Sunday, June 23, 2013

The online shaming hit-list (registry) or residency restrictions didn't prevent this murder (What a shocker), and it never will!

Original Article

No matter how many laws you make, or restrictions, it will never prevent someone intent on committing a crime from doing so, registered or not!

We are sure that more draconian laws will be created, due to this murder, to further punish ex-sex offenders instead of murderers.

If someone murders any other human being, they should be in prison until the day they die, if found guilty based on evidence and not hearsay.


JACKSONVILLE - Donald Smith, the registered sex offender accused of kidnapping and later murdering 8-year-old Cherish Perrywinkle, made his first appearance in court Sunday morning.

Smith pleaded not guilty and the next court appearance is scheduled July 16.

Judge Roberto Arias accepted the request by prosecution to deny Smith bail.

Fred Gazaleh, Smith's court-appointed attorney said during court that there was not a chance of Smith getting a bail, "not on this charge."

According to police, Smith has been charged with the murder and kidnapping of 8-year-old Cherish Perrywinkle.
- We are not saying he didn't do this, but based on what evidence?  We've not watched the news or read much about this, but we are just curious.  Surely they are not just basing it on the fact that he is a registered sex offender and was the last person seen with her?  That doesn't prove he did it.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office confirmed that the mother of Cherish said she met Smith at the Dollar General Store at 1610 Edgewood Avenue West around 7:30 p.m. where he befriended her.
- So what mother, besides this one, meets some stranger in public who is willing to buy her child a dress (below), befriend him, then let him take her child from her sight to go get a burger?

Smith initiated a conversation with Cherish's mother by asking her if she wanted a dress, according to the police report.

Smith said his wife had a $100 gift card for Wal-Mart, police say, but the complainant needed to wait until she arrived to use it, but the wife never arrived.

According to the police report, the suspect said they could meet his wife at Wal-Mart and Smith, the mother and three children, including Cherish, drove to the Wal-Mart shopping center at 12100 Lem Turner Road.

Smith later left the Wal-Mart with Cherish according to police.

Police were contacted around 11 p.m. Friday by Cherish's mother who said her daughter had gone missing at the Wal-Mart. Smith was identified on surveillance by Cherish's mother as Cherish's kidnapper.

Police officials began an immediate search of the area both in air and ground. Early Saturday morning an Amber Alert was issued.

Police released photos of a white 1998 Dodge Van that was suspected to be involved in the kidnapping.

Smith was arrested after he was spotted driving the van southbound I-95 near the I-10 split, according to police.

Cherish's body was found in near Highlands Baptist Church on Broward Road.

NJ - Letter: Sex offender residency bans are ineffective

Original Article


To the Editor:

I was disappointed, but unfortunately not surprised, to read the Times’ June 18 editorial supporting a sex offender residency restriction bill in the New Jersey Legislature.

The public relies on the media to report accurately, particularly on such an important subject. Yet, when it comes to sex offender issues, even editorial boards seem more motivated by emotion than facts.

Numerous studies on residency restrictions, including a 2012 study by Jill Levenson, Ph.D., of Lynn University in Florida, have found that sexual recidivists do not live closer to schools or parks than non-recidivists. The few registrants who did sexually re-offend were likely to drive to a different neighborhood.

The Minnesota Department of Corrections released a 2007 study that followed all 3,166 sex offenders released between 1990 and 2002. Of the 224 offenders (about 7 percent) convicted of a new sex offense, it states “not one of the 224 sex offenses would likely have been deterred by a residency restrictions law.”

Sex offender recidivism is consistently in the single digits, with 96 percent of all sex crimes perpetrated by someone not on the registry, according to a 2008 University of Albany study. None of the 96 percent would be subject to residency laws. Nor would these laws protect the 95 percent of child victims abused by family members or acquaintances.

Blanket bans severely restrict the amount of legal housing for registrants, driving them away from centrally located treatment services, employment, and community resources. Homeless offenders are more difficult for law enforcement to track, and taxpayers foot the bill for their housing and food. Family members and children of the offender are uprooted and forced to move with the offender or live apart. These negative dynamics lead to higher chances of re-offending, not lower ones.

If New Jersey wants to prevent sexual abuse, lawmakers and media alike must begin embracing evidence-based policies, not anecdotal feel-good laws with harmful consequences.

Shana Rowan
Executive Director
Washington, D.C.