The Supreme Court’s Crucial Mistake About Sex Crime Statistics
It is very important that you read the abstract below and then the full 12 page essay by Ira Mark and Tara Ellman.
This brief essay reveals that the sources relied upon by the Supreme Court in Smith v. Doe, a heavily cited constitutional decision on sex offender registries, in fact provide no support at all for the facts about sex offender re-offense rates that the Court treats as central to its constitutional conclusions. This misreading of the social science was abetted in part by the Solicitor General’s misrepresentations in the amicus brief it filed in this case. The false “facts” stated in the opinion have since been relied upon repeatedly by other courts in their own constitutional decisions, thus infecting an entire field of law as well as policy making by legislative bodies. Recent decisions by the Pennsylvania and California supreme courts establish principles that would support major judicial reforms of sex offender registries, if they were applied to the actual facts.
This paper appeared in Constitutional Commentary Fall, 2015.
The U.S. Department of Justice, July 2015, report shows that sex offender laws are ineffective and create more harms than producing any genuine good. See http://www.smart.gov/pdfs/AdultSexOffenderManagement.pdf
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