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Can I See Some ID? Sex Offenders Get Tag on Their Licenses

Maybe more so than other crimes, a convicted sex offender's punishment does not end with jail time served; it follows him onto the National Sex Offender Registry, onto the Internet, and soon, in Tennessee, onto his driver's license.

Starting Sept. 1, all convicted sex offenders in Tennessee must hold a newly designed license. It will bear a mark to notify police of their sex-offender status.

While I don't envision kids at the playground asking candy pushers for ID anytime soon, it wouldn't matter if they did: ID checkers will not (or should not) be able to distinguish the license from any other Tennessean's, because the mark will only be viewable to the trained eye — like a big scarlet letter written in invisible ink.

Proponents say the new law will help ensure the safety of children. If a sexual offender is pulled over, the license will prompt police to watch for signs otherwise ignored in a routine traffic stop. To see the incident behind the law,


Last December, a sex offender was pulled over for a traffic violation while, unbeknownst to the officer, he carried in his car four or five boys that he lured away from a sleepover. Considering this was the impetus for the law, it does not seem unwarranted. But new labels for old crimes are hardly confined to Tennessee.

Last week, Congress unanimously passed the KIDS Act, which will require sex offenders to register email addresses and IM screen names with a government-controlled database. Well sure! That sounds like an easily monitored plan!

Does it make a difference that only cops can see the mark? Should there be a limit to how many extra punishments we tack onto a criminal after jail time is served? Will this make would-be reoffenders think twice — or just drive the speed limit?

And what about civil liberties? Is there a limit to the number that can be taken away once a societal debt has been settled? Are some crimes heinous enough to make one bear the label forever?


I wish more threads like this would be started. Anyway, it's Halloween and time to scare the hell out of the public. Fear mongering at this time of the year is heightened and it's election time on top of it. A little blog where I debated with, Kevin Fischer, an award-winning veteran broadcaster who has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for nearly three decades. Kevin, who is a legislative aide to state Sen. Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin). Read the thread and spread the word.
Who commits most sex crimes? Well, 95% of all new sex crimes are committed by those NOT on the registry. Family members and those known to the family commit 98% of all sex crimes. So much for stranger danger. 2nd question. Who is MORE LIKELY to committ a sex crime upon release from prison? Sex Offenders or NON-sex offenders? For the answer, go here. and see the article, "Revisiting Department of Justice Recidivism Statistics and More Shocking Truths."
just a little rant letter 1 Tuesday, 19 August 2008 20:19 Linda Broken lives, broken homes, broken families. How could this occur in America? How can we, as a people, condone abuse? I'm speaking, of course, about the latest big problem in America: Sex offenders. Sex offenders have become the latest political hot button. One can distract a detractor from nearly anything by invoking that specter of child abuse.. but is it really what we think it is? Are we buying our 'security' at the expense of all our freedoms, and gaining nothing at all? We talk of protecting our children, but what of the children of the offender? Some would claim that offenders have no right to family, no right to love, no right to live, even. Are they not still human? Are their partners, their children still human? Think well before you answer this in the negative, as soon as any man can be said to be inhuman, and his rights and freedoms restricted by writ, all men can be. But is this the work of a just and fair society? Indeed, what is perceived as a sex offense is not just and fair, but should we abuse to prevent abuse? Should we torture to prevent torture, murder to prevent murder? This is what the sex offender laws lead to... since we have no right to police protection, and must police ourselves, would not an honest man justify many things in the name of protection? If such a man were to commit acts of vigilante 'justice', could he not claim he was condoned in such by the government itself? When we wrap a people, any people, for any reason in a label where they may be targeted, are we not, indeed, creating a situation where people will be targeted? There is no fairness, in this world, nor in many cases recourse, but we ask, and demand only one thing, the right to be human. Should that right be denied, by any man, to any man, then the denier is guilty of fostering tyranny and slavery. We are a country based upon the rights and freedoms of men, based upon the ideal that all men are created equal, and that includes all of humanity, all genders, all colors, all creeds in the 'human'. When you children cry out in the night, do you not fear for their safety? When the child of a sex offender cries in the night, who hears? When they sit at the schools, and are tormented, not for anything they have done, but the perception of what a family member has done, is that fair or just? Should they be torn from their homes, does that not deny their rights? What have they done to deserve such a torment? How is this just or fair, that people judge them, judge their family, and judge their very existence, not even for their own acts? How is it fair that same law destroys those children, forever, in the name of their own protection? How is it just or fair that children are labeled as molesters and rapists, in many cases, simply for having a teenage relationship? Is this the part of a wise and just government? Is it truly protection? Think about it. Look at the department of justice statistics. The greatest number of those approached by police officers, charged, and convicted of 'sex offenses' are between fourteen and eighteen. The ratio decreases over time. And the greatest part of new sex offenses comes from those not on the registry. What protects you from those? Is it the destruction you visit upon those on the registry? Is it the vigilantes that call friends, neighbors, jobs? Is it forcing those on the registry from their homes, upsetting family situations, repealing the rulings of judges to place new trials upon them, trials, not by the court or by juristic right, but by the legislature without reviewing any kind of information on the offense or the situation surrounding it? We, the people, of the united states, includes all the people. Young and old, rich and poor, felons, citizens, legislators, and even presidents and those that live on the edges of society. How is it just or reasonable to press more, however, to those edges of society? How is such power for the protection of others, when it forces people into situations where no man can see hope, and where justice is a fading memory in the daily trials of survival? Is a label such a good thing to give a man? Should a man rebuild his life from the ground up, and then be destroyed again, not for a new offense, but for being judged guilty of a future offense which may never occur? That, friends, is the future you're creating... a future of guilt until proven innocence. A future of no rights, of no hope, of no security. When all are registered, who can say what the registry will be used for? Nobody will protect the children then... nobody can... for when the rights of any are limited, and the freedoms taken by writ... all freedoms have fallen, and all rights will be restricted. (just a little rant letter I was working on) Triedbyconscience
I wish to thank all of those who have PM'd and e-mailed me. Yourds of encouragement mean the world to me. I just finished writing this piece. I beleive it is valuable in understanding the whole picture. "Most people are very unaware that more than 90% of all sex crimes against children are committed in the home and incest related. 80% of incest crimes go unreported. Bill O Reilly will not tell you that. The entertainment news media promotes bogus pictures concerning "stranger danger," "pedophilia" and "predator". They sensationalize for "RATINGS"! as well as self aggrandizement. 5% or less of all sex crimes are of the "predator/stranger danger". And Law enforcement does a great job of catching those individuals. Politicians in this environment are quick to jump on this bandwagon for votes. They totally ignore all the facts and pass laws that actually endanger children. Incest is NOT pedophilia. These is a vast difference. You won't hear that on the news or from politicians either. Recidivist rates for incest related offenses are between 1 & 2 percent and that is without treatment. Once caught the abusers wake up. Treatment reduces the recidivist rate for that 1 to 2 percent by 50%. Treatment works. The stranger/pedophile recidivist rate (70%), is what the news media and politicians apply to everyone. Including teens and children as young as 10 years old are put on the public registries and labeled with the same broad brush. There are 60 MILLION individuals in this country who have been molested in an incest related abuse. With this type being 80% NOT reported. That leaves 1-1/2 MILLION victims with 30 MILLION, 50% will go on to abuse a family member. We all need to understand the facts if we are going to have an impact on Child sexual abuse. This is a community problem. The fear factor with the treatment centers is bogus. Residency restrictions and public registration protects no one and in fact endangers children. If you go to my site, please look at the top article "Incest - A Family Tragedy" click on "Read More" and the link to Shazzam films and PLEASE listen to the blogtalkradio. There is a huge difference
Frank-y-Ava Frank-y-Ava 9 years
doesn't bother me.
zania zania 9 years
In that case I will go right over and sign your petition right now. I've posted a message on a couple of my blogs about it too. The blogs are quite new and do not have many readers as yet, but if it helps to spread the word about what has happened to Ricky and others like him, then I'm more than happy to pass the message on about this in any way I can. Take care zania
rickyslife rickyslife 9 years
Hi Zania:) Thank you for caring I actually have several signatures from people in other countries. Anyone who like to write me can do so at my email This has been tough on Ricky and my youngest son who cannot have friends over and asked all the time why is your brother a sex offender? or who did he rape? Its been heck on us and I continue to fight for all our son's but especially my own. I do updates on my myspace blog you can use the email above to search for me and join to read other stories of teens.:)
rickyslife rickyslife 9 years
Hi Hartsful I completely agree we must change the laws for the juveniles and I actually lost friends when I defended Mark Lunsford son Joshua Lunsford from Ohio when he got in trouble for a sex crime last year. I fought like a wild tiger against many who thought he should register like my son but he was eighteen a kid still in my opinion. His dad Mark the founder of Jessica law said it was Romeo and Juliet yet sadly once his son was free of a registration requirement he has dropped teh subject and not a word for the other boys like my sn ricky. Now he continues to push Jessica's law and this daily effects thousands of juveniles/youth like Ricky. I hope all will visit our site and sign my petition and pray Mark will start asking laws to be fixed for myson since there is a federal bill. Mary
Hi Guys, I'm in a hurry but thought I would drop this Petition off. Gotta run Read and sign this petition if you agree with it, even if you do not live in Ohio... Quote To: U.S. Congress, President of the United States, Ohio State Congress While understanding the importance of protecting our nation's children against any sexual or physical assault, and while understanding that there is a wide spectrum of sex offenses beyond the highly publicized and relatively rare violent sexual assaults on children..... In response to the Federal "Adam Walsh Act" and the Ohio "Senate Bill 10", we, the undersigned, forcefully state the following: 1. State funding for this Federal Act has not been established nor appropriated, nor have the federal mandated requirements of this bill been established. 2. The Ohio Legislature passed Senate Bill 10 in an reactionary manner in order to gain federal funds without responsibly hearing or considering public objection to this legislation. Nor has the Ohio Legislature responsibly studied the contents nor impact of this legislation. 3. Ohio Senate Bill 10 violates the ex post facto, double jeopardy, and separation of powers provisions of the Ohio Constitution and the United States Constitution. And constitutes breach of contract of original pleas of an offender. 4. Retroactive punishment of any criminal offender is a violation of State and US Constitutional Rights, relating to Ex Post Facto provisions. 5. Universal re-classification of sex offenders into federal mandated tiers without the individual review before a court of law and judge is a violation of the Separation of Powers provision of the Ohio and United States Constitutions. 6. Instating additional punishment and restriction on offenders who committed crimes up to 10 years or more ago, and after they have satisfied all legal consequences of their offense, is a violation of Double Jeopardy and Ex Post Facto provisions of the Ohio and United States Constitutional Rights. 7. That the Ohio Adam Walsh Law is an irresponsible and seriously flawed piece of legislation which should be revoked immediately, as it has already been illegally enforced beginning January 1, 2008. 8. That the Federal Adam Walsh Act is an irresponsible and seriously flawed piece of legislation which should be revoked immediately, as it has pressured states to react in a way to enact legislation which violates the United States Constitutional Rights of US citizens. 9. That Ohio Legislators who allowed this legislation to pass into law in a reactionary and irresponsible manner should be forced to resign immediately and be held accountable for their actions in any legal manner which applies. 10. That State, County and Local elected officials and employees who enacted the provisions and requirements of this unconstitutional law be likewise held accountable for their support, enacting, or defense of this law, as it violates the Ohio and United States Constitutional rights of citizens. We, as citizens of this State and Nation forcefully state the above from the elected officials who serve as a privilege and at the pleasure of us.... the citizens. Sincerely, The Undersigned
zania zania 9 years
Well I for one am not arguing on the part of the sex offender. My argument is that the label of 'sex offender' ought to be applied correctly, because to label those, like Ricky, as 'sex offenders' when that term is associated with rapists and paedophiles is wrong. As Ricky's mom said above, while targetting people like her son, the forces of law and order are being spread too thin to cope with watching those who really do intend to harm children.
ladychaos ladychaos 9 years
For those people who are arguing from the point of a former sex offender, you should watch the film "Daddy's Little Girls" and see the shoe on the other foot.
hartsfull hartsfull 9 years
MSLGW, No worries about posting a lot or repete posting. A lot of us (me especially) do it all the time. :) I understand your point. I just can't find it in me to go against Jesicas Law, Adam Walsh etc. I have no sympathy whatsoever for anyone who harms children. Sorry there is no second chance for me. As far as someone who takes innocence away from children and they (the victims) live with that forever. That does not include teenagers with other teenagers under 16 or not. Or even it were a 20 yo and a 14 yo. That would be scary as a parent definately but that's beside the point. I completely totally emphaticlly agree that statutory rape laws are definately wrong. They should never be put on some heinous list as if they are the same as someone who is a grown man going after a 4 year old. I agree that the SO list is very flawed and misleading (I look at it all the time even for my small area) because there is nothing there to show how much of a threat someone is. I look at it myself to be aware of who's around. Although some don't ever register so it is possible I could have one live close by (close to me, here is like a mile away, very rural area) and never know. However, I would rather have some sort of warning. For me though I DO take in account that the person named could have just had 15 year old girlfriend, that's easy to wonder when the person is listed as 20 yo male. However, again maybe he was a violent predator at a young age. It is very flawed because one doesn't know. One thing though, and I realize this isn't much to relieve anyone but they do get off of it for registering faithfully and not getting into any other trouble, basically they get off of it for good behavior. As far as rehabilitating pedophiles, 50% is a small number. It's a childs life destroyed. We can agree to disagree. I can see your points and see why you would believe in that so much. I just cannot agree with all of it. But some I do. I had something else to say but I can't remember now. I have to be with my very upset son now. I have a 2 and half yo who really wants my attention. It's hard for me to be careful of grammar and spellign etc. So, sorry about any errors. I have to write fast most of the time.
zania zania 9 years
Hi Citizen Sugar, MSLGW and particularly Ricky's Mom. I don't know how I just found this site, but I had to sign up just to say to Ricky's Mom that I really feel for you. I would also sign your petition gladly, but I'm not a citizen of the US so there would be little point. A similar devastating effect of over reaction to those labelled 'sex offenders' happened to someone very close to me who lives in the UK. The whole family's life has been shattered as a result. Ricky's Mom, your website has made me cry tears of frustration. I so wish that Ricky gets justice over this.
rickyslife rickyslife 9 years
Hi, thank you MSLGW for bringing me here. Its important for all families to take my son's story and educate your teens or friends teens. Ricky was 16 and met a girl at a Iowa teen club for sixteen to twenty year olds and she told him she was almost sixteen. Weeks later he was questioned by police and told the truth in which then he was informed the young lady was truly only thirteen. She admitted she lied but due to age of consent laws he had no defense. When we moved to Oklahoma they changed his charge to aggravated due to the three year age difference and now he is a tier three predator status. Oklahoma has passed SB 35 which requires all aggravated foffenders to get a driver license with the word bright bold red sex offender on top of the license at the bottom and on the back. Extreme?? Ricky is horrified knowing folks will see it and stare or worse. He fears he will be treated like a horrible monster and harassed. We must change laws cause as Gus Blackwell tol dme on May 1 that the predators are hiding in the registry. Why? Cause kids like my son are there and determined to be no threat and yet law enforcement must actiely watch him taking valuable time and resources. Please take Rickys story and educate teens so we together can save a childs life. Thank you for caring and also on the site I have a petition to pass laws to fix this for romeo and Juliet cases. Mary
rickyslife rickyslife 9 years
Those who see the facts behind residency laws in Iowa there is a top dog of the offender laws which are passed and his name is Keith Kreiman. His email info is: We have been in contact and he seems to want to fix the laws which are causing more harm then good but he does fear the backlash of the people. A great report to read is Mary
rickyslife rickyslife 9 years
Iowa sheriffs, prosecutors and many other organizations have been asking politicians to appeal the residency laws and the politicians refuse claiming if they do they will lose votes. No residency law will keep any child safe cause if a real predator wants a child they will not care what the laws are period. And in many cases they are put so far out in the rural areas its harder for law enforcement and the people to keep a closer eye on them. Then when the law has to watch offenders, such as Ricky, it allows them less time ot be actively watching those who are determined to be a threat to children. Mary
drinkerofh2o drinkerofh2o 9 years
MSLGW is such an asset to this thread! About the law she mentioned that restricts where sex offenders can live... 1) It doesn't prevent them from getting in their car and driving to a school, parking by a school, loitering in a park, attending religious functions, etc. (As an aside, laws that prohibit "loitering where children gather" are absurd.) 2) If laws restricting where convicted sex offenders may reside make it more difficult for them to find housing, more of them will become HOMELESS and therefore off the grid. Homelessness is positively correlated to mental illness, that is, those with severe mental illnesses are more likely to become homeless, and those who are homeless are at greater risk of developing mental illness.
I don't mean to be posting too much but this release just came through my mail and I thought some here would appreciate hearing from someone who is standing up for what is right. Fallon Campaign: Sex offender law makes children less safe - Fallon was right! 5/28/2008 Contact: Stacy Brenton (515) 822-3029 stacy@fallonforcongress.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 28, 2008, (1:30 PM CDT) - Yesterday, The Des Moines Register praised Ed Fallon for his 2002 vote against a bill that prohibited sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of schools or day care centers. The Register said, "… he was frequently on the right side of issues…. He was the only House member to vote against the 2,000-foot residency restriction for certain sex offenders, a law that virtually banished them from many communities, making them harder to track, while driving up costs for law enforcement." Coincidentally, voters in the Third District received a mailing yesterday asking them "Why does Ed Fallon think it's ok for sex offenders to live near schools?" As a backdrop, it included a photo of a prisoner in an orange jumpsuit looking though a fence at children in a playground. The mailer was sent by Boswell supporter Richard (Red) Brannan of Ankeny and had no return address. Fallon said, "This is an example of cynical, negative politics. This mailer was sent out only a week before the election to make it look as if I support sex offenders. I call on Congressman Boswell to reject and renounce this misinformation and ask his supporters to cease their efforts to disparage my character and reputation." Fallon says he voted against the bill because, "I knew that it would only make matters worse." He has been proven right. Today, prosecutors, sheriffs, police and those who work with victims of sexual abuse agree that the bill was a mistake. The Iowa County Attorneys Association opposes the bill and acknowledges, "The research shows that there is no correlation between residency restrictions and reducing sex offenses against children or improving the safety of children." Scott County prosecutor Bill Davis put it clearly when he said of the law, "It's the wrong path. It doesn't make anyone safe…." Common sense tells you why. The law doesn't keep sex offenders from visiting schools, as the mailer depicts; it doesn't restrict their movements at all. In fact, most agree it has actually made children less safe. According to the Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault, since the law went into effect, the number of sex offenders that the system has lost track of has more than doubled. State representative and retired state trooper, Clel Baulder said, "The residency restriction was passed on emotion and emotion has no intelligence." "I opposed a bill that is now generally agreed to be a mistake - by prosecutors, sheriffs, police, lawmakers who supported it at the time, and those who work with the victims of sexual assault," concluded Fallon.
I made it back, I e-mailed Mary, hope she joins. There is another point I would like to comment on Hartsfull made and that was "Any sex offender as far as PEDIFILE, isn't deserving of a second chance as far as I'm concerned." While I totally understand your statement because at one time that was exactly mine. Of all those on the registries, pedophiles make up only around a very small percentage. Pedophilia IS treatable with a 50% success rate. However, not everyone who ever touched a child suffers from pedophilia. The vast majority of registered sex offenders knew their victims and the majority of them are family members or someone known to the family. The recidivist rate for these individuals as first time sex offense is around 1%. Yet 90 plus percent of all new sex crimes are committed by individuals NOT on the registry and 90% of them are family members or known to the family. Now to my way of thinking and facts bring that out. And according to Gus Blackwell, Republican Majority Whip, Oklahoma, "The Predators" are hiding in the registry. Those who need to be monitored are certainly those who did not know their victims, repeat offenders and violent offenders. Now, that would be the minority of those on the registry. probably around 8 to 10 percent. Randy Lopp says, "some of those who are on the front lines dealing with sex offenders believe that Oklahoma's law is having an adverse effect and needs further changes. ''Most people who know anything about this are frustrated. It is just not helpful -- the laws as they are now,'' said Randy Lopp, treatment subcommittee chairman of the Oklahoma Sex Offender Management Team. Lopp is also a member of the review board established by the new law to categorize the sex offenders into three levels. ''I think if the general public understood the research, they would be willing to back the legislators to change the laws to make more sense and to protect children, because the laws as they are written are not protecting children," he said. "They are doing more harm than good.''
Hartsfull I appreciate your comments very much. I've been studying these topics for about a solid year now and have become an activist for laws that actually protect. The Adam Walsh Act and Jessica's Law, in my opinion do great harm to society. They cost Billions and really don't deliver. Everyone is painted with the same brush and the level three's High Risk should only have high risk but as they stand, the larger percentage in any state is on level 3. Including Ricky which was a conceptual teen sex where the girl lied to Ricky and even was in a teen establishment where admission was 16 and older. I know Ricky's mother and just got off the phone with her. I'm going to send her a link to this site and ask her to join. is my site but when I post the site please don't get the idea that I'm spamming. I only use it for educational purposes and there about 25 other links to sites where there are stockpiles of information, both scientific data and empirical information. Some of them are from sex offender support systems etc, but judge by the content and context not emotional prejudging. It takes objective and critical thinking. I'll get off now and e-mail Mary to join
ohjeeze ohjeeze 9 years
What about rapists that rape adult women? We seem to let them go in high rates as well? Will they get a mark on their license? Okay, so what if this rapist were in a car with a woman an pulled over by police, should the police warn the woman of who she is with? This law seems like it is going to cause more trouble than help. MSLGW I agree with you, it is sad more people don't understand the nature of crimes, laws and justice.
j2e1n9 j2e1n9 9 years
Thank you for your post MSLGW! I agree. You said what I am unable to articulate on this very important subject.
Meike Meike 9 years
I only feel sorry for those who were labeled 'sex offender' when they turned barely legal and their bf/gf was 15 or 16. Obviously, for the heinous and serial sex offenders, it's a must.
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