Sunday, October 11, 2009

What are Human Rights?



Human rights refer to the "basic rights and freedoms to which all humans are entitled." Examples of rights and freedoms which have come to be commonly thought of as human rights include civil and political rights, such as the right to life and liberty, freedom of expression, and equality before the law; and economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to participate in culture, the right to food, the right to work, and the right to education.

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

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"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin (United States Constitution, Bill of Rights)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved



Dr Bethany Marshall, "Expert" on Sex Offenders (Nancy Disgrace)

To these feminist Nazi's, all men are evil. Not all sex crimes are about sex, any REAL expert could tell you that. I don't claim to be an expert either, but I get sick and tired of the feminist BS!

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"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin (United States Constitution, Bill of Rights)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved



Three Strike Lifers

Fifteen years ago, following the brutal murders of two girls by repeat offenders, Californians voted overwhelmingly in favour of a tough new crime measure. Under the 'three strikes’ law, criminals convicted of a second serious offence must serve double the normal sentence. Those convicted of a third strike, get 25 years to life. What makes the law different from similar laws in other states is that the third strike does not have to be a serious or violent crime. One inmate is serving life for stealing a pair of socks when aged 19. Now a group of law students at Stanford Law School are fighting to get some of the 'third strike lifers' released. For Assignment, Rob Walker investigates one of these cases: a Vietnam veteran sentenced to life for possession of 0.03 grams of heroin. And we meet the families of the murdered girls. They helped draft the three strikes law – but are now bitterly divided among themselves about its impact.

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"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin (United States Constitution, Bill of Rights)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved



AK - Homeless plan should include Housing First

View the article here

10/10/2009

By Julia O'Malley

John Martin has his own problems, a large one being that he's a registered sex offender, but for four days before anyone reported that fact, he put on a one-man public demonstration about homelessness at the corner of Lake Otis Parkway and Abbott Road.

He fasted, prayed and slept under a blue tarp while traffic rushed by. He told people, including a television news crew, that he wanted to bring attention to people camping in city parks. Motorists honked and church people read him the Bible and left folded blankets on the curb.

I went to see him on Monday. Despite a pouring rain, he was deep in conversation with a woman in an orange raincoat who'd pulled over to talk. She told me she was one of the organizers of the Alaska Jubilee Festival, a Christian homeless outreach program that happened at the end of September under a big white tent on the Delaney Park Strip.

She said she didn't think the city was doing enough for the homeless. Martin said he'd been in the camps and felt the city needed an alternative to the Brother Francis and Rescue Mission shelters, a new program that would give chronic inebriates housing even if they didn't want to get sober. Maybe it would be a big tent city or a shelter where they could be safe without having to give up alcohol. The woman said she heard about something like that, called "Housing First," in Seattle.

"People shouldn't have to choose between housing and their addiction," Martin told me.

That night the news reported that Martin had done time in prison for sex abuse of a minor. He packed up his protest and disappeared, but I was still thinking about the homeless. Thirteen people, most of them alcoholics living in homeless camps, had been found dead over the summer. Winter was coming. Did the city have a new plan? I wondered about Housing First.

I know substance abuse is a big piece of chronic homelessness. The hardest people to get off the streets, those at the biggest risk of dying outside because they don't go to shelters, often have problems with drugs and alcohol, sometimes in combination with mental illness or brain injuries. There are only a few hundred people like that in Anchorage, but they use way more than their share of services like the sleep-off shelter, police, ambulance, court system and emergency room.

I called Darrel Hess, who for the last three weeks has been the city's homeless coordinator. He said he'd been visiting shelters and de-tox centers. He'd sent out surveys to see what agencies needed. The city was having its first meeting on the topic this Thursday.

I asked what he'd been hearing. He said people were talking about ways to bring social services into the homeless camps. There was also a lot of enthusiasm for Housing First. He thought it was clear the city needed a lot of options to deal with the problem.

Seattle had just completed a big study of a program that provided permanent housing for homeless alcoholics without requiring them to quit drinking. They found it reduced ambulance rides, jail stays, sleep-off shelter use and emergency room visits, saving taxpayers money overall. Alcoholics in the housing also drank less.

It turns out there is one small Housing First pilot program in Anchorage. RurAl CAP operates it. Catholic Social Services is in the process of starting another. The RurAl CAP program is run out of the Homeward Bound office in Mountain View. I drove over on Wednesday.

Melinda Freemon, the director, said the program began in 2007. Only about 15 clients at a time can participate. Most of them have mental illness along with substance abuse problems.

They are taken from camps and placed in apartments. Their income, mainly from disability or social security checks, is managed by someone else called a "payee." Most contributed to their rent. Residents have to follow the rules of their leases and meet with a case manager, but they don't have to stop drinking or using. Some have failed and gone back to the streets. Some went through an eviction before settling down. Some have been in housing for years after spending decades on the street. Most drink less; some have gone into treatment.

Freemon introduced me to Ginny Randall, 47, who used to live in a tent in the woods along Chester Creek a few blocks from my neighborhood. She'd been in the program for about two years. Randall is bipolar and recently started treatment for a longtime substance abuse problem. She estimated she'd been on and off the streets for most of her adult life.

"I liked stability, but I hadn't acquired it because of drinking and drugging," she said.

The program wouldn't work for everybody, Randall told me. Some people she knew from the camps would get into housing and treat it like a camp, not following the rules. People had to be ready to make a change, even if they weren't ready to get sober, she said.

That made sense. So did Housing First. It wasn't a magic fix for all of Anchorage's homeless. But from the corner of Abbott and Lake Otis, to the big white tent on the Park Strip, to City Hall, everyone seems to think we need to try new things to deal with an old problem. I hope Housing First will be a big part of the discussion next week.

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"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin (United States Constitution, Bill of Rights)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved



KY - Registered sex offenders free to relocate

View the article here

10/11/2009

By BOB WHITE

Only post-2006 convicts subject to restrictions

HARDIN COUNTY – Thanks to Kentucky’s high court, most of Hardin County’s 148 registered sex offenders can now reside wherever they choose, regardless of their home’s proximity to schools, daycares and playgrounds.

That is, for now, anyway.

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway (Contact, Email) vows to challenge Kentucky Supreme Court’s Oct. 1 ruling that says Kentucky’s sex offender residency restrictions cannot apply to persons convicted prior to July 2006, when the law was enacted.
- Of course he is, because he is not upholding his oath of office, and the constitution, which ex post facto laws are not allowed!

The law under question kept all registered sex offenders, from those guilty of statutory rape to those convicted of child molestation, from living within 1,000 feet of places where children congregate, such as playgrounds, schools and daycares.

The Court, in a 5-2 vote, declared that law unconstitutional and punitive, finding retroactive residence restrictions a form of “ex post facto punishment,” violating Article I, Section 10, of the U.S. Constitution.

The flaw is that residence restrictions are even less like civil commitment than they are like banishment,” the Court’s opinion states. “The majority also finds (the law) excessive because the restricted areas can change as protected sites come and go.”

This month’s decision was made after Kenton County prosecutors appealed a judge’s decision to dismiss charges against a man’s appeal for allegedly violating the residency rules.

_____ was arrested in February 2007 after probation and parole officers found he lived too close to a public park. The alleged offense occurred 12 years after _____ pleaded guilty to a third-degree rape.

Kenton District Judge Martin Sheehan dismissed the charges and gave strong arguments to support his decision.

Sheehan opined the restrictions were ineffective at doing what they were intended to do: protect children.

He pointed out that most sex offenses against children are committed by family members or trusted friends of the family. The residency restrictions, he said, do not address that problem.

The restrictions keep registered sex offenders from residing near schools and parks, but fail to keep pedophiles, or any other offender, from stalking a school or ambushing a child in a park.

Despite Sheehan’s reasoning behind the decision, prosecutors appealed the dismissal and the case fell on the laps of Kentucky’s Supreme Court.

After review, five Justices agreed with Sheehan, but Chief Justice John D. Minton Jr. and Justice Lisabeth Hughes Abramson did not.
- Because they do not believe in the constitution, and they lied about their oath of office.

With the majority winning, Sheehan’s opinion was supported.

What does it all mean?

As a result of the ruling, residency restrictions forbidding registered offenders from living within 1,000 feet of a place where children congregate can not be enforced on those convicted before July 2006.

Generations from now the law will apply to all, but for now, it applies to a small percentage of all registered offenders.

A variety of criminal charges are reflected by Kentucky’s Sex Offender Registry. Not all persons on the list are pedophiles or violent rapists. Many on the list, including most female offenders, have been ordered to register as a result of having consensual sex with a teenager.
- And that includes kids having sex with kids, which they did not mention for some reason!

Because of that, the change in residency restrictions will affect thousands statewide – allowing them to move into close proximities of schools, daycares and parks.

About 1,000 registered sex offenders living in Hardin and the seven surrounding counties will be able to do the same, if they someday decide to relocate.

The law will no longer apply to about 120 of Hardin County’s 148 registered sex offenders, since only a few dozen were convicted after July 2006.

Is that it? Is it final?

The decision could be overturned by a higher court, or after another review by the same panel.

The Attorney General is very concerned about impact on public safety as a result of this ruling,” Conway spokeswoman Allison Martin said.
- What are you basing this on?  Many studies show that sex offender recidivism is LOWER than any other criminal, except murderers.  So why do other higher risk criminals, not have a registry of their own?

Martin said Conway has a couple more weeks to answer with a request for a rehearing or for a review of the ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court.

We may do both,” Martin said.

Does anyone else care? Who does this affect?

No state or county prosecutors in Hardin County would comment on the change to residency restrictions. Representatives of the local rape crisis center did not return phone calls.

There hasn’t been a loud public outcry against the loss of residency restrictions, either.

And no offenders are openly applauding the change.

It seems few people in Hardin County, on either side of the issue, have been impacted by, or care much about, the residency restrictions.

Since 2006, when tighter residency restrictions became law, only three registered sex offenders living in Hardin County have been charged with violating the rules.

Such an offense is a Class A misdemeanor for the first offense and punishable by a maximum of 12 months in jail. A second offense is a Class D felony, enabling sentences of up to five years.
- And in many cases, a simple violation is worse than the actual offense, so basically the punishment doesn't fit the crime, and it's cruel & unusual punishment, regardless of how the idiotic politicians see it!

No person in Hardin County has been charged with a felony violation of residency restrictions, but two men have done time for the misdemeanor, first-time offense.
- And how many of the offenders have committed a second or third sex crime, after being convicted the first time?  0% probably, but they won't tell you that either.

According to court and jail records, _____ was indicted in 2007 for violating residency restrictions. He stayed in jail until April this year, having served time for that, and other charges, according to the Hardin County Detention Center,

In 2008, a grand jury failed to indict _____ for the offense. He was accused of the crime in Hardin District Court, but grand jurors reviewing the case returned a no true bill and the charges were later dismissed.

A third man, _____, was charged in January this year with violating the residency restrictions and for failing to provide the Kentucky Sex Offender Registry his address.

Indicted on the charges, _____ remains behind bars. Jail staffers say the registry charge is holding him there.

A dozen or more people are charged each year in Hardin County with failing to register addresses, far times more than those few charged with residency restriction violations.
- And what about additional sex crimes?

Enforcement

Kentucky State Police Post 4 spokesman Trooper Bruce Reeves confirmed there have been no new directives from Frankfort on how to enforce the revised residency restrictions.

Until now, residency restrictions haven’t been much of problem for police to enforce, according to Reeves.

KSP is the agency responsible for maintaining the sex offender registry and, ultimately, for keeping registered sex offenders in check. Probation and parole and local police can also check on registered offenders to determine if they’re following all guidelines.

Several years ago, Post 4 conducted a sweep to verify the addresses of registered offenders.

Of the 1,156 offenders visited throughout Post 4’s eight-county region, only a dozen were arrested for non-compliance. Most had failed to register new addresses.
- All arrested on technicalities, not additional sex crimes.  So, so far, recidivism rate is ZERO!

In recent years, Reeves said residency checks are usually only done on request.

After taking a complaint, the state will forward to us compliance checks and we’ll go check to see if they’re actually living there,” Reeves said. “Back a couple years ago, I had a list of about 15 to check on. Out of that bunch, I only found one who was non-compliant.”

As Sheehan mentioned in his opinion, Reeves said residency restrictions can make permanency difficult for a registered sex offender.

It’s kind of a tough thing,” he said. “You could have a guy establish a residence, then later on someone decides to set up a daycare or playground down the road. Where does he go?
- Question is, why does he/she have to go?  They were there first! Why is it not the responsibility of the day care owner, to check the area before building the day care?

Reeves emphasized that he was not defending sex offenders, only pointing out a flaw with the law.
- Yeah, got to make it a point to say that, don't want to look soft on crime, it could ruin your career!

What's in the backyard, around the corner?

As of Friday, 60 of Hardin County’s 148 registered sex offenders listed the Radcliff area as their home. About, 48 registered sex offenders reside within five miles of downtown Elizabethtown, according to KSP’s Sex Offender Registry Web site.

Persons accused but not convicted, and those serving sentences for criminal sex offenses are rarely listed on the registry. Most often, persons register upon being released from jail or prison. Many registered are on supervised release.

Offenders can be required to register with KSP’s Sex Offender Registry for 10 or 20 years, or even life. The duration depends on the offense.

Due to that, offenders are falling off, and being added to the registry on a regular basis.

According to Kentucky State Police records, there are 28 more registered sex offenders living in Hardin County in October 2009, than there were in September 2007.


"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin (United States Constitution, Bill of Rights)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved