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Legal Issues and Court Cases:
                           affecting sex offenders ©
Hi Folks, how are you today?
It is our intent to create a respectful environment for understanding and healing, a Discussion-Safety-Zone for Related Topics, while maintaining our Visitors' Zones-of-Privacy, and to interact on a non-judgmental basis. Today far too many communities fail to create these safety-zones!

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--- Recent Case Decisions ---

As soon as we receive decisions from anywhere we will post them here.
Some may be old, but not yet in our archives, some may not have a logical place except here.
This provides folks a central place to see whats happening around the country.
As time permits they will then be classified by topic and placed into our case archives.


1-2-2004 Florida
Failure to register requires previous knowledge of registration requirements

Giddens with an IQ of 66 did not possess knowledge of requirements to provide new address when he moved, therefore he was not guilty of the charge. ..more.. Giddens -v- State, 5th Dist 02-2349, 1-2-2004

» 3-9-2004 BALDWIN v. REESE (9th Cir): No. 02-964. Argued December 8, 2003--Decided March 2, 2004
Before seeking federal habeas relief, a state prisoner must exhaust available state remedies, 28 U. S. C. §2254(b)(1), giving the State the " 'opportunity to ... correct' alleged violations of its prisoners' federal rights," Duncan v. Henry, 513 U. S. 364, 365, which means he must "fairly present" his claim in each appropriate state court to alert that court to the claim's federal nature.

» 7-28-2003 People v. Yartz (2003) , Cal.App.4th:
In California before a sex offender can be civilly committed it must be proven that s/he has committed a sex offense against two or more victims. In this case, the state was prevented from using the earlier conviction as proof of "two prior victims" because the earlier conviction was based upon a nolo contendere plea and a change in the law. Accordingly the sex offender was freed instead of being civilly committed..

» 2-14-2006 US v. Gross, No. 05-1583 (7th Cir.)
A convicted child pornographer's mandatory minimum sentence of fifteen years under 18 U.S.C. 2252A(b)(1) is not grossly disproportionate and does not violate the Eighth Amendment, given 1) the crime's severity; 2) that the distribution of child pornography creates a market for its production, leading to the abuse of children; and 3) the dissemination causes the child victims continuing harm.

» 6-17-2003 Tesmer -v- Granholm 6th cir. File Name: 03a0202p.06:
A Michigan statute precluding criminal defendants who plead guilty, guilty but mentally ill, or nolo contendre from receiving an appeal of right, and a court practice denying appointed appellate counsel to indigent defendants who so plead, create unequal access even to the appellate system, and violates due process.
New York

» 3-30-04 USA -v- Lifshitz
US v. LIFSHITZ (03/30/04 - No. 03-1221) Though the "special needs" of the probation system are sufficient to justify conditioning defendant's probation on his agreement to submit to home-computer monitoring, the scope of the condition as it stands may be overbroad; the condition is vacated and remanded.

» 7-28-2003 THOMAS v. WOOLUM, No. 01-3227 (6th Cir.):
As long as an inmate presents a grievance to prison officials and appeals through available procedure, the inmate has exhausted administrative remedies under the Prison Litigation Reform Act, and a prison's decision not to address the grievance as untimely under prison rules shall not bar federal suit.

» 10-29-03 Ohio: Not all predators have to register ! COLUMBUS - The state's sex predator law doesn't always require all offenders convicted of sex crimes to register with police, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled Wednesday. You can read the full Ohio Supreme court decision The State of Ohio -v- Taylor 100 Ohio St 3d 172, 2003-Ohio-5452.

» 8-25-99 Ohio: State v. Bellman (1999), 86 Ohio St.3d 208
Criminal procedure — Classification as a sexual predator — Defendant may waive R.C. 2950.09(B)(1) requirement that a sexual predator hearing precede sentencing — Defendant cannot be required to register as a sexual predator under R.C. 2950.04, when:
1. A defendant may waive the R.C. 2950.09(B)(1) requirement that a sexual predator hearing precede sentencing.
2. Where a defendant was both sentenced for a sexually oriented offense and released prior to July 1, 1997, and was not previously required to register under R.C. Chapter 2950, that defendant cannot be required to register under R.C. 2950.04.

South Carolina

» 1-14-2002 State -v- Walls: South Carolina Supreme Ct
South Carolina rules that, registering as a sex offender is a non-punitive imposition. Therefore, no ex post facto violation.

Interesting in this decision is what the court held: "From this language, it is clear the General Assembly did not intend to punish sex offenders, but instead intended to protect the public from those sex offenders who may re-offend and to aid law enforcement in solving sex crimes. Hence, the language indicates the General Assembly's intention to create a non-punitive act. We find the Act is not so punitive in purpose or effect as to constitute a criminal penalty."

Clearly the court found it -punitive- but not punitive enough! i.e. criminal penalties have a scale known only to the court! Further, "punitive" at the point of this decision, doesn't take into account that as time goes on the act becomes more and more punitive as more provisions are added.

» 8-25-2003 Sullivan -v- Dep't of Corrections: South Carolina Supreme Ct
Sullivan is currently serving a 35-year sentence. Once incarcerated, Sullivan attended and successfully completed Phase I of the Sex Offender Treatment Program (“SOTP”). Upon completion of Phase I, Sullivan sought admission to the second phase of the SOTP, but received no response to his request.


» 3-9-2004 CONE v. BELL (03/01/04 - No. 99-5279) Vague Terms Violate the Constitution for Sentencing Purposes:
Under Tennessee law, the state supreme court implicitly reviews death penalty sentences for arbitrariness, even in cases where the issue is not raised explicitly. Prisoner's death sentence must be vacated because one of the statutory aggravating circumstances the jury relied upon in imposing it--that the murders were "especially heinous, atrocious, or cruel"--is unconstitutionally vague and thus violates the Eighth Amendment.

» 7-29-2003: Robert White -v- Commonwealth of Virginia:
This appeal arises from an order finding that Robert White, Jr. violated his probation and revoking his suspended sentence. White contends the trial judge erred by admitting evidence of polygraph test results and finding the evidence sufficient to prove a probation violation. We agree and reverse the revocation order. ..... In a long line of cases, spanning almost thirty years, [the Supreme Court has] made clear that polygraph examinations are so thoroughly unreliable as to be of no proper evidentiary use whether they favor the accused, implicate the accused, or are agreed to by both parties.

» 9-16-03 Washington State: State of Washington, Respondent v. Scott W. Wheat

» 10-14-03 Washington State: State of Washington, Respondent v. Scott Michael Liden, Appellant
Scott Liden appeals his convictions of bail jumping and failure to register as a kidnapping offender,1 arguing that he was not subject to the kidnapping registration statute, the bail jumping information was defective, and insufficient evidence supported his conviction of bail jumping. We agree that Liden was not subject to the registration statute and that insufficient evidence supported his bail jumping conviction; therefore, we reverse both convictions.

» 10-30-03 State of Washington v. Dale A. Crockett
SCHULTHEIS, J. -- Dale Crockett pleaded guilty to one count of second degree assault. As part of his sentence, he was ordered to undergo a psychosexual evaluation and any treatment that was recommended by the evaluator. On appeal he contends the order to undergo a psychosexual evaluation is improper because he was not charged with or convicted of a sexual crime. Because we find that the trial court improperly used contested facts to impose this condition of community custody, we reverse and remand for resentencing.

» 1-12-2004 Wisconsin: GREEN v. BERGE (01/09/04 - No. 01-4080, 01-4081, 02-1346)
A Wisconsin law compelling incarcerated felons to submit DNA samples for analysis and storage in a data bank is not an unconstitutional search and seizure. The government interest in obtaining reliable DNA identification evidence outweighs the limited privacy interests that prisoners retain.

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