got to the point where he wouldn't stop annoying me so I kept telling him that I was busy whenever he came by to hang out. A while later after I brush him aside again he just tells me that he'll tell his mom that I was touching his private parts if I don't play games with him and I can tell you right now that even in hindsight the cold feeling I got in the pit of my stomach still makes me queasy nearly a decade later. I ended up telling him to go ahead but hurry up and leave so I can do my homework and fortunately nothing came of it.

Every now and then when I think back I wonder how my life could've been screwed over by this one little bastard kid if he had made that false claim and I start to wonder what kind of parents he had if this was the way he went to get things to go his way, but now while reading this article it makes me think that people like his parents are the ones making all the choices in the place I call home.

Get ready for the slapdown (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16035174)

The higher ups have already smacked one place for keeping a record of suspicious people, and that was just for the police, if this one isn't beaten down so hard it's visiting china then our courts are utterly corrupt and use the constitution for lighting their cigars.

Besides, punishing someone with legal means for not breaking the law (civil or others) is NOT allowed. Remember that whole INNOCENT until PROVEN guilty clause?

Is it just me, or are we moving closer to Nazi States of America every day?

Has anyone checked the submitter's link? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16035188)

I do certainly hope that this bill gets thrown out, either by the state legislature or the supreme court (at whatever level). For more fun, check out the link to the submitter. Let's just say that unless it's a pretty amazing troll, the submitter might have a far more specific personal stake against a law like this than just the overall civil liberties issues.

The civil liberties issues around this bill are tremendous and really creep me out (I'd love to think that something like this would get laughed out of the legislature in my own state, but I don't have THAT much faith any more) - but the submitter creeps me out as well. Seems like the submitter is trying to conflate loving children with having sexual activity with them. Unless, of course, it's a very elaborate troll.

Yeah, posting as AC. So sue me.

This is a great precedent. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16035192)

This needs to be a law in every state.

Then we create a companion law.

It states that any politician, cop, government official or public servant who is accused of corruption or ignorance is immediately removed from office, and their name goes on a list prohibiting them from holding office for 6 years. After that period, and any actual invstigation into the accusation,as long as no further claims are brought against them I see no reason they should be allowed to hold office. After all, it 'could' have been true.

Can we start now?

This is BULL SHIT!! (5, Informative)

AriaStar (964558) | more than 7 years ago | (#16035194)

I have a friend with a clean criminal record who was accused of rape when he was 15. The girl herself even said it wasn't him! His record is CLEAN, and yet he is on Megan's List as a registered sex offender for a rape the court determined he did not commit. Does anyone have any idea how this affects someone's life, to be treated as a criminal for a crime not committed? We are supposed to have something in this damned country called civil rights and the right to a trial by jury. Allowing a judge to "civilly declare someone to be a sex offender even when there has been no criminal verdict or successful lawsuit" undermines the criminal system. If you can be declared a criminal without a trial or successful lawsuit (indicates that there was a lawsuit that was UNsuccessful), why the hell not go ahead and commit a crime? If you can be punished for it anyway....

Ohio already treats men like shit, especially fathers, and I can guarantee you that the majority of false accused will continue to be men. I am a woman on the board of directors of an internation men's rights organization specialising in fathers' rights, and I can see the effect that this will have on more than just the accused. Women already routinely accuse men of sex crimes to get sole custody of children. If they can now be registered as sex offenders based solely on accussations....

A form of this has been happening in California for many years, but now that one state has enacted it as a law will have a domino effect as other states follow suit. This is a system of abuse that slaughters our Consitutional rights that are supposed to be guaranteed.

Wait, rights? I forgot, WE ALREADY FUCKING LOST THOSE!!

Why not go to court? (1)

Acid-Duck (228035) | more than 7 years ago | (#16035198)

I don't see this as an healthy alternative.. what's wrong with giving that one time window, as it was originally proposed, and let people who are accusing others ACTUALLY provide proof anything at all happened. At first, I thought this was meant to add someone to the registry who would of got off the hook on a technicality, but upon reading the complete article it's made quite clear this isn't the case.

Don't get me wrong, I'm discussed by sex offenders! But accusing someone of doing something without going to court? Innocent until proven guilty is what some people from different countries move to the US for. I'm a Canadian, and I hope no such non-sense ever gets approved in Canada. If the Government wants to help protect people, how about putting more money towards fighting child porn.
After all, aren't children who are abused at a young age more likely to abuse their own children when they get older?

   

Tagged as bigbrother, fuckoff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16035204)

God damn.
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