Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Death Penalty and Sex Offender Registries


07/02/2008

Scott Henson at Grits for Breakfast offers a provocative post connecting a recent exoneration in a death penalty case with sex offender registries:

Sen. Shapiro sounds a little defensive, and perhaps she should. She's correct that Blair's exoneration indeed does not "diminish the fact that Ashley Estell was molested and murdered." What it does do, however, is demonstrate how easily the harsh laws Sen. Shapiro spearheaded can be applied to the wrong person. (The man DNA identified as Estell's actual killer died ten years ago without being prosecuted for the crime.)

Three factors contributed to Michael Blair's wrongful conviction: Inaccurate eyewitness testimony, shoddy forensic science, and assumptions of guilt by police based on Blair's past conviction for sex crimes. The sex offender laws Shapiro spearheaded institutionalized such assumptions - encouraging instead of preventing them - making it more likely in such cases the wrong person gets convicted and the guilty man goes free.

Frankly, IMO the whole sex offender registry idea was always more a public relations stunt than a public safety strategy. The registries includes too many petty offenders, they tend to be filled with errors and perhaps most importantly from a public safety perspective, research shows that "community notification deters first-time sex offenses, but increases recidivism by registered offenders." (emphasis added)

I think this is an interesting and essentially correct observation. This is not to say that the existence of registries made it more likely that someone would be falsely convicted. However, the assumption of the registry that all sex offenders are equally dangerous for life is also embodied in short-cut police work that sometimes causes tunnel-vision focus on particular suspects with prior convictions.


Linkfest: Sex Offender Mania Updates

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07/02/2008

Some recent stories bring back to the forefront the questionable constitutionality of finding ever more ways to demean, stigmatize and marginalize a sizable component of The Others Who Are Ruining America™ —

ITEM: Georgia and sex offenders, Part One

Five sex offenders filed a lawsuit Tuesday claiming that a tough new Georgia law that bans them from volunteering at churches also robs them of their right to participate in religious worship.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Rome, claims the Georgia law effectively “criminalizes fundamental religious activities” for sex offenders and bars them from serving as a choir member, secretary, accountant or any other role with a religious organization. “Even helping a pastor with Bible study or preparing a meal in a church kitchen will subject (sex offenders) to prosecution and imprisonment,” the complaint said.

MY TAKE: Keep in mind that not only are the First Amendment rights of the offenders being infringed here, but so are the rights of the churches. If they choose to allow sex offenders into their congregation (a hardly outlandish proposition, if their purpose is truly to save souls, do unto others, etc.), then they should be allowed to do so — no different than if I want to invite a sex offender into my home to do — well, to do whatever we darn well please. The furthest that the government ought be allowed to go is to impose context-neutral restrictions on (or liability for) allowing sex offenders unsupervised access to children (and remember — not all registered sex offenders are child molesters). Those who do not recoil in horror at the thought of being near a sex offender ought be allowed to do so, especially in the context of First Amendment activities. More details available from the Southern Center for Human Rights, which is representing the plaintiffs.


IN - New Indiana law already overturned in court

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07/01/2008

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - On the day it took effect, a federal judge has thrown out a new Indiana law requiring bookstores and other retailers to pay a registration fee if they want to sell sexually explicit material.

Judge Sarah Evans Barker ruled Tuesday that the new law is vague and too broad. The General Assembly passed the law earlier this year.

The American Civil Liberties Union took on the case on behalf of a team of plaintiffs that includes the Indianapolis Museum of Art, bookstores and publishers. The case named as defendants every county prosecutor in Indiana.

Barker says the new law could have applied to lawful and non-obscene materials such as R-rated DVDs or a widow selling a collection of old Playboy magazines at a garage sale.


FL - Bureau of Community Relations & Re-Entry - Re-Entry Summit - 2008

Restoration of Rights Summit


Facebook ruined my life after web hijackers stole my ID and branded me as a prostitute

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Sounds like some people I have came in contact with!

07/02/2008

A devastated woman claims her life has been ruined by web hijackers who stole her identity and set up a Facebook page branding her a prostitute.

Humiliated Kerry Harvey, 23, received obscene pictures on her mobile phone and unsolicited calls from 'punters' who accessed the profile.

The forged profile featured her correct date of birth, middle name and mobile phone number and listed her occupation as 'prostitute'.

Kerry, an advertising sales executive from Abbeydale, Glos., became aware of the scam after she was asked to be the 'friend' of someone bearing her name and photograph - which was taken from another website.

She has no idea who is behind the scam but thinks they added her as a friend so she would see the information - which was also available to thousands of people.

The growing phenomenon is a way for online bullies to target their victims anonymously and publicly humiliating them with little chance of being caught.

The 'distressing' discovery has prevented her from forging proper relationships and left her confidence in tatters.

Now she is pleading for tougher measures to be introduced in a bid to stop fraudsters cloning other web users.

She said: 'It was really distressing and I found it so offensive it really upset me.

'These sites are too open to abuse and should be closed down or made safer.

'Since it happened I've become really self conscious.

'I can't just go up to people and talk to them because my confidence has gone. But I feel I can't do anything about it because I have absolutely no idea who set it up.

'The person who created it has been able to control it.

'They are sick and should be banned from websites like this.'

The profile was up for more than a week before the person responsible closed it down.

Kerry contacted Facebook but was told experts could not find the profile as it had been deleted.

She also reported the abuse to police but was told it would cost thousands to track down the culprits by finding the IP address.

Sam Leeson, 13, was found hanged in his room in Gloucester earlier this month after he was targeted by online bullies on social networking site Bebo because of his interest in Emo music.

And in a landmark case, Mathew Firsht, 38, is suing an old school pal for damages in the High Court after his personal details were displayed on Facebook under a fake profile.

He has applied for damages after former friend Grant Raphael, 36, allegedly claimed he was a homosexual and added a link on called 'Has Mathew Firsht lied to you?' after the pair fell out in 2000.

Experts yesterday warned web users to be on their guard against the growing trend.

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at sophos, is one of the leading experts in identity fraud and has first hand knowledge of the problems online identity theft can create.

Fraudsters set up a page on Facebook and threatened to kill his wife and burn his house down.

He said: 'The biggest problem is that anyone at any time can set up a false profile without the other users knowledge and post anything they like.

'It's an anonymous way of posting things about people without detection.

'Millions of people use Facebook which is always going to leave users susceptible to this sort of thing.

'A jealous ex-lover or a stalker could easily create a page and it can be an extremely distressing and traumatising experience.

'Generally, people can try and avoid false profile pages by posting as little personal information - not just on social networking sites - but anywhere on the net.'


GA - Sex offender law virtually ineffective and unenforcable

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07/02/2008

No one in his or her right mind wants Georgia's public threatened by sexual predators. There must be a law to protect residents and their children from those depraved persons who rape or sexually assault victims vulnerable to such attack. There are factors though, that the General Assembly has repeatedly ignored as it enacted and then was forced to retool what is considered one of the nation's toughest sexual offender laws. The law is fraught with elements that leave it open to legal challenge. The law, incidentally, went back into effect again Tuesday.

The Legislature revamped the sex offender law this year after the state Supreme Court ruled that it violated property rights of certain persons who come under the law that dictates where registered sex offenders can live and work. Essentially, what the Legislature originally sought to do was restrict sex offenders from living anywhere they are likely to encounter children. The intent, to protect children, was commendable, but lawmakers overlooked certain consequences, and the statute guarantees one of two things will happen:

  • Registered sex offenders, unable to find anywhere to live and work in a city will violate the law by not registering with law enforcement agencies. This will bring harsh consequences for those who get caught failing to register, not to mention it will put great strain on already overworked police agencies charged with hunting down unregistered offenders.
  • Some sex offenders, unable to find places to work and live in municipalities, will gravitate to the countryside, putting a strain on small police and sheriff's departments in farm communities where officers will be forced to keep tabs on a growing community of sex offenders.

By using law in an attempt to establish cities free of registered sex offenders - and that's clearly the intent when everywhere children may congregate is off limits to anyone convicted of a sex crime - the Legislature extended its blessing to an unworkable statute. Already, there are challenges, one by a man who attained sex offender status by having sexual relations with a 15-year-old girl when he was 19, and who now faces life in prison because he said he lived somewhere other than where he was staying. His attorneys have asked the state court to rule the law cruel and unusual punishment.

Georgia's lawmakers failed in another crucial area: They did not specify who is a sexual predator, designating the most restrictive rules for violent, dangerous criminals. The bottom line is that for this law to be effective and enforceable, it needs revision, and it needs it now.

Phil Dodson/for the Editorial Board


OH - The Shadow of Addiction

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07/02/2008

When families and friends of sex addicts suffer because of the addict's behavior

Like the long shadow of a person cast by the late-day sun, the darkness cast by the actions of a sex addict covers his or her family with suspicion and fear.

The person who can't get enough sex will turn to prostitutes, young people who are vulnerable to adult influence, Internet chat rooms and other ways to get their fix. And when caught in the act, harsh judgments and vengeance follow.

By the nature of their proximity, the spouse, children, parents and others who are close to an addict must deal with the consequences of the addiction before and after it's revealed.

The modern-day witch hunt of removing former sex offenders from any community is frequently done out of fear for the safety of children, but for Robin Carlyle of Cincinnati (not her real name) and her children it meant being harassed, driven from their home once and trouble in another neighborhood.

"After he got out of prison we moved to (a new community) to give him a fresh start," Carlyle says of her husband, Richard Meyer (not his real name). "But as soon as he'd been out of prison a couple of weeks, someone found out about him. Starting then it was horrible -- people came and told us they wanted us to leave. Nobody would talk to my kids anymore. They had to go to the bus stop and nobody would even talk to them.

People sent us really bad letters. They wanted us to move a certain number of miles away. They were trying to stipulate all of that."

Meyer was convicted in another Midwestern state of attempting to solicit sex with a minor over the Internet in what turned out to be a sting operation with a police officer posing as a 13-year-old girl.

Carlyle, Meyer and their children tried to build a new life in a Cincinnati suburb but were finally forced out when their efforts to be reasonable were met with hatred. Unable to endure the pressure that came with being married to a convicted sex offender, Carlyle separated from and then divorced Meyer before moving to a new neighborhood with their son and daughter.

"When I moved in, the neighborhood planned this big neighborhood meeting to talk about getting me out," she says. "I wasn't invited to it because they thought he was living with us. I found out about it through a friend ... so I went to that meeting and told them he's not living with us. We were divorced, and they thought I was hiding him in the house. It was extremely difficult."

After a "very public" arrest, Meyer participated in an intensive therapy program in an effort to avoid a conviction. He was eventually sent to prison for two years and now is required to register as a sex offender. The family moved to Greater Cincinnati to be near relatives and rebuild their lives after being ostracized by their community in St. Louis.

Not all sex addicts engage in illegal activity -- masturbating 30 times a day is not a crime -- and those who are arrested for a sex crime and seek treatment have a low recidivism rate. Like any addiction, there isn't a cure, but treatment does help many addicts learn what healthy sexual activity is, deal with the root cause of the inappropriate behavior and find ways to avoid acting out in the future.

'Take two Prozac and call me back'
Sexual addiction is like a drug or alcohol addiction: The addict uses physical pleasure to fill a void (see "When Lust Takes Over," issue of Feb 8, 2006). In the same way one person begins to drink and can't stop, another person can never get enough sexual pleasure to satisfy his ever-increasing need.

The pursuit of sex becomes an obsession that takes over, and the consequences of pursuing this desire can be just as devastating for the family.

"I came home from work one day," Carlyle remembers. "The computer was gone, he was gone, there was no one in the house and I was frantic. I called the police and found out he was downtown in the jail. He was on suicide watch, then. ... I was completely devastated and in shock. I didn't believe it or even understand it. You don't understand anything about a sex addiction until you start reading about it.

"It had been going on for years. Before we were married, he said he would meet with prostitutes. ... What he told me was that any time that he spent off the computer was a waste of time for him. That's how bad it got."

It's difficult to understand how one person living with another can be so engrossed in an addiction without the partner or spouse knowing about it. How is it possible that this devastating and life-altering addiction remains hidden?

"Someone with an addiction like that can look you in the face, and you don't know that they're lying," Carlyle says. "It's almost like a challenge for them to lie. I just always believed him. He was my world."

Carlyle found a therapist to help her cope with the loss of her world. She continues to participate in group sessions six years later.

"I was totally devastated," she says. "That's one of the reasons I'm still in the group. I'm trying to work through things."

Stuart Bassman deals with the consequences of addiction in his role as associate professor at the University of Cincinnati and in his private practice as a therapist. He guides a number of groups that include former sex offenders and people who were hurt by offenders, victims as well as family members.

Bassman is quick to point out that this isn't a clear-cut problem with an obvious or one-size-fits-all solution. The highly charged nature of sex and sexual abuse in our culture, along with the irrational fears and responses related to any deviation from a narrowly defined norm, make it difficult for people to seek help.

"There is no simple answer to this," Bassman says. "There's no, 'Take a Prozac and call me back in the morning.' The person who's acting out is acting out a need to find some comfort outside of themselves because they're unwilling to face certain defects within themselves.

"What happens with the person who has a relationship with a person with a sexual addiction, or any addiction, is a sense of blaming themselves: 'What am I doing? What am I not doing? How is it my fault?' Before they became cognizant or conscious of the sexual addiction, they had cues, they had clues, there were signs: catching them on the Internet, being aware of certain furtive behavior, the lying, the deceitfulness -- but you just can't put it all together."

People in a co-dependent relationship must learn which person is responsible for what in order to develop a healthy relationship with the addict.

"They can follow the Rule of C's and the Rule of G's," Bassman says. "They need to ask themselves whether they cause the problem, whether they control the problem, whether they can change the problem or whether they can cure the problem. As a parent or significant other, usually they say yes for one of those. If they say yes to any one of those, they have the fifth C: They go crazy."

What follows are feelings of anger, remorse and depression because a spouse or parents blame themselves for the problem.

"So what do they do? They progress to the Rule of G's," Bassman says. "They get off the person's back. They get out of the person's way. They get on with their life. Letting that person deal with their stuff is helping them.

"All of the people I see struggle with the Rule of C's. They feel like they caused it: 'I should have known my son was doing this. I should have known my husband was... I should have known my wife was...' Should have, should have, should have. People 'should' all over themselves."

It's about emptiness, not sex
The people related to sex addicts often don't know about the sex addiction before it enters their lives, so they have no idea how to cope. Because most people are oblivious to the fact that sex can be an addiction, the intolerance, ridicule and judgmentalism that are applied to an addict's behaviors spill onto those nearest to them.

Bassman makes this point via the latest high-profile case of a public official brought down by a sex scandal: Eliot Spitzer. He resigned as New York Governor after being named as a "John" in a federal investigation of a high-priced prostitution ring, where he was one of several long-time customers. His wife, Silda Wall Spitzer, stood with him as he resigned with what many call an expression of shock on her face.

"Why are people afraid to speak up?" Bassman asks. "Why are people so embarrassed, ashamed? You need to look at Eliot Spitzer's wife. Sexual addiction is an addiction of lying, of deceit. Lying to oneself and lying to others -- it's leading a double life.

"The point is that the person is responding to a profound sense of emptiness, like the alcoholic. The person is responding to a pronounced sense of emptiness, depression, loneliness and it's not because there's no one else there. It's because they're not there."

The conservative radio talk show host Laura Schlessinger publicly blamed Silda Wall Spitzer for her husband's behavior, assuming an inability to satisfy her man and more effort on her part would have prevented his illegal behavior.

"If Laura Schlessinger said, 'He wasn't getting what he needed at home,' it's because he wasn't at home," Bassman says. "He needed to be at home. He needed to be real, authentic, sincere, grounded, centered -- then he would have not in a very desperate, compulsive and addictive manner gone out there."

The secret life of an adult-aged child can also have a devastating impact on his parents. Bill Henderson of Cincinnati (not his real name) experienced this firsthand when just over a year ago his thirtysomething son Brian (not his real name) stopped by to talk.

"It was on the day that he was first questioned by the FBI," Henderson says. "Following that interrogation he was very shaken by the whole thing and he came to our house. Our son has a range of psychological difficulties that go back quite some time. Just how far back isn't clear to us or to him. But those problems are ones of anxiety, low self-esteem and things of that nature. These underlying problems, which were triggered by who knows what, contributed to his behaviors in a number of dimensions, of which the use of pornography is one. He also uses alcohol and some drugs.

"It was some sort of coping mechanism for his underlying problems. As part of his use of pornography, at some point in time he ran into child porn on the Internet and added that to the repertoire of things he was looking at."

As a result of the FBI investigation, Brian lost his job and fiancé and possibly will lose his freedom when he eventually faces criminal charges.

"There's the natural dimension of being upset when your child, even though he's an adult, is facing the kind of problems that he's facing -- psychologically, socially and legally," Henderson says.

The first thing he and his wife did was seek the help of a therapist. The couple knew they wanted to support their son but didn't know how to do it when still reeling from the revelation.

"The struggle we face is more that it's happening to (us)," Henderson says. "The impact of it is to assault the dreams that I have for my son and for myself and for my wife. (I) dream, for example, of my son being able to experience the joys that I have in being married for decades.

"At the moment, his income is half of what it used to be. Eventually he'll be forced to sell his house. There's a myriad of things people never think of as consequences of this situation."

After therapy sessions with his son and participating in a group, Henderson believes Brian will be OK in spite of all the hurdles.

The only way a spouse, family member or friend can help a sex addict is to get to know who that person is and deal with that person, Bassman says.

"You grieve the loss of an image," he says. "You grieve the loss of an illusion. The people who are in relationships with someone who has a sexual addiction need a place to grieve. Those are the people who come to see me. You need to be aware of your attachment to an illusion."

Bassman describes the Buddhist notion of attachment, from which all suffering comes: By not having something -- or not having it as much as we want -- we become unhappy. If we identify and let go of the desire to have something or someone, then we eliminate the suffering.

"When I work with a sexual addict, what we work on toward recovery is helping them to get honest, and honest means whole," he says. "The treatment for sexual addiction -- for the addict and the co-dependent -- is getting honest. But it's very hard to hear that honesty. It isn't pretty. It's ugly."

Blame is denial
There is a tendency to want to place blame, but that's not coping, according to Bassman.

"It's not accepting what is," he says. "Denial is 'Don't even know I am lying.' So the person's not even aware they're lying -- blaming is a form of denial. It's a form of denying and distorting reality because you don't want to accept (the) reality that people lie to each other even in intimate relationships."

Schlessinger's blame of Silda Wall Spitzer is misplaced and dangerous because it shifts attention away from the truth. A public figure ignoring the ugliness of sex addiction makes it appear as though it's OK for everyone else to ignore it, too.

Carlyle says she understands why people don't want to deal with the truth of sex addiction but now understands it's the wrong approach.

"In the beginning, when you really love someone, you try to find excuses," Carlyle says. "A relationship with my ex-husband is very difficult now. He's extremely controlling, which is one of the characteristics of someone with an addiction. The more I've learned and the less I let him control me, the more difficult it's been. The more he gets angry and intimidates ... he's very controlling with the children."

The eldest, a teenage boy, is angry with his father for what he did and the impact it's had on their lives. The youngest, a girl, still defends her father. The children were small when the arrest happened, but as they've gotten older they learned what their father did and have had to deal with the repercussions.

When they first moved back to the Cincinnati area, Carlyle tried to help the children prepare for being asked about Meyer's prison term.

"My son wanted to say (his dad) was away on a business trip because he was ashamed," she says.

When it was time to go to Kings Island, her kids weren't allowed to offer a carpool ride with their father because Carlyle didn't want to run the risk of a parent being worried about her husband's behavior. Meyer isn't legally required to stay away from children, but Carlyle doesn't want a repeat of the scene made by the parents of a child driven to day camp by her ex-husband who confronted her about why she allowed their child to be put at risk by the encounter. Thus a new parenting skill became "teaching them to manage situations like that."

"Now the kids are older, they know how to manage it," Carlyle says. "None of their friends know anything about it. It's almost like they've had to have a secret life, even though it's not anything about them. They never want to talk about it, hate to talk about it. ...

"You see something on the news about how someone was arrested, so I try to bring it up so I can see how they're doing. But it's something neither one of them want to talk about."

Despite the terrible things she and her children have had to endure, Carlyle says she's a better person because of this experience.

"There were issues with control that I didn't see, so (it's) better for the kids ... that they're not in the environment," she says. "I want them to be aware and not fall into the same pattern. It's very seductive. He was very charming, he still can be ...

"You hope you never have to go through it, but if you have to, positives are possible."


WI - Allouez adopts ordinance restricting sex offenders

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07/02/2008

But law doesn't go as far as bans in other municipalities

ALLOUEZ — It may not be a blanketed approach, but the village took a precedent-setting step toward restricting where sex offenders can live in the community.

The Village Board voted unanimously Tuesday to adopt a sex offender residential density ordinance stating only one sex offender may live in a given residence.

Residences include, but are not limited to, single or multi-family housing, apartments and hotels or motels.

While the issue is similar, the concept is vastly different than the ordinances Green Bay and Ashwaubenon have adopted, which restricts residency for any sex offenders period, said Steve VandenAvond, village president.

"The data doesn't support doing that at this time," he said, adding the board will keep those restrictions as an option, should the need arise. "We haven't fallen asleep. We're keeping our eyes on it. We're just taking a very measured approach, instead of a knee-jerk reaction."

Resident Pat Collins said this kind of ordinance is not enough — the board should take measures to restrict sex offenders completely.
- You can't restrict people completely, this person apparently doesn't know the constitution.

"It seems like you're trying to reinvent the wheel," he said. "We're not trying to protect the buildings from sex offenders, we're trying to protect the children of Allouez from sex offenders."

Resident Bill Sweasy commended the board for taking such a "level-headed approach" and not following in the footsteps of other municipalities.

The density ordinance was created as a way to protect the village from becoming a "dumping ground" for sex offenders from neighboring communities that restrict them from moving in, VandenAvond said.

So far, that hasn't been an issue and the village did not see a significant increase of sex offenders after Green Bay adopted its ordinance, said John Flannery, directed enforcement officer for the village.

Trustee Randy Gast said the board should take the residency restriction up again in the future.

"This is just a piecemeal approach," he said. "This is a step in the right direction but I don't think it goes all the way it needs to go."


PA - The whole system just went against him

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07/02/2008

A WEEK BEFORE Kenneth Keith Kallenbach died, the Delaware County comedian's health had deteriorated so badly that prison officials tried to send him home on "compassionate release."

Kallenbach, 39, a longtime member of Howard Stern's "Wack Pack" who suffered from cystic fibrosis, was rapidly shedding weight while jailed on a parole violation.

Even the Upper Chichester cop who arrested him in March for allegedly trying to lure a teenage girl into a car was shocked by his gaunt appearance at his preliminary hearing April 15.

"He looked bad," Officer Michael Smalarz recalled last week. "I said, 'Kenny, man, you're really losing weight.' "

He was dying.

But despite the mid-April request that Kallenbach be released - a practice reserved for seriously ill, nonviolent inmates - the county probation office insisted that he stay in jail until he could undergo a psychosexual evaluation, according to John Reilly Jr., acting superintendent at the George W. Hill Correctional Facility.

Delaware County Adult Probation and Parole Services refused to send Kallenbach home, Reilly said, even though he was being held on a parole violation from a prior DUI arrest - not on the attempted-kidnapping charge involving a minor. Kallenbach's mother, Fay, already had posted bail on that charge.

It wasn't until the morning of April 24 that a county judge agreed to rescind the warrant on the parole violation.

Kallenbach had died a few hours earlier at Riddle Memorial Hospital.

"It was just too late," said Fay Kallenbach, who intends to sue the prison for failing to treat her son's cystic fibrosis, a chronic condition in which abnormally thick mucus builds up in the lungs and digestive system.

A painful memory

He died more than two months ago, but his mother still has trouble holding back the tears when she recalls her final moments with her son in the hospital's intensive-care unit.

"He tried to open his eyes, and his eyes rolled back in his head and he never regained consciousness," she said. "All I saw was skin and bones. He had lost so much weight, he just looked emaciated. I held his hand for a while and talked to him. Evidently, his brain was working but his body had shut down."

Reilly declined comment yesterday because of the pending litigation, but in an interview shortly after the death he defended Kallenbach's treatment.

He said that Kallenbach was seen twice a day by a nurse and had access to "all of his prescribed" medication and an oxygen machine, but that he had been refusing treatment.

An April 30 autopsy performed by Delaware County Medical Examiner Frederic Hellman did not immediately reveal a cause of death, and the tissue-analysis results have not come back.

Hellman initially had declined to conduct an autopsy, accepting the determination by hospital clinicians that Kallenbach had died from pneumonia and septic shock due to complications from cystic fibrosis. But he decided to perform the examination after the family raised concerns about his medical treatment. At that point, Kallenbach's body already had been embalmed.

"We're in America," Fay Kallenbach said. "He shouldn't be dying in jail from pneumonia when they knew he had cystic fibrosis."

Kallenbach posted $5,000 bail shortly after her son's March 17 arrest on charges of harassment and attempted luring of a child.

He was returned to prison custody a week later, however, because the arrest, and the fact that he had been driving a car without a breath-alcohol ignition interlock device, violated his parole on an old DUI charge, Reilly said.

"He called me, and he was so weak I could hardly understand him," Fay Kallenbach said. "He said, 'Mom, do whatever you can, please, to get me out of here because I don't think I'm going to make it.' "

She blames the prison for her son's death, claiming that the medical staff failed to treat his cystic fibrosis, but says that the probation officials who kept him there are "equally responsible." She said he had managed the chronic ailment by taking enzymes to help digest his meals and by using a salt-water breathing machine at their Boothwyn home.

Awaiting information

The family's attorney, Harold I. Goodman, said that he is awaiting additional records before deciding whether to sue the county and the GEO Group, a Florida-based firm that runs the prison. Goodman said that he has notified both entities that his firm is investigating the matter.

GEO spokesman Pablo Paez declined to comment on the case. Reilly said a deputy warden called the county probation department around April 17 and asked if Kallenbach could be released due to medical reasons while he awaited a hearing on the parole violation. The prison occasionally contacts judges, prosecutors or probation officers to request "alternative incarceration" for nonviolent inmates who are "gravely or seriously ill," Reilly said in April.

The practice - which also saves money because the publicly funded prison is no longer responsible for expensive medical care - typically is used for inmates such as Kallenbach jailed on a probation or parole violation, rather than convicts serving time, Reilly said. The request was denied, according to Reilly. Fay Kallenbach still can't understand that.

If a judge had set bail at 10 percent of $50,000 on the more-serious criminal charges and determined that Kallenbach was not a danger to the community, why wouldn't the probation department let him out on house arrest when he became sick?

"The whole system just went against him," she said.

Mark Murray, the deputy director of Delaware County Adult Probation and Parole Services, who Reilly said had blocked Kallenbach's release, declined to comment on the case.

Kallenbach - known for his cheesy rock songs, goofball antics on "The Howard Stern Show" and the occasional movie cameo - was a notoriously heavy drinker, but didn't have a history of violent crimes or sex crimes, Upper Chichester Police Detective John Montgomery said.

"He was picked up a couple times for intoxication and stuff like that, but he wasn't viewed as a dangerous criminal or anything - not until this latest incident, which raised eyebrows," Montgomery said.

Police say Kallenbach tried to pull a teenage girl into his car on March 17. At his preliminary hearing, Magisterial District Judge David Griffin held him for trial on all charges, including attempted kidnapping. The case never made it to trial.

Fay Kallenbach said that her son was driving to the post office that afternoon and yelled to a 16-year-old girl, " 'Hi, I'm Kenneth Keith,' because everyone knew him in Boothwyn from TV commercials and appearances. He was just friendly that way and would hand out his little business card he had."

She says that county officials treated her son as if he were guilty of a sex crime by insisting on a psychosexual evaluation while he was dying in jail.

"He was accused of it, but he didn't have his day in court," she said. "He was never convicted."


FL - Ex-officer gets probation in sex case

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07/02/2008

A former Gulf Breeze police officer pleaded no contest Tuesday to having sex with a woman in exchange for not arresting her.

A judge sentenced Duane Leifur, 38, of Gulf Breeze to five years' probation on a count of unlawful compensation or reward for official behavior.

The second-degree felony carried a maximum penalty of 15 years in state prison.

The State Attorney's Office dropped a first-degree sexual battery count against Leifur as part of a plea deal, Assistant State Attorney Gregory Anchors said.

"This has had a very traumatic effect on the victim," Anchors said. "It brings a lot of emotional pressures on anybody. The victim in this case is no exception."

Leifur was ordered to surrender his police certification. A plea in a felony case constitutes a lifetime ban from police work in Florida, said Heather Smith of the Florida Department Law Enforcement.

"It would be up to the other states and their requirements to decide whether to hire him," Smith said.

As part of his plea, Leifur must serve six months' house arrest beginning Sept. 15, attend sex counseling and give a blood sample for HIV testing.

Anchors said that Leifur, who resigned from the Gulf Breeze Police Department about a year ago, had no previous disciplinary record within the department.

Circuit Judge Gary Bergosh said Tuesday that Leifur had served "honorably" before the incident but noted the former officer had abused his power for his personal benefit.

"You were a law enforcement officer in a position of public trust," Bergosh said. "Unfortunately, you violated that trust."

The victim did not attend Tuesday's 15-minute hearing. Leifur and his attorney, Michael Griffith, did not comment as they left the Santa Rosa County Courthouse.

According to arrest papers, Leifur pulled the woman over in April 2007 on suspicion of drunken driving. Rather than administering a field sobriety test, he took her home in his patrol car. He reminded her that he previously arrested her husband and asked if she wanted to be arrested.

Leifur gave her his business card and told her to call him. The victim said she wasn't sure how much trouble Leifur could cause for her. Arrest papers said she called him the next day.

Leifur and the victim had about 50 sexual encounters at her home, at his residence and inside his patrol car, over a three-month period, arrest papers said. All of the incidents occurred while Leifur was on duty.

The victim said she didn't report Leifur immediately fearing retaliation against her and her family.


GA - New Sex Offender Law Comes Under Fire

View the article here

07/01/2008

ATLANTA -- A new sex offender law in Georgia took effect on Tuesday, and already it has come under fire. The law keeps registered sex offenders from working or volunteering in places of worship.

Supporters of the new law say they're not trying to stop anyone from attending church -- they just don't want to see sex offenders in leadership roles. Opponents say the law infringes on their freedom to worship.

One registered sex offender spent eight years in prison -- now he says he is at home with a Bible, in church.

He served time for a rape he committed as a teenager 15 years ago. He has since joined a church where he has volunteered as an usher, occasionally cleaning the church grounds, and working on church vehicles. He has had to stop that volunteer work, or risk going back to prison.

"When someone turns their life around, they should be allowed to do those things," he said. "It's taken my ability to follow my religion; to follow my God -- to do what he dictates in the Bible."

Georgia law now dictates that the 15,000 registered sex offenders living in the state must stay away from working or volunteering at schools, day-care centers, or places of worship. The exception are offenders who were employed at a place of worship before the law took effect, but no hiring of sex offenders from here on -- and no volunteering at all.

Supporters of the law say it doesn't stop offenders from attending church; in fact, one state lawmaker encourages it -- however --

"Because a volunteer can work in any area, we wanted to make sure the legislation would protect our children, our women, our families," said Sen. Justin Hill (R-Cobb County). "You've given up rights by committing a crime -- in this case, you've given up rights by committing a sexual crime."

The offender who talked with 11Alive's Jerry Carnes said he'll still go to church, but can't be as involved with the very place that helped turn his life around.

The new law is the subject of a federal law suit filed by lawyers on behalf of five registered sex offenders who insist it infringes on their right to worship. Supporters say the law was written with the support of many in law enforcement.


GA - More Registry Errors



Here is some more registry errors in Georgia. What good is the registry if the people entering the data cannot enter the data correctly? This is from the SOR.CSV from the GBI web site, which can be downloaded here.

01) Here, this person was born in 1979, went back in time to 1198 and was convicted. Then came back to the present day and registered in 2007. I'm sure this should be 1998, but why can't they fix this? How do they make these simple mistakes?

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02) And again here, born in 1971, went back in time to 1901 to be convicted then. Probably another typo that should be 2001.

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03) This is just an example to show how far this stuff goes. Born in 1929, convicted in 1940 and did not register until 2004. Which is strange, because the registry came to be in 1996 in Georgia, so why does this not say some date in 1996 when he registered? Wonder if he was in prison? Who knows... Plus it shows the last time the residency was verified was in 2006, two years ago. It doesn't say he is in prison or absconded, so either the person is dead and still on the registry or someone is not doing their job....

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04) WOW, this person was 4 years old when he was convicted. Yeah, typo. Plus it says he is not incarcerated and absconded and the last verification was in 2005, so either the person is dead, or on the run since 2005. No photo either. So what good is it?

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05) Another baby. Born in 1952, convicted in 1959 at 7 year old. Wow.. He must have been arrested recently, since it says he's incarcerated and residency was verified in 05/01/2008. Wonder why he's incarcerated? It would be nice if it said why... Was it a violation? Or was another crime committed?

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06) Another baby. Born in 1961, convicted in 1961. Currently incarcerated. But why? A violation or another crime?

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07) And another baby, born in 1976, convicted in 1976. I know, these are probably typos, but there is many typos in the CSV file, that is my point here.

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ID - 20 Year Old Woman with 16 Year Old Boy...Guilty??

No, I am not saying this is right, just posting it because it's related.


MADtv - Sesame Street: Internet Pedophile