John Samore
Blog: Lawyer’s Insight on Legal Matters: - Sex Crimes - "Lawyer's Insight' is a periodic blog by Mr. Samore on current legal issues that informs readers how current, legal events influence Americans' lives.  If you would like to ask Mr. Samore to address a particular concern which you may have, simply send an email to the address at left with subject "Questions for Lawyer's Insight." Click on the links below to quickly reach a particular topic, or just scroll down to read what is of interest.  Other sources of information from Mr. Samore are on the Common Questions and About Us pages of this website.
If you don’t see a link to a topic of interest, check the other Lawyer’s Insight pages.  You can also see the Sex Crimes / Sex offenses page.

Sex Crimes

Do sex offender registration laws really protect us? We hear a lot about prosecutions for child pornography; why does your office defend these kind of cases? There is also a case result “UNITED STATES V. Mr. F.  [Sex Offense] [Not Guilty on Appeal]” on my ABOUT page that you may want to read. 

Do sex offender registration laws really protect us?

July 26, 2013 As more and more people are being put on state and national sex offender registries, we are discovering the original intent to protect communities also have, in practice, many problems.  There are no easy answers.  Most of us would agree that some requirement that people convicted of serious sex crimes should have to register so that law authorities would know where they can readily be located can be helpful. Most of us would also agree that, if possible, we would like these convicted people to serve their punishment, fulfill their responsibility to pay their debt to society, get necessary counseling, and have a chance at becoming a productive member of society.   How can we expect them to accomplish this transformation unless they can get a good job and have an opportunity to participate in some community? These problems, as we are learning, arise from trying to administer these laws fairly.  First of all, some states publish of where these folks live, so they wind up being harassed by mean- spirited people, even beaten, or even killed.  Their families, no matter how much they want to help restore their loved one, can also be mistreated and ostracized.  If the offender cannot find work, they get discouraged, isolated, and cannot benefit from counseling as they might if they could see light at the end of this tunnel. Another real problem is how very differently our states define the type of crime that requires a person to have to register.   The people are not just folks who have done horrible things to children.  Many of the crimes for which one must register include Internet behaviors that never result in physical contact.  For example, a high school senior could be curious, get on the internet, and look under some websites that may have child pornography.  Once he has done so, even if he is only on the website for a few minutes, he has committed a serious felony that can readily be traced. Other folks get convicted for "Romeo-Juliet" relationships where (usually) the male is 18 or older and (usually) the female is under age.  The difference between their ages varies from state-to-state, but, whatever the charge, if a person is convicted in one state and required to register, that person must almost always register in any state thereafter in which they might live.  If another young man is "sexting" with a person who is under legal age, he can be found guilty of a crime for just that.  What strict interpretation of these alleged age differences can be unduly harsh when the parties could be "role-playing" as part of a little flirting game.    In some states, it is considered a "sex crime" to simply "annoy" a child, which would require New Mexico to enforce registration requirements that can last from five years to a lifetime.  Oftentimes, the time period for compelling registration is set without the judge having the benefit of any "risk assessment' by a qualified psychologist. It is quite a challenge to strike a proper balance to protect us from the few serious offenders who might re-offend and not persecute many others, which may prevent them healing themselves as their victims also heal.  Definitions of what actually constitutes  a "crime" can always be difficult.  define too narrowly, and genuinely bad people cannot be prosecuted; too broadly, and decent people's lives can be ruined. See our sex offense crimes page.

We hear a lot about prosecutions for child pornography; why does your office defend these kind of cases?

July 5, 2016, updated May 20, 2017 When we attorneys are occasionally asked such a question, our first response is to consider who is asking and why.  Usually the questioner is referring to why lawyers represent someone accused of, for example, hurting a child or possessing child pornography.  The obvious (and accurate) answer is to pose to the questioner a better question:  would you like to live in a society where people accused of especially "bad" crimes are not permitted to have an attorney?  Who gets to decide what crime is so bad that the accused person is not even entitled to legal representation?  You?  Me?  Someone else? Even when the evidence is especially strong of a person's guilt, we must also consider whether the penalty prescribed by law is fair.  The punishment for most crimes in this country today is already more severe than it was here thirty or eighty years ago and far more severe than it is today in other civilized Western democracies, of which we like to consider ourselves the cultural leader. Here is an example we would like you to consider.  Many outstanding citizens in this country have no criminal records, good jobs, and good families, but for some peculiar reason, develop an interest in child pornography.  No one will claim child porn is a good thing, but it is all- too-easy for a merely curious person to access it on line.  Almost 100% of people who view child porn never physically abuse any children, but the penalties for merely possessing child porn would lock them away in prison for many decades.  Does someone who possesses child pornography deserve to spend fifty (or even fifteen) years in prison or should they spend a short time in prison and given an opportunity for treatment of their illness?  Which option salvages the person and the family?  Which option costs our society less? Oftentimes, the best ally in fairly resolving these difficult decisions can be a reasonable prosecutor.  Too many prosecutors become full of themselves and the astounding power they have to push and push and push until the break a person or a crime or a race of people.  They are never satisfied at solving a crime they zealously push for maximum punishment and humiliation.  Fortunately, some others see the broader picture and take a more balanced approach, doing what they can to be fair and compassionate.  They realize that showing compassion or an element of mercy to the culprit does not mean ignoring the actual victim.  There is honor in respecting both the accused and the convicted person, as well as an alleged victim. I confess that I consider asking the above topic question myself to certain lawyers.  When I say "How can you represent these people?" I am not talking about easy targets such as the poor, the pitiable, and the mentally disturbed who may occasionally commit crimes.  I am referring to attorneys who represent the large corporations in fields such as pharmaceuticals (drug companies) and oil and gas and weapons manufacturers and insurance companies who, as a matter of their daily course of business, mislead and deceive and cheat the powerless. You and I are the powerless.  By devotion to profit at any cost, these selfish corporations destroy and maim and kill far more lives than all the convicts in this country.  Only rarely do these vicious corporations get caught, but they will always have a line of brilliant lawyers who eagerly collect a big paycheck to do all they can to hide the truth to protect the corrupt rich.  They can always afford more justice than the 99% of us.  How can those lawyers represent those corporations? It is a big reason courageous defense attorneys devote their careers to the working men and women, in some way to help balance the scales of justice. See our sex offense - sex crimes page.
Samore Law • 505-244-0450 Practicing in Albuquerque and across the State of New Mexico Mailing address:  PO Box 1993, Albuquerque, NM 87103  Street address: 300 Central Ave SW, Suite 2500W, Albuquerque
Copyright 2009-2017, John F. M. Samore Disclaimer  •  Privacy Policy Information on this website is not legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. You should always consult an attorney for individual advice pertaining to your current or past situation.
John Samore
Blog: Lawyer’s Insight on Legal Matters: - Sex Crimes - "Lawyer's Insight' is a periodic blog by Mr. Samore on current legal issues that informs readers how current, legal events influence Americans' lives.  If you would like to ask Mr. Samore to address a particular concern which you may have, simply send an email to the address at left with subject "Questions for Lawyer's Insight." Click on the links below to quickly reach a particular topic, or just scroll down to read what is of interest.  Other sources of information from Mr. Samore are on the Common Questions  and About Us pages of this website.
Samore Law 505-244-0450 Practicing in Albuquerque and across the state of New Mexico Mailing address:  PO Box 1993, Albuquerque, NM 87103  Street address: 300 Central Ave SW, Suite 2500W, Albuquerque
Copyright 2009-2017, John F. M. Samore Disclaimer  •  Privacy Policy Information on this website is not legal advice and does not create an attorney- client relationship. You should always consult an attorney for individual advice pertaining to your current or past situation.
If you don’t see a link to a topic of interest, check the other Lawyer’s Insight pages.  You can also see the Sex Crimes / Sex offenses page.

Sex Crimes

Do sex offender registration laws really protect us? We hear a lot about prosecutions for child pornography; why does your office defend these kind of cases? There is also a case result “UNITED STATES V. Mr. F.  [Sex Offense] [Not Guilty on Appeal]” on my ABOUT page that you may want to read. 

Do sex offender registration laws really protect us?

July 26, 2013 As more and more people are being put on state and national sex offender registries, we are discovering the original intent to protect communities also have, in practice, many problems.  There are no easy answers.  Most of us would agree that some requirement that people convicted of serious sex crimes should have to register so that law authorities would know where they can readily be located can be helpful. Most of us would also agree that, if possible, we would like these convicted people to serve their punishment, fulfill their responsibility to pay their debt to society, get necessary counseling, and have a chance at becoming a productive member of society.   How can we expect them to accomplish this transformation unless they can get a good job and have an opportunity to participate in some community? These problems, as we are learning, arise from trying to administer these laws fairly.  First of all, some states publish of where these folks live, so they wind up being harassed by mean-spirited people, even beaten, or even killed.  Their families, no matter how much they want to help restore their loved one, can also be mistreated and ostracized.  If the offender cannot find work, they get discouraged, isolated, and cannot benefit from counseling as they might if they could see light at the end of this tunnel. Another real problem is how very differently our states define the type of crime that requires a person to have to register.   The people are not just folks who have done horrible things to children.  Many of the crimes for which one must register include Internet behaviors that never result in physical contact.  For example, a high school senior could be curious, get on the internet, and look under some websites that may have child pornography.  Once he has done so, even if he is only on the website for a few minutes, he has committed a serious felony that can readily be traced. Other folks get convicted for "Romeo-Juliet" relationships where (usually) the male is 18 or older and (usually) the female is under age.  The difference between their ages varies from state-to-state, but, whatever the charge, if a person is convicted in one state and required to register, that person must almost always register in any state thereafter in which they might live.  If another young man is "sexting" with a person who is under legal age, he can be found guilty of a crime for just that.  What strict interpretation of these alleged age differences can be unduly harsh when the parties could be "role- playing" as part of a little flirting game.    In some states, it is considered a "sex crime" to simply "annoy" a child, which would require New Mexico to enforce registration requirements that can last from five years to a lifetime.  Oftentimes, the time period for compelling registration is set without the judge having the benefit of any "risk assessment' by a qualified psychologist. It is quite a challenge to strike a proper balance to protect us from the few serious offenders who might re-offend and not persecute many others, which may prevent them healing themselves as their victims also heal.  Definitions of what actually constitutes  a "crime" can always be difficult.  define too narrowly, and genuinely bad people cannot be prosecuted; too broadly, and decent people's lives can be ruined. See our sex offense crimes page.

We hear a lot about prosecutions for child

pornography; why does your office defend these

kind of cases?

July 5, 2016, updated May 20, 2017 When we attorneys are occasionally asked such a question, our first response is to consider who is asking and why.  Usually the questioner is referring to why lawyers represent someone accused of, for example, hurting a child or possessing child pornography.  The obvious (and accurate) answer is to pose to the questioner a better question:  would you like to live in a society where people accused of especially "bad" crimes are not permitted to have an attorney?  Who gets to decide what crime is so bad that the accused person is not even entitled to legal representation?  You?  Me?  Someone else? Even when the evidence is especially strong of a person's guilt, we must also consider whether the penalty prescribed by law is fair.  The punishment for most crimes in this country today is already more severe than it was here thirty or eighty years ago and far more severe than it is today in other civilized Western democracies, of which we like to consider ourselves the cultural leader. Here is an example we would like you to consider.  Many outstanding citizens in this country have no criminal records, good jobs, and good families, but for some peculiar reason, develop an interest in child pornography.  No one will claim child porn is a good thing, but it is all-too-easy for a merely curious person to access it on line.  Almost 100% of people who view child porn never physically abuse any children, but the penalties for merely possessing child porn would lock them away in prison for many decades.  Does someone who possesses child pornography deserve to spend fifty (or even fifteen) years in prison or should they spend a short time in prison and given an opportunity for treatment of their illness?  Which option salvages the person and the family?  Which option costs our society less? Oftentimes, the best ally in fairly resolving these difficult decisions can be a reasonable prosecutor.  Too many prosecutors become full of themselves and the astounding power they have to push and push and push until the break a person or a crime or a race of people.  They are never satisfied at solving a crime they zealously push for maximum punishment and humiliation.  Fortunately, some others see the broader picture and take a more balanced approach, doing what they can to be fair and compassionate.  They realize that showing compassion or an element of mercy to the culprit does not mean ignoring the actual victim.  There is honor in respecting both the accused and the convicted person, as well as an alleged victim. I confess that I consider asking the above topic question myself to certain lawyers.  When I say "How can you represent these people?" I am not talking about easy targets such as the poor, the pitiable, and the mentally disturbed who may occasionally commit crimes.  I am referring to attorneys who represent the large corporations in fields such as pharmaceuticals (drug companies) and oil and gas and weapons manufacturers and insurance companies who, as a matter of their daily course of business, mislead and deceive and cheat the powerless. You and I are the powerless.  By devotion to profit at any cost, these selfish corporations destroy and maim and kill far more lives than all the convicts in this country.  Only rarely do these vicious corporations get caught, but they will always have a line of brilliant lawyers who eagerly collect a big paycheck to do all they can to hide the truth to protect the corrupt rich.  They can always afford more justice than the 99% of us.  How can those lawyers represent those corporations? It is a big reason courageous defense attorneys devote their careers to the working men and women, in some way to help balance the scales of justice. See our sex offense - sex crimes page.
John Samore
Samore Law  Your personal attorney.  office@samorelaw.com