Thursday, June 12, 2008

WA - Sex offender issue used to pan for votes

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I know this is an old article, but it is still being done to this day! Politics will NEVER change! This is typical FEAR-MONGERING and PANDERING for your vote, nothing more!!!

03/24/2006

10,000 calls warn of rapist, try to blame Democrats

The ringing of 10,000 telephones in Snohomish County last week signaled that one hot-button issue from the 2006 Legislature will play an ongoing role in the fall legislative campaigns:

Who's more vigorous -- Republicans or Democrats -- when it comes to punishing sex offenders who prey on children?

GOP operative Kevin Carns wants to send voters the message that his party is harder-nosed than the Democrats. That's why The Speaker's Roundtable, a Republican political action committee that Carns directs, paid for the automated phone calls targeting Democratic state Reps. Hans Dunshee of Snohomish and John Lovick of Mill Creek.

"A Level 3 sex offender has been released into your community," an authoritative male voice said in the calls to homes in the legislators' districts. After recounting that the unidentified offender was convicted of rape with a deadly weapon and was suspected in the abduction of an 11-year-old girl at knifepoint, the voice said Dunshee and Lovick "failed to protect your children by refusing to vote on a bill that would put child rapists in prison for life."

The tactic, or a variation of it, is not new: The Roundtable spent $75,000 on cable television and radio commercials, phone calls and postcards making much the same point across the state soon after the start of the legislative session.

Republicans set up the issue on Jan. 9, the session's opening day, when they pushed for a full House vote with no committee hearings on a 116-page bill they had filed. The measure included a mandatory life sentence for rape of a child under 12.

The House majority Democrats blocked the vote on the bill and denounced the GOP maneuver as political grandstanding. In any event, the affair gave Carns the hook he needed for his attacks.

Ultimately, the House voted 97-0 and the Senate 45-1 for a Democratic-sponsored measure that significantly increases penalties for sex offenses, including a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years for rape of a child. Gov. Christine Gregoire, a Democrat, signed the bill this week.

Despite the bipartisan support for the new law, Carns said this week that he'll keep the issue alive -- and likely use the same tactics to do so -- in the fall, when all House seats will be on the ballot.

"My job is to get Republicans elected," he said.

"This is an issue we think is fair game," Carns said. "We really think the general public is fed up with these predators being released back into their communities."
- I am fed up with pandering politicians using the backs of sex offenders to get themselves voted into office, instead of upholding the Constitution of the United States, which you all took an oath to do, and apparently lied about, which is typical of politicians!!

It was Dunshee and Lovick's turn last week because the offender described in the phone calls had recently been released from prison, Carns said.

The sex offender question likely will rank with the state budget, property rights and taxes as leading issues pressed by the GOP this fall, Carns said.

The Speaker's Roundtable is associated with the House Republican Organizing Committee, which is the official campaign arm of the House Republicans. The HROC, for which Carns is political director, works directly with candidates in support of their election, subject to spending restrictions based on the number of registered voters in each district, but corporations may not contribute more than $700 a year to the committee.

The Roundtable can make independent outlays with no direct connection to candidates without restrictions, and it is not covered by the limitations on corporate contributions.

The Roundtable's sex offender campaign illustrates the dearth of viable issues for the GOP, Democratic politico Tony Yuchasz said this week. Yuchasz is executive director of the House Democratic Caucus Campaign Committee, the HROC's counterpart (The Harry Truman Fund is the Roundtable's opposite number).

To counteract the Roundtable's sex offender offensive, Yuchasz said, "What we want to do is tell the truth."

The new bill imposes harsher penalties than the old law, Yuchasz said, while it retains an exception that allows for lesser sentences in some cases if the sex offender is closely related to the victim -- a provision Republicans tried to remove.

Law enforcement experts say the provision actually promotes convictions, Yuchasz said, because too-harsh penalties can discourage victims from testifying against relatives.

The Democrats may fight back against the Roundtable with commercials or postcards of their own featuring prosecutors and police making that argument, he said. "We need to let voters know, again, what really happened."

This report includes information from The Associated Press. P-I reporter Gregory Roberts can be reached at 206-448-8022 or gregoryroberts@seattlepi.com.


NJ - Spin Doctors and Moral Crusaders: The Moral Panic behind Child Safety Legislation

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This is from the New Jersey Department of Corrections.

Issues of child abduction and molestation have risen so high on social agendas that they have all but eclipsed similarly offensive crimes. Media broadcasts of a rash of child abductions, molestations and homicides have led to a nationwide moral panic concerning the safety of children. The media frenzy surrounding these publicized cases has created a ‘fear factor’ among parents and caregivers, begging the question as to whether the incidence of child abduction and molestation has increased or whether the nation’s heightened sensitivity is a result of increased media reporting. This article explores the present climate of fear by way of five moral panic criteria developed by Goode & Ben-Yehuda. This link between the child predation moral panic and child safety legislation is explored in the context of the recently enacted Amber Alert. Similarities are demonstrated in the origin and empathy of both the Amber Alert and its predecessor, Megan’s Law.

Introduction:
Child predation cases are the most vilified in both the media and the criminal justice system (CJS) (Finkelhor & Ormrod, 2000; Jenkins, 1998; Palermo & Farkas, 2001; Pratt, 2000; Scott, 2001). Unlike similarly violent cases, child abduction, child molestation and child homicide consistently receive national media prominence, rendering many equally disturbing cases overlooked. Issues of child abduction and molestation have risen so high on social agendas that they have all but eclipsed neglect, deprivation and physical cruelty of children (Scott, 2001). The public considers nothing as frightening as hearing the words, ‘missing child’ or ‘child molestation’; it is at this point that all parents question the safety of their own children.

Media broadcasts of a rash of child abductions, molestations and homicides have led to a nationwide moral panic concerning the safety of children (Bagley & Mallick, 1999; Cohen, 1972; DeYoung, 1998; Edwards & Lohman, 1994; Fox, 2002; Goode & Ben-Yehuda, 1994; Jenkins, 1998; Jewkes, 1999; Scott, 2001; Welch, Price & Yankey, 2002). The summer months of 2002 were informally coined the ‘summer of abduction’ by the media (Fox, 2002); it was nearly a daily occurrence to hear stories of children taken from their own bedrooms or front yards. The headlines surrounding the recent cases of Danielle Van Damme, Samantha Runnion, Cassandra Williamson, Erica Pratt, Elizabeth Smart and even the more historic cases of Adam Walsh and Polly Klaas, have kept the public riveted at both the community level and the national level (Finkelhor & Ormrod, 2000). This heightened media reporting results in the belief that the country is experiencing an epidemic of crimes against children. The media frenzy surrounding these publicized cases has created a ‘fear factor’ among parents and caregivers, begging the question as to whether the incidence of child predation has increased or whether the nation’s heightened sensitivity is a result of increased media reporting. Nonetheless, the fear of child abductions and molestations has captivated the nation (Fox, 2002; Jenkins, 1998).

While the increased awareness has the beneficial effect of amplified vigilance, it also yields detrimental and counter-productive side effects. Similar to the situation occurring in the early 1990s with the disappearance of Jacob Wetterling and the sexual molestation and death of Megan Kanka, parents are demanding politicians develop legislation that will ensure the well being of their children. This galvanized effort in early 1990 resulted in the passage of the Jacob Wetterling Act, which was later amended into the commonly known ‘Megan’s Law’ (Brooks, 1996; Matson & Lieb, 1997; Rudin, 1996). Although proponents of Megan’s Law widely cite its benefits, the legislation, which was passed at breakneck speed, suffers from numerous constitutional challenges and practical drawbacks (Brooks, 1996; Rudin, 1996). With the Amber Alert notification system, the nation is witness to legislation that, at its core, bears a striking resemblance in etiology and empathy to Megan’s Law. Similar to Megan’s Law, the public has strongly advocated in favor of the Amber Alert, perhaps without recognizing the practical drawbacks that the legislation carries with it. Policies that affect the safety of children rarely meet much resistance, which begs the question of whether such legislation has been thoroughly researched or should be considered a knee-jerk reaction to what the public perceives to be an emergency situation (Jenkins, 1998; Palermo & Farkas 2001).

This article explores the link between a moral panic related to abducted and molested children and child safety legislation, namely the Amber Alert, an early warning system that notifies the community with information on a missing child. The first portion of the article considers the historical context of a moral panic and whether the current climate qualifies as a moral panic by way of Goode and Ben-Yehuda’s (1994) criteria. The second portion reviews the history and activation process of the Amber Alert system and its similarities to Megan’s Law. The article concludes with a review of the practical and theoretical challenges of the Amber Alert and Megan’s Law and their link to the current climate of fear.


UK - Sex offender register doesn't protect much

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06/12/2008

LIVERPOOL (UPI) -- Britain's Sex Offenders Register is failing to protect vulnerable children, a psychologist at the University of Liverpool says.

The researchers say police are using resources to combat Internet sex offenses, which are easier to secure convictions, while the majority of men alleged to have directly sexually abused a child are still avoiding prosecution.

Forensic child psychologist Kevin Browne says that only one in 10 men alleged to have committed a sex offense with a child is on the Sex Offenders Register.

"This makes the debate on notifying communities of registered sex offenders meaningless," Browne says in a statement. "But U.K. research shows that only 6 percent of those arrested are linked to the much more severe sexual assaults on children."

Child victims of sexual abuse in England at two in every 10,000, but an survey of young adults' childhood experiences shows the figure to be a lot higher at 11 children in every 100 -- suggesting that most sexual assaults on children go undetected and for every one child identified as a victim of sexual abuse there are 549 child victims who have suffered in silence, Browne says.

Browne's findings are published in the book "Assessing Risk in Sex Offenders" by Leam Craig, Browne and Anthony Beech.


IN - Former GOP Chief Pleads Guilty To Deviant Conduct

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Video is available at the site above.

06/12/2008

Glenn Murphy Faces Jail Time, Sex Offender Status

JEFFERSONVILLE -- The former chairman of the Clark County Republican Party has pleaded guilty to criminal deviate conduct.

Glenn Murphy Jr. had a top spot in local Republican politics and was making a name for himself as president of the Young Republicans National Federation. But after a Young Republicans get-together last July, a young man claimed Murphy made a bold sexual advance on him.

Police reports said Murphy shared a bunk bed with his victim, a 22-year-old who had had too much to drink, and the next morning the victim said he awoke to find Murphy performing a sex act on him. The victim said he told Murphy to stop and pushed him away.

Prosecutor Stanley Levco said other incidents involving Murphy would have been presented as evidence had the case gone to trial. A Clarksville police report shows Murphy was involved in a similar incident in 1988, but no charges were filed.

Levco said he thinks that may have been another reason Murphy pleaded guilty as charged.

Criminal deviate conduct is a Class B felony in Indiana. If the judge accepts his plea, Murphy will have to register as a sex offender. Sentencing is set for June 30.

Murphy resigned his political posts when the allegations surfaced.

Previous Stories:


CA - Rip Torn Gets Apology Over Sex Predator Ad

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Typical political grandstanding. Using sex offenders as their scapegoat to get elected, and someone who isn't even a sex offender, thus breaking the law by using someones photo without their permission. This man should be fired!!

06/12/2008

Councilman Used Torn's Mug Shot To Portray Generic Criminal

CINCINNATI -- A Cincinnati city councilman has publicly apologized to Rip Torn for using his mug shot in a campaign ad on crime.

Christopher Monzel (Email) said that a black bar covered Torn's eyes in the television ad. The photo, which was available on Internet sites, came from Torn's 2006 drunken-driving arrest in New York State.

Monzel said the ad was meant to show a generic criminal and discuss his efforts to "get sexual predators off the streets" -- and wasn't meant to have anything to do with Torn.
- There is no such thing as a generic criminal! Why didn't you use your own face with your eyes blocked out?

But when someone was able to identify Torn as the person in the ad, the "Men in Black" and "Dodgeball" actor was notified and the ad was pulled.

Torn demanded an apology for the mistake, so on Tuesday, Monzel placed an ad in The Cincinnati Enquirer. He detailed where the commercial ad was shown, and described Torn as an award-winning actor who had served honorably in the Army.

"That commercial discussed, in part, my efforts to get sexual predators off the streets," Monzel said in the printed apology. "Purely as a result of an error by my campaign, an unauthorized altered image of Mr. Torn was inadvertently shown during that commercial. I never intended to imply any improper or illegal conduct by Mr. Torn."

Monzel said the wording was negotiated over months and he takes full responsibility.


ANTIPOLYGRAPH.ORG



Did you know: The dirty little secret behind the polygraph is that the "test" depends on trickery, not science. The person being "tested" is not supposed to know that while the polygraph operator declares that all questions must be answered truthfully, warning that the slightest hint of deception will be detected, he secretly assumes that denials in response to certain questions -- called "control" questions -- will be less than truthful. An example of a commonly used control question is, "Did you ever lie to get out of trouble?" The polygrapher steers the examinee into a denial by warning, for example, that anyone who would do so is the same kind of person who would commit the kind of behavior that is under investigation and then lie about it. But secretly, it is assumed that everyone has lied to get out of trouble.

The polygraph pens don't do a special dance when a person lies. The polygrapher scores the test by comparing physiological responses (breathing, blood pressure, heart, and perspiration rates) to these probable-lie control questions with reactions to relevant questions such as, "Did you ever commit an act of espionage against the United States?" (commonly asked in security screening). If the former reactions are greater, the examinee passes; if the latter are greater, he fails. If responses to both "control" and relevant questions are about the same, the result is deemed inconclusive.

The test also includes irrelevant questions such as, "Are the lights on in this room?" The polygrapher falsely explains that such questions provide a "baseline for truth," because the true answer is obvious. But in reality, they are not scored at all! They merely serve as buffers between pairs of relevant and "control" questions.

The simplistic methodology used in polygraph testing has no grounding in the scientific method: it is no more scientific than astrology or tarot cards. Government agencies value it because people who don't realize it's a fraud sometimes make damaging admissions. But as a result of reliance on this voodoo science, the truthful are often falsely branded as liars while the deceptive pass through.

Perversely, the "test" is inherently biased against the truthful, because the more honestly one answers the "control" questions, and as a consequence feels less stress when answering them, the more likely one is to fail. Conversely, liars can beat the test by covertly augmenting their physiological reactions to the "control" questions. This can be done, for example, by doing mental arithmetic, thinking exciting thoughts, altering one's breathing pattern, or simply biting the side of the tongue. Truthful persons can also use these techniques to protect themselves against the risk of a false positive outcome. Although polygraphers frequently claim they can detect such countermeasures, no polygrapher has ever demonstrated any ability to do so, and peer-reviewed research suggests that they can't.

Educate yourself. Before playing Russian roulette with your reputation, learn how to protect yourself against this invalid test. Download AntiPolygraph.org's free book:


NJ - Ex-warden put women's racy pix online, Morris County grand jury to be told

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06/11/2008

Charges that a former top official for the Morris County Sheriff's Office posted sexually explicit photographs of two women on the Internet without their consent will be forwarded to a county grand jury for review, authorities said Tuesday.

John "J.K." Kinnecom, 57, appeared with defense lawyer Donald Belsole in state
Superior Court, Morristown, for a brief status conference and was told by Morris County Assistant Prosecutor Melanie Smith that his case will be sent to a grand jury.

But Belsole said afterward that Kinnecom will apply for admission into the county's
pre-trial intervention program even though he believes the prosecutor's office might
oppose his application. Under the program for nonviolent offenders, a defendant
typically does not have to admit to a crime but agrees to be supervised on probation for a specific length of time and to other conditions. If he or she successfully completes probation, the charge is dismissed and the accused does not have a criminal record.

Kinnecom is charged with invasion of privacy and harassment for allegedly posting lewd photographs of the women on the Internet. Privacy invasion is punishable upon conviction by up to five years in prison, and harassment is a disorderly persons offense.

Kinnecom was charged on March 6 after investigators executed a search warrant at his Morris Plains home. He was released into his own custody. The investigation into his alleged improper postings began last September by Morris Plains Detective Sgt. Thomas D'Ambola and Morris County Prosecutor's Office Detective Dan Haber.

Kinnecom retired from the Sheriff's Office in September 1998 after 25 years and seven months of service. He had been promoted to warden of the county jail in 1995 when it was located in Morristown. After retiring, he served a short stint as acting director of the Morris County Juvenile Detention Center.


ME - Sex offender sues city

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06/12/2008

WESTBROOK : A convicted sex offender living in Westbrook is suing the city and the police chief for passing and enforcing an ordinance restricting sex offenders.

According to Bill Dale, city attorney, the man is one of several around the state, all referred to as John Doe, fighting against both municipal ordinances and the state statute regarding sex offenders. The suit was filed in Kennebec County Superior Court.

Westbrook passed an ordinance in September 2007 that prevents sex offenders from going closer than 2,500 feet from a school, day care, park, bowling alley or any other place where children may gather.

Dale said the crux of the argument against this regulation is whether it is “constitutionally permissible” to enforce a new law on sex offenders who committed their crimes before the law existed.
- It's unconstitutional, period. The constitution forbids this type of government power, but apparently the Bill of Rights and Constitution mean nothing now. So if that is the case, then we are a dictatorship now.

“The question is, how do you apply these things retroactively?” Dale said. “They're saying you can't do it.”
- The damn constitution says that. Does anybody in congress know what this document even says? Apparently not!

Because the plaintiff is seeking money damages, Dale said, the city's insurance carrier will handle the case for Westbrook.

According to Dale, similar suits have been pursued over the past few years, and not just in Maine.

This is a phenomenon across the country,” he said.
- And it will continue to be, until the laws are repealed and fixed to be constitutional.


Criminal Law Blogs (TONS OF THEM!!)

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GA - 'To Catch a Predator' - Man caught on NBC television show seeking a new trial

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05/25/2008

BERRIEN COUNTY — A Berrien County man convicted of attempting to entice a child for indecent purposes and attempted child molestation, after he was caught on Dateline NBC’s To Catch a Predator, via the Internet, has filed a motion for a new trial.

After being found guilty by a jury in Harris County Superior Court last November, 37-year-old Marvin Harrison Smith II has requested a new trial under grounds that the verdict was reached contrary to law, contrary to evidence and strongly against the weight of evidence. Smith has obtained new legal representation since the 2007 trial and is taking several steps to see that his conviction is overturned.

To Catch a Predator

If you’ve ever seen the To Catch a Predator series, then you know the purpose of the show is to identify potential sexual predators who have made contact via Internet with children or people they believe to be children for sexual conversation and/or activity. The cases, reported by Dateline Reporter Chris Hansen, are investigated as part of a sting operation with the assistance of local law enforcement agencies in a particular area and the Perverted-Justice Foundation, Inc., an organization known for investigating and identifying online sexual predators.

According to information found on msnbc.com, decoys from Perverted-Justice build profiles as minors in online communities, enter different chat-rooms and wait for people to send them messages. If and when the decoys are contacted by adults, they engage in conversation while investigators collect evidence that includes adult pornography, child pornography or sexually explicit chat.

The alleged offenders are invited to a house used in the sting operation and usually arrange a time when they believe the decoy will be home alone to visit. If and when the potential predators arrive at and enter the residence, they usually encounter Hansen, who conducts a brief interview before the suspects are taken into custody by law enforcement and charged.

While many viewers feel that the work done on the series is commendable, several viewers feel that the method used is a ploy to lure people into traps, according to comments posted on the Dateline web site’s feedback page.

Smith’s Arrest and Conviction

Smith, an Alapaha native, was arrested in 2006 during a four and a half day sting operation in Fortson, along with 19 other men. The operation was organized, in part, by the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.

Hansen’s live blog about the apprehension of Smith reads:

“Then there’s 35-year-old Marvin Smith. For the better part of a week he chatted with a decoy posing as a 15-year-old girl. It was absolutely one of the most graphic chats I’ve seen in all of the investigations so far. He details what he wants to do to the girl. He introduces the decoy to a woman he says is his girlfriend and suggests three way sex. He even brags that he has had sex with another 15-year-old girl. Smith, who online goes by the screen name Swgamaleyess, has been saying all week that he’s going to show up at our house. Time after time he stands us up. We started to think that he was getting satisfaction from the chat and wouldn’t really come over. Finally, on the last day of our investigation he pulls into our driveway and walks into our kitchen with hidden cameras rolling. He asks our decoy for a hug and when he starts to follow her into the next room he sees one of our cameramen and bolts. Smith doesn’t get very far. What happens next is a first for us. When Smith tries to run from the deputies, he’s shot by a Taser and knocked to the ground. It’s not until he’s questioned by detectives that we learn Smith also has a religious side saying he used to be a Baptist minister.”

The video of Smith’s arrest also revealed that he was married at the time.

Smith went to court in November 2007 on allegations of attempted child molestation, attempt to entice a child and obstruction. He was originally supposed to be tried in Harris County; however, the venue of the trial was changed to Dalton County.

Smith was found guilty Nov. 7, 2007. He was sentenced to 13 years in prison and 12 years probation.

Smith’s Appeal and Family’s Argument

Following the conviction, Smith began to work on his appeal. A motion for a new trial was filed and Smith obtained a new lawyer, Attorney Linnie Darden of Jones, Osteen and Jones in Hinesville.

In Darden’s opinion, Smith was never given fair treatment after he was arrested. He argues that Smith’s previous attorney did not handle the case in an effective manner and failed to defend Smith to the best of his ability. In addition, Darden contends that the prosecution failed to prove that the messages sent to the decoy actually came from Smith, particularly since the username could not be linked to him.

Darden also criticizes the procedure used by Perverted-Justice to secure sexual predators, comparing it to a form of entrapment.

“Because the decoy was not, in fact, 15, then there were no actual minors in this case,” Darden said. “Most of it is make believe. Therefore, one can’t accuse someone of being the real deal if the person on the other end is posing as someone she is not. What we have is a man who has never shown any kind of pedophilic behavior in the past and is now unjustly being labeled a predator.”

Additionally, Darden questions whether Smith received a fair trial since he was tried in Dalton County rather than Harris County.

“The demographics in Dalton County were not at all similar to those of the county in which the alleged crime was committed,” Darden said. “Also, there were no black jurors on the panel and only one black person in the jury pool.”

One of Darden’s final arguments is that Smith received more prison time than any of the other men convicted as a result of the sting operation. The average sentence of the others arrested was two to six years imprisonment, with some to be released as early as this year.

Smith’s family has been protesting against his imprisonment since he was convicted. In December, his parents, Pastor Marvin H. Smith, Sr. and Minister Earnestine Smith sent the following letter to several community leaders and officials in Berrien County and other parts of the state:

“On behalf of a mother and father, we cry out for justice for our son. This past year has been the most difficult in our lives. In July 2006, the world bared witness to our son and several other men who arrived at a house for Dateline’s show, To Catch a Predator. The images portrayed were of heartless criminals that prey on the minds of innocent children. But we, the families left behind in the wake of this madness, want to share the true character and integrity that Perverted-Justice and the media failed to mention. For our son, Marvin, and many others, this was the first offense committed for any reason. His criminal background was perfect except for this one occurrence, where that seemed not to have mattered to the justice system. He has lived a productive life in society, working full-time as a restaurant manager for a well-known establishment. He also served in the United States Navy as a dental technician stationed aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. George Washington, where he received numerous awards of prestigious honor. Marvin is a family man, a mentor to others, a brother, a neighbor, co-worker and friend. For Marvin, he had no choice in his fate. Unlike for many congressmen and senators, he was not given the chance at rehabilitation. There are many different rehabilitation support centers across the globe that address individual need for alcoholism, drug abuse, gambling, addiction, obesity, kleptomaniacs, smoking and hoarders. How is it that America proclaims to be the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave where there is Equality and Justice for All; however there is no justice for Marvin and many others in his situation?”

In addition to the letter, Smith’s parents and sister, Michelle Baker, organized a rally in Alapaha for Smith’s supporters, which was held last month. More than 100 people, which included family, friends and colleagues, assembled at the rally.

Smith’s conviction and sentence is the hardest for his mother, Earnestine.

“We have murderers who don’t get the type of treatment my son has gotten,” Earnestine said. “Because he wanted to fight for his freedom, they made him pay by giving him the maximum sentence, while the other men captured received much less punishment. Now he sits in a maximum security prison with murderers and repeat offenders, while the others are in prisons with less dangerous environments.”

“There were 20 men in the operation, but they chose to pick on my son. My son is a college graduate and a decent man. He is not a criminal.”

Smith’s mother added that he was not the aggressor during the online conversations. She stated that the decoy harassed Smith via phone when he did not show up for a scheduled date and left several messages on Smith’s family phone, with no regard for Smith’s wife.

“Everyone is entitled to fair treatment by the justice system,” Earnestine said. “My son did not receive that treatment.”

Harris County Sheriff’s Account

Harris County Sheriff Mike Jolley continues to support the court’s decision to convict Smith. After learning of Smith’s intent to appeal, the sheriff replied, “I don’t understand why he would. He was found guilty by a jury of his peers. It was a solid case and I feel good about the verdict that was reached.”

Jolley added that Smith received more time than any of the others caught in the sting because he had an additional charge and the nature of his chat logs were more extreme. In addition, Jolley stated that an IP address was used to trace the messages sent to the decoy to a computer in Smith’s residence.

In response to the argument that there were no actual minors in the case, Jolley argued, “That’s why he was charged with attempt to entice a child. If it had been a minor, he would have been charged with enticing a child. However, we would never put a minor in that position.”

Jolley closed by disputing the defense’s claims of entrapment.

“Just like when we use undercover police officers to bust drug dealers, the people used in this operation were decoys,” Jolley said “It’s a common method used in law enforcement and it’s a preferred one.”

What Next?

According to Darden, he and Smith are still in the preliminary stages of the appeal process. While the motion for new trial has been filed, the next step, a hearing, has been delayed while they await a transcript. In the meantime, Darden is gathering additional materials for a strong defense and compiling character witnesses to speak on Smith’s behalf.

The family also continues to share Smith’s story with people in and around their community. Baker stated that the previous rally was an icebreaker to introduce the public to the situation. She and her parents are in the process of organizing a second rally.

Phone and e-mail messages to Dateline NBC regarding Smith’s case were not returned.


FL - Former Police Officer Charged With Soliciting Minor For Sex

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And yet another perverted cop from Florida to be added to the growing list. Florida is so deep in corruption, it comes up to peoples knees. Just go through here, and see how many perverted cops come from Florida and Texas, the "TOUGH ON CRIME" states.

06/11/2008

TAMPA - A former Auburndale police officer was accused by detectives today of meeting a 15-year-old girl online and soliciting her for sex, the Polk County Sheriff's Office said.

Jerad Moxley, 25, of 340 W. Assembly St., Eagle Lake, was charged with solicitation of a minor via the Internet.

Moxley began communicating with the girl Sunday, sheriff's spokeswoman Donna Wood said. When Moxley went online today he began chatting with someone who he thought was the girl but was actually a detective, Wood said.

It is unclear what Web site was used in Moxley's communications with the girl, Wood said.

Moxley was taken to Polk County Jail where he is being held on $75,000 bail.


CT - West Haven Considers Ordinance to Limit Sex Offenders Movements

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Audio is at the end of this article and at the site.

06/10/2008

The proposed ordinance would create new “child safety zones" throughout the city

West Haven City Council held a public hearing last night to discuss the adoption of a new ordinance that would ban registered sex offenders from the town’s public beaches and parks.

The proposed ordinance would create new “child safety zones" throughout the city. Registered s ex offenders would be fined $100 dollars if caught entering the zones. Most residents at Monday night’s public hearing supported the idea. Councilman at large John Coppola.

"Sometimes you have to limit the rights of a few to protect the weak. And that’s what we’re doing. That’s what this ordinance would do, and that’s why I’d really like to see it passed."

But critics warn that the law may be unconstitutional. Michael Hickey spoke out against the idea.

"You can’t hunt these people down and lock them up in their own homes. You’re not doing them justice. If they’ve served their time and they’re registered as a sex offender where they live, they’re abiding by the law. If you keep taking their freedom away from them, who’s gonna be next?"

The ordinance, modeled after similar laws in Danbury and Bristol is still under consideration. Over 400 municipalities nationwide have enacted similar restrictive ordinances.