Friday, August 21, 2009

MA - Victims' Advocates Say Kids at Risk After Massachusetts Ruling on Sex Offenders

View the article here

Good, it appears they are sticking to the constitution on some portions of the laws. This would violate ex post facto laws. But, are those convicted before 2006 on the registry? If so, then it's also unconstitutional. You can't have it unconstitutional for one issue, but not the others.

08/21/2009

A Massachusetts court ruling that sex offenders convicted before 2006 cannot automatically be forced to wear a GPS monitoring device  has put every child in the state in danger, a victims' rights group says.
- Well, this person doesn't know what they are talking about.  GPS will NEVER prevent a crime if the person is intent on committing a crime, period.

In the 4-3 ruling on Tuesday, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that retroactively forcing sex offenders convicted more than three years ago to wear the tracking devices violates state and federal constitutions.
- And also forcing those convicted before 2006 to be on a sex offender registry also violates the state and federal constitution.

Debbie Savoia, vice president of Community Voices, a victims' rights group, said the ruling is a "slap in the face" to every sex crime victim in the state and a threat to public safety.

"I'm very angry," she told FOXNews.com. "It's all about the criminal's rights. What about the victims?"
- All people have rights, and you cannot trample on one persons rights without trampling on all people's rights, period.  This violates ex post facto laws, and therefore, like the judge ruled, is unconstitutional.  And I am sick and tired of people saying "what about the victims rights?"  Well, yes, they have rights, and they have no right to trample on someone else's, and all people have rights.  You may not like that, but that is tough, the constitution guarantees all equal protection under the law, or it did.

Savoia saw the effects of the state's highest court's ruling Wednesday when she attended a hearing for _____, who was convicted in 1990 of kidnapping and raping a 7-year-old boy. _____ was released on probation earlier this year after the state determined he was no longer dangerous.

Superior Court Judge Kathe Tuttman was asked by prosecutors to require _____ to wear a GPS device on his ankle while he lives in Lowell, and Tuttman said she was "legally prohibited" from forcing him to wear the tracking device.

"He's an extremely dangerous man, and the fact that he's not being monitored 24/7 is an issue," Savoia said. "I feel like every kid in Massachusetts is in danger. His crime was absolutely horrible."
- Yes, his crime may be horrible, but he was convicted, and has completed his sentence, so you have no right to continue to punish him, to make yourself "feel" better!

"I've spoken to the [boy's] mother, and the pain in that woman is horrific and the fear is he'll do it to another child, and he probably will."
- He might, and if he does, lock him up for a long time!

Middlesex District Attorney Gerald Leone Jr., who sought GPS monitoring for _____, was also disappointed by Tuttman's decision.

"GPS monitoring of convicted sex offenders is an important, preventative tool to monitor the whereabouts of defendants who have preyed on victims and demonstrated a likelihood of reoffending," Leone said in a statement. "[Wednesday's] decision does not alter our opinion that it remains within the court's discretion to impose GPS monitoring for this class of criminal offenders, nor will it deter us from continuing to argue for this monitoring for other sexual offenders in the interest of public safety."
- Okay, so you track all offenders with GPS, but will that prevent a crime from being committed?  No, so it's nothing more than punishing someone to make you and others "feel" better, nothing more.  Again, if a person is intent on committing a crime, they will, regardless of being on a registry, residency restrictions or GPS.  This is all nothing more than a placebo.

Coria Holland, spokeswoman for Probation Commissioner John O'Brien, said "every sex offender case" is currently being reviewed as a result of the court ruling.

Massachusetts currently monitors 82 sex offenders with GPS devices. An additional 221 sex offenders in the state are wanted for violating conditions of their parole. In 2006, the state passed the GPS provision as part of several changes to its Sex Offender Registry Law. Among the changes: homeless sex offenders must register every 45 days, rather than every 90 days, and the most egregious sex offenders are prohibited from living in nursing homes.
- And even this, if applied to those off probation or parole, is also unconstitutional!

Jeannine Mercure, _____'s attorney, could not be reached for comment on Thursday. She had objected to the GPS request, arguing that _____ receives psychiatric counseling and is visited by a nurse daily to ensure he takes required medications.

_____'s neighbors in Lowell told FOXNews.com they were "shocked" by the court's decision.

"If I had children, you bet it would concern me," said one woman who asked not to be identified.

"What this guy did, he's got a serious problem and that doesn't just go away. We have lots of kids in this development."
- So if it scares you so much, move.  You want to protect your child, right?  Or only when it doesn't inconvenience you?


"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 (United States Constitution)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved


IN - Indiana court lets sex offender park ban stand

View the article here
John Doe v. Plainfield, Indiana (PDF)

08/21/2009

Indianapolis - The Indiana Supreme Court has declined to overturn an ordinance banning registered sex offenders from parks in the Indianapolis suburb of Plainfield.

The court declined to hear the case by a 4-1 vote, letting stand without comment a state Court of Appeals ruling upholding the 2002 ordinance.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana (Contact) had sought a ruling to clarify the court's stand on such local ordinances. The court has generally declined to strike down laws restricting the activities of sex offenders but has found constitutional problems with enforcement in certain cases.

Plainfield town attorney Mel Daniel said officials were pleased with the decision released on Thursday.

ACLU attorney Ken Falk said the group might now drop a lawsuit over a similar ordinance in Greenwood.

Video Link



"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 (United States Constitution)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved


NY - Sex offender bill could become law

View the article here
View SB-01362 here

Why do these idiots need to pose in front of a camera to make laws? This is just the typical PR propaganda to help this mans career, which he's probably up for election as Governor or something. This service he is talking about, is available already. But, he doesn't want the general public to know about it, so he can look "tough" on crime, and help himself.

08/21/2009

By Lorey Schultz

BUFFALO (WIVB) - How will you know if a convicted sex offender moves into your neighborhood? E-mail alerts could soon be a matter of law.
- Like I said, this service is already available.  Just the usual grandstanding in front of an audience to look good!

Rena Schultz wants to know when a sex offender moves into her neighborhood. She was spooked by the recent arrest of accused child predator _____ .

Schultz said, "It's sick, very sick."

Friday morning, Senator Bill Stachowski (Contact), his counterpart from the Bronx Jeff Klein (Contact), and police called on Governor David Paterson (Contact) to sign legislation that would alert parents when a sex offender moves into their zip code.

Senator Klein said, "Under my legislation, an individual would be able to register on-line, give the zip code you want to know about, and you would receive instant e-mail notification."
- Yeah right, it's already available.  You are doing like politicians usually do, grandstand.  No need to make and pass a law, when it's already available!

Right now, there are 400 sex offenders living in Buffalo. An e-mail alert would only apply to Level Two and Three sex offenders.

_____ is listed as a Level One.
- Level 1 offenders are deemed the least likely to reoffend, level 3 are the dangerous ones, if evaluated correctly!

That could change if he's convicted of trying to obtain a four-year-old girl for his pornographic movie. Currently, you can access up-to-date information about sex offenders, but you must do it in a daily basis because information is changing on an ongoing basis.

The legislation takes Megan's Law to a new level, and fixes some cracks in the decade-old law.

Cheektowaga Police Captain John Glascott said, "People who don't receive literature missed out on the opportunity to protect their kids."

Parental support for the legislation is easy to find.

Concerned parent Rene Herrscher said, "I think it's a dangerous situation for a lot of parents and if you don't know who is in the neighborhood, and have older children, it's a scary situation that could happen."

Lawmakers expect the governor to sign the bill within the next few weeks. Some parents say it can't come soon enough.

Video Link


Video Link


Video Link



"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 (United States Constitution)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved


NH - Court Throws Out Sex-Offender Residency Restrictions

View the article here

08/21/2009

By Dan Gorenstein

Dover has until the end of the month to appeal a recent court ruling.

The Dover District Court has thrown out the city’s ordinance that restricts where sex offenders are allowed to live.

The case hinged on Dover’s failure to prove that its policy actually improved child safety.

But supporters say- while the effectiveness of residency restrictions may be somewhat limited- the ordinance is a key tool.

New Hampshire Public Radio’s Dan Gorenstein reports.

Back in 2003 Matt Mayberry was campaigning for City Council.

He kept hearing Dover residents complain that sex offenders could live too close to where children congregate.

That didn’t make sense to Mayberry.

TAPE: They’ve created a drug free zone. They’ve created a firearm free zone around schools....That was the thought process. You would not put a beer in front of an alcoholic. Why would you allow someone convicted of sexual crimes against children to live across the street from hundreds of children.
- These laws affect all sex offenders, not just those who committed a crime against a child.

Mayberry started to work with the city’s police chief on a way to limit where sex offenders could live.

And in the fall of 2006, the Dover City Councilors unanimously adopted a provision that barred any registered sex offender from living within 2500 ft., nearly half a mile, of a school or day-care center.

Four communities, Tilton, Boscawen, Franklin and Northfield soon followed suit.

Last year the New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union and New Hampshire Legal Assistance sued Dover.

Lawyers argued that the ordinance violated a person’s equal protection rights under the state Constitution.

TAPE: Dover based its public policy on an illusion.

That’s Barbara Keshen, of the New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union.

Keshen says if the government takes away someone’s rights in the name of a greater public good then the government’s got to prove the policy works.

But she says, Dover officials couldn’t do that.

TAPE: There’s no evidence, there’s no statistics, there’s no studies, there’s no reports that actually back that up.

Actually, the city did present statistics.

They just didn’t persuade the Dover District Court.

It didn’t help that prosecution for sex crimes against children went up in Dover the year after the city adopted its ordinance.

The court ruled against Dover saying it didn’t produce any evidence the restrictions protected minors.

That opinion is hardly unique.

The state of Iowa relaxed a similar law this year after law enforcement complained it drove offenders underground.

In 2008, Manchester and Derry shot down proposed ordinances after police raised similar concerns.

TAPE: I would say 9 out of 10 peer reviewed studies find that they generally don’t work.

Bridgewater State College Professor Richard Wright teaches Criminal Justice.

Wright says researchers have discovered a series of unintended consequences that come with these sorts of policies.

TAPE: Residency restrictions really do undermine an offenders capacity to re-enter society and not offend. You are taking away their family. You are taking away a stable form of housing....you may be affecting their opportunities for employment.

Despite the well-documented drawbacks, ordinances restricting where sex offenders can live are popular.

Newsweek magazine reports that 30 states and hundreds of cities and counties have embraced such laws.

Franklin Police Chief David Goldstein for one thinks the policy helps make his city safer.

The chief admits he’s got no empirical evidence.
- So we should not be passing laws based on feelings, but facts!

But he thinks the restrictions mean fewer sex offenders will call Franklin home.

TAPE: Let’s make up a couple of numbers for just a moment. Let’s say there are 10 registered sex offenders who want to move to Franklin. And of the 10, 2...decide no I am not going to hassle myself...then we are that much safer...we are not going to worry about them.....so part of the secret to the success of Franklin’s local ordinance is that other communities don’t have the ordinance and that sex offenders will go to those communities, not Franklin’s....well....I don’t wish that on any other city or town, that’s not the point of good law enforcement...or good lawmaking, but it is a reality. And yes that is what will happen in a significant number of the cases.
- But by passing residency restrictions, you are indeed pushing offenders out and into other towns.  So you are passing the buck on to others to deal with.

In some places, the result of such laws are sex offender ghettos.

For example, in Miami more than 70 offenders with no place else to go, live under a causeway in makeshift tents.

Ultimately, Professor Wright argues if the goal is to reduce sex crimes against children, forcing people away from society only puts children in greater jeopardy.

TAPE: It’s far easier to point the finger, to blame and say these sex offenders are horrible people, evil animals....they are not fathers, brothers, sisters, uncles, boyfriends. It’s far easier to make the problem this abstraction that can be solved by demonizing people and isolating them.

What gets lost, says Wright is that society too quickly treats all offenders alike.

But statistics show 80- 90% of sexual assaults against kids are done by someone kids know.

That means the likelihood that some stranger is stalking random children from their apartment across the street from a playground is rare.

Not rare enough for Dover’s Matt Mayberry.

TAPE: From bringing forth this ordinance people came forward to me and talked about how they were molested...and they knew the perpetrator, but how it just destroyed their lives. And I thought that...if that 10% if I can help keep them out of the crosshairs just a little bit longer, than this is worth it.

The city of Dover has until the end of the month to decide if they will appeal their case to the state Supreme Court.

Officials have asked attorneys to evaluate their chances of winning.

If the case doesn’t make it to the state’s highest court, the New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union says it will look for another case in an effort to win a ruling that outlaws the practice.


"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 (United States Constitution)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved


OH - Husband falsely accused of child rape wins $1.2 million from ex-spouse

View the article here

08/21/2009

By Phil Trexler - Beacon Journal staff writer

The flier went out to neighbors in bold letters: CHILD RAPIST.

The text contained the name and address of the accused with more bold words: BE ALERT! PROTECT YOUR CHILDREN.

Rodd Sutton, formerly of Akron, was the target of the flier. It was another part of his contentious custody dispute that began more than 10 years ago with his ex-wife, Victoria Douglas.

Police and Summit County Children Services investigated the rape complaint in 2004, when Douglas alleged her husband had inappropriate contact with their daughter, now 10.

Authorities found the charges untrue, but that didn't stop the ex-wife from passing out the fliers to neighbors.
The husband, 46, then went on the offensive, suing his ex-wife and her mother.

A Summit County jury this month sided with Sutton, awarding him more than $1.2 million in damages for defamation, invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Sutton's attorneys, Tim Hanna and James Campbell, said collecting the settlement might be an issue, but the case is about more than money, they said.

''Maybe it's not about the issue of collecting,'' Campbell said. ''Maybe it's about the principal of vindicating this guy and showing you can stand up for what you believe in.''

Neither Douglas nor her attorney, Larry Shenise, were available for comment.

Paper consumes the dockets of the ex-couple's divorce and civil lawsuits with hundreds of entries and countless reams of motions filled with allegations of child abuse and drug use, as well as contempt of court findings against each side over visitation and other issues.

The case took a more public turn when Sutton sued over the fliers distributed to neighbors. It happened after complaints of sexual abuse lodged against the husband by the ex-wife in 2004.

Douglas, 44, made the allegations to Akron and Springfield police, Akron Children's Hospital and Children Services.

Each agency found no evidence of abuse.

Sutton's attorneys contend Douglas transferred a house in Lakemore from her name to her mother, Rosemary Douglas, to save it from possible loss in the defamation lawsuit.

A jury awarded Sutton $136,000 from his former mother-in-law for the property transaction. Victoria Douglas now resides in Florida with her daughter.

The case was heard by a jury and Judge Alison McCarty.

Campbell said the only question asked by jurors was whether they could give Sutton more money than he was seeking.


"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 (United States Constitution)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved


CA - Homeless Sex Offenders on the Rise

View the article here

08/20/2009

SACRAMENTO - A law that was enacted to protect children from sex offenders, may be putting kids more at risk.

Jessica's Law came about following the rape and murder of 9-year-old Jessica Lunsford of Florida, by a sex offender.

The law increased sentences for sexual predators and bars them from living within a half mile of schools and parks.

But restrictions on where offenders can live, is forcing more of them on the streets.

"We were fearful that the numbers would go up when Jessica's Law came into effect because the residency restrictions made whole parts of California impossible for offenders to live," said Suzanne Brown-McBride, of California Coalition Against Sexual Assault.

In July of 2000, the total number of sex offenders registered as transient in California, was around 2,000.

The number registered as transient this month... nearly 4,500 - almost a 10 percent increase since last month, and a 119 percent increase since July 2007.


"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 (United States Constitution)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved


ARC RADIO - ***Special Guest*** Randy Young Housingforsexoffenders.com

See this article for more info

Hosted by: RealityUSA

Title: ***Special Guest*** Randy Young Housingforsexoffenders.com

Time: 08/19/2009 09:30 PM EST

Episode Notes: Randy Young calls himself "a Robin Hood" for Florida's sex offenders. Neighbors say he ruins communities. For about three years, Young has been buying and renting houses, condos and trailers throughout the state and leasing them as "habitats" for registered sex offenders.




"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 (United States Constitution)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved


FL - Fix the law - County Commission should amend sex-offender rule

View the article here

08/21/2009

Why is the simplest solution to a festering problem often the most difficult to accomplish?

All it would take to end the disgrace of convicted sexual offenders and predators living in squalor under the Julia Tuttle Causeway is for the Miami-Dade County Commission to rescind its ordinance.

Or the state Department of Corrections, which supervises some of the felons who are on probation, would find suitable living quarters for the men.

Or Gov. Charlie Crist (Contact) would order state officials to take action. After all, while Corrections supervises the men, it's the state Department of Transportation that owns the land under the causeway.

Instead, we have Ron Book, chairman of Miami-Dade's Homeless Trust, trying to find homes for the shantytown residents. He has managed to relocate several, but has found that it's not so easy. There is resistance from property owners in some cases. In others, the offenders have put up obstacles. And, of course, there is that 2,500-foot barrier around hundreds of schools and parks all over the county.

None of this would have been necessary if the Legislature, in banning sexual offenders from living within 1,000 feet of schools and parks, had prohibited cities and counties from adopting their own bans. It should also have made distinctions between the worst sexual predators and offenders convicted of lesser crimes like public exposure.

But it didn't do either. Pretty soon local governments -- in a sincere attempt to protect children and other potential victims of sexual predators -- adopted wider bans that also lumped all sexual offenders together. Miami-Dade commissioners approved a 2,500-foot ban. Next thing, a handful of felons moved under the bridge, with a wink and a nod from state officials. That handful has swelled to about 70.

Now the city of Miami is suing the state, the ACLU (Contact) is suing the city and nobody over at County Hall seems very interested in rescinding that 2,500 barrier. There is no credible research showing that such wide barriers have been effective in protecting children.

Apathy may be the easiest response to the offenders' plight. Yet it's the wrong reaction. They are not sympathetic characters, and their crimes are despicable. But the squalid, primitive home they have been forced to make for themselves reflects very poorly on this community and creates a threat to public safety.

The governor promised to work on a solution. How long will that take? In the absence of his leadership, the County Commission should amend the 2,500-foot ban to mirror the state's 1,000-foot rule.

Problem solved.


"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 (United States Constitution)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved


FL - More registered sex offenders to move from under bridge

View the article here

08/18/2009

MIAMI (WSVN) -- Some more of the registered sex offenders living under the Julia Tuttle Causeway may finally be moving out.

The Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust said it has found an apartment that complies with county and state laws for four sex offenders living underneath the Julia Tuttle Causeway.

Ron Book, chairman of the Homeless Trust, said he hopes it is the beginning of proper shelter for all of these people. "We hope, within the next two or three days, to have some additional people placed and out of here," he said.

The ACLU (Contact) has already filed a lawsuit challenging the city law, which put these people in the predicament they are in. The ordinance prohibits sex offenders from living within 2500 feet of where children congregate, including schools, daycare centers and parks.

"We're going to be working to very quickly, today and tomorrow, to try and identify some additional individuals to move," said Book, who, along with his organization has found home for more than a dozen non-offenders. Homeless men and women have been calling the embankment under the bridge home along with the sex offenders, who have finished their parole but have had trouble finding homes due to the ordinance.

Supposedly, some 43 other sex offenders remain under the bridge, but one of those who has been living under the bridge for three years and did not want to be identified, said there are more people who need to be re-located than most think. "They say that there is 43 people down here. There's not 43 people down here. There's more than 80," he said.

The banishment of these sex offenders has pulled on the heartstrings of people from across the nation. "This is a letter that came in a couple of days ago from a lady in Arkansas. She sent five 20 dollar bills," said Book. "She talks about them being human beings, and that they need to be treated as human beings and asked us to put this money to good use."

Meanwhile, two dueling lawsuits continue to work their way through the courts to shut down the shanty town, as the Homeless Trust continues to ask property owners willing to rent to this population to come forward.


"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 (United States Constitution)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved