See this site as well
NASHVILLE (AP) - The state has told probation officers to stop using polygraph tests to supervise convicted sex offenders.
Board of Probation and Parole field services director Gary Tullock says the use of the lie detector tests is supposed to be limited to treatment, not supervision, of offenders on release.
Tullock told The Tennessean probation officers were told to stop routine polygraphs in July over legal concerns.
He said the agency's attorney said officers can't demand offenders take a polygraph and incriminate themselves if they weren't meeting conditions of their release.
The tests are used in treatment as an incentive for offenders to be truthful about behavior and desires so a treatment plan can be tailored for them.
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
A law allowing the indefinite confinement of "sexually dangerous" federal inmates after their prison terms end does not violate their due process rights, an appeals court has ruled.
The unanimous ruling Monday by a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower court decision striking down the civil commitment provision of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act.
The appeals court previously upheld the lower court's ruling that Congress overstepped its authority in passing the law, but that decision was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court in May. The justices sent the case back to the 4th Circuit to consider the due process issue.
Five inmates at the Federal Correctional Institute in Butner, N.C., who were held for treatment after their prison terms ended challenged the law, which authorizes civil commitment if a court finds by "clear and convincing evidence" that a person committed or tried to commit a sex offense and remains sexually dangerous.
The inmates claimed the government should have to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt -- the same stringent standard imposed in criminal cases -- before being allowed to hold them indefinitely. Failure to do so violates the due process clause of the Constitution, they said.
The appeals court disagreed, citing a 1979 U.S. Supreme Court ruling upholding a Texas civil commitment law. In that case, the justices said that civil commitment "does not require the criminal law burden of proof," appeals court Judge Diana Gribbon Motz wrote.
The appeals court noted that the law requires the discharge of the committed person as soon as he or she is no longer a danger to others. Also, the person's lawyer or guardian can petition for a discharge and renew the request every 180 days.
"These post-commitment procedures make for a striking contrast with the finality of criminal sentences," Motz wrote.
Spokesmen for the U.S. Justice Department and the federal public defender's office in Raleigh, N.C., which represented the inmates, declined to comment on the ruling.
President George W. Bush in 2006 signed the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, which is named after the son of "America's Most Wanted" television host John Walsh. Along with the civil commitment provision, the law establishes a national sex offender registry, increases punishment for some federal crimes against children and strengthens child pornography protections.
- But I thought the online registry and other restrictions were not punishment?
VA - Man (Daniel R. Narron) says, in his own words, he used the registry to harass an offender, but police play stupid!
So the police are condoning vigilantism against ex-offenders. It seems like any decent lawyer could get this charge reinstated, and stop letting the police condone vigilantism! The Virginia registry clearly has a warning on it about misusing the registry to harass people, so this person should be charged with using the registry to harass someone!
By Mark Bowes
HOPEWELL - A Hopewell man testified yesterday that he feared for his life when four men in an SUV chased him on his moped, eventually striking it, after harassing and cursing him because he is a convicted sex offender.
[name withheld] said he felt lucky to be alive after the suspects’ 2000 Lincoln Navigator struck his moped on Hill Avenue near Atlantic Street after they pursued him from a convenience store into a nearby residential area.
“I knew he was going to hit me because the truck was right up on top of me,” [name withheld] testified in Hopewell General District Court, referring to Daniel R. Narron, 19, of Hopewell, who was driving the SUV.
After hearing that and other evidence during a two-hour preliminary hearing, retired Judge Kenneth W. Nye certified charges of attempted murder and attempted malicious wounding by mob to a Hopewell Circuit Court grand jury.
Earlier, co-defendants Damon J. Silvestro, 20, of Colonial Heights; Eric B. Harris, 25, of Hopewell; and Thomas W. McCall, 21, also of Hopewell, waived their preliminary hearings on similar charges and Nye certified them.
Without explanation, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Elizabeth Fields withdrew a misdemeanor hit-and-run charge against Narron and failure to report an accident against the other three defendants.
In addition, she withdrew a charge of misusing information on Virginia’s sex-offender registry against Narron, who is accused of initiating the confrontation with [name withheld] after encountering him at The Corner Store at 2223 Atlantic Ave. After Narron was arrested, police said Narron began harassing [name withheld] about being a sex offender based on information he obtained from the sex-offender registry.
Trooper J.P. Deckard, who investigated the case, testified that he had no evidence that Narron learned about [name withheld] through the registry. Deckard said Narron told him that [name withheld]’ status was “general knowledge” and something that “everybody knew.”
- Of course it is, it's public knowledge, but he used the registry, in his own words, to harass an offender, and the police are denying that!
After yesterday’s hearing, Fields declined to say whether she would reinstate the registry charge against Narron. [name withheld], 52, testified how he was confronted outside the convenience store after buying beer and hearing two voices in a vehicle next to his moped curse and call him a child molester. After cursing back, [name withheld] said, he drove away on his moped and soon found himself being chased by Narron and his three companions.
At one point, [name withheld] darted through some trees and behind a house in an effort to lose them, but his pursuers didn’t give up, he said. As [name withheld] darted across Hill Avenue to get to a friend’s house, he said, his moped was struck from behind and he fell to the ground uninjured. The suspects then drove away, he said.
Deckard testified that Narron admitted chasing [name withheld] and that Narron’s account of his route was consistent with [name withheld]’ account. The two men differed on the conversation that led to the confrontation, Deckard said.
[name withheld], who is listed on the sex-offender registry, was convicted in Sussex County of aggravated sexual battery and abduction for immoral purposes in 2000, and failing to register as a sex offender in Hopewell in 2006. [name withheld] testified that he doesn’t know Narron nor could he recall ever meeting him.