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Sex Offender Rights Group Threatens Sheriff with Lawsuit

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COBB COUNTY, Ga. – Several Georgia counties are catching heat from the National Association for Rational Sexual Offense Laws (NARSOL) over the imposition of unlawful registration requirements.

NARSOL is an organization that opposes dehumanizing registries and works to eliminate discrimination against those accused or convicted of sexual offenses. Some of their goals include promoting laws targeting harmful acts instead of entire classes of people, advocating for review and removal of currently committed persons who do not meet the dangerousness criteria, and seeking out programs that effectively reintegrate and rehabilitate former offenders.

The organization first turned their attention to Georgia during the Halloween season when two of our counties decided to “overstep their legal authority” by placing signs at the homes of registered sex offenders warning trick-or-treaters to stay away. One county voluntarily removed the signs after NARSOL’s outreach, however, Butts County required assistance from a federal judge. Judge Marc Treadwell ruled that Sheriff Long and his employees couldn’t place the signs during the Halloween season. NARSOL has since reached out to both counties to discuss further communication and legal challenges going forward, neither of the sheriffs have responded.

In January of 2020, a Georgia county found itself under NARSOL’s radar yet again. Sheriff Neil Warren of Cobb County received a cease-and-desist letter on January 27 for imposing “invented requirements” that are not contained in the Georgia Sex Offender Notification and Registration Act (SORNA).

“Your deputies are imposing invented requirements not contained in the Georgia Sex Offender Notification and Registration Act (SORNA). We strenuously urge you to become familiar with the limitations of your office as it relates to SORNA and train your deputies and staff to act properly and constitutionally,” stated Brenda Jones, NARSOL’s Executive Director.

Jones added that states and communities need to be on notice and aware that they will be challenged whenever they start to threaten the constitutional rights of registered citizens.

Source: https://valdostatoday.com/news-2/region/2020/01/sex-offender-rights-group-threatens-sheriff-with-lawsuit/

Butts County Sex Offenders Sue Sheriff Over “No Trick-or-Treat” Signs in Yard

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Butts County Sex Offenders Sue Sheriff Over “No Trick-or-Treat” Signs in Yard

BUTTS COUNTY, Ga. – Sex offenders in Butts County are suing to stop the local Sheriff’s Office from discouraging trick-or-treaters with signs in their yards.

WSB-TV reports that the suit asks the court to order a stop to the practice that started last year.

The signs from last year read: “NO TRICK-OR-TREAT AT THIS ADDRESS!! A COMMUNITY SAFETY MESSAGE FROM BUTTS COUNTY SHERIFF GARY LONG.”

Some of the county’s 200 registered sex offenders were even told to display signs themselves or face “unspecified trouble.”

Despite the hearing that is set for Thursday, the sheriff took to his Facebook page to post the following:

“Regardless of the Judge’s ruling this Thursday, I WILL do everything within the letter of the Law to protect the children of this Community.”

The plaintiff’s attorneys, Mark Yurachek and Mark Begnaud, argue that forcing the men to leave the signs up in their yards was equivalent to “compelling speech,” which is against the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment.

The suit also seeks a trial and for a jury to award the plaintiffs compensation for the stress, fear and humiliation the signs caused last year.

Source: https://valdostatoday.com/news-2/region/2019/10/butts-county-sex-offenders-sue-sheriff-over-no-trick-or-treat-signs-in-yard/

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