Wednesday, July 1, 2009

FL - Julia Tuttle Causeway Offenders - Violating human and civil rights on a daily basis!




"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin (Bill Of Rights)


UT - Charges re-filed against accused internet sex predator

View the article here

The Constitution is not worth the ink and paper it's written on.  This man is being tried for the same crime, another violation of the Constitution's Fifth Amendment.

07/01/2009

By Ben Winslow

SALT LAKE CITY -- After federal prosecutors agreed to dismiss the case because of medical issues, state prosecutors have now charged a retired Air Force major busted in an internet sex sting.

The Utah Attorney General's Office charged _____, 45, with three class A misdemeanor counts of enticing a minor. The charges were filed Tuesday in Salt Lake City's 3rd District Court.

_____ was originally charged in federal court in Salt Lake City back in 2007, but the case was dropped earlier this year because of issues surrounding his health. In court papers, _____'s attorney argued that he suffered from a life-threatening heart condition and the stress and strain of any criminal prosecution would put his life at risk.
- So therefore, you have no constitutional rights, period.

Amendment V
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for Utah agreed to dismiss the case - with prejudice - meaning that they could re-file the charges at any time.
- This is flat out wrong.  Dismissal with prejudice means they CANNOT file charges again for the same crime, look it up!  Dismissal without prejudice means they can re-file charges, not with prejudice!

Apparently, the Utah Attorney General's Office did not feel his health was a significant enough factor by leveling the charges. A judge also issued a warrant for _____'s arrest on Tuesday.

The charging documents claim that _____ arranged a sexual liaison over the internet with someone that he thought was a 15-year-old girl. It was really an undercover police officer.

When he showed up to the Layton Hills Mall, he was arrested.

"He gave spontaneous statements, indicating he was at the mall to have dinner with his wife and was happily married," officers wrote in a probable cause statement filed with the charges. "_____ also stated he was interested in seeing how safe programs work on the internet to keep children safe since the internet was a scary and dangerous place; and he stated he was not at the mall to meet a 15-year-old girl."

A court appearance has not yet been scheduled for _____.
- So much for a constitution, it means nothing anymore!


"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin (Bill Of Rights)


FL - Nearly 80 sex offenders scratch out a life under Miami's Julia Tuttle Causeway

View the article here
View the video here

07/01/2009

By JOHN LANTIGUA

MIAMI — The man living under the bridge, Javier, is 69 and tattoos of shapely, young women adorn his arms and torso.

The tattoos might be just early excesses, the faded daydreams of a young sailor. But when you know why he lives there, they become symbols - foreboding predictions - of his problems.

Javier is one of almost 80 sex offenders living like castaways beneath the Julia Tuttle Causeway, which connects Miami to Miami Beach across Biscayne Bay. He says he was convicted 17 years ago of sexual contact with a girl, 13.

The offenders are exiled under the six-lane overpass because a 2005 Miami Dade ordinance prohibits people convicted of sex crimes involving minors from living within 2,500 feet of schools, playgrounds, or, in some cases, school bus stops.

Ostracized and squeezed out of all affordable housing in the crowded county, it has become impossible, the men say, to find anywhere else to live legally.

Before 2005, state law applied, which dictates that offenders live at least 1,000 feet away from such sites.

But about 100 Florida cities - including some in Palm Beach County and all of its unincorporated area - have also expanded their buffer zones and state officials fear the "homeless sex offender" problem will spread.

"Terrorists, members of al Qaeda, live better at Guantanamo than we do," says Armando Martinez, 49, convicted in 1999 for attempted sexual battery against a child.
- Careful what you say.  I don't think so, they were tortured, water boarded, etc!

Despite the conditions, few people sympathize with Javier, Martinez and their neighbors. A sexual offender is often an outcast to everyone except, possibly, his own family members.

And Howard Simon, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, who is trying to help get them out from under the bridge, isn't asking the public for sympathy.

"People have to realize that making them live under that bridge has created a more dangerous situation," he says. "Because of the conditions, some of these individuals are absconding, evading supervision. These ordinances interfere with the Department of Corrections ability to keep track of them. This is a crisis situation."

Gretl Plessinger, Florida Department of Corrections spokesperson, agrees.

"Our concern is for public safety," she says. "If they are homeless there is more of a chance they will abscond. There are already 91 homeless offenders around the state, mostly in South Florida, and the problem is getting bigger."

Water laps at that narrow apron of sand beneath the causeway. Mosquitoes are everywhere, and at all hours cars thrum on the road above. The "residents" bathe in the bay and relieve themselves in compost toilets or in the underbrush.

The sleeping spots most protected from the elements are tucked about 20 feet up the concrete wall, under the bridge arches. Those spaces are just tall enough for tents. Long time residents have rights to those spots and live like cave dwellers.

On ground level, the inhabitants are crammed together in tents, plywood shacks, a camper. A noisy generator powers light bulbs, fans, microwaves, phone chargers, and the GPS receivers many offenders must carry everywhere so they can be tracked by probation officers. Cooking is done on grills.

The crowded, gerry-rigged conditions resemble the Third World.

Almost all residents are men, although sometimes girlfriends sleep over.

One woman lives here, convicted of exposing herself to minors.

The expanding of buffer zones around Florida was provoked by a horrible event: the abduction, rape and murder of Jessica Lunsford, 9, by convicted sex predator John Couey in February 2005. Couey has been sentenced to death.

But most the bridge dwellers are not considered "predators," men who have committed violent sexual acts or acts with children under 12. Most are sex "offenders," and say they had sex with girls between 13 and 17.

Elliott Bloom, 31, says he was 19 when he had sex with a girl, 15. The offenders call those couplings between teenagers "Romeo and Juliet" cases and believe they are sometimes punished too harshly.

Simon says the residency laws should distinguish between "offenders" and violent "predators," but they don't.

"Lot of things about these ordinances don't make sense," he says.

Dr. Jill Levenson, associate professor at Lynn University in Boca Raton, agrees.

Statistics show that the majority of reported sexual offenses against minors are committed by adults they know well, including relatives, and not strangers who stalk them, as in the Lunsford case.

"And according to the research there is no difference in the recidivism rate if sexual offenders live 1,000 feet away from schools and playgrounds or 2,500 feet," she said. "If the idea is that the kids be out of sight of the offender, 1000 feet is more than three football fields."

But Levenson says other elements of the restrictions make even less sense.

"From 6 a.m. until 10 p.m. these men can be anywhere they want to be," she says. "They could sit on a park bench across from a school if they wanted. But at night, when kids are home safe sleeping with their parents, these ordinances are ordering the offenders to be at a distance."

In 2008 State Sen. Dave Aronberg, D-Greenacres, presented a bill in the legislature that would have made the state-wide buffer zone for living restrictions 1,500 feet, to go along with a 300-foot buffer zone during the day. It failed.

Some public officials are sticking to their guns. Boynton Beach expanded its buffer zone to 2,500 feet and Mayor Jerry Taylor says he is glad it did.

"I have no sympathy for these guys," he says. "They should have thought before they committed those offenses. It is the Department of Corrections job to make sure these guys check in and if they don't they should pay the consequences."
- And you should stop passing unconstitutional laws.  Ex post facto laws are a direct violation of the constitution, so what about upholding your "oath of office," hypocrite?  And just wait until your son or daughter is caught in the traps, then do come screaming for laws to be changed!

Simon says the ACLU is preparing litigation to try to force the state to alleviate the situation. Meanwhile, hurricane season has started. A severe storm will almost certainly destroy the camp.

"They say they are going to take us to a prison if one hits and then bring us back here," says Troy Dumas, 32. "This is crazy."






"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin (Bill Of Rights)


ARC RADIO - Special Tribute Show and Announcement

Hosted by: RealityUSA

Title: Special Tribute Show and Announcement

Time: 06/30/2009 08:30 PM EST

Episode Notes: Please join us tonight to hear announcement concerning Ron Books schedule date. And lets talk about current big news. ALSO- beings Ron will not be here with us tonight due to he will be down at the Julia Tuttle Causeway bridge, If the show is still running we may have a Julia Tuttle Causeway resident calling in to give us the updates of what happened. Ron has been re-scheduled for July 2nd at 8:30pm est.




"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin (Bill Of Rights)


TX - Jury awards man $5M in lawsuit over prison time

View the article here

06/25/2009

HOUSTON — A federal jury has awarded $5 million to a Houston man who spent 17 years in prison on kidnapping and rape charges that were overturned in 2005.

Forty-eight-year-old _____ sued after being convicted in 1987 based on evidence from the troubled Houston Police Department crime lab that was later discredited.

His lawyers argued that city officials were deliberately indifferent to a lack of supervision at the crime lab that created a risk that an innocent person could be convicted.

The city argued that _____'s conviction was the result of false testimony given by a former crime lab manager and was not the fault of the city.

The Houston Chronicle reports that _____ says he's satisfied with Thursday's verdict.


"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin (Bill Of Rights)


MO - Ruling makes state sex offender registry retroactive

View the article here

07/01/2009

By Sarah West

A recent Missouri Supreme Court ruling will require all sex offenders in Missouri, regardless of when or where the offense occurred, to register with the state sex offender registry. Missouri has maintained a public registry since Jan. 1, 1995, and although it was originally retroactive to offenses committed since 1979, a Missouri Supreme Court ruling in 2006 only required offenders as of Jan. 1, 1995, to register.

Though the new ruling will require law enforcement to track many more offenders, the Polk County Sheriff’s office maintained private records of those offenders who were no longer required to register after the 2006 ruling, according to Sheriff Steve Bruce.

We didn’t destroy the records we had,” Bruce said. “We just took them off-line and still maintained those records, so within a matter of minutes we can plug all ours right back in."

"It saved a lot of work. It would have created something of a problem if we had destroyed the records.”

Sheriff’s offices maintain the local registry and transmit it to the Missouri State Highway Patrol for the statewide sex offender registry, Bruce said. The Highway Patrol is in the process of updating its Web site since the ruling, according to Captain Tim McGrail with the Highway Patrol’s Criminal Records and Identification Division.

Due to the Missouri Supreme Court Decision, we are compiling the list of pre-1995 offenders and will be working with all the sheriffs to get these individuals compliant with the registry,” McGrail said. “As the exempt offenders are re-registered, their information will be added to the Web site.”

Since the ruling, the decision has been applauded by Chris Koster, Missouri’s Attorney General.

I am pleased the Supreme Court has ruled that all sex offenders must now register on the sex offender registration list,” Koster said in a press release. “Parents and communities deserve to know when sex offenders live nearby, no matter when the offender committed the offense.”

Koster also announced that 373 Missourians, whose profiles appeared to match those of registered sex offenders, were removed from MySpace. The names were forwarded to the Highway Patrol to check for parole violations, according to a press release.

As of Tuesday, Polk County has 58 registered sex offenders living or working in the county.




"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin (Bill Of Rights)


VT - Do Sex Offender Registries Protect The Public? (Short answer - NO!)




"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin (Bill Of Rights)


Wait, Did Geraldo Just Ask the Fox News Audience to Kill a Child Molester?

View the article here

Keep in mind, this is only a portion of the segment, and is one persons view. From what they posted, it does seem like this, and I tend to agree, but we all know what people say, can be misconstrued!

06/30/2009

By John Cook

Last night on Fox News, Geraldo Rivera took a hit out on _____, a convicted child-rapist whose atrociously low sentence Bill O'Reilly has been demagoguing.

_____ is a bad man. He raped a little girl and got a ridiculous one-year sentence. But it's still astonishing that last night two grown men openly discussed on national television whether or not it's OK to just up and kill him.

O'Reilly, cognizant of the criticism he received for his role in turning George Tiller into a national villain who was then gunned down by an abortion opponent, managed to struggle through the moral logic of Thou Shalt Not Kill. But Rivera, with a wink and a nod, basically said "Yes." The only reservation he has about someone taking his advice to go out and kill _____ is that they might get hurt themselves.

Here's the gist of the exchange:

O'Reilly: If _____ ever walks out of jail and gets killed, who are they going to blame?

Rivera: ... I can only tell you ladies and gentlemen, that I will not weep if something happens to _____. I do not encourage vigilantism. I think it is something that puts your own life at risk. I do not advise it, I do not counsel it. I will not, however, weep if _____ is found sometime on a country road.

O'Reilly: We obviously don't want anyone to do anything. That would be as morally wrong as what _____ did—to take _____' life. You can't do that.

Rivera: I don't agree quite with your moral reasoning. You're more moral than I am.

These men actually want people to die.




"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin (Bill Of Rights)


Promise and Pitfalls of Sex Offender Research



01/29/2007

By Steve Erickson

As I discussed in a previous post, there’s much talk about sex offenders but a lack of good science. One of the most discussed areas in terms of sex offenders is risk of recidivism. While some say recidivism risk is relatively low among sex offenders, others disagree and praise the severe civil restrictions mandated for many sex offenders. Where does the truth lie? Like so many things in life, it’s a mixed bag.

Some food for thought about sex offender recidivism research:

1. Defining the population. Each study defines “sex offenders” differently. When the media speaks of sex offenders what they’re really taking about are child molesters (although, civil commitment statutes theoretically can be applied to all sex offenders). Yet, some sex offender studies include flashers, rapists, frotterists, inter alia, while others only focus on child molesters. Thus, there’s a real problem when people say "research has shown sex offenders..."

2. Defining recidivism. How do we know a sex offender has committed another sex offense? Depending on the study, arrests, convictions, or incarceration is the measure. This partially explains the variation in reported recidivism rates. But none of these are perfect measures of recidivism. Moreover, it is generally accepted that sex offenses are underreported for a variety of reasons. Considering that so much sexual offending occurs within families, this fact seems particularly salient.

3. Length of follow-up after release. Some studies look at 5 years, some 6 months, and a few have examined 25 years. Generally, the studies that examined longer time periods have shown higher recidivism rates. While this finding is intuitive, the numbers are striking. A 1997 study showed a 19% recidivism rate among child molesters during a 5 year period that ballooned to 52% during a 25 year study period. Likewise, rapists also had a 19% recidivism rate at 5 years that increased to 39%. Other studies have shown up to a 40% recidivism rate for any crime of violence over 4 years for rapists.

4. Base rates. Since sexual offending is relatively rare, it suffers from a low base rate problem. This makes statistical analysis difficult, with the potential that generalized statements of recidivism are prone to inflated estimates which overrate recidivism risk.

5. Meta-analysis. This is a popular research methodology these days whereby all studies meeting certain criteria are combined into a single new study to arrive at what is known as an effect size. Meta-analysis adds power to statistical computations but it has one major weakness: It is only as good as the data in the original studies. If the original studies were conducted poorly (and many sex offender studies are), but published nonetheless, they can be used in a subsequent meta-analysis which will report erroneous findings.

6. Static v. dynamic risk factors. In risk assessment, we talk of static factors (i.e., those that cannot change, e.g., gender) and dynamic factors (i.e., those that theoretically are amenable to change, i.e., substance abuse). While there is much discussion about sex offender treatment modifying dynamic factors, the bare truth is that static factors account for most of the risk variance. Simply put, dynamic factors don’t seem to mean much in terms of reducing risk (but are used to justify treatment programs). Thus, there are serious questions as to whether treatment can ameliorate risk, especially in high-risk offenders. Moreover, the dynamic factor associated most with risk, substance abuse, is notoriously difficult to eliminate long-term.

7. Measures of sexual deviance. There are many and many are poor. The Abel screen is frequently used, despite serious concern among many researchers (and the courts in Massachusetts) that it lacks validity. Same goes for the penile plethysmograph.

8. Not all sex offenders are the same. Incestuous offenders have the lowest risk, followed by opposite-sex child molesters, followed by same sex child molesters. Those who offend against strangers, juvenile sex offenders, and offenders with diverse victims (male and females) are more likely to re-offend. Given the heterogeneity of sex offenders, we should be cautious about any blanket statements regarding recidivism risk among sex offenders.

What on earth are we to make of all of this? Two points: First, there’s much heterogeneity within the sex offender population. What is true for offender A may not be true for offender B. It's easy to condemn all sex offenders -- their crimes are terrible -- but malice means being unrighteously spiteful. A just society is just in its judgments and punishments; not all sex offenders deserve the worst punishments. Second, we desperately need better studies that examine recidivism risk over the long haul and can give us truly some understanding of whether sex offender treatment is effective. As I mentioned before, I don’t think there’s much evidence that sexual offending is a mental illness, nonetheless, you don’t need to be mentally ill to benefit from psychological help – and these folks badly need it.

Edit: A helpful comment has shown that Prentky cautioned against applying the recidivism rate he published due to the heterogeneity of the sex offender population. This is likely true -- the sex offender population is heterogeneous -- but his results still stand empirically.


"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin (Bill Of Rights)


Promise and Pitfalls of Sex Offender Research

View the article here

01/29/2007

By Steve Erickson

As I discussed in a previous post, there’s much talk about sex offenders but a lack of good science. One of the most discussed areas in terms of sex offenders is risk of recidivism. While some say recidivism risk is relatively low among sex offenders, others disagree and praise the severe civil restrictions mandated for many sex offenders. Where does the truth lie? Like so many things in life, it’s a mixed bag.

Some food for thought about sex offender recidivism research:

1. Defining the population. Each study defines “sex offenders” differently. When the media speaks of sex offenders what they’re really taking about are child molesters (although, civil commitment statutes theoretically can be applied to all sex offenders). Yet, some sex offender studies include flashers, rapists, frotterists, inter alia, while others only focus on child molesters. Thus, there’s a real problem when people say "research has shown sex offenders..."

2. Defining recidivism. How do we know a sex offender has committed another sex offense? Depending on the study, arrests, convictions, or incarceration is the measure. This partially explains the variation in reported recidivism rates. But none of these are perfect measures of recidivism. Moreover, it is generally accepted that sex offenses are underreported for a variety of reasons. Considering that so much sexual offending occurs within families, this fact seems particularly salient.

3. Length of follow-up after release. Some studies look at 5 years, some 6 months, and a few have examined 25 years. Generally, the studies that examined longer time periods have shown higher recidivism rates. While this finding is intuitive, the numbers are striking. A 1997 study showed a 19% recidivism rate among child molesters during a 5 year period that ballooned to 52% during a 25 year study period. Likewise, rapists also had a 19% recidivism rate at 5 years that increased to 39%. Other studies have shown up to a 40% recidivism rate for any crime of violence over 4 years for rapists.

4. Base rates. Since sexual offending is relatively rare, it suffers from a low base rate problem. This makes statistical analysis difficult, with the potential that generalized statements of recidivism are prone to inflated estimates which overrate recidivism risk.

5. Meta-analysis. This is a popular research methodology these days whereby all studies meeting certain criteria are combined into a single new study to arrive at what is known as an effect size. Meta-analysis adds power to statistical computations but it has one major weakness: It is only as good as the data in the original studies. If the original studies were conducted poorly (and many sex offender studies are), but published nonetheless, they can be used in a subsequent meta-analysis which will report erroneous findings.

6. Static v. dynamic risk factors. In risk assessment, we talk of static factors (i.e., those that cannot change, e.g., gender) and dynamic factors (i.e., those that theoretically are amenable to change, i.e., substance abuse). While there is much discussion about sex offender treatment modifying dynamic factors, the bare truth is that static factors account for most of the risk variance. Simply put, dynamic factors don’t seem to mean much in terms of reducing risk (but are used to justify treatment programs). Thus, there are serious questions as to whether treatment can ameliorate risk, especially in high-risk offenders. Moreover, the dynamic factor associated most with risk, substance abuse, is notoriously difficult to eliminate long-term.

7. Measures of sexual deviance. There are many and many are poor. The Abel screen is frequently used, despite serious concern among many researchers (and the courts in Massachusetts) that it lacks validity. Same goes for the penile plethysmograph.

8. Not all sex offenders are the same. Incestuous offenders have the lowest risk, followed by opposite-sex child molesters, followed by same sex child molesters. Those who offend against strangers, juvenile sex offenders, and offenders with diverse victims (male and females) are more likely to re-offend. Given the heterogeneity of sex offenders, we should be cautious about any blanket statements regarding recidivism risk among sex offenders.

What on earth are we to make of all of this? Two points: First, there’s much heterogeneity within the sex offender population. What is true for offender A may not be true for offender B. It's easy to condemn all sex offenders -- their crimes are terrible -- but malice means being unrighteously spiteful. A just society is just in its judgments and punishments; not all sex offenders deserve the worst punishments. Second, we desperately need better studies that examine recidivism risk over the long haul and can give us truly some understanding of whether sex offender treatment is effective. As I mentioned before, I don’t think there’s much evidence that sexual offending is a mental illness, nonetheless, you don’t need to be mentally ill to benefit from psychological help – and these folks badly need it.

Edit: A helpful comment has shown that Prentky cautioned against applying the recidivism rate he published due to the heterogeneity of the sex offender population. This is likely true -- the sex offender population is heterogeneous -- but his results still stand empirically.


"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)


FL - More Sex Offenders Move Under Bridge

View the article here

06/30/2009

Controversy Over Shantytown Continues

MIAMI -- The controversy over a shantytown under the Julia Tuttle Causeway is growing more heated as an increasing number of paroled sex offenders are moving in, barred from living elsewhere by housing restrictions.

Miserable weather kept squatters as inside as they could be in a tent under the Julia Tuttle on Tuesday. Across town, Miami-Dade County commissioners were getting an earful.

"That population is growing largely because the Department of Corrections continues to approve people to live under the bridge. That, ladies and gentlemen, is just fundamentally wrong," said Ron Book of the Miami-Dade Homeless Trust.
- Ron Book, spoken like a true hypocrite! He is head of the homeless trust, and also has been advocating for harsh sex offender laws, so he is helping create this nightmare!

The area under the Julia Tuttle Causeway happens to lie outside an overlapping patchwork of 2,500-foot buffer zones that South Florida's cities and municipalities have drawn to keep sex offenders away from children. The shantytown is in the city of Miami, but the offenders are technically under state control.

"The probation and parole officers are sent there at 5 o'clock in the morning every day -- that's from the state. The state of Florida's driver's license office issues licenses which lists them as being under the state. The state has a de facto policy, and in fact, I think, a de jure policy, of putting those sexual offenders under the bridge because they own the land," said Miami City Commissioner Marc Sarnoff.

Miami City Manager Peter Hernandez wrote a cease-and-desist letter to Gov. Charlie Crist (Email) earlier this month. A response arrived on Friday, essentially saying it is Miami's problem.

"When you have that many people, whether they be sexual offenders or laborers, confined in such a small area, sooner or later something is going to happen," Hernandez said.

Previous Stories:


"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin (Bill Of Rights)


SOSEN - Unpopular Facts - Brochure

Click the image to view the PDF brochure



"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin (Bill Of Rights)


FL - CRUEL AND UNUSUAL: HOUSE ARREST WITHOUT A HOUSE

View the article here

06/30/2009

By JAABLOG

_____ would rather live in the Broward County Jail than under a bridge

Today's travesty comes in the form of one _____, courtesy of the Florida Legislature.

Mr. _____ was released from Florida State Prison on June 23rd, after serving roughly seven years on a sex offense. His sentence also includes two years of house arrest with a GPS monitor, and a decade or two of probation.

If you follow the news you know the problems sex offenders face finding places to live. There are so many restrictions, and so few shelters that take sex offenders, that they often end up living on the streets. That's what happened to Mr. _____, whose family lives in New York.

More often than not, sex offenders without family don't make it in the community, and not because they commit new crimes. The reality is they end up quitting, because they can't take it anymore. They have nowhere to live, they can't find work, and the inevitable downward spiral follows. They ultimately cut the band and disappear, and then get shipped back to prison when they're caught.

The difference with Mr. _____ is that he's trying. He wants to become a productive member of society, but he realized he couldn't do it without a place to live while on house arrest.

Since he's been out, he also couldn't find a job. That meant he couldn't find anyplace to charge the GPS monitor, which, when it runs down, creates an instant violation. He was almost to the point where he couldn't afford the bus fare to see his probation officer, which, of course, would mean more violations. His probation officer, for his part, reportedly told him to "go live under a bridge."

Mr. _____ said no.

Instead, he called his lawyer, and set a hearing before Judge Gold today. He wanted to convert his two years of house arrest to jail time. The Judge, the State, and the in-court Probation Officer were flabbergasted, but no one could come up with a community based solution. His lawyer, Cheryl Koewing, had already searched all the half-way houses and shelters, but couldn't find anywhere that would take him. Reluctantly, all the parties agreed to modify his probation by deleting the house arrest component, and replacing it with six months in the Broward County Jail, after which he would be on sex offender probation. Mr. _____ went to jail earlier today.

Probation is checking to see if Mr. _____ can transfer his supervision to New York, so he can stay with his family instead of doing jail time. It's a long shot, since New York is famous for refusing these kinds of cases. Tracy Gold, of BSO's Department of Community Control, is also trying to find a shelter somewhere in the county that will take him, but it's another long shot.

While it's true that nobody wants to live next door to a sex offender, it's also true that the pendulum has swung so far to the right that the laws don't make any sense anymore. It's a classic, insurmountable Catch-22, as Judge Gold remarked. In the meantime, the papers will continue to run stories about the failure of Florida's sex offender laws, and people like Mr. _____ will continue to be cut down at the taxpayers' expense until something changes in Tallahassee.


"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin (Bill Of Rights)


GA - GBI issues warning about child porn e-mail

View the article here
Video

07/01/2009

By LARRY HARTSTEIN

The GBI is warning the public about a misleading e-mail with an explicit child pornography video attached.

It has already shown up at least twice in Georgia and might be distributed by a worm virus, through Microsoft e-mail services like Hotmail.

The subject line reads: “VERY Disturbing! TAKE CARE OF YOUR KIDS/they should kill this man, do not open if your [sic] sensitive…click video link.”

Those receiving this email should not open the attachment. They should contact the GBI at 1-800-597-TIPS (8477). It is a felony to possess child pornography.

The video is about six minutes long and shows a man having sex with a toddler girl. The FBI is investigating the video, and trying to identify the man in it.

The FBI released this link about the case: http://www.fbi.gov/wanted/seekinfo/johndoe8.htm.


"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin (Bill Of Rights)