If you don’t know someone on the registry, you really don’t get it do you? Most registrants are NOT complaining about serving their sentence, even those who were falsely accused. The problem, and it is a PROBLEM, is the fact that new laws, restrictions etc. are allowed to be piled on top of what they were sentenced for, with NO NEW CRIMES being committed. Many on the registry served their sentences decades ago, yet were suddenly required to register many years after the fact. The public registry, which those in authority will tell you is “simply regulatory” is most definitely added punishment, making it un-Constitutional.
This is purely an example, not a comparison to a sex crime, but how would it make you feel if you ran a stop sign on the corner of a busy street 20 years ago paid your fine and were very careful never to do it again, fast forward to 2012 and they suddenly decide that everyone who ever ran that stop sign must pay new fines, plus never be allowed to drive in that particular area again, because you just “might” run that stop sign again and kill someone. Many on the public registry face this basic scenario in regard to a crime that was paid for many years ago.
I am sorry if society feels threatened by the fact that many on the registry and their families are fighting for change. I have walked many, many miles in the shoes of a victim, but traded them in many years ago for a much sturdier pair, survivor shoes. But I understand the plight of those on the registry firsthand, not because of being a registrant, but because of being a FAMILY MEMBER. If society hadn’t “pushed” for a public registry, there wouldn’t be the problem of harassment, property damage, bullying of our children in school, suicide (also by the children of registrants), death threats, physical violence and yes, murder of registrants.
As you read this a young mother in Washington State is struggling with grief at the loss of her 28 year old husband and overwhelmed with the thought of what the future will bring for her and their two young sons. He was shot multiple times with a 9mm handgun. For what? He was involved in a Romeo and Juliet offense when he was 17 and in high school. Despite ridicule from their peers, because of her disability, they continued to date. She was also 17, but because she was a deaf/mute, her parents felt she was not capable of a normal teen relationship and pursued a proven avenue to end the relationship. It worked and now 11 years later he has died for his crime.
What truly amazes me is the control that registrants have shown thus far, after being subject to this type of treatment for years. It is human nature to strike back when you or your family is threatened, yet if one was to snap under pressure, society as a whole would be appalled and whisper among themselves, “that is just what one would expect of one of those MONSTERS!”
The time for change has come, and it will happen.