Tuesday, January 28, 2014

NY - Senator Charles Schumer passes another useless law to help himself look good

Think of the children!
Original Article

Just another pointless law in the name of a dead child to help someone else look good! You don't need another law when stuff is already available for it (Here & Here)! Reminds me of this South Park episode. And by the looks of the comments the sheeple are falling for it, as usual! Bahhhhh!

01/27/2014

NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) - Alex Siri, 15, has autism and is considered nonverbal. Alex uses an iPad program to let others know what he wants or how he is feeling. Alex's father is hoping his son will also benefit from a new bill proposed by Sen. Charles Schumer. If passed, Avonte's Law would use federal money to pay for a voluntary program to help police locate missing at-risk autistic children using GPS tracking devices.
- Federal money is tax payer money, and are you going to purchase and supply every single child in the state with a GPS device?  Yep, useless laws like this is why the country is going broke!

The proposal is named for Avonte Oquendo. The 14-year-old boy ran away from his Long Island City, Queens, school in October and was found dead earlier this month in the East River. Schumer made the announcement Sunday with Avonte's mother by his side. Schumer said it would be similar to a federal program that tracks seniors with Alzheimer's disease.
- Again, another useless law!

Just weeks before Avonte disappeared, Alex wandered away from his Upper East Side apartment. Luckily, he was quickly found.

Project Lifesaver is a similar private program already doing this for at people at risk.

"If the person goes wandering, each bracelet has a separate frequency in it, a radio frequency, they can tune their receivers, which they've been trained to use, go into an area, locate that radio signal, track to the person, locate them, and bring them back home," Gene Saunders, the CEO and founder of Project Lifesaver International, told Fox 5 via Skype.
- Like home security systems, this is just a way for companies to exploit people and fear to make money!

Until Alex gets such a device, his dad has tagged his shoes with his name and address and hopes Alex never needs that again.

More than 200 mourners attended Avonte's funeral Saturday.

Investigators are still trying to determine how he died.


NJ - 'Jessica Lunsford' Act before Senate committee this week

Morning paper and coffee
Original Article

01/28/2014

By Bill Mooney

TRENTON - The Senate version of a bill mandating minimum prison terms for those who sexually assault a child has been reintroduced and will be before the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee on Thursday.

One of the prime co-sponsors, Minority Leader Tom Kean Jr., said earlier this month he was dissatisfied with amendments to the bill on the Assembly side last legislative session, and he had said he would bring back what he feels is the tougher version this session.

S215 (PDF), whose prime co-sponsors include Sens. Diane Allen, (R-7), Edgewater Park and Steve Oroho, (R-24), Sparta, would mandate a minimum prison term of 25 years.

The bill also would include hindering apprehension as a fourth-degree crime punishable by a mandatory minimum of six months to a maximum of 18 months.

The Senate passed its version in October 2012, but following that the Assembly proposal was amended as it worked its way through the committee process, according to Kean. The minimum prison term was reduced from 25 to 15 years, and the hindering provision was eliminated.

The bill is dubbed the “Jessica Lunsford Act,’’ in memory of a 9-year-old Florida girl who was kidnapped, raped, and murdered by a registered sex offender.


TN - Innocent man has record wiped clean after 31 years in prison

Wrongly accused
Original Article

01/27/2014

By Dennis Ferrier

NASHVILLE (WSMV) - An innocent man imprisoned for 31 years, who has been trying to get his record cleared since he was released four years ago, finally got his day in court Monday and is now a man without a criminal record.

_____ had been falsely accused of rape and burglary in 1977 in Memphis.

DNA evidence showed he was never on the scene and had nothing to do with the crime, and 31 years into the sentence, the district attorney and judge released him from custody.

But getting his record wiped clean had been a much more difficult struggle.

The Memphis district attorney had _____'s record expunged on Monday.

_____ and his wife, _____, have been waiting for this day for years. It was such big news that people from Immanuel Baptist Church in Lebanon left work just to come and congratulate him.

"It was done in 15 seconds. Thirty-five years of wrongfully labeling this man was undone in 15 seconds. There really is a sermon there. It was very emotional. It's like a family member's been freed," said the Rev. John Hunn of Immanuel Baptist Church.

_____ attends Bible study five days a week and can now go on a mission trip with Immanuel Baptist Church that before he could only dream about.

Plus, he can now vote again.

"He has had a hard life," _____ said. "He just went through everything and then he couldn't get a job. My children think there is nothing like him. They call him 'Pops.' I never thought I'd meet anybody like him. He is just different. I like to think God saved him just for me."

_____ first walked into Immanuel Baptist Church on a Wednesday night, and things really changed after that. Hunn got him a job at Lifeway Christian Resources, everyone learned his story and witnessed his grace and, now, they see his triumph.

"You got to walk and put God in your heart. You put love in your heart, God can turn bad into good," _____ said.


WI - 7th Circuit upholds $100 annual sex offender registry (extortion) fee

ExtortionOriginal Article

01/28/2014

By Bruce Vielmetti

The $100 that Wisconsin sex offenders must pay every year for being listed on a registry is not an unlawful fine, a federal appeals court has ruled. But the court did not address other lifetime conditions of Wisconsin sex offender registration because it found the challengers lacked standing.

The decision (PDF) by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a ruling by a Green Bay federal judge, and also thwarted the plaintiffs' request to proceed as unnamed. Instead, the court added their names to the case.

U.S. District Judge William Griesbach had ruled the $100 fee amounted to a fine and therefore was an unlawful "ex post facto" punishment for the two plaintiffs, who had been convicted before Wisconsin adopted the sex offender monitoring law.

_____ and _____ remain subject to not only the annual $100 fee, but also many other lifetime requirements and restrictions of the sex offender registry, even though they now live in Connecticut and Florida, respectively, and never intend to return to Wisconsin.

_____ was convicted in 1993 and served four years in prison plus six years of probation. _____ was convicted in 1985 and served five years, then again in 1993 and served one year. Each is now subject to lifetime registry in Wisconsin.

But if that's true, the court wrote, they would likely never face any real consequence of violating those restrictions, such as changing their name, or photographing children, or not reporting a change of address, because Wisconsin admits it has never tried to enforce completely out-of-state violations of the restrictions.

_____ and _____ do have standing to complain about the annual re-registration and fee, but the court said those aspects of the law are not punitive, and therefore not prohibited "ex post facto" law. Judge Richard Posner wrote the opinion for a panel that included Judge Diane Sykes and Judge Frank Easterbrook.

"The fee is intended to compensate the state for the expense of maintaining the sex offender registry," Posner wrote. "The offenders are responsible for the expense, so there is nothing 'punitive' about making them pay for it, any more than it is 'punitive' to charge a fee for a passport."

On the issue of the plaintiffs' request for anonymity, the court noted that while the plaintiffs contend they've been subjected to shunning and harassment for being on the offender registry, which is public, the court generally opposes secrecy. In this case, judges didn't see how any additional harm from being named as plaintiffs could outweigh the disruption to their personal lives they say they already have suffered.


Use of Social Networking Sites in Online Sex Crimes Against Minors: An Examination of National Incidence and Means of Utilization

Social Networks
View the PDF

01/2010

Abstract:
Purpose: To describe the variety of ways social networking sites (SNSs) are used to facilitate the sexual exploitation of youth, as well as identify victim, offender, and case differences between arrests, with and without a SNS nexus.

Methods: Mail surveys were sent to a nationally representative sample of over 2,500 local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies in the United States. Follow-up detailed telephone interviews were conducted for 1,051 individual cases ending in an arrest for Internet-related sex crimes against minors in 2006.

Results: In the United States, an estimated 2,322 arrests (unweighted n ¼ 291) for Internet sex crimes against minors involved SNSs in some way, including an estimated 503 arrests (unweighted n ¼ 93) in cases involving identified victims and the use of SNSs by offenders (the majority of arrests involved undercover operations undertaken by police). SNSs were used to initiate sexual relationships, to provide a means of communication between victim and offender, to access information about the victim, to disseminate information or pictures about the victim, and to get in touch with victim’s friends.

Conclusions: A considerable number of arrests for Internet sex crimes against minors have a SNS nexus to them. The findings support previous claims that prevention messages should target youth behaviors rather than specific online locations where these crimes occur. In targeting behaviors, youth can take this knowledge with them online, regardless of whether they are using SNSs, chat rooms, or instant messaging. 2010 Society for Adolescent Medicine.


CO - Audit criticizes Colorado's program for monitoring sex offenders

Sex offender therapistOriginal Article

01/28/2014

By David Olinger

Colorado is overtreating many low-risk sex offenders in the mistaken belief that they cannot be cured, an independent consultant has found.

As a result, the state's Sex Offender Management Board is wasting significant amounts of public money on supervision in the community, according to a report from Central Coast Clinical and Forensic Psychology Services.

The report, released earlier this month, also concluded that Colorado's system for classifying some offenders as sexually violent predators is hopelessly flawed and in urgent need of replacement. That means Colorado could be classifying the wrong people as sexually violent predators.

The findings were met with approval from advocates of reform for sex-offender treatment but with skepticism from a victims' group.

The report's recommendations, if adopted, could dramatically change the supervision of sex offenders, many of whom are now monitored for life.

There were 1,412 sex offenders under intensive supervision on probation in the state as of June 30, and 767 of those were under lifetime supervision, according to the Colorado Department of Corrections.

The consultant's analysis of the board, an arm of the state Department of Public Safety, commended Colorado for developing a model treatment program in the 1990s and for the thought and dedication put into its guidelines for managing sex offenders.

At the same time, it reported that Colorado has adhered stubbornly to the idea that sex offenders cannot be cured and must be managed for life despite abundant research to the contrary.

The board's guidelines "communicate a view of sex offenders' risk," the report said, that they have "a disorder which cannot be cured," that all sex offenders pose a "dangerously high risk," and that "the danger can only be managed by constant vigilance." As a result, "expending special and expensive resources on managing low-risk offenders wastes public money," the report said.

Its criticisms echo a scathing report from the same consultant last year that sex-offender programs in Colorado prisons have created a treatment backlog that leaves some inmates waiting for years for therapy.

"I thought it was fantastic. We're thrilled," said Susan Walker, director of the Coalition for Sexual Offense Restoration.

"Finally, somebody besides us is saying that under the no-cure philosophy, the (sex-offender management board) has not been functioning under appropriate standards and guidelines."

Erin Jemison, executive director of the Colorado Coalition Against Sex Assault, participated in the consultant's round of focus groups and found it unbalanced.

"While there were some good suggestions that the board needs to look at," Jemison said, "I think they did not include victim and victim- advocate voices to the same extent that they included offender voices. I think that's reflected in the report."

The report cited multiple problems with the risk scale that Colorado uses to identify sexually violent predators and concluded the state has "no credible data" to justify its use.

"There is an urgent need," the report said, to replace its method for calling someone a predator "with an instrument that is soundly developed."

The report also criticized treatment programs for relying too much on polygraph examinations as a means of measuring an offender's success.

Chris Lobanov-Rostovsky, the program manager for the board, said it has been working already on some of the changes recommended in the report.

See Also:


CA - SF police officer (Richard Hastings) pleads not guilty to child molestation charges

Richard Hastings
Richard Hastings
Original Article

01/27/2014

MARTINEZ - A San Francisco police officer pleaded not guilty Monday morning in Contra Costa Superior Court to 10 felony counts of child molestation and possession of child pornography.

Officer Richard Hastings, 38, of Concord, is accused of molesting a 15-year-old boy on several different occasions between June and August.

Deputy District Attorney Alison Chandler said Hastings was arrested in August after the boy was caught sneaking out of his own home to meet with the officer.

Defense attorney Eileen Burke said the pair had met on an online dating site and the boy had claimed he was of legal age.

Burke argued for Hastings' $910,000 bail to be lowered because he "is no more danger than anyone who signs up for an online dating service."

Chandler, however, said the boy was clearly underage and was stopped by police that night in August on suspicion of a curfew violation.

When police contacted Hastings, he allegedly said, "Don't worry, I'm a police officer," Chandler said.

"He was using his police status to get out of the trouble he was about to be in," she said.

Chandler said prosecutors did not immediately charge him after his Aug. 21 arrest because further investigation was needed, including into the contents of his electronic devices.

She said the FBI reviewed those contents and found child pornography involving an 8-year-old boy.

Chandler said Hastings told investigators that after he was involved in a police shooting a few years ago, he began "doing riskier things."

"He is reckless, he is cavalier," she told Judge Bruce Mills.

Burke, the defense attorney, told Mills that her client "has been completely cooperative" and has not had any problems since his August arrest.

The judge decided to reduce Hastings' bail to $100,000 and ordered him to return to court on March 7 to set a date for a preliminary hearing.

Hastings, a 13-year veteran of the San Francisco Police Department, was suspended without pay after his arrest.

Hastings is named in a federal civil rights lawsuit stemming from the 2011 death of Kenneth Harding, who police say accidentally shot himself during a shootout with Hastings and another officer after police tried to stop Harding for alleged fare evasion in San Francisco's Bayview District.

At the time of the shooting, Harding was on parole in Washington after serving time for pimping a 14-year-old girl.

Advocates for Harding have questioned the Police Department's version of events leading to his death, as well as whether it was necessary to use force against him.

Tracey Bell-Borden, a friend of Harding's mother, attended this morning's hearing and criticized Hastings.

"This is someone who was supposed to serve and protect," Bell-Borden said. "This man, something is wrong with him."

See Also: