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BATON ROUGE (WAFB) - Governor Jindal calls them "monsters." Now, he's sponsoring a package of bills that would punish convicted sex offenders for the rest of their lives, and that includes some who have already paid their debt to society. We talked with one man who says he has a different side of the story to tell.
- Again with the word "punish!" Any punishment after the fact violates the constitution, and therefore should be deemed unconstitutional.
Governor Jindal says cracking down on sexual predators is one of his top priorities. One man we spoke with says not all sex offenders are a constant threat to society and not all of them deserve the same punishment. "I know some folks think it's great. You can go online today and see where these monsters live block-by-block, but I look forward to the day when you can go online and see that they all live in one place, in Angola, far away from our kids," the governor says.
We found a man who is considered a sex offender by law. He asked to have his identity protected, so we'll call him "Sam." Sam says he is not a monster and should not be behind bars. "When I was 18, I did not research the law to find out if it was okay if I slept with a 14-year-old. I did not know that. That's why at the time, I made a stupid decision," he says. Sam says he was in love with his 14-year-old girlfriend. He met her at church. They dated. Then, he says his feelings for her got out of hand. "Before I know it, I got arrested and everything and then I caught the charge. Immature. I take full responsibility and I should have known better, but sometimes you put yourself in a situation and it's hard to go back sometimes."
Sam served five years probation, with counseling and psychological evaluations. Eventually, a local judge determined Sam was not a threat to society and waived his charges. That was about 12 years ago. "Then, all of a sudden, they came with a letter saying I have to register as a sex offender." The state Legislature passed new laws in 2004 to disregard court-appointed waivers and force people like Sam to re-visit their past. "When does my life move on? When do I escape the shadow of my mistakes?" he asks.
This session, Governor Jindal is backing bills to double the distance a sex offender can live from schools and churches, to make all offenders register for life, even if they've been pardoned for their crime, and to increase minimum sentences by five times. "They're painting everyone in the system with a wide brush and pretty much trying to cover everybody, instead of dealing with people on an individual basis," Sam says. Sam is in his last year of bible college and wants to one day lead a church. He is happily married and wants to move past his teenage mistake. "How can that one thing determine the rest of my life?"
A state Senate committee voted on Jindal's sex offender bills last week and unanimously passed them on to the Senate floor, without much debate. The full Senate will vote on the bills sometime Tuesday afternoon.
Monday, April 7, 2008
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This is in regards to this story.
Here is the Orange County District Attorney's Office summary of its investigation into the slaying of John Derek Chamberlain. Chamberlain was beaten to death in Orange County Jail by other inmates, while deputies watched television. The DA investigation, even without the full cooperation of the Orange County Sheriff's Department, found several repeated failures of department policy.
Acting Orange County Sheriff Jack Anderson said his department only now is getting a copy of the report. "We only received this document today and we’re taking our time to go through it thoroughly so we can be accurate in our review of the investigation. However, let there be no mistake. I will take firm and appropriate action wherever necessary," Anderson said. "I can assure the members of the public, the media and our Board of Supervisors that a new culture has arrived at the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, starting today."
Here is the DA's summary of the Grand Jury report:
SANTA ANA - Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas (OCDA) announced today the release of The Investigative Report From The 2007 Special Criminal Grand Jury Inquiry Into The Death Of John Derek Chamberlain and the following statement:
BACKGROUND OF JOHN DEREK CHAMBERLAIN
In the evening of September 14, 2006, John Derek Chamberlain was arrested on allegations of possession of child pornography and possession of an open container of alcohol. On October 3, 2006, Chamberlain was transferred to the Theo Lacy detention facility and assigned to "F" Barracks, West, a minimum security location. Two days later at 6:50 p.m., Orange County Sheriff's Department (OCSD) deputies were summoned to a location within the barracks where they observed Chamberlain lying on the floor. He was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. He had suffered numerous severe blunt force trauma injuries, including multiple rib fractures, which lead to respiratory failure and cardiac arrest.
CONFIGURATION OF THEO LACY "F' BARRACKS
"F" Barracks is divided into two equal halves, East and West, regularly staffed by two OCSD deputies and one Sheriff's Special Officer. The maximum occupancy of each half is 146 inmates. A guard station for the on-duty deputies is located between the halves. Each half of "F" Barracks has a central recreational day room. There are numerous "blind spots," or areas outside of open view.
REQUIRED DUTIES OF OCSD DEPUTIES AT THEO LACY
In order to fulfill their duties, the OCSD deputies are required to regularly patrol the interior of the facility every 30 minutes on foot and observe the activities of the inmates. The purpose of these floor checks is to inspect "blind spots," discourage assaults and verify that no inmates are injured or in need of help.
ACTUAL PRACTICE OF SOME OCSD DEPUTIES AT THEO LACY
In practice, some deputies regularly failed to perform their duties of securing the jail and the safety of its inmates. They seldom performed floor checks. The deputies instead largely remained in their guard station, where they were regularly seen watching television, full length movies, playing video games, browsing the Internet, chatting on-line, or sleeping with lights out. Even when awake at their guard station, some OCSD deputies would go as long as 30 minutes without even looking out the windows to scrutinize the barracks under their supervision.
When supervisors, with rankings such as sergeants or higher, walked through the facility, some deputies utilized a code called "10-12" to forewarn others of their approach. Some deputies made entries in the logs which could be interpreted that they had performed their regular patrols when in fact they had not.
INAPPROPRIATE USE OF "SHOT CALLERS"
The OCSD deputies at Theo Lacy substituted other methods than those prescribed by policy to control the inmates under their supervision. They routinely used inmates called "shot callers" to enforce discipline or inflict punishment on other prisoners. If deputies observed conduct on the part of an inmate which they considered a breach of the rules, they would summon the "shot callers" and instruct them to get these inmates "back in line." The deputies knew that if the inmate disregarded the "shot caller," the inmate would be assaulted or "taxed" by other inmates.
Some deputies developed methods, both positive and negative, to get the "shot callers" to do what they wanted. They gave "shot callers" extra privileges such as new uniforms, extra meals, extra hygiene products, and greater toleration or leeway if they broke the rules. Alternatively, the deputies would threaten "shot callers" with negative consequences, such as having their barracks "tossed" or their personal belongings and bedding thrown asunder if they failed to get the inmates under their authority "back in line."
The use of "shot callers" is against OCSD Policy which states, "Inmates will never be permitted to exercise control over other inmates," and "No inmate shall inflict punishment on another inmate." It is also against state law which prohibits investing inmates of penal institutions with the authority to exercise the right of punishment over other inmates.
DENIAL OF MEDICAL TREATMENTS
Some OCSD deputies at Theo Lacy denied medical treatment to inmates in order to avoid having to write required reports, or "cut paper." They encouraged "shot callers" to discourage injured or sick inmates from seeking or making further requests for medical attention.
USE OF UNAUTHORIZED DISCIPLINE AND PUNISHMENT
There were unspecified reports that one Theo Lacy deputy inflicted unauthorized discipline and punishment on inmates using less than lethal force. This deputy reportedly failed to notify his supervisor or document the use of force as required by OCSD Policy. On multiple occasions, for example, a "pepper ball" rifle was fired against inmates of "F" Barracks against Policy. These were for minor transgressions such as inmates not returning to their bunks "fast enough," leaving their bunks against orders, or becoming too loud. In further violation of OCSD Policy, no means of decontamination was provided or allowed to inmates affected by the "pepper ball" rounds.
UNRESTRICTED INFORMATION OF INMATES
Within penal institutions, inmates facing charges related to the sexual assault or abuse of children are often targeted for violent assault by other inmates. Some inmates make concerted efforts to learn the nature of fellow inmates' pending charges, including using OCSD's public information resources. OCSD was repeatedly made aware that its public information resources were being exploited for the purpose of targeting and assaulting inmates with pending child assault or abuse charges.
Public Internet access to certain inmate information ended in July 2006 at the time of John Chamberlain's incarceration. Information concerning an inmate's pending charges, location of incarceration, and bail status remains available, however, to anonymous phone callers upon request. In the days preceding Chamberlain's murder, OCSD received and fulfilled five to 10 anonymous calls requesting information of Chamberlain's pending charges.
During the hour from 5:50 p.m. to 6:50 p.m. on October 5, 2007, John Chamberlain was dragged by other inmates to a "blind spot" within the Theo Lacy "F" Barracks, where he was out of view of OCSD deputies in the guard station. He was beaten to death at that location by successive waves of inmates. Some of the inmates participating in the assaults made repeated trips back and forth from the bathroom to the scene of the assault carrying water to wash the crime scene. None were confronted or interrupted by on-duty OCSD deputies. The deputies remained in the guard station, one reportedly watching television.
No deputy had patrolled the floor of the "F" Barracks, West, where the murder had taken place for a period of at least five hours before Chamberlain's body was found. Nevertheless, the nearby work station log had the entries, "barracks secure," for 6:00 p.m. and "barracks secure, no problems," for 6:30 p.m. After Chamberlain's body was found at 6:50 p.m., OCSD personnel retroactively entered into the log that at 2:30 p.m. Chamberlain had told deputies that he had not been in fear of his life.
Although OCSD was alerted to the fact that the presence of a television in the guard station may constitute a distraction to deputies on duty and may have contributed to the circumstances leading to the murder of Chamberlain, the television was not removed until six months after the murder.
OCSD'S PREVENTION OF AN INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION
Subsequent to the discovery of Chamberlain's body, OCSD personnel prevented the OCDA from conducting an independent homicide investigation into the murder of Chamberlain. This was in violation of existing County protocol and historical precedent. When the sitting 2006-2007 Grand Jury requested information on this protocol, there was evidence that one OCSD official provided it with inaccurate information regarding the investigation of previous custodial deaths.
OCSD'S MISCHARACTERIZATION OF PROTOCOL AND HISTORY TO THE GRAND JURY
At the request of the District Attorney, the Orange County Superior Court convened a 2007 Special Criminal Grand Jury to investigate the murder of John Chamberlain and the circumstances surrounding the OCSD's investigation of that murder. Some OCSD witnesses gave testimony that mischaracterized the protocol and history of custodial death investigations.
OCSD PERSONNEL'S VIOLATION OF SECRECY AND UNTRUTHFULNESS TO THE GRAND JURY
In addition, after testifying before the 2007 Special Criminal Grand Jury, some OCSD personnel violated the secrecy rules governing Grand Jury investigations by disclosing to other OCSD personnel the substance of their testimony, the nature of the questions they had been asked, and the evidence shown to them. These same individuals then knowingly testified falsely before the 2007 Special Criminal Grand Jury concerning their violations of Grand Jury rules.
OCSD'S DELAY OF THE GRAND JURY PROCESS
OCSD records subpoenaed by the Special Grand Jury were either not produced, produced in redacted form or produced by unqualified witnesses. This had the effect of substantially delaying the Grand Jury's progress.
PURPOSE AND PLAN TO PROPOSE REFORMS
This report establishes that the murder of John Chamberlain may have been prevented if existing policies and procedures had been followed and enforced. Our system of justice requires that those accused of crime be afforded due process and justice not only by the court, but by those charged with maintaining them in custody.
The Office of Internal Review (OIR) and an impartial civilian monitor will help monitor and oversee the investigation and evaluation of complaints involving the OCSD.
This Report is merely a beginning to open an informed dialogue over how the County may avoid another such death in the future. Over the next several months, the OCDA will facilitate this dialogue and work with concerned parties to develop additional reforms.
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SCOTT COUNTY - A man filed a lawsuit against every sheriff and prosecutor in the state of Indiana.
Steve Morris wants a new law, designed to protect children, thrown out. The plaintiff is a sex offender.
The law that goes into effect in July would allow law enforcement to search his computer at any time.
Morris' attorney said it's a clear violation of the Fourth Amendment.
"The Civil Liberties Union is more worried about his rights than the rights of victims in southern Indiana," said Scott County Sheriff John Lizenby.
The new law will require registered sex offenders to submit email addresses and log in names for social networking websites like MySpace and Facebook.
It also requires offenders to install software allowing police to monitor usage.
"If we can look into their private Internet and look into what they're doing and they're contacting somebody they shouldn't be, that's going to help stop them," Lizenby said.
But Morris aims to change that.
More than a decade ago, Morris was convicted of child molestation. He, along with the ACLU, is suing Lizenby and every other sheriff and prosecutor in Indiana, challenging the state's ability to search his home and check his computer at any time.
"This kind of legislation is designed to make us feel like we're safe and give us a sense of security," said University of Louisville professor Dr. Richard Tewksbury, who has studied sex offender registries for more than a decade.
Law enforcement doesn't have the resources to monitor all offenders, and the other half of the law suggests lawmakers are naive.
"The idea that all offenders are going to provide all of their e-mail addresses, all of their screen names, and only use their personal or home computer to go onto networking sites is simply not realistic," he said.
Morris couldn't be reached for comment. His wife refused comment on the suit, only to say her husband has done his time.
"I don't have a lot of sympathy for somebody that's on that web site and is worried about their rights," Lizenby said. "I'm more worried about the victim's rights."
ACLU attorney Ken Falk said the Supreme Court has expressly said that law enforcement cannot conduct a search without probable cause and a warrant, and that lawmakers completely ignored that.
Falk asked a judge for a temporary injunction Monday.
A hearing could come in the next few weeks.
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CARSON CITY (AP) -- The Nevada Supreme Court and the 2009 state Legislature are expected to conduct separate reviews of a new law on sex offenders that has been rejected in part by a lower court because of the way in which it deals with teenage offenders.
Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto says she anticipates that the law passed in 2007 will be revised during the 2009 session. She commented during a meeting of an advisory panel on juvenilet justice that's coming up with suggested statute changes for lawmakers.
Dan Kulin, spokesman for the Clark County district attorney's office, said his office will file a state Supreme Court appeal of a ruling by Clark County Family Court Judge William Voy that part of the law dealing with juveniles is unconstitutional.
The state law, based on the federal Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act passed in 2006, included many teenage sex offenders 14 and older with adults under requirements for sex offender registration and community notification.
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A suspected child molester killed himself inside the Parker County Justice Center on Sunday morning, officials said.
Corrections officers found Frankie Lewis Tucker lying on the floor of his cell at about 10:45 a.m., according to a news release issued by Sheriff Larry Fowler.
The 55-year-old Weatherford man choked himself with an electric cord from a portable radio that he tied to a metal table, the release stated.
Officers, medical personnel and responding paramedics were unable to revive Tucker.
Tucker, who has a possible law enforcement and military background, was placed in a segregation cell on Saturday morning when he was booked into the facility.
He was the subject of a local and nationwide manhunt involving allegations of indecency with a child.
United States Marshals arrested him at a bus terminal in Bakersfield, Calif. on March 30.
A preliminary report from the Tarrant County Medical Examiners Office on Monday ruled Tucker's death a suicide by hanging.
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We are writing with a few clarifications and a request. First, we have had a number of inquiries regarding the status of the school bus stop provision. To reiterate, the bus stop provision of OCGA § 42-1-15 is not being enforced anywhere in the state at this time. We do not anticipate that this will change due to the passage of SB 1.
Second, we have had a number of people ask us for clarification of the new prohibition against volunteering at a church. Unfortunately, SB 1 does not define what it means to volunteer at a church. That is one of the problems with this provision, and we will certainly be challenging it in court. In the meantime, if you have concerns about your activities at church, you should consult with your probation officer and/or local law enforcement officials. If they order you to stop volunteering at your church, please: (a) comply with the order; and (b) contact our office for further consultation.
As for the request, we would be grateful if you could respond if you fit the following description:
- You rent your home, you currently reside in a location that is in compliance with the residence restrictions, and you live within 1,000 feet of a public library;
- You rent the home you currently live in, you entered your present lease before November 2007, and you have recently been informed that you must change your residence because a church, child care center, park (or other prohibited location) moved in within 1,000 feet of your residence;
- You are employed in a profession that requires you to photograph or videotape persons;
- You are an amateur photographer and have had your work featured in art shows, art publications or galleries.
If you fit these descriptions please respond to this email with the following information:
- Phone number where we can call you
- Date of conviction
- County of conviction
- County of registration
- Which of the above categories (1,2,3 or 4) applies to you?
Thank you in advance for your help.
All the best,
Sara, Sarah, Lisa, James, Gerry and Mica
Southern Center for Human Rights
83 Poplar St.
Atlanta, GA 30303
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Even the KKK is getting in on the witch hunt using the backs of sex offenders to further their hate! These people do not represent the white race, and IMO, they are a disgrace to the white race. See their BS videos at the end.
SELMER - The crowd had been waiting since well before the men had put on their robes, before they had placed the white lectern that read "KKK" in the courthouse yard.
Teenaged girls snapped cell phone photos of the men slipping their uniforms out of suit bags. Others sat on the roof of the Mexican restaurant across the street to get a better view of the men dressing in a side street by the courthouse.
When they were dressed and ready, the men marched to the lectern. The onlookers rushed across the street. Then the screaming began.
"You look like some kind of fake-(expletive) superheroes," one man yelled.
"We are superheroes," said Richard Green, imperial wizard of the Mississippi White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.
Mississippi and Georgia Klansmen told the Selmer residents Saturday that they were there to defend and preserve the white race. Three to four dozen Klansmen participated.
But the dozens of white and black protesters who made up much of the crowd only screamed and booed for them to go away.
The Klansmen read a list of registered sex offenders living near Selmer, and complained that a wave of illegal Hispanic immigrants was taxing the country fiscally and culturally.
They accused the media of hiding violence committed by blacks and other minorities against whites, and said the protesters were brainwashed by a vast Jewish-black conspiracy.
The crowd's response was virulent, with many cursing and yelling for the men to leave - prompting Klan speakers to mock and prod them more. Several protesters began to clump around the barricade in front of the lectern, saying "Excuse me" as they pushed through the crowd to go scream.
One white woman yelled, "How y'all going to like it when we have our black president?" Several chanted "Obama! Obama! Obama!" throughout the protest.
And one man flaunted a jersey of retired Dallas Mavericks star Rolando Blackman throughout the protest.
Police in riot gear - most carrying clubs, some carrying shotguns - stood along Court Avenue and inside the "Caution" tape lining the courtyard. After the rally, one protester, a woman, was briefly handcuffed and then released after cursing at a police officer.
Selmer Mayor David Robinson and McNairy County Mayor Jai Templeton released a statement Saturday saying that they respected the Klan's First Amendment right to hold the rally, but denounced what they said.
Before the rally, Amanda Price, a black woman from Savannah, slumped when she saw children among the Klansmen as they prepped.
"Little kids don't need to see this," said Price, 24, holding an orange sign at her waist calling the Klansmen cowards. "... I wish they could give me one reason why we can't get along."
White protesters, many of them young, said they did not know why the men had picked their town.
"This is Selmer, where everybody gets along with everyone," said Kaylee Cass, 15.
The Klan members, who rallied in Pontotoc, Miss., earlier in the day, said before the rally that they picked Selmer because it was near a property in Henderson where they had initially planned to hold a private gathering.
The Selmer rally was briefly delayed as leaders of a Georgia Klan group told a Neo Nazi Klan group that they were not allowed to participate in the rally.
"We don't believe in Nazism," Jeff Jones, imperial wizard of the Georgia Knight Riders, told a National Geographic film crew covering the event. "We believe in the pure Ku Klux Klan, as it was in 1922."
As the protesters continued to scream and curse near the rally's end, Green thanked the white "race traitors" in the crowd.
"We appreciate you making fools of yourselves," Green said.