Tuesday, January 12, 2010

CT - Department Of Correction Pursuing Its Own Residential Program For Sex Offenders

Original Article

01/12/2010

By ALAINE GRIFFIN

Prison officials are moving forward with their part of a $2 million plan to create a residential program for sex offenders, leaving out the judicial branch — their former partner in the plan — in the department's latest call for proposals.

But late Monday, a judicial spokeswoman said the branch still wants to be part of the plan and is communicating with correction officials about being part of their most recent request for proposals, posted publicly Friday. The deadline for proposals is March 8.

"We remain committed to working cooperatively with the Department of Correction on establishing this facility," said Deborah J. Fuller, director of the external affairs division for the state judicial department. "We're hoping we can still work with them."

The Department of Correction is looking to spend $1 million on a 12-bed residential program for offenders who are about to be released from prison. The program will offer services intended to help offenders re-integrate into the community.
- Just more waste of tax payer dollars.  Reform the laws and none of this would be needed.  This is again, another prison outside of prison, IMO.  If you'd reform the laws, then they could integrate back into the community without all the wasteful spending of OUR money!

Brian Garnett, a department spokesman, said research shows that programs in which offenders are released into the community under supervision toward the end of their sentences are effective and reduce recidivism rates.

Movement on the project follows recent criticism of the state's failure to create a place for repeat, violent sex offenders recently released from prison who have no place to go. Indigent offenders, although monitored by probation officials, often end up in city homeless shelters, a result that officials say might not be safe for the community.
- No, homeless shelters won't accept them.

Creation of a residential sex-offender program was part of a 2008 criminal justice reform bill that passed by wide margins in both the House and Senate following a 2007 triple-slaying in Cheshire. The sex-offender program was supposed to be up and running by July 2008, but officials said budget problems stalled the project.

Since then, state Rep. Michael Lawlor (Email), co-chairman of the legislature's judiciary committee, has questioned why the sex-offender program and other provisions of the crime-fighting legislation have been delayed. The judiciary committee will hold hearings on the stalled projects Jan. 19.

In the initial sex-offender program plan, 24 beds for offenders would have been put in an existing building at the Corrigan-Radgowski Correctional Center in Montville. The Department of Correction put the project out to bid and selected a vendor for the $2 million project. The department planned to split the cost with the state judicial branch.

But Garnett said correction officials were told in October that the judicial branch would not take part in the sex-offender program. And since then, Garnett said, the situation has not changed.

"The landscape has changed," Garnett said. He added that the program could now end up anywhere in the state.

The Department of Correction program will address those sex offenders who are still in prison and does not deal with violent, repeat sex offenders who have recently completed lengthy prison sentences. The Department of Correction cannot hold people once they complete their prison sentences. The judicial branch supervises those on probation.

On Monday, Lawlor said he hoped that the judicial branch and the Department of Correction could resurrect their first plan so that the program would not be stalled any longer.

"It's not too late," Lawlor said. "They could rescind the new [request for proposals] and go back to the original plan. Now, instead of being a few months away from getting it done, we could be more than a year away."


MO - Supreme Court rejects sex offender rules

Original Article

01/12/2010

JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - The Missouri Supreme Court has sided with two sex offenders who challenged laws barring them from handing out Halloween candy and living within 1,000 feet of schools and child care centers.

The high ruled 4-3 on Tuesday that the restrictions cannot be applied to those whose offenses came before the laws were enacted. The constitution bars laws adding new punishments or responsibilities for past actions.

The Supreme Court combined two cases argued in 2009. In one, a central Missouri sex offender was charged after a law officer saw a woman handing out candy from his house. In the other, a sex offender was barred from moving in with his fiancee because the home was too close to a child care center.



Original Article

01/12/2010

By TONY RIZZO

Laws regulating where sex offenders live and what they do on Halloween cannot apply to those convicted before the laws took effect, the Missouri Supreme Court ruled today.

The 4-3 decision in two cases from eastern Missouri addressed the 2004 law preventing convicted sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of a school or child-care facility and the 2008 law that controlled the activities of registered sex offenders on Halloween night.

The court’s majority found that both laws violated the Missouri Constitution’s protection against retrospective laws if applied to offenders convicted prior to the enactment of the laws.

In the opinion of the court’s dissenting minority, both laws are “valid exercises of the state’s police power to protect children” and do not violate the Missouri constitution.
- Damn, come on, call a spade a spade for Heaven's sake.  An ex post facto law is an ex post facto law!

The Halloween law requires offenders to stay in their homes, turn off exterior lights, and post a sign saying no treats are available. After the law took effect in 2008, authorities in some areas, including Jackson County, said it could not be legally enforced for most offenders.

But other jurisdictions charged a number of persons with violating the law. The vast majority of registered offenders — those convicted before Aug. 28, 2008 — will not have to comply with the restrictions, according to Tuesday’s ruling.

In regards to the 1,000-feet law, the court previously had ruled that it could not apply to offenders who resided near a school or child-care facility at the time of their offense and then returned to the same residence after they were convicted.

Today’s ruling means all offenders convicted before the residency requirement took effect can live wherever they choose within the state.


CA - Second Arrest Made in Sex Offender Murder

Original Article

01/11/2010

By Rodney Wardle

NORTH PALM SPRINGS - Authorities arrested 28 year old Steven Banister last month in Tennessee for allegedly killing 75 year old _____ of North Palm Springs.

The Riverside County Sheriff's Department say Banister and his alleged accomplice Travis Cody robbed and murdered _____ in his backyard last summer.

Just a few months prior to the murder Bannister was arrested among the dozens of people caught up the D.A.'s crime net called Operation Falling Sun.

The California Department of Corrections decided how long to keep him. The murder happened only days after his release.

"In this case they made the determination and he was able to get out a little bit earlier," says Michael Jeandron with the Riverside County District Attorney's Office. "Unfortunately (he) returned back to our community and was able to engage in more criminal activities. He spent his entire free time in our community victimizing others."

According to court papers, Banister, a white supremacist, hated homosexuals, rapists and pedophiles.
- Hell, they hate anybody who isn't white.  This man needs to be locked up for life!

He bragged to inmates he would target them for crimes.

The declaration also states he and his girlfriend used the Megan's Law website to find and burglarize sex offenders. _____'s name was on that list.

His gun stolen during the robbery was later found in Cody's home.

Both men face murder and robbery charges and could face the death penalty

"Our office will talk to the victim's family members. We'll talk with the defense attorneys. We'll review all the evidence. We'll, again, meet with the investigators. We'll take into account all that information before arriving at a decision," says Jeandron.



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CA - Trial of man accused of murdering neighbor delayed (Found them on the Sex Offender Registry "Online Hit-List")

Original Article

And more murder by using the online hit-list, more proof the public cannot handle the online registry and why it should be moved offline and used by police only. And sick killers like this are not on a registry, yet they could be living next door to you, and snap at any moment to come and kill you.  This is why, if we must have a shaming hit-list for sex offenders, we need it for ALL CRIMINALS!

01/12/2010

By Elizabeth Larson

LAKEPORT – The trial of a man accused of murdering a neighbor who he found on the Megan's Law Web site has been pushed back once again due to a change in defense attorneys.

Ivan Garcia Oliver, 31, is awaiting trial on charges of murder, burglary and causing injury to an elderly person for fatally stabbing 67-year-old _____ on Nov. 20, 2007.

A trial setting conference is scheduled for Feb. 1, according to Chief Deputy District Attorney Richard Hinchcliff.

Oliver is alleged to have stabbed _____ at his home in the Western Hills Mobile Home Park in the unincorporated area of Lakeport after he saw _____ on the California Attorney General's Megan's List Web site.

Shortly before his death, _____ had moved to Lake County after serving 19 years in prison for a rape in Sonoma County. He was required to register as a sex offender under Megan's Law.

It's alleged that unclear wording in his listing – removed shortly after his death by state officials – led Oliver to wrongly conclude that _____ had been in prison for a crime involving a child.

At the time of _____'s murder, Oliver allegedly was in Lake County in violation of his parole for an assault with a deadly weapon conviction for a previous stabbing in San Diego County, according to state parole officials.

In December 2007, a Lake County Jail correctional officer allegedly found Oliver in possession of a shank he had made from a toothbrush, which resulted in another felony charge.

Oliver's case has had numerous delays, including his preliminary hearing being pushed back in 2008 due to his not having an attorney and also because he was undergoing trial for a federal illegal dumping case in San Diego County along with his half-brother, as Lake County News has reported.

He was sentenced in November 2008 to 15 months in custody for violating the federal hazardous waste law, according to the US Attorney's Office of the Southern District of California.

However, his preliminary hearing finally occurred last December, at which time Judge Arthur Mann ruled that Oliver would stand trial on all of the charges.

Trial had been set to start Feb. 23, but Chief Deputy District Attorney Richard Hinchcliff said the trial date was vacated after Judge Arthur Mann relieved defense attorney Komnith Moth and appointed William Conwell. Court records indicated that a notice of a defense conflict had been filed Dec. 2.

Conwell made his first appearance in the case on Dec. 14, at which time the Feb. 23 trial date was canceled, according to court records. Conwell is the fifth defense attorney to represent Oliver in the case.

Case files show the trial setting conference is scheduled for 8:15 a.m. Feb. 1 in Lake County Superior Court Department 3.

Earlier this year Oliver filed a federal lawsuit against the state of California, alleging that his civil rights were violated in the Lake County Jail, where he has been held for more than two years.

Court records indicate that Oliver alleged he was placed in a “sobering cell” without access to such basic necessities as food and water, that he was assaulted, and also was shackled and shocked numerous times by deputies.

He also claimed he wasn't provided with adequate medical care, that officials took him the hospital to have blood forcibly drawn, that he was falsely identified as a gang member and placed on administrative segregation, and that officials false charged him with possessing a weapon.

Oliver's case sought monetary damages and release from custody or placement in minimal custody housing.

US District Judge Maxine M. Chesney dismissed the case without prejudice because Oliver had not used the jail grievance procedure, claiming that the staff and administration don't properly exercise administrative grievances.

Oliver followed up with another complaint in October, stating that he hasn't been able to get a new pair of glasses through the jail's medical staff.

In November, Oliver filed another civil rights claim, saying he had gone through the jail appeal process and been turned down, and that he also had submitted a complaint to the Board of Supervisors, which he said had not responded.

In the most recent claim, Oliver alleged that jail officials weren't allowing him to have magazines – including “National Geographic,” “GQ,” “Esquire” and “People” – which he had been receiving between January and November of 2009.

Both his October and November complaints have not been resolved, according to federal court records.

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FL - Vigilantism at the Julia Tuttle Causeway

Yesterday... a white BMW pulled under the underbelly of the causeway. Some guys got out with spray cans of black paint, and started to write graffiti all over the place.

On one of the columns they wrote..."PAY BACK IS A B..CH!!!" Also they wrote on the only white camper there.... "HAVE FUN"

A red car that belongs to Voncel the only female resident there had graffiti all over the place as well.

This shows a lot. Who is to say that the lives of any of these men could not be in danger at some point. Should any vigilante wish to commit a crazy act next time. Every person there is an easy target.

One of the men was viewing it all from afar, but did not realize it until after the fact, that it was directed at the causeway dwellers.

I will post pictures as soon as I receive them...


VA - Can sex offenders be held after serving criminal sentences?

Original Article

01/12/2010

By Bill Mears

Woodbridge (CNN)  -- The police photograph is chilling. In grainy black and white tones, it shows 13-year-old _____ sitting in a makeshift box, his leg chained. The look in his eyes is one of fear, fatigue and disbelief. He had just been rescued from a nightmare.

"I was abducted by a sexually violent predator by the name of _____, who had been twice convicted for sexually assaulting young boys, and he had taken me for eight days," _____ recalled of his ordeal 37 years ago this month. "I was left to die."

As a survivor of a sex crime, _____ is one face of an issue the Supreme Court will revisit Tuesday: civil commitment, which allows the government to keep sex offenders in custody even after they have served their sentences. Twenty states have such laws, including Virginia, where _____ was held captive and repeatedly assaulted.

CNN normally doesn't name victims of sex crimes, but _____, now a victims' advocate, agreed to tell his story.

On the other side of the debate is the first sex offender released from Virginia's civil commitment program, and one of just a handful nationwide.

"I served my time for what I did, and I didn't feel like I should be incarcerated again," said this man, who asked that his identity not be revealed for fear of retribution. "It was a scary thing to know that you could be committed to a mental institution for the rest of your life."

The man said mandatory therapy helped him, but he thinks that could have been initiated while he was in prison.

There is widespread disagreement on whether civil commitment is a Catch-22. In discussions of the effects of sex crimes, nothing is simple or dispassionate.

The practice of confinement in mental hospitals or treatment centers for those with severe mental illness has been around the United States since its founding. Around the turn of the 20th century, many laws dealing with sexual psychopaths were passed. Over the decades, the laws were repealed or rarely applied.

Then, in 1990, Washington state became the first to pass an innovative civil commitment law specifically for violent sex offenders. California, Wisconsin and New York, among others, later followed. Such "predator laws" focused on risk assessment and prevention of re-offending. It is a concept that the general public may not be aware exists.

The Supreme Court has upheld the use of such laws when the individual goal is rehabilitation, not further "punishment." But it has another, broader purpose.

"The primary goal is incapacitation, that is, protecting society from people who are predicted to be dangerous in the future," said Eric Janus, author of "Failure to Protect " and dean at William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota. "The second goal is to provide treatment to these individuals."

Critics of these programs say behavioral rehabilitation centers amount to prisons, are often overcrowded and understaffed, and rarely meet the stated goal of treating the "worst of the worst" offenders to the point they can rejoin society.

"The evidence is showing that it's only becoming a detainment center for people they do not want on the streets," said Derek Logue, a sex offender who was released and now advocates for offender rights through his Web site. "They have no hope of getting out, and the odds are stacked against you."

According to Justice Department statistics, 20 states use civil confinement, involving about 4,000 rapists, pedophiles and other sex offenders nationwide. Estimates are that these programs cost taxpayers more than $700 million a year, almost $150,000 per individual. That is about four times more than confining them in prison.

Virginia passed its civil commitment law in 1999 but had never fully funded it. _____ found out from a reporter in 2002 that his attacker was just weeks away from being released after 29 years behind bars. Once a victim, now an empowered advocate, _____ realized he had to act.

"I didn't know about other sex offenders. I didn't know about the extent of the problem. I only knew one, but I knew that one needed to be dealt with," _____, 50, said from his northern Virginia home, where he works as a program manger for a defense contractor. State officials, he said, "all told me there was nothing to be done; he was going to be set free; that was it."

But _____ mobilized, lobbying lawmakers to quickly fund the program, despite a budget shortfall. It worked, and the state has become a national model, using a tool called "Static 99" that assesses which offenders qualify for civil commitment.

_____' attacker remained behind bars but was killed by a fellow inmate before ever going into the treatment program.

The catalyst for the state's change were once-dormant memories for _____, who now knew that he had to tell his story.

As a teenager in Portsmouth in 1973, _____ was walking to the store in snowy weather when a van pulled up and the man inside asked the boy whether he wanted to earn some extra money moving furniture. _____ agreed but instead was taken to a rural area and a metal box dug into the side of a hill.

"He looked at me, and he said, 'I've got bad news for you. You've just been kidnapped.' "

What followed was days of brutal rapes and beatings. _____ eventually left, and _____ would certainly have died if some rabbit hunters had not stumbled upon him after hearing his screams.

_____ believes that civil commitment is not the best tool, but for the most dangerous predators, "it is the only tool we have that is 100 percent effective, because they are removed from society. They are removed from their triggers."

The case before the Supreme Court on Tuesday deals with a federal law that has kept as many as 77 inmates held in federal prison in North Carolina under indefinite commitment.

The justices will decide whether the program enacted under the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 is constitutional by infringing on a traditional state function. The law was named after the son of "America's Most Wanted" host John Walsh.

The justices said in 2007 that a Kansas law was neither double jeopardy (second criminal punishment for the same crime) nor "ex post facto" (new punishment for a previous crime).

"We have never held that the Constitution prevents a state from civilly detaining those for whom no treatment is available but who nevertheless pose a danger to others," Justice Clarence Thomas said.

Courts have since been at odds with what kind of treatment must be provided and to what extent, to pass constitutional muster.

Janus worries about the slippery slope if such laws -- federal or state -- are allowed to continue without strong judicial checks.

"The main danger of civil commitment of sex offenders is that it provides a precedent for doing an end run around those governmental protections, and we all may be comfortable right now because we say, 'Well, this is those people. It's not us. It's not our rights that are at stake,' " he said.

"I think we all ought to be cognizant of the fact that these laws set a precedent that greatly expands the power of government to take away our liberty, not for something we've done in the past, not after we've been convicted and punished, but out of fear that we might commit a crime in the future, and this is a very very powerful and dangerous idea," Janus said.

The white-haired man sitting with his lawyer outside Richmond says he is no longer a danger to society. He served nearly eight years in prison for molesting three girls and nearly five years in forced civil commitment. Despite that state confinement, including being the first of only about four men to be released from it, he says post-prison treatment helped him.

"I think that civil commitment is unfair," he said. "I'm not against treatment. I have done everything in my power to help myself" understand the effects of sexual abuse.

He said that being told just days before his scheduled 2003 release that he was being civilly committed left him feeling "hopeless."

Shortly afterward, the man castrated himself with a razor in his jail cell. After the transfer and years in the rehabilitation unit, he was freed and lives a quiet life -- albeit under constant electronic surveillance -- with no further reported incidents, says his attorney.

Lawyer David Hargett convinced the Virginia Supreme Court that his client had a constitutional right to contest his civil commitment.

"I have found talking with people they are shocked to hear somebody can be sentenced by a judge, serve out that entire sentence and then say, 'Wait a minute, we're not going to let you go,' " Hargett said, calling it a legal "black hole."

"This treatment facility ... is a prison, let's be honest. It has barbed wire and locked doors." He said most in the Virginia facility realistically will never get out.

The high court case is U.S. v. Comstock (08-1224).


FL - Pure Mercy - Current Ministry Activity

Click the image to visit the web site


GA - Georgia sex offender challenges registry

Original Article

01/12/2010

ATLANTA (AP) - A man convicted of aggravated child molestation is asking the Georgia Supreme Court to rule that requiring him to register as a sex offender after he serves his sentence violates his constitutional rights.

The court is scheduled on Tuesday to hear arguments from _____. The 33-year-old was convicted of performing sexual acts on a 12-year-old and was sentenced to 25 years, with 15 in prison and 10 more on probation.

Hollie's attorneys argue that the trial court erred by making Hollie register as a sex offender as part of his probation. They contend such registration is a lifelong "punishment," stiffer than 30 years maximum penalty called for by law.

Prosecutors stand by the judge's ruling, saying that it's a harmless addition to Hollie's probation.
- It's ex post facto punishment, which violates the US and State Constitution!


NE - Public Safety vs. Privacy Rights (Punishing all for the crimes of a few?)

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