Monday, April 4, 2011

MA - The Callie Crossley Show - Sex Offenders

Original Article

04/04/2011

The population of high risk sex offenders has spiked in parts of Boston. Now the city faces a dilemma about integrating sex offenders into the community without compromising the safety of local residents. Sex offenders freed from jail are not eligible for Section 8 housing. For many, the only destination is the homeless shelter. And with loopholes in the law allowing sex offenders to legally declare residency at homeless shelters without actually staying there-- an untold number of high risk sex offenders are roaming the city’s streets.

Joining us today to talk through sticky situation are Carlos Cuevas, professor at the Northeastern University School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Lyndia Downie, President of the Pine Street Inn, Representative Aaron Michlewitz, and Kate Vander Wiede, managing editor of The South End News.

We want you to weigh in on this: 877-301-8970. What would you do if you found out a high level sex offender moved into your neighborhood? Do you think the person has the right to a second chance? To move back into the community? Would you like them have longer and harsher prison sentences?


Video Link


CT - Yale under investigation for sexual misconduct


CT - Montville officials support bill on sex-offender facilities

Original Article

04/04/2011

By Jeffrey A. Johnson

HARTFORD - Montville officials and town residents traveled here Monday to offer support for a bill that would ultimately require the state to consider several criteria in selecting sites for sex-offender treatment facilities.

In a public hearing, Montville Mayor Josepeh Jaskiewicz read a statement before the Joint Committee on Judiciary in support of Bill No. 6632 (PDF). State Rep. Kevin Ryan, D-Montville, also briefly addressed the committee.

The bill would require the state to consider proximity to parks, schools and child care facilities when determining a site for a residential sex-offender treatment facility. It would also call for the state to come up with five proposed sites for consideration before a final location is selected.

Last year, the state announced its plan for a 24-bed sex-offender treatment facility for the grounds at Corrigan-Radgowski Correctional Center. Montville officials have since fought the facility in court. The town is in the midst of an appeal with the state.

Town Council Chairwoman Donna Jacobson and Councilor Billy Caron also traveled here Monday, as did residents Gary Pike and Richard Wilson.

Ed Ricupero, 45, said he lives seven-tenths of a mile from the proposed site of the facility. He planned to speak at the public hearing, but left early to pick up his daughters from school. He questioned the state's process in selecting Montville for the sex-offender facility.

"I think if they had gone about it with the proposed five sites (proposed in the bill), they would come forward cleanly with all the information for why they chose Montville," said Ricupero, who has two daughters, ages 12 and 10. "They can't do that. Or they won't do that. Why is that? "

A special Town Council meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday at town hall. According to the meeting agenda, the Town Council will consider putting a halt to its appeal against the state and the sex-offender facility.

Much as it did in a meeting with town officials here last week, the Department of Corrections did not discuss its method in choosing Montville for the sex-offender facility Monday.

Citing an ongoing lawsuit with the town, Department of Corrections Commissioner Leo Arnone said in a letter to the judiciary committee that "... it would be inappropriate for the Department to publicly discuss proposed provisions of Raised Bill No. 6632."


TURKEY - Bill on sex crime sentences sees tense debate in Parliament

Original Article

This is in Turkey, which I am not sure if they have ex post facto laws, but this is what this is.

04/04/2011

Parliament’s Justice Commission discussed a bill increasing punishment for sexual offenses on Monday, passing its first clause after a debate-filled session that caused an in-house disagreement in the ruling party.

Alev Dedegil, a Justice and Development Party, or AKP, deputy who authored the bill for heavy punishments for sexual offenses, left the meeting Monday after her proposals were dropped from the draft law by her fellow party members.

A section stating that “the sentence may be reduced by one-third in cases where the sexual offense is at the level of molestation” caused particular concern for Nationalist Movement Party, or MHP, Kırşehir deputy Metin Çobanoğlu, who expressed his fear that the word “molestation” was too open to debate and could cause certain sexual offenders to be released.

Republican People’s Party, or CHP, İzmir deputy Canan Arıtman said criminals should not be freed in a sincere effort to increase sentences.

The word “molestation” was thus replaced with the more descriptive “sudden and interrupted movements.”

An argument broke out over the section stating that, “The sexual offender’s sentence will be doubled in the event that the victim is forced to change their education, employment, residence, workplace or family due to the crime.”

İzmir AKP deputy Mevlüt Akgün said this increase did not fit the penalty system.

Arıtman agreed that it should be changed to “one-third,” but was met with objections from other deputies and the section was thus removed from the clause through a vote, only to later be changed to reduce the sentence by half in the situations described.

The second clause of the bill raised temperatures in Parliament even more, as deputies raised their voices at each other while discussing the sentences of rapists.

Following several tense moments, a proposal to double the sentence for crimes against children under the age of 12 was passed.


CA - 9th Circuit Could End Retroactive Sex Offender Disclosure

Original Article

04/04/2011

By CAD

Very interesting decision from the 9th Circuit this morning in Doe v. Harris (PDF) where it asks the California Supreme Court to determine “Whether, under California law, the default rule of contract interpretation is (a) that the law in effect at the time of a plea agreement binds the parties, or (b) that the terms of a plea agreement may be affected by changes in law.” When Mr. Doe (who is proceeding anonymously for reasons that will soon be obvious) pled guilty in 1991 to one count of committing a lewd act upon a minor, California Penal Code Section 290 required that he register with law enforcement, but that his registration records would not be accessible to anyone who wasn’t a peace officer. Since he avoided any jail time and got five felonies dropped, this doubtlessly seemed like a good deal.

….And then “Megan’s Law” and its progeny on the state and federal level, which require states to disclose parts or all of a registered sex offender’s data to the public, were passed. Worse for Mr. Doe and persons in his situation, Megans Law and its progeny are retroactive, sweeping thousands of people who pled guilty to registrable offenses within their nets of disclosure even though their pleas pre-dated the law.

When Mr. Doe sued to block disclosure of his information, the District Court found that since neither the People nor Mr. Doe’s attorneys made any reservation of rights as to future changes to PC 290, the parties must have based the agreement on the law as it existed in 1991 pre-Megan’s law and therefore blocked disclosure. The State appealed, leading to today’s certification question.

If the Ninth Circuit upholds the District Court, it could help thousands of people obtain relief from the retroactive effects of ever-stricter registration laws. Stay tuned!


ME - Maine Rep. proposes online registry of drunken drivers

Original Article

Oh the hypocrisy! There is no way they'd pass this law. Many in politics and elsewhere, are alcoholics, and they don't want to be on a public shaming list.

04/04/2011

By Mal Leary

AUGUSTA - More than 8,000 Mainers were arrested for drunken driving in 2009, the most recent statistics available, and Rep. Rich Cebra, R-Naples, says Mainers should know who those drivers are.

I want a website at [the Maine Department of] Public Safety that will have their names and addresses and their picture,” he said. “People need to know about drunk drivers that might be living next door and taking their kids to soccer practice.”

Cebra said his measure would establish the website so that Mainers could search their community to see if any neighbors are convicted drunken drivers, and whether they are multiple offenders. He said it would be similar to the state sex offender website but would not be a registry.

This would depend on the conviction information that is already being collected,” he said, “and I am proposing a $25 surcharge on every OUI conviction to pay for the website construction and operation.”

The measure has been referred to the Legislature’s Criminal Justice Committee and will have its hearing later this month.

Rep. Gary Plummer, R-Windham, the co-chairman of the panel, said he has a problem with any proposed websites to publicize a person’s conviction of any offense except the sex offender registry.
- Why is that?  You are okay with sex offenders but not any other criminal?  Wow!  Many other criminals kill more people daily than sex offenders, who have the lowest recidivism rate of any other criminal.

We have looked at several other requests, whether it is animal abusers or arsonists,” he said. “Every site that we create like that is very expensive. We don’t have the money.”
- I personally think if an online registry (hit-list) is okay for sex offenders, then we should also put all criminals on one large registry so we can all know the people who live around us.  Yes, each new registry wastes millions of dollars, so why not create one using what is already there?

Plummer also doubted whether such a website would have a deterrent effect. He said those that drink and drive really don’t think about what will happen to them when they get caught even though fines and long license suspensions have been added to the penalties for drunken driving over the years.
- The same could be said about the sex offender registry.

Shenna Bellows, executive director of the Maine Civil Liberties Union, said that while the concern about drunken drivers on the roads is a real one that she shares, she opposes the website as a solution to the problem of protecting family members from drunken drivers.

The best way for parents to keep their children safe is to know their neighbors and know the adults that they let their children get rides with,” she said. “A website like this does not improve public safety.”
- And neither does the sex offender registry, or any other registry.

Bellows said the MCLU has consistently opposed websites like the one Cebra has proposed because they do not advance public safety and do thwart efforts of individuals to get past their offense and become integrated back into society.
- The same can be said about the sex offender registry.  Notice how everyone is okay with this for sex offenders, but when it's about any other crime, then they are not wanting to do it?  Why is that?

Sen. Bill Diamond, D-Windham, who served as secretary of state for a decade, said that while he supports the sex offender registry because of the nature of the crimes involved, he does not think a publicly available website listing those convicted of OUI would help with the problem of drunken driving.
- Wow!  What hypocrites.  All these same questions they are asking, apply to sex offender laws as well, but, sex offenders help them make money and further their own careers.

If we do this, where will we stop?” he said. “There are several issues that go with putting somebody’s picture up on a website — serious issues, many, many issues that the Legislature needs to explore before passing something like this.”
- Yes, serious issues, like murder, beatings, and other vigilante attacks on those on the online hit-list.

Diamond said the issues of developing a website are not “black and white” and include many unintended consequences that could cause lawmakers problems in future sessions. He urged the rejection of the proposal.
- You are right, but when it comes to sex offenders, is it then black and white?

But Cebra is not deterred by the opposition to his proposal. He said most Mainers are very upset at the number of drunken drivers who are back on the roads just weeks or months after being convicted of OUI.

What really gets me is the person who is that fourth-time offender that is only losing their license for 90 days,” he said. “This may not be the perfect answer, but we have to start looking at this; we are not being serious about this.”

Cebra said there have been decades of discussions about drunken drivers, and he said it is time to try to do something to reduce the numbers. He said too many families have had to experience a tragedy from a drunken driver killing or injuring a loved one to simply do nothing.
- Correct, and drunk drivers kill more people daily than any other criminal.