Sunday, June 29, 2008

IN Adds Other Crimes To Online Registry Violent offenders added to online registry.

Indiana began posting the names, photos and addresses of violent offenders -- those convicted of murder and voluntary manslaughter -- online in a database that already contained the names of convicted sex offenders.

But many of the offenders, most of whom already have served their court-prescribed sentences, believe the law is comparable to double jeopardy because it punishes them beyond their time in prison.

But Elias Velasquez, of East Chicago, said he feels he is being convicted again.

More than 20 years ago, the 44-year-old man was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the 1987 shooting death of a man in a bar. He served five years in prison and was released in 1993 with good-time credit.

Velasquez said he has stayed on the right side of the law for 15 years -- volunteering his time with youth and helping north Lake County residents secure jobs with the construction company where he works.

But the 2007 amendment to state law now requires Velasquez and other violent offenders to register their home and work addresses with the Sex and Violent Offenders Registry.

"It feels like harassment," he said. "It's kinda like double jeopardy. ... I'm trying to live my life. I'm not bothering anybody."

Welcome to the club, boys. When it's just sex offenders, everyone is okay with it. but when it starts including other offenses, now society cries foul. We all must stop these laws NOW before every offender (past and present) is posted online for the world to see. Join our fight !