Monday, October 5, 2009

Cokie on Polanski - "Just Take Him Out And Shoot Him" (Condoning Violence instead of Justice!)

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

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved

GA - Sex Offender Vagabond?

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By Bob Barr

Let’s be clear – I dislike sex offenders, especially those who commit sex offenses against minors, as much as any member of the Georgia General Assembly. Those who commit such heinous acts as soliciting minors for sexual prostitution, should be prosecuted and punished severely, as Georgia law has for many years provided.

But let’s be equally clear – passing legislation piling on endless restrictions and burdens on those who already have served prison terms and who remain subject to extensive monitoring, is neither responsible nor effective. Yet that’s what the Georgia General Assembly has continued to do.

The Georgia Supreme Court in late 2007 declared unconstitutional a 2006 state law prohibiting registered sex offenders from residing within 1,000 feet of a school, church, day care center, school bus stop, or anywhere else “where minors congregate.” Undaunted, Georgia legislators continue to enact — and require local law enforcement officials to enforce — laws making it virtually impossible for persons convicted of sex offenses involving minors to reside in the state.
- It makes it impossible for any sex offender, all are treated equally under the law.  Those who have been sentenced before this law came into being, should not be forced to live by it, that is an ex post facto law, which is against the constitution.

Most recently, a small number of persons who are required to register as sex offenders with the local sheriff (in this case, Cobb County), and who find it impossible to rent or purchase a home anywhere that does not run afoul of the restrictions on where they can live, have taken to pitching tents in certain park areas. Not surprisingly, since there are ordinances prohibiting people from living in tents on government-owned park lands, Sheriff’s officers are properly making them leave.

Clearly, Georgia laws dealing with sex offenders need to be amended to ensure they comply with fundamental constitutional guarantees such as due process and equal protection. Regrettably, this has proved extremely difficult. Many legislators are unwilling or unable to withstand the criticism that in thus amending the laws, they are “coddling child molesters.”

In fact, addressing both federal and state constitutional issues in amending Georgia’s laws in this area is not hard. However, the effort must properly focus on tough, but reasonable restrictions; and not degenerate into a game of one-upsmanship by legislators trying to prove they can be harder on offenders than the next person.

Several provisions in the current state laws clearly are ripe for modification.

Forcing sex registrants to avoid living within 1,000 feet of “any area where minors congregate” creates a condition virtually impossible for anyone to meet. Minors can – and often do – “congregate” in areas their parents and others least expect them to do so. A house, an apartment, or a parking lot may be free from such “congregating” one day, but might the very next day become a magnet for teens hanging out. Considering that the law already prohibits sex offender registrants from living near schools, day care centers and churches – and requires frequent reporting of their whereabouts to law enforcement — this additional broad restriction is hardly essential.

Another reasonable – and necessary – change the legislature should make (and which later court decisions will likely force it to make), is to tighten the language regarding what sort of conviction triggers the reporting, residency and employment requirements for convicted sex offenders. The current law includes anyone who has been convicted of any state or federal offense “which, by its nature, is a sexual offense against a minor.” Exactly what sort of activity is covered by that language is unclear, considering that all manner of sex offenses involving minors are already specified in the very same section. The constitutional infirmity of a statute being “void for vagueness” perhaps should be included as required reading for state legislators.
- This is not 100% true.  Recently a man was placed on the sex offender registry for kidnapping a child, which had nothing to do with sex, but was about a burglary in which he kidnapped a child.

Enacting laws that protect society against sexual predators that at the same time satisfy constitutional requirements that have been around since 1791 when the Bill of Rights was adopted, does not require knowledge of rocket science. It does require a sense of fairness and realism that unfortunately often appears lacking in our state legislature.

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

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved

IN - Parks off limits to sex offenders

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By Rebecca S. Green

Garrett joins list of cities with such bans; courts largely uphold curbs

There are seven public parks in the city of Garrett and just about that many registered sex offenders living in the small DeKalb County city.

And to Police Chief Rex Harpel’s knowledge, there has never been any trouble with sex offenders in those city parks, but as of August, they are no longer welcome in the parks.

In fact, they will be fined $100 the first time they are caught inside the parks and $200 on subsequent offenses, according to the ordinance passed this past summer.

I don’t anticipate having any problems with it,” Harpel said.

It was time to redo the park ordinance for the city, population 5,681 in 2008, such as setting closing times and banning smoking. Harpel said he wanted to get the sex offender ban in there.

We want the parks to be enjoyable for everybody,” he said.
- Everybody?

Garrett’s is not the only ordinance of its kind in Indiana, though it may be somewhat unusual in the area. And the bans have survived legal challenges to their constitutionality.
- Because the system is corrupt, and no longer upholds the Constitution!

After he was approached by city officials to develop a new ordinance regulating activities in the parks, Garrett City Attorney Dan Brinkerhoff consulted other communities with similar ordinances to see how theirs were written and how they worked.

Garrett adopted much of its language from the city of Greenfield, which survived a legal challenge after its creation, Brinkerhoff said.

It was found to be enforceable and constitutional,” he said.

Greenfield City Attorney Greg Morelock does not recall any legal challeges to his city’s ordinance in the two years he’s served as the city attorney.

And it’s not something he worries about, given how other legal attacks to the ordinances have gone.

Laws limiting where sex offenders can live have been upheld, and the parks ban is a likely and logical extension, Morelock said.

Punish or protect?

Indiana University law professor Craig Bradley said there is no question the state can, by law, place additional limitations on sex offenders listed on the state’s registry, maintained by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute.

Whether cities and towns can do it is another question, he said.

Whether municipalities can do it raises issues of deprivations of liberty,” Bradley said.

The state can make additional limitations because it is the state that establishes punishments for crimes, such as prison time and the registry, he said.
- You see, he knows it's punishment, and more punishment after the fact, is an ex post facto law, which is against the Constitution.

Keeping someone from entering a public park could be included in that, all rolled up as a punishment, he said.

Bradley has problems with municipalities doing it because it is not their role in the government, though they can justify such bans under the umbrella of controlling their own parks and deciding who can come and go and when.

Ken Falk, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana (Contact), said the issue is whether the ban is intended as a form of punishment.

Split decisions

In one legal challenge heard by the Indiana Court of Appeals, the city of Plainfield’s ordinance was held up as constitutional.

The court ruled that while the ordinance was certainly restrictive, it was related to the non-punishment goal of promoting public safety.
- Oh, so if we kill undesirables, in the name of "protecting the public," then it's not punishment, but restrictive, yeah, right!  Read the definition of punishment again.

Falk appealed that ruling to the Indiana Supreme Court, which declined to hear the case this summer.

In another case, this one challenging the city of Jeffersonville’s ordinance, a part of the law was struck down because the challenge came from a convicted sex offender no longer required to register.

In that case, the appellate court ruled that while the bans have been found to be constitutional, to apply them to people who are no longer required to register – even though their name appears as part of the record forever – is punishment after the fact.
- Even doing so with those still required to be on the online hit-list, it's still punishment after the fact, if they were sentenced before the law.

Falk again represented the sex offender in that case, though this time it was the city that challenged the appellate court’s ruling and asked the Indiana Supreme Court to review.

Again the state’s highest court declined.

And with no ruling by the Supreme Court in either case, Falk said the state is left with something less than a definitive position on the bans.

The appellate court’s ruling said in the Plainfield case said the bans are constitutional. But, Falk said, in the Jeffersonville case the court said the bans are unconstitutional when applied to those who no longer have to register.

He wonders whether Garrett’s ordinance may be unconstitutional because of its wording, applying to “individuals listed on the (sex offender registry).”

If it is applied to someone who is no longer required by law to register, but whose name still appears on the list, then it could be found unconstitutional, Falk said.

For now, neither Garrett’s police chief nor city attorney worries about either the legality of the ban or its enforcement.

Harpel said if anyone has concerns about a potential sex offender in the park, all that person needs to do is call the police department and a dispatcher can check the registry.

Harpel said he has heard some positive feedback from those in the community about the ban, particularly those who live around the parks.

So far, he has not had to enforce it.

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

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved

MI - Sex offender avoids registry (15 year old child)

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I wonder how many people would be on the sex offender registry today, if these laws were in place 50 or so years ago? The kid should be disciplined, but not ruined for life!  And these idiotic DA's who are eager to ruin a child's life, I wonder if they would see it the same way, if their own child was in this situation?  I am willing to bet not.


By Jennifer Chambers

Prosecutors to appeal judge's ruling that keeps teen off books
- Of course they will, they are hell bent on prosecuting anyone and everyone, as long as it's not them or their own family!

Ann Arbor -- Prosecutors are appealing a Washtenaw County judge's decision that kept a convicted juvenile sex offender off the state's public sex offender registry.

Debra Keehn, an Ann Arbor lawyer who represents the juvenile identified in court records as T.D., said Friday the implications of a ruling by Family Division Judge Darlene O'Brien could be profound if the state Court of Appeals takes the case. "The decision is so well reasoned it's likely the Court of Appeals will affirm the decision and then the law changes for everyone in Michigan," said Keehn, who declined to identify her client by name or allow The Detroit News to interview him.

Steve Miller, chief deputy prosecutor for Washtenaw County, said his office has decided to appeal the Sept. 30 ruling. He had no further comment.

In the case, T.D. was 15 when he was accused of second-degree criminal sexual conduct. The case involved a 15-year-old female classmate who accused T.D. of grabbing her and touching her breast in school. A jury convicted him of the charge when he was 16.

T.D. remained in detention while his case was prosecuted and was placed on 18 months of probation for his sentence. He completed a juvenile sexual offender treatment program, had no contact with the victim and provided his fingerprints as ordered, Keehn said. He also placed himself on a nonpublic juvenile sex offender registry as required by law.

Once he turned 18 in March, T.D. was required under Michigan law to place himself on the public sex offender registry, where his name would remain for 25 years.

His lawyer filed an appeal to keep his name off, claiming the registry marginalizes rehabilitated offenders and puts up tremendous barriers that force many to resort back to crime.

In her decision, the judge said she considered T.D. to be rehabilitated and the severity of the teen's offense to be "low," saying the incident was "more akin to a juvenile prank than predatory, perverted, criminally deviant sexual conducted likely to be repeated."

O'Brien said: "It would be cruel or unusual punishment to require T.D. to publicly register for the remainder of the 25-year period."

Asked how T.D. reacted to the ruling, Keehn said "he is very happy."

Larry Dubin, a criminal law professor at the University of Detroit-Mercy, said O'Brien has ruled part of the sex offender registry law is unconstitutional.

"Judge O'Brien's opinion warrants serious consideration by an appellate court to determine whether the current law is unconstitutional in depriving a judge of exercising discretion when the facts do not warrant registration as a sex offender," Dubin said.

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

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved

UT - 23 police officers disciplined by state

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More cops, more slaps on the wrist.  I am willing to bet NONE of these people who committed sexual crimes, will be on any registry!


By Geoff Liesik

SANDY — The body responsible for policing Utah's police voted Tuesday to discipline 23 officers for offenses ranging from forcible sex abuse to lying on a police-academy application.

The state's Peace Officer Standards and Training Council listened for more than an hour during its quarterly meeting as investigators provided a brief synopsis for each case, and the council then meted out sanctions.

The council voted unanimously to revoke the certification of Cory D. Frampton, a former Nephi police narcotics officer. Frampton, according to a POST case summary, engaged in a sexual relationship with an informant while he was on duty. He also told the woman on two occasions that she was the target of a police investigation, the summary said.

The council revoked Michelle L. Johnson's certification, as well. Johnson, a former officer with the Springdale/Zion Canyon Department of Public Safety, is facing charges of felony drug possession and misdemeanor theft. Investigators said she failed to put methamphetamine, seized from an arrested suspect, in the department's evidence locker, using the drug instead.

Utah corrections officer Mark E. Nentwich also had his certification revoked because of his conviction for sexual battery. Nentwich had initially been charged with forcible sex abuse, a second-degree felony, for assaulting a 14-year-old girl in 2006. POST investigators said Nentwich never admitted to the crime when they interviewed him; however, he did plead guilty to a reduced charge as part of an agreement with Sevier County prosecutors.

All three officers agreed to accept the revocations in consent letters signed before the hearing.

Twenty other officers agreed to have their certifications revoked or suspended, as well, for engaging in sexual activity with inmates or probationers; driving under the influence of alcohol or prescription drugs; theft; harassment; or on-duty or off-duty sexual misconduct.

Lt. Steve Winward has headed POST's Investigations Division for the past 31/2 years. Winward said the cases presented Tuesday are representative of the most common forms of misconduct his investigators look into.

" 'SADD' is our term for it — sex, alcohol, drugs and domestics," he said.

"We've had several officers that are just a couple years from retiring … and then they do something that is basically career suicide because they're not thinking. The power's gone to their head, and they think they can get away with it," Winward said. "Just seeing that, that's the toughest part of the job."

Winward said the council's June 2007 adoption of disciplinary guidelines has made the sanctions handed down more consistent.

"A lot of times, what we had to do (in the past) was anticipate what the POST Council would accept," he said, adding that in most cases now, the council ratifies the sanction recommended by investigators.

But the council still has the authority to impose more or less severe penalties, as it sees fit. Such was the case Tuesday, when members tabled one officer's hearing for additional investigation and handed down lighter sanctions in two other cases. Those three cases will be reconsidered at the council's next meeting Dec. 9.

Officers disciplined:

Officer: Robert B. Bragg

Agency: West Jordan Police Department

Allegation: DUI prescription drug

Sanction: Revocation

Officer: Cory D. Frampton

Agency: Nephi Police Department

Allegation: On-duty sexual misconduct, off-duty sexual misconduct, official misconduct

Sanction: Revocation

Officer: Robert B. Humphries

Agency: Hurricane Police Department

Allegation: Failure to respond to an officer's signal to stop, lying under Garrity

Sanction: Revocation

Officer: Michelle L. Johnson

Agency: Springdale/Zion Canyon Department of Public Safety

Allegation: Theft, possession of a Tier I drug

Sanction: Revocation

Officer: Jerry Mitchell

Agency: Davis County Sheriff's Office

Allegation: Custodial sexual misconduct, lying under Garrity

Sanction: Revocation

Officer: Mark E. Nentwich

Agency: Utah Department of Corrections

Allegation: Forcible sexual abuse

Sanction: Revocation

Officer: Scott E. Price

Agency: Summit County Sheriff's Office

Allegation: Forcible sexual abuse, lying under Garrity

Sanction: Revocation

Officer: Rick J. Nichols

Agency: Utah Department of Corrections

Allegation: Theft

Sanction: Revocation

Officer: George L. Rice

Agency: San Juan County Sheriff's Office

Allegation: Custodial sexual misconduct

Sanction: Revocation

Officer: Gilbert Salazar

Agency: Salt Lake City Police Department

Allegation: Off-duty sexual misconduct

Sanction: Revocation

Officer: Jerold Keith Savage

Agency: Cedar City Police Department

Allegation: Harassment, lying under Garrity

Sanction: Revocation

Officer: Stephanie D. Searcy

Agency: Salt Lake Community College Police Academy

Allegation: Willful falsification to obtain certified status, lying under Garrity

Sanction: Revocation

Officer: Michelle T. Stewart

Agency: Utah Department of Corrections

Allegation: Custodial sexual misconduct

Sanction: Revocation

Officer: Brenna M. Vaughn

Agency: Box Elder County Sheriff's Office

Allegation: Custodial sexual misconduct

Sanction: Revocation

Officer: Kelly B. Sharp

Agency: Davis County Sheriff's Office

Allegation: On-duty sexual misconduct

Sanction: Four-year suspension

Officer: Daniel L. Gilbert

Agency: Peace Officer Standards and Training Academy

Allegation: Lying under Garrity

Sanction: Three-year suspension

Officer: Michael A. Oge

Agency: Weber County Sheriff's Office

Allegation: Malfeasance

Sanction: Three-year suspension

Officer: Jeff L. Christensen

Agency: N/A

Allegation: False information on a POST application

Sanction: Two-year suspension

Officer: Megan K. Hancock

Agency: Utah Department of Corrections

Allegation: DUI

Sanction: Two-year suspension, alcohol counseling

Officer: Nikolas H. Searle

Agency: Utah Department of Corrections

Allegation: Gambling

Sanction: Two-year suspension

Officer: Daniel J. Sorenson

Agency: Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

Allegation: DUI

Sanction: Two-year suspension

Officer: Katrina M. Madsen

Agency: Sanpete County Sheriff's Office

Allegation: Off-duty sexual misconduct

Sanction: One-year suspension

Officer: David Neves

Agency: Sanpete County Sheriff's Office

Allegation: Off-duty sexual misconduct

Sanction: One-year suspension

NOTE: Under the Garrity Rule, a law enforcement or corrections officer may be compelled to give statements under threat of discipline or discharge; however, those statements cannot be used in a criminal prosecution of the officer. An officer who refuses to answer questions after being informed of his or her rights under Garrity can be disciplined for insubordination. A officer who lies under Garrity can be fired and subjected to action against his or her certification.

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

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved

When Adults Fail Children—For Life

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By Dr. Marty Klein

The Iowa Supreme Court has affirmed the conviction of 18-year-old _____, who complied with a 14-year-old friend’s request for a photo of his penis. The young man is now forced to register as a sex offender, meaning his chances of getting a college degree, job, or livable apartment are pretty much ended.

According to the court, the girl “generally hung out with teenagers older than herself;” was “only friends” with _____; thought the picture was sent “only as a joke;” and was not “a means to excite any feelings.” Nevertheless, _____ was convicted of “knowingly disseminating obscene material to a minor.”

_____ was a foolish kid. But there are many ugly, stupid, irresponsible adults in this story. The girl’s mother, who checked her daughter’s e-mail and internet use, found the photo and forwarded it to her husband. The father then showed the photo to his friend, a police officer. The cop arranged to have _____ arrested. A prosecutor pursued the case, a judge tried it, a jury convicted. These adults failed _____ and his friend miserably. His ruined life will be a testament to their fear, insecurity, and hatred.

All these adults were supposedly attempting to protect Iowa’s young people–by punishing this kid who was fooling around with a pal.

So let’s spend a moment in the real world (which none of these adults seem to inhabit). Which is likely to hurt this 14-year-old girl more—seeing a 2-square-inch photo of a friend’s erect penis, or being the reason that this friend will spend time in jail and decades as a registered sex offender? Her life is now ruined (in addition, of course, to his), because of her criminally negligent parents, criminally ambitious prosecutor, and 12 jury members who failed to protect people who needed justice but received only wrath.

Americans should understand the horrors of our obscenity laws: a picture or word or object is obscene only after a jury decides that it is. And a jury can decide that ANY picture, word, or object is obscene. So no one can know for sure what’s obscene until it’s too late. This is exactly like laws against “hooliganism” in places like Russia that we rightly deride.

The judge in _____’s case had rightly told the jury that “a depiction of a person’s genitals was not in and of itself obscene. In order for the depiction of a person’s genitals to be obscene, an average person applying contemporary community standards with respect to what is suitable material for minors must find the material is patently offensive, appeals to the prurient interest, and lacks serious literary, scientific, political, or artistic value.” At that point, the picture becomes illegal, and sharing it with someone else becomes a crime.

A jury of twelve Americans destroyed _____’s life because they believed that a picture of his erect penis is “patently offensive.” I hope each of them never gets a good night’s sleep for the rest of their lives.

Dr. Marty Klein has been a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and Certified Sex Therapist for 29 years. As a clinician, he works each week with couples and individuals who have a variety of sexual and non-sexual difficulties--over 30,000 sessions since 1980.

Dr. Klein fights for the sexual rights of all Americans through his legal and courtroom work. He has been an expert witness, consultant, or invited defendant in many state and federal censorship, internet, and obscenity cases.

He has authored over 100 articles in publications such as Parents, New Woman, and Playboy, as well as San Francisco Medicine, the California Therapist, and the Journal of Homosexuality. He is also a former contributing editor to The New Physician, American Baby, and Modern Bride.

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

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved