Tuesday, January 18, 2011

MN - Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer questions how the Minnesota Sex Offender Program can save money

OH - Mom: Mayor (Chris Barringer) sent my son naked, obscene pics

Original Article


By Lisa Rantala

BAIRDSTOWN (WTOL) - Investigators say the mayor of Bairdstown texted naked and obscene pictures to two teens last month.

As a result, Chris Barringer was charged with two misdemeanors last week after two sets of parents in the Wood County village came forward.

Kim Brennemen said she thinks Barringer, a family friend of more than 10 years, is sick and needs help.

Brennemen said her 13-year-old son, along with a 16-year-old boy, showed her the explicit text messages.

According to court documents, the messages included a picture of a penis with a message that stated "it's a penis with a smiley face -- and do you want a smiley face on yours."

"He's the mayor," said Brennemen. "He took office. He needs to represent the position that he's in and not prey on little young boys."

Brennemen said she plans to consult attorneys in an effort to get Barringer removed from office.

"If I can't get any more than a misdemeanor out of this, I want every parent to know to keep your child away from Chris Barringer," said Brennemen.

The mayor faces a maximum sentence for the misdemeanor charges of six months behind bars and a $1,000 fine.

Wood County Sheriff's Office Deputy Terry James said Barringer did admit to forwarding the photos.

"He understands now it isn't funny and we take those matters very seriously," said James.

Constituent Augie Allgire, who provided a photo of Barringer from 1978, said she did not want him to continue as mayor.

WA - Bill would pay exonerated inmates $50,000 per year

Original Article

$50,000 per year? Is that all? They should get a lot more than that, they should be able to get millions, from the DA's, lawyers, judges, police and people who made the false accusations, or those who did not use evidence but only accusations, or other corrupt issues! Make it hurt, and they will think next time before sentencing an innocent person to years in prison.


SEATTLE (AP) - [name withheld] spent 17 years in prison for a rape he didn't commit. When he was finally exonerated, he received no compensation from Washington state.

Instead, he got a six-figure child-support bill.

Rep. Tina Orwall says the episode illustrates a failure on the part of the state. She's planning to introduce legislation this week that would recompense wrongfully convicted inmates for their time behind bars, bringing Washington into line with more than half of U.S. states and the federal government.

It calls for giving former inmates found to be actually innocent $50,000 per year in prison, plus $50,000 more for every year spent on death row and $25,000 for every year on community supervision or as a registered sex offender. Other tenets could include providing health care and paying child support obligations incurred by prisoners during their incarceration.
- Someone who is falsely accused of a sex crime and labeled a sex offender, should get more than anybody else, IMO. Being a sex offender is worst than being a murderer.

But because of Washington's dire financial situation - lawmakers are trying to fill a $4.6 billion budget gap - Orwall's bill wouldn't allow exonerated inmates to start collecting until 2014.

"The bill is about fairness," says Orwall, D-Des Moines. "Hopefully the money helps them rebuild their lives. They really need a certain amount of support and resources."

[name withheld] says he could use those resources sooner rather than later.

He and his co-defendant, [name withheld], were identified by a housecleaner in La Center, north of Vancouver, as the men who attacked her in 1993 - even though she initially didn't pick them out in a photo montage. After years of trying, the Innocence Project Northwest at the University of Washington Law School finally persuaded a judge to test evidence, including skin cells taken from under her fingernails, for DNA.

The DNA belonged to two unknown men. [name withheld] and [name withheld] were freed last year. They're among 15 people who have had convictions overturned by the Innocence Project's work in Washington state. Others include [name withheld], who was cleared of a rape in Yakima County last year, and [name withheld], who was cleared of a robbery in late 2009; both say they could use some compensation, too.

Exonerated inmates can try to sue for damages, but such cases rarely succeed because they need to prove intentional misconduct by law enforcement officials.
- What about DA's, lawyers, judges, etc?

When he was released from prison last year, [name withheld] was told he owed $111,000 in back child support. About half was due to the mother of his children and half to the state, which helped support the family while [name withheld] was incarcerated.
- Why does the state get half?  The entire sum of child support, should go to the parent or child, not the greedy state, IMO.

The state Department of Social and Health Services has a program for forgiving child support bills in hardship cases, and it waived its share of [name withheld]'s balance in November, within a few hours of receiving an inquiry from an Associated Press reporter. But [name withheld] still owes tens of thousands of dollars to his former partner, and the state is garnishing his wages to the tune of $100 per month.

Meanwhile, [name withheld] is struggling to save up enough money for a car so he can keep his $12-an-hour job at a metal fabrication shop in Vancouver. He lives in Ridgefield with his girlfriend, a former classmate with whom he became re-aquainted last spring.

"They owe us - somebody does," he says. "I'm struggling right now. I need every penny."

Lara Zarowsky, a policy staff attorney at the Innocence Project Northwest, worked with Orwall's office in drafting the bill to compensate exonerated inmates. The payments would match those in the federal law.

The legislation could also guarantee free tuition at state schools for the former prisoners and their children.

"Philosophically, it's a statement to the community that we acknowledge these cases exist, and when they do we're going to have safeguards in place to protect these people," Zarowsky said. "We need it in terms of making a statement about what our society values."
- How come, victims of other crimes, get millions, yet someone who has had their life ruined by being sent to prison for bogus accusations, crappy evidence, etc, they only get a couple hundred grand?  Doesn't seem fair to me.

During a recent symposium on the topic at the UW Law School, [name withheld]'s co-defendant said the only work he'd been able to find in the past eight months was three days in construction.

"I'm one step away from holding a sign up that says 'will work for food,"' [name withheld] said. "It'd sure be nice to have some help."