Tuesday, October 4, 2011

UK - Prison staff should have protected paedophile who was disemboweled by inmates (Damien Fowkes)

Damien Fowkes
Original Article

10/04/2011

By Nick Freeman

Paedophile [name #1 withheld] met a macabre and grisly end after being disemboweled in a prison attack by fellow inmates.

Look away if you’re squeamish, but the serial sex attacker was butchered with makeshift weapons, thought to be razor blades melted into toothbrush handles, after allegedly boasting about his sick crimes.

Our gut instinct may well scream that a man who brags about raping a 13 year-old girl may have deserved such a bloody and hideous death. That this was justice in its most primitive sense.

However, this is England, 2011, a so-called civilized society where the rule of law still governs. And though it may be hard to swallow, what’s morally right and legally acceptable can be mutually exclusive.

The authorities at Frankland Prison in County Durham should face a full criminal investigation and [name #1 withheld]’s family have a right to claim compensation for his unlawful death .

Every prisoner is entitled to full state protection, however horrible their crimes – indeed the greater the horror the more they need protecting.

How on earth can such a violent atrocity ever occur in one of Her Majesty’s prisons? Especially when this place has previous – Soham killer [name #2 withheld] had his throat slashed in the same jail only last year.

Defendants like this are prime targets for in-house vigilantism. Have the authorities learnt nothing?

Last year I supported [name #2 withheld]’s right to sue for £100,000 when he was attacked.

And that’s why I support [name #1 withheld]’s family in suing the prison for every penny it can get.

Breaking the law is a costly business.

This mistake will probably cost the hard-pressed tax payer millions.

Only the other day the High Court ruled that banned extremist [name #3 withheld] could claim compensation for unlawful detention by immigration officers because they failed to explain to him ‘in a language he could understand’ precisely why he was being detained – a technical breach of the rules. The pro-Palestinian hardliner, described in the Commons as a ‘virulent anti-Semite’ is banned from this country.

His entry was illegal. But nevertheless now he is here, is entitled to being protected by the law of the land.

It’s essential that those responsible for those protecting us uphold that law. Otherwise we have to pick up the tab.

And until State protectors do their job properly, we’ll keep on paying. Now, where’s the morality in that?

See Also:


TX - Former police officer (Webster Simmons) on trial for rape and sodomy of a drugged woman

Webster Simmons
Original Article

10/03/2011

By Matt Elofson

A Houston County woman woke up dazed after she’d been drugged, handcuffed and gagged during a sexual assault by a former Duke University police officer, District Attorney Doug Valeska argued on Monday.

Valeska outlined the prosecution’s case Monday afternoon for the charges filed against 39-year-old Webster Simmons. Houston County Sheriff’s investigators arrested Simmons in October 2009 on felony first-degree rape and felony first-degree sodomy charges.

Valeska talked about how the victim went to the Cowboys nightclub with Simmons. He said the victim had three or four beers and wouldn’t let Simmons buy her any drinks, with the exception of one tequila. He said the next thing the woman knew she woke up without her clothes and was handcuffed inside Simmons’ truck.

You’ll hear this man was a Duke University police officer, and he had sex toys,” Valeska said. “We’re going to prove she was unconscious, she was drugged and had a ball gag put in her mouth. He raped and sodomized her.”

Simmons, of Rougemont, N.C., was released from custody a month after his arrest after he posted $60,000 bail on each of his two charges.

Sheriff Andy Hughes released information shortly after Simmons’ arrest detailing how detectives seized evidence from inside Simmons’ vehicle, including two pairs of handcuffs, a ball gag, thick white rope, an unknown power source with wires attached to a nail, along with a whip and flog.

Attorney Billy Joe Sheffield II, who represented Simmons, said his client had to resign from his position as a Duke University police officer after 15 years of service because of these accusations. He said his client had graduated from Cottonwood High, where he played football.

Sheffield said his client came to the Dothan area in October 2009 to help his family around their home.

Sheffield said jurors will hear evidence of how the alleged victim actually drank more than the prosecution contended, and that she even bought his client a drink. He held up a 64 ounce glass mug to illustrate how much the alleged victim drank on the night of the offense.

Sheffield said jurors will hear from the Cowboys manager who will testify about how his client wasn’t allowed to enter the business. But he said his client and the alleged victim talked about sex toys at another local bar.

Sheffield also said the defense will not dispute that Simmons had sex with the woman, but it was not rape.

I can tell you right now, without a doubt, there’s no sodomy,” Sheffield said.

The prosecution began the presentation of its evidence late Monday, and planned to continue Tuesday.


TX - Soldier Cleared Of Sex Assault Charges, By His Girlfriend (Danielle Marie Gates) Speaks Out

Danielle Marie Gates
Original Article

You can also watch the video at the link above.

10/03/2011

By Isis Romero

Heath Alan Kirk Accused, Then Cleared Of Rape

SAN ANTONIO -- A San Antonio man who was falsely accused of rape, spoke about his ordeal on Monday.

Heath Alan Kirk, 22, was arrested last week after his girlfriend, Danielle Marie Gates, 19, accused him of kidnapping and raping her.

After an investigation, police determined Gates claims didn't add up.

"I went to jail for three days, to the detention center," said Kirk. "My bond was set at $100,000, and I knew there was no way my family could pay that, so I just kind of sat there, until the police found me innocent. "

Kirk said he was in the process of breaking up with Gates, which upset her, and may have lead to the false claims.

"I'm leaving in three weeks to go back to Ohio when I retire, and I don't think she was really ready for that," Kirk said.

Kirk said his focus now is on restoring his reputation.

The U.S. Army Specialist lost part of his leg in Afghanistan, and says he went from being a hometown hero to a suspected criminal.

Although the ordeal has been tough on him, he said he's not bitter about what happened.

"I don't want her in jail because I've already experienced what it's like," Kirk said. "If she goes, she goes. But if not, it's cool too."
- And will she accuse someone else, in the future, if she doesn't go to jail?

Gates is now looking at a charge of aggravated perjury, a third-degree felony.

If convicted, she faces anywhere between two and 10 years in prison.

Previous Stories:


NY - New York may register out-of-state sex offenders

Original Article

10/03/2011

By Dan Wiessner

ALBANY (Reuters) - People convicted of sex crimes in other states who then move to New York can be registered as sex offenders here, an appellate court has ruled.

In a unanimous decision released Friday that reversed a lower court ruling, the Appellate Division, Fourth Department, found that the location where a sex offense occurred was irrelevant because the state's Sex Offender Registry Act (SORA) was passed so people would know if a potentially dangerous sex offender was residing in their neighborhood.

Such individuals "are clearly no less dangerous than similarly situated individuals in New York," wrote Judge Erin Peradotto for the court.

Mark Dewine, who brought the suit against the state, completed a sentence for an unspecified sex offense in Wyoming in 1996. He later moved to the Syracuse area. After being tracked down by law enforcement, Dewine was designated as a sex offender by New York. He appealed the designation.
- So was he off the registry in the previous state?  If so, then this is wrong, IMO.

SORA created the state's sex offender registry, which is a public database featuring the names, ZIP codes, photos and sometimes home addresses of individuals convicted of sex crimes. The information available on an offender is based upon his or her classification: Level 1, or "low risk" offenders, are included in the registry for 20 years. Levels 2 and 3, which include higher-risk offenders, are kept on the registry for life. Dewine was classified as a Level 2 offender.

The law applies to anyone who was in prison, on probation or parole for a sex crime as of January 1996.

A 1999 amendment to SORA requires out-of-state sex offenders who move to New York to notify authorities within 10 days of their arrival, but that provision was not retroactive and doesn't apply to Dewine or any other sex offender who completed his sentence prior to its enactment.
- So a sex offender is suppose to know the laws of every single state now?

FEAR OF SAFE HAVEN

Dewine's attorney, David E. Zukher of Weisberg, Zukher & DelGuercio in Syracuse, argued that because Dewine did not live in New York when SORA took effect, its provisions do not apply to him. He accused the court of "punting" the issue to the legislature and, if the decision is appealed, the Court of Appeals.

"What they really said is when the legislature passed SORA, it was instantly applicable to everyone in the world," Zukher said.
- Exactly!

But the court found that the trial court's interpretation of SORA could create a loophole that turns New York into a safe haven for sex offenders from other states, which would run counter to the legislative intent of the law.
- Come on, this is just pure stupidity!  If a person is still required to registry in the state they are coming from, then I can understand it, but if they are off the registry in the previous state, then forcing them to registry in New York is yet another ex post facto punishment.

"Such an interpretation could have the unintended and undesirable effect of encouraging sex offenders convicted in other states to evade the registration requirements of those states by relocating to New York," Peradotto wrote.
- Like I said above, if you made the law, such that any person coming from another state, has to register, if they had to register in the previous state, then it would make more sense.  But hey, common sense is lacking these days.

Zukher dismissed the court's concern, saying that Dewine's case "is so unique, and is never going to happen again."

Zukher did not say whether Dewine would appeal the decision.

The case is the Matter of Mark Dewine v. New York State Board of Examiners of Sex Offenders, Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York, Fourth Department, CA 11-00774.

For Dewine: David Zukher of Weisberg, Zukher & DelGuercio in Syracuse.

For the state: Robert Goldfarb, of counsel to the Attorney General's office.


Supreme court opens 2011 term - Retroactive sex offender laws on the table

Original Article
Related Article

10/03/2011

By Jaclyn Belczyk

The US Supreme Court opened its 2011 term Monday with oral arguments (PDF) in two cases. In Reynolds v. United States (PDF, Jurist Report) the court heard arguments on the retroactive application of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) (PDF), which requires convicted sex offenders to register. The attorney general determined in 2007 that all states would have to follow the federal rule to keep registration current. [name withheld] pleaded guilty for failure to register his new address but attempted to challenge the application of SORNA against him because his sex offender conviction in 2001 predated the attorney general's rule change. The US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled (PDF) that this did not give him standing to challenge the rule's application. [name withheld]' attorney argued, "[o]ur reading better accords with the text of SORNA and congressional intent, but the government reading is simply not reasonable." Counsel for the federal government argued that the attorney general was acting within the scope of Congress' intent.

In Douglas v. Independent Living Center of Southern California (PDF, Jurist Report), the court heard arguments on whether the Supremacy Clause preempts Medicaid recipients and providers from bringing a suit challenging a California state law that reduces reimbursement rates. Medicaid providers—doctors, hospitals and pharmacies—are angry over a series of cutbacks by the California legislature reducing reimbursement payments in an attempt to handle the state's financial crisis. Lawyers for the state argued that the providers have no right to challenge the reimbursement rates and that they do not have any right to a particular rate of reimbursement. The case is consolidated with Douglas v. Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital and Douglas v. California Pharmacists Association.