Sunday, April 29, 2007

Protecting the public

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Even suicidal terrorists get treated better than sex offenders, excluding the physical torture! Nazism at it's best folks! See my other Nazi comparison here.

04/30/2007

The revelation in The Herald today that two sex offenders have been released on condition that they agree to electronic monitoring orders of eight and 10 years respectively will probably polarize opinion. Some will say that if these two men are so likely to re-offend that they must be confined to their homes for at least 12 hours a day, they should not have been released in the first place. Indeed, some believe certain categories of sex offender, such as pedophiles whose condition is not deemed to be treatable, should be incarcerated for life. "Lock them up and throw away the key," is a well-worn phrase.

On the other side will be those who argue these men have paid their debt to society and that imposing on them what amounts to house arrest for a further protracted period defeats the ends of natural justice. This dilemma could be compared with that of the terrorist suspects who, following more than three years of imprisonment without trial at Belmarsh Prison in London, were released on control orders that restricted severely their movements. Last August the Court of Appeal ruled the control orders were so draconian as to amount to a deprivation of liberty under Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Part of the pressure to release sex offenders arises from prison overcrowding. Britain already imprisons more people per head of population than any country in Europe. On a practical level, this obstructs severely programs aimed at rehabilitation. It is also extremely costly: keeping someone in prison is three times more expensive than electronically tagging and supervising them in the community. There is also an unacceptably high human cost in terms of the number of prison suicides. Tabloid newspapers prone to headlines along the lines of "Tagged lags on the loose" are the first to castigate the prison authorities and the parole board when people die miserably in prison by their own hand when humane alternatives are available. They cannot have it both ways.

Life is never devoid of risk, and constant surveillance of sex offenders is simply impractical. The electronic tagging of offenders is relatively new. Though it certainly represents a severe curtailment of a person's freedom, that may be an acceptable alternative to imprisonment for both the individual and society, under certain conditions. These include the proviso that it is used in the context of a program of supervision and never as a substitute for it. Also, given the level of technical malfunction and human error associated with such technology, it requires rigorous monitoring. Over-reliance on tagging can provide a false sense of security, and public confidence is undermined when things go disastrously wrong, as in the case of Callum Evans, the 18-year-old who committed murder while wearing a tag that was set incorrectly.

The particular issue in this case is the length of time for which the men are likely to be restricted. Experience elsewhere suggests that the longer someone is subject to tagging, the more likely they are to breach their conditions, because they find them intolerable. If long-term, even lifelong, tagging is to become a regular part of our criminal justice system, it needs to be both flexible enough to be workable but rigorous enough to provide the public with the protection they rightly demand.



States restricting where sex offenders live

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A look at some the state restrictions on sex offenders.

State Type of restriction
Alabama Offenders can't work or live within 2,000 feet of schools, child care facilities.
Arkansas Serious offenders can't live within 2,000 feet of schools, day care centers.
California Those released since Nov. 7 may not live within 2,000 feet of schools, parks, other places where kids gather.
Florida Offenders who've hurt minors can't live within 1,000 feet of where kids gather.
Georgia Offenders can't live, work or loiter within 1,000 feet of where kids gather.
Idaho Offenders can't live or loiter within 500 feet of school with kids under age 18.
Illinois Offenders of children can't live within 500 feet of a school.
Indiana Violent offenders can't live within 1,000 feet of a school, public park or youth program center.
Iowa Offenders can't live within 2,000 feet of school or child care facility.
Kentucky Offenders can't live within 1,000 feet of school, child care facility, ball fields and playgrounds.
Louisiana Serious offenders can't live within 1,000 feet of schools or related activities, including school buses.
Maryland Parole commission restricts registrants from living or loitering near places used mostly by kids where feasible.
Minnesota Parole commissioner decides whether serious offenders may live within 1,500 feet of school zones.
Mississippi Offenders can't live within 1,500 feet of school or child care facility.
Missouri Offenders can't live within 1,000 feet of school or child care facility.
Montana Judges can bar offender of children from living near schools, churches, parks and day care centers.
Nebraska Offenders can't live within 500 feet of schools or child care facilities.
New York Serious offenders can't enter school grounds or facilities caring for kids.
Ohio Offenders can't live within 1,000 feet of schools, child care facilities or places kids gather.
Oklahoma Offenders can't live within 2,000 feet of schools, day care centers or parks.
Oregon Department of Corrections decides where offenders may live.
South Dakota Offenders can't live or loiter within 500 feet of community safety zones.
Tennessee Offenders can't live within 1,000 feet of schools, child care facilities or their victims.
Texas State Parole Board decides where offenders may live or go.
Virginia Some offenders can't loiter within 100 feet of schools or child care centers.
Washington High-risk offenders can't live within 880 feet of schools or day care centers.
West Virginia Offenders can't live within 1,000 feet of schools or child care facilities.



Prison Plan is Embarrasing to Thinking People Everywhere

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Thinking people know that the practice of locking people in cages is from the dark ages. Even so, most politicians do not have the courage to admit that such a primitive action is a non-solution to crime prevention.

There are no statistics anywhere that prisons, jails, isolation, lockdowns or harsh laws such as the death penalty do one thing to deter mentally ill people from acting out their sickness. What we’re doing in California is spending billions of dollars to punish sick people who are being released to our neighborhoods worse off than before they were confined to a cage.

It is not impossible to overcome these primitive practices, but it does take courageous trailblazers to get it started by standing up to the punisher crowd. People once thought that the world was flat and it took quite a lot to convince them otherwise. This is an example of a wrong belief, a paradigm, which is very hard to get people to accept, especially if they’re making a great deal of money by perpetuating a lie.

A brilliant book about paradigms entitled

"Conspiracy of Paradigms" was written by Denise Breton and Christopher Largent (link) which explains a bit about how oppressive people use wrong ideas to control and abuse souls.

At the link there is quite a bit of detail about how prisoners’ normal emotions are removed and camp emotions are implanted, and how after the shock of the prison experience sets in, apathy takes over which is the inability to care about anything.

Those who are parasites feeding off the human misery which is at the core of the prison industry have little or no conscience about breaking the prisoners in body, mind and spirit.

These “punishers” promote that abuse is the only way to teach the mentally ill and addicts which make up 70% of the prison population (or more) a lesson they will never forget. But the fact remains that no matter how hard anyone tries, you cannot punish a sick person into being well. If anything, abundant credible research teaches us that punishing the mentally ill only makes them much sicker.

The current legislature had a chance to re-examine this faulty thinking and replace the primitive “punisher” mentality with a more enlightened one of treating and healing the sick in our society who cannot follow the rules. I would like you to see a page I am updating on our site which shows the names, the lawsuits filed and the photos of real people who have been destroyed for life over the unbearable incompetence taking place in the prisons.

These are but a few of the campaigns in the past three years that my UNION volunteers and I did in a desperate struggle to save lives, better conditions and plead to the lawmakers for justice. (link) Keep in mind that every taxpayer who cooperates with this inhumanity by not showing up to vote or speak out in the media with simple letters to editor is as responsible as CDC and the legislators who support this brutality.

We were hoping and praying for relief which isn’t coming because our side isn’t one of the 134 mobilized voting machines that count in Sacramento . Even though we number in the millions of citizens, we are not loud enough or writing enough checks to matter to law enforcement’s puppets sitting in elected office. The builder’s are also pulling the Governor’s strings, licking their chops at the fresh human slaves that will be caged in their billion dollar prison building projects.

In the dark of the night, your elected officials conspired and agreed to pass a ridiculous bill which Senator Perata admits in his speech is bad. I am disturbed by all the fast-tracking and “cooperation” between the Repuglicrats on new laws that are of life and death importance.

When the Assembly passed the bill to mortgage our children’s future by agreeing to allocate $7 billion dollars on a 69-0 vote with no debate, I felt a cold shiver run throughout my patriotic soul. The Democrats have sold out to the Republicans this time.

For years Republicans have exposed the Democrats for stealing the public’s hard earned money through redistribution tax schemes and wasteful spending projects in an effort to buy votes. Today Republicans who run for office on “no new taxes” platforms have stolen the public hard earned money by creating bonds, which are nothing more than a form of new taxes.

Future taxes will pay the principal and interest and the future is our children and grandchildren. Without sentencing reform, the new beds will fill up quickly. The Democrats in supporting this so-called compromise have sold out to the “tough on crime” mindless Republicans. I was so hopeful that the 34 new people elected to office were going to be of the same cloth of other great leaders, but I can see that they are just followers of the filthy lucre mindset.

No debate by the Assembly members over the allocation of $7 billion in new cages when there is no basis that locking people in cages does one thing to prevent or deter crime? This is a time when we desperately need money for education which is a very wise crime prevention tool. Instead our lawmakers robbed us of precious education dollars in a stealth move by raising taxes via a bond and there was NO DEBATE? How utterly revolting and unrepresentative of the best interests of the citizenry. Who are these people we've put in power over our lives?

Students at UC San Francisco are admirably protesting that they cannot pay for school even after working full time jobs. The photos of their Walk Out to support Education Instead of Incarceration can be viewed here. After all, a large percentage of the prisoners are young between 18 and 25 years old, certainly not unredeemable. Without an education, they are more likely to end up committing crimes due to poverty and desperation.

What heartens me is how bright and energetic the University students are unlike so many of their parents who allow themselves to be turned into wage slaves without so much as a protest. Even after their children are taken into slavery to work in the prison industry, too many parents are still not writing short comments to editors, attending important policy hearings in Sacramento or bothering to bring ten people to the polls to stop the crazy Repuglicrats destroying their lives.

Protesting is how people of my generation ended the Viet Nam war. Protesting in mass is how the Iraq war is coming to an end. Protesting in mass is a necessary way to show the lawmakers that voting groups are formed well enough to be able to elect or recall them. If a citizen’s pressure group does not have enough funds and noisy volunteers to put their own people into office by paying for their campaigns or to file lawsuits or do initiative campaigns, then that group simply has no voice.

Protests show the size of a voting block.

Emails and phone calls to legislators are ineffective as they do not believe that the families and parolees have the intelligence to really organize a voting machine. That’s why it is difficult to get any of the lawmakers to carry bills forward for us. They know there won’t be crowds at the hearings, checks written or lobby work as a mysterious victim mentality of looking for a free rescue hangs as a dark cloud over our entire movement.

Every freedom fight has required a war chest and a large army dedicated to the ideal and this one of the battle for prison reform is no different.

As long as such pressure groups remain unfunded and smaller than 6500 trained and mobilized members, we will never see prison reform. All of the current reform is coming from lawsuits, those filed by Prison Law Office which we have supported, the attorneys of ACLU and the 28 lawsuits of the UNION families have put these critical issues on the front burner.

But without thousands of people marching in the streets, overflowing the Capitol, the lawmakers simply will continue to do what they want, because silence is a form of consent in a Democracy. So that is why this wrong-headed Prison Paradigm still exists even though it has overbuilt the bureaucracy and literally destroyed hundreds of thousands of California families.

We need not be stopped here in front of this brick wall for such a long period. It was the University Students and the hippies that rescued Cesar Chavez who nearly starved to death for seven years trying to organize the uneducated and illegal workers. I know that it was the hippies and students who gave the UFW a voice so that it could be a voting machine large enough to stop the oppression for I was there, living in Kern County during those years.

Besides Cesar Chavez, my youth was an era filled with humanitarian greats including Dr. Martin Luther King whom Judge Thelton Henderson and Rev. Jesse Jackson supported and worked closely with, as well as President John F. Kennedy. They all taught the lessons of basic organizing including marching and getting people to the polls to vote against the punishers.

I remember vividly the day JFK was shot. The teachers at my junior high as we called it then in Bakersfield were sobbing as they herded us outside to say the Pledge of Allegiance to a flag at half mast. At the time I didn’t quite understand their unusual display of emotion but I remember crying too.

I was the Valedictorian of my eighth grade class that year and my speech was all about our paths in life as humanitarians. The world was deeply grieving the senseless killing of a president that held much higher ideals than what we've put into power over us today. I was as dead serious at 14 years old about that humanitarian path so critical to changing paradigms of backward thinking then as I am today.

Then came the Viet Nam war to which I lost classmates and witnessed the migration of the flower children to Haight Ashbury. The murders of students who protested at Kent State are still as clear in my memory as if they happened yesterday. At the time, I thought it would be very cool to be a hippie and go with them but I had a job at the Bakersfield Californian newspaper and responsibilities on the college newspaper as well.

I broadcasted the Saturday News for ABC KBAK TV at a time when women weren’t allowed to do that type of “man’s work.” I couldn’t go to San Francisco and be a hippie because I had to write and report the news about the war abroad and the war at home on my people.

The same as now.

I would like to think as I soon enter my 40th year as a California publisher and opinion writer that some of the primitive paradigms about treating people as animals would have progressed to a more advanced and effective level.

But as always with the punishers, there are new toys such as GPS devices to try out on people. The new taser weapons to use for their macho shows of strength against our young people whom they’re snatching up by the thousands for crimes that aren’t really crimes. And now a ridiculous plan to expand the human bondage industry at a time when it is overdue to be ending so that we as a people can focus on healing the sick, instead of punishing them.

After all these years of being a person dedicated to the First Amendment, human rights, liberty and justice, the one thing I know for sure is that we can’t just make a bunch of noise once or twice and expect the bullies and the people they put into office to do their bidding to take any action on the problems. The lawmakers have now made it quite clear that they love prisons and do not want to be enlightened to better methods of restorative justice, preventing poverty, mental illness and substance abuse which would be much smarter to prevent crime. The lawmakers have also told us this past month, that all the 54,000 people unconstitutionally sentenced will not be welcome to appeal in the courts for years, if ever, by their “fast track" of SB 40.

I am not going to live forever, nor is Judge Henderson, so I’d like to do that thing that writers do best and record what I think it’s going to take to put an end to this nonsense. Reform only comes about when the oppressed get together and elect the right people in the first place and that includes paying for their campaigns and getting solidly behind them to get them elected.

The good people who dare to take on the Goliaths have no such backing from the oppressed. It isn’t because it couldn’t be done. Such support could be given since this segment of our society outnumbers all the punishers and could vote them off the planet if so inclined! No. The withholding of support from the people most hurt to elect the right people to office is mostly due to a lack of education about how the system works as well as fearfulness. Fear is the most powerful tool of oppression and has worked splendidly for the law enforcement labor unions to gain control of my native state.

When Senator Don Perata stated in his speech “the voters want to see people in prison” he is speaking the truth. That’s because the main people voting are law enforcement labor unions, their friends and family members. Of course they want to see people in prison so they can have an overpaying job for heaven’s sake. You can listen to that speech which didn't make a lick of sense to me here

When people began ringing my phone to get my opinion of what was said, I was not surprised based on what I've heard and witnessed for ten years straight out of the legislature, but I was and am still disappointed. Very disappointed.

The rest of the people outside of friends and family of law enforcement aren’t voting that much, including the 18 year olds. Maybe this apathy is changing now that the students are recognizing they are more likely to go to one of these new prisons than to college.

I am a lifetime student myself as well as having three grandsons who are working hard to put themselves through college. They are exhausted trying to balance jobs and studies and so disheartened that our cartoon character of a Governor has raised tuitions to pay for more prison building. Gasoline is more than $3.35 a gallon, a home and nice automobile are out of the reach of too many of our youth, even those who are working can’t make it.

How stupid to put the importance of education and prevention programs behind prison expansion. I hope that the taxpayers are aware that $7 billion is just to kick off this prison building party and billions more will be required to maintain and expand it.

The plan passed this past week is so bad that it has angered everyone including the powerful prison guard’s union (CCPOA) who elected most of the Republican politicians to office to do their bidding. What will happen now after the Governor signs the bill is that it will mostly likely go into a lawsuit. I believe that the legislature punted it to the courts to sidestep actual reform. When the CCPOA gets angry, the lawmakers listen, but the people who need to be raising the roof about all of this are the educators and students in addition to the three million silent people connected to a state prisoner who historically hasn't put up a large enough fight for themselves.

It would have been very easy to take the 34,000 mentally ill prisoners completely out of a system where they cannot survive. On May 7 another meaningless CDC public hearing will take place that will further prosecute the mentally ill for masturbating. You read me right. Our courts are tied up with prosecutions of the mentally ill caught in prison masturbating, which marks them as a sex offender, a designation that can easily result in death by stabbing. Their cells are their homes. Why not keep the women guards out of the male areas where the mentally ill are isolated until they have no sanity left. It is outrageous this primitive practice of punishing the sick for predictably acting out their illnesses which prison exacerbates! In their CDC Bulletin for a rules change, they are blaming Judge Henderson for this one as well. The UNION people have been to dozens of these rule change hearings that CDC holds pretending to have an open ear to listen to objections.

We frequently brought 40 or 50 representatives to speak out against taking packages, cutting back visiting, extending SHU review times up to 90 days, the list of hearings we wasted our time on attending is endless. These are not televised and not once did CDC relent on any illogical and irrational thing it wanted to do to make the chaos even worse. Often they did not even get our names right or enter our testimony into their record. Always their decisions have been destructive and expensive to the entire system but no one really cares because the media isn’t there to report it.

Building prison hospitals under the present designation of CDC or DMH is akin to throwing money into a black hole. Why reward two failed agencies who know nothing about healing the mentally ill?

To these lawmaker clowns under the Big Top dome in Sacramento, the prisoners are simply commodities. They are cash cows, a modern kind of slave that pays for the unjust bureaucracy. You can hear that attitude in their voices during the hearings on the California Channel.

I trust Judge Thelton Henderson to see through this very bad plan and I know that he will question as I do why the Democrats are passing laws that they do not like or believe in and then blaming it on him.

Please tell the prisoners not to commit suicide, which always happens when the legislature does something as ridiculous as passing this impotent prison plan. This insensitivity to the prisoner's state of mind is but one reason why we have the nation’s largest suicide rate which brings delighted squeals from the punishers who love witnessing their hopelessness, pain and suffering.

For those 3 million relatives of a state inmate it will get your blood pressure boiling to realize that your suffering is mostly due to politics.

Here’s what patriots and activists for change should do every time they get angry at the system.

.Register people to vote as “decline to state” at post offices in poor neighborhoods until you can't stand up anymore. The first step to prison reform is electing the right people in the first place

.Call up a teacher and ask them why the heck their labor union isn't railing against education dollars being wasted on prisons. Many teachers now have kids in prison and have been in prison themselves. There are thousands of teachers, and because they’re organized, they matter. They’re too compliant and easily trampled by the punishers. Their salaries reflect that lack of backbone.

.Write letters to editors of 150 words or less until you're blue and get your friends and family members to do the same. Public education is our job.

.Start lining up the ten people you are going to bring when our bill AB1539 to release sick and dying prisoners goes to the Appropriations Committee any day now. When people aren’t there, the legislators assume that they consent to what is taking place.

.Start lining up the ten people you are going to bring to sit in court for two of our lawsuits coming up in about a month

.Recruit one new person to the UNION to be trained and mobilized as an activist for change. 6500 people willing to write, protest and get out the vote can change any law, elect or recall any politician. You can’t wish reform into being. It takes some work by enough people to make the 150 day deadlines.

.Get extra exercise which will help burn off some of the stress hormones we're all generating by the gallons right now. Don't agonize, organize and mobilize. The lawmakers count on ignorance and a defeated spirit from our side. Without those factors, law enforcement's politicians would not be in office. Asking them to do the right thing obviously is a total waste of time. The power of numbers in action is the ONLY solution.

Here are a few of my past articles which gives hundreds of ideas for reform which you may use to model your own letters to editors. Public education must be done through the media and it is everyone’s job because apathy and ignorance of the voters are the only reasons in the world why we have all these brick walls in place.

Corrupt Criminal Justice System Contributes to Over-Crowded Prisons

October 21, 2006

by: Dr. B. Cayenne Bird

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Real Prison Reform Must Include Sentencing and Parole Changes

September 25, 2006

by: Dr. B. Cayenne Bird

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Prison Reform for Dummies: What's Right and What's Wrong

September 13, 2006

by: Dr. B. Cayenne Bird

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Parents of Prisoners ask: Why are we paying to punish sick people in prison?

August 17, 2006

by: Dr. B. Cayenne Bird

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Parents of Prisoners Pray for this Urgent Reform First

August 8, 2006

by: Dr. B. Cayenne Bird

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Voters Must Demand Sane Prison Reforms to Protect the Public Safety

July 26, 2006

by: Dr. B. Cayenne Bird

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Build Mental Hospitals - Not Prisons - to Lower Crime

July 9, 2006

by: Dr. B. Cayenne Bird

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Links to all of the above articles can be found here.

If you would like to do more than just pass email back and forth and become an activist for real change, please subscribe to my daily online newsletter so you can know when, where, why to fight back. Until enough people get that 6500 workers are needed, we are all stuck in the quagmire of the status quo. There are no rescuers except ourselves, obviously, this reform can only be done with more lawsuits and an initiative campaigns.

The forms are Join_the_Union.html.

"Ignorance and apathy of the people rule governments.

Knowledge is power. Knowledge comes from reading newspapers,

not from getting your news from television alone"

Rev. B. Cayenne Bird

rightor1@yahoo.com



County paid juvenile detainee $900,000

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Justice is indeed green. Doesn't look like any charges are going to be filed. We'll see.

04/29/2007

Criminal case pending against former guard

BELLEVILLE - The St. Clair County Board has agreed to pay $900,000 to settle a sexual abuse lawsuit against a former guard at the Juvenile Detention Center.

Even before his arrest on criminal charges in 2005, Thomas P. O'Donnell Jr.'s tenure at the center was marked by complaints and disciplinary infractions, according to memos obtained by the News-Democrat.

O'Donnell, 52, who worked as a guard and transportation coordinator for seven years at the center, 9006 Lebanon Road, is charged with felony aggravated sexual abuse and official misconduct for allegedly abusing a 14-year-old male detainee. He could not be reached for comment.

O'Donnell is awaiting trial on the criminal charges. However, the St. Clair County Board two months ago agreed to pay the boy, identified in court papers as "C.P.," and his family $900,000 to settle a federal lawsuit.

And because of a glitch in its insurance coverage, the county paid for the settlement out of taxpayers' funds, board Chairman Mark Kern acknowledged, even though it is the court system, not the county, that is responsible for overseeing the detention center.

"The County Board has no care custody or control of those individuals," Kern said. "All we do is pay up when a claim is made."

The problem stemmed from the fact that the county obtained its insurance from a municipal insurance pool, said Dan Maher, the county director of administration. "And in the transition from one to the other, they eliminated some coverages," Maher said. "On the other hand, even when you had insurance, you usually had a $200,000 or $300,000 deductible. So we would have paid that anyway."

An incident on Sept. 22, 2001, triggered an investigation by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. The agency substantiated a complaint that O'Donnell had abused a boy under his supervision.

The incident occurred when O'Donnell drove a detainee to Belleville Memorial Hospital for an emergency visit.

At the hospital, O'Donnell verbally abused the boy and kicked his bed "in frustration, causing alarm to the extent that DCFS as well as the Belleville police were called," according to the memo written by Ron Schaefer, the recently retired director of the county court services and probation department.

Schaefer placed O'Donnell on probation and ordered him to complete an anger management class. Schaefer also ordered O'Donnell to work inside the detention center and no longer leave for transportation runs, according to memo.

"Based on your past integrity and professionalism, I take your word that the above violations will not take place again," Schaefer wrote.

Larry "L.D." Ward, a former detention center guard who had worked four years with O'Donnell, believes the fact that O'Donnell kept his job was due to patronage. O'Donnell is the son of Thomas O'Donnell Sr., a former St. Clair County circuit judge.

"It was because of his linkage to the judicial system," Ward said.

O'Donnell had other episodes "that under normal circumstances he should have been fired for," said Amy Gunn of St. Louis, the attorney for the boy identified as "C.P."

The sexual abuse the boy suffered "should never have been allowed to happen," Gunn said.

Randall Kelley, O'Donnell's defense attorney, declined to comment because the case is pending.

O'Donnell is not the only detention center corrections officer to be accused of committing acts of sexual abuse with detainees. A federal lawsuit was filed in February against guard Richard Jenkins, detention center supervisors and the county by two 17-year-old girls identified as "Jane Doe" and "Jane Roe."

The girls claim they were sexually abused by Jenkins, who has not been criminally charged in that case, but is also accused in the lawsuit with assault and battery.

The allegations of sexual abuse at the detention center reflect a management culture where complaints are ignored and jobs are awarded family connections, according to Ward, O'Donnell's former co-worker.

"I think the juvenile system has been used as a hiring platform politically, particularly entry-level hiring," said Ward, who worked at the center from 2000-04, when he was fired for allegedly intimidating fellow employees -- a charge he disputes.

Instead, he said he was fired in retaliation for filing a sexual harassment complaint against a female guard, Ward said.

Schaefer, who retired as probation director more than a week ago, could not be reached for comment. Mike Buettner, the acting probation director, declined to comment.

Stephen Kernan, the chief judge for 15 years until he retired in 2002, said he had never heard of complaints concerning O'Donnell's behavior.

As the overall administrator of the courts, the chief judge "has to rely on their department heads to do the jobs for which they have been appointed," Kernan said.

The current chief judge, John Baricevic, said, "We don't comment on litigation," when contacted for this story.

Meanwhile, State's Attorney Bob Haida is exploring whether the county can get its insurance consultant, Risk Management Consulting Group, Inc., of St. Louis, to pay for part of the $900,000 settlement.

"When that coverage was switched, we were told by the insurance pool that all the coverages we had were included," said Maher, the county administrator. "At that point they didn't tell us that they had extracted that coverage. So I think there are multiple levels of problems here."



Sex Offender Branding Is The Same BS The Nazi's Used!!!

Nazi concentration camp badges

Yes we are comparing how ex-sex offenders today are being treated as others were treated during Adolph Hitlers' reign!

We are not saying ex-sex offenders are homosexuals, and we are not comparing ex-sex offenders to how the Jews were tortured, we are comparing how they were labeled and seen as outcasts, forced to wear a label that invites vigilantism.

Will YOU be the next outcast? Click here to see all the registries in the works.


The pink triangle (German: Rosa Winkel) was one of the Nazi concentration camp badges, used by the Nazis to identify male prisoners in concentration camps who were sent there because of their homosexuality. Every prisoner had to wear a triangle on his or her jacket, the color of which was to categorize him or her according "to his kind." Jews had to wear the yellow badge, and "anti-social individuals" (which included vagrants, "work shy" individuals and often, but not exclusively, lesbians), the black triangle. The black triangle as a symbol of lesbian or feminist solidarity, a counterpart to the gay pink triangle, probably originated from the Nazi "asocial" black triangle.

The inverted pink triangle has become an international symbol of gay pride and the gay rights movement, and is second in popularity only to the rainbow flag.

HISTORY

The prisoners with a pink triangle identified themselves as gay (sometimes they were married to women, and engaged in very few, if any, homosexual acts). Not everyone convicted under Paragraph 175 was sent to a concentration camp; in fact, most were sent to ordinary jails. Most gay men who suffered and died in Nazi concentration camps actually wore the yellow star (because they were both Gay and Jewish).

While the number of homosexuals in concentration camps is hard to estimate, Richard Plant gives a rough estimate of the number of men convicted for homosexuality "between 1933 to 1944 at between 50,000 and 63,000."

After the camps were liberated at the end of the Second World War, many of the pink triangle prisoners were often simply re-imprisoned by the Allied-instated Federal Republic of Germany. An openly gay man named Heinz Dörmer, for instance, served 20 years in total both in a Nazi concentration camp and then in the jails of the new Republic. In fact, the Nazi amendments to Paragraph 175, which turned homosexuality from a minor offense into a felony, remained intact after the war for a further 24 years. While suits seeking monetary compensation have failed, in 2002 the German government released an official apology to the gay community.

Today, fewer than ten of those imprisoned for homosexuality are known to be still living. In 2000, the documentary film Paragraph 175 recorded some of their testimonies.

The pink triangle is the basis of the design of the Homomonument in Amsterdam and the Gay and Lesbian Holocaust Memorial in Sydney.


Internment Camps, farms, prisons, why should we have to stop there! We have taken the first courageous steps and need to keep this ball rolling before those we wish to intern wise up and form a resistance and before the courts and world realize their complicity in allowing us this opportunity. We have a great "plan" already laid out for us to follow. Long before Hitler killed the first Jew in Nazi Germany, he paved the way for the wholesale disenfranchisement of human beings by — you guessed it — attacking the rights of sex offenders. From 1933 through 1936, a series of amendments were passed to Paragraphs 173 through 188 of the German Penal Law specifically targeting homosexuals and others determined to be “sexual deviants.”

The sex offender laws created under the Nazi Third Reich have been the model for “Megan’s Law” and many of the other laws being passed throughout the United States. They, The Nazi’s, established the first sex offender registry, required sex offenders to register their whereabouts and to wear pink triangles, and established draconian punishments for sex crimes that included long prison terms, loss of civil rights, confinement in concentration camps, and the death penalty. We have now most all of these laws in place. All of these laws were justified by the Nazi’s in the same way that our present-day politicians justify Megan’s Law: to protect the children from sexual predators.

Of course, targeting sex offenders is just a way for us to establish the precedent we need for the wholesale deprivation of human and civil rights in preparation for us to act against all the people we want out of our lives and communities such as all criminals, illegal’s, and anyone we deem as unworthy to share our Great American Way of Life.

It’s doubtful that the America Public, in general, would have acquiesced to our rounding up all those we have deemed undesirable and so forth, and sending them off to whatever had we not first establish a precedent that some people are subhuman and unworthy of human rights such as sex offenders are now — and so we start with the most universally despised group we could find and use those laws to move on to others.

Anyone who thinks that this couldn’t happen and work this time is delusional. The simple fact is that history shows that we can single out one group for deprivation of civil rights thus weakening those rights for everyone else we want to also deem as undesirable. So come on people we have an opportunity here and get behind these Nazi modeled reforms so we can cleanup our communities and protect our children, and of course it goes to say, just as long as it is not ONE OF US.



Plea deal offered in school officer's rape case

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04/29/2007

PORTSMOUTH — A former high school security officer reportedly has been offered a reduced prison sentence if he pleads guilty to sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl.

According to the Portsmouth Herald, Rockingham Country Superior Court records show David Keitt, 63, of 57 Marston Ave., is being offered a plea deal of 1½ to 5 years in prison if he admits to the assault.

Keitt has been charged on one count of aggravated felonious sexual assault and is scheduled for a Sept. 24 trial in Rockingham Superior Court.

The incident allegedly occurred in 1984— four years before Keitt began working at Portsmouth High School. The victim, now an adult, brought allegations to the police last year.

Keitt was arrested in September and subsequently fired by the school. He is being represented by attorney Lincoln Soldati, who was not immediately available for comment.

The newspaper reported Keitt also was investigated by the school in 2000 after complaints by parents alleged intimidating behavior and the use of sexually explicit language towards students. No evidence was substantiated at the time, and the police were not involved.



Facing sex charge, cop objects: But all I did was sit there!

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04/29/2007

Can a man who passively submits to oral sex be a victim of sexual assault?
- If it can happen to the average citizen, like it does, then yes, this cop is no better and should be charged.

That's what an off-duty Detroit police officer contended after being caught in the act with an underage high school student in 2005.

A Wayne County trial judge agreed, ruling that the cop's failure to resist didn't prove he'd invited, or even consented to, his teenage consort's initiative.

But the Michigan Court of Appeals recently reinstated sexual assault charges against the now-former cop, brushing off the lower court's assertion that the teenager effectively ambushed the defendant "through her acts of concealment and surprise and thereby overcame him."

Taken by surprise?

Hodari Lewis of Detroit was just 20 when he met a teenage girl at Eastland mall late in 2005.

The girl, 15 at the time, testified that she lied twice that day, insisting that she was 17 when the off-duty officer asked her age. When Lewis asked to see identification documenting her birth date, both parties acknowledge she said she'd lost it the previous week.

They agreed to a first date one week later. Lewis, again off-duty, picked the teenager up at a public library after school. Twenty minutes later, a Grosse Pointe Park police officer was startled to find the couple parked on a residential street and engaged in an act that does not typically take place there, at least in broad daylight.

In the awkward confrontation that ensued, the Grosse Pointe Park cop determined that the teenager was still several months shy of the age of consent and arrested Lewis on charges of criminal sexual conduct and carrying a firearm (his service revolver) during the commission of a felony. Soon after, a district court judge bound him over for trial before Judge Deborah Thomas.

The teenager's admission that she had initiated the sexual act did little to mitigate Lewis' plight, since she was incapable (as a matter of law) of consenting to any such act.

So Lewis' lawyer took a different tack. An act of sexual assault may indeed have taken place, attorney Randall Upshaw conceded. But his client had been the victim, not the perpetrator.

Thomas was sympathetic. When prosecutors objected that Lewis had done nothing to resist his consort's advances, the judge noted that Michigan courts had long held that a woman need not resist to be considered a victim of sexual assault -- and that the same standard should be applied to Lewis.

Apples and oranges?

The court of appeals didn't even address that argument in its unpublished opinion reinstating criminal charges against Lewis. The three-page ruling, which ignored almost all of the points Thomas raised in her order quashing Lewis' arrest, can be paraphrased in a few words:

Come on. Give us a break.

By "knowingly allowing" the teen to proceed, the appellate panel said, he had engaged in a forbidden sex act.

Thomas, who recused herself from Lewis' case after the appeals court reversed her, continues to regard the defendant as more sinned against than sinning. She rejects the state's position that "it is perfectly permissible for complainant to lie, defraud and assault another person so long as she is under the age of 17."

Prosecutors respond only that the law holds Lewis and the girl to different standards -- and that jurors can decide, when the case goes to trial later this year, who victimized whom.



Is To Catch a Predator Pornographic? Sensationalist?

Video does not contains nudity. The intro is to prove a point.



Legislators will make no changes in sex offender laws

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When in the hell are politicians going to listen to law enforcement and experts in the field? These laws are NOT protecting anyone and need to be repealed. Just goes to show they are cowards without balls to step up to the plate and admit the laws won't work. They fear they'd look soft on crime. What about fair?

04/27/2007

Iowa lawmakers are deciding against taking action on some controversial issues in their push to complete the work of the 2007 Legislative session and adjourn this weekend.

Iowa's law enforcement community has been complaining about the state law which says sex offenders may not live within 2000 feet of a school or daycare. Legislators are leaving that law intact, however, to the disgust of retired state patrolman Clel Baudler, a Republican from Greenfield who is a member of the Iowa House.

Baudler says legislators are afraid their 2008 opponents will use it against them. "Because of politics, everybody's scared of postcards coming saying, 'You're weaker on crime than I am,'" Baudler says.

Baudler wanted to set a tough manditory prison sentence for first-time sex offenders who prey on children.

Senator Keith Kreiman, a Democrat from Bloomfield, tried to pass another bill which would make it a crime for sex offenders to enter schools, parks and day care centers. He also wanted to raise the penalty for failing to register as a sex offender. "We've lost track of 300 to 400 of these sex offenders already and we're probably going to lose track of more," Kreiman says. "That makes our communities a little bit less safe."

Kreiman says Republicans pressed for other changes, like longer prison sentences for those convicted of sexually abusing children. The two parties just couldn't reach an agreement on the specifics. "I think it was critical that we get something done this year and I'm very disappointed that we didn't," Kreiman says.

Kreiman and Baudler both say they'll continue talking, and hope to find agreement in 2008. "I'm not going to give up on this and I know...Senator Kreiman isn't going to give up on it because it's important to the people of Iowa," Baudler says.

But legislators have given up on the idea of resolving the issue this year.



Let Your Voice Be Heard!

For all sex offenders, families and children of sex offenders, this is the place for you to say whatever is on your mind. JUST KEEP IT CLEAN!!! Any hateful comments or bad language will be deleted or edited.

So reply to this blog item and say whatever is on your mind! Post your story or how it's affected you, your family or children here.

I'd like to get one blog entry on how everyone has been affected by these draconian laws, so speak up!!

NOTE: If you have a lot to say, and it will not fit into the comments section of this blog item, then use the Contact form, I can post it as a separate blog item.

P.S. Just because I post something here, or allow something to be posted, does not mean I am for or against it. This is simply a place for people to voice their opinions on these laws and how they have affected them, but, if I feel something crosses the line, it will be removed or not posted without notice.



Sympathy for the Devil

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01/23/2006

Governor Jeb Bush recently complained that sex offenders being systematically abused at the Florida Civil Commitment Center don't deserve any sympathy. I've worked as a therapist with sex offenders for over two decades and I can tell you the last thing offenders want is sympathy. Healing damaged emotions and breaking the cycle of addiction while learning to love in healthy relationships are the treatment goals of all sex offenders. The Governor's insistence that offenders are untreatable underscores the magnitude of lies spread to generate fear to a gullible and misinformed public. Contrary to what authorities will tell you, virtually all sex offenders are themselves untreated victims, many of them sexualized by women (who are rarely apprehended)...a sexist double standard conspires to keep this fact secret. For boys sexualized by males, our homophobic culture helps drive this form of abuse further into the closet. And the fact that almost eighty percent of sexual abuse in America is actually family, not stranger related, ensures that nothing will be reported, given the hateful and "punishment only" mentality pushed by lawmakers today.

Promoting fear and intolerance has always worked well for tough talking politicians and law enforcement types, serving their agendas of expansion and power but actually doing little to effectively address the problem (analogous to the war on drugs, another law enforcement failure). Cultivating the current stigma against sex offenders by those in power only fosters increased secrecy and allows this widespread social problem to multiply exponentially...today's untreated victims are tomorrow's offenders. Sympathy for offenders? How about empathy for the children and troubled families we continue to harm by branding this problem with a scarlet letter.

Don Sweeney L.M.H.C.-C.A.P.



High costs all around for teen offenses

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I do not see anything here about therapy! Why aren't they getting therapy while here? You see, it's not about helping anyone, if it was, then they'd be getting the help they need.

04/28/2007

Kate still expects to see her son lying on his bed, playing his favorite video games whenever she walks past his bedroom.

But her son, James, has not been living at his Lebanon County home for more than four years. He has been in juvenile-placement facilities since 2002.

James, locked up for sex-related offenses, is one of more than three dozen county youths in such facilities. Their families continue to pay a heavy price for their absence, while the county pays a hefty price to keep them locked up.

But sometimes that’s what it takes, parents and authorities agree — and, in some cases, that’s what the youths themselves want.

About 300 youths are currently enrolled in Lebanon County’s juvenile-probation system. The majority are in programs, such as Gatekeeper, that are meant to steer first-time offenders down the proper path.

And then there are people like James, those with more severe or repeat offenses.

At the moment, there are 38 county youths in facilities outside Lebanon County, said William Sullivan, director of the Lebanon County juvenile probation department. Thirteen of them are sex offenders, and it costs the county $1.1 million a year, or a little more than $3,000 a day, to keep that baker’s dozen in residential facilities.

Another eight youths are in placement for aggravated assault and robbery offenses. Their placement costs are $1,386 a day, Sullivan said.

Seventeen youths are in placement for other felonies, misdemeanors or probation violations, he added. Their costs are $580,000 a year, or $1,589 a day.

Meanwhile, six youths’ placements are paid through sources other than the juvenile probation department, Sullivan said.

Even though the number of youths in placement has decreased over the years, the cost for placement has increased, explained Judge John C. Tylwalk, the county judge who handles juvenile criminal cases.

“We have budgetary limitations in terms of how many dollars we have available for placements, and that impacts pretty directly on what kinds of youth ends up going into placement and for what kind of offense,” Tylwalk said.

Generally, he said, those youths who, like James, have committed the serious crimes are in placement.

“Kate” and “James” are false names. Kate agreed to speak on the condition that her family’s identity not be revealed.

She explained that family life has been difficult since James went into placement. Now 17 years old, James is in a facility in western Pennsylvania, a round-tip drive of at least eight hours for his family.

James was charged in 2002 with indecent assault and making terroristic threats. Every six months, his case is reviewed by the court.

When he was about 4 years old, James was sexually abused by other boys, his mother said. The boys told him that was the way to make friends.

He has been diagnosed with a developmental disorder, and Kate insisted he is not a sex offender. He has been in several facilities since he went into placement and is now at a facility that Kate believes has finally been helpful for her son.

“I love my son,” she said. “God made him special, and I’m supposed to take care of him.”

Kate’s young daughter cannot visit her brother or write to him because of the nature of his offenses, Kate said, even though the charges do not involve Kate’s daughter.

Kate and her husband can visit every week if they wish, but the high price of gas makes that difficult, she said. On Friday, Kate said she had not seen her son in a week and a half.

She can call him twice a week, and James can call home once a week. But the calls last only 10 minutes, Kate explained, and that includes the time it takes for James to get to the phone whenever his mother calls.

Whether she visits or not, Kate said, the feeling of loss continues. She said she has kept her son’s room exactly the way it was in 2002.

“It’s a hard thing to go by that room,” she explained, saying she misses tripping over his big sneakers. “I expect to see him there playing his video game, and he’s not there.

“I have a son, but I don’t have a son,” she added.

According to the juvenile probation department’s Sullivan, some youths are sent to facilities such as The Glen Mills Schools in suburban Philadelphia. Glen Mills is a facility for boys between the ages of 15 and 18, according to its Web site, http://www.glenmillsschool.org.

Youths sent there are required to satisfy academic standards and participate in athletics, Sullivan said. They can also learn a trade while there.

“They’ll actually walk out the door with basic (job) skills for life,” he said.

Some youths who have been sent to Glen Mills have gone on to college, he added.

James might have been capable of that. Kate said James, a bright young man who’s “got the smarts like you wouldn’t believe,” was on the honor roll and involved in a number of school activities like band and sports before the charges. Now, she said, he fears coming home because he’s afraid everybody knows where he’s been and what’s he’s done.

“Its getting to the point (where) he’s been in placement so long that he’s content to stay locked up,” Kate said. “Basically I’ve lost my son.”

In fact, she continued, people who casually know her family don’t realize they have a son because they never see him.

“That’s a hard thing,” she said, “even though we have his pictures hanging all over the place.”



Editorial: The New Outcasts

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The politicians, media and public are all taking advantage of sex offenders who have become poor and sometimes homeless, and this is a disgrace to humanity. Politicians are passing laws based on fear and false statistics which have no proof that the laws they are passing even work. Expert after expert has said they have concerns about these laws and they will not work, yet the politicians ignore experts. So do you think they will listen to you when you are in need of their support? I doubt it. They will only support the majority who get them back into office and fatten their wallets. The news is no longer news, it's entertainment, and that is sad. Like I've said before, it should be ILLEGAL to pass ANY law with a CHILDS name attached to it. They could attach a child name to any bill to remove your rights and you'd vote for it without question. Read Hitler's books, you will see he used this same technique to his advantage.

Civil commitment is a sanitized term for statutes that keep sex offenders behind bars long after they have served their prison sentences. Indefinite commitment laws of this kind have been rapidly increasing around the country, and thousands of people are being held far beyond their actual terms. As sure-fire vote-getters in the wake of a handful of high-profile sexual abuse murders, such laws are to a large extent politically driven, with little thought given to unjust consequences. The latest such law, the 20th, was passed in New York. Governor Eliot Spitzer signed legislation in mid-March that he claims will become a national model.

Civil rights and prisoners’ rights advocates correctly point out, however, that civil commitment legislation incarcerates a person not only for crimes he has committed, but also because of crimes he might commit. What is often overlooked, too, is the fact that the vast majority of child molesters are not strangers, but relatives or family friends of the victims. And contrary to popular belief, once-caught sex offenders have a very low recidivism rate. The Bureau of Justice Statistics found in a three-year study (2001-4) that only 5.3 percent of people arrested for sex crimes were rearrested for a later sex offense.
- Anyone MIGHT commit a crime, so we might as well lock up every single citizen in this country.

The U.S. Supreme Court approved the constitutionality of the indefinite detention of sex offenders in a case brought in 1997 in Kansas, so long as they receive treatment. And skilled treatment can indeed be effective in reducing recidivism rates. According to researchers at the National Center on Institutions and Alternatives, reliable studies indicate that high quality programs do work. But in some facilities to which offenders are sent after completing their prison sentences, the treatment may be of poor quality, administered by minimally trained therapists. According to Jerome G. Miller, co-founder of the National Center on Institutions and Alternatives and himself a therapist, civil commitment laws have “birthed a therapy industry.”

Even if sex offenders do not remain physically confined after completing their sentences, their lives are so constrained by residency restrictions that homelessness becomes a real possibility. There are laws that prohibit them from living within a certain distance of schools, playgrounds or other places where children gather. Registries of sex offenders now exist online, with close to three-quarters of a million names. Mandated community notification may include the circulation of flyers with photos of released offenders, which can make it impossible for ex-offenders to find a place to live.

Miami offers an extreme example of the lengths to which residency restrictions can go. Aware of the inability of a group of released offenders to find housing in communities reluctant to accept them, the state’s corrections department finally allowed the men to live below a Biscayne Bay causeway. Their belongings in plastic bags, they sleep on mats on the pavement, with the rumble of cars overhead. The Miami situation, Dr. Miller told America, is a sign of where the laws are leading: taking residency restrictions policies to an extreme.
- This is cruel and inhumane treatment and we are making a new low class citizen. This is wrong any way you look at it. They need help, not banishment. That INCREASES the chances of recidivism, yet people are so blinded by hate, fear and false info that they cannot see this for what it is. If a lie is told often enough, that lie will become truth!

The danger of harassment and vigilantism becomes all the more likely too. The homes of released offenders have been shot at and even set on fire, in order to drive them away. Vigilantism can lead to murder. In April of 2006, two released offenders were shot dead in Maine. Both were listed in sex-offender registries with their names and addresses. One victim was a man who, at 17, had a relationship with his 15-year-old girlfriend. A legislative proposal in Ohio would require convicted sex offenders to have green florescent license plates on their cars. Such tactics would surely attract harassment or even violence, and be tantamount to a modern form of the scarlet letter.
- The mob mentality has to stop! If we do not, we might as well remove all laws and let everyone do whatever they wish to do. They lets see who is afraid!

Emotionally driven laws that not only punish sex offenders but also push them to the edges of society are counterproductive. Researchers at the National Center on Institutions and Alternatives point out that “if we truly want fewer victims, the focus must be shifted from more and more punishment to the actual funding of treatment programs,” as well as research. Fred S. Berlin, M.D., founder and executive director of the Johns Hopkins Sexual Disorder clinic in Baltimore, Md., has observed that the issue is not solely one of criminal justice, but also a public health matter, an aspect of the situation that is largely overlooked. It is time to stem the rush to enact more demonizing laws that are both unjust and irresponsible, stemming as they do from extreme cases that hold the popular imagination in thrall.



Prison death of sex offenders' killer is investigated as a suicide

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04/24/2007

In a letter sent to The Seattle Times a few months before his death, convicted sex-offender killer Michael Mullen wrote that during his arrest and trial, "facts are, I just wanted to die."

Mullen was serving a 44-year prison term after being convicted of killing two Bellingham sex offenders in what was considered one of the nation's worst cases of vigilantism against sex offenders.

Mullen was found unresponsive in his cell at Stafford Creek Corrections Center near Aberdeen on April 15, and declared dead at Grays Harbor Community Hospital.

The state Department of Corrections says it's still investigating his death.

Prison spokeswoman Sheri Izatt says Mullen was alone in his cell. His death is being investigated as a possible suicide.

"I've been moved from prison to prison since my incarceration," Mullen wrote in his January letter to the Times. "I can not ajust (sic)."

Mullen was sentenced last year for the shooting deaths. He found his victims on Whatcom County's online sex-offender list, posed as an FBI agent in August 2005 to enter the home, and killed Victor Vazquez, 68, and Hank Eisses, 49. He said he let a third resident go because he showed remorse. Mullen had a history of petty crime in Washington and California.

Eisses had served a five-year prison sentence for raping a 13-year-old boy. Vazquez was convicted in 1991 of molesting several children.

In letters Mullen wrote to The Seattle Times after the killings in 2005, he said, "... I wanted one alive to spread the message that 'we' will not tolerate 'our' children being used and abused."

He also said at the time that he was motivated by the case of Joseph Edward Duncan III, a sex offender charged with killing a family in Idaho and kidnapping two children as sex slaves.
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A convicted sex offender and former Washington prison inmate, Duncan is accused of murdering a North Idaho woman, her son and her boyfriend, then kidnapping and molesting the woman's 9-year-old son, Dylan Groene, and 8-year-old daughter, Shasta. Duncan is also accused of killing Dylan after molesting him.

Mullen said he would welcome the death penalty in order to beat Duncan into the afterlife and hold him accountable for the Groene family's deaths.

"I will see to it personally that their deaths and abuse was not in vain!" he wrote to The Times.

Duncan, a Tacoma native, is awaiting a federal trial in Idaho.