EDITORIAL COMMENT by Derek Logue - June 2017 - Regarding OregonLive article

:
Luke Heimlich sex crime surfaces as Oregon State baseball nears College World Series

A full day after reading the Oregonian’s blitz on the past mistakes of one baseball player for
Oregon State, I am not sure if I should be more offended in the original story or in the fact the
editors at the Oregonian wrote a separate article justifying their decision to ruin this young man’s
life. My interest in this story was not because I am a fan of Oregon State athletics or of college
baseball in general. I am, however, a registered citizen as well as an activist for the rights of former
offenders.

The one sentence out of the four Oregonian articles that angered me the most was, “Our society
decided long ago that sex offenders should carry the burden of their conviction well after their
sentences end - and that juvenile sex crimes should follow offenders into adulthood.” This
statement implies that the reporter had a personal agenda and felt he needed to be a part of an
extralegal force of punishment. This statement reminds me of a statement made by Patrick Drum,
the career criminal who murdered two registrants in cold blood in Port Angeles, WA in 2012. Drum
proudly proclaimed this country was “founded on vigilantism.”

Those of you who agree with the reporter who believes Mr. Heimlich shouldn’t get a chance to go
to college or play ball (or apparently be a productive member of society in general) should consider
the high unemployment rate of registered persons. The few studies that exist on registrant
unemployment show registrants have unemployment rates far exceeding the rate for members of
the general public. (I recently counted Alabama’s unemployment rate for registrants in that state,
and it was 51.7%, over ten times the unemployment rate for the average Alabamian.) The registry
and the stigma that goes with it is the reason for that rate.

The reporters also failed to consider that the state of Oregon is changing their laws to a true
three-tiered system in which low-risk offenders like Mr. Heimlich may not have to register for life.
In Washington, Level 1s are automatically removed after 10 years. He was found to be a low risk.
No, the law doesn’t feel every registrant should be burdened for life. (The registry isn’t
“supposed” to be punishment, according to SCOTUS.

The series of articles targeting Mr. Heimlich wasn’t journalism; no, this article was an act of
vigilante violence. The Oregonian used their platform as an attack on a registrant, and even went to
far as to prepare an article trying to justify their actions. The Oregonian has been promoting the
terrible idea of disclosing the information of low risk registrants for years, making dubious claims
like declaring Oregon “sex offender haven.” This paper has actively pushed for increased
punishment of registered persons. That is unethical.

I hope Mr. Heimlich survives this onslaught of attacks and succeeds in life. Mike Tyson is still on the
registry. Who in the Oregonian newsroom dares to treat Iron Mike the same way?