Sunday, March 23, 2008

CA - Suicide note reveals rapist's sorrow

View the article here

03/09/2008

Fugitive Washington wrote of divorce, death of mother

In the goodbye letter he left for police, Jason Washington talked about losing the three women who meant the most to him: his ex-wife, aunt and mother.

The typed, two-page note is dated Feb. 21, the same day he raped a Solana Beach woman. He began by saying, “It was a wonderful life.” He taped it to his dresser and walked away from his home.

Washington killed himself Feb. 26, after authorities accused him of raping the 23-year-old Solana Beach woman and trying to rape a 15-year-old girl in Rancho San Diego two days later.

The body of the 33-year-old computer technician and former Marine was found in his white 2000 Honda CR-V near his home in El Cajon. He had shot himself in the head. Three photocopies of his suicide note were in the Honda.

The details in the note are among the new facts emerging in a case that unnerved residents across San Diego County and sent authorities on a round-the-clock manhunt.

Sheriff's Detective Pete Carrillo said Washington's girlfriend broke up with him on Valentine's Day, a week before the rape.

Two days after the breakup, Washington was arrested for drunken driving in San Diego, giving police his fingerprints and a mug shot.

Washington mentions the arrest in his letter, but not the breakup.

“He talks about losing his mother in death and his wife divorcing him and an aunt who died,” Carrillo said. “He's essentially describing how his life has spiraled out of control and what he's going through, including financial trouble.

“He was obviously a disturbed man who was still grieving the loss of those women.”

A sample of Washington's DNA matched one taken in the Solana Beach case, Carrillo said.

During the manhunt, Carrillo quickly tried to figure out what was motivating Washington. The detective called Gary Lowe, a lecturer specializing in sexual-assault training for law enforcement at California State University Sacramento.

“This guy fits a profile of men who commit rapes out of a built-up anger,” Lowe said. “They usually choose stranger-type victims, women they can sneak up on and overwhelm.”

Both victims were petite. The first was walking before dark; the second was jogging in the morning. Washington was 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighed 205 pounds.

“There's a lot of violence in these types of rapes,” Lowe said. “They're punishing these women for perceived wrongs they've suffered at the hands of women. . . . He had reached the boiling point.”

Washington's DNA now is being compared with known and unknown samples taken from sexual-assault cases filed in a national database. Authorities should know in two weeks if there's a match.

Investigators zeroed in on Washington after lifting a fingerprint he left on a recreational vehicle in Rancho San Diego. The 15-year-old told police she saw her attacker leaning against the RV to stretch. She jogged past and he grabbed her, but she fought him off.

“She's a hero,” said Carrillo, the lead detective. “She probably saved a lot of other victims. She helped us break the case.

“Really, because of these women and their willingness to come forward, we were able to get the information we needed.”

The print taken from the RV matched the fingerprints San Diego police had on Washington.

“When I finally had a face and a name, I was ecstatic,” Carrillo said.

Authorities also had a gun the attacker dropped while struggling with the teenager. The registration came back to Washington.

Carrillo and his team believed Washington would be looking for another victim, so help came from as many as 50 detectives. Deputies and police from El Cajon and other agencies looked for Washington's Honda, a SWAT team searched his home, and crime scene investigators analyzed lab evidence.

“They weren't going to stop until they caught him, because he was hurting women,” sheriff's spokeswoman Jan Caldwell said.

No one close to Washington seemed to think he would snap, but they knew he was struggling.

Washington was selling his Sandalwood Drive home because his mortgage had an adjustable rate that was ballooning, and the home was no longer worth what he owed.

Cheryl Paz, a former nanny for Washington's 12-year-old daughter, said Washington had been experimenting with Ecstasy, a drug popular in nightclubs.

Paz also said Washington was a good man who loved his daughter. The girl is now with her mother, a former girlfriend.

Washington divorced in 2006 after eight years of marriage. Authorities weren't sure when his aunt died. He lost his mother last year.

“I know he was sad over his mom,” Paz said. “But I didn't think he was that distraught.”


TX - Harris Co. deputies shoot, kill convicted sex offender while serving warrant

View the article here

Suicide by cop, that is what I believe.

03/23/2008

HOUSTON -- Harris County Sheriff’s deputies shot and killed a convicted sex offender while attempting to serve a warrant for Aggravated Sexual Assault late Saturday night.

According to the sheriff’s department, deputies arrived at the Timbers of Inwood Apartments just after 11 p.m. on a tip that Brian Keith Dunkle, 47, was there at his girlfriend’s home.

Dunkle had been sentenced to ten years in prison for sexual assault in Alaska.

The deputies found him in the apartment, hiding in the bathroom. But as they attempted to serve the warrant, Dunkle pulled out a gun.

The deputies opened fire, and Dunkle died at the scene.

Witnesses said when the deputies knocked on the door, Dunkle grabbed a pistol and said he would not go back to prison.

The incident is being investigated by the Sheriff’s Homicide and Internal Affairs Divisions, as well as the Harris County District Attorney’s Police Integrity Unit.


UK - Prisoners 'to be chipped like dogs'

View the article here | More on RFID tags

I would rather die than receive this chip!

Revelation 14:9-11 (New International Version)
9 - A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: "If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand,

10 - he, too, will drink of the wine of God's fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. He will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb.

11 - And the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image, or for anyone who receives the mark of his name."

01/13/2008

Hi-tech 'satellite' tagging planned in order to create more space in jails Civil rights groups and probation officers furious at 'degrading' scheme

Ministers are planning to implant "machine-readable" microchips under the skin of thousands of offenders as part of an expansion of the electronic tagging scheme that would create more space in British jails.

Amid concerns about the security of existing tagging systems and prison overcrowding, the Ministry of Justice is investigating the use of satellite and radio-wave technology to monitor criminals.

But, instead of being contained in bracelets worn around the ankle, the tiny chips would be surgically inserted under the skin of offenders in the community, to help enforce home curfews. The radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, as long as two grains of rice, are able to carry scanable personal information about individuals, including their identities, address and offending record.

The tags, labelled "spychips" by privacy campaigners, are already used around the world to keep track of dogs, cats, cattle and airport luggage, but there is no record of the technology being used to monitor offenders in the community. The chips are also being considered as a method of helping to keep order within prisons.

A senior Ministry of Justice official last night confirmed that the department hoped to go even further, by extending the geographical range of the internal chips through a link-up with satellite-tracking similar to the system used to trace stolen vehicles. "All the options are on the table, and this is one we would like to pursue," the source added.

The move is in line with a proposal from Ken Jones, the president of the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo), that electronic chips should be surgically implanted into convicted pedophiles and sex offenders in order to track them more easily. Global Positioning System (GPS) technology is seen as the favored method of monitoring such offenders to prevent them going near "forbidden" zones such as primary schools.

"We have wanted to take advantage of this technology for several years, because it seems a sensible solution to the problems we are facing in this area," a senior minister said last night. "We have looked at it and gone back to it and worried about the practicalities and the ethics, but when you look at the challenges facing the criminal justice system, it's time has come."

The Government has been forced to review sentencing policy amid serious overcrowding in the nation's jails, after the prison population soared from 60,000 in 1997 to 80,000 today. The crisis meant the number of prisoners held in police cells rose 13-fold last year, with police stations housing offenders more than 60,000 times in 2007, up from 4,617 the previous year. The UK has the highest prison population per capita in western Europe, and the Government is planning for an extra 20,000 places at a cost of £3.8bn – including three gigantic new "superjails" – in the next six years.

More than 17,000 individuals, including criminals and suspects released on bail, are subject to electronic monitoring at any one time, under curfews requiring them to stay at home up to 12 hours a day. But official figures reveal that almost 2,000 offenders a year escape monitoring by tampering with ankle tags or tearing them off. Curfew breaches rose from 11,435 in 2005 to 43,843 in 2006 – up 283 per cent. The monitoring system, which relies on mobile-phone technology, can fail if the network crashes.

A multimillion-pound pilot of satellite monitoring of offenders was shelved last year after a report revealed many criminals simply ditched the ankle tag and separate portable tracking unit issued to them. The "prison without bars" project also failed to track offenders when they were in the shadow of tall buildings.

The Independent on Sunday has now established that ministers have been assessing the merits of cutting-edge technology that would make it virtually impossible for individuals to remove their electronic tags.

The tags, injected into the back of the arm with a hypodermic needle, consist of a toughened glass capsule holding a computer chip, a copper antenna and a "capacitor" that transmits data stored on the chip when prompted by an electromagnetic reader.

But details of the dramatic option for tightening controls over Britain's criminals provoked an angry response from probation officers and civil-rights groups. Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty, said: "If the Home Office doesn't understand why implanting a chip in someone is worse than an ankle bracelet, they don't need a human-rights lawyer; they need a common-sense bypass.

"Degrading offenders in this way will do nothing for their rehabilitation and nothing for our safety, as some will inevitably find a way round this new technology."

Harry Fletcher, assistant general secretary of the National Association of Probation Officers, said the proposal would not make his members' lives easier and would degrade their clients. He added: "I have heard about this suggestion, but we feel the system works well enough as it is. Knowing where offenders like pedophiles are does not mean you know what they are doing.

"This is the sort of daft idea that comes up from the department every now and then, but tagging people in the same way we tag our pets cannot be the way ahead. Treating people like pieces of meat does not seem to represent an improvement in the system to me."

The US market leader VeriChip Corp, whose parent company has been selling radio tags for animals for more than a decade, has sold 7,000 RFID microchips worldwide, of which about 2,000 have been implanted in humans. The company claims its VeriChips are used in more than 5,000 installations, crossing healthcare, security, government and industrial markets, but they have also been used to verify VIP membership in nightclubs, automatically gaining the carrier entry – and deducting the price of their drinks from a pre-paid account.

The possible value of the technology to the UK's justice system was first highlighted 18 months ago, when Acpo's Mr Jones suggested the chips could be implanted into sex offenders. The implants would be tracked by satellite, enabling authorities to set up "zones", including schools, playgrounds and former victims' homes, from which individuals would be barred.

"If we are prepared to track cars, why don't we track people?" Mr Jones said. "You could put surgical chips into those of the most dangerous sex offenders who are willing to be controlled."

The case for: 'We track cars, so why not people?'

The Government is struggling to keep track of thousands of offenders in the community and is troubled by an overcrowded prison system close to bursting. Internal tagging offers a solution that could impose curfews more effectively than at present, and extend the system by keeping sex offenders out of "forbidden areas". "If we are prepared to track cars, why don't we track people?" said Ken Jones, president of the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo).

Officials argue that the internal tags enable the authorities to enforce thousands of court orders by ensuring offenders remain within their own walls during curfew hours – and allow the immediate verification of ID details when challenged.

The internal tags also have a use in maintaining order within prisons. In the United States, they are used to track the movement of gang members within jails.

Offenders themselves would prefer a tag they can forget about, instead of the bulky kit carried around on the ankle.
- Yeah right, I'd rather die than receive one of these chips.

The case against: 'The rest of us could be next'

Professionals in the criminal justice system maintain that the present system is 95 per cent effective. Radio frequency identification (RFID) technology is unproven. The technology is actually more invasive, and carries more information about the host. The devices have been dubbed "spychips" by critics who warn that they would transmit data about the movements of other people without their knowledge.

Consumer privacy expert Liz McIntyre said a colleague had already proved he could "clone" a chip. "He can bump into a chipped person and siphon the chip's unique signal in a matter of seconds," she said.

One company plans deeper implants that could vibrate, electroshock the implantee, broadcast a message, or serve as a microphone to transmit conversations. "Some folks might foolishly discount all of these downsides and futuristic nightmares since the tagging is proposed for criminals like rapists and murderers," Ms McIntyre said. "The rest of us could be next."








IN - Sex offenders to provide email addresses

View the article here

03/23/2008

(INDIANAPOLIS - WANE) Indiana is now just one of a handful of states that will now require registered sex offenders to provide their email addresses. Attorney General Steve Carter (Email) will discuss this new law as well as other important consumer laws that will take effect this year.

Some of the new consumer laws include banning registered sex offenders convicted of certain crimes involving children from social networking sites that are used by children.

Senate Enrolled Bill 258: Creates a new Sex Offender Offense prohibiting registered sex offenders convicted of certain crimes involving children from knowingly using social networking websites, instant messaging programs or chat room programs that the offender knows include children. Requires registered sex and violent offenders to submit any email addresses or instant messaging, chat room or social networking website usernames to the registry. Takes Effect July 1, 2008.

Funeral Trust Protection Act: House Enrolled Act 1026 will protects money deposited into funeral trust funds and enhance penalties against those convicted of funeral trust fraud. The new law brings funeral trusts under Indiana's trust code statute allowing the attorney general the ability to seek restitution and recovery of misappropriated cemetery trust funds. The attorney general recognized weaknesses in the cemetery trust statutes after investigating complaints about Indianapolis-based Memory Gardens with a facility in Ft. Wayne, and Madison-based Grandview Cemetery.


KS - Lawmakers clash over sex offender policy

View the article here

03/23/2008

Costly program keeps inmates for treatment

Topeka — Kansas’ controversial program that indefinitely holds sexual offenders past their prison sentence continues to produce friction among lawmakers.

Last week, a move to require an audit of the program was defeated by legislators who said the request was a threat to public safety and jobs.

“The program works,” said House Minority Leader Dennis McKinney (Email), D-Greensburg. “It protects the public, and it provides economic development for Larned.”

State Rep. Eber Phelps (Email), D-Hays, said many of the employees of the Kansas Sexual Predator Treatment Program are from the Greensburg area and were set back from last year’s tornado that devastated the town.

“I don’t think we need to put them through this type of anguish and have them worry about whether they are going to have their job,” he said.

But some lawmakers believe the program, which is on the grounds of Larned State Hospital, has shortfalls.

Program history

The program provides treatment for convicted sex offenders who have completed their prison sentences and have been civilly committed under the law because they have been deemed a continuing threat to the community. The law was prompted by the 1993 rape and murder of a Pittsburg State University student by a sex offender who had been released from prison seven months earlier.

The law was challenged up to the U.S. Supreme Court, which on a 5-4 vote ruled that the program was constitutional.

But the costs of the program continue to increase while some legislators are doubtful that the treatment received by the offenders is doing much good.
- So what are they basing this on? Are they listening to the experts who have treated sex offenders for many years? I doubt it!

In recent weeks, lawmakers have approved $1.3 million in supplemental funding for staffing and operations at both the program at Larned State Hospital and transitional housing for patients at Osawatomie.

The proposed budget for the sexual predator treatment program for the present fiscal year is $13.4 million to treat 171 patients. That is five times more than the program cost in 2003.

State Rep. Bob Bethell (Email), R-Alden, who chairs a budget subcommittee that oversees the program, said since the program’s start in 1994, two have graduated through the various phases of treatment and been released.
- It's because they don't want to release a sex offender, even if they get treatment. So none are being released because they do not want to take the risk. Why are they not releasing them? Did you ask them why?

That’s not very effective, he said.

“Let’s look at the program and see how we can actually affect the treatment of these folks,” he said.

Mark Brull, who has been committed to the sexual predator program since 1999, said the program is a waste of taxpayer’s money.

Brull said he would rather serve time in prison, which is about one-third the expense of the program.
- He is not thinking. He is in the commitment center, because he's served the prison time, so if he goes back to prison, he will not get treatment there either. If he's a danger, he needs treatment, whether he likes it or not.

He said the treatment program fails to advance patients toward re-entering the community, such as allowing patients to go to work under supervision. He said he is prohibited from talking about his current problems, but must constantly re-hash his past.

“All we do is sit here all day and talk about deviancy,” he said.

‘Backed-up system’

Tim Burch, another patient in the program, said the treatment has good things to offer but that there needs to be a better way to assess who should enter the program and who should graduate from it.

“You could put ankle bracelets on a lot of them and let them out so they could work, and everyone benefits,” he said, referring to devices sometimes used to keep track of suspects and offenders.
- No, when you get out, you are forced into homelessness because nobody wants to hire a sex offender and you cannot live anywhere. So this isn't going to help. They need treatment, and when the treatment is done, they need to be let out, if no longer a threat, and be considered a normal citizen again, and with the registry offline like it was before. Then people would be able to get a job and live a somewhat normal life.

“You have such a backed-up system,” he said of the program. “The people who could benefit from the program can’t get into it, and the people who shouldn’t be in the program can’t get out.”

But Don Jordan, secretary of the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services, defends the program.

SRS, Jordan said, “has implemented a rigorous treatment and evaluation system to assure each person committed in this program remain in treatment until a court determines he is able to safely return home without posing a risk to his family, neighbors or community at large.”


OH - State-funded therapy for sex offenders halted

View the article here

03/24/2008

Psychologist, sheriff call cuts dangerous

Recent cuts to Ohio's prison budget means the state has stopped paying for counseling services for paroled sex offenders across the state, including the more than 800 supervised sex offenders living in Akron.

Those cuts are a great concern to Dr. James A. Orlando of Summit Psychological Associates, which at any given time treats between 125 and 200 sex offenders in Summit, Stark, Portage, Tuscarawas and Mahoning counties.

''This is a dangerous situation . . . It's a serious public safety issue,'' said Orlando, a trained clinical psychologist.

Orlando said the decision by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction to no longer pay for the treatment of paroled sex offenders beginning in March, means that there are high-risk sex offenders, who represent a very real danger to children and adults, walking the streets of Akron unchecked.

''They are being left to their own devices not to re-offend. If we don't find a way to manage them in the community, there are going to be more sex offenses and more people are going to be victimized,'' Orlando said.

As part of trimming the department's $1.7 billion-plus budget for 2008 by $71 million, it was decided to no longer pay for the counseling and treatment of paroled sex offenders.

''The cuts came without any warning. We got a letter on Feb. 28 that said on March 3, the program would be cut,'' Orlando said.

As a consequence, his and other counseling agencies across the state are scrambling to provide crucial treatment services to paroled sex offenders.

''We've set up a sliding scale and are offering minimal co-pay (options),'' Orlando said.

The hope is if the treatment programs are as affordable as possible, sex offenders will voluntarily seek treatment for their conditions.

However, Orlando is dubious. He said many paroled sex offenders are unemployed and find it difficult to find jobs because of their felony records.

''They just can't pay for treatment,'' Orlando said.

He said the state payment of about $35 per client for a group counseling session made it possible for sex offenders to go into treatment. Orlando said he plans to approach county mental health boards for possible funding.

Summit County Sheriff Drew Alexander shares Orlando's concerns.

''Without treatment, the odds go up that they are going to re-offend,'' Alexander said. He called the situation a real ''Catch 22.''

''They are told that as a condition of parole they have to seek treatment, but the state is no longer going to pay for it . . . I'm just dumbfounded. I don't understand it,'' Alexander said.

Budget cuts

Linda Janes, the ODRC's deputy director of the division of parole and community services, said the cuts were an unavoidable consequence of budget constraints.

''As part of our cost-savings effort we've cut all external treatment contracts statewide,'' Janes said. She said the department previously spent roughly $1.3 million a year funding external treatment programs for sex offenders.

''We feel absolutely awful about the cuts but it's a consequence of the budget crisis,'' Janes said. She said the ODRC has taken a ''multifaceted'' approach to cost-cutting, which in addition to eliminating external contracts, includes making staff cuts and other cost-savings initiatives.

One of those initiatives, Janes said, has been to shift the task of counseling paroled sex offenders to the department's Adult Parole Authority.

''We are in the process of training in-house staff now to provide that treatment. Hopefully, that will begin in May,'' Janes said.

She said sex offenders on parole will be able to go to adult parole offices, which are located in every county, for treatment and counseling.

Coping strategies

Summit Psychological Associates and Orlando have for more than 20 years been providing sex offender treatment, which is modeled on the Alcoholic Anonymous approach.

''Since 1984, we've been teaching sex offenders to recognize high-risk factors and we help them develop strategies and behavioral controls to allow them to live out the rest of their lives without re-offending,'' Orlando said.

Still, Orlando admits that there is no way to cure a sex offender. He said the group therapy sessions provided by his agency, which initially are offered weekly and then on a monthly basis, teach offenders behavioral controls that make it much less likely they will re-offend.

Orlando said the ''heart of sex-offender treatment'' is to give offenders the tools to control their urges.

''Even though you (an offender) will still have deviant desires, you won't act on it,'' Orlando said.

''But right now we have a situation where these guys are getting out of prison with no training and without the tools to know how to cope with their urges . . . Without treatment, all we are doing is increasing the likelihood that some little girl or little boy is going to be molested, that someone is going to be victimized, that someone is going to be hurt,'' Orlando said.


NH - John Stossel: Politicians dangerously mix sex and the law

View the article here

03/22/2008

WHEN New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer was caught using a prostitution service, the irony was that he was a tough-on-prostitution politician. He took pride in locking up the same kind of people he is said to have done $80,000 worth of business with. He supported "tougher laws" to imprison customers like him.

In his statement to the news media, Spitzer called the scandal a "private matter." Good point. Adults' paying for sex ought to be a private matter, but when Spitzer was attorney general, he didn't consider paid sex private. He's one of many politicians who were eager to punish others for doing what he did.

What's going on here? Maybe these men want to punish others for acting on the same forbidden impulses they know they can't control themselves?

Rep. Mark Foley of Florida was a big advocate of punishing any adult who had sex with minors. "They're sick people; they need mental health counseling," he shouted.

But then ABC News caught Foley sending sexual instant messages to minors.

Politicians should cut back on their grandstanding, says Arizona public defender Chris Phillis, because while it's bad enough to call what consenting adults do "sex crimes," it's even worse to criminalize kids who do what kids have always done.

Phillis, who defends teens accused of sex crimes, says common sexual experimentation is now prosecuted. "If a 15-year-old touches a 13-year-old, touches their breasts, they are now guilty of a felony crime. And I would love to tell you that 13-year-olds aren't engaging in this conduct. I have a 13-year-old. But telling you that isn't going to change the fact."

The Centers for Disease Control reports that 25 percent of America's 15-year-olds say they've have had sex. Nearly 40 percent of 16-year-olds and almost half the 17-year-olds say they have. All are under Arizona's age of consent, which prompted Senate committee chairwoman Karen Johnson to try to change Arizona's sex-offender laws. She wanted to give kids a break.

But the political winds are not on her side. Few politicians want to spend political capital weakening sex-crime laws -- even when such laws have horrendous unintended consequences.

Arizona's Speaker of the House Jim Weiers defends Arizona's tough laws, saying that if you are a sex offender, "Arizona is becoming very quickly known as a state you don't want to stay in." But Weiers acknowledges that Arizona's sex-offender registry has 15,000 names on it.

I asked him how putting young people who engaged in noncoercive sex play on Arizona's registry protects the public. "I don't know if it does ... You can't take each and every individual ..."

But it is individuals whose lives are wrecked by these laws. When Garrett Daley was 14, his 9-year-old adopted sister, Devon, said he molested her. Their mom called the police.

It turned out Devon had lied. It was she who initiated sex with Garrett. She later told the police, but they didn't believe her. Today, seven years later, prosecutors still won't let her change her testimony.

To avoid a jail sentence, Garrett plea-bargained to "attempted molestation of a child." What choice do these kids have? "They're told they'll go to jail for 90 years or 50 years or something, unless they accept this plea, and the plea almost always requires lifetime sex-offender registry," Sen. Johnson says.

Garrett didn't realize his plea bargain would put him in a different kind of jail. Once you're on the sex offender registry or on probation, your life is wrecked, public defender Phillis told "20/20."

"They can't go anywhere children frequent. So that's McDonald's, that's Jack in the Box ... Children have actually been told if you go to a movie and another child walks in, even if it's a rated R movie, then you're to get up and leave."

I told Weiers about the public defender's comments. "The public defenders say all laws go too far," Weirs replied.

Give me a break. State sex-offender registries could separate consensual teen sex from pedophiles who prey on 5-year-olds. Minnesota does that.

Too often, American criminal law is a blunt instrument designed to make it look as if politicians are protecting us. I think the politicians usually protect themselves, at our expense.

John Stossel is co-anchor of ABC News' "20/20" and the author of "Myths, Lies, and Downright Stupidity."