Friday, August 1, 2008

WY - Woman sex offender avoids prison

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Of course she did! It's because of the double standards in sentencing. If this were a man and a girl, you can bet 100% he would be in prison.


08/01/2008



A woman who had sex with a teenage boy while serving as his case worker at a state mental hospital has avoided prison time.



Monique Joy Crain, 22, of Glenrock, was sentenced Friday in Gillette, where she was arrested after she and the teenager were caught having sex in her car on a remote backstretch.



Under the sentence, Crain will not serve any time behind bars. District Judge Dan R. Price II sentenced her to three to 10 years in prison, then suspended the sentence and placed her on 10 years of probation. Price fined her $1,500 and ordered her to enroll in sex offender therapy.


SOCLEAR - Mother of Juvenile Sex Offender Speaks Out in Interview

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Video is 20 minutes long


IA - Cheap shot smears Fallon, misleads on crime policy

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Politics as usual! Act like kids and stamp your feet to get your way and make others look bad. Politicians are nothing more that evil, self-centered, egotistical, greedy hypocrites. Also, see this article, which is a very good read as well.


05/29/2008



Some Iowa Democrats must be seriously worried about Ed Fallon’s primary challenge to incumbent Congressman Leonard Boswell. Evidence? They have rolled out the cheapest of cheap shots in modern American politics: Fallon is so soft on criminals he even thinks it’s OK for sex offenders to live near schools.



The assertion is made in a direct-mail flier pointing out that Fallon cast the only “no” vote as a member of the Iowa House when the Legislature passed a law banning convicted sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of schools and other facilities serving children.

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The ad has a staged photo of a man in a orange jumpsuit with “prisoner” on the back standing outside a schoolyard filled with kids. “Ed Fallon thought it was more important to cast his vote to make a political statement than to cast a vote that protects our kids from these dangerous predators,” the ad says.



The ad was paid for by a group calling itself “Independent Voices, Red Brannan Chair.” A Boswell campaign spokesman said of the ad, “That’s not ours,” but he said Boswell “stands with the overwhelming majority of the Legislature and the governor in supporting this measure.”



Fallon can say for himself why he voted against the bill, but opposition to the sex-offender residency law does not translate into support for sex offenders living near schools. In fact, leading county prosecutors, other law-enforcement officials and victims’ advocates oppose the law because they say it has made Iowa communities less safe by driving sex offenders underground. These groups have lobbied the Legislature to repeal the law and replace it with something more effective, such as a law preventing offenders from entering schools — something the existing law does not prevent.



The residency restriction is a classic example of feel-good legislation. It was passed when Republicans controlled the Legislature, but they were joined by Democrats terrified of the “soft-on-crime” label. Fear of the label has led to all sorts of bad legislation that does not make Iowans safer. It has, however, filled the prisons to record levels and driven up the cost of the criminal-justice system at the expense of K-12 and higher education.



It is time for lawmakers of both parties to have the courage to admit that the “tough on crime” mind-set has put state and federal government on a path to insanity. But that won’t happen as long as political parties take cheap shots at candidates — even within their own party — with simplistic and unfair campaign attack ads.



The residency restriction is a classic example of feel-good legislation. It was passed when Republicans controlled the Legislature, but they were joined by Democrats terrified of the "soft-on-crime" label. Fear of the label has led to all sorts of bad legislation that does not make Iowans safer. It has, however, filled the prisons to record levels and driven up the cost of the criminal-justice system at the expense of K-12 and higher education.



It is time for lawmakers of both parties to have the courage to admit that the "tough on crime" mind-set has put state and federal government on a path to insanity. But that won't happen as long as political parties take cheap shots at candidates - even within their own party - with simplistic and unfair campaign attack ads.



The Fallon attack ad was paid for by a group calling itself "Independent Voices, Red Brannan Chair." A Boswell campaign spokesman said of the ad, "That's not ours." Does that mean Boswell supports such tactics? If not, he should say so.


WI - Congress cuts off college aid for sex offenders

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See this from eAdvocate which explains more



Doesn't surprise me at all. Next they will be cutting out their right to breath air, because of Global warming BS!


08/01/2008





MADISON (AP) - Some of the nation's worst sex offenders will no longer receive federal financial aid for college while they're confined in treatment centers under a bill approved by Congress.



A little-noticed provision approved by the House and Senate yesterday makes those offenders ineligible for Pell Grants starting July 1, 2009. President Bush is expected to sign it into law as part of a broader higher education bill.



The Associated Press reported in March that dozens of rapists and child molesters, including some in Wisconsin, have taken classes at taxpayer expense while confined by the courts to treatment centers. Critics say they are exploiting a loophole to receive Pell Grants, which are meant for low-income students.



Congressman Ric Keller of Florida says "the most insane wasteful spending program in America has come to an end."



But critics say the plan will cut off the possibility of higher education to offenders who are trying to rehabilitate themselves.


WA - Gregoire launches second ad

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It's campaign time, bust out the children and sex offender issues!  Politics as usual!


08/01/2008



Governor Chris Gregoire's (Contact) campaign is airing its second round of campaign ads beginning today. The new ad, called "Our Children", highlights the Gregoire administration's accomplishments on signing legislation to help children.



The spot begins with footage from Gregoire family home movies as she mentions her own experience raising children.



"As a mother," she narrates, "I've always worried about my kids. As governor, I've done some worrying about your kids, too."



Gregoire then goes on to describe progress on children's health care, strict sex offender laws, early childhood education, and toy safety. See the ad below.




Remarks Prepared for Delivery by Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey at the American Legislative Exchange Council Annual Meeting

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This man claims below that it is his duty to uphold the constitution, which it is, but he skirts it every chance he can get, just watch the news.



08/01/2008





CHICAGO - Following are the remarks prepared for delivery by Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey (Contact):



Good afternoon. It's a pleasure to be with you here today. As legislative and business leaders from around the country, you are close to the people we all serve. And meetings such as this one, and organizations such as the American Legislative Exchange Council, help us gather and share the collective wisdom we need to serve this nation.



My job as Attorney General is to lead the Department of Justice in enforcing the Constitution and laws enacted under it, with the expectation that doing that will achieve justice. But we are certainly and by far not the only ones charged with the task of enforcing the laws -- there are fewer than 25,000 federal law enforcement officers in the Department, compared to some 800,000 officers at the state and local level.

- So why do you not uphold this constitution, and skirt it every day, which is clearly seen on the news?



Also, the Department is charged only with the enforcement of federal laws. Although there are many such laws, the number does not come close to the number of state and local laws enacted by people like your members. So, if we are to succeed in protecting the American people and preserving their rights, it is essential that the Department of Justice work closely with our counterparts at the state and local level. We have to be partners not just in arresting criminals and bringing them to justice, but also in developing the strategies that build strong and healthy communities.

- And that means preserving the rights of ALL Americans, which you are clearly not doing, and I am referring to sex offenders.  But there is many others who's rights you eradicate every day.



This philosophy is consistent with the design of our Constitution. In Federalist number 45, James Madison wrote, and I quote: "The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite." And although the powers and responsibilities of the Federal government certainly have increased since Madison wrote these words, his central point remains valid. Not every problem in America has a federal solution.



Quite often, it is state and local leaders and state and local governments who have the best sense of which strategies work and which do not. There are very few one-size-fits-all solutions out there. Often, the best strategies for one place are specific to that place, and draw on the local knowledge and culture that only people living there can provide. This is a key element of our partnership -- the Department learning from the state and local experts, from the people who wear the boots on the ground.



In order to take advantage of that expertise, we have used a task-force approach to address specific threats, such as gang violence, drugs, identity theft, human trafficking and online child exploitation. Task forces allow us to work with local authorities to identify the exact nature of the challenges they are facing, and the best means to overcome those challenges. And they let us target resources where they are needed the most and where they show the most promise. Through close coordination, we also avoid needless duplication and free up resources to help other states and local communities.

- So with the war on gangs, war on drugs, war on identity theft and others, how long do you plan on carry out these never-ending wars?  The war on drugs has been going on now for how long?  And it will continue until the end of time.  So it appears you are wasting money, and not even making a dent in anything, IMO!



The task force approach has the added benefit of bringing together, as true partners, a broad range of local police and sheriffs, federal agents, educators, business leaders, faith-based and community organizations, and state and local officials. As partners, we can look at what has worked around the country and develop successful strategies for tackling these complex issues. It is a goal that I know is shared by ALEC members.

- So when are you going to look at the sex offender laws sweeping this country, which are not, and will not work?  Or are you just talking for the sake of talking?



One example of the success of this approach is our fight against human trafficking. In November 2004, the Justice Department began organizing and funding anti-trafficking task forces across the country. In 39 cities, these task forces, each led by the local U.S. Attorney, have brought together federal, state, and local law enforcement officers and prosecutors, as well as social services agencies and advocates, to find and rescue victims and to prosecute offenders.



The Department has also hosted large training conferences and smaller, issue-specific sessions. These training programs are a two-way street. Our Civil Rights Division shares the latest intelligence from the federal perspective, but we also learn about what has worked and what hasn't worked on the local level. The goal is to improve the level of knowledge, communication, and collaboration of all participants. In this way, we've trained 75,000 people to help in the fight against human trafficking. That's a sizeable force to help us in this struggle.

- Well you need to re-examine the sex offender laws, which are not, and will not work.  They were working a lot better, several years ago, before the whole online registry and public shaming, along with the residency restrictions came about.  They were working, but you broke them.  So when are you going to fix the mess?  Again, I think this is just all PR and nothing more.  And it sounds like the Gestapo force if growing, and pretty soon, they will be in a street near you, busting down your doors, and possibly worse.



In addition to this training, the FBI, in partnership with our Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, also known as NCMEC, leads the Innocence Lost National Initiative to address the growing problem of children exploited in prostitution. This Initiative uses task forces in targeted cities across the country to identify victims, provide needed services, and prosecute offenders. State and local law enforcement, as well as local community organizations, are key partners in these task forces, whose work has resulted in the rescue of 400 children and more than 300 convictions.

- So where is the proof to back up this "400 children and more than 300 convictions?"  And in what time frame?  Politicians are very good and throwing around numbers, without backing them up!



We are also working with states on the legislative front. Following an approach that has worked so well for ALEC, the Department drafted a model statute for states to consider in furthering their own anti-trafficking efforts. In the spring of 2005, we sent letters to leaders in all 50 states and in the U.S. territories urging them to address this terrible crime and providing the model as a guide. And thanks to the efforts of many of you, at last count 33 states had adopted anti-trafficking laws.



We can all take pride in that kind of success, which gives us a foundation upon which to build. Although the federal government has tremendous authority, we are well aware of the power that rests in the statehouses and town halls. We are proud of the federal convictions these task forces have won, but they are a drop in the bucket compared to what we can achieve with tough laws on the books in every state.

- It depends on what you call success?  I don't think the torture of millions of people, a success story! You mention the "tremendous authority," and "what we can achieve with tough laws!"  I don't like the sound of that, sounds like a World Government mentality, something Hitler envisioned as well.



The successes that have resulted from this sort of cooperation among federal, state and local governments is one reason we oppose certain provisions of a trafficking bill that's now pending in Congress. The bill would shift the balance by essentially federalizing the prosecution of prostitution, under the guise of calling it sex trafficking. Although prostitution is -- and should be -- a crime, we believe that state and local authorities are in the best position to fight it. And we are not alone in that belief. We are supported in opposing the bill by the National Association of Attorneys General, the National District Attorneys Association, the Fraternal Order of Police, and many other organizations.



Beyond the fight against human trafficking, the benefits of federal, state and local cooperation can be seen in two other programs targeting specific types of crime: Project Safe Childhood, which fights the technology-assisted sexual exploitation of children, and Project Safe Neighborhoods, aimed at reducing gun crime.



Project Safe Childhood brings together federal agents with state and local police and non-profit organizations like NCMEC to take on some of the most troubling crimes imaginable. In the same way human traffickers hide in the shadows of society, these predators use the dark corners of the Internet to pursue their sick fantasies. And just as with human trafficking, if we are to stop them it will take all of us working together, with tough laws and committed enforcement.



We've set up 59 Internet Crimes Against Children task forces around the country to lead the effort. These task forces now have a presence in every state, from Alaska to Florida, to go after people who use the Internet to sexually exploit and to prey upon children. We've held training sessions for hundreds of state and local law enforcement officers. And we've launched public awareness campaigns to educate our kids, to help them make good decisions, and keep them from becoming victims.



Likewise, Project Safe Neighborhoods builds upon existing local programs that target gun crime and gang violence, and gives them additional ways to succeed. The numbers tell part, but by no means all, of the story. From 2001 through the end of fiscal year 2007, the Department filed more than 68,000 firearms cases against 83,000 defendants - about 12,000 of them last year alone. The conviction rate for those defendants last year was a record 92 percent, with nearly 75 percent sentenced to more than three years in prison.

- So why are these staggering amount of gun offenders not on a registry and living with restrictions similar to the sex offender laws?  And are these violent crimes, or just people owning a gun, which they have a right to do so, under the constitution?  You do not make it clear what these people did!  And what about all other criminals, like murderers, gang members, drug dealers/users, DUI offenders, etc?



Those are substantial numbers, but this is not a case of the feds sweeping into town and taking over. Under Project Safe Neighborhoods, the U.S. Attorney in each of the 94 federal judicial districts works with local officials to tailor a strategy to address gun crime problems in that district. Each district engages in prevention efforts through community outreach and media campaigns, and ensures that law enforcement and prosecutors have the training necessary to make the program work. And criminals who use guns are prosecuted under federal, state, or local laws, depending on which can provide the most appropriate punishment.

- The wording about, is making is sound like all gun owners are criminals.  To me anyway!



That last point is a crucial one. When it comes time to prosecute, the Department of Justice is committed to working collaboratively to do whatever will have the greatest effect. If that means we bring federal charges because the case is stronger in federal court or the sentences are tougher, the case should be a federal one. If state law works out better, the case should be handled by the state. I am not interested in who gets the credit, or whose statistics count the case. I'm interested in doing what needs to be done to reduce crime in this country. If we succeed, there will be more than enough credit to go around.



That brings me to one final example of successful partnership between the Justice Department and state and local officials: our efforts to preserve ballot access and voting integrity.



Elections, and the vote upon which they depend, are the bedrock of democracy. They are the principal way the people of this country hold our government leaders to account, and exercise our collective will. But we can do that successfully only if all of those entitled to vote are able to do so, and if all those votes are counted equally. And we can have confidence that the outcome of an election represents our will only if we have confidence in the process that produces that outcome.



I don't mean to suggest that fair and free elections are the province and responsibility only of the federal government. Far from it. The actual administration of elections, of course, is handled by state governments, largely based on rules written by state legislatures. Just as we work in partnership with you and local law enforcement in fighting crime, however, we must work closely with you to best provide for smooth elections.



In case you hadn't heard, some of those elections will be happening later this year. One of my highest priorities over the next few months is to do what we can to help state and local governments -- to help you -- so that those elections run as smoothly as possible, and so that the American people have confidence that these elections are run smoothly.



We will do that using the tools that Congress has given us, including laws such as the Voting Rights Act that guarantee access to the ballot for all Americans, and laws, such as those prohibiting voting fraud and campaign finance abuse, that safeguard the integrity of the ballot. And we will do it by working closely with civil rights groups and with state and local elections officials to identify and solve any problems in a timely and appropriate fashion.



The point is that none of us can do what we are supposed to do -- work effectively on behalf of the American people -- by working alone. We will continue to use the task forces that have worked so well, and to expand them where we can and as need suggests. We will continue to provide funding through programs like the Violent Crime Reduction Partnership, through which we will send another $200 million to the states to fight crime according to your needs and priorities, not ours. And we will continue to give flexibility to our U.S. Attorneys and law enforcement field offices to work with their local partners -- whether in Texarkana or Tampa, Boise or Bangor -- and to develop the solutions that can best get the job done.



As legislators and business leaders, I know that you spend a lot of your day listening -- to other community leaders, to police, to educators, and simply to citizens. You hear their concerns, and you know that often they are your best source for solutions. At the Department of Justice, we operate the same way. We look to you, and to mayors, police chiefs, sheriffs and others to tell us your concerns, and to help us identify solutions that we can implement together.



I thank you for being a part of that effort, and for your hard work more generally on behalf of the American people. I look forward to all that we can continue to accomplish together.



Thank you.



SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice (http://www.USDOJ.gov)



Copyright (C) 2008 PR Newswire. All rights reserved


CO - Convicted Child Molestor Attempts Courtroom Suicide

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08/01/2008



CASS -- There was some unexpected courtroom drama in Cass County Thursday when a verdict was read.



54-year-old John Clyde Tighe of Pokagon Township was convicted on multiple counts for repeatedly sexually molesting a young girl from 2001 to 2006. Upon hearing the verdict he immediately began popping pills--lots of them, in an attempt to take his own life.



Authorities seized the pills, but then he pulled more out of his pants and began swallowing those. It was then that they removed him from the courtroom and took him to the hospital for treatment.



Tighe was previously convicted of felony child molestation in 1987, and a third victim from 1982 came forward, all of them family relatives. As a result, he faces life in prison as a career criminal and sex offender.


IA - Not all sex offenders are alike

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08/01/2008



After evacuating his flooded home, a registered sex offender in Cedar Rapids was arrested for failing to notify authorities of his temporary residence.



This sort of strict monitoring is surely a beneficial process in many situations. It is equally clear that such restrictions would have a very adverse effect on the lives of their subjects - a result that is very often necessary. But given the huge array of crimes (some of them far worse than others) that require registration as a sex offender, it seems that these rules and regulations ought to be applied on a subjective basis.



In 2006, the New York Times ran a story detailing some of the less-desirable results of Iowa's policies concerning sex offenders. It referred to a law prohibiting sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a school or daycare center, which inevitably prompted the offenders to concentrate their numbers in those areas in which they are still welcome. The Ced-Rel Motel in Cedar Rapids, for example, became the temporary residence of more than 25 sex offenders. Many more were forced to sleep in their vehicles to live within a reasonable distance of their work. The propriety of these restrictions, however, must be assessed on a case-by-case basis. Indeed, while some of these men may be truly violent offenders, others may be guilty of far less-serious crimes. To be sure, the crimes that require one's registration as a sex offender vary significantly in their severity. So, if for no other reason than to distinguish the most dangerous offenders, it is imperative that sex offenders are categorized according to the violent or perverse nature of their crimes. After all, to treat these offenders as homogeneous group is to ignore the subjective threats they pose as individuals.



According to Human Rights Watch, an organization that monitors and promotes equality and human rights, sex offender laws are often ineffective and can even make matters worse:



"Because registration requirements are overbroad in scope and overlong in duration, there are more than 600,000 registered sex offenders in the U.S., including individuals convicted of nonviolent crimes such as consensual sex between teenagers, prostitution, and public urination, as well as those who committed their only offenses decades ago."



These comments are complemented by a number of studies that indicate that many sex offenders - especially minors - are likely to move past (or simply outgrow) their behavior. Of course, there are also a number of offenders who are chronically violent - prone to continue offending for much of their adult lives. This only reinforces the need for individualized treatment, as conformed treatment prevents the most dangerous offenders from being distinguished.



Many have been calling for individualized punishment and treatment of sex offenders since the program's beginning. It is clear that the standard treatment being given to Iowa sex offenders is not effective in disclosing the specific threats imposed by these individuals. As such, it is essential that these offenders are categorized according to the severity of their crimes. Because, while all such offenders may be deserving of some punishment, it is most important that we distinguish those who are at all likely to commit heinous acts in the future.