Saturday, May 15, 2010

UK - Sex offenders’ lifelong living and travel restrictions were breach of human rights

Original Article

04/21/2010

By Adam Wagner

R (JF (by his litigation friend OF)) & Anor v SSHD [2010] UKSC 17

(Read Judgment or Supreme Court press summary)

The Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that lifelong requirements for sex offenders to notify the police when they move house or travel abroad are a breach of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. 24,000 former offenders will potentially be affected by the decision.

Under section 82 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 all persons sentenced to 30 months’ imprisonment or more for a sexual offence become subject to a lifelong duty to keep the police notified of where they are living and when they travel abroad. Crucially, there is no right to a review of the necessity for the notification requirements.

The Respondents were convicted sex offenders. Both challenged the notification requirements by way of judicial review , on the basis that the requirements were a disproportionate manner of pursuing a legitimate aim of preventing crime and therefore breached their rights under Article 8.

Lord Philips gave the leading judgment. He emphasised that the question (as in the case of all human rights claims involving a “qualified” right in general and Article 8 in particular) was one of proportionality, and that the correct test, as had been set out in previous decisions, was:

whether: (i) the legislative objective is sufficiently important to justify limiting a fundamental right; (ii) the measures designed to meet the legislative objective are rationally connected to it; and (iii) the means used to impair the right or freedom are no more than is necessary to accomplish the objective (para 17)

The Court went on to discuss UK and European authorities, and in particular referred to the Marper judgment, which we discussed earlier this week in relation to the retention of DNA samples (para 31). The European Court of Human Rights had been particularly concerned that in cases involving DNA there was no provision for independent review, as was the case with the notification requirements in this appeal.


ID - Sex Offender Speaks Out About Classification


TX - Cibolo proposes strict sex offender ordinance

Original Article

I am getting so sick and tired of most news reports about sex offenders, being done in front of a play ground, to make it appear as if all sex offenders harm children. See the video to see what I am talking about.

05/08/2010

By Brian New

The City of Cibolo may soon be the latest Texas community to enact an ordinance restricting where registered sex offenders can live.

The proposal would prohibit sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a school, park, among other places children gather.

Cibolo Police Chief Gary Cox said this would put more than 85% of the developed areas of city off-limits to sex offenders.

The proposal would also prohibit sex offenders from loitering within 300 feet of those same areas.

Currently, there are a half of dozen registered sex offenders living within the city limits of Cibolo. Those offenders would be grandfathered in under the proposal.

The city is scheduled to hold a public hearing on the issue March 23rd at 6:00 pm at the Cibolo City Hall.


VA - Sex offenders, advocates push for Va. law notice

Original Article

This is a very good article that shows, most offenders know the basics of what they can and cannot do, from probation/parole officers, but many of the rules and regulations are not know, nor are they told about them, so yes, it would appear they set you up to fail from the beginning.

05/15/2010

When _____ was preparing to leave federal prison after 11 years, he knew his label as sex offender would mean there were certain places he couldn't visit or live. He had no idea it would be so difficult to find that information.

In April, the 53-year-old _____ left prison in Massachusetts and headed to a northern Virginia homeless shelter.

_____ wrote to the Virginia attorney general's office asking for help and was directed to Virginia State Police, which administers the sex offender registry. He wrote to the state police twice with no answer.

"I feel like I'm being set up to fail," said _____, who was convicted of having sex with an underage girl on a military base.

Unlike some states, Virginia doesn't provide its 16,500 registered sex offenders with a list of restrictions on where they can live, work and play. Instead, registered offenders must search state websites to determine how to comply with laws meant to keep them away from schools, parks and other places where children could congregate.

Officials say it would be too costly to provide copies of the laws to all offenders and that the websites are sufficient.

Wayne Bowers, director of the Sex Abuse Treatment Alliance in Oklahoma, said by not informing sex offenders of the laws, states are opening the door for individuals to fail — and reoffend.
- Fail due to a technicality, yes, re-offend, maybe, that depends on the person.

"If these people fail, that means there is going to be another victim," he said.
- Depends on what you mean by fail!  I think most will fail due to a technical violation, not due to re-offending. I've seen it time and time again in the news.

Notification laws vary across the nation.

Some states, like New Mexico, spell out the restrictions on a website, while others, such as North Carolina and Indiana, require offenders to read over a list of the laws and sign that they understand it while in the presence of a law enforcement officer.

In Kentucky, offenders receive a notice each time a law changes. There are no state residency or work restrictions in Massachusetts, but some localities have enacted ordinances.

Just like with other laws, sex offenders can't claim ignorance. If they are caught too close to a school, park or, in several states, a church, they could be charged with a felony and sent back to prison. Failing to register on time also is a felony.

And while lawmakers are quick to add to the list of restrictions for sex offenders, few are willing to pass laws that favor a group so generally despised.

A bill to require Virginia State Police to give offenders a list of restrictions has failed the past two years. Meanwhile, about a dozen new restrictions or enhanced penalties were enacted.

"It's not a luxury to know these rules, it's critical to success and for public safety," Reform Sex Offender Laws of Virginia founder Mary Devoy wrote to legislators after they adjourned in March without bringing the bill up for a vote in committee.

Between Dec. 1, 2008, and Nov. 30, 2009, Virginia State Police made more than 16,000 visits to offenders' homes and their workplaces to verify their addresses. During that time, 972 offenders were arrested for failing to register or for providing false information. Nearly 400 of those were convicted.

Virginia State Police do not track how many offenders are arrested for violating other laws, such as living too close to a school, said Lt. Jeff Baker, whose division oversees the sex offender registry and investigative unit.

While state police don't provide offenders with a list of the laws, Baker said troopers are available either in person or over the phone.
- Hell, half the time, the police do not even know the laws, nor do lawyers, so how is some offender suppose to know?

Baker said the department had revised registration paperwork to better inform offenders of their responsibilities. The agency also is working to update its website to make it easier for offenders to know the other laws.

"We're doing what we can do to work with them and ensure compliance," Baker said.

Listing the laws on the state police website isn't practical since not everyone on the registry has access to a computer, Devoy said. Also, in some localities, such as Virginia Beach, registered sex offenders are not allowed to have Internet access.

It would be better if the information was included in the certified packet of information each offender receives in the mail each year, she said.

The Department of Corrections informs and trains probation and parole officers about changes to the law, but it does not provide offenders with any lists, said department spokesman Larry Traylor.

_____ said he doesn't understand why the state isn't more willing to help those who are wanting to obey the law.
- Because, it's a business, and they need victims, so they can continue to ask for, and get money!

"There are some who want a second chance at a decent life," he said. "Giving them the information could be the key."


Where’s Jimmy? Just Google His Bar Code (Mark of the beast?)

Original Article

Eventually everyone will be chipped, if we allow this to continue. And lets not forget the part IBM played in the Holocaust, they helped track and number those in the concentration camps using the hole punch machines. You can stick this implant where the sun doesn't shine!

05/14/2010

By Gene J. Koprowski

Scientists tag animals to monitor their behavior and keep track of endangered species. Now some futurists are asking whether all of mankind should be tagged too. Looking for a loved one? Just Google his microchip.

The chips, called radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, emit a simple radio signal akin to a bar code, anywhere, anytime. Futurists say they can be easily implanted under the skin on a person’s arm.

Already, the government of Mexico has surgically implanted the chips, the size of a grain of rice, in the upper arms of staff at the attorney general’s office in Mexico City. The chips contain codes that, when read by scanners, allow access to a secure building, and prevent trespassing by drug lords.
- So the drug lords will start chopping off arms to gain access.

In research published in the International Journal of Innovation and Sustainable Development, Taiwanese researchers postulate that the tags could help save lives in the aftermath of a major earthquake. "Office workers would have their identity badges embedded in their RFID tags, while visitors would be given temporary RFID tags when they enter the lobby," they suggest. Similarly, identity tags for hospital staff and patients could embed RFID technology.

Our world is becoming instrumented,” IBM’s chairman and CEO, Samuel J. Palmisano said at an industry conference last week. “Today, there are nearly a billion transistors per human, each one costing one ten-millionth of a cent. There are 30 billion radio RFID tags produced globally.”

Having one in every person could relieve anxiety for parents and help save lives, or work on a more mundane level by unlocking doors with the wave of a hand or starting a parked car -- that's how tech enthusiast Amal Graafstra (his hands are pictured above) uses his. But this secure, “instrumented” future is frightening for many civil liberties advocates. Even adding an RFID chip to a driver’s license or state ID card raises objections from concerned voices.

Tracking boxes and containers on a ship en route from Hong Kong is OK, civil libertarians say. So is monitoring cats and dogs with a chip surgically inserted under their skin. But they say tracking people is over-the-top -- even though the FDA has approved the devices as safe in humans and animals.

We are concerned about the implantation of identity chips,” said Jay Stanley, senior policy analyst for the speech, privacy and technology program at the American Civil Liberties Union. He puts the problem plainly: “Many people find the idea creepy.”

RFID tags make the perfect tracking device,” Stanley said. “The prospect of RFID chips carried by all in identity papers means that any individual’s presence at a given location can be detected or recorded simply through the installation of an invisible RFID reader.”

There are a number of entrepreneurial companies marketing radio tracking technologies, including Positive ID, Datakey and MicroChips. Companies started marketing the idea behind these innovative technologies a few years ago, as excellent devices for tracking everyone, all the time.

Following its first use in an emergency room in 2006, VeriChip touted the success of the subdermal chip. "We are very proud of how the VeriMed Patient Identification performed during this emergency situation. This event illustrates the important role that the VeriChip can play in medical care," Kevin McLaughlin, President and CEO of VeriChip, said at the time.

Because of their increasing sophistication and low cost, these sensors and devices give us, for the first time ever, real-time instrumentation of a wide range of the world's systems -- natural and man-made,” said IBM's Palmisano.

But are human's "systems" to be measured?

Grassroots groups are fretting loudly over civil liberties implications of the devices, threatening to thwart their development for mass-market, human tracking applications.

If such readers proliferate, and there would be many incentives to install them, we would find ourselves in a surveillance society of 24/7 mass tracking,” said the ACLU's Stanley.

The controversy extends overseas, too. David Cameron, Britain's new prime minister, has promised to scrap a proposed national ID card system and biometrics for passports and the socialized health service, options that were touted by the Labour Party.

"We share a common commitment to civil liberties, and to getting rid -- immediately -- of Labour's ID card scheme," said Cameron according to ZDNet UK.

These controversies are impacting developers. One firm, Positive ID, has dropped the idea of tracking regular folks with its chip technology. On Wednesday, the company announced that it had filed a patent for a new medical device to monitor blood glucose levels in diabetics. The technology it initially developed to track the masses is now just a “legacy” system for the Del Ray Beach, Fla., firm.

We are developing an in-vivo, glucose sensing microchip,” Allison Tomek, senior vice president of investor relations and corporate communications, told FoxNews.com. “In theory it will be able to detect glucose levels. We are testing the glucose sensor portion of the product. It will contain a sensor with an implantable RFID chip. Today’s patent filing was really about our technology to create a transformational electronic interface to measure chemical change in blood.”

Gone are the company’s previous ambitions. “Our board of directors wants a new direction,” says Tomek. “Rather than focus on identification only, we think there is much more value in taking this to a diagnostic platform. That’s the future of the technology -- not the simple ID.”

The company even sold off some of its individual-style tracking technology to Stanley Black and Decker for $48 million, she said.

These medical applications are not quite as controversial as the tracking technologies. The FDA in 2004 approved another chip developed by Positive ID’s predecessor company, VeriChip, which stores a code -- similar to the identifying UPC code on products sold in retail stores -- that releases patient-specific information when a scanner passes over the chip. Those codes, placed on chips and scanned at the physician’s office or the hospital, would disclose a patient’s medical history.

But like smart cards, these medical chips can still be read from a distance by predators. A receiving device can "speak” to the chip remotely, without any need for physical contact, and get whatever information is on it. And that’s causing concern too.

The bottom line is simple, according to the ACLU: “Security questions have not been addressed,” said Stanley. And until those questions are resolved, this technology may remain in the labs.

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CA - Students Engaged in Sex Act During Class, Parents Say


CA - John Gardner Sentencing for Chelsea King and Amber Deboise

Below is only the rundown of the entire trial. To see the entire trial (9 parts in all), click here.