May 23, 2012

Behind Closed Doors: The Adam Walsh Act Way, now the States are following?

5-23-2012 National:

BEHIND CLOSED DOORS: The Adam Walsh Act way. (see earlier AWA Morphism) Yes folks, that is the way it has been since the inception of this harmful devious law, even a good portion of federal lawmakers were cut out of the constitutional process which enacted AWA.

In this Four Part Series we will focus on things relevant to the AWA/SORNA Tier Assignment System (TAS) and nothing more. Those who have followed my "Behind Closed Doors" Commentaries on AWA know digging into and documenting the inner workings (err. trickery) of Congress is always a long eye-opening ride.

Before I begin I note that a study has already been completed which proves that the Adam Walsh Act system of Tier Assignment does have a tendency to assign folks to higher Tiers, the study is: WIDENING THE NET: The Effects of Transitioning to the Adam Walsh Act’s Federally Mandated Sex Offender Classification System (table 3 is a clear example of what is happening) by Andrew J. Harris, University of Massachusetts Lowell and Chirstopher Lobanov-Rostovsky, Colorado Sex Offender Management Board, Colorado Division of Criminal Justice and Jill S. Levenson, Lynn University. I take no issue with anything they say, but for me it didn't answer the "Why" tiers went UP? That issue led me to this series.

Before AWA/SORNA registrants, either lived in a state where there was no risk assessment system, or they lived in states which had a risk assessment system, both decisions by those state lawmakers that such was, or was not, needed. Accordingly, registrants risks were either assessed or not assessed, that being the law at the time. Accordingly, the "Doctrine of Laches" may very well apply if the state changes its position as to registrants, without further conduct on registrants' part.

The law at the time, is the key to follow and keep in mind, as we provoke minds to study issues.

Evolution of Laws: Simply said, laws evolve, today they say this and tomorrow they say that, then in the future they may say something else. In essence laws are generally tweaked based on, something new that has occurred; and lawmakers have a tendency to tweak to make laws more onerous over time. They call it, closing loopholes (i.e., fixing what former lawmakers forgot or didn't think of); more onerous over time. What a law says today may not be what it says 1-2-3-4-5-10-20-30-40 years from now.

Criminal law, a person must be charged based on what the law was, at the time of the offense. The offender's dangerousness, as it were, is determined at the time s/he was prosecuted. Sentencing, followed by serving the sentence, is supposed to make the person whole with society again, rehabilitated (save any collateral civil consequences, at the time). The length of that sentence, and appropritate punishment, was determined by a judge and the law at that time.

Finally, as laws are tweaked, they often affect/establish constitutional or other rights, rights that cannot or should not be violated. This is a specially important consideration when reconciling state and federal laws, and what can or cannot be applied to a person.

State Sex Offender Registration: Along comes sex offender registration, applied retroactively -in most states- with some having retroactivity exceptions, and courts have ruled -without finding any wording in law- that lawmakers meant no further punishment for those required to register. According to courts, registration's alleged purpose is to protect society from possible recidivists, not to further punish registrants, and that registration is civil in nature (Note: One state even prohibits retroactive application of civil matters (Missouri)). Further that the majority of the states HAVE NOT enacted any form of risk classification of registrants as part of the criminal process (decisions of lawmakers of those states at the time) (Ohio an exception) nor have they today.

The majority of the states, including Alaska and Connecticut (who both ended up in the US Supreme court over registration in 2003), had disclaimers on their websites -at the time- which stated something like this, registrants are not considered dangerous (none are so classified) but are listed by virtue of their having committed a sex crime in their past. So, at the time excepting in states with existing classification systems, registrants were not to be considered dangerous (so sayeth past individual state disclaimers, at the time). Is "Latches" an issue today?

In summary, only a select few of the states have lawmakers felt it necessary to perform risk assessments and declare certain registrants as dangerous. Other states -in their website disclaimers- have actually said, registrants have not been assessed as being dangerous, instead are listed by virtue of their former conviction. Decisions by past lawmakers.

Questions that need to be explored:

PART-I) Why does SORNA not contain any of these words: Risk, Dangerousness, Classification and Offense Based?

PART-II) What is the purpose of Section 637 "Sex Offender Risk Classification Study" of the Adam Walsh Act?

PART-III) Why were certain sections of the Adam Walsh Act never codified into law?

PART-IV) How are States implementing SORNA's Tier Assignment System?

PART-I "Missing Words: Risk, Dangerousness, Classification and Offense Based"

The Adam Walsh Act: In 2006 the federal Adam Walsh Act (AWA)was enacted and declared to be retroactive. Title I of AWA (Sex Offender Registration (SORNA), has a tier assignment system, what federal lawmakers VERBALLY call an "Offense Based" tier assignment system (TAS) but "offense based" is not mentioned within SORNA.
Yes, such system makes the public think registrants' crimes were JUST COMMITTED. Offense based systems will always take a person's mind back in time to when the offense was committed 1-2-3-4-5-10-20-30-40 years ago. SORNA's TAS, today, negates the purpose of a judges sentence, rehabilitation, and hides same from public knowledge. And SORNA/TAS adds to burdens nonexistent at the time of the crime. SORNA/TAS is clearly cruel and unusual, esp. since no other crime type is so handled. Since SORNA and its TAS often change the "Legal Status" between registrants and the state, is it possible that there are actionable rights, constitutional or otherwise?

SORNA's Tier Assignment System (TAS): I don't think there is a form of punishment more cruel than this system and its hidden method of labeling a registrant, so that, the person is held to ridicule and further harmed by society, no matter what they do or where they go. And for years beyond the term of their sentence, to the point of civil death in the community; harmed in ways never known in history. And, any family is also dragged into the harming process.
Purpose of the TAS: Everything you thought you knew is about to change, truths revealed, this is an expose of its real -but hidden- purpose. It is cunning, devious, cruel, and genius at the same time; its real purpose is not what it seems.

Given the absence of "classification, risk, dangerousness or 'offense based'" then tier assignment purpose has to be other than flagging registrants as dangerous or a risk. Right? In AWA/SORNA it says, tier assignment is used to inform registrants when they are required to verify their information, in person(42 USC 16915(a)), and their term of registration (42 USC 16916). But, the absence of those words is the clue. The hidden (unstated) purpose of "Tier Assignment System" is a gotcha "Classification, Risk, Dangerousness" "Offense Based" system, cleverly designed to further punish registrants in the community where registrants live, work and go to school.
Why omit the words classification, risk, dangerousness and offense based? It is to get around any inference that might lead to a ex post facto clause claim. The absence of those words will likely lead courts to say, its civil not criminal, hence not ex post facto -which requires further punishment to be shown-, and you cannot directly see the further punishment in the wording of SORNA.

Until you fully analyze SORNA/TAS and its -intended effects- you will not see this subtle and onerous gotcha system. The gotcha is, that, Lawmakers through TAS do not inflict further punishment, TAS is DESIGNED so that registrants are further punished by the community where registrants live, work and go to school. It took Lawmaker genius (many lawyers) to design this gotcha system, and TAS also effectively TAKES AWAY from registrants, and public view, registrants' efforts at rehabilitation during serving of their sentences. This places registrants in a PERPETUAL FALSE LIGHT before the public eye, many for the rest of their lives; if that isn't further punishment, nothing is.

Senator Hatch, when interviewed on the Nancy Grace show on 7-16-2006 (aired 7-18-06) had this to say:
SEN. ORRIN HATCH (R), UTAH: Well, the bill [HR-4472] really puts the screws to those who are sexual predators, and you know, sexual offenders. You know, we have around 500,000 ....
Yes, Sen. Hatch along with Ken Valentine, a Secret Service Agent from the White House, appointed to Sen. Hatch staff for unknown reasons, were all behind closed doors crafting the Adam Walsh Act. The most cunning and devious law in American history.

Absent the Words, Public Perception: There is no doubt the SORNA/TAS system is a risk based classification system of a devious kind, resulting in a dangerousness rating, even though such words are purposely omitted. Historically the public has been primed to believe "Levels" meant levels of dangerousness, because some states previously had traditional risk assessment systems, which arrived at a assigned dangerous level of 1-2-3 (meaning likelihood of re-offense). Now with the coming of SORNA/TAS tiers and all the political hype, and the media, tiers are now believed to have the same meaning/purpose as levels. Levels 1-2-3 = Tiers I-II-II.
In a recent news article Target 8 News had this to say:
"One of ___' rape victims says he's dangerous and belongs on the list as a predator, though she'd rather see his name in an obituary. But there is nothing on the registry that actually says Tier 3 is the most dangerous. That's something you have to figure out for yourself." "Michigan sex offender tiers confusing" (5-8-12 by Ken Kolker)
SORNA/TAS does not command lawmakers or others to explain the real meaning and purpose of Tiers, as it is written into SORNA (a system of notifying registrants when they are to report to verify their information (42 USC 16915(a)), and their term of registration (42 USC 16916)). Lawmakers allow the public misconstruction to continue. Why? Because it suits the purpose of further punishing registrants, without lawmakers saying, that is what TAS was designed to do.

Think about it, why omit those words if thats what is being described in SORNA?

Stay tuned for Part-II, The Risk Classification Study.

For now have a great day and a better tomorrow.

© SOResearch May 2012, All Rights Reserved!

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