Friday, June 19, 2009

TX - House impeaches federal judge from Texas

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06/19/2009

By SUZANNE GAMBOA

The House on Friday impeached a federal judge imprisoned for lying about sexual assaults of two women in the first such vote since impeaching former President Bill Clinton a decade ago.

The impeachment of U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent of Texas sets up a trial in the Senate. Kent is the first federal judge impeached in 20 years.

The House approved four articles of impeachment against Kent accusing him of sexually assaulting two female employees and lying to judicial investigators and Justice Department officials. All four articles passed unanimously.

"The conduct at issue here is both shocking and shameful," Michigan Democratic Rep. John Conyers, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said at the start of the debate.

Kent, 59, entered a federal prison in Massachusetts on Monday to serve a 33-month sentence. He pleaded guilty last month to lying to judicial investigators about sexual assaults of two female employees.

Kent is refusing to resign until next year so he can continue to draw his $174,000 a year salary. If he is convicted of the impeachment charges in the Senate, he will be forced off the bench.

When contacted for comment, Kent's lawyer, Dick DeGuerin, cited an earlier statement in which he said Kent's troubles might be enough for impeachment in the House but would not have produced a conviction in the Senate.

Texas Rep. Lamar Smith, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, said he was not unsympathetic to Kent, who has said he has suffered depression since his first wife's death and had problems with alcohol abuse. But Smith said Kent does not have the right to continue as a federal judge and collect his salary.

"It is now time for justice: justice for the American people who have been exploited by a judge who violated his oath of office," Smith said.
- Yeah, and many others in the legislature across this country, continue to violate their oaths of office to uphold the constitution, so why are they not being fired?

Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Florida, sat in the chamber early in the debate. Hastings was acquitted of bribery charges as a federal judge, but later impeached by the House in 1988. The Senate convicted him on similar impeachment charges.

The House voted in 1998 to impeach Clinton for obstructing justice and lying under oath about his sexual affair with Monica Lewinsky, but the Senate early the following year found him not guilty on his impeachment charges.

The next step is for the Senate to appoint a special trial committee. After doing pretrial work it will submit a full report to the Senate. Jim Manley, spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said the pretrial work can last weeks or months. But a trial can be swift.

The full Senate acts as jury and a two-thirds majority is required to convict on the impeachment articles.

As part of his plea bargain, Kent admitted that he tried to force Cathy McBroom, his former case manager, into unwanted sex acts in 2003 and 2007, and did the same with Donna Wilkerson, his secretary, from 2004 through at least 2005.

The Associated Press does not normally name alleged victims of sexual abuse. But McBroom's lawyer and her family have used her name publicly in discussing the case. Wilkerson knew her lawyer gave her name to reporters during Kent's trial. Both women also testified before the House committee.

He must participate in an alcohol-abuse program while in prison. He also was fined $1,000 and ordered to pay $6,550 in restitution to the secretary and case manager whose complaints resulted in the first sex abuse case ever against a sitting federal judge.

Kent was nominated to the bench by President George H.W. Bush and has served since 1990.


"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin (Bill Of Rights)


UT - Group wants DUI registry (Many hypocrites whining about offender rights, how ironic!)

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And I want one big registry with all criminals on it. If a registry is good enough for sex offenders, it's good enough for everyone else. Be it murderers, gang members, DUI offenders, drug dealers/users, thieves, speeders, arsonists, gun owners, you name it. Anyone with a criminal record.  The more registries, the better, and like I said before, the sex offender registry was only the tip of the iceberg, once they can get a way with that, more will come.  And here they come, hopefully!


06/19/2009

By JESSE FRUHWIRTH

LAYTON -- Davis County lawmakers heard this week about a preliminary proposal to post information on the Internet about residents who have been twice convicted of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Why twice?  Why not on the first time?

The DUI offender Web site was proposed by a new group, Davis Helps, to the Davis Council of Governments Wednesday night. Brandon Hatch, prevention coordinator for Davis Behavioral Health, gave a presentation regarding Davis Helps' plans and said the Web site could be launched as soon as this fall.

Hatch told COG members Wednesday there were 1,700 DUI arrests in Davis County in 2008.

Thursday he deferred questions to Brent Wilhite, a public relations professional and member of the Davis Helps coalition. Wilhite declined to discuss the group, its members, or its mission besides saying, "It's a coalition of health, education and law enforcement in Davis County."

Wilhite said his group is "not really ready to talk about" the DUI registry, despite talking about it publicly Wednesday in front of Davis County's biggest coalition of elected leaders.

"We don't have enough information on what that would entail," he said of the proposed Web site. "It's very conceptual right now. ... It's just kind of gauging the public pulse on that right now."

Wilhite and Hatch said they would be ready to discuss the proposal at greater length on Thursday.

DUI defense attorneys Glen Neeley, of Ogden, and Jason Schatz, of Salt Lake City, each said such a Web site would serve no purpose other than humiliation. Both used the term "Scarlet Letter."
- Ain't that funny!  Of course it's a Scarlet Letter, and it's extra ex post facto punishment as well.  But if it's okay for it to be done with sex offenders, then by all means, do it for all criminals.

Melinda Murchie, director of House of Hope Residential Treatment Center in Salt Lake City, said people with addictions rarely consider the consequences of their actions, so fear of appearing on a public registry won't deter them from making dangerous choices.
- Oh how ironic!  The same has been said about sex offender registries for many years now.

Rep. Paul Ray, R-Clearfield, has sponsored various legislation over the years regarding Utah's Sex and Kidnap Offender Registry. He knows as much as anyone about the history and legalities of registries such as the one proposed by Davis Helps.

His initial thought was that no legislation would be required for a local government to create a DUI registry. He said he's aware of no debate or proposal by legislators to have a statewide DUI registry.

Ray said he's very intrigued by the concept and would likely endorse the plan when he hears more details about it.

"As a parent, I would love to have that tool, because if my kids are going to a friend's house, I can check the DUI registry and make sure that person is OK," he said.
- Yep, do it for the kids.  Put all criminals on a registry.  If it saves one child, isn't it worth it?  Not to mention the millions of people's rights you are trampling on!

He disagreed that the registry would place an onerous stigma on the offenders who appear on the Web site, a complaint the sex offender registry has received often.

"DUIs are terrible. I lost a grandfather to DUI. I lost a lot of loved ones to DUI, but I believe the public perception is 'this person has an alcohol problem, but otherwise he's a pretty good guy,'" Ray said.
- Yeah, they are a drunk, who drives a ton of metal down the highway, killing everything in it's path, yeah, they are alright!

"With a sex offender, they look at a person as a deviant and think, 'I'm not sure I trust him for much of anything.'"
- Yeah, so what's your point?

Ray said the Web site could help employers who want to avoid unnecessary risks, but said employers probably would not concern themselves with the DUI registry unless they were hiring a driver.

"If this person isn't driving a vehicle for the employer ... I don't know that a DUI registry would hurt their employment much," he said.

Murchie said such a registry would serve to further stigmatize alcohol abuse. She envisioned a situation in which one child calls out to another child, "Your daddy's an alcoholic" based on information available on a Web site. DUI records are publicly available already, but Murchie said making those records more accessible could embarrass people without modifying their behavior.
- Yeah, so what?  They did the crime, they can suck it up!  Sex offenders have to!

"I don't think it would work as a deterrent for those people who are alcoholics or drug addicts. It's not going to be a great way to stop them because they're not using a lot of consequential thinking anyway," she said. "For non-problem drinkers, it would probably just embarrass them and add to the stigma of alcohol abuse. Clearly (driving under the influence) is alcohol abuse."
- Yeah, just imagine all the politicians we'd have on the DUI registry?  Hell yeah, I'm all for it!

Neeley said DUI offenders are ordered to seek treatment, but that current laws make recovery difficult. Utah's law that allows offenders to get a need-based license to drive to work and treatment while their license is suspended is almost impossible to use. He said DUI offenders would have an even harder time gaining or maintaining employment if a group put their mug shot on a Web site.

"You're going to put them up on a registry and a person goes to try to get a mediocre job or any job and someone can pull them up on the Internet, see your mug, and say 'You've been twice convicted of a DUI. You won't be working here.'"
- Yep, sounds good to me!

Schatz also complained that such a Web site would fail to deter unsafe drivers and said not all DUIs are the same. Schatz estimates he has handled at least 700, but perhaps 1,000 DUI cases in the last five years and said many responsible people drive under the influence once or twice.
- The same can be said about sex offender, which you've all demonized.  So why not demonize DUI offenders as well?

Someone who just left the dentist's office and does not know how impaired they could become after taking their first narcotic painkiller like Lortab can be convicted of DUI, Schatz said.

"(DUI offenders) are not all people who chugged a 12-pack and drove down the road to hit somebody," he said. "I think you're going to see a lot of good, normal people whose reputations are damaged immensely without any real benefit from it."
- And not all sex offenders molest children or are out trolling in parks for kids either.  Man, you people are such hypocrites!

Neeley also disagreed that embarrassment could serve well as a form of punishment.

"Get these people help, don't blast them all over the public, 'Look at him. He's a DUI offender.' That doesn't help the person or society. It hurts them."
- Same with sex offender, you hypocrites!


"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin (Bill Of Rights)


FL - Tampa Crime Stoppers seeks four in June 13 homicide

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And people say the sex offender registry is not punishment!  It's an online hit-list.

06/19/2009

By Kim Wilmath

TAMPA — A reward is being offered for anyone with information leading to the arrest of four people sought in a June 13 homicide, according to Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay.

On that date at about 3:30 a.m., 54-year-old Walter George Patey was found near N Elmore Street and E Adalee Street in Tampa. According to Crime Stoppers, a witness saw Patey get out of a light-colored car occupied by four other people. One of them hit Patey on the head with something while another shot him in the chest.

Patey died. He was a registered sex offender with a GPS monitor, which allowed Tampa police to track his location before his death.

Based on that information, police know that Patey was in Ybor City from about 7:40 p.m. June 12 until about 3 a.m. June 13. The GPS signal was lost near E Palm Avenue and N 10th Street, leading police to believe that was where the assailants picked up Patey.

Those sought are described as a 6-foot-2 black man in his early thirties with long dreadlocks; a 5-foot-9 black man in his early twenties with short hair; a 5-foot-7 black man also in his early twenties with bushy dreadlocks; and possibly a female driver.
- Why is it always black men and/or women?  Is this from eyewitness accounts or just speculation?

Police say the vehicle is a four-door late-'80s, early-'90s cream-colored Oldsmobile or Buick.

Crime Stoppers asks anyone with information about the case to call 1-800-873-8477, report anonymously online at www.crimestopperstb.com or text CSTB plus your tip to C-R-I-M-E-S (274637). Crime Stoppers is offering $1,000 if information leads to an arrest.


"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin (Bill Of Rights)


AL - Concerns about sex offenders

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Alabama State Laws

06/19/2009

Questions continue to arise about where convicted sex offenders can live once they are released from prison.

When an individual is convicted of a sex crime, they must register as a sex offender. Their name, along with a photo, physical description, date of conviction and nature of the crime are all listed on the national sex offender registry along with their residence.

Before they can take up residence anywhere, there are certain guidelines they must follow.

"And that's where the confusion comes in," said Lauderdale County Sheriff (Contact) Ronnie Willis.

Willis sat down with Senior Staff Writer Tom Smith and talked about what is required from the offender - and law enforcement officers - when dealing with sex offender notification and residency.

Q: What is the biggest misunderstanding people have about where a registered sex offender can live?

A: First and foremost is the fact that these are state-mandated guidelines that we go by. City and county departments have no rules governing where a registered sex offender lives; it is strictly state guidelines that we are following.

Q: What are these state guidelines concerning the living arrangements for convicted and registered sex offenders?

A: By law, they cannot live within 2,000 feet of a school, licensed day care or foster home. Also, they cannot live within 1,000 feet of the victim.

In some cases, there are exceptions, which are made by a judge before the person is released. We have one person right now who can be with his children during the day as long as there is adult supervision there, but he cannot spend the night with them. So, at night he leaves and stays in his own home.

Q: How is it determined if a residence meets state law?

A: The sex offender, before being released from prison, makes application for a location. Deputies personally check the location to make sure it is within the guidelines.

Q: Is the neighborhood notified of the individual's intention of living at a certain place?

A: Yes, we mail out cards to everyone who lives within 2,000 feet of the residence where the registered sex offender is going to live. The card contains information about the individual, where they plan to live.

Q: What do you do to make sure they are living where they say they are?

A: They must register with our department and report in every six months, as well as our department conducts periodical checks at the residences.

If we find them living somewhere they aren't suppose to be, they are arrested and subject to going back to prison.


"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin (Bill Of Rights)


TX - Supreme Court finds convicts have no right to test DNA to prove innocence

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Yeah, because the state doesn't want to look bad for locking up innocent people!  They should allow DNA testing in all states, regardless of the years gone past.  It would prove someone is innocent of guilty.  My question is, why did they not use the DNA in the first place?


06/18/2009

The Supreme Court said Thursday that convicts have no constitutional right to test DNA evidence in hopes of proving their innocence long after they were found guilty of a crime.

The decision may have limited impact because the federal government and 47 states already have laws that allow convicts some access to genetic evidence. Testing so far has led to the exoneration of 240 people who had been found guilty of murder, rape and other violent crimes, according to the Innocence Project.

The decision, however, will not effect post-conviction testing in Texas because state law already allows for such testing.

Dallas County, which has had more DNA exonerations than any other jurisdiction in the nation since Texas began allowing testing in 2001, has cleared 20 men who were convicted of crimes they did not commit, including rape and murder.

The court ruled 5-4, with its conservative justices in the majority, against an Alaska man who was convicted in a brutal attack on a prostitute 16 years ago.

_____ won a federal appeals court ruling granting him access to a blue condom that was used during the attack. _____ argued that testing its contents would firmly establish his innocence or guilt.

In parole proceedings, however, _____ has admitted his guilt in a separate bid for release from prison.

The high court reversed the ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. States already are dealing with the challenges and opportunities presented by advances in genetic testing, Chief Justice John Roberts said in his majority opinion.

"To suddenly constitutionalize this area would short-circuit what looks to be a prompt and considered legislative response," Roberts said. Alaska, Massachusetts and Oklahoma are the only states without DNA testing laws. In some other states, the laws limit testing to capital crimes or rule out after-the-fact tests for people who confess.

But Justice John Paul Stevens said in dissent that a simple test would settle the matter. "The court today blesses the state's arbitrary denial of the evidence _____ seeks," Stevens said.

Peter Neufeld, a co-founder of The Innocence Project who argued _____'s case at the Supreme Court, said he was disappointed with the ruling.

"There is no question that a small group of innocent people – and it is a small group – will languish in prison because they can't get access to the evidence," Neufeld said. The Innocence Project helps free wrongly convicted prisoners.

The woman in Alaska was raped, beaten with an ax handle, shot in the head and left for dead in a snow bank near Anchorage International Airport. The condom that was found nearby was used in the assault, the woman said.
- And out of vengeance to get a conviction, possibly the wrong man sits in prison being punished for something he did not do, while the real person may be out walking the streets.

The woman identified _____ as one of her attackers. Another man also convicted in the attack has repeatedly incriminated him. _____ himself described the assault in detail when he admitted his guilt under oath to the parole board in 2004.
- And we know how often people can mistake someone's identity, it happens all the time.  Line ups should only be used to help find the POTENTIAL offender, not to convict someone on the words of someone who said or thinks they did it. He may have done it, but a DNA test would, like the man above said, put it to rest!

_____'s lawyer passed up advanced DNA testing at the time of his trial, fearing it could conclusively link him to the crime. A less-refined test by the state showed that the semen did not belong to other suspects, but could be from _____, as well as about 15 percent of all African-American men.

_____ is awaiting sentencing on another conviction, a robbery he committed after his parole.

The case is District Attorney's Office v. _____, 08-6.


"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin (Bill Of Rights)


GERMANY - German parliament passes bill in fight against child pornography sites

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Isn't going to work, watch and see.

06/19/2009

The German lower house of parliament, the Bundestag, has adopted a new set of laws making it possible to block child pornography Web sites.

The legislation requires Web hosting companies to post "stop" signs when internet users try to access child pornography sites. The bill still has to go through several stages before it becomes law.

The motion has been the subject of a protest petition, with opponents claiming it is a first step towards Internet censorship. The petition has gathered 130,000 signatures calling for the bill to be scrapped.

The proposed law has been promoted by Family Affairs Minister Ursula von der Leyen, who claimed it was an "important sign from society."

"We in Germany won't stand for it any longer that images of children being raped can be called up on the Web," said Leyen.

Lawmakers modified the bill to respond to the criticism and added a sunset clause whereby the legislation would expire after three years.

Others claimed that the bill did not go far enough in restricting access to child pornography.

Internet users will still be able to access child pornography sites even after the stop sign appears, but they will have to click through the warning, which informs them that viewing child pornography is a crime.

Once the legislation passes, police officials will have to draw up a list of Web sites that feature child pornography and send the list to all telecommunications companies.

The bill also requires Germany's chief privacy commissioner, Peter Schaar, to regularly view the lists. Schaar has opposed this, saying it is not his job.


"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin (Bill Of Rights)


SINGAPORE - No to Sex Offender Registry

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06/19/2009

David Widjaja’s coroner inquiry update from Xue Jianyue: Suicide note titled ‘Last words’ found in Widjaja’s laptop. Previous internet searches pertaining to ’suicide’ and ‘murder’ was also found in the web browser history.

Tng Ying Hui/Current Affairs Desk

The recent news of recalcitrant sex offender Muhammad Sufian Hussain, who outraged the modesty of three children, raises the question of whether a sex offender registry should be set up.


SEX offenders are often perceived to be among the worst criminals as their crime debases the dignity of others and cruelly scars them emotionally, sometimes for a lifetime. This lasting psychological impact on the victims has resulted in sexual offenders being treated harshly by law.

(Photo: Registering sex offenders is a common practice in the US. Courtesy of Brian / Creative Commons)

This has led Straits Times journalist Teh Joo Lin to suggest creating “a registry of sex offenders to make it easier - and compulsory - for those whose business deals mainly with children to run discreet checks against…

However, is this measure an infringement of human rights and personal dignity? Are we depriving them of a second chance in life, instead opening the floodgates for discrimination?

One justification for this comes from consultant psychiatrist Adrian Wang, who was quoted in the article as saying that sexual tendencies can be so ingrained in people they can be hard to change - so “the only option is to keep such people away from situations where they may offend”.

Being sexually abused has far reaching effects. These children might have their developing view of themselves and others disrupted. And with their personal integrity, safety and security violated, they might develop a sense of guilt and shame.

The impacts might persist into adulthood as research has shown that the chances for re-victimization are higher for women who have a history of child abuse then non-victims [i].

Children are vulnerable and many states resolve to take extra measures to protect them. The United Nations has set up convention on the rights of children, stating that they “should grow up in a family environment, in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding…brought up…in particular in the spirit of peace, dignity, tolerance, freedom, equality and solidarity.”

In 1995, Singapore signed and ratified the charter, thus any sexual abuses would violate it and deserve rightful punishment.

Families who have seen their child suffer, would endeavour to protect him at all costs. When one’s flesh and blood is subjected to such perversion, it can be emotionally shattering.

Sex Offender Registry a violation of human rights

Despite these reasonings, however, the call for sex offender registry should not have materialised.

We should follow in spirit of the Yellow Ribbon project, which humanises all offenders and advocates the casting aside of prejudices. While rehabilitation of ex-offenders may be hard work for a society so driven by success and pragmatism, this should not deter our society from steering towards one of compassion and inclusiveness.

Having a sex offender registry would efface efforts to mould a more tolerating populace. Imagine the discrimination thrust upon those whose names surface in the registry; Their dignity and privacy would be robbed. On the other hand, those who lobby for a sex offender registry argue that victims of sexual abuse their privacy and dignity as well.

Clich√© as it sounds, the old adage soundly reminds us: “an eye for an eye and the whole world goes blind.” Voltaire speaks of how although truth should prevail, forgiveness is still necessary: “love truth, but pardon error.” This should govern our treatment towards everyone, if not, at least these offenders.

Regardless of the hurt that may befall on us, we should not be swayed and succumb to being vindictive. To some, I may be riding on moral high horse and espousing ineffable ideals. Yet, it is noteworthy that all religion alike repeatedly exhorts us to love, forgiveness and peace.

To say that sex offenders should be registered so that businesses that deal with children can protect them from employees with past criminal history is a flawed argument. This is because Singapore’s compactness would intensify the impact of the revelation of these names to the public.

With a great multitude of agencies that come into contact with children, the names of the sex offenders would be circulated and revealed to a great amount of people. This negates the initial intention of restricting the sex offender registry to a small group.

As a result, the intrusion of privacy is a violation of human rights in itself. Sex offenders may have violated the law, but as much as they should be punished, to have a sex offender registry is insidiously biased against them. In fact, the sex offender registry increases the chances of exploitation through, to name just one, attacks hurled at those in the list.

The United Nations, Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that “everyone should have the right to life, liberty and security of person” and having a sex offender registry would blatantly contravene it. With all his past records and personal details revealed to the public, his personal security would be undermined.

Punitive actions and therapy more effective

Instead of using a sex offender registry to provide a safety net for the children, punitive actions such as stricter laws coupled with therapy that has been proved useful should be applied. Behaviour modification programs have been shown to effectively reduce recidivism in sex offenders by 15-18% [ii].

Therefore, it kills two birds with one stone. Not only do stricter laws serve as a credible deterrence, therapy aligns with the aim of Singapore Prison Service to “Rehab, Renew, Restart.”

Teh Joon Lin’s article mentions that “althoughmoderate” and “high-risks” sex offenders are placed in treatment programmes, the “low-risks” are not. Of the “low-risk” group who did not go through the programme, 6.9 per cent of those released between 2001 and 2006 were re-arrested within two years.” It is time to reassess the grouping criteria and provide an alternate treatment for those in the “low-risk” as well.

The implementation of a sex offender registry as a precautionary measure is to violate the very notion of human rights it purports to protect. The alternative of therapy minimises cases of re-arrests and also inculcates a spirit of humanity.

Why then should we risk encroaching the rights of others when other methods of prevention could be undertaken?

[i] c indy L. Rich, Amy M. Combs-Lane, Heidi S. Resnick and Dean G. KilPatrick, “Child Sexual Abuse and Adult Sexual Revictimization,” in From Child Sexual Abuse to Adult Sexual Risk: Trauma, Revictimization, and Intervention, ed. Linda J. Koenig, Lynda S. Doll, Ann O’Leary, and Willo Pequegnat. (Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association, 2004), 49-68

[ii] Marshall, W.L., Jones, R., Ward, T., Johnston, P. & Bambaree, H.E.(1991). Treatment of sex offenders. Clinical Psychology Review, 11, 465-485


"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin (Bill Of Rights)


IA - Sex offenders calling state office, asking for advice on new law

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You see, apparently sex offenders are trying their damndest to obey the ever changing laws.

06/19/2009

By O.Kay Henderson

Staff in the Iowa Department of Public Safety (Contact) are busy fielding phone calls from sex offenders concerned about new restrictions on loitering that go into effect July 1st.

According to Jim Saunders of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, sex offenders are asking whether they can attend their child's baseball game, for example.

"You can, as long as you have a legitimate reason to be there," Saunders says."But understand if there is some question, law enforcement is going to approach you, they're going to engage you in conversation and find out what your purpose is for being there and if you can't articulate a legitimate purpose for being on that property where children are present, there could be some problems."

A new state law sets up "exclusionary zones" where registered sex offenders may not loiter. The zones are in and around places where children gather -- like schools, swimming pools, video arcades and parks. The new restrictions replace a law which stipulated convicted sex offenders couldn't live within two-thousand feet of a school. That living restriction is still in place for the most dangerous offenders, but all others listed on the state's sex offender registry are now on notice that they cannot loiter in places where children typically gather.

"So it's going to a much more effective tool for law enforcement in terms of a potential prevention of an assault or attach on a child," Saunders says.

According to Saunders, a sex offender who has children will have to get permission from a school official before they can set foot on school grounds. Saunders says his agency has been busy, answering specific questions about the new law.

"Some of the offenders were concerned: 'I can't go to my child's birthday party at Yellow Banks Park at the shelter?' Well, no you can -- you're there for a legitimate purpose," Saunders says. "But if you're there by yourself and you're hanging out at the shelter where there's a birthday party going on and you cannot articulate to law enforcement your purpose for being there, then you may have a problem. You have some explaining to do."

Law enforcement will press charges if they can prove the offender was at the park to identify potential victims. The new law also makes it a crime for a convicted sex offender to work at a school, day care operation, swimming pool, video arcade, amusement park or any other business which primarily serves children.


"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin (Bill Of Rights)


UK - Dad hung himself from bridge

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06/19/2009

A convicted sex offender who secretly recorded a 17-year-old girl undressing and taking a bath committed suicide by hanging himself from a bridge in Worcester, an inquest was told.

_____, aged 51, pleaded guilty to two counts of voyeurism in March.

After the dad-of-two admitted the allegations, his wife left him and told him to leave the family home.

An inquest at Stourport-on Severn Coroner’s court heard how _____’s mental state deteriorated rapidly after he was arrested in May 2008.

_____ made a number of threats to kill himself and had taken overdoses prior to his death.

_____’s body was found hanging underneath a footbridge in near Northwick, Worcester, by a member of the public who was out walking on Wednesday, April 8.

Worcestershire Coroner Geraint Williams recorded verdict that _____ had killed himself.


"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin (Bill Of Rights)


SOSEN - Media Brochure


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"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin (Bill Of Rights)


SOSEN - Church Brochure


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"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin (Bill Of Rights)


NJ - GPS Monitoring of Sex Offenders




"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill (Bill Of Rights)


NJ - Polygraph Testing of Sex Offenders

AntiPolygraph.org | Wikipedia




"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill (Bill Of Rights)


OH - Police: Wanted Sex Offender Found Dead In Parking Lot

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So what about the murder investigation? Apparently there is not going to be one, based on this article, which does not even mention it.  How do they know it's suicide and not murder?  It might be, but what about an investigation?


06/18/2009

PARMA - Parma police said a sex offender who exposed himself to several children in a residential neighborhood was found shot to death in a Medina hospital parking lot Thursday afternoon.

Police said _____, 42, of Medina, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Police issued a warrant for felony public indecency for _____ earlier in the day.

Officers said three boys, ages 7, 9 and 10, observed _____ masturbating on a tree lawn in front on Thornton Drive in Parma at about 7:15 p.m.

Parents were notified and gave chase, but _____ fled in a silver Dodge Caravan, police said.

_____ is a registered as a habitual sex offender in Medina County, stemming from having been previously convicted of two counts of rape involving two juvenile males in 1986, police said.


"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill (Bill Of Rights)


OH - Sex offender wins challenge of new law

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Good news, for once!

06/19/2009

By MARY ANN GREIER

LISBON - A sex offender who challenged a reclassification requiring him to register his address for the rest of his life won a new classification requiring less registration time.

_____, 47, filed his petition contesting his new sex offender registration level on Dec. 31, 2007, just before a new law took effect with stricter registration rules.

Based on a ruling by Common Pleas Court Judge David Tobin this week, _____ will register twice a year for 25 years instead of every 90 days for life.
- Well, not a total victory, but it's better than life.

_____ was one of many sex offenders living in Columbiana County who challenged the constitutionality of the changes, specifically the ability of the state to reclassify offenders who had already been classified and make the new requirements retroactive.

The civil cases filed in Common Pleas Court had been on hold for over a year while the judges waited to see what happened with a federal case and some appellate cases. Just recently, they've been making rulings, with both Tobin and Judge C. Ashley Pike ruling against the constitutional challenges, in line with what higher courts decided.

Tobin, however, has been giving the offenders their day in court, including _____, who appeared on his own behalf Tuesday. No one appeared on behalf of the state.

_____ pleaded guilty to two counts of criminal sexual conduct in Macomb County Circuit Court in Michigan in April 2000 and was ordered to prison for 16 to 24 months. Under the registration rules at the time, he was ordered to register his place of residence for 10 years. He was released from prison in January 2002 and had registered for six years without incident.

In November 2007, he received notification from the Ohio Attorney General's Office that he was reclassified as a Tier III sex offender, which is the most stringent of the three classifications. The new classification required him to register with the local sheriff's office every 90 days for the rest of his life and made him subject to community notification, meaning the sheriff's office had to notify neighbors within 1,000 feet that he was living in their neighborhood.

Tobin had already ruled on the constitutionality of the new law, but at issue now was how the new law was applied to _____.

According to Tobin, the charge against _____ dealt with sexual contact and was a misdemeanor under Michigan law, with the charge similar to gross sexual imposition in Ohio, which is a third-degree felony.

He noted that gross sexual imposition falls under Tier II sexual offenses, writing that "consequently, the attorney general has misclassified this defendant."
- This is just insane!  You have to spend and waste tons of your own hard earned money, to fight the courts screw ups!  They should have had to reimburse him as well!

He found that _____ had proven the new requirements "...do not apply to him in the manner specified in the letter sent to him."

He reclassified him as a Tier II sexual offender, requiring registration for 25 years, but requiring no community notification.


"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill (Bill Of Rights)


AUSTRALIA - 12-year-old to be sentenced for child sex offences

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06/19/2009

By Christine Flatley

A 12-year-old boy who raped a young child will be sentenced after failing to convince a court he was wrongly convicted.

The boy - who cannot be named - was found guilty of rape and attempted rape at the end of a judge-only trial in the Children's Court at Townsville earlier this year.

During the trial, the court was told the boy raped a four-year-old boy in May 2007, and tried to rape his own three-year-old brother a short time later.

The boy told his father he had raped the child because he was "horny", it was revealed at the trial.

Under Queensland law anyone under 14 years cannot be held criminally responsible for an offence unless it can be shown they had the capacity to know they ought not have done the act.

The trial judge found the boy did have the capacity to know he should not have committed the offences.

The boy's lawyers took the case to the Court of Appeal in Brisbane in May in an attempt to have the conviction quashed.

They argued that the guilty verdict was "unreasonable" and "against the weight of the evidence".

They also argued the trial judge gave insufficient weight to the evidence of a psychiatrist called by the defence.

The Court of Appeal in Brisbane on Friday dismissed the application, finding that the trial judge correctly ruled the boy knew that what he was doing was wrong.

The boy will now be sentenced for the two sexual offences.


"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill (Bill Of Rights)


IN - Sex offender law something to think about

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06/18/2009

By DEBBIE HARBESON

Columnist says council, attorney piling mistake upon mistake

Last week, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 against the city of Jeffersonville in a lawsuit concerning the ordinance banning sex offenders in government parks.

According to the appeals court, the city improperly used the law to prohibit _____ from watching his little boy play baseball, even though he was no longer required to even register as a sex offender.

In 2006, I explained why this law wasn’t a good idea in the first place. In 2008, I explained that what government officials were doing to _____ was wrong.

I figured that would be it for me, but I’ve discovered a columnist’s work is never done. This time around, though, I’m going to let government officials do the work. Yes, I’m getting smarter.

Let’s start with the lawyer. Back in 2006, attorney Larry Wilder, who wrote the ordinance, admitted there may be lawsuits challenging the ordinance, but he thought the city would win.

Think about that. He knew this law as written was open to challenge from the beginning, but it didn’t matter. Why? Could it be because it’s only taxpayer money? Isn’t a lawsuit a good thing as far as the attorney is concerned?

After losing the appeal, Wilder said recent rulings were to blame and added, “The law is fluid … it changes all the time.”

Think about that. Who benefits from constitutionally questionable, constantly-changing and confusing laws?

Let’s move on to the politicians. City Councilman Keith Fetz, who sponsored the ordinance, said the court threw out the safety of children and law-abiders for the sake of a sex offender. And Council President Connie Sellers said, “I have four kids — why wouldn’t I support it?

Think about that. If either of these two — and all the other council members — had spent just five minutes educating themselves, they would know that this law disregards all current knowledge about sexual offenses against kids and is completely useless.

Of course, politicians aren’t interested in such things; they are interested in passing laws to create the illusion of protection so you continue to think they are doing something useful. How else are they going to justify taking your money?

Sellers also said she didn’t want to be accused of supporting sex offenders if she didn’t support the ordinance.

Think about that. She’s letting her fear of being accused of something that could hurt her political career guide her judgment more than standing up for whether a law is constitutional, effective or even necessary.

They have no intention of stopping this nonsense. Fetz wants to appeal and says, “I will not rest until I accomplish what I intended to accomplish — give park goers an extra layer of protection.”

Think about that. Why would he be so desperate to continue spending your money on something that was not a problem to begin with? Who is he really trying to protect at this point?

Upon hearing that the court also criticized the amount of documentation required to obtain an exemption, Fetz said he “doesn’t know how we can make it any easier.”

Think about that. How much power should politicians have if they can’t even figure a way out of a bureaucratic paperwork mess they created?

I don’t care about these three people in particular; they only provide the latest evidence from those employed by government who want you to believe that laws they create are always good ideas.

Politicians have been doing this repeatedly for many years. As a matter of fact, maybe we should create a registry and demand all government officials sign up so we can start tracking the recidivism rate of screwing over the citizens.


"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill (Bill Of Rights)


CA - Decoy testifies at sex-sting hearing Doctor's defense unlikely to be allowed to call computer expert to refute theory

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06/18/2009

By LORI A. CARTER

A Sonoma County judge is apparently satisfied with the explanation of why a police decoy's computer can't be turned over by prosecutors in the case of an East Bay doctor charged in a televised "sex-predator" sting in Petaluma three years ago.

After a half-day hearing during which he heard sworn testimony from the decoy, Judge Arthur Andy Wick said this week he didn't need to hear from a defense computer expert who was ready to testify that the decoy's version of events was implausible.

Dr. Maurice Wolin, 51, an oncologist from Piedmont, was arrested along with 28 others in August 2006 during a three-day sting law enforcement conducted with a group called Perverted Justice and NBC's "Dateline" segment, "To Catch a Predator."

Last month, Wick said he wanted to hear from Perverted Justice founder Xavier Von Erck of Portland, Ore., who posed as a 13-year-old girl online and allegedly convinced Wolin to drive to Petaluma for a sexual encounter with her.

Wolin is charged with one felony count of attempted lewd conduct with a child, for which he could be sentenced to four years in prison if convicted. He has pleaded not guilty and is free on bail.

Von Erck testified that the hard drive that recorded four days of online sex chats, allegedly with the doctor, crashed in 2007 and was discarded.

Wolin's attorney, Blair Berk of Los Angeles, argued that Von Erck's explanation of the dead hard drive was unbelievable.

Prosecutor Brian Staebell said the defense is overstating the value of Von Erck's computer because the organization's main proxy server recorded the chats as well.

The chats are crucial to prosecutors who believe they show the doctor's intent to meet a 13-year-old girl for a sexual encounter.

Since the beginning of the case, Wolin's attorneys have questioned the reliability of the chat logs and their chain of custody between Perverted Justice and police. They said the logs can't be authenticated.

But Staebell said Von Erck's computer crash is irrelevant, arguing that prosecutors long ago gave the defense the chat logs from the proxy server.

Those logs, he said, cannot be altered and clearly show Wolin thought he was driving to Petaluma for a sexual rendezvous with a 13-year-old girl he had shared dirty talk with.
- Cannot be altered?  I doubt that!

Von Erck testified in September 2007 that the chats were saved on his laptop's hard drive, in addition to the organization's Texas proxy server. After Wick late last year ordered a copy of the hard drive be turned over to defense attorneys, Von Erck told prosecutors for the first time his computer had died in February 2007.

But, he said, before it crashed, he had copied all sting-related documents to an external hard drive. From there, he said Monday, he copied them again to a portable thumb drive, which he turned over to prosecutors.

"This has gone so far astray from what the real issue is," Staebell said during Monday's hearing. "The defense is trying to, in my opinion, use red herrings to distract from the real issues in the case."

That is, he said, that Wolin intended to have sexual contact with a minor after agreeing to it online.

After hearing Von Erck's explanation of how the laptop overheated after its fans died, Wick said he didn't need to hear from a defense computer expert.

Berk said she would seek sanctions against the prosecution for misconduct and destruction of evidence and may ask the judge to dismiss the case. Wick tentatively set a July 30 hearing for those motions.

A trial date was set for Oct. 9, pending other legal issues.


"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill (Bill Of Rights)


FL - County increases sex offender boundary to 2500 feet

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06/18/2009

By Joel Addington

About four months ago convicted sex offender _____ was set to be released from prison. This troubled County Commissioner Michael Crews because Mr. _____’s female victim, still under 12 years old, lives across the street from the man’s former home in Sanderson.

He was going to come back and live at his home,” said Mr. Crews. “She’s going to be waiting for the bus while he’s on the porch in the morning drinking coffee.”

Mr. Crews feared that facing her molester, day after day, would re-victimize the girl. He hoped to find a way to stop that from happening.

I’ve always been real sensitive toward victims that are minors or children, especially with sexual molestation,” said Mr. Crews, the father of two daughters and one son. “I don’t think the laws are restrictive enough.”

What evolved over the next few months was the county’s first sexual offender ordinance, which the Baker County Commission adopted June 2. It prohibits sexual offenders from living within 2500 feet of schools, parks, playgrounds or other places where children regularly congregate.

Florida statutes bar sex offenders from residing within 1000 feet of such places.

The 56 registered sexual offenders now residing in Baker County will not be subject to the tighter restriction, nor can they be penalized if a day care center or school opens up within 2500 feet of their home.

Rather, the ordinance will impact sexual offenders who come to Baker County in the future or those who change their place of residence.

Sex offenders are required by state law to report to the sheriff’s department annually with their permanent address, which local law enforcement is tasked with verifying quarterly to ensure they comply with residential restrictions. If they do not, they can be arrested or have charges filed against them with the state attorney’s office.

We just finished that up,” said Maj. Gerald Gonzalez, the department’s operations chief, regarding the quarterly address checks.

Violation of the 2500-foot prohibition is a misdemeanor that carries a penalty of 60 days in jail and/or a $500 fine, but for offenders on probation after release from incarceration, a violation could mean additional prison time.

That’s where I think it’s most effective,” Mr. Crews said of the new law.

He’s a former sheriff’s deputy and head of security at Northeast Florida State Hospital, which houses 14 local sex offenders, four of whom have been deemed sexual predators. That designation is reserved for repeat sex offenders, those that used violence or whose victims were children.

Mr. Crews says he is disappointed, however, that the new law isn’t more restrictive.

The ordinance didn’t accomplish the main thing I wanted — that once an offender is released, they cannot move or live within a certain distance of their victim,” he said.

The sexual offender that prompted the ordinance now lives in Jacksonville as a requirement of his probation, but the man could eventually return to his family’s home in Sanderson.

[Probation] is preventing it now, but he can come back,” said Mr. Crews.

He said that when researching how restrictive the ordinance could be, the county’s attorney Terry Brown discovered the Supreme Court overturned a law prohibiting sexual offenders from residing within 1000 or so feet of bus stops.

Baker County’s ordinance is as restrictive as possible without conflicting with legal precedent, said Mr. Crews.

The new law also includes a provision to penalize property owners who knowingly rent residences to sexual offenders in violation of the 2500-foot restriction, which Maj. Gonzalez said will be difficult to enforce.

There’s no requirement for the offenders to report [their status] to their landlord ... It’s one of those deals you can’t prove,” he said. “That’s going to be an issue — enforcing the penalties against landlords.”


"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill (Bill Of Rights)


RUSSIA - Russian woman on trial for raping 10 men

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06/18/2009

A young Russian woman, a devoted collector of horror films and spiders, is on trial for sedating and raping ten men.

The police were shocked that 32-year-old Valeria K., a quiet good-looking woman from the city of Tambov, was the mysterious rapist who abused ten local men after poisoning them with clonidine, Life.ru reports.

Valeria, who has already been nicknamed the Black Widow for her love of spiders, would get acquainted with men and invite them to her place.

She gave them drinks with clonidine, which almost immediately sent them to sleep for almost 24 hours.

After that, she undressed her victims and raped them, tightening a rope on their male organs to kep them erect.

Waking up in hospital with clonidine poisoning and penis trauma, all the victims could remember was a friendly brunette who gave them drinks.

Finally, local police identified the offender and arrested her.

At present, the police know about ten of Valeria’s victims, although one of them refused to file a complaint against her.

It was great,” the unnamed man said.

I like hot women. I only wish she hadn't use the clonidine on me.”


"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill (Bill Of Rights)