Friday, February 22, 2013

ID - Committee OKs sex offender registry bill that doubles registration (extortion) fee

Original Article

02/22/2013

BOISE - A bill that doubles the fees charged to sex offenders and creates a statewide electronic offender registry has cleared a House committee.

The House Judiciary, Rules and Administration Committee voted Thursday to send the measure to the House floor. It would boost sex offenders' annual registry fee from $40 to $80 and raise about $150,000 annually.

Those dollars would be used to fund an electronic network designed to track sex offenders' addresses as they move to new communities across the state.

Some of Idaho's biggest counties are already plugged into an electronic registry that tracks offenders, but many smaller counties still track movement on paper.

Boise resident [name withheld], a registered sex offender, said the measure would create a financial burden for recently released or unemployed offenders.

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3 comments :

Karl Knutson said...

How is this NOT a punishment as a fine disguised as a fee? You can't opt out and say I won't drive, fish or hunt as with other fees.

Mark said...

The above article is difficult because I have aided several others in their fight to get rid of the registry fee. Problem: the courts have held that the registry is "CIVIL," therefore, any fee levied is not a fine, a tax, a surcharge, a burden etc. Look to see if the registry allows an offender to "waive" the annual fee if you are truly indigent. If there is no provision, you will have a very good claim in court to amend this to assist those who truly cannot make the fee without criminal penalties. It is fascinating that an offender must pay, or face criminal charges with a statute that will criminalize one who fails to, or refuses to register. This is a prime example of why the courts everywhere flatly refuse to hold that sex offender registries are PENAL because in that arena, you can win every time in court.

disqus_uoa6Nyfpoq said...

Mark,
Do you know of any examples of individuals challenging sex offender fees? Not necessarily winning, but I'd like to read both sides of the issue. Regardless of the civil/punitive issue, I find it difficult to comprehend that a judge would find it ok for the state to target a group of people and tell them to pay a fee because the government has made them into into a minority. It's like telling any criminal that they will have to pay an annual "documentation fee" to keep their criminal record on file and keep track of it.
Is there any other examples of any group of people having to pay for a service they don't want other that taxes and punitive fines?