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WEST HAVEN — A controversial ordinance that would have banned registered sex offenders from walking on a public beach or through a park won’t make it onto the city’s books any time soon.
The proposed ordinance stalled in a City Council committee Monday night, where it will remain in limbo until after the state overhauls its own sex offender registry laws. The state is likely to change its laws within the next year to meet the requirements of the federal Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, which requires the establishment of a three-tiered system for labeling sex offenders.
“We can’t conflict with state law,” Councilman Stuart M. Arotsky, D-4, said, adding: “In my mind, the tiered system does make sense.”
The proposed ordinance would have established “child safety zones” and made it illegal for anyone listed on the state’s Sex Offender Registry to enter such zones. According to language in the legislation, public places such as beaches, swimming pools, gymnasiums, sports fields, parks and playgrounds would be off limits.
Dozens of residents spoke for and against the ordinance at an emotional public hearing held earlier this month. Several local and regional civil rights attorneys also have weighed in on the debate, warning such laws violate the U.S. Constitution and do little to protect children.
Corporation Counsel Peter Barrett wrote a letter to the City Council advising members not to pass the ordinance due to several concerns over whether the ordinance could withstand a constitutional challenge. Barrett also noted that the “uncertain status” of state law regarding sex offenders makes it unwise to move forward with a local ordinance. He said the Adam Walsh Act mandates the state to comply with new regulations by July 2009.
Critics of the proposed ordinance argue that the current state sex offender registry does little to differentiate between low-level offenders, such as people convicted of statutory rape, and high-risk, violent offenders who are more likely to offend again. Other opponents to the law and similar anti-sex offender legislation say the offenders are being punished twice for one crime.
“They were arrested. They were convicted. They served their time. ... Who are you to keep persecuting them?” resident Michael Hickey asked the council Monday.
According to state law, people convicted of sex crimes can be put on the registry for a lifetime or period of 10 years, depending on the crime. State statute offers sex offenders on the registry the opportunity to request a hearing to prove they are no longer a threat and seek to have their name removed from the list.
The city has 56 registered sex offenders, but that number can change daily and is rising, Police Chief Ronald M. Quagliani has said.
Proponents of the ordinance vow to keep fighting for it once the state amends its sex offender registry laws.
“I absolutely want to make this happen,” Councilman Stephen W. DeCrescenzo, D-at large, said after the meeting.
Abbe Smith can be reached at email@example.com or 789-5615.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
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WASHINGTON - An estimated 3.2 percent of jail inmates (24,700) reported one or more incidents of sexual victimization in a survey mandated by the Prison Rape Elimination Act, the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics announced today. About 1.6 percent of all inmates (12,100) reported an incident involving another inmate, 2.0 percent (15,200) reported an incident involving jail staff, and 0.4 percent reported being victimized by both other inmates and staff.
The survey limited reporting by inmates to incidents occurring in the past 6 months or since their admission to the jail, if more recent. Sexual victimization is defined as all types of sexual activity, including inmate-on-inmate nonconsensual sexual acts and abusive sexual contacts or unwanted touching. It also includes both willing and unwilling sexual activity with staff. An estimated 1.3 percent of inmates (10,400) said they had sex or sexual contact unwillingly with staff, and 1.1 percent (8,400) said they willingly had sexual contact with staff.
The survey was conducted in 282 randomly selected local jails between April and December 2007, with a sample of 40,419 inmates. Eighteen jail facilities had an overall sexual victimization rate of at least twice the national average of 3.2 percent, and 18 facilities had no reports of sexual victimization from inmates.
The Torrance County Detention Facility (New Mexico) recorded the highest overall rate of sexual victimization (13.4 percent). When sexual victimization excluded allegations of touching only, the Torrance County Detention Facility remained the highest with 8.9 percent, followed by the Brevard County Detention Center in Florida (7.8 percent), the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Detention Center in New Mexico (6.7 percent), and the Southeastern Ohio Regional Jail (5.8 percent).
Overall, 0.6 percent of all jail inmates reported an injury related to sexual victimization. Among all victims, 16 percent reported minor injuries (such as bruises, cuts, or scratches), 8 percent reported being knocked unconscious, 6 percent reported anal or rectal tearing, 6 percent internal injuries, 3 percent broken bones, and 2 percent knife or stab wounds.
Inmate-on-inmate sexual victimization most often occurred in the victim's cell or room (56 percent of reports). Staff-on-inmate sexual victimization most often occurred in a closet, office, or other locked room (47 percent). Nearly 62 percent of all reported incidents of staff sexual misconduct involved female staff with male inmates; 8 percent involved male staff with female inmates.
An estimated 5.1 percent of female inmates compared to 2.9 percent of male inmates said they had experienced one or more incidents of sexual victimization. About 4.6 percent of inmates ages 18 to 24 reported sexual assault, compared to 2.4 percent of inmates age 25 and older.
Inmates with a sexual orientation other than heterosexual reported significantly higher rates of sexual victimization. An estimated 2.7 percent of heterosexual inmates alleged an incident, compared to 18.5 percent of homosexual inmates, and 9.8 percent of bisexual inmates or inmates indicating "other" as an orientation.
The Prison Rape Elimination Act requires the Bureau of Justice Statistics to conduct an annual data collection to measure the incidence of prison rape in at least 10 percent of the nation's correctional facilities. It also requires the Attorney General to provide a listing of institutions ranked according to the incidence of prison rape. As a consequence of sampling error, the survey cannot provide the three jail facilities with the highest rates of victimization.
The survey consisted of an audio computer-assisted self interview (ACASI) in which inmates, using a touch-screen laptop, interacted with a computer-assisted questionnaire and followed instructions via headphones. Inmate participation was voluntary, with 67 percent completing the survey.
The report, Sexual Victimization in Local Jails Reported by Inmates, 2007 (NCJ 221946), was written by BJS statisticians Allen J. Beck and Paige M. Harrison. Following publication, the report can be found at www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/abstract/svljri07.htm.
For additional information about the Bureau of Justice Statistics' statistical reports and programs, please visit the BJS Web site at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs.
The Office of Justice Programs (OJP) provides federal leadership in developing the nation's capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice and assist victims. OJP has five component bureaus: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; and the Office for Victims of Crime. Additionally, OJP has two program offices: the Community Capacity Development Office, which incorporates the Weed and Seed strategy, and the Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking (SMART) Office. More information can be found at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov.
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We learned recently that NBC-TV has killed off that "To Catch a Predator" TV show.
I hate child molesters as much as the next guy and perhaps even more considering that I once did what is perhaps the definitive article on NAMBLA, the North American Man-Boy Love Association.
But there was something particularly odious about the way in which NBC's Chris Hanson set himself up as an arm of law enforcement, all the while pretending to retain his journalistic objectivity.
I did a column on this last summer after one of my evening runs on the beach was interrupted by the presence of a TV crew and the blow-dried Hanson posing on the dunes.
Here's that column, which was headlined "Predator's Victim is Journalistic Ethics"
You may recall articles in this newspaper just before July 4 about New Jersey residents who were driving to Pennsylvania to bring back fireworks that are illegal in this state.
Now imagine that I was looking for an idea for a column and I came up with this scheme: I would e-mail one of my readers and tell him that, just for fun, the two of us should drive over the state line to buy fireworks. I would then arrange for the police to arrest him the minute he crossed the Delaware River. And I'd have a photographer record the whole thing.
You'd probably think I was highly unethical.
Sort of like Chris Hanson.
I had never heard the name "Chris Hanson" until one evening last week. I was running on the beach in Mantoloking with my dog Betty when I came upon what looked like a movie set.
As I got closer, I saw that the lights and cameras were pointed at one of those amazing heads of hair that signals a television personality.
It was Hanson. An onlooker told me that he was shooting a scene from the NBC program "To Catch a Predator." A bunch of Internet sex deviates had been lured to a house there in hopes of having sex with an underage girl.
Great, I thought. Just what Ocean County needs: More perverted idiots from up north.
I didn't catch the first airing of the show, but one of my neighbors gave me a summary.
"I've never seen such a pathetic bunch of losers in my life," he said.
He was talking about the alleged molesters, but he could have been talking about the characters at NBC who thought up this show. One of the key tenets of journalistic ethics is separation between the media and the government. If the government wants to chase down child molesters, good for the government. The more it catches, the better.
But the role of the media is to report on the arrests, not facilitate them.
"It's a creepy way to get ratings," said Fred Brown, who is on the ethics board of the Society of Professional Journalists. "This is the classic end-justifies-the-means argument, but the means are pretty damn far over the edge if you ask me."
The edge in question involves the difference between reporting events and instigating them, which journalists are not supposed to do. The people at NBC recognize this rule of ethics, but they claim they are not violating it. NBC spokesperson Jenny Tartikoff maintains that it is not the network that is initiating the sting but the watchdog group Perverted Justice, a volunteer group that makes contact with the wannabe perverts online. To hear Tartikoff tell it, all NBC does is record the result:
"Perverted Justice personnel coordinate their activities with law enforcement authorities," she wrote in an e-mail. "Dateline's involvement with law enforcement primarily involves reporting on the activities of law enforcement."
Sounds good, but in fact Perverted Justice is paid by NBC to set up the stings, about $75,000 an episode. And that was unethical enough that producer Marsha Bartel refused to do the show. She was later fired and is suing NBC for $1 million.
Her lawyer, Roger Simmons, said Bartel refused to do the show because "NBC was trying to step her into the role of quasi-drama as opposed to news reporting."
And "Dateline NBC" is violating all the rules of news reporting. Reporters aren't supposed to assume false identities and make false statements to get a story. Yet NBC is paying people to do just that.
Even the theoretically noble goal of getting these potential perverts locked up could be tainted, Simmons told me. He said he suspects NBC is cooperating with the cops mainly to avoid getting sued. Once these guys are hit with criminal charges, they are less likely to file a civil action against the network, Simmons said.
But from an ethical standpoint, it would be better if the TV guys stuck to TV. They could simply videotape the encounters and then let the police decide after the fact how to handle the prosecution.
Instead, the network gives a live video feed to law enforcement, said Simmons. But that didn't prevent the network from getting at least 20 subpoenas in the resultant criminal cases, he said. This is another entanglement that journalists try to avoid, said Greg Leslie of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.
"If you're subpoenaed, you lose the ability to argue you're acting independent of law enforcement," said Leslie. That independence is essential to the process of news gathering.
If you doubt that, please let me know. I'll invite you to go buy some fireworks in Pennsylvania next July. Maybe we'll just come back to Jersey, drink some beer and set them off in my backyard.
Or maybe not.
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The fear from the mass hysteria and moral panic fueled by the media and politicians is now gripping the world, and you will be caught in the grips soon. What usually starts in the UK, comes here. We can all thank the feminists, John Walsh, Mark Lunsford and the others who helped instill this fear into everyone.
A quarter of the adult population faces an "anti-paedophile" test in an escalation of child protection policies, according to a report.
The launch of a new Government agency will see 11.3 million people vetted for any criminal past before they are approved to have contact with children aged under 16.
But the increase in child protection measures is so great it is "poisoning" relationships between the generations, according to respected sociologist Professor Frank Furedi.
In a report for think tank Civitas, he said the use of criminal records bureau checks to ensure the safety of children and vulnerable adults has created an atmosphere of suspicion.
As a result ordinary parents - many of whom are volunteers at sports and social clubs - now find themselves regarded "potential child abusers".
The checks were introduced to tighten procedures to protect children after school caretaker Ian Huntley murdered 10 year olds Jessica Chapman and Holly Wells in Soham in 2002.
However, there are growing fears that the measures have now gone too far.
Professor Furedi said most adults now think twice before telling off children who were misbehaving, or helping children in distress for fear of the consequences.
He said that the need for the checks had transformed parents "in the regulatory and public imagination into potential child abusers, barred from any contact with children until the database gives them the green light".
From next year the new Independent Safeguarding Authority will require any adult who come into contact with children or vulnerable adults either through their work or in voluntary groups to be vetted.
But Prof Furedi's report, Licensed to Hug, highlighted examples of when adult-child relationships were distorted by the need for CRB checks already being required by schools and other organisations.
In one example, a woman could not kiss her daughter goodbye on a school trip because she had not been vetted.
In another, a mother was surprised to be told by another parent that she and her husband were "CRB checked" when their children played together.
In a third example, a father was given "filthy looks" by a group of mothers when he took his child swimming on his own in "a scene from a Western when the room goes silent and tumbleweed blows across the foreground".
Prof Furedi details how one woman was made to feel like a "second class mother" because she was barred from a school disco because she did not have a CRB check.
Prof Furedi, a sociology professor from Kent University, said that "adults are no longer trusted or expected to engage with children on their own initiative".
He said: "When parents feel in need of official reassurance that other parents have passed the paedophile test before they even start on the pleasantries, something has gone badly wrong in our communities.
"We should question whether there is anything healthy in a response where communities look at children's own fathers with suspicion, but would balk at helping a lost child find their way home."
Prof Furedi, the author of a book called "Paranoid Parenting", said there was a trend to treat parenthood as a "professional endeavour that demanded increasing regulation and monitoring".
Prof Furedi said that CRB checks did not "provide anything like a cast-iron guarantee that children will be safe with a particular adult".
"All it tells us is that the person has not been convicted of an offence in the past," he said.
He called for a national review to demonstrate the need to "improve and clarify adult authority".
Prof Furedi said: "The adult qualities of spontaneous compassion and commitment are far more effective safeguarding methods than pieces of paper that promote the messages 'Keep Out' and 'Watch Your Back'."
Figures show that volunteering is on the decline with 13 per cent of men saying they would not volunteer because they were worried people would think they were child abusers, according to a survey last year.
The report comes after Children's Commissioner, Sir Al Aynsley Green, said 50,000 girls were waiting to join the Guides because of a shortage of adult volunteers, partly caused by the red tape of the CRB process.
Martin Narey, chief executive of children's charity Barnardo's, said his behaviour had been affected by the suspicions around adult-child relationships.
Writing in The New Statesman, he says: "I am likely to usher my wife forward if a child falls over in the street, lest my picking up the child could be misinterpreted. We need to address that. Adults - particularly men - should not routinely be seen as potential child abusers.
"And we need urgently to expose the nonsense of 'stranger danger' and convince parents that, although the risk of a child of theirs being abused at all is small, that risk comes not from lurking strangers, but from people known by their children - often relatives - who are able to exploit a child's trust."
However, he stressed that not to run any checks on past behaviour that could point to potential abuse would be "scandalously reckless" and he supported plans for the new Independent Safeguarding Authority whose work he said "will restore parental confidence" in adults who volunteer to help groups like the Scouts.
The CRB said yesterday that it will process 3.6 million checks this year - up from 3.4 million last year - of which 20 per cent were for volunteers.
Vince Gaskell, the bureau's chief executive, said he did not believe that CRB checks were poisoning the relationship between adults and children.
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RALEIGH - Efforts to enact the Jessica Lunsford Act in North Carolina have hit a snag. The budget doesn't include money for the new prison cells that will need to be built to house violators of the law.
"The current budget... does not factor in the cost of this bill," said Rep. Dan Blue, D-Wake, who chairs a House Judiciary Committee that is taking another look at the bill.
Legislative fiscal analysts estimate that the proposed law, which would give a minimum 25-year prison sentence to an adult convicted of raping a child younger than 13 years old, would cost about $1.5 million for 20 new prison cells. Other costs would put the total at an estimated $2 million for the first year of the new law.
One of the sponsors of the bill, Rep. Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, said he did not think the snag was a delay tactic and was hopeful that the bill would still be approved before the General Assembly adjourns later this month.
Blue also said he hoped the committee would take up the bill again during a meeting next week. The Senate handler of the bill, Sen. David Hoyle, D-Gaston, was also optimistic.
"That's not a reason it won't get passed," Hoyle said. "That's not a problem."
The bill passed the House last year. Earlier this month, a modified version of the bill passed the Senate. The House committee is now reviewing the changes made by the Senate. If the House approves the Senate changes, the bill will go to Gov. Mike Easley for his signature.
The bill would also require lifetime GPS monitoring for people who rape children once they are released from prison. It would strengthen sex-offender registry requirements.
People on the registry would be prohibited from being on the premises of places where children are known to congregate, such as schools, playgrounds and children's museums. They wouldn't be allowed to go to an area where regularly scheduled meetings of children take place.
The proposed law would require a 30-year sex-offender registration for people convicted of offenses against a minor or for violent offenses. The current law requires a 10-year registration.
It would also require registration of offenders moving to the state within three business days. Currently, such offenders have 10 days to register.
Supporters of the bill say that another issue needs to be resolved. They need to work out a way to allow people on the sex-offender registry who are parents to go to schools to pick up their children.
That can be accomplished with separate legislation and does not need to hold up the bill containing the Jessica Lunsford Act, Moore said.
The proposed law is named in memory of Jessica Lunsford, a 9-year-old Gaston County native who after moving to Florida, was kidnapped, raped and murdered by a sexual predator in February 2005. John Couey, a registered sex offender, was convicted and sentenced to die for the crimes.
Police lost track of Couey. He was staying with his sister, who lived in the same neighborhood as Jessica.
- And Couey begged and begged and begged to treatment, yet nobody gave him the treatment he begged for. If they would have, Jessica would still be here today. So the system failed Mark's family, Jessica and John Couey.
Barry Smith can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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RALEIGH -- Sex offenders may be required to provide their e-mail addresses to the state under a plan being discussed in the General Assembly.
A House judiciary committee approved a measure Thursday that would require sex offenders to provide their e-mail addresses, screen names and user IDs to law enforcement officers.
State law already requires sex offenders to provide their home addresses, photographs and fingerprints.
The reporting requirement would dovetail with another proposed law that would prohibit sex offenders from using online social networking sites that are accessible to children.
The woman who beat her 7-foot-3 sex-offender neighbor with an aluminum baseball bat was bailed out of jail last night by an unknown person, according to the Pierce County Sheriff's Department.
Tammy Gibson left jail around midnight after Advanced Bail Bonds paid her $15,000 bail.
Although the bail bonds company isn't releasing the source of the money, a "Free Tammy" movement to raise money for Gibson's bail was organized after she was charged with second-degree assault and a felony harassment on June 20.
Both Gibson and the sex offender, William Baldwin, were arrested June 18. Baldwin was charged for failing to register as a sex offender at his most recent address and is being held on $20,000 bail.
So far, no volunteers have offered money to free Baldwin.
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HIGH SPRINGS – Tonight, the High Springs City Commission will conduct a second and likely final reading of an ordinance limiting where in the city sexual offenders and predators may live.
Ordinance 2007-38 in High Springs would create a new chapter in the town’s code of ordinances which details laws by which sexual offenders and predators must abide.
The law specifically prevents either sexual offenders or predators from living within 2,500 feet of schools, child care facilities, parks and other areas where children frequent.
High Springs Mayor Larry Travis said the ordinance will help keep children out of contact with sexual offenders and predators.
“There are a number of sexual offenders and sexual predators in our area,” Travis said, noting that the ordinance was the subject of positive feedback following an initial public hearing recently.
The ordinance not only affects sexual offenders and predators though. It also calls for requirements, responsibility and penalties for property owners and agents that lease or rent to “certain sexual offenders and sexual predators.”
The adoption of sexual offender and predator residency ordinance by High Springs follows the adoption of similar ordinances by the City of Newberry and other towns across the state.
The public hearing is slated for the commission’s June 26 meeting which begins at 6:30 p.m. at High Springs City Hall.
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Politics as usual, bust out the child abuse issues, so we can get votes.
Boston - Fielding candidates in under a quarter of legislative elections, Republicans are determined to use pending child protection legislation to force Democrats to choose between bucking House leadership or risk being seen as soft on crime.
Legislative Republicans spy in the debate over the so-called Jessica’s Law one of their rare opportunities to bring public pressure to bear on the majority party. Like they did with the help of the Romney administration in 2006 in passing an emotionally freighted drunk driving law, Republicans say, they could be able to overcome long odds against Democratic leadership to add mandatory minimums to anti-child rape statutes, first in the Senate, and then in the House, which has already passed its own version.
“There are going to be some very clear choices about whether we’ll be consistent with the intent of the original law or not,” said Sen. Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester) on Wednesday. “So, to that extent, I think there’s a tremendous potential for it to be a wedge issue.”
The state GOP faces difficult challenges in making even small inroads into the Democratic lock on the Legislature. Party officials say they have fielded a small number of outstanding candidates, but incumbents rarely lose on Beacon Hill, and Republicans face built-in disadvantages like organization, funding, and the fact that Massachusetts is a heavily Democratic state in a presidential election year expected to bring out voters in droves.
Nevertheless, some Republicans think they can make Democrats look bad with the child-protection issue. Top Democrats are pushing a version of the bill, backed by all of the state’s district attorneys and Attorney General Martha Coakley, that they say would give prosecutors more tools.
Sen. Robert Creedon (D-Brockton), Senate chair of the Judiciary Committee, said the House bill would likely clear the Senate without difficulty.
“I would say that the Senate would view it quite favorably, especially the compromise,” Creedon told the News Service. “I think it is legislation that would be not ignored.”
Mark Lunsford, whose daughter Jessica became the inspiration for mandatory-minimums for child rape after she was abused and murdered, visited the capitol Wednesday, and urged residents to lobby lawmakers for a 10-year minimum for anyone convicted of using force to rape a child.
“Compared to what you already have, yeah, it’s good,” an emotional Lunsford said of the House version. “Compared to what you can do, you can do more.”
Joined by GOP lawmakers and victims’ families, Lunsford said, “Don’t politic our kids anymore. Don’t debate their safety.”
Forty-three other states have some version of Jessica’s Law, said Rep. Karyn Polito (R-Shrewsbury), who has appeared on national television to tout the bill.
“They can’t all be wrong,” she said.
- Yes they can, none of them have the balls to stand up for the constitution anymore and peoples rights. They are more worried about their careers than upholding the constitution.
Beacon Hill’s resistance to Jessica’s Law has been taken up nationally as an example of being soft on crime, and Republicans here are determined to press their Democratic colleagues, some said last night at a state Republican Party fundraising dinner.
Asked for examples of how the GOP could narrow the significant deficit it faces in both chambers, several mentioned Jessica’s Law as a way to put Democrats on an unpopular side of an emotional issue.
“People are outraged that we haven’t passed that bill,” said Rep. Bradford Hill (R-Ipswich).
House Judiciary Committee co-chair Rep. Eugene O’Flaherty did not respond to a request for comment.
Tuesday night’s headliner, former Gov. Mitt Romney, encouraged Republicans to point out to the public examples of Democrat fiscal mismanagement.
But attendees of the 300-member dinner acknowledged that their numbers put them at an all-time disadvantage. “I don’t think it’s going to get any worse. I think there’s a lot of feeling out there that we need a two-party system in this state,” Hill said.
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Days before a new law takes effect on the classification and movement of sex offenders, the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada filed a federal lawsuit against Nevada's attorney general, the department of public safety and various law enforcement agencies, claiming the law is unconstitutional.
"We think the law is irrational and vague," ACLU lawyer Margaret McLetchie said. "It changes how people will be classified and defined as a sex offender, and subjects these people and their families to violence and the possibility of losing their jobs."
The new law, passed by the 2007 Legislature and effective Tuesday, was designed to bring Nevada into compliance with the federal Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, said Assemblyman Bernie Anderson, D-Reno, who was vice chair of the Select Committee on Corrections, Parole and Probation that sponsored the bill.
- And if they are not compliant, they lose federal grant, so it all comes back to money and greed! It's the American way!
The state was at risk of losing millions of federal dollars used for registration of sex offenders and community notification if it did not bring its statutes in line with the Act, he said.
- This is called EXTORTION, which is, or was a crime!
Cindy Pyzel of the Nevada attorney general's staff said they had not seen the lawsuit and could not comment, adding they are committed to upholding the act.
"There's a presumption that the legislators are acting according to our constitution," she said.
- What? No they are not, if they were then they'd knock the law down as unconstitutional! The government is corrupt and they do not have the balls to uphold the constitution, which they took an oath to uphold. So we have a bunch of greedy liers in office who care nothing about the American public, but their own wallets.
According to the suit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court of behalf of a dozen offenders in Washoe and Clark counties, the new law creates confusion among people now listed as sex offenders and has sparked fear in others who would be pulled into that category,
Currently, offenders are assessed based on the risk of re-offending, the suit said. Under the new plan, they would be classified based on the crime. Some now considered low-risk Tier 1 offenders will become Tier III offenders, the highest risk to repeat the offense, and will be required to follow a new list of rules, the suit said.
"Numerous people not previously considered 'sex offenders' will now fall under the changed definition and will be required to register and subject to community notification and other onerous requirements and limitations," the suit said.
"These restrictions are being imposed retroactively, regardless of the limitations imposed, or not imposed, on offenders at sentencing," the suit said.
- And this is a violation of ex post facto laws.
Part of the problem, the suit said, is that the law states that a person will now be considered a sex offender if the crime committed falls within the definition of a "sexual offense."
"This definition is extremely broad and far-reaching," the suit said. It includes crimes committed as far back as 1956, and could include "relatively minor, victimless offenses, including misdemeanors" such as stealing pornography from a store, the suit said.
One of the plaintiffs, identified as Doe 5, lives in Reno and accepted a plea deal in 2003 for one count of lewdness with a minor younger than 14, the suit said. He said he was intoxicated, and allowed his 11-year-old daughter to touch him inappropriately while clothed, the suit said.
- Everybody accepts plea deals, out of fear of long prison terms. See the video I posted here.
He immediately recognized the serious nature of what happened, told his wife, turned himself into the Washoe County Sheriff's Office and sought counseling, the suit said. He served five years of probation, was classified as a Tier I offender and has been living a normal life.
But in May, the Nevada Department of Public Safety told him that as of Tuesday, he will be classified as a Tier III offender, the suit said. He was told that his home is too close to a trail head that leads to a park and playground, so he must sell his house and move.
"Doe 5 believes that the financial burden of selling a house that was purchased just last year will bankrupt his family and destroy the business that he recently started, especially in the current economic climate," the suit said.
And having his photograph and name posted on community Web sites will result in his family "being singled out for scorn and ridicule and perhaps for threats of violence or destruction of property," the suit said.
Thank you Michael Moore for exposing this CORRUPT system on INJUSTICE!!
AMERICA NEEDS TO WAKE THE HELL UP!!
And everyone says, why would you take a plea deal if you did not do it, well, here you go... This happens ALL THE TIME!!!! But no, blind America doesn't want to believe it, until it slaps them in the face!!! NO JUSTICE!!!
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See the video at the end of this article.
OK, so now the Supreme Court means nothing, a long with the Constitution. WE ARE INDEED A NAZISTIC COUNTRY NOW... So the Supreme court says it's unconstitutional, which is the highest court, and EGOMANIACS in office will continue to BREAK THE LAW and do it anyway. Yep, America has lost it's way.
So when is someone going to get on national TV and tell the American public the Supreme Court has been eradicated, you no longer have any rights, and the Constitution is burned on TV? It would not surprise me if they actually did this. Might as well!
After Supreme Court ruling, incensed politicians vow to keep trying to execute child rapists
Angry politicians vowed to keep writing laws that condemn child rapists to death, despite a Supreme Court decision saying such punishment is unconstitutional.
- Everybody struggling for power. Just make Bush the DICTATOR like he wants and be done with it.... Then you all will be happy, apparently!
"Anybody in the country who cares about children should be outraged that we have a Supreme Court that would issue a decision like this," said Alabama Attorney General Troy King, a Republican. The justices, he said, are "creating a situation where the country is a less safe place to grow up."
- So if you start killing the undesirables in this world, the world will be safer? Is that what you are saying? Sounds like it to me... Hitler once said that as well.
The court's 5-4 decision Wednesday derailed the efforts of nearly a dozen states supporting the right to kill those convicted of raping a child — and said execution was confined to attacks that take a life and to other crimes including treason and espionage.
- We are no longer the land of the free, but the land of the imprisoned!!!! SLAVES!!! And everyone is sleeping and willing to let one groups rights be eradicated. I bet when they come for you, you will start screaming. What happened to the Constitution? It died about 10 years ago....
At issue before the high court was a Louisiana case involving Patrick Kennedy, sentenced to die for raping his 8-year-old daughter in her bed, an assault so severe she required surgery.
In his majority opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote "the death penalty is not a proportional punishment for the rape of a child," despite the horrendous nature of the crime.
Republican Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal called the ruling "incredibly absurd," "a clear abuse of judicial authority" and said officials will "evaluate ways to amend our statute to maintain death as a penalty for this horrific crime."
- Go back to exorcising demons Bobby, you are dillusional and need help. You claimed you cured someone of cancer. Hitler thought he had that kind of power as well, and MILLIONS OF PEOPLE DIED because he thought he was doing God's work... MURDER IS MURDER, and that is a sin, and we call outselves a Christian nation??? I don't think so!!! We are a nation of hypocrites, that is obvious!!! Does anyone even remember why the Constitution was created? For this very purpose!
Oklahoma officials said they, too, weren't ready to give up, and would "certainly look at what options we have," state senator Jay Paul Gumm said. "I think the people of Oklahoma have spoken loudly that this is one of the most heinous of crimes."
Even White House hopefuls joined the fray. Republican John McCain called the ruling "an assault on law enforcement's efforts to punish these heinous felons for the most despicable crime." Democrat Barack Obama said there should be no blanket prohibition of the death penalty for the rape of children if states want to apply it in those cases.
- More proof this country has lost it's way. The Constitution was created to PREVENT abuse of power, and this ABUSE is running RAMPANT in this country.
Forty-four states prohibit the death penalty for any kind of rape, and at least four states besides Louisiana permit it for child rape — Montana, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas. There's disagreement over the status of a Georgia law permitting execution for child rape, although Justice Kennedy said in his ruling that it was still in effect.
- Well this is 44 states who are doing what is right. The American public has been bombarded with death and other sick crap on TV for a long time, and now, death doesn't even phase people. Now I find that SICK!!! I hope the world does end soon and the Lord comes and judges people for their deeds, I'd be happy...
Following the ruling, all become unconstitutional.
In Texas, Republican Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst said Wednesday that most Texans believe the death penalty is "an appropriate form of punishment for repeat child molesters. Our top priority remains protecting our most precious resource — our children."
- No it's not, it's greed and money. You are exploting children for your own evil desires. Read the Bible for once in your life... Nobody wants a child to suffer, not me anyway, but eradicating peoples rights and killing people is wrong, period.
But the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault, a nonprofit victim advocacy group representing 80 rape crisis centers, applauded the ruling.
- By sentencing people to death, then the offender will surely kill the victim, that is a given, and I personally think this ruling saved many children. And I'm sure I'll catch hell for saying that, that is obvious, but I do not care what people think to be honest. Just because the majority of people want something, doesn't mean it's right. They all wanted Jesus killed as well, does that mean it was OK?
"Most child sexual abuse victims are abused by a family member or close family friend," the group said in a statement. "The reality is that child victims and their families don't want to be responsible for sending a grandparent, cousin or long time family friend to death row."
Nationwide, only two men have been sentenced to death for sexually abusing children — both in Louisiana. The second case involves a man convicted of repeatedly raping a 5-year-old girl. Both men will get new sentences.
- I wonder if Bobby Jindal was Governor then? He claims he exorcised a demon from someone, and I'm sure he thinks sex offenders are demon possessed, so why doesn't he try his mojo on them?
Several states, including Missouri, Alabama and Colorado had been considering similar laws.
- That is because everyone wants to follow the bandwagon, and are afraid to oppose the laws out of fear for looking like they are pro-sex offender, that could end their careers. That is the real reason, NOBODY HAS BALLS IN CONGRESS ANYMORE, they are all cowards!!!
In South Carolina, Republican Attorney General Henry McMaster said states could ultimately fight Wednesday's ruling by waiting for a change in the makeup of the Supreme Court, or by getting legislatures to redo death penalty laws.
- So I guess they are going to change the laws and eradicate the Supreme court? Or change it so it doesn't have the power it does? If that happens, we are ALL SCREWED!!
Legal experts were divided on the potential success of such tactics.
According to Douglas Berman, a law professor at Ohio State University, the justices' ruling appears ironclad. "In the absence of death, the death penalty is off the table," he said. The court, he said, "could have left open the possibility of revamping child rape laws, by age for example, but it did not."
Law professor Deborah Denno of Fordham University wasn't so sure. It could be possible to argue for the application of the death penalty against attackers who "intended to kill" their victims, but didn't, she said. Or those who assault especially young children, such as toddlers.
Associated Press writers Mark Sherman in Washington, Jeffrey Collins in South Carolina, Janet McConnaughey in Louisiana, Phillip Rawls in Alabama, Jim Vertuno in Texas and Sean Murphy in Oklahoma contributed to this report.