Saturday, June 4, 2011

GA - Sex offender binder receives mixed reviews

Original Article
Related Article

And here we have yet another ignorant "reporter" who seems to think "sex offender equals "pedophile!" Just shows how ignorant she is. And she didn't even ask people how they feel about the fact that the state did not fund this, and they are paying for it, and also the fact that the sheriff is over-reacting! Just the usual biased "reporter!"

06/03/2011

By Whitney Hunter

Wednesday the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office distributed 54 binders with the pictures and convictions of sex offenders in the Savannah area. Some citizens feel the move will be beneficial to the community while others think it is a waste of time.

The binder is the result of months of work by the sex offender registration and tracking unit.

Michelle Gavin, public information officer for the sheriff’s office, sees the binder as means for the office to perform its job more efficiently.
- More efficiently?  How?  It's a waste of tax payer money, and is not needed.

It is just another tool we have to educate citizens about the sex offenders in the neighborhood,” Gavin said.

This comes as welcome relief to 35-year-old child care provider and mother, Katrina Mack.

Mack is the owner of Angels Childcare. She has two locations in Savannah.

Mack says the binders will help citizens put a name to the face and will allow them to be more aware. Although Mack thinks the binders are a good idea, she says they are effective to an extent.
- So why can't they use the online registry?  That is why it was created, was it not?  Again, this is a waste of our money!

People are still going to do what they want, when you are dealing with a pedophile it is no different than an addict,” Mack said. “They will do what is necessary to do what they want.”
- Sex Offender does not equal pedophile!

Others say not only will the binders be effective to some extent, but also they have the potential to unfairly label people.

Isaac McCaslin, 21, a third year SCAD student majoring in painting, says Americans are too quick to judge people.

I don’t like it; this is just another superficial labeling device,” McCaslin said. “I am sure there is no real information in these binders.”

McCaslin’s main argument is that not everyone in the binder is a valid sex offender. He sites cases of statutory rape for examples.

Natalia Mercado, 21, also a SCAD student majoring in animation, agrees with McCaslin that the binders are unnecessary.

It is already public knowledge and it will not make much of a difference,” Mercado said. "It will just foster more paranoia.”
- At least some in the general public get it!


AL - Alabama sex offender registration and extortion?

Requiring registration fees in order to not go to jail/prison, is extortion.


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WA - Former police officer's (Ryan Graichen) bail revoked

Ryan Graichen
Original Article
Related Story

06/04/2011

By Annette Cary

A former Portland police officer will remain in the Benton County jail after a judge heard testimony about his alleged Facebook activities and ordered him to continue to be held without bail.

Ryan Graichen had been released briefly from jail after being held on two counts of sexual exploitation and three counts of commercial sex abuse of a minor after allegedly approaching teenage girls in Columbia Park in Kennewick for sexual purposes.

But the day after posting a bond on $250,000 bail April 22, he created the first of two fictitious Facebook profiles so he could stalk his former girlfriend, said Deputy Prosecutor Anita Petra in Benton County Superior Court.

He has pleaded innocent to new charges of stalking and four counts of violating a civil anti-harassment order.

Graichen was back in court Friday for a bail hearing at which one witness was called -- the Kennewick police detective who used his computer expertise to help investigate the alleged stalking.

Detective Brian Pochert said he used a warrant to get information from Facebook and was able to trace the internet protocol addresses used to log into three Facebook accounts back to Graichen's home.

One was Graichen's personal account. The other Facebook accounts were for a woman, Sarah Johnson, who said she had gone to high school with Graichen's former girlfriend and a man, Corey Anderson, claiming to be a Kennewick firefighter who worked out at the same gym as Graichen's former girlfriend.

Johnson contacted Graichen's former girlfriend saying she wanted to catch up. In messages and using a chat internet feature, she asked questions about the former girlfriend's private life and claimed to have psychic ability, Pochert said.

Johnson said she could foresee that Graichen would come into money and do something to better himself, Pochert said. She told Graichen's former girlfriend she should reconsider the breakup and that Graichen really loved her.

At the time Graichen was under a court order not to contact her.

Johnson's Facebook site included several photos of a woman and her children, and information such as her birthday and schools she had attended.

"Obviously some work had gone into it to make it appear legitimate," Pochert said.

The firefighter's Facebook site showed photos of a firefighter, including him talking with children.

It's the site that was created first and the purported firefighter asked Graichen's former girlfriend for her phone number. She had changed it after the no-contact order.

Kennewick police checked with Benton County fire departments, plus checked driver's license information and school records, to determine that both profiles were for people who didn't exist, Pochert said.

Graichen's former girlfriend "is very upset about it," Pochert said. She's worried about what lengths Graichen might go to next, he said.

In the past, Graichen had sent her a photo with a gun held to his mouth, Pochert said.

The prosecution asked that Graichen not be released on $1 million bail that had been set after Graichen's most recent arrest.

Swisher agreed last week to hold him without bail at least until Friday's hearing, when he extended the order.

Graichen's attorney, Nicholas Jones, said he needed more time to investigate and did not give any arguments Friday. However, he may raise the issue again, he said.

Graichen faces trial Aug. 29 on the charges of sexual exploitation and commercial sex abuse of a minor.

Prosecutors claim he approached teenage girls in Columbia Park twice last summer and offered them money, alcohol and marijuana if they would go back to his house and be filmed while he performed a sex act.

His trial on the more recent charges is set for July 5.


AL - Ex-jailer (Tracie Lynn Thompson) pleads guilty in Morgan County, Ala. to smuggling contraband, sex charge

Original Article

06/02/2011

DECATUR - A former Morgan County jailer has pleaded guilty to charges she smuggled in prison contraband and had sex with a male inmate.

Tracie Lynn Thompson of Moulton, faces a three-year sentence for each charge of promoting prison contraband and custodial sexual misconduct. She entered a guilty plea for both charges in Morgan County Circuit Court before Judge Glenn Thompson on Wednesday.

Morgan County authorities arrested her in 2009 after their investigation revealed she had been having sex with an inmate and that she had smuggled him prescription medication and a cell phone.

Former Sheriff Greg Bartlett says jail supervisors confiscated a cell phone, a charger and some pills from the inmate. He says investigators discovered the inmate had made a phone call to Tracie Thompson's personal cell phone.


GA - Punishing teenagers as adults 
is wrong

Original Article

06/03/2011

By Vicki Griffin

Clayton County’s prosecutors chose not to charge as adults foolish teens caught in the reckless trend of sexting, sending each other sexually explicit text and photos.

But a 17-year-old in Cobb County could spend years in an adult prison and be forever labeled a sex offender for the same youthful folly.

Until our legislators, concerned about appearing soft on crime, become firm in their commitment to our youth and pass legislation that protects them from the thoughtless actions they too frequently make, the possibility of facing felony charges and consequences for teen tomfoolery is still there, in all counties across the state.
- They need to just defend the Constitutional rights of ALL people, which they took an oath to do.  If they stuck with the Constitution, instead of bypassing it, then none of these draconian laws would ever be passed!

The overwhelming majority of states and many nations throughout the world require that the age of majority be 18, but here in Georgia our 17-year-olds are held to adult standards when it comes to crime and punishment.

Our suburban sheriffs would likely rather not take our children to adult prisons, but they are forced to follow the laws that our legislators enact.

Granted, the laws governing child pornography were created prior to the technology our children utilize daily, but these gadgets and their pitfalls have been around long enough that prudent people should seek to mitigate the potential damage current punishment would cause by discerning the difference between teenage shenanigans and exploitative adult predators.

But it goes beyond sexting for Georgia’s 17-year-olds as the cases pending against teens are cause for alarm in our suburbs. Do we in Georgia honestly value our children, teens and young adults?

From a criminal standpoint, it appears we do not, as we do not yet legally recognize the fact that the brains of children, teens and young adults are simply not hard-wired for full adult executive decision-making until about age 25.

We hold our youth competent and criminally responsible for their often immature and reckless choices, although frequently the crimes they commit are victimless and involve drugs that do more physical harm to the teens than to anyone else.

But even with the crimes known as the seven deadly sins, our children should not be considered incapable of redemption and tried as adults.

As the school year ends and summer breaks begin there’s a line that comes to mind from “Summertime Blues”: “I called my congressman and he said, quote, ‘I’d like to help you, son, but you’re too young to vote.’

And that’s exactly the point. We cannot justify adult punishment for teens too young to vote for the legislators who make the laws that put them into adult prisons serving adult sentences.

Georgia could lead the nation by recognizing and allowing that, physiologically, young brains are not fully developed and capable of understanding the long-term ramifications of spur-of-the-moment actions, and that as a result, rehabilitation, treatment and community service are our remedies of choice.


NC - State faces deadline to comply with federal sex offender law

Original Article

06/03/2011

By Brian Freskos

Because of the price tag tied to a far-reaching federal mandate requiring states to overhaul how they keep track of sex offenders, North Carolina might opt to ignore a major provision of the law, a state legislator said Thursday.

The decision would jeopardize hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal grant money used to assist crime victims and fund criminal justice programs.
- Yes, but it would also cost millions to comply with the law as well.  So do you just opt out, or spend MORE money just to receive a little grant money?  Doesn't appear to be a complicated question to me.

The mandate, (Adam Walsh Act, SORNA) passed by Congress in 2006, requires every state to adopt more uniform standards for registering sex offenders by July of this year. Its backers crafted the legislation so offenders would have a harder time evading authorities, especially when crossing state lines, officials said.

But several states have taken issue because the law imposes strenuous costs and, some critics say, actually undermines public safety. The mandate has also ignited a flurry of lawsuits from civil rights groups that oppose it on constitutional grounds.

Because of the mounting opposition, one of the biggest changes to how sex offenders are tracked and monitored in years might flounder.

"The requirements of the federal government are so burdensome and so expensive we've decided it may not be worth the (grant) funding they're offering of us," said state Rep. Sarah Stevens (Email), a Republican from Surry County.

Congress passed the law, entitled the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, following several high-profile stories of sex offenders bouncing from state to state to assault and kill children.
- Yes, a law, based on a rare occasion, passed to punish all instead of the few.  Those who kill children are very few.  I can think of only a handful myself, and we have over 700,000 ex-offenders in this country.  So why punish all harshly for the deeds of a few?  Do we do that with any other crime?  No, so why start now?  If a person murders any human being, they should be in prison until they die, IMO.

It was named after a 6-year-old Florida boy who was kidnapped from a shopping mall in 1981 and later found beheaded. His father, John Walsh, went on to host the television show "America's Most Wanted" and advocated for the legislation's passage.
- Correct, but it was NEVER proven it was done by a sex offender, but a murderer.  So why punish sex offenders and not murderers?  Doesn't make much sense to me.