Saturday, June 15, 2013

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We've created a new group on Diigo for those wrongly accused

For those who use, or want to use Diigo, we've added a new group to our account, for those wrongly accused of sexual crimes.

You can see all our other groups here, and you can follow us here.

About Diigo
If you browse or read a lot on the web, we believe you will find Diigo indispensable. Diigo is two services in one -- it is a research and collaborative research tool on the one hand, and a knowledge-sharing community and social content site on the other. You can learn more about Diigo here, or watch the video below.

Exonerees Document Their Stories On Video

Original Article | After Innocence Web Site

Series Description:
Charles Chatman served one of the longest prison sentences ever for an innocent man.

John Thompson was exonerated days before his execution date.

Johnnie Lindsey spent 26 years behind bars for another man’s crime.

Ten people, ten stories of conviction and exoneration.

James Waller: Imprisoned At 23, Exonerated At 50

The worst thing you can be is a sex offender because it’s dirt that you can’t wash off.”

Those words were spoken by James Waller in an interview with WUNC at the Innocence Network Conference in Charlotte in April. Waller spent decades in prison and on parole after being wrongfully convicted of sexually abusing a 12-year-old boy. When he went to jail, he was 23. When he was exonerated in 2007, he was 50.

Once I got into prison, I had to let all the anger go,” Waller said. “Because I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to work on my case. And being angry wasn’t going to do me any good.”

Waller’s conviction was based almost entirely on the word of the victim, a 12-year-old boy who misidentified Waller as a rapist. In 1982 the boy was raped in his home, and when questioned by police, the victim initially described the offender as about 5 feet 8 inches tall and 150 pounds. Waller was 6 feet 4 and much heavier. At the time of the crime, he was in his own apartment asleep beside his girlfriend, a claim that both she and Waller’s roommate confirmed. Despite their claims and the victim’s initial description, Waller was convicted of the crime and served ten years in prison before being let out on parole.

But Waller was not satisfied with parole. He wanted to be cleared of his sex offender status, and he saved up money for a DNA test. When the Innocence Project took on his case, they helped Waller prove his innocence with his DNA results, which did not match the DNA associated with the perpetrator. He was exonerated in 2007.

It was like the whole world was lifted off of your shoulders,” Waller said of that moment. “You’ve been carrying this around for so long. And now, it’s all gone.”

Waller has gone on to write and talk about his experiences. One of his essays was included in the book How to Achieve a Heaven on Earth, which contains essays from Barack Obama and George W. Bush. He is currently the president of the Exonerated Brothers of Texas, a non-profit organization that offers housing, educational and vocational training, counseling and other services to exonerees.

AL - Operation Safe Summer: Madison Co. Conducts Sex Offender Sweep

Original Article


HUNTSVILLE (WHNT) - There is a new effort by several law enforcement agencies to target sex offenders in Madison County.

The goal is to make sure they’re living by the law. Sure enough, agents say some are not.

About 400 sex offenders live in Madison County and are required to follow registration and notification laws of the state. However, investigators say about 15 percent of them are not doing so.
- The reporter in the video said 8 offenders were put back behind bars, which is not anywhere near 15 percent, which would be 60 offenders.

Six law enforcement agencies worked together on a three-day sweep this week called “Operation Safe Summer.” They finished Thursday at 10 p.m. and arrested eight people who they say violated Alabama’s Sex Offender Notification Act.

Three have no bond due to parole violations.

Agents made face-to-face contact with about 400 sex offenders throughout Madison County and say 15 percent of the 400 were not compliant with state registration laws.

About 40 more people may be arrested in this operation.

Agents spent about 2,500 man hours to get the most out of the sweep, aiming to keep tabs on registered sex offenders and arm the community with knowledge.

We don’t want these guys out here just roaming around doing what they want to do,” said Sgt. Brian Chaffin with the Madison County Sheriff’s Office. “We want to know what they’re doing. We want the community to know.”

This is the second time local agencies have worked together to do a three-day sweep to check on sex offenders.

Now, the Madison County Sheriff’s Office has assigned one investigator to doing this full-time, so the department can watch sex offenders more closely to prevent any repeat offenses.
- The fact is that ex-sex offenders have one of the lowest recidivism (re-offense) rates out there, but we're sure the Gestapo will use that to attempt to prove what they are doing is working.

Sex offenders have seven days to become compliant with state laws after they get out of jail or prison.

UK - Former prison officer (John Cornwell) is behind bars himself after child sex conviction

John Cornwell
Original Article


By Neil Hunter

A prison worker convicted of child sex offences is now behind bars himself after his barrister told a court: "His life is in ashes."

John Cornwell, 53, was jailed for six years for a string of serious offences against girls - some of which stretch back to the 1990s.

Judge George Moorhouse told the married father that he had caused "untold misery" to his victims who will struggle to get over the abuse.

Cornwell, of West Auckland Road, Darlington, was also put on the sex offenders' register for life and banned from working with children.

He was sacked from his job as a support officer at Northallerton Young Offenders' Institution, North Yorkshire, after his conviction.

He was found guilty last month of four charges of sexual and indecent assault, and two of sexual activity in the presence of a child. Teesside Crown Court heard how he still maintains his innocence, and claims his one of his accusers encouraged others to make allegations.

Two of the girls claimed he watched adult films in front of them, and one told the court he "lifted his willy up and down" while he did.

Cornwell admitted during his trial that he had viewed hardcore pornography, but insisted it was some time ago and when he was alone.

The court heard that he twice dodged sex crimes investigations in the past when the girls were persuaded not to go to police to complain.

His barrister, Tom Mitchell, said: "His life is in ashes. You could say he has brought it upon himself, but that is still personal mitigation."

"What is left for him when he is released from custody, we don't know. Conviction brings its own punishment when you look at the job he had."

"It is the fact of custody not the length that matters for somebody who goes to prison for the firs time."

"If he was of previous bad character, you could throw away the key, but he's not."

Judge Moorhouse also banned Cornwell from having unsupervised contact with under-16s as part of a sexual offences prevention order (SOPO).

He said: "It is quite clear from the victims' statements that untold misery has been caused. The effect will no doubt remain in their minds."

CA - Murder trial for Robert Vasquez to begin in 2011 death of sex offender in O.C.

Robert Vasquez
Original Article


By Emily Foxhall

A man accused of killing a registered sex offender in a San Juan Capistrano mobile home park and attacking a second victim days later goes on trial Monday for murder.

Robert Vasquez, 36, could face a sentence of life in state prison without parole if convicted, according to a statement from the Orange County district attorney’s office.

On Dec. 1, 2011, Vasquez allegedly waited for [name withheld], 55, to leave his mobile home in San Juan Capistrano and then punched him in the back of his head, officials said.

Vasquez is accused of stabbing [name withheld] repeatedly and killing him.

Vasquez wanted to kill the man because [name withheld] was a registered sex offender, said Ebrahim Baytieh, the deputy district attorney who is prosecuting the case.

Two days later, on Dec. 3, Vasquez was arrested at a friend's home, where he had allegedly assaulted his friend's brother with a metal object, Baytieh said.

That victim, [name withheld], 44, suffered fractures to bones around his nose and mouth, officials said.

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