Wednesday, March 6, 2013

AL - ReFORM-AL at the HB 85 public Hearing


Video Description:
On Wed. Feb. 27, 2013, the Alabama House Judiciary Committee held a public hearing on HB 85, a sex offender anti-clustering law. Derek Logue, this day representing ReFORM-AL, was among the half dozen there to oppose the bill.

There to promote the bill was State Rep. Kurt Wallace, who sponsored the bill, and a prosecutor in his district named CJ Robinson. Robinson in particular spouted many distorted statistics. While claiming sex offenders have a 90% recidivism rate, he admitted the registrants in his county have not been accused of a new sex crime.

Note also Robinson received far too much time to speak, while I was cut off before the two minute mark.

Following my testimony was testimony from members of Shiloni Transformation Ministries, which was negatively impacted by a countywide anti-clustering ordinance. A member of the Southern Center for Human Rights also testified against the bill.

Visit ReFORM-AL for more info on HB 85's anti-clustering bill.


IL - Rep. Moylan Introduces Bill to Keep Child Sex Offenders Behind Bars

Rep. Marty Moylan
Original Article

The Des Plaines representative wants first-time offenders of predatory sexual assault to stay in prison for at least 20 years.

In furthering his efforts to make Illinois safer, state Rep. Marty Moylan (D-Des Plaines) introduced a bill that charges first-time offenders of predatory sexual assault of a child with a minimum sentence of 20 years in jail.

Children should be able to run outside with their friends and play in the mud without having to worry about being sexually assaulted by an adult,” Moylan said. “But, unfortunately this isn’t the world we live in and these predators need a sentence that reflects this fact.”

House Bill 3195 (PDF), also known as “Jessica’s Law,” states that if convicted of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, the term of imprisonment will be a minimum of 20 years for the first offense. This legislation is in response to a twelve-year old Florida girl who was raped and killed in 2005 by a previously convicted sex offender. Currently, those who are convicted of a first-time predatory criminal sexual assault of a child can received a minimum of only six years in jail. In effect, this legislation would keep convicted predators off the streets longer, protecting future victims.

Since taking office, Moylan is making it a priority to combat crime in his district and throughout Illinois. He recently passed legislation out of the House Judiciary committee that strengthens the penalty for failing to report hazing on school grounds. Moylan hopes to have similar success with this legislation—targeting sexual predators.

Each case is heartbreaking,” Moylan said. “But I have faith this legislation will serve to deter predators and protect children throughout the State.”


MN - Concern Over Minnesota's Sex Offender Program

Original Article

See the video at the above link.

03/05/2013

By Katie Eldred

A federal court is urging Minnesota to address its program that keeps sex offenders locked up, saying it may be unconstitutional.

A task force is now looking into this problem.

There are more than 18,000 convicted sex offenders in Minnesota. While many of them serve their sentence and are then freed to live among us, there are some who are too likely recommit.
- With any crime, there are always some who will commit a similar crime, but it's not the norm for ex-sex offenders, so stop pretending like it is.

"These are generally people of the highest absolute risk and people who have failed treatment many times," said Olmsted County Attorney Mark Ostrem.
- Wrong!  Study after study after study disproves this BS!

Ostrem has dealt with many of these cases. He says those high risk sex offenders are committed to the Minnesota Sex Offender Program and sent to the prison like facilities in either Moose Lake or St. Peter.
- Glad you mentioned they are prison like, because that is exactly what they are, prison outside of prison, which is additional punishment, which is unconstitutional!

"A commitment like that to the Minnesota Sex Offender Program is an for an undetermined period of time," said Ostrem.

But now, there's a law suit against the state of Minnesota that has a federal judge questioning if this program is constitutional.

"These individuals that are committed have already served their sentence, in effect they are being sentenced for crimes they may commit," said Eric Magnuson.

Former Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice, Eric Magnuson, is the chair of the task force that has been put together to look into this issue. He says the task force has several areas where the state needs improvement.

"How people get into the system, how they are treated in the system, and how they can be moved through the system all while keeping in mind the need for public safety at all times," said Magnuson.

While many of the offender committed require the secure and restrictive facility Magnusson says there are some who would do better in a less prison like environment. He says the biggest issue is a need for a less restrictive alternative facility.

The tasks force’s recommendations are out there, now it's up to the legislature to act. If the legislature doesn't act the federal judge will. And that could come with some serious consequences.

"It's in our best interest to address those problems ourselves and fix it ourselves, and not leave it to a judge," said Ostrem.

The task force has another meeting next Monday. The federal judge has given the task force until December of 2014 to solve this issue.
- 2014?  What about those who are suffering now?


MO - House panel mulls voting for sex offenders (Misleading title as usual)

Original Article

03/05/2013

By JORDAN SHAPIRO

JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - Registered sex offenders would be required to vote at their local county clerk's office under a bill heard Tuesday that's intended to keep them away from public polling booths at schools and other places where children might be present.

Sponsoring Rep. Tim Remole, R-Excello, told the House Elections Committee that the measure would protect children in schools, child care centers or churches from potentially being assaulted. The committee did not vote on the bill Tuesday.
- Come on, more fear mongering as usual!  How many children are in schools during voting?  And usually voting is done in the gym, etc, where many adults are present.  This is pure nonsense!

Missouri has more than 16,000 registered sex offenders. They can vote after being paroled and completing the terms of their probation.

Current law prevents a registered sex offender from residing within 1,000 feet of a school or loitering within 500 feet of a school building. A spokeswoman for the Missouri Secretary of State's office said registered offenders are not allowed to violate the state's sex offender laws in order to vote.
- So going to vote is not exactly loitering now is it?

But Randolph County Clerk Will Ellis told the House committee that a registered sex offender voted at a school in his county last November. He said the legislation would remove a potential danger for children.

No one testified in opposition to the legislation. But the Missouri Association of County Clerks and Election Officials said the bill had some logistical issues. Association President Darryl Kempf said he would be required to spend money to turn his office into a polling place on Election Day.

Some House Elections Committee members said Missouri would also have to update its absentee voting laws to adopt Remole's plan. The measure would allow registered offenders to vote via absentee ballot if they are unable to cast their ballot at their county clerk's office. But Missouri currently only allows absentee ballots to be cast if people are not present in their home county or have a disability or religious objection that would prevent them from going to their polling place.