Thursday, September 18, 2008

FL - Mark Foley Unlikely to be Charged in Page Scandal

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FOX News Article

Of course he's not. He is one of the "good ole' boys!" And we have a corrupt injustice system with two sets of laws, one for the "good ole' boys," and another for the rest of society! He committed a sex crime, the same as the "To Catch a Predator" folks, and they get thrown in prison, while he gets let go. Why is that?  It's the same BS with all these other republicans getting let go with nothing, or a slap on the wrist!

09/18/2008

The former Florida congressman resigned in 2006 when graphic e-mails and IMs became public.

Two federal officials have told The Associated Press that no charges are expected against former Congressman Mark Foley after a lengthy investigation into his lurid computer messages to underage pages.
- Lengthy investigation!  Yeah right!  They swept it under the rug and moved on.  Again, what he did was the same as the TCAP people who get arrested and thrown into prison, so why is this JERK any different?

They also told AP results of the state investigation will be announced Friday. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the case.

The Palm Beach County Republican resigned in 2006 after being confronted with graphic e-mails and instant messages he sent to male teenage pages. He has since been under investigation by the state and the FBI.

Foley's attorney, David Roth, has acknowledged that Foley sent the messages to the teens, but has maintained Foley never had inappropriate contact with minors.
- It doesn't matter if he had inappropriate contact with the minors.  Neither does many of the "To Catch a Predator" people either.  And they get thrown into prison for many years.  So you see, Mark Foley is a "good ole' boy" and laws do not apply to them!


IN - Bus stop controversy

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09/18/2008

MONROEVILLE (WANE) - Parents tell Newschannel 15 they're not comfortable with who lives in front of their children's Monroeville bus stop, but the school district says there's nothing to worry about.

The person in question is on the state's sex and violent offender registry. While that can sound alarming, there's more to this story.

"We all feel that that stop should be moved," says a concerned mom who wished to remain anonymous. She wasn't happy with what her neighbors found online.

"One of the neighbors brought over a sheet that she had printed off, showing his name and that he was on the sex offender registry," she said.

There are no official signs, but the official bus stop for kids living in the area of Ohio and Barnhart is just a few steps away from the house in question.

The man in question lives there, and is on the registry for a crime that dates back more than 10 years. What the registry fails to make clear is the nature of his charges, so Newschannel 15 went looking for answers.
- Of course, they put everyone on the registry, and doesn't show enough info, so everyone thinks all sex offender have harmed children, and you can see, below, his crime had NOTHING to do with children!

His mother was home when we went there. We asked the details of his conviction.

"It was a domestic thing between him and his wife. It had nothing to do with children whatsoever," the mother said.

The sex offender had spent a year in jail for the charges, but will spend the rest of his life on the registry... a registry that can leave confusion.

"There are a lot of different ways you can get on the registry. Every offender is different," said Corporal Jeff Shimkus of the Allen County Sheriff's Department. He says convictions of Criminal Confinement to murder can make the list... none of which are sexual.
- So if every offender is different, which they are, why do they lump all on the same registry and treat them all the same, as if they are some child molester who has killed some child?

Still, a Monroeville mother is concerned.

"It's quite scary, not only for my own son, but for the neighborhood's children who get off there everyday," she said.
- Why?  It had nothing to do with children?  What about all the drug dealers, DUI offenders or gang members around the bus stop?

In a statement to Newschannel 15, the school district says, quote, "After discussion and review with local law enforcement, East Allen County Schools does not see a necessity to move the bus stop at this time."

Again, the sex offender's charges have nothing to do with children whatsoever. Police say where he lives now does not violate the rules of the registry, and the school district feels it is perfectly safe for children to get on and off the bus in front of this house.


TX - Questions Asked About Security Breach at Austin Ike Shelter

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09/18/2008

The agency running the shelters for Hurricane Ike evacuees in Austin is answering tough questions after a security breach that allowed a sex offender inside.

CBS 42 and keyetv.com reported exclusively Wednesday that police arrested John Malak, a registered sex offender from Bastrop County, at the Delco Activity Center.

Police say he used his girlfriend’s southeast Texas address to get into the shelter.

Malak was convicted of sexually assaulting a child in 1999. He violated probation when he left Bastrop County and checked himself into a shelter filled with children.

A representative of the American Red Cross of Central Texas said there is a question on the evacuee registration form which asks if he or she is a registered sex offender.

But CBS 42's Annalisa Petralia found one of the forms and it has no question concerning sex offenders. She discovered the Red Cross in Austin was using an old form without the question.

Worth Haggerton with the Red Cross said Thursday security should have been provided by law enforcement. He says law enforcement is supposed to give them the information about sex offenders.

But a spokesman from the Texas Attorney General's Office says it needs the evacuees' names to check their status.

The Red Cross responses it is not legally allowed to release those names due to privacy reasons.

Travis County officials confirm two registered sex offenders who evacuated the Gulf Coast did come forward about their sex offender status. They stayed at the Travis County's Del Valle Correctional Facility. They have since left Austin.

Copyright 2008, Four Points Media Group LLC. All Rights Reserved.


TX - Former Guard Charged In Alleged Jail Sex Incident

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09/18/2008

Former Coryell County jail guard Lindsey Ann Russell, 30, is charged with a state jail felony in connection with an alleged incident involving improper sexual activity with an inmate.

Coryell County sheriff’s deputies arrested Russell Thursday on a warrant charging violation of civil rights of a person in custody.

The warrant stems from an internal investigation that started near the end of August when Coryell County Sheriff Johnny Burks said he first learned of the allegations of improper conduct involving a jailer and an inmate.

Russell was fired on Sept. 11.

She had been employed as a jailer since July.
- Wow, two months on the job before she is fired!

Thursday evening Russell remained in the Coryell County Jail in lieu of $5,000 bond.



Press Release From The Coryell County Sheriff’s Office: (Link)

09/18/2008

RE: Violation of Civil Rights of a Person in Custody; Improper Sexual Activity With Person in Custody.

Today, September 18, 2008 a former Coryell County Jailer was arrested by Deputies from the Coryell County Sheriff’s Office on the charge of Violation of Civil Rights of a Person in Custody. The charge is the culmination of an internal investigation conducted by the Coryell County Sheriff’s Office into allegations of improper conduct involving a county jailer and an inmate in custody in the County Jail.

Sheriff Burks said that he first learned of the allegation near the end of August 2008 and immediately ordered an internal investigation be conducted.

On September 11, 2008 the County Jailer that the allegations were against, Lindsey Ann Russell (30 years of age) was called in and terminated from employment with the Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Burks said that this was done administratively because there was enough there for an administrative dismissal from employment. The criminal investigation continued and culminated today in a warrant being issued and Lindsey Russell being arrested and placed into jail.

Russell had been employed as a jailer since July 2008.

At the time of this release Russell was in the Coryell County Jail and a bond had been set at $5,000.00.

The charge is a State Jail Felony with a punishment of not less than 180 days or more than 2 years confinement in a State Jail Facility if convicted. Also a fine can be imposed of not more than $10,000.00.


STOP The Protect Our Childrens Act (S-1738) from becoming law! WHY? The SOCIETAL PROBLEM needs to be solved..

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OH - Sex offender attacks new law - His partial win in Franklin County on registration rules faces likely appeal

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09/10/2008

A man convicted of rape seven years ago won a partial victory yesterday in a Franklin County lawsuit challenging a new state law that retroactively imposed stricter registration requirements for sex offenders.

Rubin T. Toles must register his address with the sheriff more frequently and for the rest of his life, but many other requirements contained in the law are unconstitutional in his case, Common Pleas Judge Charles A. Schneider ruled.

Toles' lawsuit is among numerous challenges that have been filed across the state since Ohio adopted the Adam Walsh Act late last year, but it's the first to be ruled on in Franklin County. In May, a Cuyahoga County judge found the retroactive aspects of the law to be unconstitutional in the case of a man convicted of sexual battery in 2003.

"I anticipate that one or both of the parties in the case will appeal," Schneider said. "It won't rest until the Court of Appeals and ultimately the Supreme Court rules on this decision. So, I encourage them to appeal. Only the Supreme Court can render the ultimate decision."

Toles pleaded guilty in 2001 to the rape of a 12-year-old girl. The court classified him as a sexually oriented offender and determined that he was not a sexual predator. Under state law at the time, Megan's Law, he was required to register annually for 10 years when he was released.

Under the Adam Walsh Act, which took effect Jan. 1 in Ohio, Toles was reclassified as a Tier III offender, requiring him to register quarterly for the rest of his life. He also became subject to community notification, under which the sheriff is required to notify his neighbors and others in the community of his residence.

Schneider ruled that Toles, 38, is not subject to community notification because a hearing at the time of his conviction determined he was not a sexual predator.

The judge also ruled that much of the information required on the registration form under the new law posed an unreasonable burden in Toles' case, such as license-plate numbers of vehicles available to him, where those vehicles are usually kept, telephone numbers he uses, and "any other information required by (the state Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation) without limitation."

"How does anyone know what telephone numbers he might use?" Schneider wrote. "Most troubling is the open invitation to BCI to add additional requirements without limitation."

However, the change in frequency and duration of registration was not punitive or burdensome enough to violate the state's retroactivity clause, the judge ruled.
- This is BS!  It's punitive, period!

Paul Skendelas, who served as Toles' public defender, expects the ruling to be appealed.

Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien could not be reached for comment.

Although Schneider's ruling applies only to Toles, Skendelas expects it to be "persuasive" when other Franklin County judges consider similar cases.

The county public defender's office is handling more than 500 challenges to the law, he said.

Nearly 1,000 such cases had been filed in Cuyahoga County when the ruling was issued there in May, The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer reported.

Amy Borror, a spokeswoman for the Ohio Public Defender, said that "26,000 people were reclassified under the new law. Nobody has a good number for how many have filed challenges, but it's in the thousands."

jfutty@dispatch.com
jandes@dispatch.com


SC - Aiken County considers sex offender regulations

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09/18/2008

AIKEN -- County Council is seeking to regulate where certain sexual offenders can loiter and work, but not where they live.

The new ordinance noticeably lacks any provisions that would regulate where sex offenders can live because a state law passed in June already includes that stipulation. But the law only applies to offenders who have been convicted of first- or second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor, assault with intent to commit criminal sexual conduct with a minor or kidnapping a person under 18 years of age.

Last month, County Attorney Jim Holly advised Council's Judicial and Public Safety Committee it should not attempt to regulate residence as the state law prohibits local law from being more stringent or more lenient.

Instead, the County's ordinance would make it unlawful for offenders to be employed by or loiter within 1,000 feet of any child care facility, school, church, children's recreational facilities, playground or park.

Holly does not believe regulating where an offender can work or loiter makes the County ordinance more stringent than state law.

"In my opinion, it would not because it deals with a different subject," Holly said.

As it stands now, the ordinance also only applies to those who have been convicted of certain offenses against minors.

However, people are required to register as sex offenders for crimes other than those committed against minors, a fact which hasn't escaped Councilwoman LaWana McKenzie.

"Minors are one group, but sometimes that's not who sex offenders are going after," she has said.

Holly said that is certainly an issue that may be discussed when Council meets on Oct. 21.

-- The Aiken Standard, McClatchy-Tribune Regional News


NY - Second trailer at jail

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09/18/2008

County expands facilities for homeless sex offenders

By Michael White

The homeless sex offender population on the grounds of the Suffolk County jail is on the rise.

The News-Review has learned that the county's Department of Social Services has replaced its controversial eight-person trailer that houses homeless sex offenders in Riverside with a new, larger trailer that can accommodate more people.

According to the state's sex offender registry, which posts the names, addresses and photos of people convicted of sex crimes, 15 offenders currently list the Riverside trailer as their address.

Of that number, 13 are Level 3 offenders -- considered the most likely to commit another sex crime -- and two are listed as Level 2. Nine were convicted of victimizing children.

The new $50,000 facility was placed at the jail's property last Thursday, county officials confirmed. Like the original one, it is not outfitted with a shower or kitchen.

After learning of the new trailer, County Legislator Ed Romaine sent a letter to the county's social services boss, Janet DeMarzo, demanding answers to questions "that remain unanswered to this day" about the program.

"Where do they shower? Where do they get their food? Where do they go on the weekends?" Mr. Romaine wrote. In an interview Tuesday, he answered his own questions. "They're walking the streets. They're hanging out," he said.

He said he was also annoyed he was never informed that the new trailer had arrived at the jail site.

Backed by County Executive Steve Levy, the Department of Social Services decided to locate a trailer by the Riverside jail in early 2007.

The decision caused an uproar among local residents, who showed up in two busloads for a session of the County Legislature to argue the move would put their children at risk. After saying that it was only a temporary solution, county officials announced months later that the trailer would be permanently located in Riverside -- just walking distance from downtown Riverhead, several schools and a library.

"There's been a lot of legislation, very local legislation, that prevents people from living in a lot of places," said social services spokesman Roland Hampson. "The bigger trailer does serve in the event that, if this population increases, we're able to accommodate those people in secure houses. It's configured to house about 20 people, though we believe we could fit more in there very comfortably."

Mr, Hampson said that in the last six months the population has fluctuated from between one and 18 people, at times forcing social services to use an overflow trailer in Westhampton, which is still at the ready if needed.

"This has been a very successful program that's been in place for about a year and half," Mr. Hampson said. "It allows us to fulfill our obligations to the state to house the homeless, and it's been an ideal solution to keeping homeless sex offenders out of neighborhoods."

Under the program, people who sign on to sleep at the trailer are transported to an industrial site in western Suffolk on weekends "to shower and get cleaned up" or go home to their families or friends, "if they'll have them," Mr. Hampson said.
- Why even mention this?  Are you suggesting something?

On weekdays they are transported either to a site where they can catch a ride to work, their original neighborhood's social services offices or wherever else they need to be according to the terms of their probation or parole.

They are not permitted to stay in the trailer during the day, or leave at night, he said.

"Since we started, there have been one or two that violated their agreement, and the sheriff's office had to come and speak with them," Mr. Hampson said. "The sheriff's department will not allow for people roaming the property."

He said the county scrapped the idea of a rotating location, "once we had the jail facility, with them behind barbed wire. It's a secure facility with 24-hour police presence."

Riverhead Supervisor Phil Cardinale said his position remains that the trailers should be rotated around the county.

"But I'm curious as to how many, more or less, are living there on a permanent basis," Mr. Cardinale said.

In Mr. Romaine's letter, he wrote that he was especially concerned that a private security firm -- not police officers or deputy sheriffs -- had been hired to keep an eye on the trailer's occupants and about reports that there was at times no overnight security.

"I am outraged that the county has allowed this type of situation to pose a threat to the Riverhead and Riverside communities," he said, citing the 15 offenders who currently call the trailers home. "I am willing to work with the town boards of both Southampton and Riverhead to see what we can do to protect our children, our families and our communities, because right now I'm not convinced that the county is doing all they can to protect us from the sex offenders they have put in our midst."

Acknowledging some of Mr. Romaine's concerns, Mr. Hampson said additional manpower is being added by social services to keep watch on the trailers. But he also said that it is "simply not true" that there is no oversight at night.

"We have not had one incident where we have had any safety issues," Mr. Hampson said. "At this point it's been 100 percent successful and safe. And it ensures that homeless sex offenders do not congregate in one community; they go back to the communities from where they came.

"We understand why Legislator Romaine is concerned. It's his district. But this is a secure location," he continued. "We've hired an additional security person now that there might be more sex offenders in one location, and nobody comes or goes without the OK of the deputies.

"They can't leave."
- So it's prison outside of prison!

mwhite@timesreview.com


MA - I Spent 16 Years in Jail for a Crime I Didn't Commit

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09/17/2008

By Jeffrey Deskovic

I was wrongfully convicted in 1990 of a murder and rape in Peekskill, N.Y. DNA taken from semen found in the victim did not match my DNA. But misconduct at every stage of the criminal justice system led me to spend 16 years of my life in prison. That misconduct included a coerced, false confession when I was 16, extracted after many days of interrogation overseen by current Peekskill Police Chief Eugene Tumolo and others, as well as the falsification of other evidence.

Most people think that only a guilty person would confess to a crime. But I can tell you that scare tactics, threats of violence, food deprivation, being lied to regarding lie detector results and being told that you can go home if you cooperate have produced many false confessions. Of the 218 exonerations based on DNA testing, false confessions led to 25 percent of the original convictions.

"Maybe you are innocent," Judge Nicholas Colabella said just before giving me a 15-years-to-life sentence. Former District Attorney Jeanine Pirro successfully opposed all of my appeals and even blocked several attempts to get more DNA testing. My fortune turned in 2006, when The Innocence Project took my case. With the cooperation of District Attorney Janet DiFiore, further DNA testing proved who the real perpetrator was. On Nov. 2, 2006, all charges were dismissed and I was publicly acknowledged as innocent. I received some apologies, but none were from those who played a role in wrongfully convicting me.

Readjusting to being free, dealing with the effects of my ordeal, learning new technology, trying to rebuild relationships with my family and experiencing financial pressure have all been hard. I was released with nothing. The litigation I am pursuing will take two to seven years, with the state attempting to avoid giving me anything.

But I am not angry. Instead, I channel my energy into raising awareness about the problem of wrongful convictions, and the danger that the death penalty poses in executing innocent people. I give presentations about wrongful convictions at colleges, high schools, churches and organizations throughout New York and other states. This is my main means of income, but I never know when the next chance to give a presentation will be. I also publish an article each week in the Westchester Guardian. I give television, radio and newspaper interviews, willingly sacrificing privacy in exchange for raising awareness about the problem of wrongful convictions and the need to enact legislative reforms to prevent them. I have testified at several legislative hearings, and I lobby lawmakers to enact reforms to protect the innocent and make the system more reliable. As an additional tool for encouraging lawmakers to enact changes, I collect signatures for an online petition on my Web site, www.JeffreyDeskovicSpeaks.org.

Nationwide, to date, there have been 218 wrongful convictions proven through DNA, and many additional exonerations achieved by other means, including the discovery of new evidence, materials purposely withheld from the defense, and the recantation of eyewitness identifications. During the time I spent wrongfully incarcerated -- 16 years -- I immersed myself in wrongful conviction literature. Now that I'm free, I continue to study the subject, so I'm aware of the causes of wrongful convictions, well beyond what happened in my case. Here are the reforms that are needed in order to produce a more accurate justice system. If you agree with these changes, please sign the petition on my Web site and encourage others to do so as well. Also, call your local representatives and ask them to institute them.

False Confessions

False confessions have accounted for 25 percent of the 218 DNA exonerations.

All interrogations should be videotaped, from beginning to end. This would prevent police from concealing abusive tactics they may have used from their testimony. It would allow a complete and accurate record of who said what, when, and in what context. It would also protect honest police officers from false allegations of coercion. The use of polygraph tests, lying to suspects by claiming to have evidence of their guilt, and prolonged interrogations over many hours should be outlawed. All of these tactics have been linked to false confessions. Studies have revealed that such tactics convey to suspects that, no matter what, they will be arrested for something they did not do; it's just a matter of whether they will make it worse on themselves by maintaining their innocence. It is especially critical that interrogations of the mentally ill or the mentally retarded only take place with a lawyer present, because mentally ill and mentally retarded people often try to compensate for their mental deficiencies by being compliant in the face of authority.

Confession testimony is devastating to defendants, resulting in a conviction 80 percent of the time. Before evidence obtained through a confession is allowed at trial, a pretrial hearing on the confession itself should be conducted, akin to a Wade hearing in which the accuracy of an eyewitness identification is reviewed. Existing pretrial procedures, which are only aimed at determining whether a confession is given willingly by a suspect, are not enough.

Eyewitness Identification

Witness misidentification has been the cause of wrongful convictions in 75 percent of the 218 DNA exonerations.

Sequential lineups and sequential photo arrays should be used, in which a victim is shown one suspect at a time, rather than viewing everybody at once. Suspects included in a photo array or lineup should resemble each other so that no one sticks out.

The victim should be told that the perpetrator may not be present, to prevent victims from having undue confidence that the perpetrator is there, thus leading to a misidentification. Victims should be told that the investigation will continue if they don't make an identification so that they don't feel pressured into making an ID.

The officers conducting the lineup should themselves remain unaware of the identity of the suspect, to prevent them from giving inadvertent cues or clues.

Confidence statements, in which a victim states on a scale of 1 to 10 how confident they are about their identification, should be taken, to give courts and juries further insight.

The lineup or photo array should be recorded, to ensure its integrity.

Incentivized Witnessing

Incentivized witnessing -- in which a witness is rewarded for testifying, be it with a lesser prison sentence, dropped charges or financial compensation -- has been the cause of wrongful convictions in 15 percent of the 218 DNA exonerations. The practice of incentivized witnessing should be ended; those who have evidence should come forward on a moral basis, not because they stand to benefit. When desperate prisoners have been caught red-handed committing a crime and they have no truthful information to trade on, they falsely implicate others.

Reform Pertaining to Evidence

Currently, there is no standardized system for ensuring that evidence is preserved and available for inspection and testing. Often the first obstacle for a wrongfully convicted person is determining whether the evidence can be located and whether it has been destroyed. If it has, an innocent person can remain incarcerated with no way to prove his or her innocence.

It should be a crime when police and prosecutors purposely withhold evidence. History shows that with no personal penalty, morality alone is not enough to restrain some rogue police officers and prosecutors.

Public Defenders

Without quality attorneys, innocent defendants will continue to be wrongfully convicted, and cases will not have just and fair outcomes.

In every state, there should be one standardized system of defense for the poor, as advocated in "The State of Indigent Defense in New York," a report prepared by the Spangenberg Group for New York Court of Appeals Chief Justice Judith Kaye. A centralized system would impose more quality control, allowing for more internal oversight and accountability.

Public defenders who have shown a substandard performance defending indigent defendants should no longer be employed by the state to do so. Allowing unqualified public defenders to continue sets the stage for future inadequate performances and possible wrongful convictions.

The defense and the prosecution should have an equal and adequate budget to hire experts and other necessary personnel to assist in the preparation of cases. As it is, defense attorneys have an extremely limited budget, far less than prosecutors' huge budgets. On such an unequal playing field, no confidence can be placed on the outcome of court proceedings or verdicts. Furthermore, public defenders should have the same size staff as the district attorneys to ensure that they are not overwhelmed by sheer manpower.

There should be a limit to the number of cases a public defender is allowed to take on at one time. In the Bronx, for example, it is not unusual for a public defender to have 140 cases at the same time. Overburdening a public defender prevents him or her from giving each case the time, preparation and investigation it deserves.

Public defenders should be given pay equal to that of prosecutors.

Indigent defendants should be provided with court-appointed attorneys to handle post-conviction motions so that they can have competent legal representation, rather than trying to represent themselves against trained and seasoned prosecutors. A post-conviction motion differs from an appeal in that the defendant may be seeking to introduce new evidence or new issues of law that could not have been raised on appeal.

DNA

Access to DNA testing should always be provided, even in cases where defendants have pled guilty -- there have been 11 instances where an innocent defendant has pled guilty, often as a result of fear of a higher sentence, only to be proven innocent by DNA.

Judges should be given the authority to order crime scene DNA comparisons to DNA databases; currently the law does not explicitly give them that authority, and whether the testing goes forward or not often is up to the discretion of the prosecution. Current law allows judges the authority to order DNA in those cases in which DNA could affect the outcome. It should be that, in any case in which there is testable material, a test should be done.

Prosecutors should not be allowed to explain away a negative DNA test result at a trial by claiming the victim had a consensual sexual encounter, without first proving that such an encounter took place. When a prosecutor argues that a rape or other crime was committed by one person, and then a post-conviction DNA test shows the defendant is innocent, prosecutors should not be allowed to then change their theory on appeal and claim that a crime was committed by two people. Conclusions should be based on what the evidence shows, not by making evidence fit a conclusion.

Post-Conviction Review

In many wrongful conviction cases, it is usually discovered that the cleared person's appeals ran out years before. More review is needed to catch mistakes and correct wrongful incarcerations. Courts of appeals should review all cases, as a matter of a defendant's right, as an additional level of review, with the goal of catching more wrongful convictions.

There should be a review apparatus, besides appeals or pardons, for reviewing cases in which a defendant has a strong innocence claim. Appellate review is not enough to protect the innocent, and a governor's pardon occurs within a highly charged political environment. A review should be independent of both the courts and the governor's office, and be staffed by wrongful conviction experts.

An Innocence Commission should be created to study what went wrong in wrongful convictions, so that lessons can be learned and changes adopted to try to prevent future wrongful convictions.

Compensation

A guilty person on parole currently receives more help than an exoneree, who receives nothing. All wrongfully convicted individuals should be compensated upon discovery that he or she was innocent of the crime.

An immediate sum of $15,000 dollars for each year spent wrongfully incarcerated should immediately be paid to those who have been cleared of a crime. This should be aside from any money awarded as a result of a lawsuit, to meet immediate needs such as housing, cost of living, mental health services, health insurance and education.

Compensation lawsuits should receive fast-track processing in the courts.

Bad case law stating that an exonerated person who has contributed to his or her own wrongful conviction should not be eligible to receive any compensation should be changed. The idea that anybody would intentionally get themselves wrongfully convicted and sentenced to prison only to then clear themselves in order to be in position to sue is ridiculous. To deny compensation to anybody who has been wrongfully convicted adds insult to injury.

Parole

The Parole Board should not be allowed to deny parole to those who profess their innocence based on the idea that they are not taking responsibility for their crimes or expressing sufficient remorse. These standards do not take into account the possibility -- and reality -- of wrongful convictions. The wrongfully convicted should not be made to stay in prison based upon their protestation of innocence. It is a fact that some wrongfully convicted prisoners have been denied parole after finishing their minimum sentences for these reasons.

Similarly, the Parole Board should not be allowed to deny parole to prisoners based upon their being removed from a sex offender class due to a refusal to admit guilt, because such a practice places the wrongfully convicted in the catch-22 of either falsely admitting guilt to try to regain freedom, or to lose a chance at freedom as the price for maintaining innocence.

© 2008 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved.


CO - Retired Denver Cop Charged In New Sex Assault Case

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09/17/2008

DENVER (CBS4)Joe Bini, a former Denver police officer, has now been charged in a second sexual assault case since his retirement in 2007.

Arapahoe County authorities charged Bini last month with a misdemeanor count of unlawful sexual contact in connection with an August 2007 incident. The case has remarkable similarities to another case in Denver earlier this year that led to felony criminal charges against the controversial former officer.

Bini became well known after he engineered a disastrous no-knock drug raid in 1999 that led to police shooting and killing Ismael Mena, a Mexican immigrant.

Bini's faulty search warrant had sent SWAT team officers to the wrong house. He was charged with felony perjury but later accepted a misdemeanor plea bargain and returned to the police force.
- So he gets a misdemeanor for killing someone???  WTF???

The 39-year-old Bini retired from the Denver Police Department last year citing a medical disability suffered on the job. He has faced a rocky road since.

In May of this year, Bini was arrested and charged with multiple counts for allegedly paying $20 to two juvenile girls to have sex while he watched. The girls say the incident happened at a GNC Nutrition store on the 16th Street Mall where Bini worked. The store is owned by Bini's wife.

The girls told police Bini took them to a back room of the store where he paid them to have sex with each other while he masturbated.

Now comes word that Bini is being charged in a second case with striking parallels to the Denver case. In August 2007, a young woman went to the GNC nutrition store at 5616 South Gibraltar Way in Centennial. The store is also owned by Bini's wife.

According to a police report, on Aug. 21, 2007, the women went to the store to buy diet pills. She said Bini was running the operation and told her "she was a beautiful girl" and offered her a job on the spot, telling her to return the next day with a resume.

The woman told police she went back the next morning and that Bini was the only one in the store. According to the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Department offense report, Bini told her he wanted to interview her in a back room. She said Bini started off professionally, but then told her she was "so hot ... freaking adorable," and told her, "I swear if you work here we're going to end up sleeping together."

The woman says Bini spoke to her in extremely graphic, sexual terms.

A few minutes later, she said Bini hugged her and "put his hands on her butt." She told him that was not okay. According to the woman, Bini then "started to reach down the front of her pants. He only got the tips of his fingers in when she pushed him away ... he told her he wanted to see what color of panties she was wearing."

As the woman began to leave, she said Bini then asked her to "go in the back and masturbate on the table for him." She said Bini then suggested several times she allow him to perform a sex act on her. As she was leaving, she says Bini told her, "Okay, well just come in tomorrow for training and I really want you to work here."

The woman subsequently told police Bini touching her stomach, her posterior and attempting to see her panties was all done without her consent.

While the woman reported the alleged incident within days, Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson says she then decided not to pursue the case. But Robinson said she reconsidered and decided to press charges after learning about the 2008 incident at the GNC store in Denver.

Bini is due back in court on the Arapahoe County case Sept. 26. His attorney, Michael Meyrick, said he would not comment on this latest charge. Phone messages left for Bini at both GNC stores, on his cell phone and by email were not returned.