Saturday, June 27, 2009

PA - State court rules homeless sexual offenders don't have to register residence under Megan's Law

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A state Superior Court panel ruled Friday that convicted sexual offenders cannot be held subject to Megan's Law registration requirements if they are homeless.

In upholding a Dauphin County judge, the state appellate court found that William H. Wilgus should not have been prosecuted for violating the requirements to register his address with state police since after being released from prison in 2007 on sexual assault charges, he could not find a home.

The court said Wilgus unsuccessfully tried to find housing at Bethesda Mission and several other shelters and ended up living in alleys around Second and Market streets near the county courthouse.

The court said the definition of residence in the law and its purpose to inform neighbors makes it clear that the law cannot apply to transients. The three-judge panel suggested the state Legislature could amend the law to address the situation.

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

FL - Sex Offenders Line Entryway To Miami Beach

Watch the first video, then watch the second video. You see how he's all of a sudden changing his mind? He's nothing but a hypocrite trying to protect his own butt. Also, do not forget, Americans Reality Check will be interviewing Ron Book on 06/30/2009 (This Tuesday), if he doesn't bail out! And like someone else mentioned, The sex offenders should stand on the bridge, day in and day out, welcoming people to Miami. Boy, would that get attention, and kill the tourist industry!!! You have to fight fire with fire!!!

Now Ron Book is trying to cover his butt!

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

GA - Naked ex-mayor arrested at campsite

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By Alexis Stevens

Gainesville’s Musselwhite denies causing earlier trouble

A former mayor found sitting naked and holding a beer at a Rabun County campsite told police he wasn’t the same naked man seen walking around earlier.

Mark Musselwhite, 43, said he was hot and had been in the creek, according to a Georgia Department of Natural Resources incident report. He apparently didn’t think he was doing anything wrong.

Musselwhite, of Gainesville, was arrested last weekend after being confronted by state DNR authorities. He was charged with public indecency.

He told me he was the ex-mayor of the city Gainesville and he was a very political person,” DNR Ranger Brandon Walls wrote in the report.

Walls and a deputy sheriff went to the campsite Saturday evening after a complaint of a man walking naked in Earls Ford Road, according to the report. Musselwhite appeared to be intoxicated, and several alcoholic beverages were at the campsite, Walls said.

Walls said he had spoken to Musselwhite earlier in the day regarding an ATV the former mayor was driving.

He looked at us and said hello,” according to the report.

Musselwhite then asked why he was being visited.

I said the complainant had specifically said his campsite, and the fact that he was still nude made me think it was him,” Walls wrote.

Musselwhite denied that he was the nude man identified in the complaint.

An unidentified female was also at the campsite.

Musselwhite, a Republican, was elected to the City Council in 2000. He served on the council for six years, including as mayor of the town. In 2006, he lost a bid for a state Senate seat.

Musselwhite previously served as deacon of First Baptist Church in Gainesville.

He could not be reached for comment Friday evening.

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

OK - Oklahoma lawmakers to study many issues

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Meth labs, school year length and veterans will be among topics

State House members will tackle more than 100 issues before the next legislative session starts in February. House Speaker Chris Benge approved 120 interim studies that are expected to be conducted before the session starts.

Issues covered by the studies include the incidence of "shake and bake” methamphetamine labs, extending the school year for public schools, government modernization and a study looking at post-traumatic stress disorder cases and whether the Department of Veterans Affairs prepared to handle the number of cases. Benge also approved a study that will look at privatizing foster care and welfare services.

"This year, we have a good set of studies that will help to find ways to make our government more efficient, all while providing vital government services to the people of our state,” said Benge, R-Tulsa.

"These studies will help ensure our taxpayers are getting the most out of their money in government services and programs,” he said.

Benge approved nearly twice as many interim studies as he did in 2008, when 120 studies were requested and 68 were approved. This year, 167 studies were requested.

The studies are given to committee chairmen who will oversee research and testimony on the issues. Lawmakers who participate in the studies are paid $25 a day and 55 cents per mile round-trip from their home to the Capitol, said Jennifer Monies, House press secretary.

About the studies
The list approved by Benge also includes a review of laws that regulate sending explicit pictures on cell phones. That study was requested by Rep. Anastasia Pittman, D-Oklahoma City. The study would look at ways to develop training for parents and teachers on how to deal with "sexting,” a practice common among teenagers. Currently, it’s a felony to send a sexually explicit picture of a minor. People convicted of the crime could be made to register as a sex offender.

Benge’s office rejected 43 studies, while four with withdrawn, Monies said. Some of the studies rejected included a request to analyze the cost of care for children with autism, a study requested by Rep. Randy Terrill and other lawmakers looking at the leadership structure at the Department of Public Safety and a study to allow certain nonviolent felons to have a firearm.

In the Senate, all 34 interim studies requested were approved by Senate President Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee, including two studies requested by Sen. Jay Paul Gumm, D-Durant, to examine the cost of providing insurance to children with autism or the cost of requiring insurers to cover treatment for autism.

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

IA - Guest column: Do-over needed: Sex-offender law based on myths

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Iowans concerned about family safety should read this carefully. The Iowa General Assembly passed a bill this spring, SF 340, that keeps registered sex offenders out of schools, libraries and swimming pools and keeps the "worst offenders" subject to the prohibition against living within 2,000 feet of a school or child-care center.

Will this protect your children better than the old law? Gov. Chet Culver (Contact) signed the bill into law because he says these measures will make Iowa safer and law enforcement's job more effective. Concerned citizens should consider three points of reality both the governor and General Assembly seem to have ignored in their rush to impress you on TV.

First, this new law (as it presumes better public safety) is still predicated on the same old clinically and factually disproven myths. One is that sex offenders always reoffend. This is false, as proven by a federal study using 2004 data for Iowa that shows about 3 percent of registered sex offenders reoffend sexually, even though about 45 percent have or will commit other general crimes. The national statistic for general criminal recidivism is 68 percent. Many general criminal offenders have several convictions for similar crimes, but the average sex offender has about 1.5 sex-offense convictions, according to federal statistics and a state report.

Another myth concerns "stranger danger." Iowa law was written in apparent contempt for known facts about society and sexual abuse. Of Americans who have grown up at least since the 1920s, about 95 percent have either been a victim of or witness to sexual abuse, according to 1990s clinical studies by experts such as Schwartz/Cellini (Massachusetts Treatment Center) and Robert Longo ("Sex Abuse in America: Epidemic of the 21st Century"). Data also show that 87 percent of all child sexual abuse is committed by a first-time offender, 95 percent of the time by a family member, teacher, priest or a close family friend or neighbor. Adult rape reflects a similar profile 64 percent of the time.

Finally, the new law takes those with the more criminally ridiculous "sex offense" charges, such as public urination and teenage consensual sex, off the registry, but does two wrongs to the public. It continues making restoration, reintegration and stability of former offenders difficult if not impossible, and it violates constitutional guarantees.

The concept of rehabilitation includes the ability to reintegrate to society after incarceration. For former sex offenders, being persecuted and repressed makes society less safe, and it defeats the supposed public-safety purpose of the informative, administrative regulation the original federal registration laws intended.

Iowa legislators were under pressure to comply with the federal Adam Walsh Act, which sets minimum standards for sex-offender registration and notification, or risk losing federal law-enforcement funds.

Federal pressure like that on states defeats the 10th Amendment's guarantees of state sovereignty and the power of the people's self-determination - a step toward fascism. It also affects certain personal-guarantee issues, in terms of the right to have a place to live, the right to personal liberty and the right to equal protection under the law that is afforded every other former convict.

Almost 100 percent of child sex abuse is not "stranger danger." To stop sexual abuse, Iowa should proactively engage in available programs of prevention combined with community treatment of offenders and a prison sex-offender treatment program truly designed to help people habilitate better thought and behavior patterns for a better life. That will help eliminate the victimization of children and adults that happens mostly because some people have treatable, untended biopsychosocial problems.

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