Monday, February 28, 2011

Just one particular day in my life

On January 22,nd of this year, my sister in law was to be married. So nearly three weeks prior to the wedding date, I requested a Travel Permit from my probation officer to allow me to travel to Tampa, for only that afternoon to attend the wedding that was being held at a rented pavilion that is located in my mother in laws development property association.

The room that was rented was located in the Country Club itself, typically it was a bar that displayed the notice on the front doors that anyone entering this establishment must be 21 years of age or older to enter.

Upon providing my Probation Officer with all this information including phone numbers to the association hall, its address and to assure him that no minors would be present, which there were none attending, He called the facility to make sure a wedding was being held that day. Upon verifying all that I had told him, the travel permit was confirmed and I got to attend the wedding on Jan. 22nd. With my wife and family.

When I went in to see my probation officer on Feb 17th of this past month, He told me that the lady who managed the pavilion called him back the following morning to let him know that children were and would be on the premises during the time of the wedding and, that there was a tennis court just across the street and a skate board area behind the pavilion. 

She expressed concern about me being on their premises and inquired of my probation officer to know what was my name however, my probation officer assured her ihat was not needed to know and that the travel permit had already been provided to me and he was not going to terminate me being allowed to attend the wedding because that information should have been provided when He called her the first time. However, what my probation officer did tell me was that because of this person calling him and that they expressed concern regarding the matter, that any future travel permits requested to attend any events at this address would be denied. So if my mother in law decides to rent the pavilion ever again in the near future for what ever reason, I am now prohibited from being able to attend family events all because one concerned citizen made a mountain out of a mole hill.

Shortly before Christmas of 2010, I put In a request for a travel permit to go down to Tampa, on Christmas Eve, to spend the day with my wife’s family as I do every single year. We come home the same day because I avoid requesting any travel permit to stay overnight. Just four days before Christmas Eve, my probation officer stops by my residence around nine thirty at night to inform me that the supervisor is conducting a mandatory audit of anyone behind on their supervision or court payments and that if not paid up accordingly, He would not be able to give me a travel permit to attend the family gathering on Christmas Eve. So here it was I had to come up with nearly $400.00 to cover my costs they said I owed. My figures were not what they showed because I knew my money was paid up accordingly and I had all my receipts, but regardless, they were approaching the matter from the point that my money would be paid up for the year provided I paid the $400.00. So I had to go to the bank, remove the amount I needed, then go to the Post Office to obtain a money order, and get it in the mail, with the hope that the money would be posted in time when I went up to pick up my travel permit on Thursday. Fortunately for me, it was.

Every single year they do this to me. Every single time I request a travel permit to go to visit my family it is always a constant harassing ordeal so much to the point that I hate to eve deal with it anymore. But I do it for my wife and for the fact that once in awhile I need to get away and see some new things since I am now unable to drive anymore due to being legally blind and depending upon others to get me where I need to go. Ten years now, I have been dealing with this situation.

Then there was the incident involving my disability. You see, my probation officer indicated that when I started obtaining disability payments, that my cost of supervision would be waived. After nearly four months of deliberating He finally comes back and tells me that because my wife and I make too much money we are not entitled to being declared indigent. What people fail to understand is, that in March 2008 I was laid off from my job where I was employed nearly eight years, hired just weeks after being released from prison, I worked designing Custom Homes, and Commercial Buildings and doing Engineering work related to Civil Engineering. Shortly after that, my wife was laid off from her job where she worked as a manager for a resort in the Villages. My wife was also employed with Delta Airlines, nearly twenty seven years and retired from there shortly after we were married in 2004 and we built our home. Then, in September of 2009 was when I learned about my eye disease when I tried to renew my Drivers license. I could not pass the visual exam and subsequently they sent me to an eye doctor who confirmed this. I have what is called Retinitis Pigmentosa, or R.P. for short. Though rare, the doctors told me I had it all my life. Fortunately for me it had not manifested itself until later in years. I can no longer drive a motor vehicle. And must therefore, now depend on neighbors to drive me when needed. So now $110.00 per month of my disability money goes to probation.

Refusing to give in or give up to this ordeal, I soon started working out of my home as a Freelance Draftsman. I decided to enroll in college to continue my education and set my goals to becoming a Professional Engineer. However, I soon learned that because I am a Sex Offender/Sexual Predator, that I would not be allowed to attend a college campus and that any possible courses would have to be done Online. So I found a school in Scranton PA that offered Civil Engineering courses, online and would enable me to earn at least an Associates Degree, within four to six years because I am considered a part time student. I have now been working at that for nearly three years.

Having been slammed hard with the Recession which began back in 2007 and being laid off from my job, the past two months have began to show signs of recovery. But we still have a long ways to go. My wife now has a new and better job, my eyesight is stable with no progression in my visual disorder. But I am still in this situation with nearly eight more years to go. I have been under the wrath of the Department of corrections for nearly twenty- five years and I am tired. I want to see my mother and father, my brother and sister who all live in Key West, and other members and friends I have not seen for many years. My mom now has Diabetes and is unable to travel up here to visit me. In fact, the last time both my parents did manage to make it up was just after we built our home I 2005. Which brings me to conclude.

The probation office hates the fact that because I am a registered Sex Offender, I live in a $300,000 valued home. A home that I worked hard for, and that I earned and built myself, by doing the very same work that I learned how to do while I was Incarcerated and went to school to learn.

They hate the fact that I keep my money paid up month to month, and that I successfully completed my treatment programs on time and graduated from that course. They hate the fact that I passed every single polygraph ever given to me without a single infraction or reason to question it. They hate the fact that I am a Sex Offender, now on disability and that I work from home.

Despite my bias attitude towards they hating me for all these things, it is the truth. So much, that when I confronted the probation supervisor her very words to me concerning what my wife could or could not understand was no excuse for the fact that she married somebody like me in this situation and that whether she liked it or not, she had to deal with it! My wife has constantly been targeted with being harassed, having her personal items searched when the probation officers come into my house once a year to conduct such, and even had obnoxious remarks made to her inquiring where do we hide the guns or drugs we have in our house. Her vehicle is searched even though I do not drive it. My vehicle is searched, they go through our Garage, our shed, our movies, and specifically, they spend nearly a quarter of an hour rummaging through my computer looking for any pornography. They hate the fact that I am allowed to use a computer because my work demands it. So when I ask them for something, it is always the same thing over and over. Which is nothing but constant harassment, constant aggravation, and seldom being allowed to go anywhere.

Tracking former sex offenders | The Japan Times Online

Tracking former sex offenders | The Japan Times Online

"The main feature of Gov. Murai's Jan. 22 proposal is the attachment of GPS devices to people who have completed prison terms for such crimes as rape and indecent sexual assaults as well as those whom courts ordered not to go near designated persons because of a history of domestic violence. But this could constitute double punishment of ex-convicts as well as cause human rights problems.

Exclusion of ex-convicts, however, may lead to their repeating crimes. Consideration should be given to helping them secure their own places in society. Local governments, communities and nongovernmental organizations should cooperate in helping to make sure that they are not isolated from society."

IL - Sex offender law could remove some young offenders from registry

National laws dealing with sex offenders - Article 3

Original Article:

by Kathrine Mills

December 01, 2009

Assuming rehabilitation is possible, America releases convicted sexual predators into society daily and quite frankly, has its down falls, and not just on the side of the public safety. Due to the fact that there truly has been no real rehabilitative program put into place, we are very strict with the right we give the convicted sex offenders. Lets take a look at what a "rehabilitated offender" is forced to follow under the current system.

Some major examples of these guidelines would be the sex offenders register, behavior monitoring systems, laws declaring they must openly tell people that they gather with, that they are convicted sex offenders, and these so called banishing laws that keep them from living and going into areas where children are present. 

Let's talk about a more specific example that impacts all sex offenders in many states.

A Sex offender in North Carolina is filing a law suit after he was arrested for attending a church in March.

The zones we spoke of earlier are places in which that they aren't allowed to go, based on the presence of minors or proximity to places where minors gather. The man who is filing the suit was arrested for going to church because the church had a daycare center in it.

He is not the only one who is following the trend of sex offenders protesting the current laws dictating their lives. Georgia's Southern Center for Human Rights is suing the state because of this and some other issues addressing the rights of 16,000 + sex offenders in that state.

"Criminalizing the practice of religion for everyone on the registry will do more harm than good. With these laws, states are driving people on the registry from their faith community and depriving them of the rehabilitative influence of the church." -Sara Totonchi, policy director for theSouthern Center for Human Rights.

Now, it is very important for us to protect minors by limiting what kinds of communities these people can live in, such as how far they live from schools (especially elementary) because many kids have to walk to school for lack of bus service through the schools. Over 20 states have set up zones in which these offenders are not legally allowed to live including church areas.

Having sex offenders in or even around churches is a big deal because there are many children running the halls of most church buildings. However, if we ban sex offenders from church, how can they heal? I hear the argument all the time that television preachers aren't good enough mainly because church is supposed to be 3 things:

1. Fellowship of believers (fellowship/having fun/socializing)
2. Corporate Worship and prayer (coming together as a larger body to worship and pray)
3. Establish and execute ministry of both internal and external focus.

Now the fact that they are vulnerable isn't solely because they don't go to church, but because they are removed or have removed themselves from the constant fellowship and uplifting of those who share their belief system.

The third is controversial, but as long as the ministry has nothing to do with kids, like the nursery, children's program, Youth Group or Women's ministries, there shouldn't be an issue as far as minors are concerned.

Plus most people agree that for the most part, those sex offenders who participate in Church are more likely to complete a more successful assimilation into the community again, which usually leads to less cases of offenses in the future.

"It's not clear that there's any public-safety purpose to these laws. They continue to ostracize previous sex offenders in a way that could be dangerous in the end. If they can successfully transition to the community, to include going to church, they are less likely to re-offend." - Sarah Tofte, Human Rights Watch legal researcher.

While we should definitely limit activity of such offenders, there has to be a place for them somewhere when it comes to the body of Christ! If a person commits a crime and gets saved afterwards, repents of his sins and God changes him, he completes his punishment and is released, then they are being sent back into the world with the same rights as every other citizen.

While we still are responsible for making sure they are monitored outside through probation and residence limitations, we have to realize that they still have rights as an American citizen.

As long as the pastor and leaders are aware of the persons status as a sex offender, there should be no problem. That will almost definitely become an issue though because gossip among church people is ridiculous.

Someone is bound to sue the church at some point for spreading the word, even though they aren't supposed to. Ultimately
it comes down to this one question as far as going to church is concerned, cliche as it may be, 

What Would Jesus Do?
The bigger picture here is about the rights of a sex offender. The act of telling a person who has paid for their crime and has been released under probation, from the view of Criminal Justice, is violating several of their first amendment rights.
We cannot put these offenders behind bars permanently, though many people would adore that idea, or even banish them to some far away place where no women or children live.

When we do release them, we must make sure that they are rehabilitated and monitor their behaviors. This is what the probation program has been set up to do. Setting conservative guidelines to protect minors and women are a absolute necessity for these convicts, however, it should not be a means to take away their basic constitutional rights.

Before we could even try to figure out how to develop better laws regarding the lives of these offenders, we must first figure out how to allow them to become a part of free society and possess such rights as going to the mall, church, or being with their families at family friendly places.

Creating a successful and effective rehabilitation program for this specific type of offense is the most important step in making sure we get them back into society and out from behind bars. After all is said and done, can we truly say that these laws are really helping these convicts get better?

National laws dealing with sex offender

Original Article:

by James Kellard

May 18, 2009

There are quite a few laws these days meant to "protect" children when in fact they end up doing more harm than good. The most serious example (in my opinion) are the laws regarding sex offenders. To be clear, child molestation, rape, and other serious sexual crimes are deplorable and should be punished. That being said, sex offender laws have been perverted themselves and are being taken advantage of. The problem is that no politician will touch this issue with a 10-foot pole because it is more politically beneficial to appear as if you are tough on crime and "protecting" children, whether that is the case of not.

Megan's Law (the sex offender registry), requires sex offenders to "register," publicly branding them as sex offenders. On the surface, this seems like a good idea. If a convicted rapist or child molester lived down the street from you, you would want to know. There are many problems with this however.

Unfortunately there are people who take advantage of any law. There have been cases in which someone has been convicted of a crime as serious as rape based solely on the testimony of one witness. In some cases it is later discovered that the witness either lied or was mistaken, whether out of some sort of revenge or just as honest case of mistaken identity. Let us assume for argument's sake that a man is accused and convicted of rape based on the testimony of a woman who has mistaken him for someone else. Not only will this man most likely end up serving time in prison for something he did not do, but even after he is released he will have to register as a sex offender. Even if it is later discovered that the man is in fact innocent, he will have to fight through the courts to have his name taken off the sex offender registry. Once someone has been branded a sex offender, even mistakenly, that label generally sticks. No judge is going to want to be the "judge who excused a sex offender," even if it is the right thing to do.

The above example, while something that has probably happened a number of times, is a hypothetical and a seemingly rare occurrence. The problem is there are more and more situations in which Megan's Law is being taken advantage of by over zealous law enforcement and prosecutors. Recently it was in the news that a teen girl and her 16 year old male friend had been arrested for child pornography because the girl had sent him naked pictures of herself. If convicted, they would both have to register as sex offenders. This type of

situation appears to be more and more common, teens being arrested for "sexting." While it is not illegal for one 16 year old to have sex with another 16 year old, if one of them electronically sends the other a nude picture of themselves they can be arrested for child pornography.

Because of something seemingly minor that these teens have done in their youth, they will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of their lives. It will be difficult for them to find jobs, a place to live, they will not be allowed to be in areas where children congregate (a park for example), and a simple internet search will publicly show that they are a registered sex offender without giving many details about the crime itself. These teens will be on a list next to convicted rapists and child molesters all because they sent a nude picture of themselves to a peer.

There have also been cases in which an older teen has had sexual contact with a younger teen (for example an 18 year old with a 15 year old), in which case the older teen has been arrested, convicted, and forced to register as a sex offender. Using this logic, a senior in high school can be arrested for having sex with a sophomore. So now, because the older teen has had sex with another teen, only three or four years younger, they can be arrested for statutory rape and branded a sex offender for the rest of their lives. This is still the case even if the younger teen lies about their age. An 18 year old can still be arrested and required to register as a sex offender, if they have sex with a 15 year old who says they are 17.

It is of course illegal be send, or be in possession of child pornography. As with Megan's Law this seems adequate on the surface, but looking a little deeper there are problems. Obviously if the suspected pornography shows a child engaged in sexual conduct with an adult there is no argument and this should be punished. Consider however, a 2 year old child is taking a bath and playing in the tub with his mother and his father, finding it cute, takes a picture. Let us also say that the father decides to send some family photos to his own parents through e-mail, the bathtub picture included. Does this photo constitute child pornography? If so, what requirements must the photo meet to be considered pornography?

If both the child and mother are nude in the tub together does that make it child pornography? What if the child is climbing on his mother and one of his hands happened to be on her breast when the photo was taken? Since the father sent this photo over the internet to somebody else, if the authorities find it to be indecent the father can be arrested, charged with sending child pornography, and forced to register as a sex offender. This all over something that, to the family, was a completely innocent photo of a child's bath time with his mother.

Of course, none of this is to say that we should remove all laws regarding child pornography, sex crimes, or even the sex offender registry. There is a need for some restrictions though. Charging a teen who sends a nude photo of themselves as a sex offender, or a parent who takes a photo of their child in a "normal" nude situation, is completely unreasonable and will practically destroy the lives of those people and their families. 

Most of us do not think that situations like this occur with much regularity, but the fact is they are becoming more and more common all the time. While there are some situations, such as rape or actual child molestation, that fully warrant, and require, punishment, there are too many situations which most of us would consider completely innocent, or the actions of a teenager's raging hormones, in which an over zealous prosecutor or law enforcement officer can greatly effect the lives of law abiding citizens.

These people who get "caught in the shuffle," and are forced to register as sex offenders for the rest of their lives, can have trouble finding jobs, apartments, homes, friends, be banned from being around children thereby restricting them from attending their children's school and extra curricular events, and basically become public pariahs. With laws such as Megan's Law, while originally well meaning, we are putting far too much power and trust in the government and law enforcement to get it right, and not ruin the lives of innocent people. There needs to be some type of oversight and restriction to find some sort of balance between punishing those who truly commit criminal acts, and innocent people being caught up in some sort of witch hunt that is unfortunately becoming more and more.

How sex offender laws hurt good people - Article 2

Original Article:

by Liberty15

February 19, 2010
To those who lay claim that the current sex offender laws are just and necessary to protect us from the evil-doers in this world my reply is simply this…Seriously? As someone who has seen the effects these laws have on good, decent people I cannot stomach such remarks. As such I have decided to start my own crusade…the pursuit of truth, decency, and a call to action.

I have heard it said that those donning the label of a sexual offender who in their youthful vigor engaged in sexual relations with a girlfriend considered underage are exceptions to the rule. As are those convicted of urinating in public for whatever reason befell them at that moment in time and other non-threatening behavior. It is true, they are exceptions to the rule but unfortunately they are not in the minority any longer.

The labeling of sex offenders has gone too far. I became quite alarmed when I witnessed that there were more good people who had made simple, low-risk mistakes in their life labeled as sexual predators than actual sexual predators! What in God’s name are we doing to ourselves, to our communities, to our society, and to our children? Now we want to make ‘sexting’ a sexual offense! Seriously?

So let me get this straight…branding someone with a Scarlet letter despite the seriousness of their crime of the risk factor of a repeat offense and allowing them to be targeted for round up like cattle at the discretion of the police is not considered discrimination? Seriously?

So let me get this straight…placing these so called offender’s names, faces, and addresses on a public forum for public scrutiny singled out as a particular group does not violate their rights under the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment and subject them to undue dangers? Seriously?

You are telling me that privacy rights are not being violated here. Seriously? It is a clear example of defamation of character especially for those that have served their designated time within the jail or prison system. It is so difficult for me to stomach let alone comprehend how the court system and the public can truly justify such actions even under the ruse of ‘protecting the children.’ Why are we not focusing on punishing and eliminating the truly monstrous threats that are quite obvious rather than lumping all of those individuals charged with a sexual offense into one chaotic group regardless of risk factor or threat?

How sex offender laws hurt good people

Original Article:

by Patrick Sills

April 10, 2010

In the summer of 1976, I experienced a rite of passage. I was 16 years old. And no, this had nothing to do with becoming a licensed driver. Nevertheless, it would change my life forever. I lost my virginity. At long last, 
I didn’t feel alone among my peers. Finally, I knew what all the fuss was about. Well, at least the alleged fuss.

My first partner was a girl two years my senior, and we met on a camping trip a few weeks earlier. My parents were very liberal and had no problem with it. Our relationship was short-lived; as are many adolescent pairing

But the point is as follows: If this had happened today and the parents objected, my first girlfriend would very likely be a registered sex offender because I was a minor in the eyes of the law. On the other hand, she was 18.

This is in no way suggesting that minors should engage in sexual relations, but anyone who isn’t living in a cave should know that it happens every day. Most of the parents of today’s teens were guilty of the same actions in their youth. It’s a fact.

However, with today’s Sex Offender Registry, anyone who has reached 18 in many states who has sex with anyone under that age can be tried and convicted of statutory rape. And guess what? Once this is on your record, you are required to register as a sex offender!

Now, answer this question: how many people over 18 have girlfriends or boyfriends that are 16 or 17 as opposed to 18; especially if only 2 or 3 years separates them in age? Is it fair that the older individuals in these couples should have to have their name desecrated for life by such ridiculous policies?

How about this hypothetical scenario? A man is driving his car down the highway in a remote area. He’s had to urinate for the past 15 minutes and his bladder is beginning to feel very uncomfortable. However, he discovers that the nearest town or rest area is 37 miles away. He can no longer hold back the urge, so he pulls over to the side of the road and at long last relieves himself.

Without warning, and seemingly out of nowhere, another car crosses his path. A woman is driving with a small daughter. She sees what is happening, and is disgusted. She copies the man’s license plate number and calls the police. Within minutes, he is picked up, arrested, and charged with indecent exposure.

If a harsh judge follows the letter of the law, there will be no plea bargain down to disorderly conduct, and the man will be convicted of the previously-mentioned

The need to reform sex offender laws

Original Article:

by Liberty15

February 18, 2010

The Sex Offender Registry is an extremely flawed system that is ineffective and poses a danger to the public and those it deems offenders. The state of Michigan requires individuals convicted of felony sexual offenses to register between the 1st and 15th of January, April, July, and October of each year. Those convicted of misdemeanor offenses and required to register must do so between January 1st and 15th of each year.

In Michigan I know a man who has consistently performed the duties required of him by the law of this state. He is in possession of paperwork and two witnesses who have accompanied him during this process. He has done everything required of him and worked extremely hard to build a life for himself around this terrible stigma.

One day completely out of the blue he is presented with a publication that blatantly proclaims that he is one of a large group of offenders that are non-compliant with the law, what is termed as an ‘absconder.’ Understandably overcome with panic and gut-wrenching fear this man pushes past the humiliation and investigates further.

The publication lays claim that their source is the Michigan State Police Sex Offender Registry website. This publication goes one dangerous step further and states a ‘big reward’ is being offered for the information and capture of these purportedly dangerous criminals professed to be on the lamb. Now he is not only confused but terrified as well.

You see like so many other Americans, this man in his youth had been involved in a relationship with his teenage girlfriend. Despite the fact that the sexual relationship was consensual and no one was even remotely interested in pressing charges, the state chose to pursue the case of its own volition.

It is a common story, a travesty that hides behind absurd and draconian laws. Laws that refuse to acknowledge the voice of all parties involved.

Now this man in his more mature years, continues to carry the burden of a label that demonizes him. It is a label that haunts his every movement despite the fact that he has had no run-ins with the law before or since this incident in his life.

The Scarlet letter has been seared into his flesh and despite all that he does, he continues to be viewed as a monster, a pariah for the remainder of his life. The majority of people unfamiliar with his circumstances do not question the label. He wears the stigma of a sex offender and so he is automatically assumed to be a monster.

Are sex offender registry laws effective, just, and maintainable?

Someone saw this in 2008.  

Original article:

by William Jones

June 16, 2008
In response to the murder of one child by a convicted Sex Offender, we manufactured an entire set of laws. Out of them was, among other things, spawned local and national Sex Offender Registries, a recidivism risk accessment method, and a public notification protocal based on those risks. Known as Meagan's Law, they were adopted in ond form or another by all the States at the fervent request of the Federal Government.

Meagan's Law has been in effect now for well more than a decade. Now, self ascribed vigilante, John Walsh, has used his celebrity to amp up the program. I have to ask why. They appear to be little more than a good dose of more of the same; which brings up the question of the law's ability to effectively deal with the issue. If the program is ineffective, then how is more of the same going to help.

It's not. It can't possibly be. We are pointing the gun in the wrong direction. In an attempt to proctet ourselves from an uncomfortably distastful category of crime which we do not understand, we have childlishy lashed out at the most visible threat; the known offender. 

That is why after ten years the rate of Sex Offenses has not dropped in America, and people like John Walsh believe we need something more.

The problem lies wherein, that the known offender is the least risk category to commit a Sex Offense. Most municipalities keep the numbers well guarded, but the absolute highest risk for reliable recidivism rates comes from a U.S. Dept. of Justice study. It report's that 5.3% of Sex 

Offenders in thier study committed another Sex Offense within five years of their release.

If we can stop and do the math for a minute, that means that in the best case scenario that nearly 95% of Sex Offenses are committed by persons not previously convicted. I have found numbers as low as a 1.3% recidivism rate; which only makes this worse.

The law is clearly ineffective in dealing with the larger problem of Sex Offense in America. I think we can not debate that point. Tragically, it is also wasteful and unjust.

Many States are financially strapped, and some are for all intents and purposes insolvent. 

They can not keep up with what they have already, and are now being forced to accept more with these new laws. To make matters worse, many of these States are now in court having to defend themselvea against both civil and appelate filings. They have to. Without adopting a version of the Walsh Act, states face sanctions from the Federal Government.

Is the Adam Walsh Act about sex-offender notification unconstitutional?

Take the Poll above this original article:

 by Kelly Piercy

July 26, 2008

The Adam Walsh Act (AWA) violates so many parts of the Constitution that those who support it must either have never read the Constitution or believe it should be vacated and their own version be substituted.

The AWA violates the Fourth Amendment, the Eighth Amendment, the Tenth Amendment, the Separation of Powers Clause, and the prohibition against Bills of Attainder and Ex Post Facto law to name the grossest violations.
Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution prohibits Congress from passing a Bill of Attainder or enacting an Ex Post Facto law. That is:

A bill of attainder is a legislative act declaring the guilt of an individual or a group of persons and punishing them. Only the courts may determine whether one has violated a criminal statute. An ex post facto law declares an act illegal after it has been committed, or increases the punishment for an offense already committed.

The AWA was declared a Regulatory act in an attempt to avoid this Constitutional conflict. This reasoning fails by the penalties imposed for violating the terms and conditions of the act.

Analogously, Congress attempts to mix apples and oranges. Traffic laws reach two levels. On one level, a traffic regulation may be punished by fine or loss of privilege, i.e. speeding is an infraction of a regulation. 

Exceeding the posted (or safe) speed results in the imposition of a fine. Such a violation of this regulation cannot result in a criminal penalty such as imprisonment or denial of a right. Driving while under the influence reaches the level of criminal behavior and can be punished by loss of privilege, fine, and imprisonment.

On the same order, to maintain that the AWA is constitutional requires that violation of its terms and conditions may only reach the level of infraction of a regulation and be punishable only by fine and or loss of privilege. The moment the result of violating the terms and conditions of the AWA reach loss of liberty or other criminal result, the AWA becomes void under Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution of the United States.

Amendment IIX of the Constitution prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. That is:
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

The AWA sets all sex offenders as a general class. On the surface, this seems to make sense. Only the barest superficial inspection will allow this sense'. Criminal behavior must be assessed by the order of harm done. 

Given the harm done by the class of crimes labeled as sex offenses, it is useful to look at other classes of crimes that cause long-term harm to victims, families of victims, communities, and the nation as a whole. The only other class of crime that meets these criteria is the class of crimes labeled as drug offenses. This much more far-reaching and much more damaging class of crime does not subject an offender to registration or residency restriction. Yet, this class of crime has a recidivism rate of more than twelve times greater than the recidivism of sex offenses. Therefore, that drug offenders are not subject to conditions of registration and residency restriction makes imposition of these requirements on the class of sex offenders Cruel and Unusual Punishment.

Newspaper does not have to identify anonymous commenters, rules High Court

Newspaper does not have to identify anonymous commenters, rules High Court

Talk about double standards...

Is the Fourth Amendment Relevant in a Technological Age?

Is the Fourth Amendment Relevant in a Technological Age?

Immunity prevents arrest of Arizona lawmaker after freeway fight

Immunity prevents arrest of Arizona lawmaker after freeway fight

Just wrong!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart (02/21/2011) - Lisa Ling explores the lives of sex offenders

On March 1 at 10pm on OWN, Lisa Ling will be airing a show about the lives of sex offenders. I'm sure it will be the usual biased report and hatred of sex offenders instead of a fair and balanced show. We will see.

Show Description:
Our America with Lisa Ling takes viewers along for an in-depth look at some of the most controversial and thought-provoking issues in the United States today, including religious movements, sex offenders, drug addiction and online brides. In each episode, Lisa immerses herself into the lives of the people she meets, offering compelling accounts of varied experiences and providing insight into some of our nation's most contentious issues. In sharing these stories, Lisa challenges viewers to understand different perspectives and even question what they themselves have always known to be true.

In the video below (click the image) the part about sex offenders starts around 18:05.

Click the image to view the John Stewart video from 02/21/2011

Follow your Dreams

Colorado may skip offer of federal grant and stick with own sex-offender standards

Colorado may skip offer of federal grant and stick with own sex-offender standards

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Routt Co. issues warrant for sex offender |

Interesting portion of this article:

"The Pilot & Today also reported that, according to Noel's attorney, he was given the Sexually Violent Predator status because he failed to register as a sex offender in Oregon after his release from prison. A sexually violent predator is the most severe classification given to a sex offender."

I wonder if the courts can give a murderer, child abuser or drug dealer a higher status for not registering. Ohh, I'm sorry I forgot they don't have to.

Midland youth will be tried as adult in sexual assualt case


Colorado may skip offer of federal grant and stick with own sex-offender standards

Original Article:

A lack of cash and some philosophical objections have so far kept Colorado law enforcement agencies from implementing federal rules that would require more criminals to register as sex offenders for longer periods of time.

Complying with the rules contained in the federal Adam Walsh Act by July 1 would bring Colorado close to $500,000 in federal grant money.

But opponents argue that it will cost far more than that federal grant amount to comply with the rules.

A national chorus of state government groups and research institutions has raised concerns about the way the federal law treats juvenile offenders, potential constitutional conflicts and data showing sex-offender registration doesn't prevent repeat offenders.
Among the skeptics is Laurie Kepros, who oversees sexual offenses for the state public defender office.

"It's just not going to be cost-effective, and does it do us any good in terms of public safety?" Kepros said.

In December, Colorado got notice that its current system for handling sex offenders is far from being in line with what federal authorities want.

"Now we don't know what to do," she said.

Congress passed the Adam Walsh Act in 2006 in an attempt to organize hundreds of sex-offense statutes in 50 states into three uniform categories that indicate the crimes' severity.

The legislation establishes registration and reporting standards for those categories — in many cases more stringent than state requirements — and compels local law enforcement to do more to communicate with other jurisdictions when offenders are on the move.

Colorado's Sex Offender Management Board in 2008 advised against compliance with the federal law, but nonetheless acknowledged the benefits of a single, unified reporting and tracking system.

"The Adam Walsh Act will . . . ensure that law enforcement has access to the same information across the United States, helping prevent sex offenders from evading detection by moving from state to state," the panel wrote.

Only four states have complied

Though the federal government has pushed for five years for states to tighten reporting requirements, so far only four have complied: Ohio, South Dakota, Florida and Delaware.
Crimes where Coloradans can now petition to be removed from the registry after five years — like misdemeanor indecent exposure — would remain listed for at least 10 years.

Those convicted of unlawful sexual contact with a child younger than 15 would spend a minimum of 25 years registering as a sex offender instead of a 10-year minimum with good behavior, as state law now reads.

And new crimes like criminal invasion of privacy and kidnapping or false imprisonment of someone younger than 18 would become registerable offenses, even though Colorado prosecutors frequently file those charges in instances where no sex offense has occurred.

One of the changes that has met with the greatest resistance is the way the federal law handles juvenile offenders.

Teens would stay on registry

Adolescents who commit sex crimes now can petition their way off the registry with good behavior and successful counseling. The Walsh Act would do away with that Colorado rule.

The Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers said keeping teens on the registry could prevent them from living at home with a support system that can help them recover.

"There will likely be an emergent housing crisis for youth on registries," the association predicted in a 2007 report.

Failing to comply would mean Colorado would lose 10 percent of a federal grant — around $450,000 — that funds victim-assistance and court-improvement programs each year.

The Sex Offender Management Board estimated in 2008 that a police department for a mid-size city could spend half of that adding new technology and hiring staff to enforce the federal changes.

"Certainly, it makes a great deal of sense for there to be a national registry of some kind. Is doing something with the amount of detail in it that the Adam Walsh Act has necessary for the national registry? That's a whole other question," said Jeanne Smith, director of the state Public Safety Department's sex-offender division.

Colorado authorities would have to scan an offender's palm print, keep track of his or her international travel or temporary lodging and start collecting DNA from misdemeanor arrestees.

Updates to the registry would have to be faster and more frequent.
Police would have to find a way to send out blast notifications to the public when that information changes and more quickly upload data to national databases.

Many requirements retroactive
The federal law also requires authorities to publish not only the home address of registered offenders, but the work and school addresses as well. And many of the new requirements would apply retroactively.

Erin Jemison leads the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault. She realizes there are gaps in the way the state manages sex offenders, but said officials are working locally to solve those problems.

"There's a pretty wide consensus even among victims folks that the ways we are already complying are satisfactory," Jemison said. "I think it's good that people here are being critical and we're not jumping through hoops to make our laws even less consistent."
Jessica Fender: 303-954-1244 or

om Outraged Over 13-Year-Old's Molestation Charge

A Clayton County mother says local police went too far in charging her 13-year-old son and three friends with aggravated child molestation."I am appalled by that," said the mother, only identified as Yolanda.
The four admitted to going behind a vacant house where a girl preformed consensual oral sex on them. According to the arrest warrant, obtained by Channel 2’s Tony Thomas, the arresting officer discovered the group when the girl was “adjusting her clothing.”
"Who is the victim?” asked Yolanda’s mother.
Yolanda said it was hours before she found out where her son was, and that was because she filed a missing persons report. She said the next time she saw him, he was in adult court. A judge set a $10,000 bond and the teen was sent to the regional youth detention center until the family came up with the money.
A former metro Atlanta prosecutor told Thomas the charges were legal under the state's Seven Deadly Sins laws -- but rarely followed through on."My biggest concern is the charge being on their record. 
The records are sealed. 
Yeah, that's what you say," Yolanda told Thomas.
Her doubts were confirmed after Thomas easily found the names, charges and court dates for all four juveniles listed on the county's court website Friday night.
A Clayton County police spokesperson said they will not comment about the case. The child’s mother said her son was just doing what children do.
"They are children. Children explore the world by hands-on," she said.
The 13-year-old has entered a plea in juvenile court to sodomy and public indecency. He will have to undergo counseling and serve one year of probation. 
Copyright 2011 by All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Low-level Sex Offenders Close to Deregistering

Low-level Sex Offenders Close to Deregistering

Yesterday, I visited Miracle Park and I have to say what a great answer for the sex offender's  issue of their daily horror and fight that strips them of civil rights and second chance even low-risk, non-violent sex offenders and leaves them homeless. Here, a sex offender can find some kind hope; a peace from a ruthless society that condemns, loathes, harasses and considers them some kind of leper; a scum of the earth shall we say.

No matter how a sex offender strives to become that better person so that society will then see them in a different light, it will never happen. They have hope that others might even see them as a human being so they can be given that 'second chance' . Society doesn't know or even consider the truth. So please, don't rally around like some vicious mob that wants to find some kind other reason to condemn/hate others. Find out the truth. If you don't know the truth and need enlightenment, I'm sure John who served 3 years in prison for peeing in public and is on the registry for life, or 17 year old Fred for have sex with his 16 year old girlfriend also on the life registry, or little Josh 11 years old arrested for a sexual offense and is on the sexual registry. All will gladly like to tell you. Unfortunately I don't have to give anyone those address since you can just easily find them yourself on a worldwide registry.

But unfortunately, the one question that really has me sadly perplexed, and will likely never be answered, is what pathetic level has our society come down to? Why are people living as outcasts with no rights? Something is seriously wrong with that!

One should know the truth to this insanity, but do they even what to be informed of the actual truth through their own hysteria? 

But, if you are one who has an open mind or already is aware of the sex offenders issue and compassion is grounded, donations to keep 'Miracle Park' successful are welcomed. Email me and I will gladly give you a contact number or email.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Legislation Currently in Committee SB 846

It is important we are aware of what is being moved though senate committee. Check out the changes in the language of this bill. Notice what is crossed to will be changed to what is underlined. These changes will further remove our rights to now even view material.

Senate 846: Prevention of Child Exploitation

GENERAL BILL by Benacquisto

Prevention of Child Exploitation; Prohibits controlling or intentionally viewing any photograph, motion picture, exhibition, show, representation of an image, data, computer depiction, or other presentation that includes sexual conduct by a child. Provides penalties. Conforms provisions of the offense severity ranking chart of the Criminal Punishment Code to changes made by the act, etc.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2011

Senate 844: Violations/Probation/Community Control/Widman Act

GENERAL BILL by Benacquisto; (CO-INTRODUCER) Richter

Violations/Probation/Community Control/Widman Act; Creates the "Officer Andrew Widman Act." Authorizes a circuit court judge, after making a certain finding, to issue a warrant for the arrest of a probationer or offender who has violated the terms of probation or community control. Authorizes the court to commit or release the probationer or offender under certain circumstances. Authorizing the court, in determining whether to require or set the amount of bail, to consider the likelihood that the person will be imprisoned for the violation of probation or community control, etc.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2011

Also check out HB 595 which is identical and being moved through committee in the House

HB 595 - Sexual Performance by a Child
Sexual Performance by a Child: Prohibits controlling or intentionally viewing photograph, motion picture, exhibition, show, representation of image, data, computer depiction, or other presentation that includes sexual conduct by child.
Effective Date: October 1, 2011
Last Event: Now in Criminal Justice Subcommittee on Wednesday, February 16, 2011 6:26 PM
Referred Committees and Committee Actions:
- Criminal Justice Subcommittee
- Justice Appropriations Subcommittee
- Judiciary Committee
Related Bills:
Bill #SubjectRelationship
SB 846Prevention of Child ExploitationIdentical
Bill Text:

One To See Change Past Posts

One to See Change Blog List

"When an American says that he loves his country, he means not only that he loves the New England hills, the prairies glistening in the sun, the wide and rising plains, the great mountains, and the sea. He means that he loves an inner air, an inner light in which freedom lives and in which a man can draw the breath of self-respect."
~Adlia Stevenson U.S. Vice President (1893–1897) and Congressman (1879–1881)

On a Personal Note

Thanks for the opportunity to express my thoughts regarding the issue of citizens’ rights, particularly addressing certain sex offenders’ crimes that do not fit the devastating, inequitable and endless punishment given.

As you know, many young men and women lives across the nation are being destroyed by incarceration, life-time registry and restrictive laws that do more harm than good. For those individuals, there is no second chance.

Below is a personal letter to President Obama:
* * * *
“Dear President Obama,

I truly agree with your sentiments that individuals, such as ex-felons, should be able to receive a second chance at life. Since we all know that one can veer off that path of life and travel along rough, rocky terrain, sometimes running off and ending up in some ditch. We all have made our fill of mistakes and sometimes those held a costly consequence that changed life forever. So we lived through it, trying harder to make things right with family, friends and those around us, but what about those who aren’t able to make things right even if they tried…because they’re labeled as too dirty, a leper, a person who is rejected from society and home.

But what if they’re a seventeen year old and had sex with a fifteen year old, consensual at that? Or they’re a teen that had gotten so enraged after a breakup that he sent out naked pictures of his girlfriend on his cell phone or email? Or an individual urinates where someone just happens to see them?

All are wrong and a travesty but do they deserve the life of no second chance with a registry that ends all. They are labeled, no jobs, no where to live…they have been deemed a menace to society, a plague. These certain circumstances, and many other situations similar to these, I believe still deserve a second change.

Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution

Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

After my son’s early release and two years of prison, I thought I had handled that fact graciously knowing after serving his time he would be able to get that fresh start, that second chance. He was an exemplary inmate, GED, college courses and vocational classes. Little did I know that a second chance on the outside was the farthest from the truth? He now struggles and lives in a trailer park sharing a trailer with another and surrounded by others in the same rocking boat, one to float endlessly in shark infested waters. I see him little because of probation requirements (he couldn’t live with us because we were 800 feet near a school). My family is afraid of what would happen to them if he lived with them…vigilantism. My son has no other place to stay since others condemn him of his crime that is screamed from the highest rooftop. Sex offender, sex offender!

Not all sex offenders are pedophiles or predators but some are simply young kids that make one stupid and rash decision that eventually changes everything, and they have no idea what they’ve done until their life is never their own. Exactly, where is that second chance for those sex-offenders who are lumped together with pedophiles and predators? Now, it makes me sick to think of my son’s future and many like him that are on the registry and many with no second chance…ever. I am asking you as a mother and as another concerned citizen of the United States that these laws are looked at again and taken into serious consideration in what they are doing to the Constitution of the United States, not for sex offenders in general but the future rights of every citizen, before anymore are put into effect. They unjustly strip an offender of their rights and place them in a guillotine that can be easily set off by anyone and at anytime. Where is the second chance for ex-sex offenders in the present, pending and future laws?”
* * * *
What truly saddens me is the weakness and deterioration of what the sex offense issue is doing to our once, great nation. Across Europe, others are seeing the injustice and disregard of rights, but we ignore this problem and it makes me wonder where humanity is heading….

We have become a hysterical society in which our latest witch-hunt is a sex offender--no matter his/her crime.

Below is a email sent from a foreign advocate to a father of a sex offender:
* * * *
“The tragic story of your son's death is just so sad that it's difficult to explain how. It was very hard to read your letters. It seems almost unbelievable that this can take place in a democracy! From our point of view, there is no justice in this. Not in any way: not for you, your son, the former girl friend – or even the state.

It is an abusive legal system. It seems barbaric. And we are so very sorry that this takes place. That's why it's so important for us to try to neutralize the debate with this…, hopefully making some changes. ….. to show the every day life of the sex offenders, trying to show how they keep on being punished, even after served prison time…..But we will for sure tell the story of the injustice that your son has been exposed to.”
* * * *
I appreciate everyone's commitment and backing to protect everyone's civil rights, plainly as noted in the Constitution of the United States and is presupposed, giving ALL men are “life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.”