Wednesday, June 6, 2012

OH - How to fix Williams-class offenders

The following was sent to us via the contact form and posted with the users permission, and we've not verified any of this, so it's up to you to do that. All the documents and images for this post can be found here.

Instructions for fixing the Williams-2011-class offenders in Tier system under AWA, but should actually be in Megan's Law scheme instead. Offenders whose crimes were before 1/1/08 but were sentenced AFTER that date are the only ones which this applies to. This should be done AFTER release from detainment. (They'll lose their racks when round-tripped to Court!)



Disclaimer, I am NOT an attorney, nor attempt to portray one, these are only possible examples from a John Doe. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK. But be warned: They worked for this person.

Go to the Ohio Attorney Generals Website and follow the guidelines below, personalize with your case data and other information:

Nature of Concern/Inquiry:
What is the procedure for Reclassification per George D. Williams 2011-ohio-3374 decision for sex offenders classified only under SB10? I was directed to contact your office by the Public Defenders Office in Columbus.

How would you like the Attorney General to Help?
Contact me via email/phone for procedure if any to expedite this correction for my case. xxXX-xxxx from XXXXXXXX County. The Indictment states the alleged commission date "On or about xx/xx/xxxx through xx/xx/xxxx" which should put me directly into this class of offenders, despite having a sentencing date of xx/xx/xxxx. I was told to quote the Williams decision at the last sentence of paragraph 21: "We conclude that S.B. 10, as applied to Williams and any other sex offender who committed an offense prior to the enactment of S.B. 10, violates Section 28, Article II of the Ohio Constitution, which prohibits the General Assembly from enacting retroactive laws."

Thank You.



The Form Letter email in response is received a few days later, like 3 business days, so actually pretty quick:

Follow up with the Ohio Attorney General's office:

Online Inquiry response:

Mr. _____,

I had our attorney group review the court docs in light of the Williams decision. It has been determined that without a HB180 hearing you would be classified under Ohio’s Megan’s Law as a Sexually Oriented Offender. That class registers on an annual basis for a period of 10 years. A letter will be sent out by the attorney group detailing the class change. It will be sent to both you and the local Sheriff Office.

-----Constituent Information-----
MatterID: (Number) Constituent: (ME)
Address: (HERE)
County: No County entered
Email: Email
Received Date: (date mailed)

At the same date/time is when the Sheriff's and Local PERsecutor are notified of change of status.  So check your local "listings" (/humor) to verify the positive.

The Paper Letter is such, received a week after initial contact, redacted for recipients anonymity of course.

Click to enlarge

Then of course, DO NOT GET SCARED.. You are required to have a hearing on this. It can be a HB180 Hearing to go higher than Oriented Offender, but all depends on the case, and how corrupt the Judge and PERsecutor are. This is usually a "clerical" hearing to put it on the record, but FIND OUT BEFORE the hearing what the PERsecutor is actually up to! He'll have to state it is an HB 180 hearing for you to be elevated to higher classes. This is why you need counsel, as you aren't ready to "play the game."

Local PERsecutor motions for a "States Motion to set a re-classification hearing." The whole thing summarizes crime date, sentencing date, under prevailing law at time.. blah blah legalese blah. Williams provided that AWA Tier 3 was unconstitutionally applied by retro-activity clause. Therefore ... should be registered pursuant to Megan's Law which was controlling at the time.

Click to enlarge

Said hearing is a required attendance, AND with Counsel. So, if you are indigent, file a PRO SE motion, using the standard Motion Format, (See one of your case documents online as a reference for the heading, and just double space the rest of it.) Bold in headings. Pretty simple actually, only the wording is a bit legalese and foreboding, but here's some help... Centered means centered, left is left, and right is right.

Just follow along the spacing is such that 12point Arial below fits perfect line for line setting margins accordingly in WORD which works fine but remember to double space the lines, print it on a Laser if possible at 300dpi which looks real nice. Or, let the inkjet printed page dry very well if you have to use one:

Click to enlarge



At this point, you will be appointed an attorney. Find as much information as possible from your own case to make yourself have more mitigating than antagonizing circumstances if you can. Discuss everything with your lawyer!!! For instance, if Judge had stated your likelihood of reoffending. In the case at hand above, the Judge stated on the record that "client scored on the (program used to define offenders) which (came out to be equivalent to a 5% & 7%) likelihood of a re-offense and future violence respectively." (These scores the Judge quoted are pretty much average for John Q. Public, taking that test, and most offenders in general as offenders know oh-so-well.) This kind of information ON THE RECORD you really need to help you. Most times, if it is your first offense, you will be classified SOO, (basically automatically as all offenses are oriented, duh,) if it is your second offense, or had Multiple indictments (plural charges, different dates etc.) you will probably be into Habitual or right back into the Predator class if you are presently Tier 3. A NO win there. Read the attached HB180 PDF from the DRC's document of the ORC's for some, not all, information. (I repeat, see a lawyer for more information, that's THEIR JOB!)

If you did have a PAID attorney, this is considered part of the sentencing hearing, so that attorney was actually ALREADY paid for this hearing, so they shouldn't make you pay, you hope. Else, if you are indigent, ask for attorney again, (only if you trust them,) then court pays them LESS than what they got from you. They'll lose "face" in the court otherwise.

Anyway, Good Luck, and hope this helps.


"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter" - MLK


I will NOT lie down!


ID - Idaho Defamation Suit Latest Test Of Limits Of Anonymous Online Speech

Original Article

06/05/2012

By Carl Franzen

An ongoing nationwide battle against offending online comments has taken on a political tinge in Idaho, where a local Republican party official is suing a commenter on a newspaper website and trying to force the newspaper, the Idaho Spokesman-Review, to turn over the commenter’s information, as well as the information of two other commenters who replied.

Tina Jacobson, chair of the 71-member Kootenai Republican County Central Committee filed a defamation lawsuit against one of the Spokesman-Review’s commenters in April, seeking $10,000 in damages.

The lawsuit stems from a comment the lengthily-pseudonymed commenter posted on February 14 on a blog entry on the Idaho Spokesman-Review website featuring a photo of Jacobson and other Republican officials.

Although the post didn’t have anything to do with the issue in particular, “Almostinnocentbystander” questioned whether $10,000 that was allegedly missing from the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee could be “stuffed inside Tina’s blouse,” as the Spokesman-Review recalled the statements.

The original blog and the comments have since been deleted, and the Spokesman-Review noted that it had banned the commenter, who sent an apology note: “I apologize for and retract my derogatory and unsubstantiated commentary regarding Tina Jacobson.”

But in order to actually press the claim, she needs the commenter’s identity, as well as those of two others who posted replies to the original comment, which Jacobson’s attorney argued were witnesses to the alleged defamation.

And so, Jacobson’s attorney appeared in district court in Coeur D’Alene late last week, facing off against an attorney for the Spokesman-Review.

You can’t call someone a thief and expect to get away with it,” said C. Matthew Andersen, the aggrieved Republican chair’s counsel, according to the Spokesman-Review.

As the newspaper’s attorney Duane Swinton countered, as quoted The Associated Press: “We’re here for the rights of people to speak anonymously on the Internet…We’re here as an advocate for First Amendment rights.”

The judge’s ruling on whether or not to quash Jacobson’s subpoena against the newspaper is expected soon. But the case has taken on national significance as the latest test of the limits of anonymous speech in the electronic age.

As far back as 1784, Thomas Jefferson wrote anonymous letters published in various newspapers,” wrote attorney Brian D. Spitz from Ohio, in an email to TPM. He continued:

“John Adams, Ben Franklin, both repeatedly had anonymous letters published in newspapers. Anonymous publications have always been a strong foundation for the open exchange of ideas in the United States. I think that publications that want more interaction with their end-users will continue to allow anonymity. But, that anonymity is not a license to post unlawful comments without any possible legal consequence. Back then, if our founders’ identities were revealed, they would have been hung. Now, posters are only sued.

Spitz has more experience than most when it comes to navigating the uncharted legal waters of anonymous online commentary. He represented Shirley Strickland Saffold, an Ohio judge who sued The Cleveland Plain Dealer for $50 million back in April 2010 after an editor with the paper disclosed that an email address she used was attached to an online pseudonym that made comments questioning the mental health of a relative of a newspaper reporter, as well as opined on Saffold’s own case.

Saffold, who denied leaving the comments and said they were the work of her 23-year-old daughter, accused the newspaper of violating its contract to keep online commenters’ identifying information confidential. Saffold was removed from a high-profile serial killer case as a consequence of the controversy, and eventually dismissed the lawsuit against the newspaper and settled out-of-court with a company that helped manage the newspaper’s website.

The distinction in these cases is who is being sued and what is the role of the website provider,” Spitz told TPM. “In the Saffold case, the suit revolved around the website hosts’ voluntary disclosure of supposedly anonymous identities contrary to the terms of the privacy policy and conditions of use, which was the basis of a breach of contract claim against the website hosts.”

Beyond the involvement of a political leader, I’m not seeing anything particularly novel here,” wrote Kashmir Hill, a technology reporter and online privacy expert at Forbes, who has various similar lawsuits in the past three years, in an email to TPM.

Indeed, it’s worth putting the Idaho case into context. There have been at least three additional cases of nationwide interests where online commenters or the websites that host them were sued for their content.

Just at the end of April, a couple in Texas won a $13 million judgement from formerly anonymous commenters on the local discussion forum website Topix, which was forced to disclose their identities by a court after they left comments accusing the couple of sexual assault (Topix, notorious for its noxious online discussion, still maintains anonymity as a cardinal value, its CEO previously told TPM).

A New York judge in October 2010 ordered Google, parent company of YouTube, also known for its vile commentary, to turn over the names of those who made disparaging comments on a video featuring a then-graduate student of Columbia Business School.

And in May 2010, an interim local Louisiana official filed a lawsuit against online against anonymous commenters on NOLA.com, the website of The Times-Picayune newspaper, although he later dropped the lawsuit.

Two years later, in May of 2012, two New York state lawmakers began advocating a bill that could ban anonymous online speech, only to be met with a barrage of criticism (they later clarified the bill was only meant to target “factual concerns).

Still, the Idaho case may turn out to be a seminal one when it comes to deciding the future of trolling online.

Given the involvement of a public figure, the court may be less likely to out the anonymous speaker,” Hill told TPM.

In the end, I’m curious to see if there is even a pot at the end of this rainbow,” wrote Spitz. “If the Court grants Jacobson’s motion to compel, there could be provided another false identity supported by a throw-away email address sent from a Wi-Fi connection at Starbucks.”


Why are the Innocent Convicted?

Original Article

We are suppose to convict based on facts, DNA, etc, not eyewitness accounts, which we all know many times are wrong. Whatever happens that is you have any reasonable doubt, then you must not convict? Now if you are accused of any crime, you are automatically guilty and must prove your innocence or go to prison to keep the business and money flowing.

06/04/2012

How often does our justice system get it wrong, convicting innocent people of crimes they did not commit? A new project by the University of Michigan Law School and the Center for Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University School of Law tries to answer that question.

In the last 23 years, more than 2,000 people have been convicted of serious crimes and later exonerated, the National Registry of Exonerations has found. By far the largest segment was almost 1,200 defendants falsely convicted because of large scale patterns of police corruption, generally in drug and gun cases. Of the remaining 873 defendants exonerated, nearly half were wrongly convicted of murder and, of that group, 101 were sentenced to death. On average, it took more than 11 years for a conviction to be set aside.

Why does the justice system get it wrong? In homicides, the biggest problem is perjury and false accusation, most often by supposed eyewitnesses. False convictions in adult rape cases are primarily based on mistakes by eyewitnesses, while false convictions in child sex abuse cases are often for fabricated crimes that never occurred.

Two thousand exonerations may seem small in a nation with more than 2.3 million people behind bars. But there are far more false convictions than the report contains. Most false convictions are never formally challenged, and those convictions that are successfully overturned receive little or no attention from the media, the report's authors say.


CANADA - Former Ontario cop (Christopher Knox) gets house arrest for stealing sex toy, sending nude photos to friends and taking photo of naked man

Original Article

06/06/2012

By Arthur Weinreb

Woodstock - In addition to the theft, the former officer with the Waterloo Region Police Service sent nude photos of a woman to his friends without her consent and took pictures of a naked man who was passed out.

Christopher Knox, 34, appeared in a Woodstock, Ontario courtroom on Monday. The former police officer, who spent four and one half years on the Waterloo force, pleaded guilty to one count of breach of trust by a public officer and one count of obstruction of justice.

Knox received a conditional sentence of nine months, meaning he will have to spend that time confined to his home. He was also ordered to undergo counselling and to perform 50 hours of community service.

In handing down the sentence, the judge took into account that Knox had lost his job, declared bankruptcy, and saw his marriage fall apart.

As reported by the Toronto Sun, while on a call concerning a break and enter, Knox stole a dildo from the home. He then put it on his sergeant's car and took pictures of it.

In another case, the former cop seized a man's cellphone that contained nude pictures of his girlfriend. Knox circulated those pictures, obviously without the woman's consent, to some of his friends. Similarly he came into contact with nude photographs of a man that had them taken for a modelling portfolio. Knox took pictures of these photos and circulated them as well.

While on another call, the former officer came across a naked man sleeping. He took a picture of that and sent it to his friends. All these incidents occurred while Knox was on duty.

The obstruction of justice charge arose after Knox asked other officers to dispose of the evidence. Another officer, Jeff Vongkhanphou, pleaded guilty in May, received a suspended sentence, and ordered to do 100 hours of community service for his assistance in getting rid of evidence.

The London Free Press reports Knox had also been charged with two other offences. Charges of mischief under $5,000 and criminal harassment were later dropped.

The Waterloo Record reports that two other officers who were not charged with criminal offences, one of whom was an acting sergeant, face disciplinary proceedings under the Police Services Act for their roles in Knox's activities. It is alleged they were present when the former officer was photographing the sex toy on the police cruiser. Although several officers knew what was going on, it wasn't until months later that one officer reported what Knox had done to his superiors.

A spokesperson for the Waterloo Region Police Service refused to name the other two officers prior to the hearing that will be open to the public. Both officers have been suspended with pay.


An Examination of Suicide Attempts Among Incarcerated Sex Offenders

Original Article

06/01/2012

Abstract:
Little is known about suicide attempts among sex offenders. This study examines the rates of nonfatal suicide attempts among a sample (N = 3,030) of incarcerated male sex offenders. Overall, the authors found that 14% of sex offenders in the study sample had made a suicide attempt at some point in their lives. Of those, 11% had reported a suicide attempt prior to incarceration, 0.5% had made a suicide attempt while incarcerated, and 2.5% made suicide attempts both prior to and during incarceration. Sex offenders who made suicide attempts were significantly more likely than those who did not make suicide attempts to have had an abusive childhood, a history of psychiatric problems, intellectual impairment, male victims, and related victims. Suicide attempters also scored higher on actuarial risk measures than nonattempters. No differences were found in attempter status between sex offenders who committed sex offenses against children and those who committed sex offenses against adults. A history of psychiatric problems and treatment as well as childhood abuse/neglect and perpetration against male victims predicted suicide attempter status. These findings are discussed as they pertain to suicide prevention, risk assessment, and the collateral consequences of sex offender legislation.

See Also:


Predicting Reoffense for Community-Based Sexual Offenders: An Analysis of 30 Years of Data

Original Article

05/29/2012

Abstract:
This study contributes to the area of risk prediction by exploring whether the Static-99R is useful for predicting reoffense in community-based samples, and for noncontact offenders with and without identified victims. A total of 744 participants drawn from an outpatient sex offender treatment program in a large metropolitan area were followed for a period of up to 30 years. Multiple Cox Regressions were run; covariates included length of treatment, status in treatment, Static-99R items, and number of technical probation violations. Overall, reoffending was an infrequent occurrence in this sample regardless of how it was defined, with sexual reoffenses identified in 13% of the sample and any criminal reoffense identified in 20% of the sample. Consistent with previous research, the Static-99R was a better predictor of sex-related reoffenses than of nonsexual reoffenses. However, in no case were more than a couple of the items significantly related to reoffending and these items differed depending on reoffense definition.


Time Served - The High Cost, Low Return of Longer Prison Terms

Original Article

06/06/2012

By Stephanie Bosh

Quick Summary:
The length of time served in prison has increased markedly over the last two decades, according to a new study by Pew’s Public Safety Performance Project. Prisoners released in 2009 served an average of nine additional months in custody, or 36 percent longer, than offenders released in 1990.

Over the past 40 years, criminal justice policy in the U.S. was shaped by the belief that the best way to protect the public was to put more people in prison. Offenders, the reasoning went, should spend longer and longer time behind bars.

Consequently, offenders have been spending more time in prison. According to a new study by Pew’s Public Safety Performance Project, the length of time served in prison has increased markedly over the last two decades. Prisoners released in 2009 served an average of nine additional months in custody, or 36 percent longer, than offenders released in 1990.

Those extended prison sentences came at a price: prisoners released from incarceration in 2009 cost states $23,300 per offender--or a total of over $10 billion nationwide. More than half of that amount was for non-violent offenders.

The report, Time Served: The High Cost, Low Return of Longer Prison Terms, also found that time served for drug offenses and violent offenses grew at nearly the same pace from 1990 to 2009. Drug offenders served 36 percent longer in 2009 than those released in 1990, while violent offenders served 37 percent longer. Time served for inmates convicted of property crimes increased by 24 percent.

Almost all states increased length of stay over the last two decades, though that varied widely from state to state. In Florida, for example, where time served rose most rapidly, prison terms grew by 166 percent and cost an extra $1.4 billion in 2009.

A companion analysis Pew conducted in partnership with external researchers found that many non-violent offenders in Florida, Maryland and Michigan could have served significantly shorter prison terms with little or no public safety consequences.

The report also summarizes recent public opinion polling that shows strong support nationwide for reducing time served for non-violent offenders.

Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand compensation.

Related Documents:


OK - Ignorant politician thinks ex-sex offenders living together will carry out mass-molestation?

Original Article

06/05/2012

By Lisa Monahan

OKLAHOMA CITY - A metro organization that helps sex offenders after prison wants to stop a new law from being enforced.

Hand Up Ministries houses 200 registered sex offenders in more than 100 mobile homes in southeast Oklahoma City. A new law will limit the number of sex offenders who can live in the same dwelling.

Hand Up said the law will force sex offenders into hiding.

"We know where these people are, why do we want to do anything to run them off" said David Slane, an attorney. "I mean, doesn't make sense from a public perspective."

Lawmakers say it's about public safety.

"We do not want sex offenders living together," said Senator Clark Jolley, (R) Edmond. "These people are going to be more likely to re-offend if they are around somebody else that is more likely to re-offend."
- What a load of BS!  Any expert or ex-sex offender can tell you they police each other.  They don't want any further trouble from the law, so when one screws up, they report it.  Guess this senator thinks they are going to get together to come up with some plan for a mass molestation rampage or something?

The law is set to take effect on July 1. However, there is a hearing on June 18 to consider a temporary stop.


VA - Pr. George’s Council passes gun registry bill

Original Article

I am all for this, after all, if a draconian online hit-list is good enough for ex-sex offenders, then we should have a online shaming registry for all criminals.  With the "high" recidivism rate of all other criminals, they have shown they are dangerous and should be monitored for life.

06/05/2012

By Matt Zapotosky

By the end of July, those convicted of gun crimes in Prince George’s County will have to register with police, check-in regularly and agree to let officers randomly visit their homes.

After a brief public hearing Tuesday, Prince George’s County Council members unanimously passed a bill authorizing police to operate a so-called gun-offender registry — an effort, council members and law enforcement officials said, to reduce gun crime that has plagued the area. County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D) said afterward that he plans to sign the bill as soon as possible, meaning the registry will take effect in late July, 45 days from the time it was passed.

At the end of the day, what this county is going to see is a reduction in crime,” said Barry L. Stanton, Baker’s public safety director.
- Yeah, Gun offenders are all of a sudden going to stop and think, "Hey, I don't want to be on that gun offender registry so I better not kill someone!"

The law puts Prince George’s among a growing number of local governments regionally and across the nation that allow police to monitor gun offenders. In recent years, Baltimore and the District — following the lead of New York — have created such registries, and officials have seen some evidence they reduce recidivism, authorities said.
- So they say they have "seen" evidence, but seen and actual evidence are two different things.  I want to see the facts, not someone's personal opinion.

Public safety officials said they are still working out the precise details of how the registry will be implemented in Prince George’s — details they plan to submit to the council next week to consider as a formal resolution. But much is already clear.

The bill will require anyone convicted of a gun crime in Prince George’s to provide police with his or her name, any aliases and a host of contact information, including a home address, telephone number and e-mail address. Every six months, those on the registry will be required to meet with police to verify the information they provided, and officers can periodically visit — though not search — offenders’ homes to make sure the information is accurate and up to date.
- Why not model it after and implement it into one registry?  You can use the existing draconian shaming hit-list known as the sex offender registry, and make sure you also instigate some residency restrictions so these folks cannot live near any place humans congregate, and make them register for life as well.

Those convicted of most gun crimes will stay on the registry for three years; those convicted of using a handgun in another crime will remain on the registry for five years. Anyone who either fails to register or moves without notifying police will face up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Offenders have 48 hours from the time they are sentenced — or released, should their sentence involve prison time — to register.
- Why not for life?

At Tuesday’s hearing, Prince George’s top public safety officials pointed to 180 non-fatal shootings last year and 63 so far this year as evidence for the registry’s necessity, while local NAACP officials and a few residents questioned the bill’s constitutionality and fairness.
- The same can be said for all other criminals.  Like gang members, drug dealers/users, thieves, DUI offenders, etc.  Why aren't they on a registry for life and faced with similar residency laws?  After all, you say it's necessary and "reduces" recidivism, so why not?  If it "saves one child," then it's worth it, right?

Bob Ross, head of the Prince George’s NAACP, said the registry “sort-of violates one’s constitutional rights” and urged council members to delay passing the legislation because a state circuit court judge in Baltimore last year had deemed a similar program there unconstitutional. In that case, though, the judge said the police department was not specific in explaining how the program would be implemented, not that the registry was unconstitutional per se.
- If it's constitutional for ex-sex offenders, then it's constitutional for all other criminals.

Darrell Miller, the legislative co-chairman for the Prince George’s NAACP, said after the hearing that though council members had good intentions, the registry might discourage gun criminals from seeking to reform their lives by hampering their ability to seek jobs.
- Amen, and the same can be said with ex-sex offenders!

Council member Karen R. Toles, (D-Suitland), who sponsored the legislation, disputed that: “It would discourage them from using a gun to commit a crime. That’s what it would do.”
- These politicians are really ignorant!  This is like saying that passing laws against selling drugs will prevent people from selling drugs.  Well we all know how good that worked!  It won't prevent anything!

Police have said they would initially assign a sergeant and four or five detectives to handle the registry, pulling them from other jobs. They have said that the database could be created by those who run the department’s sex-offender registry and do other IT work, and there would be no additional administrative costs.
- So let's rename the sex offender registry to the "All Criminals Registry," which would save a ton of money instead of having to spend money to hire more people to build a similar registry and update it.

Council members also debated — without reaching any conclusions — about whether the registry should be public record. Toles said that though the registry is designed as a database for police eyes only, county lawyers would have to investigate whether it could be requested under the Maryland Public Information Act. Some council members indicated they would like to see the registry as a public database, much like the sex-offender registry, while others said they preferred it remain accessible only to those in law enforcement so that those legitimately trying to reform their lives could still seek work.
- Yes it should be public record.  I want to know any and all criminals who live around me, especially those with guns who could kill me, and isn't it ironic how they want it non-public so those who have committed crimes can get on with their lives, but not sex offenders?