Ohio’s Adam Walsh Act. Pennsylvania Juvenile Defender Statewide Training April 18, 2008. “If you can’t be a good example, then you’ll just have to serve as a horrible warning.” --Catherine Aird. Ohio before AWA. Adult sex offender registry: SORN (sex offender registration & notification)
Pennsylvania Juvenile Defender Statewide Training
April 18, 2008
Justices Lanzinger and O’Connor and Judge Donovan sitting by assignment, concurring in part and dissenting in part
2007-Ohio-2202, decided May 23, 2007
Justice Lanzinger, citing dissent in State v. Wilson, on behalf of unanimous Court
2007-Ohio-3268, decided July 11, 2007
“The Court concludes that the residency restriction violates the Constitution’s Ex Post Facto Clause.
“Subjecting a sex offender to constant ouster from his or her home seems a significant deprivation of liberty and property interests. It sentences them to a life of transience, forcing them to become nomads. While such a punishment may be appropriate, it cannot be applied retroactively through ex post facto legislation.
“The residency restriction applies regardless of the type of offense committed, the offender’s classification level, and his or her risk of re-offense. A feeble, aging paraplegic must leave his home just as a younger one. This lack of any case-by-case determination demonstrates that the restriction is “vengeance for its own sake.”
Judge James S. Gwin, CASE NO. 5:06-CV-96, filed Sept. 4, 2007
If state legislators make decisions such as these, why do we have judges?
How does a piece of legislation voted on in Columbus best serve the interests of justice and the community in Stark County?
Canton Repository editorial, Dec. 20, 2007
A new, tougher Ohio sexual offenders registration law … is bound to do far more harm than good, and actually could be a step backward in protecting the public.
Re-classifying them upward also requires sheriffs to issue more notifications about offenders' whereabouts, adding administrative burdens with little payoff in public safety.
Perhaps the system's greatest failing, however, is how it lumps all offenders together, in public perception at least, as evil people who should be shunned and cannot be "cured.“
Cincinnati Enquirer editorial, Jan. 3, 2008
Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann campaigned on the promise that he would implement the act. And its implementation put the state in line to receive an increase of up to 10 percent in federal grants used to fight crime.
But opponents say the act will cost taxpayers far more to put into practice and defend in court. It is an assertion Dann's office did not dispute.
Cleveland Plain Dealer, Jan. 21, 2008
Deputy Tom Scheiderer, who handles sex offender registration, said he agrees that many defendants who committed crimes several years ago should be released from their reporting requirements.
“Some have really worked hard; they haven’t been in any more difficulties and they’ve done what they are supposed to do. Those are the people that are really suffering because it is hard to get a job and get a place to live after they are labeled a sex offender.”
Bellefontaine Examiner, Jan. 18, 2008
These crimes are horrible. But it must be asked: At what point do these laws become exaggerations? When do they do less to punish the guilty and protect the innocent and instead become a false sense of security and examples of exasperation? Are they helpful to us or simply serve as a bullet item on a politician's campaign mailing, enabling the claim to "be doing something" about crime.
Our American sense of justice must balance crime and punishment. If not, it becomes neither American, nor justice.
Newark Advocate editorial, Jan. 14, 2008
Problems with the new rules are growing almost daily in Ohio, involving everything from constitutional issues to administrative costs to the future prospects of teenage offenders.
The day the new rules took effect, the law of unintended consequences also kicked in. The new rules are the product of good intentions but also of federal pressure to whip states into line and of political pressure to look tough on crime. The result — likely to be borne out in lawsuits for who knows how long — was predictable.
Canton Repository editorial, Jan. 23, 2008
Ohio has a new law that should never have been passed. It was designed by politicians and sold based on the price tag.
No one factored in the cost to apply the new law, enforce it and defend it in court challenges.
Convicted sex offenders have served their time.
What we have created is an illusion of safety.
Cleveland Plain Dealer, Jan. 25, 2008
“No sheriffs offices returned calls for this story. Neither did the bill's sponsor, state senator Steve Austria. He referred questions to the state Attorney General, who did not return phone calls.”
WOSU News, Jan. 24, 2008
[Sexual] offenders don't deserve sympathy … but they do deserve laws that are tough and effective, but fair. Yet the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, a mandate passed by Congress in 2006, could be troubled on both fronts.
We are troubled by a law that uses draconian measures so liberally and might make it harder to convict some offenders. Those shortcomings should give parents and prosecutors pause, as they have constitutional scholars.
Cleveland Plain Dealer editorial, Jan. 25, 2008
The American Civil Liberties Union and other organizations fighting the measure argue persuasively that the costs of enforcement, including of reclassified cases, far outweigh the expected federal ''bonus grant'' of some $1 million.
In addition, the new system will make registration and notification less effective. Some sex offenders, faced with more onerous requirements, will fail to report and drop out of the system.
The better course lies with laws that focus on prevention and offenders likely to strike again. Most children who are victims of sexual abuse are harmed by family members, a situation unaffected by even the most Draconian labeling schemes.
Akron Beacon Journal editorial, Jan. 27, 2008
The Ohio Public Defender website includes:
Amy Borror, Public Information Officer