Friday, May 15, 2009

MA - Reform Sex Offender Laws Conference in Boston

Reform Sex Offender Laws is holding a conference in Boston on July 10-11.

Speakers include Dr. Jerome Miller and Dr. Fred Berlin.

As an added bonus, Dr. Jill Levenson will be in attendance to work with small group discussions.

Alex Marbury and Paul Shannon, along with state chapters put a lot of work into trying to change these laws and give our loved ones, as well as family members, their LIVES back. The least we can do is show them our appreciation and support by coming to this convention.

Only RSOL signatories, SOSEN members, CURE and other likeminded organizations have been invited and allowed in. They will ask for your real name and phone number when you register, but they are the only ones who will have it. You can put anything you want on your name tag and stay as anonymous as you would like.

I realize times are hard. Everyone is cutting expenditures until it hurts. But there are ways to get to Boston that won't break the bank. There is more than one SOSEN member in each state. If you don't know your fellow brothers and sisters, there is no better time than the present to introduce yourselves. You can do what a group of us in Ohio are doing which is renting a van and all going together.

Going to this conferece would facilitate many different things:

  1. It will give us an opportunity to speak and brainstorm the issues with experts in this field.
  2. It will give us a chance to work with Dr. Levenson on an up close and personal basis.
  3. As people who want to see things change, there will be group discussions on what we can all do and the best way to do it.
  4. It will give us the much needed and overdue opportunity to meet each other in person, to be able to hug one another without a parantheses.
  5. It will have more of a therapeutic affect on us all than we can even begin to imagine. Listening to one another, supporting another without a keyboard in between us. Looking into each others eyes instead of a computer monitor.
  6. It will give us an opportunity to network, and build an even stronger SOSEN.

This conference is a once in a life time opportunity that should take priority with each and everyone of you. Unless there's a legal reason you can't leave your area, you really should make every EVERY effort to be there.

If you run into problems, email myself or Jackie Sparling and we'll try to help troubleshoot and make it possible for you to get to Boston.

We NEED to support RSOL, we NEED to support one another, we NEED to make this a priority.

Linda (Email)


Cartoon predicts the future 50 years ago. This is amazing insight!


FL - Disgrace of Florida

Courtesy of "Disgrace in Florida" Blog

05/14/2009

How many people are aware that the Miami-Dade County Dept. of Corrections, in the last two years, have placed 64 male sex offenders and 1 female sex offender under the Julia Tuttle Causeway Bridge? How many of you believe in our US Constitution and our Bill of Rights? How many of you care about our Civil Rights and Liberties? Due to Miami-Dade residency restrictions of 2500 ft, there is no place for sex offenders to live so they place them under the Bridge. They had to buy their own generator to keep their GPS monitors charged. They have no running water, no restroom or porta potty, no shower, no place to remove their garbage to. They pay $7.00 a day for the GPS Monitors, that wasn't something they wanted to purchase and they should not have to pay for them. Not to mention all of these laws are doing anything. You are no more protected than you were 30 years ago. Most of them are lucky enough to have a job, but with little pay. There is a disabled man living under there in a wheelchair. He is a paraplegic. Who is he going to harm? When they were ready to release him, they took his adult diapers away and catheterized him. As far as I know, there has been no medical personnel that has checked his catheter. With many of them having jobs and the empirical threat of bacterial diseases, there could be an epidemic any day of staph infections. The ones that are working could not realize they have a staph infection, therefore, they are infecting co workers who will go home and infect their families and their children could infect other school children. Does anyone want this to happen? I plan on asking the Powers that be that question when I go with supplies to help them under the bridge. We will need to take as many bags of lime as we can afford so they can cover over where they use for a bathroom. We are also asking for donations monetary or by the different needs. We will need to take a lot of Clorox to clean everything that we can clean, a lot of bottled water by the gallons. When Miami-Dade County has an outbreak of staph infections, possible pseudomonous, mersa and many other staph infections that can kill. What will their answer be? When you ask how did this happen, what will they say? If any of you reading this are physicians or PA's and live near the area, would you be kind enough to go check on these people as a Good Samaritan? We will be taking adult diapers to the man in the wheelchair and pads to put underneath him so the catheter can be taken out. Surely him having diapers and pads would be healthier to get rid of those than the possible staph infection he could get by the catheter not being taken care of correctly. He also has none of his needed medications. I know that one is a heart medication. This poor man just sits there daily saying, "Their just gonna let me die here", over and over all day that is what he says. Personally, i am surprised he is still alive. Maybe the others under the bridge are doing a good job taking care of him. They all help each other. Neighbor helping neighbor is what our mission is called when we go down sometime in June. If any of you are Christians, please pray for these people. The ones there that are Christians are not allowed to go to churches anywhere. One day these lawmakers will have to face their Lord and Savior. I wonder how the conversation will go, what will their reward be in heaven if they are Christians? I ask myself these things daily as I pray for all of those living under that Bridge in such horrid conditions. What do you think?



Best Regards,

Betty Wyatt Price

IN GOD WE TRUST
ONE NATION UNDER GOD INDIVISIBLE WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL!!
GOD BLESS US ALL
UNITED WE STAND


NC - One In Five Teens Admit To "Sexting"

View the article here

Again with the magical "statistic" of "1 in 5!" Just the typical sound bite of "1 in 5," or "50,000 online predators," or "100,000 sex offender missing!"  Show me the proof to backup these magical (bogus) numbers!

05/14/2009

Greensboro - When is the last time you looked at your teen's cell phone? Triad detectives say it's something every parent should do on a regular basis.

One in five teens has admitted to "sexting." That's when they send compromising photos from cell phone to cell phone. It's happening right here in our community and that's why WFMY News 2's Tanya Rivera teamed up with a detective and a counselor to help parents get answers about the growing trend.

If your teen is caught "sexting" they can be charged with a misdemeanor, or felony or even labeled as a sex offender.


MD - Sex-offender registry passes muster

View the article here

05/14/2009

By CARYN TAMBER - Daily Record Legal Affairs Writer

The state’s sex offender registry law does not violate a former inmate’s constitutional rights to due process, equal protection and privacy, the Court of Special Appeals has held.

A lawyer for the ex-offender, who filed his lawsuit as a John Doe, said he may seek review from the state’s highest court.

The man was convicted of rape in Baltimore County Circuit Court in 1977. Lawyer Flynn M. Owens of Rubin & Owens P.A. in Baltimore said his client has not committed another offense and is no danger to society.

Gosh, Gerald Ford was president when [Doe] committed his crime, and he paid his dues, he served his time in prison,” Owens said.

According to the opinion, Doe was sentenced to 30 years in 1977. He was released in 1995 but violated his probation — the opinion said it is unclear what the violation was — and was sent back to prison. He got out in 1998 and was under supervision until 2007.

Doe is now 57 and married with children.

He filed suit in Baltimore City Circuit Court in 2007, arguing that Maryland’s registry law is unconstitutional because it applies regardless of whether the ex-offender is likely to commit another crime. That court granted the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services’ motion for summary judgment.

Owens said the registry was intended to keep the public safe from repeat offenders, especially child sex offenders. His client is neither, he said.

What benefit is there to keep him on the registry other than to expose him to shame and humiliation?” He said.

Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Nathan, who argued the case for the state, said the state is “pleased the court upheld the General Assembly’s enactment regarding registration of sex offenders, uph[eld] the registration requirement for anybody who’s been convicted of a sex offense.

Precedent was on the state’s side, Nathan noted.

Doe argued that the registry law violates his right to due process of law under the 14th Amendment and the Maryland Constitution. He cited dicta to that effect from a 2002 Court of Appeals opinion.

But in 2003, the Court of Special Appeals pointed out, the U.S. Supreme Court held that Connecticut’s registry statute did not violate due process. That statute, which is similar to Maryland’s, permissibly presumes dangerousness based on the fact of a sex offense conviction, the Supreme Court held.

Doe also argued that the law violates his state and federal equal protection rights, arguing that it arbitrarily lumps all past offenders together without considering their dangerousness.

The court noted that the registry law actually distinguishes among four classes of sex offenders; each category gets its own level of regulation.

Judge Alexander Wright Jr., who wrote the opinion, also noted that Doe’s past sex offense makes him statistically more likely than the general public or other types of ex-offenders to commit a sex crime in the future, even though former sex offenders are less likely than other ex-offenders to re-offend.

Again, even though it is clear, given the low rate of recidivism for sex crimes, that the statute will force some people to bear the indignity of registration long after they may have ceased to be a danger to anyone, that is not enough for this Court to overturn the decision of the Legislature in this case,” Wright wrote. “We hold that the statute does have a rational basis.

Finally, Doe argued that the law violates his right to privacy as set out by the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade, since the main problem of being on the registry is the damage to his reputation.

Wright wrote that the Supreme Court has said that damage to reputation, without anything else, “does not implicate an interest protected by the Constitution.” He further noted that courts have not found a right to privacy where the information being disclosed is already in the public record.

In addition to the information in the public record, the sex offender registry contains a picture of Doe and his address,” Wright wrote. “These are generally not considered private because a person’s image can be readily observed by any passerby and addresses are available in the phone book or on the internet, and they are not intimate details of the kind ordinarily considered ‘private’ under the law.

WHAT THE COURT HELD

Case:

Doe v. Dept. of Public Safety and Corr. Svcs., CSA No. 22, Sept. Term 2008.

Reported. Opinion by Wright, J. Filed May 12, 2009.

Issue:
Does Maryland’s sex offender registry law violate due process, equal protection and privacy rights under the U.S. and Maryland constitutions?

Holding:
No, affirmed. The Supreme Court has held a similar law in Connecticut did not violate due process. There is a rational basis for the registration statute. Damage to reputation, without more, does not implicate a constitutional right.

Counsel:
Flynn M. Owens for appellant; Asst. A.G. Stuart M. Nathan for appellee.
RecordFax # 9-0512-03 (20 pages).


NY - The Misuse of Statistics by Parents for Megan's Law

Courtesy of Sex Offenders - A Reality Based Discussion

05/14/2009

I've been exploring Parents for Megan's Law's web site. It actually has some pretty good material with which I agree, like their tips on prevention.

Parents for Megan's Law actually gives some helpful statistics which make it clear that most children are victimized by family members and acquaintances, not by strangers. Unfortunately, they do not point out that 95% of those arrested for sex crimes in New York State (their base of operations) are first time offenders and thus are not listed on any registry. They also do not point out that the vast majority of sex offenders in New York State are not arrested for a repeat offense.

Unfortunately, they also do their share of twisting and misusing statistics:

Their offender statistics page states: "The typical pedophile commits an average of 280 sexual crimes during his lifetime."

The source given is Able, G., et al. Self-reported Sex Crimes of Nonincarcerated Paraphiliacs. Journal of Interpersonal Violence 2:3-25, 1987.

You can find the quoted number on p. 16 of the study where it states that offenders with male nonincest victims committed an average of 281.7 such acts.

They state that the number applies to a "typical pedophile." Apparently, they think the typical pedophile does not target girls. The number quoted refers only to offenders with male nonincest victims. Actually, the majority of pedophiles in the study targeted girls and committed an average of 23.2 offenses (far fewer than those who targeted male victims). If you define the "typical pedophile" as someone who was diagnosed as being a pedophile (not everyone who has molested a child is a pedophile) who targeted both male and female nonincest victims, the accurate statement would be that the offenders committed an average of 128 offenses (less than half the number she reports).

But wait, there is even more! The numbers above give the "mean" (average) number of offenses. The study also lists the "median" number of offenses. It is important to know the difference between "mean" and "median." Mean is the average number of offenses per offender. Median gives the halfway point---half the offenders have committed more or less than this number of offenses.

In the Abel study, the offenders with male nonincest victims committed an average of 281.7 offenses. The median number of offenses was 10.1. This mean that half of the offenders committed less than 10.1 offenses. The median number of offenses for those with female nonincest victims was 1.4. This means that a small percentage of offenders in the study are responsible for a disproportionately large amount of the offenses.

If you included all pedophiles with nonincest victims, an accurate statement would be that half of the pedophiles in the Abel study committed 4 or fewer offenses and had 3 or fewer victims. This is a far cry from Parents for Megan's Law's claim: "The typical pedophile commits an average of 280 sexual crimes during his lifetime."

This is just some of the "fun" some can have with the numbers. The study has other problems as well.

The sexual abuse of children is a serious issue. One does not need to hype the numbers in order to raise hysteria.