If you believe it is ok to deny registered sex offenders human rights or U.S. Constitutional rights. If you do not believe registered sex offenders are denied their human and constitutional rights or if you are against free speech.
Please leave this web page now. Thank you.
By remaining on this web page you here by acknowledge that you support human rights and United States constitutional rights for registered sex offenders and that you support freedom of speech.
Freedom of speech is understood to be fundamental in a democracy. The First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances. It was adopted on December 15, 1791, as one of the ten amendments that comprise the Bill of Rights.
This blog is not for people to be critical of what is posted here and if the reader is critical of anything here than that means they did not read the disclaimer on the top of each of the pages here and are not welcome here and should stop reading and leave this blog upon my request and in the name of freedom of speech, and my rights as a American citizen.
No sexual abuse is ever acceptable. Sex offense laws and policies should be based on sound research and common sense, not fear, panic or paranoia. Current laws and policies that paint all sex offenders with one broad brush are counter- productive, wasteful, and cause needless harm. Each offense must be judged on its own merits with a punishment that fits the crime and does not waste taxpayer dollars. The public sex offender registry and residency restriction laws do not protect children but instead ostracize and dehumanize individuals and their families. Money spent on purely punitive measures would be better used for prevention, healing, and rehabilitation.
The author of SO FAQ does not affiliate with any other organization or people on the internet or the world for that matter. I have been saying this since I first logged on to the internet. Just because I like organizations like the ACLU; does not mean I believe in everything they believe in or stand for. Just like in our great country when we vote; we will never believe in everything the candidate we vote for; believes in or stands for. That doe not mean we are should not vote.
I am going to repost this from Page 3 because that page is all acting funky. :
Updated December 12 2015
Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com and go to this page to log in:
http://www.cityofconroe.org/i-want-to/service-request to send another email
Please forward this email to: District Judge P.K. Reiter
I support Judge P.K. Reiter in support of his plan to release Texas sex offender from civil commitment because it is unconstitutional.
Thank you for your time,
Judge plans to release Texas sex offender from civil commitment
He says leaving man in program unconstitutional
Updated: December 9, 2015 9:29pm
A visiting district judge in Conroe intends to release a man from Texas’ controversial civil commitment treatment for sex offenders, on the grounds it would be unconstitutional to keep him in the program, a defense attorney and state officials confirmed Wednesday.
It is like I always say when you stand in judgment of sex offenders you usually become one or are one already:
Correction December 12 2015: Actually what I always say allot on this blog: watch out for the ones that say things like all sex offenders should burn in hell; they are most likely sex offenders themselves.
December 11, 2015
Guilty verdict for Oklahoma cop in serial rape trial: A national problem
A former Oklahoma police officer was convicted of multiple charges of sexually violating women he encountered while on duty. Women being sexual abused by police is an often overlooked nationwide trend.
Then there is the military and never mind politicians of which we never find out about in most cases; I suspect. I remember the head of investigations of the military sex offences unreported: committed sex offences while in charge of the investigations. In my quest to find information on that I found this instead:
WASHINGTON — The number of sex-related crimes occurring in U.S. military communities is far greater than the Defense Department has publicly reported, a U.S. senator said Monday in a scathing critique that asserts the Pentagon has refused to provide her information about sexual assaults at several major…
FORT BRAGG, N.C. — With a single star studded on each shoulder of his immaculate dress blues, Brig. General waited his turn to go through the metal detectors at the federal courthouse at Fort Bragg, just like everyone else…
I got this email yesterday December 12, 2015; from Lambda Legal, this is very sick stuff:
If you’re like me, you don’t like to focus on negative things. But you also know that when you ignore problems, they don’t go away – they only get worse.
And here’s a familiar problem that is cropping up yet again: Even as people of many faiths come together to celebrate love, family, and community this holiday season, enemies of equality are misusing religion as a tool to spread hate and an excuse to discriminate against LGBT people.
In one very stark example, last month at the “National Religious Liberties Conference” in Des Moines, Iowa, Reverend Kevin Swanson called for “the death penalty for homosexuals.”
Reverend Swanson’s hate-filled words might seem out of step with the times. But other speakers at the same conference included Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Senator Ted Cruz of Texas. Respected by many, these men have power over millions of lives – and when asked about Swanson’s remarks, they refused to refute them.
I am really hoping she wins this lawsuit:
Erin Andrews Seeking $75M Judgment In Peeping Lawsuit
October 17, 2015 2:46 PM PDT
Sportscaster and TV host Erin Andrews is seeking a $75 million judgment against the Marriott hotel chain and a man who admitted making secret nude tapes of her in 2008.
The lawsuit filed in Nashville in 2010 was amended this week to include the dollar amount the former ESPN reporter is suing for on the basis of negligence and invasion of privacy.
Michael David Barrett, of Westmont, Illinois, in 2009 pleaded guilty in federal court in Los Angeles to renting hotel rooms next to Andrews in three cities, altering the peepholes and shooting videos in two locations in Columbus, Ohio, and in Nashville.
The lawsuit alleges the Nashville hotel agreed to Barret’s request to book a room next to where Andrews was staying.
Marriott declined to comment on pending litigation.
Read more at http://www.accesshollywood.com/articles/erin-andrews-seeking-75m-judgment-peeping-lawsuit/#l7xkYrLwa5ch0uLj.99
A great day for the true nature of the great state of Texas. Texas is the freedom of America and where it’s defenders ring true grit. True grit is true valor. True valor is valiant; not the underhanded trickery of a coward. True valor is merciless against crime; but at the same time is valiant. Valiant like a true hero’s; and that will never be taken from a true Texan in law enforcement. That will never be taken from the true hero’s of law enforcement all over America; like my father and his fellow officers, I remember from my youth.
Judge frees sex offender, declares state program unconstitutional
Civil commitment program declared unconstitutional
By Mike Ward and Anita Hassan |
December 14, 2015
A visiting judge in Conroe set free a twice-convicted sex offender the state had classified as too dangerous to live in society without supervision Monday, the first time anyone has been fully released from Texas’ controversial civil commitment program in its 16-year history.
In ordering the immediate freedom for Alonzo May, 56, visiting state District Judge P.K. Reiter declared that key revisions to the state’s civil commitment program by the Texas Legislature earlier this year were unconstitutional.
His order denied the state’s request for an emergency order keeping May in custody pending an appeal.
Monday’s ruling came after May, ordered into civil commitment in 2013, challenged his transfer from a Dallas halfway house to the former prison in Littlefield, about 40 miles northwest of Lubbock, which Reiter’s order noted “has two chain-link fences topped by concertina wire around its perimeter.”
The decision, expected since last week after Reiter questioned the legality of the Legislature’s reforms, struck a blow to the state’s efforts to correct acknowledged legal flaws that had threatened to derail the continued operation of Texas’ civil commitment program, which already was facing several federal court challenges.
Even if Reiter’s decision is overturned by higher courts, it could trigger additional litigation from other offenders, who, like May, were forced to participate in the new program, officials and attorneys familiar with the program warned.
Within hours of the judge’s decision, May was in Houston to catch a bus to Grand Prairie, where he plans to live.
“He can’t wait to get home and start helping care for his elderly mother,” said his attorney, Bill Marshall of Houston.
Due process hearing
In his ruling, Reiter said the Legislature rewrote the law to change the program from outpatient treatment to inpatient and then unconstitutionallyapplied that change retroactively to cover May and others already in the old civil commitment program.
He also said that a due-process hearing provided to May before his transfer to the new inpatient program was made official was illegal, as well.
“Although called ‘due process,’ the only possible result that would provide any treatment was tiered inpatient treatment” at a former private prison in West Texas that “has all the characteristics of a Texas Department of Criminal Justice prison facility,” Reiter said. “There was no credible evidence presented that tiered inpatient treatment would provide better benefits to Alonzo May than outpatient treatment required” when he was placed into the program.
The Legislature’s rewrite of the law “failed to meet constitutional muster in that the requisite involuntary commitment of Alonzo May … is retroactive, punitive and a denial of Alonzo May’s due process rights under both the Texas and U.S. Constitutions,” Reiter’s order states.
Under Texas’ civil commitment law, the state can keep felons convicted of at least two violent sex crimes under supervision after they leave prison if they are deemed likely to reoffend.
“Basically, (Reiter) felt the only way to protect the rights of Mr. May and all Texas citizens was to order him released, since he found the statute unconstitutional,” Marshall said.
Katherine Wise, deputy press secretary for Attorney General Ken Paxton, said late Monday that state lawyers were “considering our options,” which other officials said likely would include an appeal.
“I disagree with the ruling,” said state Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, the author of the new law. “We drafted the legislation with the help and assistance of the attorney general’s office … and I would expect this decision will be overturned in due order.”
State records show May was ordered into the civil-commitment program following his release from prison after serving a 15-year sentence for a parole violation connected to a sexual assault case. According to state officials, his sexual assault victims included a 16-year-old girl and 17-year-old girl.
Texas is one of 20 states with a civil commitment program for repeat violent sex offenders. Those offenders are court-ordered into confinement at facilities where they are supposed to undergo treatment until they can be reintegrated into society.
A 2014 Houston Chronicle investigation found that, of the more than 350 men ordered into Texas’ civil commitment program, nearly half were sent back to prison for violating program rules, raising questions about the constitutionality of the way the program has been operated.
Last May, lawmakers made sweeping reforms to the program in hopes of bringing it into compliance with constitutional requirements. Under the new law, offenders in the program are supposed to be in a tiered inpatient treatment program that allows them to progress to increasing levels of freedom toward an eventual release back into the community under supervision.
Previously, offenders in the program lived in halfway houses in Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth and El Paso and a boarding house in Austin.
May and almost all of the men in the civil commitment program had challenged their transfers into the new program, primarily on the basis that their behavior and progress in treatment would not benefit from the new program. All but May lost their challenges and were moved to Littlefield.
In September, Reiter had refused to order May and four other men into the new program, a decision state officials had expected to get overturned. Reiter later sent the other four – none of whom was represented by a lawyer – to Littlefield without challenging the legality of the moves.
Judge’s past cases
Reiter was the first Texas judge to assign people to the civil-commitment program after it was created in 1999, and had engendered controversy last year after the Chronicle revealed he signed a court ruling ordering a 44-year-old man to leave Texas and move to Virginia after completing a 12-year prison sentence for indecency with a child in Fort Worth and aggravated sexual assault of a child in Dallas.
Banishment is illegal under Texas’ constitution.
Nicolas Hughes, an assistant public defender in Houston who represents several men in the program, noted that Reiter had presided over civil commitment trials for several years.
“The fact that he has concluded that this program has been run in an unconstitutional direction is significant,” Hughes said.
He stressed the only authority the Texas Civil Commitment Office has is that granted by law or under a court order. He said when the agency tried to move those under its supervision to the Littlefield facility, they were doing so in a way not permitted by the law, violating the civil rights of those in civil commitment.
“This is the epitome of bad government,” Hughes said.
Right on Texas Voices!
I always recommend donations to this great organization. It takes a great Texan to protect Texans constitutional rights.
WEST LAKE HILLS, Texas (KXAN) — Texas Voices for Reason and Justice, Inc., has filed a lawsuit against the City of West Lake Hills for its “sex offender residency restriction ordinance” (SORRO) which prohibits where registered sex offenders can live.
The nonprofit organization’s primary organizational purpose, as described in the petition, “is to promote a more balanced, effective and rational criminal justice system… and support persons required to register for sex related offenses and their families.”
The lawsuit claims West Lake Hills’ SORRO is legally invalid because “general law” cities in Texas, those with populations less than 5,000, have no constitutional authority to enact ordinances which prohibit where registered sex offenders may reside. Texas Voices for Reason and Justice says because of the city’s additional restrictions, a registered sex offender is essentially banned from residing within the City of West Lake Hills.
After Nancy Bunin did such a great job of analyzing Texas’ sex-offender civil commitment legislation this spring, I asked her to author a guest post explaining the import of a recent, widely publicized ruling declaring the program unconstitutional and releasing the first Texas sex offender ever from civil commitment restrictions. Here’s what she wrote. Thanks Nancy for agreeing to do this. UPDATE: An appellate court overturned part of this ruling but “did not address Reiter’s issues with the legality of the civil commitment program.”
Recently the Honorable P.K Reiter made headlines by finding Chapter 841 of the Texas Health and Safety Code unconstitutional. On Monday, December 14, Judge Reiter agreed with Defense Counsel Bill Marshall’s conclusion that the involuntary commitment of Alonzo May under the recently amended law was punitive and a denial of the man’s due process rights under both Texas and U.S.
(May was previously ordered into outpatient treatment as a repeat sex offender)
Earlier this year I submitted an article contemplating the proposed changes pending in the 84th Texas Legislature concerning amendment of the Texas Health & Safety Code Chapter 841, the law providing for the civil commitment of repeat sex offenders. Unfortunately, though extensive changes in the law put into effect on June 17, 2015, the law is still problematic. The new laws failed to adopt many suggestions, calculated to address many of the significant problems with the civil commitment program, offered by attorneys that represent men in civil commitment.
The civil commitment law was enacted in 1999 and approximately 400 men have been committed. Approximately one-half of those men have been sent back to prison for technical rule violations (not new offenses). No man has ever been allowed to complete the program, been recommended for release by the TCCO and then released by the court.
Either late last year or early this year, Avalon and GEO (the companies who operated the half-way houses where the vast majority of men in civil commitment were confined) informed the State that they would not renew the contracts pursuant to which they housed men in civil commitment. The State’s solution was to contract with Correct Care Recovery Solutions to house all of the men in a vacant private prison.
When the law was amended this summer the outpatient program was changed to inpatient program. In July, employees from TCCO made presentations to the men living in halfway houses in Austin, Dallas, El Paso, Fort Worth, and Houston. They were given a copy of the new statute and told they could either sign an agreement to voluntarily be placed in the new inpatient program or they would have a “Due Process” hearing in Montgomery County District Court.
Men previously ordered into outpatient treatment were suddenly being asked to sign a legal document with no legal advice and no details about the new program. They were told the outpatient program no longer existed and they would be moved to a facility in Littlefield, Texas. They did not know who would provide treatment and they did not know whether they would receive a treatment level equal to that which they had achieved in the outpatient program. The men have been placed in a tiered program, with Tier 1, the lowest tier, being in total confinement in the Littlefield facility and Tier 5, the highest tier, (labeled “aftercare”) being permitted to live outside the facility.
The law requires State Counsel for Offenders, a division of the Board of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, to represent indigent persons in civil commitment proceedings. On its own, SCFO decided that “civil commitment proceedings” is defined solely as the civil commitment trial, biennial reviews and petitions for release. The decision was made at SCFO that they WOULD NOT represent these men in the “Due Process” hearings. As the majority of civilly committed men are indigent and were not helped by SCFO, they had no legal representation during the “Due Process” hearings or to determine whether to sign the agreement.
I observed several hearings of unrepresented men. All requested an attorney, a request that was ignored by the assigned judge. In one case, the assistant attorney general argued the man did not need an attorney because he went to the law library on a regular basis.
Enter Bill Marshall, former SCFO attorney, who continues to represent many men in civil commitment as a private attorney. During the fall months of 2015, Marshall and at least three other private attorneys represented some men in these hearings. It is my belief that Marshall represented more men than any other attorney. While I do not think Bill meant to represent everyone on a pro bono basis, it is my belief that he agreed to reasonable fees and offered very generous payment plans.
In September it was announced the “Tiered Treatment Program” would be at the former private prison that is now owned and operated by the Correct Care Recovery Solutions in Littlefield, Texas, approximately 40 miles northwest of Lubbock, Texas.
Correct Care Recovery Solutions also provides the treatment to the “residents” of the facility (formerly the Bill Clayton Detention Center and now known as the Texas Civil Commitment Center).
At the time a handful of men were living or working outside facilities operated under contract with the State. No effort was made to assess whether other individual patients, many of them having made significant progress through years of treatment, should be housed in a less-restrictive setting. The decision appears to be primarily a financial one – the TCCO did not have the money or contracts for supervised, community-based housing.
TCCO violated the patients’ civil rights by summarily placing the patients in the new inpatient program when the men were committed under the original outpatient program. To place these men in a locked facility after they had been living in half way houses, and in some cases working in the community, denied the men liberty with out due process of law.
A few men that demonstrated exceptional progress in the outpatient program, and in some cases had completed the therapeutic portion of the program, were informed by TCCO that if they signed the agreement, they would be allowed to live independently. If those lucky few did not agree to go into the new Tiered Inpatient program, they were threatened that they would have to go to Littlefield until employees with Texas DPS Sex Offender Registration could process their new addresses. This put some of the men’s jobs in jeopardy and employment is the cornerstone of independent living and important for progress through the program.
I assisted Bill Marshall in one “Due Process” hearing. Bill’s client had been in treatment for six years. He had been assigned to a half way house in a city that was in close proximity to highly supportive and extensive family members. His treatment provider and two case managers testified that he was doing well in the program and that family support was important to his progress. We even presented an employment counselor that was helping him find employment and his minister that said our client served as an excellent example to the rest of the men in the program. None of this support would be available to the client in Littlefield. The State offered no evidence of what treatment or opportunities would be offered in the new inpatient program.
In that case, the assigned judge issued a modified order allowing TCCO to place our client in Inpatient Treatment. So our client is now housed over 800 miles away without the support of his long trusted treatment provider, family, minister, or employment assistance.
Although Judge Michael T. Seiler is the presiding judge of the 435th Judicial District Court in Montgomery County, other visiting judges were assigned to assist with the monumental task of sitting in on approximately one hundred “Due Process” hearings. At least five cases were assigned to Judge Reiter. At their initial hearing all five of the men were unrepresented. Because the State offered no evidence of the new inpatient program, Judge Reiter decided the State had not carried its burden of proving that the men would benefit from the new inpatient program and refused to order the men into the new program.
The State asked Judge Reiter to reconsider based on new documentary evidence and new testimony they would offer at a hearing. A new hearing took place on December 8. The State brought a former executive director of Council of Sex Offender Treatment (CSOT) to testify regarding the differences between the outpatient and inpatient programs and the clinical director of the TCCC to testify about the advantages of inpatient treatment program. The evidence indicated to Marshall (and seemingly to Judge Reiter) that the only significant differences between the two programs were: the inpatient program offered more hours of treatment per week; the men would not be allowed to leave the TCCO under unusual circumstances and then only under guard; and, the TCCO was actually a prison with prison environment rather than a half-way house. The clinical director agreed that there exists a difference of opinion among experts in the field of sex offender treatment about whether inpatient or outpatient treatment was preferable.
One option the State asked Judge Reiter to consider was ordering Mr. May to simply continue his outpatient treatment in the Littlefield facility. This option flew in the face of the testimony that the outpatient program no longer existed.
Among the evidence offered by Attorney Marshall was an aerial photograph of the Littlefield facility. Judge Reiter noted that the facility was surrounded by a high double fence topped with razor wire. There was little doubt that this was not an outpatient residential facility. In fact it was reported that Judge Reiter remarked Littlefield resembled a concentration camp!
The United States Supreme Court has held that civil commitment of sex offenders after they have discharged their prison sentence is only constitutional as long as the purpose of the scheme is therapeutic. If the purpose of the program is to extend the punishment of the sex offender then the program is unconstitutional.
Judge Reiter was the first judge to preside over civil commitment trials. He served as a visiting judge on over 70 civil commitment trials after he took senior status. He has observed a process that has grown far beyond the original intent of the statute that was to commit a small but dangerous group of individuals. He has observed that in the early years of the program, civilly committed men lived in private housing but were required to attend treatment after release from prison. He observed a program that required men to leave their homes and live in State contracted halfway houses and jails. Then he observed the program require these same men to move into a prison in a very remote part of Texas far from community and family support.
Judge Reiter reached the correct conclusion of law in Alonzo May’s case. There are nearly 200 men at the Littlefield facility that were committed to outpatient treatment. Those with income are required to pay for their confinement, treatment and their required GPS ankle monitors (yes they have to wear the GPS monitors inside the prison). Not even prisoners held in TDCJ are required to wear ankle monitors or pay for the cost of their housing.
The few men that live in transitional housing outside of Littlefield are under constant threat of being sent to confinement. Men are required to pay up to 33% percent of their income for therapy and ankle monitors. This assessment was made AFTER TCCO approved the men’s’ budget plans that allowed them to live independently.
Apparently TCCO provides no assistance to men who have been housed in civil commitment to secure or support themselves in independent housing.
The State still holds men in civil commitment that have completed treatment and who are no longer likely to commit predatory acts of sexual violence. The State offers far too little assistance to men to release them from commitment. The statute still puts an onerous burden on the civilly committed man to show why he should be released, rather than have the state show why they can still hold him.
(There is late breaking news that the State continues to oppose Mr. May’s release and that his liberty is in jeopardy despite Judge Reiter’s ruling.)
For nearly a year, legal advocates have offered to explain the constitutional deficiencies in the civil commitment program to Sen. John Whitmire and the TCCO Director in hopes that deserved men will be released and the men held in commitment will be treated humanely.
Now would be a good time for them to seriously reconsider the assistance offered to them.
Nancy Bunin is an associate at Habern, O’Neil & Associates in Houston, Texas. She has defended men in civil commitment trials, biennial reviews, appeals, and in criminal prosecutions of civil commitment rule violations. She is co-chair of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, Committee on Corrections and Parole. She wishes to express her appreciation to William Marshall, William Habern, Nicolas Hughes, and Alex Bunin for their contributions to this post.
I made this, this morning on January 8, 2016:
Posted from this saint of man’s website: Grits for Breakfast
I hope this helps someone out there:
Sunday, January 10, 2016
Writ Writer Resources
For my own purposes, Grits wanted to record links to several resources on writ writers and self-represented defendants I’ve recently run across:
I thought this was a interesting contrast:
Perverting the course of justice is a criminal offence in England and Wales. The offence is committed when a person prevents justice from being served on him/herself or on another party. It is a common law offence, carrying a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
Ok I will try to put this as simply as I can. We reap what we sew and I would hate to be of http://perverted-justice.com/ one way or another these ruthless people will have face their actions in life; like all of us. I am sure all religions would agree with that. http://perverted-justice.com/ to me is a perversion of justice and if you look on this page:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perverting_the_course_of_justice you will see that in some country’s perverting the law is a punishable offence. I believe when all is said and done the denial of basic human rights of them unfairly labeled as sex offenders will someday be punishable by law; in other words all these people tormenting and torturing people unfairly labeled as a danger to society as so call predatory sex offenders will be punished by the very law they so gleefully wheeled; and rightfully so. Imagine all those so quick to throw people in the modern unnatural man made design of the filthy torcher chambers we call prisons; condemned to those very prisons themselves.
“The offence is committed when a person prevents justice from being served on him/herself or on another party. It is a common law offence, carrying a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.”
Common bro! I depend on this guy. He is my senator. I hope stuff like this helps him learn to be a better leader.
Subject: I just signed this petition asking Mitch McConnell to censure Ted Cruz — will you?
I just signed a petition calling on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to censure Sen. Ted Cruz for his offensive remarks calling for Hillary Clinton to be “spanked.” That kind of rhetoric has no place in our political discourse.
Join me and sign this petition:
Net Neutrality = Free Speech
Since day one, the Net Neutrality rules we fought so hard for have been under attack.
ISPs have been relentless in their push to undermine the open Internet — whether it’s buying members of Congress to do their bidding, or challenging the Net Neutrality rules in court.
But some companies like T-Mobile are charting a new path — blatantly ignoring the law by enticing their customers to throttle video content from a select handful of content providers.
Plain and simple: this is a direct violation of Net Neutrality.
Tell the FCC: Strong enforcement of Net Neutrality starts with you. Pull the plug on T-Mobile’s “Binge On.”
Maybe you’ve seen the commercials: Binge On enables all T-Mobile users to stream content for free from a handpicked pool of content providers — such as Netflix or Hulu — without it counting against their data.
For anyone who binged on Netflix’s Making a Murderer over the holidays, this sounds like a pretty fair deal — right?
Wrong. ISPs shouldn’t be in the business of prioritizing content. And recent research from EFF confirmed what we feared might happen in a scenario like this: sites like YouTube — which are not a part of the Binge On plan — are being pushed on to a slow lane, leaving users with a poor playback experience.
Click here to tell the FCC: Crack down on T-Mobile’s violation of Net Neutrality without delay.
T-Mobile’s actions send a clear message to other ISPs like AT&T and Comcast: if they can do it, why can’t we?
It sets a dangerous precedent — unless the FCC steps up to do its job. So let’s make sure that they do.
It is my honor to recommend this great book!:
Thanks for putting yourself out there Scott.
Janis Joplin – Me and Bobby McG – YouTube
Video for freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose
Your free according to Janis. I did a copy great portraits of her in watercolor.
In 2013, Scott Verbout was convicted of luring a minor over the Internet and became a registered sex offender. Verbout knows he made a terrible mistake, but even though there was no victim, and Verbout believed he had been entrapped by the police officer who arrested him, he was still convicted under current sex offense laws.
This experience became the basis for the eBook “Enduring Shame: A Sex Offender’s Journey Through America’s Legal System,” a first-person account detailing Verbout’s arrest and conviction, as well as his life on probation as a registered sex offender. Verbout, who previously wrote “An Asperger Journey: My Lifelong Battle With Autism,” also reveals how having Asperger’s syndrome, a socially debilitating form of autism, contributed to his being in this unfortunate position.
In addition to documenting his own case, Verbout offers a blistering rebuke of the country’s legal system. Using the assessments of both legal experts and mental-health professionals, Verbout paints a picture of a legal system run amok, and gives frightening examples of how current sex offense laws have been abused by law enforcement and how those laws need to be reformed. Verbout also hopes that by pointing out the injustices that occurred in his own case, his criminal conviction can be thrown out, and he provides information for anyone who would like to get involved.
Another great book; by my good buddy: Click here
Once Fallen is a two part book giving both an eyewitness account and expert testimony of the negative consequences of the current direction of sex offender legislation. Current sex offender laws focus on retribution against Former Sex Offenders while neglecting the rehabilitation of registrants, and completely ignoring tried-and-true prevention and education measures that would greatly reduce criminal sexual behavior. Current sex offender legislation create barriers to the successful reintegration of individuals who have served out their sentences. In addition, these laws help propagate the myriad of myths and lies we believe about sex crimes and those who commit them.
Once Fallen follows the seven year journey of one man to overcome his past and live as a productive member of society. The law, an unforgiving society, and internal struggles stand in the way of a reformed life. The first half of this book chronicles this man’s struggle for forgiveness in a society, overcoming insurmountable odds to atone for the sins of the past while offering hope for those facing similar personal mistakes.
The Second part of Once Fallen is the fruit of nearly a decade of research on the impact of sex offender laws. Sex offender legislation is very popular, yet have come with disastrous consequences for both the registrants living under the laws and the society that desires them. The laws have been proven largely ineffective while merely reinforcing stereotypes and myths about sex offenders. Vigilantism, social ostracism, and denial of basic needs are just a few of the negative consequences of the laws on the individual registrant. Such negative consequence give ample incentive to disobey these laws, as they ultimately punish mostly those who are rehabilitated and have no desire to recidivate.
The social consequences of these laws include failing to address the greater number of sex crimes which are committed by non-registrants, the dilution of the registries as a result of predator panic, and the perpetuating of a fear-based culture. This fear has led to hypersensitivity to sex crimes to the point laws intended for the “worst of the worst” are used against even non-sex crimes or behaviors once merely frowned upon, such as consensual teen sex. We have given up large amounts of personal and constitutional freedoms, and laws created against sex offenders are expanding into other criminal behavior, with the potential risk of punishing people based upon perceived risk alone.
Once Fallen gives you the truth behind the sex offender legislation and industry, giving you the facts you may not want to hear, but NEED to hear. As with many social panics in our society, there is money to be made in the sex offender industry, with billions of dollars at stake, leaving no desire from mass media, celebrity advocates, and legislators to tell the public the truth behind this ill-fated legislation.
Once Fallen offers a rational solution to a problem riddled with well-intentioned but failed legislation. The solution requires we think outside the box and approach the subject with an open mind.
Written by Derek Logue, advocate, webmaster at www.oncefallen.com, a critically acclaimed factual information site on sex offender topics and issues.
Although I do not like the wording of this report is still shows a step in the right direction. If there are allot of police out there that believe all this Psycho-Babble (see http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/ for example) about sex offenders that is their right. I believe the average cop out there is more like character Riggs from the Movie: Lethal Weapon (1987). A true protect and serve police officer is concerned with real crime not what some physiologist tells them about inner feelings. I was a police officers son half my life and a top performing security guard for department stores and a multi million dollar hotel, my dad’s police officer friends were my friends. I know what I am talking about.
This article is a sign of things to come and has nothing to do with Hillary Clinton or the ACLU. It is going to happen because human beings are going to be the focus of the future not tearing down humanity and whole communities in the name of so called law. Peace on earth will be the focus of the future not prejudice and hate. You can not single out this crime or that and say this crime is worse than that crime. It is a fact that brutal physical assaults are way more traumatic than someone groping your privates for example.
Clinton will appear at event honoring ACLU, which wants to remove sex offenders from registries
After leading the charge against her husband’s female accusers, Hillary Clinton now faces another highly inconvenient and, in this case, ironic role. She’s about to appear at an event in New Hampshire where an organization trying to get molesters, rapists and other sexual abusers off the state sex offender registry will be honored.
In a nationwide effort spearheaded by the American Civil Liberties Union, sex offenders across the nation are petitioning for their names to be removed from state sex offender registries. The ACLU has argued, and encouraged its state affiliates to argue, that the sex offender registry is unconstitutional and undermines public safety by making it more difficult for criminals to reintegrate into a community.
Clinton will be headlining a New Hampshire National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League event Friday, celebrating the 43rd anniversary of the controversial Roe v. Wade decision. There, NARAL will hand the ACLU the “2016 Champion for Choice Award.”
NARAL is knowingly and willingly honoring an organization that has an appalling history of providing legal support for sex offenders throughout the nation. And Hillary will be right there to join the celebration.
The ACLU has been fighting the constitutionality of sex registries with the help of local ACLU affiliates in states such as Vermont, Connecticut, Maine, Kansas, Minnesota, Maryland, Michigan, Rhode Island, Nevada, Missouri and New Hampshire. In the Granite State, which holds the nation’s first primary, the ACLU represented a particularly evil client, one Norman St. Hilaire, who admitted abusing his own adopted daughter.
John Hardenbergh, a former criminal justice fellow at the ACLU, said on the organization’s website: “We’ve gotten used to having few friends on this issue. We’re okay with this. We didn’t get into this business in order to make friends. With the exception of the criminal defense bar, there just aren’t a whole lot of people who want to stand up for the rights of sex offenders.”
Shockingly, Hillary, like the ACLU, has a history of defending sex offenders as well. One of the most significant cases of her legal career was a 1975 effort defending Thomas Alfred Taylor, a then 41-year-old accused of raping a 12-year-old girl. According to recordings obtained by the Washington Free Beacon, Clinton herself suggested that she knew Taylor was guilty of raping the innocent girl and used a legal technicality to plead him down to a lesser charge.
In the recordings, Clinton’s satisfaction in defending Taylor was stunning.
“I had him take a polygraph, which he passed — which forever destroyed my faith in polygraphs,” she added with a laugh.
In a court affidavit, Clinton attacked the credibility of the rape victim, saying, “I have also been told by an expert in child psychology that children in early adolescence tend to exaggerate or romanticize sexual experiences and that adolescents in disorganized families, such as the complainant’s, are even more prone to exaggerate behavior.”
In February 2015, the New Hampshire Supreme Court ruled in favor of St. Hilaire, a convicted child sex offender, allowing him to petition for his removal from the sex offender registry list. The court stated that “lifetime” offenders convicted before the creation of New Hampshire’s sexual offender registry in 1994 can petition to have their names removed. One of St. Hilaire’s attorneys is Gilles Bissonnette, who is a staff attorney for the ACLU and legal director for the New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union. One of the reasons St. Hilaire wanted to be removed as a lifetime offender from the registry was because it would give him access to federally subsidized public housing. The ACLU defended him knowing this.
In 1987, St. Hilaire had pleaded guilty to two counts of felonious sexual assault — but he was never charged for almost a decade worth of heinous crimes he also allegedly committed. The victim of the crimes to which he pleaded was his adopted daughter, who was sexually abused from the age of 5 until she was a teenager. St. Hilaire confessed to a counselor that he had sexually abused her for almost 10 years. The confession was reported to the local police department, but the family had recently moved and unfortunately, St. Hilaire’s confession only applied to the crimes he committed while in the new town — hence the two counts to which he pleaded guilty.
The state of New Hampshire has a “three-tiered” system for sexual offenders, with the first tier being the lowest level offense. However, third-tier offenders are the most dangerous — with convictions of aggravated felonious sexual assault including penetration of a child under the age of 13, relegating them to permanent lifetime offender status.
In New Hampshire, third-tier offenders have to remain on the registry for life, but due to the New Hampshire Supreme Court ruling, anyone on the registry prior to 1994 is now allowed to petition to be removed without any rules and without victim protections. Under the court’s ruling, victims are not notified when an offender petitions to be removed from the registry and when a judge allows the offender to be taken off of the registry. As of right now, there are no judicial guidelines. In fact, the New Hampshire Supreme Court stated that it’s up to the Legislature to determine the guidelines.
As a result, potentially dangerous sexual offenders are being removed from the registry, and in at least four New Hampshire cases, without any hearing, victim notification, or input.
Currently, there is legislation (SB 468-FN) introduced by New Hampshire state Sen. Jeb Bradley, which would determine guidelines for this new class of third-tier offenders who may now apply to be removed from the registry. The bill responds to the state Supreme Court decision by creating guidelines for third-tier sex offenders who, as a result of the decision, may now petition for removal from the registry. It also would require the court to provide notice of a sex offender’s petition to the county attorney who prosecuted the case, the victim advocate, and the victim or victim’s family, and permit those parties to be heard on the petition as well as an opportunity to be heard in court. This crucial bill has a hearing on Jan. 26, just four days after the ACLU receives their award.
According to the New Hampshire Department of Safety, there are more than 850 child sex offenders who were convicted before the creation of the 1994 registry. Thanks to the efforts of the ACLU and the NHCLU, they are now eligible to petition their removal as a result of this ruling.
It appears as though birds of a feather fly together. The ACLU and Hillary Clinton have something in common when it comes to defending dangerous child sex offenders.
The ACLU will be honored at this New Hampshire event by NARAL, an organization that claims to be a champion and defender of women. It’s the same dubious claim made by Hillary Clinton.
Warning world do not let the our country; the United States adopt your children. We are a nation of predatory sex offenders according to our politicians and police forces and the rest of the world’s opinion of us.
This article does not mention it but it was portrayed on RT https://www.rt.com/
like that when this story broke.
In late 2012, Putin signed into law a controversial piece of legislation barring American families from adopting Russian children. The law came amid a hysterical state media campaign that erroneously alleged that Russian children were being systematically abused by their adoptive American families, and after Russia’s top official for children’s’ rights, Pavel Astakhov, falsely accused a Texan mother of killing her adopted Russian child.
“When the anti-adoption law was passed, it felt as though anti-Americanism had hit a fevered pitch,” says Jennifer Gasper, a U.S. citizen who was deported from Russia in 2014 in what critics claim was an attempt to put pressure on her Russian husband, a prominent human rights lawyer. “It may be that I felt it much more personally because I was now mother of an adopted child, but nonetheless, there was an unmistakable sense that Americans were no longer friends of Russia.”
My favorite city in Texas has been and will always be Austin Texas and it’s surrounding small towns.:
AUSTIN — In a decision that could presage other releases, a state appeals court in Beaumont on Thursday ordered an 83-year-old man be immediately freed from a controversial supervision program for sex offenders because he no longer qualifies to be in it.
Are you a senior citizen like me and wondering what to vote for?
Lets see what the experts have to say about this:
What’s at stake in the early primary and caucus states?
It’s not delegates, or momentum or even whether the Donald’s campaign (and ego) inevitably come crashing down to earth.
It’s a story that won’t get reported, but it’s one we should all pay attention to. It’s one in five seniors who are living in poverty. It’s a generation of workers without pensions who will have to rely even more on Social Security. Believe it or not, this is our best chance to do something about this.
We’ve spent years defending Social Security from cuts. It’s been hard and we have won some big battles. But the goal is making sure no senior has to live in poverty.
We have a brief window during these competitive early primaries to force every candidate to make a commitment to increase benefits, stand openly against any cuts, and sustain the system for the long term.
Right now Campaign for America’s Future is working with dozens of groups to get candidates on the record, and prevent them from dodging and hedging
Elaine Harmon got to sit where only a fraction of Americans ever will: in the cockpit of our nation’s military aircraft, flying noncombat missions in World War II. Today, Elaine’s ashes sit somewhere very different: her daughter’s closet.
Elaine was one of about 1,000 civilian women who served as Women Airforce Service Pilots, or WASPs, during World War II. They performed a critical service that ran the gamut from training male combat pilots to ferrying planes across the country. WASPs were recognized as veterans in 1977, awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in 2010, and had their ashes laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery — until a recent change in Army policy prohibited their inurnment. And unless that change is undone, Elaine’s family and many others are left to wait for the final recognition their loved ones deserve.
Correct This Injustice for Women WWII Pilots
Urge your lawmakers to support the Women Airforce Service Pilot Arlington Inurnment Restoration Act
Rep. Chris Smith, New Jersey Republican (Associated Press)
By Andrea Noble – The Washington Times – Wednesday, February 3, 2016
A criminal justice advocacy group is prepared to sue the federal government if President Obama signs into law a measure requiring child-sex offenders to be identified as such on their passports — a move they say is as hypocritical for a president pushing for broad criminal justice reform.
The House and Senate this week resolved differences in versions of the bill, known as the “International Megan’s Law,” which is meant to make it harder for pedophiles to travel abroad. The final version requires that individuals convicted of sex offenses involving minors obtain a “unique identifier” on their passports that would alert immigration authorities in other countries of their prior convictions.
“This is the first time in the history of our country that any American citizen will have a unique identifier on their passport,” said lawyer Janice Bellucci, who as the president of the group California Reform Sex Offender Laws has brought prior lawsuits challenging sex offender laws. “Who is the next group? Is it going to be Muslims if Donald Trump becomes president?”
Though the White House has not yet indicated whether Mr. Obama intends to sign or veto the law, Ms. Bellucci said her organization is preparing to mount a legal challenge if it is adopted.
“We believe it violates so many constitutional rights of our citizens, we just cannot ignore it,” she said.
The measure was sponsored by Rep. Chris Smith, New Jersey Republican, who has been pushing for the legislation for eight years. If signed into law by Mr. Obama, the legislation would also require any registered sex offender planning to travel abroad to inform law enforcement officials at least 21 days in advance; authorize a division of Immigration and Customs Enforcement to notify destination countries of those offenders’ intended travel; and to allow for information sharing with other countries to identify foreign nationals who are sex offenders planning to travel to the U.S.
“It is imperative and long overdue that the United States take the child protection lessons it has learned domestically with the successful notification systems first created by Megan’s Laws and expand them globally to prevent convicted U.S. sex offenders from harming children abroad,” said Mr. Smith in a statement released Monday following the passage of the law.
The law is named for Megan Kanka, a 7-year-old New Jersey girl who in 1994 was sexually assaulted and killed by a convicted sex offender who lived across the street from her family.
Over the last decade, lawmakers and courts have had a mixed take on sex offender laws. Several states, including Florida, Oklahoma and Louisiana require sex offenders to obtain a special driver’s license that identifies them as such. Meanwhile restrictions on where offenders could live have been struck down by courts in California, Massachusetts and New York.
Given the commitment that both Congress and the president have professed over the last year for criminal justice reform, advocates see the passage of the federal sex offender law as backsliding.
For 29-year-old Josh Gravens, who said he was placed on the Texas sex offender registry for an incident that occurred when he was 13, the stigma has already led to bouts of homelessness and trouble keeping a job. He fears that a “scarlet letter” on his passport will only marginalize him further when he travels.
“I believe that if the president really means what he says about criminal justice, he will veto the bill,” said Mr. Gravens, who through his advocacy group Organize Justice, has pushed for broad criminal justice reform. “And I’m watching with anticipation that he keeps his promises.”
An official from the State Department, which would oversee the passport demarcation, declined to comment Wednesday on the legislation.
But according to a 2010 Government Accountability Office, the State Department in 2008 issued 4,500 passports to sex offenders of all categories. The State Department noted at the time however that there was “no evidence that the offenders used their passports to commit sex offenses abroad.”
Minnesota Sex Offender Program to provisionally free 4th man
Updated 9:49 am, Monday, February 8, 2016
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The St. Paul Police Department will hold a public meeting Wednesday on the upcoming release of a man from the Minnesota Sex Offender Program.
Fifty-year-old Oliver Lenell Dority would be just the fourth person in the program’s more than 20-year history to be provisionally released. Dority was sent to prison in 1995 after pleading guilty to raping two women. He was civilly committed to the program in 2009.
His attorney, Mary Huot, tells the St. Paul Pioneer Press (http://bit.ly/1Q3p5Rk
) that Dority was a diligent participant in treatment and never got sent back to a lower level for infractions. She says he’ll be kept under intensive supervision at a residential facility in St. Paul’s Summit-University neighborhood.
The state is appealing a federal judge’s ruling that the program is unconstitutional.
This is great because I know like Princeton and other small towns around and in Collin County, Texas; have schools as the center point of the town. Think about, isn’t this a great example of the good people of Texas? The town makes the schools the nicest building in town, and rightly so. Why wouldn’t the locals want to live near the good and right focal point of the town? People that live in Texas love Texas and that will never change.
Dozens of small towns across Texas are dropping ordinances that prevent convicted sex offenders from living near schools, parks, and daycare centers.
The moves come after a non-profit group started raising awareness of a statement made by Gov. Greg Abbott when he was attorney general in 2007. He issued an opinion stating stating general-law cities have no legal right to restrict where registered sex offenders may live.
Winters and Hamlin are two of more than 20 cities repealing their ordinances. The change comes after the non-profit group Texas Voices for Reason and Justice sent letters to city officials in more than 40 cities saying the ordinance was illegal.
“We’re a general [law] city, which means we have to rule by the penal code of the state laws. We don’t have as much freedom to write laws,” said Winters Police Chief Randall Davis. General law cities have populations below 5,000.
Davis said the city does not have the funds to fight a court battle.
Winters has more than a dozen registered sex offenders, Hamlin has less than five.
Before the ordinances were repealed, they were required to live at least one thousand feet from any school, park or daycare.
Davis said the news of the repeal has residents questioning their safety in the small town.
“[There are] concerns around [offenders] being around the schools, the daycare centers, the youth centers around town, in the parks – they’re concerned for their children,” Davis said, describing phone calls he has received from residence.
Davis said the offenders will still be required to register their address with the city. Abilene attorney Sam Moore said the address registry should be enough.
“If they’re required to follow the registration laws, tell the authorities if they move, [and we] make them report more often and get them some outpatient treatment, they shouldn’t be treated like animals,” Moore said.
Chief Davis said although he has his concerns, he will uphold the law. The Texas Municipal League is pushing for legislation that reverses Abbott’s decision.
Hey North Carolina; I love you I do. I been through North Carolina when I was a kid and was blown away by the warm weather compared to Connecticut where I am from. I smelled the smell of pine trees for mile and miles and miles going through the entire state in a vehicle, if that is not enough to tell you I do not know what to say. I hate Facebook too; North Carolina I do. I am all about being a simple man; I am from Texas after all. I guess I am not hip enough for social media though. I never got social media at all. As far as I know, as of late; it is involved in allot of organized crime and in your face pornography, from what I here on the network news. I am not putting people down for using social media at all for positive things; at all, though. Jesus was accused for hanging out with sinners while healing and feeding thousands of people at the same time; so, I can not judge against all of Facebook ever.
When I read this I gasped at how unconstitutional and un-American it is! I am glad the ACLU is all over this. That is one of the reasons I have been a paid for member of the ACLU for over 20 years now.
Hundreds of South Carolina Prisoners Sent to Solitary Confinement Over Facebook
by Dave Maass
In the South Carolina prison system, accessing Facebook is an offense on par with murder, rape, rioting, escape and hostage-taking.
Back in 2012, the South Carolina Department of Corrections (SCDC) made “Creating and/or Assisting with a Social Networking Site” a Level 1 offense, a category reserved for the most violent violations of prison conduct policies. It’s one of the most common Level 1 offense charges brought against prisoners, many of whom, like most social network users, want to remain in contact with friends and family in the outside world and keep up on current events. Some prisoners ask their families to access their online accounts for them, while many access the Internet themselves through a contraband cell phone (possession of which is yet another Level 1 offense).
Through a request under South Carolina’s Freedom of Information Act and other public records, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) found that, over the last three years, prison officials have brought more than 400 disciplinary cases for “social networking” – almost always for using Facebook. The offenses come with heavy penalties, such as years in solitary confinement and deprivation of virtually all privileges, including visitation and telephone access. In 16 cases, prisoners were sentenced to more than a decade in what’s called disciplinary detention, with at least one prisoner receiving more than 37 years in isolation.
The sentences are so long because SCDC issues a separate Level 1 violation for each day that a prisoner accesses a social network. A prisoner who posts five status updates over five days would receive five separate Level 1 violations, while a prisoner who posted 100 updates in one day would receive only one.
In other words, if a South Carolina prisoner caused a riot, took three hostages, murdered them, stole their clothes and then escaped, he could still wind up with fewer Level 1 offenses than a prisoner who updated Facebook every day for two weeks.
So extreme is the application of this policy that SCDC is forced to regularly suspend solitary confinement sentences because of a lack of space in disciplinary segregation. In many cases, the punishments associated with using social media are so unnecessarily long that prisoners will never actually serve them since they exceed their underlying prison sentences.
Prison systems have a legitimate interest in keeping contraband devices out of their facilities and preventing prisoners from engaging in illegal activities through the Internet. But South Carolina’s policy goes too far, and not only because of the shockingly disproportionate punishments. The policy is also incredibly broad; it can be applied to any reason a prisoner may ask someone outside to access the Internet for them, such as having a family member manage their online financial affairs, working with activists to organize an online legal defense campaign, sending letters to online news sites, or just staying in touch with family and friends to create the type of community support crucial to reintegrating into society.
There is also a censorship component.
Facebook has processed hundreds of requests from SCDC officers who want prisoners’ profiles taken down. Facebook’s stated policy is to suspend these pages under the auspices of Terms of Service (ToS) violations – specifically, purported violations of terms banning users from using aliases or sharing passwords with third parties – effectively allowing SCDC to censor prisoners’ online speech. Yet, as described below, Facebook goes beyond its stated policy and agrees to SCDC requests to censor prisoner pages even when no ToS violation has been alleged. In addition, Facebook seems to have taken no action against SCDC investigators who regularly violate these same terms in uncovering prisoner profiles.
What’s more, this process is veiled in secrecy, with both Facebook and SCDC failing to create a public record paper trail documenting the takedown of prisoner pages.
It’s time for South Carolinians to demand a review of this policy and for Facebook to reevaluate its role in helping prison systems censor and excessively punish prisoners.
Social Media in South Carolina Lockups
Prisons and jails across the country have been looking for new ways to keep prisoners off the Internet, not only by investing in controversial new cell-tracking technologies such as Stingrays and DRTboxes, but also using social networks as avenues to find and punish prisoners.
South Carolina adopted a Level 1 social media offense to punish “Creating and/or Assisting with a Social Networking Site,” defined as: “The facilitation, conspiracy, aiding, abetting in the creation or updating of an Internet web site or social networking site.”
SCDC defines “social networking” very broadly, covering everything from YouTube and Twitter to blogs and email, although all of the cases EFF reviewed involved Facebook. Investigations are conducted by corrections officers and prisoners are convicted during disciplinary hearings that often last mere minutes.
Since the policy was implemented, SCDC has brought 432 disciplinary cases against 397 prisoners, with more than 40 prisoners receiving more than two years in solitary confinement.
Here are some of the most severe social media punishments we’ve seen:
• In October 2013, Tyheem Henry received 13,680 days (37.5 years) in disciplinary detention and lost 27,360 days (74 years) worth of telephone, visitation and canteen privileges, and 69 days of good time – all for 38 posts on Facebook.
• In June 2014, Walter Brown received 12,600 days (34.5 years) in disciplinary detention and lost 25,200 days (69 years) in telephone, visitation and canteen privileges, and 875 days (2.4 years) of good time – all for 35 posts on Facebook.
• In May 2014, Jonathan McClain received 9,000 days (24.6 years) in disciplinary detention and lost 18,000 days (49 years) in telephone, visitation and canteen privileges, and 30 days of good time – all for 25 posts on Facebook.
The average punishment length for a “social networking” case was 517 days in disciplinary detention, and the average length of lost privileges was even longer. [Update: We originally reported the average as 512. After a subsequent review, we have concluded the number was slightly higher].
So disproportionate are these punishments that South Carolina doesn’t have space in disciplinary detention for all the offenders and “regularly” is forced to put the punishments on hold. In the cases of the three above prisoners, SCDC says that none will serve the full punishment since they will be released from prison within the next five to 10 years.
As punishment for social media use, prisoners also lose “good time” days that would had otherwise resulted in early release. Since 2012, prisoners have collectively lost 14,564 “good time” days, the equivalent of 44 extra years in prison. In fiscal terms, that’s approximately $842,000 more that taxpayers will have to pay to keep prisoners behind bars – just because they posted on Facebook.
Social Media Investigations
SCDC investigators use a variety of tools to catch prisoners on social media. Sometimes, evidence is obtained during cell phone searches. Other times, investigators simply hear prisoners talking about accessing Facebook.
In summer 2014, SCDC launched a mechanism for crowdsourcing social media investigations with a prominent button on the front page of its website, encouraging the public to report prisoners using social media to SCDC. In only eight months, SCDC collected more than 230 submissions from the public about prisoners using social networks and cell phones.
SCDC also uses outside contractors in its investigations, paying $12,500 to an unnamed entity for unspecified services. All but the price tag was redacted from the document provided to EFF under South Carolina’s Freedom of Information Act.
Certain other tactics are more alarming. In response to inquiries from EFF, SCDC acknowledged that staff obtained prisoner passwords through various means, including from prisoners informing on other prisoners, family members, and the prisoners themselves. In violation of Facebook’s Terms of Service, SCDC staff have used those passwords to access prisoner accounts.
SCDC investigators have also created fake social media profiles in order to catch prisoners in the act – again, a clear violation of Facebook’s Terms of Service. Unfortunately, all information regarding these investigations is shielded from disclosure under the state’s Freedom of Information Act.
In addition to the potential legal issues these practices may raise, the policies also pose problems for Facebook, which, as of February 3, 2015, had processed 512 “deactivation requests” from South Carolina corrections officers since 2012.
Facebook: Prison Censor
Facebook has made it all too easy for prisons to report prisoners for having profiles: the site has a form titled “Inmate Account Takedown Request.” A corrections officer only needs to enter a few pieces of information about the prisoner – the prisoner’s name, profile link and the crime for which they’re being imprisoned, but not the purported violation of Facebook’s Terms of Service – to get the prisoner’s profile taken down.
In direct discussions with EFF, Facebook repeatedly asserted it does not enforce prison policies. Rather, according to Facebook, when a corrections officer contacts Facebook about a prisoner page, Facebook staff may suspend the account on the grounds that the prisoner violated the site’s Terms of Service.
Specifically, Facebook pointed to terms that forbid users from sharing their passwords or otherwise allowing other people to access their accounts, a practice common among prisoners. Facebook claims that they suspend prisoner accounts for violations of this policy not only because of the ToS violation, but also because it protects the prisoner’s privacy. Facebook also forbids the use of aliases, which prisoners also frequently employ.
However, prisons are very aware of how to exploit Facebook’s Terms of Service, with the Federal Bureau of Prisons even quoting the terms in handbooks and presentations, adding that “Facebook also deactivates prisoner pages, regardless of who set up the page.”
Facebook says this isn’t true, but its claim that it does not enforce prison policies is contradicted by correspondence that shows Facebook explicitly censored a South Carolina prisoner’s page when no ToS violation was alleged.
In July 2014, a South Carolina corrections officer emailed Facebook asking for the removal of the profile of a prisoner who had violated prison policy by accessing Facebook through a cell phone. Accessing Facebook through a contraband cell phone in itself does not seem to be a ToS violation. But as the below email shows, Facebook still removed the page – not for a ToS violation, but for breach of “inmate regulations.”
Thanks for your report. We’ve removed the reported account from Facebook for not following inmate regulations.” – from “Julio” in Facebook’s Community Operations, email dated June 31, 2014.
Remarkably, this email exchange occurred after Facebook assured EFF it was not doing this exact thing.
This was the only email chain between Facebook and SCDC that EFF received in response to its FOIA request. That’s because Facebook’s system allows for secret censorship. Prisoner takedown requests usually occur through Facebook’s online form, which, as a Facebook employee told SCDC in a follow-up email, does not generate a receipt email. This means that more than 500 prisoner take down requests have been filed without any kind of paper trail accessible to the prisoner or the public – a lack of transparency that is simply not acceptable when government-instigated censorship is involved.
Even if you take Facebook at its word – i.e., that it only enforces its own Terms of Service (despite the evidence to the contrary) – Facebook is guilty of applying a double standard when it comes to ToS violations. SCDC’s practice of logging into prisoners’ accounts and creating fake profiles is a clear violation of not only its ToS, but also the very same terms prisoners are accused of violating. Despite SCDC’s rule-breaking, Facebook allows SCDC to maintain its own public Facebook page, where it posts career fair notices and positive news stories about its programs.
When EFF pointed this out, Facebook said it would remove any of SCDC’s secret alias pages we could identify – but this is a next to impossible feat given that information about such secret aliases isn’t publicly available through South Carolina’s FOIA.
South Carolina may be unique only in the frequency and severity with which it enforces social media punishments. In New Mexico, a prisoner was sentenced to 90 days in solitary confinement after his family members accessed Facebook on his behalf. In Alabama, a law was recently passed to make it a misdemeanor to serve as a go-between for a prisoner who wants to post information to the Internet.
These policies have not gone unchallenged. An Arizona law forbidding prisoners from accessing the Internet through a third party was struck down as unconstitutional. The Florida Department of Corrections backtracked on a policy proposal similar to South Carolina’s after the Florida Justice Institute and other civil liberties groups threatened litigation. And the ACLU of Indiana recently filed a lawsuit alleging First Amendment violations when prison officials punished a prisoner after his sister launched a social media campaign to get him freed.
SCDC has set up a system that allows prison administrators to hold prisoners longer, in harsher conditions, and to largely cut them off from the rest of the world. South Carolinians should demand an immediate review of how this policy is applied.
We’re also calling on Facebook to embrace the position that prisoner communication often has public value, such as when prisoners raise issues about possibly unconstitutional prison conditions and other irregularities in the criminal justice system.
Steps Facebook should take include:
• Stop censoring prisoners without first evaluating whether a serious ToS violation has occurred (such as harassing a victim or engaging in a criminal enterprise).
• Eliminate the prisoner takedown feature, or, at the very least, ensure that a public record (such as a receipt email) is generated every time a prison official files a takedown request and every time Facebook complies.
• Revise its transparency report to include detailed numbers of takedown requests Facebook has received, what agency sent each request and how Facebook responded.
• Hold law enforcement agencies, such as prisons, accountable for abusing Facebook’s ToS.
Balancing the rights of prisoners with public safety is a tricky task, but prisons – and the companies that assist them – must consider proportionality and fairness for justice to be truly served.
This article was originally published by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (www.eff.org
) on February 12, 2015; it is reprinted with permission.
Update: By March 2015, after lobbying by the EFF and other advocates, Facebook changed its prisoner account takedown process. Specifically, Facebook retitled its “Inmate Account Takedown Request” page to “Report An Inmate’s Account”; it now asks for information regarding the prisoner’s offense, the date he or she was confined and their expected release date; and it now requires prison officials to include links to “applicable law or legal authority regarding inmate social media access.” If there is no law barring prisoners’ access to social media, then officials must provide “specific reasons why granting Facebook access to this particular inmate poses a serious safety risk.” Further, Facebook has started “generating email receipts and sending prisons explanations of the actions the company has taken regarding each reported account.” According to the EFF, “Assuming Facebook sticks to these measures, then this is a major, although imperfect, victory for inmate speech.”
I worked night and day researching against who ever was running against President Barack Obama twice. I posted post after post many of which had great graphic art by me. I refused to be part of the status quo to this day and forever that put him down because he is black. If I disagree with him like on his support for TPP and this latest un-American unconstitutional law he has passed about passports.
My idea of why President Barack Obama passed this mark of shame is that; the entire world thinks of the our country as all sex offenders; thanks to the right wing lies about sex offender to get votes. Democrats being more worldly wise and universally friendly understand that the world is laughing at us as we have become a nation of exploited sex offenders. Maybe President Barack Obama decided to pretend to protect the world from us; to get their approval.
February 20 2016 7 hours ago:
Just one day after President Barack Obama signed legislation that will brand the passports of sex offenders, a federal court challenge was filed against it.
The International Megan’s Law is supposedly a way to alert foreign countries to sex offenders who may be traveling for sex tourism or trafficking purposes. Of course, who isn’t against sex trafficking? We all are!
But branding people’s passports isn’t going to do any good. The U.S. State Department itself found that the law’s rationale is “very misleading.” And after conducting a study, the General Accounting Office “found no evidence that the offenders used their passports to commit sex offenses abroad.”
Got that? No evidence.
But heck — what’s a complete lack of evidence compared to political grandstanding? The bill was sponsored by Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., and passed both houses with only a single, brave lawmaker, Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., speaking out against it.
“It is simply bad policy to single out one category of offenses for this type of treatment,” Scott told the House. “We do not subject those who murder, who defraud the government or our fellow citizens of millions and billions, or who commit acts of terrorism to these restrictions.”
Terrorists? Pffft. It’s only sex offenders who must declare their past deeds this way. And that is what the court challenge is hinged upon.
”We don’t want those ‘identifiers’ on anybody’s passport,” says lawyer Janice Bellucci, president of the group California Reform Sex Offender Laws, who is filing the federal challenge on behalf of four sex offenders. “Our strongest argument is that it violates the First Amendment, because that ‘unique identifier’ is compelled speech.” In other words, “The government is making you say something you don’t want to say.”
Bellucci has been down this legal road before. Twice she argued against California towns forcing sex offenders to put “No trick or treating” signs on their doors, and twice she won.
A third time she sued the California Department of Corrections for the same thing. The department had told registrants they had to put that sign on their doors on Halloween. And if they didn’t have a home and lived in a tent, well by golly, they had to put a “No trick or treating” sign on their tent flap.
And if they were living in a sleeping bag at the side of the road, they had to put a “No trick or treating” sign on their sleeping bag, too.
Presumably this would help fend off the hordes of children seeking bite-size Snickers from the homeless. Bellucci won that case, too.
Like candy-doling, Halloween-activated predators in sleeping bags, the problem of registrants traveling abroad for sex tourism is also not a common one. Smith, the sponsor of the bill, has written that, “currently tens of thousands of offenders could be traveling abroad as child sex tourists.”
But they aren’t.
The U.S. Justice Department says that about 10 Americans a year are convicted of “sex crimes against minors in other countries.” Meantime, there are over 800,000 people on the Sex Offender Registry — about a quarter of them minors. This means that the vast majority of registrants — perhaps 790,990 one of them — are not sex tourists.
The United States has never branded anyone’s passport until now. Somehow we have survived 200+ years of giving all citizens the right to serve their time and then go on with their lives. Former drug dealers can travel south of the border. The Ocean’s 11, 12 and 13 crews can hop on a plane to Monaco. But sex offenders, including teens who sexted and former flashers now in their 80s, will be branded with the scarlet S and kept in internal exile. It’s for the sake of the children, of course.
It always is.
More OBAMA Wrong Doing!:
This week President Obama sent Congress a new plan to close Guantánamo Bay prison. This is great news… mostly.
One of the worst practices at Guantánamo is the imprisonment of people without charge and with no end in sight. And President Obama’s plan will keep this practice of indefinite detention alive and well – and bring it home to U.S. soil.
Some detainees transferred to the U.S. would be held without charge or trial. This is fundamentally un-American.
The president actually has means to reduce the number of prisoners being held indefinitely. Years ago, President Obama set up a Periodic Review Board (PRB) to evaluate each detainee for clearance. But excruciating delays on PRB hearings and on the transfers of cleared prisoners have left dozens of detainees trapped indefinitely.
Tell President Obama to do his part to reduce indefinite detention by speeding up transfers and PRB hearings of prisoners who have been waiting for years.
Half of the remaining detainees are in limbo – never charged with a crime, but never cleared to be sent home. Dozens languish at Guantánamo Bay awaiting their first hearing. Others are cleared for overseas release but have been waiting seven or more years to be transferred out.
One man caught in this travesty is Mohamedou Slahi. He has been unlawfully detained for 14 years. An innocent man, Mohamedou is being held without charge – and has survived horrendous torture by our government.
There’s no doubt closing Guantánamo Bay prison matters deeply to the president. When he announced his closure plan, he emphasized the “detention facility at Guantánamo Bay does not advance our national security. It undermines it.” He added, “Keeping this facility open is contrary to our values.”
So why perpetuate this shameful prison with years-long delays in releasing prisoners?
We can’t afford to wait. Sign to demand President Obama accelerate transfers and PRB hearings.
President Obama’s closure plan comes seven years after he promised to shut down the prison when he stepped into office. And President Obama ordered PRB reviews to be completed by 2012 – four years ago. The years-long delays and President Obama’s continued embrace of indefinite detention will significantly tarnish his legacy.
Congress is chomping at the bit to oppose his plan, but President Obama can still go far to put the worst of Guantánamo in the past.
No more failed promises. Make sure President Obama follows through on his part to end Guantánamo with the means he has.
Words are not enough. It’s time to erase this stain on America’s moral standing at home and abroad.
Thanking you for taking action,
Anthony for the ACLU Action team
The case, Nichols v. United States, focuses on Lester Nichols, a convicted sex offender who moved from Kansas to the Philippines in November 2012, eight months after he was released from prison. A month later, he was arrested and deported back to the U.S. for failing to update his sex offender registry.
Curtis Gannon, assistant to the solicitor general at the Department of Justice, argued on behalf of the government that Nichols was required to notify Kansas of his change of address within three business days of his move because Kansas was “an involved jurisdiction.”
Several of the justices, including Elena Kagan, Stephen Breyer and Chief Justice John Roberts, grappled Tuesday with the language in the statute that defines an involved jurisdiction.
Roberts said the statute is an “awful lot to ask a layperson to parse” in order to avoid the maximum 10-year sentence for violating SORNA.
In trying to understand the statute, Breyer questioned whether Nichols would have had to notify Kansas if he had been living in the Philippines for 15 years and then moved to Thailand
“Why not Kansas?” he asked. “That was a jurisdiction that was involved.”
Gannon said Kansas would only remain involved if the national registry said Nichols still lived in Kansas.
Kagan wondered why the U.S. is even bothering to extradite sex offenders back to the U.S. from other countries if they are only required to say they are leaving the state, not where they are going in the world.
She said it seems like the attitude would be “good luck, good riddance.”
Justice Clarence Thomas, who asked questions for the first time in 10 years during a gun rights case on Monday, remained silent for Tuesday’s arguments.
It could always be worse.
This is where Texas is headed; if we keep our self righteous, so called bible bashing, in the name of, so called Christianity:
Saudi Arabia sentences a man to 10 years in prison and 2,000 lashes for expressing his atheism on Twitter.
A court in Saudi Arabia has sentenced a man to 10 years in prison and 2,000 lashes for expressing his atheism in hundreds of social media posts.
The report carried in Al-Watan says the 28-year-old man admitted to being an atheist and refused to repent, saying that what he wrote reflected his own beliefs and that he had the right to express them. The report did not name the man.
It added that ‘religious police’ in charge of monitoring social networks found more than 600 tweets denying the existence of God, ridiculing the Quranic verses, accusing all prophets of lies and saying their teaching fuelled hostilities. The court also fined him 20,000 riyals – or, just short of £4,000
I can not begin to tell how angry I get when I read garbage like this. It always reminds me about the South American horror story where part of the therapy for the lesbians to change was to rape them. It would not surprise me if the people that clamed to convert gays are involved with register sex offenders as well.
sign here please:
Dangerous. Ineffective. Unnecessary. That’s how leading medical and mental health experts describe so-called conversion therapy, which practitioners claim can force a change in a person’s gender identity or sexual orientation.
Conversion therapy is based on the false and hateful assumption that being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) is a defect or disorder that needs curing. It’s rooted in anti-gay and anti-transgender bigotry, based on junk science, and is harmful to LGBT people and their families.
Some states have banned conversion therapy for minors,1 but the practice is dangerous for anyone who is subjected to it, and it should be completely banned at the national level. Last month, four members of Congress asked the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to ban conversion therapy as a fraudulent practice that harms the people it claims to be helping.2 Can you add your voice to their call?
Tell the FTC: Ban conversion therapy.
Conversion therapy has been discredited by nearly every major medical, psychological, psychiatric, social work, and professional counseling organization in the country. It’s based on hateful junk science and uses controversial practices like “violent role play, reenactment of past abuses, and exercises involving nudity and intimate touching.”3 People who undergo conversion therapy have been found to be at higher risk of depression, alienation from family, anxiety and suicide. Children forced to go through the therapy are at even higher risk.4
Last year, the Southern Poverty Law Center successfully sued a company performing conversion therapy in New Jersey for consumer fraud for offering fraudulent and unconscionable services it claimed could change clients from gay to straight. The judge in the trial blocked conversion therapy “experts” from testifying because their opinions were based on the assumption that being gay is a disorder. It was a landmark ruling that highlighted just how dangerous this “therapy” can be.
Sens. Patty Murray and Cory Booker, together with Reps. Ted Lieu and Jackie Speier, are calling on the FTC to ban conversion therapy. The more people who speak out, the more powerful their message will be.
Tell the FTC: Ban conversion therapy.
Thanks for standing up for equality today.
1.Jesse McKinley, “Cuomo Moves Against Therapy That Claims to Make Gay Children Straight,” New York Times, February 6, 2016.
2.Letter from Sens. Murray and Booker and Reps. Lieu and Speier to Edith Ramirez, Chair of the Federal Trade Commission, February 10, 2016.
3.Conversion Therapy, Southern Poverty Law Center.
4.#BornPerfect: The Facts About Conversion Therapy, National Center for Lesbian Rights.
5.Conversion Therapy, Southern Poverty Law Center.
As you all know that read this blog I am a motorcyclist and road the fastest motorcycle made in 2001 for 7 years putting 40,000 miles on it between 2001 through 2008. It was a Kawasaki Ninja 1200 cc. Loved hanging out with all my daredevil bros when ever I could like at Sonic in Garland Texas Thursday nights. I read the motorcycle Diary and am very well versed on all the people against (jealous) motorcycles. The biggest group of people against motorcycles is people too short to ride. Notice this police officer in this video and how short he is. Hey I love short people don’t get me wrong my wife is short. Short people are always the best actors and musicians.
Check this out:
Police officer caught on video recklessly pepper-spraying motorcyclists on a Texas highway
A Ft. Worth police officer is under investigation after a helmet camera caught him recklessly pepper-spraying a group of motorcyclists on a Texas interstate. The motorcyclists were part of a group of around 200 motorcyclists on a ride together in the Ft. Worth area. The officer pulled over one of their “safety vehicles”—a vehicle that accompanies the motorcyclists in case of emergency or a breakdown. As he steps out of his police cruiser, he was caught on camera reaching for his pepper spray and then unleashing on the motorcyclists as they passed. Needless to say, pepper-spraying people driving motorcycles at highway speeds is a recipe for injury or death. Watch the video shared by one of the motorcyclists:
I watch Gay USA
all the time to see the second most persecuted people in our country almost even with the sex offender fad in our country. It is so repulsive to see our citizen’s with no constitutional right whether they are sex offenders or gay. I saw this story presented by Gay USA
on Free Speech TV and they showed this story of Clinton. I am posting this because of this:
But am glad I watched, because I found out that gay people; while President Regan was in office; blame him for so many people dyeing of aids. Since I have learned this; I ask you to forgive me when ever I said I liked Ronald Regan; online. Who ever wins for democrat candidates; please vote democrat only at the end of this year!
I saw this article a while ago and could not get it out my head. I did not post it because I try to keep this blog as upbeat as possible. I consider this to be abuse of handicapped people. It repulses me beyond belief and haunts me with degust. I am very patriotic as everyone knows that have read enough of my posts. I find it hard to type about it with feeling ill:
Injured U.S. vets now hunting child predators
Posted On 29 Feb, 2016
Largo, Florida (CNN)Ret. Sgt. Tom Block is sitting in the classroom, looking restless. He and 23 other highly specialized, highly coveted candidates are all vying for a job where they will be exposed to horrifying images of child sex abuse and the worst humanity has to offer.
Largo, Florida (CNN) — Ret. Sgt. Tom Block is sitting in the classroom, looking restless. He and 23 other highly specialized, highly coveted candidates are all vying for a job where they will be exposed to some of the most horrifying images humanity can produce.
Each candidate is a veteran of America’s recent wars. Many were part of the elite special ops forces. They conducted daring, covert missions to take out America’s most dangerous enemies.
Many were wounded in battles across Afghanistan and Iraq. And now that their military career has come to a close, they are looking for a second chance to find purpose in their lives back at home — and the answer could be the HERO Child-Rescue Corps, saving at risk kids.
J. Christian, CEO of the National Association to Protect Children (Protect), says: “A lot of the individuals who come into the HERO Corps are truly individuals who have lost their mission on the battlefield.”
Christian, an Army Ranger who fractured his spine during a mission in Afghanistan, says many of the veterans who come into HERO are hoping to regain that something they lost when they left the service.
CT: Bill Would Allow Sex Offenders to Come Off Registry
Posted On 23 Mar, 2016
A bill moving through the General Assembly would allow some sex offenders to be removed from the lifetime registry if they meet certain requirements and the Judiciary Committee will be holding a hearing on it this morning.
The bill, Senate Bill 473, would allow certain sex offenders to apply to be removed from the list after being on it for 10 years or more.
The stipulations include that the offender must only have one conviction, be within eight years of the victim’s age and cannot be found guilty of mental disease or defect.
Once the person on the sex offender registry files the petition, the victim must be notified and would able to testify.
March 31 2016:
I posted this on my art page and thought it fit here too:
March is over. Spring is at hand. I am as wild as the first born spring, wild baby, wild life. I am also a friend to law enforcement. My dad was part my hero. His great police friends were my friends. To be a police officer to me is as wild as a 1200cc Ninja. I hate crime. I have full heartedly hated crime since I had my life threatened for being a police officer’s son; in my sophomore year of high school. Also had my life threatened, 2 very real other times; once with a giant loaded revolver pointed right at my chest at the age of about 20 years old; again for nothing more than having a father who was a police officer on the mean streets of the east coast in the 1970’s and early 1980’s.
With that said I want to formally announce my endorsement for the next great sheriff of Collin County, Texas; to be Jim Skinner.
Thank you for your interest in my campaign. I am a veteran peace officer and former prosecutor who is asking the citizens of Collin County for the privilege of serving as their next Sheriff. Please examine my qualifications and experience and join me as we move toward seeking the Republican nomination for Collin County Sheriff in the March 1, 2016 primary election.
After almost 30 years of faithful service to the citizens of Collin County, Sheriff Terry Box recently announced that he would not seek another term. As Collin County has seen tremendous growth, Sheriff Box has overseen the growth of the Sheriff’s Office from fewer than 50 employees in 1985, to now managing a $38 million budget and almost 500 employees. Across Texas, peers view the Collin County Sheriff’s Office as one of the finest law enforcement organizations in the State of Texas, with a jail as the model for others to emulate. Sheriff Box should be commended for his superb leadership and faithful service to the citizens of Collin County.
With the County’s population nearing 900,000 and growing rapidly, law enforcement will face new challenges associated with future growth. As our population increases, the county’s jail and the law enforcement services must keep pace by using new and innovative ideas designed to efficiently and effectively protect the lives, liberty and property of all Collin County citizens.
As the County expands, we must be prepared to combat the proliferation of drug and human trafficking and be vigilant against violent criminals and property crimes. Effective communication and coordination between law enforcement agencies, and maintaining an effective working relationship with you, the citizens we serve, is how to best deter and defeat the criminals who would target our communities.
I am the son of an elementary school teacher and an American soldier who served our Nation in WWII, in Korea and the Vietnam War. My siblings and I were raised by loving parents who showed us how to love God and Country, and taught us values that helped us succeed in life. We were raised to believe that serving your fellow man was an obligation due for the privilege of living in the greatest nation on Earth.
In August 1978, two days after my nineteenth birthday, I started my law enforcement career when I was commissioned as a police officer for the City of Harker Heights, Texas. One week later, I was standing post as an Honor Guard over the casket of a friend and fellow officer, who was murdered while on-duty by a fugitive child rapist. My friend’s death had a profound impact on me, and as I stood beside his body, I swore that I would pursue a life of service in the law, protecting the innocent and pursuing the predators who would prey upon and harm them.
Over the past 35 years, I have served in our judicial system as a full-time uniformed police officer, a US Air Force Security Police dog handler and EST Team (SWAT) operator, a narcotics agent, a drug task force coordinator, a detective, the Chief Investigator for New Mexico’s Ninth Judicial District Attorney’s Office, an assistant district attorney in Collin County, a special prosecutor, a lawyer and now, a reserve deputy sheriff for the Dallas Sheriff’s Department. Throughout my career, I have investigated a myriad of cases involving suspects, victims, and witnesses from a wide-spectrum of racial and socio-economic classes. These cases included murder, rape, robbery, theft, crimes against children, narcotics trafficking, gang violence, identity theft, embezzlement, white-collar crime, computer crime, securities fraud and public corruption.
I thank God for affording me the opportunity to serve in a variety of different roles within our criminal justice system, giving me a well rounded perspective; one that I believe uniquely qualifies me to be your next sheriff. Honor, integrity, teamwork and persistence are among many invaluable characteristics one takes from this journey. My experiences over the years have taught me that determination, accountability, discretion and humility are indispensible qualities required of a dedicated law enforcement leader.
I am honored to have worked with so many professional police officers, prosecutors, jailers and non-sworn civilian employees throughout my career and always considered it a privilege to have been associated with such willing, competent and brave law enforcement professionals. It requires great courage to deal daily with the human condition. It is a unique person that takes an oath, straps on a gun and a badge and then willingly stands between the innocent and those who would prey upon them. It is also a brave person who willingly works inside of a jail every day to ensure the safety of the public they serve. For this, law enforcement officers and corrections officers will always have my deep and abiding respect.
As both a police officer and as a prosecutor, I took an oath to see that justice was done. We worked hard to protect those who could not protect themselves, to free the innocent and to hold the guilty accountable for their crimes. I believe that I have been blessed with and taught strong leadership skills that will help me guide the men and women of the Collin County Sheriffs Office into the future, protecting our communities and working with fellow citizens to help achieve order and respect for the Rule of Law our precious constitutional rights. I earnestly believe that proper leadership; servant-leadership not affected by hubris, is how we continue the greatness of Collin County and the Great State of Texas.
In this country, it was the Sheriff who was the first law enforcement official to serve the people. It was the Sheriff who was originally relied upon to serve the Rule of Law; ensuring that the government and its people are accountable under the law and that laws are justly and evenly applied, protecting the lives, liberty and property of every person. It was the Sheriff who ensured that the process by which laws are enforced was fair and efficient, and that justice was served in a timely manner by competent, ethical and unbiased citizens that reflected the makeup of the communities they served.
It remains the same today. Unlike other law enforcement officials, a Sheriff works directly for the people, instead of a particular governmental body. As your Sheriff, I will be responsible to ensure that everyone, including other elected officials, uphold the Rule of Law.
In recent times, we find federal officials who willingly choose to ignore the Rule of Law and our beloved Constitution. The sad truth is that we sometime find elected officials who are willfully ignorant of the freedoms our Constitution enshrines. As your Sheriff, you have my commitment that I will stand to achieve order and respect for our constitutional rights and will always be willing to do what is necessary in order to protect these rights for everyone.
I hope that you will join my campaign and lend me your support as we look ahead to the March 1, 2016 primary election. I would be honored if you would allow me the privilege of serving as your Sheriff. As we move forward, always remember that fighting crime is everyone’s business and that by working together we can continue to honor the office and tradition of the Texas Sheriff and the Collin County Sheriff’s Office.
Posted by Jim Hightower
This is one reason why I recommend people to vote democrat; because of great changes to the republican party like this:
Well, I didn’t expect this!
The National Republican Party has published an official policy document showing that the GOP really might be more than a gaggle of serve-the-rich plutocrats and wacky, Trumped-up right-wingers. Just when you thought the party was consuming itself in the know-nothingism of its presidential pretenders and the recalcitrant do-nothingism of its congress critters, out comes a sign of sanity.
In this 18-page manifesto, the party proclaims that, “Our government was created by the people for all the people, and it must serve no less a purpose.” ALL the people! Forget pontifications by Wall Street billionaires dividing America into virtuous “creators” (like themselves) and worthless “moochers” (like you and me) – this document abounds with commitments to the common good. “America does not prosper,” it proudly proclaims on page three, “unless all Americans prosper.” Wow – that’s downright democratic!
And how’s this for a complete turnaround: “Labor is the United States. The men and women, who with their minds, their hearts and hands, create the wealth that is shared in this country – they are America.” Holy Koch brothers, share the wealth?
Yes, and how about this: “The protection of the right of workers to organize into unions and to bargain collectively is the firm and permanent policy of the [Republican Party].” Eat your heart out, Scott Walker, and you other labor-bashing GOP governors!
The document also supports our public postal service, the United Nations, equal rights for women, expanding our national parks, “vigorous enforcement of anti-trust laws,” and raising the minimum wage. New enlightenment in the Grand Old Party. Hallelujah!
Can all this be true? Yes – except it’s not new. This document is the Republican Party Platform… of 1956.
Saturday, April 02, 2016
On the cost-benefit analysis of enforcing sex-offender registry conditions vs. investigating violent crime
Dallas PD has shut down its monitoring unit charged with driving around to make home checks for people on the sex-offender registry, reported WFAA’s Tanya Eiserer in somewhat breathless tones. The story quickly devolved into Chief David Brown’s critics taking pot shots at him for being soft on sex offenders, or whatever.
In general, Grits adores Tanya’s work. Her oeuvre from the Dallas News was magnificent and her switch to TV at WFAA, along with another Morning News expat, producer Jason Trahan, immediately vaulted that station to boasting probably the best TV crime coverage in the state, IMHO. But here, the impulse to portray conflict on TV may have overcome better journalistic instincts. (It’s apparently pretty easy to get cops, especially union officials, to say nasty things about the Dallas chief these days.) She essentially portrays an argument among cops (all the sources) on the cops’ narrow terms of debate.
What the article didn’t address is whether enforcing registry conditions on this group is a truly useful way for DPD officers to spend their time. Chief Brown says he will deploy those detectives to a “violent crimes task force.” Mightn’t that be a better use of their time from a risk-cost-safety perspective?
To explore that question, there are other sources one could have gone to, as a news reporter from Pennsylvania demonstrated this week in an article titled, “When facts aren’t facts: A look at the effectiveness of sex offender registries.” That scrivener spoke with a state anti-rape advocate who downplayed their effectiveness, then asked an academic about research on their public safety effect:
“If you ask people how often sex offenders will commit a new offense when released into the community, people tend to think it’s upwards of 75 percent,” said University of Massachusetts Professor Jason Rydberg, who focuses on the study of sexual offenders and policy.
However, overwhelming research has shown that sexual offenders, as a whole, are some of the least likely groups to commit new crimes, Rydberg said.
Rydberg said one major study found that only about 5 percent of sexual offenders committed a new sexual crime within five years. The U.S. Department of Justice places the re-offense rate for sexual offenders in the 3 to 10 percent range, and a study conducted by Karl Hanson found that out of 8,000 offenders that were tracked, none who remained offense-free for 15 years were likely to reoffend after.
To put the threat posed by sexual offenders committing new offenses in perspective, a 2014 study found that roughly 3 percent of felons with no known history of sexual offenses committed one within roughly five years.
“People tend to be skeptical that sex offenders are amenable to treatment, and this is related to supporting punitive policies against them,” Rydberg said. “With this issue too, research combining dozens of studies and tens of thousands of sex offenders finds that certain types of treatment are effective at reducing the likelihood of sexual recidivism.”
In light of such low recidivism rates, scaling back police visits to registrants to only those assessed as high risk, for example, then aiming detectives’ work time instead toward following leads and investigating violent offenses which actually have already occurred, makes all sorts of sense. In fact, in the examples of the unit’s successes listed in WFAA’s report (got a tip, anonymous complaint, suspected of a crime), investigators could and likely would have followed up, anyway. That doesn’t argue for continuous supervision of lower-risk registrants for whom they don’t have a particular reason to investigate.
The issue here is similar to sending officers to react to home burglar alarms, which are false up to 99 percent of the time. There’s no rational, math-based public-safety argument for expending 10 percent of patrol officers’ time on that worthless endeavor, but the alarm companies activate their customers with scare tactics aimed at the city council if anyone proposes eliminating that corporate subsidy, so that’s off the table too.
DPD management wants to direct more resources towards investigating serious crime while spending less officer time doing things that don’t matter. That should not be controversial. But jaundiced opponents (in this case the police unions) are more than willing to give reporters a sound-bite saying it would be “tragic” for “young children in the city,” and here we go, math and reason be damned. Welcome to the culture wars!
Chief Brown made a perfectly sensible decision to reassign detectives who’ve been spending their days enforcing sex-offender registry conditions to investigate more serious crime. It’s possible that politics and media pressure could make cutting this unit a political non-starter, just like burglar alarms. But at some point the question arises, how many low-margin activities must police management staff up before it becomes okay to deploy resources toward combating more serious offenses?
April 7, 2016 9:48 am
ACLU of Illinois, EFF ask state supreme to strike down limits on free speech in cumbersome sex offender laws
CHICAGO – The ACLU of Illinois, joined by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, today asked the state supreme court to strike down the “incredibly broad scope” of limitations contained in the state’s sex offender registry laws. The amicus brief was filed in the case of Mark Minnis, a young man from downstate Normal who served a 12-month probation for a misdemeanor offense, which he completed. Though years have passed, Mr. Minnis still is forced to navigate a series of onerous and cumbersome requirements under the State’s Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA).
Mr. Minnis was targeted by law enforcement officials because he failed to provide the account information for a Facebook account to which he had uploaded a photograph. Mr. Minnis did provide the information for two personal email accounts. A state circuit court dismissed the charges, finding that the Illinois law “clearly chills offenders from engaging in expressive activity that is otherwise perfectly proper.”
“We encourage the state supreme court to take a close look not only at the facts in this case, but at the impact that these laws have on the legitimate free speech rights of many Illinois residents,” said Rebecca Glenberg, senior staff attorney at the ACLU of Illinois. “Under the current law, Mr. Minnis and countless others who made bad decisions as teens sacrifice all freedom to anonymous speech on the internet.”
“The Illinois law is overbroad in the amount of speech that is regulated and the number of people who are regulated.”
The two civil liberties groups’ amicus brief filed today notes that such laws are not even justifiable as effective, since sex offenders are highly unlikely to commit a new offense using the internet, and that juvenile offenders (like Mr. Minnis) are particularly unlikely to re-offend since their offenses typically reflect the poor impulse control of an incompletely developed brain. Yet, the Illinois law burdens and limits many types of speech on the internet.
“Illinois’ SORA is an overbroad statute that imposes jail time on a sex offender who doesn’t report to law enforcement that he has written an online letter to the editor, posted a political comment, or researched health information. This infringement on speech and regulation of Internet expression far exceeds, and in fact has little to do with, the state’s interest in deterring sexual offenses,” said Sophia Cope, Staff Attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
For example, someone subjected to these rules could not engage in any anonymous speech on the internet, despite the fact that anonymous speech has played a critical role in political and societal discourse throughout our nation’s history. The rules also substantially burden religious speech and political speech of other types, even though these areas of discussion have no relevance to the State’s legitimate purpose of attempting to stop recidivism among sex offenders.
“These burdens on speech are just one of the myriad of challenges faced by someone convicted of a whole array of sex-related offenses – even as a youth,” added the ACLU’s Glenberg. “We have built a complex system that severely limits where people can live, where they can work and with whom they interact.”
“Courts around the country have found similar reporting requirements to be unconstitutional, as they severely burden virtually all online speech with only a tenuous connection to law enforcement’s interest in protecting the public from crime. We are joining the ACLU in urging the Illinois Supreme Court to come to the same conclusion about SORA,” said Adam Schwartz, EFF Senior Staff Attorney.
Published: Wednesday, April 6, 2016 – 7:44am
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has signed legislation allowing some offenders convicted of sexual conduct with a minor to ask a judge to end their need to register as a sex offender.
Ducey signed House Bill 2539 by Republican Rep. Rusty Bowers on Tuesday.
The legislation only applies to people convicted for an offense committed when they were 21 or younger, where the victim was between 15 and 17 years old and the sex was consensual.
Bowers said it applies “justice with mercy” to young offenders who make “Romeo and Juliet” mistakes.
The legislation only applies to people who weren’t sentenced to prison and completed probation.
A judge would have the final say and the victim must be notified before a court hearing.
New Blogs Part 4 Updated April 09 2016
From the free and open internet promoter: Daily Kos
If the right wing judgmental so called Christian can refuse service to LGBT people; than why can’t the opposite be true? Make no mistake about it if all the right wing judgmental so called Christian’s could not vote or were all in prison; the scourge and embarrassment and waste of time on our politicians and police, of the blight of sex offender registration, would not exist in our country.
Representatives of a well known faith-based charitable organization were refused a New Jersey bank’s notarization service by an atheist employee. After inquiring about the nature of the non-profit organization and the documents requiring notarization, one of the bank’s assistant managers claimed she couldn’t witness the signatures or attach the State’s official notary seal to the documents because of “personal reasons.”
The Christians later related the story in a Facebook post saying, “Even though we had a valid, legal document and valid, legal identification — she was legally able to refuse me service.”
Wait…what? No. It didn’t happen that way at all.
American Atheists, Inc. President, Dave Silverman and Managing Director, Amanda Knief were refused service yesterday by an assistant manager at TD Bank in Cranford, New Jersey.
In a statement released on the American Atheists Facebook page, Knief said, “I was just refused service — because I am an atheist. It was embarrassing, humiliating, and pissed me off.”
According to Knief:
A notary at a local bank, where I have gone more than a dozen times to have work documents signed, asked me to explain what we were having notarized. The documents were charitable organizations registrations for American Atheists in several states. So I told her what AA is about.
After learning the nature of the organization and the documents requiring notarization the bank manager refused to witness the signatures on the documents. She interrupted another employee’s lunch to come do the authentications.
I have been called names, threatened, hated on and all manner of ridiculed because of my atheist activism, but I think sitting in a bank and having another professional refuse to do business with me because I am an atheist was the worst slight I have ever received.
In New Jersey, notaries are not required to abide by any code of conduct or ethics that prevents them from refusing service to people based on “personal reasons.” Even though we had a valid, legal document and valid, legal identification–she was legally able to refuse me service.
Her description of the incident was confirmed shortly afterwards by David Silverman in a follow-up post.
“Yup. We just got refused notary services because we are atheists from the Assistant Store Manager at TD near our office. No, we are not moving our business there, at least not until this is rectified.”
While I am not an attorney and expect to be promptly and appropriately chastised if I make any incorrect assumptions here, I do not agree with Ms. Kneif’s assessment that the bank manager was within her legal rights to refuse her a public service.
There may be some ongoing legal confusion, controversy and argument over religiou discrimination and/or religious freedom regarding a privately owned business, but this is clearly not the case.
The bank manager’s refusal is a violation of the bank’s diversity statement, as a bank employee, let alone a manager, she clearly sucks at her job and has failed to live up to the bank’s expectations and should be reprimanded.
However, as a notary she does not represent the bank, she represents the state and must be held responsible for civil discrimination.
As in most states, a notary public in New Jersey is deemed to be “a public servant.” Commissioned by the Secretary of State she is required by law to serve as an impartial witness to the signing of documents and to the acknowledgement of signatures on documents with a duty imposed upon her to provide notary services to the public.
Additionally, according to the American Association of Notaries:
A notary public is not responsible for the content of the document. The duties and responsibilities of a notary public are restricted only to the execution of proper notarial procedures.
And the National Notary Association’s handbook, The Notary Public code of Professional responsibility specifically notes in Section I-A-3:
The Notary shall not refuse to perform a lawful and proper notarial act because of the signer’s race, nationality, ethnicity, citizenship, religion, politics, lifestyle, age, disability, gender or sexual orientation, or because of disagreement with the statements or purpose of a lawful document.
Her actions were blatantly discriminatory. Her commission should be revoked. Take the word Christian in the title of this diary and replace it with Muslim, Jew, or Hindu.
Replace it with Latino, African-American, or French Canadian.
How long before a Pentecostal refuses to provide a service for a Catholic? And the Catholics won’t do business with Methodists?
Where does it stop?
It is no secret that Canadians and Mexico and South Americans; hate America. To think of our country as the scourge of all mankind as a nation of sex offenders; like most of the world thinks of us and we as a nation have only ourselves to blame for that by the “Over Criminalization of Sex Offences”.
What puzzles me is as how Canada and Mexico and the like might think that when our country meets it’s demise; as it surely will according to the book of revelations and that fact that we are not mention in the end times. It is obvious to me that our country will meet it’s demise by a nuclear attack or something very much like that; according to the bible; also mentioning mans determination to destroy the earth. Exactly how Canada and Mexico and the like think they will somehow survive a devastating attack on our country of any kind; boggles my mind. So wake up; our neighbors and stop bashing your neighbor: America and promoting the “Over Criminalization of Sex Offences” of Americans.
Canada did not have any registered sex offenders until recently yet look where the worst state for the “Over Criminalization of Sex Offences” exists: Minnesota, located right on the border of Canada in the middle of now where.
Microsoft sues federal government over data access policy
By Bloomberg News | Thursday, April 14, 2016, 11:00 p.m.
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Microsoft Corp. sued the Justice Department in a bid to block authorities from taking customers’ emails without their knowledge, ratcheting up pressure on an administration already engaged in a high-profile privacy dispute with Apple Inc.
The lawsuit, which names the Justice Department and Attorney General Loretta Lynch, is the most aggressive step yet by Microsoft in a two-year feud with the government over customer privacy and its ability to disclose what it has been asked to turn over to investigators — issues that echo Apple’s fight to preserve the encryption built into its iPhones.
Microsoft called the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act unconstitutional, citing its own First Amendment free speech rights and its customers’ Fourth Amendment right to know if the government has searched or seized their property. The law essentially places the company under an unlimited gag order, according to the complaint filed Thursday in federal court in Seattle.
While it’s concerned with protecting civil liberties, Microsoft said it also wants to preserve its ability to sell Internet-based services that customers trust.
“It’s very important for businesses to know when the government is accessing their file room, whether the file room is down the hall or in the cloud,” said Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith, noting that consumers and privacy groups have expressed concern about the issue. “People shouldn’t lose their rights simply because technology is moving to the cloud.”
The Justice Department is reviewing the filing, said spokeswoman Emily Pierce.
The rapid growth of cloud computing, in which customer data is stored by providers such as Microsoft, Apple, Amazon.com and Google in the technology companies’ own data centers, has increased the frequency of warrants seeking data and government abuse of its search powers, Microsoft said in the filing. The law in question predates the invention of the World Wide Web by three years and was enacted more than two decades before widespread use of cloud computing, Microsoft said.
“The government, however, has exploited the transition to cloud computing as a means of expanding its power to conduct secret investigations,” according to Microsoft’s filing.
Bill Fitzpatrick, the district attorney in Onondaga County, New York, and president of the National District Attorney’s Association, slammed Microsoft’s actions, calling them “obscene.”
“I don’t know what’s in the water over there at Microsoft or Apple corporate headquarters, but this is ridiculous,” he said. “If I’m tracking a serial sex offender, child pornographer or a human-trafficking ring, I can’t tip these people off.”
No time limit
Secrecy orders on these warrants generally prohibit Microsoft from telling customers about the requests for lengthy or even unlimited periods, the company said. Over the past 18 months, federal courts have issued nearly 2,600 secrecy orders to Microsoft, and more than two-thirds had no fixed end date, according to the filing. That means the company can never tell customers, even after an investigation is completed.
“When you extrapolate it to all the providers, the number of gags must be astounding,” said Greg Nojeim, senior counsel at the Center for Democracy & Technology, which Microsoft briefed before filing the suit.
Microsoft conceded that there may be times when the government is justified in seeking a gag order to prevent customers under investigation from tampering with evidence or harming another person. Still, the Redmond, Wash.-based company says the statute is too broad and sets too low of a standard for secrecy.
The conflict between privacy and criminal investigations intensified for the entire technology industry in February, when Apple was ordered to help the FBI break into the iPhone of one of the shooters in a terrorist attack in California. Microsoft was among a long list of technology companies that supported Apple’s refusal to comply, saying it would threaten customer security and set a dangerous precedent. The government withdrew the request last month, saying it had found a way to get into the phone without Apple.
Microsoft has been tussling with the government on similar issues for even longer.
Since National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden exposed clandestine data collection by the United States and implicated companies such as Microsoft for aiding the government, the software maker — led by Smith — has been fighting back against what they see as government overreach. The ongoing issues have meant that technology companies, once faulted by privacy advocates for mining user data and profiting from things like targeted advertising, are now in a position to take a stronger stance on user data security.
In December 2013, in the wake of Snowden’s revelations, Microsoft offered customers new legal assurances, including pledging to tell businesses if the government had requested their data, or to fight any such gag order in court.
Since then, the software maker has litigated cases in that situation and has found that an increasing number of confidential requests are coming in. The majority are for consumer accounts, not business customers, Smith said.
“This is a significant development, and part and parcel of the continued push-back by the American tech sector over surveillance (since) the Snowden disclosures,” said Catherine Crump, a law professor at the University of California at Berkeley.
Microsoft’s other public case against the Justice Department concerns the question of whether the U.S. government can demand that American technology companies turn over files stored in their overseas data centers. That case, which relates to data held in Ireland that involves a narcotics investigation, awaits the ruling of a three-judge panel of an appeals court in New York.
“The concerns we are articulating are shared broadly in the tech sector,” Smith said. “I fully expect we will hear from a number of other tech companies.”
I am posting this because I have heard that South Carolina said something like; registered sex offenders might dress as women to rape young ladies in women’s rest room’s. That just typified just how far fear mongering has gone to trick people into being paranoid about people who are not a danger at all.
South Carolina Senator Introduces Anti-Trans ‘Bathroom Bill’
State Sen. Lee Bright
Sen. Lee Bright’s bill would keep cities from affirming trans people’s right to use facilities that match their gender identity.
By Trudy Ring
April 07 2016 5:33 PM EDT
A far-right South Carolina state senator has introduced a bill that would prevent local governments from adopting ordinances that affirm transgender people’s right to use the restrooms, locker rooms, and other sex-segregated facilities that match their gender identity.
Republican Sen. Lee Bright, who has a long anti-LGBT record, introduced Senate Bill 1203
Wednesday, reports The Post and Courier of Charleston. He promoted the bill using an argument that has been soundly, repeatedly debunked — that transgender people somehow pose a threat to women and children. He also asserted that trans people’s gender is a figment of their imagination.
“There’s a segment of the population that believes that you ought to be able to use whatever restroom you identify yourself as being,” he said Wednesday, according to the paper. “So they think it’s OK for a man to use a woman’s bathroom if he thinks he’s a woman. From a safety issue, we don’t need men going in women’s bathrooms.”
His bill reads in part:
The bill could threaten federal funding to South Carolina schools, as the policies it seeks to create are in direct opposition to current interpretations of federal protections guaranteed to transgender students under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. The federal Department of Education and the Department of Justice have both stated that Title IX, which prohibits discrimination in education on the basis of sex, also prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity, or any student’s failure to adhere to gender norms as defined by society.
Some activists and other politicians warned that South Carolina should be mindful of the backlash that North Carolina’s law has generated. “Besides the whole human rights issue, it’s bad for business,” Warren Redman-Gress, executive director of the Alliance for Full Acceptance, a South Carolina civil rights group, told The Post and Courier. He noted PayPal’s cancellation of plans for an operations center in Charlotte, which would have provided 400 jobs. Bright’s bill conflicts with ordinances in the cities of Charleston, North Charleston, and Folly Beach as well as Charleston County, he said.
As for the idea that transgender people pose a threat in public restrooms, while more than 200 localities nationwide have trans-inclusive public accommodations laws on the books, there has never been a single verified report of a transgender person assaulting a cisgender (nontrans) person in a restroom, nor have there been any instances of someone “pretending” to be transgender to gain access to sex-segregated spaces for nefarious purposes. By contrast, however, transgender people face a much higher risk of being the victims of physical and verbal assault in sex-segregated spaces, compared to their cisgender peers.
I know I keep saying that more people have been detained in our prisons and jails than any other country in the history of the world. What I mean on a more intellectual level is that: when you are processed into a jail or prison you are treated in such a way that you will never be the same again. In other words you become a lesser of a human being and a necessary burden on society for ever.
MTV may have destroyed rock and roll but the internet media finished the job. The band The Who is ruined to me thanks to Pete Townsend and that fiasco. If the judgmental right wing Christians and Christian supporters had their way; every rock star from the 1970’s would be serving life in prison for having sex with under age girls.
I guess I should not say the judgmental right wing Christians and Christian supporters ruined the political systems of the world. I think I should say the judgmental right wing religious people and religious people supporters ruined life on earth.
In our country; lets face it, the majority of the religious people are either Christians or people pressured into saying they are Christians.
Updated May 03 2016:
Just posted this here:
Josh, dude. You are awesome! Good to see you on Google+ and my neighbor in Dallas. Those against the over criminalization of sex offences have free speech on Google +. Long live Google and Google+. Long after our country the imprisoner’s prison paranoia dies down we will be honored. Then “the over criminalization of sex offences” will be considered closed minded prejudice and a mental disease that it is. In the future people like us that stand for true justice and true freedom and peace; shall thrive and proper; it is inevitable. The future is sure to be free from sexual hang ups, that plague our Christian controlled country. So keep your head up bro; the heroes will be heroes, like they should be, instead of the pre civil war slaves that we are now.
I do not know why some sex offenders think they are better than others. You would think the one place a so called sex offender on the registry of hypocrisy that is the S.O.R.; would find solace would be amongst other’s with that star of David around their arms. Sadly to say just like there were Jewish Nazi police; there is never a shortage of hypocrites amounts the S.O.R.. I do not mean to mention Christians from our country as the main perpetrator against those on the S.O.R.; but it is a fact. I have spent over two decades trying to pin the blame on the largest group of people to blame; that is responsible for the S.O.R. persecution of innocent people. The largest group of those to blame in my opinion is the Christian population of our country. I know those that are not from our country might say; that this is reverse discrimination. This is far from foreigners comprehension. The so called Christian population from our country is someone you would love to hate and rightfully so. It has nothing to do with them claiming Christianity.
The average so called Christian from our country is a self righteous, one sided, closed minded bigot; like you have never met in your life. They are so full of their selves, as they walk on the dead suffering corpses they killed with their ignorance, it makes them giggle and embrace each other with fake joy, in the land of the dead prison population they created. I do not expect so called American Christian’s to be anything but fake; at this period of our history of our planet. It is true and worth mentioning that the (religious) run the detaining prison system of our county, not just the Christian, but lets face it; it is the so called Christian that rules our country and feeds our prisons with fresh souls. Our country has imprisoned more human beings than ever recorded on earth. Once you have been a prisoner you are never the same again. No matter what; to treat human beings like we treat the victims of the S.O.R.; is something that will have to be answered to by righteous judgment one way or another. Lets all hope all them of a sane mind that have survived the madness of that like the S.O.R., that do not deserve such cruel and unusual punishment; have to be destroyed along with the self righteous day dreamers of ignorance that rule our country at this time.
May 04 2016:
Stop lying to yourself and others saying people like this are a danger to others. Chronic lying is not normal, lying to yourself is a sign of serious mental illness of the worse kind!
go here to sign this:
Orlando Felony Defense Lawyer
Since he is my friend I highly recommend him to the utmost.
added him to links
05.06.16 12:15 AM ET
NSA Silent on Spies’ Child Porn Problem
The government’s cyber spying outfit has an ‘unbelievable’ child porn problem. But the NSA can’t—or won’t—say how often it finds such criminal images on its workers’ computers.
Two senior U.S. intelligence officials said recently that defense and intelligence employees have an “unbelievable” amount of child pornography on their work computers and devices, and that child porn has been found on the systems of the National Security Agency, the country’s biggest intelligence organization.
But the NSA, which is responsible for keeping tabs on its own computers as well as military and intelligence agency networks, cannot say just how many times employees have been found to posesses or share child pornography, or how many times such cases have been referred to law enforcement for investigation and potential criminal prosecution.
An agency spokesperson was unable to provide The Daily Beast with statistics to elaborate on comments by Kemp Ensor, the NSA’s director of security, who said at a public conference in Virginia on April 28 that he had seen child porn on agency systems. Despite the fact that NSA employees know they work inside the most powerful surveillance organization on the planet, it doesn’t stop some from engaging in criminal behavior. “What people do [at work] is amazing,” Ensor said.
His comments were first reported by Nextgov.
“NSA is a professional foreign-intelligence and information-assurance organization with a highly disciplined workforce, serving around the clock in some of the world’s most dangerous areas,” an NSA spokesperson said in a written statement. “We set high professional standards for our personnel and any violations of the law are appropriately reported.”
But how many? How often? These are questions one might imagine the world’s premiere computer-monitoring agency could answer.
Privately, current and former intelligence officials told The Daily Beast that the NSA does know when employees are downloading, storing, or sharing graphic and illegal images. Downloading, purchasing, and disseminating child pornography is a crime. But NSA is probably not keeping track of the number of times child porn has been found, the current and former officials said—at least not in any form that it’s willing to release publicly.
If that’s the case, it’s not because defense and security officials have failed to raise red flags. Six years ago, the Pentagon released more than 90 pages from an investigation called Operation Flicker, which revealed that members of the military and defense contractors had allegedly purchased child porn on their government computers. One contractor with a top-secret security clearance was charged with possession. The contractor worked for the NSA.
So the agency clearly understands, even if anecdotally or based on the results of outside investigations, that there’s a problem. And the NSA isn’t alone.
“The amount of child porn I see is just unbelievable,” Daniel Payne, the director of the Defense Security Service, said at the same conference where Ensor spoke. The DSS, which is a separate agency from the NSA, conducts background checks on prospective and current government employees. Payne has worked in intelligence and counterintelligence for 34 years, including jobs in the military and at the CIA.
Ensor and Payne’s candid remarks clearly made their employers uncomfortable. Not only did the NSA decline repeated requests to quantify the nature of the problem that Ensor described. The Defense Security Service, when asked the same question, initially provided a boilerplate statement that softened Payne’s alarming comments.
Payne’s “remarks were not Agency specific; rather, he was speaking in terms of the government as a whole,” the statement said. Asked again to provide information that would quantify the nature of that problem, the agency offered a count of its own employees who were found with porn on their work computers: zero.
“The Defense Security Service has found no instances of child pornography on agency computers,” the statement read. “Should a DSS employee be found to have child pornography, the case would be referred to law enforcement for further investigation.”
Asked for the number of times it had found child porn on the computers of other agencies, such as those where DSS investigators are conducting background checks for security clearance renewals, the agency didn’t provide a number.
“As a part of our mission, DSS conducts security vulnerability assessments of cleared facilities, which includes reviewing the audit records of classified systems,” the agency said in another statement. “Should the review uncover any illegal activity, DSS would inform the facility security staff, and if necessary, ensure the appropriate law enforcement authorities are notified.”
Payne and Ensor weren’t trying to raise awareness about child porn and abuse in government. Rather, they were speaking on a panel about so-called insider threats at intelligence agencies. Since Edward Snowden disclosed highly-classified information about surveillance by the NSA, American intelligence agencies have made detecting the next leaker or spy a top priority.
To do that, the agencies need to keep tabs not just on what government employees are doing at work, but also at home, Payne and Ensor argued. NSA employees, particularly young ones, leave the agency and then hop online from the privacy of their own home. “That is where were we need to be, that’s where we need to mine,” Ensor said.
The child porn problem came up, spokespersons for both agencies said, in the context of a discussion about the kinds of activities that signal someone could be engaging in criminal behavior, which would immediately make them a potential security threat.
That raised the question of whether the officials were using one form of criminal behavior—the downloading of child pornography—which they couldn’t precisely quantify, to justify the expansion of surveillance of government employees.
But in trying to emphasize one problem—leakers and spies—Payne and Ensor underscored another: the ongoing and persistent downloading of child porn in the workplace. And, perhaps, officials’ willful ignorance of the matter.
Government investigations have found instances in which intelligence officials effectively ignored evidence of employees viewing child porn and potential child abuse. In 2014, McClatchy reported that an inspector general found the National Reconnaissance Office, which runs U.S. spy satellites, had failed to notify authorities when some of its employees and contractors confessed to child molestation and other crimes during lie detector tests, which are administered for security clearance purposes.
“In one instance, one of the agency’s top lawyers told colleagues not to bother reporting confessions by a government contractor of child molestation, viewing child pornography and sexting with a minor, the inquiry by the inspector general for the intelligence community revealed,” according to McClatchy. Two years earlier, the news organization had reported that law enforcement officials weren’t being told about criminal confessions that surfaced in lie detector tests.
In 2011, the Boston Globe reported that the Defense Department had investigated just 3,500 out of 5,200 people who were suspected of downloading child porn. The Pentagon’s inspector general promised an “all-out pursuit” to catch perpetrators, and said his office would review 1,700 potential cases of child pornography possession that had been referred to military investigators four years earlier, but that were never screened, the Globe reported.
Though they apparently didn’t mean to, Payne and Ensor made a valuable point. The problem of child porn in the government workplace, which has been documented time and again, obviously remains unsolved if two senior officials whose job it is to know are still talking about it.
RHOME, Texas — At least 23 Texas towns have now repealed local sex offender ordinances after the threat of legal action forced many to strip their laws, or end up in court.
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 bare 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.
For a list of convicted sex offenders in any Texas community, you can find the state’s registry at this link.
Polygraph Requirement Violates Registrant’s 5th Amendment Rights
Posted On 10 May, 2016
The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision today stating that a registrant’s Fifth Amendment right to remain silent was violated when the government sought to return him to prison because he refused to answer questions regarding his sexual history during a polygraph exam.
The questions the registrant refused to answer are (1) after the age of 18, did you engage in sexual activity with anyone under the age of 15, (2) have you had sexual contact with a family member or relative, (3) have you ever physically forced or threatened anyone to engage in sexual conduct with you and (4) have you ever had sexual contact with someone who was physically asleep or unconscious?
The court noted that the registrant’s affirmative answer to any one of these questions could have been interpreted as a confession of illegal conduct. The court also noted that the government’s threat to revoke the registrant’s probation for properly invoking his Fifth Amendment privilege is the type of compulsion the government may not impose. The court further noted that an individual is compelled “as soon as the government threatens him with a substantial penalty”.
In the case, the registrant was required to successfully complete a sex offender treatment program mandated by the Colorado Sex Offender Management Board. The registrant was required to sign an agreement that included a requirement to take a sexual history polygraph and allowed his treatment provider to report any sexual crimes discovered during the polygraph exam to appropriate authorities.
When the registrant refused to answer sexual history questions during his polygraph exam, the treatment provider expelled him from the mandatory treatment program. This expulsion, in turn, subjected the registrant to potential revocation of his supervised release and a prison sentence.
In its decision, the court noted that the terms of the sex offender treatment agreement were non-negotiable. The court also noted that its decision was based in part upon the registrant affirmatively asserted his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent during his polygraph exam.
As a result of this decision, the registrant is not required to answer questions regarding his sexual history during a polygraph exam.
In a decision that could have wide-reaching impact, a federal appeals court in Colorado ruled that a convicted sex offender does not have to take a polygraph test as part of his supervised release from prison.
The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ finding Tuesday overruled a lower court’s decision and agrees with Brian Von Behren that the lie detector examination would violate his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
Because polygraphs are used post-conviction on sex crime offenders across the nation, especially in Colorado, the appellate ruling could impact the practice’s implementation in Colorado and beyond, observers say.
David Beller, a criminal defense lawyer with the Denver firm Recht Kornfeld, said that although the ruling does not reflect a change in law, it clarifies a probationer’s right to remain silent when asked about uncharged criminal behavior unrelated to a conviction.
“This decision provides some indication that the legal community’s support for polygraphs as an appropriate and constitutional tool in the treatment of sex offenses is waning,” he added.
Von Behren in 2005 was sentenced in Colorado’s federal court to 121 months in prison and three years of supervised release for receiving and distributing child pornography.
As part of the conditions of his release, Von Behren was ordered to take a sexual history polygraph requiring him to answer four questions about whether he had ever committed illicit sex acts for which he was never charged.
If any crimes were unearthed, they were to be reported to authorities.
Von Behren declined on the basis that the polygraph violated his Fifth Amendment rights, putting him at risk of having his supervised release revoked. The 10th Circuit court agreed.
In the ruling, however, the appellate court wrote a solution to the Fifth Amendment issue would be if the polygraph were used “sensibly” as part of an offender’s probation and not in criminal prosecution.
The court covers a six-state region made up of Oklahoma, Kansas, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming and Utah.
Polygraphs are used as part of sex offenders’ probation across the country.
In Colorado, the state’s Sex Offender Management Board standards and guidelines manual lists polygraph examinations as an important part of a thorough investigation into an offender.
The lie detector results are used in sex offender treatment to improve treatment decisions, deter an offender’s problem behavior and access information about an offender that otherwise might remain a mystery.
Jeanne M. Smith, director of Colorado’s Division of Criminal Justice, which oversees the Sex Offender Management Board, said state legal counsel will review the ruling to determine any possible response.
“Polygraph is a big part of how Colorado treats sex offenders,” said Michael Miner, a professor in the University of Minnesota’s human sexuality program and president of the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers. “I would assume this is going to have some impact on that if someone can in fact refuse to take the polygraph and if doing so doesn’t jeopardize their standing on probation or within a treatment program.
“It will be interesting to see how the chips fall.”
Kurt Gransee, a criminal defense lawyer in San Antonio who handles several sex crime cases each year, said he thinks attorneys across the country will use the opinion.
“It won’t be binding necessarily in other jurisdictions,” he explained. “But lawyers will go to the reasoning in this case. I think it will be pretty persuasive.”
Court cases challenging lie detector testing for sex offenders have popped up across the nation in recent years.
In January, a New Jersey court upheld the state parole board’s use of lie detectors to monitor sex offenders in the wake of a challenge that likened the practice to coerced interrogations, NJ Advance Media reported.
Michael Woyce, the lawyer who brought that case before the court, said Wednesday that the 10th Circuit’s decision likely will play a part in a similar lie detector challenge he’s working on before the New Jersey Supreme Court.
“We’ll certainly be looking at it,” he said of the Colorado ruling. “It’s probably something we will be submitting as a supplement.”
The U.S. Justice Department can ask for further review on the case from the 10th Circuit or the Supreme Court.
But Eric Wiggam, spokesman for Colorado’s U.S. attorney’s office, which handled the case, said there were no plans to take action on the ruling. Federal prosecutors declined to comment further.
Updated May 16 2016
Plethysmograph Now Illegal!
The court ruled in a Tazewell County case in which a teenager was sentenced to two life terms for orally sodomizing a 9-year-old boy.
Circuit Court Judge Henry A. Vanover imposed the sentence based in part on the results of a penile plethysmograph, a controversial device akin to a polygraph. The machine measures blood flow to the penis.
Matthew E. Billips was convicted of two counts of forcible sodomy and one count of soliciting a child to perform sodomy. Billips was living at a relative’s house in May 2003 when he exchanged oral sex with the boy and tried to persuade another young boy to commit the same act, according to the trial evidence.
Billips, now 21, maintains his innocence and claims that his relatives set him up over a drug deal gone sour.
A jury found him guilty and sentenced him to 25 years in prison.
Vanover, however, citing Billips’ criminal record, the nature of the offense and the harm done to the boys, imposed two life terms plus five years. The judge said he could not “imagine any more a heinous offense than what you have committed.”
Before imposing sentence, Vanover ordered Billips to undergo a psychosexual evaluation, which included a plethysmograph. Billips became aroused when shown pictures of boys and girls in sexual situations. The report placed him in the highest risk category for re-offending.
Billips’ attorney objected to the use of the test results, to no avail. The Virginia Court of Appeals also upheld the circuit judge. The Virginia Supreme Court has now sent the case back to Tazewell County for a new sentencing.
If the circuit judge plans to use the test results, he must find some scientific basis for its accuracy, the court ruled.
Scientists are divided on the reliability of the plethysmograph. Some have found it accurate in determining recidivism among sex offenders. Others have found it unreliable, and some states prohibit its use entirely.
The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in a 2002 case that the plethysmograph lacks “scientific validity” and is prone to false positives.
L. Steven Emmert, a Virginia Beach lawyer who tracks Virginia’s appellate rulings, wonders what Vanover – having already seen the test result – will do when the case returns.
“That’s the real question,” he said.
A spokesman for the attorney general’s office, which argued the case, declined to comment.
Billips’ appellate attorney, James R. Henderson IV, a Norfolk native and Old Dominion University graduate, said he welcomes the ruling and hopes that Billips’ new sentence will not be as harsh.
“It can’t get any worse,” he said.
I am all about women’s rights and have always been on the forefront of women’s rights. My wife is a veteran; that makes this personal. I have been supporting this for many years now see Older Blogs
Subject: Thought you might be interested in this petition…
There is an epidemic of sexual assault in the military. It’s made worse because the assaults are under-reported and under-prosecuted, with victims facing devastating retaliation. Thankfully, the Senate finally has a chance to step in with sensible reforms.
I just signed this petition urging them to act. I think you should too:
Sex Offender Laws Are Prejudice!
Just like the Death Penalty!
Sadly it is not a surprise to me at all.
ALBANY, N.Y. (May 19, 2016) — One percent of all black men in the U.S. are registered sex offenders, and black men enter the sex offender registry at nearly twice the rate of white men, a new University at Albany study finds.
Researchers say these findings reveal how the uneven impact of America’s criminal justice system extends to sex crime policy, an area largely overlooked in the scientific literature.
“Our study reveals that a war on sex offenders appears to be gaining steam just as the war on drugs has lost its cultural legitimacy. The number of publicly registered sex offenders is on the rise and is disproportionately from the same group that is targeted by criminal justice authorities — black men,” UAlbany Assistant Professor of Sociology and study author Trevor Hoppe said.
Attn: Senators — don’t pass a bill that will sabotage net neutrality.
If you pass HR.2666, it will take away the FCC’s ability to keep Big Telecom in check. It’s a sneaky attempt to undo all the work the pro-Internet community did last year to keep the web open. Continue to fight for us, and for the Internet – please don’t give telecom giants the power to pick and choose winners online.
Please keep the power of the web in the hands of the public, rather than the entrenched, powerful interests of large telecom conglomerates.
Remember the work we did last year to prevent telecoms from building an Internet slow lane?
A new bill could sabotage our historic net neutrality win, which would put your favorite websites in a slow lane behind media giants that are able to pay big bucks.
And the kicker? Your Internet bill may even go up. The bill will strip away the FCC’s customer protection powers to advocate on behalf of you.
If we don’t speak up now, we’ll be left with companies price-gouging us for a two-tiered Internet service! Speak out now and demand the Senate reject this bill before it’s too late.
Join OpenMedia and Daily Kos to tell the Senate: Reject Internet slow lanes
Hey Cyberskalkers. Guess what? After all these years of me writing my senators (mostly the ACLU and human rights organizations) about this crime; it has finally become illegal.
Cyberstalking is a crime in which the attacker harasses a victim using electronic communication, such as e-mail or instant messaging (IM), or messages posted to a Web site or a discussion group. A cyberstalker relies upon the anonymity afforded by the Internet to allow them to stalk their victim without being detected.
Always remember all them that think they can take all human rights from sex offenders are the exact people who say all LGBT people are child molesters and sex offenders.:
Email I just received from Lambda Legal on May 26 2015:
Sometimes the realization of full LGBT equality seems inevitable. If you’re lucky, it may even seem like it’s already here.
But it isn’t. Just yesterday, Texas and 10 other states filed a lawsuit challenging guidance released by several federal agencies that schools and workplaces must let transgender students and employees use the restrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity.
Just like the flood of anti-LGBT state bills we’ve been battling all spring, this is yet another attempt to turn the clock back to the days when all LGBT people were targets of restroom scare tactics. And just like we’re doing in North Carolina, Lambda Legal stands ready to fight back against this misguided suit.
The state of politics in this country seems to get stranger and more threatening by the day — and it’s anybody’s guess what sort of legislative circus or federal lawsuit may be around the corner. But I’m not intimidated.
With the support of our members — generous people like you — we can act quickly and stand together in this fight.
For 43 years, regardless of the political winds, Lambda Legal’s victories in the courts and in the court of public opinion have helped move everyone in our country closer and closer to the promise of equality and dignity for all. That’s incredibly reassuring …
But this latest twist in our path forward should remind us the LGBT community can never afford to become complacent – and Lambda Legal never will.
I have yet another lawyer friend via Google+; this one is close to home.:
Jay Cohen Attorney at Law:
Again; I highly recommend this lawyer to fight for your rights as a American citizen.
Click here to send message.
It’s not too late to raise your voice in support of survivors of sexual assault in the military.
As soon as next week, the Senate could vote on the Military Justice Improvement Act, which would move the decision-making about whether to prosecute serious cases, like sexual assault, out of the chain of command and put it in the hands of trained, independent military prosecutors.
The women and men who serve and protect our country every day deserve to be protected in return. Let’s keep up the pressure on the Senate to honor our service members by passing the Military Justice Improvement Act.
The Tony Awards have created a ribbon to honor those affected by the mass shooting at an Orlando, Florida, gay nightclub that left at least 50 people dead and at least 53 injured.
Attendees of the awards show donned a special translucent ribbon created in remembrance of the victims in Orlando on Sunday night.