Nebraska law restricting, monitoring and publicly targeting former sex offenders is premised on one sentence in state law that says sex offenders are high risks to reoffend.
So what would — or should — happen if it is proven that the sentence is not true? What if it is proven that former sex offenders are no more likely, or less likely, to reoffend than anyone else?
Know what? That sentence, enshrined in Nebraska law, IS UNTRUE. And it is not just a bunch of former offenders saying that. All of the research proves it.
In 2009, the Legislature passed the state’s version of the Adam Walsh Act (AWA), which tossed out risk assessment and substituted the AWA’s conviction-based system, throwing every former sex offender in the state onto the public website.
So what would — or should — happen if it is proven that people who are on Nebraska’s website for life (seemingly the worst of the worst) actually ARE THE LEAST LIKELY TO REOFFEND?
Know what? Research shows that AWA and Nebraska do have it wrong — the “lifers” are least likely to reoffend.
It is obvious Nebraska sex offender law does more harm than good and the case is strong for returning to the pre-2010 system at a minimum.
When we found out that cutting people open and letting them bleed actually was fairly harmful medical practice, we changed the practice. Maybe more to the point, when we found out that a propensity for criminality could not be predicted based on the bony bumps on a person’s head, most of us stopped trusting phrenology.
- All of the research shows that Nebraska’s version of AWA, LB 285 of 2009, does not protect the public.
- The state’s mounting losses in the courts over the law in question already have cost Nebraska taxpayers at least half a million dollars.
- Even the Omaha World-Herald recognizes the need to change Nebraska’s dark-ages law on former sex offenders.