Tuesday, December 4, 2012

DC - HUMAN RIGHTS SUMMIT - A Message from Secretary Hillary Clinton

Yes Hillary, you are right, and the US is on the wrong side of history! The government continually denies people their rights, take ex-sex offenders for example!

Hillary Quote:

"Societies that deny their people these rights and freedoms, are on the wrong side of history. Their making the wrong bet."


CA - Lake Forest considers repeal of sex offender park ban

Original Article

And people wonder why this country is going broke?  It's because politicians continually pass insane and unconstitutional laws which spend years in courts wasting tax payer money, that's why!  And hopefully this idiot DA's 15 minutes of fame is now over?

12/04/2012

By SARAH de CRESCENZO

A lawsuit challenging the ordinance's constitutionality will cost the city hundreds of thousands of dollars to defend, the city attorney estimates.

LAKE FOREST – An ordinance banning registered sex offenders from city parks has not bolstered public safety and will likely cost the city "hundreds of thousands of dollars" as a result of a lawsuit challenging its constitutionality, according to a report from City Manager Bob Dunek.

Nearly a year after the city passed the ban, modeled after a law passed in April 2011 by the county Board of Supervisors, officials Tuesday night will consider its repeal.

The Lake Forest ordinance has not been used by local law enforcement since its passage and may not even be legally enforceable, Dunek said in a report to the City Council. The city has no evidence the ordinance has had a "measurable effect on public safety" or an "appreciable, detectable deterrence effect," Dunek said.

Registered sex offenders in Lake Forest comprise 0.0005 percent of the population, according to government data.

"Given the statistics ... and actual experience both before and after city ordinance adoption, the fear that registered sex offenders in public parks pose a compelling public safety concern appears to reflect only a perception at this point," Dunek said.

Lake Forest is one of 15 Orange County cities that have passed some form of the ban, often at the urging of the Orange County District Attorney's Office. Irvine passed the weakest such ordinance, limiting the ban to registered sex offenders who have victimized minors.

Lake Forest passed a stricter version than the county ordinance it used as a model, barring case-by-case exceptions as allowed under the county ban.

An anonymous man in September sued Lake Forest, Huntington Beach, Seal Beach and Costa Mesa, alleging the park bans violate his constitutional rights.

The amount of money the city expects to spend defending the suit will be "substantial," according to City Attorney Scott Smith, "potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars."

On Nov. 15, the 4th District Court of Appeal reversed the conviction of [name withheld], a registered sex offender from Santa Ana, who was arrested in May 2011 for entering Fountain Valley's Mile Square Park in violation of that city's ban. The court ruled state law on restrictions on sex offenders takes precedence over county law.

District Attorney Tony Rackauckas called the ruling a one-off. "The appellate division's decision applies in the [name withheld] case but does not apply to other pending or future prosecutions of the county sex offender ordinance," he said.

Susan Schroeder, the district attorney's chief of staff who spoke in December 2011 in front of the Lake Forest council, urging members to pass an ordinance mirroring the county's, called Lake Forest's move "premature." She said she's not aware of any other cities considering a repeal.

Schroeder said she plans to attend Tuesday's meeting. "We can certainly understand why they (Lake Forest officials) might be considering (repealing) it," she said. However, "the ordinance, when they approved it, was the right thing to do, and it still is."

See Also:


AZ - States struggling to house outcasts (Get rid of the laws and most of the problem goes a way!)

Original Article

I got a solution, get rid of the residency restrictions, and the online registry, and most, if not all of the problem goes a way. If someone commits another crime, punish them, just like we do everyone else. Like someone once said: "If you want a different result, try something different, otherwise you will continue to have the same results," or something like that.

12/03/2012

By Michelle Ye Hee Lee

Arizona is not unique in its struggles to monitor and house sex offenders. No state does it well, experts say.

An eight-month review by The Arizona Republic found troubling gaps in Arizona's system of registering and monitoring sex offenders, with overlapping laws and restrictions contributing to homelessness among high-risk offenders.

In central Phoenix and Tucson, many homeless sex offenders who are required to provide an address to authorities register to street corners because they have nowhere else to go. That leaves many homeless offenders largely unmonitored despite authorities' efforts to track them.

States from California to Massachusetts see similar situations but are taking different approaches to try to solve the politically vexing policy problem. None has found a comprehensive solution.

"I can't really give you any places" that do a good job managing the problem, said Andrew Harris, associate professor of criminal justice and criminology at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell, whose research focuses on sex-offender housing restrictions. "What I can give you is the lessons we're learning."

The issue first received national attention in 2008 amid reports of a large Florida sex-offender colony -- more than 70 people, according to the American Civil Liberties Union -- forming under a Miami causeway. It was one of the few locations in Miami-Dade County where registered sex offenders could legally reside after local jurisdictions enacted restrictions banning them from neighborhoods and the central city.

The ensuing debate focused attention on sex-offender housing restrictions, their sometimes unintended consequences and how society deals with the problem.

Since then, sex offenders in other states have been found registered to dumpsters and living in tents in the woods.

Given the increasingly dire housing situations some sex offenders face, it is just a matter of time until the nation sees a major legal challenge of housing restrictions, Harris said. "I think we'll see a case at the (U.S.) Supreme Court within the next five years," he said.
- Why 5 years and not now? This has been an issue for many years!

No easy answers

Registering sex offenders upon their release from prison became the national strategy in the mid-1990s, when a federal law was passed after lobbying by a child victim's family. The intent was to track sexual offenders and, in theory, protect the public.
- Tracking people will never "protect" everybody 100% of the time, that is a fact, but it's a fact that politicians ignore and don't believe. You will never be able to legislate crime a way, period!

But years later, authorities in most states still stumble over inevitable complications from this approach: Who keeps track and how? Should all offenders be treated alike? How should authorities determine who is likely to commit sex offenses again? What policies are likely to prevent or encourage re-offending? What rights do offenders have after serving their sentences? How should states address offender homelessness without appearing to be soft on crime?
- Do we track drug dealers, gang members, etc, and determine who among them will likely re-offend, and lock them up or force them to obey ever changing draconian laws? No, so why do we treat ex-sex offenders different than any other criminals when they have one of the lowest recidivism rates around? It's pure madness and nothing more than a moral panic, like the old witch-hunts in Salem, MA.

In many states, additional residency restrictions enacted at the local level add a layer of ordinances, which are difficult to sort out and place even more limits on where sex offenders can live.

Florida, for example, has more than 150 local statutes restricting housing options for sex offenders, according to that state's Department of Corrections. Those restrictions leave small pockets of acceptable living areas where sex offenders congregate in large numbers.

Other states have similar scenarios, among them California, Colorado, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island and Washington.
- And in each state you have a homeless problem among ex-sex offenders.

The California Sex Offender Management Board four years ago recommended against blanket restrictions on sex-offender housing, finding that they increased the likelihood that offenders would become homeless and that the state would lose track of them. The recommendation was ignored. A state law still bars sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of schools and parks, and local jurisdictions can piggyback their own restrictions.
- They are ignored because if a politician looked at them and possibly changed them, the sheeple would be out in force, carrying pitch forks, and calling for people to be fired, imprisoned, or worse.

The number of homeless sex offenders soared in California after statewide restrictions took effect in 2006. A year later, offenders registered as transient increased by 101 percent, according to a 2011 report by the Sex Offender Management Board. As of March 2011, nearly one-third of paroled California sex offenders were homeless, the report said.

There is no apparent political will in California to change the law, just as there is little stomach in states like Arizona to solve the problem, even though reducing homelessness could improve the effectiveness of state registration laws.

"It's an ongoing dilemma, and I think that legislators grapple with it. Researchers grapple with it. I'm not sure that there's a quick or easy answer," said Jill Levenson, a leading researcher on the topic and associate professor at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla. "Nobody wants to be the public face of leniency for sex offenders."
- Exactly, but, there is a way to fix it, like we mentioned at the top, remove the residency restrictions and the online registry, and let the ex-offenders get on with their lives like we do with all other criminals, to a point.

Alternatives not pursued

Examples of the system's failures keep stacking up.

Earlier this year, the Indianapolis Star found discrepancies in Indiana's sex-offender registry. Some offenders were registered to vacant lots or non-existent addresses. Others registered as living on the outside were actually in jail.

In Cleveland, more than half of sex offenders registered to a men's homeless shelter were not actually sleeping there or had never been there to begin with.

When the majority of Boston's highest-risk sex offenders were found to be registered to homeless shelters in 2009, a legislative fight erupted to ban them from shelters.

Levenson believes state laws are mostly well-intentioned responses to concerns about protecting children and communities. "Unfortunately, those are some of those unintentional consequences of these laws," she said. "(Imposing housing restrictions) seems to make some intuitive, logical sense. ... There's sort of this false sense of security that occurs." But, she added, "where do we think they're going to go?"

Levenson has found no evidence that restricting where sex offenders live or requiring them to notify the surrounding community about their presence leads to reduced rates of recidivism. Nor has she found evidence that it increases public safety, prevents sex abuse or protects children.

See Also:



PA - Megan's Law changes creating controversy - More punishment and non-sex crimes being added

Original Article

Changing the laws that affect someone after the fact is an unconstitutional ex post facto law which the Constitution forbids, but when the government is corrupt, anything is possible. It also is a violation of the contracts clause.

12/03/2012

PITTSBURGH - In three weeks, the state's Megan's Law registry is going to change. New laws will protect the public from even more sexual predators for even longer periods of time.

It sounds like a logical change, but as Target 11 investigator Rick Earle learned, it's only creating controversy.

Lawmakers said the tougher restrictions are designed to keep communities safe, but defense attorneys said they go way too far and target people who've already had their day in court.

To this day, [name withheld] maintains his innocence, so why did he plead no contest to indecent assault?

"With having a public defender and already having a record being on parole, what chance did I have?" said [name withheld].

Earle asked, "So you thought you had two strikes against you?"

"I had the whole deck of cards against me," said [name withheld].

For the last nine years, his picture and address have been posted on the Megan's Law website. It was supposed to be removed next year, but because of sweeping new changes to Megan's Law, he will remain on the website for at least 15 more years and possibly even longer.
- Which is unconstitutional and additional punishment!

"My family has a lot of get-togethers that I can't go to because of my picture being on the computer," said [name withheld].

Right now, sex offenders either register for 10 years or life.

The new system will divide them into three categories -- 15 years, 25 years or life.

Plus, certain crimes, like invasion of privacy and unlawful restraint, will now be added to Megan's Law, and the crimes don't have to be sexual in nature.
- Hell, why don't we also put all other criminals on the registry, and instead of calling it the "sex" offender registry, call it the "Sinners" registry, which would be more accurate.

These changes apply to anyone currently serving time or on parole or probation.

"It's going to open a can of worms," said defense attorney Phil Dilucente.
- The can of worms was opened many years ago.

Dilucente represents a number of clients who will now be forced to register as sex offenders -- something they weren't told at sentencing.

"When you have any type of law that's passed and there is retroactivity, where there's punitive punishment for laws that people have already been convicted for, that, in and of itself, is problematic," said Dilucente.
- Yes, it's an unconstitutional ex post facto law.

State police tell Target 11 they expect an additional 1,500 to 2,500 offenders will be added to the database under these new rules. About 500 of them will be in Allegheny County.
- The more people they have on the registry, the more money there is to be made.

"I do think it's fair. The law is a little tougher, and I'm not going to sit here and apologize for making a tougher law to protect our kids from predators," said state Sen. Kim Ward of Hempfield Township.
- But it doesn't protect anybody, it only makes you look good to the sheeple, and it's also a violation of your oath of office.

The new law also closes a major loophole that allowed out-of-state sex offenders to come to Pennsylvania without registering.

"You're not just a predator in one state if you are a predator, so we need to know who is here, where they are, are they near our schools, and what are they doing," said Ward.

"I'm more or less kind of disappointed because I lost a lot of friends and family members," said [name withheld].

Some defense attorneys have told Earle they are gearing up to challenge the law. Lawmakers said they are confident it will stand up in a court of law.