Wednesday, May 18, 2011

TN - John DeBerry Applauded for Sex Offender Comments

John J. DeBerry, Jr.
This videos audio is very low, so you may have to turn up the volume. You can watch more videos of this bill at the link below, then click the "VIDEOS" tab.

Video Description:
Memphis Democrat John DeBerry roused a round of applause from members of the floor of the Tennessee House of Representatives for his impassioned denunciation of sex offenders, juvenile or otherwise. "It's a shame that on Sunday morning we have to have guards walking throughout the church, because if we don't lock the church doors, people come in," said DeBerry. "We've had to basically put people out of the building who are following children around the building -- and many of them are of the age of juveniles."

"We need to do whatever we need to do to get (sex offenders) off the street, and that is the bottom line," said DeBerry.

The bill under consideration, HB687, passed 94-1. It allows law enforcement to keep a confidential list of violent juvenile sex offenders.

HB-687 Video
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IL - Bradley-backed measure strengthening sex offender registry law passes out of House committee

Rep. John Bradley
Original Article


Springfield - Legislation backed by State Rep. John Bradley (D-Marion) to strengthen Illinois' sex offender laws and put the state much closer to compliance with the federal Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act was passed out of the House Criminal Law Committee.

"We can never do enough to protect our children from the threats posed by sex offenders," Bradley said. "This legislation makes some needed improvements on current sex offender registration law by creating stricter penalties, increases registration requirements for offenders and offering the public more detailed information about the sexual predators who are living in our communities."

Senate Bill 1040 (PDF) adds new crimes to the Illinois Sex Offender Registration Act and increases the length of time sex offenders must maintain their registration with the Illinois Sex Offender Registry.

Under current law, misdemeanor and felony offenders must maintain registration for 10 years or life, depending on the severity of the crime.

This legislation lengthens registration for misdemeanor offenses to 11 years and felony offenses to 25 years, while the state's most dangerous offenders would still be subject to a lifetime registration.
Additionally, Senate Bill 1040 would help better inform the public and members of the law enforcement community on the activities of sexual predator by requiring the sex offender registry to contain much more detailed information about their living arrangements, employment and mobility of registered sex offenders.

Finally, this legislation also requires 15-year registrants to report to law enforcement each year, 25-year registrants every six months and life registrants every 90 days.

AZ - Ricardo Costa waits 2 years for trial, bail

The following was sent to us via the contact form.

Dear Arizona residents,

A dear friend and long time Sedona resident, Ricardo Costa (Web Site) has been jailed for 2.5 years accused of a crime he did not commit. He has been denied his right to a speedy trial and was denied the right to bail when the judge set it at $75 million dollars CASH, one of the highest in US history!! The only witness in his case was a child psychologist who subsequently lost her license to practice due to questionable ethics when she led children to lie in other similar cases.

Tonight his story will be broadcast on Channel 12 news at 10pm in Arizona. If the ratings come in high, his story could get picked up nationally. Please please help to spread the word about his case!! All he is asking for is his day in court.

Thank you Arizona!!!!

Original Article


By Mark Lineberger

The right to a speedy trial is supposed to be one of the foundations of the American justice system. Unfortunately, the nature of that system sometimes means the courts can’t always deliver on that promise.

That’s been something Ricardo Costa has learned firsthand.

Costa, formerly a Sedona resident and more recently a resident of the Yavapai County Detention Center in Camp Verde, was arrested and incarcerated Dec. 19, 2008.

Costa, now 38, had gone to the courthouse to try and work out some financial issues regarding his then-recent divorce when he was arrested and charged with multiple counts of molesting and sexually abusing his own children.

The case has continued since then through a series of delays. Several of the charges were dropped, Costa’s defense attorney Bruce Griffen said, and new charges were brought against him as the case developed.

Costa’s case has moved through the system under different judges and jurisdictions as the months marched on. Griffen said it’s unusual for a defendant to be behind bars for so long waiting for a trial.
It’s been one thing after another,” Griffen said. “It’s just dragged on and on.”

The courts will ultimately determine Costa’s guilt or innocence of committing these crimes of which he stands accused. Costa, however, maintains his innocence; his friends and supporters say Costa has refused plea deals that would have allowed him to get out of jail at the cost of his record.

At a hearing in Yavapai County Superior Court on Tuesday, Feb. 1, Costa said he is determined to see this matter through to trial where he hopes to ultimately be exonerated.

The hearing in Judge Tina Ainley’s courtroom was packed with friends and a few family members looking to offer their moral support and testify on Costa’s behalf.

While no trial date has yet been set, the purpose of the hearing was to determine if Costa is eligible for bail, after being locked up for two years.

A major point at issue is Article Two, Section 22 of the Arizona Constitution, which spells out certain criminal accusations that make a defendant ineligible for bail. Those include “capital offenses, sexual assault, sexual conduct with a minor under 15 years of age or molestation of a child under 15 years of age when the proof is evident or the presumption great.”

Since the original charges against Costa were filed, he’s also now being charged with continuous sexual abuse of a child, a charge the defense argues isn’t specifically listed among the crimes spelled out in that particular section of the constitution.

Prosecutor Joe Butner argued the charge still legally meets the constitutional requirement for prohibiting bail.

If the court rules in the state’s favor, the defense is hoping to pin Costa’s pretrial freedom on the clause requiring the proof against him is evident and the “presumption great.”

After the hearing, Griffen told a group of Costa’s supporters he feels the evidence is shaky at best and thinks he can eventually make a convincing argument to allow the court to release Costa on bail.

Several of Costa’s friends, who met them through his children’s schools, his tennis groups and through his work as a contractor, testified they would not only help post his bail if the court so granted, but would offer Costa a place to stay while waiting for trial. Costa’s friends painted him as a loving father they would trust around their own children. Every witness called by the defense testified the charges against Costa were completely inconsistent with the behavior of the man they’ve come to know over the years.

I would trust him,” said Giselle Collette, who used to carpool to take Costa’s children to school and whose families became friends. “I’ve offered him the house; I wouldn’t think twice.”

Costa is a Brazilian citizen with a permanent green card allowing him to work and live in the United States. Costa told the court he’d be more than willing to surrender his passport and stay in either the Sedona area or in San Diego with family members until the trial begins.

Costa said he’d abide by any additional conditions of release the court might demand if the judge sees fit to give him the chance to post bail.

This is where my kids are,” Costa said. “This is where I want to stay.”

The prosecution will certainly present its own evidence against Costa, but the court day ended before they had a chance. Ainley continued the hearing to Friday, Feb. 11.

In the meantime, Costa’s friends and family continue to stand by him, hoping to see him get his day in court. Costa is currently in solitary confinement, said his brother, Rafael Costa, after he was reportedly threatened by another inmate. The brothers still try to talk almost daily on the phone, Costa said.

He was getting ready to come stay with me to start a new job the very next day after he was arrested,” Costa said.

The Feb. 11 hearing is set for 10:30 a.m. in Yavapai County Superior Court in Camp Verde.