Saturday, July 14, 2007

Be careful of your vote: Kosiur would expand sex offender laws

Looks like another politician, Ed Kosiur of Schenectady County, NY, is trying to ride The Easy Issue. Click on the title to see the whole article:

The new law, described by some Kosiur campaign ads as the toughest in the state, bans all levels of sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of any school, daycare center, playground, swimming pool, park, or youth center.

It doesn’t just prohibit sex offenders from moving into those locations, it’s [SIC] in fact requires all the ones currently living in those places to move. It leaves only a small portion of the town of Duanesburg for sex offenders to live within county borders.

This blog has long since noted the massive failure of such laws. End result: registered sex offenders slip away and the state incurs massive expenses 1) trying to track every single one of them dowm, 2) incarcerating them for months or years after doing so, and 3) supporting their families (if they have such, I don't have numbers on the proportion who do) on welfare during their incarceration.

But if that's what New York voters want, they're welcome to pay for it.

The FBI: how much more hysterical can they get?

I have to say I was almost literally rolling on the floor laughing then I read this article:

FBI: Sex Offenders Could Exploit Free WiFi (Per the site's request, I am providing only the link, not the content.)

So. Free WiFi can "attract dangerous criminals"? I guess so (clearly the FBI is not concerned about non-dangerous criminals). And terrorists too. But you know, free anything will attract the same folks, along with everyone else.

(sarcasm:) Is the FBI saying that nothing should be free?

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Sex Offender Laws Pummeled

Good news, for once! (And if I've been quiet for a while, it's because I'm researching and writing my opposition comments to the Department of Justice guidelines for the Adam Walsh act.) Thank you Amanda Rogers and the American Chronicle.


Washington D.C.: In a desperate attempt to keep the flow of misinformation alive, John Walsh of America’s Most Wanted - who has always sought vengeance over prevention (and makes a ton of money doing it) assembled a small group of parents whose children have been murdered, whether by a registered sex offender or not and went to Capitol Hill last week to push for yet even more ineffective and blatantly vindictive laws in the name of a handful of murdered children.

The group called “The Surviving Parents Coalition,” enlisted the services of a PR (public relations) firm. This is important to note as, in the words of Eugene Kennedy, quoted from the New York Times: “You call in public relations operatives when the truth won’t do.”

The coalition's PR company: (R.M.S. PR) sent out a press release that the group would be meeting with a few “fools on the hill” last week in Washington urging them to “declare war on sex offenders.” Declare war? There was also to be a press conference. To date, I have seen only one single article covering this event - evidence that Mr. Walsh and his entourage have pushed the envelope too far. Vengeance against 600,000 plus people for the actions of the handful responsible for the despicable crimes which took the lives of these parents’ children cannot continue. The silence upon Capitol Hill last week spoke volumes and sends a clear and powerful message: It is no longer enough for the American people for elected officials to look “tough” on crime. The American people want legislators to be “smart” on crime - to focus on prevention, not retribution.

Across the nation, a growing number of top mental health experts, law enforcement agencies, and victim advocacy groups are becoming fed up with costly, ineffective, and counter-productive sex offender laws, and they are speaking out. The over-inflated balloon of hype and hysteria which has been the platform for creating and passing much of the legislation is deflating as factual data on the issues surrounding sex crimes comes to the forefront.

For example, ALL of these laws focus on former registered sex offenders who statistically are responsible for a miniscule 3% of new sex crimes. That means that 97% of new sex crimes will be commited by someone who is NOT a registered sex offender. To put it in perspective, out of the 400 Dateline "To Catch A Predator" stings only 4 out of the over 400 caught were actually registered sex offenders. So then, WHY are all these laws only targeting those on the registry that pose the lowest risk to society?

The tide is turning and lawmakers who don’t want to be left holding the bag for the miserable failures that have been created in the name of protecting the public are taking notice. With the exception of the three "fools on the hill" that are still trying to make a name for themselves via deception and who have obviously not done their homework. Those lawmakers being: Senator Joe Biden-(D) DE, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz-(D) FL , and Congressman Al Green-(D) TX.

Multiple states across the nation are delaying and in some cases even outright refusing to comply with the Federal government’s mandate of the Adam Walsh Act passed last year in a closed door session, at the bequest of Rep. James Sensenbrenner.

Community notification laws, residency restrictions, and all the other “one up man-ship” policies that have been set into law to date haven’t protected a single child and it has cost the American people dearly. These laws have torn a huge hole in the fabric of our society. ALL of these laws have been based on a handful of tragic and brutal crimes, some involving someone with a previous sex offense and some not. America’s children have a greater chance of being struck by lightening than by having their child abducted. The crimes are horrific but they are in fact, extremely rare. The majority of sex crimes are not committed by strangers or even registered sex offenders, yet that is who John Walsh and others constantly focus on when lobbying for laws against everyone and anyone with a past sex charge, whether for Romeo and Juliet relationships or kids caught playing doctor. Everyone has been lumped together and publicly slandered by vote hungry politicians and the ratings hungry media, trying to convince us that everyone on the sex offender registry is a child molesting, incurable pedophile capable of murdering a child at any given moment. Bullshit. If all registered sex offenders posed that kind of threat to the public, we’d be neck deep in the bodies of murdered children just by walking out our front door. Think about it.

Lawmakers are (finally) doing their homework. They are finally beginning to pour over the numerous reports which government agencies and mental health experts have compiled and that the taxpayers have paid for regarding recidivism, types of offenders, factual data and the negative consequences of the plethora of ill thought out legislation.

Sex crimes are down? That’s no surprise. I wonder how many cases will never see the light of day because family members fear the wrath of these laws and keep sexual abuse “within the family” to themselves instead of reporting it? How is this protecting children or helping to solve the problem?

The ever growing group of organizations and individuals who have read the mountains of data and oppose laws like community notification, residency restrictions, and the Adam Walsh Act include, but are not limited to:

Patty Wetterling

Nancy Sabin

The Jacob Wetterling Foundation

Franklin Zimring, law professor University of California at Berkeley

Scott Poland, past president of the National Association of School Psychologists

Robert Prentky, a psychologist and nationally renowned expert on sex offenders in Bridgewater, Massachusetts

Kansas department of Corrections

Iowa County Attorney’s Association

Colorado Department of Public Safety

Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault

Minnesota Department of Corrections


Montana Treatment Association

California Coalition on Sex Offending

Therapy Key




American Bar Association


Dr. Jill Levinson PhD

Dr. Fred Berlin

I don’t know what’s worse, someone who exploits a child sexually or someone who makes a career out of exploiting their own child’s tragic death for personal gain at the expense of thousands of others (and their families,) who had nothing to do with the perpetration of these heinous crimes.

Amanda Rogers - 7/03/2007

Friday, July 06, 2007

What would Jesus do?

What would Jesus do? What these self-labeled Christians are doing? What a sweet, sweet witness they make to the love and mercy of Jesus Christ. John Calvin would be ever so proud of these, his spiritual progeny.

Protestors: Sex offenders must move out

Protestors want sex offenders to move out of a cluster of apartments that sit very close to their church.

TAMPA - Instead of relaxing, some Tampa residents were marching on Independence Day.

Members of the John Calvin Presbyterian Church held signs and chanted outside the home of a man who owns an apartment complex next to the chapel. The apartments cater to convicted sex offenders.

"We want them to move on," said Bea Dreier, as she held a picket Wednesday morning. "Let's find another place for them."

The congregation is especially concerned because the church plans to open a day care facility late this year or early next year.


Landlord Chris Stover says he was doing business on the location prior to the church's application for a day care facility. He says the church is being irresponsible opening the day care center so close to his business.


ALABAMA VOICES: Emotion makes bad laws

It seems one has to be close to the issue in order to see the reality. Cindy, dear, you're speaking to a deaf audience.

ALABAMA VOICES: Emotion makes bad laws

By Cindy Blair

In my opinion and in the opinion of sex offenders who have been convicted of a sex offense in Alabama, the sex offender notification law is a violation of their constitutional rights, as well as their human rights.

Once a person serves his or her time, pays their debt to society, he or she should be able to live a productive, honest and free life unless he or she breaks the law again. The sex offenders notification law prevents this.

This law dictates where sex offenders can live and work. This actually destroys any chance of sex offenders being able to live a normal life. They cannot obtain gainful employment. It makes it next to impossible for a sex offender to find a place to live.

The lawmakers and courts say that this is not punishment, but it is. It also violates a ex-sex offender's basic human rights and constitutional rights. The sex offender notification act affects people whose crimes were 25 or 30 years ago. This is creating laws after the fact.

Two bills offered in the recent legislative session were trying to make it even harder for sex offenders to live. This legislation is trying to stop two sex offenders from living in the same place. If sex offenders could find a place to live, they would not have to live in the same place.

The bills want to stop sex offenders from living close to senior citizens. This does not make sense. Senior citizens are very rarely victims of sex crimes. A lot of sex offenders are senior citizens themselves. Are they going to stop them from going to a nursing home, too?

I would like for one of these politicians to explain just where a sex offender is supposed to live. Maybe they expect them to do like they are doing in Florida and live under a bridge.

I would like to see the public wake up to what the politicians are doing. They are getting on the sex bandwagon just to get votes. Sex sells products on television, in advertising, in the newspapers and billboards on the side of the highway.

Now the politicians want to use sex offenders to get elected. It does not matter to them that they are destroying people's lives. Every sex offender has a family. Do they think the sex offender notification law only affects the sex offender? Families are being destroyed because of this law.

The way sex crimes are portrayed on television is not the real world. Only a very small percent of the sex offenders would fall under actual violence. Movies and programs that show actual violent sex crimes sure help the politicians out.

Sex offenders are not being treated fairly under the Constitution. The ones making laws are not using rational thinking. Most of the laws pertaining to sex crimes are made from personal feeling and the wrong information about sex offenders. Sex laws are not passed according to what is right under the Constitution, or even what makes sense.

Some sex offenders deserve what they get. However, how can all sex offenders be held liable for another person's actions?

I am not upholding sex crimes. I very well do empathize, as well as sympathize, with victims of sex crimes. In this state anyone convicted of a sex offense is automatically a sexual predator. It does not even matter if he or she is a first-time offender.

If some of our so-called educated people making laws and running this state would do a little research, they would see that not all sex offenders are the same. Even the ones convicted of a crime pertaining to children are different.

What is really obscured is that hardly any sex offender has a trial. They are coerced into pleading guilty. Most do not even know that by pleading guilty they are being placed under the sex offender notification law. The sex offender notification law is being applied to people who pled guilty to a sex crime more than 20 years ago.

Is the sex offender notification law protecting the public? We hear of new sex offenses all the time, but not because of the already convicted sex offenders. Putting restrictions on the already convicted sex offenders will not stop sex crimes.

If the families and friends of sex offenders will stop voting for the politicians who are pushing for more restrictions on sex offenders and try to vote for the ones who look at sex crimes in a rational sense, then maybe ex-sex offenders will have the opportunity to return home and live productive and law-abiding lives.

Cindy Blair, a homemaker and relative of a sex offender, writes from Ohatchee.

Oh, what a tangled web...

Allouez WI responds to Green Bay's residency rule -- not by trying to change state law to prohibit sex-offender non-residency zones (which have proven to be be nothing but trouble for states that have enacted same) but by enacting an unworkable rule of its own.

ALLOUEZ — Village Trustee Randy Gast is pitching a novel idea for dealing with sexual predators moving to Allouez.

Gast’s “reciprocal sexual predator residency restriction” is a response to Green Bay’s strict policy on where sexual offenders can relocate. The city’s ordinance prevents registered sex offenders from relocating to within all but about 12 percent of the city. And much of that 12 percent is uninhabitable.

“I don’t think that residency restrictions are the way to go,” Gast said.

Faced with nowhere in Green Bay to live, sex offenders will move south to Allouez, he said.

“I was very troubled by what Green Bay has done,” Gast said. “We’re right next door to Green Bay; it puts our people at risk and could potentially affect our property values.”

Gast’s plan doesn’t involve setting residency restrictions in Allouez, but it does impose on the offender moving to Allouez the restrictions of the municipality in which the offender was convicted.

In other words, if a sex offender convicted in Green Bay decides to move to Allouez, he or she would be subject to Green Bay’s residency rules. If a perpetrator from an area without restrictions moved to Allouez, then Allouez’s rules would apply, if Allouez were to adopt its own restrictions or adopt zones off-limits to offenders.

The proposal is limited to municipalities in Brown County that have residency restrictions on record. Offenders from outside the county would not be affected.

Gast’s proposal is different and separate from the draft ordinance that Hobart officials plan to take action on Tuesday, which establishes restricted zones.

Gast said that if the board were interested in the idea, he’d want it to be referred to the county’s multijurisdictional task force on sex offenders for further study.

Gast’s plan drew skepticism from fellow board members, and Allouez police officer John Flannery expressed concerns about enforcement.

Trustee Bill Sweasy said Gast’s plan had a lot of appeal at first but that it’s “fraught with difficulties” when it comes to enforcing, calling it “a big dog with no teeth.”

“If you have (offenders) from four different jurisdictions, you have five different rules for each of them,” Sweasy said. “With officers busy enough as it is ... how would they ever know who’s where and what applies to whom?”

Even if the board doesn’t like it, Gast said he plans to bring it back to the table in future meetings.

“As far as it not having teeth, that’s always a problem with ordinances,” Gast said. “I just think it’s wrong for Green Bay to put its large geographical boundaries out of limit for sex offenders, and I have this suspicion that we’re going to have to bear the burden of more than our share of (offenders) living here because of it.”