Monday, November 15, 2010

Vigilante cult (Perverted-Justice) Wikisposure is DEAD!

It would appear that Perverted-Justice's website: http://www.wikisposure.com/ has now bit the dust, or is facing legal issues. Either way, good riddance.

From Xavier Von Jerk:
Yep, it has been removed due to some volunteer issues that arose during the maintaining of it. Sorry for any disappointment regarding that matter.

And at another link:

From Xavier Von Jerk:
I took the step of removing Wikisposure tonight. It was not due to any legal situation or threats, but rather the project, which had been running several years, saw intense volunteer burnout which led to issues between volunteers and inevitably, drama.

Without a strong team of volunteer researchers updating the content on the site, the project was unsupportable and therefore I've removed the project from the PJFI.org list of websites.

Thanks to all of those who contributed to the research and convictions over the years. Your work was appreciated and made a real difference.

And as a user from another forum posted:

I call bull----. Too much was put into that site to just shut it down because of a few volunteer problems. My bet is legal problems.


NY - Local law for sex offenders discussed

Original Article

11/15/2010

By MICHAEL RUKAVINA

The Fredonia Village Board of Trustees recently discussed the possibility of enacting a local law pertinent to sex offenders. The topic was brought up for discussion by Trustee Joseph Cerrie, who was approached on the issue by a few residents.

"We don't have currently anything on our local law for that issue," Cerrie said. "I know we have federal and state laws for sexual predators where they are not allowed to be 1,000 feet within football games and baseball games, things of that nature. I know some communities have their own law."

Attorney Sam Drayo said there are communities which have their own local laws that make it more restrictive.

"I'll try and gather other local laws to see how they read," Drayo said. "You have to be careful because there are some constitutional questions. NYCOM says local government should be very careful when imposing sex offender restrictions given the attached cases."

Drayo said one of the cases took place in 2009 in Albany where a county judge declared their local law illegal.

"It doesn't say you can't do it, it means you have to be very careful when you draft it," Drayo said.

Trustee Susan Mackay said the lumped title of sex offender can also be a troublesome matter as far as imposing further restrictions is concerned.

"There are instances that are lumped under sex offenders and in some cases where people are required to register, the kind of offense that they've been convicted of is not the heinous kind of crime. It could inappropriate touching and it is very subjective," she said. "Like Sam said, it doesn't reduce the risk, it gives a false sense of security."

"It may be a false sense of security of having this on law but we're doing what we can to upkeep our parks and we're putting a lot of time and money into it," Cerrie said following the discussion during the recent workshop. "With the no smoking in the parks and then having this on the law ... it's not going to help keep these people off of there but we'll try."

Mayor Michael Sullivan noted that the current system in place as far as alerting residents goes is rather extensive and while the village may be able to enact a local law it may not be able to waver from that imposed by the state.

"The state has a well setup system of notifications through the probation and parole officers. Anyone right now who wants to can get on the New York Alert. I probably on my phone messages from New York Alert maybe at least once a week, every time someone moves. I had one day they moved from the lower apartment to an upper apartment in a house in Dunkirk, and the notice comes out. There are ways people can inform themselves of those things," Sullivan said. "The problem we get into and the same the state has, is defining what the offender is and at what point there to be listed. We would have to accept whatever that listing is, we would not be able to come more restricted or assertive on lesser offenses than what the state has determined they need to register and identify themselves for. The other problem is you could pass a law but if they are not to a high enough level of an offender they don't have to report and will not have to report to your law either."

Sullivan asked if there is something the village can do is to make sure they don't end up with any facility in Fredonia that would house sex offenders, such as some of the older buildings that were converted in Buffalo where they have 25 or 30 all grouped together he referenced.

"It's been said, we're getting high maintenance individuals that are moving in and out of the village and there are a lot of apartments that are vacant and new people moving in," Cerrie noted. "It's something we have to look at."

Cerrie asked to keep the topic on the old business portion of the budget to give Drayo a chance to research other municipalities.


AUSTRALIA - No register for sex offenders

Original Article

11/16/2010

The State Government has rejected calls for a publicly-available register of sex offenders similar to Megan's Law in the United States.

It was approved in 1994 after the rape and murder of New Jersey seven-year-old Megan Kanka by a sex offender who lived across the street.

It meant the creation of a database of sex offenders and community notification of registered sex offenders moving into a neighbourhood.

Children's advocate Heather Steinberg wants people to sign a petition which supports the establishment of a public register of sex offenders.

An ideal example of the need for it, she said, was the impending release of known offender [name withheld].

Ms Steinberg said dangerous sex offenders should have their details put on a public register.

We should increase the protection of children through knowledge of who the offender is, where they live and what they look like,” she said.

But Corrective Services Minister Neil Roberts said the government had “opposed this type of register for some time and continues to do so”.

Corrective Services does targeted disclosure on a case by case basis,” Mr Roberts said. “There are a lot of reasons why the government opposes public registers, including vigilantism and the risk of mistaken identity.

Equally of concern is evidence I've seen that says these sorts of registers drive people underground. That defeats the purpose of registers.”


TN - Deadline nears to add juveniles to sex offender registry or lose $1M in grants

Original Article

In the long run, it will cost more to implement than to not implement, and the draconian nature of the laws, will ruin many kids lives. Children should not be put on the list, period. Just like most juvenile records, they should be sealed.

11/15/2010

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee will lose more than $1 million in federal law enforcement grants if it does not begin to add some juvenile sex offenders to the state's registry.

The Tennessean reports the state received $11.5 million in Justice Assistance Grants last year.

If Tennessee doesn't come into compliance with the federal Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act by July, those grants will be reduced by 10 percent. And the state could lose even more in the future.

Supporters of adding juveniles to the sex offender registry say families need that information to protect their children. But opponents say it will hurt efforts to rehabilitate young offenders.

To avoid penalties, Tennessee also must pass a law requiring sex offenders to report international travel plans 21 days in advance.


MI - Michigan sex laws create trouble, tragedy for high schoolers

Original Article

11/15/2010

By Brad Canze

[name withheld]’s death can be attributed, at least in part, to laws and social practices that create hapless victims where there should be none.

[name withheld] was a 14-year-old student at Huron High School in Ann Arbor who had engaged in sex with [name withheld], an 18-year-old student at the same school. The Detroit News reported that both teens told police and school officials that [name withheld] participated consensually.

After [name withheld]’s parents filed charges of third-degree criminal sexual conduct against [name withheld], she began to be bullied and harassed endlessly at school. She was in an environment where, by the nature of public schools, she could not escape her harassers.

One week ago, [name withheld] hanged herself in her mother’s trailer-park home, choosing to take the ultimate drastic step to escape the bullying, embarrassment and shame of her situation.

There is so much wrong with this situation that it is hard to even list everything.

It is obvious and easy to blame the bullies. Most high school students do not understand the laws about statutory rape, and would assume that this young girl was trying to attack or harm their friend.

The unfortunate situation itself was created by Michigan’s age of consent law, which stands in complete contrast with the layout of the public school system.

The age of consent in Michigan is 16. That creates an environment in high schools where hundreds of teenagers are packed in close proximity, hormones and sexual discovery taking its hold to some degree in each of them. However, if a person from the older half, one way or another, has sex with a person from the other half, that person is liable to be charged with a felony and have their name and picture listed in Michigan’s sex offender registry for 25 years.

Furthermore, the high school environment makes ridicule and having to face the situation every day unavoidable once it becomes public knowledge. There is no law on the books to relocate either party or keep them separate once something as serious and personal as sex-crime charges are filed.

Laws and practices in Michigan need to be changed to protect young people from such ugly happenings.

In Canadian law, there is a close-in-age exemption for minors under the age of consent — which is also 16 — where a person aged 14 or 15 can consent to sex with somebody up to five years older than them.

It may seem drastic or strange, but in the current high school environment cases such as [name withheld]’s are unavoidable. Change needs to happen, and that could come either by adjusting the law or restructuring public schools to keep students over the age of consent separate from those under.

If that cannot or does not happen, special provisions should be taken for young people in situations similar to [name withheld]. The court of public opinion is cold and remorseless, more so in high school, when most are not emotionally equipped to face its judgment.


SC - Study: Sex offender law changes may not have boosted community safety

Original Article

10/22/2010

By RENEE DUDLEY

CHARLESTON — Does South Carolina’s sexual offender registry help cut down the number of new sex crimes? Does it decrease the odds that people listed on it will reoffend?

A group of researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina spent the past five years examining those questions and outlined its findings in a report released recently.

They found that the state’s sexual offender registration and notification laws, enacted in 1995, inadvertently led to changes in the way sex crimes are prosecuted — changes that could actually “reduce community safety,” according to the report.

After 1995, researchers saw a spike in the number of plea bargains for sex crime defendants who plead to non-sex charges. Defendants who are guilty of sex crimes, but who ultimately pleaded to lesser charges, are not subjected to registration and could face lighter sentencing. Researchers can’t say for sure why the laws led to changes in prosecution.

Among their findings:
  • Before 1995, defendants stood a 9 percent chance of getting their charges reduced from a sex crime to a lesser offense, such as aggravated assault or criminal domestic violence, the report said. After the law went into effect, that figure rose to about 15 percent. When the registry went online in 1999, it jumped to 19 percent.
  • After 1999, when the registry went online, defendants tried for sex crimes were acquitted at higher rates compared with the previous nine years, the study’s authors said.
  • Among both adults and juveniles, the laws had no apparent effect on recidivism rates, which were similar for listed and non-listed offenders.
  • Plea bargains for juvenile offenders more than doubled after the registry laws hit the books.
  • Prosecutors dismissed juvenile sex crime case at higher rates after the law took effect.
  • In comparing data from the five years leading up to the law with the 10 years that followed it, researchers made one finding in support of registering sex offenders: doing so was a deterrent that averted about three new first-time sex crimes a month among adults.

Elizabeth Letourneau, a psychiatry and behavioral sciences professor at MUSC who led the study, said policymakers should find ways to improve the registration and notification laws rather than focus on the one bright spot.

Our goal is to prevent sex crimes,” said Letourneau, also a victim’s advocate. “However well-intentioned it may be, this law doesn’t do that very effectively.”
- You will never prevent all sex crimes, that is a fact, and if you think you can, you are living in a fantasy world.

South Carolina’s sexual offender laws are among the toughest in the country, requiring lifetime registration for both adults and juveniles convicted of sex crimes, Letourneau said.

The registry must be continually updated and monitored. Officers are dispatched to registrants’ homes to verify their address. Maintaining the registry, which lists more than 10,000 people, costs the state millions of dollars, Letourneau said.

The MUSC researchers propose changing state laws to limit the amount of time an offender would remain on it. For example, some states release convicts from the list after 15 years, Letourneau said.

Time limits could free up money to focus on high-risk offenders, she said.
- Think about it.  If someone is truly a "high risk," and dangerous, why were they not sentenced to longer in prison?  And if we did that, we'd not need the residency restrictions or registry at all, thus saving a ton of money.  But, it's all about politics, so as usual, nothing will be done about it.

Letourneau said she is particularly troubled that some of those offenders, who may end up with non-sex crime charges, will not get the punishment, specialized treatment and supervision they need.

If they’re being charged with non-sex offenses or being acquitted outright, the community and the victims are not served,” she said.

Researchers submitted the report to the U.S. Department of Justice last month.

MUSC’s legislative liaison, Mark Sweatman, said he plans to discuss it with the S.C. attorney general, state legislators and officials from the State Law Enforcement Division in the coming month.


FRONTLINE: The Confessions

How could four men confess to a brutal crime that they didn't commit? Inside the incredible saga of the Norfolk Four -- a case that cracks open the justice system to reveal almost everything that goes wrong when innocent people get convicted.