Saturday, August 28, 2010

UK - Law student wins £10,000 after being branded a pedophile on Facebook by Jeremiah Barber

Original Article

07/28/2010

By Edward Joffe

The British Telegraph announced today that a law student falsely named as a pedophile on Facebook has won a £10,000 libel damages payout at the High Court.

Chef, Jeremiah Barber, 24, posted child porn on the Facebook page of student, [name withheld], along with the comment: "[name withheld], you like kids and you are gay so I bet you love this picture, Ha ha." Barber, who had fallen out with Mr [name withheld] over an £80 debt, removed the post, made on 23 November 2008, within 24 hours.
- So was Mr. Barber arrested and thrown in jail/prison for posting child porn online?

Mr [name withheld] said there had been 11 links to the post, 2 comments from viewers, and more than 800 people would have been able to view the material But he later pleaded guilty to making and distributing an indecent image of a child at Stafford Crown Court and was ordered to carry out 150 hours unpaid work and handed a £1,200 costs bill.

Mr Justice Tugendhat, sitting at London's High Court, has awarded Mr. [name withheld] £10,000 in libel damages for the stress he endured, including anxiety that hundreds of people in his local area may have seen the post.

Mr [name withheld], 24, who lives with his parents in Stone, Staffs, suffers from high functioning Asperger's Syndrome, but has secured a place on a full time degree course studying law at Stafford University. The dispute between him and Barber, from Stafford, arose after Mr [name withheld] lent his former pal £80 and he failed to pay it back, said the judge. Mr [name withheld]'s efforts to secure repayment included obtaining a County Court order. Judgment was entered for Mr [name withheld] in the libel case in November last year but he had to return to the High Court for an assessment of his damages.

In the witness box, Mr [name withheld] said:

Jeremy Barber put a defamatory blog (sic) on Facebook and made me appear to be a pedophile with homosexual tendencies, neither of which is true. He did so with intention and malice. When I viewed the pictures I was shocked because they were repulsive and disgusting and in no way reflected my attitude to life. I asked for an apology which I have not to this date received. The whole thing has been distressing, not only for myself but for my family.

Mr [name withheld] said there had been 11 links to the post, 2 comments from viewers, and more than 800 people would have been able to view the material.

Mr Justice Tugendhat said: "This was not only defamatory, but a defamation which goes to a central aspect of Mr [name withheld]'s private life as well as his public reputation."

This post was deeply offensive to him, but also a cause for alarm. He could not go out in public because he feared he would be a victim of violence, which is not infrequently the result for those accused of pedophilia. It is well known that people accused of being pedophiles may be subjected to serious violence, even when there is no basis for the accusation. I can infer that the number of people who saw this Facebook page would have been in the hundreds. "This post was clearly a malicious act and the defendant has done nothing to express any regret. "Damages in libel actions are awarded as compensation, not as punishment, to vindicate reputation, to compensate for harm to that reputation and as compensation for injury to feelings.

"I assess the damages in this case at £10,000," the judge concluded, also imposing an injunction banning Barber from repeating the libel.


Why is "Ride for their lives" inflating numbers? Shock and fear-mongering for cash?

Original Article

Below, is from the above link. You will notice the bloated number of offenders and people "sharing" child porn. Why do they bloat these numbers? Shock value so people donate their hard earned cash on bogus numbers? We have inserted the actual number of offenders per state mentioned below (in red), based on the PDF document from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, here. Also, they claim many computers (in 48 hours) are trading child porn, so if this is true, why are they not arresting these folks? Since they do not explain where the numbers come from, it appears they are fear-mongering for cash to me! Why don't they just cut to the chase, and get DNA from everyone, regardless of any crime?

The purpose of Ride For Their Lives is to raise more than $1,000,000 to help walk the halls of congress to lobby in advocates for laws that protect our children. Surviving Parents Coalition focus changes all the time in order to prevent predatory crimes. The three causes being focused on during this ride are:

  1. DNA on Felony Arrests (This means, anybody arrested, will have to submit DNA, guilty or not!)
  2. Adam Walsh Act
  3. Protect Act of 2008

We have compiled information on each of the states we will be riding through during the event so that you can see what measures they have taken on the above causes. (Where did you get this info from?)



California

DNA on Felony Arrests - Passed

Adam Walsh Act - 309,073 known sex offenders (Actual # is 120,782)

Protect Act of 2008 - 250,410 computers identified trading child pornography in a 48 hour period (If this is true, then why are we not seeing a ton of arrests on the news?)



Colorado

DNA on Felony Arrests - Passed

Adam Walsh Act - 51,758 known sex offenders (Actual # is 11,085)

Protect Act of 2008 - 48,674 computers identified trading child pornography in a 48 hour period



Illinois

DNA on Felony Arrests

Number: IL HB 5537 - Updated (Status 02/09/2010)

Sponsor: Susana A. Mendoza

Title: CRIM PRO-DNA ANALYSIS

Summary: Requires DNA for felony arrests

Status: House Referred to Rules Committee - 02/09/2010

Adam Walsh Act - 108,277 known sex offenders (Actual # is 20,941)

Protect Act of 2008 - 89,462 computers identified trading child pornography in a 48 hour period



Indiana

DNA on Felony Arrests

Adam Walsh Act - 169,903 known sex offenders (Actual # is 10,639)

Protect Act of 2008 - 46,406 computers identified trading child pornography in a 48 hour period



Kansas

DNA on Felony Arrests - Passed

Adam Walsh Act - 24,285 known sex offenders (Actual # is 8,065)

Protect Act of 2008 - 20,455 computers identified trading child pornography in a 48 hour period



Missouri

DNA on Felony Arrests

Adam Walsh Act - 48,815 known sex offenders (Actual # is 10,807)

Protect Act of 2008 - 39,540 computers identified trading child pornography in a 48 hour period



Nebraska

DNA on Felony Arrests

Nebraska has just passed a bill to collect DNA on felony convictions. Other states are way ahead of them by expanding the law to include DNA at felony and some even misdemeanor arrest. This bill seems minimal but it's an important move in the right direction, they're beginning to collect samples.

Adam Walsh Act - 16,480 known sex offenders (Actual # is 3,119)

Protect Act of 2008 - 13,361 computers identified trading child pornography in a 48 hour period



Nevada

DNA on Felony Arrests

Nevada currently collects from all convicted felons, but not from any arrestees. The Nevada DNA system is also poorly funded. Nevada meets only every other year – the next session is in 2011. Arrestee testing has been considered before in Nevada, but was not taken very seriously. One of the biggest obstacles was a particular Committee Chairman who is no longer in power. One extra note about Nevada is that it is unique among states in the way it participates in CODIS. Typically, a state has one state lab that is the CODIS point of contact and is responsible for all the DNA analysis and data entry. In Nevada, there is no state lab – instead, Las Vegas PD does all the offender testing for the Las Vegas area, and the Washoe County Sheriffs office does all the testing for the rest of the state. So there are two separate labs to take care of in NV.

Adam Walsh Act - 24,013 known sex offenders (Actual # is 6,447)

Protect Act of 2008 - 18,708 computers identified trading child pornography in a 48 hour period



New York

DNA on Felony Arrests

Number: NY AB 5179 - Updated (Status 01/08/2010)

Sponsor: Lentol

Title: RE: DNA testing and records

Summary: Currently in New York State it is not required to collect DNA upon felony arrest. However, Assemblyman Joseph Morelle (D- Rochester) introduced legislation this year that would expand the DNA database by testing all people arrested for committing a serious felony. Strengthening the New York DNA program will assist law enforcement in quickly and accurately identifying perpetrators of violent crimes. Additionally, it will assist law enforcement in solving crimes, preventing crimes and exonerating the innocent.

Status: Referred to Assembly Codes - 01/06/2010

Adam Walsh Act - 169,903 known sex offenders (Actual # is 30,436)

Protect Act of 2008 - 142,705 computers identified trading child pornography in a 48 hour period



Ohio

DNA on Felony Arrests - Passed

Adam Walsh Act - Compliant - 100,624 known sex offenders (Actual # is 19,288)

Protect Act of 2008 - 82,552 computers identified trading child pornography in a 48 hour period



Pennsylvania

DNA on Felony Arrests

Number: PA HB 292 - Updated (Text 04/23/2010)

Sponsor: O'Brien

Title: Amends Title 44 re policy & DNA samples

Summary: Expands DNA database to include all adult felony arrests

Status: Committee Notes: House Judiciary - 01/15/2010

Adam Walsh Act - 168,908 known sex offenders (Actual # is 10,177)

Protect Act of 2008 - 77,563 computers identified trading child pornography in a 48 hour period



Utah

DNA on Felony Arrests - Passed

Adam Walsh Act - 17,801 known sex offenders (Actual # is 6,596)

Protect Act of 2008 - 14,655 computers identified trading child pornography in a 48 hour period


KS - Kansas court rules evidence falsified in sex predator case

Original Article

I am willing to bet, this happens all the time. The criminal "justice" system is a joke. Instead of them having to PROVE beyond a shadow of doubt, they usually convict someone on hearsay alone, or a persons word, without any evidence at all.

08/28/2010

By Suzanne Perez Tobias

WICHITA — A Kansas appeals court has ordered a new trial for a convicted sexual predator, saying a prosecutor falsified evidence in a court proceeding.

"We can fathom no greater prejudice... than the use of nonexistent evidence by the State in the case against the respondent," noted the Kansas Court of Appeals in an opinion issued Friday.

"Simply put, attorneys are not allowed to make up evidence and use it to advance their cause."

The state's attorney in the case was Marc Bennett, a deputy district attorney in Sedgwick County who supervises the prosecution of child sex crimes.

The case involved [name withheld], who was convicted of attempted rape in 1983 and aggravated sexual battery in 2001.

When [name withheld] was about to be paroled, prosecutors sought to confine him to a state mental hospital under the Kansas Sexually Violent Predator Act. Sex offenders who suffer a mental abnormality or personality disorder that makes them likely to commit additional sex crimes can be held indefinitely for treatment under the 1994 law.

[name withheld] claimed that he did not receive a fair trial when a jury decided in 2008 to confine him to the Kansas Sexual Predator Treatment Program.

The appeals court ruled in his favor and ordered a new trial Friday.

While cross-examining [name withheld] during the trial, Bennett, serving as a special assistant attorney general, "improperly used statements that had not been admitted into evidence," the appeals court ruled.

Also, while cross-examining a clinical psychologist who had evaluated [name withheld], Bennett asked the doctor "about a 2003 prison incident where [name withheld] fashioned a knife out of a pen and duct tape," the ruling says.

[name withheld] never received a disciplinary report involving a weapon, the court said. And Bennett admitted to the court that "he was unable to locate any reference" to the report that alleged [name withheld] used a knife in a fight.

Said the appeals court: "The State's use of a nonexistent Department of Corrections disciplinary finding, ostensibly painting [name withheld] as being violent because it involved a homemade prison shank, cannot be condoned in any fashion."

Sedgwick County District Attorney Nola Foulston said Bennett's reference to the weapon in court "was a misstatement, if anything" and should not mar his reputation or the case in general.

"I do not want it said that Marc Bennett somehow willfully, intentionally fabricated evidence, because that's not the case here at all," Foulston said.

"Marc is an extremely professional lawyer, and he's an extremely ethical lawyer. While reviewing thousands of pages in hundreds of documents, he may have mistakenly confused what was in the record."

"If that's the case, obviously that was wrong, it shouldn't have happened, and the court's point is well taken.... But Marc told the court about the mistake. He fell on his sword, so to speak, and I don't believe it's a malicious thing because there's not a malicious bone in Marc Bennett's body."

Foulston noted that several factors weighed into the appeals court's decision Friday, including "the passivity of defense counsel and his apparent lack of preparation," the ruling said.

Foulston said she plans to further review the case and the documents in question. The Kansas Attorney General's Office will decide whether to appeal the court's ruling.


AL - Alabama court to decide if sex offenders must have a home

Original Article

08/28/2010

By Bob Johnson

MONTGOMERY — After serving his prison sentence for rape, [name withheld] tried to find a place to live. But with no fixed address and no family or friends able to take him in, Alabama's sex offender law kept him behind bars.

When it came time for him to leave the Kilby Correctional Facility near Montgomery, he was re-arrested. The reason: He couldn't give officials an address where he would be living.

"This is essentially an eternal prison sentence. It could be a life sentence," said attorney David Schoen, who represents [name withheld] and three others in similar situations. "It is the ultimate scarlet letter."

Challenged by Schoen, the law was later declared unconstitutional by two Montgomery circuit judges, but the state attorney general has appealed to have it reinstated. State's attorneys say the four inmates could have complied with the law by listing a park bench or even a street corner as their permanent address.

Montgomery County Circuit Judges Truman Hobbs and Tracey McCooey ruled last year in separate cases that the law is unconstitutionally vague. The ruling struck down charges that the four inmates violated the law when they declared that they were homeless and did not provide an address for where they would be living outside prison.

[name withheld] and the other three inmates were arrested for violating the notification law when they started to leave prison at the end of their sentences. They have since been released after the law was ruled unconstitutional.

Alabama Attorney General Troy King has asked the state Court of Criminal Appeals to reinstate the law, which he said is necessary for law enforcement officers to keep an eye on people convicted of sex crimes like rape. The four men — [name withheld], [name withheld], [name withheld] and [name withheld] — argued in court briefs that they were unable to find a homeless shelter, halfway house or other permanent home.

Under Alabama law, convicted sex offenders are not permitted to live within 2,000 feet of an elementary or high school or college or university.

Although they are now out of prison, Schoen said his four clients are still having a hard time finding a place to live. He said they have stayed in homeless shelters and other temporary locations.

Many states that adopted stringent community notification rules for sex offenders are now grappling with the issue of how homeless sex offenders can comply.

Last year, probation officers in Georgia had to find temporary housing for nine homeless sex offenders who were kicked out of a makeshift tent city they had built in the woods behind a suburban Atlanta office building. The men said the tent city was the only place they had been able to find where they could live and comply with state law.

In a similar case, almost 100 homeless sex offenders in Florida were forced to move earlier this year from a makeshift camp under a bridge on a Miami causeway.

Mississippi has a law similar to Alabama's, but it gives sex offenders 10 days to find a permanent residence after they are released from prison. In California, sex offenders are allowed to register as "transient" if they can't find housing.

Schoen has argued that the Alabama law violates the Constitution because it requires a convicted sex offender, who has "paid his debt to society," to have a roof over his head.

But the attorney general's office has argued in court briefs that the law does not require a specific address and that inmates can say they are going to live on a park bench or under an interstate overpass, as long as they remain the required distance from schools and police know where to find them.
- So are ex-offenders suppose to be land surveyors now?  How is the average person suppose to know what is and isn't legal?

"You can say 'I'm going to live under the overpass on Ann Street," King said, referring to a Montgomery street not far from the Capitol.
- And chances are, that is illegal!

Virginia law allows homeless sex offenders to list a street corner, parking lot or other vacant space as their home.

Deputy Attorney General Pete Smyczek denies claims that the Alabama law is an attempt to give homeless sex offenders life sentences.

"We just want them to give us something definitive enough to allow law enforcement to locate them," Smyczek said.

The law passed the Alabama Legislature in a special session in 2005. The House sponsor, former state Rep. Neil Morrison, D-Cullman, said King and some legislators were concerned that "predators were disappearing back into society" as soon as they were released from prison before law enforcement officers could find out where they were living."
- Not all sex offenders released from prison are "predators!"

"I felt strongly about this. We owe protection to our children," Morrison said.

Schoen said he believes the Legislature intended to require sex offenders to stay in prison if they lack a permanent address and that the argument about living on park benches is being made to improve chances of winning before the appellate court.

But Morrison said that's not the case.

"Nowhere did we say in the law that they have to stay in prison. The intent was to protect children," Morrison said.

In court filings, attorneys for the sex offenders say their clients went to great lengths to abide by the law.

[name withheld], who was initially convicted of rape in Montgomery County in 1995, had been in prison for 14 years when he was told he would have to provide an address before he was released from prison and at that time didn't have any relatives or friends he could live with, according to his filing to the appellate court. The filing said [name withheld] wrote to a number of halfway houses and was only accepted to live in one in Oklahoma City.
- Tell me, how are you suppose to give an address before being released from prison?  Are you suppose to be psychic and able to do some remote viewing or something?

But that halfway house later informed him it was full and he could not live there. The filing said [name withheld] did not have money to rent a house or an apartment and he did not have access to the Internet in prison to help his search. It said [name withheld] "did not think he could put down that he would be living on a park bench and that if he did, he would probably get arrested again."


Are sex offenders the bait, to get public attention?

Click the image below to read this MUST read article


ME - Sex offender ordinance likely to pass

Original Article

08/27/2010

By Eric Russell

Residency restrictions on table

BANGOR - Geoff Gratwick doesn’t mind holding or voicing minority opinions. His tenure as a Bangor city councilor has often been marked by votes that challenge the prevailing trend.

That’s why he may well be the only councilor to vote against proposed residency restrictions for convicted sex offenders when the issue comes before the council in late September.

Earlier this month, Gratwick cast the lone opposing vote at a Government Operations Committee meeting that forwarded an ordinance change request to the full City Council. That request came to the city from resident Angela Hoy, who, with the help of a local lawyer, crafted an ordinance change modeled after a state law passed last year allowing municipalities to enact reasonable restrictions.

Hoy, who lives near Newbury Street Park, has strong feelings about sex offenders. Her family has been affected personally, as have hundreds of families throughout the Bangor area.

But while Hoy and others often find support when they bring up concerns, convicted sex offenders have few voices speaking up for them. Many people feel they don’t even deserve a voice. Gratwick disagrees. So does Alysia Melnick, public policy counsel for the Maine Civil Liberties Union.

I can see there might be a pull to rubber-stamp [Bangor’s proposed ordinance] because it makes common sense, but that’s not reality,” Melnick said. “As elected officials, they have a responsibility to look at evidence and look at what is actually right. This might actually increase the risks to the public because it drives [offenders] underground.”

Other than Gratwick, though, no city councilor has come out in opposition to Hoy’s proposal. Gratwick, who recently saw his request to have another workshop discussion before next month’s vote denied by the rest of the council, said he would be saddened if the eventual vote was 8-1.

Initially, this was an issue I didn’t care that much about at all, but the more I thought about it, the more it spoke to larger principles of wanting to do right,” Gratwick said.

If the ordinance passes, offenders convicted of felony crimes in which the victim was under the age of 14 would be restricted from living within 750 feet of a school, playground, park or other public area where children are the primary users. Roughly one-third of Bangor would fall within the restricted zones, including a large part of the urban core, where many rental properties are located. One of the biggest reasons registered sex offenders tend to live in service centers such as Bangor is the availability of rental housing and because support services are more prevalent in cities.

Laws that restrict where registered sex offenders can live have become more prevalent during the past decade. More than 30 states and hundreds of municipalities have enacted laws that bar sex offenders from residing near schools, parks, playgrounds and day care centers. The specified distance from a school or other venue varies from 500 to 2,500 feet in municipalities across the country. Many are modeled after Florida’s “Jessica’s Law,” named for a 9-year-old Florida girl who was kidnapped and killed by a molester.

Although some civil rights groups have argued that residency restrictions are unconstitutional, courts have tended to favor restrictions when laws are challenged.

Recently, the California Supreme Court upheld residency restrictions for sex offenders, ruling that thousands may be barred from living near schools and parks even if their sex crimes were committed years before the restrictions became law.

Sex offenses are most often crimes of relationship and not geography,” Melnick said. “People need to address the reality that most offenders are known to victims.”

Bangor has slightly more than 200 registered sex offenders, according to Police Chief Ron Gastia. All are required to register with the state’s online sex offender database, but they also are monitored regularly by one of Gastia’s detectives, Erik Tall. Gastia said the ordinance change likely would not create more work for his de-partment.

The ordinance proposed for Bangor is modeled after LD 308, a bill passed last year that was signed into law by Gov. John Baldacci. Melnick testified against that bill, which eventually won legislative support after aggressive lobbying by the Maine Municipal Association.

No state agency tracks which towns have implemented local restrictions since LD 308 went into effect, but Melnick said many have and many more will follow.

This is undeniably bad public policy, but there has to be some bravery to break cycle,” she said.

Earlier this year, Portland city councilors rejected a proposal to create residency restrictions. So far, no other municipality has followed suit.

Bangor’s proposal would give an offender who violates the new local law 25 days to vacate the residence. Additionally, residents who already live in a newly restricted zone would not be in violation. If the offender moved, however, the restrictions then would be imposed.


Boyhood Shadows - Childhood sexual abuse story

WARNING: Video contains adult language, discretion is advised!

Video Link | Website