Monday, September 22, 2008

Jamie Lynn Spears' Child Porn Pictures Stolen

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More News Here

09/22/2008

By wildouble

My title is way catchier than: Spears' Breastfeeding Photo Stolen, plus it was already taken... and it is true. Remember she is still underage, so a boob shot of Spears could still fall under FBI child pornography laws. See how silly kiddy porn laws can be? It is okay for you to knock a 16-year-old up, but if you take pictures of yourself knocking her up, you are a sex offender.

But before we get to the story...

When I was about 8 or 9 my father's mother (I guess that makes her my grandmother) took pictures of a funeral and showed them to me. I thought "What kind of crazy bitch takes pictures of a funeral and why is this crazy bitch related to me?"

The same thing comes to mind with this story; "Who takes pictures of someone breast feeding and why?" The answer is of course, Jamie Lynn Spears' baby's daddy, Casey Aldridge. Not only does taking pictures of your baby's mamma breast feeding seem weird, he was then stupid enough to drop them off at a Louisiana Wal-Mart to get them developed!

What did Aldridge think would happen when the minimum-wage clerk saw Jamie Lynn Spears tit popping out? He saw his way to buy the biggest truck in town, some of that fancy beer he sees rich people drinking on TV, and maybe a little bit of that armpit perfume. Plus if he used his Wal-Mart discount, he may have had a little left over to buy his own 16-year-old girlfriend and her baby something nice.

The FBI is currently trying to figure out who may have copied, stolen and is trying to sell the 12 pictures of Jamie Lynn Breast feeding. I'll give them a hint: The person who was working the day Aldridge dropped the pictures off. There is this thing they call a schedule, it is normally hanging by the dirty employee microwave in the break room. Start there.


PA - Sex offender housing case is appealed

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If there is no law on the books, and they are within the legal residency restriction limits, then what is the darn problem?  Leave them alone!  This is just more grandstanding, IMO.

09/22/2008

Armstrong contests Marietta zoning law ruling, goes to county court.

By DAVID O’CONNOR, Staff

The controversy over sex offenders living in Marietta doesn't appear to be over yet.

Former state Rep. Tom Armstrong, a Marietta resident, confirms he has filed an appeal to Lancaster County Court seeking to overturn a borough ruling against him.

Armstrong had vowed to fight the latest ruling so he can continue to house three convicted sex offenders in his Marietta house, and he has now followed through on that promise.

His motion, filed Sept. 11, seeks to overturn a Marietta Zoning Hearing Board ruling from early August.

The zoning board had ruled that Armstrong's housing of the men in his house at 704 E. Market St. violated borough rules.

Earlier in the summer, Marietta's zoning officer, Mark Harman, issued Armstrong a cease-and-desist notice, ordering him to move the men from his home.

Armstrong appealed to the zoning board, which issued its decision after a lengthy meeting in early August.

In his appeal to county court, Armstrong says that Harman "failed to undertake reasonable investigation" before issuing the enforcement notice against him.

Armstrong also maintains that the borough's zoning law doesn't address differences between temporary or permanent residents, and he "disputes the conclusion that the three unrelated individuals" living in his house "do not constitute a family."

Armstrong attorney Jim Clymer, who filed the new six-page appeal, had argued in August that for nearly 20 years Armstrong has housed three or more veterans at one time without interference from the borough.
- And now that they are sex offenders, it's all of a sudden a problem!

Borough attorney Shawn Long, who declined comment today on the appeal, had differed with Clymer's take on the issue.

Among other things, Long said at one public meeting, several Pennsylvania court decisions disallow similar boarding situations in residential areas for drug addicts, alcoholics and even abused children.

The men in Armstrong's house are listed on the Megan's Law Web site, which lists home addresses of the state's registered sex offenders.

All three men were still listed today as living at Armstrong's house.

The issue has drawn a strong reaction from many in Marietta.
- Of course it has, because the media and politicians keep flaming the fires of hysteria. 

There have been protests in front of Armstrong's house, and meetings on the subject have been heavily-attended.
- Protests constitute harassment, disturbing the peace, and he should also file charges for this as well.

One opponent called the men "individuals who don't reflect the community here."
- Yeah, so what?  Many others in the community fit this profile as well!

But Armstrong strongly feels the effort to provide housing to the men is his Christian duty — saying they're "the lepers of our society" who everyone wants to cast out — and also that he has standards for the men he accepts.

"They have to prove they want to change," Armstrong said.

He moved the men into his house in early June, after they had left a halfway house in Conestoga Township.

It's not known when the appeal will be heard in county court.

Staff writer David O'Connor can be reached at doconnor@LNPnews.com or 481-6033.


CT - False Alarms Common With GPS Monitoring

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09/22/2008

Rapist’s case reveals flaws in using technology to track offenders

By DOUGLAS S. MALAN and PAUL SUSSMAN

Gov. M. Jodi Rell and other Connecticut officials seemed shocked to learn that global positioning system devices used to monitor movements of a released serial rapist and other sex offenders could give faulty readings. But they should not have been.

In recent years, officials and researchers in several states have noted with concern that false alarms – instances in which GPS devices provide incorrect locations for former convicts or lose track of them entirely -- are fairly common.

In some places, law enforcement authorities have asked lawmakers not to mandate widespread GPS monitoring because of the time, money and manpower needed to check out hundreds or thousands of potentially erroneous reports.

A report prepared by the Indiana Department of Correction last year gave GPS monitoring a mixed review. “While GPS monitoring serves as a useful tool for parole agents to know the locations of their particular parolees, some of the drawbacks of being too staff intensive, loss of coverage and faulty alerts may prevent the GPS technology from completing its intended task,” the Indiana report stated.

The study said that widespread GPS use could “inundate local police” with faulty alerts. It did state, however, that the number should drop as technology evolves.

“It remains an imperfect science,” said William Carbone, director of court support services for Connecticut’s Judicial Branch, who has spoken to officials in other states about GPS monitoring issues. “Everyone is recognizing that it’s got some limitations.”

The drawbacks came to light in Connecticut in an incident involving serial rapist David Pollitt, who was released last fall after serving 24 years in prison. When Pollitt went to live with his sister in Southbury, he was fitted with an electronic ankle bracelet that tracks his movements with satellite technology.

In early September, Pollitt was arrested on a probation violation after officials said he had left his sister’s yard for about 15 minutes. Gov. M. Jodi Rell, who had adamantly opposed Pollitt’s release last year, immediately called for his return to prison.
- I don't think I've seen anywhere, where this man was under house arrest.  If he is not, then why can't he leave his yard?

But Pollitt and his sister said he never left the property. One of Pollitt’s lawyers said his ankle unit has been replaced more than five times in 11 months because it repeatedly tracks him in the wrong location. Attorney Ioannis A. Kaloidis also said Pollitt had logged at least 44 false alerts.

Two days after the arrest, state officials withdrew the warrant after the Florida-based company that provides monitoring services for Connecticut acknowledged that Pollitt’s GPS system wasn’t working properly on the day in question.

Pro Tech Monitoring Inc. of Odessa, Fla., monitors about 200 people on probation and 50 people on parole in Connecticut, with the latter group consisting entirely of sex offenders. Pro Tech is a subcontractor for California-based G4S Justice Services Inc., which has a $950,000-a-year contract with the Judicial Branch.

“There is simply no excuse for this malfunction,” Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said in a prepared statement. “An investigation should be done as quickly as possible because tracking dangerous convicted parolees can be a matter of life and death.”
- There is an excuse, GPS is not the magic bullet you think it is, and you should have investigated all this before wasting tons of tax payer dollars.  People are always wanting that "magical cure" which is stuff from fantasy land!

Rell also released a statement. “This incident raises a number of troubling questions: Is the GPS system we are using reliable? Can we be sure this will not happen again?”

Tunnels And Snow

The answer to that question is an unequivocal “no.”

In Arizona, a 2007 legislative study found that in the state’s first year of using GPS monitoring, more than 35,000 false alerts were generated by 140 people wearing monitoring devices. In California, where Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is a champion of the tracking devices, officials have said that something as simple as low batteries on ankle bracelets are among the many factors that can lead to false alarms.

People expect GPS to have almost a ‘Star Trek’-like technology, that we sort of know in very real time where people are moment to moment,” Suzanne Brown-McBride, chairwoman of the California Sex Offender Management Board, told PBS’s “NewsHour with Jim Lehrer” in January. “What I think the public doesn't understand is that false alarms are common, [sex offenders] dropping off of the map is fairly common.”

In Washington State, a 2003 study by the Department of Corrections found that GPS systems can give faulty readings when offenders are inside steel buildings or tunnels or outside when it’s snowing. In 2006, the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs opposed proposed legislation to expand use of GPS tracking devices, saying that, given the likelihood of false alarms, they did not want the burden of having to check out every report that someone on probation or parole was in the wrong place.

In Minnesota, state correction department officials reacted similarly to a legislative proposal in 2006 that would have expanded GPS monitoring from about 20 sex offenders to more than 300. Ken Merz, director of administrative programs for the state Corrections Department, told Minnesota Public Radio the state would have to hire hundreds of additional agents to monitor sex offenders because the agents would spend so much time responding to false alarms.

In outlying areas, Merz said, “that could mean quite a distance that agent will have to drive to check on something that may very well be a technology problem.”
- And this brings up another point.  These residency restrictions push offenders out into the country, so police have to drive for a long time before they get to their destination, by then, a crime could have been committed.

Better Technology

Still, there are many proponents who say the ability to trace the movements of potentially dangerous people cannot be overstated.
- Everyone is potentially dangerous.  If they are this dangerous, why are they out of prison?  This is just a way to control someone, and eventually, more and more people will be tracked because of something they "may" do in the future.

Some two dozen states use some sort of GPS monitoring. In Rhode Island, which is about to launch a GPS monitoring program, a private company has received a federal grant to pioneer a technology that is supposed to be far more accurate in tracking offenders.
- And they will have the same issues!

But even its many supporters caution that GPS technology should be used selectively, with the focus on offenders deemed most likely to commit new crimes. They also say that a GPS reading alone is usually not sufficient to arrest someone on a parole or probation violation.

In Connecticut, a sweeping criminal justice bill approved this spring provided additional funding for GPS monitoring of offenders. Carbone, the state’s director of court support services, said the advantage of GPS monitoring is that it shows the exact whereabouts of a sex offender or other lawbreaker, while regular electronic monitoring simply indicates whether a person has left his home.
- Is the GPS and ACTIVE GPS device?  If not, then it doesn't "show the exact whereabouts of a sex offender!"  It shows where he has been.  Big difference!

“We view it as one tool in the toolbox,” said Carbone, who added that it must be used in conjunction with other techniques, such as parole and probation officers being in regular contact with former offenders, their employers and family members. “It’s a technology that won’t always be accurate. [We] have to use it with an eye toward limitations in the system.”

He said the limitations are similar to those of cell phones, which use similar satellite technology and don’t work well in some places or under some conditions. Even with the inherent limitations, Carbone said state officials have a right to be upset with the Florida monitoring company in the Pollitt case because of errors made in analyzing the data.

Carbone said the Judicial Branch is doing its own investigation, including reviewing the contracts with the outside vendors. That, he said, would take about three weeks.

In the meantime, defense attorneys in Connecticut call the continued use of GPS monitoring “an absolute abomination,” in the words of Edward J. Gavin, of Meehan, Meehan & Gavin of Bridgeport.

Meehan, the new president of the Connecticut Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, noted the same problems as other states have found – that the GPS systems are often unreliable, and that monitoring sex offenders and others using satellite technology requires an enormous amount of manpower. He said he doubted that the state would be willing to spend the money to provide adequate oversight.

GPS is only as good as the people who monitor it,” said Meehan. “If you don’t have someone monitoring it, it’s a waste of time and a poor use of resources.”


TX - Arrest made in sex offender's homicide in San Marcos

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Another article is below, along with a video.

09/22/2008

The Hays County Sheriff's Office Monday announced an arrest has been made in the March 2006 death of a registered sex offender.

Jack Larue Hood, Jr. was found dead after officers responded to a welfare call in San Marcos on March 12, 2006.

He had been convicted on charges of possession of child pornography.

Investigators say they will release more information on the case at a news conference Monday afternoon.



View the article here

09/22/2008

By Andrea Lorenz

Eagle Lake man admits role in 2006 Hays County shooting death

David Hicks, a resident of the Eagle Lake area, has been charged with first degree murder in the 2006 shooting death of a Hays County man.

Hicks and his attorneys contacted the Hays County Sheriff’s office Friday, officials said. According to Hicks’ attorneys and sheriff officials, Hicks said he killed 49-year-old Jack Larue Hood Jr., who was found dead in his San Marcos-area home from a gunshot wound in his back on March 12, 2006.

Sheriff officials did not reveal a motive in the shooting.

Attorney David Sergi said Hicks (pictured) turned himself in because he did not want to live with the guilt of what he had done. Sergi said his client did not want to speak directly with the press at this time.

According to sheriff’s documents, Hicks, 32, knew details about Hood’s death that would be known only to a person who was there during the murder. Hicks previously had not been a suspect in Hood’s murder.

Hicks has spent time in the Hays County jail since the murder on a bad check charge, Hays County Sheriff Allen Bridges said. Hicks is currently in custody on the murder charge, which carries a sentence of five to 99 years or life in prison. His bail is $500,000.

Hicks comes from a good family, Sergi said, but his life began to unravel after an untreated head injury several years ago.

Hicks’ head hit cement during a fall, Sergi said, and in the years following, Hicks has divorced, spent 30 days in the Austin State Hospital for a mental illness and hasn’t had a steady job, aside from working in the oil fields and owning a landscaping business in the San Marcos area.

Hood’s murder occurred after the fall, Sergi said. “I will say that in (Hood’s) confession, he has apologized to the family and is very, very apologetic for what he did.”

Hicks is “extremely contrite” about his actions and is ready to face punishment for it, Sergi said. “He helped solve a cold case.”

Bridges said investigators were “surprised and grateful” when Hicks turned himself in.

Hood was a registered sex offender serving five years probation for the possession or promotion of child pornography. His family has been notified of an arrest in his murder case, Bridges said.

Hood’s family could not be reached immediately for comment.


NY - Simple Complications Of A Wrongful Conviction

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Yet more proof that any innocent person, and that includes you, can go to prison for something you did not do, and you are screwed all around, with almost no way out.

09/22/2008

FROM THE INSIDE

COMMENTARY

By Jack Carroll

From time to time over the years, my wife Mary and I would hear stories about total strangers who know about my case and would express dismay about the situation. One of the silver linings of this dark cloud we live is that we have been lucky enough to form friendships with many of those “strangers.” It is always comforting to hear of people who take the time to research my case and then form their opinion.

While at work recently, our daughter-in-law met a young woman who is currently studying law at a local college. During their conversation, the student offered that she is studying the convictions of innocent people and has an interest in defense work because of what she has learned. She went on to tell our daughter-in-law that she was currently studying the case of a local man by the name of Jack Carroll. News of such a coincidence might cause a cynical person to doubt its occurrence. After all, what are the odds?

Thinking about this interesting encounter triggered a view of the “big” picture. I wondered, as I often have, how had things gotten so complicated? How could something that started as a dream by a young girl end up causing so much destruction? How could it be that in this day and age of high tech everything, could lies and deceit about something so serious oppress the truth for so long?

In 1997, this all began so very simply. My ex-wife’s daughter had a dream that a boy was touching her. My ex then took the child to Troy Police Detective Stephen Weber, claiming that I was touching the girl.

In spite of the insistence of the girl that is was just a dream; Weber took her to his girlfriend (now wife), Nurse Practitioner Jane Szary, for an examination. Despite Szary’s negative findings- she found only a yeast infection- she nonetheless produced a sworn affidavit to the contrary. Oh, and by the way- she never mentioned the yeast infection in the affidavit. Everything else spun from Jane Szary’s bogus affidavit.

From the beginning of this fight, through the many years of battle and right through till today, the sole argument has been simple. I am innocent. I never, ever, ever did anything inappropriate to my former stepdaughter. I know that and she knows that. Nevertheless, as time passed, this lie took on a life of it’s own. While the war itself has not changed, the battles have become more and more complicated.

After our many efforts to prove my innocence failed, I was running out of options. Along came Troy powerhouse attorney, E. Stewart Jones, whose integrity and commitment to justice is above reproach. He took my case on pro bono.

Mr. Jones’ argument was simple; I was convicted because of one outstanding issue- the egregious and pervasive trial conduct of former Rensselaer County DA Patricia DeAngelis. He has said often, had it not been for the many instances of misconduct, there would never have been a conviction because there was no evidence. Of course, there cannot be evidence when there is no crime!

In December 1998, nearly one year to the day from my first conviction, my accuser attempted suicide. But, before doing so, she wrote a note. Prior to my second trial, Judge Patrick McGrath granted our request for the girl’s medical records, which included information about the suicide attempt and the note that she wrote. Yet, despite the court order, Ms. DeAngelis withheld the evidence.

Our efforts in the State courts to compel Ms. DeAngelis and Rensselaer County to comply with the court order have repeatedly failed, so we have moved our efforts to the federal courts. In 2007, the feds also denied our requests, saying in effect that we did not try hard enough in the State court. We were directed to go back to the State courts and try again. Three motions have been filed to date, with one denial and two pending decisions.

While all of this activity was occurring, the federal court has also been reviewing my request for habeas corpus relief. During the review, the federal district court judge expressed concern over Ms. DeAngelis’ improper mention of the attempted suicide issue to the jury.

Specifically, that Ms. DeAngelis presented her opinion of the suicide attempt yet withheld from the defense any evidence related to the event. As a result of this, the door has been opened for us to make another application to the federal court for this evidence.

Next is my parole issue. In December 2007, I appeared before my first parole board for parole consideration; I was denied. The parole commission’s reason was two-fold. First, they said that I failed to participate in a sex offender treatment program while incarcerated. Second, they stated that my release would be incompatible with the welfare of society. This was of particular interest to me considering that seven years ago, before my retrial, Ms. DeAngelis offered to release me back into the community with time served as long as I admitted to the crime I was charged with. I did not accept her offer to plead guilty to something I did not do.

I later discovered that the parole decision was also based on the parole board’s review of records from my overturned 1998 conviction that were inappropriately still included in my Corrections file. By law, the reversal of a conviction and/or dismissal of charges means the conviction never occurred. Yet despite the NYS Court of Appeals reversal of my 1998 conviction and dismissal of 3 rape charges against me, the records related to that conviction are still included in my files.

The inclusion of these records in my files gives the appearance that the original conviction was valid. I immediately brought this critical error to the attention of the Department of Parole, Department of Correctional Services, and the courts but so far all that has happened is a lot of finger pointing. To date, my records have still not been corrected and everyone claims it is someone else’s responsibility to do so.

Next, we have the extremely critical pre-sentence investigation report. The law mandates that the report be completed upon a felony conviction. Once a conviction occurs, the trial court orders the county probation dept to do an investigation and report on the defendant before sentencing. The pre-sentence investigation report is the primary document relied upon by the court for sentencing and also follows the defendant throughout his entire time in the prison and parole system. It is used as a tool and guide by anyone who deals with the inmate.

In 2001, after my conviction in the retrial, the court ordered Rensselaer County Probation Supervisor, Jane Hanft to complete a new report. She did not do so. She merely revived the 1998 report and changed the dates. Consequently, for seven years this illegal report has been used against me; including in my parole denial. The report also contained references to my 1998 dismissed conviction. I appealed to the courts to order a new report. Although Rensselaer County Court Judge Patrick McGrath agreed with me, he only ordered half of the report to be updated, leaving me with a pre-sentence report that is still partially incorrect. Presently, this too is in the state court for review.

In the meantime, I will soon be faced with a second hearing before the parole board. Yet, unless my files are corrected, I will likely suffer the same fate as in my first appearance. In order to correct this issue prior to the second hearing, I will spend many hours researching and filing paperwork to parole, DOCS and the courts.

Finally, we have the charges themselves. Due to the fact that they are “sex” charges, the inmate is required to participate in the state run sex offender counseling program (SOCP). However, DOCS has a policy of denying an inmate participation in this program before his minimum release date. They preclude him for participation until just prior to his conditional release date. This practice, in effect, adds months if not years to an inmate’s prison time.

Now, after being denied parole, DOCS is reporting that I need to complete the program before my next parole appearance. The twist is, they are ordering that I take the program in Buffalo, even though there are facilities closer to home that offer the program.

The bright side, if there is any here, is that recently the district court rendered a decision that DOCS can no longer mandate inmates who are convicted of sex crimes to admit to the charges. It seems that for years DOCS has been violating the constitutional rights of those who participated in the program.

Recently, I was called to the facility school to meet with my counselor. While there, I had a brief conversation with an administration staff member who is familiar with my case through the media. He asked me several questions about the current status of the case. At the end of our talk he said, “How could something so simple get so terribly complicated?” The only answer I could give was that it was the simple complications of a wrongful conviction.

EDITOR’S NOTE: John “Jack” Carroll of Troy, is currently incarcerated in the Great Meadow Correctional Facility at Comstock, convicted of sexual abuse as a result of what his attorneys and family members say was prosecutorial misconduct by former Rensselaer County district attorney Patricia DeAngelis.

Carroll, 49, a former salesman, was convicted in December of 1997 for the rape and sexual abuse of his then 13-year-old stepdaughter. On appeal, the New York State Court of Appeals dismissed the rape convictions and ordered a new trial on the sexual abuse counts. He was convicted a second time on the sexual abuse counts in January, 2001. DeAngelis, who was assistant district attorney during the period of Carroll’s two trials, prosecuted both trials.

http://www.northcountrygazette.org/articles/030206DeAngelisGoesFed.html

Carroll has steadfastly maintained his innocence.

On appeal, Carroll’s attorney argued that the trial court judge had prevented Carroll from introducing an exculpatory tape-recorded phone call and on grounds there was no evidence of rape.

The Appellate Division of the state Supreme Court, Third Department denied the appeal and affirmed the conviction. Carroll appealed to the Court of Appeals and the high court dismissed the three rape charges that “there had been no evidence or testimony of penetration of any instrumentality”.

The court further ordered a new trial for the six sex abuse counts on the grounds the taped phone call should have been admitted at trial. At that time, Carroll had served three years in prison.

On the eve of the new trial, Carroll refused the prosecution’s plea bargain offer to plead to a misdemeanor count of endangering the welfare of a child for which he would be sentenced to time served. He maintained his innocence and opted to go to trial, was reconvicted, and sentenced to 12 to 24 years in prison, a harsher sentence than the original and which he and his attorney say was procured by the prosecutorial misconduct of DeAngelis.

The appellate court has on at least three occasions overturned sex crimes convictions on the grounds that DeAngelis and her office improperly attempted to shift the burden of proof, repeatedly strayed beyond the bounds of permissible conduct and denied defendants a fair trial.

DeAngelis was defeated fall in her bid to become Rensselaer County Court judge by Robert Jacon. She decided not to seek reelection as district attorney last fall. She is currently prosecuting traffic tickets part-time in the Stephentown Town Court.

For more about the Carroll case, see http://www.justicenow4.com/


PA - Wrightsville is considering restrictions on where sex offenders can live

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09/22/2008

Some Wrightsville residents heard about a former state lawmaker from Lancaster County who took three sex offenders into his home and wondered what would prevent that from happening in their small town.

The answer, Mayor Dawn Lindeman said, is nothing.

"We have no zoning ordinance to keep them out," she said. "I thought maybe we should do something."

That's why the town council is drafting an ordinance that would restrict how close sex offenders could live to a school, park or playground, as well as limit the number of sex offenders residing in a dwelling.

If approved, Wrightsville would be the first municipality in York County to enact such a residency restriction for sex offenders.

However, three other municipalities in York County -- West Manchester and Paradise townships and Yoe Borough -- have indicated in an informal survey they also are considering such a restriction, said Lauren Taylor, executive director of the Pennsylvania Sex Offender Assessment Board.

Representatives of those municipalities could not be reached for comment.

More than 135 municipalities have some sort of sex-offender registry restriction, and Allegheny County passed a countywide ordinance on the issue, according to Taylor's office.

Some Wrightsville council members support such a restriction.

"We don't want what happened in Marietta to happen here," councilwoman Mel McDonald said.
- I am not sure what they are referring to here, but it will happen again, it's only a matter of time.  These laws do not protect anybody!  They are nothing but a "false sense of security!"

Residents in the small town just across the Susquehanna River objected earlier this year when former state representative Tom Armstrong moved three registered sex offenders into his home.

Armstrong told the Philadelphia Inquirer last month that he has been motivated by faith to help sex offenders who are struggling to find housing as more communities adopt tougher laws to keep them out.

Some say research shows that residency restrictions do not increase public safety as communities may believe.

Human Rights Watch published a report last year, indicating that many law enforcement and sex-offender treatment providers see the residency restrictions as being counterproductive because they isolate and push underground people who need family contact, treatment and supervision, according to a news release.

Existing parole and probation laws permit individualized restrictions and conditions to be placed on former offenders when appropriate, it states.

Taylor's office also offers a fact sheet about residency restrictions. It cites studies that show, for example, that the number of sex offenders who are unaccounted for in Iowa has doubled since its restriction went into effect three years ago.

The fact sheet also states that 93 percent of child sexual abuse victims know their offenders. They are either family members or acquaintances.

Wrightsville councilman Neil Habecker said there's a question about whether the town is going to be able to successfully pull this off without a legal problem.

Habecker said he would like to see the ordinances from other communities "before I venture into this much further."

AT A GLANCE

What: Wrightsville council is considering an ordinance that would restrict where sex offenders can live in the town as well as how many sex offenders can live in a dwelling.

What's next: The borough solicitor, Walter Tilley, is expected to present a draft to the council at its Oct. 6 meeting.

The statistics: Three sex offenders live in Wrightsville, according to the Pennsylvania State Police's Megan's Law Web site.


FL - Eustis man charged with trying to kill cops

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09/22/2008

A 25-year-old Eustis man who authorities say led them on a high-speed chase along Interstate 4 on Saturday night as he fired shots at them has been charged with two counts of attempted murder on a law-enforcement officer.

Authorities said Jason Morse carjacked two vehicles, robbed OxyContin from a Walgreens pharmacy and fired multiple shots at law enforcement as he fled down I-4 at speeds of up to 115 mph.

Morse faces a host of other charges in the incident, including robbery with a firearm, resisting an officer with violence, driving with a suspended license and possession of a weapon by a felon.

In an arrest report issued by the Seminole County Sheriff's Office, authorities said they received a report of a carjacking in which Morse, a registered sex offender, had called for a cab to pick him up at his home on Royal Trails Road in Eustis, where he lives with his father. Morse then robbed the taxi driver of his car, cash and two cell phones at gunpoint before fleeing in the stolen vehicle.

Morse then drove to a Walgreens pharmacy on County Road 46A in Lake Mary, authorities said, and carjacked a woman at gunpoint who was waiting for her friend inside the store. Morse drove the woman's car to a Walgreens on South International Parkway in Lake Mary, where he pulled a pistol and demanded all of the OxyContin.

At about 7 p.m., authorities said, Seminole County deputies pursued Morse on I-4 westbound. Morse exited at John Young Parkway, where he returned to I-4 heading eastbound at high speed while he fired out of the rear window. As Morse continued into Seminole County, authorities threw stop sticks that deflated the front tires of Morse's car. Morse continued to fire at authorities, hitting two cars driven by Seminole County deputies and Orlando Police Department officers.

Morse, who was known by authorities to have a severe oxycodone addiction, was out of jail on pretrial release for robbery and was being monitored by GPS. He cut off the monitoring device and discarded it shortly after he left his father's home, authorities said. Authorities said the 9 mm Smith & Wesson gun belonged to his father.

Morse was arrested in April in connection with two thefts of OxyContin in Seminole County. That same month, he was in a standoff with deputies in Lake County when officials tried to serve him with a warrant for failure to appear in court.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement records show Morse was convicted of lewd and lascivious exhibition with a victim younger than 16 in 2005 in Volusia County.

Authorities said Morse is scheduled to appear before a judge today at 1:30 p.m.

Sara K. Clarke can be reached at 407-420- 5664 or skclarke@orlandosentinel.com.


CO - Sex-convict database perplexes

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09/22/2008

When President Bush signed the Adam Walsh Act into law, it required states to contribute to a national database of sex offenders with more current and stringent registration requirements.

But states and American Indian tribes are having a tough time implementing some of the requirements of the 2006 law — such as making the names and addresses of juvenile sex offenders available on the Internet.

In Colorado, officials have met for more than a year to decide whether to comply with the Adam Walsh Act by July or lose $240,000 in federal funding.

And it may be worth losing the money since it could cost more to fulfill the law's requirements.

"I think at this point, the committee has not reached a final conclusion," said Chris Lobanov-Rostovsky, program director of Colorado's Sex Offender Management Board. "We are looking at the fact that this is an unfunded mandate. The other issue is that the committee and the state are committed to doing what is best for safety and victim protection. And looking at this act, is it going to further the cause?"

The Justice Policy Institute, a Washington think tank that promotes alternatives to prison incarceration, has estimated that the law would cost Colorado $7.8 million to implement.

Lobanov-Rostovsky said that figure sounds too high — unless it figures in the cost to all local law enforcement statewide — but he has not come up with his own cost estimate yet.

This fall, the committee is expected to present a preliminary recommendation to Gov. Bill Ritter (Contact) to decide on compliance.

"The money is not necessarily there, and does it make sense above and beyond that even if the money were there?" Lobanov-Rostovsky asked.

The Adam Walsh Act was named after a 6-year-old Florida boy who was kidnapped and murdered in 1981. His father is John Walsh, host of television's "America's Most Wanted."

Under the law, sex offenders classified as the highest risk must update their registration every three months for life or face felony prosecution.

The Colorado U.S. Attorney's Office has filed seven cases against people charged with failing to follow the restrictions of the Adam Walsh Act — most recently, the case against Alden Yelloweagle, a 49-year- old sex offender from Montezuma County.

In 2005, Yelloweagle was convicted of abusive sexual contact and was ordered to serve a year and a day in federal prison. When he got out, Yelloweagle was instructed to register with the Montezuma County Sheriff's Office and did, but he failed to re-register as required under the law, according to court records.

Yelloweagle faces up to 10 years in federal prison if he is convicted, more time for failing to re-register than he got for his original conviction.

Erin Runnion, whose 5-year- old daughter Samantha was kidnapped, sexually assaulted and killed in California in 2002, says it is absolutely essential to complete the national database.

"By and large, once convicted, sex offenders move, and they move a lot," Runnion said. "And if sex offenders move, they are going to states where states don't keep on track, so the interstate communication is absolutely critical to knowing where they are."
- This is a load of BS!  They move a lot because these very laws make it impossible to find a place to stay, and then when they do, the public gets all ticked off and the mob comes out and raises hell until the offender is forced to move again.

Runnion says states can apply for grants through the Department of Justice's Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking.

She also said citizens should get involved.

"They can and they should write to their congressmen and senators," she said. "Tell them, 'You passed it. Now fund it.' Give states the appropriations they need to come into compliance with the registry."

The law not only mandates an updated national database, it also requires classification of sex offenders based on their conviction.

In Colorado, sex offenders are classified based on risk to the community. And not all states have the same charges or same coding for offenses, but they all have to become uniform under the act.

For example, Colorado does not have a specific charge that identifies an offender whose victim was under age 12.

"We would have to shift over to a charge-based system," Lobanov-Rostovsky said. "We would have to change our sexual-assault statutes, and those are some of the challenges."

Also under the law, American Indian tribes were forced to decide whether to let states take over registration of sex offenders or get their own databases in compliance with the national system.

"A lot of these policies are drawn and dictated out with American Indians," said Janelle Doughty, director of the Department of Justice and Regulatory Affairs for the Southern Ute tribe. "We are used to it. Tribes really do not get consulted at all. Congress passes a law, and we have to figure out how we are going to be proactive and make it work."

Doughty says there are federal grant funds available to tribes, but the money may not stretch far enough.

The Southern Ute Indians decided to maintain their own database and purchased computer software without grant funding, she said.

One of the biggest controversies for states to deal with is whether to upload information about juvenile sex offenders into the database, such as their address, the school they attend and a photograph.

Currently in Colorado, information on juvenile sex offenders can be obtained from individual police departments that keep the registration on file or by ordering the Colorado Bureau of Investigation's CD-ROM of sex offenders.

But the public cannot access information about juveniles in Colorado on the Internet.
- And this is the way it was with adults as well, when it was working! But due to a couple high profile cases, all hell has broken lose, and now the system is a mess, and tax payer dollars are being wasted on law suits.

"The legislature felt that juvenile offenders should be given a second chance and not identified in such a public way," said Lance Clem, spokesman for the Department of Public Safety.

Nastassia Walsh, a research assistant at the Justice Policy Institute who analyzed the costs and requirements of the Adam Walsh Act, strongly opposes juveniles being listed on the national database.

"We are extremely disturbed that we could be putting kids as young as 14 on this database," she said. "What we would like instead is for people on the registry not to get this sort of ostracism and get them the services and opportunities to help reduce recidivism."

Nastassia Walsh said a national sex-offender registry is not the answer and that money should be spent on rehabilitation or other crime-fighting programs.

"There really is no evidence to show that this is an effective way to enforce public safety," she said. "It is just political rhetoric to keep kids safe, but it is turning into a logistical nightmare."

Felisa Cardona: 303-954-1219 or fcardona@denverpost.com


Power To The People - John Lennon