Tuesday, May 31, 2016
Tuesday, May 24, 2016
National: Civil Rights Group Files Lawsuit Questioning Constitutionality of International Megan’s Law
By Shafaq Hasan |"The concern for sex offenders’ safety may seem counterintuitive; however, it is also well founded. For example, according to the language of the bill, it doesn’t appear that there are any provisions that would monitor whether foreign governments share information about sex offenders with others outside the people who need to know. These are sex offenders who have been convicted of some of the most atrocious crimes. Could the American government control who has this kind of sensitive information? If not, does this law unduly put sex offenders at risk? Do we even care?"
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PA: WPXI Pittsburgh TARGET 11: Legislation to restrict where sex offenders can live in Pa. remains in limbo
Saturday, May 21, 2016
Listen and email Bill Mick with your thanks for education 101 with sex offender law reform!
Tuesday, May 17, 2016
"When events warrant, MTV staffers gather together in our virtual secure bunker to discuss the political news of the day. Monday’s topic: In response to a recent NPR article, should sexual offenders’ transcripts be branded with a “scarlet letter” forevermore? Here today: Julianne Ross, Ana Marie Cox, and Julie Zeilinger."
Monday, May 16, 2016
OTSC Moderator note: Holy Canoli!! Are we (the world) creating a forerunner for the alleged prophesied Armageddon??
Saturday, May 14, 2016
National: Raw Story Texas principal goes bonkers after Obama issues trans bathroom guidelines: 'He ain't my president'
Thursday, May 12, 2016
Earlier this year, the small Wise County town of Rhome repealed its ordinance.
Mayor Michelle Pittman says as a "general law" community of less than 5,000 people, they were informed by lawyers for Texas Voices for Justice and Reason they didn't have the power to have a local law on the books.
The threat of a lawsuit was too much.
"Any litigation has a financial impact,” she said. “Our big concern was whether we could bear that, being a small city.”
Parents like Jennifer Peek say they are equal parts stunned and angry to learn there is no longer an ordinance that prevents convicted offenders from living within 1,500 feet of a school or playground.
"I'm sorry that our concern isn’t more with the safety of our children, rather than the freedom of a sex offender," she said.
News 8 has been following the story for months, ever since the town of Alvarado in Johnson County hinted last year it may face a legal challenge over part of its ordinance.
In January, even more towns started to repeal their laws, while others decided to fight the lawsuits.
Attorney Richard Gladden, who filed on behalf of Texas Voices, says about two dozen towns have fully repealed local laws dictating everything from where sex offenders can live to if they need to post sex offender signs during holidays like Halloween.
The lawsuits cite a little-read 2007 legal opinion from then-Attorney General Greg Abbott, who wrote that general law towns “…may not adopt an ordinance restricting where a registered sex offender may live” because they don’t have constitutional authority to do so.
Home-rule cities — those with populations over 5,000 - aren't impacted.
In Eustice, Texas, about 60 miles southeast of Dallas, they have long discussed a local ordinance. But Mayor Elicia Sanders say they fear as a town of only 1,000, they, too, would be sued.
She says parents have voiced concerns, especially since James Cassels - convicted of sexually abusing a 5-year-old boy in Alaska - recently moved across the street from the local ISD campus.
"Small town kids are just as valuable and precious as big city kids,” Mayor Sanders said. “[Residents] don't understand why big city kids get safety zones and small town kids don't get 'em.”
She concedes that there have been no reported issues with Cassels since he relocated to town. His mother says he is trying to find a new place to live.
Josh Gravens, a criminal justice reform advocate who is also a registered sex offender, says residency restrictions continue to be problematic.
"Let's be real about what these ordinances are: they are about banishment," Gravens said. "They don't stem child sex abuse whatsoever."
He points out in some small towns, it's almost impossible for a registered sex offender to not be within 1,500 or 2,000 feet of a playground, school, or a church with a daycare.
"They would be breaking the law all of the time," Gravens said.
The issue actually caught the eye of lawmakers last session in Austin, but the bill died on the house floor.
Rep. Matt Krause says next year, lawmakers should finally address the issue. He has heard of colleagues eager to push for legislation, and says he may draft something himself.
"I had never thought about it," he said. "It's concerning, and the legislature needs to take a look at it."
In North Texas alone, towns like Hutchins, Alvarado, Justin, and Rhome have repealed ordinances. Others cities, like Krum, Argyle, and Westworth Village are fighting the lawsuits.
The governor's office declined to comment on the issue.
The lawsuits have no impact on restrictions imposed by the courts on where an offender may live as part of their probation or parole.
Go Ms. Zink! Criminal records should be kept consistently public. It is a form of accountability for both the convicted and the criminal justice system, and provides the public with information needed to make decisions regarding safety.
If it is objectionable that those records be public because it will put lower-level offenders at risk of social and employment mistreatment, then there are two issues. Either we need a fourth sex offender category which covers those people — who are ambiguously guilty or were minors when the crime occurred — or we have a flawed justice process that causes people to want to keep that information private as it is misleading. “All facts are friendly.”
Children are consistently vulnerable to sex offenders. We need to be firmly vigilant and keeping those records public. I applaud our state Supreme Court for making the right decision to keep those records public.
One other thought: The current scale used to rank sex offenses is confusing as it is opposite of the other scales used for misdemeanor to felony offenses. First degree is the lowest and third degree is the most egregious. It would be helpful to standardize those scales.
Shelly Hansen, W. Richland
Read more here: http://www.tri-cityherald.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/article75691602.html#storylink=cpy
Alabama lawmakers passed two bills in the waning hours of their legislative session on Wednesday that could close two of the state's five abortion clinics and make it harder for women to receive abortions in their second trimester.
One of the bills prohibits abortion clinics from operating within 2,000 feet of an elementary or middle school—the same restriction that applies to sex offenders. If Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley signs the bill, it may force two of the state's five abortion clinics to close, including a clinic in Huntsville that is the only one providing abortion care in the northern half of Alabama. The clinic just moved to its current location, across the street from a school, in 2014, in order to comply with other abortion restrictions passed in Alabama in 2013.
The sponsor of the bill, Alabama state Sen. Paul Sanford, likened the restrictions to those imposed on sex offenders. "We can put a restriction on whether a liquor store opens up across the street and make sure pedophiles stay away from schools," he told the Times Daily in February. "I just think having an abortion clinic that close to elementary-age school children that actually have to walk on the sidewalk past it is not the best thing."
The second bill would ban a common second-trimester abortion procedure.
Throughout the day on Wednesday, Democrats tried to mount a filibuster in order to run out the clock on the legislative session before a vote could be brought on both bills. But Republicans gathered enough votes to move the legislation forward.
Democrats who opposed the bills voiced their concerns over the House's rushed proceedings. "You have no right to continue to cut out debate," Rep. Mary Moore said. "That's what the process is all about. That's what makes democracy different than dictatorships."
After Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard attempted to start a vote on one of the abortion bills, members of the House Black Caucus entered the chamber and began singing "We Shall Overcome." In response, Hubbard called security, saying members couldn't hear the floor vote.
"With two hours left in session, the Republican Caucus shut down debate and bent the rules to jam through this misguided legislation," said Nikema Williams, vice president of public policy at Planned Parenthood Southeast, in an emailed statement. "This legislation is bad for women and bad for Alabama. It goes to show how issues of racial justice and access to health care are interconnected and cannot be fought alone."
Though most crimes committed by juveniles are not public record, juveniles convicted of sexually violent crimes are required to be publicly listed on the Kansas Bureau of Investigation offender registry. For those 18 and older, all serious sex, violent and drug offenses are posted.
But because the district does not monitor the online database, a
registered sex offender attended Lawrence High School for nearly 18 months. Had the district been aware of his past crimes, state law would have required that all teachers and staff involved with the student be notified. The LHS student newspaper The Budget first reported two weeks ago that a registered sex offender had been attending the high school.
Following the student’s recent arrest for alleged sex crimes against a minor, district leaders aren’t sure how a similar situation would be dealt with in future. For the district to begin monitoring the offender registry would require a policy decision by the school board, said David Cunningham, director of human resources and legal services for the district. Cunningham said the possibility of regularly monitoring the offender registry is a broad issue that he thinks would require a lot of conversation.
“I don’t know what the board would want us to do or whether that would be something from a policy or legal perspective that would be appropriate,” said Cunningham, who is also a member of the board’s policy advisory committee. “It kind of depends on what is the goal? What do you want to accomplish once you have the information? What are you going to do with it? So, I would say that’s something that we have not discussed at this point.”
The student in question transferred from another school district three years after his conviction in another Kansas county. In 2011, when he was 13, he was convicted of two sex crimes against an 8-year-old girl: aggravated indecent liberties with a child and lewd and lascivious behavior. He began attending LHS in 2014, and earlier this year the now 18-year-old student was charged with similar crimes.
In February, the student was charged with one felony count of aggravated indecent liberties with a child under the age of 16. The two did not attend the same school, and the victim told officers that she and the student were dating but had only met a few times, according to the arrest affidavit. The victim said she was 14 and the student stated he “knew (the victim) from following her on Instagram and mutual friends,” according to the affidavit. The case is pending in Douglas County District Court.
Even serious sex, violent and drug offenders are entitled by law to an education. In Kansas, registered offenders can enroll in public school without schools receiving direct notification from state or local law enforcement. The responsibility of checking the offender registry is left up to schools, but there are no requirements that schools check the registry or policies regarding how registered offenders should be educated if schools are aware of their past crimes. School districts can make policies requiring the appropriate staff to monitor the registry, but the Lawrence school district does not have such a policy.
How student offenders are handled
Despite the right to an education, districts can take precautions if they realize a registered offender has enrolled. But without any laws or policies outlining how schools track or accommodate registered offenders, how the district would handle a similar situation in the future isn’t clear. School board member Shannon Kimball, a former attorney and member of the board’s policy advisory committee, said the implications of creating a policy to monitor the offender registry would have to be carefully considered.
“It’s a matter of balancing a student’s right to an education versus another student’s right to be safe in receiving their education,” Kimball said. “…What would we do with the information? Does that mean that every student that’s a registered sex offender we somehow have to isolate them from the rest of the population? I don’t know that that’s the right answer or an appropriate answer, but those are issues we’d have to think very carefully about.”
Potential policy changes are first considered by the board’s policy advisory committee, which is made up of Cunningham, Kimball and school board President Vanessa Sanburn. If after study the committee decides to recommend a change to district policy, the committee then submits the recommendation to the school board for final approval.
There are alternatives to educating registered offenders alongside other students. For instance, the district could decide to place the student in the district’s virtual school. Cunningham said that he thinks such decisions should be made case by case. Though he said he couldn’t discuss the specific situation from this year, generally speaking, Cunningham said that making a decision to educate students separately has to be balanced against their statutory and constitutional right to attend school.
“I don’t know that one should make generalized decisions based on (registered offender) status alone,” Cunningham said. “…You’ve got to balance everybody’s rights to some extent here. So, I don’t know that you can say that there’s an absolute rule or policy that ought to be in place related to this.”
Cunningham said the student in question began attending LHS in August 2014 and was a student at the school until February — the month he was charged with his most recent alleged crimes. As a registered sex offender, the details of his past convictions are listed on the offender registry, along with his home address and the address of LHS.
Both adult and juvenile offenders are required to register the address of any school they attend; however, state law does not require state or local law enforcement agencies to notify a school district when a registered offender provides a school address.
State laws and board policies
Other states and school districts have more directly addressed how registered offenders who enroll in public schools are handled. While no school can bar students because of their criminal history, some have firmer policies or practices in place regarding how they are educated.
In Missouri, districts typically choose to educate students who are registered sex offenders separately, said Kelli Hopkins of the Missouri School Board Association. The MSBA has a policy based on state law that states those convicted of a sex offense involving a minor are banned from school campuses, though the rule doesn’t apply to “a student entitled by law to be on district property for educational services if the student's presence is necessary to obtain those services.” Hopkins said that what ends up happening is that most students who have committed such crimes are not educated alongside others.
“In practice, what really happens is if you’ve got a child who is on the sex offender list, they’re going to find a way to educate that child at an alternative setting,” Hopkins said. “Some districts have alternative schools, some will do it via home school, some will have a private tutor meet them at the public library, other locations.”
On the other hand, Nebraska does not have specific procedures in place, according to Jim Luebbe, director of policy services for the Nebraska Association of School Boards. Luebbe said that he is not aware of any specific instances of known juvenile sex offenders moving from one district to another, or how the local enforcement officials would handle such a situation.
“I don’t know how well the sex offender notification process is working in Nebraska or whether there is any special procedure in place if the offender is a juvenile still attending school,” Luebbe said via email.
In Kansas, while state law — the School Safety and Security Act — does not require districts to monitor the offender registry, it does mandate certain actions when a school employee finds out a student has been convicted of a felony other than felony theft. The employee is required to inform the school superintendent, who must then provide the reported information and identify the student to all school employees who are directly involved in teaching or providing other school related services to the student. But in order for the act to apply, a school employee must first be aware of a student’s crimes.
In contrast to the Lawrence school district, the administrators with the Baldwin City district do “periodically check” the offender registry, according to Superintendent Paul Dorathy. Dorathy said via email that Baldwin doesn’t currently have any registered offenders enrolled in its schools, but that the district does have a policy based on the School Safety and Security Act that would require the appropriate administrators and teaching staff to be informed if a student was a registered offender.
The Eudora school district does not have a policy or procedure that involves having a district employee check the offender registry, according to Kristin Magette, director of communications. Magette said that information could be provided by a School Resource Officer, and that a student who is a sex offender would not be excluded because of that status.
“In the case of a sex offender in our schools, we would focus on training for staff and ensuring adequate enforcement of a restraining order,” Magette said via email.
Checking the offender registry
State law requires the department of education to notify schools of the online offender registry “for the purpose of locating offenders who reside near such school.” The department sends an email twice per year that informs all schools that the online database provides information about registered offenders, according to Denise Kahler, director of communications for the Kansas State Department of Education. Kahler said there are no laws or policies requiring districts or schools to check the offender registry.
“Schools may inquire and may have policies to inquire about students’ placement on an offender registry but there are no laws or requirements for such a policy,” Kahler said in an email.
Even though the Lawrence district does not have a policy requiring that the offender registry be checked, someone at LHS eventually became aware that the student was a registered offender. Cunningham said he was told someone who worked at LHS notified administration after he or she saw a news article and “drew a connection.” Cunningham said he did not know whether that notification occurred before of after the student’s most recent arrest in February.
“I don’t know at what point in time they became aware of it and then at what point in time they made administration aware of the situation,” Cunningham said. “So, a number of things occurred there with various people, but I don’t have specific knowledge of who or when.”
The student was arrested in February, which Cunningham said was the same month he stopped attending LHS. Once district and school administration were made aware that the student was a registered sex offender — whenever that may have been — Cunningham said he could not say whether a decision was made about whether the student would continue to be enrolled in regular classes at LHS.
“To the extent that we might have had conversations around his status as a student, that would all be confidential because it would be a student matter,” he said.
Potential policy changes
The Lawrence district has about 5,700 students who attend its six secondary schools; however, that does not mean that district staff would have to check the names of all those students against the online database in order to identify registered offenders.
On the KBI website, it is possible to create a “community notification” for certain addresses. If such a notification were created using the addresses of the district’s six secondary schools, an email notification would be sent when anyone was registered within a certain radius of the school. Such a notification would certainly include an offender who was required to register a school address — such as the student in question — and would narrow the list from hundreds to dozens.
KBI spokesman Mark Malick confirmed that creating a community notification would cause a notification to be sent within five days of the receipt of an addition or update to an offender’s registry information. A Journal-World search of the registry for the six secondary school addresses did not indicate additional registered offenders who are students in the district at this time.
If the Lawrence school district were to create a policy regarding checking the registry or how to handle registered offenders who enroll, it would first be discussed in the school board’s policy advisory committee. The committee then makes a recommendation to the board, which makes the ultimate decision.
Kimball said she thinks the board policy committee needs to have “a deeper policy discussion” about the topic. Though she said she didn’t think there were necessarily negatives to checking the registry, Kimball said the district would have to determine logistical details, such as how often it was checked and how it would interact with the notification requirements of the School Safety and Security Act.
“Given that there’s that vehicle (the offender registry) available, then I think we have to discuss how do those two things work together, and I think there does need to be some discussion about that from a board policy perspective,” Kimball said. “…(The act) does not place an affirmative duty on the school district to go out and try to investigate these things, so that’s an interesting question: how all of these things are meant to — or maybe unintentionally — affect each other.”
Kimball said that once the policy committee completes its recommendation regarding the discrimination and harassment policy in mid-May, she thinks considering the issue of student offenders will be the next priority.
“I do think we need to have some detailed discussions in the policy committee and have a better understanding of what’s going on before we can really make a good, solid policy recommendation,” Kimball said. “But I would anticipate that we would be doing that.”
District spokeswoman Julie Boyle echoed Kimball's sentiment Friday afternoon.
"We will take a look at whether revisions to policy and/or adjustments in current practice are needed to glean more information about any prior criminal history of students entering our schools," Boyle said via email.
Tuesday, May 10, 2016
Saturday, May 7, 2016
On Wednesday, Derek Logue was a guest on the Dr. Drew show to talk about a teen prank turned sex crime. Not one minute into speaking, another guest (a Judge) verbally started attacking him without giving him an opportunity to make his point. If anything, it’s an illustration of the blind hatred and prejudice that permeates society.
We think you did a good job, Derek, and made solid points.
Also, leave Dr. Drew a comment and tell him what you think about the show. http://drdrew.com/contact/
Friday, May 6, 2016
Helen, Highly Alarmed by the Shocking Revelations in “Untouchable,” Interviews the Documentary Director and Editor.
Ricocheting from the halls of power to the cardboard homes of a marginalized pariah people, “Untouchable” is an enlightening documentary that defies expectations and challenges assumptions to argue for a new understanding of how we think about and legislate sexual abuse.
Thursday, May 5, 2016
FORT MYERS, Fla. – Researchers are conducting focus groups to study the best communication methods between parents and their children on the subject of child sexual abuse.
The researchers have focus groups on Wednesday May 4 in east Lee County, and on May 5 in North Fort Myers. If you would like to participate or get more information, please contact: Prof. Katy Allen by email at email@example.com.
The participants will view videos and give feedback on the effectiveness of the messages in communicating with children about the threat of sexual abuse. Participants remain confidential.
Wednesday, May 4, 2016
To learn about funding opportunities, upcoming events, and more, subscribe to CSG Justice Center newsletters and announcements.
Topic: Responding to the Second Chance Act Smart Reentry Solicitation
Host: Jan De la Cruz
Date and Time:
Wednesday, May 4, 2016 2:00 pm, Eastern Daylight Time (New York, GMT-04:00)
Event number: 642 758 023
Event password: (contact Jan De la Cruz for PW)
Registration ID: This event does not require an enrollment ID
To join the online event
1. Click here to join the online event.
Or copy and paste the following link to a browser:
2. Click "Join Now".
To view in other time zones or languages, please click the link:
To join the audio conference only
Call-in toll-free number (US/Canada): 1-877-668-4493
Call-in toll number (US/Canada): 1-650-479-3208
Toll-free dialing restrictions: https://www.webex.com/pdf/tollfree_restrictions.pdf
Access code: 642 758 023
You can contact Jan De la Cruz at:
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Tuesday, May 3, 2016
Former Philadelphia Police Sergeant Francis Rawls has spent the past seven months in solitary confinement without charges because passwords he entered for investigators failed to decrypt hard drives seized in connection with a child porn investigation.
For failure to cooperate with the investigation, Rawls has been locked up. He spends 22 and a half hours a day in his cell. If he gets a visitor, there must always be a barrier between them. He gets just one fifteen minute phone call a month.
Rawls is suspected of possessing child pornography but, in an appeal filed in federal court yesterday, his defense outlines why he should be released. Referred to as John Doe in the court documents, Rawls has a clean record and doesn’t know the passwords prosecutors are looking for, the defense argues. He also doesn’t have to unlock his computer because of his fifth amendment right not to incriminate himself.
Key word here: Ruined a man
Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment: Q & A with Elizabeth Jeglic on “The Role of Psych...
One To See Change Past Posts
- Pennsylvania Dept. of Corrections to discard terms...
- Australia: Study into how juries judge sex offende...
- CNS - Sex Offender's Lawsuit Dismissed Too Quickly...
- Class Action Lawsuits
- 2013 Wallace Sex Offender Lawsuit
- National: Civil Rights Group Files Lawsuit Questio...
- Florida Action Recent Posts
- PA: WPXI Pittsburgh TARGET 11: Legislation to rest...
- SC: Greenville News Issues arise with South Carol...
- Interesting Forum
- FL: Space Coast Live Talks about Sex Offender Laws...
- IL: 5 child sex offenders sue, say many restrictio...
- Colorado Supreme Court Ruling on Polygraph Admissi...
- Advocate Websites Newly Discovered...
- Situation Room: Should Sexual Offenders Get ‘Scarl...
- Next up for sex offenders in Indonesia... Implante...
- PA: Challenge to SORNA retroactivity reaches Penns...
- FAC Attorneys File Objections in Seminole Lawsuit ...
- Florida’s Private Prison Movement Alive and Well -...
- National: Raw Story Texas principal goes bonkers a...
- National: New Study on Distorted Statistics on Rec...
- National: Sex Offenders and a Facebook Free Speech...
- Untouchable Movie
- WATCH: WFTV Reports on Seminole Lawsuit - Florida ...
- Wisconsin registrant finds jail easier than naviga...
- Hearing on IML to take place on July 27 - Florida ...
- Kentucky chips away at their residency restriction...
- TX: Lawsuit fears force small Texas towns to drop ...
- Letter: State Supreme Court made right decision to...
- Alabama Passes a Bill to Regulate Abortion Clinics...
- MS: No policies in place to address sex offenders ...
- CA: Polygraph Requirement Violates Registrant’s 5t...
- FL: Who is policing sex offenders online? - Florid...
- NY: Letter: Why a new deal for Megan’s Law group? ...
- Derek Logue on Dr. Drew to Discuss Teen Prank Turn...
- “Untouchable” Documentary Interview w/ Director Da...
- interesting article: Is There More To The Adam Wal...
- FL: Focus group seeks effective communication abou...
- Webinar: Responding to the Second Chance Act Smart...
- AL: Dothan Police Department checking on sex offen...
- Florida Action Committee Recent Posts
- PA: Child Porn Suspect Held in Solitary for 7 Mont...
- TX: Convicted sex offender pleads guilty in ID the...
- Ex-49er Stubblefield denies sexually assaulting wo...
- Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment:...
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One to See Change Blog List
FAC Letter to FDLE concerning new registration requirements - As the change to the registration statute, reducing the number of days to register from 5 to 3, will undoubtedly increase the frequency of registration, we...1 day ago
Senile governor has ceremony to pass bad juvenile legislation - Do we really need a ceremony complete with a victim photoshoot? Senile governor Kay Poison-Ivey must actually want to stay in office. Any time you see a ph...4 days ago
AZ RSOL speaks out about SO registration at college campuses - By Mia Armstrong . . . ASU [Arizona State University] works with local law enforcement agencies to ensure that convicted sex offenders who work or study on...2 months ago
Hudson man charged with attacking sex offender with ax - *11-22-17 Wisconsin:* Authorities allege a rural Hudson man on Tuesday attacked a sex offender for the second time since 2016 — this time going after a co...4 months ago
Kentucky State Rep. Dan Johnson dies of self-inflicted gunshot wound in Mt. Washington - *12-14-17 Kentucky:* LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Kentucky State Rep. Dan Johnson, who was under investigation for alleged sexual molestation, died from a si...5 months ago
Children on Sex Offender Registries at Greater Risk for Suicide Attempts, Study Suggests - *National:* Other risks to children on registries include: Sexual assault, Being approached by an adult for sex, and Mental health problems *Source:* J...5 months ago
Child Safety at Sea: Freed and Stuart Talk Cruise Policies to Protect Kids - *4-24-17 National:* Protecting kids at sea has been a hot topic of late, as some major cruise lines have adjusted their pool policies to add lifeguards. M...1 year ago
"If we’ve learned anything . . . it’s that we need to slow down the rush to judgment . . . ." - Laura Kipnis, professor, Northwestern University, urges the Northwestern community not to rush to judgment on an alleged sexual assault. Here's a letter sh...1 year ago
Alive, just been busy busy - Just another quick post that things are well, just settled into a new life down here in the Keystone State with all the positives and negatives that come w...3 years ago
Inside HSCA Guest Blog, MJ Wylie: UDI Marks a Turning Point in Healthcare - *This blog is excerpted from its original post at Today's Medical Developments.* The U.S. medical device industry continues to innovate, producing sophis...4 years ago
~Adlia Stevenson U.S. Vice President (1893–1897) and Congressman (1879–1881)
On a Personal Note
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:
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“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.”
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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.”