Wednesday, June 17, 2009

ARC RADIO & SOSEN PRESENT - LIVE FROM THE JULIA TUTTLE CAUSEWAY (Part 2)

Part 3

Hosted by: RealityUSA

Title: LIVE FROM MIAMI FLORIDA!!!!! (USE THIS LINK TO JOIN IN!)

Time: 06/17/2009 09:30 PM EST (DO NOT FORGET TO DIAL IN FOR THIS)

Episode Notes: Join us Wed June 17th @ 9:30pm EST as we have 3 SOSEN members that have traveled down to do a LIVE show from under the Julia Tuttle Bridge in Miami Florida and will also be speaking to the many residents and family members that are being forced to live under the bridge. SOSEN BOD made this official announcement on our last podcast 6-16-09 if you want to hear the announcement go to our last podcast. See you all on Wed at 9:30pm EST.

Personal Message from the Host:
"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." - Mahatma Ghandi

We are here to talk about the TRUTH and not MYTHS of a range of Topics going on around the USA. Agatha Christie once famously said, "The simplest explanation is always the most likely." However, when something shocking or catastrophic happens in our lives, simple explanations just aren't satisfying. We crave deeper reason and meaning and when that isn't given to us, sometimes we create our own. This is how conspiracy theories are often born -- someone doesn't like the official account of a major event and challenges it with a different version. Conspiracy theories can attract a wide array of people, from vehement supporters to those who just like a good story. Whether they're somewhat believable or completely ridiculous, the most popular conspiracy theories got that way for a reason -- they're just plain fascinating.

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Call in, dial: (724) 444-7444, enter 29521 #, then enter 1 # or your PIN

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"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill (Bill Of Rights)


CT - Councilwomen and Judge in their debut DUI booking acts!

View the article here

A town councilwoman arrested earlier this month on a DUI charge warned police as they were booking her that she was a member of the town council and that she "approves their salaries."

Surveillance video obtained from the police department shows Barbara C. Wagner (Email), 59, of 11 Lake Shore Trail, visibly upset and frustrated as she is being interviewed in the police station after her arrest on June 2.

During the processing, police ask Wagner several times whether she'll take a Breathalyzer test. Wagner does not answer, but instead asks to call her husband and to go home. She looks annoyed when the booking officer asks her if she needs to vomit and slides a wastebasket next to her.

"I am a member of the Glastonbury Town Council and I approve your salaries," Wagner says. "And think you're being really rude."

Toward the end of the interview, the four-term Democrat and council minority leader brings up the officers' salaries again. Wagner asks to go home and police tell her they'll give her a ride home once they're finished. Wagner stands up and begins to walk toward the door. Told to wait, she becomes frustrated.

"I approve your salaries. I approve your salaries," she says.

"Ma'am, that's not really going to get you anywhere," an officer responds.

Wagner laughs and says, "I'm just kidding."

Wagner wrote a letter to police Chief Thomas J. Sweeney on Tuesday, saying that she was "frightened, embarrassed and not thinking very clearly at the time."

"I would like to apologize to the Glastonbury Police Department if I engaged in any inappropriate conduct at the station. Obviously, the entire episode was inappropriate, and I deeply regret my conduct and can assure you that I've stayed out of trouble for my first 33 years living in Glastonbury up to now and hope to have several more decades to redeem myself," she wrote.

Wagner also apologized last week for her arrest and said she takes full responsibility for her actions.

Wagner's lawyer, Kathleen Kowalyshyn, said that Wagner would not comment on a video she has not seen.

Wagner was charged with driving while intoxicated and failure to drive right after she was stopped for driving erratically on New London Turnpike about 8 p.m. on June 2, police said. She was presented at Superior Court in Manchester on Monday and her case was continued to July 13.

This is the second time in a year that a public official has been caught on Glastonbury police videotape making demeaning remarks to officers.

In October, Superior Court Judge E. Curtissa Cofield, also of Glastonbury, made racist remarks to police officers during her arrest on drunken-driving charges. The state Judicial Review Council punished her in February with an eight-month suspension with no pay or benefits.




"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill (Bill Of Rights)


DC - So now, if you protest, apparently you are a terrorist!!!

View the article here

06/17/2009

By James Osborne

A written exam administered by the Pentagon labels "protests" as a form of “low-level terrorism” — enraging civil liberties advocates and activist groups who say it shows blatant disregard of the First Amendment.

The written exam, given as part of Department of Defense employees’ routine training, includes a multiple-choice question that asks:

Which of the following is an example of low-level terrorism?
  • Attacking the Pentagon
  • IEDs
  • Hate crimes against racial groups
  • Protests

The correct answer, according to the exam, is "Protests."

Its part of a pattern of equating dissent and protest with terrorism," said Ann Brick, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, which obtained a copy of the question after a Defense Department employee who was taking the test printed the screen on his or her computer terminal.

"It undermines the core constitutional values the Department of Defense is supposed to be defending,” Brick said, referring to the First Amendment right to peaceably assemble.

She said the ACLU has asked the Defense Department to remove the question and send out a correction to all employees who took the exam.

There were other employees who were unhappy with it and disturbed by it,” Brick said.

Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Les Melnyk said the Defense Department is looking into the matter and expects to provide more information later Wednesday.

We need to determine if it’s something we’re currently doing,” Melnyk said. “A lot of the information in this exam is intended for people stationed abroad. We counsel those people to avoid demonstrations.”

Anti-war protesters, who say they have been targets of federal surveillance for years, were livid when they were told about the exam question.

That’s illegal,” said George Martin, national co-chairman of United for Peace and Justice. “Protest in terms of legal dissent has to be recognized, especially by the authorities."

"It’s not terrorism or a lack of patriotism. We care enough to be active in our government.”

Bill Wilson, president of the Americans for Limited Government, which supported the Tea Party demonstrations earlier this year, agreed.

"Groups like Al Qaeda and Hezbollah, paramilitary organizations that are striking out at something they oppose or hate, that's terrorism," Wilson said.

"To equate that in any degree with citizens being able to express themselves seems to me to be headed down a road where all dissent is suspect and questionable."

Ben Friedman, a research fellow at the Cato Institute in Washington, said the U.S. government has a long history of infringing upon citizens’ civil liberties in the name of domestic security.

It’s the kind of thing that happens when you have large security bureaucracies, which is why they need to be kept in check,” Friedman said. “These things tend to occur in times of panic, like after Sept. 11.

The ACLU, in a letter of complaint it sent to the Defense Department, catalogued a list of what it said were recent civil liberties violations by federal authorities, including the monitoring of anti-war protests and the FBI’s surveillance of potential protesters at the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York.

Martin said getting information on the extent of the FBI and National Security Agency’s surveillance programs is nearly impossible.

I have been arrested within 100 yards of George W. Bush and spoken out against the policies of our government in more than 100 countries," he said. "But they said they have no record on me. I don’t believe that.”

During Bush's presidency, the Defense Department was criticized for infringing on citizens’ civil rights through surveillance programs designed to protect the nation against terrorist attacks. Brick said she has seen no indication that there will be a change in policy under President Obama.

We need to see what they do,” she said. “In a number of areas the Obama administration has not backed off and kept the Bush administration line.”


Watch this movie entitled "1984"



"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill (Bill Of Rights)


Where Are They Now? Some Sex Scandal Pols Vanish, Others Get a Second Chance

View the article here

Well, they think sex offenders cannot be rehabilitated, so if that is true, which it is not, then they cannot be rehabilitated either.  And see here, for all the corruption from those in government.

06/17/2009

Nevada Sen. John Ensign's admission to having an extramarital affair is only the latest in a long list of political sex scandals.

Sen. John Ensign of Nevada has admitted that he had an extramarital affair with a campaign aide last year -- a revelation that could sabotage the popular conservative's chance at a 2012 bid for the Republican presidential nominee.

But Ensign, whose confession came unexpectedly Tuesday in a hastily arranged news conference, is only the latest in a long list of politicians who have had to go before the cameras to explain their transgressions.

Some politicians' careers were instantly ruined by their behavior. But a far greater number succeeded in withdrawing from the public eye -- only to re-emerge with a new public skin.

YOU DECIDE: Can Politicians Who Stray Be Rehabilitated?

Where are they now? Here's an update:

John Edwards

What Happened?

After months of dismissing allegations of an affair as "tabloid trash," the two-time Democratic presidential candidate and former North Carolina senator confessed on Aug. 8, 2008, to an extramarital relationship with former campaign videographer Rielle Hunter.

Where is He Now?

Edwards, who denies that he is the father of Hunter's baby, has kept a relatively low profile. He made his second public appearance since his admission when he spoke about poverty at Brown University in March. Edwards acknowledged in May that federal investigators were looking into how he handled his campaign funds.

Eliot Spitzer

What Happened?

Federal authorities busted the New York governor in March 2008 for paying $10,000 to the Emperor Club, a high-end Washington, D.C.-based prostitution ring. Spitzer -- named by the brothel as "Client #9" -- paid 22-year-old Ashlee Dupree $1,000 an hour for a hotel rendezvous. Spitzer, a Democrat, resigned two days later on March 17, 2008.

Where is He Now?

Since his fall from grace, Spitzer has worked as a columnist for Slate Magazine. Asked in December about his new job, Spitzer deadpanned: "It sucks. I used to be governor." He also wrote an opinion piece on the financial crisis in The Washington Post in November, noting that "mistakes I made in my private life now prevent me from participating in these issues as I have in the past."

Rudy Giuliani

What Happened?

A 1997 Vanity Fair article reported that the married New York City mayor was embroiled in a romantic relationship with his communications director, Cristyne Lategano. In 2000, following his divorce from wife Donna Hanover, it was widely reported that Giuliani had an extramarital affair with Judith Nathan, a former sales manager for a pharmaceutical company. Giuliani, who never admitted any infidelity, married Nathan soon after his divorce -- and became increasingly estranged from his children.

Where is He Now?

Giuliani withdrew his presidential bid in early 2008 after finishing a distant third in the Florida Republican primary. Since then, Giuliani has returned to work at Giuliani Partners and Bracewell & Giuliani. In January, he said he has not ruled out a run for New York governor next year or the presidency again in 2012.

Jim McGreevey

What Happened?

On Aug. 12, 2004, New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey, the married father of two children, resigned from office after publicly declaring that he was gay and admitting to having "an adult consensual affair with another man." It was later revealed that McGreevey's former homeland security adviser, Golan Cipel, with whom he was reported to have had the affair, threatened to file a sexual harassment lawsuit against him.

Where is He Now?

Since his resignation and divorce from Dina Matos McGreevey in 2007, the former governor, a Democrat, has published a memoir entitled "The Confession." McGreevey currently lives with his partner in Plainfield, N.J., and teaches ethics, law and leadership at Kean University in Union, N.J.

David Vitter

What Happened?

In July 2007, the married Louisiana senator, a Republican, was identified as a client of "D.C. Madam" Deborah Jeane Palfrey's high-priced prostitution service in Washington. Vitter, a staunch political conservative, soon admitted to the infidelity and issued a public apology for his "very serious sin."

Where is He Now?

Vitter remains in the U.S. Senate and is running for re-election in 2010. Palfrey, facing a prison sentence, killed herself.

Vito Fossella

What Happened?

After months of denials, New York City's only Republican congressman admitted in May 2008 to having an extramarital affair with retired Air Force Lt. Col. Laura Fay, and that he was the father of her child.

Where is He Now?

Fossella's affair was revealed as part of the investigation into a drunken driving arrest, for which Fay bailed him out. He served out the end of his legislative term, which ended on Jan. 3. He pleaded guilty in April to DUI and was sentenced to five days in jail, the loss of his Virginia driver's license, a $250 fine and an alcohol-education program. Fossella said he had no plans to run for re-election and is currently working at Superfund Investment Group in Manhattan.

Gary Condit

What Happened?

In 2001, the California congressman confessed to having an affair with 24-year-old intern Chandra Levy after the young woman disappeared during a run in Washington's Rock Creek Park. Condit, a Democrat, was suspected by some as having knowledge of Levy's disappearance. He professed his innocence and was cleared by police, but his reputation was badly damaged. Interest in his case vanished after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, and he remained in his seat. But he lost his primary election in March 2002 and left Congress in January 2003.

Where is He Now?

Following his congressional career, Condit filed three defamation of character suits against Vanity Fair and the Sonoran News. The cases were later dismissed. Condit moved to Arizona to open two Baskin-Robbins ice cream shop franchises with his wife and children in 2005. In March 2006, Baskin-Robbins revoked the franchising agreement. A Salvadoran man was charged in April 2009 with Levy's murder.

Larry Craig

What Happened?

Idaho Sen. Larry Craig was quietly arrested in June 2007 for lewd conduct in the men's bathroom at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Two months after the Republican pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct, Washington got wind of the incident. Craig announced his resignation from the Senate in September 2007, but he decided to stay until the end of his term. He did not seek re-election in 2008.

Where is He Now?

Despite the scandal, Craig, who had served 18 years in the Senate, was inducted into the Idaho Hall of Fame. In January 2009, his attorneys dropped his bid with the Minnesota State Supreme Court to try and have his guilty plea tossed out.

Mark Foley

What Happened?

The Florida congressman resigned from office abruptly in September 2006 when it was alleged that he had sent sexually explicit e-mails and instant messages to congressional male pages. An ABC News blog first reported that Foley, a Republican, had sent an e-mail to a teenage page from his personal e-mail account, asking for a photo. Foley's staff at first dismissed the e-mail as innocent, but a second page later came forward, saying the congressman had sent sexually explicit instant messages to him.

Where is He Now?

After he left Congress, Foley checked himself into a rehabilitation clinic for alcoholism. His lawyer confirmed that Foley was gay, said that he had been the victim of sexual assault by a clergyman as a child and that he was "absolutely, positively not a pedophile." Foley now is in the real estate business in Palm Beach, Fla., where he is in a long-term relationship with a dermatologist.

Gary Hart

What Happened?

Less than a month after Colorado Sen. Gary Hart announced his second Democratic presidential run in 1987, various news outlets reported he was having an extramarital affair with 29-year-old model Donna Rice. A week after the story broke, Hart dropped out of the presidential race. At a press conference with reporters, Hart blasted the media, saying, "I said that I bend, but I don't break, and believe me, I'm not broken."

Where is He Now?

Hart did not seek re-election to the Senate and resumed his law practice. In 2005, he began writing for the Huffington Post, and in 2006 he became a professor at the University of Colorado at Denver. He has become an outspoken voice on America's relations with Iran and energy policy, is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, chairman for the Council for a Livable World and an accomplished novelist. In 2008, he was also an unpaid adviser to presidential candidate Barack Obama.

Bill Clinton

What Happened?

The former president was impeached in 1998 by the U.S. House of Representatives for lying under oath about having an extramarital affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Clinton at first denied the affair, but then admitted in grand jury testimony and later in a televised address to the nation that he had an "improper physical relationship" with Lewinsky. The Senate acquitted the Democratic president of the impeachment charges, but the state of Arkansas suspended his law license for five years in 2001.

Where is He Now?

Since leaving the White House in 2001, Clinton founded the William J. Clinton Foundation to fight international crises such as HIV/AIDS and global warming. The former president released his autobiography, "My Life," in 2004, and actively campaigned for his wife, Hillary Clinton, during the 2008 presidential election. In 2008, he was named United Nations Special Envoy to Haiti. Clinton has earned millions for his speaking engagements and is a regular fixture in international news.


"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill (Bill Of Rights)


OH - Shelter To Turn Tier III Sex Offenders Away

View the article here

06/17/2009

COLUMBUS - The only homeless shelter in Columbus to accept Tier III sex offenders planned to change its policy, 10TV News reported Tuesday.

Faith Mission (Contact), located on Long Street, will no longer provide beds for the Tier III offenders beginning July 1, 10TV's Lindsey Seavert reported.

Last winter, the shelter said they noticed nearly a 30 percent rise in the number of Tier III offenders staying at the shelter, sometimes housing up to 15 per day.

"I really realized the trend was those guys were coming directly from incarceration, from the Department of Corrections to the shelter and in many cases we simply don't have the services here they need," said executive director Sue Villilo.
- And what services is that?  A bed and some food?

Villilo said they are worried about sex offenders interacting with volunteers at the shelter.

"Some of the volunteer groups involve children," Villilo said.
- So are we assuming again, that all sex offenders had something to do with children?

Shelter resident Gregory Kelsor said it is a good move for safety, but not everyone knows what it is like to spend a day in an offender's shoes, Seavert reported.

"I definitely think they need to be put on a chain, for sure, but people deserve a second chance, we all do because we all make mistakes," Kelsor said.
- So you are double talking.  You say to "put them on chains," but then say "everyone deserves a second chance!"  Come on, so which do you REALLY believe in?

Ken Andrews, a homeless advocate, said he worries that the decision is a mistake.

"There will be a problem, this is a population that does reoffend," Andrews said.
- Well, not from what the studies and statistics show, but you are believing what you've heard on the news or by politicians with an agenda.  See here for studies that disprove what was said.

He said he knows many of the offenders and that given the risk, he would rather they sleep in a shelter than on the streets.

"If they are a Tier III, the courts tell us to know where they are at," Andrews said. "Why are our social service agencies and city leaders tossing these people to us? It doesn't make sense."
- Sure it does.  They make and pass unconstitutional laws, forcing people into homelessness, so where else would they go besides your place?  Many of these people, if not for these laws, would have a place to stay and possibly a job, but the state doesn't want that, they want to keep the prison business flowing and making money.

The shelter said they are sticking to their mission and it's not the place where the most violent of homeless should sleep, Seavert reported.
- So what is your "mission?"  You are a homeless shelter, and yet you are denying Tier III homeless offenders.  So again, what is your "mission?"

"We are not a safety net, we don't monitor or track sex offenders, that is a Corrections function," Villilo said.

Tier III sex offenders are required to register with police every 90 days for the rest of their lives. Tier II offenders must register every 180 days for 25 years and Tier I offenders are required to register once a year for 15 years.

The shelter will continue to accept Tier I and II sex offenders. Anyone is welcome to attend meals at the shelter, regardless of their criminal history, Seavert reported.




"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill (Bill Of Rights)


SC - Sex offender restrictions survive Sanford's veto

View the article here

06/17/2009

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A law putting limitations on where sex offenders can live in the state is now law after initially being vetoed by Gov. Mark Sanford (Contact).

The bill has two main points: putting the same limitations on where sex offenders can live across the state rather than letting cities and counties decide the rules.

"So you don't have Columbia doing one thing, Charleston doing another thing. It's 1,000 feet statewide. Law enforcement understands that so they can enforce it and convicted offenders understand that so they know where they can live," said Rep. Joan Brady (Email) during Tuesday's debate on the issue.

The governor and lawmakers are both on board with those restrictions, but here's where they disagree.

Right now under South Carolina law, if a sex offender does not register, they will spend 90 days in jail.

Under the new plan, a spokesman for the governor says that penalty is dropped to 30 days and that's why it was vetoed.

One of the bill's sponsors says the penalty was dropped to allow the cases to move through court system more quickly.

The governor's spokesman says we can have both if the bill is redone next year.


"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill (Bill Of Rights)


WI - Sexual offenders rules set

View the article here

06/17/2009

By Randy Hanson

Three years after the issue was first raised by Alderperson Randy Morrissette II, the Hudson City Council has adopted an ordinance restricting where people convicted of sex crimes may reside.

Three years after the issue was first raised by Alderperson Randy Morrissette II (Email), the Hudson City Council has adopted an ordinance restricting where people convicted of sex crimes may reside.

The ordinance also establishes 150-foot restricted zones around schools, parks, daycares, youth centers and other places where children congregate.

Anyone who has been convicted of a sex crime against a child or a violent sexual offense is prohibited from loitering near the restricted places or being on the premises.

Exceptions are allowed under certain circumstances.

The ordinance bars sex offenders from residing within 200 feet of the same prohibited places.

The ordinance was adopted on a unanimous voice vote at Monday night’s City Council meeting. Alderperson Scot O’Malley (Email), the chief critic of earlier drafts of a sex offender ordinance, was absent.

Mayor Dean Knudson (Email) declared the ordinance to be one of the best -- if not the best -- in the state concerning sex offenders.

I think we could be a model” for other municipalities in establishing residency restrictions, he said.

We spent a lot of time on this, probably 10 times as much as legislators who voted on a statewide law,” Knudson noted.

He didn’t say what bill concerning sex offenders state legislators had voted on recently.

Hudson’s ordinance is much more narrowly tailored than ordinances in other Wisconsin cities that have resulted in sex offenders dropping out of sight, Knudson said.

Some cities have banned offenders from living within 1,500 or 2,000 feet of places where children congregate.

According to Community Development Director Dennis Darnold, 70 percent of Hudson’s rental housing will still be available to sex offenders under the 200-foot residency restriction adopted by the council.

More than 51 percent of the rental housing north of I-94 will remain available, according to a document prepared by Darnold. South of the freeway, more than 82 percent of rental units will remain available, he said.

Darnold said 262 apartments north of I-94 lie outside of restricted areas, and 697 apartments south of the freeway are outside of the restricted zones. He counted apartments in just buildings with three or more of them.

The penalty for a sexual offender who violates the residency restriction will be a $250 forfeiture plus court costs for the first offense and a $500 forfeiture for each subsequent offense.

Each day that an offender resides in a restricted zone will constitute a separate violation.

The forfeiture for going onto restricted property without permission, or loitering near it, will be $1,000 for the first offense and $2,000 for each subsequent offense.

Morrissette had pushed for more stringent residency restrictions, but he voted to adopt the ordinance before the council.


"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill (Bill Of Rights)


Majority of Leading Criminologists Find Death Penalty Does Not Deter Murder

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Eighty-eight percent of the country’s top criminologists do not believe the death penalty acts as a deterrent to homicide, according to a new study published June 16 in Northwestern University School of Law’s Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology authored by Professor Michael Radelet, Chair of the Department of Sociology at the University of Colorado-Boulder. The study, “Do Executions Lower Homicide Rates? The Views of Leading Criminologists,” concludes: “Our survey indicates that the vast majority of the world’s top criminologists believe that the empirical research has revealed the deterrence hypothesis for a myth … [T]he consensus among criminologists is that the death penalty does not add any significant deterrent effect above that of long-term imprisonment.” Read the study here and the press release from DPIC here.

(M. Radelet, T. Lacock, "Do Executions Lower Homicide Rates? The Views of Leading Criminologists,” 99 Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology 489 (2009)). See Studies and Deterrence.


"It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood." - James Madison (Bill Of Rights)


CT - Justice System Ill-Served By Victorian Attitudes

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06/15/2009

By NORM PATTIS

Were Sigmund Freud alive and well, he would despair over the state of criminal justice in Connecticut. We’ve criminalized desire to such an extent that many of us are now criminals at some point or another. And rather that put the brakes on a system run amok, lawmakers are finding more and more ways to lock people up. Is the only business booming amid the recession the prison-industrial complex?

A story in last week’s Hartford Courant reported that a couple of dozen folks were arrested as part of a dawn sweep of convicted sex offenders. Many of those arrested were charged with the felony of failing to provide a correct address to the good folks managing the sex offender registry. Others, no doubt, were arrested for being too close to children; perhaps even for living with their own offspring.

When Freud started analyzing patients, he noticed that many young hysterics reported childhood sexual molestation. He was stunned. Was sexual abuse ubiquitous? In time, Freud realized that many, if not most, of the claims of childhood abuse were fantasies. Human sexuality is dynamite. We learn to chart our libidinal courses with difficulty. We err, most often hurting ourselves, sometimes hurting others.

Connecticut’s newfound Victorian attitude toward sexuality seems firmly rooted in a sort of pre-critical sensibility. Suddenly, we see sex everywhere. A child makes a complaint, and there is a presumption that the complaint is true. The alleged victim is whisked off to a so-called forensic interview where he or she is encouraged to “disclose” all the gory details. Children, incompetent as a matter of law to form a contract, are suddenly, and too often, coddled into becoming the star witnesses in criminal cases in which the sole evidence against a defendant is the child’s uncorroborated testimony.

Question: If I cannot buy a used car from a child why is he or she permitted to offer testimony that will send my client to prison for decades?

Don’t get me wrong. I am not running for president of the Republic of Pedophilia. I simply note the irony, and I am troubled what seems to be a surge in these sorts of prosecutions. Surely, the Nutmeg State did not awaken to the new millennium inspired by little more than sexual deviance. Are we akin to the early Freud, so fascinated by the reports of perversion that we are inclined to believe each report?

Assume for the moment there is some social utility in prosecuting each uncorroborated complaint of unlawful touching. I suspect each year innocent men are sent to prison due to the fantasy of a child who has displaced all of the frustration and anxiety of growing up in a chaotic home into, literally, the lap of an unwitting bystander. The risk of convicting an innocent person might in some minds be balanced by the need to protect innocent and vulnerable members of our society.

But let’s be candid about this risk and not resort to the sort of mass hysteria that yielded the Salem witchcraft trials or the overwrought imagings of Freud and his early patients.

We have now criminalized adolescent curiosity. Statutory rape law permit the prosecution of young men engaged in consensual sexual activity with girls old enough to be given in marriage in earlier eras. Mere possession of images of child pornography is a crime. Both offenses require prison sentences. And then the offender must register on a public list, and his liberty is hemmed about with requirements that make it all but impossible to live. This post-conviction libidinal plantation is supervised by probation officers armed with the moral sensibilities, and assessment skills, of Carrie Nation and her band of prohibitionists. The result is a criminal justice system clogged with cases at great expense and little social utility.

Judges, prosecutors and defense counsel all talk about how the system is broken as regards sexual offenses. But no one acts. That’s because to act risks scorn. Who speaks on behalf of errant desire?

Wise lawmakers would commission a study of sex offenses and the consequences of conviction. Let’s take a look at the mayhem we call justice. Perhaps once the analysis is complete we will, like Freud, conclude that sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.•

Norm Pattis is a criminal defense lawyer and civil rights attorney in Bethany. Most days he blogs at normpattis.blogspot.com.


"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill (Bill Of Rights)


NH - Sign claims sex offender lurking at Rochester Community Center

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06/17/2009

By JOEY CRESTA

ROCHESTER — City officials say there is no indication anyone who uses the Community Center should feel unsafe despite signs an anonymous person posted there claiming a sex offender is "in our midst."

"It has come to our attention that at the Rochester Community Center we have a level 3 sex offender with a child under 13," says a sign posted in a first-floor stairwell at the center on Wakefield Street.

The sign does not specify whether the alleged sex offender is an employee of one of the many organizations that rent space at the facility. It is also unclear who posted the signs; the person gives no name, but provided an e-mail address for those wishing to provide "ideas, comments or solutions."

However, several e-mails sent to the address by a Foster's Daily Democrat reporter went unanswered this week.

City Manager John Scruton said no one he has spoken to has any idea who the sign references or who posted it, but said it may have resulted from a personal issue.

"It appears to be a personal vendetta against a particular individual and we have no idea who it's against," he said.

Scruton has discussed the matter with other officials, including Superintendent Mike Hopkins, whose office is in the center. He said he does not believe safety is a concern because younger children who use the center are normally "closely supervised."

The sign said that, "At any given time there are 5-10 children alone in these long windy hallways," but Scruton said children would be more closely supervised in the center's hallways than they would be if they just walked down any given street in the city.

"I don't see unsupervised children" at the center, he said, but did add, "There are probably periods of the day when children are less closely supervised."

Police are aware of the posted sign, but said there is no indication anyone at the center is breaking the law or poses an immediate danger.

"What was brought to our attention was a posting put up in the Community Center," said Lt. Anthony Triano. "We monitor all registered sex offenders in the city and we're not aware of anybody in violation."

Triano said a registered sex offender at the center would only be doing something illegal if a court ordered him or her to stay a certain distance from schools or children.

"We're not aware of any problems or concerns," Triano said, adding no one has made complaints besides the anonymous person who posted the sign and police do not intend to attempt to contact that person because they do not believe there is a real problem.

Scruton said the sign "almost sounds like vigilante justice" and people should not be able to post whatever messages they want in the center. He took issue with the creator of the sign "jumping to the conclusion" that a sex offender will commit a sex crime again, even though the purpose of the criminal justice system is reformation.

"That's the bottom line — unless the court placed stipulations on a person that restricted them from public places, then they have as much right to be there as anyone else," Scruton said. "We track all sex offenders (in the city)... that doesn't mean all of their rights in the future are taken away."

Unlike Dover, Rochester has no ordinance restricting where sex offenders can go. Dover's ordinance prohibits registered sex offenders from living within 2,500 feet from a school or day care center. The ordinance still stands despite it being challenged in court. Scruton said he believes such an ordinance is not only unconstitutional, but would also be very difficult to enforce.

"We will continue to monitor (the situation), but we've also always been concerned (with safety)... it's been a long-standing policy to keep everybody safe — not just children," he said.

The Community Center houses a large number of organizations, including the School Department, Health and Human Services, the Community Action Program, the Recreation Department, Economic Development, Girl's Inc., Head Start, Arts Rochester, the Bud Carlson Academy and Gerry's Food Pantry.

Public Works Commissioner Melodie Esterberg said no city employees at the Community Center are registered sex offenders. She said the city runs criminal records checks during the hiring process and is especially mindful when hiring people who will work in the center due to the number of young people who use the facility.


"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill (Bill Of Rights)


LA - Angola State Pennitentiary

I watched a show on the NatGeo tonight about Angola, and I must say, I am impressed. They work on rehabilitation and getting people the help. It was known as the world most dangerous prison, now, they hardly ever have any violence there. Due to the compassion and caring of the warden and those who run it. My hats off to all who are involved in this.

National Geographic Web Site - Decade Behind Bard - Return To The Farm







"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill (Bill Of Rights)


FL - Investigations Into Graves at Boys School; Former Reform School Students Recall Beatings, Sex Assaults




"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill (Bill Of Rights)