Mississippi Law

This is an open forum for discussing Mississippi Law, Legislation, Politics, and Government. Any aspect of the above are fair game, and no idea is too radical.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

MS Sex Offender Laws

There are several different issues this post will address concerning the MS Sex Offender Laws. The sex-offender topic has been in the news recently regarding a new law that goes into affect in Georgia on July that would make many sex-offenders have to relocate because of newly created buffer zones that include school bus stops. For more on the Ga. story see here and for an update here.

Mississippi law defines “sex offense” in 45-33-23(g) and includes acts such as rape; sexual battery; enticing a child for concealment, prostitution or marriage; unnatural intercourse; touching of children for lustful purposes and other assorted offenses. Additionally, upon the convicted sex offenders reentry to society (assuming they served time) They must register with the Department of Public Safety within 3 days of release and the DPS then notifies the local sheriff and the FBI. Additionally, if you are a sex-offender who is coming back into the state you must inform DPS 10 days prior to doing so. Sex-offenders must also give notification if changing addresses, reregister in person every 90 days and disclose his conviction if he wants to work with minors. Violations of doing all of these things may result in a felony conviction with a term of up to 5 years per 45-33-33. Now we have the basics of the law on to the juicier topics.

The Sex Offender Registry (SOR) – if a sex-offender is convicted and released he is placed on a sex-offender registry in MS that is available for public viewing here. This list is also good fodder for television stations that bandwagon this “service” such as here as this station runs ads about its access to the registry. There are several issues regarding the SOR that have been brought up with regards to MS and other states (my answers will be below and will kind of start the debate).

1. If this is a criminal penalty for a crime that has been committed why is DPS doing it and not MDOC; 2. If these offenders have to stay registered for life is their sentence ever really over? 3. Should the life-time registration offset some of the jail time or fine imposed on the convict? 4. What is the proper penalty to be assessed to these individuals?

My answers (not the law because the law has really not been thoroughly vetted in this area):
1. DPS does the registering because, despite the parole-like feel to reregistering, this is about protecting the Public from repeat offenders. There are also statistics that help show that compared to non-sex offenders released from State prisons, released sex offenders were 4 times more likely to be rearrested for a sex crime, per DOJ. So the state feels like it is allowing a potential danger into the area and as such they have a responsibility to protect the public.

2. The registration for life problem is one that I support; there is no age limit on being a sex-offender and once a sex-offender always a sex offender to me. Even those who help sex offenders say: "It is important to realize that this study does not claim we are curing sex offenders through treatment. The fact is, sex offenders are never considered cured."

In my book this is purely a part of their penalty of committing their original crime and reregistering every year for life is better for them than being in jail for the remainder of their lives (more on this in #4).

3. Offsetting some jail time or fine with the registry condition is no different than saying since I have to report for parole shouldn’t I get less time. The answer is no. Registering is simply part of the penalty along with the jail time and fine, not a tradable commodity. This thesis is closely tied to #2.

4. What is the proper penalty for sex offenders? Over the years offenses have ranged from death (Rape is/was a capital offense in Mississippi) to castration to chemical castration to years of hard labor to plain jail time. In my opinion we should lock them up with life sentences plus 20 to make sure they don’t get out on the whole lifespan deal with life sentences. As addressed above, the recidivism for this crime combined with the harm caused by it (as compared to recidivist auto burglaries for example) plants me in the throw away the key group. Some might argue for the harsher death penalty which I don’t go for but we can save that discussion for a different topic.

This post is created for the purpose of seeing what the mindset is in the community out there and both agreement and disagreement are welcome, just bring some thought with your post.

31 Comments:

At 7:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If "sex offender" means "child rapist" yeah, lock the door and throw away the key.

But what happens when I get caught having anal sex (sodomy) in a parked car with my consenting legal partner? Isn't that "unnatural sex?" And since it looks so good on a DAs record to say "I put away X number of sex offenders last year," won't they be more inclined to prosecute me as a sex offender?

That's the ONLY problem I have with the sex offender laws... they penalize/stigmatize people who are in no way shape form or fashion interested in children along with the actual monsters. The reason sex offenders are getting sympathy is because people KNOW that there's relatively "innocent" people getting swept up in this thing.

There's prolly a dozen different ways to get yourself labeled "sex offender" that don't even involve minors or nonconsenual activity.

Loxley

 
At 8:00 AM, Blogger B.C. Barnes said...

Actually sex offense is defined in the MS code at 45-33-23(g) and list 12 things that can get you that label. 7 deal with children, 3 with rape or sexual battery, 1 for those convicted in other states, and 1 for unnatural intercourse. So there really is not this huge slippery slope out there. Additionally, in light of Lawrence v. Texas I don't really know how many sodomites are being tried for this now and if they are how many are being convicted without their sentences being overturned. I believe unnatural also includes the stuff with animals but I think they would clearly fall into the "monster" category you speak of.

 
At 3:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anybody else see the irony in getting sent to prison for sodomy?

That's a bit like being sentenced to the Keebler Elves tree after snatching a cookie, isn't it?

 
At 8:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The "true sex offender" and I mean the one that preys on children and unwilling adults makes my skin crawl. And the thought of releasing them into society knowing that there is a bigger chance that they will recommit the crime than not sounds unreal!! I am currently going through a situation where a registered sex offender is building in our subdivision. He was convicted of molesting a 10 year old boy and his current house is being built between 2 houses that both have 10 year old boys in them. I know that it doesn't HAVE to be a 10 year old for him to come after them but we also have 26 other kids in our neighborhood that we feel he may choose from. We are so afraid and would welcome any advice!!

 
At 7:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Truth is most sex offenders are devious people. I my self am a sex offender. When I was 18 a 14 yoa girl lied on myself and 2 others for raping her which we did not. Well upon my questioning I confesed to toching her with her consent. Seven years later I get charged with fondling her after the fact they found out it was no way she was raped. Even I had to beg the courts to come to a solution about this matter. goes to show you good folks; there are some of us that just got caught up in a bad situation.

 
At 3:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sometimes innocent people get caught up in the crossfife. I have a friend who has to register as a sex offender because his 16yo girlfriend sent him a nude picture of herself. He was only 15 at the time this happened. Tell me what is the justice in that? The justice system would put innocent people in the same category as child rapist. That is why I do not believe in our system. Only god can truely classify somebody. I can see why they have the registry to protect people, but they seriously need to revise who goes on it.

 
At 8:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about the poor employees at the Department of Public Safety that have to be the ones to register the SOR's. They are not trained to deal with them and many of them come in with an attitude that the Department of Public Safety is the bad guy and the reason that they are there. Then the employees recognize them on the street and it feels like there are SOR's everywhere. There should be a separate department to hadle them. We have SOR's reaching over 15 year olds shoulders getting their permits to get their SOR card. The 15 year olds are unaware and do not try to hide their information on the couner in front of them.

 
At 9:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

SEX OFFENDER does not mean CHILD RAPIST!!!!!! Dont ever open your mouth unless you know the facts.... So stupid, u have unternet, look for a dictionary. Learn something.

 
At 11:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

actually, the clause about "those convicted in other states" is the slippery slope. In MS there used to be a "streaking" statute. And indeed everyone has heard the humourous song "the streak" by Ray Stevens. It was even a fad in the 1970s. Today, streaking can get you an indecent exposure charge. Indecent exposure is not a registerable offense in MS, but it is in Alabama. Ergo, if you go streaking in Alabama at University of Alabama during football season, you have to register as a sex offender. If you move to MS you also have to register even though the charge here in MS is non-registerable. These laws have slippery slope written all over them. They're just doing it so slowly, incrimentally, that people don't notice. Comments?

 
At 1:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want ot know why Mississippi allows sex offenders to live .2 miles away from a school? My husband is in the military and we recently moved to Mississippi from California and I was appealed to find that the school my children attend has a CHILD MOLESTER across the street from the school! This feels like a violation of my rights. How do I keep my children safe when I drop them off at school and some @$$%@!& can walk in or jump hte fence (that comes up to my waist) and snatch a kid. Mississippi needs to wake up. People that commit these crimes deserve no freedom, they took the away some helps childs sense of freedom. And to all you people who want to protect them I am a 100% sure that if the sex offender did what they did to someone close to you, you would be the first to cry foul!

 
At 5:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read everyone's comments and it seems the public is generally misinformed altogether. In Mississippi there are minors on the sex offender list for sending their bf/gf nude pictures of themselves and the state is calling it kiddie porn. In 1991 in Virginia I had consensual sex with a minor who told me she was 18 and I picked her up at a bar. I could have got off but I felt I was wrong regardless and plead guilty to a domestic violence Misdemeanor for which I paid a $200 fine and went on with my life(no registry required). In Jan. of 2008 I applied for a gun permit and the state charged me with failure to register as a sex offender and immediately put me on the sex offender list as a person who was in violation of their obligation to register. The case was finally dismissed in June of 2011 but it seems the state attorney in Mississippi has the power to overturn the judges order to remove me from the list. the state attorney's office reviewed the judges order and has determined they will NOT remove me from the list even though the charge is 20 years old and I didn't rape, coerce, kidnap or force in any way. I have been charged with a felony for a 20 year old misdemeanor, Not to mention my constitutional right not to be charged twice for the same crime.

 
At 8:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually i agree with the things you say but what if the some ppl they label at sex offenders are not sex offenders but they have that title and I know two people like that. What would you say about that? One person didn't have a good enough lawyer and the person who really did it wanted them to take the fall because it happened in his room and the other had a some what good lawyer and the person that said that did that to their kids kept changing the story and then said they wanted to drop the charges because they didnt want to get caught in court under false pretenses but the court still went along with it and now the person is registered as one?

 
At 3:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem with labels is that they do not always fit and sometimes they stick where they shouldn't but other times they won't stay were they should. Some people say that sex offenders reoffend frequently. The truth is the opposite because many people who have been labeled as sex offenders only went afoul of the law and have remorse for the action itself, not just for getting caught. We cannot judge others so harshly that we lose sight of our own failings. No one is perfect. Be involved in your children's lives and know every person who comes into their life, no matter how old they are because ANYONE at ANYTIME can offend someone in a sexual manner. Extra laws and restrictions do not have any effect upon those offenders who are truly criminal because they have no conscience, they are disordered. Others, need only to be known of and supported to DO THE RIGHT THING - follow the law and be decent to everyone. God Bless Us All and grant us peace.

 
At 1:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree it isn't right that someone can lie and ruin the rest of your life forever labeling you a sex offender. These young girls that run around doing that need to be punished they need to realize what they are doing to someone when they lie and send innocent people to prision for something that will label them a monster for the rest of their life. I have to deal with this because my husband was victim to this very thing. He has to register because a young 15 yr old girl wrote a letter lying to her cousin to make her jealous and trying to say she had intercourse with him when he was 17. She later admited she lied but the state picked up the charges and now he gets labeled right along with the actual bad guys. It makes me so angry that people automatically view him as a monster just because some immature girl made up some lies. Not only did he have to spend 10 years of his life in prision but now he is still punished by his label and registration. If you ask me our justice system in screwed up. These young girls do not have to pay one bit for what they have done to innocent people and i think it is not right at all. So to all of you who know what i mean i feel for you. Dont get me wrong if you are one of those monsters that deserve to register then i believe u should be punishe to the full extent of the law.

 
At 1:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A sex offender looks for oppertunity. If you a good parant you will never have any dealing with a sex offfender. If you are not a good parant and let your kids run the streets then i say it your falt and not the sex offenders. Its all about taking responsabilty of your own. watch your children grow and you will have no trouble with any sex offenders.

 
At 1:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am married to a "sex offender" I have known him since he was 12. He is in no way a bad person. He was wrongly accused and because he was poor and couldn't afford a good lawyer. He listened to a court appointed attorney and took a plea because they scared him and told him if he didn't he could get 25 years. All he did was have sex with his 20 something year old girlfriend. And they were drunk. Now because of that he is a sex offender. How is that fair?? And of course Mississippi is so backwoods everytime someone finds out he is a sex offender he is automaticly labeled as a child molester. He is NOT a child molester! He is a good mad that got caught up in a bad situation.it is very easy to be labeled as a sex offender in Mississippi. I could grab my husbands but in public and someone see me and call the police and bam I would be a sex offender. People need to stop acting so stupid and judging people when they don't even know the real story!!

 
At 9:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been the victom of a sex offender and now in my late thirties, I am rasing three children; so I check the registry often.. as a victom I can tell you that it a lot of cases what the law sentence them for only scratches the surface of what was really going on.. my father got twenty years for two accounts but infact if the others had come fourth, he would be doing life and possibly facing the death penalty.. some do make mistakes but a true sex offender or child preditor to be more exact in this situation can not be reabilitated acorrding to a study I read from Harvard.. what is the law regarding renting to a sex offender (apartment or trailer park) were there are literally children living in an ajacent dwelling. (Mississippi)

 
At 2:57 PM, Blogger TCB said...

My boyfriend is a registered sex offender. He goes every 3 months to register. They should take into consideration the reasoning behind what actually happens. He was at a bar when he was young, drank a little too much, and when home with a girl who was also in the bar. The girl who was in the bar turned out to be a little younger than him and her parents found out. Now he will be labeled a sex offender for the rest of his life. He quit drinking, but that didn't help the so called "Label"!! It really hurts in so many different ways. People make mistkes all the time!! No body is perfect!! But obviously, the goverment, courts, and all that think that they are!! I could understand if he was out raping women or messing with children, but when you are young and make one mistake, you shouldn't be punished for it for the rest of your life. He has not been in any trouble since all that happened. "PEOPLE MAKE MISTAKES, WE ARE ONLY HUMAN!!"

 
At 6:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"There are also statistics that help show that compared to non-sex offenders released from State prisons, released sex offenders were 4 times more likely to be rearrested for a sex crime, per DOJ."...... Amazing the baloney that is posted. The DOJ statistics reveal that other than pedophiles and rapists, the recidivism rate for other sex offenders is 2% to 5%. Of those, most are busted for violations like non-reporting, alcohol, etc. and NOT sex crimes. Time for the truth for a change. A cottage industry has been created in keeping behind bars many who don't belong there, the reason......$$$$.

 
At 6:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One more thing, the residency restriction DO NOT work. Many states have completed research that reveal restricting sex offenders from living near schools, etc, is a complete waste of time. If a sex offender is going to re-offend, they will NOT offend anywhere near their residence for fear of being caught. Additionally, most victims know the offender. The ones most likely to offend are currently unknown and definitely not registered.

 
At 9:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen..God bless..

 
At 10:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To me I think its stupid because they put all sex offenders in one category. Really? People make mistakes. Now I understand if they continue to do it, then lock them up for life. But bf and gf high school lovers, matter of fact. When they're in their teens. Give them a break. Us as in humans are not suppose to judge anyways. Leave it up to the man up above..pray for them. Not everybodies perfect. And if you're reading this. You're not either. Its crazy how they wanna charge little kids with life sentences, but their mind is not fully developed right?? Really kids are way smarter than adults. But whatever..I pray for everybody..hopefully God can soften yalls heart..

 
At 8:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with you that there are some innocent people who get caught up in this kind of situation. The system see them as an offender and a threat and may have never even committed such an act as what they speak of.

 
At 8:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know exactly what u mean.
My husband is suffering now because of this and she's walking free seeing how many more she can trick into the same situation

 
At 8:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could someone please tell me the restrictions of being a sex offender??

 
At 12:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

so we don't live in a perfect world. everyone wants children to be kept safe. for those of us that feel we have made a mistake are being penalized for life. i have a felony conviction for attempting to rape. i am no child molester but i am labelled. the law says that after being released from prison and not having anymore felony convictions of a sexual nature. that a sex offender can be removed from the registry. but all sex offenders are branded "VIOLENT." whether there is bodily harm, death use of a weapon or not. sex offenders have the second lowest recidivism rate of any criminal. if you are not a potential threat to the public? having served your time and being victim free for atleast ten years should be enough. but the fact is that it is all about who is going to stick their neck out to say that. removing a sex offender is the law after he has complied with the laws and the statues under the law of the state. it is time to stop playng GOD and uphold the law and take out our personal thoughts feelings and emotions.

 
At 7:57 PM, Blogger Dorise Rutland said...

I believe its wrong to convict some ody on the basis that ur best friends sister got mad because he wouldn't have anytnhing to do with her.....now my 22 year old son is serving seven years for something hne never did..eventhe girl said he never touched her...she tells all her friends nothing happened.... the girl was fifteen at the time, my son was nineteen...but he never touched her....now she rides around on frourwheelers half naked and got no worries....I don't understand any of it..could someone please explain it to me.. there was no raape kit or DNA test done

 
At 6:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here n al if u geT caught urinating outside
you will be charged As a sex offender

 
At 12:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is all too familiar. I am dating someone who did not commit the crime he was convicted of, but his lawyer insisted he plead guilty to avoid jail. This same lawyer also did not file the correct paperwork, so he's now stuck on the registry for life, instead of 15 years like the rest of the people with his conviction.

 
At 11:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well here is the deal. They (the law, government, the state of Ms) saw a chance to make millions over an extended period of time. Every "sex offender" has to pay 11.00$ every three months for life no matter what. The law says 25 years then they may petition the state for removal. It does not say they will get it, and they won't because as long as they are on the registry they have to pay. Now if there is 10,000 offenders in MS required to register and having to pay 11.00$+(the price is going up every year) you do the math on how much the state makes. Also the state can keep tabs on the without a warrant and arrest them for any offense they are then caught doing which will and I mean will end in jail time. Then the state gets 54.00$ a day from the federal government to house these inmates. Their making a killing off of keeping people in jail which unless I'm wrong here is slavery. So yes it is a money making scam that is illegal as the day is long. A person sentenced to 5 years should not have to serve a life sentence. If the state wants a life sentence then they should have to sentence them to life and house them for life or else after the time is served and the debt paid they should be free and their rights restored. But we live in an unjust America where it is against the law for us to lie but not the government.

 
At 2:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who do you contact when a offender is in your area and you find out he is messing with two underage girls. He is 31 they are under 14.

 

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