Sex offender sues over life sentence for not registering

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ATLANTA --- Georgia's tough sex offender laws turned Cedric Bradshaw into something of a nomad.

Twice he moved in with relatives in Statesboro, and twice he was forced to leave because he was violating Georgia's sex offender law by living too close to spots where children gather.

After the 25-year-old was arrested for failing to register as an offender -- his second time doing so -- he was sentenced with the only punishment allowed by the law: life in prison.

Mr. Bradshaw's lawyers will ask Georgia's top court Monday to reduce his punishment in the latest test for the state's oft-challenged sex offender laws. While others have targeted the residency restrictions, Mr. Bradshaw's challenge takes aim at the criminal penalties as "cruel and unusual punishment."

"It's not like this guy is out chasing children, yet the law required him to receive a life sentence," said Robert Persse, a public defender who is Mr. Bradshaw's attorney. "And we believe that constitutes cruel and unusual punishment because the penalty is totally disproportionate to the crime."

Prosecutors contend they were following the letter of the law and that there's no question legislators clearly intended to raise the criminal penalties.

"That should be used as the best evidence of legislative intent -- and society's view on the punishment," said Scott Brannen, an assistant district attorney in Statesboro.

Since the measure was passed, it has been tangled up in a series of court challenges. A lawsuit targeting the school bus stop portion of the measure is still pending, as is a separate challenge targeting a provision that could evict offenders who live near churches or volunteer at them.

Legislators were forced to retool the law this year to allow sex offenders who own their homes to stay there if a center where children gather later opens up nearby. The Georgia Supreme Court had ruled that the measure didn't protect the property rights of offenders.

Mr. Bradshaw was 19 when he was sentenced to five years in prison on statutory rape charges in December 2001. After he was released on parole in 2006, he was slapped with 10 years of probation for not registering his address with the offender registry.

ABOUT THE LAW

The 2006 measure bans sex offenders from living, working or loitering within 1,000 feet of just about anywhere children gather. That includes schools, churches, parks, gyms, swimming pools or one of the state's 150,000 school bus stops.


It also increases the maximum sentence for a second failure to register from a maximum of three years in prison to a mandatory life sentence.


The change applies to all sex offenders.

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karmakills123
8
Points
karmakills123 06/29/08 - 04:22 am
0
0
Seems to me if he had just

Seems to me if he had just followed the law and registered...there would be "no cruel and unusual punishment."

I4PUTT
5
Points
I4PUTT 06/29/08 - 04:59 am
0
0
Don't you just hate it when

Don't you just hate it when there's a law passed, clearly on the books, with set penalties for repeated violations and somehow you get surprised by it....

sassygalady30
1
Points
sassygalady30 06/29/08 - 05:13 am
0
0
hey follow the law n u wont

hey follow the law n u wont be back n prison...ur sick n u r where u need to be u should of thought of this before u messed with a child ...yes its the same charges to me as if u messed with a lil child... they was still under age no matter how u look at it... keep him n there..theres other out there that have same chages ..but yet following the law ...u did it to urself now get over it n do ur time u [filtered word]

sassygalady30
1
Points
sassygalady30 06/29/08 - 05:14 am
0
0
n if y'all let him win this u

n if y'all let him win this u mind as well pay all these sick [filtered word] for hurting children out there

bone
23
Points
bone 06/29/08 - 05:58 am
0
0
i'm all in favor of jailing

i'm all in favor of jailing perverts, but after reading up a bit on this guy's case i don't know that i can agree with a life sentence: his offense (jailed because he was 19 and had sex with a 15 year old girl, by the way) was that he didn't report to the address he had registered for within 72 hours. compounding that error, he lied to police when he was arrested and questioned regarding his whereabouts. even the GA senate president pro tem said bradshaw was guilty of "serial stupidity." if putting someone in jail for life for stupidity were to become commonplace, we wouldn't have anyone to blog with on the website.

patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 06/29/08 - 06:29 am
0
0
There really needs to be some

There really needs to be some flexibility in the Romeo and Juliette part of the sex offender law. Too often these teen romance cases get mixed up with child sex offender cases. Why? The difference seems to be huge and obvious.

peonynut
2
Points
peonynut 06/29/08 - 06:40 am
0
0
Life for serial stupidity?

Life for serial stupidity? Hum, sounds like an excellent idea. Here's your sign.

getalife
4
Points
getalife 06/29/08 - 06:53 am
0
0
PT and Bone are correct, the

PT and Bone are correct, the sex offender laws need to not include the Romeo and Juliette part. Teen romance offenses should not require them to register and be listed as a sexual offender for the rest of their life. This guy's crime is stupidity!!

christian134
1
Points
christian134 06/29/08 - 07:14 am
0
0
This law is a knee-jerk

This law is a knee-jerk reaction to sex offenders as a whole...The idea of tougher sentences for sex offenders can not be lumped into one basket. In other words one size fits all is not and will never work as every crime is different...This young man's punishment doesn't seem to merit the severe sentence he was given unlike the punishment for a monster who assaults an infant or small child....True they both fall under the umbrella of sexual offenders but they are two distinctly different crimes...Lawmakers need to sit down and seriously rework the law...This young man should not be thrown under the jail because of a mistake albeit if poor judgment and stupidity were a crime he would be at the head of his class.....

caecae
0
Points
caecae 06/29/08 - 07:33 am
0
0
Teen Romance has been

Teen Romance has been happening since the beginning of time; this guy was 19 when he had sex with a 15 year old, did her parents know where she was? Who she was with? Adults should not be so naive to think their children won't experiment with sex...It's a natural part of life..What's more ironic, this guy couldn't even buy a beer legally in this state when they had sex!
Serve his country and die yes, buy a beer no...Why should he even have to register as a sex offender; the girl probably even looked 19! Come-on there is a difference in this and true child molestation....Again poor judgement on the part of elected officials as well as this guy...Life in prison is too harsh of a punishment for this crime...

silentwings
1
Points
silentwings 06/29/08 - 07:43 am
0
0
I have to agree with a couple

I have to agree with a couple of ofther posters, life for stat rape seems a little harsh. I don't hve any problem in enforcing the law, I just think this law (stat rape sex offender for life) needds another look. How would you feel if your 17 year and 1 day son was locked up for having sex with his 15 year 364 day old girlfriend?

redapples
660
Points
redapples 06/29/08 - 08:17 am
0
0
I agree Christian134.

I agree Christian134. Knee-jerk legislation makes legislators look good to their constituents, but has little longterm thought behind it.

No_Longer_Amazed
5143
Points
No_Longer_Amazed 06/29/08 - 08:55 am
0
0
You can argue all day about

You can argue all day about the "Romeo and Juliette" aspect, but after he was paroled he 'defied' the law when he FAILED TO REGISTER as a sex offender, not once, but TWO TIMES. That is why he was sentenced to life in prison.

silentwings
1
Points
silentwings 06/29/08 - 09:18 am
0
0
nla, you are right and since

nla, you are right and since it is the law, I will support it, however, it needs re-tooling!

Art
0
Points
Art 06/29/08 - 09:31 am
0
0
I agree with silentwings.

I agree with silentwings. This is a special case. I just think this law (stat rape sex offender for life) needds another look.

whataboutthekids
0
Points
whataboutthekids 06/29/08 - 10:04 am
0
0
There's a message people

There's a message people should get from this.Stop being hard-headed or you will get burned.This guy was simply being hard-headed.

jaschild
5
Points
jaschild 06/29/08 - 10:15 am
0
0
a

a

TakeAstand
13
Points
TakeAstand 06/29/08 - 11:15 am
0
0
Amen Bone.. So funny and

Amen Bone.. So funny and true!!!! hahaha I the agree, it's a lil to much for teenage love/sex.

luckie
2
Points
luckie 06/29/08 - 11:27 am
0
0
In most cases, guys are

In most cases, guys are usually older than girls in relationships. I think that it is very sad for teenage "boys" to be caught up in this dilemma when for the most part the girls are chasing after them and even lying about their age. These "boys" think they are mature but they do not have a clue about life, how to be independent, and have not had enough time in the work force to even support themselves. I feel sorry for his parents. I know this is a difficult time and embarrassment for them. I am glad he has an attorney. As a parent raising boys I have seen what these girls do. If the law is going to be so strict on the boy it should penalize the girls in some way for having consensual sex. The law says consensual sex is 16 so why do these girls get off without any punishment. Oh, it's because they are still juveniles. Well then, take them to juvenile court and make their parents answer for why their daughter was able to have sex "somewhere." Believe me, I have seen this in a couple of situations. Once a 15 year old girl's parents were taking and dropping her off at the 18 year olds house. Parents do not know how old a girl is. Society today is out to nail young men.

Does_it_really_matter
1
Points
Does_it_really_matter 06/29/08 - 12:28 pm
0
0
1. If you don't know your sex

1. If you don't know your sex partners age, don't sleep with them. Period.
2. This guy didn't register his address...not once, but twice.

I feel bad for this guy to a certain extent.....but c'mon, at some point one has to responsibility for ones actions.

robaroo
730
Points
robaroo 06/29/08 - 01:13 pm
0
0
The guy should have

The guy should have registered, but this is where the law makes no sense. Just because the kid had sex with his underage girlfriend doesn't mean he is a risk to the neighborhood 6 year old girls and boys. We need to lock up predators who rape children for a long time. But, you shouldn't apply the rule about living near a school unless they did something to a little kid. There has to be a way to protect children without locking up everybody with a sex offense for life.

aw8ngjustice
22
Points
aw8ngjustice 06/29/08 - 01:15 pm
0
0
To recall, Stupid Sue

To recall, Stupid Sue Burmeister is the one who proposed this law and when her son was accused of molestation, she promptly moved him with her to Alabama so that he could not be prosecuted. How damn fair is that? Get an idiot law passed and then get your kid out of going to prison. We don't need all the laws they keep passing. Pretty soon none of us will be going to the toilet by ourselves. They are already monitoring in Columbia County and getting away with violating privacy laws.

christian134
1
Points
christian134 06/29/08 - 01:16 pm
0
0
This was a sentence that was

This was a sentence that was really, really over the top just a tad...I have sons and by golly they all at one time or another would have gotten an F in the dumb and dumber department but they are basically good kids..In this instance, I would like to believe this kid is also...Maybe this judge and prosecutor had a disgustingly bad day from the looks of this sentence a really bad day but, if all the facts are in, they might try and look at this case it in a different light...In my day the best catch for a girl was to find someone at least 3 to 4 years older considering it takes about that difference in ages for the guy to mature as compared to a 15 to 16 year old girl...All I do know is that he was lazy and dumb not to comply but really a Life Sentence ...little stiff little over the top...

TakeAstand
13
Points
TakeAstand 06/29/08 - 02:25 pm
0
0
aw8ng.. what do you mean in

aw8ng.. what do you mean in CC???

mgroothand
5
Points
mgroothand 06/29/08 - 03:00 pm
0
0
I have asked this question

I have asked this question before but never got an answer. If a registered sex offender lives at 10 Main st. and a family with young children moves to 12 Main st., must the sex offender move?

silentwings
1
Points
silentwings 06/29/08 - 03:04 pm
0
0
Not if he owns the house at

Not if he owns the house at 10th.

silentwings
1
Points
silentwings 06/29/08 - 03:04 pm
0
0
2nd to last para in article,

2nd to last para in article, mgr.

betzblue
0
Points
betzblue 06/29/08 - 03:38 pm
0
0
About the Romeo/Juliet

About the Romeo/Juliet issue...what's wrong with teaching our children at an early age NOT to have sex, or smoke or do drugs. I am not a prude but the morals of this generation is positively ridiculous. Babies should not be having babies. Full grown men should not be having sex with minors, period. Pedophiles ( the real ones) should never get out of prison ( once they have been convicted) and we as adults are responsible for protecting our children. There is NO treatment or cure for baby rapers. The welfare recipients under 18 who are collecting money for being pregnant is astounding. How many runaway young girls are prostituting them selves on the streets because they were stupid at 12 or 13 and had sex, either to get back at their parents, or some boy lied & said "this is true love" and then never talked to them any more, and now they are ruined for life (so they think).
Life was so much simpler in days gone by...

jack
10
Points
jack 06/29/08 - 03:44 pm
0
0
Bone, obviously, the 15 year

Bone, obviously, the 15 year old was not your daughter.

jack
10
Points
jack 06/29/08 - 03:48 pm
0
0
Tech, I agree that the guilty

Tech, I agree that the guilty girls should also be held accountable. At 15, they know right from wrong and often entice the older boys.

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