Monday, September 2, 2013

TX - Dept. of Criminal Justice Correctional Officer (Cory Colvin) arrested for Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child

Cory Colvin
Cory Colvin
Original Article

09/01/2013

UPSHUR COUNTY (KLTV) - An East Texas correctional officer is behind bars and is charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child.

According to Upshur County records, 33-year-old Cory Colvin was arrested Monday, and is charged with Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child.

Texas Department of Corrections Public Information Officer Jason Clark tells KLTV-7 that Colvin is a correctional officer at the Telford Unit, which is located in New Boston, Texas.

Upshur County District Attorney Billy Byrd tells KLTV-7 that Colvin confessed the assault to authorities in the Upshur County Sheriff's Office and was arrested on site.

He is being held in the Upshur County Jail on one hundred Thousand dollars bond.


New Study Finds That State Crime Labs Are Paid Per Conviction

Crime lab testing
Original Article

Doesn't surprise us one bit. It's not a "justice" system, it's an INjustice system!

08/29/2013

By Radley Balko

I've previously written about the cognitive bias problem in state crime labs. This is the bias that can creep into the work of crime lab analysts when they report to, say, a state police agency, or the state attorney general. If they're considered part of the state's "team" -- if performance reviews and job assessments are done by police or prosecutors -- even the most honest and conscientious of analysts are at risk of cognitive bias. Hence, the countless and continuing crime lab scandals we've seen over the last couple decades. And this of course doesn't even touch on the more blatant examples of outright corruption.

In a new paper for the journal Criminal Justice Ethics, Roger Koppl and Meghan Sacks look at how the criminal justice system actually incentivizes wrongful convictions. In their section on state crime labs, they discover some astonishing new information about how many of these labs are funded.

Funding crime labs through court-assessed fees creates another channel for bias to enter crime lab analyses. In jurisdictions with this practice the crime lab receives a sum of money for each conviction of a given type. Ray Wickenheiser says, ‘‘Collection of court costs is the only stable source of funding for the Acadiana Crime Lab. $10 is received for each guilty plea or verdict from each speeding ticket, and $50 from each DWI (Driving While Impaired) and drug offense.’’

In Broward County, Florida, ‘‘Monies deposited in the Trust Fund are principally court costs assessed upon conviction of driving or boating under the influence ($50) or selling, manufacturing, delivery, or possession of a controlled substance ($100).’’

Several state statutory schemes require defendants to pay crime laboratory fees upon conviction. North Carolina General Statutes require, ‘‘[f]or the services of’’ the state or local crime lab, that judges in criminal cases assess a $600 fee to be charged ‘‘upon conviction’’ and remitted to the law enforcement agency containing the lab whenever that lab ‘‘performed DNA analysis of the crime, tests of bodily fluids of the defendant for the presence of alcohol or controlled substances, or analysis of any controlled substance possessed by the defendant or the defendant’s agent.’’

Illinois crime labs receive fees upon convictions for sex offenses, controlled substance offenses, and those involving driving under the influence. Mississippi crime labs require crime laboratory fees for various conviction types, including arson, aiding suicide, and driving while intoxicated.

Similar provisions exist in Alabama, New Mexico, Kentucky, New Jersey, Virginia, and, until recently, Michigan. Other states have broadened the scope even further. Washington statutes require a $100 crime lab fee for any conviction that involves lab analysis. Kansas statutes require offenders ‘‘to pay a separate court cost of $400 for every individual offense if forensic science or laboratory services or forensic computer examination services are provided in connection with the investigation.’’
In addition to those already listed, the following states also require crime lab fees in connection with various conviction types: Arizona, California, Missouri, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.

Think about how these fee structures play out in the day-to-day work in these labs. Every analyst knows that a test result implicating a suspect will result in a fee paid to the lab. Every result that clears a suspect means no fee. They're literally being paid to provide the analysis to win convictions. Their findings are then presented to juries as the careful, meticulous work of an objective scientist.

No wonder there have been so many scandals. I'm sure we'll continue to see more.

(Disclosure: In 2008, Koppl and I co-wrote an article for Slate on how to fix some of these problems.)

See Also:


INDIA - Woman (Chanchal Rathore) sentenced to four years' jail for levelling false rape charge against landlord

Rape cardOriginal Article

09/02/2013

A woman was awarded a sentence of four years and a fine of Rs 11,000 for levelling false rape charges against her landlord, after a dispute over the payment of rent due to which the landlord committed suicide.

The sentence was awarded by Additional Session Judge Indira Singh to Chanchal Rathore (35) under Section 211 (levelling false allegations with an intention to cause hurt) and Section 182 of the Indian Penal Code (giving false information to a public servant) after a complaint by another woman judge.

Chanchal had filed a complaint of rape against her landlord [name withheld] (53) in the Palasia police station on December 26, 2012, but later turned hostile in front of Additional Session Judge Savita Dube while her statement was recorded in the matter on March 13 this year.

Additional Public Prosecutor Hemant Mungi said that after Chanchal backtracked on her original statement, the court declared her hostile and then the woman judge Savita Dube herself filed a case against Chanchal in the court of fellow judge Indira Singh.

The case was registered for filing a false report and recording false statements in the court, Mungi said.

The woman judge also recorded her statement against Chanchal in the court of her fellow judge, after which she was awarded a four-years jail sentence and a fine of Rs 11,000.

Chanchal's landlord [name withheld] had to spend nearly two-and-a-half months in jail under judicial custody, after which he was released on bail on March 8, Mungi said.

Since [name withheld] was extremely upset due to Chanchal's false rape charge against him which damaged his reputation, he committed suicide after leaving a suicide note blaming her for his misery.

A separate case under Section 306 (abetment to suicide) of the Indian Penal Code is also on against Chanchal Rathore in the matter, Mungi said.


NC - Court right to rule not all sex offenders same

Shana Rowan
Shana Rowan
Original Article

08/30/2013

By Shana Rowan (USA Fair, Inc.)

To the editor:

In the age of information, there is no excuse for ignorance of nearly two decades’ worth of studies on sex-offender policies and profiles. Sadly, the statements made by law enforcement and District Attorney Ernie Lee in an Aug. 20 article headlined, “Law enforcement weighs in on appellate decision” — regarding the repeal of North Carolina’s social media ban for sex offenders — don’t reflect that.

The judges in the case clearly stated that the law was overly broad because the ban applied to everyone convicted of any type of sex offense, without regard to whether or not they posed a risk to re-offend, had used a computer to commit their initial crime or had a child victim.

Why would law enforcement support a law that wastes valuable resources on no-risk offenders while truly dangerous individuals fall through the cracks?

According to a 2008 report (PDF) by the American Psychological Association, “the publicity about online ‘predators’ who prey on naive children using trickery and violence is largely inaccurate.” The report goes on to say that the majority of victims in cases where social media was involved were willing participants in Internet-initiated sexual activity, but too young to legally give consent. The cases rarely involved violence and 75 percent of victims engaged physically with their offenders more than once.

A tremendous number of arrests for “soliciting minors” stem from law enforcement sting operations who entice potential offenders with non-existent teenagers.

Lastly, social media has become an integral part of connecting with friends and loved ones, keeping up on and discussing the news, and even obtaining employment. We should be encouraging former sex offenders to re-integrate healthily, not create additional obstacles. Lack of stability and access to loved ones have both been shown to increase the risk of re-offense.

Given the conclusive reports of low sex-offender recidivism and high prevalence of crimes committed by first-time offenders, we agree with the court’s ruling. While we can all agree that one re-offense is one too many, and that predatory behavior towards minors must be stopped, it is counter-productive to pour precious resources into defending a law that in reality will do almost nothing to prevent future victimizations.


FL - Jimmy Ryce's dad: Law has missed too many sex predators

Don Ryce
Don Ryce
Original Article (Video Available)

This whole "Sex Predators Unleashed" series of articles, in our opinion, is nothing more than fear mongering. They claim many are committing additional sex crimes, but they don't show you the statistics, and it's not backed up by studies done in their own state by professionals who work with ex-sex offenders. Of course there are going to be a few who do commit additional crimes, but a vast majority do not!

09/01/2013

By Sally Kestin and Dana Williams

A violent sex crime devastated Don Ryce's family. A kidnapper raped and murdered his young son, and the resulting pain and grief may have hastened the deaths of his wife and daughter.

Ryce found some comfort in the Florida law, passed in his son's memory, that is supposed to safeguard other families from sex predators. But a Sun Sentinel investigation last month found hundreds of rapists and child molesters reviewed and released under the Jimmy Ryce law (Wikipedia) went on to attack more women and children.

"It made me sick," Don Ryce said in an interview at his Vero Beach home last week. "That was the very thing the law was supposed to try to protect us from."
- No amount of laws is going to prevent all sexual crimes. If someone is intent on harming someone, they will.

Ryce and his wife, Claudine, lobbied for the law after Jimmy's 1995 disappearance in south Miami-Dade County. Farmhand [name withheld] abducted the fifth-grader after his school bus dropped him off and forced the boy into his trailer. [name withheld] sexually assaulted Jimmy and shot him when he tried to escape.

For three months, the Ryces searched for their son before a tip led police to [name withheld] and the discovery of Jimmy's dismembered remains on a nearby farm.

"It's a devastating thing that you just can't possibly imagine," said a tearful Don Ryce. "Just the thought that your child had to go through that still gets me upset."

The Ryces, both lawyers, used the tragedy to advocate for change. "My wife and I always felt strongly we didn't want Jimmy to be remembered just as another victim, or worse yet, forgotten entirely," Don Ryce said.

The legal measure they chose to endorse, called civil commitment (Wikipedia), allows the state to confine sex offenders after their prison sentences end if they're considered too dangerous for society. Predators are court-ordered to a treatment center in Central Florida until a judge allows their release.

The Jimmy Ryce law was designed to capture the worst of the worst, Don Ryce said, sex offenders "who just are never going to quit."

But for every offender Florida has committed since the law took effect in 1999, the Sun Sentinel found, two others have been released and arrested again on sex charges.
- And how many have been committed? Also, how many who haven't, but still are registered, have not committed an additional sex crime? We'd like to know those statistics as well.

"It's quite obvious that a lot of the worst of the worst are getting out," Ryce said. "That's not what was intended."
- Getting out of civil commitment, or prison? And so by your words, was the intent to lock them up in prisons outside of prison for life then?

At least 594 sex offenders have been convicted of new sex crimes after being reviewed under the law and let go, the newspaper found. Nearly half attacked within a year of their release.

[name withheld] began molesting an 8-year-old girl the very day he got out of prison.

Child molester [name withheld] lasted five months before befriending and sexually assaulting a 10-year-old. The state let [name withheld] go despite a note in his screening file that he had "admitted to a history of thoughts to pursue little girls as long as he could remember."

The short time it took many of the offenders to strike again "tells you these people are absolutely a clear and present danger," Ryce said. "I frankly don't understand how they could have been let out, what thought process could have possibly led people to let them back out."
- Maybe the thought process that when someone has been convicted and done their time, then they are free to go maybe?

An original sponsor of the legislation also said the law named after the South Florida youngster who loved baseball and reading hasn't worked as intended.
- So what was the intention of the law then?

The Sun Sentinel investigation "identified a number of areas where the legislation that was adopted has not been administered properly," said Ron Klein, a Fort Lauderdale attorney who sponsored the bill in the Florida Senate. "It shouldn't have taken this long to figure out what was working and what wasn't."

The state Department of Children and Families is responsible for evaluating sex offenders before their release and deciding which ones are predators who should be confined at the treatment center.

"I think they've not effectively administered the program in a way to protect the public," Klein said. "That's a serious problem."

The department is reviewing its sex offender evaluations and working with legislative leaders "to improve the laws related to sexually violent predators and keep Floridians safe from this dangerous population,'' said spokesman Whitney Ray.

The failures the Sun Sentinel uncovered are too numerous to ignore, Ryce said.

"What price have we paid? Something needs to be done," he said. "I want Jimmy's law to work the way it was supposed to work in the beginning."
- And that is?

In response to the Sun Sentinel series, state Rep. Irv Slosberg, a Boca Raton Democrat, last week called for a hearing on the law's "unacceptable and disappointing results." And other lawmakers are working on legislation that would identify and confine more predators and lengthen sentences to keep offenders locked up longer.

Ryce said he supports tougher punishment.

"You have to be careful to pick the right crimes," he said, "but with the worst of them, there's nothing wrong in my opinion with making the first sentence severe and if they repeat, making it increasingly severe."
- This is how the "justice" system was always setup to work like. You commit a crime, you get locked up, you commit another crime, you get locked up for a longer time, so you don't need more laws to do what the "justice" system is suppose to do in the first place.

Ryce said he's more convinced than ever of the need for civil commitment. Despite the law's shortcomings, it remains a crucial safety net that has protected the public from many dangerous offenders who otherwise would have been released, he said.

"What if there was nothing at all?" he said. "We picked this law to put Jimmy's name to. We're proud of the idea. We want it to work fairly and legally, but we want it to work effectively."
- Well, if they murder someone lock them up for life, if they commit another crime, lock them up for a longer period of time, like it has always suppose to work.

Ironically, the law would not have prevented Jimmy's death. The state would never have had an opportunity to stop his killer because [name withheld] had no prior criminal record.

Now 46, [name withheld] remains on Death Row, his execution delayed by appeals.

Ryce lives alone, two more members of his family now gone. His wife died of a heart attack in 2009. She was 66.

Claudine Ryce never got over her son's murder.

"My wife used to say, 'What disease might have he cured? What thing might he have done?'" Ryce said. "At her funeral, the minister said that essentially she died of a broken heart. That pretty well says what happened."

In December, Ryce's 33-year-old daughter, Martha, took her own life. She was 16 when Jimmy disappeared and became a pillar of strength, representing the family publicly, her father said.

"She was having some problems, but [Jimmy] was very much on her mind," Ryce said. "It's hard to describe if you haven't been through a tragedy like this, but it ebbs and flows. For some reason, it was just really on her mind a lot."

Ryce, 69, works as an arbitrator and tries to remember his family in happy times.

"Sometimes I do get angry thinking about the man who killed my son so horribly," he said. "He's still alive, and my wife, my daughter and my youngest son are dead. That's hard to take."


ICE Botches Child Porn Sting

FBI Warning for sites taken down

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Video Description:
ICE's latest project they called, "Operation Save Our Children" was designed to take down websites that show child pornography, but they ended up seizing 84 thousand other websites! (Wikipedia, DHS Press Release)