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Guy Hamilton-Smith on Sex Offender Registration & Social Media

Season 1, Ep. 5

In this episode, Guy Hamilton-Smith, Legal Fellow at the Mitchell Hamline School of Law Sex Offense Litigation and Policy Resource Center, discusses his article "The Digital Wilderness: A Decade of Exile & the False Hopes of Lester Packingham." In Packingham v. North Carolina (2017), the Supreme Court unanimously held that the First Amendment protects the right of registered sex offenders to use social media. Nevertheless, many states make it almost impossible to exercise that right, by prosecuting technical reporting requirements as strict-liability felonies. Hamilton-Smith explains how this can make the right to use social media almost illusory, and why we should want to protect the right of registered persons to use social media.

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