Following Port Angeles Murders, Media Outlets Flock to Brad Meryhew for Input on Needed Changes to Sex Offender Registry in Washington State
Two registered sex offenders were slain in Clallam County early this June. The presumed motive for the murders was nothing more than the victims' status as sex offenders.
Attorney Brad Meryhew devotes his Seattle law practice to defending accused and convicted sex offenders. Additionally, Meryhew has been a member of the Washington Sex Offender Policy Board since 2008, where he represents the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Washington Defender Association. In light of his years of experience with sex crimes defense, reporters naturally approached Meryhew for insight into the broken system that facilitated the killings.
"It's hard for the public to know who they should be afraid of, who they should keep an eye on," said Meryhew in an interview with Q13 Fox News. Indeed, with some 20,000 Washingtonians on the sex offender registration roles, it is difficult to sort out those who are truly dangerous from the low-risk multitudes. Meryhew went on to explain that the current overbroad sex offender registry hinders low-level sex offenders who are trying to rebuild their lives while adding little or nothing to public safety.
In a separate report from 97.3 KIRO FM, Meryhew talked about the collateral consequences of sex offender registration, things like an inability to find work and housing, and insisted that we need to ask whether we are "vilifying people who really in fact pose little or no risk to our communities." Painting all registered sex offenders as hardened criminals is just the sort of overgeneralization that can lead to tragedies like the twin murders earlier this month.
Meryhew's message is slowly but surely taking root in the public consciousness. The Associated Press picked up his comments in a syndicated story, and Meryhew has also been chosen as a participant in a June panel discussion before the House Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Committee. He hopes to ultimately convince lawmakers to take a new look at Washington's sex offender laws and the sex offender registry.
Both in and outside of the courtroom, Brad Meryhew is voice for fairness and good sense when it comes to those accused of sexual misconduct. To contact Attorney Brad Meryhew, call (206) 264-1590 or visit http://www.meryhewlaw.com/.