Thursday, January 1, 2009

Talking to Strangers

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06/23/2005

By Bruce Schneier

In Beyond Fear I wrote: "Many children are taught never to talk to strangers, an extreme precaution with minimal security benefit."

In talks, I'm even more direct. I think "don't talk to strangers" is just about the worst possible advice you can give a child. Most people are friendly and helpful, and if a child is in distress, asking the help of a stranger is probably the best possible thing he can do.

This advice would have helped Brennan Hawkins, the 11-year-old boy who was lost in the Utah wilderness for four days.

The parents said Brennan had seen people searching for him on horse and ATV, but avoided them because of what he had been taught.

"He stayed on the trail, he avoided strangers," Jody Hawkins said. "His biggest fear, he told me, was that someone would steal him."

They said they hadn't talked to Brennan and his four siblings about what they should do about strangers if they were lost. "This may have come to a faster conclusion had we discussed that," Toby Hawkins said.

In a world where good guys are common and bad guys are rare, assuming a random person is a good guy is a smart security strategy. We need to help children develop their natural intuition about risk, and not give them overbroad rules.

Also in Beyond Fear, I wrote:

As both individuals and a society, we can make choices about our security. We can choose more security or less security. We can choose greater impositions on our lives and freedoms, or fewer impositions. We can choose the types of risks and security solutions we're willing to tolerate and decide that others are unacceptable.

As individuals, we can decide to buy a home alarm system to make ourselves more secure, or we can save the money because we don't consider the added security to be worth it. We can decide not to travel because we fear terrorism, or we can decide to see the world because the world is wonderful. We can fear strangers because they might be attackers, or we can talk to strangers because they might become friends.


CO - Coming soon to a TV near you: Sexually violent predators in Aurora

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So people apparently do not care, that is why nobody shows up at the meetings, so they will shove it down your throat now. How low will they stoop?

01/01/2009

By Ernest Luning

The city of Aurora could start advertising the moves of its sexually violent predators on the local cable access station, the Aurora Sentinel reports. The police department wants to broadcast the required notifications because attendance at neighborhood meetings has plummeted, Lt. Bob Stef told a city council policy committee Tuesday.

A state law passed in 2006 requires police to notify the surrounding community when a sexually violent predator moves in. A judge or parole board determines whether to brand any sex offender a sexually violent predator based on a set of criteria, including whether the criminal was a stranger or established a relationship in order to assault the victim, and whether the criminal scores high enough on tests that assess deviancy or lack of remorse.

Police departments across the state regularly set community meetings — here’s an outline Denver uses to introduce sexually violent predators to the neighborhood [PDF] — but lately Aurora has had trouble getting neighbors interested. In fact, no one showed up at a Dec. 17 meeting, Stef said, despite the department spending $650 to send out postcards announcing the get-together. That’s where the city’s cable access station comes in:

The time slots on KACT-TV Channel 8 would be used for sexual violent predator updates, as well as other department-related bulletins like recruitment updates, advisories and other items.

The city council committee held off approving the move, saying it wanted time to review the format for the broadcast.

It might also want to review the law, which requires the notifications “only occur under carefully controlled circumstances,” which might not include children flipping through channels to see what’s on TV.

Here’s the notification provision of the Colorado Sexually Violent Predators law:

16-13-901. Legislative declaration.

The general assembly hereby finds that persons who are convicted of offenses involving unlawful sexual behavior and who are identified as sexually violent predators pose a high enough level of risk to the community that persons in the community should receive notification concerning the identity of these sexually violent predators. The general assembly also recognizes the high potential for vigilantism that often results from community notification and the dangerous potential that the fear of such vigilantism will drive a sex offender to disappear and attempt to live without supervision. The general assembly therefore finds that sex offender notification should only occur in cases involving a high degree of risk to the community and should only occur under carefully controlled circumstances that include providing additional information and education to the community concerning supervision and treatment of sex offenders. [emphasis added]


Dahmer Did It - Why won't Hollywood police take seriously the best chance at solving Adam Walsh's murder?

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Wikipedia

02/20/2007

By Bob Norman

Jeffrey Dahmer killed Adam Walsh.

That's right. The most infamous cannibal in American history murdered one of the most publicized child abduction victims of the past half-century, the 6-year-old son of America's Most Wanted host John Walsh.

Sounds crazy, right?

Well, I think it's true. And I know it deserves a full investigation by law enforcement.

But the Hollywood Police Department, which has basically botched the investigation from the get-go, is giving the idea short shrift, and John Walsh himself has tossed the theory out the window before examining it in any detail.

The truth is that local true crime writer Arthur Jay Harris has compiled an undeniably strong case that Milwaukee's notorious drunken cannibal — who was living in South Florida at the time of Adam's murder — was the culprit. Harris has dug up compelling new details, including information that Dahmer likely had access at the time to the type of vehicle — a blue van — believed to have been used in the abduction.

A December article Harris wrote for the Daily Business Review on findings that he spent more than four years gathering has gotten national attention in the past couple of weeks. But his arguments were met more with skepticism than true interest and were swiftly bumped out of the news by the NASA love triangle and the death of Anna Nicole Smith.

Scuttling the theory, however, would be a travesty.

"Let's look at this new information in an unbiased way," urges former FBI agent Neil Purtell, who questioned Dahmer on numerous occasions and even asked him about Adam. "I don't think you can put it in a box and put the cover on it."

Incredulity, however, is natural in such a case. Saying Dahmer killed Walsh is sort of like declaring that Hitler kidnapped the Lindbergh baby. The first reaction is, "No way." But I've seen the evidence and am nearly convinced that it was Dahmer who took Adam from a mall and left only his decapitated head to be found in a canal.

Or, I should say, I've met the evidence. Last week, I went to see Harris at the Weston condo where he lives with his mother, Harriet. With the author was a man at the center of the Adam Walsh case, one Willis Morgan.

"It's been a frustrating 26 years, let me tell you," were the first words Morgan said to me. "Now Art knows what I've been through because he's getting a taste of it himself."

Then he told me his amazing story, beginning at the Radio Shack in the Hollywood Mall on July 27, 1981, the day Adam was abducted. It was a Monday, a day off from his job as training supervisor at the Miami Herald pressroom.

Morgan was standing in the store at a red-tag sale table when a dirty, disheveled man with blond hair appeared near the doorway. Morgan says the man stared dead at him for a while before he said in a very loud voice, "Hi there. Nice day, isn't it?"

Morgan ignored the deranged-looking man, hoping he'd go away. But he kept staring at him and seemed to be getting angrier by the second.

"It was a look of rage," he told me. "It was so hard, I felt like it was laser beams staring at the back of my skull. Think of the craziest person you've ever seen in your life, then multiply it by ten."

The man walked right up to Morgan and, within a few feet of his face, repeated, "Hi there. Nice day, isn't it?"

Now Morgan was scared. Then 34, he was a muscular man who, in fact, fit the image of a typical Dahmer target (though Morgan isn't gay). But he had little chance in a fight — Morgan had lost his right leg in a motorcycle accident and walked only with the help of a prosthesis. Plus, his tormentor was a couple of inches taller and obviously had the advantage of insanity on his side.

As the man hovered furiously within arm's length of Morgan, there were no other customers in the store, and the clerk was in the back. Morgan said these thoughts were racing through his mind:

"Does he have a knife? Is he going to grab my arm? Is he going to try to drag me out of the mall?"

Then the man suddenly bolted out of the store. Morgan said the great relief he felt was soon overtaken by concern.

"I just knew this guy was going to approach somebody," he says. "He was going to hurt someone."

As he slowly followed the man, he made a mental note of his face, his scraggly blond hair, his yellow T-shirt, his blue jeans, and his white athletic shoes. He followed him into the Sears store and saw the man turn toward the toy department.

The department was in the back of the store, and Morgan realized that the man might walk back out of the store and see him — and the last thing he wanted was another frightening confrontation.

So he left the store.

Adam Walsh, who disappeared that same afternoon, was last seen in the Sears toy department, where his mother had let him play a videogame while she shopped.

The same day, unknown to Morgan, a TV producer named Bill Bowen saw a disheveled man with straggly blond hair throw a struggling young boy into a blue van in the mall's parking lot.

When Morgan heard about the kidnapping of Adam Walsh on the news later that night, he was certain the man he'd seen must have been responsible. After talking to neighbors and coworkers about it, he went to the police. He says an officer blew him off because he hadn't seen a vehicle tag number for the blue van they were looking for. He was told he would get a phone call. It never came.

Morgan says he followed the case during the next ten years, especially when serial killer Ottis Toole became a prime suspect. Toole is well-known for admitting to murders he never committed, and the wildly contradictory "confession" he gave police never matched up.

Yet John Walsh, after first being skeptical of Toole, came to believe he committed the crime.

Morgan says he knew they had the wrong guy because the distinctively hideous-looking Toole wasn't the guy who approached him at the mall.

Ten years after the abduction, almost to the day, Morgan was doing a "paper check" at the Herald when he saw a mug shot in the morning edition of a guy from Milwaukee who was caught with body parts in his bedroom and a severed head in his refrigerator.

It was the guy from the Radio Shack. It was Jeffrey Dahmer.

No doubt.

Morgan almost fell down. His coworkers had to keep him calm.

Bowen, another key witness from that day, saw a similar picture in a Birmingham newspaper about the same time. He says it was as if he were struck by a baseball bat. It was the same guy who threw the boy into the van. It was Jeffrey Dahmer.

No doubt.

Neither man knew about the other or had any way to know that Dahmer happened to be living in South Florida at the time, working at a sub and pizza shop a mere nine miles from the Hollywood Mall. That wasn't reported until a couple of days later.

They both contacted Hollywood police about Dahmer. Det. Jack Hoffman, who had been in charge of the case all along, took the information fairly seriously and went to interview Dahmer in prison about it.

He called Morgan upon his return.

"Dahmer looked me straight in the eye and told me he didn't do it. And you know what? I believe him. That kid doesn't fit his M.O.," Morgan remembers the since-retired detective telling him. He remembers feeling incredible disappointment.

"Someone forgot to tell Dahmer he had an M.O. to stick to," he says.

At the time, Morgan didn't know that Purtell, the FBI agent, had also spoken to Dahmer about the Walsh case on several occasions. Purtell says that Dahmer, in between denials, gave him what he considers near-confessions.

Once, for instance, the killer told him: "I didn't kill Adam. Whoever killed him couldn't live in a prison anywhere in America."

The implication: Dahmer wouldn't confess because he'd surely be killed vigilante-style in prison for the crime (which happened to be his fate anyway).

Then he told Purtell after another denial, "You know Florida is a death penalty state."

(Ironically, one of the bizarre bits of "evidence" offered by Hollywood police and others that Dahmer didn't kill Adam is that he often proclaimed he wanted to die and would have jumped at the chance to be electrocuted in Florida.)

Other than speak with Dahmer, Hollywood police did little investigation into the matter. They never so much as tracked down Dahmer's employers at Miami Sub on Collins Avenue. It was left for the writer Harris to do that more than a decade later.

Harris, who helped to debunk the Toole theory in the pages of this newspaper in 1997, began to investigate the Dahmer link in 2002. He tracked down former managers and employees of the sub shop who remembered Dahmer and told him that the pizza delivery operation included a blue van that could have easily been accessed by the serial killer.

He gave his findings to the Hollywood Police Department in late 2002. After a delayed and scattershot probe of the findings, the department called the theory bunk. Harris continued on his book project and kept adding to his manuscript until he finally broke the story in the Daily Business Review.

John Walsh reacted to news of Harris' work by first complaining about the shoddy police investigation. Then, after apparently getting more information from the Hollywood police, he issued a statement saying that he didn't believe there was any "credible" evidence linking Dahmer to the murder of his son. His spokesman, Avery Mann, didn't respond to my phone messages for comment.

The official line of the Hollywood police in regard to Dahmer has basically been a version of, "Move on, there's nothing to see here."

It's a ridiculous stance but one that is predictable from a department that has notoriously lost evidence and bungled the case to the point that it seems more intent on covering its own hide than in finding the killer.

The cannibal caught in Wisconsin is undoubtedly a viable suspect. It's easy to surmise that when Dahmer — who was known to glare at his victims in an attempt to hypnotize them — failed to get Morgan, he took his frustration out on the weakest link he could find in the uncrowded mall, a 6-year-old boy whom he threw into a blue van.

Of course, there are some details that don't match. For instance, Bowen remembers Dahmer wearing a green Army jacket, not a yellow T-shirt. The killer could have put on the jacket before abducting Adam, or one of the men might have just flubbed a detail.

Yes, but what about Dahmer never killing kids? Well, during his career as a serial killer, which began well before 1981, he killed a 14-year-old boy and was convicted in sex crimes involving a 13-year-old and two 12-year-old boys. And if you want to talk about M.O., then what about the fact that Adam was decapitated and the body essentially disappeared? It fits Dahmer's style in chilling fashion.

At the very least, Arthur Jay Harris' case should be deeply investigated by trained investigators who share at least one very important qualification: That they have never, ever been employed by the Hollywood P.D.

"Let's look at the information that Harris has, unbiased," Purtell says. "Wouldn't it be nice if you could get some retired officers, detectives, who are well-respected to look into this and tell us what they find?"

Before that can happen, though, somebody is going to have to take the lid off that box.


GA - Sex Offenders in Georgia Stripped of Privacy, Must Hand Over Passwords

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Encrypt your hard-drive and email

Why is it, that when a bad law is passed, it's usually done by a Republican?  Yes, Democrats pass screwed up laws as well, but not as often.  You know, those who scream the loudest, usually have the most to hide, see here, and here.

01/01/2009

By Jason Mick (Blog)

Privacy advocates concerned about a strict new law in Georgia which removes sex offender's online privacy

The latest scuffle over online privacy is brewing up in Georgia. An aggressive new law is set to take effect today which will force sex offenders to hand over their internet passwords, screen names, and e-mail addresses to the government for monitoring purposes. Several other states also have efforts that track sex offender's email and screen names. However, Georgia, which has 16,000 registered offenders, will be the first state to demand the sex offenders’ passwords as well.

A similar law in Utah was already struck down by a federal judge, who ruled that it violated the privacy rights of an offender who challenged it. However, that ruling was rather narrow as it applied to an offender tried on a military conviction who had never been in Utah's court or prison system.

Critics of the Georgian law say that it not only violates the privacy rights of offenders, but it also places undue stress on the already tight-for-cash Georgian law enforcement. Sara Totonchi of the Atlanta-based Southern Center for Human Rights states, "There's certainly a privacy concern. This essentially will give law enforcement the ability to read e-mails between family members, between employers."

State Sen. Cecil Staton (Email) (R.) who wrote the bill argues that it is necessary to strip the rights of some citizens to protect the rights to life and liberty of others, particularly children. He states that the benefits of the bill, which will allow law enforcement to detect stalking by predators sooner "outweighs a lot of the rights of these individuals."
- This man is an idiot.  He apparently is clueless when it comes to Internet technology.  Someone intent on committing a crime online, can create a new email address and password in a matter of seconds.  And, those people who are true predators will do whatever they want.  Demanding passwords is an abuse of power, and I suggest ALL RSO's in the state of Georgia, DO NOT GIVE THEM YOUR PASSWORDS, make them get a warrant, and take them to court.  Email address is one thing, but passwords is another.

He states, "We limit where they can live, we make their information available on the Internet. To some degree, we do invade their privacy. But the feeling is, they have forfeited, to some degree, some privacy rights."
- Well, if they are off probation and parole, then they get those "privacy rights" back, or did before the Nazi's took over the government!

Most states do compromise sex offenders’ privacy to some extent by making their addresses available online in registries. However, Georgia and Utah are the only states to propose legislation to take offenders passwords, according to civil rights researchers. Others argue the bill isn't tough enough. While the bill threatens violators with a possible return to prison, some believe this won't deter many.

Says State Sen. Staton, "My hunch is, where there's a will, there's a way. If people are intent on violating this law, there are many different ways. What's important is we have given law enforcement a tool."
- Exactly, if someone wanted to do so, they could, read my comments above!  People who do not have a clue about technology, should not be making and passing laws like this.  Hell, does any law prevent murders?  No, so why do you think this will prevent someone from stalking a child online, if they wanted to?

One critical issue at stake with the Georgian law is lack of specificity. While the law is clearly meant to target offenders seeking to exploit children, it does not differentiate by crime. Thus those found guilty of underage consensual sex, public indecency, or other sex crimes will likely be forced to turn over their passwords as well, bringing into question whether the law is targeting who it intends to.


NH - Peeing In Public Now Carries Fine - New Law Makes Violators Eligible For $1,000 Fine

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And many uninformed people, insist that peeing in public does not land you on the sex offender registry, well, it does. This is just one state.  You can see the others, by clicking the labels above.

01/01/2009

CONCORD - Starting New Years Day, peeing in public becomes costly in New Hampshire.

The new law makes public urination or defecation a violation punishable by up to a $1,000 fine. To be guilty, the person would have to know the act would affront or alarm someone else.

The legislation was to correct a gap in the law. In the past, there was no state law specifically addressing public urination; it was prosecuted under a patchwork of local and state laws, indecent exposure among them.

Because indecent exposure is a sex offense, multiple convictions could land habitual public urinators on a sex offender registry, a penalty lawmakers felt was too severe for the crime.


VT - Vermont killings jumped

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So they are passing 10 million laws "to protect children," which are not working.  So when are they going to pass 10 million more to prevent murders?  You could pass 100 million or 1 billion, and this would still occur.  Also, the man who killed Brooke Bennett, was a known sex offender, and did the laws prevent it?  Nope!  You will also notice a major pattern here.  People are being killed by family and people they know, not some stranger!

01/01/2009

By Adam Silverman, Free Press Staff Writer

The number of killings in Vermont climbed to its highest level in a decade during 2008, with homicides penetrating the state from southern communities to the once-tranquil far northeast reaches.

Seventeen people were slain. Among the victims were four children younger than 7 who authorities say were killed by a parent; two women in the remote Northeast Kingdom, which had seen only one homicide since the 1920s; and a 12-year-old girl from Braintree whose abduction and death, and the elaborate plot authorities say her uncle concocted to carry out the crime, gripped the state.

The last time that many people lost their lives by violence was 1999, according to state data.

“When a homicide occurs, people stand up and take notice. It shocks people,” said Sen. Vincent Illuzzi, R-Essex/Orleans, who is also Essex County state’s attorney. “We’re never the same.”

Although distressing, the 2008 homicide total stood out only for being on the high side of average, said Max Schlueter, director of the Vermont Criminal Information Center in Waterbury.

Experts caution that annual fluctuations carry little statistical weight in a state with so few slayings; Vermont has averaged 13 a year since 1990. No year has seen more than 17 murders since 1992, when there were 21, according to the center’s data.

“They are consistent with the pattern,” Schlueter said, referring to 2008’s killings. “There are no stranger homicides. They are domestic. This is the pattern we see in Vermont.”

Remote killings

Both Northeast Kingdom slayings were “true to the pattern,” Schlueter said. The first, Aug. 24, involved the shooting of a 22-year-old Guildhall woman by her boyfriend, according to police; in the second, exactly a month later, authorities say a 59-year-old man shot his 80-year-old mother.

What made the events unusual was not their circumstances but their location. The previous Essex County murder occurred more than 30 years ago, when a visitor was slain by another outsider in 1973, Illuzzi said. Before that, a researcher would have to dig back to the early 1920s to find a crime in which one resident killed another. That led to the most recent murder trial at the county courthouse in Guildhall, in 1923.

“It’s kind of rocked the county,” said Illuzzi, who is handling his first murder cases. “These kinds of things have not happened up here in a very long time.”

The pair of homicides shattered the innocence of a place that resembles the Vermont of the 1960s and “lags behind in the real world of crime,” the prosecutor said.

“It’s so contrary to the mystique of the way things are up here,” he said. “We’re getting dragged into the reality of the rest of Vermont and the rest of the country.”

Unusual cases

Homicides occurred in six of Vermont’s 14 counties: five in Rutland; four in Windham; three in Windsor; two each in Chittenden and Essex; and one in Orange.

“Rutland had a bad year,” Schlueter said.

Two killings fell outside the norm. In February, a New York man was shot in Rutland in an incident potentially connected to a drug deal, according to police; no one is facing charges. And in late June, Brooke Bennett, the girl from Braintree, vanished after a morning trip to a convenience store with her uncle, Michael Jacques.

Authorities allege Jacques, 42, a convicted sex offender from Randolph, fabricated an online child-sex ring, coerced another girl to accede to his advances, and then abducted, sexually assaulted and murdered his niece. He has denied federal charges that could bring the death penalty.

At 12 years old, Brooke was one of five children slain this year. The first were Dakota Waring, 6, and her 2-year-old sister, Gracie, whose despondent mother, Nicole Waring, 40, drowned them before committing suicide in April in Wardsboro.

In July, authorities said Andrew Bedner, 28, hit his 2-month-old daughter, Cadence, when she kept crying; the girl died two weeks later. Then in September, 2-month-old Autumn Brown was killed under similar circumstances, allegedly beaten by father Joseph Brown, 23. Both men have pleaded not guilty to related charges.

Public Safety Commissioner Thomas Tremblay called the cases involving children “very troubling certainly for the families and for the law-enforcement personnel involved.” Schlueter said one child was slain each year between 2004 and 2006, and two were killed in 2007.

Also beyond the typical pattern was the frequency of slayings this summer. Six people were killed between July 28 and Aug. 24.

“That’s what scared people. They were back-to-back. There was a period there when people were astounded,” Schlueter said. “Was there anything to it other than coincidence? I don’t think so.”

Of particular concern to Tremblay is the common thread of domestic violence that links nearly all of the year’s slayings. He said law enforcement needs to “step outside homicide” and emphasize preventing domestic and sexual violence before they lead to murder.

Regardless of any lessons in 2008’s death toll, irrespective of how much the state recovers from what happened, Illuzzi knows that more people suffered lingering tragedies.

“We’re hoping this is just an anomaly and things will return to normal for the rest of us soon,” he said. “Of course, things will never return to normal for the victims and their families.”


GA - Sex registry law spurs new fight - Required to register as a sex offender, when the crime did not involve sex!

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Why don't they just change the name to "Criminal Registry," and put all criminals on it? That would make more sense to me, but again, politicians don't have much sense, now do they?  Or, call it the "child offender" registry, and remove all those offenders on it now, who did not commit a crime against a child?  But, the more law suits against the insanity, the better...

01/02/2009

By Greg Land, Staff Reporter

Lawyer says her client, freed from jail, faces a lifetime of restrictions, despite a crime that did not involve sex

A young man who served five years in prison after pleading guilty to robbery and false imprisonment charges stemming from a drug deal was fully expecting to serve another five years on probation when he was released in 2006.

But Jake Austin Rainer was surprised when his probation officer informed him that because the victim of his crime was 17 at the time, Rainer would also be required to register as a convicted sex offender even though he was never accused of any sexually related crime.
- Why in the hell does someone who commits a crime, that is not sexual in nature, have to register to be on a sex registry?  Might as well put all criminals on it.  Murderers, gang members, drug dealers, DUI offenders, etc.  Those are dangerous people as well, and the public should know about them.

In a Dec. 17 suit naming the state of Georgia, Gov. Sonny Perdue and Attorney General Thurbert Baker as defendants, Rainer's attorney filed the latest constitutional challenge to Georgia's Sex Offender Registry law, sweeping legislation that requires lifelong registration with the local sheriff and sharply curtails where individuals registered as sexual offenders may live and work.
- So someone commits a crime, that has nothing to do with sex, and now, they are a registered sex offender, and have to live by the same rules?  Doesn't make ANY sense to me at all.  All the people passing these laws, where did they go to school?  Or did they?

In Rainer's case, said his attorney, the law's list of enumerated offenses requiring such registration is not only unconstitutional on several grounds, but also in conflict with existing Georgia law declaring that “false imprisonment” rises to the status of a sexual offense only when the victim is 14 or younger.
- False imprisonment, how do they get sex out of that?

“This case is so sad,” said attorney Ann Marie Fitz of The Federal Law Group, who filed the complaint. “This kid was 18 at the time—just a few months older than the victim—and he did a stupid thing with a bunch of his buddies.”
- You see, John Walsh and others continually say, these laws do not entrap children, well, here is another example of his BS lies.  Why isn't Mark Lunsford's son on the registry for life?  He did molest a child!

According to Fitz and her filings, Rainer and three friends were preparing to attend the now-defunct Music Midtown festival in May of 2000 and wanted some marijuana. One of the group knew a young woman who sold the drug, so they arranged to meet her for a purchase in Gwinnett County.

“So they called her, picked her up and took her to a cul-de-sac to buy the marijuana,” said Fitz. “But they had decided they were going to steal it instead, so they snatched her purse and kicked her out of the car. They got the marijuana and a small amount of cash.”

The group attended the festival and “had a high old time,” said Fitz. But a couple of days later they found themselves under arrest, charged with robbery by force and kidnapping. Rainer's plea bargain allowed him to plead guilty to robbery and the lesser charge of false imprisonment, and he was given a sentence of five years in prison and five years' probation.
- So what about the drug dealer who was going to sell them the drugs?  Why wasn't she punished?

“Once he served his time, he was reporting to his probation officer and was told he has to register as a sex offender,” said Fitz.
- Register as a sex offender, for a crime that did not involve sex..  Now that is pure insanity!!

Fitz was unaware of the current status of Rainer's co-defendants, but Gwinnett County records list them as Kamaua Lujoh Genama, David Kent Monroe and Demetrius Edward Taylor. Genama was convicted of two counts of kidnapping and one count of false imprisonment, according to the Georgia Department of Corrections Web site; he is still serving a 10-year prison sentence. But Monroe and Taylor received the same sentences as Rainer, and all three are on the Georgia Sex Offender Registry.
- So you see, the registry is pointless. You do not know who did what anymore, and the original intent was to keep track of the most dangerous sex offenders.  Now anything you do, can land you on the "sex offender" registry.

The sex registry law mandates registration for anyone convicted of false imprisonment of a minor, except a parent. The law defines a minor as “any individual under the age of 18 years and any individual that the sexual offender believed at the time of the offense was under the age of 18 years if such individual was the victim of an offense.”

But, wrote Fitz, “the Georgia Legislature did not intend False Imprisonment of a Minor to be a sexual offense when the victim is over 14 years old.”
- Well, we have a bunch of idiots running the government, so what do you expect?

A separate code section, §17-1-6.2, “deals with defining the term 'sexual offense' and includes False Imprisonment 'only if the victim is not the child of the defendant and the victim is less than 14 years of age,'” says her complaint.
- The idiots running the government, do not read the bills and understand them.  They read the title, and pass it.  It's that simple.  If you do not believe me, quiz any of them on the sex offender laws, and see how many pass the test!

“The statutes are in conflict,” said Fitz. “Somebody's going to have to clarify how old a person must be to be a victim of a sexual offense.”
- What?  Why not if sex if involved?  If sex is not involved, then how can it be a sex crime?  I think someone with a below 60 IQ could figure that out.

In addition, Fitz argued, because Rainer was never given a chance to argue the facts of his case before the Sexual Offender Registration Review Board, he has been denied his constitutional right to due process.

Fitz also cited as support the Georgia Supreme Court's November decision in Bradshaw v. State, which struck down as cruel and unusual punishment a provision of the sex offender law mandating a life sentence for anyone failing to register twice.

Ordering a defendant with no convictions for sexual offenses to register as a sex offender constitutes a “grossly disproportionate” punishment, she wrote.

Fitz said she had contacted the State Board of Pardons and Paroles and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which maintains the registry, in an effort to have Rainer removed, but got nowhere.

“The law's the law,” she said. Rainer's probation officer has been very understanding, but his hands are tied as well, she said.

“The state intends to vigorously defend the validity of the registration statute,” said Russ Willard, a spokesman for the attorney general.While Rainer may object to the way sex offenses are defined under the statute, he said, the validity of such registries has been upheld by the courts. He added that the U.S. Congress endorsed a similar provision in the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, which was signed into law in 2006. That law, named after a Florida boy abducted and killed in 1981, creates a national three-tier registry system based on the severity of the offense.

But attorney Gerald R. Weber, who has argued against Georgia's sex offender law on behalf of the American Civil Liberties Union and the Southern Center for Human Rights, said Rainer's suit indicates that the much-challenged law—portions of which have been struck down by both the state Supreme Court and U.S. District Court—is far too vague and broad to make for reasonable public policy.
- Tell this to Jerry Keen, who wrote the idiotic law.  It's because of idiots like him, why laws have so many holes in them.  If they'd sit down and figure everything out, instead of writing some quick "feel good" law, then maybe we'd not be wasting millions of dollars on law suits.

It really kind of illustrates how the sex offender law has no relation to public safety,” said Weber. He pointed to a similar case—that of a man convicted of false imprisonment of a minor during a 1993 burglary—as one of the cases that led five registered sex offenders to file a federal suit in Rome last June challenging a provision that banned them from volunteering at churches.

This is why it makes sense to initiate an individual assessment of each case,” he said. “Georgia's sex offender law is so overreaching, it's like shooting skeet when there's 50 clay pigeons in the air: No matter where you shoot, you're bound to hit something.”
- But assessing each individual, take up too much time, and the slacker government doesn't want that.  They want to pass the buck off to someone else, even Jerry Keen mentioned something similar to that.  See his quotes here.

The General Assembly attempted to address some of the issues raised by the many challenges to the law during the 2008 session with Senate Bill 1. Among the bill's four sponsors are two attorneys, Sens. William Hamrick, R-Carrollton, and John Wiles, R-Kennesaw, who could not be reached to discuss Rainer's suit.
- Give me a break!  SB-1 just reinstated what the judges and courts slapped down, it's basically the same law it was before.  Jerry Keen's ego is too big to admit he made a major mistake.


IL - Joliet man fatally shot - Who killed sex offender near Joliet Township store? Police seek suspect

View the article here

How many cold blooded murders have to take place, before the politicians see the insanity they have created and repeal these laws?  They don't waste time showing his entire history, instead of trying to go after the killer.  Typical though!

01/01/2009

By BRIAN STANLEY

JOLIET TOWNSHIP - Police are investigating the death of a man shot outside a liquor store Tuesday night.

_____, 56, had been a customer at Ranch Liquors, 1913 S. Chicago St., Will County Sheriff's spokesman Pat Barry said.

"Around 10 p.m., he walks (back) inside and says, 'I've just been shot,' before he collapses," Barry said.

The two clerks called 911 and an unresponsive _____ was taken to Silver Cross Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 10:47 p.m.

Barry said the employees reported hearing a bang "like someone was stomping their feet against the building" shortly before _____ returned to the liquor store.

"They also heard a car leaving the parking lot at a high rate of speed, but they did not see the vehicle," he said. There were no other customers in the liquor store at the time.

Will County Coroner Patrick K. O'Neil said an autopsy performed Wednesday confirmed _____ was killed by a single gunshot wound.

Barry said _____ lived at _____ in _____ and detectives were investigating what he had done earlier Tuesday evening, in an attempt to identify a suspect.

Victim had a criminal background

"It should be noted the victim is a registered sex offender with an extensive criminal history," Barry said.
- Yeah, so?  It's still cold blooded murder.  Are you trying to justify this murder, Barry?

Records show _____ was arrested on weapons charges by police in 1979 and sheriff's police in 1980.

In December 1987, he attempted to escape a security guard at Hillcrest Shopping Center in Crest Hill "by opening the doors and getting into several passing cars" as he ran through the parking lot. _____ was arrested after locking himself in the bathroom of a nearby fast-food restaurant.

He allegedly "jumped into a stranger's car" and led Crest Hill police on a chase during a similar theft the following November.

In 1991, _____ was sentenced to three years in prison for two other shoplifting crimes. Apparently released early, he was arrested on charges of retail theft and burglary in 1993. The allegations included trying to steal a ham from a market in the 1600 block of West Jefferson Street. Police said _____ ran into the nearby neighborhood, trying to escape, but was caught by a store employee and an off-duty officer. He was also charged with battery and aggravated assault during that incident.

_____ was again arrested for retail theft after reportedly taking $39 in medical supplies from a Lockport pharmacy in 1998. He was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia by sheriff's police the following year and criminal trespassing by police in 2000.

In 2002, _____ was one of 27 people arrested in Operation Pick-Off, a yearlong undercover investigation of crack dealers operating on East Side.

According to reports, over the next six years police arrested _____ on drug charges three more times and on a charge of criminal sexual assault in July 2008.