Tuesday, March 16, 2010

NY - Residents upset sex offender moved in (They have to live somewhere!)

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"The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly." - Abraham Lincoln


UT - Republican Pedophile Kevin Garn's Victim Speaks Out

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"The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly." - Abraham Lincoln


MD - Mark Lunsford At Rally For Changes To "Jessica's Law"

I wonder if and how much Mark gets paid for these visits? He has been having some management issues, see here.

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"The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly." - Abraham Lincoln


WI - Bill would nix local control over sex offender residency

Original Article

03/16/2010

By Richard Moore

During the past several years, nearly 50 Wisconsin municipalities have passed ordinances to restrict where sex offenders can live, but now a bill moving forward in the state Legislature could nullify most, if not all, of them.

The bill would prohibit a city, village, town, or county from enacting or enforcing an ordinance that specifically affects the placement or residency of registered sex offenders, or areas that may not be entered or exited by a registered sex offender.

Supporters of the legislation say it is needed to make residential requirements uniform throughout the state. Without uniformity, they say, sex offenders will be clustered in cities such as Milwaukee, where no restrictions exist, and in rural areas, where law enforcement is spread too thin to adequately enforce residency restrictions.
- Even with uniformity, the same will occur!

Opponents, including many suburban political leaders in Milwaukee County, think it's a ploy to dump registered sex offenders out of the cities from which they come and into the adjacent suburbs. The two leading sponsors of the bill are state Rep. Fred Kessler (Email) and Sen. Lena Taylor (Email), both Milwaukee Democrats.

However, neither the arguments - much less the coalitions of support and opposition - can be easily defined or pigeonholed.

Sometimes the punch and counterpunch between the city and the suburbs is reversed. In Brown County, for example, it was suburban leaders who called for uniform standards after the city of Green Bay adopted highly restrictive measures.

Then, too, the appearance of such rural Republicans as Rep. Donald Friske (Email) of Merrill and Mary Williams (Email) of Medford as cosponsors bolsters the supporters' contention that the bill is not some big-city ruse.

Ordinances threatened

Still, the legislation, if enacted, would expressly undo what scores of smaller municipalities have sought to do, and have often done - namely, restrict where registered sex offenders can live and, in some cases, where they can go.

To cite a Northwoods example, the town of Lac du Flambeau passed its own ordinance in 2007.

The code prohibited convicted sex offenders from residing within 3,000 feet of various facilities for children, not only schools and day care centers and libraries but also parks and the aquatic center.

Some critics say such restrictions are so expansive as to be unconstitutional, but so far court rulings have been a mixed bag.

In early challenges in Iowa and Ohio, the courts ruled the laws did not infringe on constitutional rights but reflected a desire to protect children through civil management, much like ordinances against loitering.
- Yeah right, whatever.  The laws are unconstitutional!

Residency restrictions, they ruled, were rationally related to the purpose of the ordinance, and so passed litigative muster. The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the Ohio case, letting the law stand.

Several federal courts have also upheld municipal decisions to bar sex offenders from broadly public areas such as parks and recreation facilities, as the town of Lac du Flambeau did.

More recent rulings have begun to trend the other way. Last May, the state Supreme Court of New Jersey found that municipalities could not regulate where sex offenders can live. The court said state law controlled over local law because individual towns could establish "mischievous" ordinances, in effect shutting out offenders altogether.

In Wisconsin, the most definitive case has involved the city of Franklin, in Milwaukee County, one of the earliest cities to enact a restrictive sex offender residency code; in that case, the city and its ordinances prevailed when the city sued to evict a registered sex offender, _____, for buying a home within 2,000 feet of schools and day care centers in violation of the ordinance.

_____ challenged the constitutionality of the codes, but Milwaukee circuit court judge John Franke ruled for the city based in part on the city's ability to control its land use.

"A city council is not constitutionally barred from attempting to solve a small part of a problem simply because it cannot or does not attempt to solve the 'larger' part of a problem," Franke stated. " . . . Despite obvious questions and perhaps because the answers are so obviously uncertain, a court cannot conclude with any degree of confidence that keeping sex offenders distant from places where children congregate will have no appreciable impact on the risk of a sexual assault."

To the barricades

Now Franklin mayor Thomas Taylor is rallying the troops against the pending legislation, the latest effort to void his city's ordinances. He has posted an emergency website appeal to his city's residents to join him in fighting the bill.

"The city of Franklin's sex offender residency restriction and child safety zone ordinances were enacted by your Common Council in an effort to make the city of Franklin a safer place for children and for women," Taylor wrote. "These ordinances have been tested in the courts and according to our law enforcement officials, have served our community very well."

The mayor implored residents to take the time they would to order pizza by phone and call local legislators and oppose the measure.

"A democracy can only survive and flourish if the people's voices are heard," he said. "This is your community and this is your state. . . . These ordinances have been adopted because communities wanted them and believe them to be effective in protecting their children."
- We are not a democracy sir, we are a republic!

Right now, there are no state restrictions on where a convicted sex offender can reside, or is prohibited from residing, except that the person must return to the county in which the offense occurred and a general declaration that the Department of Corrections (DOC) must also, "if necessary to protect public safety, create for these sex offenders areas that they are prohibited from entering or areas that they are prohibited from leaving."

Legislative proponents say the DOC would write new, specific rules that would apply statewide.

The legislation would also require the DOC to generally prohibit persons found to be sexually violent from entering certain areas, including any area where persons under 16 years of age congregate, including schools, day care centers, playgrounds, parks, and published school bus stops.


"The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly." - Abraham Lincoln


FL - Miami Sex Offenders Moving Closer to the City

Original Article

03/16/2010

By Carmen Gentile

MIAMI -- _____, a convicted child molester, stood by her dilapidated motor home surveying the damage after bulldozers leveled an outcast enclave beneath Miami's most noted bridge.

A filthy mattress and splintered lumber riddled with rusty nails laid at her doorstep. She sifted through the scattered detritus in search of an extension cord that ran from her camper to the communal generator. The cord, she discovered, had been severed by the Florida Department of Transportation earth-movers. She would spend the night in the dark.

A change in the law allows her and other sex offenders to move into a more populated area of Dade County. But she isn't happy about it.

"I can't take it here anymore," said _____, 45, who has been living under the Julia Tuttle Causeway bridge for three years by orders of authorities and county law. "This right here, this is worse than prison."

The Julia Tuttle, spanning the water separating Miami and Miami Beach, was the only place _____ and other sex offenders released from nearby prisons could call home. The law prevented them from living within 2,500 feet of schools or their bus stops as well as parks, day-care centers and other places children congregate.

Up to 100 convicted sex offenders called the bridge home at any given time over the past few years. Their ranks spilled out from beneath the bridge to the grassy, trash-strewn strip along the highway. The tents and plywood homes were reminiscent of the tar-paper Hoovervilles of the Depression-era 1930s.

However, a recent change in the law allows offenders like _____, convicted of molesting a friend's two teenage children, to live in designated sex offender settlements in the city. A trailer park and an old hotel in Hialeah are the staging ground for what Dade County officials hope will prove a successful effort to reintegrate offenders into society and help them find gainful employment.
- And it has also been brought to my attention, that this trailer park and hotels have children within 300 feet, so Ron Book is breaking the law by placing sex offenders in these places, at tax payers expense, and I've also been told, people are already complaining about it.  So, we will see, another shanty town may be popping up sooner than expected.

However, they still must reside at least 2,500 feet from schools and cannot loiter near places where children congregate.

The Julia Tuttle settlement is to be completely vacated by the end of the month. _____ and the few remaining inhabitants have mixed feelings about the move.

She said she is glad to be moving and hopes to resume working as a hairdresser, though she isn't so sure she and others can make it on the outside.

"My motive is to get out of here," she said while dragging on a cigarette and sipping a beer. "But those trailer parks where they're putting us are no good. Too many drugs and (prostitutes). I don't want to be around that."

Others share her cynicism about the likelihood of sex offenders making a successful go of it living in an ordained community.

Jill Levenson, a professor of human services at nearby Lynn University, is an authority on residency restrictions for sex offenders. She said the closing of the bridge settlement was a "step in the right direction." But she argued that the current restrictions -- making it illegal for convicted molesters to come within 300 feet of schools or parks -- do little to "prevent offenders from repeating their crime."

"Living restrictions are not going to prevent a motivated offender from molesting a child again," Levenson said. "All it does is create barriers in stability and prevent them from becoming a stable, conforming citizen."

Many of the bridge-dwelling offenders said they couldn't find steady employment after their convictions because law requires they inform a potential employer of their crimes, forcing them to rely on handouts from families and friends.

Noted state lobbyist Ron Book, who favors the living restrictions for sex-crime offenders, said the laws work to curtail repeat offenses.
- How Ron? Do you have any PROOF of that bold statement?

"We've are satisfied that we've been moving in a positive direction; we already have gotten some of the colony of offenders and predators resettled in the community," Book said, noting that the number of bridge dwellers has shrunk to a dozen or so, though a handful of recently released sex offenders arrived in recent days.
- And read my statements above, again.  He's placing these people in illegal residences, if what I have been told is correct!

Book answers criticism of the living restriction on sex criminals with a favorite analogy. "Laws that prohibit people from committing crimes with a gun don't stop everybody from committing crimes with a gun, but it works and serves as a deterrent ... residency restrictions, per se, do not stop offensives against children, but they are a deterrent in some regards," he said.

Longtime bridge dweller and convicted child molester _____ disagrees. The 48-year-old former chef and self-proclaimed first resident of the Julia Tuttle settlement said sex offenders with an insatiable taste for minors will strike again no matter where they live.

"Kids are everywhere," _____ said.

He is a sinewy mustached man who confessed to touching his 9-year-old stepdaughter -- a one-time drunken indiscretion, he said.

"You send us down here to live, and kids come by to fish,'' he added.

_____, like other offenders heading to the newly designated sex-crime communities, said he thinks the program is ultimately doomed to failure. The surrounding community ultimately will reject the presence of sex criminals, he said, eventually prompting the creation of another outcast society, perhaps under another bridge other than the Julia Tuttle.

"This isn't the last of places like these," he said.


"The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly." - Abraham Lincoln


GA - House OK's changes to sex offender law

Original Article
Related Article
Read HB-571 Here

Next the bill goes to the Senate and if passed there, then it will become law.

03/16/2010

ATLANTA (AP) - Some low-risk sex offenders would be able to get off the state's registry under a bill that cleared the House.

The legislation would give certain inmates the ability to petition the courts to remove them from the registry after completing their sentences. Among those who would be eligible are the disabled, those confined to a hospice and so-called Romeo and Juliet statutory rape cases, in which the teens are close together in age.

A judge could approve or deny the petition.

The bill passed 165-1 on Tuesday.

The legislation was introduced last year by David Ralston, who's since become speaker of the House. The bill also makes other technical changes to bring the state's tough sex offender law in line with various court rulings.


"The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly." - Abraham Lincoln