Tuesday, January 31, 2012

LA - Offender registration fight may continue

Original Article

01/28/2012

By James Minton

ST. FRANCISVILLE -- The attorney for a man fighting lifetime sex-offender registration said he is considering taking the case to the U.S. Supreme Court after Louisiana’s high court ruled against his client this week.

It’s going to have to go up if anybody’s going to get a break on this,” said Charles Griffin, of St. Francisville, the attorney for [name withheld].

It’s going to take some guys up in Washington who have a little more insight into due process,” Griffin added.

Scarlet Letter on Drivers License
Overturning a March 2010 ruling by the state 1st Circuit Court of Appeal, the state Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that [name withheld] must register with state authorities as a sex offender and comply with other provisions, including having “sex offender” printed in orange letters on his driver’s license as well as having to obtain a special identification card.

Driver’s licenses for sex offenders must be renewed annually.

[name withheld] was accused of having sex, when he was 19, with a girl under the age of 17 in the back of a truck while a friend drove them from East Baton Rouge Parish to East Feliciana Parish.

In 1995, [name withheld] pleaded no contest in East Feliciana Parish to indecent behavior with a juvenile and guilty in East Baton Rouge Parish to carnal knowledge of a juvenile. He was sentenced to two concurrent three-year prison terms.

At the time, [name withheld] was required to register as a sex offender for 10 years after his release from prison.

Griffin said [name withheld] served his sentence for the 1995 convictions, completed his probation and complied with post-release registration requirements for a 10-year period after he was released from prison.

But Louisiana authorities told [name withheld] in 2009 that he would have to register again as a sex offender for the rest of his life because the law had changed after he was convicted, court rulings
say.
- And that is unconstitutional ex post facto punishment and a violation of the contracts clause of the constitution.

A three-judge appellate panel overturned a District Court ruling against [name withheld], saying in 2010 that case records show that [name withheld] fulfilled his duty to register as a sex offender for the period of time that was applicable when he was convicted.

The lower court opinion says Louisiana’s version of “Megan’s Law” has a legitimate civil purpose to alert and protect the public from sex offenders who might offend again, but the amendments adopted after his conviction are “so punitive in effect as to transform what was intended as a civil remedy into an additional punishment for him.”

The retroactive application of amendments to the law violates the U.S. and Louisiana constitutions, the appellate judges said.

The Supreme Court ruled, however, that [name withheld] is a “multiple sexual offender” because of the two convictions, and the 1999 amendment requiring lifetime registration therefore applies to him.
- It still a violation of the constitution, period!

The high court also said the retroactive clauses of the U.S. and state constitutions do not apply in [name withheld]’s case because the lifetime obligation was added to the law during the time [name withheld] was required to register.
- Yeah right, bend and twist the laws/constitution to suit your own needs, that is politics for you.

A spokeswoman for state Attorney General James “Buddy” Caldwell said the 1st Circuit’s opinion created “irreconcilable conflict” within the statutory provisions of the sex offender registry.

Had the 1st Circuit’s ruling stood, many multiple and aggravated sex offenders would have been removed from the registry’s rolls,” Caldwell spokeswoman Laura Gerdes said in an email. “Our office asked the Supreme Court to correct the 1st Circuit’s interpretation, and the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case. Ultimately, the Supreme Court rendered the correct decision.”
- I disagree!  It doesn't matter if they are or aren't dangerous, the constitution forbids what you are doing, and your oath of office to defend this document.

Griffin said the opinion would affect other cases with the same or similar issues.

What really bothers me is that their argument was that the 1999 amendment applied to him. All the amendment did was add that you could have life (sex offender status) and set the criteria as a multiple offender. I don’t see how you can automatically say you get that without a hearing,” Griffin said, noting the two convictions stemmed from the same incident.


CO - Animal Abuse Registry Would Require Convicted Abusers To Register In Database Similar To Sex Offenders

Original Article

Take the poll at the article above.

01/30/2012

Animal abusers over the age of 18 in Colorado may soon find themselves treated like sex offenders if a bill seeking to create an animal registry passes.
- They may be on a registry, but I doubt they will be treated like sex offenders.  And why are we picking and choosing who goes on a registry?  Why not put all criminals on a registry so we can all be aware of who lives around us?

House Bill 1087 (PDF), scheduled for a hearing in the Colorado House Committee today, calls for adults convicted of animal cruelty to register their address, name and photo for police and public records.

Sponsored by State Rep. Jeanne Labuda, (D-District-1), the bill would keep offenders in the database for five years. The Department of Public Safety would incur a one-time cost of $160,000 though it's expected to generate less than $5,000 per year.
- Why not for life?  As we all know, or what studies have shown, those who abuse humans or animals are likely to commit murder in the future.

According to the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), the first such registry was created in Suffolk County, N.Y. just two years ago. Similar to websites for convicted sex offenders, the list of animal abusers would be open to the public. Supporters argue for publicity as animal abusers are at a higher risk of committing violence against people.

ALDF Executive Director Stephen Wells explains:

"Animal abuse is not only a danger to our cats, dogs, horses, and other animals, but also to people ... Many animal abusers have a history of domestic violence or other criminal activity, and there is a disturbing trend of animal abuse among our country's most notorious serial killers."

Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, David Berkowtiz ("The Son of Sam"), Albert DeSalvo ("The Boston Strangler") and Dennis Rader (Kansas' "BTK killer") all abused animals before their other crimes, as did many of the teenagers who went on shooting rampages at their high schools: Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris (Columbine, CO), Luke Woodham (Pearl, MS) and Kip Kinkel (Springfield, OR).

"But it's not just about how animal abusers end up also hurting or killing humans," said Wells. "It should be motivation enough to protect our animals from repeat offenders--and any abuse of any kind."

Other states that have considered an online animal abuse registry include Rhode Island, California, Tennessee, Arizona and Maryland.

In Maryland, the bill under discussion is called "Heidi's Law," after a seven-month-old Golden Retriever puppy who was shot four times while playing on her farm in Frederick County.
- Wow, now we are naming laws after dead animals as well.

"I'm not trying to brand someone for life, just to put the warning flag up and keep pets away from them," said Maryland State Senator Ron Young of Heidi's Law.
- Yet with sex offenders you are, who are less likely to commit another related crime.

Heidi's Law Video


Getting Involved - not as scary as it seems (we promise)!

Click the image to view the entire article


The Invisible War: New Film Exposes Rape, Sexual Assault Epidemic in U.S. Military


Billy Lind's "You Do Matter" Story

Video Description:
Billy Lind was involved in addiction and sexual abuse, but listen to his story of how his life was turned around!


VA - Former police officer (Clayton Lawrence) arrested for sexting, arranging encounter with 12-year old girl

Clayton Lawrence
Original Article

01/30/2012

By Cleve Bryan

GLOUCESTER – A 30-year old man is behind bars after deputies say he exchanged sexual text messages with a 12-year old. 13News has learned the suspect is a former police officer.

According to police, Clayton Lawrence went to a church off Highway 17 last Friday to meet whom he thought was a 12-year old girl for sex.

Lawrence worked for the Hampton Police Division from July 2006 to December 2007 when he resigned, according to Corporal Jason Price.

Gloucester County sheriff's deputies say Lawrence did not seek out the girl at first. About a week ago, he allegedly got a random text.

"She actually, accidentally texted him thinking she was texting somebody else,” explained Major Darrell Warren.

Police say the girl and Lawrence texted for three days and at some point the conversation turned sexual. The suspect allegedly sent her a sexually explicit picture of himself and asked her to do the same.

The girl’s parents found the inappropriate messages and called police on Thursday.

What police find even more disturbing about the ordeal is that Lawrence brought his 12-month old daughter with him to meet the girl.

You think you’ve seen it all when something else happens and you learn otherwise,” commented Warren.

Authorities went undercover with the help of the Southern Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

Our investigator who was heading the case re-initiated contact with him the following day using the victim’s cell phone and reconfirmed that information that he knew he was in fact talking to a 12-year old,” Warren added.

Police arrested Lawrence and Social Services took the baby until she could be re-connected with family.

One of Lawrence’s neighbors told 13News he appears to be a good father.

No it doesn’t sound like him at all,” said Jennifer Brown. “That’s not the type of person he is. He’s got a daughter, so I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t do stuff like that."

Lawrence is being held in jail without bond.