The following is a phone conversation with James Byrd.
What was your experience like when you were a sex offender?
"I felt like I had a black cloud over my head. I felt that I always had to look over my shoulder to see if anybody was following me. I just felt like I was always being watched and there was nothing that I could do that would relieve me. I had so many restrictions; I couldn't even go to Mexico. There were times when I was pulled over by the police and they would give me a lot of questions, like "What's going on". One time I had a flickering headlight, they had to stop me because they noticed in the computer that I was a Registered Sex Offender and so they used that as an excuse. They didn't treat me bad but it seemed like every excuse they had, they wanted to talk to me and find out what was going on."
Now that you no longer have to register, how do you feel?
"I feel like I'm free to do what I would like to do. The restrictions are gone. Another thing, before, I didn't even want the public to know who I was. I didn't have any social media or anything. Now I feel like I can say my name and do it with pride because there is nothing to hold me back anymore. I am free to go any place in the world that I want to go visit. I can talk freely with my family or with friends. So, I just feel like a big weight has been lifted off my shoulders. A lot of this is because my wife is in the travel industry and now I can go where she goes."
What are your plans going forward?
"I have always wanted to go to Italy-see a little bit of ancient history like Rome. We're working to see if we can do that within the next year. I don't expect it but that's what my plans are. You know, I feel like I sleep better knowing that everything has been taken care of. I don't know, I feel like a new person, really. My whole life has just changed with all of these opportunities that I couldn't do before that I can do now. I am actually FREE!"
Would you recommend CLEARMYCASE.COM to a others?
"Yes, I would. You guys are relentless in the pursuit to help us-those that have to be registered. You explore all the options until finally you're able to get what you needed done. That's was I really appreciated, you guys kept me abreast with what was going on at least once a month and that helped me also to know that it my case wasn't just sitting on a desk somewhere, that you actually were working on it. So, far your have accomplished everything you said you would and that means a lot to me"
What would you tell others that still have to register?
"There's still hope."