Different variations of the same speech. I like the first one the best!
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
View the article here
Audio at the above site, and below.
By Odette Yousef
Legislators are worried that the state will lose track of homeless sex offenders in the wake of yesterday's Georgia Supreme Court ruling. The court called the state's sex offender registration law, quote, unconstitutionally vague, when it comes to how the homeless should keep law enforcement apprised of their whereabouts.
Representative David Ralston (Email), who wrote the sex offender law, disagrees with the ruling, and worries about what it will do:
RALSTON: The effect if this ruling is to leave an entire group of registered sex offenders now exempt from the address requirement, so these folks are going to be dropping off the radar now.
Ralston says he will probably write legislation to amend the law when the General Assembly reconvenes in January:
RALSTON: I think we're going to have to require that registered sex offenders who are homeless notify their local sheriff's office on a very frequent basis as to their whereabouts.
Justice George Carley dissented from the majority, saying the law doesn't require offenders to have a permanent address, and therefore it applies equally to the homeless.
DETROIT - Kwame Kilpatrick was sent off to jail for four months on Tuesday for his part in a sex-and-text scandal and was given a tongue-lashing by the judge, who chastised the disgraced ex-mayor for his arrogance and disregard for the rule of law.
The sentencing before Wayne County Circuit Judge David Groner served as the finale to the scandal that destroyed Kilpatrick's reign at City Hall and threw local government into disarray for months.
"At a time when this city needed transparency, accountability and responsibility, you exhibited hubris and privilege at the expense of the city," said Groner, who ordered the sentence during a lengthy afternoon hearing.
He ruled that Kilpatrick not be given an opportunity for early release.
But county sheriff's spokesman John Roach said in a statement shortly after the sentence that Groner didn't have the standing to order Kilpatrick not receive time off for good behavior.
The judge's ruling "does not override Michigan Statute that says a sheriff shall credit all sentenced county jail inmates with one day good time for every five days served, provided the individual is a model inmate," Roach said.
County prosecutor Kym Worthy sided with the sheriff's interpretation, saying during a news conference after the sentencing that Kilpatrick is eligible to receive early release for good behavior.
She predicted he would not serve the full 120 days if he behaves well behind bars.
Kilpatrick, 38, pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice, admitting he lied about an affair with his chief of staff while testifying in a civil lawsuit in 2007. He also pleaded no contest to assaulting a sheriff's detective.
That 120-day sentence will run at the same time. He also was ordered to serve five years of probation and pay the city $1 million in restitution. Kilpatrick paid $20,000 Tuesday to the City of Detroit as his down payment on the restitution.
Despite the prosecution's request, Groner didn't order Kilpatrick to undergo anger management, because he considered the alleged assault an isolated incident. The judge said that if any other incidents happened during Kilpatrick's probation he would reconsider the order.
Kilpatrick did not take an opportunity to address the court, saying simply "No I don't, your honor," when asked if he wished to speak.
But Groner took full advantage of his right to speak in ordering the sentence, offering harsh words to Kilpatrick.
"Ultimately what shocked this court and much of the community was your press conference after your plea hearing," the judge said. "That night the community expected to hear a message of humility, remorse and apology. Instead we heard an arrogant and defiant man who accused the governor, among others, for his downfall."
Outside court, Bernard Kilpatrick said his son was "railroaded" and referred to Groner's remarks as "crap."
Groner moved the hearing to a larger courtroom to accommodate the news media and spectators. As he waited for the sentencing hearing to begin, Kilpatrick sat back with an arm around his wife, Carlita. The ex-mayor smiled often and chatted with other family members and supporters seated nearby.
But once the hearing began, Kilpatrick's demeanor changed. At times, he was seen burying his head in his hands.
It was Kilpatrick's first public forum since the speech to supporters — referenced by the judge Tuesday — after his guilty plea Sept. 4. In that address, Kilpatrick lashed out at Gov. Jennifer Granholm, who was holding hearings to remove him from office, and told Detroit, "you done set me up for a comeback."
His next stop is the Wayne County jail, just steps from the downtown courthouse, where Kilpatrick will be in his own cell 23 hours a day. He will not be allowed to mix with other inmates during his one hour of recreation.
It's "no country club," Sheriff Warren Evans said.
Kilpatrick, before he was escorted to the jail Tuesday, moved forward to kiss his wife, but was stopped by a sheriff's deputy.
"I can hand her keys, but I can't kiss her?" Kilpatrick said.
As he was being taken away, the former mayor yelled out: "You all take it easy."
In response, shouts of support rang out from the courtroom.
"Be strong, mayor."
"We love you, mayor."
"We got your back, mayor."
Kilpatrick, a Democrat, admitted lying while testifying last year in a civil lawsuit filed by former police officers who had accused him of illegally demoting or firing them.
He and chief of staff Christine Beatty denied having an affair, but text messages obtained by a lawyer in the case — and later the Detroit Free Press — clearly contradicted them.
They used their city pagers to arrange trysts and share sexually explicit desires. A fresh batch of messages was released last week, revealing that Kilpatrick, married with three children, likely had other lovers.
The messages first were publicly disclosed in January by the Free Press. Beatty quickly resigned but Kilpatrick hung on as mayor, even when prosecutors filed criminal charges against the pair in March.
The saga rolled through spring and summer as Kilpatrick hired a team of lawyers and public-image specialists and publicly ridiculed the case against him.
The City Council voted to hold impeachment-style hearings but a judge said it was illegal. Elected officials called on Kilpatrick to step down for the sake of the entire state.
Finally, he agreed to plead guilty and resign only after the governor began the public hearing in September that could have led to his ouster.
Ken Cockrel Jr. was promoted to mayor from council president. A special election to fill the balance of Kilpatrick's term will be held in May after the field is trimmed to two candidates Feb. 24.
KNOXVILLE (WVLT) - Halloween is a time for fun and candy for many youngsters, but to ensure those kids don't knock on the wrong doors, the state has set up some special rules.
They apply to certain registered sex offenders.
The big thing is, that not all sex offenders have rules for Halloween, but the ones that do, have some very particular rules.
Knowing there are rules makes some parents happy.
Anne Carter is out for an afternoon stroll with her grandson, to admire Halloween decorations.
Knowing there are rules to protect her grandson and other children from Trick-or-Treating at the home of a registered sex offender, makes her very happy.
- It doesn't protect you, no law will, it's one of those "feel good" laws, that does nothing, since in the history of this country, not a single known sex offender has harmed a child on Halloween!
Anne says "it's certainly nothing to put them out of their way for a couple of hours, as short lived as the Trick-or-Treat night is."
There will be no Trick-or-Treating for certain sex offenders.
All child sex offenders are banned from handing out candy and putting up decorations.
- No they are not, only those on probation or parole!
On top of those rules, the Tennessee Board of Probation and Parole (Article, PDF) has laid out several others.
- Even the above web site, states it is for those on probation or parole.
Dawn Hodge with the BOPP says, "It actually covers the entire month of October, so it would cover things not just Halloween evening."
This means no parties, no public Halloween events like haunted houses, and the nearly 100 offenders in Knox County alone have curfews as well.
Dawn says, "Their curfews start for the most part between 5 and 6 o'clock; that would depend on if they work or not."
The good news is the BOPP and other law enforcement agencies say they have had no problems with offenders breaking the holiday rules, so far, but children will start to go door to door Friday.
- And at NO time in HISTORY has a person sexually assaulted a child on Halloween, not a sex offender anyway. This is just more mass hysteria and moral panic, which is unjustified, and violating these peoples rights.
"They are not to answer the door, they are to have no decorations, they are to turn off porch lights." says Dawn.
And Anne thinks this will help to keep even the older kids from approaching the wrong house. "They've been taught as they've gone out, when there's no lights on, you don't go up and ring the doorbell."
The BOPP has already been randomly stopping by the homes of their sex offenders, and will continue to do so through the end of the month to make sure all of their rules for Halloween are followed.
And this will continue to occur, until the laws are put back to how they were, or the residency restrictions, which studies show, do not work, are repealed.
A growing number of communities in our area are putting a stop to where sex offenders can live, but new statistics show the rules may not be keeping them out, but making them harder to accurately locate.
The Wisconsin Department of Corrections says the number of offenders in Green Bay who aren't complying has doubled. That means fewer of them are properly registering their correct home address and work information.
Thousands of people turn to the state's sex offender registry website to see who might live nearby.
Tom Smith, Sex Offender Registration Specialist with the Wisconsin D.O.C. says he's less comfortable than he was a year ago with the accuracy of the registry.
"The sex offenders we know about, the ones on the website, these are not the ones we should be totally concerned about. it's the ones we don't know about," said Smith.
He says that number we don't know about is growing.
"Certainly it's not the majority, but the number of non-compliants is increasing," he said.
Smith also says the number has gone up ever since Green Bay banned offenders from living within 2,000 feet of where kids congregate, making most of the city off-limits.
"There's no place for the people to go, so it's been quite a challenge for the sex offender committee," said Councilman Jerry Wiezbiskie, who voted against the ordinance.
"It's a well-known fact that sex offenders will not commit an offense in his own area, he'll come from out of the area and go into an area, so it's not preventing them from coming into the city and doing their act anyway," said Wiezbiskie.
- This is a lie. Most sex crimes, 90% or more, occur in the victims own home, or close family. This is just perpetuating the "stranger danger" myth!
Smith says he thinks the more these offenders are banned, the less we'll know about them.
"Can we specifically pinpoint saying this is the cause, no. but it sure seems like it is," he said.
Of the sex offenders who are properly registered in Green Bay, Smith says less than 1% of them reoffend. He says that's why it's so important to make them more inclined to keep their information up-to-date, rather than deter them from doing so.