Monday, August 2, 2010

CA - California lawmakers to take up Chelsea's Law

Original Article


By Marisa Lagos

Few political issues are as difficult to tackle as laws dealing with California's ever-growing number of convicted sex offenders.
- It's not really difficult, if you obey the Constitution like those in office swore to do, but when politics gets in the way, then nothing gets done.  They don't listen to the facts or experts, but only what the uninformed public has been taught to swallow for years, and the sound bites (mentioned below) to further their own careers and to "look tough" on crime.

For years, experts on the issue have complained that state laws were determined more by sound-bite politics than policies that improve public safety and protect children. Elected leaders, wary of accusations that they were being soft on sexual predators, have historically stayed clear of reforming such laws, except to make them harsher.

But this week, Sacramento lawmakers will take up a measure that has been greatly revised since its introduction earlier this year to include provisions such as ongoing treatment for sex offenders and sentences tailored to the severity of a crime.

Backers say the changes to AB1844 would focus the state's limited resources on the worst child molesters and will make great strides toward fixing how California deals with people found guilty of sex crimes - even if, at first glance, some of its provisions appear to ease restrictions for some convicted criminals. Perhaps just as unusual - the revised bill is the result of a rare bipartisan collaboration.

The proposal is called Chelsea's Law, after a San Diego teen killed by a registered sex offender in February. Like many legislative responses to horrific crimes against children, it began as a punitive measure that would have increased the sentences and parole terms given to child molesters.
- We need to stop the d--- practice of naming laws after human beings!  They know that nobody would turn down a law named after some child.  This practice needs to stop.

The changes made last month include tailoring those sentencing and parole requirements to specific crimes, instead of taking a one-size-fits-all approach. It would match treatment approaches to ongoing assessments of offenders, and it would use polygraph tests for parolees.
- Okay, if this is all true, then why do we need more laws?

The measure still doesn't tackle what many experts consider one of the biggest failures of current sex offender law: restrictions on how close convicted sex offenders can live to places like parks and schools. That restriction has forced thousands of parolees into homelessness, which critics say actually hurts public safety because the offenders become harder to track.

However, the newly proposed changes do conform with many of the other recommendations that the state's own experts - the California Sex Offender Management Board - have made for years.

"The bill, as introduced, was trying to get at some solutions to pretty complex problems, and as it went through the process it got better and better," said Robert Coombs, a victim's rights advocate who chairs the board. The bill still includes harsher sentences for violent sex crimes against children, lifetime sentences for the most horrific offenses and lifetime parole for others - "tough on crime" approaches that are easy to sell to both lawmakers and voters.
- Like I said, if this is true, why are more draconian laws needed?  Doesn't the existing laws already do this?

New approach

"There are still some elements of just straight-up sentencing enhancements there, but for the most part it is stepping away from a just over-generalized approach and starting to take a look at what we know works instead of what we feel works," Coombs said.

The deal worked out between Republican Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher of San Diego and San Francisco Democratic Sen. Mark Leno, chairman of the public safety committee, represents a marked departure from past efforts to tighten those laws.
- And like always, he's running for state senate, so of course he's going to bust out the sex offender laws, and to name a law after a child, it helps him get elected.

In 2006, for example, Republican sponsors of a bill known as Jessica's Law went straight to the ballot after the measure was killed in the Assembly Public Safety committee, which Leno then chaired.

That measure included the restriction on convicted sex offenders living within 2,000 feet of schools or parks. Leno was vilified for his opposition, but as an April Chronicle story noted, the residency rules in Jessica's Law are now under attack by an increasing number of state officials, law enforcement experts and some victims' advocates for forcing sex offenders into homelessness.

That problem is particularly acute in dense, urban areas such as San Francisco, where 84 percent of paroled sex offenders are transient.

Studies have shown there is no connection between where a person lives and whether they will commit another crime, and that instability - such as homelessness - can actually make a sex offender more likely to reoffend. Other states - including Iowa and Georgia - have recently scaled back or eliminated similar residency restrictions. As part of their agreement, Fletcher pledged to revisit the residency issue with Leno next year. He hasn't promised to support a potential bill or ballot measure, "but I am committed to working with him, because there's a fair conversation to be had about what's in the best interest of public safety," Fletcher said.

Funding Chelsea's Law

For Leno, one of the biggest issues was reining in the cost of longer parole and prison sentences.

In order to offset the anticipated increase in inmates, Fletcher agreed to raise the prison threshold for those convicted of an unrelated crime: repeat offenders that commit petty theft. The change means more thieves will stay in county jails instead of state prison.

Even with that change, it's not entirely clear what Chelsea's Law will cost; an updated analysis is expected to be released within the next week. The original bill was estimated to increase state costs by tens to hundreds of millions of dollars over the next two decades.

However, both Leno and Fletcher argue that portions of Chelsea's Law could ultimately save the state money while better protecting children. That's because the state will be required to closely monitor a parolee's risk of reoffending, and to tailor treatment based on those risks - likely resulting in fewer victims, less recidivism and lower prison costs.
- Or so they'd have you believe!

This containment model has been proved to work in other states, they said.

Chelsea's Law is not without some opposition: Defense attorneys and the ACLU have concerns about the longer prison sentences and the lack of treatment when offenders are in prison. Coombs also said it remains to be seen how well state officials implement the bill. But, he added, Chelsea's Law is a step in the right direction after Jessica's Law, which he considers a failure.

"We're left to pick up the pieces after someone introduces an initiative that is not well thought out, doesn't address a well-realized problem and is based more on bumper sticker politics," he said. "This is probably one of the bigger steps."
- And so you pass more initiatives that are the same as the one you claim has failed!

TX - Not all sex offenders the same, advocates of changing Texas list say

Original Article


By Alex Branch

[name withheld] was a 23-year-old student teacher in 1994 when he made "the most regrettable decision in my life."

He became sexually involved with a 14-year-old female student.

He was sentenced to five years' probation for sexual assault of a child. He completed his sentence, went on to earn a master's degree, start a career in computer technology and get married.

Now 39, he believes he has earned the opportunity to put his shameful past behind him for good -- by ending his mandatory lifetime presence on the state's registry for sex offenders.

"I am not a predator," [name withheld] said. "I am in no way, shape or form a threat to society. I'll never be proud of the person who made that terrible decision, but I am proud of the person I have become."

[name withheld] is among the people advocating for changes to the state's sex offender registry, including using a more risk-based classification system and allowing offenders who are not deemed public threats the possibility of getting off the list.

The current registry has swelled to 62,000 names and is becoming too bloated to perform its purpose of protecting the public, they say.

In agreement is the Texas Council on Sex Offender Treatment, which formed a task force in 2008 to study the efficiency of the registry. Council members say the current registry treats too many offenders as equally dangerous and inundates law enforcement agencies tasked with keeping track of them.

"The registry is not really accomplishing what we wanted it to accomplish," said Liles Arnold, council chairman and a licensed professional counselor. "If we spread ourselves too thin, we are not keeping the community as safe as we like."

At a hearing in June before a state Senate committee on criminal justice, a handful of convicted sex offenders and their relatives objected to the current registry.

Among the complaints was that the system does little to differentiate between dangerous predatory rapists and young adults who showed terrible judgment in having sex with underage people.

Some offenders told of their children being ridiculed at school. Others told of difficulties finding jobs and places to live because of the public scrutiny.

Sixteen to 19 percent of families of sex offenders report harassment, according to the treatment council.

"The argument is you have some very low-risk offenders, and the ramifications are very destabilizing for them," Arnold said.

Burgeoning registries

Allison Taylor, the council's executive director, told the committee that the registry's rapid growth affects local law enforcement agencies. Fort Worth has more than 1,500 registered sex offenders; Arlington has almost 500.

Police resources are being used to track low-risk offenders, diluting the agencies' ability to monitor the dangerous ones, she said. Removing low-risk offenders from the list would not only free up officers to focus on high-risk offenders, but also better inform the public about true threats in their neighborhoods.

Some efforts to refine the registry have failed in recent years.

In the last session, Rep. Todd Smith, R-Euless, proposed legislation known as the "the teenage lovers bill." He said it would have given judges discretion not to place defendants who are 18 or 19 on the registry when the victims were no more than four years younger.

Despite broad support in House and Senate, Smith's bill was vetoed by Gov. Rick Perry.

Smith intends to reintroduce the measure next session, according to his office. However, as for possibly removing some offenders from the registry, the state should first focus on granting judges discretion for teenage consensual relationships before considering any other potential changes, he said in a statement. Changes to the registry can provoke public backlash. One speaker at last month's hearing who advocates for the rights of sex-crime victims accused the committee of giving too much speaking time to offenders.

Committee member Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, said that public reaction to proposed changes is critical.

"The public attitude is very important," he said. "The public will not tolerate any softness or leniency regarding crimes against children involving sex and violence. Nor should they."

Politics will also play a role. After discussing allowing some offenders to seek removal from the registry, Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, acknowledged at the hearing that supporting such a measure could lead to political problems.
- And this is the problem, nobody has the balls to stand up for what is right, they just care about their careers and reputation, period.

"I'd do it because I hear the facts and that's what guides me," he said. "The political reality is you vote to take a certain category [off the registry] and that's what your opponent will put in the mailer at campaign time."

Deadline approaching

A looming federal deadline to comply with new national sex offender registration standards could force state lawmakers to decide during the next legislative session to make decisions about the registry.

States are required by July 2011 to implement the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, which seeks to create uniform methods of tracking sex offenders nationwide.

But the treatment council recommended that the state not comply with the federal classification system, which determines an offender's threat level based on the title of the offense.

Plea bargains that result in convictions for lesser charges can mask the true nature of an offense, Arnold said. Using a scientifically supported risk assessment is a more accurate way of determining who poses a larger threat.

The new system would also lead to a retroactive re-tiering of sex offenders in the state registry, moving some offenders down in threat level and others up, the council reported.

[name withheld] said the new system would, for example, catapult him into a higher risk category. Instead of registering with police once a year, he would have to do it every three months, he said.

Noncompliance would cost Texas about $2.2 million in federal funding, Arnold said. However, the cost of enacting the federal system would likely be substantially more.

UK - Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme

Video Link | See Also

Oprah - Beginning to End - Just saying what people want to hear!

Yes that is true, people do want to be heard, but people in the media, belittle and don't let people speak, and you are one of those. You distort the facts for your own gain! Sex Offenders have been trying to speak out for years, but did you ever actually listen to them? No! You continue to make them all look like evil monsters, when less than 5% of over 700,000 ex-offenders in this country are dangerous. You don't care about the facts! You just say what people want to say, and what will bring you more viewers, ratings and money!

Video Link

WA - High court trims Miranda warning rights bit by bit

Miranda Rights Warning

Original Article

Nobody, or no law, can make you talk, just SHUT UP, don't answer any questions, period!



WASHINGTON – You have the right to remain silent, but only if you tell the police that you're remaining silent.

You have a right to a lawyer — before, during and after questioning, even though the police don't have to tell you exactly when the lawyer can be with you. If you can't afford a lawyer, one will be provided to you. Do you understand these rights as they have been read to you, which, by the way, are only good for the next two weeks?

The Supreme Court made major revisions to the now familiar Miranda warnings this year. The rulings will change the ways police, lawyers and criminal suspects interact amid what experts call an attempt to pull back some of the rights that Americans have become used to over recent decades.

The high court has made clear it's not going to eliminate the requirement that police officers give suspects a Miranda warning, so it is tinkering around the edges, said Jeffrey L. Fisher, co-chair of the amicus committee of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

"It's death by a thousand cuts," Fisher said. "For the past 20-25 years, as the court has turned more conservative on law and order issues, it has been whittling away at Miranda and doing everything it can to ease the admissibility of confessions that police wriggle out of suspects."

The court placed limits on the so-called Miranda rights three times during the just-ended session. Experts viewed the large number of rulings as a statistical aberration, rather than a full-fledged attempt to get rid of the famous 1966 decision. The original ruling emerged from police questioning of Ernesto Miranda in a rape and kidnapping case in Phoenix. It required officers to tell suspects taken into custody that they have the right to remain silent and to have a lawyer represent them, even if they can't afford one.

The court's three decisions "indicate a desire to prune back the rules somewhat," Kent Scheidegger, the legal director of the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, a victims' rights group. "But I don't think any overruling of Miranda is in the near future. I think that controversy is pretty much dead."

The Supreme Court in 2000 upheld the requirement that the Miranda warning be read to criminal suspects.

This year's Supreme Court decisions did not mandate changes in the wording of Miranda warnings read by arresting police officers. The most common version is now familiar to most Americans, thanks to television police shows: "You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to speak to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to you. Do you understand these rights as they have been read to you?"

However, the court did approve one state version of the Miranda warnings that did not specifically inform suspects that they had a right to have a lawyer present during their police questioning.

The Miranda warning used in parts of Florida told suspects: "You have the right to talk to a lawyer before answering any of our questions. If you cannot afford to hire a lawyer, one will be appointed for you without cost and before any questioning. You have the right to use any of these rights at any time you want during this interview."

Lawyers — and the Florida Supreme Court — said that didn't make clear that lawyers can be present as the police are doing their questioning. But Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, writing the 7-2 majority decision, said all the required information was there.

"Nothing in the words used indicated that counsel's presence would be restricted after the questioning commenced," Ginsburg said. "Instead, the warning communicated that the right to counsel carried forward to and through the interrogation."

The next day, the court unanimously limited how long Miranda rights are valid.

The high court said for the first time that a suspect's request for a lawyer is good for only 14 days after the person is released from police custody. The 9-0 ruling pulled back from an earlier decision that said that police must halt all questioning for all time if a suspect asks for a lawyer.

Police can now attempt to question a suspect who asked for a lawyer — once the person has been released from custody for at least two weeks — without violating the person's constitutional rights and without having to repeat the Miranda warning.

"In our judgment, 14 days will provide plenty of time for the suspect to get reacclimated to his normal life, to consult with friends and counsel and to shake off any residual coercive effects of his prior custody," said Justice Antonin Scalia, who wrote the majority opinion.

And finally, the court's conservatives used their 5-4 advantage to rule that suspects must break their silence and tell police they are going to remain quiet if they want to invoke their "right to remain silent" and stop an interrogation, just as they must tell police that they want a lawyer.

All the criminal suspect needs to say is he or she is remaining silent, wrote Justice Anthony Kennedy. "Had he made either of these simple, unambiguous statements, he would have invoked his 'right to cut off questioning.' Here he did neither, so he did not invoke his right to remain silent."

But Justice Sonia Sotomayor said the majority's decision "turns Miranda upside down."

"Criminal suspects must now unambiguously invoke their right to remain silent — which counter intuitively requires them to speak," she said. "At the same time, suspects will be legally presumed to have waived their rights even if they have given no clear expression of their intent to do so."

Police officers will look at these decisions and incorporate them into their training, said James Pasco of the National Fraternal Order of Police. "Officers are expected to adapt to changes required by the Supreme Court," Pasco said. "This will be no different."

But Fisher thinks the court's Miranda decisions will make it easier for police to get confessions out of people who don't want to confess. "Those decisions open up ways for cops to work around Miranda," Fisher said.
- Like I said above, all you have to do is zip your mouth shut, don't say a word, period.  No law or anybody can "make you talk!"  Unless they torture you, which is a crime!

Breaking News: Breasts Are Popular

Original Article

CA - Family Of Girl Asked To Pee In Cup Speaks Out

Original Article


SACRAMENTO - An outraged grandmother is speaking out after learning her 6-year old granddaughter was asked to urinate in a cup to help a neighbor [name withheld] pass a required drug test while on parole. The grandmother [name withheld] said, "As soon as I heard from my granddaughters friend mother, I came downstairs and told my daughter and it was on."

The mom [name withheld] called police after learning what happen to her little girl. Police arrested the neighbors [name withheld] and her longtime boyfriend, [name withheld]. [name withheld] said. "Who knows what else could have went on in there, they could have raped her for all I know."

[name withheld] now faces child molest, and they both face delinquency of a minor. Still the grandmother doesn't want the charges to stop. [name withheld] said, "I want felony charges, I want them both to face sex offender charges."

This granny and mom are also giving a warning to everyone to make sure your not in the same your kids!!
- Do as I say, not as I do!

GA - Just the usual fear-mongering by the media, for ratings!


Video Link | Original News Article

Just the typical fear-mongering by the media. They do not tell you that less than 1% of those on the registry, are deemed high-risk.

We have been preparing a spreadsheet, online below, which shows the total number of sex offenders, the percentage of predators, absconders, male/females and those homeless.

Why all the fear when only 1% are considered dangerous?  Viewers, ratings and votes perhaps?

Not all sex offenders are predatory offenders like the person who killed Christopher or Jessica Lunsford in Florida, they account for less than 5% nationwide, yet the media and politicians continue to spread fear for their own benefit, ratings and votes.


You can find more recidivism studies, which prove sex offenders have the LOWEST recidivism rate of any criminal, except murderers, but, to politicians and the media, they don't care about facts, just entertainment and ratings, here.

You can read the actual bill (HB-571) here.

Also, notice the scary children playing in the park scene? That is the typical "FOR THE CHILDREN POLITICS," to stir up emotion and fear.

Spread The Word Florida - Sex Lies And Bus Surfing Podcast 31 July 2010

Original Article



Listen to the show

What’s wrong with a person telling a group of people that there are sex offenders who are following our children riding on a bus? It’s wrong because it’s NOT happening. Fear mongering is the latest craze in America. It’s meant to keep make sure you vote for those politician’s who are tough on sex offenders. It’s also good advertisement for John Walsh. It helps in his ratings. It also is good for Mark Lunsford. He is still making speaking engagements. We just want you to know the truth behind the lies.

Why is it that Walsh makes up new buzz words and tries to pass them off as a new type of crime? It’s the same reason that the main stream news agencies keep Lunsford on tap for interviews. Here’s why:

WARNING: Video contains adult language at the end, discretion advised!