Monday, April 29, 2013

LA - More states move to GPS tracking to combat non-compliant sex offenders

Original Article

See the video at the above link.


By Blake Hanson

NEW ORLEANS - Convicted sex offenders are required by law to register. But the I-Team has learned that at any one time, hundreds of sex offenders across southeast Louisiana are non-compliant.

Law enforcement experts say non-compliant sex offenders are more dangerous than any other type of offender.
- It may be true for some offenders, but putting them all into one basket like the above statement does, is untrue.  And if you read the facts and not hearsay from people who claim to be "experts," you will see what they are saying is pure lies.

"The recidivism rate for sex offenders is greatly higher than any other crime," said Dave Benelli.
- Again, lies!  See the facts here.

Benelli served eight years as commander of the NOPD sex crimes unit.

To help track non-compliant offenders, 23 states now require some degree of electronic monitoring.

The Mississippi House and Senate recently gave final approval to a bill that would require GPS tracking for convicted sex offenders who fail to register. The legislation is nicknamed "Lenora's Law" after Lenora Edgehard. Edgehard was found murdered in her home in August of 2012. The suspect in her death is her neighbor, a convicted sex offender who had failed to register.
- So would GPS have prevented this?  Well, no!  If a person is intent on committing a crime, like the above, they would just remove the GPS and commit the crime.

The I-Team looked at non-compliant sex offenders in southeast Louisiana's three largest parishes. As of April 25, 27 offenders were non-compliant in St. Tammany Parish. 29 offenders remained non-compliant who were last registered in Jefferson Parish, and 57 offenders are listed as non-compliant in Orleans Parish.

Benelli said the number of non-compliant offenders is not unusually higher than other cities of similar size. However, he said any non-compliant offender poses a threat, especially those who target children.
- Simply not true for all ex-offenders.

"The pedophiles are very conniving," said Benelli. "They'll do everything they can to commit a crime."
- Again, pure BS!  Not all ex-sex offenders who abused a child are pedophiles, by definition, but the media and politicians continue their disinformation campaign by making it sound like all who have harmed children at one time or another, are pedophiles, which, if you read the facts, this is simply not true.

Even proponents of GPS tracking take note of its controversy in terms of constitutional rights. The Electronic Privacy Information Center, an organization that focuses on the protection of privacy rights, believes electronic tracking runs afoul of Fourth Amendment rights, which protect against unreasonable search and seizure.

"There's an important privacy interest in an individual's movements over time," said Alan Butler with the Electronic Privacy Information Center. "It can reveal your associations, your beliefs, your activities, things everyone believes to be private."

Butler believes the ability for states to electronically track sex offenders can have a negative impact on the general public too.

"Long-term tracking sort of highlights the dangers for the everyday citizen, chilled speech, association and activities," said Butler.
- And eventually, under the guise of "preventing terrorism," you may one day be forced to wear a GPS device.

Louisiana already has stiff laws for sex offenders. It's one of nine states that allow for chemical castration in certain cases.

Although privacy organizations are against GPS tracking, Benelli believes it's considerably less invasive to alternatives like castration.

"If we have the technology, an uninvasive technology to protect other children from being molested, if we have the technology then I think we use every means possible to protect our children," said Benelli.
- But you are missing the point!  Forcing someone to wear a GPS device will not prevent anything in all cases.

On Friday, our series on tracking sex offender continues on WDSU and Our investigation will look into problems other states have had with GPS devices and we ask a lawmaker about the possibility of legislation coming to Louisiana.