Tuesday, September 10, 2013

CA - Patient Killed June 24--By Coalinga State Hospital Officer?

Bloody murder?
Original Article

09/08/2013

This special episode covers the life & untimely death of Coalinga State Hospital resident Isidro "Cedro" Zavala Torres. This man, known by CSH residents as Cedro Zavala, was classified as an MDO or Mentally Disordered Offender. This means, in addition to a crime for which he likely served a prison term, Zavala was diagnosed w/ a serious mental illness.

According to witnesses, Cedro Zavala was violently attacked by approximately 10 CSH staff/Department of Police Services (DPS) Officers at the facility between 12-1pm on June 24, 2013. The incident began when Zavala, who is wheelchair-dependent, refused to go to a medical appointment. Then, the staff/DPS swarmed.

Zavala resisted the take down--efforts to forcibly remove him from his wheelchair & throw him to the ground. Apparently, Zavala tried to stop the overzealous/unneccesary attack by spitting at them. While his actions cannot be condoned, this must've been a scary situation for a newer CSH resident w/ serious physical & emotional concerns. His efforts backfired--the situation escalated.

Once on the ground, the most aggressive officer allegedly stood on the man's neck w/ his heavy steel-toed boot. Witnesses theorize Zavala's larynx was crushed by the blow. As he gasped for air, officers flung him back in his chair, threw a towel over his face & rushed him away. Isidro Zavala Torres, 30, was died a short time later.

Shockingly, the officer suspected of causing Zavala's death wasn't suspended. Later that day, he told concerned residents Zavala had died of a drug overdose. Worse yet, mainstream media have not addressed this serious incident to date.

Listen to this important show & tune in Monday for more on abuses at CSH which were swept under the rug - until now.


PA - Sex offenders should disclose statuses on social media, Mike Schlossberg says

Rep. Mike Schlossberg
Rep. Mike Schlossberg
Original Article

09/09/2013

By Colin McEvoy

Pennsylvania state Rep. Mike Schlossberg plans to introduce a law that would require convicted sex offenders to disclose their status as as a sex offender on their social media accounts.

Schlossberg, D-Lehigh, said the state's version of Megan's Law (Wikipedia) took effect before the widespread use of social media and online social networking.

"We all know that the Internet can give child predators the opportunity to prey on the innocent," Schlossberg said in a news release.
- Maybe he should post his sins online and push for a law for all ex-felons to publish their sins on an online shaming hit-list?

"We have a responsibility to ensure adequate protections for our children, so that we can be confident in their safety as they use these social media websites," he said.

Schlossberg, of Allentown, plans to introduce legislation that would require Pennsylvania State Police to establish a format that Megan’s Law offenders would have to display on their social networking accounts.

In addition to disclosing that the person is a sex offender, the format would also require the year of registration, nature and their of offense and year of last registration.

Schlossberg said the law would alert an unknowing person that someone on the other end of their electronic communication is a registered sex offender.

The legislation has not yet been introduced, as Schlossberg is still seeking a co-sponsor for the proposed bill.


MO - Ozarks sex offender explains why he should be removed from the registry

Juvenile Sex Offenders
Original Article (Video available)

09/09/2013

By Joanna Small

If Missouri lawmakers override a veto by Governor Jay Nixon, anyone who committed a sex crime before the age of 18 will be excluded from the state's sex offender registry.

SPRINGFIELD - Sex offenders off the registry. It's a possibility for some of them if Missouri lawmakers decide Wednesday to override the governor's veto. A bill that would exempt sex offenders who committed their crime as juveniles got nixed by Nixon but it will likely get the go-ahead from the legislature.

The legislature will be looking at Nixon's 29 vetoes this week and some have vowed to override him on everything. Nixon calls this particular house bill a safety issue but others say it has the potential to change lives for the better.

This man, who we'll call Dustin, is thorough and efficient, knowledgeable, and dedicated. He's in his backyard, picking apart electronics and appliances. He knows what every part is and how much each is worth.

"I'm a hard worker," he tells us. "I work every day of the week, that's why I've got cuts all over my hands."

He seems like the ideal hire. He even did an apprenticeship in rough carpentry. The problem is... it was in prison.

"I've seen people get their throat cut, I've seen people get beat up with rocks, I've seen people die," Dustin, just 24, says.

He is a sex offender. In 2005 the then 16-year-old had a sexual encounter with a 13-year-old. He was sentenced to seven years hard time.

"I kind of grew up in prison," he explains. "I started growing face hair and started becoming a man in prison."

He's been out less than a year and life has been pretty miserable.

The way the law is written right now Dustin can't be anywhere near a school, a daycare, or even a park. And the reason why Dustin is scrapping and mowing relatives' yards for a measley $200 a month is because he says no one will hire him, even temporarily.

"They look down on you like you're some kind of pervert or something."

Dustin says the Missouri bill that would remove him from the sex offender register would allow him to be a productive citize but Governor Jay Nixon says it's too risky.

"4.2 million Missourians accessed the sex offender registry last year to see who lives around their home, their business, their daycare, whatever, and it's a very important public policy tool," Nixon told KSPR Monday.

Dustin just wants another chance to work with and for something other than scraps.

"If they didn't have me down as a felon I wouldn't have half the problems I have out here," he concludes.

The Mssouri Highway Patrol just released Monday that since 2009 72 people have successfully petitioned to be removed from the state's sex offender registry.

That's when the law changed to allow those 19 and younger with victims at least 13 at the time of the crime to apply for exemption. If this bill is overridden hundreds of others will be removed automatically.

Some other laws that Governor Nixon vetoed that could come up during the override session are an income tax cuts bill, the nullification of federal gun-control laws, and new hurdles for public employee unions.


NM - Civil Rights Group Calls for DA Kari Brandenburg to Vigorously Prosecute Vigilantes

Reform Sex Offender Laws
Original Article

09/09/2013

By Sandy

Reform Sex Offender Laws Inc. (RSOL) calls on Bernalillo County District Attorney Kari Brandenburg to follow the recommendation of the Albuquerque Police Department and vigorously prosecute Emilio Chavez III and all others responsible for the savage beating of _____ on September 5th. According to police reports, Mr. Chavez has proudly admitted to administering “street justice” to an accused Peeping Tom.

Brenda Jones, RSOL’s Executive Director, condemned the vicious attack on Mr. _____ that sent him to the hospital barely alive. She noted that vigilantism is on the rise all over America and that the greatest documented increase seems to be directed at citizens listed on sex offender registries. Jones stated, “Sex offender registries are increasingly used as hit lists. Just last week a registered sex offender was beaten to death on the streets of Baltimore. A few weeks prior, a man and his wife were both brutally murdered in their home in South Carolina. Her offense was that she was married to a person listed on the South Carolina sex offender registry.”

Larry Neely with RSOL-NM had this observation: “I am shocked that so many Albuquerque citizens have condoned Mr. Chavez’s actions. Perhaps this is because Albuquerque has some relatively recent history of one of its prominent citizens glorifying vigilantism.” A man named Elton John Richard was sentenced in 2008 to two years in prison after pleading guilty to voluntary manslaughter. Richard justified the killing of an unarmed person because he had caught a man breaking into his car, and the man had the audacity to run away from the crime scene. After a foot-chase of almost half a mile, Richard fired the fatal shot as the man was attempting to scale a fence with Richard in hot pursuit.

Paul Heh, a now retired Albuquerque police officer, led a successful effort to free Richard from prison. After having served only four months of a two-year prison term, Richard was freed by a state district judge who reduced his sentence to time served. The judge stated that Richard was “no threat to the community.” That may quite possibly have been true so long as no one else in the community attempted to break into his car.

RSOL recognizes that Mr. _____ was alleged to have been engaging in an illegal and disturbing act,” Jones said. “The police have indicated that Mr. _____ will be charged with voyeurism, which means he will be held accountable if the charges are proven; however, vigilantism can be neither condoned nor tolerated.”

Jones went on to say, “If the allegations against Mr. Chavez are true, his behavior cannot be construed as a lawful effort to apprehend the alleged perpetrator; it was a savage attack that left the victim barely clinging to life. No one disagrees that running the man off of their property would have been protecting his family. Holding him, forcefully if needed, until law enforcement could arrive would have been protecting family.”

But the alleged assault and savage beating of Mr. _____ far exceeds protecting one’s family from an immediate threat of harm, Jones concludes. “It is street justice and cannot be tolerated in a civilized society. No matter how hard one attempts to justify Mr. Chavez’s actions, it is vigilantism, and those who choose to engage in vigilantism must be held accountable for their lawless acts.”


CA - 'Revenge porn' law in California could pave way for rest of nation

Stop Revenge Porn - Speak Up!
Original Article

09/03/2013

By Suzanne Choney

A bill that would criminalize "revenge porn" — nude or sexual photos, generally of former wives or girlfriends, posted online by an angry ex — could pave the way for other states to adopt similar laws, putting perpetrators in jail for six months if convicted a first time, and up to a year for repeat violations. The bill, already approved by the California Senate, is expected to go to the state Assembly as soon as this week, despite concerns from some lawmakers and experts who fear it could curtail First Amendment rights.

"It's traumatized real victims; it's a growing problem," California state Sen. Anthony Cannella, told NBC News. "Technology moves much faster than our laws," said Cannella, a Republican, who authored the legislation. "When we identify a problem, it's our responsibility to deal with it."

If passed by the Assembly, SB 255 (PDF) will go to Gov. Jerry Brown for approval. It's not clear whether Brown will support it. "Generally, we do not comment on pending legislation," Brown press spokesman Evan Westrup told NBC News.

One supporter with whom Cannella has been working is Holly Jacobs, a Florida woman who founded End Revenge Porn after her own nightmare with the issue began more than four years ago.

Like many other couples, Jacobs and her boyfriend had private photos of intimate moments — photos not meant for public consumption. After their breakup, Jacobs saw her photos plastered everywhere on the Web, including on Facebook and several revenge porn sites. Her email address was part of what was shared, "so I had harassing emails constantly coming in," she told TODAY's Matt Lauer in May. "My work location was posted up and there, so I was terrified. I was so afraid that someone would physically stalk me."

In the era of instant uploads, a slimy sub-industry of sites have emerged that are dedicated solely to such "revenge porn" shots and videos. It has become a money-making "sport," of which one of the most notorious players is Hunter Moore, who was under FBI investigation for his controversial site, Is Anyone Up.

Though the sites often include personal information about the victims, including names, email addresses and even links to their Facebook profiles, the sites themselves are protected from liability because of Section 230 of the federal Communications Decency Act, which says that websites and Internet service providers cannot be treated as a publisher for "any information provided by another information content provider." With little legal recourse, these victims are left feeling helpless and humiliated.

Jacobs' fear turned to anger, and she decided she would no longer be a victim. She filed criminal and civil charges against her ex. The ex, through his attorney, has denied the charges against him, contending he is just as much a victim as Jacobs, and that the reason the photos and video were shared is that his computer was hacked.

Those who might think, "Well, you shouldn't have taken those photos ... " aren't living in the real world of what has become, especially for a younger generation, a cultural-technological phenomenon as normal as tweeting and texting.

"It’s absolutely just a new version of victim blaming," Jacobs said in May. "What I would say to victims when they hear that is, just hold on to that little voice inside of you that says, 'This is not right.' What's happening to me is not OK, and there need to be laws in place against this."

The California legislation, Jacobs told NBC News, "is so important because it has the potential to set a precedent for other states considering to criminalize revenge porn."

Precedents and objections
The state that comes closest to doing that now is New Jersey, which since 2003 has had an invasion-of-privacy law aimed at video voyeurs, people who secretly videotape others naked or having sex without their consent, according to a spokesman for the Office of the Attorney General in that state.

That law was one of those used to prosecute Rutgers University student _____, found guilty last year after setting up a webcam to spy on his gay roommate, _____, in 2010. _____ live streamed the video and tweeted about his roommates's activities. _____, 18, committed suicide after learning about the public humiliation.

"Legislators did not discuss the issue of 'revenge porn' in passing this law" in 2003, Peter Aseltine, a spokesman for the New Jersey attorney general's office, told NBC News. "Nonetheless, the language of the statute is quite broad and arguably applies to allow prosecution of an individual in a 'revenge porn' situation."

Other revenge porn law efforts could soon be underway in Texas, Wisconsin and Georgia, Jacobs said.

While most everyone will agree that the revenge porn practice is reprehensible, crafting legislation that doesn't inadvertently restrict free speech is the challenge.

In Florida, where Jacobs lives, an attempt at a revenge porn law failed this year partly because of concerns the way the law was written could interfere with free speech. Jacobs cited another concern: a requirement that personal information, such as the victim's name and email address, also be posted as part of the photos or videos shared.
- Isn't it hypocritical how politicians are worried about free speech, etc, but when it involves ex-sex offenders, anything goes?

"I'm sure the revenge porn posters would have easily found a way around this," she told NBC News. "Our personal information is already posted when our faces are in these pictures."

Florida State Sen. David Simmons and state Rep. Tom Goodson, both Republicans, plan to try again with a new bill with different wording next spring when the legislature is back in session.

Jeff Hermes, director of the Digital Media Law Project at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, said a "balance needs to be struck properly," and he is not sure the California law will do that.

"You need to be extraordinarily careful in criminalizing privacy law because of the risk you're going to deter legitimate speech," he told NBC News. "With the California bill, I don't see an exemption here for material that's legitimately newsworthy."

Take for example, he said, "circumstances where photographs exist of a political candidate who has run their campaign on their squeaky-clean image," but there are photographs of that candidate in a compromising position. "The distribution of these photos could indicate (to voters) that candidate might be lying about their past."

The revenge porn bill, Hermes said, is "responding to a significant concern, and I don't want to downplay that. It is a law in a field which is already heavily regulated — privacy — and where there are court remedies. But the question is whether the criminal penalties are necessary to achieve the aims already provided by existing law."

Only one California state senator, Leland Yee, a Democrat, voted against SB 255 when it came before the senate last month. His reason: "First Amendment protections are fundamental to our free society," he said in a statement to NBC News. "While I appreciate the intent of this legislation, I feel it was too broadly drawn and could potentially be used inappropriately to censor free speech."


LA - Spearsville chief (Steve E. Bodine) indicted on child rape

Steve E. Bodine
Steve E. Bodine
Original Article

09/09/2013

Spearsville Police Chief Steve E. Bodine, accused of aggravated rape of a child under the age of 13, has been indicted by a Union Parish grand jury.

Bodine, 64, was booked late Monday afternoon into the Union Parish Detention Center. Third Judicial District Court Judge Cynthia Woodard set bond at $500,000.

Union Parish Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Dusty Gates said the indictment and arrest of Bodine came after a yearlong investigation by sheriff’s investigators, Louisiana State Police detectives and the District Attorney’s office.

This investigation took a while because this all occurred before he became chief two years ago,” Gates said. “They were also witnesses located out of state that we had to find and interview.”

Gates said the investigation started after a family member filed a complaint with the sheriff’s office.

Because it involved a Union Parish law enforcement officer we contacted State Police,” he said.

Bodine had not been in law enforcement before qualifying for the position. No one qualified to run against him, Gates said.

The victim was between the ages of 8 to 10 when the alleged incidents occurred, the Gates said.