Tuesday, August 30, 2011

NM - Surveillance photo shows officer (Bert Lopez) having sex, in uniform, in public, on the hood of his car!

Original Article

Updates:
Cops: Sex officer didn't commit crime
State cop gets ax over sex scandal

08/29/2011

By Eddie Garcia

KOB Eyewitness News 4 has obtained surveillance pictures of a State Police officer (Bert Lopez) having sex with a woman on the hood of a car in broad daylight.

State Police aren't saying anything about the photos, but KOB Eyewitness News 4 is pressing for answers.

Two weeks ago KOB reported a story about an officer caught on camera having sex while in full uniform, an act shown on security camera at the Santa Fe Canyon Ranch.

KOB has blurred out the woman's image, but you can see it's during daylight hours and the officer is still wearing his utility belt.

The Santa Fe Sheriff's office released the pictures to KOB after we filed a public records request. They say they also gave them to State Police over a week ago.

We got reaction from people who saw the photos.

"It's an inappropriate use of time," said Cate Campbell of Albuquerque.

"Inappropriate use of our tax money, I mean we pay these guys," added Jacob Powers.

Albert Loma said if charged and found guilty, the officer should be fired.

"With that kind of judgment you don't want him carrying a weapon," said Loma. "I think it's an embarrassment to the state patrol, they should be ashamed."

Others say it hurts the reputation built by good officers.

Bert Lopez
"I expect them to be the mark. State Police should be the standard to which other police departments hold themselves to," said a man identifying himself as Jeremy.

KOB knows the name of the officer - however, since he has not been charged with any crime, we have chosen not to release his name.

State Police will not comment about the pictures or any internal investigation against the officer, saying it is an ongoing personnel matter.

On Monday, they turned down an on camera interview, saying they need more time to gather the information we're asking for.

So far no officer faces any charges.


The Evolution of Unconstitutionality in Sex Offender Registration Laws


Original Article

Catherine L. Carpenter

Southwestern Law School

August 25, 2011

Abstract: (View the Document)
More is not always better. Consider sex offender registration laws. Initially anchored by rational basis, registration schemes have spiraled out of control because legislators, eager to please a fearful public, have been given unfettered freedom by a deferential judiciary.

This particular article does not challenge the state’s legislative power to enact sex offender registration laws. Instead, this piece posits that, even if sex offender registration schemes were initially constitutional, serially amended sex offender registration schemes – what this piece dubs super-registration schemes – are not. Their emergence over the last several years demands reexamination of traditionally held assumptions that shaped the original legislation.

Two intertwined causes are responsible for the schemes’ constitutional downfall. The first is a legislative body eager to draft increasingly harsh registration and notification schemes to please an electorate that subsists on a steady diet of fear. When combined with the second cause, a Supreme Court that has yet to signal much needed boundaries, the ensuing consequence is runaway legislation that is no longer rationally connected to its regulatory purpose. Ultimately, this article is a cautionary tale of legislation that has unmoored from its constitutional grounding because of its punitive effect and excessive reach.


OK - A landmark ruling in the state of Oklahoma declaring some sex offenders can be removed off the Sex Offender Registry

Video Description:
A landmark ruling in the state of Oklahoma declaring some sex offenders can be removed off the Sex Offender Registry. David Slane & Associates have been leading the charge to help Registered Sex Offenders who qualify for the program, get their lives back.


DE - Task force not getting to root of society's view of sex offenders

Original Article

08/28/2011

By HARRY F. THEMAL

Lt. Gov. Matt Denn has been handed a formidable assignment by Gov. Markell: chair of a Justice Reinvestment Task Force. Denn says it will consider whether more money should be directed into crime prevention, in such areas as drug treatment and assisting released inmates.

It's that last goal that became so clearly crystallized this month when police action forced the eviction of released sex offenders from one of the few havens they can find.

Denn told the Delaware Law Weekly his 18-member task force intends to speak with "policy experts, prosecutors, public defenders, parole officers, corrections officers, judges, law enforcement officials, advocate organizations and crime victims."

Remarkably missing from that list are men and women still incarcerated or who have been released. Their viewpoint must certainly be considered before any guidelines can be formed for reducing our prison population, paying less for enforcement and reducing recidivism.
- Recidivism is already low, period, and passing more and more feel good laws that really do absolutely nothing to prevent crime or protect anybody, except exile and turn ex-offenders into homeless nomads, just so the public can feel better, is not the way to go about it! But, we all know the prison system is a major cash cow, and they need to keep people flowing into the system to make billions of dollars, at our expense, while pretending to be doing something, just so they can continue getting corrupt politicians voted into office, so they can look good.

The failure of Vice Chancellor John W. Noble to allow some breathing space for legal issues involved in the eviction, by granting a temporary restraining order, is evidence how hard-ball authorities are playing. What would have been lost by debating some of the issues before the sex offenders had to find new housing.

The men being ousted from the rooming house in the 700 block of Buttonwood Street are joined by the American Civil Liberties Union in raising serious questions about the evictions from a home Wilmington police said was seven feet closer than a 500-feet restriction. (A few General Assemblies ago a bill failed to pass that would have extended that to 1,300 feet.)

Title 11, Section 1112 says offenders involved with a sexual offense "upon a child under 16 years of age" may not loiter or live within 500 feet of a school. That's defined as "any preschool, kindergarten, elementary school, secondary school or any other institution which has as its primary purpose the education or instruction of children under 16 years of age."
- And how many people have actually been to any of these places to commit a sexual assault?  I am willing to bet very few, if any.  Again, most sex crimes are committed in the victims own home, by their own family, or close friends, not some stranger coming to a school.

Did the day care center in the Christina Community Center fall within that definition? Didn't Edgar Woodlen Jr.'s rooming house exist before it was established? Has the day care lost its license, making this entire action moot? Does the law's definition include a home where individuals care for a few children, a question Noble also pondered? All questions remaining to be determined in court.

Woodlen tells me the affected residents have found places to live but that he is looking to buy another safe house where he can rent rooms as he has been doing since 2003.

The suit says he has a waiting list of 14 looking for a place to live. He says he does not charge any ex-felons, including the sex offenders, any rent for the first 30 days while the man tries to find the ground under him. Then rents range from $350 to $500, if they can afford it, but often if the former prisoners are not getting disability payments, they have no source of income.

Getting a job to earn rent and buy food is always tough for ex-cons, but in these economic times even many people without any criminal record cannot find work. Woodlen says he helps the men with their problems.

Denn's task force needs to consider these problems. Are there enough community resources for released offenders, and again not just those convicted of sexual crimes, to find a place to live outside of that 500-foot barrier? If the task force report hopes to recommend how to relieve the pressure on our prisons, then it must suggest what should be done to show a path forward for the ex-cons, and particularly the sex offenders already shunned by society and often their fellow inmates.

The designation given sex offenders and the requirement they register and be publicly listed should also be examined. There are now three levels of offenders, depending on the nature of their crime, ranging from various degrees of rape to sexual exploitation of a child to possession of child pornography. As Roger Lancaster, author of "Sex Panic and the Punitive State, " wrote in the Aug. 21 New York Times, "Our sex offender laws are expansive, costly and ineffective -- guided by panic not reason."


OK - Oklahoma, banishment and forcing ex-offenders from their homes and family - That is state sanctioned punishment!

This just goes to show you, it's all about forcing the problem out of the state and to make it another states problem. It's pure punishment and forced exile! Just remember those in congress, God is watching, and we will all be judged by our deeds!


FL - National Registry for Atheists

Original Article

This is just pure insanity, and coming from a "Christian?"

08/29/2011

By Brian Simmons

Would it be right to have atheists register online who they are, where they work, and where they reside like the "National Registry" is for sex-offenders? An article posted this morning by PZ Meyers articulates that Pastor Mike from Florida is making a push for a "National Registry" for atheists in order to let people, mainly Christians, know where these people reside and work in order to witness to these "lost souls" and to boycott their businesses so to not "feed" Satan. Arlington, Texas has over 300,000 residents, but is it right for people to know those that are atheist where they live and work?

Pastor Mike equates atheists to sex-offenders, ex-convicts, terrorist cells, KKK, skinheads, radical Islamists, etc. He sees no difference in making atheists apart of these kinds of groups in order for informational purposes for people to know where these atheists are. He explains that the reason to have such a registry is to inform the public for the same purposes that there are registries for sex-offenders and ex-convicts. Yet, he does not see why people might oppose this.
- And I'm sure others can see Pastor Mike as the same he's describing others as.  This is NOT what Jesus taught!

The United States First Amendment to the Constitution is set up to protect freedom of speech and religion. By creating such a national registry for a religious practice violates that right. What did these people do other than thinking that there is no God to deserve being treated like ex-cons and sex-offenders? Jesus Christ said to love your neighbor as yourself. How would this registry allow such Christians to live out that commandment? Pastor Mike wants this registry to know who are atheists in order to witness to them and tell other Christians to boycott their businesses. Harassment is not loving people like Christ said to love.

This would breed discrimination and hate in our country more and more. Atheists and Christians are already at odds in the general sense with a few known faces. However, if atheists were to have a national registry, the hate and discrimination would grow, not just between atheists and Christians, but also among various religious groups. If you have the chance, please let Pastor Mike know that this is a violation of Constitutional rights under the First Amendment, and that he needs to reevaluate the commandment to love, not hate.


NY - Sex offender’s attorney argues ordinance

Original Article

08/29/2011

By Mike Regan

NORTH TONAWANDA — An attorney representing a convicted sex offender who is suing the City of North Tonawanda and Niagara County to challenge an ordinance barring him from living within 1,320 feet of a school, playground or daycare center said the law is overly severe.

Kathy Manley, of Kindlon Shanks and Associates in Albany, said the ordinance exceeds the state residency restriction of 1,000 feet.

It would be nice if the state enforced this, but that’s really not how it works,” she said. “This is about the fact that localities, counties and towns are not able to regulate sex offenders. It’s something that the state has to regulate because otherwise you have every town and county making harsher and harsher laws. It pushes them underground.”

Manley said she has overturned similar ordinances in Albany, Rensselaer and Washington counties, with one more pending in Saratoga County. She argues laws that overstep state restrictions simply push sex offenders from one locale to another, which can allow for them to go into hiding.

It is possible, that’s what happened in Iowa,” she said. “They put away more people than they really needed to monitor. It basically banished people from the whole state. They ended up changing the law. It was way too harsh.”

Manley’s client, [name withheld], is due to be released in January. He has been imprisoned on his most recent charge at the Gowanda Correctional Facility since November 2006. [name withheld] also was convicted in 1992 of molesting two boys, ages six and 10.

He’ll be monitored, registered and required to report every 90 days,” she said.

Manley said she could not get into specifics regarding where exactly [name withheld] would like to live, though she did believe it would be with a relative.

I don’t know if he could find anything else,” she said. “There’s somebody there he would have been approved to live with. This comes down to not wanting people to lose all their rights.”

Manley also challenges claims by North Tonawanda attorney Shawn Nickerson, who said sex offenders have a high rate of recidivism.
- That is not true, and I am getting sick and tired of people not investigating the facts, but just repeating the same lies they've heard over and over.

There’s actually much lower rates for most sex offenders than for the average criminal,” she said. “I feel like if we start allowing some groups of people to lose their rights, others will follow. We’re protecting everybody’s rights.”

It will likely be several months before the lawsuit is brought to court, Manley said.