Monday, June 25, 2012

Is it constitutional to FORCE sex offender registrants to carry the governments message?


During oral arguments of Smith v Doe, US Supreme court case (2003), there were things said by the Justices and lawyers which TODAY makes us question the legality of certain things registrants are forced to do TODAY which was not part of registration at the time of the US Supreme court case (2003).

We will not be able to answer these questions, but, lets say this is a heads up for folks to get lawyers to look for the source of the US Justices comments, and raise them in a new court action today.

The FULL text of the Oral Argument can be found HERE, however we are only addressing the portion below. Further discussion after the Justices' comments:

Mr. Roberts: Could... could the State require a special mark on your license plate?

Mr. Olson: --No, I... well, I don't know,
Justice Kennedy, but I would say that would be considerably different than what's here because that would--

Mr. Roberts: I don't think it's very different.

Mr. Olson: --Pardon me?

Mr. Roberts: I don't think it's very different.

Mr. Olson: I... I respectfully submit that it's a great deal different.

That mark on your license plate, or mark on your forehead would go wherever you would go.

It would require you to carry the government's message rather than the government supplying the message.

Mr. Roberts: Well, this statute requires you to make the government's message four times a year.

Mr. Olson: It only... it doesn't require you to make the government's message four times a year.

The government's message, I respectfully submit, is made when a citizen submits an inquiry to the State through the Internet listing.

All... it is required four times a year is to advise the government of a current location or current information so that the information on the registry is accurate and... and up-to-date.

This is information that citizens have requested of their government.

Their government has the information of people who have committed certain types of crimes, who society has perceived as particularly dangerous.

It's a self-protective mechanism.

The... not only the--

Mr. Roberts: But they... the Megan's Laws are not all one size and shape.

I mean, some of them have the disclaimer right on the page saying we're not labeling this person dangerous and... and have a chance for a person to get off it.

Here, because there's no give, it does have a punitive feel.

I mean, as far as the Federal legislation is concerned, a State that tells the whole truth... is that... that kind of law is totally acceptable within the Federal requirement, isn't it?

Mr. Olson: --It... it would seem to... well, I think the answer is that yes, it would because the Federal statute simply prescribes a floor.

It's going to be virtually impossible and quite burdensome for the State to supply what you suggest would be complete information about any individual.

What the parents and the--

Mr. Roberts: It doesn't... at least to say what... whether the crime was a misdemeanor or a felony, the disclaimer certainly to... to say, now we are not labeling this person a forever sex offender.

We are labeling this person a convicted--

Mr. Olson: --Well, and that is all that the registry does, and I submit that to the extent that your question goes to any of the seven Kennedy Mendoza-Martinez factors, it's excessiveness is... on... on the scale.

Mr. Roberts: --Yes.

Mr. Olson: And I would submit that this registry and this information, providing truthful, public record, readily accessible information is... is minimal.

Mr. Roberts: Thank you, Mr. Olson.
In the minds of the Justices and lawyers there is a difference as to "who carries the message" the registrant or the government? That sentence implies there is something obscure in law on that point, and very likely one is constitutional and the other not constitutional. Better minds need to grasp this and resolve that distinction. With that said, here are some examples:
Judge nixes graphic anti-smoking ads " A federal judge has snuffed out a government mandate requiring tobacco companies to place graphic images about the dangers of smoking on cigarette packs. Washington, D.C., Judge Richard Leon said in Wednesday’s ruling those requirements were a violation of free speech." See also: Government Speech and North Carolina's 'Choose Life' License Plate
Sentence for theft is humiliation in Bedford town center; or Poetic key to justice? Creativity (Various types of Public Punishments as their sentence).
Traditionally when someone is forced to carry the government message it has been as part of the punishment for the crime convicted of.

Today this is important where registrants' State IDs, Drivers Licenses, License plates and more recently -social networks- are concerned.

Further excellent research by a reader:
Wooley v. Maynard 430 U.S. 705 (1977)
eAdvocate Note about this case: However, I see a couple of concerns:

1) A license plate is displayed publicly, designed to be that way. A driver's license is not meant to be displayed publicly;

2) The government does not require a person to show anyone other than police. their driver's license, merchants are the ones who want to see a DL, thats not the government, neither does the government require the merchant t do that.

Same Reader brings us this:
Signs of the Times: Scarlet Letter Probation Conditions (Note: Buried in the links of this document is further documents on this discussion)

Additional research we found this:
Do judicial "scarlet letters" violate the cruel and unusual punishments clause of the eight amendment and in it is this case: GOLDSCHMITT v. STATE about putting messages on drivers' licenses. Must read...need to do other things right now. grrrrrr

Further, notice carefully that Justices were of the belief that the state was NOT declaring registrants as being dangerous. TODAY with tiers they are!

No comments: