One topic that retains high-profile interest among the general public in many states is restrictions on sex offenders following their convictions and criminal sentencing outcomes.
Unquestionably, North Carolina is one of those states, with many convicted offenders remaining under a harsh spotlight for years (sometimes a lifetime), even after their release from incarceration.
We have touched upon the subject in past select posts. In our December 31 entry from last year, for example, we noted North Carolina's "unquestionable hard-ball stance" toward convicted and registered sex offenders, and referenced an earlier blog post therein where we pointed out the "dire and long-term repercussions" that face those individuals.
Although bleak prospects persist for offenders in the state, it is becoming progressively notable both in North Carolina and across the country that growing numbers of people are now perceiving that some sex offender registry restrictions are simply unreasonable, as well as counterproductive.
"I think there has been a shift in the mood on these cases," says one academic who focuses upon sex offender laws for post-release individuals.
Of course, registries are hardly about to go away. However, critics -- including advocates of a national nonprofit group from Raleigh that recently filed a lawsuit in the state -- contend forcefully that their most draconian features need to be muted or disappear.
They argue that many aspects of the registries (in North Carolina, for example, the ban on convicted offenders entering a church or engaging with online social media sites) flatly contravene constitutional entitlements, thus depriving a select group of individuals of their fundamental rights.
The above-cited lawsuit was filed in Raleigh late last month.