Tuesday, May 21, 2013

TX - Sex offender list closer to stripping job details

Original Article


AUSTIN - An online registry of convicted sex offenders in Texas would no longer include employer information under a bill inching closer to Gov. Rick Perry's desk.

The House on Monday night gave tentative approval to what advocates say would mark a minor but extraordinary softening of the state's sex offender laws.

More than 72,000 convicted sex offenders are registered in Texas. Supporters of the bill say keeping employer details on the public database intimidates companies from hiring offenders, thereby impeding their rehabilitation into society.

Businesses group leaders were among those backing the measure. They told lawmakers their bottom line suffers when the public discovers who's on the payroll.

The bill needs to clear a final, procedural House vote before being sent to Perry.


Mark said...

A friend of mine was forced to register for an adult crime 30 years ago - he lost his business, and can not even get employment washing dishes. Way to go America.

CaptainHoneyBee said...

It is common knowledge that Gov. Rick Perry is the king of job creation. The fact that most jobs are created due to population growth and that most of them are of the very low pay, non-decent-life-supporting-benefits-free type not so much.

How about repealing this provision because it offers no public safety benefit and also is not part of the public record that a criminal conviction is, as proponents of the public registry are quick to point out. And that, as such, it flies directly in the face of the US Constitution.

Mark said...

Great thought CaptianHoneyBee. I see this state move as nothing but a plus. I hope this will go through.

Macintosh said...

Texas is not considering removing employer info from registry requirements because it's the right thing to do, they are doing it at the request of companies that wish to avoid liability and loss of productivity or sales. It's interesting that Texas feels that there are enough registered sex offenders who offer valuable job skills to even consider the matter. It would be far easier for a business to just fire someone on the registry and hire someone who isn't on it.

The majority (of Justices) in the 2001 Supreme Court decision which upheld the SO registries, held that making (forcing) sex offenders to provide current personal information beyond their sentence is a compelling interest of the state, and that makes it perfectly Constitutional. Some states have even gone so far as to require passwords for online accounts. Lower courts have over turned password requirements for registries, but that hasn't slowed any state down from piling on requirements, stiffer punishments for 'lack of compliance', and restrictions. It's the restrictions that will eventually put limits on the registry. Requiring employer info would probably be just fine if the Supreme Court had to decide.

Denise said...

I hope this happens so these guys can get jobs easier and become self sufficient. This has been yet another hurdle to jump.