Seattle attorney wants changes to sex offender registry

Jun 7, 2012, 6:44 AM | Updated: 11:05 am

A Seattle attorney is asking for a review of Washington’s sex offender registration and notification system following the murders of two sex offenders this week in Clallam County.

At least one of the two men killed was a husband and a father. The crime that put him into the state sex offender registry happened ten years ago. He was categorized a level II offender, one being lowest risk, three being the highest.

Seattle attorney Brad Meryhew devotes his entire practice to defending accused and convicted sex offenders. He says it’s time to consider changes to Washington’s sex offender laws and the registry, which was the first of its kind in the nation back in 1990.

“At the time we created sex offender registries, there was a feeling that sex offenders were highly likely to re-offend, difficult to treat and that we needed to watch them for the rest of their lives,” said Meryhew. “The research since then has shown us that, in fact, they are very amenable to treatment, they are not nearly as likely to re-offend as we thought, in fact they are among the lowest risk of re-offense of any felony offense.”

Meryhew wants state policymakers to consider what he calls the collateral consequences of sex offender registration.

“Those are things like inability to find work, inability to find housing,” said Mayhew. “I think we need to ask ourselves, are we achieving any public safety through this and at what cost?”

The attorney concedes there are dangerous offenders out there. He supports sex offender registration for them.

“We’ve got 20,000 people on the sex offender registration roles and thousands of them committed these offenses many, many years ago when they were kids, and yet because they can’t get off of registration, they don’t have the resources to go in and fight the prosecutors in court. They stay on the roles and they live these dysfunctional lives,” said Meryhew.

The sex registry system lumps sex offenders together, despite the different alert levels, according to Meryhew.

“Some of them deserve to be in the system and it deserves to be a problem for them but what we always say is, are we hunting for sharks and killing dolphins?”

Meryhew will participate in a panel discussion on the sex offender registration and notification system before the House Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Committee later this month.

“I think to the extent that we reexamine the whole system and ask ourselves, are we vilifying people who really in fact pose little or no risk to our communities. Those are good questions to ask,” he said.

Local News

Kshama Sawant recall...
Hanna Scott

Strong turnout for Sawant recall vote ahead of Tuesday deadline for District 3 ballots

As of Sunday night, 36-percent of voters in Seattle’s District 3 had turned in their ballots in the recall election of City Councilmember Kshama Sawant.
9 hours ago
Washington vaccine mask mandates, wa verify...
Stephanie Klein

Vaccine verification to expand to small restaurants, bars in King County

Proof of vaccination will be required at small restaurants and bars in King County on Monday.
1 day ago
snow...
MyNorthwest Staff

‘Mixed bag’ for snow across Western Washington on Monday

Light snow has been falling in parts of Western Washington on Monday morning, although sightings have varied.
2 days ago
Omicron...
Stephanie Klein

3 cases of Omicron found in Washington state

The Department of Health has confirmed there are three cases of Omicron in Washington state. 
2 days ago
Marysville...
Stephanie Klein

I-5 in Marysville reopens after police activity

Traffic was backed up for miles on northbound I-5 through Marysville for police activity Saturday morning.
2 days ago
Kshama Sawant recall, threatening emails...
Hanna Scott

Elections office fielding complaints from both sides over Sawant recall ballot

Voters in District 3 decide one of the biggest political decisions Seattle has faced in recent history when they choose whether to recall City Councilmember Kshama Sawant on Tuesday.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
...

Delayed-Onset PTSD: Signs and Symptoms

Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers SPONSORED — You’re probably familiar with post-traumatic stress disorder. Often abbreviated as PTSD, this condition is diagnosed when a person experiences a set of symptoms for at least a month after a traumatic event. However, for some people, these issues take longer to develop. This results in a diagnosis of delayed-onset PTSD […]
...

Medicare open enrollment ends Dec. 7. Free unbiased help is here!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]
...

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
...
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
...
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
Seattle attorney wants changes to sex offender registry