Thursday, February 28, 2008

Study: Spanking May Lead to Sexual Problems Later in Life

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What a load of crap! Not spanking kids is the reason they no longer listen to anybody and go on shooting sprees in the schools, IMO. They know that they can get a way with anything, and not be punished for it.

02/27/2008

Children whose parents spank them or otherwise inflict physical punishment may be more likely to have sexual problems later, according to research to be presented Thursday to the American Psychological Association.

The analysis of four studies by Murray Straus, co-director of the Family Research Laboratory at the University of New Hampshire-Durham, suggests that children whose parents spanked, slapped, hit or threw objects at them may have a greater chance of physically or verbally coercing a sexual partner, engaging in risky sexual behavior or engaging in masochistic sex, including sexual arousal by spanking.

"It increases the chances of sexual problems," though "it's not a one-to-one causation," Straus says.

Elizabeth Gershoff, an assistant professor of social work at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, who reviewed 80 years of spanking research in 2002 in the APA's Psychological Bulletin, says Straus' work appears to be the first to link spanking with sexual problems.

Gershoff says that though many children have been spanked (85% in one 2007 survey), problems may depend on how they process the spanking.

"They may internalize that to mean that in loving relationships sometimes there's pain or physical aggression," she says. Another possible lesson is that "whoever is stronger and has more power can overpower the other person and use physical aggression to control the other person's behavior."

But linking sexual problems with spanking is a "big leap," says human-sexuality researcher John DeLamater of the University of Wisconsin. "It's probably one of many elements that might contribute to sex problems or risky sex, but it's a long leap."

Most children who are spanked escape from long-term harm, says Straus, 81, a sociology professor who says he occasionally spanked his own children but later became a staunch critic of spanking. His work on violence in families is regarded as landmark research.

He is scheduled to present the studies today at the psychological association's Summit on Violence and Abuse in Relationships in Bethesda, Md. Three are yet unpublished; one has been submitted to a journal. He plans to include two in a book this year. The fourth was included in a 1994 book.

The two most recent studies examine sexual coercion and risky practices among 14,252 college students between 2001 and 2006. The third study, of 440 high school students from New Hampshire, examined risky sex, such as premarital sex without a condom. The fourth study, of 207 students from the Northeast, focused on masochistic sex.

In each case, Straus found that those who had experienced corporal punishment had increased probability of coercing sex, risky sex or masochistic sex.

The literature on effectiveness of spanking to correct behavior is still "very mixed," says Robert Larzelere of Oklahoma State University, who has studied parents' disciplinary methods.

"Like any discipline tactic, it depends on how it's used," he says.


CT - Teen gets 5 years in prison for sexually assaulting toddler

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Another child, who is not legally an adult yet, ruined forever!

02/28/2008

STAMFORD - A 16-year-old Stamford teenager has been sentenced to five years in prison for sexually assaulting a 3-year-old boy last year.

Axel Escalante, an immigrant from Guatemala and the youngest of 10 brothers, had pleaded guilty to risk of injury to a minor in exchange for a maximum five-year prison term.

The prosecutor says the state considered Escalante's age and the wish of the victim's family that he receive counseling instead of a longer prison sentence.

Prosecutors say Escalante was at the victim's home last May when he assaulted the boy.

The judge has ruled that Escalante be on probation for 15 years after his release and he must register as a sex offender.


MA - New limits for sex offenders after alleged rape

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02/28/2008

New Bedford residents and officials have been working to restrict convicted child molesters from public areas since late last month when a 6-year-old boy was allegedly raped at a public library.
- I am so sick and tired of people using child molester, pedophile, sex offender and sexual predator as if they all mean the same thing. These laws are for sex offenders, and not all sex offenders are child molesters or predators. GET THAT THROUGH YOUR THICK SKULLS PEOPLE!

New Bedford Mayor Scott Lang (Contact) proposed a law to ban Level 2 and 3 sex offenders whose crimes involved children from beaches, video arcades and similar public places Feb. 4. The city council reviewed the legislation and sent it to a committee for further work Feb. 14.

The legislation is expected to pass, and does not include residency restrictions that would limit where registered sex offenders could live in the city, said New Bedford mayor's office spokeswoman Elizabeth Treadup.

"We looked at similar ordinances in other towns when we wrote this one," she said.

The proposed law avoids some opposition by not setting rules for residency.

"There are real concerns about [residency laws]," said American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts spokesman Chris Ott. "If New Bedford doesn't include those, the constitutional issues won't be as big a problem."

Officials on local and state levels are moving to set rules to protect against possible sexual attacks. There are 1,349 Level 3 offenders, the most dangerous sexual predators, in Massachusetts said the commonwealth's Sex Offender Registry Board spokesman Charles McDonald. Classification rates both the severity of the crime committed and the likelihood that an offender will commit the crime again.

The New Bedford Free Public Library has changed some of its policies following the alleged assault there, said library director Stephen Fulchino. While the library cannot measure how many people visit, there seem to be fewer patrons lately despite efforts to reassure residents there is nothing to fear, he said.

"Adults cannot speak to children unless they are the child's caregiver," he said. "Library patrons and staff are being encouraged to call the police if anything doesn't seem right."

The state legislature debated 49 bills regarding sexual assault and crime Tuesday. One -- the Mandatory Post-Release Supervision bill -- would create increased restrictions for all criminal offenders, not just those convicted of sex crimes.

Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security spokesman Terrel Harris said the bill would allow police to keep track of offenders without restricting where they can live.


MO - Bills target sex offenders retroactively

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The people in legislature apparently have NEVER read the US and state constitutions, which they TOOK AND OATH TO UPHOLD, and apparently they lied.

They are even ignoring their states own recidivism study which again states sex offender recidivism is low, not high!

02/28/2008

JEFFERSON CITY — Sex offenders are in the cross hairs of the General Assembly this year with numerous pieces of legislation coming from both parties that aim to restrict the rights of people on the Missouri Sex Offender Registry.

The centerpiece of these efforts is a bipartisan joint resolution proposed in the Senate that would make the registry retroactive, which would force sex offenders who committed crimes before the enactment of the registry to sign up. If the legislation passes, voters would vote on the issue in November.
- Creating retroactive (ex post facto) laws is a direct violation of the state and US constitutions. Don't believe me, check here and here (section 9).

Aims of the resolution have widened following a Missouri Supreme Court ruling that upheld a previous court decision. A Missouri law that restricted sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of a school was ruled unconstitutional because of attempts to apply the law retroactively.

The resolution is being co-sponsored by Sens. Maida Coleman (Contact), D-St. Louis, and Jason Crowell (Email), R-Cape Girardeau, and awaits a vote on the floor. A new clause in the legislation would also allow the law to be applied retroactively when restricting sex offenders from residing near schools or child care facilities.

The intent of the bill is to “make sure that whether sex offenders committed their crimes in 1972 or 2008, they will be required to register,” Crowell said.
- I think your intent is to ignore the rights granted by the constitutions, and ignore due process of law, and re-punish people for something they may have done years/decades ago. So you people are corrupt and ignoring the OATH you took to enter office.

John Coffman, legislative director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri, said attempts to bypass laws banning retroactive laws violate “a pretty basic rule of constitutional fairness.” He said the ACLU-EM thinks any restriction applied retroactively, whether civil or criminal, is unfair.

The joint resolution is one of myriad bills aimed at curbing the rights of sex offenders.

Bills restricting sex offenders from living in college residence halls and near public schools or from loitering near public parks, swimming pools and child care facilities have sprouted up this session. Other bills would make sex offenders disclose their e-mail addresses and prevent them from serving as a coach or trainer for youth sports teams.

Coffman said the emergence of sex offender language this year is no surprise.

I think we’re seeing a lot of these type of bills because it’s an election year,” Coffman said. “Representatives want to do something to show the public that they’re trying to protect them.

Coffman said a lot of the bills taken individually might be reasonable, but taken as a whole, they might be not easily enforceable and could needlessly punish sex offenders after they have already served their time.

Rep. Mark Bruns (Email), R-Jefferson City, chairman of the House Crime Prevention and Public Safety Committee and an author of some of the bills, said he supports Crowell and Coleman’s legislation. He also said the legislature should “be careful where we tread” because of issues of constitutionality.
- I think we've already treaded there and are on the slippery slope to oblivion of all basic human rights!

Bruns said bills like the one that would ban sex offenders from living in college or junior college residence halls would be a simple and easy step that could be taken to protect students from sex offenders. Bruns said the college could just enter the name into the registry.

“Seems like a simple enough idea to me,” Bruns said.

Rep. Gary Dusenberg (Email), R-Jackson County, is the sponsor of a bill that would tag the driver’s licenses of sex offenders with a special marking. A highway patrolman for 26 years, Dusenberg said he thinks a special identifier on a sex offender’s driver’s license would throw up a red flag if there were a child in the car and that it could be discreet.
- So what is the purpose of obtaining a persons drivers license and checking it on the computers in your police cars? Why do you need another Scarlet letter on these people?

“It wouldn’t be embarrassing,” Dusenberg said. “It would only be known by law enforcement.”
- Oh come on! Eventually word of mouth will occur, and then everyone will know what to look for, then every time they go to a store to buy beer, cigarettes or anything else, they will be known as a sex offender and subjected to harassment. Why don't you live with all these sex offender laws, scarlet letters, banishment and punishment rules for a while, then tell me that!

Coffman said he worries that a marking could be a “scarlet letter” for sex offenders.

The bill is awaiting relegation to a committee, where the issue would be further examined.

Bruns and Dusenberg both said that because of sex offenders’ high recidivism rate, they should attract special restrictions and that it’s nearly impossible to cure them.
- Why do you keep ignoring the facts and spewing sound bites you've heard from uninformed people? Sex offenders are LESS LIKELY TO REOFFEND than any other criminal. You can review MANY studies here on my blog, or my wiki. Why don't you tell people where you heard this bogus "high recidivism" rate? Where is the study or link?

Dusenberg said the state spends more than double to incarcerate sex offenders than it does regular inmates and still has little to show for it.

“Spending money on the sexual predator unit, it’s like throwing money in a river, as far as I’m concerned,” Dusenberg said.


GA - Sex offender bill flawed

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02/28/2008

Limits on where targeted people can live, work are too severe and too general — and ineffective

As the owner of storage facilities around the country as well as a real estate management company, Atlantan Jim Kane must have reliable employees. Because he once had an employee who embezzled $50,000, Kane puts a high premium on managers he can trust.

When he found a great one, Kane was frustrated to lose him to Georgia's draconian sex offender registry. State laws limit where an offender — even a low-level one like Kane's former employee, who had sex with someone just below the age of consent — can live or work.

"He had to finally move out of state," said Kane. "I would give my eye teeth if he could come back and manage a new property I just bought. He was the best employee I ever had, and I would trust him with any part of my operation. He knows what he did was stupid. He is not re-offending. He is just trying to make a living. He doesn't belong on that list."

That list has more than 14,500 names on it; it includes everything from reckless kids (teenagers convicted of sex with willing younger classmates) to real pedophiles. Under the previous 2006 state law — tossed out as unconstitutional in the fall — all 14,500 Georgians convicted of sex-related offenses faced dramatic limits on where they could live and work.

In its haste to reinstate the law, the House has also reinstated most of its flaws. House Bill 908 still makes no distinctions between low-risk and dangerous offenders, barring all of them from living within 1,000 feet of any place where children congregate, including school bus stops, and from working around schools, churches or day care centers. To satisfy the court's concerns about property rights, the House did exempt offenders who owned their homes or held their jobs before a church, school or day care center moved into the area.

That exemption wouldn't have helped Kane's valued employee because he rented in Atlanta near his workplace. "After they passed that law, he had to move to Buford to finally find an apartment far enough away from places where children congregate," says Kane.

"But he'd stay a few nights a week in town with a friend. This was discovered by the sheriff's department, and he was told he was in violation of his probation. He determined he couldn't live in the state of Georgia any longer as the law was so restrictive in where he could live and work. He's now in Minnesota," says Kane.

The Senate has a chance to fix the flaws when it takes up HB 908 in the next week or two. It ought to bring balance to the bill, which now does little to protect children. In fact, the bill may undermine public safety by discouraging sex offenders from registering with their local sheriff's department to avoid what essentially amounts to banishment from the state.

Federal law requires states to create registries of offenders convicted of sex crimes or offenses against children. And it mandates that local law enforcement agencies provide information to the public about sex offenders living in the community. But Georgia went a lot further and enacted restrictions on where offenders on the registry can live and work.

Suddenly, aging Alzheimer's patients were being evicted from nursing homes that were near playgrounds, and 18-year-old boys who'd had sex with their 15-year-old classmates were ordered out of their family homes because of a neighboring family day care center. People had to quit long-term jobs because their workplace was too close to a church.

There's no evidence that these extreme actions paid off in improved safety. The growing list of opponents to broad residency and work restrictions includes activist Patty Wetterling. The unsolved 1989 abduction of her 11-year-old son Jacob by an armed masked man led to the federal registry law, but she says the political zeal to restrict where offenders live and work denies the realities of sexual assaults. Most, she says, are committed by someone known to the family, and the best strategies are prevention and rehabilitation programs rather than registering everyone including "juveniles, convicted of any sexual offense, including consensual teenage sex, public urination and other nonviolent crimes."

In passing its law, Georgia looked to Iowa, which pioneered blanket residency restrictions in 2002. Today the Iowa County Attorneys Association says, "The research shows that there is no correlation between residency restrictions and reducing sex offenses against children or improving the safety of children." The Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault said the number of sex offenders who are unaccounted for has more than doubled since the law went into effect.

Several Georgia victims' advocacy groups oppose HB 908. In a letter to the Legislature, the groups wrote, "Residency restrictions require the use of scarce law enforcement and other resources that would be more effectively utilized in other ways. ... Sexual assault prevention and intervention programs and services would go much further toward creating safer communities for women and children."

"There are dangerous people out there that need this sort of scrutiny," says Kane. "And you can understand that legislators don't want to vote against this and have people say that they're allowing sex offenders in the neighborhood. But the law is unfairly and without need affecting some of the wrong offenders."

Maureen Downey, for the editorial board


NY - Retired NYPD officer busted for child porn after month-long investigation

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02/28/2008

A retired NYPD officer was busted for child porn Wednesday after a month-long investigation begun when he attempted to buy sex over the Web with the preteen daughters of a woman working with the cops, police sources said.

Investigators raided Matthew Fanning's Queens home Wednesday and found a stash of child pornography - including photos of girls as young as 5 being raped - an arsenal of guns and bags of marijuana, said Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.

Cops are now questioning the 14-year-old daughter of Fanning's girlfriend to make sure he didn't abuse her. Sources said police have evidence that Fanning, 44, traveled abroad - possibly to the Dominican Republic - to have sex with children.

The creepy ex-cop, who retired several years ago on a 75% disability pension, used his AOL screen name, "Gunrunlover," to store and send images of children having sex, according to a criminal complaint.

Investigators seized from Fanning's South Ozone Park house two computers packed with porn, more than 2 ounces of pot, a gravity knife, a switchblade, three illegal handguns, a rifle, a shotgun and 1,496 rounds of ammo, police said.

He was charged with 19 weapons and child porn offenses, and was awaiting arraignment last night.

A woman who answered the phone at Fanning's home said only, "We have no information. We have no comment."


Dehumanization

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t the core of evil is the process of dehumanization by which certain other people or collectives of them, are depicted as less than human, as non comparable in humanity or personal dignity to those who do the labeling. Prejudice employs negative stereotypes in images or verbally abusive terms to demean and degrade the objects of its narrow view of superiority over these allegedly inferior persons. Discrimination involves the actions taken against those others based on the beliefs and emotions generated by prejudiced perspectives.

Dehumanization is one of the central processes in the transformation of ordinary, normal people into indifferent or even wanton perpetrators of evil. Dehumanization is like a “cortical cataract” that clouds one’s thinking and fosters the perception that other people are less than human. It makes some people come to see those others as enemies deserving of torment, torture, and even annihilation.

In this section, we will examine three forms that dehumanization has taken: Nazi Comic Books against the Jews; Faces of the Enemy—world-wide propaganda images of the “enemy,” and “trophy photos” of American citizens posing with African Americans who had been lynched or burned alive—and then portrayed in post cards mailed to family and friends.

Nazi Comic Books









Hitler’s “final solution” of genocide of all European Jews began by shaping the beliefs of school children through the reading of assigned texts in which Jews are portrayed in a series of increasingly negative scenarios. At the end of these lessons in civics or geography, we see the “reasonable” discriminatory actions that Germans should take toward Jews.

This educational propaganda was intentionally designed to create a dehumanized conception of Jews among students by means of providing them with required texts that were colorful and visually told provocative narratives. Students from primary school through High School read these books.

The originator of this idea was Julius Streicher, the editor of a weekly newspaper, Das Sturmer, “The Storm Troope,” that spread anti-Semitic propaganda to the general public in Germany. The “facts” presented in his newspaper (for adults, parents, and soon-to-be recruited Nazi SS perpetrators of destruction) were carried over into these school books. Streicher sought to create a perception of Jews as a sub-human race that was a threat to the national state of Germany. The idea was for this total indoctrination of these beliefs in the minds of the young and the old to such an extent that they came to have a conviction about the inferiority of Jews and the need to eliminate the threat they posed to the purity and superiority of the Aryan race.

The use of stereotyped conceptions of Jews as lecherous old men seducing young Aryan women, of dirty Jewish butchers, unscrupulous Jewish lawyers, hard-hearted Jewish landlords, rich Jewish business men and their wives ignoring the poverty around them, all combined to create a hate-filled image of Jews. In one of these comic books, after providing such “evidence” of the despicable nature of Jews, three conclusions are provided: kicking their children out of German schools, prohibiting them from using public facilities, like parks, and then expelling them from the country. Those “reasonable” consequences that Nazis should create for Jews foreshadows the more sinister ones of putting them all in ghettoes, then transporting them to concentration camps, and finally enacting the “final solution” of attempting mass genocide of the entire Jewish population.

Other comic books were in the guise of Geography lessons portraying different races of the world in the traditional stereotyped poses, and illustrating the dramatic comparison between handsome, strong Aryan men and weak, ugly fat Jewish men. Other images show Jews as vermin, as insects carried on the back of the devil.

Another aspect of the process of creating dehumanized images of Jews in the minds of the German populace was later in the process of their destruction to show pictures of their naked bodies, gaunt from starvation, sickness, and overwork in such ways that it was easy to dissociate them from the rest of humanity, to make them look sub human in ways that no other peoples have been.

My access to these Nazi comic books was provided by my colleague and friend, Professor John Steiner, who after having survived 3 years in Nazi concentration camps, started a long-term project of interviewing hundreds of his former tormentors.

In addition to simply viewing the images and probably listening to their teachers discussing and explaining them, the children were required to copy the text as practice in penmanship. It was yet another form of indoctrination.

Faces of The Enemy






What does it take for the citizens of one society to hate the citizens of another society to the degree that they want to segregate them, torment them, even to kill them? It requires a ‘hostile imagination,’ a psychological construction embedded deeply in their minds by propaganda that transforms those others into “The Enemy.” That image is a soldier’s most powerful motive, one that loads his rifle with ammunition of hate and fear. That image of a dreaded enemy threatening one’s personal well-being and the society’s national security emboldens mothers and fathers to send sons to war, and empowers governments to rearrange priorities to turn ploughshares into swords of destruction.

It is all done with words and images. To modify an old adage: Sticks and stones may break your bones, but names can sometimes kill you. The process begins with stereotyped conceptions of the other, dehumanized perceptions of the other, the other as worthless, the other as all-powerful, the other as demonic, the other as an abstract monster, the other as a fundamental threat to our cherished values and beliefs. With public fear notched up and enemy threat imminent, reasonable people act irrationally, independent people act in mindless conformity, and peaceful people act as warriors. Dramatic visual images of the enemy on posters, television, magazine covers, movies, and the internet imprint on the recesses of the limbic system, the primitive brain, with the powerful emotions of fear and hate.

Social philosopher, Sam Keen, brilliantly depicts how this hostile imagination is created by virtually every nation’s propaganda on its path to war, and the transformative powers on the human psyche of these ‘images of the enemy.’ Justifications for the desire to destroy these threats are really afterthoughts, merely proposed explanations for the official record, but not for critical analysis of the damage to be done, or being done.

Sam Keen (1986/ 2004). Faces of the enemy: Reflections on the Hostile Imagination (Enlarged edition). New York: Harper & Row. Also see the powerful companion DVD produced by Bill Jersey and Sam Keen. Further information is available at www.samkeen.com.

Postcard Photos of Lynchings


For over 100 years, many American citizens took “vigilante” actions against African Americans by lynching them or burning them alive, on various pretexts. It became common practice to record this violence by taking photos of the murdered men and women along with their murderers and observers. I call them “trophy photos” because they are similar in kind to those taken by big game hunters and fishermen, proudly posing with the dead beasts they had conquered. (I also use the same term for the photos of the abuse of the Abu Ghraib prisoners by the Military Police reserve soldiers.) Many of those posing in the photos were smiling young children. Some argue that the post card industry in America was stimulated by widespread sales of these lynching photos.

Click here to visit Without Sanctuary, a collection of photographs and postcards taken as souvenirs at lynchings throughout America. Here are a sample [warning: contains graphic violence] of those images.

A recent publication provides the documentation of these destructive dehumanized practices through copies of the actual postcards and photographs. Without Sanctuary: Lynching Photography in America (2004, Sante Fe, New Mexico: Twin Palms Publishers) J. Allen, H. Als, J. Lewis,& L. Litwak, Eds. and commentators. See also Ralph Ginzberg’s 100 Years of Lynching. (Baltimore, MD: Black Classics Press.)



©2006-2008, Philip G. Zimbardo


CT - Is the sex offender registry fair?

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Short answer, NO!

02/24/2008

Millie Izzo, the caretaker of a young girl who was sexually abused by a relative, thinks all sex offenders should be put on an "island by themselves surrounded by a pool of sharks."

"It's sickening. It really is sickening," said Izzo, a Brookfield resident, of the abuse her loved one endured.

While Izzo thinks an island is a great answer to the problem, she believes one of the state's existing solutions - the sex offender registry - is a pretty good solution, too.

The state's sex offender registry is where many convicted sex offenders are mandated to register once they are released from prison and out in the community.

But "it's not 100 percent," Izzo said.

While there are many people who agree with Izzo that the registry, albeit not perfect, is an important way to protect the public, others think making sex offenders register is unfair, for a variety of reasons.

For one, critics of the registry say, sex crimes are the only offenses that require offenders to register once they get out of prison, making it inherently unfair.

Registering also tends to brand the offender, so the process of obtaining housing and finding a job is more difficult, advocates for the offenders say.

"The whole registration process is unfair, particularly in Connecticut, which does not differentiate as to the severity of the offense," said Bethel criminal defense lawyer Dennis McDonough, who represents sexual assault defendants.

Mickey Sherman, the Greenwich celebrity defense lawyer and television news show commentator, agrees with McDonough.

"Sex offenders are not a one-size-fits-all problem," said Sherman, who has represented clients accused of rape, including Alex Kelly, the former Darien High School wrestler who fled to Europe before his 1987 rape trial and was then convicted in 1997 of raping his teenage neighbor.

McDonough noted that "no other crime requires registration, even the most violent."

"Registration also impedes the person's ability to comply with probation requirements," McDonough observed. "They cannot find housing, employment." Then the offender becomes a bigger burden to society, he added.

"Society wants to keep punishing alleged sex offenders but does not want to do anything to address the issue up front," McDonough said.

He believes "registration only speaks to revenge and further punishment," regardless of the actual facts of the incident.

"A 20-year-old sleeps with a mature-looking 15-year-old; he has to register the same as the person who rapes someone at knifepoint," McDonough said by way of example. "Both receive the same post-conviction stigma.

"Do we really think the 20-year-old is a recidivist who needs a scarlet S to protect society?" he asked.

What is really happening, he argued, is that sex offenders are easy to pick on due to the unpopularity of the crime and because politicians can score points by passing laws that neither protect nor alleviate the situation.

"Connecticut would much rather waste our money on prisons and post-conviction measures than on prevention. No headlines come from prevention," McDonough said.

Danbury criminal defense lawyer James Diamond, a former Danbury prosecutor, said he thinks registration is warranted in some cases but not in others.

"I think that there are cases where registration is justified, when there are real predators that the community should be protected from. With those predators, the community should be on notice," Diamond said.

"I've got four kids and I want them protected from the predators, too," he said.

Diamond said his problem with the registry is that too many times people who aren't what he calls "predators" must register.

"For example, the person who is downloading child pornography, where the victims are in Las Vegas, Los Angeles or Florida. It doesn't protect the public when they register in Danbury, where they live," he said.

Diamond said for many of these offenders, the punishment is "disproportionate with their crimes" and "makes it difficult to live a normal life."

However, Izzo, like many whose families have been victimized by a sex offender, is completely unbowed on the topic.

"These lawyers, they're really unbelievable," she said. "Why do they think because they (sexual offenders) served their time they shouldn't be registered?"
- Because it's cruel & unusual punishment, violates the constitution of double-jeopardy, due process, ex post facto, etc, and it's discrimination. No other criminal has to register, why only sex offenders?

She thinks shaming offenders by making them register is good thing.

"If you crawl back in your hole, you'll stay there," she said.

Izzo said that with a sex offender registry, "we'll have a better chance of protecting our children."
- How? I'd love to hear more than a small sound bite. They won't protect you... You may think you are safe, but that is all it is, a false sense of security.

Danbury Assistant State's Attorney David Shannon said the registry is a great tool for law enforcement and for the public. As for the argument that it's unfair, Shannon thinks that people should realize before committing sex crimes it's "one of the ramifications of these crimes."
- So does the death penalty stop murderers from murdering?

Danbury State's Attorney Stephen Sedensky said that the registry is "particularly beneficial in a stranger situation."
- But stranger situations account for 5% or less of all sex crimes, so you cannot justify punishing 100% of sex offenders for the deeds of a few other crazy folks!

By that he means it is helpful so people can be aware of sex offenders who live near them in their neighborhood.

"But with most sexual assaults the victim and the offender know each other in some capacity," Sedensky noted. "The stranger situation is on the low end of the cases."


AZ - Web site down after filing of suit

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Read more of this law suit at Corrupted-Justice.com. They will tell you the TRUE nature of Perverted-Justice and all these people mentioned here... :) I have also been personally attacked by these people, so they may see another law suit, depending on how this turns out.



02/28/2008



If you Google Jan Kruska's name, you'll find dozens of Web sites calling her a pedophile, a convicted child molester, a psychopath and an advocate for sex offenders.



Since she testified against sex-offender registries to a state legislative hearing in 2006, the 38-year-old mother of four has seen her picture, address, phone numbers and other personal information published on often-anonymous Internet venues.



Kruska, who lives in Glendale, is vulnerable to such attacks. Besides being an outspoken critic of sex-offender registration, especially for youthful offenders, she has a misdemeanor conviction for having sex with a friend's 15-year-old son 16 years ago.



But as of last Thursday, she has one less Web site to fight.



Jankruska.com, created by her critics to attack her reputation and silence her criticism of government sex registries, was shut down by the GoDaddy.com Web-hosting company after Kruska sued it and everyone associated with the Internet page.



Kruska said she filed the suit in U.S. District Court last month after spending more than a year in constant fear.



The suit accuses the Web-site creators of defamation of character, intentional infliction of emotional distress, cyberstalking and cyberharassment. She wants the judge to prohibit the defendants from ever posting about her again.



Kruska started her own Web site, operationawareness.com, in May 2006. At that time, she was writing under a pseudonym and living in relative obscurity in Glendale.



Five months later, she shared her thoughts about sex-offender-registration laws with a joint legislative committee on youthful sex offenders.



Kruska said that when she was 22, she was convicted of misdemeanor sexual conduct with a minor and was placed on three years' probation. She also was required to register as a sex offender, although her name doesn't appear in the Arizona Department of Public Safety registry because she is such a low-level offender.



Her testimony to lawmakers made the same points she had blogged about for months. She doesn't believe everyone convicted of a sex crime should be forced to register, and she isn't convinced that sex-offender registries make communities safer.



"I guess that was the nail in my coffin," Kruska said.



It didn't take long for bloggers who didn't agree with Kruska to discover her Web site, which is registered under her real name.



Soon, Kruska said, everything she had written had been taken, twisted and posted on other Web sites.



Kruska insists that she isn't a pedophile or pro-pedophilia. She just believes that lawmakers, seeking to get re-elected, have gone overboard when it comes to dealing with sex offenses.



The current system simply doesn't work, and it gives communities a false sense of security, Kruska said.



Instead of making children who engage in consensual sex register as sex offenders, Kruska said, more resources need to be devoted to the truly dangerous sex offenders — those who believe sex with children is normal and are likely to commit repeat offenses.



Moreover, she believes that so many restrictions are imposed on where sex offenders can live that many are living on the street, making them harder to track.



She also has been criticized for saying that the parents of some high-profile murdered and raped children didn't supervise their children as well as they could have, and she said sex-offender registries have resulted in vigilantism.



She bolsters her arguments with newspaper articles and editorials posted on her Web site.



"I don't know why they are picking on me, because there are a lot of people out there who are really sick. The only thing I can think of is they are afraid of the message," Kruska said.



One of Kruska's most ardent critics is Petra Luna, who calls herself the commander and chief of the Petra Luna Anti-Abuse Army and leader of the War on Abuse Movement.



"We are demanding at this time an unconditional surrender of all of your pro-pedophile Web sites," Luna wrote in a signed notice to Kruska on the jankruska.com Web site.

- See the PetraLuna MySpace page here... Or click the image below, in case they decide to delete it.







"I expect them to all be shut down by Oct. 15. If you do not comply with our wishes, we will launch a full-scale activist attack on you," Luna warned.



Luna threatened online to have her "activist army" push law enforcement to start questioning, "Why does a registered sex offender who persuades mothers not to report their child-molesting partners still have custody of her children?"



In a five-minute YouTube commentary, Kruska suggests that sex crimes often go unreported because families are afraid of the ramifications dictated by the government. There are times, she says, when counseling would be more beneficial than forcing offenders to go to prison and to register.



Luna did not respond to an e-mail interview request. But an anonymous representative of absolutezerounited.blogspot.com, another Web site critical of Kruska, did.



The "Absolute Zero Team" maintains everything it has ever written about Kruska is "true and verifiable," and that it is Kruska who is attacking Absolute Zero.



The response accused Kruska of mocking sexual-abuse victims. It said Kruska also posted statements on the Internet alleging some Absolute Zero members were child pornographers and molesters.



The group calls Kruska's lawsuit "an outrage."



Kruska said she has never mocked a sexual-abuse victim or labeled anyone associated with Absolute Zero a child molester or child pornographer.



Wikisposure.com — a subsidiary of the Perverted Justice Foundation, which also has targeted Kruska — also responded to questions with an unsigned e-mail calling the lawsuit "frivolous" and "completely without merit."



Richard Spinello, a Boston College professor who specializes in technology and ethics, compared the Internet to the Wild West. Hackers abound, and so do bloggers who have no sense of civility, he said.



"It's an interesting phenomenon," Spinello said. "People feel increasingly emboldened to attack and vilify people because it's a virtual environment and they have the impression there are no repercussions."



The reality is very few libel lawsuits involving the Internet have been filed because the First Amendment is so broad, Spinello said.



"I think it started on TV," he said. "Shows like 'Jerry Springer' kept pushing the envelope and pushing the envelope, and it spilled over into the Internet, sporting events and other venues, and it's gotten out of control."



Spinello doesn't see things changing anytime soon.



"It would be very hard to craft any law that would be respectful of the First Amendment and curtail the worst behavior," he said. "It's very hard to legislate moral behavior and make people behave civilly and respectfully."



Kevin R. Kemper, an assistant journalism professor at the University of Arizona, said it would be wrong to even try to pass laws "to regulate incivility on the Internet."



"People have a constitutional right to rant and rave," Kemper said, but unfortunately some bloggers tend not to think before they post. He predicted that people eventually will tire of the boorish behavior so common on the Internet.

- The do not have a right to bully, harass and threaten people, that is against the law, period!!



But until people decide to be nicer to each other, bloggers should simply understand that incivility is the price they may have to pay for posting their opinions, Kemper said.


PA - Unsecured Wi-Fi Could Compromise Identity

View the article here
How To Secure Your Wireless Network
Gibson Research - Test Your Machines Security

02/27/2008

SWARTHMORE (CBS 3) - The wireless internet signal you rely on for convenience could be making things easier for internet intruders. Police said hackers could be using your computer to download illegal music, child porn, or even your bank information.

Jamie Smith details how wireless pirates can frame you for their crimes.
Using a simple can antenna from his car, George Sandford can burglarize homes from hundreds of yards away out in the open and without wearing a mask.

"You can open bank accounts. You get drivers licenses, you can get practically anything you want," Sandford said.

All by using relatively low tech equipment, just about anyone with knowledge can hack into computers using unsecured wireless internet or Wi-Fi signals of unsuspecting people.

"I'm using your nickel to get my internet access," Sandford said.

Or maybe stealing your identity just by walking down the block of a small town in Delaware County.

"Each time you hear it 'pings' that's another network it's acquired," Sandford said.

Jamie Smith watched Sanford's laptop locate dozens of unsecured personal wireless signals from a residential sidewalk, enabling him or anyone with knowledge to tap-in and frame someone else for illegal activity.

"As far as the world knows, you're the one that's downloading the pornography. You're the one that's downloading the illegal music. You're the one that's attacking another network and they're not going to find me," Sanford said.

Cherry Hill Police Lieutenant William Kushina recently investigated a group of teens stealing someone's Wi-Fi.

"The kids were able to get onto a school district web site and change some grades," Kushina said.

Those hackers tapped into an unsuspecting family's computer, much like Jamie Smith watched happen.

"And now you're going online as her," Jamie Smith asked.

"Yup," Sanford said.

Leading police to occasionally knock on the door of someone not complicit in a crime, just a home left vulnerable by an unsecured signal.

"I can build a body of information about you, your back accounts," Sandford said.

Jamie Smith spoke to one unsuspecting resident, "We were able to get onto your internet just a few seconds ago," and Rebecca Hansen of Swarthmore responded, "No."

Rebecca is a client of Tech Guides Incorporated and George Sandford is far from a thief. He is actually Tech Guides' security expert. He sat down and showed Rebecca how to secure her Wi-Fi something everyone should do.

"Not securing your wireless networking is pretty much putting a sign on your house saying 'Hey, we're open,'" Sanford said.

Only about half of homes with Wi-Fi are locked. If you don't your computer's connection could be slowed down by others accidentally using your Wi-Fi.

(© MMVIII, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)


UK - 2 Child-Rape Victims, Now 19: Here’s How We Moved On With Our Lives

View the article here

Know this is what I have said before. If you always see yourself as a victim, you will always be a victim. You must get help, pick yourself up, and move on. Why dwell on the past, since you cannot change it?

02/27/2008

Two 10-year-old girls who made national news in the U.K. in 1999, when a convicted pedophile abducted and held them for four days, are now young women of 19. And, contrary to what many might have guessed, Lisa Hoodless and Charlene Lunnon have moved on with their lives with remarkably few difficulties despite their ordeal.

It included repeated rapes by a smelly, then-45-year-old man, at least one abortive murder attempt and a cruel claim that their captor had sought a ransom which their parents refused to pay, reports the London Times in a lengthy article detailing their experience and how they survived it.

Watching her father on television, while they were being held, Lunnon says, she could see from her father's face that he thought she was already dead.

Today, the two young women are close friends, although they were estranged for years in the aftermath of their terrible experience. One is in a long-term relationship and has a child; the other recently ended a relationship and plans to work with children. Both say their parents were more adversely affected by the crime than they were, although one has had nightmares and the other is still fearful of being alone at home.

However, they don't worry about living in the same area where they were abducted, because their attacker, Alan Hopkinson, will never be released from prison. He and the two girls were discovered in 1999 when police came to his home to question him after other parents complained about the way he treated their children.

Both Hoodless and Lunnon remember as one of the worst aspects of their entire experience the therapy they were required to undergo for months after their release. They wanted to put their ordeal behind them, but instead were forced to relive it in the therapy sessions. What helped them move on successfully, they say, was simply going ahead with their lives.

You can either go one way and [think] everything's ruined or you can go the other and put it behind you," says Hoodless. "That's what we did.”

In fact, there was even a positive aspect to their experience, which, as far as the actual crime was concerned, lasted only a very small fraction of their lives, says Lunnon. "If someone said you can take it back, I wouldn't take it back. It has made me so much stronger," she tells the newspaper. "It hasn't brought bad out, it has brought out good. It has made me appreciate things.”


ME - Affidavit: Man admits to killing Benn

View the article here

I don't know the entire story here, but, it sounds like self-defense to me, and I'm sure just because he is a sex offender, he will be in big trouble, when anyone else would've been set free for self-defense. We'll see. With being a sex offender, you are automatically guilty, and how in the world would he prove she came at him with a knife and it was self-defense, if it was?

02/27/2008

AUGUSTA — The man accused of killing 72-year-old Audrey Lou Benn on Friday confessed to police Tuesday night, according to an affidavit filed today in Kennebec County Superior Court.

Raymond Leslie Clark, 35, of Augusta, is charged with murdering Benn in her basement apartment on State Street in Augusta. He lived in an apartment one floor above hers. He told police he killed her because she “confronted him about being a sex offender and came at him with a knife,” the affidavit said.

Clark is scheduled to make his initial appearance in Kennebec County Superior Court at noon today.

According to an affidavit filed by state police Detective Jason Richards, Deputy Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Marguerite Dewitt found that Benn died of strangulation. Dewitt found bruises on Benn’s chin, right eye and on the right side of her mouth.

Richards’ report says Benn’s body was found across the head of her bed, with the tie of her green bathrobe around her neck

Clark was a target of the police investigation shortly after Benn’s body was found by her roommate who returned from work about 5 p.m. Friday.