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Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it... How true that is...
A 63-year-old closeted gay man, arrested in the 1950's in San Diego for having oral sex in a parked car with a fellow sailor, suddenly finds his life shattered when a neighbor opens a letter meant for him from the State of California ordering him to be photographed, fingerprinted and registered as a sex offender.
A Southern California youth counselor, convicted of having consensual sex with a teen-ager, has served his sentence and is striving to make a new life with his family when the local authorities, checking up on the whereabouts of known sex offenders, arrives on his doorstep with journalists in tow and his picture appears in the local newspaper.
An 18-year-old Wisconsin man, convicted of sexual assault after impregnating his under-age 15-year-old girlfriend -- whom he wants to marry -- must provide a DNA sample and then register with local police every year for the next 15 years as a convicted sex offender.
As states have rushed to adopt laws requiring registration of sex offenders and allowing public notification of their whereabouts in the wake of the 1994 Megan Kanka murder in Hamilton Township, N.J., these cases are among the most glaring unintentional consequences of the dissemination of sensitive information once held almost exclusively by law-enforcement agencies.
On Tuesday, California will become the first state to embark on the most aggressive form of disclosure yet: the release of a CD-ROM containing the names, physical descriptions, criminal histories, residential zip codes and often the photographs of nearly 64,000 sex offenders convicted statewide, almost all of whom must register every year for life. It will be available for public viewing by adults on computer terminals in all 58 county sheriff's offices and larger police departments statewide.
While Daniel E. Lungren, the state Attorney General whose office compiled the list, praised the new data base as "lifting the veil of anonymity" that has shielded sex offenders from their neighbors, civil libertarians warn that the data base, and the laws that allow it, pose dangerous intrusions into privacy by sweeping a wide array of past offenders into a permanent class of stigmatized, second-class citizens. Although the list is not supposed to include people convicted of lesser crimes like indecent exposure or possession of pornography, state and local officials acknowledge that it is riddled with errors and outdated information.
And early experience has shown that when the information is released, a public furor often ensues. In the three cases in Orange County, Calif., in which police have notified communities of the whereabouts of high-risk offenders, one man has been forced by public protests to move. The other two are in jail, one for violating his parole by striking a television cameraman and the other in connection with an 18-year-old murder case and in the molestation of three boys nearly a decade ago.
Parents' groups and legislators who pressed for the disclosure laws after 7-year-old Megan Kanka was raped and strangled by a twice-convicted sex offender who lived down the street, defended the new measures as vital tools in alerting parents and communities to the presence of potentially dangerous people.
"Very seldom in my business do you get to do something that once it is there, you know it is going to save lives," said Assemblywoman Barbara Alby, a suburban Sacramento Republican. She sponsored the California notification law after a boy in her district was molested by a misleadingly friendly man, about whom the family had sought information from the local police. Another bill she successfully sponsored created a statewide 900 number adults can call to learn whether people are registered sex offenders, for a fee of $10 to check on two people.
- So this was in 1997, so how many lives can you show it has saved, and how come it has not stopped sexual abuse?
But even police officials across the nation who strongly support notification laws complain that the states and Congress have not appropriated the money needed to administer them, while social service workers worry that the fear of public exposure may drive the most dangerous offenders further underground and decrease the possibility that less dangerous offenders can be rehabilitated through a stable life.
Notification Laws Have Broad Scope
All 50 states now have laws requiring sex offenders to register with their local law-enforcement agencies when they are released from prison, and California's, passed in the 1940's, is the oldest in the nation.
But since the murder of Megan Kanka, some 45 states have passed more sweeping laws -- several of them now blocked by court challenges -- requiring or allowing public notification. Practices vary, from Louisiana, where offenders are obliged to inform their neighbors via postcards, to Washington, whose 1990 measure became the first notification law in the nation, where localities have wide discretion over how to handle the matter.
Urged on by President Clinton, Congress has given states until September to adopt community notification systems for convicted sex offenders or risk losing Federal law enforcement funds.
- It's ironic that all those who make sex laws, get snared by them as well. We all remember the sexual scandal by this man...
For the moment, civil rights lawyers say they are besieged by past offenders worried about the effects of the new laws.
"I can't tell you the number of calls I've gotten as the date for the CD-ROM release gets closer," said Elizabeth Schroeder, associate director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California. "People are terrified. The prospect of tearing people's lives apart who have stabilized is very high."
Mr. Lungren, who helped lead the fight for California's version of Megan's law last year, acknowledged at a news conference previewing the CD last week that about 40 percent of the state's convicted sex offenders have eluded registration and that the data base contains outdated or incomplete information on thousands of them. Local police officials have found CD listings for people who have died or who are back in prison.
For example, Harold, as his lawyers refer to the older gay man who received the letter ordering him to register with the Los Angeles Police Department, should never have been asked to do so. Though he was never informed, his conviction had been set aside after he completed probation in the late 1950's; and more than a decade ago, the California Legislature had changed the law so adults convicted of committing same-sex consensual acts in public no longer had to register.
Lawyers for Harold have since had the registration requirement lifted in his case. But Ms. Schroeder said the state would have no way of knowing the specific circumstances of the convictions of scores of people like her client without checking courthouse records, an effort she says no one is even trying to make. Moreover the registration requirement, in effect for half a century, was only sporadically enforced until recent years. Many convicted sex offenders were unaware that they were required to register until they received letters like the one mailed to Harold.
Michael McGlinn, a San Diego lawyer who handled Harold's case and the case of the convicted youth counselor, said the latter client had called him "in absolute panic; the girls that normally walked to school with his daughter wouldn't come to the house anymore."
"People are going to be stigmatized and dispossessed all over again," Mr. McGlinn said. "People are going to be hounding their jobs and their homes."
Responding to concerns that past offenders who have served their sentences may face invasions of privacy or violence by their neighbors, Mr. Lungren pointed to penalties of up to five years in prison and a $1,000 fine for anyone who misuses the CD information to commit crimes against sex offenders. As for the offenders, he said he was "sorry that these folks might be inconvenienced," but "you know something, the way that you're not inconvenienced? Don't break the law."
Police departments around the state are still setting policies for viewing the CD's, but some parameters are clear. No street addresses have been included -- only zip codes and communities. Local agencies can release more detail, including addresses, of about 1,600 offenders classified as "high-risk," which includes those convicted of at least two violent offenses, at least one of which was a sex offense. So far, police departments have handled this chore in various ways, from quietly informing school and community groups to having fliers distributed.
Police Chief Steve Stavely of La Habra, a community of 56,000 people in Orange County, is coordinating the California notification-law policy in his region as head of the Orange County Chiefs of Police and Sheriffs' Association. He said officials were working hard to avoid overreaction by the public, releasing the whereabouts of the high-risk offenders all at once to avoid concentration on any individual and limiting the release, for example by not distributing the list in a press release to general circulation newspapers. But he said the state data was badly flawed. He also complained that under the law, the prison and probation officials best suited to estimate whether offenders are likely to strike again have no role in determining whether they should be subject to public notification.
Finding Financing And Measuring Effects
Echoing the concerns of other police chiefs nationwide, Chief Stavely also said the new law provided "not a nickel" toward the cost of notifying communities. Of his department's 74 officers, a sergeant and two detectives have been working on the release of the CD for two months, for example by verifying names and addresses.
"I think this is a law written by caring people trying to do the right thing," he said. "They had their hearts in the right place, but it has a few kinks."
The law's supporters acknowledge some problems. Assemblywoman Alby is now negotiating a bill to allow people like the elderly gay man, who is not considered a threat, to have their names removed from the registry. But the legislation has been held up over details.
A broader debate centers on whether recidivism rates among sex offenders justify the harsh spotlight of the new law. Studies have shown that treatment can be effective in reducing the crimes of some offenders, but the reality is that widespread treatment has never been tried on the vast bulk of past offenders like coaches and relatives, who are known to their victims.
The one study that compared recidivism rates for high-risk offenders subject to public notification with a control group found no overall difference in their tendency to repeat offenses. The 1995 survey by the Washington State Institute for Public Policy compared the records of a group of offenders three years after the state passed its disclosure law with a similar group in the three years before the law was passed. It found that 19 percent of the group subject to notification committed new sex crimes, compared with 22 percent in the group not subject to notification, a difference that was not considered statistically significant. But the study did find that offenders subject to notification were arrested for new crimes much more quickly -- which parents' groups cite as a sign that the laws work to get repeat offenders off the streets. Civil liberties lawyers argue that the new laws lump too many kinds of convicted sex offenders into one category.
"This is the classic example of legislation by anecdote and legislation by high-profile case," said Elisabeth Semel of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in San Diego.
"This is broad, sweeping legislation that has few guidelines and that's why you have all the unintended consequences. It's the hatchet versus the scalpel."
Saturday, May 3, 2008
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Video is available at the link above.
Jeff Johnston Committed Suicide at 15 After Relentless Bullying
Debbie Johnston accomplished her emotional three-year mission this week when the Florida legislature passed a tough anti-bullying law named in honor of her son, who committed suicide in 2005.
The Jeffrey Johnston Stand Up for All Students Act requires schools in the state to adopt policies to discourage bullying in person and online or risk losing state funding. Florida Gov. Charlie Crist is expected to sign the bill into law today.
Jeff Johnston grew up a well-liked, straight-A student, who seemed to have a bright future. But after enduring two years of taunts and Internet attacks, Jeff took his own life at 15.
"I just remember screaming just, 'No,' over and over again," Debbie Johnston said.
Other kids soon came forward detailing the relentless bullying Jeff faced. Johnston said her son felt he couldn't escape it.
"He said, 'Mom, where can I go? Everybody knows. There's no place I can hide,'" she said.
Johnston said Jeff reported the bullying to school officials, and told them that Robert Roemmick was his primary tormenter.
Roemmick admits that he called Jeff names over the Internet, which spread through to other students.
"We would write, 'Oh, look what Jeff did today. How weird is he? He is creepy, he is a stalker,'" Roemmick told ABC News.
Roemmick said he apologized to Debbie Johnston over the phone, but despite Jeff's suicide, he still justifies his behavior.
"I said I was sorry for her loss, but even in his passing, I'm not sorry for why I said it," Roemmick said.
According to statistics from the Department of Justice, 77 percent of middle school students say they have been bullied or threatened by other kids.
While 35 states encourage schools to spell out anti-bullying policies, Florida is only the second state to penalize schools that don't comply. Under the law, Florida schools will also have to follow up on reports of bullying by contacting the parents of all students involved, including the bullies.
David Tirella, an attorney who campaigned for the Jeff Johnston bill, said threatening to hold back funds from schools was a final resort.
"We tried reason, we tired logic, we tried morality, we tried legality to take care of these students and it didn't work," Tirella told ABC News. "So you know what we're trying now? The pocketbook."
Debbie Johnston, the grieving mother turned crusader, is determined to make her son's legacy a positive one.
"We're gonna change the world," she said. "We're gonna prove to my little brown-eyed baby boy that one person can make a difference."
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Ratings, ratings, ratings... Sad but true! These people should know better than to post the picture of a victim, regardless of their sex or whom they are.
NEW YORK - Breaking with standards widely followed by the mainstream news media, the celebrity Web site TMZ posted a story Wednesday about a 14-year-old who's a movie star's son and an alleged sex crime victim, and it ran the boy's picture.
The story said the boy was in a relationship with a 22-year-old woman, whose ex-boyfriend tipped off police that she was having sex with a minor. Police have opened an investigation, the story said.
Almost all news organizations refrain from identifying sex crime victims, let alone show their picture, because of the stigma often attached to it, said Kelly McBride, ethics group leader at the journalism think tank Poynter Institute. The Associated Press' policy is not to identify people in such cases.
"The reason the story is even interesting to TMZ is because of who the child is," McBride said. "I'm not sure that alone is enough to justify" identifying the boy.
Harvey Levin, managing editor of TMZ, refused to speak about the decision to run the story.
"The story speaks for itself," he said through a spokeswoman.
The story was not reported on the Web site's syndicated television show.
TMZ is owned by Time Warner Inc., the media conglomerate which also owns Time Warner Cable, Warner Bros., the magazine publisher Time Inc. and a group of cable channels that includes HBO, CNN, TBS and TNT. A Time Warner spokesman referred calls on the matter to the company's Telepictures division, and a spokeswoman for Telepictures did not immediately return a call for comment.
If the victim in this case were a girl, McBride said she's not sure TMZ would have made the same decision.
"They think, `Good for this boy, when any young boy has sex with an older woman it's not a crime'," she said, "when of course it is. It's just as harmful for boys as it is for girls."
The Internet means that the gatekeepers who traditionally control the news are no longer in charge, said Jay Rosen, a New York University professor who runs the Web site Press Think.
In many cases, such as coverage of politics, that's a good thing, he added.
"This, to me, is not one of those cases," Rosen said. "There are very good reasons for keeping these names out of the news no matter how much interest there is in them."
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So where is the "false rape accuser" registry so single men know what crazy women to stay away from?
FORT WORTH - An Arlington woman who caused her lover's shooting death by falsely crying rape was found guilty Friday of involuntary manslaughter.
Tracy Denise Roberson, 37, cried slightly when the verdict was announced after jurors had deliberated for more than a day. The punishment phase was set for Monday, and she faces two to 20 years in prison.
In late 2006, Darrell Roberson came home from a late-night card game to find his scantily clad wife with another man in a pickup truck in the driveway. Tracy Roberson was with her lover but cried rape, and her husband fired four shots into the truck as Devin LaSalle was driving off, killing him.
Darrell Roberson initially was arrested, but the murder charge later was dropped and a grand jury indicted Tracy Roberson instead.
During her three-day trial, defense attorneys called no witnesses but blamed LaSalle's death on Darrell Roberson's jealousy and rage.
- Sounds to me like he was trying to protect his wife from what he thought was a rape! So yeah, he should be let go, IMO, and the woman charged with the murder she caused.
But prosecutors placed all the blame on Tracy Roberson, showing evidence of the affair with LaSalle, 32, and a text message in which she invited him to her house that evening.
- The way it should be!
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You got an award, because most people in government are corrupt and would've went along with the bandwagon. Yes, you should not have received an award for doing your job, but it makes you wonder why they felt to give you an award? In any case, congratulations on the award and thanks for following the law!
By Karen Florin
Last fall, politicians asked New London Superior Court Judge Susan B. Handy to keep serial rapist David M. Pollitt in prison even though he had served his entire sentence.
Handy issued a ruling that was unpopular but, she and her colleagues said, absolutely correct. She said Pollitt had paid his debt to society and was entitled to be released.
The law was the law.
On Friday, the New London County Bar Association presented Handy with a Liberty Bell Award for upholding the rule of law.
Handy accepted the award at a Law Day luncheon at Tony D's restaurant in New London, where she was surrounded by about 120 of her colleagues - fellow judges, attorneys and former state Supreme Court Justice Angelo G. Santaniello.
”I am both humbled and, I have to say, completely overwhelmed, to receive an award for simply doing the job you entrusted me to do,” said Handy, who was appointed to the bench 15 years ago and serves as presiding judge for criminal matters in the New London judicial district.
When Attorney General Richard Blumenthal came to her courtroom last October at Gov. M. Jodi Rell's request, Handy said she was“extraordinarily sympathetic” to the residents of the Southbury neighborhood where Pollitt was to live, and to the concerns of people in all communities where sex offenders are released.
Pollitt was convicted of sexually assaulting women in the late 1970s and early 1980s in Killingworth, Old Lyme, Rocky Hill and Wallingford, and of attempting to rape a teenager in Waterford. He served more than 24 years in prison.
Weeks before he was to be set free, Pollitt had appeared before Handy to hammer out the terms of release. The judge worked with the state's attorney's office, the public defender's office and the probation department to ensure that Pollitt would be subjected to intensive supervision upon his release and would be required to register as a sex offender. Pollitt at first denied that he had been sentenced to five years of probation but eventually accepted the terms of his release.
When Handy denied the motion to confine Pollitt beyond his legal release date, Blumenthal, the governor and residents of Southbury were displeased, and some in the press were critical. But others praised the judge for making the right decision and expressed anger that she had been placed under such pressure.
Connecticut judges are political appointees who serve eight-year terms at the pleasure of the Judicial Selection Commission, the governor and the General Assembly. Handy, who worked as an English and speech teacher at New London High School in the 1970s, was admitted to the Connecticut Bar in 1980. She was an associate/partner at the New London law firm now known as Conway, Londregan PC until 1993, when she was appointed to the bench during the administration of Gov. Lowell Weicker. She was reappointed to a second term in 2001 and is currently up for reappointment.
Judge Barbara M. Quinn, chief court administrator for the state, said Friday that Pollitt, the serial rapist, is still living at his sister's house in Southbury under house arrest.
Quinn explained that Handy's ruling had significance beyond the serial rapist's case. The theme of this year's Law Day was the“rule of law,” which Quinn said“embodies the basic principles of equal treatment of all people before the law.”
”Let's imagine if Judge Handy had not ruled as she did,” Quinn said.“A man who had completed his prison sentence would have been unjustly held. The neighbors and some politicians would have rejoiced, along with many members of the public. I would submit to you, however, that the damage to the constitutional rights of every member of the public would have been shaken to the core.”
Mary Puhlick, president of the New London County Bar Association, had a similar comment.
”Rather than criticize a judge, the State of Connecticut should be grateful for a judge who protects the constitutional rights of all who appear before her,” she said.
Blumenthal, contacted by phone Friday, declined to comment.
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Three years probation for this? Yep, another cop, another slap on the wrist..
ROCKFORD (AP) - A judge in Rockford has sentenced a former Illinois state trooper and Winnebago County Courthouse security guard to three years of probation for aggravated criminal sexual abuse.
Under the terms of yesterday's sentence, 68-year-old William Heintz Senior must register as a child sex offender for the rest of his life and submit to sex offender evaluation and counseling. He must also be tested for sexually transmitted diseases, and submit to a blood draw for the purpose of DNA records.
Heintz was accused of fondling the breast of a female relative who was between 13 and 17 years old when the abuse is said to have occurred in November 2006. He was found guilty after a 4-day jury trial in January.
- So how old is the child now? If it was in 2006, then they would be two years younger than they are now.... So how old is the child? Why are they leaving it as 13 - 17? They should know exactly how old the child is. I'm guessing 13...
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FORT MYERS - Viewers got their first look at Thomas Moffitt on Dateline's "To Catch a Predator" looking for teenage sex. But Friday, he was looking for leniency inside a Lee County courtroom. And as NBC2 found out, that's exactly what he got.
Dateline helped catch Moffitt, who officials say drove all the way from Hollywood, Florida in April looking for sex in Fort Myers.
"Not only did he drive to Fort Myers, he brought condoms," said the State's Attorney Devin George.
With condoms, alcohol and a camera, Moffitt admits he drove more than 140 miles to meet up with a teenage girl - a girl who turned out to be a decoy.
Moffitt learned that fact as Fort Myers police arrested him.
"He wanted to get in that house because he had a plan to have sex with a 15-year-old," said George.
Friday, Moffitt's wife sat in court as attorneys described that cyber sexual relationship.
"It's all kind of like this fantasy, not a rational thing when he's on the computer," said Bill Miskovich, Moffitt's attorney.
"That fantasy turned to reality very quickly," George replied.
But Moffitt's attorneys argued that he never broke the law because he never made it inside the home.
"He had keys in his hand, tried to get in his car door and was leaving," said Miskovich.
The jury agreed. After he was found not guilty, Moffitt spoke to NBC2 outside the courtroom.
"It's been real tough, lost a couple of jobs because of it. Now I finally have closure. I'm just really overjoyed and thrilled," said Moffitt.
Friday, Thomas Moffitt walked away a free man after facing the charge of attempted lewd and lascivious battery.
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YORK - Alleged rape, pagan rituals and conspiracy to commit murder were at the heart of Thursday’s trial of a 43-year-old woman who organized last fall’s brutal attack on a man she claimed raped her and her teenage daughter.
Prosecutors argued that while Terisa Davidson did not actually participate in the September 2007 attack on 32-year-old Jonathan Barron, she did supply the motivation and tools to carry out a vicious assault that left Barron beaten, stabbed, burned and injected with chemicals.
Davidson, the only suspect in the case who did not plead guilty, testified that she met Barron at the World Outreach Worship Center in Newport News two years ago.
- Wow, meeting at a church organization, and these hypocrites commit this horrendous crime?
Despite the Christian setting for their introduction, Davidson and Barron began attending a drum circle ceremony at a pagan shop in Norfolk called Mystic Moon. There they met Stephen Walters, Dianna Breznick and Aaron Meadors.
In accordance with pagan practices, the group called Davidson “Red Phoenix” and Barron “Lord Othis.”
Barron testified that he and Davidson started out as friends, then progressed to a consensual sexual relationship. Davidson was adamant that the sex was forced.
“It was rape,” she testified Thursday.
Davidson said her teenage daughter and an acquaintance also claimed that Barron had raped them. Davidson’s daughter later admitted she had not been assaulted.
In the weeks leading up to the assault on Barron, Davidson told a group of friends, including Breznick, Walters and Meadors, about the alleged rapes.
Commonwealth attorney Eileen Addison asserted that it was Davidson who coerced her friends into attacking Barron.
“This is a group of young people... being led by the passionate histrionics of an older, and in their eyes, much more powerful mother figure,” Addison said. “They got carried away because she encouraged them to do so.
“This was a plan motivated by her,” Addison said. “She gave them the instruments and motivation to do it.”
Breznick testified that Davidson said she wanted Barron to die.
Davidson denied any involvement in the plan. “I did not say I wanted him dead,” she countered. “I said I wanted him to be gone and out of my life.”
- Sounds like doublespeak to me.
Breznick said it was Davidson who suggested the group inject Barron with silver thermal compound and barbicide. She claimed Davidson gave them the silver and a marinade syringe, along with gloves to avoid leaving fingerprints and sheets to drape the car seats.
Davidson admitted she had given Walters the silver to use for his computer since it’s commonly used to keep electronics from overheating. The gloves were to protect his hands from the chemical.
Davidson also said she told Breznick to take whatever kitchen supplies she needed, and that she assumed Breznick was going to use the syringe to cook a turkey.
Instead, the items were used against Barron when he was abducted from Huntington Park in Newport News and taken to Crawford Road in Yorktown near the Tour Road overpass.
At Crawford Road, Walters, Breznick and a friend, Thomas Rogers, repeatedly beat and stabbed Barron before dousing him with lighter fluid and attempting to set him on fire. Barron was also injected with the chemicals, and then hit with a car.
Barron survived the ordeal and was taken to Riverside Regional Medical Center. He was hospitalized for a day before being released.
Circuit Judge Prentis Smiley did not buy Davidson’s story of coincidence and ignorance about the supplies. He found her guilty of conspiracy to commit murder.
“I didn’t believe you,” Smiley said. “It didn’t make sense to me. I believe there was an agreement with you and at least one other, maybe four to five others, to kill Mr. Barron.”
She will be sentenced July 22.
Even more proof that the public has the wrong perception of sex offenders due to the media and politicians with an agenda. Although, I do not agree with a LOT in this video, like treatment, that is almost non existent in prison. They should be working on prevention and restorative justice, IMO. I also find it disturbing that when they talk about female offenders, they treat them totally different. They should be treated exactly like the men, it's called EQUAL JUSTICE! It's disgusting, quite frankly. They say so much BS in these videos, it's pathetic... These comments are about the first video on sexual offenders.
Domestic Violence Offenders
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Not one North Carolina state legislator voted against a tough, new sex-offender monitoring law last year. But some judges have.
The latest was Ripley Rand, who ruled in Wake County Superior Court last week that four registered sex offenders should be released from satellite tracking systems.
Twenty-one others have been granted similar breaks in other courts.
Activist judges rewriting laws at the expense of public safety? That might be a common reaction. After all, sexual predators often repeat their offenses. The best way to prevent that, if they’re not incarcerated, is to strictly limit where they can go and whom they can see. That requires close monitoring.
- 90% of all sexual crimes occur in the victims own home or close family, and do you really expect a true predator to obey the laws? If they wanted to commit another crime, a buffer zone, residency restrictions, the registry or GPS will not prevent another crime. These are placebo's to make everyone "feel" safe, when it actuality they are not. We should be working on prevention, like therapy, getting people help, finding out why they do these things. Locking people up forever will not prevent future sexual abuse. So we must use our heads to find a solution. The way this is going, it's going to be just like the "war on drugs" and "war on terror," a never ending drama that does nothing except make more money for the big wigs. Monitoring someone, and treating them like animals is not going to work. You back someone into a corner, they will eventually strike out. It's common sense.
But it must be done without violating constitutional safeguards that apply even to convicted sex offenders. Judge Rand spotted one problem with the law’s application, and he didn’t address another one.
The law went into effect Dec. 1 but applied to everyone who was at that time a registered sex offender and met other criteria. It’s questionable, at best, whether a new law can go back and place additional conditions on a defendant that weren’t part of his original judgment. Rand dismissed the monitoring requirement on that basis. He didn’t consider a further objection that the new law effectively increases penalties long after conviction and sentencing.
- Why is it questionable? It's in the CONSTITUTION that NO EX POST FACTO LAW SHOULD BE PASSED, so there is no question about this, it's unconstitutional, period, end of story!!
On the other hand, judges can use the law to order lifetime monitoring for offenders whose crimes were committed on or after Dec. 1 — unless the courts find other objections.
Satellite tracking has become a popular means of watching offenders who are never trusted, even after they complete their sentences. But it strains the agencies assigned the job of operating, maintaining and paying for the systems. While the offenders themselves often are required to pay the cost — several thousand dollars a year — many simply don’t have the money. Potential employers, always aware of the criminal history, aren’t keen to hire sex offenders who carry obtrusive tracking devices wherever they go.
- You say above, tracking people who are never trusted. That seems very stupid to me. You put a GPS device on someone you cannot trust, yet you trust them to obey the laws. These laws are for those who obey them, true predators or someone who is not wanting help is not going to obey ANY LAW you pass. And usually someone pays for a service they want, I think making someone pay for GPS is also extortion and unconstitutional as well. What if they refuse to wear it or pay for it? These laws are a joke!! But, the sheeple love it, and suck it all up like it's going to protect them... Get a clue folks!! How is a homeless offender suppose to pay several thousand dollars a year on GPS, when it's the very system that is making them homeless? Come on, the true intent, which has been mentioned by some representative in California, is to put all sex offenders behind bars. So if that is the intent, admit it.. They know, if they did that, the laws would be shot down, that is why they don't mention it, and always say the laws are not punitive, when they know they are. You live with these laws for 5 or 10 years and then tell me this..
Laws like this should give judges some discretion to limit monitoring when appropriate. For some offenders, lifetime tracking might seem excessive. In cases of extremely dangerous predators, however, judges should use every legal means they can to lengthen prison terms. There’s no need for satellite tracking when criminals are confined to 8x10-foot cells. And, if a person poses such a severe threat to the community that he has to be tracked everywhere he goes, maybe he can’t be trusted in society in the first place. After all, the best tracking system in the world can’t stop a crime. And, isn’t that the objective?
- If they are extremely dangerous, why are they out of prison in the first place?
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The government is so corrupt, the whole country needs an enema... They pass harsh laws, yet when they are convicted or caught doing something, the laws do not apply to them. Why not? It is suppose to be EQUAL JUSTICE for all.
And, as eAdvocate mentions on his blog item about the same issue:
This is the AG who in May of 2007, while trying to get registered sex offenders kicked off MySpace, was on AM 610 WTVN talking to Bob Conners, He said that he wants to know that "when my 12-year old daughter gets on her Myspace, that she'll be safe." Mr Dann, 12 year olds are not permitted to have MySpace accounts, so she must have lied to set one up. Obviously Mr Dann doesn't think rules pertain to him.
COLUMBUS (AP) — Ohio's attorney general (Contact) admitted an extramarital affair with an employee Friday, soon after three of his aides were fired or forced out after an investigation found evidence of sexual harassment and other misconduct.
Leader of both parties were critical of Attorney General Marc Dann, one of several Democrats swept into office in 2006 after a scandal over state investments sullied Republicans. He apologized to his wife and supporters but promised not to step down.
"I'm embarrassed. I have taken responsibility for what I've done," he told reporters.
Dann had lived with two of the aides at an apartment during much of his first year in office and some of the alleged harassment by one of the aides occurred there.
"I did not create an atmosphere in my public and personal life that is consistent with the important mission of the Office of Attorney General ...," Dann said. "I am heartbroken by my failure to recognize the problems being created and by my failure to stop them."
Ohio GOP deputy chairman Kevin DeWine called for Dann's resignation, saying he turned the attorney general's office into a "raunchy frat pad."
Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland (Contact) said the investigation showed a "double standard" with Dann staying while some employees were let go.
Dann, 46, said the affair was consensual and refused to disclose the name of the employee. He said the relationship came during a difficult time in his marriage, but that it "was wrong and I deeply regret it."
Dann's scheduler, Jessica Utovich, with whom he had a close relationship in which they often used profanity, nicknames and teasing when e-mailing each other, resigned voluntarily, said Tom Winters, first assistant attorney general. He did not give a reason.
When interviewed for the sexual harassment investigation conducted by assistant attorneys general, Dann said Utovich stayed overnight at an apartment he shared with the two aides for a variety of reasons that he would not discuss. During her interview, Utovich would not say whether she ever stayed overnight at the apartment during her interview.
Utovich and Dann's wife, Alyssa Lenhoff, did not immediately return messages seeking comment.
Both aides Dann lived with were fired after the results of the investigation were released Friday. Investigators found that Anthony Gutierrez, who led Dann's general services office, violated sexual harassment policy, and Leo Jennings, Dann's former communications chief, is accused of trying to get a worker to lie when interviewed under oath.
Investigators say Edgar Simpson, Dann's policy chief, was forced to resign for failing to address inappropriate behavior. Simpson had knowledge of Gutierrez's history of policy violations, the investigation report said.
Dann emerged into state politics as an appointed state senator with a small private law office, and became the face of the Democrats' charge against a scandal over state investments that contributed to the Ohio GOP's devastating election losses in 2006. He defeated a better known and more experienced Republican.
As Ohio's top law enforcer, he has taken on the nation's largest insurance brokerage, the mortgage lending industry, student loan providers, MySpace and the big three credit rating agencies, among others. His crime-fighting led to comparisons with New York's Eliot Spitzer, who became governor after he was attorney general and recently resigned in a prostitution scandal.
Dann had removed himself from the sexual harassment investigation.
Gutierrez was accused by two women he supervised — Cindy Stankoski and Vanessa Stout, both 26 — of making unwanted advances and vulgar remarks.
Stankoski said she went to the apartment near Columbus shared by Dann, Gutierrez and Jennings for pizza and drinks. She said she fell asleep drunk at the condo and when she awoke, her pants were unbuttoned and Gutierrez was lying next to her in his underwear.
- This is called RAPE!!!
When it was apparent Stankoski had too much to drink, arrangements should have been made to get her home, investigators said.
Stout alleged that Gutierrez repeatedly asked her for sex, suggesting she "owed" him for helping her land a state job.
The investigation also found that Gutierrez violated policies that prohibit driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs. The report detailed an incident where Gutierrez allegedly was drinking with other employees while driving a state vehicle.
The matter is now under investigation by the State Highway Patrol.
Rex Elliott, the attorney for Stout and Stankoski, said both women feel vindicated.
"There are questions that go all the way to the top of that office about how the leader of that office allowed this environment to persist," he said.
Messages left for Gutierrez's attorney, Sam Amendolara, were not immediately returned. No phone listing for Simpson could be found.
Dann is the third high-ranking official around the country to be marred by sexual scandal in recent months. Spitzer resigned abruptly in March after revelations that he had been a customer of a high-end call girl service. And Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is charged with perjury, misconduct and obstruction of justice for accusations that he tried to hide a long-term romantic relationship with his former chief of staff.
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So what about jail/prison time? Oh yeah, I almost forgot, he's part of the "Good Ole' Boys" network.
ROCKFORD - A former state trooper convicted of molestation will not get a new trial. That's what William Heintz asked a judge for Friday.
After saying no, the judge sentenced Heintz to 3 years of probation. He also has to register as a sex offender.
Heintz was found guilty of aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a teenage girl.
He used to be an Illinois State trooper and worked as a security guard at the Winnebago County courthouse when he was arrested.