Many people assume that anyone listed on a sex-offender registry must be a rapist or a child molester. A report by Sarah Tofte of Human Rights Watch, a pressure group, found that at least five states required men to register if they were caught visiting prostitutes.
At least 13 required it for urinating in public (in two of which, only if a child was present).
America's registers keep swelling, not least because in 17 states, registration is for life. And it is fiendishly hard for anyone browsing the registry to tell the one from the other.
Georgia has more than 17,000 registered sex offenders. The Georgia Sex Offender Registration Review Board, an official body, assessed a sample of offenders on the registry last year and concluded that 65% of them posed little threat.
If they were all crammed into a single state, it would be more populous than Wyoming, Vermont or North Dakota.
As a share of its population, America registers more than four times as many people as Britain, which is unusually harsh on sex offenders.
Her husband, who worked for the county dog-catching department, moved with her, lost his job and with it their health insurance.
Thanks to a lawsuit filed by the Southern Centre for Human Rights, a group that campaigns against rough justice, Ms Whitaker won an injunction allowing her to return home.
Other than the bottom of a lake or the middle of a forest, there was hardly anywhere in Georgia for them to live legally. Rape and child molestation are terrible crimes that can traumatise their victims for life.The state's sodomy laws, which in 1996 barred oral sex even between willing spouses, were struck down by court rulings in 19.And since 2006, thanks to a “Romeo and Juliet” clause in a sex-crimes law, consensual sex between two teenagers has been a misdemeanour, not a crime, if one partner is underage but no more than four years younger than the other.When not in jail, predators must wear ankle bracelets that track where they are.Despite the board's findings, non-violent offenders remain listed and subject to a giant cobweb of controls.
“You don't think you'll be paying for it when you're nearly 30.” Every American state keeps a register of sex offenders.