Sunday, June 24, 2012

Registration is not Punishment for a Crime

When presented with ex post facto challenges to ex-felon registration laws, the Supreme Court agreed with sponsors that those laws were non-penal civil regulations that did not impose additional punishment for a criminal conviction. See, Smith v. Doe, 538 US 84 (2003). Once assured that offenders are not required to appear and register in person, the Court focused on the stigmatizing effect of publishing registrants' data on a public website, which it found acceptable because criminal records were already publicly available at the local court house.

Registration is Laborous

Labor is defined as work of any type, including mental exertion. Black's Law, 7th Edition.

Ex-felon registration laws impose a "duty" on the individual to supply law enforcement with public safety information on a regular basis, monitor that information, determine any material deviation and report any such change within a [48] hour margin of error, at their own expense, for a term of years or for life. See, e.g., NRS 179D.441. This duty of self reporting places the individual on call around a 48 hour clock, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, in perpetuity.

Registration is Valuable

Government could have assigned all data collection tasks to law enforcement or private enterprise but did not do so, the cost would have been enormous. Instead, government imposed a duty of self reporting on the targeted individual to supply the desired data for free. Registrants are employees as defined by 5 USC 8101(1)(B):

"an individual rendering personal service to the United States similar to the service of a civil officer or employee of the United States, without pay or for nominal pay, when a statute authorizes the acceptance or use of the service, or authorizes payment of travel or other expenses of the individual"

Private businesses scrape the supplied data from government websites and redistributed it for profit making purposes. E.g. Community members no longer must drive to the courthouse or fund private investigations. Law enforcement uses the data for crime prevention, detection and prosecution. Supplying data and the data itself therefore posses far reaching economic value.

Registration is Compensable

Article 14 of the Forced Labour Convention of 1930 entitles workers to cash remuneration for services they are compelled to perform:

"1. [ ] forced or compulsory labour of all kinds shall be remunerated in cash at rates not less than those prevailing for similar kinds of work either in the district in which the labour is employed or in the district from which the labour is recruited, whichever may be the higher."

See, also, United States v. Russell, 80 US 623, 630 (1871) (conscription of goods and services is compensable).

Subjecting another to forced labor or services by threat of harm or restraint is a Category B Felony under NRS 200.463.
We assert that wages for the services here should be commensurate with the cost of those services to government if provided by law enforcement or private enterprise. This assertion is consistent with 18 USC 1593(3) which adjusts compensation to victim's of forced labor at “[ ] the [ ] value to the defendant of the victim's services or labor [ ].” We estimate that value to exceed $250,000 per year, per individual, as the approximate cost to government of acquiring the subject data through the alternative means.

A law that does not offer fair value or consider personal expense is neither normal nor civil and exists nowhere else. Witnesses and jurors receive compensation, although not nearly enough. Registration is degradation that commences ostracism -- anti community. The idea felons have civil duties where they are without civil rights defies logic and reason. "Civil" registration is a LIE subverting the bill of rights by those sworn to protect it.

Registration disproportionately impacts those receiving lesser access to justice in the first instance.