Registered citizens targeted by vigilantes

Writing for Prison Legal News, Matthew Clarke reports on one of the under-reported dark sides of sex offender registration and notification laws — that vigilantes use information posted on registries to attack, and even murder,

registrants and their families.

Clarke highlights a few notable cases.

In July 2015, Nebraska registered sex offender Phillip McDaniel lost his appeal seeking workers compensation for an attack that had occurred two years earlier at the Western Sugar Cooperative, when a co-worker assaulted him with a brass hammer while calling him a “chimo” – slang for “child molester.”

The co-worker, Jason Bates, had become enraged after discovering that McDaniel was a registered sex offender. McDaniel suffered injuries to his nose, clavicle and left shoulder. He applied for workers compensation but was denied; after he appealed, the Nebraska Court of Appeals upheld the denial, finding that the attack was due to personal reasons even if the only relationship between the two was as co-workers. See: McDaniel v. Western Sugar Coop., 23 Neb. App. 35, 867 N.W.2d 302 (Neb. Ct. App. 2015).

That and other examples Clarke says are a small part of a much larger problem that gets scant public attention.

It is doubtful that any lawmakers would publicly support the assaults and murders of registered sex offenders, yet few have objected to those negative consequences of registries, nor do they typically try to curtail registration requirements or include protections for sex offenders whose publicly-posted information puts them at risk of vigilante attacks.  

Read the full report at Prison Legal News

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