Protect Your Rights
Available 24/7

We Are Open and Accepting Consultations by Telephone.

Free Consultation 201.340.9338
Protect Your Rights The Law Firm You Can Trust During Difficult Times

Lawmaker in New Jersey wants sex offenders identified on Facebook

What is your Facebook status? Most people have one these days. Perhaps your status informs your friends that you are on a Friday night dinner date and has a picture of your meal included. How would you feel if you were legally obligated to have your status read "registered sex offender?"

A New Jersey lawmaker is proposing that those convicted of sex crimes and forced to register as sex offenders also be forced make that status known to their Facebook and other social network communities. She argues that it is a logical step toward protecting the community from the registered sex offenders and the risk of them reoffending.

Registered sex offenders have limitations put on them even when they are living outside of correctional facilities, but they do have rights. Lawmakers are often tempted to place more and more limits on what registered sex offenders can and can't do. In doing so, they sometimes threaten the U.S. Constitution-given liberties of those people. A federal court in Indiana recently ruled that the state couldn't ban sex offenders' use of social networking, for example.

While requiring registered sex offenders to identify that status on their Facebook pages is not as sweeping as an all-out social media ban, it could be seen as a move in that direction. If someone is found to be in violation of the proposed legislation, they could be sentenced to 18 months in prison.

What do you think about this idea and the overall worry regarding registered sex offenders and social networking? Do lawmakers' ideas unreasonably threaten people's privacy and freedom of expression?

Source: Planet Princeton, "Assemblywoman Simon: Sex Offenders Should Have to Identify Status on Social Networking Sites," Jan. 23, 2013