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Missouri's sex-offender registry and teenage offenses, part 2

In the first part of this post, we began discussing a case that tends to call Missouri's sex-offender registry laws into question.

A young man was saddled with a 40-year probationary sentence and lifetime registration as a sex offender for something he did as a 14-year-old adolescent. After he committed suicide under the weight of this sentence, his mother published a moving account of her son's life in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

In this part of the post, we will discuss the sex-offender registration aspect of the story.

As the young man's mother pointed out in her Post-Dispatch piece, people who are on Missouri's sex-offender registry face severe restrictions on where they can legally be present.

Overall, people who are on the state's list cannot be anywhere where children might be. This is a sweepingly broad restriction that goes far beyond the usual playgrounds and parks that are restricted in other states.

In Missouri - at least as the young man's mother understood it - the sex-offender registration restrictions kept her son even from doing such basic things as going to a fast-food restaurant or a Cardinals' game. The restrictions, as she understood them, also included attending a wedding or funeral.

The young man's mother said that his presence on the sex-offender registry also interfered with his ability to obtain employment.

This was not only because his name was on the sex-offender registry. It was also because he worked in the construction industry and working on residential construction projects could bring him in proximity to children.

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "Mom tells of teen's life on the Mo. sex-offender registry," Pamela Dorsey, Jan. 29, 2014

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