Sunday, August 19, 2012

OK - Even larger tent cities for homeless sex offenders appear

Original Article

08/19/2012

By Emma Riley Sutton

Hand-Up Ministries in Oklahoma City has closed the tent camp it had set up for sex offenders. The deadline set by a new law prohibiting sex offenders living together passed and the sex offenders living in the mobile home park are now living elsewhere.

KWTV Channel 9 News in Oklahoma City also reported on August 17 that they had found several tent cities in the Oklahoma City area where the sex offenders are now living. It is unknown if any of them have registered their new location, as mandated by law.

David Nichols, the founder of this rapist and pedophile haven known as Hand-Up Ministries, is very concerned about where his former tenants will live. Nichols believes that many of the sex offenders that once in lived in the mobile home park will now not register at their new residences.
- "Rapist and pedophile haven?"  That just shows the reporter is biased and not following the code of ethics to report all sides and leave personal feelings out of the story (I guess anybody can be a "reporter" these days), and it's idiots like this reporter who are causing the hysteria to continue, based on disinformation, fear and emotions, not facts.

David Nichols didn’t seem to concerned about that when he was traveling the country, recruiting perverts to live in Oklahoma City,” Stephen Sutton, the father of one daughter from Oklahoma City, said. “He is suddenly concerned about them living in Oklahoma City, not registering and re-offending? [David Nichols] should have thought of that before he brought them here to make him money.”

Although the exact location of the sex offenders’ tent cities have not been disclosed, David Nichols claims they are in “green zones.” Green zones are areas where sex offenders are allowed to live.

David Nichols, in his interview with KWTV Channel 9 News also didn’t mention that tent cities, set up by former residents of sex offender compound, had been in Oklahoma City for almost a year. Management of the sex offender compound confirmed that the tent cities were created by residents of the Hand Up Ministry that had been forced to leave due to drug use.

David Nichols also failed to mention that many of the residents in the sex offender compound were recruited by him from other states. David Nichols traveled around the country, bringing sex offenders to the Hand Up Ministry sex offender compound and charged them rent to live there.

It is unknown what will become of the sex offenders that are now homeless and living in the tent cities. It is legal for them to register as “transient” or homeless so keeping track of them may prove to be difficult. Some may return to the home states. Others may move elsewhere and register there. Some may not register at all.


IN - State’s sex-offender law under scrutiny

Original Article

08/19/2012

By Maureen Hayden

Lawmakers look at meeting stricter national standards

INDIANAPOLIS - Indiana - along with 34 other states - is out of compliance with a federal law that requires states to adopt strict standards for registering sex offenders and monitoring their whereabouts.

The federal law was passed in 2006, in response to a series of heinous crimes committed by fugitive sex offenders, including Joseph Edward Duncan III, a serial child molester on the federal death row in Terre Haute for the 2005 kidnap, torture and killing of a 9-year-old boy.

The law was supposed to launch an aggressive 50-state effort to keep better track of offenders like Duncan, who was a registered sex offender in one state, while out on bond on a child molesting charge in another state, when he was committing sex crimes and murder in a third state.
- For offenders like Duncan, but, they don't do that, they treat all ex-sex offenders as if they are Duncan!

But that effort has been slowed by questions about the costs of the law’s implementation, concerns that the federal law trumps state policies and practices already in place and fears that states will face an avalanche of lawsuits if they follow the federal rules.

An Indiana legislative study committee is taking up the issue this summer, in part because of questions about the accuracy of the state’s Sex and Violent Offender Registry. It’s on the agenda for Thursday’s meeting of the Criminal Law and Sentencing Policy Study Committee.

There are some policy issues involved that only the legislature can address,” said Steve Luce, executive director of the Indiana Sheriffs Association, which manages the registry’s public website with support from the Indiana Department of Correction.

Late last year, Indiana — along with many states — was penalized by the U.S. Department of Justice for its failure to “substantially implement” the federal law, known as the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, or SORNA.
- Yeah, it's called bribery.

The penalty was the loss of about $180,000 in federal funds for state law enforcement. Indiana got the money back this year, but it can only be used to move toward implementing SORNA. States can be penalized for every year they don’t meet SORNA standards.

SORNA is part of the 2006 Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, which made it a federal crime for a registered sex offender to move to another state without re-registering with that new home state. The law also set out uniform standards for state sex offender registeries — who goes on them, how long they stay on and when, if ever, they come off.

Indiana Deputy Attorney General Tom Quigley said Indiana meets some of SORNA’s standards, but not all. Quigley said SORNA is more stringent than most state sex offender registry laws, including Indiana’s.

To comply with SORNA, Indiana would need to broaden the definition of sex offenses, raise the minimum number of years that a sex offender would have to stay on the state’s registry (from 10 years to 15) and give up some discretion in how it handles juvenile sex offenders.

Those are changes, Quigley said, that only legislators can make because they require rewriting state law.

Complying with SORNA would likely mean more work for Indiana’s 92 county sheriffs, charged with monitoring the sex offenders living in their communities. SORNA increases the amount of personal information that the sheriffs have to collect and verify. Under SORNA, sex offenders deemed especially dangerous would be required to renew that registration information, in person, four times a year for the rest of their lives.

Brent Myers, director of registration and victim services for the Indiana Department of Correction, said Indiana is already doing much of what of SORNA requires in tracking sex offenders, including those who move here from out of state.

But the issue of uniformity in registry standards — including which sex offenders get put on registries and how closely they’re monitored — remains unsolved.

The restrictions vary from state to state,” Myers said. “I get several calls a week from offenders or their family members asking if our registry requirements are less restrictive than other states.”

Complying with SORNA may trigger a new round of litigation, mirroring some of the past legal challenges to Indiana’s sex offender registry law. They center on the requirement that adults whose crimes were committed before the 1994 state law was passed were later required to register as sex offenders. That set off a wave of challenges to the law from those offenders, who argued it was unconstitutional for the state to apply the law retroactively. It also led to the current problems with the Indiana Sex and Violent Offender Registry. Three years ago, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled in favor of a sex offender, convicted in 1989, who argued that he shouldn’t be required to register for an offense committed before the statewide registry was created.
- Yes it is, it's an ex post facto law, and if people were adhering to their oath to defend the Constitution, then it would be knocked down as unconstitutional.

That ruling applied to hundreds of other offenders whose names had been added to the registry retroactively. But the ruling has also been interpreted differently across the state. Some county sheriffs cleared their registries of offenders who fell under the ruling. Others decided those offenders would need to get a court order to be removed. The state Department of Correction thinks they need to stay on as well.

But even those so-called offenders that remain on the registry are no longer required to report where they live. Their old addresses remain on the registry. There’s no indication whether they live still there — or whether someone else now lives at that address. Both Myers and Luce agree that the state legislature will need to get more involved in decisions about how sex offenders in Indiana are tracked and monitored.

It’s complicated and there are no easy answers,” Myers said. “Both law enforcement and the public rely on the registry to be accurate.”

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