Sunday, April 27, 2008

OR - Washington authorities tell rapist to sleep under a bridge

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04/26/2008

When Washington authorities couldn't find a place for a high-risk sexual predator to live after his release from prison, they told him to sleep under a bridge. That way they'd know where to find him, authorities told The Everett Herald.

State Department of Corrections officials started working months before Torrence's release to find a place for him to stay, said Mary Rehberg, the officer assigned to (David J.) Torrence's case.

"We'd rather them have a home and know where they're at than have them wandering the streets," she said. "The only reason he was there under the bridge was so we could know where he was."


The bridge near Snohomish was selected because it was convenient for Torrence to check in with parole supervisors and get transportation to other services, Rehberg said, adding there were no other alternatives for the homeless offender.


"I didn't want him under that bridge either," she said.


IL - Metro East police officer accused of attacking boy

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04/25/2008

WASHINGTON PARK (AP) - A police officer in the Metro East community of Washington Park is accused of sexual misconduct involving a 14-year-old Illinois boy in St. Louis.

St. Louis prosecutors have charged 35-year-old Juan McCoy with two counts of statutory sodomy.

Illinois State Police arrested McCoy on Thursday. He's jailed on $250,000 bond.

Authorities contend the misconduct happened in St. Louis and was unrelated to his work as a police officer.

McCoy is a former East St. Louis police officer who also worked as the chief of security for the East St. Louis Housing Authority.

Washington Park's mayor calls the news "shocking and disturbing."


CA - Oxnard police chief suspects a third officer involved in improper activity

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04/27/2008

Crombach worries about allegations affecting force's morale

Trying to boost morale in the wake of a sex scandal, Oxnard Police Chief John Crombach sent out a department e-mail last week reminding his officers that they should hold their heads up high.

"I wanted to give a word of encouragement," Crombach said.

The message went out soon after The Star reported on April 17 that a criminal rape investigation against Senior Officer Martin Polo uncovered allegations that he and his partner used a police substation for sexual encounters, including taking pictures of scantily clad women.

Since then, new information has emerged about the criminal case and substation allegations.

On Wednesday, Crombach confirmed a third officer was allegedly involved in the improper activity at the 3749 W. Hemlock St. substation.

He would not identify the officer because it is a confidential personnel matter but added that the substation allegations are confined to three officers. The trio includes Polo's partner — named by sources and previously confirmed by Crombach — Senior Officer Frank Brisslinger.

Polo and Brisslinger, who both had stellar reputations in the neighborhoods they patrolled, are on paid administrative leave.

"I do feel confident that no one that was involved with this conduct has gone undiscovered," Crombach said.

While not revealing what actions are being taken, he said, "They would be dealt with appropriately, and they're not in a position to do this again."

A veteran of more than three decades on the force, Crombach said he is working overtime to ensure that his department is not besmirched by the allegations. He also is trying to reassure the community the accusations are being taken seriously.

These are the kinds of charges that can damage the trust the department has spent years to build within the community, he said.

In his department e-mail, Crombach told his officers that he thought the information was leaked to make the department look bad. He also said he has received angry messages from citizens, and they likely would hear some of the same on the streets.

"Your morale gets impacted by something like this," said Crombach. "My message to the organization is to be professional, hold your head high and do not react to negative comments. Just do a good solid job every day."

There's a tendency among some people to use an incident like this to paint the whole department with a broad brush, he added.

He's seen it happen elsewhere, like to the Los Angeles Police Department after the Rodney King beating and the Rampart scandal. He thinks it's unfair.

"But that's just the way it is," Crombach said.

Allegations are taking a toll

Still, there are many people who have reached out to support the department and the officers named in the allegations.

At a community meeting a few months ago, while the internal investigation was going on, residents in the neighborhoods patrolled by the two officers caught up in the scandal said they wanted them back out on the beat, according to Crombach.

"Some of these people had tears in their eyes," he said.

Only one officer, Polo, is being investigated for a possible crime, but he has not been charged.

But the other allegations, while not criminal, are also troubling for Crombach.

Polo, 43, has refused to comment about the case, except to say that since the allegations surfaced last year his life has been a "living nightmare."

Brisslinger, 41, could not be reached by The Star but told a TV reporter for KNBC that he didn't know why he was being included in the stories about the sexual encounters at the police storefront.

Both officers were beat coordinators, overseeing patrols in two large swaths of the city.

Both men were known as aggressive cops who made a lot of arrests and responded quickly to neighborhood complaints.

According to court depositions taken last year in a separate civil case involving the two officers, Polo said he and his partner approached policing the same way.

"He's an aggressive officer," Polo said of Brisslinger. "He is very self-motivated. He's not the type of person to just drive past someone and not question it. I mean, he's good at what he does. His aggressive nature is something similar to what I do."

Brisslinger said he loved his job but took it seriously, too, according to the court records.

"It's always business. I mean, you know I mean we've had guys shot at I mean I am one of those guys who expect the unexpected," Brisslinger said. "So, I'm really on a heightened awareness. I am waiting for someone to pop me off and put a bullet in my head all the time. I'm just that way."

Careers take a turn

For a time, the two officers, who worked as partners for almost a year, were the faces of the department's community policing policy.

The goal of that program was to seek out crime and foster relationships in the community. To do that, the officers were constantly talking to people on the streets. They would push to quickly remove graffiti and staked out spots where prostitutes loitered or addicts tried to score drugs.

Talking about Polo, Brisslinger said in the deposition that every day he is "one of these guys who sends out e-mails to the community and keeps them apprised on what's going on."

Polo — a 20-year-veteran who oversaw Beat 21 on the city's southwest side — had once been nominated for Officer of the Year.

Brisslinger, who oversaw Beat 22, has been with the Oxnard Police for half as long as Polo but was considered a "golden guy," according to sources.

In 2006, Brisslinger was named Oxnard's Outstanding Police Officer of the Year. He also was known to be one of Crombach's favorite officers, according to a deposition.

Brisslinger was supposed to receive the outstanding officer award in June 2006, but just days before he and Polo accidentally ran over and killed an Iowa woman who was sunbathing on Mandalay Beach. Brisslinger didn't show up for the ceremony, which also recognized other community members.

Brisslinger, who was driving the sport utility vehicle that crushed 49-year-old Cindy Connolly, was devastated by the accident.

He described in the deposition what happened afterward as he sat in a department interview room.

"I just remember having my head on the table bawling my eyes out, arms in front of me and just you know, just — I mean if you can go back and I don't know if you can ever think up the worst day of your life and, I mean that was mine," he said.

Although Brisslinger and Polo were cleared of any wrongdoing, the city paid the woman's family $2.75 million to settle a wrongful death lawsuit in November.

Criminal case still pending

In August 2006 — a little more than two months after the beach accident — a 12-year-old girl with emotional and mental problems told her mother that Polo had raped her at a police substation on West Hemlock, according to the girl's attorney.

Her mother reported to an Oxnard Police officer within a few days of the incident that her daughter referred to Polo as a "child molester." A few weeks after that, the girl told two officers who had come to her home in response to a domestic disturbance that Polo had molested her, according to Etan Lorant, an Encino attorney representing the girl and her family.

Three months later, when the girl told her therapist about the attack, her therapist — who is bound by state mandatory reporting laws — submitted a formal report of the incident to the department, Lorant said.

The family has since filed a $10 million federal lawsuit against the Oxnard Police Department.

Chief Crombach said his department had spent more than a year investigating the accusations and turned the case over to the district attorney in February.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Mike Frawley said last week that his office is still looking in to the matter and will decide within the next few weeks whether criminal charges should be filed.

If charges aren't filed, the district attorney is unlikely to do anything more than reject the case. It's not like an officer-involved shooting, in which the District Attorney's Office releases a report that states if a shooting is justified and, if appropriate, clears an officer.

"It would be unusual for us to do more than reject it," Frawley said.

Two sources close to the rape investigation — which has gone on for more than a year — say that without corroborating physical evidence or a witness it's unlikely criminal charges would be filed.

Crombach previously said investigators took DNA samples from the substation and removed computers from Polo's home.

Polo was known within the department for taking pictures of women he spent time with, according to a city source.

Now 14, the girl — who has emotional and mental problems and is currently in a lock-down facility in Utah — has made similar allegations about another person in a position of trust, according to sources.

Lorant said his client was "victimized" by someone else after the alleged incident with Polo, but he did not reveal details.

'A dirty rotten shame'

Criminal defense experts say the case presents some troubling issues.

"The allegation of rape is very easily made," said Jim Farley, a Ventura criminal defense attorney. "If you just say it happened, it has to be investigated. Without any DNA or physical evidence and with the fact of mental problems and possible false accusations before, I'd be very surprised if it would go forward."

In a case like this, a police department will often do "cool calls," in which the victim calls her alleged assailant to attempt to get some sort of admission. But a seasoned officer is unlikely to fall for that, said Farley.

If this alleged attack did not happen or prosecutors decide not to pursue the case, he said, the one being accused is unfairly tarred.

"The officer's name and career has been ruined," Farley said. "That's the kind of thing you get labeled for that people remember no matter how it plays out, that's what people remember. It's a dirty rotten shame. I've seen this too many times."

But the girl's attorney said his case is strong. Some of the information that has come out since he filed the suit against the city shows a pattern of behavior that validates some of what his client alleges. It corroborates that the storefront was used for sexual liaisons, and shows parallels with what his client claimed happened to her long before that information was made public.

The attorney has also been contacted by a woman who said she had a sexual encounter with an officer at the substation.

As for whether or not Polo should be charged with a crime, Lorant said the investigation into the allegations shouldn't have been done by the Oxnard Police Department.

"My feeling is that this should have been investigated by an outside agency," he said. "I'm not saying that it is flawed, because I've not seen the whole investigation. I'm just saying it should have been done by an outside agency."

On this point, Crombach took issue, saying it is the job of his agency to investigate crimes that are alleged to have occurred in Oxnard.

The investigation included members of the FBI, who assisted with scanning Polo's computer for evidence, as well as investigators with the District Attorney's Office, Crombach said.

"We are absolutely capable of doing an investigation like this, and we did," he said.


OR - Former local attorney admits to misconduct

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04/27/2008

A former Jackson County deputy district attorney has been banned from practicing law for one year after admitting to professional misconduct and criminal behavior.

Matt Chancellor, 38, resigned from his job as a deputy district attorney in October 2006 in the face of allegations that he had sexual contact with a rape victim on whose case he was working. He pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of intoxicants twice — once in Clackamas County in November 2006 and once in Douglas County in February 2007 — and to disorderly conduct in Central Point in February 2007.

This January, facing an Oregon State Bar disciplinary hearing, Chancellor agreed to a one-year suspension from practicing law. Under the agreement, known as a "stipulation for discipline," he admitted that he violated the rules set out for the professional conduct of lawyers.

In the case of his misconduct with a rape victim, Chancellor acknowledged that he continued with a case despite a personal interest in it after having a physical relationship with the victim, then lied about drinking and having contact with the woman. His actions violated rules about conflict of interest and dishonesty, and could have harmed the administration of justice, the stipulation read.

In the string of drunken driving and disorderly conduct cases, the documents point out that he failed to comply with court orders, including a diversion program in Clackamas County and probation terms in Clackamas, Douglas and Jackson counties by continuing to drink and break the law. Chancellor admitted that he violated the court orders and that his criminal behavior reflected adversely on his fitness to practice law, both violations of the bar's rules of conduct. He also acknowledged that such behavior would have resulted in the denial of his admission to the bar if he were just now applying, giving grounds for disciplinary action under state law.

For all suspensions that last longer than six months, attorneys must go through a "formal reinstatement" process to return to the practice of law, bar spokeswoman Kateri Walsh said. If Chancellor wants to return to work as an attorney, he will have the burden of proof to show that he has the character and is fit to meet the bar's standards. A detailed questionnaire must be completed and approved by the bar's governing board, which can also do an investigation, then filed with in the state's Supreme Court.

Bar records show Chancellor lives in Salem with his parents, but he didn't reply to phone and e-mail messages sent to the contact information listed on those records.

Reach reporter Anita Burke at 776-4485 or at aburke@mailtribune.com


WI - TCI officer arrested; FdL police investigate

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04/27/2008

Man accused of having inappropriate relationships with inmates at institution

A 36-year-old male correctional officer at Taycheedah Correctional Institution was arrested Friday for alleged inappropriate relationships with inmates.

The investigation into allegations has been ongoing since officials at TCI alerted the Fond du Lac Police Department, according to a press release from police.

To maintain the integrity of the investigation, no further details are being released at this time, police said.
- It's ironic how when the accused is not a cop, they do not do this.

The man remains in custody at the Fond du Lac County Jail.

Police are continuing their investigation into the allegations of inappropriate relationships.


Adam’s Angle: A Gentle Hand

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Do you squish? When you feel a tickle on your leg and see a bug, are you quick to unleash the wrath of your thumb?

If so, you may have a thing or two to learn about mercy.

What is mercy? It is simply holding back from hurting someone — or something — when it’s in our power to do so. Fortunately for us, mercy is also something God is famous for. In fact, God’s not going to kick you when you’re down, he’s going to lend you a hand to lift you up.

When God comforted the Jews through the prophet Isaiah, He told them about Jesus, their coming Messiah, saying: “A bruised reed he will not break, and a smouldering wick he will not snuff out” (Isaiah 42:3). We’ve all seen bent-over blades of grass or sputtering candle flames fighting for life. Sometimes we’ve even felt like them when life hits us hard.

We may feel like that when we go through a series of misfortunes or struggle to fight off that sin that just won’t seem to go away. If we’re young in our faith, we might even be deceived, thinking God is out to squish us. But that’s not who He is. He is merciful.

Is God a Pushover?

But if God is merciful, does that mean he’s like a plush teddy bear in the sky that turns a blind eye to sin? Not at all. Jesus, who showed mercy to the woman at the well in John chapter four, is the same Jesus who called the Pharisees “sons of serpents” and who overturned the tables of the moneychangers. Jesus was tough on the prideful and self-sufficient, but merciful to the people who were broken enough to repent.

But doesn’t God discipline His children? Yes, we know from Hebrews chapter twelve that God allows us to undergo hardship as discipline. But what we need to hold on to is that the heart behind all of His dealings with us is love. God is treating us as His sons and daughters.

I’ve been guilty from time to time of wrongly thinking that God wanted to be tough on me just because He could be. And I’m sure many a two-year-old thinks that about his or her parents every once in a while. But the truth of the matter is that God wants to help us.

Earlier in the Isaiah passage, God bears His heart to His people: “For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you Do not fear; I will help you. Do not be afraid, O worm Jacob, O little Israel, for I myself will help you” (Isaiah 41:13-14). Even when the Jews felt like a helpless, insignificant worm, God wanted them to know that He was in their corner, not facing them as an opponent.

Mercy Me

As wonderful as it is to be on the receiving end of God’s mercy, the lesson doesn’t end there for Christians. We also need to be the ones showing mercy. And I don’t mean mercy to bugs, I mean showing mercy to people.

Each one of us knows someone who may be going through a “smouldering wick” time where they need a little TLC. They might be out of work. They might be a little socially awkward. They might ask you to drop them off at the bus stop because they don’t have access to a car to pick up their weekly groceries. We need to show mercy because great mercy has been shown to us.

And one last thing: I’m not saying don’t swat that mosquito. If you do, just tell yourself that it’s a metaphor for God’s judgment on the wicked. But make sure you show mercy in the important areas of your life.


Welcome Home



President Bush announced his intention to nominate Paul A. Quander, Jr. as the first Director of the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency (CSOSA) on October 18, 2001. Upon his confirmation by the United States Senate on August 5, 2002, Quander pledged to make CSOSA a national model for offender supervision. As Director of CSOSA, Paul A. Quander, Jr. oversees a growing federal agency created by the D.C. Revitalization Act of 1997. CSOSA is responsible for supervising adults on probation, parole and supervised release in the District of Columbia.

Prior to assuming the helm at the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency, Quander, 53, served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the District of Columbia. He left that office as the Chief of the Seventh District Major Crimes Homicide Section. Prior to that, Quander served as Deputy Director of the District of Columbia Department of Corrections for several years and from 1982 to 1989 held a number of positions with the District of Columbia Office of the Corporation Counsel. Quander began his professional career working for Neighborhood Legal Services representing indigent clients in public benefit administrative hearings, landlord and tenant civil actions, as well as various small claims trials.

Paul A. Quander, Jr. has been the recipient of the Corporation Counsel Award for Sustained Superior Performance in 1985 and 1987. He received Special Achievement Awards from the U.S. Department of Justice in 1997, 1998 and 1999 and was the U.S. Department of Justice Senior Litigation Counsel in 2000.

Quander holds a B.A. degree in political science from Virginia State University and a J.D. from Howard University School of Law. He and his wife reside in Washington D.C.


MS - Petal alderman wants safety zones

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04/27/2008

PETAL - Petal Alderman David Clayton warns sex offenders not to move to Petal.

He also warns the offenders who currently live in Petal to understand that stricter consequences may be coming if they are found near places where children dwell, such as playgrounds, day care centers and schools.

Clayton, who is also a detective in the Hattiesburg Police Department and a father of a 5-year-old son, is writing two proposals for the city of Petal to create child safety zones within the city limits.

One ordinance would ban sex offenders from living within 2,500 feet of schools, playgrounds and day care centers. The current law in Mississippi puts the distance at 1,500 feet.

"I am not going to make it convenient for a sex offender to move to Petal," Clayton said.

There are 26 registered sex offenders in Petal, according to the Mississippi Sex Offender Registry. The state has 2,324 offenders in its registry.

Clayton also will propose a loitering ordinance that will create the equivalent of a no trespassing zone to protect children in public places from sex offenders.

"We also want the sex offenders who live here to have limited access for potential victims," Clayton said.

Under the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, law enforcement and the public are allowed to more effectively track convicted sex offenders who have intentionally lured, coaxed, enticed, tempted, solicited or persuaded a minor to engage in unlawful sexual activity.

"We again can use this ordinance as a deterrent tool," Clayton said.

If a registered sex offender violates the loitering ordinance and does not stay away from children in public areas, he could be charged with a misdemeanor offense, Clayton said.

"If we can give out traffic violations, why can't we give out sex offender violations?"

A similar ordinance was passed in 2006 in Miami-Dade County, which prohibited convicted sexual offenders from living within 2,500 feet of schools, parks and other places where children might gather. The ordinance led five sex offenders to move under a Miami bridge in protest.

Clayton will present the ordinances to the Petal Board of Aldermen within 30 days, he said.

Ward 4 Alderman James Moore said Clayton has brought up the issue before, and Moore said that in principle he supports the idea.

"2,500 feet is almost half a mile and I think that's a significant difference, just talking about it I think it's a good idea," Moore said. "I don't know if these kind of ordinances reduce the amount of assaults on children, however."
- No they don't since most sexual assaults occur in the victims own home, so it could be 50 or 100 miles and would not make any difference.

Moore said he recently visited another city where a sign was posted on playground property informing the public that sex offenders were not allowed on the property.

Moore said something similar would be a great addition to any ordinance involving sex offenders.

Clayton also has a long-term goal: to address the state Legislature on the influx of offenders moving into Mississippi.

"Sex offenders can transfer from state to state, and they come to Mississippi because this state doesn't have a lifetime probation law," he said.
- More ignorance. The user who commented below pointed this out. They obviously mean "REGISTRATION" and not "PROBATION!"

A recent study by the Arizona Probation Department found that when sex offenders were placed on lifetime probation and were adequately monitored, sex offense recidivism was reduced to less than 2 percent over a 16-year period, whereas sex offenders who did not receive lifetime probation had a rate of 15 percent.
- There is tons of other recidivism studies here, for those who care to look instead of believing the hype.

Only 26 states in the United States have lifetime probation laws for sex offenders. The closest states enforcing the lifetime law include Tennessee, Georgia, Florida and Texas.
- Once again, I think they mean "REGISTRATION" and not "PROBATION!"

Clayton says after a sex offender leaves probation, the power to enforce restriction from children is greatly reduced, and that is what concerns him.

"We can monitor them at best," he said.


Was woman raped on telephone?

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WTF??

04/27/2008

TUNIS, Tunisia -- A Tunisian family alleges their daughter was raped during a telephone conversation with a man, a lawyer for the family said.

The 30-year-old man said he never touched the young woman. But he acknowledged he heard her scream while they were "totally into" an erotic telephone conversation -- and that she reported bleeding, Al Arabiya reported.

Maha al-Metebaa, a lawyer representing the family, told the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Qabs the case needs careful investigation because of its unprecedented allegations. He said a medical examination had determined that the woman, 20, was no longer a virgin.

"The intercourse did take place with all its details but verbally only," he said. "The sexual act did not really happen because the physical proximity factor is not there, yet it happened because there is a direct physical impact – the loss of virginity."


TX - Use of polygraphs grows, and that's no lie

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Check out this site about polygraphs.

04/27/2008

By DIANE JENNINGS / The Dallas Morning News (djennings@dallasnews.com)

True or false? A polygraph exam is a good way to tell if a suspect is lying.

Correct answer? Depends on whom you ask. But after decades of being widely discredited, the use of polygraphs, commonly known as "lie detectors," has soared, thanks to national security efforts at the federal level and sex-offender monitoring at the state level.

The number of federal agencies using polygraphs is up from 19 to 26 in the last decade; the number of federal polygraph examiners has risen from about 400 to more than 600.

In Texas, there are about 235 state-licensed examiners. The bulk of their business comes from sex-offender monitoring, which became part of treatment programs in the early 1990s.

Polygraphs measure physiological responses to questions. Critics such as Dr. Ken Alder, author of last year's The Lie Detectors: The History of an American Obsession, says reliance on the exams is "a farce."

But Mike Chimarys, chairman of the Texas Association of Polygraph Examiners, says physiological responses to stress can tell a qualified examiner whether someone is telling the truth.

The quality of the examiner is critical, supporters and critics agree.

"I have no issues with taking a polygraph" with a qualified examiner, says Russ Koury, who received deferred adjudication in 2001 for sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl.

Mr. Koury recently petitioned a judge to allow him to select an examiner from a state-approved list, instead of using the one preferred by his probation officer. Mr. Koury wants to select an examiner he is comfortable with to avoid what he believes could be an inaccurate interpretation of the results.

Regular polygraphs, which cost about $200, are a part of required treatment and monitoring and are paid for by the offender. Mr. Koury, who is under supervision in Tarrant County, has taken the tests for years and has stayed out of trouble with the law. Conversations with other offenders convinced him that the fear of failing an exam is an effective deterrent.

But feeling comfortable with the examiner is critical, because that's who interprets the blood pressure, sweat production and heart-rate readings. If the response to certain questions differs from normal readings, "deception" or "inconclusive" is registered.

Polygraphs detect stress, not deception, Dr. Alder says. With emotionally fraught topics such as sex offenses, "the risk of false positives is very great."

Twenty years ago, Congress banned the use of polygraph exams by private employers, with some critics likening the tests to witchcraft. Ten years later, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas noted in a majority opinion limiting polygraph use that "there is simply no consensus that polygraph evidence is reliable."

And in 2003, the National Academy of Sciences concluded that polygraphs distinguish between lying and truth "well above chance, though well below perfection."

But many law enforcement officers believe in the technology, pointing to cases that were solved as a result of its use. Mr. Chimarys, who has a law degree and a master's degree in psychology and is retired from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, estimates the machines have an accuracy rate exceeding 90 percent. The NCIS uses polygraphs. Donald Krapohl, special assistant to the director of the federal government's Defense Academy for Credibility Assessment – which oversees federal polygraph examinations – said 90 percent is the figure accepted for accuracy by the academy for most tests.

"We'd like it to be better," he added. "But it is simply the best we have."

The problem is not with the polygraph, supporters say. It's with poor examiners.

"There are just some [examiners] you need to beware of," Mr. Chimarys said. "There are some I would not feel comfortable with – but those are few."

Before Congress banned the use of polygraphs by private employers, Texas had about 570 examiners. But instead of conducting intensive tests, which last an hour or longer, many examiners "would administer 10 to 15 polygraph examinations a day," Mr. Chimarys said.

Such quick tests are of little use, experts say. That's one reason the profession's image suffered 20 years ago, said Donald Ramsey, who retired from the FBI and is president of the Texas Association of Polygraph Examiners.

"We're still trying to recover from the polyester polygraphist back in the '80s," he said.

The criticism in the 1980s spurred the federal government to standardize examiner training and procedures, Mr. Krapohl said, making the test as effective as possible on the federal level.

Mr. Krapohl said challenges to polygraph use have benefited the business in the long run. "That scrutiny allows us to stay at the top of our game."

At the state level, standards vary from none to rigorous. Texas is one of the stricter states, Mr. Krapohl said.

Polygraph exams should be used as an investigative tool, not to close a case, experts say.

That sounds fine, Dr. Alder said, but law enforcement officers sometimes use the test to "convince somebody that you can detect them telling a lie – and then get them to confess."

Polygraph results generally are not admissible in court, but comments made during the examinations are admissible. If a suspect confesses, the examiner can testify to the conversation.

The majority of polygraph examiners in Texas are former law enforcement officers or current officers with a private business, according to the Texas Polygraph Examiners Board.

The state maintains a list of examiners approved for sex-offender testing, and local treatment providers choose examiners from that list. But some examiners say it's hard to get referrals if you're not part of the law enforcement fraternity.

"When it comes to sex-offender [testing] you're basically locked out," polygraph examiner Mark Robinson said.

"There's not a good-old-boy system that I see," Mr. Chimarys said. Probation and parole officers just prefer working with examiners they know, he said.

The tendency by former or current law enforcement polygraphers to try to induce confessions is what makes Mr. Koury uneasy.

After a new probation officer assigned him to an examiner he was uncomfortable with, Mr. Koury said, he told officials, 'I'll take a polygraph with whoever is on your list, but if I'm going to pay for it, I get to choose.' "


The Punishers

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04/28/2008

We live in a society focused on punishment. It seems we can never get enough. Three times in the last nine months Connecticut’s political leaders have been pushed toward irrational behavior by criminal cases they fear demonstrate they are not doing their job — that they are not tough enough.

Last July’s home invasion murders of three members of a Cheshire family was the first case, followed by the release of rapist David Pollitt into a quiet Southbury neighborhood and finally, the random murder of a woman in a New Britain kidnapping and burglary case.

Each case brought politicians rushing to the microphones declaring it was time to end the violence once and for all — and in the Pollitt case — to find a way to keep people in jail even after they have served their full sentences. The first reaction is always to find a way to lock them up and throw away the key. The emphasis should be placed at the other end of the spectrum; providing treatment, education and help for convicts re-entering society.

Connecticut’s political leadership is not alone in the never ending search for ways to punish offenders beyond the full extent of the law. One of the most bizarre cases of over-reaching punishment comes from Hudson, Kan. where an elderly sex offender was ordered by a judge to put a sign on his home which reads, “sex offender lives here” and a sign on each side of his car which reads “sex offender.” You can imagine the reaction from the public.

Mob Justice

This approach may remind us of the good old days of public humiliation as part of sentencing, but it inevitably leads to harassment of offenders by citizens who take the legally sanctioned embarrassment as a license to take things even further. The offender’s wrong does not make it right for government, in this case through the courts, to force him to live in fear.

In Ohio, the legislature is considering a bill that would require sex offenders to mount fluorescent license plates on their cars. The proposal is being put forth on a bi-partisan basis as a means of warning the general public, but how long before such a program leads to the beating or death of an offender at the hands of vigilantes? When does government sanctioned humiliation become something worse?

The accused killer in the New Britain home invasion was a registered sex offender. A law written to protect the general public from former inmates, who have served their sentences, inadvertently may have contributed to a murder. The suspect reportedly told police he decided he had to kill the two women he was robbing because he felt they had “memorized his face” and would be able to identify him. Let’s be honest, publicly branding an ex-convict by using the Internet, makes it even more difficult for them to become productive members of society by making it hard to find a place to live and hard to find a job. Many end up in homeless shelters and descend even deeper into a life of crime, until they end up in prison again. In the New Britain case, the cycle led to murder.

The sex offender registry does more to satisfy our taste for mob justice than protect us. There comes a point when the thirst for never ending punishment becomes counterproductive. It would make a lot more sense if our political leaders put some of their energy — and our tax money — toward figuring out ways to prevent crime and recidivism, but then that doesn’t make for good headlines or re-election campaigns.

Dean Pagani is a former gubernatorial advisor. He is V.P. of Public Affairs for Cashman and Katz Integrated Communications in Glastonbury.


Its time to stop hating one another


America´s Sheeple Society

View the article here

Also, what about other movies like "Poison Ivy" to name just one?

By Angel McDade

A 42 year old man lusting after and trying to get into the pants of his teen daughters best friend is criminal. This has to be pedophilia and the workings of a very sick mind. Most people will swear that such thoughts will manifest into actions and it is just a matter of time. Add to that a sexy teen who thinks he is sweet and states that she would " totally f**k him if he were more muscular".

This is the plot for a 1999 drama movie that won a total of five Academy Awards including Best Picture. The film was American Beauty and many of us laughed our way through it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Beauty_(film)

The nation has lost all sense of humor and become harshly judgmental of others. We worry about sexual abuse, online predators and the influence that violent lyrics and games may have on our children. We need to worry about the adults. If something is not okay don´t put it out there to glorify.

There are people who sit trance-line in front of the television no matter what is being shown. Words from the tube sink in but it is one-way traffic. The minds absorb without questioning and that goes double for the news media. They are there to entertain you with the exotic, the tragic, the pathetic, the shocking and whatever else it takes to get the ratings. The captive audiences are fed half-truths, lies and biases by those who know how to impose their thoughts into the waiting human receivers.

The media reaches all of us. Women cry if their favorite soap opera character is killed off. If Bill O´Reilly is ticked off he will demand that viewers be ticked off with him. Yesterday Nancy Grace was doing a show that would have been news a week ago. It didn´t matter that the man they were discussing had already been cleared as a suspect. Those devoted fans got an hour of misinformation and some will never know the difference.

A brain is a terrible thing to waste. A few people influence the media and then the media mass produces to their specifications before dousing the public with it. Nobody is completely immune and we already have too many laws. It would be wonderful if people could join together to remove negativity because children are watching or just because we are proud to be Americans and want to focus on the positives.


CA - Sex offenders protest tough Long Beach law

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04/26/2008

COURTS: Bid to expand Jessica's Law is called devastating, and it may lead to a legal challenge.

LONG BEACH - Most of Long Beach's 800 registered sex offenders could get chased out of town starting Monday when a new city ordinance goes into effect, but the new law may go before a judge first.

Elia Naqvi, an Orange County criminal defense attorney, said that after an article about the new law appeared April 13 in the Press-Telegram, she has received dozens of phone calls from registered sex offenders, property owners and others who may be affected.

She and two other lawyers have teamed up to represent 25 to 30 clients in a lawsuit against the city, she said.

"We have a number of clients who are devastated that this law already has been passed without consulting with any of the people who will be affected by it," Naqvi said.
- Of course they are not going to talk to people who are affected by the law, that is common sense, but I agree, the laws are draconian.. This is like asking murderers if some law is ok with them before they pass it..

The City Council unanimously passed the ordinance last month in response to Alamitos Beach residents outraged over an apartment building that was housing at least 15 registered sex offenders on parole.

Before the lawsuit can be filed, the defense attorneys first must exhaust all administrative remedies, so this week they submitted a claim to the city asking it to amend the law, said Sarah Stockwell, a Fountain Valley criminal defense attorney who is working with Naqvi.

The city has until June 7 to respond, and if things don't go her clients' way, "then on June 8 we'll file the lawsuit," Stockwell said.

City Attorney Robert Shannon, whose staff crafted the ordinance, has maintained the law is legally defensible. The new ordinance builds on the statewide Jessica's Law, which prevents sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of schools or parks. However, courts have ruled that the law can only apply to sex offenders released from prison or jail since voters passed the law Nov. 7, 2006.

The California Supreme Court is considering the constitutionality of Jessica's Law in a case that involves four sex offenders.

The high court's ruling could be narrow, applying only to the four plaintiffs, or it could have far-reaching effects, determining which parts of Jessica's Law may be applied, potentially affecting Long Beach's ordinance.

The Long Beach ordinance is broader and more limiting than Jessica's Law.

It creates 2,000-foot buffers around not only schools and parks, but also child-care centers and beaches. Furthermore, it limits the number of sex offenders who can live on a parcel of land, regardless of how many residential units there may be, to just one.
- No protection.. 90% or more of all sexual crimes occur in the victims own home, or someone very close to them. How many can you think of that have occurred at a school or park?

The law makes most residentially zoned areas in Long Beach off-limits, and the ordinance affects all sex offenders, giving it the retroactive status that Jessica's Law so far hasn't achieved.

Stockwell said the city ordinance has several legal problems: including being retroactive; heaping extra penalties on people who already have been punished; dictating where registered sex offenders can live; violating constitutional right to property; and asking property owners to use the Megan's Law Web site, which identifies many sex offenders, to deny housing. State law prohibits the site from being used to harass, deny housing to or take illegal actions against sex offenders.

"Long Beach can't tell these people where they can live," Stockwell said.
- I agree. Next they will be telling other minority groups where they can live.

And she said that the city is opening itself up to liability for losses that sex offenders who own property may incur.
- Meanwhile we have a war going on costing trillions of dollars, the cost of the dollar is being eroded, gas is going up, oil is going up, food is vanishing, and we care about sex offenders more than the rest of the other MAJOR issues... I think we have our priorities screwed up here!!!

"The city of Long Beach is essentially saying, 'In this bad market, you have to sell your house and leave,"' Stockton said.

Officials with the city attorney's office on Friday rebuffed Stockwell's claims.

"We believe that the application of this ordinance for all sex offenders is defensible and is allowed under state law," Deputy City Attorney Cristyl Meyers said.
- Then you clearly do not know what is in the constitution of California, or just do not care! THE WHOLE (IL)LEGAL SYSTEM IS CORRUPT!!

Meyers and Assistant City Attorney Mike Mais said Jessica's Law not only allows, but even encourages local municipalities to draft their own sex offender legislation.

Mais said the constitutionality of Jessica's Law has been questioned because it doesn't clearly state its applicability to all sex offenders, regardless of when they were incarcerated. Long Beach's law does, he said.
- Ok, but it still violates a lot more of the Constitution, if you'd read the Constitution! Hell, why don't we just get Bush on national TV to burn the Constitution, and get the gestapo to start rounding up all undesirables? That is basically what you are doing, just little by little!

But one aspect of the Long Beach ordinance that isn't clearly defined is whether the law applies just to renters and those who rent to them, or to all sex offenders, even those who own their own homes.

"The ordinance itself is based upon the renting of property," Meyers said. "We're not targeting property owners (who are sex offenders)," Meyers said.

However, nowhere in the law is that distinction made, Meyers admitted.

"It doesn't say to that degree that a sex offender who owns a house isn't subject to the law," Meyers said.

Meyers also said that the ordinance doesn't require property owners and managers to use the Megan's Law Web site to evict tenants. However, Mais said that Megan's Law legally may be used to protect "at-risk" individuals, such as children.

Bill Wynder, city attorney for Carson, agrees that the Long Beach law is legally defensible. In fact, Carson is creating its own sex offender law modeled after Long Beach's.

"We like the Long Beach approach, and we're going to recommend it to our Planning Commission," Wynder said. "The basic philosophical approach the Long Beach City Attorney's Office takes, we think, is legally sound."
- Well, corrupt politicians would! Anything to make them look good or fatten their wallets is Constitutional.

Wynder said Long Beach's law isn't retroactive because it isn't truly creating new penalties for crimes. He said Carson's law is being framed as a land-use law, with property owners required to restrict to whom they rent.
- Where are all the good lawyers these days? Anybody can clearly see all the unconstitutional issues with these laws. It's because the entire legal system is so corrupted, even they think they are doing good works. They believe the BS! It will get worse and worse over the years for everyone, watch and see...

Carson's law isn't a direct result of Long Beach's law, and city officials at several other surrounding communities - including Paramount, Bellflower, Lakewood and Signal Hill - said they aren't concerned that Long Beach's sex offenders will end up in their communities. Only Signal Hill officials said they also are considering creating a sex offender residency law.

In the lawsuit that is likely to come, Naqvi said she expects to add more clients to the plaintiff list, which already includes many longtime residents, homeowners and property owners who feel they shouldn't be forced to evict registered sex offenders who are good tenants.

"We have numerous calls coming through still, and I think a lot of people will be joining in this appeals process," she said.

One of the people who hopes to join the litigation is 66-year-old Frank Walker, a virtually lifelong Long Beach resident and registered sex offender who was convicted of assault with intent to commit rape 46 years ago.
- That sounds like these laws are retroactive to me, or this man would not be affected by the laws. So someone is lying here.

City calls law defensible 'I'm scared to death'

It was Nov. 22, 1962, and Walker had been out of the Marines for about two months when he assaulted a woman in a laundry room late at night. Police intervened and he was later convicted, serving 2½ years in San Quentin State Prison, where he received weekly therapy.

He makes no excuses for his sex crime, and said he can't really explain it. Until he learned about Long Beach's new law and saw that his home is in the sex offender residency exclusion zone, Walker rarely thought about his criminal past anymore, he said.

"I have worked very hard for a long time to try to make up for what I did in a lot of different ways," Walker said. "I am a totally different guy than I was then. ... Why I did that, I really don't know anymore."
- And they say this is not cruel and unusual punishment, BULLS**T!!!

After he got out of prison, Walker still had occasional problems - traffic violations, a pair of DUIs, but hasn't been convicted of any other sex crimes.

He worked as a taxi driver for a couple of years, then for a contractor, doing maintenance and other jobs. In 1993, he was hired part-time by the city of Long Beach as a custodian for the Parks, Recreation and Marine Department.

For much of the 11 years that he worked for the city, he cleaned bathrooms at city parks, from which he now must live at least 2,000 feet under the new law. His real passion through the years has been blues music, and he has worked as a manager or event organizer for several local musicians, including local legend Whiteboy James.

Walker grew up in Long Beach, moving here with his family as a baby, though his family has had a home here since 1919, he said.

He has been married three times, has three children, three stepchildren and nine grandchildren, and has lived with his current partner for eight years.

The couple has rented an older second-floor duplex for three years in the Alamitos Beach area, which happens to be where a sex-offender-filled apartment building spawned the new law.

The duplex is a comfortable, well lived-in home, with hardwood floors and large windows that brighten the place.

On a built-in shelf in the wall dividing the kitchen and the dining room, dozens of photos of Walker's children and grandchildren are displayed. Above the shelf, running along the top of the wall, are several photos of Walker with the blues musicians with whom he has worked.

His stepdaughter, Victoria Howell of Long Beach, said she was aware of Walker being a registered sex offender and that she has never felt nervous having him around.

Walker has been a great influence on his step-grandchildren, she said, and he shouldn't be forced out of Long Beach.

"People make mistakes, and I do believe that he has rehabilitated himself," Howell said. "He's shown nothing but love and care for me and my sisters."
- If this man must suffer, then we need to make a law for ALL PREVIOUS FELONS, dating back 100 years, and make them live by similar laws. Then lets see what happens!!!

Walker said that if he is forced to move, he has few options and that he hates the idea of leaving his hometown.

"I'm scared to death," Walker said. "I don't want to lose my home, man. I'm too old for this fight."

Neighborhood backlash

While Walker may be scared about losing his home, some Long Beach residents are concerned about the filtering effects of the law as sex offenders are forced into the few places where they can legally live.
- They are just creating a new class of homeless people, and nobody is going to win in this game!!

Besides the Port of Long Beach, Los Cerritos Wetlands, the Long Beach Airport and some industrial areas, only about two dozen tiny residentially zoned areas remain in which registered sex offenders may live, according to a map provided by the city. One of the largest of these areas is the El Dorado neighborhood in the extreme northeastern corner of the city, just east of the San Gabriel River (605) Freeway.

That has Stephanie Taylor, an El Dorado resident, worried.

As a substitute teacher and parent, Taylor supports Long Beach's law, she said. But she said she doesn't want all of the sex offenders moving to her neighborhood.

"I'm grateful Long Beach is doing something, but I'm not very grateful for the backlash," Taylor said.

"It's real obvious with that being the big advertisement, here's where you can live," she said of the city's map.

Additionally, a school is close to the neighborhood of mostly single-family homes, but it is in Hawaiian Gardens, not Long Beach. Taylor's children attended Hawaiian Elementary School, which is part of ABC Unified School District and sits just north of the area where sex offender residency is allowed.

"We're actually closer to a neighborhood school than El Dorado Park Estates (located in a sex offender residency-exclusion zone), which is right across the street," Taylor said. "It just happens to be in another city."

Mary Sieu, deputy superintendent of ABC Unified School District, said district officials are aware of Long Beach's new law but aren't "heavily concerned."

Officials don't allow anyone to loiter around schools, sex offender or otherwise, she said.

"We do have a fairly good safety record with our Hawaiian Garden schools," Sieu said. "We're always mindful and vigilant of who's around our campuses."

paul.eakins@presstelegram.com, 562-499-1278


NC - Mother concerned for safety of her kids

View the article here

So why is she letting her kids walk alone if she is worried about them? Why doesn't she walk them to the bus station and wait until the bus comes? Oh, I see, she doesn't want to be inconvenienced, that is the real issue.

04/26/2008

Children forced to walk past sex offenders’ homes

WACO - Mistie Meadows wants her children to be safe. But their short walk from the bus stop to their front door has Meadows worried.

Meadows lives on Devinney Road in Waco. Her children, a daughter, 14, and son, 7, must walk down the road to their house every afternoon. Meadows drives her children to the top of the road in the mornings to wait for the bus. But by the time her children are coming home from school, Meadows is at her second shift job in Charlotte.
- So can't you get your husband to meet them at the bus stop, or a neighbor? What about a neighborhood watch program? Get another job where you are there for your kids.

The walk is short. The road isn't busy with cars. But Meadows is concerned because two registered sex offenders live on the path her children take home.

The two men, one on South Main Street and the other on Devinney Road, have been convicted of taking indecent liberties with a minor in unrelated cases. One man in particular on Devinney Road has called attention to himself, Meadows said.

"The only time you ever see him out is when the kids are walking home," Meadows said.
- So why can't you get a policeman to be there when the bus comes to watch them? Seems like if the police were really about protecting children they'd do this.

Neither man could be reached for comment.
- And did you expect them to be happy to hear from the media vulchers?

Meadows contacted school officials asking that a bus come down the road and drop the children off closer to home but was told repeatedly that it couldn't happen.

"There's just no safe place to turn around there," said Cleveland County School Transportation Director W.D. Smith. "We've been down that road. Checked it out. The new, longer buses just can't do it if there isn't a cul-de-sac or turnaround."

Meadows said she had heard of buses coming down the road in years past. Smith said to his knowledge a substitute driver had mistakenly gone down the road once or twice.

Superintendent Bruce Boyles also traveled to Devinney Road to see the situation firsthand.

"I was surprised at how narrow it was," he said. "I could barely turn my truck around. A big bus just couldn't do it."

Both men said that with proper turnaround the bus could go down the road, but creating a turnaround on private property was not a decision they could make.

"We know we're carrying very precious cargo from point A to B," Smith said. "And safety is important. In this case, we can't safely turn the bus around so we can't go down the road."
- Yeah, the bus carries them from A to B and it's the parents responsibility to do the rest, not the government. Come on, be a damn parent, get another job where you can be there for your children. Society always wants someone else to baby sit for them or someone else to blame for their problems.. Give me a break! If you are worried and were being the parent you should be, then you'd be there for your children, IMO.

That's not good enough for Mistie Meadows.

"I try to protect my children as best I can," she said. "I'm just asking the school system to help me keep my kids safe."
- Why should they? You had the child, now do your job as a parent!

As of December 1, 2006, sex offenders must appear in person at the sheriff's office for all required registrations, verifications and notifications.

They are not allowed to live within 1,000 feet of a school and can not work or volunteer anywhere minors are present.

Additionally, sex offenders must inform the sheriff's office anytime they move.

If convicted or released on or after Jan. 1, 1996, an individual must register within 10 days after moving to North Carolina or after being present in the state for 15 days.

The sheriff's office can verify a sex offender's address at any time and can take photographs whenever a sex offender makes a change to his or her appearance.

There are no N.C. laws that limit how close a registered sex offender may live to a bus stop.


FL - Former Police Officer Charged With Child Porn

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And yet another perverted cop from Florida is busted. Florida seems to breed perverted cops and corruption... Looks like people need to look into who runs things to see what other corruption is going on, IMO.

04/24/2008

A former New York City police officer is facing child porn charges in Central Florida on Thursday.

Karl Neller faces nine counts of having child pornography.

Kissimmee police arrested Neller Thursday, and said he and his brother also had cocaine and marijuana in the house.

Officers said some of the porn featured a child under 5.