Tuesday, January 19, 2010

America's Wrongfully Convicted

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Whats next to fear?

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You are a slave to the Government! Are we really?

We are NOT slaves to the government! That is what they want us to believe. WE THE PEOPLE run this country, and WE THE PEOPLE can kick them out of office. But, when the sheeple are made to believe they are slaves, and told that enough times, eventually they will believe it. Slavery IS still alive, but like I said, as long as you believe you are a slave, you will be.

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IL - Army says child’s photos not connected to charges

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GALESBURG - An army spokeswoman said Tuesday the photos of Spc. _____’s niece are not connected to charges of possessing pornography made against the Galesburg soldier.

Our staff judge advocate has confirmed that the photos of Spec. _____’s niece are not the photos associated with the preferred charges,” said Maj. Virginia McCabe, a deputy public affairs officer based in Bagram, Afghanistan.

Army spokesman Master Sgt. Thomas Clementson said Tuesday that he can’t say what the charges against _____ are based on.

_____’s parents, _____ and _____, said last week that they believed a child pornography charge against their son was related to pictures of his niece they e-mailed to him. The pictures depicted the 4-year-old in a bathing suit.

The _____ family said that whether their son is guilty or innocent, they would like him to be returned home. In response to questions from The Register-Mail, McCabe said the army had 120 days before it can hold a court-martial, or decide that no action be taken.

_____ is entitled to a speedy trial meaning the prosecution has 120 days from when charges were preferred against Spec. _____, excluding delays attributable to the defense, until a courts-martial,” McCabe said.

_____ was charged on Jan. 5 with possession of child pornography and with disobeying a general order. The military has confirmed that the second charge is related to alleged possession of adult pornography, which is banned by the military in Afghanistan. _____ was due to return home in September with his Galva-based unit.

IL - Does Soldier Have Child Porn Or 'Innocent Pictures' of Niece

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IL - ARC RADIO - Father of soldier charged with child porn due to images of a clothed child sent to him by his mother

Hosted by: RealityUSA


Time: 01/18/2010 06:00 PM EST

Episode Notes: Discussed the Article concerning a soldier being accused of child porn over innocent family picture, The soldiers father joined us tonight to discuss it.

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GA - Chocolate Breasts May Cause Rape Retrial

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A closely divided Supreme Court has given hope to a Georgia death row inmate, ordering a federal appeals court to take a new look at his case because of raunchy gifts that jurors sent the judge and a courtroom bailiff.

_____ was convicted of raping and strangling 15-year-old _____ in suburban Atlanta in 1989.

On Tuesday, the court split 5-4, with Justice Anthony Kennedy joining his four more liberal colleagues in setting aside an appeals court ruling that upheld _____' death sentence.

At issue is whether _____ received a fair trial in light of disclosures that, after the penalty phase, the jurors sent chocolate in the shape of a penis to the judge and chocolate in the shape of a pair of breasts to the bailiff. There also is a question about whether the judge and the jurors had inappropriate communications during the trial, including an encounter at a restaurant.

"The disturbing facts of this case raise serious questions concerning the conduct of the trial," the court said in its unsigned opinion.

The court said, "Neither _____ nor any court has ascertained exactly what went on at this capital trial or what prompted such 'gifts."'

The case will be returned to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta.

Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas dissented, arguing mainly over the procedure the majority invoked to deal with the case.

Alito, writing for himself and Roberts, said a federal judge already has considered the gifts and the restaurant encounter and concluded there was no evidence to substantiate a supposed inappropriate relationship between the judge and jury. But Alito said he also was troubled by "the strange and tasteless gifts that were given to the trial judge and bailiff."

The case is Wellons v. Hall, 09-5731.

NE - Grievance filed against Bruning

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LINCOLN (AP) -- A Lincoln attorney has filed a grievance against Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning (Contact), accusing Bruning of abusing his position and making personal attacks on a judge and a lawyer during a radio show interview (Audio Below).

Korey Reiman said Tuesday that he believes Bruning violated professional rules of conduct with comments he made about Lincoln County District Judge John Murphy and Omaha attorney Stu Dornan during an interview on Omaha station KFAB earlier this month.

The interview focused on changes made to Nebraska's sex offender registry law, which Dornan claims is unconstitutional. In the interview, Bruning called Dornan an "apologist for sex offenders." He also said Murphy is a "piece of work" and he's "always been the rabble-rouser the guy that wants to stick a needle ... in the eye of the state."

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At issue was an order Murphy issued to temporarily halt some of the law's provisions. The order was quickly vacated by a federal judge who previously ruled the law could take effect with some minimal exceptions.

Bruning's spokesman wouldn't immediately comment on Reiman's allegations.

Phone messages left Tuesday for Dornan and Murphy weren't immediately returned.

The grievance was filed with the state's Counsel for Discipline on Friday, Reiman said.

When asked about the decision to file, Reiman, a defense attorney who's not among those who've filed lawsuits challenging changes to the sex-offender law, told The Associated Press that Bruning's behavior simply struck a chord.

"I'm not out to get Jon Bruning, but I do think all attorneys have to abide by this code. I certainly have to," Reiman said Tuesday.

Reiman also said he thought Bruning implied the state didn't have to follow Murphy's order because the judge was "out of control."

"What kind of message does that send to the general public?" he asked.

The Counsel for Discipline investigates grievances to determine whether there's evidence of misconduct. The early stages of the process are confidential. In some cases of wrongdoing, the Nebraska Supreme Court can issue punishments ranging from probation to disbarment.

Kent Frobish, assistant counsel for discipline, said confidentiality rules prohibit him from confirming whether a grievance has been filed or an investigation is under way.

The process applies to all attorneys equally, including the attorney general, Frobish said.

Reiman said personal attacks are inappropriate for any attorney, but especially for the lead prosecutor for the state of Nebraska.

"That position, out of anybody in the state, has to convey a respect for the law and he certainly failed that during that interview, in my opinion," Reiman said.

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IL - A rape that wasn't: the wrongful conviction of Jarrett Adams


In 1998, 17-year-old _____, an African American from the South Side of Chicago, was falsely accused and ultimately wrongfully convicted of raping a white woman. In 2007, _____ was exonerated with the help of the Wisconsin Innocence Project. Since his release, _____ has been focused on becoming a lawyer, so that he can help change the system that wrongfully convicted him. In this short video, _____ and his lawyer describe his case and how he was exonerated.

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UK - False rape claims could land woman in jail

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A WOMAN who made two false rape allegations to detectives in a matter of days will face a possible prison sentence when she returns to court next month.

Faye Branighan was due to discover her fate today but had failed to keep appointments with probation service officials to compile background reports.

Branighan will now be sentenced on February 12 for two charges of doing an act intending to pervert the course of justice between last August and September.

The 20-year-old, of Rounton Green, Middlesbrough, pleaded guilty to the charges of reporting the fictitious crimes at a crown court hearing in November.

She will see a probation official on Monday, and was told by Judge Peter Bowers: "If you fail to do so, probation will tell us, and you will be locked up."

The first allegation was made against an unknown man between August 14 and September 24, and the second was against a named man between August 24 and September 24.

Branighan's barrister, Brian Russell, said she had personal difficulties and was "somewhat depressed" when she made the false claims.

IA - Dyersville's sex offender ordinance stays intact

Original Article


By Michael Schmidt

DYERSVILLE - One of Iowa’s strongest municipal sex offender ordinances will remain on the books.

The Dyersville City Council decided not to take action Monday on a resolution that would repeal its ordinance passed in 2005, which bans all sex offenders from residing within city limits.

Councilmember Molly Evers cited a recent change in Iowa Code that takes away power from municipalities to adopt ordinances on residency of sex offenders.

Evers’ motion to repeal the ordinance died due to a lack of second.

I’m a conservative person, and I don’t think it’s right to use taxpayer money on a lawsuit,” Evers said.

FL - Last Week's Cold Spell Sucked... Unless You're an Iguana-Gobblin' Homeless Dude

Original Article


By Gus Garcia-Roberts

Last week's freeze was not nice to Miami's homeless contingent. The shelters were overflowing, and the Julia Tuttle Causeway sex offenders crowded around barrel fires and behind makeshift walls.

But _____, a burly 37-year-old Georgia-born transient who wears a Moses beard and huge circular eyeglasses, tends to find the silver lining in every defecatory cloud. He refers to one-night jail stints as "B&B stays," claims to catch fish with his bare hands, and long ago mastered the art of snatching leftovers from restaurant patios. He would never deign to enter the lowly walls of a shelter for his dinner.

(_____ asked that we not use his last name or snap his photo because he "might have one or two warrants [he] forgot to take care of.")

Next to his tarp along the nether region of the Julia Tuttle -- he's not a sex offender -- hangs a Publix bag full of tiny lizard bones, picked clean of meat. It's evidence of his latest conquest. During the cold spell, _____ feasted on iguanas that fell, paralyzed by cold, to the ground. "You wait until 1 or 2 a.m., when it's cold enough to shrink your balls," he explains, cloaked in a bubble jacket and several sweaters. "Then you walk along the water under the trees and listen. It sounds like somebody's throwing a sack of rice on the sand. Then you run and get them before they snap out of it."

The six lizards _____ scavenged last week met inglorious ends -- stomped to death under his boot or hacked with an ancient mini-machete. Once they were dead, he then gutted the iguanas, dressed them like you would a chicken, and tossed them into boiling water atop his propane stove. Forty minutes and a whole lot of complete seasoning later and -- voila! -- protein-rich supper for _____ and his cat, Sam. Somewhere in the Design District, chef Michael Schwartz is weeping.

By the time Riptide caught up with _____, the weather had warmed somewhat, to the point that iguanas were no longer dropping from the trees. To confirm his story, we asked his neighbor a few shrubs down -- a homeless man named Richard Smallets -- what _____ had been up to during the freeze. "Hunting, man!" Smallets bellowed. "We call him the Lizard King!"

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OH - Sex offender from Wisconsin beats attempt to stiffen her classification

Original Article


By Jim Phillips

An Athens County woman, convicted of having sexual contact with a 16-year-old student while she was a music teacher in a Wisconsin high school, has petitioned successfully to have Ohio lower her sexual-offender classification.

The Athens County Prosecutor's office last week appealed a judge's decision to lower _____'s offender level from a Tier III (the highest) to a Tier I (the lowest).

On Friday, however, the prosecutor's office moved to dismiss its appeal, apparently having become convinced that _____ is more appropriately classified as a Tier I than as a Tier III.

In June 2002, _____ was sentenced to a year in a Wisconsin state prison, after pleading no contest to sexual assault of a student.

Authorities alleged that she had engaged in sexual touching with a 16-year-old male student on multiple occasions - as many as 20, according to the teen, though _____ reportedly put the number of incidents much lower.

The case got a fair amount of publicity in Wisconsin, including write-ups in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, which noted that the decision by a judge to give _____ prison time took her by surprise, as she had been hoping for and expecting probation.

It has also triggered indignant commentary by persons and organizations critical of how the legal system handles adult-minor sexual contacts.

A Web site called “Moral Outrage,” for example, which purports to provide “age of consent and statutory rape information,” suggests, apparently based largely on a Milwaukee Magazine article about the case, that _____ “was the victim and her 'victim' was the assailant.”

The site argues that the evidence clearly suggests the 16-year-old student initiated simulated intercourse with _____, and in one instance, forced her hand down his pants.

_____ “was never the aggressor,” the site claims, and “always said no” and “asked (the student) to stop.”

After _____, now 30, moved to Ohio, the state Legislature in January 2008 enacted the Sexual Offender Registration and Notification law (SORN), which retroactively adopted the federal Adam Walsh Act.

The new law had the effect of re-classifying many offenders from a Tier I to a Tier III, which has much more stringent reporting requirements. A Tier III offender must report to the local county sheriff's office every 90 days for life.

After SORN went into effect, 16 local offenders filed petitions contesting their reclassifications.

Typically, their attorneys argued one or more of these points: that the reclassification constituted an illegal “ex post facto” (after-the-fact or retroactive) increase in a sentence by legislative action; that it violated the separation of government powers principle; that it exposed the defendants to double jeopardy; that it violated due process; and that it constituted cruel and unusual punishment, forbidden by both the U.S. and Ohio constitutions.

In March 2008, Athens County Common Pleas Judge L. Alan Goldsberry filed an order, blocking the re-classifications until either the Ohio Supreme Court or a federal court ruled on the constitutional issues.

In February 2009, Goldsberry lifted the stay, after rulings from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio and the Ohio 4th District Court of Appeals, supporting the legality of the re-classifications.

The offenders who had challenged their re-classifications got hearings in April 2009, after which Goldsberry affirmed that the re-classifications could proceed. By this time, the number of petitioners had dropped to 10.

Individual offenders, however, still had the option of requesting hearings to contest their reclassifications, which is what _____ did.

Former Athens County assistant prosecutor David Winkelmann, who now works in Iowa, is _____'s attorney.

In his petition to have _____'s classification changed, he touched on all the constitutional issues mentioned above. He also, however, argued that _____ was being unfairly made the victim of a mismatch of Wisconsin and Ohio laws.

Winkelmann noted that _____ was convicted of “sexual assault of a student by an instructional staff member” under Wisconsin law. Apparently, the attorney wrote, the Ohio Attorney General was “under the impression that this is analogous to sexual battery” under Ohio law.

However, he pointed out, Ohio's sexual battery offense requires intercourse or other specific sexual acts which are not alleged to have happened in _____'s case.

Since what happened in _____'s case fits the definition of “sexual contact” as defined by both Ohio and Wisconsin law, Winkelmann contended, “it does not appear the (Ohio) sexual battery law applies to this case.”

He also noted that the only Ohio law that is analogous to the teacher-specific Wisconsin law under which _____ was convicted requires the offender to be employed by a school certified by the Ohio State Board of Education - which is obviously not true of Messmer High School in Wisconsin.

Winkelmann said Friday that he believes _____'s case is a clear example of the SORN being misapplied.

She was classified inappropriately,” he said. Winkelmann added that he doesn't believe _____ committed some of the acts with of she was accused.

After hearing _____'s case, Judge Goldsberry ruled last month that _____'s classification level should go back down from a Tier III to a Tier I.

The prosecutor's office, as mentioned, did file a notice of appeal last Wednesday, only to move to dismiss it on Friday afternoon.

The Athens NEWS was unable on Friday to contact assistant prosecutor George Reitmeier, who actually handled the appeal. Assistant prosecutor Keller Blackburn, however, reported that the office's thinking was that while _____ might not rate a Tier III classification, she did deserve higher than the Tier I she started with.

We thought it was a Tier II,” Blackburn explained.

However, he added Friday, it was his understanding that with further legal research, the prosecutor's office had come around to Winkelmann's view.

As it turns out, it probably is a Tier I,” he acknowledged.

Predators and the Constitution

Original Article


The feds usurp another area of state law.

Sex offenders are the least sympathetic of legal plaintiffs. Still, we were dismayed last week to see so many Supreme Court Justices during oral arguments apparently willing to let the federal government take over an area of law governing criminals that the Constitution grants to the states.

The question in U.S. v. Comstock is whether sex offenders who have already completed their federal criminal sentences may then see their incarceration extended through a process of "civil commitment" by the federal government. The law in question, the 2006 Adam Walsh Child Protection Act, allows the Attorney General to certify a person as a danger to the population and keep him in federal custody. The law tramples on the traditional power of states to protect public health and safety.

At oral argument, Solicitor General Elena Kagan (Contact) argued that federal authority comes from its responsibility to maintain the criminal justice system, and that Congress may make all laws that are "necessary and proper " to execute its other Constitutionally vested powers. But civil commitment and criminal incarceration are different realms of enforcement: Those who have already served their legally prescribed sentences ought no longer be within reach of federal authorities.

The implications go well beyond sex offenders. To do as the Obama Administration asks would be to grant the federal government broad power in the criminal context. In the case of Graydon Comstock, who had been sentenced to three years in jail for purchasing child pornography, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Congress lacked Constitutional authority to recommit him after he had done his federal time.

If the Supreme Court reverses the lower court's decision, it will sanction the notion that nearly any appealing idea may be justified as necessary and proper. In other countries, loose detention laws give wide latitude to authorities to lock up any number of people who "threaten the public safety," including political prisoners. Maybe next the feds could force everyone in America to buy health insurance.
- Yep, and you can bet the corrupt government will use this to lock up anyone who disagrees with them.

The lone apparent critic was Justice Antonin Scalia, who pointed out to Ms. Kagan that the Necessary and Proper Clause was intended only to augment powers the federal government is explicitly given by the Constitution, and federal criminal authority ends when a criminal sentence does.

"The federal criminal proceeding is terminated. The individual is released. You could say it's necessary for the good of society, but that's not what the federal government is charged with." He added, "There is no constitutional power on the part of the federal government to protect society from sexual predators." Twenty states already have their own civil commitment laws.

The Rehnquist Court made important strides in re-establishing state rights, and we shall see if the Roberts Court expands on that legacy. If Graydon Comstock's three year sentence for child pornography is inappropriately brief, the answer is not for the federal government to freelance constitutionally by imposing alternative incarceration. The answer is for voters to seek tougher criminal penalties for sex offenders.

AK - Alaska has yet to comply with US sex offender registration law

Original Article


Alaska has not yet complied with a 3-year-old federal sex offender registration law. The extended deadline is July. Alaska is having trouble complying with the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, known as SORNA, because the state Constitution bars retroactive laws. SORNA would apply to offenders who were convicted before the law was enacted. Alaska also uses a two-tier system while SORNA uses a three-tier classification system.
- So does the US constitution, it's called an ex post facto law, which is FORBIDDEN by the constitutions.

Ohio is the only state to meet the federal requirements, so far.
- Apparently because they have done a way with many rights, including due process and ex post facto.

State Rep. Anna Fairclough (Email), R-Eagle River, said a national system is a good idea, especially to prevent offenders from taking jobs in schools or where they would have access to children.

She said SORNA requirements may be difficult to implement in Alaska. For example offenders in rural communities might have trouble reporting in person every three months.

Fairclough said state congressional representatives may be asked to seek revisions in the federal law.

NCSL Law and Criminal Justice Committee SORNA Teleconference - Friday, January 22, 1:00 p.m. ET

This is closed to the general public, see this blog item (email)

This conference call will provide an opportunity to hear from new Office of Justice Program's SMART Office (Email) officials about SORNA compliance and will include brief updates by NCSL state issues and federal relations staff. A question and discussion opportunity will be included in the approximately one-hour teleconference.

Dial-in Instructions:
  • The conference call will start at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time, 12:00 Noon Central Time, 11:00 a.m. Mountain Time and 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time.
  • Dial toll free (888) 437-3195 - Participants can start dialing in 15 minutes before the start of the call.
  • Announce yourself to the operator as: "A Participant in the NCSL SORNA Call" and give your "Name" and "Organization".

Various SORNA updates are available on NCSL's Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act.

Please contact glenda.riebeling@ncsl.org or (303) 856-1533 to RSVP and to let us know in advance of questions and interests of your state on this issue. Your RSVP will help us plan the conference call capacity and structure the discussion with the SMART office.

New SMART Director: Linda M. Baldwin

SMART Deputy Director: Dawn Doran

SMART Policy Advisors who assist jurisdictions with implementation issues: Lori McPherson, Stephanie LoConto, Scott Matson and Allison Turkel

Policy Advisor Contacts by jurisdiction

Implementation grant funding information from the SMART Office