Friday, July 30, 2010
By Lenore Skenazy
Hey Readers — Here’s a comment that came in the other day in response to a woman who is very wary of stranger danger. I liked its logic:
Dear Amy (the woman who was consumed with predator fear): I can sort of see where you’re coming from, but take a logical approach. There’s a chance for something bad to happen in cars and buses, which people use on a daily basis. And there’s also something dangerous that could happen with almost everything you do in life. Some we just don’t think about. Others, people are VERY aware of. Like kidnappings.
I’m gonna be honest here. I HATE HATE HATE it when there’s a child who gets kidnapped and murdered. It’s just an awful, awful thing. When most people hear about a murdered child, they are emotionally affected by it and then start to see the world as a dark, dangerous place. That is what fear is: It’s when you think about something constantly, to the point where it rules your brain and you start to see the world differently.
Trust me, I’ve been there. But you know what? You just can’t think like that. If you look at everything in life the way people look at the possibility of encountering sex offenders, then basically everything would be dangerous. When you turn on the stove or microwave, do you ever think about it exploding? Not really. But it can happen. So what would you do then, live on sandwiches? Do you let your kids play video games? Are you aware of the fact that there is a chance they can get seizures or blackouts?
By Brad Woodard
HOUSTON - The reality of impending freedom after being imprisoned 27 years for a rape he did not commit proved to be too much for a Houston man, and his emotional and angry reaction to the situation prompted attorneys and a judge to delay his release by one day.
[name withheld] was expected to be granted a bond during a court hearing Thursday. The move came after the Harris County District Attorney’s Office on Wednesday announced that new DNA tests showed [name withheld] did not rape a woman in 1983 -- a crime for which he's spent the better part of his life behind bars.
"This is a day [name withheld] has thought about, dreamed about and anticipated for 27 years," said Bob Wicoff, [name withheld]’s attorney. "And this day, now that it’s finally come is highly emotional for him. None of us could anticipate how he would react in this situation."
Before [name withheld] was brought before visiting state District Judge Mike Wilkinson, he became upset while waiting in a courtroom holding cell, Wicoff said.
[name withheld] told 11 News in an exclusive interview when he was transported from prison to the Harris County Jail the night before, he opted to stay in a cell of his own, not realizing it was a high security cell. That meant he would be in leg irons and have his hands handcuffed behind his back when he left for court. [name withheld] said the guard was hurting his wrists and forcing him to walk faster than his shackles would permit.
"The guard transporting him was a little rough in his mind, a lot rough in his mind. Then he got to the hold over cell and he was just really angry about it. On top of the fact that it was an emotional day to begin with, this happens and it just triggered something he’s had to put up with for 27 years," said [name withheld]’s attorney.
[name withheld] asked for sympathy for his client, saying [name withheld] had his life taken away from him when he was incarcerated at 18 years old, a "boy who was put in prison with really bad guys." [name withheld] is now 44 years old.
"This was a gross perversion of justice the way this case went down," Wicoff said. "He’s angry and he should be angry. We should all be angry as to how this happened back in 1983."
A Harris County Sheriff’s official felt that [name withheld] had no reason for his outburst.
- Spend 27 years in prison for something you did not do, then tell him that!
"The treatment he received was routine and it was carried out safely," said Alan Bernstein, Harris County Sheriff’s Office. "He became agitated and voiced some very generalized vague death threats."
Wicoff said he along with prosecutors and the judge decided it was best to let [name withheld] compose himself, have him stay in jail one more night and come back on Friday for the bond hearing.
However, [name withheld]’s family members were upset by the delay, saying their loved one has already spent enough time in prison for a crime he didn’t commit.
"It’s ridiculous. They should be ashamed," said [name withheld], [name withheld]’s aunt. "He needs to get out today."
The Harris County District Attorney’s Office declined to comment on the delay, said spokesman George Flynn.
Once the bond is granted, [name withheld] will be free while the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals makes a final ruling on his innocence.
[name withheld] went to prison for a crime in which four men abducted a woman from a pay telephone in north Houston. Police said the men took her to a remote location, where three of them raped her. The men drove off, leaving the woman there, but were later chased by police. The men abandoned the car and fled on foot in north Houston. [name withheld] was detained by officers that night as he walked in the area.
The victim could not identify [name withheld] in person when he was first detained but later picked him from a photo lineup as one of her three attackers.
[name withheld] maintained his innocence but was convicted of aggravated sexual assault and sentenced to 75 years in prison. He was the only person convicted in the case.
Wicoff has blamed bad police work for [name withheld]’s conviction.
New DNA tests were done after his case was reopened by the new Post-Conviction Review Section of the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.
In another case reviewed by the section, [name withheld], 39, of Houston, was freed on bond last week after newly uncovered evidence showed he was innocent of a 1990 sexual assault. He had spent 19 years in prison. His case is also being reviewed by the appeals court.
[name withheld] said spending nearly three decades of his life in prison for something he didn’t do was like having the most precious thing in the world taken away, but said he got over being angry a long time ago, because at some point you realize it’s just not worth it. But Thursday morning’s events upset him and he was not quiet about it.
Many felt it was not necessary to shackle an innocent man, but Bernstein said he was merely following procedure.
"When we get an order to release him, we will. As long as he’s here, we have to treat him like anybody else," Bernstein said, and added that is the bottom line.
CONYERS - Conyers police have pressed charges against a woman accused of making a false sexual assault report, authorities said.
Amanda Little, 26, of Oxford, initially told police that she was kidnapped while walking in the parking lot of the Walmart at about 1 a.m. on Dogwood Drive on June 24, investigators said. Little said she was taken to an undisclosed location and sexually assaulted, said police.
she had been having sex at another location when her cell phone, which was in her back pocket, accidentally dialed the number of her boyfriend’s friend and left a voicemail recording, police said. Little said she came up with the abduction story as a cover up, investigators said.
“Our detectives did a good job with ferreting out the truth here. We are an agency that focuses in on the needs of our victims, and cases like this simply are a waste of time and tie up valuable police resources,” Conyers police said.
Little is charged with the false report of a crime.
Come on John, really? Show me some news articles where some "pedophile" is following school buses to find someone to molest and rape.
You are such a fear-mongering jerk. Show me the statistics, if you can find them, anywhere outside your head.
See this article as well
We have been extremely excited about the new opportunities in the media and the chance to finally be heard and expose the lies. However, there is still a fight out there and we can't let our guard down.
I'd like to start with an update on US Bill 5618. This bill was introduced in an effort to stop those on the registry from collecting extended unemployment benefits after their current benefits expire. Unfortunately, this bill did pass. If you are receiving extended unemployment compensation, please contact us.
A recently proposed bill came to our attention today regarding passports. HR 5870, which was referred to the House Committee of Foreign Affairs in the United States Congress, will revoke passports that have been issued to those on the registry. The purpose of this bill is to target those who are going outside of the country to have illicit sex with underage girls in foreign countries, however, it will affect thousands who could travel outside of the United States safely without posing a risk to anyone. Please read the alert below:
SEX OFFENDER PASSPORTS COULD BE REVOKED IF THIS BILL PASSES!
New Bill in Congress: HR 5870 - Passports of Registered Sex Offenders are Under Attack!
Filed by Rep. Poe (TX R TX 2)
PARTICIPANTS ARE URGED TO CONTACT ALL US REPS AND SENATORS - THIS BILL IS AN OUTRAGE - THE FINAL END OF THE US CONSTITUTIONAL SYSTEM AS WE ONCE KNEW IT!!!! TEXAS FOLKS ESPECIALLY, CALL REP POE AND TELL HIM THE BILL IS AN OUTRAGE!
Readers will think this bill is crazy, I would agree, in any court I would hope judges agree, but facts of each case may tell a different story. I am talking about: HR-5870 which has "No Name" just a description of its purpose "To restrict passports of certain sex offenders, and for other purposes." introduced 7-27-2010 by Rep. Poe (R-TX-2). the bill was Referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.
SECTION 1. RESTRICTION OF PASSPORTS OF CERTAIN SEX OFFENDERS.
(a) In General- The Secretary of State may revoke, restrict, or limit a passport issued to an individual who is a sex offender (as defined in section 111(1) of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 (42 U.S.C. 16911(4)) who is:
(1) included in the National Sex Offender Registry established pursuant to section 119 of such Act (42 U.S.C. 16919); or
(2) required to register in a jurisdiction's sex offender registry under title I of such Act and with respect to whom information may be maintained in the National Sex Offender Registry under such section 119.
Just because someone is properly registered in the National Registry (created by states uploading their registrants to the national registry) and following all laws, on a whim of the Secretary of State, a person's passport could be revoked, restricted, or limited. No misconduct is required, it can be done on a whim. The bill's purpose does say "certain sex offenders" but there isn't a word addressing that anywhere in the bill.
Please visit our web site: http://www.gasorr.org/
The following is of Mary Duvall and Ricky Blackman, as well as others, who appeared on the Stossel show on 07/29/2010. You can comment on this show, below, or on the Stossel web site, here. Also, please visit SOSEN and join their forums, and also Ricky's site. You can also hear Mary talk about the show, here.
Ricky's Story (Video Link | Ricky's Story)
Full Show (Playlist Link)
WARNING: Contains adult material, discretion advised!