Friday, December 26, 2008

IN - State won’t take offender off list

View the article here

Correct me if I am wrong, but I thought the judge had the final say so, and if the lawyer or DA's did not like the ruling, they could appeal.

12/26/2008

By Keith Rhoades

The Indiana Department of Corrections says it cannot comply with an order by Morgan County Superior Court I Judge G. Thomas Gray to remove a convicted child molester from the state’s sex offender registry because such an action would be against the law.

In a letter filed by the DOC, staff counsel Michael J. Barns writes that the judge’s order issued in March to remove a person known only as “John Doe” from the registry should be reviewed.

The Morgan County resident, who was convicted in 1995 of sexual battery in Hamilton County, was allowed to use the name “John Doe” in court proceedings to protect his identity.

In earlier court actions, “Doe’s” name was made known, but the Reporter-Times is following the judge’s ruling to keep his name sealed.

The DOC stated that because “Doe’s” victim was under the age of 12 and he was at least 18 years of age when the crime occurred, state law requires he be kept on the registry for life. Removing “Doe” from the registry, the DOC argues, would violate I. C. 11-8-8-18(a).

In March, attorney Steven Litz, was successful in his argument that his client should be removed from the list under I. C. 11-8-8-19(a).

Litz said the trial judge in Hamilton County “got it wrong” when he determined the registration time began after “Doe’s” probation period ended. Litz said that while “Doe’s” crime had occurred in Hamilton County, he now lived in Morgan County so that was where the suit was filed.

Morgan County Deputy Prosecutor Harold Blake said “Doe” had requested the Hamilton County judge release him from the registry but the judge refused. Blake said “Doe” and his attorney were “court shopping” to find a judge who would grant his request and he asked the judge to dismiss “Doe’s” request.

Gray said while he did not like to overturn other judge’s decisions, he has a obligation to follow the law and in his opinion, Litz was correct. The judge ordered “Doe’s” real name to be removed from the register.

The order was sent to the sheriff’s department who sent it to the DOC which maintains the list. “Doe’s” name was not removed and earlier this month, Litz notified the court Doe’s name was still on the list. Litz said his client had been notified by the county that he had to register as a sex offender or he could be charged with a D felony.

Judge Gray set a hearing on 9:15 a.m. Feb. 2. He directed the DOC to explain why it cannot comply with his order.


IL - More than 80 new state laws taking effect in ’09

View the article here

12/26/2008

OLNEY - Illinois residents will see more than 80 new laws take effect on January 1, 2009.

According to Representative David Reis (R), despite all the ongoing challenges in Springfield, lawmakers approved measures to protect children from sex offenders, tighten DUI sanctions and educate students on Internet safety.

“Regardless of the political climate in Springfield, lawmakers were able to pass key legislation that will have a positive impact on families and communities across the state,” State Representative David Reis said.

Listed below are some of the important bills that will take affect on January 1st. Bills may also be viewed at www.ilga.gov.

State Government

HB 824 “Pay-to-play” ethics reform. Prohibits state contractors with an aggregate value of $50,000 in state contracts from making campaign contributions to the constitutional officer that awarded the contract or a declared candidate for that office.

Health Care

HB 1432 Mandates insurance coverage for anorexia nervosas and bulimia nervosa.

HB 4602 Requires insurance coverage for a shingles vaccine if ordered by a licensed physician and the patient is 60 years of age or older.

Safeguards from Sex Offenders

HB 2671 Election authorities prohibited from hiring registered sex offenders as election judges.

HB 3399 Child sex offenders may not reside or loiter within 500 feet of a school, park, daycare center or other child facility.

HB 4207 Unlawful for a child sex offender who owns and resides at a residential property to knowingly rent a unit within the same building to a parent with a child under 18 years of age.

SB 2382 Creates the offense of “grooming” when one uses the Internet to seduce or entice a child to commit a sex offense. Also creates the offense of traveling to meet a minor for the purpose of engaging in a sex offense with the child.

SB 2426 Adds new provisions to the offense of cyberstalking and addresses the situation where one specifically creates an Internet webpage to engage in cyberstalking or harassment.

Local Government

HB 5586 Requires County Recorders that display public records on the Internet to remove the social security number or other personal identifying information upon written request.

HB 4725 County board members may serve on emergency Telephone System Boards, to include local 911 boards.

HB 4766 Counties may lease space on a telecommunications tower to a public or private entity, such as cell phone providers.

HB 4992 Fees collected for certified copies of vital records may be used to develop, and improve technology in the office of the County Clerk.

SB 2677 Requires municipalities to provide a 15-day written notice to taxpayers residing within a territory to be annexed.

Criminal Law

HB 2757 Unlawful to carry, sell, purchase or manufacture any type of knuckle weapon.

HB 4203 Class A misdemeanor to cause the death of another person by failing to follow the required procedures when approaching an emergency vehicle.

HB 4206 Illegal to carry or possess a billy-club in general public.

SB 1887 Removes the statute of limitation in sexual conduct offenses were the offender’s DNA profile is obtained and entered into a DNA database within 10 years after the offense.

SB 2295 Every first time DUI offender must obtain a monitoring device driving permit and install a BAID device in their vehicle should he or she desire to drive during a suspension.

SB 2546 No person under the age of 18 years can use a forged I.D. card to obtain any tobacco product.

Senior Care

HB 3508 Licensed long-term care facilities must complete a Consumer Choice Information Report discussing their medical care services, treatment, staffing, facility statistics, meal and nutrition, room furnishing and visitation provisions. The report shall be available on the Internet through the Illinois Attorney General’s office.

Education

SB 2512 School districts must incorporate an age-appropriate Internet safety unit of instruction in curriculum. The Internet safety unit shall be taught annually to students in grades 3 and above.

SB 2691 Public institutions of higher education must develop an emergency response plan and campus violence prevention plan with local emergency management.

SB 2387 Requires schools to include homeownership within the financial literacy component of consumer education. That study of homeownership will include: the process of obtaining a mortgage; concepts of fixed and adjustable rate mortgages; sub prime loans; and predatory lending.

Business

HB 4583 A minor employed as a counselor at a day camp is not subject to the adult minimum wage requirement.

SB 2399 Employees are protected against adverse employment actions based on an individual’s genetic testing or genetic information.

Public Safety

HB 4683 Prohibits the sale, installation or sale of any device that reasonably appears to be a fire protection device, such as smoke detector or sprinkler head that is not designed or capable of performing required life safety functions.

SB 2488 Increases the penalty to a Class 2 felony if a reckless homicide is committed as a result of failure to slow down, change lanes or yield right of way to a stationary emergency vehicle displaying flashing emergency lights.

SB 2744 Provides that municipalities may require all new firefighters to be licensed as an EMT-B, EMT-I, or EMT-P.

SB 2748 Any elected or appointed trustee of a fire protection district is entitled to be absent from his or her employment during meetings of the board of trustees of the district.

SB 2749 Townships, municipalities or fire protection districts charge reasonable fees for technical rescue services.

Elections

SB 439 Election officials authorized to mail one absentee ballot to a military service member and any qualified voter overseas at the time of consolidated elections.

SB 2314 Extends the time period from 5 days to 14 days before the election by which a hospitalized voter may qualify for delivery of an absentee ballot by a relative.

Anyone seeking more information about the new laws may contact Rep. Reis’ office at 618-392-0108 or by emailing them at keith@davidreis.org.