If you have not heard of Michael McFadden then perhaps you do not have children living in Colorado. McFadden is a 46 year old man who was convicted on six charges of sexual assault against children and was set to spend 316 years in prison for his crimes. This ruling meant that McFadden was set to be behind bars for over six times the length of his life thus far for the atrocity of his actions. However, on February 27th McFadden walked out charge-free on claims that his right to a speedy trial had ben violated.
McFadden was no stranger to loop holes in the system, and had already avoided being registered as a sex offender despite his previous conviction in 1990 of sexually assaulting a child. Outraged attorneys did not take McFadden’s release lightly and, District Attorney Dan Rubenstein even took to Facebook to spread news of the appalling fact that McFadden was acquitted of his crimes due to a minor technicality.
But similarly appalling instances have surrounded Colorado’s legal relationship with sex offenders for years. On April 4th, Oklahoma’s News Four dived deep into the sex registry issues that are plaguing the consciences of attorneys and the public alike after a judge ruled, in 2017, that maintaining a sex registry
was “cruel and unusual”.
The sex offender registry has been a part of Colorado for only 15 years and if Colorado was to undo the sex registry it would be the only state in the US to not have a record of sex offenders open to the public and would, in the opinion of Attorney General Mike Hunter, compromise the integrity of the entire national system.
In discussion with Oaklahoma’s News Four, Attorney General Hunter further stated that the notion of undoing the sex registry “threatens public safety”, and that “the  judgment should be reversed”.
While many are outraged at the thought of undoing the sex offender list, stories like that of registered offender
David (last name not provided) struck a chord with judges and many of the public. David had consensual
sex with his girlfriend when they were both minors and had since been placed on the sex offenders’ registry.
He was featured in an interview with Gazette magazine about the negative impact of the registry following the
2017 ruling that stated the registry was unconstitutional.
Having spent years of his life feeling “like trash”, David was finally removed from the list in January 2nd, 2018 and has not looked back since. However, David is one of very few people who ever get removed from the list which could mean others like him are still suffering the
consequences of such a label.
While many related to his case, most attorney’s and publicans considered David’s case an unfortunate occurrence in a quest for what would be the greater good. Further, many believe that David’s case is a somewhat isolated incident and not generally the case for those who are on the registry.