Divide and Conquer (The Oldest Tactic in the world)
I was reading many forum posts because I, like many of the posters on this forum am a family member of a person who was (pled) convicted a Sex Offense. The thing I look at that most states and federal law have done is encompass a mass amount of offenses into the category of the phrase “Sex Offense.”
I want to point out that this was not done by accident but on purpose. The more variations included into one labeled crime. The harder it is to ever have a law be contested accurately applying to all across its skewed application of reach. This is why many times Federal and State courts only allow rulings to specific appellants that both have the money and the ability to prove some form of the law wasn’t supposed to apply to them for some reason or another.
With that being said, it doesn’t mean that the cause is a lost cause. The problem is that to begin to dismantle a combination of statutes that comprise SORA because it is really illegal (violating the most basic fundamental rights that are supposed to return to a person after she or he serves their time for their sentence of punishment). Each portion of it in each state that is the weakest or truly most vague part must be challenged by a person it applies to.
What do I mean you may ask? Possibly you might ask an example even? Ok, I will break this down as best I see it from start to finish. In my state the law was introduced in 1986, amendments to the law became the norm up to this current day in 2021. Why is that important? Amendments do not need to pass much legal mustard to be added to an already established law. Another thing is that many of these amendments both in my state and others seem to only enhance previous restrictions on offenders. That’s important, but why is it important you may ask? Because no legal law except racially motivated laws that were in place when I was a child to recent were fine tuned so much.
I know your thinking oh no he brought up the racial laws of old, yes I did. I was born in 1926, I have had time in my lifetime to see how unjust those legally accepted laws of the past were and how much of a road map those horrible laws have set a standard for the practices in play in the all encompassing law of the Sex Offense Registration Act of today.
The fact is that the same way those horrible racial inequality laws were challenged piece by piece is how the statutes for SORA should be challenged in courts across the nation today.
I will be the first to admit; that I have a personal interest in this because before I pass away (I’m 95 now) I hope to see my grandson freed from this list of acceptable mistreatment of a person’s individual right to pursue happiness (by permissibly denying under the guise that it’s not punishment inalienable rights guaranteed by the Declaration of Independence in our United States Constitution).
Our country is better than that, we (including those not registering and those registering under SORA) have a responsibility to keep our standard of freedom unique and more meaningful than other countries where punishment and extra collateral damage for a crime is certain depending on the whim of the ruler at the time.
I’ll use my grandson’s situation as an example of small victories needed to bit by bit erode this illegal law known as the Sex Offense Registry. He pled guilty to 2 counts of misdemeanor sexual assault, before he was sentenced to the 10 years registration he caught a serious felony which was not sexually motivated or having anything to do with adding on anything to his sexual registration. For the Felony he was sentenced to 6 years imprisonment at 85% ran concurrent with his 10 years to register as a person on the sex offense registry.
He was incarcerated for his entire jail time at 85% in the department of corrections. When he was released he began his 10 year registration requirement, though some police jurisdictions made mistakes in their system, he never violated his registration for the whole 10 years plus he’s been on the registry. As most may know from some posts I’ve made on Janice’s journal a few weeks to almost a month before he was supposed to be released off of the registry his status was changed from “Offender” to “Predator.” Initially my grandson was not worried and thought it was a system error because he believed his time was nearing off the list. When the day came he was supposed to be off the list and passed he knew something was wrong. He waited until the next Monday business day to go into the police station and make both the local police and the state police aware that they did not remove him from the list.
[Side note: he actually has the note transcript when the local police officer after he went into the police station was corresponding with the state police and they asked that local police officer to change his status in the database time stamped and all.]
The State Police were well aware little did he know because they did it on purpose to him. At first he had a hard time believing that, he thought somehow his felony was mingled with his misdemeanor(s). So he hired a great lawyer downtown to confer with the state police about his charge and get the issue corrected without going to court, the attorney worked on his case for 4 years mailing them letters pointing out the judgement and the sentencing requirements agreed to by both the Judge and the DA and satisfactory with the law at the time. To no avail the situation did not change and my grandson still had no idea what was done to him to force him to register as a “Predator” for life.
As many may know from my post, my step son inherited some money and my grandson asked him to help him hire a new lawyer because my grandson was broke. My step son agreed and they sought a Criminal attorney. The Criminal Attorney saw all the work the Civil Rights attorney that previously worked on the case had done and said this is interesting, I’ll see what’s going on. When my step son and my grandson went back to him close to a month later the Criminal attorney had the answer my grandson was looking for and bad news. The state police applied a statute they believed was applicable to his Sex Offense from about 2 years or a year before the issue was brought up in court. The statue reads something like “...when a defendant is charged with a second or subsequent offense...the offender will be labeled “Predator” and have lifetime registration.”
No due process was involved with this change to him, secondly the terms when described by all different law dictionaries say “second or subsequent” implies a second trial or verdict. Even though the Criminal attorney also notified the state police and their attorneys of these factors. Both the state police and their lawyers said; “We believe we did the right thing and if he believes he is right, he (my grandson) must take it to court.”
Now the Criminal attorney gave him the other bad news, he could not take the case because it was not a criminal case which is what he specializes in, but he would be happy to assist the appellate attorney that my grandson hires. So my grandson and my step son were going to have to hire an appellate attorney.
Sadly as both my step son and my grandson were in the process of trying to get an appellate attorney on board, my step son passed away from natural causes. He believed in my grandson as I do so it was a shame because he wanted to see him get back to being a contributor to society and have the ability to take his children to places he was restricted before.
So after some time of grieving my grandson asked his mother for help. She was going to help him if he could hire an attorney and get a bill or retainer receipt. Then his mother caught Covid and passed away. Now unless he can get help from our Creator he will not be able to challenge this issue but I’m hoping for a miracle. I’m also sharing with everyone how blatantly the SORA statutes can be misused by local and state police.
The title of my post divide and conquer means situations like these, small ones that are violated by governmental authorities without due process or even correct application, can if challenged slowly erode the horrible after effects of serving a sentence for a crime that one may plead or be found guilty of in a court of law.
I know I put a lot on this post to think about but really understand, the truth like I tell my grandson is that everything I’ve ever gotten in my life I’ve had to fight for. In his case I know he wants to fight but cannot given the circumstances at the moment but he must never give up and neither should any of the people captured under these misguided attempts at false security.
Thank you for your time and reading this long venting for both mine and my grandson’s sake.