Sunday, February 22, 2009

GREENLAND - Prison System - They work on rehabilitation and not punishment



OK - Restrictions on offenders called into doubt - A group says residency rules may make enforcement more difficult.

View the article here

Finally some common sense!

02/22/2009

By NICOLE MARSHALL World Staff Writer

Oklahoma's residency restrictions for sex offenders are too broad and may be counterproductive, according to a newly formed group of people who work in sex-offender management.

The Oklahoma Coalition for Sex Offender Management met for the first time this month and is working on a position statement about the restrictions.

In 2006, a law took effect prohibiting sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of playgrounds, parks or child-care facilities. They were already prohibited from living within that distance of schools.

In Tulsa, that ruled out more than 90 percent of the city.

"We think Oklahoma should be a state that is informed by effective public policy that is evidence-based rather than politically expedient," said Randy Lopp, chairman of the group. "It should be based on research, not what feels good. The feel-good legislation, while well-intended, is not evidence-based."

Tulsa Police Sgt. Gary Stansill, a member of the group, said that "if there is any evidence that it (residency restrictions) would actually protect children, I would be all for it."

The nonprofit coalition includes victim advocates, law enforcement officers, treatment providers, prison officials, court personnel, and probation and parole officers. Its primary mission is to advocate for community protection, Lopp said.

"I am for the victim. I am a victim's advocate," Stansill said. "Those are the people that I am concerned with. There are other laws that I think we can create to protect our children and use our resources wisely."

The group believes that the state's legislators are well-intentioned but that the current law has unintended consequences.

Jennifer McLaughlin with the Oklahoma Coalition Against Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault said that as a victim advocate she is concerned that the restrictions have forced offenders into rural areas where there are fewer law enforcement and probation officers and fewer treatment options.

She is also worried about offenders failing to register because they are frustrated by the limited legal residency options.

Stansill said he supports sex offender registration, but he said that "residential restrictions in Tulsa are so restrictive, it is difficult for many to find lawful residences."

Because the same restrictions apply to all sex offenders, law enforcement agencies use a lot of resources trying to monitor where hundreds of offenders are living, rather than focusing on the offenders most likely to reoffend, the group says.

"When they are in an unstable environment, their likelihood of reoffending increases, and as a victim advocate, that is my biggest concern," McLaughlin said. "If we don't know where they are, we don't know what they are doing."

Stansill also said evidence suggests "that instability in their lives can contribute to reoffending."

McLaughlin said not all sex offenders should be treated the same, because their offenses are different, and Lopp said the coalition is "opposed to blanket restrictions used as something that covers all sex offenders."

"You can't just apply the same thing across the board," McLaughlin said. "The community is terrified of these individuals. As a victim advocate, I get it. But we have to be smart about what we are doing."



OH - Senate Bill 10 Court Cases and other information



Ohio Supreme Court
Accepted for review:
Chojnacki v. Dann (2008-0991, 2008-0992, consolidated)
Certified conflict: "Whether a decision denying a request for appointment of counsel in a reclassification hearing held pursuant to Ohio's version of the Adam Walsh Act, Senate Bill 10, is a final appealable order."
In re D.S. (2008-1624)
 
PropLaw I:  The application of SB 10 to persons who committed their offenses prior to the enactment of SB 10 violates the Ex Post Facto Clause of the United States Constitution.
 
PropLaw II:  The application of SB 10 to persons who committed their offenses prior to the enactment of SB 10 violates the Retroactivity Clause of the Ohio Constitution.
 
PropLaw III:  The application of SB 10 violates the United States Constitution’s prohibitions against cruel and unusual punishments.
PropLaw IV:  A juvenile court has no authority to classify a juvenile, adjudicated delinquent for a sex offense, as a juvenile sex offender registrant when the statutory provisions governing such a hearing were repealed at the time the hearing was conducted.
  • In re G.E.S. (2008-1926) Appeal accepted and held for the decision in 2008-1624, In re Smith; briefing stayed.
 
PropLaw I: An appellate court's finding that a lower court had discretion in determining a juvenile's registration tier level under Senate Bill 10 requires the reversal and remanding of the lower court's decision, when the lower court expressly held that no such discretion existed.
 
PropLaw II: The application of Senate Bill 10 to persons who committed their offenses prior to the enactment of Senate Bill 10 violates the Ex Post Facto Clause of the United States Constitution. Article I, Section 10 of the United States Constitution.
 
PropLaw III: The application of Senate Bill 10 to persons who committed their offense prior to the enactment of Senate Bill 10 violates the Retroactivity Clause of the Ohio Constitution. Article II, Section 28 of the Ohio Constitution.
Motion to accept discretionary appeal pending:
 
Ohio Courts of Appeals

First District
  • State v. Clay, 1st Dist. No. C-070752, 2008-Ohio-2980 (appeal of classification under pre-AWA law not moot)

Second District
 
Third District
  • In re Gant, 3rd Dist. No. 1-08-11, 2008-Ohio-5198 (ex post facto, retroactivity, double jeopardy, right to contract, history & purpose of juvenile court system)
  • In re: Objection to Reclassification for Brown, 3rd Dist. Nos. 9-08-18 & 9-08-19, 2008-Ohio-5403 (denial of counsel in reclassification challenge hearing not final appealable order, does not affect substantial right)
  • In re Smith, 3rd Dist. No. 1-07-58, 2008-Ohio-3234 (no-law argument, ex post facto, retroactivity, separation of powers)
  • State v. Duncan, 3rd Dist. No. 7-08-03, 2008-Ohio-5830 (ex post facto, due process)
  • State v. Horch, 3rd Dist. No. 14-07-47, 2008-Ohio-1484 (separation of powers, retroactivity, double jeopardy, ex post facto)
  • State v. Sheriff, 3rd Dist. No. 8-08-04, 2008-Ohio-5192 (notification of registration duties via notification form is sufficient)
  • State v. Worthington, 3rd Dist. No. 7-07-62, 2008-Ohio-3222 (ex post facto, retroactivity, double jeopardy, due process)
 
Fourth District
  • State v. Longpre, 4th Dist. No. 08CA3017, 2008-Ohio-3832 (ex post facto, due process, double jeopardy, retroactivity)
 
Fifth District
  • In re Adrian R., 5th Dist. No. 08-CA-17, 2008-Ohio-6581 (due process, ex post facto, retroactivity, separation of powers, cruel and unusual punishment, IAC for failure to understand new classification law, neither court nor parties clear on specifics of new law)
  • In re Carr, 5th Dist. No. 08 CA 19, 2008-Ohio-5689 (no-law argument)
  • In re Kristopher W., 5th Dist. No. 2008 AP 03 0022, 2008-Ohio-6075 (ex post facto, retroactivity, due process)
  • In re Marcio A., 5th Dist. No. 2007 CA 00149, 2008-Ohio-4523 (no-law argument)
  • In re Timothy C., 5th Dist. No. 08 CA 27, 2008-Ohio-5675 (ex post facto, retroactivity, double jeopardy, separation of powers challenges waived)
  • State v. Gooding, 5th Dist. No. 08 CA 5, 2008-Ohio-5954 (ex post facto, retroactivity)
  • State v. Graves, 5th Dist. No. 07CA3004, 2008-Ohio-5763 (appeal of classification under pre-AWA law is moot)
 
Sixth District
  • Montgomery v. Leffler, 6th Dist. No. H-08-011, 2008-Ohio-6397 (separation of powers, double jeopardy, due process, equal protection, bills of attainder, cruel and unusual punishment, contracts)
  • State v. Bodyke, 6th Dist. No. H-07-040, 2008-Ohio-6387 (ex post facto, due process, double jeopardy, retroactivity, contracts)
  • State v. Dombrosky, 6th Dist. No. WD-07-082, 2008-Ohio-6530 (challenges to classifications done prior to Jan. 1, 2008 are premature, as appellants have not suffered injury due to SB 10)
  • State v. Duncan, 6th Dist. No. F-08-003, 2008-Ohio-6802 (ex post facto, retroactivity, residency restrictions violate due process)
  • State v. Moody, 6th Dist. No. L-08-1108, L-08-1109, 2009-Ohio-47 (ex post facto, due process, double jeopardy, retroactivity)
  • State v. Stockman, 6th Dist. No. L-08-1077, 2009-Ohio-266 (retroactivity, separation of powers, ex post facto, community notification)
    State v. Taft, 6th Dist. No. WD-07-059, 2008-Ohio-5790 (double jeopardy, ex post facto, retroactivity, separation of powers)
 
Seventh District
  • State v. Byers, 7th Dist. No. 07 CO 39, 2008-Ohio-5051 (ex post facto, retroactivity, separation of powers, cruel & unusual punishment, due process, double jeopardy, no law)
  • State v. Jones, 7th Dist. No. 07 MA 58, 2008-Ohio-6078 (appeal of classification under pre-AWA law is moot)
 
Eighth District
  • In re E.L., 8th Dist. No. 90848, 2008-Ohio-5094 (no-law argument)
  • State v. Ellis, 8th Dist. No. 90844, 2008-Ohio-6283 (ex post facto, retroactivity, double jeopardy, no-law argument)
  • State v. Holloman-Cross, 8th Dist. No. 90351, 2008-Ohio-2189 (ex post facto, due process)
  • State v. Luks, 8th Dist. No. 89869, 2008-Ohio-3974 (appeal of classification under pre-AWA law is moot)
  • State v. Rabel, 8th Dist. No. 91280, 2009-Ohio-350 (ex post facto, retroactivity)
 
Ninth District
  • In re E.B., 9th Dist. No. 24148, 2008-Ohio-5441 (separation of powers, ex post facto, retroactivity, juvenile court discretion)
  • In re G.E.S., 9th Dist. No. 24079, 2008-Ohio-4076 (ex post facto, separation of powers, unconstitutionally vague)
  • In re R.P., 9th Dist. No. 23967, 2008-Ohio-2673 (ex post facto, retroactivity, no-law argument)
  • In re T.H., 9th Dist. No. 24147, 2008-Ohio-4843 (separation of powers, ex post facto, retroactivity, juvenile court discretion)
  • In re W.H., 9th Dist. No. 23936, 2008-Ohio-4337 (ex post facto, retroactivity)
  • State v. Honey, 9th Dist. No. 08CA0018-M, 2008-Ohio-4943 (retroactivity, ex post facto, substantive due process
  • State v. Ralston, 9th Dist. No. 08CA009384, 2008-Ohio-6347 (ex post facto, retroactivity)
  • State v. Williams, 9th Dist. No. 08CA009350, 2008-Ohio-3586 (state’s appeal: trial court lacks jurisdiction to reclassify at Bezak resentencing hearing, when statute allows only AG to reclassify)
 
Tenth District
  • State v. Christian, 10th Dist. No. 08AP-170, 2008-Ohio-6304 (ex post facto, retroactivity, separation of powers, substantive due process, procedural due process, double jeopardy, cruel and unusual punishment)
 
Eleventh District
  • State v. Brunelle-Apley, 11th Dist. No. 2008-L-014, 2008-Ohio-6412 (appeal of classification under pre-AWA law considered)
  • State v. Johnson, 11th Dist. No. 2008-L-015, 2008-Ohio-4666 (appeal of classification under pre-AWA law; dissent says appeal moot)
  • State v. Swank, 11th Dist. No. 2008-L-019, 2008-Ohio-6059 (ex post facto, retroactivity, separation of powers, substantive & procedural due process)
 
Twelfth District
  • In re A.R., 12th Dist. No. CA2008-03-036, 2008-Ohio-6566 (due process, ex post facto, retroactivity, separation of powers, double jeopardy)
  • In re S.R.P., 12th Dist. No. CA2007-11-027, 2009-Ohio-11 (no-law argument, due process, ex post facto, retroactivity, separation of powers, cruel and unusual punishments, double jeopardy, mandatory vs. discretionary classification of juveniles)
  • State vs. Williams, 12th Dist. No. CA2008-02-029, 2008-Ohio-6195 (ex post facto, due process, double jeopardy, retroactivity, separation of powers)
 
Common Pleas Courts
Cuyahoga County
  • Tremaine Evans v. State of Ohio (SB 10 violates retroactivity clause of Ohio Constitution and ex post facto clause of U.S. Constitution; sexual predator laws are classic forms of punishment, residency restrictions operate as a disability, sexual predator laws further traditional notions of punishment, AWA not tailored to meet non-punitive purpose)
Franklin County
  • State of Ohio v. Rubin T. Toles (Changes to frequency and duration of registration not unconstitutional; increased information required to be disclosed, residency restrictions, and increase in penalties for failure to register violate Ohio Constitution’s retroactivity clause; Individual previously determined not to be a sexual predator or who had not had a sexual predator hearing cannot now be subject to community notification)
 
Lorain County
  • Ronald Brooks vs. State of Ohio (SB 10 remedial and not punitive, rationally related to the public good and lowering recidivism; SB 10’s residency restrictions unconstitutional;  they affect an accrued substantive right and go “far beyond the reasonable monitoring of the whereabouts of the Petitioners.”)
 
Richland County
  • William Sigler v. State of Ohio (Designation as sexually oriented offender part of sentence; legislatively changing classification and increasing duration of duties not remedial changes: violate retroactivity and ex post facto; SB 10 constitutes breach of contract when plea agreement includes agreement about classification)
 
Federal Court
 
Class Action Lawsuit, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio
This lawsuit resulted in an extension of the 60-filing deadline for SB 10 reclassification challenge petitions and a stay of community notification.  The order was issued Feb. 6, 2008 and dissolved June 9, 2008.
For information on federal court rulings from across the nation, please see:
  • Mikaloff v. Walsh: the Northern District of Ohio held that Ohio's sex offender residency restrictions are punitive and that they violate the Ex Post Facto Clause of the U.S. Constitution when applied retroactively.
  • Hyle v. Porter:  the Supreme Court of Ohio held that Ohio’s residency restrictions do not apply retroactively to someone who bought his home and committed his offense before the effective date of the statute.
  • State v. Ferguson: the Supreme Court of Ohio held that Ohio’s pre-AWA SORN law does not violate the ex post facto and retroactivity clauses of the U.S. and Ohio constitutions.
 
Kansas
Nevada
  • ACLU of Nevada v. Masto, permanent injunction, U.S. District Court, District of Nevada, enjoining enforcement of Nevada’s Adam Walsh Act (ex post facto, double jeopardy, contract clause, due process)
 
South Dakota
  • In re Z.B., South Dakota Supreme Court (including juveniles on state sex offender registry violates equal protection)
 
Court Orders

"In the part of this universe that we know there is great injustice, and often the good suffer, and often the wicked prosper, and one hardly knows which of those is the more annoying"
Bertrand Russell



CA - Sheriff changes policy in evidence kits

View the article here

So I wonder how many innocent people went to jail or prison because they did not examine these rape kits? This is absurd!

02/21/2009

By Brian Charles - The Signal

Allows crime lab to identify more sexual assault offenders

More than 4,700 untested sexual assault evidence kits - so-called "rape kits" - are due to be tested by Crime Lab technicians following a change of policy by Sheriff Lee Baca.

"We plan to get through 800 tests this year," said Sheriff's Department Commander Earl Shields. "In a normal year, we test between 140 and 150 kits."

Department officials are crafting a plan to whittle away at the backlog of kits, Shields said.

Baca changed department policy after the Los Angeles Police Department became mired in a scandal over its backlog of sexual assault evidence kits, Shields said.

The untested kits are from cases that have been put on hold, that are deemed "cold" or in which suspects have pleaded guilty, Shields said.
- So even if someone pleads guilty, they should still be tested.  Some people plead guilty because they are threatened by DA's, Lawyers, Judges, etc.  This is not an excuse!

Under the previous policy, "The investigating deputy determined whether we tested the rape kits at all," Shields said. If tests weren't ordered, the kits were shelved.
- WTF?  In all cases of sexual abuse, they should be tested, period!

Under the new policy, instead of waiting for investigators to prompt the testing of collected evidence, the Crime Lab will test all the evidence in its possession, he said.

"The policy puts the crime lab in the driver seat instead of the passenger seat," said Anna Pembedjian, justice deputy for Fifth District Supervisor Michael Antonovich.

The sheriff reports to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors with monthly updates on the kit testing progress, she said. Thus far the progress and the plan exceed Antonovich's expectations, Pembedjian said.

"This allows us to identify and prosecute more offenders while building our DNA database," she said.

Testing all the kits is more than a policy change for Gail Ararbanel, director of the UCLA Rape Treatment Center.

"This is about people," she said. "We are leaving a possible sexual predator out there to commit more crimes," Ararbanel said.
- Or putting an innocent person behind bars as well!

Going though thousands of evidence kits in old cases can point to new investigations as DNA matches are made, Shields said.

"While the offender might not be identified for a crime today, we can link the person to other victims," Pembedjian said.



OH - Publishers of sex photos need to keep records of age, federal court rules

View the article here
Another article and opinion here
Court Document (PDF)

02/21/2009

By Peter Krouse - Plain Dealer Reporter

A federal appeals court on Friday upheld a ruling that publishers of sexually explicit photographs must keep age and identity records of those pictured and make the records available for inspection by the government.

The ruling stems from a case originally filed in U.S. District Court in Cleveland 14 years ago by a local company that publishes magazines aimed at "swingers" - adults who seek multiple sex partners.

Connection Distributing, headquartered on Kelley Avenue, argued that having to keep such records suppresses the free expression of the company and its subscribers, who place sexually explicit advertisements for themselves in the publications.

Congress required such record-keeping as part of the Child Protection and Obscenity Act of 1988 to reduce the chance of underage models being used in publications.

Since then, the matter has bounced back and forth between the courts. The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals voted 11-6 to uphold a U.S. District Court ruling that the law is appropriate.

Connection Distributing is not giving up. The company will appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, said Michael Murray, an attorney for Connection Distributing.

Murray said the record-keeping statute is too broad and that the vast majority of the people who advertise with Connections are 30 years or older and cannot possibly be mistaken for minors.

But the court's majority opinion argued that an appearance- based standard was not a sufficient safeguard, in part because pictures may depict only body parts, making the person's age difficult to discern.

The record-keeping statute applies to both print and Internet publications.



KORN - Freak On A Leash (GPS)



Lyrics:
Something takes a part of me
Something lost and never seen
Every time I start to believe
Something's raped and taken from me, from me

Life's kinda always been messing with me
You wanna see the light?
Can't they chill and let me be free?
So do I
Can't I take away all this pain?
You wanna see the light?
I try to every night, all in vain, in vain

Sometimes I cannot take this place
Sometimes it's my life I can't taste
Sometimes I cannot feel my face
You'll never see me fall from grace

Something takes a part of me
You and I were meant to be
A cheap _____ for me to lay
Something takes a part of me

Feeling like a freak on a leash
You wanna see the light?
Feeling like I have no release
So do I
How many times have I felt diseased?
You wanna see the light?
Nothing in my life is free, is free

Sometimes I cannot take this place
Sometimes it's my life I can't taste
Sometimes I cannot feel my face
You'll never see me fall from grace

Something takes a part of me
You and I were meant to be
A cheap _____ for me to lay
Something takes a part of me

Something takes a part of me
You and I were meant to be
A cheap _____ for me to lay
Something takes a part of me
Part of me, part of me
Part of me



CA - Parolees to be homeless sooner

View the article here

02/22/2009

By Christian Burkin - Record Staff Writer

New state policy limits housing help to 60 days

STOCKTON - When _____, a registered sex offender on parole, was left homeless in December, he built a small trailer to sleep in and hitched it to the back of his truck.

"I got a bedroom on wheels," he said.

_____, 59, declined to provide his last name. That would cause him too much trouble, he said. He is one of thousands affected by a recent change in state policy to limit housing assistance to parolees to 60 days. Many of them, particularly in Stockton, were housed in motels near freeways and in rundown parts of town, far away from schools and parks.

The change has rendered dozens of registered sex offenders in Stockton homeless and may hurt the livelihoods of local motel operators who have transformed their businesses to accommodate the state's needs.

It also threatens to further stress parole agents who monitor sex offenders and enforce their compliance with parole conditions and laws that limit their movement. When they become transients, they are harder to track. They still wear GPS monitors but are no longer registered to a specific address.

"That definitely always creates some concern for our agents, who already have a difficult task as it is," said Gordon Hinkle, a spokesman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Hinkle said the change is not to save money, but to use it more wisely. The money used to house parolees will instead pay for substance abuse programs, job programs and other rehabilitation efforts.

"We think it's especially important with the state in a fiscal crisis to pay close attention to where we put that money," Hinkle said. "There will be an immediate savings, but that money will get re-appropriated."

From February 2008 to Jan. 31, the state spent nearly $20 million on housing assistance for 7,897 parolees. Of those, 4,965 were registered sex offenders who may have been on parole for non-sexual offenses.

Dozens of those were living near the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds at the Stockton Motor Inn, which was recently granted a one-year permit by the Planning Commission to house parolees for the state. The motel had been housing parolee sex offenders, the majority of them from San Joaquin County, since 2007. The owner requested the permit in 2008 after learning it was required by city code.

One of the owners, Mike Kumar, said he worries his business will not survive. To remain profitable, Kumar said, the motel needs to maintain about 80 percent occupancy. The policy change has reduced occupancy to about 70 percent, and he's not sure it will ever catch up if parolees are out after 60 days.

"I don't think so," he said. "There is no way they can fill up this place." And it's virtually impossible now to return to operation as a conventional motel, he said.

"Most of our regular customers are not coming back," he said.

Parole Unit Supervisor Susan Kane said that in Stockton, housing assistance is being cut off slowly, on a case-by-case basis. By midweek, about 20 parolees had re-registered as homeless. Many more, she said, had managed to find other housing arrangements.

Many parolee sex offenders said there are few places in Stockton where they can live that are compliant with Jessica's Law, which forbids them from living within 2,000 feet of any public or private school, or any park where children regularly gather.

"They're going to have a lot of sex offenders running the street," said _____, 42, who lives at the Stockton Motor Inn. _____ has 60 days to find someplace else to live. If he ends up homeless, which he said was likely, he'll get a fishing pole and a tent, and camp down by the river.

"I'm just trying to have good spirits about it," he said.



OK - Sex offenders leave city for country

View the article here

You should also read this article from eAdvocate, it shows that when you create so called "safe zones," you also create "danger zones!"

02/22/2009

By CURTIS KILLMAN World Staff Writer

State restrictions on where they can live leaves them with fewer choices. Others just don't register.

Some registered sex offenders who once lived in Tulsa are moving to neighboring rural counties while others appear to be moving underground, a Tulsa World analysis of Department of Corrections data indicates.

Since 2005, just before the state imposed tough residency restrictions, the number of registered sex offenders in Tulsa has decreased from a high of nearly 600 to about 350.
- Pushing offenders out into the country, further a way from therapy, jobs, family, etc, only increases the stress level in their lives, and also increases the likelihood they will reoffend.

Conversely, business is booming at the sex-offender registration units in the sheriff's offices of neighboring counties.
- I'm sure it is, prison and exploiting sex offenders brings a lot of money to the state and businesses.

Of the 443 sex offenders who are registered in Rogers, Creek, Wagoner and Osage counties, 60 lived in Tulsa County in 2005, records indicate.

Osage County Sheriff Ty Koch said, "What we're finding is people are moving out of the cities because they are having a hard time finding a place to live under the statutes."
- And now, those who are on probation/parole, causes the state to waste money on gas, vehicle repair bills, etc, because these officers have to drive further to get to the offenders.

The number of sex offenders who live in Osage County has increased 190 percent since 2005, when only 40 were registered.

"I just registered 10 this last week," said Jeanie Brown, a warrants specialist for the Osage County Sheriff's Department.

Osage County now has 116 sex offenders registered "and more coming in every day," Brown said.

Why Osage County?

Brown's answers: "Because it is a rural area. Because they can move into a place where there is no school or any kind of restriction. Its proximity to Tulsa."

The migration of registered sex offenders follows a series of state laws that have made it harder for them
to live in metro areas.

The laws prevent sex offenders from residing within 2,000 feet of schools, parks or day-care centers.

Koch said the influx is taxing his staff. "The more we get here, the more manpower it takes to track them," he said.

Some offenders are trying to skirt the law, he said, adding, "Many are giving invalid addresses."
- Like I've said before, you continually harass someone, punish them, torture them, and back them into a corner, eventually they will fight back, and this is one way of doing just that.

Koch's office visits sex offenders' homes at least once a year to ensure that they are living where they say they are.

One registered sex offender, who spoke only on condition of anonymity, said he moved from a Tulsa apartment to a relative's house in rural Osage County after the stricter residency laws took effect.

He said he likes his current home.

"I like looking out in the morning and seeing all the deer," he said.

The offender's home is 3.5 miles from the closest school. And although he regularly reports to the Sheriff's Office, he has never had a deputy visit his home, he said.

"I see them drive by every now and then," the offender said.

He still commutes to Tulsa, driving almost 40 miles to work there, he said.

Although he doesn't plan to move, he said, it would be difficult for him to return to Tulsa because of the residency restrictions.

He warned against adding more "safe zones" to the residency restrictions.

"I think if they keep making more restrictions, then people are not going to register," the offender said.

"I think if they change it a little bit, more people would register. It's better to know where people's at than not."
- I agree. There is no proof that where someone lives has any impact on recidivism, it is just forced exile!

Although the number of sex offenders has dropped in Tulsa and Oklahoma counties, law enforcement officials warn that many are just going underground.

Since 2005, the number of registered sex offenders in Tulsa County has decreased 39 percent, from 800 to 491 registrants.

Tulsa Police Sgt. John Adams attributes much of the decrease to the stricter residency restrictions.

About 85 percent of the city is now off-limits to sex offenders because of the many so-called "safe zones," Adams said.

Most of the 352 offenders who legally live in Tulsa are allowed to stay in their homes because they were there before the new restrictions were passed, he said.
- At least this is one state, that is not violating the constitution, by passing ex post facto laws. But, my question is, what if any of these offenders, who are not on parole or probation, move? Are then they forced to obey the laws? If so, then it is ex post facto and a violation of the constitution!

Still, although the number of registered sex offenders who live in Tulsa has decreased, Adams' unit has seen a large increase in residency violations.

"They are still living here," Adams said.

More often now, they are living in Tulsa illegally.

Adams said his unit is currently working 77 cases involving violations of sex offender registration law.

Before the tougher restrictions were imposed, the unit usually received five or six cases a month, Adams said. About two-thirds of the cases involve offenders who either have failed to register or who have given bogus addresses, he said.

Offenders who move to rural areas are subject to less oversight than those in urban areas.

Offenders in Osage County may face a visit from a deputy once a year. In contrast, Tulsa police make visits four times a year, Adams said.

Department of Corrections data point to many metropolitan area offenders moving underground.

Of the nearly 900 sex offenders whose whereabouts are unknown, 157 committed their crimes in Tulsa County and 144 were convicted in Oklahoma County.



New park in Sapulpa clears out offenders

It’s been a year since the city of Sapulpa notified dozens of registered sex offenders who were living in a cluster of motels near the Turner Turnpike entrance that they had to move out.

The city had just built a small park within 2,000 feet of some of the motels, and that meant the city could force the offenders to move.
- More ex post facto BS! The offenders were there first, then the decide to build a park, and now they are forcing these offenders into unstable environments by forcing them to move over and over again. If they were there first, then they should be free to stay, regardless of how many parks open up next door, over the years, otherwise, it's a never ending shuffle!

State Department of Corrections data from April 2007 indicate that about 100 offenders reported living at one of several low-rate motels in the area.

Today, of the 27 sex offenders who are registered within Sapulpa’s city limits, just two list addresses at one of the motels.

The exodus of sex offenders has reduced the workload for Sapulpa police, which handles sex offender registrants in that area, Sapulpa Police Capt. Nate Norton said.

“That’s cut our work down,” he said.

The department assigned officers to check on the offenders regularly to ensure that they were still living at the motels.

Still, the department sees offenders attempting to move into the motels.

This month, two offenders who were registering with police said they lived in one of the motels, unaware that it was within 2,000 feet of a park.

“I had to basically tell both of them: ‘Hey, you are living inside a safety zone, and consider yourself evicted. You need to move,’ ” Norton said.
- So they expect sex offenders to be land surveyors and know where every single park, day care, church, school, etc is? Since the police know where the safe zones are, why don't they print all that out and give a copy of it to the offenders? Or, put the software online so the offenders can print it out when they need to, and it can be updated as well? But no, we don't want to help out sex offenders! That would save a lot of time and money, because then people would know what is legal or not.

Although the administrative workload has decreased, Norton said, he couldn’t connect the offenders’ absence to a change in the crime rate in the area.

The actual offenders were not listed as suspects in a lot of crimes we had,” he said.

There may have been a witness or two or maybe even a victim, but very few of them were actually responsible for a crime, that we were able to tell.”

Of the 100 former residents, about 75 percent have reregistered at other addresses.

The rest are now considered by the Corrections Department as delinquent in maintaining their registration requirements, which means that their whereabouts are unknown to the state.

Of those who did list a new address, 20 are in Tulsa County.

Ten offenders listed addresses in Creek County — in some cases, Sapulpa.

The remaining offenders have scattered across the state to areas including Okmulgee, Osage andWagoner counties.



PA - Misusing Precious Resources for Nonexistent Crimes

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This reminds me of the movie "Running Man," where a man made a game show, using criminals, to exploit them for monetary gain, viewers and ratings!

02/22/2009

By Ronald Orf

"Suppose I was an idiot. And suppose I was a member of Congress. But-I repeat myself.” - Mark Twain

_____, a school principal from Harlan,Iowa was sentenced to a mandatory ten-year prison term on Wednesday, February 18th. His crime was attempting to entice a fifteen-year-old Waterloo, Iowa girl to meet him for sex. In sentencing him the judge, Robert Pratt, used the words “dehumanizing and demonizing”. He was not referring to Stroschein, but to his disgust with the U.S. Congress and mandatory sentencing laws.

I would give a much different sentence were I allowed to do so” said Pratt. “The dehumanizing and demonizing of offenders because they have committed an offense-and therefore are less than human and are not entitled to any form of consideration-is something that should be called to the attention of the public.”

I understand that many in the public will disagree with this judge. They will wail about the “Epidemic of internet solicitations of minors” and the “lifetime horror” this poor girl will go through. But of course, there WAS NO 15-year-old-girl. As I am sure you expected, the object of this man’s misguided desire was a cop who had been sending the poor sap love missives for a month while convincing him he looked like Gwyneth Paltrow. He was working under congresses’ “Project Safe Childhood” initiative, which also demands mandatory sentences for “predators.”

In this article I am not going pursue the suggestion that perhaps depriving this man of his livelihood and making certain he never comes into contact with minors in any capacity might suffice as punishment. I am not here to argue about entrapment, mandatory sentencing, deliberately creating crime, and sticking Iowa taxpayers with a $250,000 bill to keep _____ from soliciting any more policemen. I am not going to discuss my feelings about a decade term for a man who, up to that time, had never committed a crime, and had by all accounts led an exemplary life. I am not even going to bring up the obvious disparity that vicious men who rape REAL PEOPLE will receive far less punishment.

What I want to discuss is the mindless squanderingof resources that takes place because of public misperceptions. I have worked as a counselor in Iowa schools for thirty-five years. In that time I have reported at least fifty cases of child sexual abuse, none of which had anything remotely to do with the internet. Almost all involved family members or close acquaintances and required the investigative skills of trained Iowa Department of Human Services employees. These people, coupled with alert school personnel, are the bulwark against a real and increasing problem. They are also the agencies that are in line for the most severe cutbacks during this economic downturn while we absurdly discuss increasing funding for a problem that constitutes less than 1/2 of 1% of actual child sexual abuse cases.

Going to a house and discussing real consequences with a “guardian” about the inappropriateness of watching his stepdaughters shower, having sex in front of a five-year-old, or leaving the children in the care of a convicted sex offender “favorite uncle” is gross and disturbing, but these programs yield real results and a physical safety net for my students. It is not nearly as much fun or as titillating as sitting on Internet chat rooms encouraging deviants to hook up with non-existent teenagers, but these ultimate professionals provide a lot more bang for the buck, even if they never get their own television series.

Ron Orf



FL - Sex offender finally released

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02/22/2009

By Paul Pinkham

Florida Supreme Court rules he served his time, and much more

For nine years, _____ told anyone who'd listen that he didn't belong behind bars.

The 50-year-old Jacksonville sex offender complained to guards, cops, reporters and the courts that he'd completed his sentence more than a decade ago. His complaints mostly fell on deaf ears.

But three weeks ago the Florida Supreme Court ruled 4-1 that _____ was right all along. The justices ordered him released immediately from the Florida Civil Commitment Center in Arcadia, where he was held the past four years.

"Ultimately what it boiled down to is Todd was in prison unlawfully," said former Assistant Public Defender Ward Metzger, who argued _____'s appeal before the Supreme Court. "He spent years locked up unlawfully."

The court agreed with Metzger that because _____ wasn't legally in state custody, state officials had no right in 2004 to commit him to the Arcadia center.

Metzger estimated the ruling will affect a handful of other men at the center, where hundreds of sex offenders are sent after completing their felony sentences under Florida's Jimmy Ryce Act (PDF).

A spokeswoman for the Florida Attorney General's Office, which argued against _____'s release, said the office respects the court's opinion.

The law is named for a boy killed by a sex offender who was released from prison after completing his sentence. It allows state officials to seek civil commitment of offenders completing their sentences on grounds that they need mental health treatment before they can be released into society.

Life on the outside

Now back in Jacksonville, _____ is trying to readjust to life on the outside after spending most of the past two decades either in prison or at the Arcadia center following his 1991 guilty plea to two counts of lewd assault on a child younger than 16. He continues to register as a sex offender.

It's been tough going with no cash, no job and his body weakened by illness. He's living with relatives on Jacksonville's Northside. During his incarceration, he lost his mother, sister, daughter and former wife to death.

"Everybody I love is gone," he said Wednesday at his lawyers' office. "I can't get my family back. I can't get my life back. What do I ask for?"

_____ was sentenced in 1991 to 15 years in prison and five years of probation. He said he told detectives at the time he didn't know if he committed the crimes because he was drinking heavily but couldn't imagine doing that to a child.

In 1998 _____ was released from prison, his sentence considered complete because of "gain time." To reduce overcrowding, laws then allowed for sentences to be shortened as more and more time was served.

He began serving the probation, even though he believed it was illegal, and in 2000 was sent back to prison for violating probation by failing a drug test.

But the appeals courts said that shouldn't have happened.

"The law says he should have been time served when he went back to prison," said attorney Jonathan Zisser, who represents _____ in private practice now and previously represented him in the Public Defender's Office. "He should have walked out of the courtroom."

Fighting through appeals

_____ won that appeal representing himself in 2002, but state prison officials kept him incarcerated until 2004 by canceling his gain time. _____ appealed again, and again won without a lawyer, with the 1st District Court of Appeal ruling the Department of Corrections wasn't authorized to do that.

But by then, the state had petitioned to commit him to the Arcadia center, and the courts refused to block that move. His appeal lingered for four years before last month's 34-page Supreme Court opinion, which said offenders have to be in legal custody when steps are taken to initiate civil commitment.

"_____'s entire re-sentencing was unlawful," Justice Barbara Pariente wrote for the majority. "... The entire statute is predicated on the inmate being in [legal] custody."

The goal, said attorney Donald Maciejewski, is getting the state to fix an operational error that kept _____ locked up nine extra years. He and Zisser are representing him for free.

"We're not going to rest until Todd's got a full measure of justice," Maciejewski said. "It's like a plane crash. The FAA does everything it can to make sure it never happens again. The state should do the same thing."