International Megan's Law, President Signed 2-8-16 (Whats Next: CA-RSOL) (Lawsuit Filed)

March 5, 2009

DC- Texas Representatives Introduce Resolution Asserting Sovereignty Under Tenth Amendment

3-5-2009 Washington DC:

Texas has joined the states’ right and Tenth Amendment movement by introducing House Concurrent Resolution No. 50, filed earlier this week by Republican state representatives Leo Berman, Brandon Creighton, and Bryan Hughes. H.C.R. 50 cites Section 4, Article IV, of the Constitution, the Tenth Amendment, and the Ninth Amendment.

“The Tenth Amendment assures that we, the people of the United States of America and each sovereign state in the Union of States, now have, and have always had, rights the federal government may not usurp,” the resolution declares, while “Section 4, Article IV, of the Constitution says, ‘The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government,’ and the Ninth Amendment states that ‘The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.’”

A number of proposals from previous administrations and some now pending from the present administration and from congress may further violate the Constitution of the United States; now, therefore, be it RESOLVED, That the 81st Legislature of the State of Texas hereby claim sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government by the Constitution of the United States…

H.C.R. 50 serves “as notice and demand to the federal government, as our agent, to cease and desist, effective immediately, mandates that are beyond the scope of these constitutionally delegated powers” and that “all compulsory federal legislation that directs states to comply under threat of civil or criminal penalties or sanctions or that requires states to pass legislation or lose federal funding be prohibited or repealed.”

Finally, the resolution directs the Texas secretary of state to forward official copies of the resolution to president Obama, Speaker of the House Pelosi, the president of the Senate, Joe Biden, and all members of the Texas delegation to the Congress. In addition, there is an official request that the resolution be entered in the Congressional Record as a “memorial to the Congress of the United States of America.”

Texas joins Washington, New Hampshire, Arizona, Montana, Michigan, Missouri, Oklahoma, California, and Georgia, states that have all introduced bills and resolutions declaring sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment. Colorado, Hawaii, Pennsylvania, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Alaska, Kansas, Alabama, Nevada, Maine, and Illinois are also considering such measures.

“While the ramifications of these resolutions are still uncertain, one thing is clear,” writes Barbara Minton. “People are sick and tired of the federal government’s usurpation of power not granted to it by the Constitution. They have had enough of fear based economic terrorism and underhanded promotion of policies and procedures that bypass public scrutiny and the will of the people.”

It should be noted that a resolution is a statement and not law and does not necessarily represent a consensus of a state legislature. “Still, the fact that two states, California and Georgia, have already passed their versions of state sovereignty may be setting the stage for secession down the road if the federal government continues to show its scorn for the Constitution. The Oklahoma resolution has already passed in the House and is awaiting vote in the state Senate to be codified,” writes Minton.

For more information on the Tenth Amendment and states’s right movement, see this Infowars resource page on the subject.

As should be expected, the corporate media has all but ignored H.C.R. 50, while Vince Leibowitz of Dallas-based Pegasus News calls the resolution “bizarre” and intimates that Berman, Creighton, and Hughes are insane. Leibowitz’s comments are a sad testament on how out of touch many Americans are when it comes to the Constitution and the increasing encroachments of the federal government.

On Friday, February 20, Rep. Leo Berman of District 6 will be on the Alex Jones Show to talk about the resolution and states’ rights. ..News Source.. by PrisonPlanet

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IN- Two missing girls safe, man arrested in Mishawaka

3-5-2009 Indiana:

Two Elkhart girls that were missing Wednesday night have been found.

A 16-year-old girl and her 11-year-old sister were reported missing around 6:30 Wednesday evening after leaving with a man they met on MySpace.

Matthew Sanders, 26, met the teenager on MySpace, where Sanders poses as a 19-year-old, about two weeks ago.

On his MySpace page, Sanders has pictures of himself with the teenager. Sanders and the teen have reportedly met up several times since meeting on MySpace.

Sanders is originally from Washington state, where he has a warrant out for his arrest for residential entry and a drug offense.

A woman who Sanders used to be involved with, and who is the mother of one of his three children, tipped the teenager's mother off to Sanders' relationship with her daughter after he had told the woman of the relationship.

When the two girls were missing, the mother contacted the woman Sanders had been involved with, and she was able to help the police locate Sanders and her daughters.

The girls were found around 11:00 Wednesday evening in Mishawaka with Sanders.

Mishawaka Police had Sanders in custody but have since passed him over to Elkhart Police, where he is being held on the charges he faces in Washington. ..News Source.. by

UPDATE: Man arrested in case of missing Elkhart girls

Matthew Sanders, 26, of South Bend was arrested for Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor in the investigation of two missing Elkhart girls on Wednesday. The girls were found safely at a Mishawaka home around 11:00 p.m. Wednesday night.

They were reported missing around 6:00 p.m. Wednesday by their mother who said the girls left with a man they met over the internet. Mishawaka Police found the girls, ages 11 and 16, at a home in the 1600 block of Homewood Road in Mishawaka.

Earlier in the evening, police reported they believed the girls left with Sanders. Sanders had an outstanding warrant from Washington State on burglary and drug charges.

According to Mishawaka Police, this type of incident is every parent's nightmare. A child meets someone on-line, who presents himself as one thing but turns out to be something much different. In this case the person was much older than what he admitted and had a criminal history. ..Source.. by FoxNews

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DC- Capitol Hill Crime Summit Attracts Standing-Room Only Crowd

3-5-2009 Washington DC:

Marc Mauer, executive director of The Sentencing Project, moderated a panel of experts for “Smart on Crime Policies: Increase Public Safety, Reduce Costs, and Improve Lives,” a Capitol Hill Crime Summit held on March 3rd. Representative Robert “Bobby” Scott (D-VA), Chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security, convened the standing room only briefing, which also included panels on Prevention and Intervention, and Reentry and Collateral Consequences.

Mauer opened the “Sentencing and Alternatives” discussion with a question for United States District Court Judge Nancy Gertner, asking about the effect of mandatory minimum sentences imposed by Congress, in taking discretion away from judges.

“I don't know if anyone can understand what it's like to sentence a defendant to a sentence to which you know to be manifestly unfair,” said Gertner. “We've stopped making meaningful distinctions between offenders.”

Panelist and Co-Chair of the Sentencing Committee of the American Bar Association's Criminal Justice Section and a member of the Constitution Project's Sentencing Committee, Jim Felman, stated that 94% of federal offenders are now sentenced to prison. Prior to the adoption of the federal sentencing guidelines, more than 40% were routinely sentenced to probation, a punishment which dramatically impacts the course of the rest of a person's life. “As a defense attorney, I can tell you that probation is punishment. It simply isn't necessary to lock everyone up.”

Mauer also asked panelists, including Kemba Smith, who was commuted from a crack cocaine sentence in 2000, why there is still a need to address mandatory minimum sentences, in light of the recent changes in sentencing guidelines.

“The changes have been helpful, but they are not enough,” said Judge Gertner. “It really is a marginal change. We've run this experiment through in incarceration, and it hasn't worked.”

Jim Felman responded: “We may not have known what it looked like when we did it, but we sure know what it looks like now.” He referred to a USSC report which stated that crack sentencing reform is the single most important thing that could be done to make the system more fair.

Smith told how she was sentenced to 24 ½ years as a first-time, non-violent offender in prison, after she was held accountable for the entire amount of drugs involved in a conspiracy investigation of her abusive, older boyfriend, whom she had met as a college freshman. Smith, who received executive clemency from President Bill Clinton, expressed concern for other single mothers in prison who are serving excessive sentences for very limited involvement in drug conspiracies.

“I've watched this debate for a long time,” said Smith, who advocates for reform through her Kemba Smith Foundation. “I watched you all debate this from federal prison when I was incarcerated from 1994 to 2000. I really am hoping that something different will happen this time, and that it will start with the American people.”

Two additional panels on “Prevention and Intervention” and “Reentry and Collateral Consequences” were held in an effort to promote issues that deserve attention from policymakers.

Representative Patrick Kennedy (D-RI), who has worked to increase parity in mental health funding, referred to the number of people incarcerated with mental health conditions as “an outrage.”

“We have criminalized a public health emergency,” he said. “We have re-institutionalized people into the criminal justice system. In my state we spend more on adult incarceration than on adult education.”

Walter Beglau, District Attorney for Marion County, Oregon, referred to prevention and intervention strategies as “the most effective tools we have in crime reduction.”

Brian Bambarger, Coordinator of Policy Research and Outreach, Prevention Research Center for the Promotion of Human Development at Penn State University, discussed the importance of investing in prevention and intervention early in youth in an effort to protect the child, as well as to improve public safety.

“There is a direct and immediate cost to crime, especially if we wait until crime occurs,” said Bambarger, adding that society also has psychological, moral and financial obligations to address risk factors for crime early. “The same things that put children at risk for drug use are the same things that put children at risk for violence.”

Diane Williams, president of the Safer Foundation in Chicago, spoke on the reentry panel from her experience working with individuals working to turn their lives around.

“There are no second chances out there,” said Williams. “The possibility of getting rid of collateral sanctions is almost non-existent in most jurisdictions. Is there a way that we will ever welcome people fully back to the community? I hope the answer is yes.” ..News Source.. by The Sentencing Project

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OH- Sex offender rules House holds first hearing on two bills

3-5-2009 Ohio:

COLUMBUS -- Two bills that would increase penalties against sex offenders who live or enter areas near schools and other areas frequented by children had their first hearing in the Ohio House on Wednesday.

House Bill 11 would establish criminal penalties for individuals who live too close to schools, recreation centers and would establish a means for courts to remove those individuals from their residences.

House Bill 13 would prohibit certain sex offenders from being on school, pre-school or day-care center properties and would establish criminal penalties for those who break the law.

The Democratic sponsors of both bills spoke before the House's criminal justice committee Wednesday.

Rep. Tracy Maxwell Heard, from the Columbus area, offered HB 11 after hearing from constituents about the disproportionate number of known offenders who were allowed to live near schools.

Removing them from those premises requires a lengthy civil process, she said.

"(T)he violation itself is merely an infraction of a civil statute and therefore it requires a suit be brought, court dates, etc., and law enforcement has very little leverage to actually make a violator move until such time as a case is determined and the offender is deemed in violation," Heard said.

HB 13 is aimed at keeping sex offenders who have preyed on children away from schools, said Rep. Jennifer Garrison, a Democrat from Marietta and one of the primary sponsors of the legislation.

Offenders would be banned from school properties; any found guilty of breaking the law would face six-12 months in jail.

According to Garrison's testimony, "There are over 14,000 Tier III sex offenders residing in Ohio, including those currently serving sentences. And it is unconscionable that our children currently have no protection in their schools from those who would do them harm." ..News Source.. by Marc Kovac

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Defunding the Fight Against Sexual Predators

How people can be so proud that they have denied a class of citizens, regardless of their past transgressions, any say in the political process is beyond comprehension, but that is exactle what these folks are saying.

3-5-2009 National:

Attorney General Eric Holder gave a speech to the National Association of Attorney’s General this week. In that speech, he renewed the Justice Department’s support for the Adam Walsh Act. The Adam Walsh Act—passed by a wide margin in Congress—requires some convicted sex offenders to register with local authorities.

So far, so good, right? One problem: to date, Eric Holder’s Department of Justice 2010 budget gives $0 to implementation of the Adam Walsh Act, and $0 to the SMART Office which implements the Act.

There is more to this than meets the eye. It is no secret that there has been a small but vocal liberal chorus of opponents to the Adam Walsh Act. They do not think dangerous sex offenders should have to register with local authorities. Of course, they know that their opinion is an extreme minority opinion. They also know that no politician will publicly endorse convicted sex offenders.

That alone is a Constitutional violations, everyone is entitled to representation in Congress and every state legislature. Sex offender laws have so tainted the class that its true they no longer have a political representatives.

So, since the Adam Walsh Act passed in 2006, they have adopted a two-prong assault on the Adam Walsh Act.

First, they fought various provisions of the Act in court, attacking the retroactivity and juvenile provisions of the Act. There is nothing wrong with that, as many federal acts are challenged in court. Only so much can be done in the light of day, however.

Second, they are working secretly behind closed doors with key Congressman to gut the primary purpose of the Act entirely—minimum national standards for sex offender registration. They want to replace the conviction-based registration requirement system with a roll of the dice, so-called “risk assessments.”

A risk assessment “works” like this: a convicted sex offender sits down with someone who works on behalf of the government. That someone—trained or untrained— asks the convict a few questions about past history and future desires. After the oftentimes brief question and answer period, that someone may or may not verify the information provided by the convicted sex offender. That someone then decides whether or not the convicted sex offender poses a risk to society. If he does, then he might be required to register; if not, then maybe he doesn’t have to register. In other words, the evaluator is supposed to predict future behavior based on information provided by the convict himself. There is no consensus in professional literature on the accuracy of risk assessments at all. Yet this is exactly what opponents of mandatory conviction-based registration are urging Congressional leaders to adopt.

We wouldn’t even know about this behind-the-scenes shenanigans were it not for the former head of the SMART Office giving a speech last week to the Surviving Parents’ Coalition. In that speech (full text below) Director Rogers warns the Coalition of the attacks on the Adam Walsh Act, and the agenda of the far left.

Since the speech, members of the Surviving Parents Coalition—which includes household names like Ed Smart, Erin Runnion, Mark Lunsford and others- - -have given those “key” members of Congress an ear full why requiring convicted sex offenders to register makes sense.

Full text of remarks delivered by Laura Rogers, former Director of the SMART Office, to the Surviving Parents Coalition in February 17, 2009:
Good afternoon. I am honored to join you. It goes without saying that members of the Surviving Parents Coalition did not wish to be eligible to join this group. It is a sad statement indeed that in our society there is a need for an advocacy group such as yours. But make no mistake about it; we need you now more than ever. Why? Because we are at a fork in the road in terms of holding convicted sex offenders accountable. We can either move forward together or sit back, do nothing, and lose everything we have fought for.

My friends, we have progressed a great deal over the last two decades with respect to the registering and tracking of sex offenders. As many of you know, prior to the 1990’s there was no consistent sex offender registration and tracking system in the United States. It was a sex offender free for all. With the passage of the Wetterling Act and the successive amendments, much progress was made, including holding recidivist sex offenders accountable, requiring sex offenders to register where they resided, allowing for notification to school officials when sex offenders were present on campus, and the establishment of the National Sex Offender Public Website.

The ADAM WALSH ACT took the Wetterling Act to the next level. ADAM WALSH incorporated all of the subsequent amendments and enhanced sex offender registration and notification to include additional lessons learned, and established for the first time a new national minimum standard for sex offender registration and notification in the United States. ADAM WALSH creates a floor that jurisdictions must meet for sex offender registration and notification. This minimum standard was created to address the gaps and loopholes left by the Wetterling Act. Under Wetterling, there were areas in this country that were safe havens for sex offenders—places where there were no sex offender registration requirements and others where the existing laws were so lenient that sex offenders flocked to reside there. The standardized requirement to notify the residency address of a move did not exist, which resulted in misinformation on the National Sex Offender Public Website (NSOPW).

But my friends, the progress we have made together is in jeopardy. We are now at a fork in the road. There are those in Congress and around this country who strive to undo the work that you and I have labored long and hard to achieve. As most jurisdictions in this country are working diligently toward implementation of SEX OFFENDER REGISTRATION AND NOTIFICATION ACT (SORNA), there is an organized, well-funded movement to prolong the time period for substantial implementation of SORNA—to prolong the time period to put in place the minimum standards, to prolong the time period when you and I do not have the ability to identify sexual offenders who live, work and go to school within our midst.

Let me be blunt: We are engaged in a battle with those who believe that sex offenders should not be held accountable for their vicious acts, acts similar to those that brought each and every one of you here today. And make no mistake about it; we are in danger of loosing the battle.

Here is their game plan: attack the retroactivity provisions, withdraw the juvenile provisions of ADAM WALSH , then gut the Act and strip away mandatory registration for dangerous convicted sex offenders and then add a roll of the dice by adding risk assessments to the equation. I am here today to call for you to boost your already endless commitment to fight against those who seek to excuse the acts of sexual offenders and sexual murders.

The ADAM WALSH ACT establishes sound public policy. SORNA holds sexual offenders accountable based on the offenses they commit. Registration requirements are based on the solid evidence of the act that was committed and the crime for which the offender was convicted.

Let me address the topic of risk assessments. When Congress wrote the ADAM WALSH ACT, they specifically rejected the use of risk assessment tools as a method of determining the future dangerousness of a proven sexual offender. Yet opponents of the ADAM WALSH ACT want to replace registration with these unreliable risk assessments. Risk assessments, when used appropriately by a trained and qualified professional may provide some insight into the potential for recidivism of an adult—but no one—regardless of what crystal ball they look into—can determine if someone will again offend. Proponents of risk assessment tools as a measure to determine registration requirements for both adults and juveniles site the research. However, they completely ignore the experts who acknowledge that risk assessments are not a useful tool on juveniles.

According to Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers, there are not enough qualified professionals in the United States to administer risk assessments to sex offenders. In fact there are complete states and jurisdictions that do not have a single qualified professional capable of administering a sex offender a risk assessment.

What do we see happening right now around the country? Washington State currently uses a risk assessment based system to classify sex offenders. While at the SMART Office, I spoke with a Washington state official who informed me that police officers administer risk assessment on sex offenders—the assessment consists of a check the box type format with little to no interview, no verification of information or expert training for the police officer administering the risk assessment. At best, when a risk assessment is administered by a trained expert such as a qualified psychologist it is at best a guess.

The opponents of sex offender registration, those who care more about empowering sex offenders than preventing the creation of more victims will argue that the recidivism rates of for example, incest sexual offenders is lower than other types of criminals—again, they rely on the research—research that I have no faith in—How do you measure the recidivism rate of sex offenders when we historically know that child molest victims have an incredibly low rate of disclosure, an extremely high rate of recantation and consequently low trial success?

You should know that opponents of registration have already met with elected officials here in Washington to get them to walk away from the ADAM WALSH ACT. Of course, no politician will publicly state that they are for child abuse and against holding perpetrators accountable. So they will add risk assessments, under the guise of making the ADAM WALSH ACT fairer, while at the same time gutting the mandatory registration requirements and juvenile registration. Unless you, and groups like you, pressure Congress to stick with ADAM WALSH, all of our work will have been for nothing.

The ADAM WALSH ACT is not perfectly constructed, but it sets a solid minimum standard for consistent sex offender registration across the country that is good policy. It goes without saying that those who crafted the ADAM WALSH ACT and SORNA did so with good intentions, but they did not consult professional child abuse prosecutors or those with frontline experience and knowledge. This is the reoccurring problem with politicians drafting sex offender legislation—a lack of practical experience and a shallow understanding of reality.

I was a frontline child abuse and child homicide prosecutor in San Diego for nearly a decade. While director of the SMART Office, I was responsible for the publication of the Final Guidelines. After a great deal of struggle within the Department we rectified the most challenging and problematic SEX OFFENDER REGISTRATION AND NOTIFICATION ACT (SORNA) issues by structuring the Final Guidelines. Trust me; those changes were necessary.

For example, prior to the Final Guidelines, there was a significant amount of controversy regarding the registering of juveniles under SORNA. Under the Wetterling standards, juveniles were not required to register—at all. There were jurisdictions that individually and randomly required juvenile sex offender registration. With a comprehensive implementation of SORNA, all jurisdictions will now have the same minimum protection against forcible sex offenders that coincidentally happen to be juveniles. Congress created the juvenile registration system to include all juveniles 14 years or older, adjudicated delinquent who committed an act of a forcible sex crime, a sexual act against a person who is intoxication or purposefully drugged or sexual against a child under 12 years old.

However, under the Act, a 13 year old who has consensual sex with someone no more than four years older than them does not have to register. On the other hand, a 14 year old who doesn’t have sex, but merely fondles a person under the age of 12, must register for life. That makes no sense, yet that is the law that Congress passed. Prosecutors, juvenile advocates and many others thought that this application was wrong and counter productive. I changed that provision in the Final Guidelines, despite push back in the Department of Justice. I was able to rectify the issue, without asking Congress to amend the ADAM WALSH ACT by giving jurisdictions the discretion not to register juveniles who engage in non-forcible conduct with children simply based on the age of the partner.

This change was made based on a well thought out desire to make a reasonable and logical change to allow for a rational implementation of the SORNA.

Those who we are battling at the fork in the road want to move back to the Wetterling days where juvenile sex offender registration is completely discretionary. They don’t want any minimum national standard for those forcible sexual offenders who happen to be juveniles. But let me tell you about a true case - …

I ask you as parents, mom and dads, sisters and brothers, do you care if the rapist that lives next door to you is14, 17 or 19 years old?
Are you comforted by the fact that SORNA provides you the opportunity to know that such a heinous criminal lives next door, or works at the local ice cream parlor or goes to school with your daughter?

This is a renewed call to action. Since the passage of SORNA, some jurisdictions have been fighting implementation citing financial strain. They say that the ADAM WALSH ACT is an unfunded mandate. Let me be clear here: I am against unfunded mandates, but ADAM WALSH is not an unfunded mandate. Now in these current tough economic times, jurisdictions are screaming even louder. Those in Congress who have always opposed the tough on sex offender SORNA registration requirements, but signed on solely for good photo opt but never with the intention to give this law the teeth it needs, will use this economic crisis to cloak their soft on sex offenders stance and gut the current construction of SORNA.

But with the new economic stimulus package, there is now more than enough money to implement the requirements of SORNA. The stimulus package that the President will sign today provides significant increases in JAG Byrne Grant and COPS money—all monies that can be used to implement SORNA. Lack of federal financial support is no longer an excuse.

So what is the underlying reason for the resistance from the jurisdictions to implement SORNA? Often times it is simply a matter of being stubborn and not wanting the federal government to tell the jurisdiction what to do. I have been an eye witness to state officials who misinterpret the minimum requirements of SORNA for the sole purpose of exaggerating the cost of implementation to sway public opinion and government action against a path toward implementation of SORNA. California is a perfect example. One person in that state stands in the way of implementation. That needs to change.

Additionally, SORNA does not require duplication of ongoing State registration efforts—in fact ADAM WALSH specifically addresses there should be no duplication of efforts. Jurisdictions must look to see where information already exists—regardless if that is within their jurisdiction or another. DNA collected once by another jurisdiction does not then need to be recollected by a second jurisdiction–rather a simple linking to the records located elsewhere is sufficient.

While leading the SMART Office, I encouraged jurisdictions to be creative and use their scarce resources to redirect monies to more effectively monitor and track sex offenders. In speaking with jurisdictions I constantly encouraged novel approaches to implementation of SORNA—sharing of equipment to achieve the minimum standards of SORNA—for example, rather than purchasing digital finger and palm print machines, use those already present in the jurisdiction in use by another law enforcement facility. While some jurisdictions complain about the minimum requirements of SORNA, they ignore the significant flexibility that is provided for by the law. For example, nothing in SORNA requires that all registration activities occur in a single location. If necessary registration equipment is present in a jurisdiction at a location other than the registration site, then requiring sex offenders to visit multiple local locations to perfect a registration is perfectly acceptable. Individuals can have great negative or positive impact on the implementation process.

Communication between jurisdictions is mandatory—while at the SMART Office we implemented a secure communication system for all sex offender registry systems. We created and implemented a Tribal and Territory registry so that all remaining jurisdictions could utilize the communication system to enhance the national sharing of information. Make no mistake, these multimillion dollar systems were given to all registration jurisdictions—free of charge.

SORNA needs your support. The SMART Office has been fighting an uphill battle since the day its doors were opened in 2006—a battle for everything from adequate staffing to sufficient funding. In 2008, Congress provided a mere $4 million dollars to the COPS Office for sexual predator elimination activities and $850,000 for the national sex offender public website. You would think that this money would have easily found its way to the SMART Office. It did not. Congress has never directly appropriated any funds to the SMART Office for the important work that it does.

Support for the SMART Office does not seem to be increasing under the new administration. The SMART Office was the sole office for which an acting director was not appointed during the transition period. Future financial support for SORNA implementation is unsure.

Let me address the public relations battle we are up against. The Office of Public Affairs at the Department of Justice under the Bush administration never defended the Adam Walsh Act. Not only did they not defend it—-which should have been easy—-they prevented me and others from going on television and radio, to educate the public about the benefits of the Act. I can not tell you how many times I went to the communications office, asking, begging to be allowed to write articles, respond to blatantly wrong papers and statements regarding SORNA and sex offender registration. I was repeatedly turned down—prohibited from fighting back.

My friends, we are at a fork in the road –and we may lose the battle. The voice of the Surviving Parents Coalition is strong. I urge you to use your voice—to go up on the Hill and force our representatives to stick with the policies of the ADAM WALSH ACT. Tell Senator Leahy to ignore those who are urging him to gut it. Tell him, and others, that registration should be mandatory, that risk assessments are pure guesswork.

And ask yourself, if this law is gutted and changed as those who are soft on sex offenders desire, when this group gathers again next year, how much bigger of a room will be needed to hold all of the newly initiated members because Congress decided to walk away from mandatory sex offender registration.

Thank you. God bless you and the United States of America.

..Source.. by The Heritage Foundation

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ID- Top Three Rules If The Detectives Want To Talk To You - Especially In A Sex Crime!

Talk about a coincidence, see prior post, then read this post.

3-5-2009 Idaho:

It is early on a Sunday morning and I am in my office working. Sometimes this happens - I wake up and after fifteen or twenty minutes I know that I am not going back to sleep, so off I go to do a little work. Today I am listening to a tape recorded "interview" by a detective. The suspect is charged with a sex crime. The officer has been nice and comforting along the way - taking his time to eke information out of the defendant - and in the end the defendant has sealed his fate. He has told the officer that he fell in love with a minor, and that of course led to sex, and that will lead ultimately to a criminal case. Sex crimes are in the news here lately, as a prominent local business man is currently on trial for having a sex party with two minors. I am not going to talk about his case - I did that under oath as a witness last week - but the question of just when it is permitted to have sex with a minor is frequently one I deal with. The answer is - drum roll please - NEVER! That's right friends and neighbors, not ever.

The law in Idaho FORBIDS a minor from consenting to sexual contact. Simply stated: a minor (someone under eighteen) cannot legally consent to any sexual contact. Idaho Code § 18-1508 prohibits "lewd conduct" with a minor under 16 years of age. Penalty - LIFE. And truly they mean it. You may not go to prison for life (you might), but your life will forever be changed if convicted. In addition to prison, sex offender treatment, victim restitution and lawyers fees, there is also a requirement that you REGISTER as a sex offender under Idaho Code § 18-8301 et. seq. If the victim of the crime is 16 or 17, it is still a crime if you (as the defendant) are more than five (5) years older than the victim (Idaho Code § 18-1508A), and the maximum term of imprisonment is twenty-five (25) years.

So if you are being investigated for any sex crime remember that the investigators are playing for keeps. Here are my top three rules if you are under investigation for any crime:

1. Guilty or innocent you cannot talk your way out of the investigation, so shut up! Remember that little "you have the right to remain silent" talk BEFORE the nice officer gets you the coffee. Sure, you may be guilty and there may be a time to confess, but don't do so at the station to the officer who says he just wants to "get your side" so it can be included in his report to the prosecutor. WAIT. Breathe deeply and tell him you do not want to make a statement. There will be plenty of time to spill your guts later.

2. The prosecutor is not your friend. I know prosecutors, and like many of them. They are almost always believers in what they are doing, sometimes to a fault. The same is true of most defense lawyers. Heck, my daughter is a prosecutor. But as one of my clients says, prosecutors are just cops with nicer suits. They are there as the state's lawyer in a case in which your liberty is very much at risk. Do not expect a break from the prosecutors. They may decide that you are a nice person but that will not be enough to convince them to "overlook" your indiscretion and dismiss the case.

3. You know that money you saved for a rainy day? Get it out and buy the best lawyer you can afford because "it's pouring" outside. Again this week I had the call from a young woman who is looking for an appellate lawyer because her husband is on his way to the big house. Who was his lawyer, I ask. He had a public defender, she says. "We decided to wait and see how the trial went before spending our own money." Bad call. That public defender may have been great, but he also may have had 60 - 80 cases he was managing. Money buys time - which is why I am here at 6:00 am on a Sunday morning. Time is the difference between winning and losing, sometimes. Sometimes there is nothing the best lawyers can do to get you acquitted. For example - if you are guilty of doing whatever they are investigating. But your money can buy that lawyer's time and effort to review the documents, learn the case, get to know you and your life and convey "you" to a judge or jury. I may not be the right lawyer for your case, but somewhere there is a lawyer who will work for you - maybe just to lessen the time you face - hire the best lawyer you can afford.

There you have it - back in the saddle again and now it's time to get back to work. Next time - what do we do about the confession? ..Source.. by Chuck Peterson, Idaho Criminal Defense Blog

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ME- High court denies convicted sex offender's appeal

If it is true that, Boland was not in custody and talked to police about the facts of a THEN POSSIBLE crime (at the time of discussion), then this case should be a lesson to everyone that, they should not talk to the police without a lawyer present. Now, as to the victim, sometimes things happen (Boland's error) that make the outcome -here a long punishment- proper given harm to the child.

3-5-2009 Maine:

PORTLAND (March 5): The Maine Supreme Judicial Court denied Micah T. Boland's appeal Tuesday, March 3, ensuring he will serve his 22-year sentence for sexually abusing a child.

Boland, 31, formerly of Rockland, was the first person in Maine to be sentenced under Jessica's Law after a trial.

In August 2008, Justice Jeffrey Hjlem ordered Boland to serve 22 years in prison, followed by a lifetime of probation. Boland was convicted for Class A gross sexual assault after a jury-waived trial.

Boland was charged with the offense in March 2007 after he confessed to police that he had sexual contact with a 4-year-old girl left in his care while he stayed with her family in Liberty.

In 2006, the Maine Legislature enacted sentencing guidelines under Jessica's Law, which makes 20 years the base sentence for people convicted of sex crimes against children younger than 12 years of age.

The sentence may be raised or lowered depending on several factors, including the sex offender's background and criminal history and the impact of the crime on victims and their families.

While other people had previously been sentenced in Maine under Jessica's Law, those sentences came after plea agreements. Boland's sentencing was the first to come after a trial.

The memorandum of decision from the Maine Supreme Judicial Court indicated that Boland's appeal was denied for several reasons.

Boland contended that some of his statements to police should not have been used at his trial because he was not advised of his Miranda rights, which instruct a person that s/he has a right to consult with an attorney and to have an attorney present during questioning.

"Contrary to Boland's contention, the court did not err in denying his motion to suppress statements he made during two police interviews, because the record supports the court's determination that (1) he was not in custody when questioned without Miranda warnings being administered, and (2) he made the statements at issue voluntarily," stated the decision. "... Because Boland was not in custody when questioned, his Fifth Amendment right to counsel did not attach."

Boland also contended the victim, who was 5 at the time of the trial, was not a competent witness. And Boland also took issue with the fact that the victim's age was a factor considered at his sentencing.

"Also contrary to Boland's assertions, the trial court did not clearly err in finding the 5-year-old victim to be a competent witness ... Nor did it err in considering the victim's age as an aggravating factor at sentencing," the decision stated.

Jeremy Pratt of Camden represented Boland. Deputy District Attorney Eric Walker presented the case for the state. ..News Source.. by Tanya Mitchell, The Republican Journal Reporter

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March 4, 2009

WV- Lawmaker Wants Barbie Banned in W.Va.; Local Residents Quickly React

Proof that all squirrels are not in trees.

3-4-2009 West Virginia:

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Barbie could get an unwelcome present for her 50th birthday: outlawed in West Virginia.

A state lawmaker proposed a bill Tuesday to ban sales of the iconic Mattel doll and others like her.

The proposal from Democratic Delegate Jeff Eldridge says such toys influence girls to place too much importance on physical beauty, at the expense of their intellectual and emotional development.

A Mattel spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday. The Barbie doll officially turns 50 on March 9, and the toy maker has made big plans this year to mark the anniversary.

Barbie has had her foes over that half-century. Critics say the doll promotes materialism and an unnatural body image.

Here is the text of the bill as posted on the WV Legislature website:

H. B. 2918
(By Delegate Eldridge)
[Introduced March 3, 2009; referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.]

A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new article, designated §47-25-1, relating to banning the sale of "Barbie" dolls and other dolls that influence girls to be beautiful.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new article, designated §47-25-1, to read as follows:


§47-25-1. Unlawful sale of Barbie dolls.

It shall be unlawful in the state to sell "Barbie" dolls and other similar dolls that promote or influence girls to place an undue importance on physical beauty to the detriment of their intellectual and emotional development.

NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to ban the sale of Barbie dolls and other similar dolls. ..News Source.. by Kallie Cart

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Crisis of Faith

3-4-2009 National:

Carnal Knowledge

Sex panics make for bad law. It could be said that they make for bad science, too, except that what has driven some of the most notorious legal cases to emerge from such panics has been more a masquerade of science, a belief tricked out in the language of medicine and social science to distract from the mumbo jumbo at its core. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court is set to be the latest arena to test that belief, taking up the admissibility of "dissociative amnesia," or "repressed memory," in a case that some powerful interests no doubt hoped was as settled as the grave.

The petitioner is Paul Shanley, a once famous "street priest" who became infamous in the sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church, was tried in 2005, convicted and sentenced to twelve to fifteen years in prison. Because the media, particularly the Boston Globe, were central to the allegations and the frenzy that provided the context, it has always been difficult to see the case plainly. But because justice, as opposed to its many stand-ins, is blind, imagine yourself or one you love as the defendant at the bar.

In October 2004 Dr. Daniel Brown, a Boston psychologist, took the witness stand in a pretrial hearing at Middlesex Superior Court and offered what would become the state's only foundation for its prosecution. There was no evidence in the case, just a claim that depended entirely on faith. Dr. Brown was in the courtroom to give it the imprimatur of science.

The accuser asserted that from the age of 6, in 1983, he had been raped and otherwise indecently assaulted by the defendant for three years in a busy church on Sunday mornings. Each assault, it was alleged, instantly erased his memory of what had just happened, so that the boy re-approached the defendant in a state of innocent unknowing, to be assaulted again, to forget everything again and again, and then move on in life without the slightest inkling of the experience until twenty years later, when it all came back to him.

Dr. Brown had appeared as a certified expert in courtrooms for years, stating that the mind's capacity for such "massive repression" was generally accepted as demonstrable fact in the psychological professions. That was always false. By 2004, however, as compellingly detailed in documents now before the Supreme Judicial Court, the literature in major scientific publications questioning the validity of repressed memory was weighty. Many of the therapists whose work Brown recommended had been disgraced, stripped of their licenses and revealed as dangerous frauds in successful malpractice suits.

Brown's own testimony had been rejected as unreliable by courts in New Hampshire and Rhode Island. Nevertheless, he was the expert favored by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and defense counsel offered not a single study or witness to rebut. Almost fifty years of research on memory and trauma, involving 120 studies and more than 14,000 people with documented experiences of rape, sexual abuse, torture, death camps, war or other horrors, reveals no evidence of repressed memory--that is, an inability to remember that cannot be explained by ordinary forgetting, infantile amnesia, intoxication or brain injury. Ignorant of that record, Judge Stephen Neel ruled that "the theory of repressed memory is generally accepted by the relevant scientific community." Thus, it was deemed admissible to buttress the criminal allegations.

When prosecutors first brought those, in 2002, there were four complainants, all friends or acquaintances, who reported identical experiences of sexual abuse, immediate memory loss and instantaneous remembering within a few days of one another. This quadruple "recovery" of memory began when one of them read an article in the Globe.

Although, as initially charged, the defendant was a man who had had "unnatural sexual intercourse" with four small children in the same period, at the same time on Sundays, in the same circumstances for years, there was never any physical evidence. No blood, no rips, no teary eyes or flushed faces or even dishevelment among the boys. None of the many people who were in the church every week when these crimes were supposedly happening, including the mother of one of the boys, ever noticed a thing. No one saw any of the boys alone with the defendant. No one corroborated essential details of their stories; in fact, many witnesses, including the accuser's mother-in-law, who was also on the scene every week, contradicted them.

Ultimately the DA dropped three men from the case, their shaky claims further burdened by mental illness, gambling, drug use, prison time and prior statements of being raped by family members. The last man standing had been in the Air Force and was a newly married fireman at the time of trial. Under oath he re-remembered some of his "memories" differently. The prosecution's expert witness, a confederate of Dr. Brown called Dr. James Chu, testified that this was perfectly consistent with dissociative amnesia. Every contradiction in the accuser's story, like every problem in his past, was only further proof of sexual abuse and of his sincerity.

Dr. Chu's testimony revealed the leap of faith at the heart of repressed memory belief. "There are patients who report no amnesia," he said, "and I don't know whether they in fact have no amnesia or that they just haven't yet remembered something that they forgot." Defense counsel floundered in the face of this purported scientific expertise. Dr. Chu admitted that the concept of the brain erasing all knowledge of a traumatic event until some mysterious mechanism unlocks the deep freeze of memory "doesn't make a lot of intuitive sense." He was relying on the stories patients told him, the symptoms from which a therapist can "construct meaning," as Dr. Brown had put it, and the studies based on people's self-reporting, without controls, methodological standards, error rates; in other words, without scientific validity.

In the absence of effective cross-examination or an informed defense, though, Dr. Chu's testimony conferred the aura of a scientific benediction. Use your "common sense," the prosecutor told the jury; believe the expert, believe the victim. She hadn't proved a thing, but the jury believed them.

Almost no one in the press questioned the "science." Scandal had been so profitable. After Roderick MacLeish Jr., a personal injury lawyer who brought a civil case on behalf of the four accusers, held a dramatic PowerPoint press conference in 2002, the Globe pronounced the priest "depraved" and went on to collect its Pulitzer for retailing MacLeish's most inflammatory claims. The immense documentary record on Shanley never supported them, so the Globe's reporters (and others from The Advocate to the New York Times to Vanity Fair) either never analyzed the documents independently or misrepresented them. Nor did they submit their interviews to the most basic checks of rational skepticism.

Shanley had had sex. He'd had sex with hustlers and teenagers and other men. And he, a priest, had lied about it. That anyone else might be lying, or confused, or seeking attention, or wanting money, or needing an explanation for the mess of a life only muddied up a good gothic tale. When the church defrocked Shanley and, against its attorneys' advice, settled the civil case, paying the accuser, Paul Busa, $500,000 and paying the troubled friend whose claims had set off the chain reaction of recovered memories, Gregory Ford, $1.4 million, it handed down one more pretrial guilty verdict. "Even if Shanley didn't rape those kids," went the common line, "he did something." Nobody knew, amid all the monster-making, that the DA had offered Shanley a deal: plead guilty and avoid prison. He refused.

When the Supreme Judicial Court hears arguments in May, it will consider the issues that, without the impedimenta of panic and prejudice, always made this a case about due process and equal treatment under the law. Shanley's new lawyer, Robert Shaw Jr., is not asking the court to divine Busa's veracity or even to determine that the hypothesis of repressed memory is, finally, true or false. That, he asserts, is the function of scientific research. To date, the research shows that the hypothesis is unproven. And so long as it is unproven, it is inadmissible in court. Shaw argues that Shanley had ineffective counsel on this and other matters, and he is seeking a new trial.

This will be the first time a Massachusetts court fully considers the scientific, evidentiary basis for repressed memory. The Commonwealth is behind the curve. Since 1998 state courts have been dismissing repressed memory as junk science, and prosecutions based on it have become rare. In 2007 an Indiana court rejected Dr. Brown's testimony as misleading, and a federal judge threw out a $1.75 million verdict in a case that hinged on Brown's expertise. In a 2006 amicus brief, dozens of pre-eminent social science researchers stated, "Decades of research and scientific debate have clarified over and over again that the notion of traumatic events being somehow 'repressed' and later accurately recovered is one of the most pernicious bits of folklore ever to infect psychology and psychiatry." Which is why Massachusetts matters beyond the fate of one man. People who may not believe in God or aliens believe in repressed memory, with no more justification and maybe less. The source of that belief is by now a tangled web, but one of its strands leads back decades to liberals and do-gooders, feminists and therapists in Massachusetts. Their ideas ruined hundreds of lives, and their acolytes, who cheered Shanley's conviction and were rewarded for abetting it, ought to be disabused of the pretension that they served something other than faith-based justice. ..News Source.. by JoAnn Wypijewski

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MN- Court upholds civil commitment of sex offender

3-4-2009 Minnesota:

The Minnesota Court of Appeals has upheld the civil commitment of 23-year-old Richard Patrick Comeau as a sexually dangerous person.

According to court documents, Comeau is believed to have assaulted more than a dozen youths, beginning when he was about 13 years old. His victims included males and females as young as 5 and as old as 19.

The former Shakopee man was committed by Scott County District Court Judge Michael Fahey on April 4, 2008. He will be residing within the Minnesota Sex Offender Program and housed at a treatment facility in either St. Peter or Moose Lake, Minnesota.

Fahey ruled that Comeau met the conditions necessary for civil commitment, including his "utter lack of power to control" his sexual urges and lack of significant improvement from treatment. "There is clear and convincing evidence that, as a result of his past course of harmful sexual conduct, his mental disorders and his lack of power to control his sexual impulses, it is highly likely that Comeau will engage in further harmful sexual conduct and he is dangerous to others," Fahey wrote.

Comeau challenged his commitment, arguing the district court shouldn’t have considered disclosures he made during mandatory sex-offender treatment, and absent these records, the court lacked sufficient evidence to commit him. He also argued the court erred in finding that there was no less-restrictive treatment facility available for him.

In its December ruling, the appeals court said Comeau’s treatment form stated staff would report any suspected or known child abuse to authorities. Furthermore, Minnesota law allows the admission of relevant records or data in civil-commitment hearings. The appeals court found the testimony of court-appointed examiners, in addition to Comeau’s admission of offenses against four minors, as clear and convincing evidence of a habitual course of sexual misconduct. ..News Source.. by Shannon Fiecke, Staff Writer

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IL- Convicted sex offender arrested for operating Myspace

This case raises the question, what steps does Illinois take to notify registrants of changes in their laws? If he was not notified, he violated nothing.

2-10-2009 Illinois:

(KMOV)-- Police busted a convicted sex offender for operating a Myspace web page.

Gregory Kruckeberg, 27, was arrested thanks to a news law in Illinois.

Captain Brad Wells of the Madison County sheriff's office said it doesn't appear Kruckeberg used the site for anything illegal.

"It's not illegal to have them but they have to let law enforcement know of those emails addresses or internet sites they maintain which would include Myspace or Facebook or any social networking sites," he said.

Kruckeberg's mother, told News 4 her son, who lives with her outside of Bethalto, was convicted 4 years ago over an incident with an underage girlfriend.

Unaware of the new law, she said her son's Myspace page was used to post a picture of the daughter from that relationship.

"He didn't do anything illegal on Myspace. He doesn't get in there to talk to or find bad stuff. To me putting a picture of his daughter he was proud, I was proud you know."

But that pride is being quickly erased by the reality that this tough new Illinois law could put her son in prison for three years. ..News Source.. by News 4 coverage

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VT- 'Brooke's Law' To Be Signed By Governor Wednesday

Does anyone see what steps they have taken? At best it seems they made the sentence longer, but if only that, what have they done to prevent the circumstances that led up to the death of Brooke. By making sentence longer all they have done is put off the circumstances till sometime in the future. Is this a case of wordsmithing?

3-4-2009 Vermont:

Law Stiffens Penalties Against Sex Offenders

ROYALTON, Vt. -- In the summer of 2008, sex crimes against children were thrust into the forefront of local residents' minds when a 12-year-old Braintree, Vt., girl went missing, only to be found days later in a shallow grave -- the apparent victim of a violent sexually motivated murder committed by a family member, according to federal prosecutors.

Brooke Bennett, a basketball and lacrosse player who had just finished seventh grade, disappeared June 25 after being seen with her uncle at a local convenience store. She was found dead a week later, buried not far from the home of her uncle, Michael Jacques, who police say drugged, sexually assaulted and killed Bennett by putting a plastic bag over her head.

Police have said Jacques was part of an online sex ring that involved Bennett's former stepfather and a young relative Jacques had been sexually abusing.

Wednesday, Gov. Jim Douglas will sign new child sex offender legislation named after the slain girl into law. Know as "Brooke's Law," the new legislation was prompted by her death and stiffens penalties against child sex offenders.

The state's sex offender penalties had come under scrutiny before the Bennett case came to light, but intensified after her death.

Jacques had a history of sex crimes against minors and had already spent time in jail for kidnapping and sexual assaulting a teenager in 1992. Court papers also tell of a female relative Jacques began sexually abusing when the girl was just 8 years old, which culminated in his arrest in 1985.

The documents, including a 1985 affidavit from an Orange County court, outline seven years of alleged sexual abuse that included oral sex and vaginal intercourse, which eventually resulted in the then-15 year-old girl being impregnated by Jacques.

Despite his past, Judge Amy Davenport allowed Jacques to be removed from probation seven years early in 2006, according to court documents. This came after a state Department of Corrections parole officer recommended it in 2004.

When Jacques' past came to light, it drew outrage from parents, politicians and others who were puzzled at how a man with such a history could be released.

Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas asked the corrections commissioner to review all of its policies related to this case -- how it monitors offenders, whether treatment is effective and how it deals with violent sex crimes.

A legislative panel met several times in the summer and fall to weigh proposals for cracking down on sex crimes against children.

Senate President Pro Tem Peter Shumlin announced a series of special committee meetings and public hearings to discuss the matter.

Still others called for the death penalty and mandatory sentencing laws, sometimes referred to as Jessica's Law. Douglas even called for a one-day special legislative session for lawmakers to vote on a civil confinement law, an expanded sex offender registry and mandatory minimum sentencing law.

Many Vermonters rallied for tougher child sex laws and thrust their support into a mandatory minimum sentence like the one Douglas plans to sign Wednesday. ..News Source.. by

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MI- Legislators push to bar licenses for convicted health care workers

3-4-2009 Michigan:

A former Farmington Hills dentist OK'd to resume his practice despite a 2002 conviction for sexually assaulting a patient is the target of legislation announced Wednesday to bar license reinstatement for health care professionals convicted of sex crimes.

State Rep. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, who with Rep. Bettie Cook Scott, D-Detroit, is sponsoring the ban, said giving a convicted sexual predator renewed access to patients and potential victims is "outrageous ... horrendous. It shouldn't be allowed to happen."

Dentist Donald Quinn, now 51, was accused of drugging a 27-year-old patient and keeping her in his apartment as a sex slave in 2001.

After briefly fleeing the country, Quinn was apprehended in Pennsylvania, returned to Michigan and sentenced to a year in jail after pleading guilty to reduced charges.

The state Board of Dentistry OK'd a restricted license for him to resume practice in 2007. Quinn, whose license also was suspended in 1987 for drug violations, apparently is working in Tuscola County. A call to his office there was not returned Wednesday.

Department of Community Health spokesman James McCurtis said Quinn's limited license prohibits him from possessing or prescribing controlled substances and requires that he work under the direct, on-site supervision of another dentist approved by the department. MDCH has not taken a position on the legislative proposal, he said. ..News Source.. by DAWSON BELL

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MI- Caught in a vacuum: Judge to sentence Swan Creek Township man in car wash sex case

Just guessing, the next legislative step is, a "car wash" residency law. I'd love to know what the prosecutor meant by "aggravated" indecent exposure. Maybe he beat up the vacuum when the quarter ran out?

3-4-2009 Michigan:

Jason L. Savage pleaded no contest to indecent exposure in a sex act involving a Thomas Township car wash vacuum.

Savage, 29, of 11615 Swan Creek in Swan Creek Township entered the plea Wednesday in Saginaw County Circuit Court. A no contest plea means a defendant doesn't contest the prosecutor's evidence and accepts the punishment.

Prosecutors agreed to dismiss a charge of aggravated indecent exposure.

Circuit Judge Fred L. Borchard will sentence Savage on Wednesday, March 25. He faces up to a year in jail.

Savage admitted in court he was on parole for fourth-degree fleeing from a police officer Oct. 14, 2004. Borchard told Savage the Department of Corrections could find that he violated terms of his parole by admitting to committing a crime.

The department was to release Savage from parole Monday, June 1.

Court records also show that Savage has convictions for second-degree home invasion Nov. 5, 1996, and possessing contraband, marijuana, in a prison Feb. 23, 1998, at the former Buena Vista Corrections Center.

The report said a Thomas Township resident saw "someone acting suspicious" at a car wash about 6:45 a.m. Oct. 16 at 7362 Gratiot.

A Thomas Township police officer parked some distance away, approached on foot and caught the man in the act, investigators said. ..News Source.. by Darryl Q. Tucker | The Saginaw News

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OH- Indictment dismissed for non-sex offender who didn't register

3-4-2009 Ohio:

NEWARK — Danny Seals won’t be returning to prison, but that’s only a minor victory in his battle to be rid of the “sex offender” label.

The state dismissed an indictment this morning that alleges Seals, 49, failed to register and provide notice of a change of address — both requirements imposed on those named in the Ohio Sex Offender Registry and Notification.

Licking County Assistant Prosecutor Alice Bond said that her office had no plans to reindict Seals, as had been done in December, and that some errors made by the state, including placing Seals in the incorrect middle-tier of sex offender, made the dismissal prudent.

Seals and his attorney Eric Brehm had a different take on the ouster.

“At the end of the day, you know why you’re walking,” Brehm said to his client after the paperwork was signed. “It’s because it’s unfair.”

Seals was convicted of one count of kidnapping and four counts of abduction for holding his estranged wife hostage, along with two kids and a woman briefly, during a 1994 standoff with police in Mount Vernon. There was no allegation of sexual motivation or even a mention of the word “sex” in the police report or subsequent investigative materials.

When he was released in 1999, Seals learned he had been classified as a child victim offender under Megan's Law, the predecessor of the Adam Walsh Act.

There is no separate registry for child victim offenders so they are rolled into the state SORN database and tasked with sex offender registration requirements — and their notoriety too.

Seals contacted The Advocate by letter from his cell at the Licking County Justice Center in September and in an interview at the jail later that month talked about the persecution he suffered because of his picture on the Web site.

His bond was modified to personal recognizance and he was released from jail Oct. 3, but the case was still active until today.

Brehm believes that local prosecution was a mistake that has now been corrected.

“Occasionally, the government gets it wrong,” Brehm wrote in a statement to The Advocate. “Mr. Seals has complied with what he believed was required of him. In all fairness, this matter should be and is over.” ..News Source.. by staff reports

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GA- Senate passes bill that revamps sex-offender rules

3-4-2009 Georgia:

The state Senate voted Tuesday to change parts of the sex-offender registry law, said to be one of the most restrictive in the nation.

Senate Bill 157 aims to address a court ruling handed down last year by the Georgia Supreme Court, which found unconstitutional the law’s restrictions against registered sex offenders who are homeless and cannot provide an address. The bill would require a homeless offender to provide the Sheriff’s Office, in lieu of an address, the places where he or she sleeps, eats and works and other places the offender frequents, and report in weekly to the Sheriff’s Office.

Humm, this sounds like PROBATION or PAROLE, forcing folks who are FREE to abide by rules of probation or parole. This sounds like discrimination and unconstitutional! Court again, federal this time...

SB 157, which passed 52-2, also allows a judge to release an offender from residency restrictions if the offender no longer poses a substantial risk of being a sexual predator and the person lives in a nursing home, a hospice facility, is permanently disabled or seriously ill and incapacitated. ..News Source.. by Mary Lou Pickel, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Finally, a law that takes into consideration the Americans with Disabilities Act!

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The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has created a Surveillance Self-Defense site

3-4-2009 National:

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has created this Surveillance Self-Defense site to educate the American public about the law and technology of government surveillance in the United States, providing the information and tools necessary to evaluate the threat of surveillance and take appropriate steps to defend against it.

Surveillance Self-Defense (SSD) exists to answer two main questions: What can the government legally do to spy on your computer data and communications? And what can you legally do to protect yourself against such spying?

After an introductory discussion of how you should think about making security decisions — it's all about risk management — we'll be answering those two questions for three types of data:
First, we're going to talk about the threat to the data stored on your computer posed by searches and seizures by law enforcement, as well as subpoenas demanding your records.

Second, we're going to talk about the threat to your data on the wire — that is, your data as it's being transmitted — posed by wiretapping and other real-time surveillance of your telephone and Internet communications by law enforcement.

Third, we're going to describe the information about you that is stored by third parties like your phone company and your Internet service provider, and how law enforcement officials can get it.

In each of these three sections, we're going to give you practical advice about how to protect your private data against law enforcement agents.

In a fourth section, we'll also provide some basic information about the U.S. government's expanded legal authority when it comes to foreign intelligence and terrorism investigations.
Finally, we've collected several articles about specific defensive technologies that you can use to protect your privacy, which are linked to from the other sections or can be accessed individually.

So, for example, if you're only looking for information about how to securely delete your files, or how to use encryption to protect the privacy of your emails or instant messages, you can just directly visit that article. ..News Source.. by The SSD Project

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GA- Ga. considers changes to sex offender law

3-4-2009 Georgia:

ATLANTA (AP) - Georgia legislators are seeking to soften some of the toughest provisions in the state's crackdown on sex offenders.

The Senate voted 52-2 on Tuesday to make sweeping changes to the law. The new plan now goes to the House, where powerful Republican legislators pushed the original law through three years ago.

The current law bans sex offenders from living, working or loitering within 1,000 feet of just about anywhere children gather. That includes schools, parks, gyms, swimming pools and the state's 150,000 school bus stops.

The law, which supporters say is among the nation's toughest, was passed in 2006 at the urging of Republican leaders who vowed it will help protect Georgia's children and prevent the state from becoming a "safe haven" for sex offenders.

One change would allow "low risk offenders," such as those convicted of statutory rape, to petition the legal system to get off the registry after completing their sentence.

The Senate proposal would also clear the way for most sex offenders to volunteer in churches. Sex offenders who are elderly and disabled could ask the courts to be released from the residency requirements under the proposal. ..News Source.. by

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OK- State: No bids for sex offender facility

3-4-2009 Oklahoma:

EDMOND — A state agency received no bids for a first-in-the-nation stand-alone nursing facility for sex offenders, and a lawmaker said a recent Edmond incident validates the need.

The proposal for the long-term care facility was open for bid from Dec. 2 through Feb. 3, and there were no bids or requests for proposal as directed by state law, said Henry Hartsell Jr., deputy commissioner of Protective Health Services, a division of the State Health Department.

Hartsell said the Health Department initiated the request for the proposal as directed by state law. Now, due to the lack of interest, the agency will have to re-evaluate what to do next, he said.

The delay means it will take longer for the facility to become a reality.

And the facility will come too late to help the 67-year-old resident of Grace Living Center of Edmond, who police said was allegedly sexually assaulted by a then 93-year-old male resident in September.

I love how they mislead the public, the 93-year-old resident WAS NOT a prior sex offender (and he died yesterday), so even if the facility was built, the circumstances would not have prevented that sexual assault. That is one MAJOR FLAW in the thinking behind this nonsense of a separate facility for CERTAIN prior sex offenders (the bill only covers level II and III sex offenders). This entire law and the theory behing it is like a cake of swiss cheeze, full of holes.

In December, Kris Steele, R-Shawnee, who wrote the law requiring the facility, said he was pleased that the state was “moving so swiftly” to build it.

Steele said he will schedule a meeting with the State Health Department to review the issue.

“We’re not giving up by any means,” Steele said Tuesday afternoon.

Officials will try to determine why no bids were submitted and what to do to address the industry’s concerns, Steele said.

Likely concerns include liability issues, and funding additional security measures such as including video surveillance in common areas and additional needed staff, Steele said.

Other Oklahomans also were surprised by the development.

Scott Rowland, first assistant district attorney with the Oklahoma County District Attorney’s Office, said he was surprised and disappointed by the news about an absence of bids.

Rowland said the need for a stand-alone, secure long-term care facility for sex offenders is enormous.

Citizen advocate Wes Bledsoe, founder of A Perfect Cause, an elder and disabled advocacy group, had a similar reaction.

“I’m shocked an operator did not step forward,” Bledsoe said.

Bledsoe said he hopes an operator who understands the needs will make a bid.

Steele said he is determined to complete what was started, that Oklahoma senior citizens deserve to be able to live without fear. Steele said he hopes an operator will be approved sometime this year — and soon.

Officials have said there are about 30 known sex offenders currently residing in Oklahoma nursing homes and that number is expected to grow. The Oklahoma Department of Corrections estimates 2,250 inmates convicted of sex crimes will be released from prison in the next 10 years. ..News Source.. by Mark Schlachtenhaufen, The Edmond Sun
Another misleading fact, of the 2,250 released sex offenders, how many will need to services of a PUBLIC nursing home. Once someone is released from prison there are no controls over them, the state cannot force free people into specially designated facilities. Further, how many will be designated levels II and III? Making statements like this, without even considering relevant facts, completely misleads the public and other legislators.

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A new site covering all aspects of sex offender information

Click on image to visit that site

Sex Offender Laws Research is a website established to provide factual information about sex offender laws and their effects on people and society. While the organizers of the site have a point of view about sex offender laws, the purpose of the site is not to advocate a political position, but to provide information that allows people to understand and make informed decisions.

That site is by far the largest work on sex offender information on the Internet. My work here on compiling of deaths of sex offenders and those accused of sex offenses is metioned on the top of his page here:
An anonymous website maintains an ominous list of hundreds of suicides, murders, and other inauspicious deaths of sex offenders or those falsely presumed to be such. See The Consequences, of sex laws, sex crimes and accusations!: Suicides, Deaths, Murders, and Revenge by “eAdvocate”. Click on the link in each death listed to be taken to a news report about it in the mainstream press.


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March 3, 2009

IN- How effective is sex offender treatment?

Clearly the prison system, if it evaluates inmates beforehand, is partly at fault in only providing a few months of treatment in this case. Study after study shows treatment is effective in reducing recidivism, but each person's history should guide the length of treatment and here that was not the case. Society is safer with effective treatment programs in prison, before the person is released and followup care after release while on parole.

3-3-2009 Indiana:

A convicted sex offender who evaded police last week after the abduction of a South Bend woman received sex offender treatment only a few months before his release from prison after 25 years of incarceration, records indicate.

Michael Lloyd Lindsey was arrested Sunday by Newton County, Ind., police following a manhunt that began after the abduction of the woman Feb. 24 and two other attempted abductions in which Lindsey was a suspect. He also was wanted by Jasper County police for attempted carjacking and intimidation.

The 48-year-old South Bend resident has a history of violent sexual crimes and spent 25 years behind bars after he was found guilty of rape and child molesting in Elkhart County.

But records kept by the Indiana Sex Offender Management and Monitoring Program indicate Lindsey consented to sex offender treatment only in October 2007. He was released in July.

Treatment in prison

To encourage sex offenders serving time in prison to submit to such treatment, Indiana enacted a statute in 2006 to prohibit them from receiving time cuts in their sentences unless they participated in treatment. Until then, they had few incentives to do so.

Before 1999, the Indiana Department of Correction did not provide sex offender treatment in an organized way, a spokesman there said.

In prison, Lindsey received cognitive-behavioral treatment in group sessions, records indicate. Indiana provides psychoeducational treatment to sex offenders in prison, typically in the last three years of incarceration, said Jeannine Curtis, a licensed clinical social worker and local therapist.

Lindsey's risk for offending again was assessed as "medium" before his release, records indicate. He also was labeled a "sex predator" on the Indiana Sheriffs' Sex and Violent Offender Registry.

But was the treatment he receive in an Indiana prison effective? Were there any other alternatives?

Dr. Adam Deming, a psychologist and director of the Indiana Sex Offender Management and Monitoring Program, said treatment of sex offenders has proven effective in reducing recidivism rates.

In 2007, only 2.43 percent of sex offenders released from prison in 2004 had committed another sex offense, he said, citing an Indiana DOC study. Similarly, in 2006, only 3.68 percent of sex offenders released in 1999 had committed another sex crime.

Contrary to public perception, Deming said, recidivism among sex offenders is "much lower" than in the non-sex offender population.

"People fear sex offenders more perhaps because the nature of the crime is very personal, particularly against children," he said.

But if treatment doesn't solve the problem, how does society protect itself from violent sexual predators like Lindsey?

Course of action

About 20 states have violent predator laws that commit high-risk sex offenders to civil custody for indefinite periods of time, Deming said.

"But I don't know if that's the answer either," he added. "We have to balance that with a person's civil rights and liberties."

Curtis said Indiana does not have civil commitment laws to keep dangerous sex offenders locked up.

"Until such a time," she said, "society has to deal with the reality that such offenders eventually are released back into the community."

The way to go could be to invest more money in sex offender treatment, Deming said. Curtis said that while longer prison sentences could be appropriate for some sex offenders, effective community management must include sex offense-specific treatment, polygraphs and probation/parole supervision.

Curtis and Deming agreed that castration is not a solution to the problem.

"While a popular topic for some," Curtis said, "(castration) only serves to remove one means by which men sexually offend. It does not block the many other ways one can sexually abuse, nor does it reduce the drive behind sexually abusive behavior."

A leading expert on sexual disorders, Dr. Fred Berlin, founder of the Sexual Disorders Clinic at Johns Hopkins University, said medicating some sex offenders to lower their levels of testosterone has proven effective in preventing them from offending again.

Berlin said there is a subgroup of sex offenders that are driven by abnormal sexual cravings and can be successfully medicated.

"The biological approach gets to the cravings themselves, and in more serious cases ought to be considered," he said. "If someone's hungry for sex in a dangerous way, then lowering the intensity of that hunger can make it easier to control themselves. And it can reduce recidivism dramatically." ..News Source.. by Staff writer Pablo Ros

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ME- Sex registry should focus on protection

3-3-2009 Maine:

The online registry loses value if it is used to punish everyone ever convicted of a sex crime.

Law enforcement experts will tell you that the people who commit sex crimes against children are different from other criminals.

Unlike those who commit crimes of dishonesty or violence, there is a population of fixated sexual predators who will hunt victims and violate them in more and more brazen ways until they are stopped.

But the same experts will also tell you that not all sex crimes are the same. There are older teenagers, for instance, who have sexual relations with a willing partner not old enough to legally consent. They have committed a crime but may not be predators.

But under current law, all offenders are required to register with local law enforcement and have their names, photographs, addresses and places of employment published on a state Web site that can be accessed by anyone.

That practice is now under review by both the state Legislature and the courts, in response to complaints that it is an unfair tack-on punishment for some individuals.

The public should understand that rethinking the law makes sense and is not about giving sex offenders a break.

The goal of sex offender registration and the online publication of information should be providing members of the public with information they need to protect themselves. It should not be about public humiliation and, in effect, an extra measure of punishment.

A system that provides too much information and mixes truly dangerous people with those who are probably not a threat is as dangerous as one that provides too little.

The Legislature has been struggling with this issue for several years, and it is not an easy one. Cases now before the Maine Supreme Judicial Court could result in opinions that would provide more clarity.

The important thing for lawmakers to focus on is public protection. Other states have developed registration systems that collect and maintain current data about all sex offenders for police use, but only publish information about the ones considered to pose a real danger to the community.

For the lawmakers who believe that sex offenders would not be punished enough in such a system, there is an option -- longer jail sentences for those convicted of sex crimes.

But the purpose of the registry and the Web site should remain providing the public with accurate information about real risks. Doing that may mean fewer names on the Web site. ..Source.. of: The Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram

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Incarceration nation: 1 in 31 U.S. adults now in criminal justice system

3-3-2009 National:

The U.S. criminal justice system is tapping out state budgets while failing to make the public safe, but most people don’t care until it affects them directly. If the numbers keep growing, it won’t be long before practically everyone is. A study released today by the Pew Center on the States shows that 7.3 million people — 1 in 31 U.S. adults — are now locked up or on parole or probation. In Michigan, it’s one in 27 people. In one neighborhood on Detroit’s east side, one in seven adult men is in the system.

Our policies on crime and punishment aren't working and we can no longer afford them. Over the past two decades, state general fund spending on corrections has more than tripled to $68 billion a year. That means a lot less money for education, health care and other essential government services. Michigan spends $2 billion a year on corrections — more than it spends on higher education.

Despite this investment, recidivism and crimes rates have not gone down. My own feeling is that mass incarceration has increased crime by disrupting families, neighborhoods and social networks. In Michigan today, one in six adults has a felony on his or her record. One in 14 African American children has an incarcerated parent, making it seven times more likely that they, too, will go to prison.

What people forget is that nearly everyone sent to prison will get out. Roughly 600,000 people a year leave prison or jail and return to their communities, many of them unable to find work. Mass incarceration has made prison a norm in certain neighborhoods. My brother-in-law, who’s 34 and grew up on Detroit’s east side, told me once that every male peer he knew coming up went to prison or jail. For many young men, going to prison has become almost an expectation, a rite of passage.

The Pew report also notes that it costs, on average, 22 times more to lock offenders up than to supervise them in community programs like probation and parole than it does to lock them up. Diverting more lower-risk, non-violent offenders to community programs makes dollars and sense. It would lower corrections costs and enable states to spend more on education and other government services.

We need to find a better way. It’s troubling and puzzling that many of the same people who attack government inefficiency give our costly and ineffective criminal justice system a pass by pushing for more of the same. ..News Source.. by JEFF GERRITT

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