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

I-90 blocked, overturned semi-truck...
MyNorthwest Staff

All lanes of westbound I-90 through Seattle blocked by overturned semi-truck

An overturned semi-truck is block all lanes of westbound I-90 at Corwin Place South, just west of Rainier Avenue in Seattle. 
9 hours ago
Truck crash on SB I-5. (KTTH listener submitted photo)...
MyNorthwest Staff

Semi-truck collision on SB I-5 in Lynnwood clear after blocking three lanes

On the I-5 southbound on-ramp at 44th Avenue, there was a truck collision Tuesday that had been blocking the two right lanes.
1 day ago
troyer...
MyNorthwest Staff

Investigation finds Pierce County Sheriff Troyer violated department standards

In an independent investigation, Pierce County Sheriff Ed Troyer has been found to have violated the department’s policies and standards.
1 day ago
Kim Wyman...
Nicole Jennings

Washington state GOP worried about state’s future as Kim Wyman leaves for Biden administration

As Secretary of State Kim Wyman announces she has taken a job with the Biden administration, the chair of the Republican Party is concerned.
1 day ago
stolen school bus...
MyNorthwest Staff

Man arrested in Seattle after stealing empty school bus, ramming vehicles

Seattle police arrested a man in the Central District on Tuesday after he stole an empty school bus and rammed it into other vehicles.
1 day ago
covid pill, vaccines, vaccination...
Kathryn Altena

Seattle to open new COVID vaccination clinic in West Seattle

The City of Seattle will be opening a COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Neighborhood House in the High Point neighborhood, in West Seattle.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Medicare open enrollment for 2022 starts Oct. 15 and SHIBA can help!

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.
...
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.
...
Comcast

Small, Minority-Owned Businesses in King County and Pierce County Can Now Apply For $10,000 Relief Grants Through Comcast RISE

Businesses in King County and Pierce County can apply beginning on October 1, 2021, at www.ComcastRISE.com for a chance to receive a $10,000 relief grant.
Seattle attorney wants changes to sex offender registry