What is a coerced or false confession? Many people think they would never give a false confession. Learn how a coercive interrogation can cause a false confession. The techniques of interview and interrogation taught to law enforcement and private loss prevention have a history of false confessions. Michael Crowe falsely confessed to killing his sister Stephanie Crowe. See some of the coercive interrogation that caused Michael Crowe to falsely confess. (TheLieGuy.com)
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
By ADAM LIPTAK
The notices arrive almost every day. They tell a young woman named Amy, as she is called in court papers, that someone has been charged with possessing child pornography. She was the child.
“It is hard to describe what it feels like to know that at any moment, anywhere, someone is looking at pictures of me as a little girl being abused by my uncle and is getting some kind of sick enjoyment from it,” Amy, then 19, wrote in a 2008 victim impact statement. “It’s like I am being abused over and over and over again.”
Next month, the Supreme Court will consider what the men who took pleasure from viewing Amy’s abuse must pay her.
Images of Amy being sexually assaulted by her uncle are among the most widely viewed child pornography in the world. They have figured in some 3,200 criminal cases since 1998.
Amy is notified through a Justice Department program that tells crime victims about developments in criminal cases involving them. She has the notifications sent to her lawyer. There have been about 1,800 so far.
Her lawyer often files a request for restitution, as a 1994 law allows her to do. Every viewing of child pornography, Congress found, “represents a renewed violation of the privacy of the victims and repetition of their abuse.”
Amy’s losses are in most ways beyond measure, but some of them can be calculated in dollars. She has found it hard to hold down a job. She needs a lifetime of therapy. She has legal bills. Her lawyers say it adds up to about $3.4-million (U.S.).
The question for the justices is how to allocate that sum among the participants in the sordid marketplace for pictures of her.
One of those men is _____, who was caught with 280 images of children, including toddlers, being sexually abused. Two of the pictures were of Amy.
The 1994 law allows victims of child pornography to seek the “full amount” of their losses from people convicted of producing, distributing or possessing it, and Amy asked the U.S. District Court in Tyler, Texas, to order Mr. _____ to pay her the full $3.4-million.
Mr. _____ said he owed Amy nothing, arguing that her problems did not stem from learning that he had looked at images of her. Amy’s uncle, who was sentenced to 12 years in prison for his crimes, bore the brunt of the blame, Mr. _____ said, but was ordered to pay Amy just $6,325.
He added that Amy’s “problematic behaviour,” including drinking and troubles at work and school, could have sources other than her “sexual abuse history.”
Mr. _____ was sentenced to two years in prison, but the trial judge, Leonard Davis, did not order him to give Amy anything. The link between Amy’s losses and what Mr. _____ did, Justice Davis said, was too remote.
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in New Orleans, disagreed and awarded Amy the $3.4-million she sought. Mr. _____ should pay what he could and seek contributions from his fellow wrongdoers if he thought it too much, the court said, relying on the legal doctrine of “joint and several” liability.
“Among its virtues,” the appeals court said, “joint and several liability shifts the chore of seeking contribution to the person who perpetrated the harm rather than its innocent recipient.”
In the long run, Amy would not receive more than she deserved. But neither would she have to chase hundreds of men, many of them penniless, for the fractional shares of her misery that they caused.
Mr. _____ said the ruling was deeply unfair. “An award of $3.4-million against an individual for possessing two images of child pornography is punitive and grossly disproportionate to the offence conduct,” he told the Supreme Court. Requiring him to seek payment from his fellow sex offenders, he added, “would create a procedural nightmare.”
Amy’s lawyers countered that it should not be her burden to pursue her abusers over “decades of litigation that might never lead to a full recovery.”
She has received restitution in 180 cases so far, she told the justices, and has recovered a little more than 40 per cent of her losses.
The Justice Department took a middle ground before the Supreme Court, saying that Amy deserved something from Mr. _____, but that $3.4-million was too much. The right amount, the department’s lawyers said, was “somewhere between all or nothing.”
They did not specify what Mr. _____’s share might be, saying the trial court should decide. Amy’s lawyers said they feared that a strict mathematical allocation of responsibility, with each offender paying an equal share, could lead to individual awards of “about $47.”
Emily Bazelon interviewed Amy for an article that ran in The New York Times Magazine in January, before the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case. She sounded hopeful.
“If I win, that will set everything up for people like me, and that would be so amazing,” Amy said. “I don’t even think there are words for it.”
By Richard Conn
EDGEWATER - An ordinance that pushes sex offenders 2,500 feet — instead of 1,000 feet — away from schools, parks, playgrounds and other places where children typically gather is now on the books.
The City Council unanimously approved the second and final reading Monday of a law that bars restricted sex offenders or designated sexual predators from living within 2,500 feet of “any public or private school, child care facility, park, designated library, church, playground (minipark, recreational open space, playground) or other place where children regularly congregate.”
State law prohibits sex offenders whose victims were younger than 16 from living within 1,000 feet of such places. With Monday’s vote, Edgewater joins cities such as Daytona Beach, Ormond Beach, Deltona and Palm Coast that have extended that distance requirement to 2,500 feet.
Sex offenders or predators are exempted from the distance requirement only if they established residence before the law change passed, or if the school, library, church or other facilities covered by the ordinance were built after they began living at the residence.
The ordinance change also prohibits landlords from knowingly renting to sex offenders or predators within the 2,500 foot boundary.
While school bus stops were listed among the prohibited areas in the initial draft of the ordinance it didn’t make the cut when the council passed the ordinance on first reading. City Manager Tracey Barlow said Tuesday it would have been “extremely problematic” for Volusia County Schools officials — already challenged to meet the state’s 1,000 foot requirement — to locate bus stops around the city.
Each violation of the ordinance could be punishable by a fine of up to $500.
|Paul Jones & Ellen Crespin|
By Clare Semke
Two people lured a man out late at night before attacking him and subjecting him to a false rape claim in a revenge vendetta, a court heard.
_____ needed surgery and faces an increased risk of developing glaucoma, which can cause blindness as a result of his ordeal.
Ellen Crespin, 27, and brother-in-law Paul Jones, 25, hatched a plan to attack _____ as he had been sending text messages to Jones’s wife, Southampton Crown Court heard.
Now the pair are behind bars after each admitting grievous bodily harm and perverting the course of justice.
The court heard Crespin lured Mr _____ out for a walk shortly before midnight, leading him on and at one stage holding his hand.
When the pair reached the recreation ground in Knowle, Crespin received a phone call and told the caller where she was.
Moments later Mr _____ was attacked.
Judge Susan Evans sentencing, said: ‘He was attacked and put to the ground.’
‘He was kicked and punched. He said that he was kicked all over the place.’
Judge Evans added: ‘He described you, Ellen Crespin, as grabbing his arms and pulling them away from his face so that more of his face was exposed.’
The attack stopped briefly but then Crespin punched him in the face again.
The pair fled, leaving the victim lying bleeding on the ground.
He managed to call his parents and his father drove to pick him up.
He was taken home and then to hospital where an examination revealed he needed surgery for a tear to his retina.
Mr _____ was then referred to Southampton General Hospital.
But before he could be transferred Mr _____ was arrested on suspicion of rape.
Judge Evans said: ‘You, Ellen Crespin, accused him of rape.’
‘That was another lie and a disgraceful thing to have done.’
‘People who make false allegations like you make it much more difficult for genuine victims.’
The court heard Crespin did not continue with the rape allegation during interview.
But the pair continued to insist that Mr _____ had pushed her to the ground where she called Mr Jones, who heard her screaming down the phone. Jones said he pushed Mr _____ off.
Crespin later contacted police and told the truth about the incident between November 6 and November 8 last year
Crespin, of Soberton Road, Havant, was jailed for five years and four months while Jones, who has severe learning difficulties, was jailed for four years and one month.
They must each pay a £120 victim surcharge.
Like we've said many times, you can pass 10 million laws but it will not prevent crime. You cannot legislate crime away! You need to treat people with respect and dignity, help them change their ways and educate them, not dehumanize them and make it impossible to live a normal life. By doing this, you are creating crime by forcing ex-felons into a life of crime, but hey, anything to keep the prison business raking in the money, right?
After the 1993 murder of a child, many states passed laws to lock up repeat offenders for life, but today those laws are raising new questions about how crime is handled in America.
- Three-strikes law costly and ineffective, study says
- Rethinking California's 'three-strikes' law
- 10 Reasons to Oppose "3 Strikes, You're Out"
By Beth Defalco
TRENTON - A 14-year-old New Jersey girl has been accused of child pornography after posting nearly 30 explicit nude pictures of herself on MySpace.com — charges that could force her to register as a sex offender if convicted.
The case comes as prosecutors nationwide pursue child-pornography cases resulting from kids sending nude photos to one another over cellphones and e-mail, a practice called "sexting." Legal experts, though, could not recall another case of a child-porn charge resulting from a teen's posting to a social networking site.
MySpace would not comment on the New Jersey investigation, but the company has a team that reviews its network for inappropriate images. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children tipped off a state task force, which alerted the Passaic County Sheriff's Office.
The office investigated and discovered the Clifton resident had posted the "very explicit" photos of herself, sheriff's spokesman Bill Maer said Thursday.
"We consider this case a wake-up call to parents," Maer said.
The girl posted the photos because "she wanted her boyfriend to see them," he said.
Investigators are looking at individuals who "knowingly" committed a crime, he said, declining to comment further because the case is still being investigated.
The teen, whose name has not been released because of her age, was arrested and charged with possession of child pornography and distribution of child pornography. She was released to her mother's custody.
If convicted of the distribution charge, she would be forced to register with the state as a sex offender under Megan's Law, said state Attorney General Anne Milgram. She also could face up to 17 years in jail, though such a stiff sentence is unlikely.
Maureen Kanka — whose daughter, Megan, became the law's namesake after she was raped and killed at age 7 in 1994 by a twice-convicted sex offender — blasted authorities for charging the 14-year-old girl.
The teen needs help, not legal trouble, she said. "This shouldn't fall under Megan's Law in any way, shape or form," she said. "She should have an intervention and counseling because the only person she exploited was herself."