Monday, August 15, 2011

NM - RSOL 2012 Conference Brochure Revised

Fear without Function: Do Sex Offender Registries Reduce Crime?

Original Article


By Alex Tabarrok

Sex offender registries contain a disturbing amount of information about sex offenders. The Washington DC, registry, for example, provides photos of sex offenders and will map their homes and workplaces down to the block level. The CA registry includes photos and maps unique home addresses. In some states, neighbors are notified by telephone when a registered sex offender moves into the neighborhood.

Sex offenders are often also highly restricted on where they can work and live–so much so, that in some states they have been effectively banished (more here, and here) In CA, sex offenders must be monitored via GPS for life. Many states allow sex offenders to be kept in prison past their sentences, based only on a judge’s opinion that the sex offender might commit a future crime. Bear in mind that teenagers having sex with other teenagers, hiring or trying to hire a prostitute and even streaking can make a person fall under the sex offender statutes. Moreover, contrary to popular belief, sex offenders have low recidivism rates (more here), much lower than for most other crimes.

Why the obsessive focus on sex crimes? I see it as coming from deep and primitive feelings and fears about sex, after all we don’t have homicide registries. At least not yet. Sex offender registries, however, may be the thin end of the wedge. How long will it be before we require monitoring of all convicted criminals? Will we soon wear augmented reality spectacles that list the criminal history of individuals as they pass by on the street (and perhaps also their credit ranking?). Is this really a good idea? At the very least, it’s important to know whether these laws deter crime and if so whether they are cost effective. Two new papers in the Journal of Law and Economics examine these issues.

J.J. Prescott and Jonah Rockoff find that registries can have a modest deterrent effect on crime but that notification laws can increase recidivism. Notification laws and other such punishments can increase recidivism because they make it much harder for registered offenders to find a job and reintegrate into society.

I especially like Amanda Agan’s paper Sex Offender Registries: Fear without Function?. Agan writes:

I find little evidence to support the effectiveness of sex offender registries, either in practice or in potential. Rates of sex offense do not decline after the introduction of a registry or public access to a registry via the Internet, nor do sex offenders appear to recidivate less when released into states with registries. The data from Washington, D.C., indicate that census blocks with more offenders do not experience statistically significantly higher rates of sexual abuse, which implies that there is little information one can infer from knowing that a sex offender lives on one’s block.

Agan’s paper is unusual in that it uses three different datasets and a variety of empirical strategies. It also makes clever use of geocoded crime data and the aforementioned sex offender home and work addresses from the DC registry.

NM - Former police officer (James Carney Ritterhoff) from Aurora, MO accused in New Mexico child pornography case

Original Article


ALBUQUERQUE (AP) - A former Aurora, Missouri police officer has been ordered detained pending trial in New Mexico on child enticement and child pornography charges.

A federal judge issued a 14-page order last week saying 38-year-old James Carney Ritterhoff is a flight risk and poses a danger to the community.

Ritterhoff was employed as an armed money courier in Albuquerque when he was arrested on June 17.

He's accused of using the Internet to entice a minor to engage in sexual activity, soliciting child pornography, sending and receiving child porn and possession of child pornography.

Prosecutors say he was charged after online conversation with undercover officers between February and June.

Ritterhoff entered a not guilty plea to all charges at his July 22 arraignment.

LA - Legal case highlights injustice to women on Louisiana sex offender registry

Original Article

Hmm, so why are these organizations not fighting for men who are ruined for life due to the label as well?


(WNN) New Orleans, U.S.: The Eastern District Court of Louisiana Doe v. Jindal case is now bringing attention to the current injustice brought against women who have been convicted of crimes through the CANS – Crime Against Nature Solicitation statute; a law that still exists in regions across the United States.

The roughly 400 people who remain on the sex offender registry solely as a result of a Crime Against Nature by Solicitation charge are largely poor Black women, including transgender women, and gay men who have themselves experienced violence and discrimination their whole lives, and they deserve a second chance,” said attorney Andrea Ritchie, co-counsel in the Doe v. Jindal case.

In spite of recent changes in the State of Louisiana legislation, the law that is now set to give offenders less of a lifetime of burden, has been called “still unfair” by human rights and legal advocates alike. But is the change enough for those who have been previously affected by the law and the life-long stigma and personal damage that comes with it?

Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) police misconduct attorney Andrea Ritchie, with the Law Clinic at the Loyola University New Orleans College of Law as well as the legal team at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton are bringing the issue before the court. Arguing their case on August 10 for a remedy for individuals who must continue to legally register as sex offenders in their region for periods of 15 years to life, they work to gain human rights for those who are often unprotected and unrepresented.

The Crimes Against Nature Solicitation law outlines details in the nature of the sexual service that was given resulting in a conviction. It is part of the problem in a law that has been on the books in Louisiana for over 200 years.

Questioning the ‘morality’ of those convicted, the misuse of the law has been compared to the dispensing of a modern-day ‘Scarlett Letter” on those who advocates already consider to be ‘victims of society’ where the date of one’s CANS conviction, if it is prior to the change in the CANS law set to come into effect on August 15, is a big part of another challenge.

Individual ‘plaintiffs’ who are being represented in the Doe v. Jindal case who have been forced to publicly register as sex offenders because they were charged, prosecuted and convicted of offering oral or anal sex for compensation (before the new law takes effect) have faced what is considered by legal advocates to be “a more severe punishment.”

Attorneys argued before Judge Martin Feldman that the nine individual plaintiffs convicted of CANS prior to the legislature’s official removal of the offense earlier this summer should also no longer be mandated to register as sex offenders. The term ‘sex offender’ is one that haunts those who must endure the title.

The women and transgender women of our NO Justice Project live with the scarlet letter of ‘sex offender’ on their driver’s license, some of them for over 20 years,” says Deon Haywood, Executive Director of New Orleans’ Women With a Vision. “It is time for them to experience walking their kids to school and gainful employment, and to have access to safe housing without judgment. Simply put, it’s time for the State of Louisiana to give them justice.”
- The same can be said for those men who have to wear the Scarlet letter, but hey, men are evil and women can do no harm, right?

Branded as ‘sex offenders’ under Louisiana state law statute they face harsher punishments than those who have been convicted of prostitution alone. A legal argument that this treatment may be ‘unconstitutional’ under the law challenges the limits on the new legislation.

While the change in the law is groundbreaking, those left behind who were prosecuted before the new legislation takes effect will continue to suffer. Many of them are women who live as a ‘single head of household’ with little career training to help them move forward in society.

We welcome this change in the law, which means that these unconstitutional and unfair conditions will no longer be imposed on people who are convicted of a Crime Against Nature by Solicitation in the future,” said Alexis Agathocleous, staff attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights. “But the injustice still persists for those with old CANS convictions. Our clients – along with hundreds of others – remain registered as sex offenders. We are here today because they, too, should receive the benefit of this change in the law, and be removed from the sex offender registry.”

Some of those who have been hurt by the system of injustice in Louisiana include detoxed New Orleans heroin addict twenty-three-year-old “J” who’s driver license states in bold capital red letters that she is a “SEX OFFENDER,” a label that continues to hurt her.

Our clients are mothers, daughters, veterans, and more. Yet, they live on the fringes of the community, disconnected from many support systems, putting them at risk for violence, reincarceration and other harms,” continued Haywood.
- So do the many males on the registry as well.  Injustice is injustice, doesn't matter if you are male, female, black, white, etc.

Women impacted by the CAN solicitation statute often live at the very bottom of society. Desperate for money or down on their luck, with little opportunity or resources, they often experience vast exclusion and discrimination from the larger middle-class to affluent communities in New Orleans.
- Like said above, so do the men wearing the label.

The mission of Women with a Vision New Orleans (WWAV) seeks to improve the lives of marginalized women. Through work to help families and communities, by addressing the social conditions that hinder their health and well-being, WWAV brings ongoing advocacy, health education, supportive services and community-based participatory research to those who are often forgotten.

The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented members and leaders of the black civil rights movement in the United States, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.
- So if the CCR is about what they say they are, then how come they are not taking the unconstitutional sex offender laws up to the Supreme Court of the US?  You cannot say it's unfair for women prostitutes, but everyone else it's okay.  Injustice is injustice!

A final decision on the case, that will determine a long-range outcome in the lives of nine plaintiffs and many others who are now living under the difficult title of ‘sex offender,’ is being weighed and reviewed by U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman.

TX - Mother Forces Her 6-Year-Old Daughter To Film Her Having Group Sex!