Friday, June 25, 2010

AL - Tim James - Safer Than Safe

Video Link


The above is a spoof on the original Tim James video, which has since been removed by Tim James from YouTube. Wonder why? Anyway, we created this one, from the original, before it was yanked. See this blog post.

Video Link


GA - Changes To Ga. Sex Offender Registry Could Help Low-Level Offenders

Original Article (Listen)
See this spreadsheet - Less than 1% in GA are predators!

06/25/2010

By Bofta Yimam

Governor Sonny Perdue last month signed a bill aimed at removing some low-level sex offenders from the registry, which restricts where sex offenders can live and work. The law takes effect July 1.

Bibb County Sheriff's Office Sex Offender Registry Tracking Unit, also known as S.O.R.T, has been calling a few sex offenders each day, who could be removed from the registry. They're working to inform them of the new law.

Lt. Greg Abernathy heads up the unit and says most sex offenders are familiar with changes that involve their situations.

"Anybody that's a 'category one' can petition the Superior Court to come off the registry," said Abernathy.

He says a state review board decides who falls under category one low-level sex offenders, like so-called Romeo and Juliet cases, which usually involve sexual relationships between teenagers.

"So, the most common example in a high school situation is a 17- or 18-year-old has sex with their boyfriend or girlfriend who's 15 or younger," said Rick Waller, Macon Judicial Circuit Public Defender.

Under the new law, Waller says anyone convicted in a felony Romeo and Juliet case can ask to be taken off the registry, which restricts where sex offenders can live and work.

Each person under the registry is required to report their address. Waller says that was a problem for many who are homeless and had no address to report.

"They could face up to 30 years in prison for not reporting the address," said Waller. "It was a violation of the registry."

Under the new law, Waller says they'll have to report where they are sleeping to the Sheriff's Office and keep the Sheriff's Office up to date, if they change locations.

Others can petition the court for removal from the registry, including those confined to a hospice or nursing home and the permanently disabled. Plus, those convicted of kidnapping a minor, if there was no sex crime.

Waller says the sex offender penalties changed over the years so each case will be reviewed individually, based on factors like the conviction date and the law at that time. By no means, he says, will everyone be eligible.

"You can't just get off if you have a terrible history of this," said Waller.

Abernathy says thee are 218 sex offenders in Bibb County, about 35-percent could face lesser restrictions under the new law. He calls that a positive move helping them focus on more serious sex offenders.

"Instead of trying to verify if this house they want to live in falls within the restrictions now, we can look at the conviction. We don't have to worry about where they want to live or anything, it gives us actually more time to free up and check on people physically," said Abernathy.

Waller says convicted sex offenders will still have to complete terms of their probation, whether or not they're removed from the registry.


Shred Your Sex Offender Map

Original Article

06/25/2010

By Lenore Skenazy

If anything, the sex offender registry is making our kids LESS safe.

Recently I consulted my local Serial Killer Registry and found out I'm living next door to a guy who killed three lunchroom ladies when they refused to give him seconds on the chili!

Oh please. I'm kidding. There's no registry of murderers out there. There's no armed robber registry either. Not even one for drunk drivers. No, the only easily available registry for all Americans to consult is the Sex Offender Registry.

Because ex-sex offenders are so much scarier than murderers?

No, the reason there's now a sex offender registry in every state--most of these lists dating back only to the 1990s--is that sex offenders have become the focus of intense parental fear. Who could blame us moms and dads, when we hear about kiddie kidnappings 24/7 on the news? The problem is not with nervous parents. The problem is with the registries. Turns out, they're worse than useless.

They are making our kids LESS safe. How? Well, there are three big problems with the registry.

1. The first is that we have not decided, as a country, which crimes we really want to see registered. And so, in five states, a man can end up on the registry for having sex with a prostitute. In 13 states, it is a registerable offense to urinate in public, and in 32 states, it's just as bad to be caught streaking. Yes, streaking. That means that when we look at a little map of our neighborhood and it's covered with red “Sex Offender” dots, there's often no way of telling whether the guy down the block is a child rapist or a jerk wearing a headband (and nothing else), bent on re-living the Carter years.

Seeing a bunch of dots is enough to make us lock our kids inside, where they get fat, bored and addicted to "Halo 3," because we think it's "Halo 3" outside. Goodbye, any sense of community! Which is ironic because community--knowing and looking out for each other--is exactly what makes neighborhoods safer.

2. These lists waste our cops' time. Police are unable to concentrate on the very worst offenders when they have to keep track of ALL offenders, even the ones who once peed on a tree.

There are almost three quarters of a million people on the sex offender registries now. But according to a study done by the hardly soft-on-crime Georgia Sex Offender Registration Review Board, only 5% of the 17,000 sex offenders in that state were “clearly dangerous” to children, and among them, only 100 could be classified as “predators.” (See spreadsheet here)

So here's an idea, says Adam Thierer, president of the Progress & Freedom Foundation, a market-oriented think tank: Why not make a “Scum of the Earth List” featuring only the scummy 5% and let the other 95% go streaking on their merry way? Save time! Save money! And, oh yeah: Save lives!

After all, maybe one of the reasons Jaycee Duggard was allegedly imprisoned for 18 years by a known sex offender was that an overburdened police force couldn't concentrate on creepy Phillip Garrido and the hut behind his house. They were too busy with the 100,000 other Californians on the registry.

This brings us to the third problem: The list keeps growing.

3. Perhaps the gravest danger posed by the Sex Offender Registry is how very easily your own child could end up on it. Consider the case of Ricky.

Ricky was 16 when he met a girl named Amanda at a teen club. She said she was about his age. They hit it off, started dating and ended up having sex, twice. A while later, Amanda ran away from home. When she thought the better of it, she went to the police. They questioned her and found out about Ricky.

Amanda, as it turns out, was only 13. So when the police tracked down Ricky and he admitted they'd had sex, he was arrested. Though Amanda's parents did not want to press charges, the district attorney did. In the end, Ricky took a plea to avoid jail time. Now he is registered as a sex offender. For life. There are thousands and thousands of teens like him on the list.

It is hard to get anything--an education, housing, job, even a pew in church (because offenders are forbidden to step foot anywhere children congregate)--when you're a registered offender.

An 18-year-old senior who has sex with his freshman girlfriend can end up on the list. A 19-year-old who sleeps with his underage sweetheart can end up there, too, even if they plan to get married. In a blink, boys go from normal, horny teens to official sex offenders on the registry--a registry that sounds so helpful.

But is all screwed up.

Lenore Skenazy is a public speaker and founder of the book, blog and movement, Free-Range Kids.


ACTION ALERT: Concerns with Supp. Guidelines - Section IV (Retroactive Classes)



FL - Port St. Lucie woman (Carol Merrilee Wands) guilty of extortion of convicted sex offender

Original Article (Listen)
Older Article #1
Older Article #2

It was also pointed out, by a viewer of this blog, that Carol Wands is a mediator for the State Supreme Court, District 17 (see here). Also see this site. And more can be found on Google, here.


06/24/2010

By Tyler Treadway

FORT PIERCE — A jury took just 19 minutes Wednesday afternoon to find a 47-year-old Port St. Lucie woman guilty of trying to extort $33,000 and a 2003 Cadillac DeVille from a convicted sex offender.

Carol Merrilee Wands faces up to 15 years in prison when she is sentenced July 28 for the second-degree felony conviction.

In the one-day trial [name withheld], 41, who pleaded no contest in 2005 to a charge of lewd or lascivious battery for inappropriately touching a girl in her mid-teens and was sentenced to 15 years of sex offender probation, testified he had a lunch date with Wands, a co-worker, in June 2009 and that and afterward the two kissed and fondled each other at her house in the 400 block of Southeast Sandia Drive.

[name withheld] admitted he was “turned on,” but testified that when Wands said, “I don’t know if we should do this,” he backed off.

About a week later, he said, he received a letter from Wands through their boss demanding 33 payments of $1,000 in cash and provide the title to his Cadillac or she would report to his probation officer that [name withheld] force himself on her.

[name withheld] said he took the threat seriously because “all it takes is an allegation, and I’m done; I’m back in prison. … I’m assumed to be guilty and have to prove I’m innocent before I get out.”

On advice from an attorney, [name withheld] contacted the State Attorney’s Office and worked with investigators to record phone conversations with Wands and videotape, with a camera hidden in [name withheld]’s watch, an initial transaction July 27 of $1,000 and the car’s title.

Jurors saw the tape, which ends with police surrounding the car and arresting Wands, on Wednesday.

That the jury came back with that verdict in that short a time suggest to me that they were convinced of their decision,” said Assistant State Attorney John Cannizzaro. “I think it also shows that anyone can be a victim of a crime, even a convicted sex offender.”

Both Wands and [name withheld] now have been convicted of second-degree felonies. [name withheld] took a plea deal and received a probationary sentence; Cannizzaro said he’ll ask Circuit Judge Lawrence Mirman to incarcerate Wands.
- So why is the ex-offender being charged with a felony? What are we not hearing about here? From the article above, I see nothing wrong with anything he/she did.