News & Noteworthy:
Articles Concerning Sex Offender Issues
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Updated as news and court cases becomes available. Topics, issues, court cases, and consequences facing former sex offenders and those accused (adults & juveniles), in prison, jail, civil commitment and LifeAfter in society. The truth about recidivism, dangerousness, registration, community notification, harassment -to- vigilantism, therapy, and community issues of housing, employment and schools. United Nations human rights issues addressed. Site keeps advocates, criminal justice and mental health professionals, and public policy decision makers up to date.
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eAdvocate Update 3-7-2008
and Rant on Congress

Two more bills in Congress affecting a CERTAIN group of former sex offenders:

H.R.3746
Title: To amend and extend the Higher Education Act of 1965. Sponsor: Rep McKeon, Howard P. "Buck" [CA-25] (introduced 10/4/2007) Cosponsors (8)

PART A--GRANTS TO STUDENTS
SEC. 401. PELL GRANTS.
(e) Ineligibility Based on Involuntary Civil Commitment for Sexual Offenses- Paragraph (7) of section 401(b) (as redesignated by subsection (d)(2)) is amended by inserting before the period the following: `or who is subject to an involuntary civil commitment upon completion of a period of incarceration for a forcible or nonforcible sexual offense (as determined in accordance with the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Uniform Crime Reporting Program)'.

H.R.4137
Title: To amend and extend the Higher Education Act of 1965, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Rep Miller, George [CA-7] (introduced 11/9/2007) Cosponsors (29)

PART A--PART A AMENDMENTS
SEC. 401. FEDERAL PELL GRANTS.
(c) Ineligibility Based on Involuntary Civil Commitment for Sexual Offenses- Paragraph (7) of section 401(b) (as redesignated by section 101(a) of the College Cost Reduction and Access Act) is amended by inserting before the period the following: `or who is subject to an involuntary civil commitment upon completion of a period of incarceration for a forcible or nonforcible sexual offense (as determined in accordance with the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Uniform Crime Reporting Program)'.

I find these really egregious because if the powers that be are sending folks to civil commitment for SEX OFFENDER THERAPY (i.e., rehabilitation) before being released into the community, what is inconsistent about SCHOOLING (making the person a better person) which leads to employment and again reduces the chances for recidivism?

Further, study the wording "or who is subject to an involuntary civil commitment upon completion of a period of incarceration ...," in other words, if one is subject to, or will be subject to, a civil commitment hearing (such MAY RESULT in civil commitment), how would they know that BEFORE the hearing which determines whether civil commitment is or isn't appropriate?

The reality of what Congress is trying to do here is, deny folks who are WAITING FOR THEIR HEARING which can take years before they get one. These folks, although in a facility, have completed their sentence and until the hearing they are no different than anyone else in society. What grounds are there to deny these folks?

This is spitefull and vindictive legislation based purely on hatred of anyone convicted of a sex offense. In no way can this legislation be construed to PREVENT future offenses, which I thought was the correct basis for protecting the public.

Clearly this amounts to further punishment (ex post facto violation), as no other type of offender is so denied, and is also a violation of the equal protection clauses of the U.S. Constitution. Unfortunately Congress no longer checks to see if proposed laws would deny any rights before enacting them, if they are affecting sex offenders.

Finally, Under the Adam Walsh Act:

Under AWA anyone who is convicted of an offense of a sexual nature, OR is a person convicted of any other crime type -but has a sexual offense in their background-, who following convicted comes under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Prisons (all federal sentences do), WILL BE SUBJECTED to a civil commitment hearing at or near the end of their federal sentence. Hence, they too will be denied Pell Grants under these new bills.

I first raised the AWA issue of "following a federal sentence WILL BE SUBJECT TO CIVIL COMMITMENT HEARING" in my 2007 commentary. One final point, what if the offender is a juvenile or young adult?

I urge everyone to click on those bills, find out who those are that are Sponsoring or CoSponsoring those bills, and write to them, blasting them for these clear constitutional violations!

eAdvocate (3-7-08)

To Our Readers:
Site Update 3-3-2008
and other issues

Just so our readers know, much of what we report is small items such as "Has the SMART office published the Revised Guidelines for states to enact the Adam Walsh Act" which we show as a date at the bottom of the page (Today it shows 3-3-2008).

While it is a small and hardly visible, it does take checking the Federal Register frequently. Now when those guidelines are published, we will make everyone aware of that, but in the meantime watch the date shown below.

These are some of the small things we provide, hardly noticeable when they change, but they do.
ADVOCACY SITES

You will also notice we have moved our Advocacy list to the left column here, this is so folks know who pretty much is fighting for issues related to sex offenders and sex offenses. Each of these advocates has issues which they individually seek to fight for, and we support all of those individual fights and issues, but at News and Noteworthy we tend to fight the broader issues and concepts. Thats not to say that individual issue advocacy is in any way wrong, it says our advocacy has its focus different from other viewpoints. There is nothing wrong with any of them.
VIGILANTISM / VIGILANTES

Today over at 'Sex Offender Issues" blog they are reporting that recently a sex offender was attacked. We reported that -very same incident- last September which is why we will not report it again. It is important not to hype when there is no reason to do so.

On the topic of vigilantism, if you did not notice we have opened the vigilantism blog to everyone, this was done a month ago, another of the small item folks miss on this page. We will try to keep it open but unfortunately there are folks who get very upset with it and when lawsuits are threatened -if valid- we will act accordingly.
BILLS IN CONGRESS

Now, notice the two new bills in Congress (right hand column), these are bad bills and we should all do what we can to get those lawmakers to stop them.

The unfortunate thing about them is, it is Congress showing its contempt for the court system (the Louisiana case raised the issues about the context of "travel" "traveled"), the U.S. Constitution (and Amendments) and State Constitutions, and of course all RSOs as they did with the Adam Walsh Act.

Now the issue they are upset about, if a RSO travels between states failing to register BEFORE the enactment of AWA, Congress wants to punish him/her according to AWA -retroactively- ignoring prior court precedents prohibiting ex post facto laws. i.e. Caulder -v- Bull which I mention in the Louisiana case above (see my notations there).

Personally I do not think there is any way around that case under that set of circumstances. However, since constitutional protections are being ignored in all legislation beforehand by lawmakers, the road to the U.S. Supreme court is a long one and RSOs and their families will suffer more along that road, but Congress simply does not care. Vote for them? Not me, see who supports those bills.
MORE NEWS IN BLOGS

Remember, see our blogs (all shown above) for more current information and major news items. OK, now I will be doing more of this kind of posting in the future, so for now, have a great day and a better tomorrow!
eAdvocate (3-3-08)

Profession -OR- Place of Employment, Does this Lawmaker Know the Difference?
2-12-2008 Wisconsin: Gap seen in laws after arrest: Sex offender, now facing new charges, owned porn shop
.For sex crimes committed in the 1980s, Scott E. Ziegler is compelled to report to police where he is living for the rest of his life.

But nothing about his status as enrollee for life on the state's sex offender registry prevented Ziegler from opening a pornography and drug paraphernalia store - called Twisted - that became a magnet for teenagers in downtown Waukesha. Authorities filed 14 felony charges against Ziegler, accusing him of luring the teenagers into a life of sexual abuse and drug use.

The state legislator who wrote Wisconsin's sex offender disclosure laws said Ziegler's case points to a gap in the law that she would address with the state attorney general.

"If sex offenders are setting themselves up in a sleaze-trade business, it's a loophole that we should check into," said state Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills). "The question is: Is it unconstitutional to require a criminal who has served their time to report their profession?" ..more.. : by DARRYL ENRIQUEZ
BREAKING NEWS
2-17-2008
on Bush Cuts of the Byrne/JAG Grants:
As promised "Update" on who supported Bush and who was against Bush cutting Byrne Grant Funds. See charts below:

UPDATE:
Budget of the United States Government
Fiscal Year 2008 (Passed)
Fiscal Year 2009 (Proposed)

Byrne Grant Appropriations
Year Amount Source
2007 $555 Mil HR-5672 109th Congress
2008 $170 Mil HR-2764 110th Congress
2009 $200 Mil 2009 Proposed Budget

According to this article "New Mexico police departments brace for federal grant cuts" "President Bush approved a spending bill in December that slashes the JAG federal grant by two-thirds, from $520 million last year to $170 million this year." It appears that has occurred and the cuts are in Public Law 110-161 which resulted from HR-2764 (follow "All Congressional Actions" to see what happened and when).

Now, what is important about HR-2764 is, that it was approved by Congressional votes, which means certain Congressional members actually voted to cut the JAG/Byrne funding, Bush only approved their decision. House votes: CLICK Senate votes: CLICK. (who knows what arm bending went on behind closed doors, if anything. Remember how the Adam Walsh Act was passed, by a select few lawmakers under suspension of the rules, claiming it was not a controversial issue!)

Arizona News 1-30-08:
Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk is in Washington, D.C., this week to join prosecutors nationwide in urging Congress to restore money for "vital" local law enforcement programs.

In an e-mail, Polk said the cuts were a drastic, unexpected, behind-the-scenes measure. Both the Senate and the House approved separate versions that provided $600 million for fiscal year 2008, but a conference committee made the cuts.

The harm to Arizona will be dramatic, according to Polk. She said that Arizona could expect to receive $1.7 million for fiscal year 2008, down from $5.5 million in fiscal year 2007, unless the state convinces Congress to restore the money.

OK, remember, when reviewing the votes, on HR-2764, a YEA means that lawmaker favored a cut in funding, a NAY means that lawmaker did not favor a cut, not voting means well I was busy elsewhere (mostly campaign trail). However, two lawmakers voted "PRESENT" which means, I don't vote for the bill and I do not vote against the bill, but I am not absent, and my "PRESENT" is counted with the majority. For those lawmakers, accountability means what? Who are they? Senator Hatch (Utah) and Representative Baird (Washington), remember those names.

Next, introduced in the House on 1-29-2008 is HR-5180 Sponsors and Co-Sponsors Reps. Loeback (IA), Boswell (IA) and Braley (IA). HR-5180 is to supplement the cuts by Bush. In this article "Senators Seeking Emergency Funding for Law Enforcement Grants," Senators Bond (MO) and Harkin (IA) are also seeking supplemental funding because of the Bush cuts, soon to be introduced.

I haven't forgotten that Bryne Grants are only one portion of HR-2764 which reduced funding in many areas. So you want to know what my point is, best expressed in a chart:

UPDATED CHARTS
Lawmaker Voted AWA into Law with Byrne Grant Funding in 2006 Voted to Reduce Byrne Grant Funding for 2008 Voted for Increase Byrne Grant Funding in 2008
Loebsack (IA) YES YES YES
Boswell (IA) YES YES YES
Braley (IA) YES YES YES
Bond (MO) YES YES YES
Harkin (IA) YES YES YES
NEW BELOW === === ===
Allen (ME) YES YES YES
Carney (PA) YES YES YES
Cohen (TN) YES YES YES
Delahunt (MA) YES YES YES
Etheridge (NC) YES YES YES
Holden (PA) YES YES YES
Michaud (ME) YES YES YES
Sanchez (CA) YES YES YES
Scott (VA) YES YES YES
Sutton (OH) YES YES YES
Towns YES YES YES
Walz (MN) YES YES YES
Yarmuth (KY) YES YES YES
Bishop (GA) YES YES YES
Capuano (MA) YES YES YES
Cleaver (MO) YES YES YES
Cummings (MD) YES YES YES
Davis (TN) YES YES YES
Ellison (MN) YES YES YES
Frank (MA) YES YES YES
Johnson (GA) YES YES YES
Kagen (WI) YES YES YES
Sanchez, Linda (CA) YES YES YES
Scott (GA) YES YES YES
Thompson (MS) YES YES YES

Summarizing the "YES-YEAs" (Supported Bush), effectively these lawmakers said, I vote for safety of kids (AWA) and support funding it, then they changed their minds and reduced funding, now early in 2008, again changing their minds want to increase funding that was cut.

Lawmaker Voted AWA into Law with Byrne Grant Funding in 2006 Voted to Reduce Byrne Grant Funding for 2008 Voted for Increase Byrne Grant Funding in 2008
Davis (KY) YES NO YES
Johnson (IL) YES NO YES
Lewis (KY) YES NO YES
Matheson (UT) YES NO YES
Souder (IN) YES NO YES
Walden (OR) YES NO YES
Whitfield (KY) YES NO YES

Summarizing the "NOs-NAYs" (Stood up against Bush), effectively these lawmakers said, I vote for safety of kids (AWA) and support funding it, and did not want to reduce funding, and early in 2008, want to increase funding that was cut.

Political game-playing, public safety or political positioning, which is the real goal? The political game, sex offenders are the pawns, children are the ruse, and political jobs are the real goal and an illusion of public safety!

eAdvocate (1-31-08) (As more lawmakers push for INCREASED funding, I'll update the chart)
To link back to this report: http://www.oocities.com/eoped/brk-1.html



2-7-2008 New York: City's District Attorneys Worry Over Big Funding Cuts
.Facing millions of dollars in cuts in both federal and city funding, local prosecutors are scrambling to find ways to avoid significantly reducing the size of proven crime-fighting programs.

The federal government in December signed off on slashing by 67% its funding for one of the country's largest law enforcement grant programs, the Edward Byrne Memorial State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance Grant Program, which for years has funded specialized task forces within the offices of the city's five district attorneys to fight a broad spectrum of crimes, such as narcotics trafficking, gang activity, and identity theft. The program is named for a city police officer who was gunned down in the Bronx while guarding a witness who had agreed to testify against a group of drug dealers.

With the mayor's fiscal year 2009 budget calling for 6% cuts to the funding for the district attorneys, prosecutors are foreseeing disaster.

"This is going to have devastating effects," District Attorney Charles Hynes of Brooklyn said. "We depend on funds from the Byrne grants for our gang and narcotics investigations and to run a number of prevention programs throughout Brooklyn." ..more.. : by CHRISTOPHER FAHERTY
Featured Issue
Media's false assumption creates news!

2-5-2008 Indiana: Vigilantes Use Online Sex Offender Map to Burn Down Wrong House
.We've reported on plenty of tools and services designed to help you locate nearby sex offenders, all designed with the hopes of enabling parents to keep their children safe. Critics of these tools often say that they can make those sex offenders targets of retribution crimes by would-be vigilantes, and that seems to be just what was attempted in a case of arson in Evansville, Indiana.

There, a trailer full of equipment sitting in the driveway of a house was ignited by arsonists who also scribbled "GET OUT PERV" on the garage door. The vigilantes, however, seemed to have the wrong address. A man who was recently arrested for soliciting a police officer posing as a teenage girl lived a few houses down from where the crime took place.

So, wrong address, arsonists. Maybe you should use Google Maps the next time you're going to dish out some illegal and poorly spelled retribution? ..more.. : by Tim Stevens

.One only needs to look at the headline then at the facts of the story to see that there is nothing to show that any maps were used to commit this crime.

True they were vigilantes and true it was arson and true the words "GET OUT PERV" were sprayed on the garage.

What this reporter says is, that maps can be used to find homes of sex offenders, then -in his headline- states that they were used to find the home of where the fire was started.

Then in his closing sentence he states they the vigilantes got the wrong home (that fact is true), and further suggests that -next time- they use Google maps "to dish out out some illegal and poorly spelled retribution?"

In the original story (Kentucky.com drawing from CourierPress), which he says he drew from, there is nothing about the use of the registry or maps in the commission of this crime.

Sensationalizing stories, especially with suggested or presumed facts, is the cause for many of these laws which accomplish nothing and protect no one. Unfortunately, even lawmakers succumb to this method to pass laws.

Finally, the person that police may have been the target of these vigilantes has not yet been convicted nor sentenced.

Sensationalizing stories is not good reporting and more likely fuels the public with more hatred, and makes the environment for RSOs more unsafe and dangerous.

eAdvocate (Copyright 2008 - All Rights Reserved)
News & Noteworthy: Articles Concerning Sex Offender Issues

Rethinking pedophilia: Is it a crime? Is it a mental illness? Or is it both?:

The Debate: Rethinking Pedophilia. Very interesting debate.

2-4-2008 National: Why Real ID is a flawed law
.The government claims that driver's license "reform" will help combat illegal immigration and generally protect national security, but it fails to acknowledge that the Real ID Act seriously threatens privacy and civil liberties on a national scale.

It's been nearly three years since Congress passed the act, and the Department of Homeland Security just published final regulations to implement the law that will change the way state driver's licenses are issued.

Of particular concern is the department's flirtation with a central ID database. The final regulations, released January 11, strongly support leveraging existing technology by expanding the central database for commercial drivers to include all drivers and state ID card holders--that is, virtually every American. ..more.. : by Sophie Cope
Obviously common sense is not a requirement for those working for the state! Hummm, how much private information does the state have on registered sex offendrs?
1-30-2008 National: Stolen laptop contained profiles of state job applicants
.A laptop computer containing psychological screenings of 441 applicants for California peace officer jobs was stolen in Mexico this month, State Personnel Board officials said Wednesday. The computer, owned by a psychologist doing contract work for the state, contained raw data from interviews with applicants for jobs with the California Highway Patrol, the state Corrections Department and others, SPB spokeswoman Sherry Evans said. [[[snip]]]

The computer was stolen Jan. 11 while the psychologist, whom Evans declined to name, was vacationing in Mexico. She said the psychologist was apparently unaware of a recent state requirement that all state information stored in a private computer be encrypted so as to be unreadable without a special code. ..more.. : by Clint Swett
ACTION ALERT for MICHIGANDERS:

UPDATE: January 2008: Michigan is now listing on PSOR (Public Sex Offender) registry, all those who are incarcerated -IN PRISON- for sex crimes. Now if that isn't insane enough, Michigan also includes in their NON-COMPLIANT figures, anyone IN PRISON who has not completed forms according to registry laws.

Insane? Yes, some incarcerated for LIFE, or 20-30-40-50 years, for a sex crime, do you think they care about registry laws, while in prison? NO! Michigan wants the public to be in a constant state of hysteria, thats the only reason to do something like this. Those in prison should not be on the Public registry until they are released!

Correctional Facility Addresses: CLICK, using the facility zip code and address, check for yourself. Registry

eAdvocate (1-29-08)

ACTION ALERT for MICHIGANDERS:

A new section for Michiganders on the Michigan Sex Offender registry, the forms used since the beginning and direct access to all of the SORA statutes to research issues for yourself.

So, if you want to see a statute, know what forms are the current ones, want to check the actual Public Act/s that enacted a specific change, and many other possible uses. Then see our new "Everything you ever wanted to know about the Michigan Registration system."

Given that the section is likely to be popular, it is also likely that at times you will not be able to get to it due to us temporarily exceeding our bandwidth (Techy Internet term), then stop back later and eventually you will be able to get through.

If folks have any suggestions to make it better, I am all ears. What it is today is based on prior reader questions and requests.

eAdvocate (1-15-08)

UPDATE for MICHIGANDERS
AND certain former Michigan residents:
Apparently the gremlins in Michigan have struck again, we have received reports of previously registered people who have -in the past- moved out of Michigan, and who did provide the State Registry Office with timely, appropriate and according to the law at the time, documentation of their move to wherever.

Now, according to Michigan's rules those folks are not supposed to appear on the PSOR (Public Registry) (CLICK I do have a backup of this file should it be removed):
II. Public Sex Offender Registry
Under the SOR Act, certain offenders are exempt from the PSOR (even though they remain on the SOR). ..... In addition, those individuals who are ..... and offenders who have moved out of the state or out of the country ..... are removed from the PSOR following the submission ..... or notification of a change of address. page-2

A. Public Sex Offender Registry Statistics
As of August 1, 2007, there were 21,807 offenders on the PSOR. The PSOR does not include offenders who have moved out of the state, are incarcerated, have a known false address or are juveniles. page-3
Michigan has now arbitrarily began listing these folks on the PSOR, AND showing them as NON-COMPLIANT just like certain other registrants reported in our earlier ACTION ALERT below. Now, to add salt to the wounds of ALL DECLARED NON-COMPLIANT, Michigan has UPLOADED them to the National Sex Offender Registry subjecting these folks to arrest anywhere they are in the nation!

Michigan's Auditors audited the registry in 2005 which led to my Commentary "A significant percentage of Michigan's Sex Offender Registrants may be erroneously subjected to arrest nationwide when the Michigan Sex Offender registry is phased into the Department of Justice's National Sex Offender Registry this August (2005)." Then it was due to what the Auditors found (see commentary), today -two years later- it appears they still have not fixed the registry and clearly have made things worse with further erroneous and arbitrary designations.
Can we expect Michigan to take responsibility for this? Will they be liable for whatever happens to these folks? Michigan's registry law says, no, they are not liable for good faith actions, but are these good faith actions? I'll let readers decide, and those NON-COMPLIANT can answer that after consulting with a lawyer.

eAdvocate (12-30-07)

ACTION ALERT for MICHIGANDERS:
The state is in the process of adding information to the PUBLIC registry and has messed-up its registry, they are showing many many many folks as non-compliant when -in fact- they are compliant! Hopefully registrants HAVE a copy of their last registration documents to prove compliance. Check what is shown online and verify ALL OF THE INFORMATION SHOWN!

If you are on parole or probation -and- it erroneously shows NON-COMPLIANT, contact your parole or probation officer asking for directions. Everyone else, IF the PUBLIC REGISTRY is wrong, then: Call the MSP office in Lansing to get it straightened out (you may have to provide them proof. Call 517-322-4939; or Fax: 517-322-4957 them the proof).


Just what Michigan needs when its budget is a mess. By declaring registrants non-compliant, they can again fill their jails and prisons and soak the taxpayer. I wonder if a class action is in order for "False Light in the Public Eye" given the public is being told the wrong information causing a public panic. Boy the TIP LINE is going to be busy.
Happy New Year Michiganders!


US v. Carter, No. 05-6129 (6th Cir. September 18, 2006) The imposition of a special supervised-release condition mandating sex-offender treatment is vacated and remanded where the condition was not reasonably related to either the instant offense of being a felon in possession of a firearm or defendant's criminal history.

US v. Shaw, No. 05-6110 (6th Cir. September 26, 2006) In a case involving alleged child sexual abuse, denial of defendant's motion to suppress written statements made while he was held in custody for nearly twenty hours at an army base is reversed where he was arrested without probable cause and in violation of his Fourth Amendment rights, and the confessions he made were not sufficiently voluntary to eliminate the taint of the illegality of his arrest.

• Who killed Adam Walsh?: While it was a ghastly crime, there are no facts to show a sex offender was involved at all, in fact, the crime remains unsolved today. A serial killer, Ottis Toole, did confess but later recanted and then died in prison! Ottis Toole's background. Read the Adam Walsh story, do you see a sex offender involvement?.

Copyright 2003-2006 L. Arthur M.Parrish. All rights reserved.   Privacy Policy
"There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one striking at the root." - Henry David Thoreau -
"I know in my heart that man is good. That what is right will always eventually triumph. And there's purpose and worth to each and every life." RR
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