Sex Offender List

Registrants on Missouri’s Sex Offender List can face ‘lifetime discrimination’

Man says being on the list, despite the severity of the crime, can result in a stigma
2013-11-26T06:05:00Z 2013-11-26T09:07:49Z Registrants on Missouri’s Sex Offender List can face ‘lifetime discrimination’PAT PRATT 573-518-3616 Daily Journal Online
November 26, 2013 6:05 am  • 

A registered St. Francois County sex offender is disgusted because 10 years after his release from prison, he still can not find a job.

At a recent job fair, his status prohibited him from even entering the building to apply for work since a high school across the street was in session.

His story mirrors that of others listed on the Missouri Sex Offender Registry for life.

It begs to answer the question, “Do all offenders belong in the same box?”

The registry has served a purpose and likely spared many potential victims from suffering at the hands of a sexual predator, but some people want to limit the time spent on it based on the crime. Registrants currently run the gamut from child rapists to people who urinated in public.

The Missouri legislature posed the question in 2012 in the form of House Bill 1700.

The bill would have created a tiered system of registry adherence based on the offense, similar to systems in some other states. The legislation passed in the House, but died in the Senate due to a lack of a vote.

More recently, House Bill 301, which would have taken many juvenile offenders off the list and established a re-entry program for some offenders, passed in both the House and Senate. Then Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed the bill in August.

Granted anonymity due to a fear of backlash to his wife and family, and given the pseudonym “John,” a man convicted of second-degree statutory rape in October of 2000 recently detailed his road from prison guard to prisoner to parolee to husband and father.

The prelude to John’s crime took place in a local bar. He was 23 years old at the time. He met a girl, who he says told him she was 19 years old. The girl was actually 16 years and 11 months old, one month shy of the age of consent according to John. He and the girl had consensual sex twice, this confirmed by both his and the victim’s testimony.

“She looked older than that (19) really,” John said. “Yeah, we did, a couple times. We went back to where I was staying at, did our thing, got up and left and I didn’t hear anything for eight months.”

Eight months passed before police investigated. Reports in the court file indicated the victim’s mother became concerned there were inappropriate activities taking place. The victim, while being interviewed by police, admitted the incidents but said there was no force involved. John at first denied there had been any sexual activity, but after being confronted with the victim’s statements admitted what occurred.

John took a plea agreement and pled guilty. After two St. Francois County judges excused themselves from the case, Circuit Court Judge Dennis Kehm of Jefferson County sentenced him to two concurrent seven-year terms in prison.

Released after 3.5 years and fulfilling the requirements of his parole another 3.5 years later without a single violation, John looked forward to returning to a home he paid off prior to his incarceration.

He did not know at the time that a law that sex offenders not live within 1,000 feet of a park would force him to sell that home.

“My daughter died in 2000 and we had a settlement and I had bought a trailer. They came and told me I had 30 days to move, and I owned it you know. So I get moved into a new place and my p.o. (probation officer) comes out to see what it is. She says, ‘Oh, you’re going to get a kick out of this. Well turns out you didn’t have to sell your place after all because it (the 1,000 foot requirement) went into effect after you already did your time.’ Well, to her it was funny. To me it wasn’t, because I lost a lot of money by selling it so fast,” John said.

He continued to stay out of trouble. He got married shortly after his release and helped raise his wife’s son.

“The worst thing is people hear it, and they only hear one part and they draw conclusions. They look you up and want to see what the whole story is. Everyone’s opinion is that if you’re on that list you did the ultimate bad thing. They say, ‘Oh my god. You’re a cho-mo.’ But if I was a child molester my son would not have been allowed to live with me and the kid has lived with me for nine years.”

John can not find housing, can not go to a park, and can not find a job due to his status as a sex offender. He had a job until a neighbor called and complained to the company about his felony. He suffered a heart attack in 2005, forcing him to go on disability although he wanted to work. Doctors found him fit to work last year and now he is trying to gain employment, but to no avail.

“The only place I feel accepted around people who know what I went to prison for is my church. That’s it. That’s the only place I can go where I’m not judged. My biggest disability is my felony. When they ask you to explain your felony and you do, they say it’s not going to affect your chance of getting a job, but that’s bull. The thing is they can discriminate against me because I have no rights,” John said.

Despite what he calls discrimination, he tries to stay positive.

“I know that God can do anything. I know he will put me where I need to be. He will open the door when it needs to be open. I know that.

“It’s very hard to be patient. And it’s very hard to not get angry when people discriminate against me. I’ve had people that knew me before I went to prison, then they find out I was in prison and found out what it was for, and it’s just like flipping a switch. They don’t want anything to do with me,” John said.

Given the chance to go back in time, John says he would have done things differently. Removal from the registry would require John to hire an attorney to petition the courts, but that costs money and money is hard to come by when you can not find work.

“I absolutely would have asked for ID,” John says.

The Missouri Sex Offender Registry, created in 1990, holds more than 13,000 profiles at this time. It is meant to help keep people safe from violent offenders, but at the same time there are people on the registry that some argue do not pose a threat to society.

Copyright 2015 Daily Journal Online. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(42) Comments

  1. blasterrat1
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    blasterrat1 - December 02, 2013 1:41 pm
    Roy: Speeding was used solely as an example. There are a number of crimes that are equal imo in destroying lives. Drunk drivers,meth cook/dealers,and Heroin dealers. We have no registry for these people. The fact we do not indicates imo the true intent of the sex offender registry. The excuse its to protect children does not hold water when these other crimes that also destroy many lives require no registration. But even if we did have registries for other crimes there is still one major problem. Its impossible to prevent any crime from occurring with such! Amazingly commen sense does not prevail in that arguement. Seems many ignore commen sense simply for the chance to persecute others. Much gullible we are imo for allowing vote seeking politicians to lead us into believing a registry was needed to prevent these crimes. Obviously it has not and cannot prevent crime. It can and I think it does,contribute to future crimes. Counterproductive in crime prevention terms IMO.
  2. TonMarMar
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    TonMarMar - December 02, 2013 12:18 am
    1-if the accused has only ONE victim and that victim is YOUNGER than 16, then they SHOULD have to register until the victim turns 18, if NO other crimes of sexual abuse has been committed in the meantime.
    2-if the accused has MULTIPLE victims or is a re-offender , NO MATTER what the age, then they SHOULD have to register for life.
    3-if the accused has sex with someone 16 and over, then the only reason they should have to register is if said sex was forcible rape, then same rules as 1 and 2 should apply (register until victim is 18 or register for life if multiple victims/or accused is a re-offender)
  3. countywatchdog
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    countywatchdog - November 30, 2013 3:53 pm
    Missouri's sex offender registration law causes more harm than good. This law has nothing to do with Meagan's Law (the federal law that was created to deal with PREDATORS, not offenders). PREDATORS are designated as such by the Court, with evaluation from Mental Health, and can be held indefinitely under the control of the Mental Health department. The Missouri Supreme Court has ruled parts of the the registry law (challenged in a class action suit) are unconstitutional, and mandated change ! If the whole registry law was challenged, I am confident the same ruling would be handed down. This law serves no purpose, other than to continue to punish those who have served their time and completed everything required by the Court system. I hope the House sponsors this legislation again and that the Senate does their homework!
  4. Roy Bean
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    Roy Bean - November 27, 2013 6:04 pm
    Monty, to say that the registry creates a false sense of security and thereby puts children at greater risk is the week argument. It is a tool available to parents. I know of a case where a mother didn't let her daughter sleep over because the other girl's dad was on the registry. The registry isn't perfect, but it enhances public safety.
  5. Roy Bean
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    Roy Bean - November 27, 2013 5:59 pm
    Blastarat, if speeding destroyed lives the way sex offenses do it might be understandable to make them register the way the Feds have the sex offenders. You are right about it being other felons too who can't get jobs. It's the background check, not the registry that employers check. I can't blame the employers though.
  6. blasterrat1
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    blasterrat1 - November 27, 2013 10:15 am
    What if the law one day decides to say anyone who owned a home over the last twenty years Has to pay for additional taxes? Would it then be the law is law with you? I kinda doubt it.
  7. blasterrat1
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    blasterrat1 - November 27, 2013 10:11 am
    Thats my point tax payer. Laws are laws but this law is retrospective! Retrospective laws should be unconstitutional as they impose additional duty or punishment after the fact.
  8. Taxpayer
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    Taxpayer - November 27, 2013 6:07 am
    Sex offenders should be closely monitored for life. Duh! You should never pick up a female in a bar and have sex. Stupid, stupid, stupid.
  9. Taxpayer
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    Taxpayer - November 27, 2013 5:59 am
    Laws are laws, if you break them you need to take responsibility for your actions. Your scenario of the speeding ticket would stop intelligent people from speed or suffer the consequences.
  10. blasterrat1
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    blasterrat1 - November 26, 2013 2:01 pm
    Roy: Many listed on the registry were done so long after they completed the punishment/sentences our system handed them. Hardly fair and certainly unconstitutional IMO. What if you Had a speeding ticket twenty years ago? What if you were ordered to pay a fine for it and did so? Then twenty,even thirty years later we passed a law that said anyone who since 1979 Has committed and been found guilty of speeding Has to be issued red license plate for the Police and others to ID them? What if every ninety days you Had to go to the Sheriff dept and provide your photo, verify your address, and red plates? That that info,your picture,address,red plates and all were posted on the internet for all to see? Since you had already paid your dues years earlier would this be fair to you today? I think not. I also think you would be mad as a Hornet whose nest Had been disturbed! What if the only response you got for your arguement was you should'nt have been speeding? Yeah thats what I thought!!!!
  11. rmorris
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    rmorris - November 26, 2013 1:09 pm
    "I have nothing to hide because I personally have done nothing to break the law" - Hitler and his cohorts, at their ultimate horror - never broke any laws. Everything they did was completely legal and according to the LAW, organized and proper to a fault. Food for thought.

    Most of things in life are not black and white. Eye of the beholder and all that.

    But it should not be surprising that a career prison official feels that certain people should be 'persecuted'...
  12. blasterrat1
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    blasterrat1 - November 26, 2013 11:34 am
    Its not just those on a list that have a stigma. Anyone with a felony conviction is often denied a job,credit,insurance,etc.. Even simple felonies like bad checks or dwi's have life long negative consequences. I read somewhere that 49% of Americans have some sort of criminal records. Of course this includes such things as citations. However it does raise the question. With todays technoogy,the internet,and easy access to background checks who exactly will employers hire one day? Seems their workforce only consists of 51% of us now! Half of them [25 1/2%] really are no better than those with a record. Only difference is they havent been caught yet. So in reality only about 25% of us are really all that we think we are! Bottem line? This Contry would be a much better place for all if people worried half as much about their ownselves as they do others!
  13. blasterrat1
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    blasterrat1 - November 26, 2013 11:21 am
    Really oldtimer? I did'nt know you knew how I was raised or what my morals are! Amazing that your so smart eh? But if you must know I do know my bad choices and that they were wrong,and that I hurt others with them. I've learned a lot from them and have lived a law abiding life for over twenty years now. Funny everyone still brings up my past! Imagine that! Could be those who think they are better really arent I suppose. But hey I really would'nt exspect anything less from the arrogant.
  14. Mrinfo
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    Mrinfo - November 26, 2013 9:52 am
    The registry doesn't protect you from anything. if they lined up 200 men of all different races and told you 1 of these guys lives within 10 miles of you and is a sex offender you wouldn't be able to know who that person is. Also lets not forget people have this wonderful invention called a "Car" and if a person REALLY wants to go out raping they don't need to do it at their house. Which is laughable btw if you believe the only place a rapist will take a victim is their own home. The Registry does nothing other than actually increase recidivism. (look it up im not doing all your research for you, if you wish to no longer be Ignorant you need to put in some work into it)
  15. Monty
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    Monty - November 26, 2013 8:38 am
    Actually it isn't a weak argument. It's just one you don't like. I'm curious as to how you know this guy is a liar considering his name was changed for the story? It doesn't seem that hard to believe. I see 16 year old girls today that look 20 and that's just in your local Wal-Mart.

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    OLDTIMENCFAN - November 26, 2013 7:34 am
    If you look there are women on that list as well, there are times when women take advantage of kids also, but it is not reported as often. Check your facts, they will show you that women get by with it more often then you would think, but most young men would not report it because of some strange reason. I know of a case that a 35 year old women had a child fathered by a 15 year old,in this area but it was not reported until DFS started looking into it because the Mother was on Welfare after it broke up the marriage, because the husband had been fixed years earlier. Men are not the only "Sick" people on the list. But again, it is the way you were raised, if you are raised good morals, you will have good morals, break the law and pay for it the rest of your lives. Some people will not let you live down your mistakes, because some people will never believe what they did was wrong, case in point you!!!!!
  17. Roy Bean
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    Roy Bean - November 26, 2013 7:15 am
    I do not feel sorry for these sex offenders for a minute! I'd like to see the details of what this guy has done because you do not get that kind of harsh sentence for what he described. This guy is a liar and the Journal should have researched what he actually did instead of take his word for it.
  18. Roy Bean
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    Roy Bean - November 26, 2013 7:11 am
    Of course the registry is not going to be 100% effective at protecting our children. It is a tool to be used in combination with other acts of vigilance. The argument that it gives a false sense of security is week. Anyone looking at the registry to protect their child will be careful in other ways as well.
  19. EvaDWilliams
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    EvaDWilliams - November 25, 2013 10:06 pm
    The punishment should fit the crime...yes, if you rape a child (a prepubescent) you are sick...and statistics say you are dangerous and you should be on a list so people can monitor you! BUT if you commit a crime that is non-violent, public urination, sex with a person who is willing and lies about their age...(as in this story was in a bar that is supposed to card to verify age)...Obviously, we need some logic in our want change? Here's how to do it...go talk to Kevin Engler and tell him you and your group wants to change the current list requirements...if that gets you no where, organize a protest and stage it in front of Kevin Engler's office and demand change...Call the media and let them know what is going on... The more media attention that is applied, the more chance it has of changing. It is time we demand change...REMEMBER, THIS IS OUR COUNTRY and KEVIN ENGLER needs to listen to his voters...or get voted out.
  20. falldownswinging
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    falldownswinging - November 25, 2013 5:42 pm
    Blasterrat1........I agree with you 1000 % !! I truly expected this story to be a bashing of those on the regristry. It was surprising that others obviously see the uselessness of the regristry. If only Jay Nixon would do what is right and give some of these folks a break from daily persecution and discrimination.
  21. blasterrat1
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    blasterrat1 - November 25, 2013 2:09 pm
    Granny: How do you protect your kids from the unknown? The new first time offenders? Those who more often than not are family members. What about the thousands not compliant with registration? Or all those convicted before 1979? They still alive you know. Seems the reliance on our registries for accurate info to protect our kids is one of the major problems with useing it for that purpose. IE. A false sense of security! Thats not a good thing by no means IMO.
  22. blasterrat1
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    blasterrat1 - November 25, 2013 2:03 pm
    BTW OLDTIMENCFAN: Good people do bad deeds every single day in this World. Not a day goes by that their is not a new offense committed by those who are known as good people. IE. Good people turn bad the same as bad people!
  23. blasterrat1
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    blasterrat1 - November 25, 2013 2:00 pm
    Oldtimencfan: Perhaps you dont. Thats great. What I am saying is that many do. Paticuarly Men. Often Men will refer to others as "sick" for lack of a better word here. Yet they themselves are animals witrh urges that if given a chance would victimize the same as though they point their fingers at.
  24. Monty
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    Monty - November 25, 2013 1:40 pm
    The only thing a public registry does is give people a false sense of security. Chances are if your child is going to be assaulted it is going to be from someone NOT on the list. Usually the first people looked at are those on the list by police. Look at all the crimes that still happen even with the list. It's just another way to punish someone after their sentence is completed. You can't have it both ways. No one wants to hire a sex offender, but people still expect them to work?

    Report Abuse
    OLDTIMENCFAN - November 25, 2013 9:48 am
    You sir are wrong on this count, I feel sex offenders need to be persecuted, as with other crimes, I have nothing to hide because I personnally have done nothing to break the law, it is because I was raised to know the difference between right and wrong. I also raised my kids that way, and they are all good law abiding people, and good hard workers that have made a good name for themselves, plus I have 1 son in the US Army that just got promoted again for his good leadership and bravery. If you obey the law, do what is right, you can live a good life, without having to look over your shoulder all the time or try and defend what you did wrong as if it was somebody else's fault you got in trouble, or try to blame society and the laws of the land for your past problems.. Teach kids respect of others and this world would be a much better place, break the law and spent the rest of your life trying to tell others they are wrong, like some people do all the time!!!!!
  26. Missouri_Granny
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    Missouri_Granny - November 25, 2013 9:47 am
    If you do not realize how this registry can keep a child safe, then there is nothing I can do to make you understand it. I do know those on the list are not happy about it. I choose to use it to keep my children safe. If you make a different choice that is on you and your family. Not mine.
  27. blasterrat1
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    blasterrat1 - November 25, 2013 9:02 am
    I must say I am suprised there are some who see this issue with rational.
  28. blasterrat1
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    blasterrat1 - November 25, 2013 9:01 am
    vahall: Granny cant explain it because it is not an effective tool that keeps kids safe or one that can prevent crimes. I've presented Granny with many facts concerning registries and crime prevention. Provided resources where Granny can see for themselves the stastistics for sex offenders. All to no avail!!!! Granny still choses to ignore the facts [truth] even when presented with it. IE. A waste of time as some simply refuse to be mistaken!
  29. vahall
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    vahall - November 25, 2013 8:16 am
    Can you explain to me how "it is a tool parents can use to keep their children safe"? It is impossible to determine who is dangerous and who is not from a massive public list. Many of the crimes on it are decades old. Worst of all, it is well documented that the vast majority of child sexual abuse is perpetrated within the child's own home or close social circle. I don't see the utility of a public list and think it is unconstitutional on many levels as well as being antithetical to forgiveness, and a straight-up waste of time.
  30. vahall
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    vahall - November 25, 2013 8:13 am
    There is no reason to have a public registry. It provides a false sense of security to parents, often contains mistaken, outdated and misleading information, and leaves people listed on it open to vigilante violence. Furthermore, a public registry impedes reintegration, extends the ex-offender's punishment indefinitely, and as outlined in this article, harms families and destroys individuals. A public registry wastes valuable law enforcement resources, and the banishment which flows from it is unconscionable and unconstitutional. Even its original proponents now feel it has gone too far. Justice is not a zero-sum game where victims win and offenders lose, or vice versa.
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    OLDTIMENCFAN - November 25, 2013 8:07 am
    I personally having worked for the Correctional System for 31 years think that registry is a good tool to help protect the public, but I feel it has some problems. I have seen some convicts that till the end of the sentence feel they did nothing wrong, regardless of the crime. Do I think they will go out and re-commit a crime yes I do. Then you have the ones that did something wrong, and come in do the time and we never see them again. The registry needs to make sure and list the ones that do the serious part of this, not somebody that was drunk and caught relieving themselves behind a car or bush, or the 17 year old that got caught with his 16 year old girlfriend, by her parents. List the ones that do the crimes like rape, stalk and kill, are sick an prey on young kids, I want to know who these people are, so I can protect my Grandkids. But I also think that drug dealers and user should also be placed on a registry, the people who go out and have multi DWI's.
  32. blasterrat1
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    blasterrat1 - November 25, 2013 7:22 am
    Amazing! Simply amazing! That so many stand ready to persecute others. Like I've said many times. The persecution of sex offenders is often done as a means to hide onesself!!!!!
  33. mufftuff
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    mufftuff - November 25, 2013 7:19 am
    It does cause a problem in society as the tax payers have to pay for these people who remain unemployed and non-productive. We all who work hard pay for this.
    Is it right for these people to go on being punished? No, but the world is not a fare place to live in at times. We the people may need to rethink our correctional system for those released.
  34. yellowroselady
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    yellowroselady - November 24, 2013 11:45 pm
    I received a report that an organization, Center for Prosecutorial Integrity just released called Registry for Prosecutorial Misconduct and maybe they need one for parole officers. Some of which think it necessary and funny to make registrants "jump through their hoops" because they can without being challenged.
    Did the two judges recused themselves because the defendant had been in their courtroom as a witness in his former job OR because they knew the outcome was going to be "over the top?" Many of the 751,538 men, women and children (as young as 6, 8 and 10 in some states) are required to register for ridiculous things but our legislators know that. They also know the recidivism rate of 5.3% as well as the likelihood that the unreported sexual offenses which are estimated to be 90-95% are the ones the public needs education about and prevention education is the best solution. (Justice Policy Institute, Dr. Jill Levenson, Richard Tewksbury). Vicki Henry, Women Against Registry
  35. falldownswinging
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    falldownswinging - November 24, 2013 9:48 pm
    Actually state law currently DOES NOT forbid sex offenders from having social media pages. However, the pages themselves have that rule in effect ( openly discriminating against free citizens without fear of anyone caring ) and therefore if a known sex offender is reported to have a page and facebook can verify the conviction....that persons page is deleted permanantly. Happend to my cousin 2 times.
  36. Thoughtasweak
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    Thoughtasweak - November 24, 2013 8:26 pm
    Sex offenders are the only group that are identified publicly. Any other felon after doing their time, can move on with their life, and become productive members of society. Anyone else has a chance of turning their life around.
    Sex offenders are treated as monsters. They are viewed as those who have uncontrolled urges and they cannot be cured, which is the biggest lie of all.
    Everyone should be given a chance to live their lives after incarceration. There are SOME who police will need to keep a close eye on, but no registry, living restrictions or child safety zone will not protect children from those like Guiardo (kidnapped Dugard 100's of miles from his home), or Castro (wasn't even on the registry). We need to look at PREVENTION instead of punishment.
  37. falldownswinging
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    falldownswinging - November 24, 2013 7:59 pm
    Actually blasterrat1....... I happen to know this prejudice on a VERY personal level. I am actually very much opposed to the regristry in ANY form....that is the point I was making. If the regristry is good for one should be good for every felon. I can assure you it would do NOTHING to deter crime.
  38. John Dohh
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    John Dohh - November 24, 2013 6:40 pm
    Good They all should get a butt whoopin' every day of their lives as well.
  39. ltm
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    ltm - November 24, 2013 5:23 pm
    For too long, the priorities of our criminal justice system have been backward.
    We have valued punishment over rehabilitation for low-level, non-violent crimes, and we have done so at the expense of public safety, human dignity, our budget, and the economic vitality of our communities and of our nation. We must fundamentally reevaluate our criminal justice system.

    I ask you to put justice back in our criminal justice system by reevaluating why and how we convict and incarcerate -- and the best ways we can empower people who have been incarcerated to succeed once they rejoin society.

    By the way, after time served registered sex offenders cannot use Facebook, My Space or any social site. What happened to freedom of speech?

    Governor Nixon does not have a good legal argument to deny registered sex offenders freedom of speech either.

    There are registered sex offenders who were not found guilty nor have any charges against them that are on the sex offender registry. Huh?
  40. blasterrat1
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    blasterrat1 - November 24, 2013 4:38 pm
    Yeah I know what you mean. Scares me to death Having a convicted felon [bad check] [dwi] living on my street! Falldownswinging; You see people like you are why people like John are treated the way John says. Like you aint never done something you should';nt have! Probably many more felons not caught than the few who are! Ironic they see themselves as better is'nt it? Not getting caught makes it all good I suppose.
  41. falldownswinging
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    falldownswinging - November 24, 2013 10:45 am
    At age 16 we are allowed to drive, quit school, and become we are responsible enough to do those things....but not to consent to sex ? If the ' victim ' had committed murder, this state would charge her as an adult....and she would go to adult prison. I feel for John...since he has had to deal with this for his lifetime while the girl is allowed to move on and live normally. There needs to be some kind of method to the madness that is the sex offender regristry. No one wants to live next to a child molester...but personally, I dont want to live next to any felon.... so wheres the list for that ?
  42. Missouri_Granny
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    Missouri_Granny - November 24, 2013 7:35 am
    Although I am a firm believer the list IS needed, I do believe there are a few cases, such as this one, that should NOT be on the list. At 16 many places consider people an adult. If this couple met in a bar, I can see why he felt she was older. If this happened the way the article is telling it I feel "John" should of never been tried, never taken a plea. BUT.....for crimes against children I feel the list is a tool parents can use to keep their children safe. Again, a 16 year old that goes to a bar to pick up men should of not been considered a child.
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