Yes this is very disgusting, but it's also free speech. It is only words and doesn't contain images.
What about all the movies, books and other stuff people still sell with similar content? Like "Blue Lagoon (Video)" starring Brooke Shields, or "Pretty Baby (Video)," as a couple examples? She was underage when that movie was made, and it depicts love scenes.
And what about other disgusting books, DVD's, music, video games? Like "The Anarchist Cookbook" which shows people how to make/grow drugs, make bombs, and a lot of other stuff which is illegal? Or books by hate groups like the KKK, Black Panthers, etc?
When the government and people start burning books, watch out! The WITCH HUNT is here folks!
Like I said, this is disgusting and sick, but so is a lot of other stuff in society, and this is censorship of free speech, so say goodbye to freedom of speech!
Also, the sheriff, who said the book broke obscenity laws, purchased the book, so did Anderson Cooper (if he read it), so are they going to be arrested for purchasing obscene material?
Monday, December 27, 2010
Original Article - The Legal Watchdog
By Michael D. Cicchini
Our nation’s preoccupation with tracking sex offenders comes at a high cost. Between the fifty states and the federal government, we’re spending hundreds of millions of dollars on sex offender registries each year, in addition to the billions spent on incarceration and community supervision. However, these registries aren’t all they’re cracked-up to be, in part because they’re flooded with useless information. For each violent rapist, a registry may contain dozens of teenagers who had consensual sex with younger teens, and dozens of other teens who were convicted of “sexting,” urinating in public, or similar behavior. But, perhaps the biggest problem with sex offender registries is that they’re not just for sex-related crimes anymore.
In addition to dramatically expanding what constitutes a “sex crime,” many states have boldly crossed the line and require registration for crimes that aren’t remotely related to sex, pornography, or even public urination. An excellent example of this trend can be found in the Wisconsin case of State v. Smith, where Smith, a 17-year-old boy, made another 17-year-old boy go with him to collect a debt. Smith was convicted of felony false imprisonment for this behavior and, because his “prisoner” was a minor, the state forced Smith to register as a sex offender. (Smith, also 17-years-old, was not considered a minor. Wisconsin considers accused 17-year-olds to be adults.)
Everyone agreed that Smith’s behavior was completely non-sexual. In fact, his obvious motivation in taking his fellow 17-year-old to collect the debt was purely financial. Despite this, Wisconsin’s highest court rejected Smith’s commonsense argument that “the purpose of the sex offender registry is to protect the public from sex offenders.” Instead, the court held, even people accused of non-sex crimes can be forced to register, because it could assist law enforcement.
- So if that is the case, then put all criminals on the registry.
To their credit, two justices—Justice Ann Walsh Bradley and Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson—dissented from this absurd decision. They made what should have been obvious points:
- First, the court’s decision harms the public interest. Sex offender registries become useless when they are “clogged by offenders” who were never even accused, let alone convicted, of a sex crime or even a quasi-sex crime.
- Second, there is no “rational basis” for branding this 17-year-old boy as a sex offender for his completely non-sexual behavior. Instead, this is an “arbitrary action of government,” and violates Smith’s constitutional rights.
- Third, with this kind of overeager, irrational government action, no one is safe. The dissenters warned that, under the court’s reasoning, even traffic offenders will soon be swept into the registry, because doing so would “advance the purpose of assisting law enforcement,” thus satisfying the court’s new test.
This Wisconsin case seems to be part of a larger theme. We elect politicians to government—Wisconsin elects not only its legislators but also its high court justices—and then these politicians act in absurd ways that often go unnoticed by most of us. In this example, the legislature drafted a ridiculously broad law, the high court rubber-stamped it, and then the legislature failed to correct the problem after the fact.
However, today’s political climate—which consists of billion dollar annual deficits and a somewhat anti-government sentiment in the air—provides the perfect opportunity for state legislators around the country to bring reason back to government. Now is the time for them to use examples like State v. Smith to try to reform these overly inclusive, irrational sex offender laws. We’d all be better off for their efforts.
No! If we have any registry, it should be offline and used by police only. Many in society cannot handle the information in a responsible adult manner without stooping to vigilantism (videos). If someone is so much of a threat, then they should be determined as such at the time of their court appearance by a professional not hired by the state, who deals with sex crimes, then they should be sentenced to longer times in prison. And once a person who is dangerous or not, gets out of prison, they should be able to get on with their lives, just like anybody else. If we have a registry for sex offenders, then we should just have one online registry for ALL crimes, be it DUI, domestic violence, gang member, drug dealer, thief, etc. If it's okay for one group, who are less likely to commit a similar crime than any other criminal, than those who are more likely to re-offend should be on a registry as well. Sex offenders have the lowest recidivism rate of any criminal, except murderers.
By Josh Farley
BAINBRIDGE ISLAND — [name withheld] and his family moved to Bainbridge Island upon hearing it was a pastoral “laid back, forgiving” kind of place.
After finding a rental, he and his wife enrolled their daughter in school. As Christians, they found a local church they liked. They made friends with neighbors and island residents.
But eventually, word got out.
[name withheld] had a criminal past. And not for burglary or drug possession, but for a sex offense.
The news traveled fast, and people who they thought they knew well acted swiftly. His daughter could no longer play with friends down the street, he said. The church pews around them were vacant on Sundays. They more or less stopped going out anywhere on the island.
- This just shows, that the entire family is affected by these draconian laws, and the "Christians" are just hypocrites pretending to be "Christians!"
“We’re treated like we’re diseased,” his wife said.
Having a daughter, [name withheld] can empathize with islanders. He would never want a pedophile around her, and he has family members who were the victims of sexual abuse.
[name withheld] didn’t go to prison for being a pedophile. In 1995, when he was in his early 30s, he had a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl he lived with at the time.
[name withheld] pleaded guilty to his charges and did about four years in state prison. He participated in and paid more than $10,000 for sex-offender treatment. He has committed no new crimes since he got out of prison about a decade ago, according to a check of his criminal history. As sex offenders go, he is considered a “Level 1” by law enforcement, the level least likely to re-offend. He said that just to be safe, he avoids places where teens close to his victim’s age congregate.
“I admit, I was wrong,” [name withheld] said. “But I’ve changed. Why are people still looking at me for something I did 15 years ago?”
Law enforcement makes a determination of how likely a sex offender is to re-offend and rates them on a scale of 1 to 3.
- This is something law enforcement should not be doing, but a PROFESSIONAL who treats sex offenders. Law enforcement are biased, and they pretty much think all sex offenders are dangerous, just ask any police officer.
But the public often fails to see any nuance.
“People look at them in a bucket,” said Bainbridge Island Police Commander Sue Shultz. “They say ‘Any kind of sex offender is a sex offender, and always will be a sex offender.’”
- That is because of the media, politicians, and self serving companies continue to spread lies about sex crimes, and nobody listens to real experts. Nancy Grace, Jane Valez-Mitchell, Mark Lunsford, John Walsh, etc, are NOT experts.
The registration of sex offenders was one of three components of the Community Protection Act of 1990, passed in the wake of two tragic and brutal killings. It’s a popular measure with the public, and the Legislature has strengthened and spent more money on the laws surrounding sex offenses. Lawmakers have also bolstered penalties for failing to register as a sex offender.
The subject of debate is who is included in the registries, who is not and how often should they be checked on.
Shultz said that twice a year, Bainbridge officers “very discreetly” check on the island’s sex offenders to ensure they’re living at their registered address and that they haven’t made any significant changes in appearance that would necessitate a new photo being put on file. Level 3 sex offenders — though Bainbridge doesn’t currently have any — are checked on every three months.
- I don't live in this state, so I am not sure how this works, but if a police officer, like in most states, shows up in a marked car and in uniform, then it's not discreet. Neighbors are nosy, and when they see this, rumors spread.
Random attacks by sex offenders are rare. Shultz and other officials point out that more than 90 percent of sexual abuse cases occur between a victim and someone they thought they could trust.
Outside of two incidents of non-sexual criminal activity, none of the 11 Level 1 sex offenders on Bainbridge Island have been reported to police for even an allegation of sexual abuse, Shultz said. That doesn’t mean it can’t happen, but she encourages residents to put it into perspective.
So far, the legislative decree for the registry has been to err on the side of caution. While extremely rare, recent horrifying crimes committed by sex offenders have galvanized lawmakers to act.
Kitsap County Prosecutor Russ Hauge uses the analogy of an airplane crash.
“It doesn’t happen very often,” he said. “But when it does, it’s a tragedy.”
Hauge chaired a task force convened by Gov. Chris Gregoire in the wake of the killing of Zina Linnik, a 12-year-old girl abducted and murdered by Terapon Adhahn, a Level 1 sex offender. A result of that task force was the creation of a sex-offender policy board that reports to the governor, and the creation of a pot of grant money awarded to local law enforcement to make face-to-face contact with every sex offender in the state.
“Nobody knows how much of a safety factor it adds,” Hauge said. “But a murder of a young girl damages the community in an incalculable way.”
Victim’s advocates, who see the impacts sex offenses have on victims, have a hard time finding any sympathy for the registrants, said Lucy Berliner, a longtime advocate and head of the Harborview Center for Sexual Assault and Traumatic Stress.
“The only consequence I can see of registration is the inconvenience for the sex offender,” she said.
Aside from law-enforcement monitoring costs, registration also creates an entirely new class of crime: failing to register. All sex offenders have 72 hours to register with their local sheriff’s office any time they move to a new permanent residence.
The crime carries a maximum of five years in prison, and if the offender’s failed to register twice before, up to 10 years in prison.
Not counting the state’s 37 county jails, there are more than 300 inmates serving time for failing to register in the state’s prison system, at a cost of more than $1 million a year.
The cases take up law enforcement’s time and resources. Trina Washburn, Kitsap County Detectives Support Specialist, has five file cabinets of active county sex-offender registration cases.
Registration, as one might imagine, isn’t popular with offenders. It’s often the worst part of a criminal sentence.
- I don't think that is true. If the registry was offline and used by police, and the residency restrictions were gone, then I don't think many would have much of a problem with it. The registry being online invites vigilantism, and joblessness. And the residency restrictions creates homelessness.
“I’ve had attorneys tell me, ‘My guy will do twice the amount of time in custody — as long as they don’t have to register,’” said Kevin Hull, Kitsap County deputy prosecutor and head of the office’s special assault unit. “That tells me that there is some value to it.”
Registration, however, is not negotiable, Hull said.
“If we can prove a sex crime, then we’re going to prove a sex crime,” he said.
- And even if someone is accused of a sex crime, then you don't prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. Just read the news. There are many in prison due to corrupt DA's, lawyers, judges, police, etc. Simply on words alone, no evidence, just allegations.
There are more than 20,000 registered sex offenders in the state, with almost 800 in Kitsap. Of those, there are 44 Level 3 offenders, 148 Level 2s and almost 600 Level 1 sex offenders.
The registration period — 10 years for lesser sex crimes, 15 years for midrange sex offenses and life for the most serious — also starts over anytime the offender commits a new crime.
- And that in itself is wrong. If it were another sex crime, then they should be put into prison for a longer period of time, and if it's not a sex crime, then their time on the registry should not change, IMO.
Registration’s effect can be two-fold: law enforcement keeps an eye on an offender for many years after a conviction, and for some cases, a lifetime. Conversely, it also has a deterrent effect on an offender, because, as David Boerner, a longtime Seattle University law professor and one of the architects of the act that created registration, points out, “’They know who I am and where I am.’”
- That is an opinion. There is no evidence that proves the registry is a deterrent.
Thomas Weaver, a Bremerton defense attorney who handles sex cases, questions the indiscriminate nature of a sex offender registry. While lower-level sex offenders might not have their pictures in the paper like Level 3 offenders do, they’re still on the list, he said.
Currently, Weaver has a case in which the 19-year-old defendant is charged with having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl. The defendant is permitted to have sex with a teen if he’s no more than 48 months older than the teen — but in this case, he’s 54 months older.
A conviction would require the defendant to register for a decade.
“(The need for registration), I think, is to provide notification to the community of a potential danger,” he said. “I don’t see how, in the case of a 19-year-old having sex with a 15-year-old girl, the community needs to be notified every time he moves.”
- Every single person on this planet is a "potential" danger!
“Sexting,” where teens send lewd photos to each other over mobile phones, may seem to some just an immature teenage mistake. Under the law, however, it can be considered “Dealing in depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct” — a class B felony requiring 15 years of sex offender registration for those convicted of it.
Weaver said he also regularly gets what he calls “playing doctor” cases that involve siblings. Typically, an older brother, at least three years older than his sister, has touched her private parts. Such a conviction, if the girl is under 12, is a class A felony — which, barring an appeal from the defendant, means a lifetime of sex offender registration.
- And some times, it's an older female touching a younger male. It's not a male only thing!
“They’re still coming to understand sexuality,” Weaver said. “What we’re saying as a society is you’re supposed to have the sexual maturity of an adult when you’re pubescent or even prepubescent.”
Those convictions are adding up.
“We’re creating a whole world of juvenile sex offenders,” Weaver said.
State Rep. Jan Angel, R-Port Orchard, is for harsh sentences for sex crimes and for monitoring of offenders, such as GPS anklets. But she said she’s heard from constituents that in some cases involving young adults, the rigidity of the law can interfere with an offender’s ability to move on in life.
- The same can be said for an adult!
“Things happen, they’re young,” she said. “Should they be tied with this for the rest of their lives when they become upstanding adults?”
State Rep. Sherry Appleton, D-Poulsbo, a member of the House’s public safety and emergency preparedness committee, is crafting legislation that would help certain juveniles who are not predatory offenders opt out of registration.
- Why not do the same for adults?
“A lot of these kids get into trouble and now they’re labeled as sex offenders for life,” she said. “Then they have no life, they can’t get into the military, they can’t get a job, can’t get an apartment. We have to have a way to get them off these registries.”
- Same for adults.
Sex offenders can petition the courts to end their requirement. They’re eligible after at least 10 years of registering — two years in juvenile cases. But even if they’ve completed sex offender treatment and kept their nose clean since they were released from incarceration, the time and money to go through the process may still end with a judge hesitant to grant the request, Weaver said.
Weaver does wonder about a slippery slope in registration. For example, why not enact a burglary offender registration to notify the public when such convicts are released, he wonders.
- Exactly. If it's okay for one group, then all criminals should be on a public registry, IMO.
A kidnapping registry was created in the wake of Washington’s sex offender registry, he said. Nevada has a registry for convicts of many different crimes. And there have also been calls in some states for a registry of arson offenders, a crime that also often involves an underlying psychological component.
- Yep, eventually we will all be on a registry, and in my opinion, like I said, if it's okay for one group, then it's okay for everyone else as well.
Where to draw the line?
As a sex offender, [name withheld] can understand why people would be afraid of Level 2 and Level 3 sex offenders. His family’s few options of places to live are apartments and houses that accommodate sex offenders. But he doesn’t want to go to those places out of fear for his wife and daughter. Other landlords, however, won’t rent to him because of his status.
“So where can we live?” he wonders.
While in prison, he changed his name. He still feels blessed to have found a family and for the neighbors on Bainbridge Island that do accept him.
“God gave me a family, a wife and a new start,” he said. “I just wish someone would give us a chance.”