The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

2 September 2006

Exactly what makes this "civil"?

It's called a "civil registry," and Ohio is screwing around with the concept, armed with this law:

A recently enacted law allows county prosecutors, the state attorney general, or, as a last resort, alleged victims to ask judges to civilly declare someone to be a sex offender even when there has been no criminal verdict or successful lawsuit.

The rules spell out how the untried process would work. It would largely treat a person placed on the civil registry the same way a convicted sex offender is treated under Ohio's so-called Megan's Law.

And, of course, county prosecutors, the state attorney general, or alleged victims never, ever make mistakes, never accuse anyone falsely.

It's "Orwellian," says Lachlan:

Who can assure the citizens of Ohio that they won't be added to this registry erroneously? We all know the Court of Public Opinion is far stronger than the actual courts. And there is always the chance someone will decide to take matters into their own hands, even when there is nothing concrete to back it up.

Who could possibly come up with something that stupid? From the news story:

The concept was offered by Roman Catholic bishops as an alternative to opening a one-time window for the filing of civil lawsuits alleging child sexual abuse that occurred as long as 35 years ago.

To which Jeffrey Quick responds:

In other words, to protect the church's assets, the bishops threw the rest of Ohio to the dogs. That should be worth 7 aeons in Purgatory, at least.

This is a shameful piece of work, or some other four-letter word, and the fact that Ohio legislators actually bought this bill of goods suggests that housecleaning in Columbus is way overdue.

Posted at 5:42 PM to Political Science Fiction


Civil forfeiture was only the camel's nose. It's hard not to worry that civil execution may be at the end of this slope.

Posted by: McGehee at 8:02 PM on 2 September 2006

Can you say unconstitutional? Sure you can!

Too bad the court seems to have gone all laryngitis on us.

Posted by: Jay at 7:51 AM on 3 September 2006