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Associated Press

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — A North Carolina appeals court panel says the state’s requirement barring registered sex offenders from commercial social networking sites like Facebook is unconstitutional because it’s vague and violates free speech.

A three-judge panel of the state court said Tuesday the 2008 law is too broad by denying the convicts the right to participate in a wide range of communications. The judges say the law is not narrowly written to prevent registered sex offenders from having contact with children.

The ruling came when the judges overturned the conviction of a Durham County man on the sex offender list. Authorities said he had created a Facebook profile page.

State attorneys could appeal the ruling to the state Supreme Court, but justices are not obligated to hear the case.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comment on this Story

  • lol

    Just highlights the inconsistencies in the criminal justice system. I’m not stating whether the ruling is right or wrong, just observing how mangled and broken the “justice” system is.

  • Patriot

    There’s nothing ‘inconsistent’ about the ruling. Read it before you comment. There can be no crime for ‘accessing’ a website, like Google (which, by the way, was also banned under the law at issue) if you are using it for ‘communication.’ The problem with this law was it criminalized just about any internet access in the 21st century regardless of intent. the law should focus on ‘criminal’ acts committed or attempted online. We ARE a country of LAWS, not men. the legislators simply need to go back and re-write the law to prohibit criminal acts committed by these or any other people while on social networks whether it is FB, Twitter, MySpace, Yahoo, or Google. I know this comment will garner much negativity, BUT, that will NOT change the legal facts of the case.

  • Guest-o-matic

    Thank you for allowing more avenues available for sex-offenders to exploit, trap and hunt down more children!

    Are you guys in the “real-world” or have you spent so much time behind that wooden bench that you’ve lost all sense of reality? I can see all of you protesting in public with sandwich boards that state, “Pedophiles are humans too!”!

  • guesty

    We don’t want to upset the sex offenders. Got to make sure they don’t feel bad.

  • Guest11111111111

    Hi im a 27 yr old male and i was 21 went to a party had a one night stand , only one in my life , and the girl knowingly was a runaway and 16 she lied to me about her age because i asked “she said 17” i asked my friend he also lied about it because he picked her up and knowingly put her in this situation but to me she looked and acted older anyways i was arrested the next day and charged with misdemeanor sexual battery at 21 and it has ruined my life and those around me im a good guy who can contribute to society but no one will even give me the chance i live crippled in fear not only from the laws but also im public info so everyone knows who i am what i look like where i live(parents) and honestly there are days i wake up wishing i were dead i just broke my back to now i feel utterly hopeless the registry is to vague i don’t disagree with it but man specify make it at least constitutional just know your facts before you judge…peeing in public…sex offense as well!

  • OneWhoCares

    I believe they gave up freedom of rights when they took away the freedom & rights of others to protect themselves against criminals acts!

  • Guest Reply Redux

    Judges are now officially scared of hot shot criminal attorney’s…the attorney’s that twist and turn the true meaning of Law, and more Judge’s haven’t a clue as to what to do…so they just give in. But…they still draw a Big Fat Salary at the end of the day. A win-win scenario.
    Back in the 1960’s, the American people hoped and prayed that our Government would protect us from Russia and communism, in general.
    Now…who is going to protect us from our own political and judicial systems?
    The Answer: No One…that’s who.
    The effects of LSD/Cocaine/Mescaline/etc. consumption from days of old, have come home to roost in the decision making processes of our leaders in today’s world.
    You think not? Think again……

  • lanette

    Not all sex offenders are dealing with children. Point blank .. there are many people on the sex offender list that have not crossed the line with children. You can get put on the sex offender list for peeing in public in some places. Which how many men can say they havent peed in public? And they cant have a social network site because of that??? really.ok. Dont judge people before you know the full situation. And for another .. there are many perverts out in the world on these social sites that are not registered sex offenders but yet stalk children and lure them in. But they are everyday people that we look in the face all the time. scary isnt it. This world is sad. But people judge to harshley about situations they no nothing about. Only God will judge you.

  • Di

    Not all these teens were forced and they do trick the adult rather they were drunk or they are slow The law simply say the teen under 16 isn’t allowed to consent to sex but it takes two not one the saying is do the adult have to pay for the rest of their damn lives cause they were stupid No they should be able to prove to the law it won’t happen again If you dumb ass parents learn how to watch your kids their wouldn’t be no sex crimes towards a minor And you don’t think a teenager cant manipulate people think back when you were in high school how much the females liked to trick the boys unless they were jocks and the teens looks alot older then they did back then I dont think everyone is registered sex offender it really a sex offender they were just at wrong place wrong time


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