The Law Office of Zachary Margulis-Ohnuma is open for business assisting criminal defendants in New York's state and federal courts. If you need a criminal defense lawyer, call us at 212 685-0999.

“The Pointless Banishment of Sex Offenders”

As a law firm advocating for people accused or convicted of sex offenses, we focus on how sex offender registration sweeps in too many people and labels them as far higher risks than they actually are. The biggest problem with landing on a sex offender registry is the stigma associated with being blacklisted on a state-sponsored website chock full of personal (and often erroneous) information. But there are many other attacks on sex offenders, including limitations on where they can work and live. These restrictions are pointless and counter-productive, leading to ghettos of concentrated sex offenders in some extreme cases and preventing rehabilitation and reintegration into society in almost every case. In a welcome and overdue editorial, the New York Times has come out in agreement, arguing that local residency restrictions are pointless and lauding courts that have struck them down. Most of these laws have been overruled on technicalities — not because they are fundamentally unfair (which they are) but because they infringe on the state’s legislative authority.  The entire system needs to be revamped so that it applies only to violent offenders who pose a true threat, not to the thousands of people convicted of minor crimes, then prevented from re-entering society and haunted for life by the consequences. But recognition by the likes to the Times that residency restrictions are a real problem is a great early step.

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