Sex Offenders

Recently, the Kentucky Supreme Court rejected a registered sex offender’s application to sit for the Kentucky bar exam. Guy Padraic Hamilton-Smith pled guilty in 2007 to a single charge involving the “possessing or viewing of matter portraying a sexual performance by a minor.” He received a five-year suspended sentence but was ordered to register as a sex offender for the following twenty years. Hamilton-Smith graduated from the University of Kentucky College of Law in 2011. Since graduating, he has been working in a non-lawyer position for the Lexington firm of Baldani, Rowland, and Richardson.

The Kentucky Office of Bar Admissions denied Hamilton-Smith’s application to sit for the bar exam, citing character and fitness concerns. The Office also asked the Kentucky Supreme Court to create a rule that would have kept all registered sex offenders from joining the state’s bar, but the court opted against that suggestion. Instead, the court wants the Office of Bar Admissions to consider bar applicants with sex-offender registration on a case-by-case basis.

What were the particular circumstances in Hamilton-Smith’s case that led the Kentucky Supreme Court to deny his application, despite not creating a blanket rule? Was it the right outcome?

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You don’t often see federal courts striking down conditions of supervised release as violations of substantive due process. But you don’t often see the federal government wanting to hook up a device to a man’s penis, make the man watch pornography, and see what happens. It sounds a bit… 1984 (affiliate link).

I couldn’t help noticing this opinion, given its unusual nature and its focus on the peen. I’m sure you’re all dying to learn more about the procedure known as “penile plethysmography.” (The good news: it’s not as bad as a penile embolism or penile degloving.)

You know you want to see what those Second Circuit judges are hiding underneath their robes. Let’s dig a little deeper (into the opinion), shall we?

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Employers in Finland are legally prohibited from running web searches on job applicants. This anti-Googling rule seeks to protect privacy.

We don’t take that approach here in the United States. Although running internet searches on job applicants can raise legal issues, the practice is generally permissible.

So it’s important for current and aspiring employees to maintain clean digital footprints. You never know when an employer, like an elite international law firm, might learn of your criminal past, like your prior conviction for a sex offense….

Please note the UPDATE added below regarding the nature of the offense.

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* The revised transcript from the day Justice Thomas spoke during oral arguments has arrived, and it seems his record for not having asked a single question from the bench is still intact. [WSJ Law Blog (sub. req.)]

* The Seventh Circuit ruled on Indiana’s social media ban for sex offenders, and the internet’s filth will be pleased to know they can tweet about underage girls to their heart’s content. [National Law Journal]

* Propaganda from the dean of a state law school: lawyers from private schools are forcing taxpayers to bear the brunt of their higher debt loads with higher fees associated with their services. [Spokesman-Review]

* Rhode Island is now the only state in New England where same-sex couples can’t get married, but that may change as soon as the state Senate gets its act together, sooo… we may be waiting a while. [New York Times]

* It’ll be hard to document every suit filed against Lance Armstrong, but this one was amusing. Now people want their money back after buying his autobiography because they say it’s a work of fiction. [Bloomberg]

There’s no gay bar at the Supreme Court right now.

* I’m not sure that it’s legal to tag the cars of people who park poorly, but it’s certainly satisfying. Honestly, every time I see one of those commercials where the dude needs freaking birds to park his “I’ve given up on life” minivan-SUV, I want to scream, “You could act like a man!” [Legal Blog Watch]

* SCOTUS is acting like an old college roommate who just came out is inviting them to a gay bar, and they’re trying to politely decline without looking like raging homophobes. [SCOTUSblog]

* To all the people who didn’t pass the California bar exam, here’s a guy who did it while only studying for 100 hours. Yeah. So… umm, I didn’t really think this blurb through. [Blake Masters]

* Do lawyers need to “love” their clients? Come on, isn’t loving the money they give you enough? [Underdog]

* Jason Whitlock took the Jovan Belcher and put the focus exactly where it should be, on our gun laws. Then Bob Costas blew a big megaphone on Sunday Night Football. [Fox Sports]

* It’s funny, I’m against sex offender registries because even though sex crimes are heinous, registries are bad things that create second-class citizens and tend to unfairly lump people who didn’t commit the worst stuff in with disgusting humans. That means I should probably be against animal abuse registries too, but man I don’t think animal abusers suffer nearly enough. So, whatever, I’m a hypocrite. I’m a hypocrite who cares more about dogs than children. [Simple Justice]

On the list of those whom you may feel some measure of sympathy for, convicted sexual offenders rank somewhere between National Socialists and those who key cars. Perhaps lower. And yet, this is precisely why they are often the first against the wall when it comes to needless regulation and harassment. Like the bespectacled little spazz on the playground, sex offenders make for an easy mark.

And so it was that the state of California passed a ballot initiative that requires those already on the sex offender registry in that state to further register all of their internet activities. They must register their e-mail addresses and their impossibly witty usernames and handles. The cloak of anonymity on the internet, vital to its snark, nihilism, and generally poor table manners, has been denied to sexual deviants in California with this new law.

Well, not if the ACLU can help it. Continue reading after the jump, but only if your state allows you to…

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Last September, we wrote about Bruce Reilly, an incoming Tulane Law student who was an advocate, a writer, and a murderer. Reilly is now a second-year student at the school, but he killed a man 20 years ago. At the time, there was a huge uproar about his admission to law school, but Tulane’s administration supported Reilly’s candidacy for the degree (regardless of the fact that he may never be admitted to practice law). After all, Reilly claims that he is a “model case for rehabilitation.” Perhaps Tulane Law rightfully admitted him.

Today we bring you the story of Aaron Munter, a former law student who is now seeking readmission to complete his final semester before receiving his degree. Before leaving school, Munter excelled academically — he served as editor-in-chief of the law review, ranked second in his class, and received numerous awards for his scholarly endeavors. We should probably mention, though, that Munter didn’t leave law school by choice. In the spring of 2009, Munter was convicted of child sex crimes involving a minor, and sentenced to six months in jail, six months in work release, and five years of probation. A few years have passed, and evidently Munter thinks he’s rehabilitated and ready to go back to law school.

Should a man convicted for sex crimes with minors be readmitted to law school to complete his degree?

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Like it or not, sex offenders have rights, too.

Sex offenders are the easiest people to take away rights from. Even other criminals hate sex offenders. Their crimes are heinous, it’s unclear if recurring sex offenders can ever be “cured,” and if they ever get out of jail, even most progressives are happy to severely curtail their rights and freedoms.

It’s tough to take a public stand for the rights of pedos. But someone has to do it. Yesterday, a Louisiana federal judge struck down a state law barring sex offenders from Facebook and other social media. He used a First Amendment argument to scrap the law, which took effect in August, and created a “near total ban on internet access” for sex offenders.

That’s all well and good, although Facebook isn’t exactly pleased….

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* Lindsay Lohan is headed back to court today. She’s expected to be arraigned on charges of being the best actress ever. [Hollywood Life]

* Another future Nobelist, Kim Kardashian, has filed a lawsuit against the Gap for using what this article calls “a faux-dashian model in a commercial for its Old Navy brand.” May you live in frighteningly vapid times. [CNNMoney]

* Texas executed a man last night who went on a random brown person killing spree after 9/11. [Fox News]

* Two 14-year-old boys in New Jersey will be forced to register as sex offenders after dropping trou and throwing their stinkholes on two other kids’ faces. Motorboating: taint what it used to be. [WSJ Law Blog]

* The Dodgers squared off against Major League Baseball in a Delaware bankruptcy court yesterday. For more on this story, here’s a dog wearing a toupee. [CBSSports.com]

* Former Congressman and current law firm partner Martin Frost took to the cyberpages of Politico to brag about stealing unflattering file photos of a female judge he clerked for from the Dallas Morning News back in the 1970s. If that sentence doesn’t make sense to you, it’s because I don’t really understand what’s going on here. Also, I don’t write good. [Politico via ABA Journal]

CHECK YOU EMPLOYEE BACKGROUND. That appears to be the lesson learned by the New York office of litigation powerhouse Quinn Emanuel.

A source at QE recently sent us an email with this dramatic subject heading: “A rapist among us.. Quinn Emanuel.” Here’s the allegation:

[Earlier this month] our Records Manager, [name redacted - hereinafter "Got-a-Record Manager"], was fired. He’s been employed at Quinn for over 2 years. Termination Reason: He was a convicted rapist. He’s been convicted since 1987. He was charged with sodomy and first degree rape. I shudder to think that we had a rapist among us and the firm who claims to do background check on employees did not even catch this. An employee did a simple Google search on him and came up with it…. How did the firm miss this?

The tipster provided links to Got-a-Record Manager’s (1) LinkedIn profile, showing his employment at Quinn Emanuel as a “Records Manager,” and (2) a sex offender profile on the Florida Department of Law Enforcement website, containing Got-a-Record Manager’s name and photo. If you enter Got-a-Record Manager’s (uncommon) name into Google, the first result in his sex offender registration and the third result is his LinkedIn profile.

How did this come up? According to our source, “People just like to Google others for fun, and this time someone got a surprise.” Indeed.

Was Got-a-Record’s criminal record “a surprise” to the powers-that-be at QE? We reached out to the firm for comment….

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