Friends of Justice is a personal blog. Here I speak only for myself.

Constitutional Law and the Role of Scientific Evidence: The Transformative Potential of Doe v. Snyder

February 23rd, 2017

Abstract: In late 2016, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit’s concluded in Does #1–5 v. Snyder that Michigan’s sex offender registry and residency restriction law constituted an ex post facto punishment in violation of the constitution. In its decision, the Sixth Circuit engaged with scientific evidence that refutes moralized judgments about sex offenders, specifically that they pose a unique and substantial risk of recidivism. This Essay is intended to highlight the importance of Snyder as an example of the appropriate use of scientific studies in constitutional law.

Read the article by Melissa Hamilton in the Boston College Law Review.

Friends of Justice is a personal blog. Here I speak only for myself.

Use Amazon Smile to Support the NCRJ

February 20th, 2017

The next time you shop on Amazon, go to You will be asked to select a charity. Use the search mechanism at to locate the National Center for Reason and Justice.

The next time you shop, shop via and (for eligible items) a portion of your purchase price will go to the NCRJ.

Friends of Justice is a personal blog. Here I speak only for myself.

2016 Crime Review: A look at the effectiveness of sex offender registries

February 18th, 2017

“It’s really clear that all of the evidence and all of the data shows that most sex offenses are committed by first-time offenders,” said Emily Horowitz, professor of sociology and criminal justice at Saint Francis College. “For whatever reason, people who are on the registry have a very low recidivism rate, and if one is really concerned about decreasing sex offenses, they kind of have to look elsewhere instead of people who have already been convicted of sex offenses.”

Read the article by Joshua Vaughn in The Sentinel.

Friends of Justice is a personal blog. Here I speak only for myself.

Teen Girl Sent Teen Boy 5 Inappropriate Pictures. He faced Lifetime Registry as a Violent Sex Offender or 350 Years in Jail.

February 16th, 2017

“Zachary, now 19, is in jail awaiting sentencing for five pictures his teenage girlfriend sent him of herself in her underwear. He faced a choice between a possible (though unlikely) maximum sentence of 350 years in prison, or lifetime on the sex offender registry as a “sexually violent offender”—even though he never met the girl in person.”

Read the article by Lenore Skenazy in Reason.

Friends of Justice is a personal blog. Here I speak only for myself.

Wildfire – a New Prison Post by Gunther Fiek

February 7th, 2017

“An accusation is like a spark that can easily start a wildfire and, if not handled or contained properly, can quickly spread out of control thus creating panic in a community. When authorities are unable to recognize in what direction the wind is blowing, they fail at the very task they were trained to do and the misused of the tools that guarantee to extinguish that wildfire become obsolete. The wind can then blow embers and ignite multiple wildfires. The media is like a gust of air that does nothing more but feed the fires by inflaming people’s passions. When it is all over, the damage is widespread and nothing will ever be the same, for anyone, as it will take time to recover — if ever. However, after all the destruction and everything has been left in ruins, one can only go through the rubble and hopefully find the pieces necessary to help you determine how it all started, what was done wrong and how another spark can be prevented.”

Read the full post by Gunther Fiek.

Friends of Justice is a personal blog. Here I speak only for myself.

Please Send Bob Halsey a Birthday Card

February 6th, 2017

Bob Halsey turns 88 on February 18th. I am surprised he is still alive. He has been in bad health for years.

Bob is an innocent man who has been in prison since September of 1993. He will die in prison. And even if by some miracle he were to be released, he has nowhere to go and no one to take him in.

Bob was railroaded by many of the same characters who sent Bernard Baran to prison. Baran’s prosecutor, Dan Ford, was the trial judge. Jane Satullo was the chief interrogator of the children.

You can learn more about his case.

Here is the address for cards:

Robert C. Halsey
POB 1218
Shirley MA 01464

Friends of Justice is a personal blog. Here I speak only for myself.

The government made me a sex offender

January 26th, 2017

‘People in the lobby were staring at me. Women and men backed away, and a pathway straight to the door was cleared. I suddenly realized what had happened. I’m a sex offender. I mean, they think that I’m a sex offender. “It’s not me. There is someone else with my same name and birthdate. I promise. This has happened to me at the border several times. Please, check again. Run my license number rather than just my name. Check whatever you have to check. It’s not me.”’

Read the article by David Miller in the San Diego Reader.

Friends of Justice is a personal blog. Here I speak only for myself.

Superior Court questions whether Common Pleas judge is over-punishing sex offenders

January 16th, 2017

“There will always be cases where circumstances call for, if not practically compel, sentences which exceed the standard guideline recommendations,” Judge Bender wrote, noting that trial judges have wide discretion. “However, we expect that sentencing courts understand that a standard range sentence is the norm and, consequently, that sentences which exceed (or fall below) the standard recommendation should be relatively infrequent by comparison.

“The appearance of bias, and doubt regarding a court’s commitment to individualized sentencing, both rationally emerge when such a pattern of routine deviation from sentencing norms is demonstrated by adequate evidence.

Read the article by Paula Reed Ward in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Friends of Justice is a personal blog. Here I speak only for myself.

A Computer for Joseph Allen’s Sister?

January 16th, 2017

I communicate with Joseph Allen via email using He also has been doing this with his sister Dora in Alabama.

Joseph contacted me to tell me his sister’s computer has stopped working. She really can’t afford to get it fixed or to buy a new one.

I spoke with Dora. She said that the old computer was an AC. I’m not familiar with this brand.

Joseph asks if someone out there might have an old computer they might donate to Dora. If you can help, either comment on this post or email me at

If you need to refresh your memory about Joseph’s plight, here is some information.


Friends of Justice is a personal blog. Here I speak only for myself.

New evidence says US sex-offender policies are actually causing more crime

January 15th, 2017

‘Prescott told Quartz those findings shouldn’t be surprising. Policies like alerting people to the presence of sex offenders or restricting where they live would intuitively seem to decrease risk. But that’s a static way of looking at the problem, he says—those policies themselves can make returning to prison look more desirable since ex-offenders find it hard to get housing, find a job, and form social bonds. “We have an anti-reentry policy for sex offenders,” Prescott says.’

Read the article by Steven Yoder in Quartz.