November 27, 2020, 10:12 am
Dear Members and Advocates,
I have been writing a similar Thanksgiving week update every year since I’ve become involved in FAC. The general theme being; there are those among us who are living on street corners, isolated from their families because of residency restrictions, curfew or simply abandonment. We need to keep these individuals in mind and appreciate all we have, be it a roof over our head, a bed to sleep in at night, having survived probation, family and friends who have not deserted us, etc. We also have each other.
Earlier in the week, as I was preparing a draft of my usual holiday message, I got word that our “Ex Post Facto Plus” challenge had been dismissed. If it were 30 years earlier, I would have pulled the sheet of paper out of the typewriter, crumpled up my message of hope and chucked it in the trash. Even though throwing my monitor might have had the same effect, I had enough self-control to stand up, walk away from the computer and spend the next hour or two pacing around the house in a daze. I couldn’t believe it. The day was going so well. Just a couple hours earlier an order came in from one of the Florida Circuit Courts that prevented the State from moving the finish line by extending the period of time after which one can petition for removal from the registry from 20 to 25 years retroactively. I really thought it was going to be a great day… but then this. What happened?
Just about a month ago, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals issued it’s ruling on McGroarty, not on the merits of the case, but on a technicality – the Statute of Limitations. A case needs to be brought within 4 years for a plaintiff to have standing to challenge it. I wrote about it here. The plaintiffs in the Ex Post Facto Plus challenge were also on the Florida registry for more than 4 years, so they were plagued by the same issue as McGroarty, but back in 2018, when the case was originally filed, the McGroarty decision didn’t exist. Now that it’s out there, the Judge was bound by that precedent created last month. It sucks.
As I paced around the house, I wasn’t feeling very thankful. I wasn’t looking forward to Thanksgiving and I wasn’t thinking about writing a weekly update. All I could think about was this pending season of family togetherness and how badly I screwed up my family’s life, not just two decades ago, but every day since and possibly for two more decades to come. This door of hope I had given them had just been slammed in my face. Facing another family dinner with that shame was not something I was looking forward to. I eventually returned to my desk to keep working my day job and something pretty inspiring happened. In the email exchanges that were circulating among the legal team that have been working on this challenge, there was no talk about this being the end of the road. There was only talk about next steps and moving this forward. It was a setback, but not a setback on the merits of the case. It was a setback on a technicality and all the legal arguments that were developed, all the expert declarations and all the work product is just as valid as it was the day before.
We’re not at liberty to share the strategy, but we are at liberty to assure you that the Ex Post Facto Plus challenge will be moving forward. I’m thankful for that news and thankful that attorney Val Jonas has not for a second considered anything other than moving it forward. I’m also thankful for the great decision that did come out this week and the wonderful news it means for attorney Ron Kleiner’s client and the tens of thousands of people to petition after this win. It’s huge news!
As I wrote last year, “my “thankful” list has become much more humble the past couple decades but it has also taken on a deeper significance. One of the things I am most thankful for is that through my involvement with this organization I am blessed to be in a position where I can help those who have far less to be thankful for than I do. I am thankful to all of you who have stepped up during this past year and are having a huge impact in bringing change. I am thankful to all of you who read these words and care.”
The Florida Action Committee
Nov 30 – Monday- 7:00 pm ET – Fearless Group – Peer-led support group. Phone 727-731-2927. If unable to connect, text “CALL ME” to same number to receive call back and be joined to the meeting.
Dec 3 Thursday at 8:00pm ET / 7pm CT – Monthly Membership Call- phone 319-527-3487. If unable to connect, text “CALL ME” to same number to receive call back and be joined to the meeting.
Dec 5 Saturday from 1:00-5:00 pm – Apopka (Orange County) Holiday Lunch and Entertainment. RSVP for details to firstname.lastname@example.org or text name to 904-452-8322.
Dec 10 Thursday at 8:00pm ET / 7pm CT – New Member Orientation Call – phone 319-527-3487. If unable to connect, text “CALL ME” to same number to receive call back and be joined to the meeting.
Dec 12 – Saturday – 11:00 am to 1:00 pm.- Zoom session for family and loved ones only (no registered citizens) . RSVP for details to email@example.com or text name to 904-452-8322.
SOME HEADLINES FROM THIS WEEK
A huge order came out of the 10th Circuit (Florida) in Polk County today. It’s extremely significant for anybody who is nearing the finish line and will become eligible to petition for removal under Florida Statute 943.0435(11). Florida provides registrants only two…
A group of people forced to register as sex offenders in New York have been granted a preliminary injunction by a Federal District Court in New York against the NY State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, which sought to ban these individual’s access…
This week, a suspicious invitation to participate in a “survey” was sent to every registered email on the Florida Sex Offender registry. Today, we sent the following letter to the academic who is allegedly behind this survey, inviting him to answer to some glaring..
Officer James Freeman of Greenbrier, AR was doing a sex offender compliance check on private property when the homeowner’s dog barked at him. So Freeman shot the dog. The event would be an example of how mean some of the officers doing compliance checks can be to…
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Author: FAC Contributor #6
The opinions expressed within posts and comments are solely those of each author, and are not necessarily those of Women Against Registry.