The case of the malicious sheriff

Newbie Georgia Republican legislator Sam Moore has struck a blow–albeit an unpopular one–for constitutional rights, fact-based legislation, and common sense. His bill would remove restrictions on registered citizens, once their sentences are satisfied, that restrict their movements and prohibit their presence in places such as schools and parks.

Shocking as it is in Georgia, there are many jurisdictions throughout the U.S. that do not place these restrictions on registrants. Following what research shows, that these restrictions offer no public safety benefit and that community re-entry is the best path to rehabilitation, which in turn is the strongest deterrent against re-offense and the greatest assurance of increased public safety, these towns and counties follow as a matter of course that which Georgia finds shocking; furthermore, they do it with no increase in sexual re-offense or children being snatched from school playgrounds and parks by registered citizens on the prowl.

At least one representative of the Georgia law enforcement community appears not to have read this research or, if he has, gives it no credence. ” ‘In my 34 years of law enforcement I have never heard of such an insane law having been introduced,’ said Cherokee Sheriff Roger Garrison Friday. ‘Sexual predators are one of this country’s most violent (type of) offenders.’ ” Sheriff Garrison appears not to know that those who can be classified as predators make up only a very small portion of the total of all registrants. He seems to make the same uninformed and ignorant mistake made by many, that of thinking that everyone on the registry is dangerous or has offended against a child or children.

As a member of law enforcement and thus one sworn to respect and uphold the rights of all citizens, not just the ones he likes, the sheriff’s stance is troublesome. Furthermore, as one who is charged with fulfilling the dictates of the criminal justice system, which includes rehabilitation as well as punishment, it goes far beyond merely troublesome.

The Utah state contact of Reform Sex Offender Laws, Inc. took exception to Sheriff Garrison’s harsh words and wrote him a letter. He began by saying, “I respect the office of the Sheriff where I live and anytime I see the police in my community. It is a tough job, dangerous, and takes a lot of dedication.” Then he continued, saying to Sheriff Garrison, “You sir, disappoint me,” and he told him why. His primary points are that the good sheriff is indulging in generalization and fostering an attitude of hate toward all registered citizens.

Sheriff Garrison replied immediately and succinctly. He wrote, “Your [sic] right I do hate sex offenders. I’m glad you don’t live in Cherokee County. Stick to the issues in your community not mine!”

I contend that a person with the inability to show respect to all persons in his jurisdiction is unfit to hold an office of public trust. Nor is this limited to the state of Georgia or to a specific sheriff. I hear from many registrants and family members of registrants, and the attitude Sheriff Garrison displays is experienced by many.

But thankfully, so is its opposite. Many registrants and their loved ones have reported being blessed–and that is exactly the way they describe it–with parole officers, probation officers, and/or law enforcement/registration/compliance officers and personnel who treat them with decency, dignity, and respect. These individuals have not only learned the golden rule but apply it in their everyday lives and work.

That is a lesson that Sheriff Garrison of Cherokee County, Georgia, would do well to learn.

7 comments for “The case of the malicious sheriff

  1. Gin
    June 22, 2014 at 7:22 pm

    To whom it may concern,I don’t know of a lawyer that listens really to help someone whose been labeled a sex offender,but I pray someone with will see this and look into things at the clerks office,Scribers errors on sex offenders paperwork is a common thing I have spoken to others standing in line waiting to visit that say,The charges are not what he was charged with,papers show wrong charge,the lawyers run after court and your left trying to tell the prison system Hey the pale are wrong,Can this be something that Has Just occurred,No 22 other young men at 1 prisons serving time have Scribers Errors on there papers Not Saying What they were correctly charged with,But no one care,Rick Scott don’t seem to see that this is a bigger problem in Florida says no one writes them about this they write about conditions,I guess I’m the only person complaining. And her reforming laws that will help sex offenders get jobs will help everyone including places they live,a lot are not violent,and unknowing the person was lying about age.We look at things different with internet getting our youth in trouble,Do you really know if someone says they are 18 its ok and later your arrested because they lied to get on the internet Face book or chat sight,not all are in my eyes sex offenders,Ignorance of Age law needs updating,Rick Scott says he don’t take pity on Sex offenders,no one asked him for Pity,they asked him to reform the law to help Sex offenders who were lied to and can’t get a defense because of the ignorance of age law,Instead he Tightened the law to put them in jail longer to get older voting points until one day when he’s driving down the road and ask his grandson who ya texting,Oh its ok Grandpa her profile yes she’s 18. Gonna take someone famous getting in trouble before they stop the crazzy law and reform it to fit Technology’Good Bless . Gin

  2. Bob
    March 20, 2014 at 12:12 am

    My county officials act similar to us registers, because Ive been told they don’t see the point in the registry and it wastes their time. Therefore us RSO’s must deal with the anger of their frustration in doing “meaningless work” in their opinion

  3. Bill
    March 12, 2014 at 8:54 am

    Sadly I have seen this all as true. In my case, after I had served my time, I was curious what had been said about me when I was arrested. I did some research and found a website that makes the claim that they are “keeping our community safe”. On that site I saw the case about me. My jaw dropped as I continued to read. The only TRUE statement was that I was charged with possession of child pornography. The ENTIRE story, other than that, was false. Sadly those who have learned about my conviction, and do the research, find this site and think all of it is true. I settled in court for a 5 year sentence on TWO pictures and TWO videos. Sadly the website in question claimed that the police seized “thousands of CDs and videos full of CP.” I didn’t even own a HUNDRED CDs and videos combined, and only 1 CD had something on it that was illegal. All the other CDs were of music or movies. I contacted the owner of the website and they simply refused to take down the false information, or allow me to post a comment correcting the information.

  4. sad to br a mom if i cant defend my son
    March 7, 2014 at 3:14 am

    Its sad,,swreing my sons papers bring marked with wrong charges leaving words out making Scribers errors on his paperwork to slander him,is wrong,not just his other guys paperwork is also wrong,Scribers errors arwr another way for stated prosecutors to slander our kids and blame it on Paper errors,meanwhile our kids are labrwled worse offenses and wwr have ywrt another thing to worry about. This world nerds to catch up to laws prrristing ones that don’t allow us to defend our family whwrn accused of this mwrss. When someone lies then entrapment is a better word,specially admitting they liwrd,and if the officwrr allows your child to get beaten while on duty he needs to go to jail for abuse of power,and code of conduct issues not given a par on back,if hr arrest your family ,mbrt 2 times its stalking and abuse of power,hep me help our kids,in Florida and everywhere by passing complaints and drifting to governor’s about filling our prisons with younger generations because of Ignorance of age law not being a defence needs to be changed! Tell All to writer Legislation one email makes a difference. Be heard.Good day

  5. help young men
    March 7, 2014 at 3:01 am

    true,internet makes our unknowing younger men get labeled easily because girls are lieng so often about age,and the law saying ignorance of agwr can’t be used to help our kids in Florida makes it a slam dunk case for Florida stature prosecutors and harder for judges to lesson our Prisons and give lighter sentences to offenders taken by surprise when people lie about thirer agwr or admit they lied.How is it fair to those who get labeled by a lie and can’t defend themselves,its not,so speak up people or next time your family member is trying and you say,who ya testing and they say oh its ok mom her profile says shrs 18 ,Well you will know what I’m going through,.Good day

  6. February 25, 2014 at 10:12 pm

    You know people take into account that all offenders on the registry are trash or garbage to be tossed away or put into some gas chamber. When people start trying to trash others, and government and law officials slam words at each other than someone has a problem.
    People do not learn to forgive. Forgiveness is a God like quality and it seems that Government doesn’t have that when they oppress the sex offender of where they can live, and where they can go and so forth.
    I am sure none of those people in Government suffer like the sex offender that has a hard time getting a job, feeding there families, going to church with the free will that God gave them.
    This nation is acting like they are a God to themselves. Were does it end? Is it a money thing for the court systems or just a hate crime or should we all stand up for the gay and lesbian. The way the Government is today the gay’s and lesbian’s will have more constitutional rights than the one’s on the registry.
    Now if we are One nation under God, you tell me where it is that says we are to obey man rather than God.
    You know God talks about the homosexuals and lesbian lovers and it also talks about sin, but it also talks about loving each other and being kind to each other and loving thy neighbor.
    What examples does the Government show to this nation? I’m sure there are some folks that have a Godly focus on this, but as for the United States the sex offender is still in bondage. All these sex registry laws do more damage than good with all there stipulations and requirements.

    • Jaxson
      February 28, 2014 at 1:34 am

      You are so right. People need to wake up to what’s going on. These offenders can be saved, reformed and live productive lives and can even have families based on principles of forgiveness and love one another.

      It’s very simple, either the offender chooses to lead an offending life, or they stop and change.

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