Friday, November 5, 2010

CA - Prison a revolving door in California?

Original Article


By John North

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Some disturbing new information on just how many parolees in California are returning to a life of crime, and then back to prison: It's become a revolving door for many inmates.

Most inmates have been to prison before according to a new state report. More than two-thirds of convicts return to crime within three years. It's called recidivism. In California the recidivism rate is among the nation's highest.

Turn them loose and they return to prison in astonishing numbers. One-hundred-thousand inmates are released each year from California prisons. Even a small drop in recidivism means thousands of crimes not committed.

"There are groups that don't recidivate as high as you might expect. People who have serious offenses don't always recidivate as far as often as people who have relatively minor ones," said Dr. Steven Chapman, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

The prisons are filled predominately with men. But women who make up one-tenth of all parolees are 15 percent less likely to return to prison than men.

Nearly 75 percent of ex-convicts who commit new crimes do it within a year of their release. The older an ex-convict gets the less likely he or she will commit another crime.

So within one year, 75 percent of the ex-cons will commit another crime. Seventy-five percent of them are 18 to 24 years old. After 60, recidivism falls to 46 percent among the ex-cons.

"Of the people who come back in three years, about 70 percent of them come back on a parole violation," said Chapman. "But consider when you're looking at a sex offender, for example, who is loitering around places where he or she shouldn't be, then, to violate them on that, probably is a really good practice."

The only encouraging news is a small drop in recidivism in the first year of release. That's followed by a slight increase in imprisonment among the ex-cons within the first three years of release.

AL - Alabama's sex offender notification law can't apply to homeless, state appeals court rules

Original Article


MONTGOMERY - A state appeals court ruled today that an Alabama law requiring sex offenders to give an address where they will be living before getting out of prison can't be applied to a homeless inmate with no money.

The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals ruled 4-0 that the arrest of [name withheld] for violating the law was unconstitutional because he was punished for being homeless.

"[name withheld] continued to be incarcerated and ultimately charged for reasons that were beyond his control — his indigency and resulting homelessness," Judge Sam Welch wrote.

The appeals court said the law was intended to help law enforcement keep up with sex offenders following their release from prison and to notify residents in the neighborhoods where they will reside. But state law makes it "virtually nil" for indigent sex offenders to ever get out of jail even though they have finished their sentences for their sex crimes.

The court said its ruling applies only to the facts in [name withheld]' case and the law could be applied constitutionally in other cases where an inmate has living options before his release.

[name withheld]' attorney, David Schoen, called the decision "stunning in its recognition of the unique hardships that poverty places on members of our society, and it speaks in the strongest terms possible against penalizing that status through the criminal law."

Suzanne Webb, spokeswoman for Attorney General Troy King, said he would appeal the decision to the Alabama Supreme Court.

Alabama's Community Notification Act requires sex offenders to give an address where they will be living before they finish their sentences and get out of prison. Not giving an address is a felony that results in them being rearrested when they start to leave prison and carries a sentence of one to 10 years in prison.

[name withheld], who was convicted of rape and sodomy, said he couldn't give an address before his release in 2008 because he had no family to take him in, he had no money for an apartment, and he couldn't find space in a halfway house. He was arrested upon his release and placed in the Montgomery County jail for violating the law.

Circuit Judge Truman Hobbs Jr. tossed out the charge, and the appeals court agreed with him.

The attorney general's staff argued that the law is constitutional because an inmate only has to give a location, such as "a park bench, a bridge, or some other geographical space" where he could be found by law enforcement. The appeals court said the attorney general was ignoring the plain language of the law which requires an address where mail can be received.

In the 70-page ruling, the court said Alabama's law amounts to cruel and unusual punishment, but the Legislature can develop constitutional ways to track homeless indigent sex offenders. The court even outlined what other states have done.

At the time of [name withheld]' case in 2008, the law required a sex offender to give an address 45 days before his release. In 2009, the Legislature toughened the law to require 180 days.

CA - Killer of San Diego teens: 'I am the most dangerous type of sexual predator'

Original Article

And I would agree with him, but people like him, are rare. Kids being killed by sexual predators account for less than 5% of all sex offenders. And any person, sexual predator or not, who kills anybody (not in self defense), should be in prison until the day they die.


By Shelby Grad

The man who killed San Diego County teens Amber Dubois and Chelsea King described himself in his first interview since pleading guilty as "the most dangerous type of sexual predator."

"I am the type that needs to be locked up forever," John Albert Gardner III, 31, told CBS News in an interview to be broadcast Saturday on "48 Hours".

Gardner pleaded guilty in April to strangling King during a rape attempt and stabbing Dubois during a rape attempt. He also admitted attacking another female jogger, who escaped.

In the CBS interview, Gardner describes in detail his encounter with Dubois. "I passed her driving down the street. And that's the first time I saw her. I pulled up next to her with the windows down on the car. I had the knife out and visible. And told her that I also had a gun. And to get in the car or it was going to be a lot worse," according to an excerpt released by CBS News.
- It's either get in the car or run and fight. I'd rather run and fight! Never, ever, get into a strangers car!

"She actually looked at me in kinda shock and disbelief. And asked me if I was kidding. And I raised my voice and yelled, 'No, get the 'F' in the car.' I drove to the remote area. On driving I put the music on. She wanted to hear music so that she could pretend she wasn't there."

The plea bargain was meant to spare him from the death penalty. Under the agreement, Gardner will be returned to prison for life without the possibility of parole.

VA - Child porn victims seek multimillion-dollar payouts - One victim. One photo. $3.68 million

Original Article
The Problems With Letting Child Porn Victims Demand Cash From Those Caught With Their Images

This just shows, there is money to be made in all aspects of child exploitation!


By Dan Goodin

In December 2008, Virginia-based deputy sheriff Arthur Weston Staples III received a visit at home from police investigating claims he had traded child pornography images online. The former Vietnam vet, who had no previous offenses, was eventually sentenced to more than 17 years in prison after investigators found 400 to 600 illegal images, according to court documents.

The 210-month sentence can be considered modest compared with the life sentences dished out in many child pornography convictions. But in a twist, Staples was also ordered to pay $3.68m for his possession of a single picture taken more than 10 years earlier of a girl being severely sexually abused when she was eight years old. The restitution was awarded to “Amy,” the pseudonym of the victim, who is now 21 and has filed almost identical claims in some 600 other federal prosecutions over the past 18 months.

Over the same period, a separate survivor of sex abuse images identified only as “Vicky” has submitted some 80 claims under the same law, known as the Mandatory Restitution for Sexual Exploitation of Children Act.

Courts have responded to the flood of restitution requests with widely varying rulings. In sharp contrast to the outcome in Staples's case, the federal judge presiding over a separate child pornography trial in the Eastern District of Texas refused to award any restitution at all, even though two of the illegal images defendant Doyle Randall Paroline admitted to possessing were identified as depicting Amy. That ruling is now on appeal before the US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, where oral arguments are scheduled for this Thursday.

The new legal maneuver comes as the internet has fundamentally changed the way child abuse images are trafficked. It also comes as federal prosecutions for child pornography have skyrocketed over the past 15 years. In 1995, there were 50, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Last year, there were almost 2,500.

The photographs and videos of Amy – which were shot and originally published by the girl's uncle – have taken on a life of their own over the past decade, becoming a staple known as “the Misty series” in child predator circles. They depict some of the most depraved images imaginable, including fellatio, cunnilingus, and anal and vaginal penetration.

There are at least 730 federal prosecutions that involve images from the series, according to court documents. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has said the pictures have been actively traded since 1998 in more than 3,227 cases.

New York attorney James Marsh, who represents Amy, hired a psychologist and economist to evaluate her and calculate the damage that has stemmed from her abuse and the continuing distribution of the images documenting it. Accounting for lost wages, counseling and lawyer fees, they settled on a price of $3.37m.

TX - Brownsville City Commission looking at creating sex offender laws

Original Article


By Jonathan Weant

It’s a topic discussed all around the country.

From Jessica Lunsford to Jennifer Short, citizens are trying to get more laws in place to keeps sex offenders away from kids.

According to Brownsville Commissioner Eduardo Camarillo, there are 202 sex offenders currently living inside Brownsville city limits.

There are currently no laws in place, in the City of Brownsville, for where sex offenders can live and gather.

School and city officials want to change that.

City commissioners came up with a new ordinance on election night stating that sex offenders must register with the state database and cannot live or gather within 1000 feet of schools, churches or anywhere else children may socialize.

City commissioners say they held off on the vote for another two weeks and say they want opinions from the public.

UK - Woman (Maria Brustenga-Vilaseca) jailed for false claim of rape in Farnham park

Original Article


A 27-year-old woman has been jailed for 16 months after falsely claiming she was raped in a park in Surrey.

Maria Brustenga-Vilaseca told police she was attacked in Borelli Walk, off South Street, Farnham while she was walking home from the railway station.

Surrey Police said detectives found she had in fact been at a party in Addlestone and had invented the attack.

Brustenga-Vilaseca admitted perverting the course of justice at an earlier hearing at Guildford Crown Court.

She had claimed she was walking through the park when a stranger approached her from behind, dragged her to the ground and subjected her to a violent assault.

In fact she had taken part in consensual sex at the party 20 miles away.

Community fears

Over 30 police officers and staff were involved in police investigation into the rape claim.

The area was cordoned off and forensic teams were called in to examine the scene while officers carried out house-to-house enquiries in the area and scrutinised hours of CCTV footage.

Fears were raised in the local community because the allegation was similar to an attempted rape in Borelli Walk for months earlier.

A local man arrested in connection with the investigation was bailed and later cleared of suspicion.

Det Insp Fran Breslin said Brustenga-Vilaseca did not give any clear motive for making up the allegation.

"Brustenga-Vilaseca's actions not only caused considerable and unnecessary alarm to the local community but also undermine the ordeal real victims of sexual assault and rape go through," she said.

OH - Vigilante media outfit (WDTNTV) talks with a RSO

Original Article

Here they talk with this offender, publish his photo and business name. For what reason? I'm sure, now that they've done this, that grand opening will be short lived, just like they wanted. Nothing gets ratings better than exploiting and harassing sex offenders!

UPDATE: Looks like I was right!


BEAVERCREEK - Complaints about [name withheld], a sex offender who opened a photography studio, are pouring into the Clark and Greene County sheriffs.

[name withheld] has already served two years in prison for a sex related crime, but said he feels like he's still behind bars, imprisoned now by the stigma of being a sex offender.

[name withheld]'s business is called [name withheld]. It's located in a shopping plaza of Beavercreek's Brook Lynn Drive.

The doors were locked at his business, but he opened his door at home and opened up about his previous arrest.

"It was just a female I got involved with who deceived me on her age initially told me she was older than she was," said [name withheld].

Some sordid pictures got him a two year prison sentence. Since he got out, [name withheld] said he's been desperate to find a job.

"Every time I got an offer it would get rescinded because somebody higher up than the supervisor would find out about the conviction and decide they didn't want me there," said [name withheld].

So he decided to open his own photography studio. He said it's something he's passionate about and believes he is good at it.

The stigma of being labeled a sex offender is turning out to be his first new customer. He said "Everybody just links sex offender with automatic child molester, pedophile and thats why people panic, and all sex offenders just aren't like that."

We went to the sheriff's office to see if [name withheld] has been an upstanding citizen since his release. Turns out, he's a low tier sex offender and has to register once a year for 10 years.

Clark County Sheriff, Gene Kelly said "He's not under any kind of conditions so right now he's fully complied with the sheriff of Greene county and sheriff of Clark county and he's not had any violation if he were we would have him in custody very quickly."

[name withheld] agreed that sex offenders should be monitored, but he stresses he's not a child predator, just a guy who made a stupid mistake.
- I disagree, they should not be monitored, just like other criminals.  If they are so dangerous they need to be monitored, then they should have been sentenced longer.

[name withheld] is no longer on probation or parole.

Jane Valez-Mitchell - Every Parents Nightmare (FULL SHOW)

The following videos are from the "Every Parents Nightmare" show from November 4th and 5th. We will also upload tonight's show, and place it in the same place. So check back later tonight (after 7pm EST) or tomorrow for the rest of the show, which will be aired tonight at 7pm EST. (See below for more comments)

Playlist | Visit SOSEN

My heart goes out to each one of these people, for their lose. Since I do not have kids, or have lost them in this manner, I cannot imagine what it must feel like to lose your child in such a horrible way. I pray to God this never happens to another child, but we all know, no matter how many laws are passed, out of hate, anger and vengeance, it won't prevent another tragedy like this from occurring. That is sad to say, but it's the truth. Any person who murders another human being, adult or child, not in self defense, should remain in prison until the day they die. I personally do not believe in the death penalty.

You will also notice, that out of these cases, none of the people responsible were known registered sex offenders, except John Couey. Cases like this are rare, but that doesn't stop the media and politicians from making it seem like this is the norm, which it's not, and play the grizzly scenes over and over again. The media is all about sensationalism and ratings, and stuff like this gets them that.

It would be nice, if they (the media and politicians) actually told you the TRUE facts, but that doesn't help them. They want you to be ignorant, so they can exploit the issues for their own personal gain.

The laws that are being passed in the names of these children, affect ALL sex offenders, not just those who have harmed children. And from the comments I have read on these specific cases, the general public seems to think the sex offender laws punish people who have harmed children only, but, that is simply a total lie and misconception. These types of crimes account for less than 5% of the overall population of sex offenders in this country, which at this time, is over 700,000. So you can see, it's not the norm.

In my opinion, victims and offenders need to be working together, and also listen to the TRUE experts, who have worked with offenders for many years, as well as constitutional lawyers, to determine what can and cannot be done to potentially help make better laws which actually work, and I think, until that is done, this is not going to be solved soon! An online registry does not protect anybody, nor does residency restrictions. But, it does make it almost impossible for an offender, trying to change, to get a job and/or home, and keep them. And when we continually force offenders out of jobs, homes, and onto the streets, that puts a ton of stress into their lives, and that could potentially push them into further crime, which is the reverse of what the laws are suppose to accomplish, which is no more victims (if that is possible)!

You can read the many studies, and other articles we have online, here, and elsewhere on this blog.

I also noticed in the video, then mentioned SOSEN! Anyway, that is all I have to say about this show.

NEW ZELAND - When sex offenders are living among us

Original Article


There are few issues more likely to strike a chord of concern among the public than the perceived threat posed by sex offenders living in our midst.

New figures released to the Bay of Plenty Times revealed 27 sex offenders living under supervision in the Western Bay of Plenty as at September 30.

Of the 27 offenders, 15 had committed offences against a child aged 16 or younger, with two living under extended supervision orders.

Convicted sex offenders living supervised in the community is not a new concept, however the release of these figures highlights the issue, and inevitably will worry many, particularly those with young children.

Among those concerned is Sensible Sentencing Trust's Garth McVicar. Mr McVicar has called for the safety of the public to be put ahead of the rights of the offender.

In this, he is correct, but this should not extend as far as his other suggestion of labelling sex offenders' homes with signs reading "Sex Offender Lives Here" as in the United States.

Mr McVicar's views are in keeping with the traditions of the hardline lobby group.

This newspaper also spoke to a Western Bay woman who was the victim of an indecent assault in 2007, and she was understandably uneasy about the number of sex offenders living in the community.

She also felt offenders' names and addresses should be publicly identified.

But to identify the homes of convicted sex offenders will only increase the risk of vigilante justice, and increase the workload for the police.

Putting sex offender identification signs on sections would also be a difficult scheme to administer - it's all too easy for signs to be removed or vandalised by an irate offender who is perhaps not so keen to have their criminal background revealed.

It's an inescapable fact that sex offenders need to be rehabilitated back into public life.

While purely punitive sentences appeal to some segments of our community, to disregard rehabilitation as an aspect of sentencing would be a backwards step, both for the offender and for our wider society.

However, despite the importance of rehabilitation, it's clear that greater transparency is needed when convicted sex offenders are released.

The public and media should be given the name of any offender being released into the community, as well as being told which city they are to live in.

We have a right to know.
- And what gives you that right?  What about all the other criminals?

Withholding the specific address that the offender is to live at will quell some of the risks of some taking the law into their own hands, and appropriate monitoring and safeguards need to be maintained, to ensure innocent people are not put at risk.

People will always be apprehensive about having convicted sex offenders living in the community, but the right balance needs to be struck to ensure the offender has the best chance for rehabilitation, while the public remains protected.