Tuesday, September 30, 2008

DC- PEOPLE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE -- House of Representatives' Web site overwhelmed

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UT - AG Considers Appeal for Sex Offender On-line Anonymity Ruling

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Please see U.S. Supreme Court case on "Anonymous Free Speech"


(KCPW News) A ruling last week allowing a sex offender to keep his online identities private could be appealed. Attorney General Mark Shurtleff (Contact, Blog) says he's considering appealing the ruling on a new state law requiring sex offenders to reveal their Internet screen names and passwords to the Utah Department of Corrections. Shurtleff says the new law didn't strike him as unreasonable.

"We have a couple of options, we can appeal it. We've already talked to the Legislator about going back to the drawing board in January and perhaps editing out that part of the statute to satisfy Judge Campbell. It may be we go ahead and just take her decision up to a higher level. It's that important to keep our children safe," Shurtleff says.

U.S. District Judge Tena Campbell ruled the new law violates the First Amendment right to anonymous online speech. Campbell stressed her decision applies only to the plaintiff, an unidentified Clearfield man who never served parole for his crime. But the ruling might open up future challenges for sex offenders who are no longer on parole.
- Anyone in Utah, needs to fight this, or else everyone will be forced to do this.

AG candidate Jean Welch Hill says the new law should be reconsidered.

"And clearly we need to go back and look at that state statute that was passed," Hill says. "You know, we don't condone the activities of a sex offender, but certainly that you have committed a horrendous crime does not deprive you of certain rights in this country. And that's the system that we've set up, it's the system that we are expected to protect as Attorney General."
- So protect it!  If the Constitution means anything, and you are upholding your oath, then you will let this be ruled unconstitutional, because it is!

The law was created by House Bill 34 introduced last legislative session by West Jordan Representative Jim Bird (Email). The bill passed unanimously in the Senate, and garnered only three "Nay"-votes in the House by three Salt Lake County Democrats.

GA - On-Campus Public Pee Contests At UGA May Have Serious Consequences

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I’m not ashamed to admit to having some questionable judgment when ingesting large amounts of alcohol, but my idiot friends took the cake while tailgating for the UGA-Bama game.

After having to hit up the nasty messes known as porta-potties on numerous occasions on Saturday, they decided to find alternative places to go. It was hot, they were drunk, and most importantly, they were sick of waiting in lines when they HAD to go. So a few of them decided to just find places to go (usually between cars) and time themselves to see who went the longest. Both cool and classy, I’m aware.

While a friend finished timing his 1 minute, 7 second stream, he heard someone coming behind him. Unfortunately, it was a less-than-amused cop.

Although he got off with a warning, the cop informed us that during the GA Southern game he gave someone a ticket for public exposure under similar circumstances. The kid had previously been caught peeing downtown one night, and once again outside a party. That's three times and apparently there is a law that states if you are caught for public exposure on three occasions, you have to register as a sex offender. Yeah, like one of those guys you see on hidden-camera shows. The habitual public-pisser now can’t live within a certain number of feet of schools or even bus stops, and has to register his home location at all times. He relieved himself while drunk three times and now he’s publicly known as a sex offender. And it stays with you-undoubtedly influencing what job you get, where you can live, and most importantly, your social life.

So save yourself the embarrassment and either zip up, or at least adapt the public pee game to involve some sort of watchdog.

UT - Sex offender can keep online anonymity

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Related Article And PDF

Read the comments at the above article, and comment as well.  If something is unconstitutional for one person, who is not on parole or probation, it is unconstitutional for all.  Why should thousands of sex offenders have to waste their money in court to fight this?  If it affects one, it should affect all, period!


By Mary Richards and AP

A federal judge says Utah's law requiring sex offenders to reveal their Internet screen names and passwords violates the rights of one offender.
- No, it violates all sex offenders rights who are off parole and/or probation!

U.S. District Judge Tena Campbell's decision applies only to the Clearfield man identified in court papers as John Doe. He had a military conviction on sex offenses but was never in Utah's court or prison system. Still, he was required by Utah to register as a lifelong sex offender and turn over his online identifiers. The man sued.

A new Utah law requires sex offenders to reveal their Internet screen names and passwords, but the man said that violated his free speech rights because he already had served his time in the military corrections system.

It's unclear if any of Utah's other 7,000 registered sex offenders will challenge the requirement, too.
- Every RSO in this state, who is not on probation and/or parole, take this to court and fight it!

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, the judge said the issue may be interpreted differently for people who are on parole for sex crimes. John Doe is not.

E-mail: mrichards@ksl.com

ME - Committee studies sex offender management

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Sounds like this state, is finally wising up to the facts, and thinking about listening to the experts.


AUGUSTA -- Victims of sex crimes and the offenders often live in the same home, where the crimes also occur.

That was part of the message brought by Kurt Bumby, senior manager of the Center for Sex Offender Management, to a committee of legislators wrestling with the problem of how to manage sex offenders and increase public safety.

"Being grabbed in an alleyway sometimes happens, but those are the exceptions," Bumby said. "Strangers tend to be the exception."

The Committee on Criminal Justice & Public Safety met Monday at the Department of Public Safety offices in Augusta for a briefing on the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act.

In the second of three informational meetings, the panel heard from Bumby as well as from officials in four other states where policymakers have grappled with similar issues.

"We either reinvent the wheel or take a day and bring in the experts," Sen. Bill Diamond (Email), D-Windham, said. "This should enhance the effectiveness of what we're trying to do."

Diamond, Senate chairman of the committee, said the committee is dealing with three issues:

  • legal challenges to Maine's retroactive registration requirement filed by sex offenders;
  • the federal Adam Walsh Act, which is aimed at expanding the national sex offender registry and keeping track of offenders no matter which state they live in, while increasing penalties for crimes against children; and
  • a tiered system to classify offenders based on offense or risk to reoffend or both.

"We have our hands full," Diamond said.

Sen. Earle McCormick (Email), R-West Gardiner, said he was looking for information on how the state's sex offender registry can be more effectively administered.

"If we have a three-tier system, how do we figure who are the high risks?" McCormick asked.
- You hire experts in sex offender treatment and management to evaluate them!

Bumby told committee members that sex offenses are a small percentage of all crimes committed, but get a disproportionate amount of publicity.

He said research shows that those more likely to reoffend are those who rape adult women and those who victimize boys outside the family.

"Depending on whom they target, recidivism rates vary," Bumby said. "Sex offenders are not all alike."