Sex offender registration raising debate on how much is too much

Last week we talked about the damage that comes with someone being forced to register as a sex offender while still a child. There are numerous issues that arise when someone finds out about a former offender’s status, both for children and adults, making it very important that only the most dangerous people be added to the Minnesota Sex Offender Registry. Unfortunately, there are a variety of people who are added each year, many of whom pose no threat to the communities in which they live.

Fortunately for Minnesotans, however, there are no extreme sex offender registration laws in the state. There are a few locations across the country that are really sparking the debate on how much notification is too much.

Take, for example, several counties’ policies to place permanent signs in former sex offenders’ yards. Even though their information is readily available online, the county governments believes that by having permanent signs no one would be able to miss that someone is a former sex offender. This has, however, raised some doubts about the appropriateness of the signs.

There are some people, including parents of young children, who believe that these signs are an invasion of privacy. While true that these people have been convicted of sexual offenses, not all sexual offenses are of the same degree. Unless a sign clearly states what a person was convicted of, however, it is far more likely that anyone with a sign in his or her yard will be considered a highly dangerous individual.

Source: Associated Press, “Florida home signs warn of presence of sexual predators,” May 7, 2013

Max Keller has won countless jury trial cases involving misdemeanors and felonies, sex crimes, and DWI’s. He is a member of the Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice, which only allows the top 50 criminal defense attorneys in the state as members. Max is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.

Years of Experience: Approx. 20 years
Minnesota Registration Status: Active
Bar & Court Admissions: State of Minnesota Minnesota State Court Minnesota Federal Court 8th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals State of Maryland

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