Monday, September 29, 2008

The Thud Experiment - Part of The Trap video series from the BBC

I believe therapy can and does help people. But, this points out the early days of psychiatry. Read more about "The Trap" on Wikipedia. Also see more videos here.

UT - Clearfield sex offender can be anonymous online, judge rules

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You darn right it's unconstitutional!  Anybody in this state, who is not on parole or probation, this is your chance to fight this...


A federal judge has ruled that a state law requiring sex offenders to reveal their Internet screen names and passwords to the Utah Department of Corrections violates the constitutional rights of a Clearfield man.

U.S. District Judge Tena Campbell concluded that the man - identified as John Doe in court documents - retains his First Amendment right to anonymous online speech. The ruling bars the state Corrections Department from requiring Doe to reveal his online identifiers, which include names used in Internet chat rooms and instant messaging.

The judge stressed that her decision, which was handed down Thursday, applies only to Doe. She also noted that an analysis of the constitutionality of the law would be different for people who - unlike Doe - are on parole for their sex crimes.

The ruling is apparently the first in the nation to address whether sex offenders have the First Amendment right to speak anonymously online. It has no effect on the requirement that sex offenders register with the state.

The decision centers on a state law that took effect on July 1 requiring Utah's nearly 7,000 registered sex offenders to turn over certain Internet information, including screen names and passwords to social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace.

It is unclear if the decision could allow others on the sex registry to challenge the requirement once they are no longer on parole. The Utah Attorney General's Office is reviewing the ruling.

Doe, whose case is not typical of most sex offenders, served 13 months in the military corrections system after he was found guilty of carnal knowledge and sodomy of a minor, according to court records. After he finished his term, he was not placed on parole or supervised release and was never involved in the Utah state criminal justice system.

In June, Doe filed suit saying he had already served his time and the disclosure statute violates his free speech rights.

In her ruling, Campbell pointed out that nothing in the new law prevents the Corrections Department from linking protected anonymous online speech to a registrant and said that investigators have other tools, such as subpoenas, to unmask suspects in Internet sex crimes. In addition, she wrote, legislators could amend the law if the state wants Doe's Internet information strictly for law enforcement purposes.

Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death - Freedom, Liberty, and Modern America

WARNING: Video contains graphic images, viewer discretion is advised!

IN - Coroner: Intruder died of strangulation

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Well, this person was an idiot, and the family had every right to protect themselves. As soon as you step foot into someones home, you are fair game. It's also idiots like this, that cause all other RSO's to be further punished, because of a couple idiots!


A registered sex offender restrained by an Indianapolis father after a home break-in Sunday died of strangulation, the Marion County coroner has ruled.

David Meyers, 52, was dead by the time police arrived in the early morning at the home in the 3500 block of West 79th Street. He had climbed through a 17-year-old girl's bedroom window, wearing only a mask and latex gloves and carrying rope, condoms and a knife.

After the girl's father heard her screams, he struggled with Meyers, police said. Officers arrived to find Robert McNally, 64, holding Meyers -- with his arm around Meyers' neck -- in the kitchen. Meyers was pronounced dead at the scene.

An autopsy determined the cause of death to be asphyxia by strangulation with contributing cardiovascular disease, said Marchele Hall, the coroner's office manager. "He had heart problems," she said.

Matthew Symons, spokesman for the Marion County prosecutor, said McNally apparently acted in self-defense.

"Based on the facts we have, we don't anticipate filing any charges," Symons said. "We will do a standard review that we do in all such situations."

The incident occurred in the home that McNally rents from Meyers' uncle, a few hundred feet away from where Meyers lived with his mother. It left both Meyers' family and McNally, who got along well with Meyers and sometimes had dinner with him, wondering why he did what he did. Saturday, Meyers had dinner with family members and had been talking about joining a church.

In 1998, Meyers was convicted of criminal deviate conduct and criminal confinement, Marion County electronic court records show. He was sentenced to 13 years.

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WA - Spokane firefighter to sue over false child porn arrest

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So much for "Innocent until proven guilty!"


SPOKANE -- A firefighter who was arrested and accused by the Washington State Patrol of possessing child pornography, then was released after investigators determined he was innocent, says he will file a lawsuit.

"This still affects us daily. It caused severe damage," Fire Lt. Todd Chism says. "We're doing our best to deal with it, but it has been very difficult."

Patrol investigators said a credit card number linked Chism to a Yahoo account that was used to download hundreds of explicit digital images. After his arrest in January, some of his children's' friends were not allowed to visit the Chisms' home.

"In good faith, our detectives believe they did the right thing," Capt. Jeffrey DeVere said. "Nobody wants us to not do anything, or let children be victims."
- So what about proof?  Did you find anything except an account linked to someone?  Sounds like that is all you had.  And did you get a warrant to search his computer to see if he indeed had child porn on his machine?  Sounds like you did not, you just ASSUMED he was guilty!

There has been no internal affairs investigation into how the case was handled, DeVere said.
- Why not?  How are you going to see that this doesn't happen again, if you do not investigate how it occurred in the first place?

Marcus Lawson, a forensic expert and former federal agent hired by Chism's lawyer and now the president of Global CompuSearch, concluded that the evidence used to arrest Chism and search his home was "insufficient for a search warrant, let alone an arrest warrant."

Lawson's sworn affidavit was sealed when it was filed March 4 in Thurston County. Chism's lawyer, Carl Oreskovich, recently released 1,371 pages of the records to The Spokesman-Review. Citing privacy concerns, some details were withheld.

The case originated in the patrol's missing and exploited children unit with a tip that included a Yahoo e-mail account associated with downloading hundreds of digital images of child pornography.

Investigators found Todd and Nicole Chism's credit card had been used in one of the Internet protocol addresses associated with the Yahoo account, "but they couldn't definitively link the porn to the Chisms' computer or home address or anywhere," DeVere said.

Detectives found fraudulent activity had been reported on three of the four credit card numbers associated with the Chisms' Bank of America account but not the fourth, which was the one used to buy the porn, DeVere said.

The investigative file includes a letter from Bank of America confirming that a fraud complaint had been made for the fourth number in August 2007, but patrol detectives did not receive the letter until after Chism's arrest, DeVere said.

"When you have this type of crime, where time is of the essence for evidence destruction, we have to do everything we can for the safety of children and people," DeVere said. "We are going to investigate that crime very vigorously to make sure that children are not exploited."

IA - Sex Offender Law Has Unexpected Consequences

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UNDERWOOD -- Convicted sex offenders whose victims were minors can not live within 2,000 feet of a school or day care in the state of Iowa.

It's a law that's been in effect for the last six years, but KETV NewsWatch 7 found the restriction is creating colonies and driving others underground.

KETV NewsWatch 7 checked the Iowa sex offender registry and found there are six registered sex offenders who call a small Underwood hotel home.

Jermaine Reazer, a convicted sex offender, said he's having a hard time finding a place to live so he's forced to live at the hotel.

"That's the way it is, is they make you move out of their city, town and once you get into a place everybody else in the community wants to complain because there's a bunch of us living in the same area," said Reazer.

Convicted sex offender Neville Porter agrees.

"It sucks, because I'm more of a city guy, not a farm community. I've done my time. I just want to be left alone,"said Porter.

KETV NewsWatch 7 has learned the half dozen convicted sex offenders are forced to live in the hotel because it's the nearest place to the city they can live without breaking the law.

"When you kind of make them a pariah in the community like that, you often are then just creating a mental situation for them that makes it less likely for them to cope and more likely for them to reoffend," said Matt Wilber, Pottawattamie County attorney.

Wilber said he wants to get rid of the 2,000-foot restriction.

Wilber said not only is it creating colonies of offenders, it's driving a lot of them underground.

Wilber told KETV NewsWatch 7 that statewide, there's been about a 250-percent dropoff of sex offenders from the registry.

Wilber suggests instead of basing the law on where the sex offender sleeps, base it on where they can go.

Doing that, Wilber said, would better protect children.

KETV NewsWatch 7 spoke with state Sen. Nancy Boettger (Email), one of the initial supporters of the 2,000-foot rule.

Boegetter admits there needs to be some tweaking to the law.

Boettger said she'd support a bipartisan effort to change the law, but that it would probably only happen in a non-election year.

Nebraska does not have a statewide restriction, but cities can pass them.

In Omaha, convicted sex offenders are not allowed to live within 500 feet of a school.