Friday, March 13, 2009

WA - Tracking Sex Offenders With GPS Isn't A Bulletproof Solution

View the article here


from the panacea? dept
A 13-year-old girl in Washington was killed last month by a registered sex offender who was being monitored with a GPS tracking device. The tragedy illustrates how such tracking devices -- whether fitted to criminals or children -- aren't magic bullets that offer total protection. In this case, the GPS device helped police corroborate the killer's confession, but it didn't stop the crime. He was being tracked passively, not in real-time, but even if he were, the fact that he was in a field wouldn't have helped anyone notice that he was trying to rape, and then killing, the girl. The devices may prove useful from an evidence standpoint, but that's only after a crime is committed. Perhaps part of the intention is that they'll also act as a deterrent, though sadly that wasn't any help in this case. Whatever the intention, it's important to remember that the devices themselves really don't offer much protection, and shouldn't be viewed as standalone solutions to preventing crime.

Carlo Longino is an expert at the Insight Community. To get insight and analysis from Carlo Longino and other experts on challenges your company faces, click here.


YouTube Channel

WARNING: Adult humor, viewer discretion advised!

PA - i on PA -- Keeping Children Safe from Online Predators (Just the usual fear mongering!)

The World Wide Web is a global community and policing it can be difficult, especially when it comes to keeping children safe from online sexual predators.

In this episode of i on PA, join a member of the House Democratic leadership team and one of Pennsylvania's newest lawmakers as they discuss their attempts to tighten online restrictions for registered sex offenders and other online predators.

After watching the podcast, learn more about Pennsylvania House Democrats at

AL - Senate passes resolutions about sex offender bill, rewritten Alabama constitution

View the article here

If we are now sliding down this slippery slope, where the Constitution can be changed at any time, then why have it? That should scare the hell out of anyone! Who knows, they may change it, so your rights are eradicated and Big Brother runs the show (i.e. Fascism!) And aren't those in colleges all adults?  THIS SHOULD SCARE THE HELL OUT OF EVERYONE!


By Karissa Bursch - Staff Reporter

The SGA Senate decided to look outside of Tuscaloosa and look to make a difference in the state of Alabama’s government at its meeting Thursday night.

Two of the resolutions passed called for action in Alabama’s government. A resolution was passed calling on Alabama State Legislature to rewrite Alabama’s constitution, and another resolution was passed that encourages the student body to rally in Montgomery for the passage of a bill that bans sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of the university on account of students.
- You have to modify the Constitution and create a resolution to get someone to support a bill?  And college students are adults, WTF!  So now sex offenders have to stay away from adults as well?

Miriam Fry, a sophomore majoring in political science and the author of the Alabama constitution bill, said she felt the state’s current constitution is not at all fitting as a state constitution.
- The Constitution is not fitting?  Fascism here we come!

I think our current constitution is an embarrassment to the state,” Fry said. “It’s important we fix it. I think [the resolution] will make a difference. You have to have a good attitude about this kind of thing.”
- I think you are looking at this wrong.  I think YOU are an embarrassment to the state!

Jody Watson, a sophomore majoring in nutrition, is a sponsor for the resolution and she said that after she spoke with Fry she felt the resolution was a very good idea.
- Majoring in nutrition and making resolutions to change the constitution?  Why didn't she go into politics?

“Miriam did a lot of research and I was impressed with the facts,” Watson said. “It’s true that our constitution is an embarrassment. It’s so long and wordy and there is a lot of language that could be offensive to African-Americans.”
- Are you a blond by the way?  If so, that would explain it!  Yeah I know, stereotype!  But damn!  Why not just tear up the Constitution?

Watson said she agreed that she felt the resolution could end up making a difference in encouraging legislature to take another look at rewriting the constitution.

“It definitely could make a difference if legislature sees that their constituents see this as an important issue,” Watson said.

The constitution is longest still-operative constitution in the world with 287 sections, 798 amendments and 357,157 words. Past governors including O’Neal, Kilby, Folsom, Brewer and James have called for constitutional reform but have been met with resistance from the legislature, according to the resolution.
- And it was met with resistance with good reason!  To limit the power of the rising fascist government!

“They’ve been talking about it forever. It’s time to make a difference and change it,” Watson said.

Corderrol Harris, a senior majoring in communication studies, authored the resolution to encourage students to lobby at the state capital in support of Bill No. 1.

Bill No. 1 addresses the sex offender law by renaming schools to include areas of higher education so that sex offenders are banned from living within 2,000 feet of these schools, according to the resolution.

“This is actually something we need to address,” Harris said. “We are students just like students in high school and middle school. If parents knew we lived within a few feet of sex offenders they would not be happy. We are students too.”
- You are adults!  Stop relying on your parents and the government to be your baby sitters!

The resolution calls for students to come rally in Montgomery on March 25, and it also calls for faculty to support students going to the rally by excusing them from class.

Harris said the UA students are not the only students who will be attending the rally but that other colleges across the state are planning on coming too.

The bill has been sitting in committee for one year. It’s been facing opposition from a senator who is concerned with moving sex offenders off campus and the effect it will have on football game attendance, Harris said.

“If state senate could see students come together then nobody will vote against it,” Harris said.

Senate also passed resolutions calling for the city of Tuscaloosa to act quickly on lighting issues throughout the city on the account of student safety, requesting transportation services to not issue parking citations in the Ferguson Center parking deck and promoting the participation of student organizations in campus beautification.

MA - Mass. District Court Finds Civil Commitment Law Unconstitutional

Courtesy of Sex Crimes


A helpful reader let me know that there was a new decision (PDF) out of the District of Massachusetts finding the federal civil commitment scheme for sex offenders under the Adam Walsh Act was unconstitutional. You can read the opinion here. From the opinion:

Congress lacked power to adopt the Act’s regime for the civil commitment of sexually dangerous persons either under the Commerce Clause directly or as its authority over interstate commerce is supplemented by the Necessary and Prope Clause. The civil commitment regime for sexually dangerous persons set forth in 18 U.S.C. §§ 4247, 4248 is void and unenforceable. Accordingly, the respondent’s motion to dismiss the petition for commitment (dkt. no. 6) is GRANTED. Unless some other valid basis permits Volungus’s continued incarceration beyond the expiration of his term of imprisonment, he is to be released forthwith.

The decision is notable because it creates a district court conflict in the 1st Circuit. However, the recent ruling is consistent with the 4th Circuit's opinion in Comstock (which I think had the better side of the argument).

PA - Former prosecutor gets house arrest for corrupting minors

View the article here


By Larry King - Inquirer Staff Writer

Anthony Cappuccio had an image that inspired trust.

In the Bucks County District Attorney's Office, he was a rising star who aggressively prosecuted corrupt public officials, drunken drivers, and child molesters.

At First United Methodist Church in Perkasie, Cappuccio was seen as a married father of two, a police officer's son entrusted with serving as a youth leader.

Cappuccio, 32, recklessly betrayed that trust.

He provided alcohol and smoked pot with some of the teens at concerts, then let them drive home. He engaged in a lengthy sexual relationship with one of the boys.

He viewed pornographic images of young males on his office computer. He cheated on his pregnant wife, once cutting short a vacation for a rendezvous with the teen boy.

"He was living a lie," defense attorney Louis Busico said yesterday in Bucks County Court, where Cappuccio pleaded guilty to endangering the welfare of children, corrupting minors, and other offenses.

Those crimes will cost Cappuccio no time in jail, though.
- It pays to be rich and famous!

Judge C. Theodore Fritsch Jr. gave Cappuccio three to 23 months in the Bucks County prison, but allowed him to serve it on house arrest. Cappuccio also will be granted work-release while serving the sentence, which will be followed by seven years of probation.

Senior Deputy Attorney General E. Marc Costanzo, who prosecuted the case, said the victims' families had hoped for more.

"They anticipated that he'd have an actual sentence of incarceration, rather than what basically amounts to being grounded in his own bedroom for a few months," Costanzo said. The victims' parents declined to speak to reporters.

Cappuccio was a senior deputy district attorney until September, when police in Richland Township found him partially clothed with a 17-year-old boy in his parked car.

The teen and two others told authorities that Cappuccio had gone with them to rock concerts in Philadelphia, Upper Darby, and Reading, where he bought them alcohol or smoked marijuana with them. Costanzo said Cappuccio had allowed them to drive home, after drinking or smoking pot, from as far away as the Meadowlands in New Jersey.

Stephanie Matsinger Dockery, Cappuccio's replacement as a youth leader, read a letter to him in court, saying he had left parents and children at the church suspicious of their adult leaders. "If you can't trust the good-looking, churchgoing assistant district attorney, well, then, who can you trust?" she said.

Dockery also read a letter from the teen boy who said he "felt loved," but ultimately confused, by his relationship with Cappuccio. "I was living in a fantasy world that had no future," the boy wrote.

Dockery added: "Anthony and I both know there's more than one." Costanzo refused to comment on her remark after the hearing.

Cappuccio's wife, with whom he has two small children, has filed for divorce, and he works in an undisclosed restaurant.

About 30 family members and friends packed the courtroom in support of Cappuccio. None testified, but at Busico's request, all stood at one point for the judge to see.

Cappuccio tearfully read a statement in which he apologized to his colleagues, to his family, to the church and its youth, to the D.A.'s Office and the courts, and, ultimately, to God.

"No words can express the deep regret and sorrow I feel for betraying so many people," he said.

Busico said Cappuccio had been living in denial of his sexual orientation for many years before acting upon it. "The lesson here," Busico said, "is that you have to be true to yourself."

But Costanzo said that wasn't the issue. Indulging in booze and pot with teens and having sex with them is a crime whether it involves boys or girls, he said.

"This isn't a case about his struggles with his sexual identity," Costanzo said. "It is about an adult put in a position of trust with children."

AL - AG King will seek re-election - So he is busting out the sex offender issues, like clockwork!

View the article here

You see, election time, bust out the sex offender issues!


By Sebastian Kitchen

Attorney General Troy King will forgo a run at the state's top office to pursue a second term as attorney general.

King, a Republican, announced Thursday at the monthly meeting of the Greater Birmingham Young Republicans Club that despite encouragement from supporters to run for governor, he will run for re-election as the state's top law enforcement officer in 2010.

Long on the list of potential gubernatorial candidates, he said he made the decision based on what is best for his family and because he wanted to follow through on a promise he made to make Alabama a safer state to live in.

The attorney general made his announcement the same week that several reports surfaced in the media that federal investigators were looking into King's office. Several former employees were called before a federal grand jury, according to the reports.

King said he was unsure how the situation would affect his run, but said it would not affect his resolve to seek a second term. King said he is reading the same reports as everyone else.

"I don't know anymore about it than y'all do," the attorney general said.

King, 40, said he is proud of his first term as attorney general.

He said his proudest accomplishment as attorney general was writing what was the toughest sex offender law in the nation at the time and pushing it through the Legislature in 2005 without a negative vote.
- Every person who has anything to do with exploiting sex offenders for votes, always claims their law is the toughest!

"Nothing will ever be able to touch writing what we believe is the best law Alabama could have," he said.

King also applauded the work of his office to fight child pornography. Senior citizens are safer from scam artists and children are safer from predators because of legislation and initiatives promoted by the office, he said.
- Tell me Mr. King, how are they any safer?  Or are you selling everyone a placebo to shut them up, and so you can keep that fat check each month?

The attorney general said he has also worked with a coalition across party lines to promote his legislative package agenda.

During his second term, he said he "wants more of the same," more laws to protect children and seniors, to remind victims they are not alone, and to thank law enforcement.
- We seem to be getting a lot of "more of the same" lately, and nothing to actually work on prevention and rehabilitation, just punishment!

"We have Alabama poised to be the first state in the nation to become Adam Walsh (Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006) compliant," King said.
- Well, you have until July 12th, 2009 to become compliant, or lose 10% of the bribe money, but, you are not thinking.  It's going to cost MORE to implement the laws than without the grant money, so once again, tax payer money down the drain!

The law, he said, deals with requirements for those who prey on children, including notification of the public, reporting to authorities and minimum punishment depending on the severity of the crime.
- No, the law deals with ALL sex offenders and not all sex offenders have harmed children, you are still just spreading propaganda to scare everyone into voting for you.  Politics as usual!

King is a proponent of tougher laws for requiring sex offenders to report their whereabouts and for punishing people who enable them to live too close to children without properly reporting it. Some family members and loved ones allow convicted sex offenders to use their address, but the convict lives elsewhere, where neighbors are not properly notified, he said.
- So are you saying that family need to check the registry to make sure another family member, who is not living there, is using their address, and if they are, they could go to jail?  That doesn't sound fair to me.  The offender should be the one going to jail, not someone who did not have a clue it was occurring!

King also supports a bill, which is currently before the Legislature, that would allow law enforcement officers to pose as children on the Web, allowing them to be solicited by people believing it is a child. Several judges in Alabama have ruled there is a loophole in the law and that the person online must be a child and not a law enforcement official posing as one.

Gov. Bob Riley appointed King to the position in March 2004 to fill the remainder of Bill Pryor's term. King won the 2006 election to claim his first full term in office. Prior to being appointed, King was legal adviser to Riley.

He was also an assistant attorney general and served as deputy chief of staff and deputy legal adviser in the administration of Gov. Fob James.

King lost his race to become secretary of state in 2002, a race eventually won by Democrat Nancy Worley.

Although King has been in the headlines lately, that's not unusual.

He is often seen standing alongside law enforcement officers and victim's families, and once wore an electronic monitoring device on his ankle to encourage the Legislature to pass a bill requiring convicted child sex offenders to wear the electronic devices.
- Wow, these people know how to take advantage of peoples feelings.  Who cares about the United States Constitution and state Constitution, which he took an oath to uphold, and swore to God he'd do, but is not doing.  So you see, politics, it's all about deceit, IMO!

But he was also caught in a war of words with most of the district attorneys in the state over a death penalty case; criticized for his use of a skybox owned by the parent company of Alabama Power at an Atlanta Braves baseball game; and for asking former state two-year college system Chancellor Roy Johnson to help find an employee's mother a job as the investigation into Johnson and that system was ramping up.

King recused himself from that investigation, a widespread inquiry that has led to convictions of Johnson and several other officials including state lawmakers.

He said he could be a target of politics and rumors because "I came to Montgomery to make a difference" and not to make as many friends as possible or to go to the country club.

"It is not politics as usual in my office," he said.
- Oh, but it is!

And he has this nice little popup on the Attorney General web site

As usual, riding the backs of sex offenders to get votes!

IL - Elgin teen says he was 'terrified' into pleading guilty to rape

View the article here


By Josh Stockinger

An Elgin teen convicted of raping an 8-year-old girl now claims his attorney "terrified and coerced" him into pleading guilty.

_____, 17, made the allegations in recently filed court papers requesting a new trial in Kane County Circuit Court.

The handwritten document claims Hampshire defense attorney Nils Von Keudell inadequately represented _____ and interfered with his right to consult his mother.

The result was a 16-year prison sentence that _____ describes in his filing as "unethical, extremely too severe and amounts to cruel and unusual punishment."

Von Keudell could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday.

_____ pleaded guilty to aggravated criminal sexual assault, a Class X felony, in September after he was accused of raping and molesting an 8-year-old girl. Ten related charges were dismissed in exchange for the plea.

At the fall court hearing, _____ told Judge Allen M. Anderson he was on antidepressants but that the medication did not affect his ability to make decisions - a statement the court filing contradicts by saying the medication "possibly interfered" with his decision.

By law, _____ had only 30 days to appeal his own guilty plea. How a judge might respond now that six months have passed is unclear.

In an unrelated case, _____ was sentenced last year to 18 months in a juvenile detention facility after he was convicted of stabbing a consumer science teacher at Elgin High School in the head, neck and eye.

NE - Just another ignorant politician who is buying the lies propagated by his peers, media and others, to further his career!

I guess this jerk isn't thinking very much. Many people's drivers license numbers is the same as their social security number. And if this information was put online, identity thiefs will have a field day! But then again, did I expect someone in politics to think? Of course not! Just another person exploiting sex offenders for political gain!

Tom White (Contact) has a plan to keep better track of sex offenders online. We already maintain a database of sex offenders' physical addresses, but we have no public way to track their online activities. Now that online contact has become one of the most common ways for sex offenders to meet their victims, it's more important than ever before that we track their email addresses and screennames.