Thursday, June 23, 2005

Depressed? Why, his dog had died.

Via Howard Bashman, I read in this California Supreme Court opinion (available, for now, here), People v. Joseph Kenneth Sorden, Super Ct. No. SC050781, that the defendant tried to defend a prosecution for willful failure to re-register annually as a sex offender by claiming depression.

Now, I'm of mixed feelings about lifetime registration requirements; I wonder if sometimes they're overbroad. This fella, guilty though he was adjudicated back in 1983, still goes through life with this around his neck. He served his time. He hasn't, as far as I can tell, been a repeat offender.

In any case: the defense involved, among other things, a proffer of evidence that:
  1. His mother had cancer;
  2. the mother of his son, in order to terminate his visitation rights, had falsely accused him of being abusive to the boy;
  3. he had broken up with his girlfriend; and
  4. his dog had died.

Now, I feel additionally sorry for the guy, he had a rough few weeks, it looks like. Since registration is to take place within five days of his birthday, and he neglected to do it until almost two weeks after that- almost Christmastime- when he says he "woke up and was stunned that he had failed to do it" - he was definitely late. But look at what happened!

This man is a country song waiting to happen!

Apologies to the defendant, his victim, the state of California, and my readers, who don't deserve this kind of abuse.


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