Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Anybody who uses Facebook and Twitter knows, that after posting something, eventually it gets pushed down and almost impossible to find. So when an ex-offender changes their residence or registry info, are they going to go back and find it, then update it, or leave the old outdated info online? Think about it! This won't solve anything, and it's only a matter of time before they are slapped with a lawsuit!
It depends on who you ask. If you ask the media, politicians and the public who are ignorant of the laws and how it affects people, the answer would be no. But if you ask the professionals, offenders, their family and children, the answer would be yes. And when politicians, media and the public continue to ignore the facts and act out on vengeance or hatred, then nothing will be solved. Sex crimes have been around since the dawn of time!
By Joel Allen
A study raises the question: "Does South Carolina's sex offender registry do more harm than good in keeping the public safe?"
Researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina raised some doubts about the registry's effectiveness. Their study says since the law went into effect in 1995, defendants in sex crime cases have a better chance of getting their charges reduced to lesser offenses. The study also shows that plea bargains for juvenile offenders more than doubled after the registry law passed, and prosecutors dismissed juvenile sex crimes at higher rates.
The researchers say the law is well-intentioned, but not very effective at reducing sex crimes.
We posed the question to Kathie Jonasson, a parent in Horry County who checks the registry whenever her kids get invited to a new friend's home. "I stay on top of it. I try to look at it and see, if they get invited to somebody's house, if there's somebody in that area. It scares me, as a concerned parent, it scares me."
15th Circuit Solicitor Greg Hembree is not convinced that the registry has led to more criminals pleading guilty to lesser offenses. Hembree says the only way he would downgrade a sex charge is if it wasn't an aggravated crime or if he didn't feel he had strong enough evidence to get a conviction. "If we've got somebody that we know, we really have a feeling is a true sex offender and the facts are there to support the charge, then we're not going to negotiate that case off the sex offender registry."
Hembree says the registry is an effective bargaining chip to get a defendant to plead guilty, when the case against the defendant may be weak. "Because we can offer that sex offender registry in the negotiations, we're more likely to get that conviction than otherwise we wouldn't have had that tool available for us."
Hembree isn't sure if the registry acts as a deterrent to sex crimes. He says it may have some value for that, but it's hard to measure.
- The registry is NOT a deterrent! If it was, it would not be growing rapidly on a daily basis, now would it. It's just a tool for politicians to appear like they are doing something, when they are not. It gets them the votes they need to stay or get elected into office, and to continue to make them look good, while wasting millions (if not more) of tax payer dollars.
Kathie Jonasson doesn't know about the deterrent effect either, but she's glad the sex offender registry is there. "I just think it needs to be more, people need to know about it and how to access it... and know that it's there and they should rely on it."
- You should NOT rely on it. The registry changes daily, and the info is outdated, all the time. So if you are relying on it, you are putting yourself into a false sense of security. The world is a dangerous place, always has been, always will be, and it's just putting you into fear mode, destroying your life and your kids life.
Hembree says the sex offender registry is a net positive for the state because when someone is held accountable for committing a crime and the public knows about it, there is a value to society.
- So why does the registry grow on a daily basis? It's not because of those you know about, but those you don't know about. If it was those on the registry, then it would not be increasing.
In South Carolina, convicted sex offenders stay on the registry for life.
- And that is cruel and unusual punishment!
This is just the usual political BS! I do not hear a single person offering any real solutions. Having a trailer for homeless sex offenders, which the very laws these people are passing, is causing the homelessness, is better than nothing. It's just them getting in front of a camera, to appeal to the public and look like they are actually doing something, when actually, they are doing nothing but bitching and moaning, instead of solving the homeless issue.
By John Hoskins
A TAXI driver was locked up for almost a day and had his licence suspended for several weeks after an alcoholic drug abuser claimed he had raped her.
Donna Robinson launched a major police investigation after saying she had been attacked outside a Southampton bar. In reality, she had consensual sex with the cabbie.
The 27-year-old had rowed with her boyfriend and stormed off from a party after having taken a cocktail of alcohol, cocaine, cannabis and heroin.
Hours later, she gave police what prosecutor David Jenkins described as “a compelling account” of how she had been sitting outside The Edge nightclub when she was approached by two men, one of whom tried to kiss her. Despite putting up a struggle, she was dragged away, her jeans and underwear were removed and she was raped.
Robinson took police to the scene and described her ordeal.
A fortnight later, detectives arrested a local taxi driver who was held in custody for 21 hours before being released. His licence was also suspended.
The driver denied the allegation, describing how he had seen her sitting on the pavement and she had willingly gone back to his flat, but they did not have full sex because she “smelt”.
Mr Jenkins said police then had to balance the information from the alleged victim and the cabbie, and viewing CCTV in the area of the supposed attack, they could not find anything to support her evidence.
When a police officer arrested Robinson, she snapped: “No wonder women don’t report it.”
Robinson initially pleaded not guilty to attempting to pervert the course of justice but, shortly before a jury was to be sworn in at the city crown court, she admitted she had made up the story.
Robinson, who formerly lived in the St Mary’s area of Southampton but now has a home in Draycott, Derbyshire, was jailed for 18 months.
Recorder Jonathan Fuller QC told Robinson, who had 25 previous convictions: “This offence strikes at the heart of the criminal justice system and false allegations of rape are wicked.”
In mitigation, Mark Trafford said tackling her drinking and drug abuse had made her less of a threat to society and less likely to reoffend.
After the case DC Rory Kemper said: “This sort of behaviour is not acceptable and we will deal with such incidents robustly.”