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Maryland Begins Deleting Sex Offender Names from Registry

Thursday, June 27, 2013

In a move that is expected to open the floodgates of sex offenders who will appeal to get their names deleted from the registry, the state of Maryland recently deleted a sex offender’s name from its registry. The name of Robert M. Haynes Jr. has been removed from the State’s registry, and a link that contains details about the guilty plea that he filed while pleading guilty to charges of abusing a 13-year-old child decades ago, has also been removed.

The registration has been eliminated because a Maryland State Court of Appeals recently declared that requiring people, who were convicted of sex offenses before the registry was established in 1995 to register themselves, was unconstitutional.

This means that there are several sex offenders in Maryland, who committed crimes before the establishment of the registry, and may now be eligible to have their names eliminated from this registry. In fact according to official estimates, as many as one in four registered sex offenders in Maryland might now file lawsuits to get their names cleared from the registry. Officials estimate that as many as 1,800 or out of the 8,000 registered sex offenders, would appeal to get delisted from the registry.

However, they are also likely to face a tough fight. Maryland officials have announced that they will strongly resist any appeals in this matter.

In 2009 and 2010, Maryland made sex offender registry requirements even tougher, and any new lawsuits that are filed to remove names from sex offender registries are likely to make those laws more relaxed. The state laws on sex offender registration have been a source of pride for the state administration, and Governor Martin O'Malley has hailed laws against sex crimes as one of his administration's major accomplishments.

Human Rights Watch Issues Damning Report on Sex Offender Registries

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Nonprofit human rights group Human Rights Watch has released a report that focuses on the plight of thousands of persons who remain on sex offender registries for shockingly minor crimes that were committed when they were juveniles. Among those persons that are included in the sex offender registries are persons who were involved in so-called “Romeo- Juliet” relationships, where one person is a minor and the other is just above the legal age of 18.

The report is titled Raised on the Register: the Irreparable Harm of Placing Children on Sex Offender Registries in the United States. Any Orange County criminal defense lawyer knows that that in the United States, prosecution of people for sex crimes against minors, has gone to extremes. Some of the worst affected have been those were arrested when they were juveniles or minors.

According to the Human Rights Watch report, you'll find people on sex offender registries who were arrested for streaking in public or public nudity as minors. Other people have been on permanent sex offender registries because of sex offenses committed when they were as young as 15 years of age. Being registered on a federal sex offender registry can have lifelong implications for these children.

The researchers at Human Rights Watch investigated 581 cases involving minors who have been placed in sex offender registries. According to Human Rights Watch, these laws that require registration of offenders began to be widely used in the 80s and early 90s, and minors who were charged with a variety of offenses from public nudity, public urination, touching another child's genitalia through clothing and other such relatively innocuous activities, found themselves on the registries with no hope of reprieve.

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