Saturday, December 31, 2011

NY - Legislator Proposes Law Limiting What Jobs Sex Offenders Can Have

Original Article

I thought this was already part of the draconian residency laws, guess not.

12/31/2011

BUFFALO - A Western New York lawmaker wants to limit the types of jobs that sex offenders can have.

Erie County Legislator Daniel Kozub (D) proposed a law Friday that would create exclusion zones so sex offenders cannot interact with children.

The idea of the law is to prevent convicted sex offenders from working at any location where a minor would be present at the same time. Places like daycares, camps or haunted houses.

Kozub says having a law like this in Erie County is a start, but he'd like to see more done too.

Introducing this legislation is one of Kozub's last acts as a lawmaker.

His last day as an Erie County Legislator is December 31, 2011.

He says he hopes the incoming legislators and county executive pass the law.


UK - Police trial lie detectors on sex offender suspects

Original Article

"Lie Detectors" are junk science, see here.

12/31/2011

Police have begun using lie detector tests on suspected sex offenders in a trial which could be widened.

Hertfordshire Police said it had been using polygraphs, which monitor heart rate, brain activity, sweating and blood pressure, during questioning.

The trial involved tests on 25 "low-level" suspects ahead of any charges being brought, the force said.

The Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) said the tests were not a "single solution to solving crimes."

Hertfordshire Police said polygraph testing had been used to "speed up the risk assessment process."

"The testing is undertaken ahead of any charges being brought and involves specialist officers from the constabulary's paedophile unit working with an expert who conducts the test on first-time suspected offenders who have volunteered to co-operate with police," the force said in a statement.
- Pedophile unit?  Not all sex offenders, or those accused of a sex crime, are pedophiles, and if they are using this before someone has been found guilty, then it's illegal!

"Evidence elicited during the examinations is not admissible at court."
- Then why is it used?

Det Ch Insp Glen Channer, head of the force's child protection unit, added: "The polygraph testing provides us with an additional tool and has cut down investigative time significantly, leading to a more efficient process, often helping to identify additional offences."
- People who have not been convicted of a crime, should DENY taking this, like we said, and others point out, it's junk science.

A further 12-month trial is expected to start in April, the force says.

'Home in'

Acpo, which represents chief police officers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, said its Homicide Working Group advised police on the use of polygraph techniques.

"Polygraph techniques are complex and are by no means a single solution to solving crimes, potentially offering in certain circumstances an additional tool to structured interrogation," a spokeswoman said.

"These initial trials are in their very early stages and we will follow their progress, working with chief officers across the country to provide further guidance if necessary."

"Whether these techniques are adopted elsewhere in the country is a matter for individual chief constables."

The results of lie detector tests are considered too unreliable for use in criminal trials.

Bruce Burgess, a former chairman of the British Polygraph Association, said lie detectors were considered to be a useful "investigative tool" in the US, even though they produced evidence that was "very difficult to get into court" and were unlikely ever to be used as "a guilty or innocent tool".
- So like we said, what's the point?

He said offering polygraph tests to a number of suspects could provide a degree of insight if, for example, somebody refused to take the test.

"If they polygraph six people and they get five truthful results and one deceptive, they can home in on that person and cut down on a lot of police work. That's the way it's used in America," he added.
- So what if the other five are just good at lying?

Although the Hertfordshire pilot looked at the use of lie detectors to aid decisions over whether or not to charge suspects, a three-year pilot study in the East and West Midlands could lead to the compulsory testing of convicted sex offenders.

The Ministry of Justice has been overseeing the project, aimed at testing sex offenders as part of their probation conditions when they are freed from prison.

Related Stories:


Nancy Disgrace, as usual, jumping to conclusions!

In the first video, Nancy says the girl "was molested," without any evidence of such, and in the second video, she also claims sexual assault, but another woman claims there is no evidence of that, but the other woman also says "you do not get to be 39 years old and not have committed a sexual offense before?" What in the world is that about? Is she saying, everyone over 39 years old, even herself, has committed a sexual crime? Sounds like it to me, unless I am not understanding something. Now I know why Nancy Disgrace is no longer a prosecutor, she thinks everyone is guilty, even without evidence, and she's had her own issues in the past, as a prosecutor.



THE CHARTER FOR COMPASSION

Video Description:
AFFIRM the Charter today: http://charterforcompassion.org

Video Produced by: Captain & The Fox (captainandthefox.com) in partnership with WORKSHOP (workshoplovesyou.com).

Video Music Composed by: Naturalistic (naturalistic.net)

The principle of compassion lies at the heart of all religious, ethical and spiritual traditions, calling us always to treat all others as we wish to be treated ourselves. Compassion impels us to work tirelessly to alleviate the suffering of our fellow creatures, to dethrone ourselves from the centre of our world and put another there, and to honour the inviolable sanctity of every single human being, treating everybody, without exception, with absolute justice, equity and respect.

It is also necessary in both public and private life to refrain consistently and empathically from inflicting pain. To act or speak violently out of spite, chauvinism, or self-interest, to impoverish, exploit or deny basic rights to anybody, and to incite hatred by denigrating others - even our enemies - is a denial of our common humanity. We acknowledge that we have failed to live compassionately and that some have even increased the sum of human misery in the name of religion.

We therefore call upon all men and women ~ to restore compassion to the centre of morality and religion ~ to return to the ancient principle that any interpretation of scripture that breeds violence, hatred or disdain is illegitimate ~ to ensure that youth are given accurate and respectful information about other traditions, religions and cultures ~ to encourage a positive appreciation of cultural and religious diversity ~ to cultivate an informed empathy with the suffering of all human beings, even those regarded as enemies.

We urgently need to make compassion a clear, luminous and dynamic force in our polarized world. Rooted in a principled determination to transcend selfishness, compassion can break down political, dogmatic, ideological and religious boundaries. Born of our deep interdependence, compassion is essential to human relationships and to a fulfilled humanity. It is the path to enlightenment, and indispensible to the creation of a just economy and a peaceful global community.


TX - Bandera sex offenders are being watched

Original Article

Did you ever think that they may be clustering due to the very residency laws you are passing, or is that too obvious for you?

12/30/2011

By Zeke MacCormack

Officials wonder why so many are clustering in the county.

BANDERA — Sex offenders living in Bandera County are facing increased scrutiny by authorities, partly due to concerns about their apparent clustering there.

We've got a lot of offenders who aren't from here and didn't commit their crimes here,” Bandera County sheriff's Sgt. Jose Barreto said. “What is it that draws those people here?

Of the 53 offenders he said are registered there, 21 committed their crimes outside Texas, and 22 outside Bandera County.

Investigators fear that some type of coordination is occurring among offenders, possibly through social networking, that resulted in the seemingly high number of sex offenders in the rural county.
- Oh come on, are you folks really this paranoid?  I am willing to bet this is NOT the case!

Bandera County has fewer than 21,000 residents, according to the 2010 census.

By comparison, the Department of Public Safety website says 25 sex offenders are registered in Gillespie County, which had a 2010 population of just under 25,000; and 32 are registered in Kendall County, whose population was about 33,000.

No easy answers to the mystery emerged during an unprecedented compliance sweep in early December, in which teams of officers visited the homes of the Bandera County offenders.

We wanted to make sure they are living where they're supposed to be and are complying with all the conditions (set by the judges),” Barreto said.

Offenders, who normally interact with officers only when they register annually, were surprised when police showed up at their doors unannounced.

I've never seen that before,” said one sex offender, who asked not to be identified. “They just verified where I live and that my license plates on vehicles are correct.”

The offender is a Bandera County native whose case was heard in Bexar County.

He had no solid theory on why sex offenders seemingly cluster in the county.

The only thing I can say is it may be because of the openness. They can be away from people. It's possible they think they can hide,” the man said. “Maybe the (authorities) were more lax on it before, but it looks like that's changing.”
- Why don't you go to the source, and ask some of the offenders you are worried about and ask them?  I am willing to bet it's due to the residency laws, and having no other place to live.

The sweep by teams of local deputies, U.S. marshals and the attorney general's staff learned seven offenders had died, bringing the number down from 60, according to Barreto, and 23 had a compliance problem.

He said a high number of sex offenders translates into lots of work for those charged with overseeing them.
- Aww, too bad!  If you don't like it, fix the draconian laws you are passing!

Every two years the Legislature boosts the requirements on sex offenders,” he said. “That boosts the workload on investigators and probation departments.”
- Exactly, the legislature like exploiting fear, children and ex-sex offenders to further their own careers, and to "look tough" on crime while actually doing nothing, except wasting time and money, something they are good at.

Besides offenders who are free or on parole after having served out their sentences, many people charged with sex offenses must comply with similar conditions while free on bail and awaiting trial.

Probation officers responsible for overseeing Bandera County also have stepped up their scrutiny of that group since Paul Alamo was hired last spring to lead the community supervision team, which also handles Kerr and Gillespie counties.

We're switching the organization's culture from being behind the desks to more field work to verify and confirm,” Alamo said. “When we changed that, the sex offender population was like, “They're coming out to my home?'

The new sex offender monitoring measures include hosting Halloween gatherings for offenders to ensure they didn't encounter children that night, accidentally or otherwise, thereby violating the release terms.
- And Halloween is another moral panic that is not based on facts!  Children are more likely to be hit by a car than sexually assaulted by some ex-sex offender, or even someone who isn't a sex offender.

We don't want to step on their rights,” Barreto said. “I told them, ‘If you do what you're supposed to do by court order, and don't commit any more crimes, you'll have no problem with me.'

One sex offender, who rejects the idea that other local offenders coordinated plans online to move to the area, said the Halloween event marked the first time he'd laid eyes on the other local offenders.

I hadn't met any of them until then,” said the man, who asked not to be named. “In effect, they brought us together more than anything else.”


IL - New Illinois laws take effect Jan. 1

Original Article

12/31/2011

By KEVIN McDERMOTT

SPRINGFIELD - Illinois on Sunday will begin enforcing 214 new laws created by recently passed legislation, covering such relatively new topics as laser pointers, "acid attacks" and seat belts for back-seat passengers. They also tread the very familiar ground of sex offender registration.

Jan. 1 is Illinois' default date for laws to go into effect if a different date isn't specified. Missouri's default date is 90 days after the end of the legislative session, which this year made laws effective Aug. 28.

The addition of new rules governing the movements of sex offenders has become an annual event in Springfield, and it has been increasingly controversial. Illinois' Sex Offender Registry currently lists more than 25,000 people convicted of sex-related crimes, many of them now back in society.

Among the new Illinois laws is a requirement for retroactive registration by some sex offenders who aren't already on the list because they were convicted, punished and released before the current registration rules were in place.

The legislation (HB1253) originally would have covered all convicted sex offenders. That raised constitutional issues, since it would if effect go back and repunish those who had finished their sentences and hadn't committed additional crimes. The final version of the law will only require the listing of any previously convicted sex offender who commits any kind of new crime, even if the new crime isn't sex related.

Also as of Jan. 1, sex offenders who are required to register with state and local officials will additionally have to register with college campus authorities if they are students or employees.

"Many colleges now are centers for cultural activities, with their own kids' programs and day cares," said Sen. Edward Maloney, D-Chicago, sponsor of the legislation (HB295). "So this is just a natural extension of what we do with schools and parks."

Lawmakers defend the proliferation of sex offender laws because sex crimes tend to have a high recidivism rate.
- Well this is false as well, and if they actually looked at the many studies out there, instead of their own personal opinions, they would see that sex offenders have one of the lowest recidivism rates of any other criminal.

"This is an area that, unfortunately, we have to keep an eye on," said Sen. Ira Silverstein, D-Chicago, a co-sponsor of the retroactive registration law.

But opponents characterize it as an annual political piling-on. "They just keep making it harsher and harsher," said Tonia Malone, a St. Louis paralegal who lives in Fairview Heights and heads Illinois Voices for Reform, created to fight the annual double-down on sex offender laws. "Each year, it's getting worse."

Malone says her son was put on the list because of his relationship with a 16-year-old when he was 19. Those so-called "Romeo and Juliet" cases are among the most controversial aspects of the registration system. Each time new rules are added to the system, Malone argues, it further punishes people who don't fit the description of what most would consider sex offenders.

"(Lawmakers) just vote 'yes' … and they don't even realize the effects of these laws," she said. "What they do is make sure more and more people become violators."

Other Illinois laws that go into effect Sunday would strengthen the penalties for "child luring" (SB1038), child pornography (HB3283) and stalking by registered sex offenders (HB277). In addition, the state will set up a new database identifying released first-degree murderers (HB263).
- Why just ex-sex offenders and murderers?  Why not similar punishment for all criminals?