In a bold (and probably unconstitutional) move, a committee from Ohio’s legislature moved forward with a plan to place people in a sex offender registry without being criminally convicted of a sex offense. (Hat tip: Peter B.)
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.
The person’s name, address, and photograph would be placed on a new Internet database and the person would be subjected to the same registration and community notification requirements and restrictions on where he could live.
Hey, nobody likes sex offenders, but that’s why we have a “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard for criminal convictions in this country. the stigma of being a convict is so high that it’s better that “better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer“. This Ohio proposal considers sex offenses so heinous that people ought to be punished for them even if the state can’t prove they actually committed them.
Since the new registry would be civil, it’s subject to the same lower burden of proof that lost Emiliano Gomez Gonzolez his $124,700 in U.S. Currency.
I guess Ohio is following the Federal lead in taking due process protections from Americans. No updates on that from the mainstream media, though Daniel Pipes says that barring Jaber and Muhammad Ismail (both U.S. citizens) from returning home is A-OK, claimiing that denying them the right to return “suggest[s] a possible conceptual breakthrough, signaling that the American government sees the “nationality” of radical Islam to be incompatible with American citizenship.”
To get a reading on the feds’ legal basis, I turned to a former chief of the national security section for the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Miami, William West. “It is a rare decision, but within the legal pale,” he explained to me.
“Section 215 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 USC 1185 allows for the “˜travel control’ of the entry and departure of citizens. U.S. citizens use their passports only within the rules, regulations, and proscriptions as issued and decided by the president. Travel restrictions on U.S. citizens are seldom utilized (and usually to keep criminal or national-security suspects from fleeing). The law, however, does also allow for entry control.”
Funny thing, I’ve read that section of the code (linked above) and it doesn’t say anything about excluding U.S. citizens holding valid passports. Maybe William West has a different copy.
Doesn’t it make you feel better to know that Ohio is harshly punishing alleged sex offenders, the Feds can seize a large chunk of cash for no reason, and the Department of Homeland Security can keep you from coming home based on your religion?