Should ALL felons have to register?

There’s another thread going about registered sex offenders which made me wonder; why not have a registry of all convicted felons?

Making the public aware of child abusers is good, but what about murderers, drug dealers, drunk drivers, wife-beaters, &c? Why pick out just one category?

I don’t know why they don’t have all of them register, but I think the recidivism rate for sex criminals is very high.

How many extra office workers will be needed to run the expanded register? How much extra tax is everyone going to have to pay to pay those workers wages? Will the benefits from expanding the register be worth the extra taxes you will have to pay to run it?


Since the sex offender registry is already up and running probably the cost to expand it wouldn’t be huge, likewise, for at least the first few years after release most offenders will be on parole and the POs would enforce compliance.

But I intended my question more in the abstract.

If you want offenders to be easily identifiable, it would be better to tattoo their faces with “child molester” or “murderer” than put them on some list no one will ever read :stuck_out_tongue:

In my opinion, the kinds of people dangerous enough to be registered should never get out of prison in the first place.

Perhaps thats because crime usually comes from bad circumstances rather than bad people. When forced to register, former criminals cannot legally improve their life except in a few rare cases. Thus, they become criminals again.

Keep a registry of felons, but make it open only to the government, like in Canada.


I thought Christianity is supposed to be all about forgiveness, no? Don’t people deserve a second chance?

Put another way, is exceptionalism for sex offences justified? The answer is probably no.
Murderers are generally on license for life anyway (mandatory life sentence in the UK), so they will be supervised.

The UK is kind of going down this path with extended sentences for public protection.

In this country, we have this little document called “the Constitution.” In some countries, a constitution is more-or-less a legal concept, a collection of laws, treaties, and customs that have evolved over years, decades, or centuries. I also recognize that there are some countries that have “constitutions” that change at the whim of the government, but that’s not the case here in the US.

Article 1 Section 9 of said Constitution says:

[INDENT]No bill of attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.
[/INDENT]A bill of attainder is a law that declares an individual or a class guilty of a crime. Not “if this person / these people did this crime, they are guilty,” but “They are guilty by their very nature” or “by Act of Congress, they did the crime.”

An ex post facto law is one where the law is written after the crime was committed. That applies to acts that were not crimes when they were committed and to penalties that were not in place at the time.

It is my belief that the sex offender registry, the limitations on where offenders could live, and so on, are utterly unconstitutional for those individuals who were convicted prior to those laws being passed. Further, I think that the decision to place an individual on the registry, enact lifetime residency limitations, and so on, should be part of a sentence imposed by a court for an individual who is convicted of a crime (“sentenced to one year in state prison and the requirement to keep his address on file in the registry and comply with residency requirements for life”). Why? Because that’s part of a penalty.

Having said that, I think that it is perfectly valid penalty and offers some protection to society. The data is accessible for those who want it (for example, Maryland has their registry data in a GIS system accessible to the public:, But, it is a penalty that should be imposed in a just fashion.

I feel the exact same way about a general felon registry. If society, as expressed through their elected officials, wants all felons (and, for that matter, all individuals convicted of a misdemeanor) to register and report their whereabouts for life, more power to them. But they need to do so in a constitutionally acceptable, just fashion.

I, personally, would not vote for such a measure. One of the things I do not like about our modern, technological society, is the lack of ability to truly “start over.” And, even without such a register, it is easy enough to find out if an individual has been convicted of a felony (criminal convictions are public record). With the availability of sophisticated background checking, it is impossible for a person to truly escape his past.

But that doesn’t mean that the measure wouldn’t be just, as long as it is justly applied.

If someone raped children, would forgiving them mean allowing them to be a preschool teacher or a babysitter?

You can forgive them but still acknowledge that they’re a danger and protect yourself from them.

The problem for me is that these people get out at all. I think cold blooded murderers and rapists should stay behind bars until they die. But that’s just me.

The only country I can think of where the constitution (if it has one) could be changed at a whim is the unique country of Swaziland.:confused:

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