NC’s new sex offender law is unjust and unconstitutional

By Mark Joseph Stern . . . A new sex offender law took effect in North Carolina on Thursday, restricting offenders’ freedom of movement and association by barring them from libraries, recreational parks, pools, and fairs. The law is designed to replace a previous measure that a federal court ruled unconstitutional in April. It will do nothing to stop sex crimes while continuing to isolate, penalize, and ostracize fully rehabilitated offenders who are attempting to rejoin society.

North Carolina’s previous sex offender law was a constitutional monstrosity that essentially gave prosecutors—as well as law enforcement and probation officers—the power to punish offenders who dared to leave their house. Under the statute, offenders could not be present in any place used by children. Its hazy, sweeping regulations were interpreted to forbid former offenders from attending G-rated movies, eating at fast food restaurants with attached play areas, walking in or near recreational facilities, and going to church. Former offenders were also barred from visiting hospitals, museums, malls, shopping centers, and community colleges, because children might be present. (Bizarrely, the law applied to offenders whose crimes did not involve minors.)

A federal judge struck down most of the previous law, holding that it was unconstitutionally vague and overbroad in violation of the First Amendment. So North Carolina simply re-enacted it it with several tweaks. The new version explicitly lists the kind of places where sex offenders may not go and limits its application to offenders whose crimes involved minors. While the old law barred offenders from “any place where minors gather for regularly scheduled educational, recreational or social programs,” the new one bars them from places where minors “frequently congregate”—including libraries, amusements parks, recreational facilities, and swimming pools. Moreover, the most stringent new provisions apply only to offenders whose crimes involved minors, and only bar offenders from no-go zones when minors are actually present.

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29 Thoughts to “NC’s new sex offender law is unjust and unconstitutional”

  1. AvatarMichael A. Lewis Sr.

    Does anyone else have a problem with “Including but not limited to” of this law? what exactly does it mean? Seems like a loophole to be abused by law enforcement to me.

    1. AvatarEmil S

      It means the State has the upper hand and the State can take away all your constitutional rights and do not have to be concerned about any issue later.

  2. AvatarAnonymous

    The new law is not any clearer – that list of places where sex offenders can’t be says ‘including, but not limited to’. For the most part I can’t tell that the law is much stricter; the problem is that it is more confusing – how is one supposed to know when minors won’t be present at, say, a library?

    This law is foolish, protects no one, and puts thousands of offenders at risk of rearrest if county law enforcement officers decide to get a bug up their ass about enforcement (right now, they’re probably being every bit as lenient as they have been to this point, generally you’re only going to get in trouble if you’re on legitimate business in violation of the 300-foot rule if someone complains about you.)

    This country desperately needs wholesale common-sense sex offender law reform.

  3. AvatarMichael A. Lewis Sr.

    frequently congregate, including, but not limited to, libraries, arcades, amusement parks, recreation parks, and swimming pools, when minors are present

    1. AvatarFTW

      I think someone will have to be arrested for this violation that otherwise is in good standing as far as no other violations, a decent job, a domicile, and even a family. Then notify the media of court date and let the public see the farce they have created. Maybe then…..

  4. AvatarDuane A. Webb


    You can’t deny a U.S. Citizen access to a resource (public park, recreation center) that they fund via taxation.

    1. AvatarMichael A. Lewis Sr.

      They have been doing it since 2008 in N.C., and will continue doing it until SCOTUS puts a stop to all this unconstitutional crap.

    2. AvatarConcur

      Agree with both points here on not being able to deny access to a tax funded entity, e.g. park, rec center, library, etc, and the continued denial until another court effort is mounted and won on striking these down.

      I see another possible legal avenue here of they cannot ban you under this guise or premise from a shopping center or other entity where food, clothes, etc are sold just because kids may be present (or congregate). While commerce can be regulated, I don’t believe they can regulate your commerce as an adult, unless the entity bans you from their premises for breaking their rules, but that cannot include being labeled a RC or being on the registry….that would be considered harassment at least.

      You have the right to eat and clothe yourself as needed. In today’s age, you can order clothes from the internet and even have food delivered (fast or grocery), but just because you have those available, that does not mean you have to use them and pay for those services. The government cannot tell you where and how to clothe and feed yourself.

  5. AvatarG from AlaOppressionBama

    There are several evil angles of attack on freedom and humanity here. None of this is about protecting children. It is all about seeing how far they can push the envelope of population control under the guise of ‘saving’ the children. Oh, those innocent darling children.

    We (all of us, not just RCs) are not equally human in their eyes, but more like rats in a maze or cattle (goy) inside a fenced land which they look down upon as needing to be ‘managed.’
    Who is this ‘they?’ Any official that regards him or herself as ‘better’ than one who is ‘under’ their worldly ‘authority.’ A related subject would be the nefarious ends of an underlying government infiltrated conspiracy to dehumanize and control an entire population. They’re just starting with the easy target of SOs. All the other goy have to do is wait and do nothing, this oppression will encompass them eventually.

    That means a whole lot of people have been simply conscripted by mass brainwashing, and are ‘in on it.’ Whether they are aware of the conspiracy or not, it is human nature to sometimes slip into a ‘holier than thou’ mindset, some people just constantly stay there. Ye, they even find a career that allows them to relish and wallow in that unholy, despicable and hell-bound sentiment. They can make a comfortable life for themselves in this theologically bankrupt and emotionally underdeveloped society we live in. Great career fit for a PO.

    This ‘coddling of the children’ approach does nothing but perpetuate our overarching societal problem of emotionally stunted persons growing in biological age to adult status, yet remaining childishly stupid and cowardly (easily manipulated) in their thinking. These officials are the genuine abusers. They abuse the entire population by treating them all like cattle that shall never attain human status or self actualization.

    Problem we have is that hell isn’t coming soon enough for these types. We are living in the same world right here, right now. The world just doesn’t seem big enough. How do we get away from these evil ones? How do we get them away from us? They call us evil or subhuman, when the fact and truth is the opposite.

    SOs are more or less being gang stalked by the entire brainwashed population. And this despite the majority of those convicted having done no real or lasting harm to anyone. More often than not it is just complainants in court relishing in victimhood status at the expense of truth.

    We are David against a many headed Goliath.

  6. AvatarJewelbeach

    We have to do something. Where in this society can they go??? I say pressure the government to stop all this scare tactics because ANYONE is prone to hurt a child. All prisoners should be “registered” upon their release or none. THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD GIVE LAND SO WE CAN BUILT AND HAVE A LIVING SPACE AS ANYONE IN THIS UNIVERSE. We can do this as the Native Americans did to reclaim what is theirs and how the Gay movement have won many milestones. The War Criminals have more rights and protection. The government is also corrupt. Maybe a real class action lawsuit will open eyes. These offenders have families willing to help them when they come home. I would love to talk personally with the new president elect.

  7. I know how all here stigmatizes all on here, myself included, so it seems everybody on here is trying to rationalize all this out. Well there you have it in black and white. Thomas Jefferson and the forth fathers wanted to keep biblical law and at the same time give stability to the nation.
    Believe it or not God is still in control but there is love also and the way the nation is with corrupt crime abortion clinic, this gay rights things, etc. it all seems imbalanced in a way to the human factor in this equation.
    Look at the pledge of allegiance, the prayer in school and I’m sure some of you can still remember in grade school in the let fifties and early 60″s when they took prayer out of schools. Look how the country is today.
    Two wrongs don’t make a right so when you take God out of the country you might as well take man out also or persecute him for the rest of his life.
    Now in this whole scenario it is a learning lesson for all. Do a bit more studying people and you will find the answer. Start with the book of Job.
    Oh and one of the things that a sister site of RSOL told me when we talked a year or so was to get churches involved in this.

  8. Avatarantiestablishmentarianism

    So NC registrants are now limited to bars, night clubs, and porn video stores, huh? Sounds like a recipe for disaster to me.

    1. antiestablishmentarianism believe it or not you make a point with me. Sure I was a weekend warrior in my growing up years. Got busted for pot, my shares of DUI’s. Wasn’t much into porn as that got old and so did my drinking.
      How are you going to win friends and influence people with a rap sheet of porn? We all have some evil in our past lets leave it there.
      Yes, these laws are unjust, so would building a bond fire in the village square today to burn a witch or whatever. Maybe a sex offender.
      All these comments on here are to get people to think. We have a variety of different people in the US.
      The constitution want to keep Gods law (the Ten Commandments) but also not upset the people of the nation, thus it is written that way.
      For instance lets say Porno was your religion . We will use that as an example or night club and partying?
      They would have to make no respect for that religion, but at the same time would have to respect the people, But here’s were it gets tricky and also the overshadowing of the wording.
      Man and his infinite wisdom has always wanted to be in control over man. Hey I even hated Slavery yet man had to be in control.
      Sure I respect the law but when the law goes against their law one has to look for another authority.
      We where in war back than when most or some of the laws of the land where formed yet there in one greater law that overshadows all.
      Now Brenda I commend you for sharing this topic. So its up to those that have the capacity, the will, and the get go to say. Enough is Enough.
      Caring about others is great but fictitiously lying for some kind of self – pride to overshadow someone is wrong.

  9. AvatarEmil S

    Registrants in other states ought to be concerned about this new move by North Carolina. Usually these sex offender laws seem to be implemented in other states as they do not face any criticism from the public and law makers/politicians are ever more eager for votes.

  10. AvatarJ. Dunn

    Looks to me that RSOL is just another organization looking to get rich off the backs of the Registries.

    1. Avatarrwvnral

      RSOL is managed by an all-volunteer board of directors and there are no paid staff members. Were it not for the devotion and self-sacrifice of a whole host of people, we would have to close the doors tomorrow. We withstand a never-ending stream of ridicule and complaint for simply doing the very best we can do given the resources we have to work with. Thankfully, MOST people appreciate what we are doing and value the amount of time and energy required. Nevertheless, there is a definite need for money to accomplish more. And there is not a single advocacy organization in the United States that would make any kind of difference in the lives of others were it not for the many thousands of dollars that flow from the wallets of concerned citizens. At RSOL, we expect registrants who are capable of helping to do so. And we will continue inviting them to become members and to make contributions–to the extent that they are capable. This is highly unlikely to make anyone “rich”–certainly not RSOL. -Admin

    2. Avatarrick

      Here’s the dilemma for all advocacy groups. If the courts are against you as they are against all so’s then the reality is people will become frustrated. While I must admit that I am no fan of any person or group that harms people, it is clear that SORA’s are illegal for numerous reasons that any reasonable person would understand.

      First the sheer complexity of all of the laws means it is beyond the scope of any person to be aware of them, to comply with them, or afford to. No person should be required to be a lawyer to avoid imprisonment.

      Second, since when does a so called citizen of the united states have to permit the government to control their image and basically need permission to live here, since to use any of your alleged rights as a citizen you must tell local, state, and federal authorities of their use or be imprisoned.

      Now if an organization cannot get judges to overturn unconstitutional and unlawful contracts like sora,’s then frustration is all that remains for some folks.

      I have personally filed numerous lawsuits against these sora,’s and the only result has been dismissals with prejudice or other technical reasons for dismissal. Even when I have provided clear and convincing evidence that every aspect of a sora demonstrates a continuum of punishment, enslavement, and the total loss of citizenship.

      I am beyond frustration, because the law means nothing when a society wants to take out its anger on a group of persons. Just ask the Indians, Jews, Africans, Mexicans, Asians, gays, mentally I’ll how this so called great christian nation treated them and continues to treat them.

      This nation has one of the most criminal histories of any modern or ancient society, perhaps its true, “what goes around, comes around, because essentially this nation exists on alcohol, prescription drugs, drugs, and corruption and criminality. A sad truth, but nonetheless, the truth.

      As for these SORA’s well when the crap hits the fan don’t ask for any mercy, cause this society doesn’t deserve any. Its historical memory will demonstrate to the world its true legacy, a lawless nation born of criminality and dying of criminality.

      The truth is the hardest thing to açcept and that’s why this nation is falling apart because it has everything but seems to have nothing, because it can’t face it’s truth.

      To me we live in a fake, corrupt nation, where half of the population is unable to even understand basic concepts of law, and yet they can vote for candidates who are basically Hitler fanatics.

      What a country I served in the armed forces for and took an oath to support the constitution even when judges and politicians don’t. That’s the real reality facing this nation, it’s sick from the top to the bottom. It needs mental help. Just saying!

    3. AvatarG from AlaOppressionBama


      I’d be glad to meet you someday. I like and share most of your perspective. You have thrown away the rose colored glasses and seem mostly red-pilled …. Except, I believe we need real leaders (not politicians). Are you attending the Atlanta conference?

    4. AvatarJewelbeach

      I truly appreciate and applaud all your organization is doing for all So’s. You will always have critics in any phase of work. But please keep up this compassionate work and advocacy!!! There is still hope. YOU ARE GOING ON AND BEYOND FOR SEX OFFENDER RIGHTS. Society’s view is continued punishment and restrictions for SO’s. Thank you all and God bless.

    5. Avatarrwvnral

      Thank you for your kind comments.

    6. AvatarMichael A. Lewis Sr.

      What makes you think RSOL is for making a profit off of us? I only see that they are trying to help us.

  11. Avatarrick

    I never thought I could be taught to hate this country, but was I wrong, cause its getting easier by the day.

  12. Avatarmfjbat

    It is vitally important that social avenues are available for someone wishing to re-integrate themselves back into society, except for convicted sex-offenders: I understand the importance of being pro-social when an individual is attempting to re-integrate themselves back into the community and find alternate ways of having satisfying life experiences rather than the ones that led to offending. That being said there are some activities that I might be interested in now than I was not before my offense. Unfortunately most pro-social activities that I could possibly pursue if I was not on the sex-offender registry are off limits to me. Churches, libraries, parks and recreation, community centers, public swimming pools, state-fairs, YMCA, bowling alleys, etc, are off limits to me. In fact, with the new statue taking effect 1 Sept 2016 I’m not entirely sure if there is any social place I can legally go without being in violation. Shopping malls, wal-mart, fast-food eating establishments, restaurants, movie-houses, any place where children might congregate. This is not a cop-out. These are hard facts. All of these places are now dangerous, not because I pose a one to a woman or a child, but because I could be arrested and charged with a crime just for being there. Someone may recognize me, make a quick phone call and off I go!!!! Making new friends using these outlets make that virtually impossible. It kind of puts the brakes on being social at all. The government has mandated that people have a right to know if I, as a registered sex-offender, live in their neighborhood. I feel obligated to inform someone, at a certain point, that I am a registered sex offender if I am to sustain a relationship with a new friend, rather than continually ducking as to why I can’t go anywhere. I can’t afford to make new friends with children without informing them immediately about my status. Now given my extreme limitations, or rights, to go to many places enjoyed by law-abiding citizens I still have my activities that may lead to making new friends some time in the future. I may not fully realize this until I’m off of the registry. I pray to God that a new law doesn’t come along that will keep me from doing just that.

  13. Avatarrick

    So much for American citizenship! Told yuhs, you are not citizens , you are slaves whose rights are provided only if you comply. If that’s not clear to you by now, your fooling yourselves.

  14. AvatarRyan

    What this looks like to me……. It seems that they are trying to be harsher on So’s so that there is a good possibility of re arrest to help with whatever statistic they need to say that so’s are a danger. I maybe be looking way too far into this but it just dawned on me.

  15. Guys you all have cut me down a little bit on here and sometimes we have too roll with the punches and there is nothing wrong with a little biblical insight. The constitution is not perfect.
    Are we to serve Man? There was an old Twilight Zone episode feature that I watched when I was growing up. Sure we’ve all had our ups and downs but if I had to say anything about this particular sex offender law it is a more dehumanizing type of justice for those involved. Look at internet entrapment or tricky methods they use? Being caught with your pants down is one thing but being caught in some third party thing is another.

  16. AvatarAnonymous

    This law needs to be repealed fast, there’s no sense in making them into hermits! If the state wants to be tougher on sex offenses give more jail/prison time. It’s retarded that the punishment for drug possession is years vs a sex offense typically being around a few months on average. It’s all ridiculous.

  17. Avataranonymous

    The good thing is that most of these provisions will be struck. As well, this is an election year and it is customary for media to do these things during sweeps (Ratings) and of course, elections. These new provisos, are more political than anything else. Larry R.

  18. AvatarConcernedcitizen

    It prevents reintegrated offenders from living there life and possibly raising their child(ren) fairly being able to take them to places such as movies, libraries, Disney, parks, public pools, fairs, etc. someone has to do something about this in nc asap. I know everyone’s situation is different and this is a bit ridiculous and will cause future issues.

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