Wednesday, March 20, 2013

TX - Bills promote digital scarlet letters for drunks, sex offenders

And since Facebook has it in their Terms Of Service that ex-sex offenders cannot use their site, this would basically brand them for Facebook to see and kick them off.

Ostracism inhibits the reintegration of offenders into law abiding society, which to my mind argues against a pair of ill-conceived bills proposed by Democrats which are on the Texas House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee agenda today.

A bill by Rep. Trey Martinez-Fischer, HB 23 (PDF), would require sex offenders on social networking sites to "ensure" the following information is viewable by everyone who comes to their page: An "indication" that the person is sex offender, the type of offense that required their registration and the city of their conviction, "the person's full name, date of birth, sex, race, height, weight, eye color, and hair color," and their home address. The definition of a social networking site is broad (see Art. 62.0061(f) of the Code of Criminal Procedure). It wouldn't just apply to sites like Facebook or LinkedIn, but also to blogs and any other site through which one can post information and receive communication from the public. The law already requires registrants to report online pseudonyms; this bill would effectively prohibit them.

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