New Blogs Part 8 Updated January 12 2018

http://sexoffenderfaq.blogspot.com/2014/01/sex-offender-faq.html


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.





Hey, this blog looks real nice on a cell phone; as I have recently discovered.



Please ignore the official counter on this blog. Shortly after I put this counter on every page of my blog it became impossible to update with it in the html of this blog. I had to take it off all my blog pages. I just realized today it is still on my untouched SOFAQ homepage still and I believe it is true, counting not only computer hits but phone hits as well. I am pasting a copy of it here:

That's right; the home page of this blog registers 215,050 hits.
check the bottom of this page to see for yourself:
https://sexoffenderfaq.blogspot.com/





August 31, 2017 

In a far reaching opinion that is sure to send Colorado’s Attorney General scrambling to salvage that state’s registration and notification scheme, Senior U.S. District Court Judge Richard P. Matsch (a Nixon appointee who presided over the trial of Oklahoma City bombing defendant Timothy McVeigh) has held the entire Colorado Sex Offender Registration Act (C.R.S. §§ 16-22-101, et seq) unconstitutional as applied to three plaintiffs who sued the director of Colorado’s Bureau of Investigation (the state agency responsible for maintaining the state’s sex offender registry).

Using the seven factors set forth in Kennedy v. Mendoza-Martinez, 372 U.S. 144 (1963) that were utilized by the Supreme Court in Smith v. Doe, 538 U.S. 84 (2003), Judge Matsch held that six of the seven factors weighed in favor of finding the state’s SORA requirements punitive in their effects and, therefore, in violation of the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. Judge Matsch writes:

This ongoing imposition of a known and uncontrollable risk of public abuse of information from the sex offender registry, in the absence of any link to an objective risk to the public posed by each individual sex offender, has resulted in and continues to threaten Plaintiffs with punishment disproportionate to the offenses they committed. Where the nature of such punishment is by its nature uncertain and unpredictable, the state cannot assure that it will ever be proportionate to the offense. SORA as applied to these Plaintiffs therefore violates the Eighth Amendment.

Believing that the U.S. Supreme Court’s collective understanding of the internet has evolved over time, Judge Matsch wrote, “Justice Kennedy’s words [writing the 2003 majority opinion in Smith v. Doe] ring hollow that the state’s website does not provide the public with means to shame the offender when considering the evidence in this case. He and his colleagues did not foresee the development of private, commercial websites exploiting the information made available to them . . . The justices did not foresee the ubiquitous influence of social media . . . Public shaming and banishment are forms of punishment that may be considered cruel and unusual under the Eighth Amendment.”

Judge Matsch also held the state’s SORA requirements unconstitutionally infirm in violating the Fourteenth Amendment procedural and substantive due process rights of the plaintiffs, as applied.

Since the plaintiffs did not argue that the state’s SORA requirements are facially invalid, the outcome of this case (which is certain to be appealed to the Tenth Circuit) will only apply to the parties named in the complaint. However, the precedential effect of Judge Matsch’s ruling, IF sustained on review, will open a floodgate of litigation that would very likely cause the Colorado Sex Offender Registration Act to buckle and collapse—at least in its present construction.

Of particular interest was the obvious influence of the Supreme Court’s recent opinion in Packingham v. North Carolina, _ U.S. _, 137 S.Ct. 1730 (2017) as well as the Sixth Circuit’s decision in Does v. Snyder, 834 F.3d 696 (6th Cir. 2016) which remains on petition before the Supreme Court and is scheduled for conference September 25.

In light of Justice Kennedy’s opinion in the unanimous Packingham decision, Judge Matsch infers that Kennedy’s majority opinion in Smith v. Doe might read much differently were he to have another crack at it:

Packingham also reflects an apparent evolution in the mindset of Justice Kennedy, who authored the majority opinions in both Smith v. Doe and Packingham. In Smith, decided in 2003, Justice Kennedy downplayed the punitive effect of statutory internet notification provisions, finding their “purpose and the principal effect” were “to inform the public for its own safety, not to humiliate the offender”; and that the internet simply makes a public records search “more efficient, cost effective, and convenient” for citizens. Smith, 538 U.S. at 99. In 2017, in addition to noting that restrictions on internet use are a “severe restriction,” Justice Kennedy recognized that the internet and social media websites “can provide perhaps the most powerful mechanisms available to a private citizen to make his or her voice heard. Packingham, 137 S.Ct. At 1737.

This outcome is breathtaking in its scope because it may well be the first time a federal judge has ever held that the essential requirement to register is, in and of itself, an unconstitutional imposition of state law on the basis of the punitive consequential effects to citizens required to register.

NARSOL filed its own amicus brief in the Packingham case which was joined by North Carolina RSOL and ATSA.


IN: JUDGES FIND 2015 LAW UNCONSTITUTIONAL AS APPLIED TO REGISTERED SEX OFFENDER
September 1, 2017 
A 2015 law meant to prohibit certain sex offenders from entering school property is unconstitutional as it applies to a Howard County man who has already completed his punishment for his 2010 child solicitation conviction, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday. Full Article

PA: MONTCO SENATOR’S BILL WOULD REMOVE SEX OFFENDER REGISTRATION REQUIREMENT FOR CUSTODY CRIMES
August 31, 2017 
[Bucks County Courier Times – Pennsylvania]
After Richard Griffin stole an SUV that was left idling in the parking lot of a Bristol Township convenience store, he quickly learned an 11-year-old passenger was in the backseat.

Once the boy made his presence known, Griffin pulled over and let him out before driving away, according to court records in the 2009 crime.

The boy wasn’t hurt. Griffin was arrested and later pleaded guilty in Bucks County Court to charges including theft, receiving stolen property and interference with custody of children.

The custody offense is the only reason the Philadelphia man is a registered sex offender in Pennsylvania.


FALSELY ACCUSED OF SATANIC HORRORS, A COUPLE SPENT 21 YEARS IN PRISON. NOW THEY’RE OWED MILLIONS.

August 26, 2017 

[Washington Post]

Long before the age of the Internet and the fleeting spasms of mass hysteria that came with it (Remember Jade Helm? Pizzagate?), and going back to the late 20th century, when irrational fears moved slower and lasted longer, there was Satan.

The “satanic panic,” some call it now. It began some time in the 1980s, when newscasters and fundamentalist Christian cartoons warned of the evils of the role-playing game “Dungeons & Dragons,” and stretched into the 1990s, when police and psychiatrists saw thousands of unfounded accusations of ritualistic sex abuse and children were seized from British parents accused of devil worship.

One case still stands out.

“This country hasn’t seen anything like it since the Salem witch trials,” Texas Monthly wrote in 1994, in a profile of Austin day-care operators Dan and Fran Keller, who had been thrown in prison two years earlier.





New Blogs Part 8 Updated September 02 2017

Subject: Take Action: Stand Up for Labor, Stand Up to ALEC

Body:

Friend,

I took an action on Action Network called Stand Up for Labor, Stand Up to ALEC.

When American workers organize, they change our country for the better. The men and women who make up labor unions have fought for fair schedules, family-friendly work environments, job training, higher wages, and so much more. These hard-fought union victories have subsequently elevated the welfare of all working people. Unions offer representation against powerful corporate interests. ALEC would see that representation taken away. In 2017, ALEC model bills have appeared in statehouses across the country pushing anti-labor policies. In Florida, ALEC legislators have introduced a bill to prohibit the establishment of a living wage. In Georgia, ALEC members sponsored a bill to preempt local ordinances requiring fair scheduling of workers. Kentucky's statehouse saw a bill that would prevent workers from making claims on injuries. Unsurprisingly, it bore the calling card of ALEC. ALEC has launched a crusade against American workers and the unions that represent them. ALEC wants to see labor weakened and isolated. ALEC know that when Americans organize, we are powerful. This Labor Day, lets remember the power of organization. Pledge to protect the rights of workers. Pledge to stand up for labor and Stand Up to ALEC.


Thanks!




New Blogs Part 8 Updated September 07 2017

"It may seem ridiculously early, but the contest for the Democratic nomination for President in 2020 is already in full swing. We’ll evaluate the early hopefuls." from GayUSA email.

A 2020 Democratic agenda is emerging
Washington Post-Sep 4, 2017
With no clear front-runner for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, several prospective candidates are beginning to stir. The process of ... from: https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2017/09/04/a-2020-democratic-agenda-is-emerging/?utm_term=.121c11de25df

Facebook Sold $100,000 in Ads to Russians Seeking to Influence U.S. Election

by Andy Towle
September 6, 2017 | 6:14pmShare598

Facebook told a congressional panel on Wednesday that it sold $100,000 in ads to a Russian company seeking to influence voters in the 2016 U.S. election.

The Washington Post reports:

Facebook officials reported that they traced the ad sales, totaling $100,000, to a Russian “troll farm” with a history of pushing pro-Kremlin propaganda, these people said.

A small portion of the ads, which began in the summer of 2015, directly named Republican nominee Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton, the people said. Most of the ads focused on pumping politically divisive issues such as gun rights and immigration fears, as well as gay rights and racial discrimination.

Facebook made the discovery as part of an internal investigation launched in the spring:

It found that 3,300 ads had digital footprints that led to the Russian company.

Facebook teams then discovered 470 suspicious and likely fraudulent Facebook accounts and pages that it believes operated out of Russia, had links to the company and were involved in promoting the ads.




New Blogs Part 8 Updated September 07 2017

I am posting this after reading it in my GayUSA email. I am posting it because I have always suspected the Jewish religion of being hung up about anything with the word sex in it; like Sex Offender. All due respect to the Jewish people. This is just proof of what I always say about religion is the RSO's biggest enemy. There is only one population more condemned by all religions than RSO and that is all LGBTQ folks.

Israeli Supreme Court rules same-sex ‘marriage’ not a civil right


 Homosexuality , Israel , Same-Sex 'Marriage' , Supreme Court

JERUSALEM, September 1, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — The Israeli Supreme Court unanimously rejected homosexual "marriage."

The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Association in the Jewish nation demanded that the law against same-sex "marriage" be declared unconstitutional, but on Thursday the court turned them down. The LGBTQI organization argued that Israel's Basic Law of Human Dignity and Liberty should be legally interpreted as recognizing homosexual "marriage."

The country’s highest court agreed that "Israeli civil law does not recognize same-sex marriage."  In fact, there is no such thing as "civil marriage" in the country.  Therefore, "the petitioners' request to have the civil court rule on something under the jurisdiction of the rabbinical courts … is not applicable here."

Israel has two coexisting court systems. Religious courts deal with "personal status" issues such as marriage, divorce, and the like. (There are Jewish, Christian, Islamic, and Druze [a sect of Islam] courts in Israel.)




New Blogs Part 8 Updated September 14 2017

This is not just regular everyday people! I know from my wife being in the military and living off base; military people are extraordinary people, the best of the best. 

Sign Petition:

Donald Trump and his bigoted White House staff are attacking the LGBTQ community – yet again. Recently he took to Twitter to announce his intention to reinstate a hateful and discriminatory ban on transgender people serving in the military. In the coming days the White House will reportedly issue a policy memo to formalize the terms of this discriminatory ban.1

Trump’s direct assault on transgender people is grounded, like most of his hateful decisions, in blatant lies. In his unhinged Twitter announcement, Trump claimed that he arrived at his decision after “consultation with my Generals (sic) and military experts”2 – but the Pentagon press office reportedly “didn’t know anything about” Trump’s decision.3

Fortunately, Trump does not get to make this decision on his own. Chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) Sen. John McCain has already spoken out against a transgender ban in the military. Now he needs to put his words into action by using the currently pending defense policy bill to stand up to Trump and block this hateful and discriminatory proposal.

Tell Sen. McCain: Stand up to Trump’s bigotry. Ensure that the National Defense Authorization Act blocks and prohibits Trump’s discriminatory transgender troops ban.

Sign Petition:


New Blogs Part 8 Updated September 14 2017

FALSELY ACCUSED OF RAPE, FORMER HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL STAR FINALLY CLEARED [VIDEO]
August 26, 2017

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QLTqym2Zjpo&feature=youtu.be

LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- After a decade, it was the judgment that Brian Banks and his lawyers from the California Innocence Project fought for: Case dismissed.

"My only dream in the world was to just be free and to have the same opportunity as everybody here," said Banks following Thursday's hearing.

At age 16, Brian Banks had been a popular student at Polytechnic High in Long Beach, an athlete being scouted by eight colleges.

He verbally accepted an offer to attend the University of Southern California on a four-year scholarship when a serious accusation came from a fellow classmate and childhood friend.

Wanetta Gibson, then 15 years old, claimed Banks had raped her at school. With a case of he said she said, Banks did as his lawyers urged -- to plead no contest and accept a short prison term rather than risk a long one.

Gibson collected $1.5 million after suing the school. Banks spent five years in prison and five years on parole, finally reaching out to California Project Innocence. But the case turned when the alleged victim contacted him through Facebook asking to be his friend. 


FL: RETIRED OFFICER OPPOSES SEX OFFENDER DESIGNATION ON NEW FLORIDA LICENSES
August 29, 2017 
Shalimar, Florida’s WEAR ran a story on the newly designed Florida driver’s licenses. One surprising opinion about the new license came from a retired parole officer, who commented on the sex offender designation on licenses for those registered. Here’s what he had to say:

“The new license turns heads in Okaloosa County; including Don Gatchell’s. He’s a retired parole officer with the state of Florida who worries an old, but remodeled feature – a mandatory sexual offender identification on the card – may be too much.

“My honest opinion now that I have been out of it for 10 years, retired, I think we’re overdoing it with the sex offenders. I mean, I know there are some guys out there, sex offenders, that are bad, but not all sex offenders are bad. You got people out there who are on probation for underage sex for example,” Gatchell said. He worries the ID will cause unnecessary prejudice in the lives of those impacted”


PA: MONTCO SENATOR’S BILL WOULD REMOVE SEX OFFENDER REGISTRATION REQUIREMENT FOR CUSTODY CRIMES
August 31, 2017
[Bucks County Courier Times – Pennsylvania]
After Richard Griffin stole an SUV that was left idling in the parking lot of a Bristol Township convenience store, he quickly learned an 11-year-old passenger was in the backseat.

Once the boy made his presence known, Griffin pulled over and let him out before driving away, according to court records in the 2009 crime.

The boy wasn’t hurt. Griffin was arrested and later pleaded guilty in Bucks County Court to charges including theft, receiving stolen property and interference with custody of children.

The custody offense is the only reason the Philadelphia man is a registered sex offender in Pennsylvania.


IN: JUDGES FIND 2015 LAW UNCONSTITUTIONAL AS APPLIED TO REGISTERED SEX OFFENDER
September 1, 2017 
A 2015 law meant to prohibit certain sex offenders from entering school property is unconstitutional as it applies to a Howard County man who has already completed his punishment for his 2010 child solicitation conviction, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday. Full Article http://www.theindianalawyer.com/articles/44684-judges-find-2015-law-unconstitutional-as-applied-to-registered-sex-offender

CO: JUDGE FINDS COLORADO SEX OFFENDER REGISTRY UNCONSTITUTIONAL
August 31, 2017 

A federal court judge in Denver has called the public sex offender registry in Colorado “cruel and unusual punishment.” Full Article Also see: Millard-v.-Rankin-13-cv-02406-Colorado 




MO: MISSOURI’S SEXUALLY VIOLENT PREDATOR TREATMENT PROGRAM ELUDES FEDERAL SCRUTINY

September 5, 2017 

 In an awaited ruling from the federal bench, U.S. District Judge Audrey G. Fleissig ruled late Friday afternoon that Missouri’s sexually violent predator law is constitutional, but not how it’s applied. Full Article http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/u-s-judge-rules-handling-of-state-s-sexual-predator/article_8ea46baa-5e3f-5773-a1d1-9465c9d08fe9.html

Related



WHAT YOU THINK YOU KNOW ABOUT SEX OFFENDERS IS WRONG, ATTORNEY SAYS

September 6, 2017 

[westworld.com]

As writer Alan Prendergast reported, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Matsch has ruled that Colorado’s sex-offender registry violates the due-process rights of three plaintiffs, thereby amounting to cruel and unusual punishment. Boulder attorney Alison Ruttenberg, who filed the case in 2013, sees the opinion as the potential death knell for a law enforcement tool that, in her view, perpetuates factually dubious notions that fall apart when examined in an evenhanded way.

“Everybody always jumps to the conclusion that all sex offenders are like the type of sex offender that’s vilified on Oprah Winfrey or John Walsh’s show: the serial, violent pedophile always looking for his next victim, who rapes and murders children. That stereotype applies to maybe a handful of convicted sex offenders in Colorado, and certainly nowhere near all the 18,000 men and women we have on our registry.”




WI: MILWAUKEE COMMON COUNCIL VOTES TO LIFT SEX OFFENDER RESIDENCY RESTRICTIONS
September 7, 2017 
Most residency restrictions for sex offenders would be lifted under a plan approved Wednesday by the Milwaukee Common Council. Full Article http://www.jsonline.com/story/news/local/milwaukee/2017/09/06/milwaukee-common-council-votes-lift-sex-offender-residency-restrictions/638400001/?cookies=&from=global


IN: COA CONSIDERS WHETHER BAN ON SEX OFFENDERS ATTENDING CHURCH VIOLATES RFRA
September 8, 2017 
Three Boone County men convicted of serious sex offenses are looking to the Indiana Court of Appeals to determine if they can return to their churches as the court considers whether a ruling that the men cannot attend church when children’s programming is in session violates their rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Full Article http://www.theindianalawyer.com/articles/44755-coa-consider-whether-ban-on-sex-offenders-attending-church-violates-rfra


29 PALMS SUED OVER SEX OFFENDER RESTRICTIONS
September 9, 2017 
TWENTYNINE PALMS — The city of Twentynine Palms is being sued for keeping its residency restrictions for registered sex offenders.

The City Council will meet Monday, Sept. 11, to hold a public hearing and consider repealing the restrictions, which are laid out in its municipal code. Staff and the city attorneys are recommending that the council repeal the restrictions. Full Article http://www.hidesertstar.com/the_desert_trail/news/article_c6a1e076-94f4-11e7-9aa6-4b4ec72c3235.html

FL: SHERIFF SUED AFTER THREATENING TO ARREST FUGITIVES WHO SOUGHT HURRICANE SHELTER
September 11, 2017 
A Florida sheriff who threatened to jail fugitives with warrants if they sought shelter during Hurricane Irma has been sued by a man who claims he was denied entry to a shelter.

The Orlando Sentinel reports the lawsuit filed Sunday by Nexus Services, an organization that provides legal help to immigrants, claims Andres Borreno was denied entry to a shelter in Polk County after sheriff’s deputies told him he would have to submit to a background check before entering a shelter. Full Article http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/350113-florida-sheriff-sued-after-threatening-to-arrest-fugitives-who





New Blogs Part 8 Updated September 15 2017


We really need these people during times of natural disasters!

As unnatural disasters occupied the headlines last week, Congress quietly passed a bill to keep the federal government running for the next three months. This sets up a hot debate this fall as they figure out how much money to give federal agencies in 2018.

The Environmental Protection Agency is on the chopping block, and it's going to be up to us to stop even more cuts to this critical agency.

Tell your members of Congress: You MUST protect funding for the EPA.

As I'm writing, the House is adopting a spending bill for 2018 that would slash the EPA’s budget by 7% ($528 million). 

This is completely unacceptable. 

Although 7% is an improvement compared to the Trump administration’s unsuccessful attempt at a 31% cut, it remains a huge threat to all of us who benefit from critical protections for our drinking water and the health of the air we breathe. The EPA is already underfunded, we cannot cut the agency any more!  No cuts, no matter what amount, are acceptable.

Critical EPA programs including their science, research programs, and enforcement of clean air and water rules are now under significant threat. 

It's up to us to stop this decimation from happening.

In addition to the outlined program cuts, the overall EPA staffing level is rapidly diminishing, giving us yet another reason to act quickly. Nearly 400 workers left the EPA this summer (primarily from buyouts), and upcoming departures will take the agency’s staffing to its lowest point in almost 30 years.¹ 

John O’Grady, a career EPA employee who heads a national council of EPA unions, said if the Trump administration follows through on its plan to eliminate thousands of employees, it would lead to “the utter destruction of the U.S. EPA.”²

Stand up for what is right: demand that your members of Congress reject any slashes to EPA funding!

Despite EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt's unconscionable efforts to undermine the agency, the daily headlines alone are enough of an example why we need agencies like the EPA to be sufficiently supported. Harvey and Irma left communities swimming in raw sewage, with human waste and chemicals flowing through waterways.³ In this horrific aftermath, the EPA has to have the resources they need to protect public health. 

Keep in mind, these cuts are NOT a done deal. The House bill is only one step in the process. The Senate also has to act and come to some agreement with the House. 

Your members of Congress need to hear from you now, before their final decisions are made!

Sign now with Food & Water Action to tell Congress: protect our environment and our future — save the EPA!

As we bring light to this terrible budget proposal on a national level, Food & Water Watch is playing a leading role in regional and local fights to protect the EPA — bringing this work to key congressional districts. 

We know together, we can stand up to the administration's attacks, protect our most essential resources and rebuild a future we can all believe in.   



New Blogs Part 8 Updated September 20 2017

Resources for Those Dealing with Sex Crime Accusations

Published: Aug 04, 2017 in Sex Crimes
If you or a loved one has been falsely accused of a sex crime, there are ways to obtain help in your situation. Below is a list of organizations, advocacy groups, and resources for those who have been falsely accused, in need of support, or want to get involved. Although the main purpose of some of these organizations may be focused on victims, many of these groups also reach out to those who are falsely accused to offer aid through resources and information.
  1. Save Our Sons
    http://helpsaveoursons.com
    Save Our Sons is an organization that seeks to provide resources to young men who have been falsely accused of sex crimes, especially on college campuses. The organization fights to preserve young men’s college dreams and for them to not be inhibited by a false accusations.
  2. Stop Abusive and Violent Environments (SAVE)
    http://www.saveservices.org/falsely-accused/
    SAVE is a resource for those wrongly accused of domestic violence. The organization has ongoing media efforts, which further draw attention to the problem of domestic violence and policy reforms.
  3. Innocence Project
    https://www.innocenceproject.org/getinvolved/
    Innocence Project serves to exonerate those falsely accused and reform criminal policy. They work to raise awareness of the problems faced by those who are falsely accused and convicted of crimes. They can help get those who are falsely accused in contact with other organizations.
  4. National Association for Rational Sexual Offense Laws (NARSOL)
    https://narsol.org
    NARSOL helps to provide holistic healing for those wrongfully accused. In addition, NARSOL supports legislation dealing with reforming criminal justice laws and advocates for victims’ rights.
  5. National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVC)
    https://www.nsvrc.org/
    The NSVC helps give resources, support, and leadership to those wrongly accused of sexual violence. They focus on developing resources that eliminate actual sexual violence instead of punishing those who have been falsely accused.
  6. The Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health (SASH)
    http://www.sash.net
    SASH advocates the promotion of sexual health. The organization addresses what can happen because of wrongful sexual behavior and seeks to provide alternatives to help those dealing with wrongful sexual tendencies.
  7. Alliance for Constitutional Sex Offense Laws (ASCOL)
    http://all4consolaws.org
    ASCOL strives to protect the civil rights of citizens under the Constitution and supports legislation in favor of protecting those wrongfully accused. The organization offers resources and information to those who have faced wrongful accusation or illegal treatment by authorities.
  8. National Coalition for Men (NCFM)
    http://ncfm.org
    The NCFM fights to remove the problematic gender-based stereotypes for young boys and men. The organization raises awareness that not only women are inhibited by society, but men are too. The NCFM supports men who choose to break from society’s typical standards.
  9. Ethical Treatment for All Youth
    http://www.ethicaltreatment.org/index.htm
    The organization strives to protect and advocate children who are wrongfully blamed of violating sex laws. They focus on supporting individuals who are accused of violating laws without intent or when all elements of the crime do not exist in the facts of the case.
  10. Families Advocating for Campus Equality (FACE)
    https://www.facecampusequality.org/our-stories.html
    FACE supports families whose sons have been inaccurately accused of sexual assault on college campuses. Through their extensive list of attorneys and experience, FACE can advise families on the next steps for overcoming the situation.
  11. Center for Sex Offender Management (CSOM)
    http://www.csom.org
    CSOM supports state and local governments in their sex offender management programs. The organization also creates training for sex offenders across the United States.
  12. Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA)
    http://www.atsa.com
    ATSA works to prevent sexual abuse in communities through their research, education, and resources. They promote sound research instead of the distribution of statistics that are inaccurate. They also support informed policy and comprehensive prevention of sexual abuse.
  13. Internet Behavior Consulting Company (IBC)
    http://www.internetbehavior.com
    IBC works with those who suffer from cybersex and other Internet addictions. The organization offers research and resources to help those who suffer from internet addictions.
  14. The Kempe Foundation
    http://www.kempe.org
    The Kempe Foundation serves abused and neglected children on multiple levels. Through clinical care, advocacy, research, and education, the foundation helps and cares for children in need. Children who have been falsely accused may seek help from The Kempe Foundation.
  15. Sexual Assault Rights and Resources
    http://notavictim.tyla.org/accused/
    This organization educates the wrongfully accused of their rights before and during the trial process, while providing resources to help support those going through a wrongful conviction.
  16. Fathers For Equal Rights (FER)
    https://fathers4kids.com/issues/domestic-violence/false-allegation-child-sex-abuse
    FER seeks to help fathers, children, and families receive equality when it comes to raising children. FER can help guide men through the legal process if they have been wrongfully accused and offer educational services on how to face everyday issues of being a father.
  17. Survivors for Justice (SFJ)
    http://survivorsforjustice.org
    SFJ strives to provide a safe space for survivors of wrongful sexual accusations. The organization provides education and support for individuals.
  18. Children’s Advocacy Center
    http://cacjc.org/what-about-false-reports-of-child-sexual-assault/
    The Center provides a comfortable space where children can tell the authorities of their abuse without fear. The Center also provides support and guidance through the court process. Children who have been wrongfully accused can also seek help from the Children’s Advocacy Center.
  19. National Education Association
    http://www.nea.org/home/16921.htm
    The NEA works to improve the public education system and help teachers who have been wrongly accused of sexual assault. They offer leadership and education services on what teachers should do in situations where a student seeks a relationship with a teacher.
  20. Stop Abuse For Everyone (SAFE)
    http://stopabuseforeveryone.org/finding-help/info-on-domestic-violence.html
    SAFE is a human rights organization that provides domestic abuse relief to each individual, especially those who are often overlooked by the criminal justice system such as the elderly, teenagers, heterosexual men, and others.
  21. Child Welfare Information Gateway
    https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/adoption/adopt-parenting/allegations/
    The Child Welfare Information Gateway provides resources for adults who have been falsely accused of sexual assault by children and the proper course of action to take. They focus on providing resources and information to those who have been falsely accused.
  22. North American Council on Adoptable Children
    http://www.nacac.org/adoptalk/allegations.html
    The North American Council on Adoptable Children seeks to connect children in need of a family to a family in need of a child. The Council also provides support and resources for family members who have been falsely accused of sexual abuse by their foster child.
  23. Once Fallen
    http://www.oncefallen.com
    Once Fallen is a leading resource internet page for those who have been wrongfully convicted or who seek to reform strict sex offender laws. They focus on providing accurate information to the public and offering help to those who have been wrongfully accused of a sex crime.
  24. Family Support Line
    http://www.familysupportline.org/resources
    The Family Support Line supports those who have been a victim of false accusations of child abuse. They provide services such as prevention training, treatment, and advocacy.
  25. Family Arrested
    http://familyarrested.com
    Family Arrested is a blog seeking to connect families who suffer from a loved one undergoing false accusations. They promote accurate information and provide resources to those with loved ones going through the criminal justice process.
  26. Sex Offender Help
    http://sexoffenderhelp.com
    This website helps sex offenders on their recovery. They provide a safe space, support, and resources for both sex offenders and those wrongfully convicted of sex crimes.
  27. The Arc
    http://www.thearc.org/what-we-do/resources/fact-sheets/sexual-offenses
    The Arc advocates for those who have been falsely accused with intellectual and developmental disabilities. They offer support and services such as employment and leisure programs.
  28. Women Against Registry (WAR)
    https://www.womenagainstregistry.org
    Women who are wrongfully registered as sex offenders are often denied housing and jobs to support their families. WAR believes in the removal of the registry in order to provide an equal opportunity for women to raise their children.
  29. Prison Fellowship
    https://www.prisonfellowship.org/about/
    Prison Fellowship supports the convicted and the families of those convicted by giving them hope. Prison Fellowship gives love and understanding to those falsely accused and their families.
  30. S-ANON International Family Groups
    http://www.sanon.org
    S-ANON helps to provide comfort to families whose loved one have been convicted. Through their meetings and programs, they help people navigate their situation and receive support.



New Blogs Part 8 Updated September 21 2017

What boggles my mind is the RSO community does not realize that the LGBTQ community has suffered beyond measure; compared to them. The one defense that I keep hearing from the RSO community is; we believe in our religion. What they do not seem to understand is religion put them on the registry.


University police in the US state of Georgia have shot and killed an LGBT student activist, sparking an inquiry.
Police encountered Scout Schultz, 21, outside a campus dormitory in Atlanta after a call about "a person with a knife and a gun" late on Saturday.

Video shows Schultz refusing to obey police commands, and advancing on them. A family lawyer said Schultz was holding a closed multi-tool.

The student's parents said police should not have used lethal force.

"Why did you have to shoot?" the victim's father said at an emotional news conference on Monday. "That's the question, I mean that's the only question that matters right now. Why did you kill my son?"




New Blogs Part 8 Updated September 29 2017

Tell Congress: Protect LGBTQ people from discrimination – pass the Do No Harm Act.
The petition to Congress reads: 

“Pass the Do No Harm Act to ensure that no one can use the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act to justify discrimination.”

Add your name:



When right-wing, anti-LGBTQ extremists want to discriminate against LGBTQ people across the country, they often use religion as an excuse. Unfortunately, there is a federal law that helps protect their bigotry: The Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). The federal RFRA was designed to protect the rights of religious minorities. Today, it is mainly used to justify discrimination, and state legislators and governors have used it to justify enacting similar legislation on a state level across the country.

We have a chance to fix that.

Progressive champion Rep. Joe Kennedy III, along with Rep. Bobby Scott and 50 other co-sponsors, has introduced the Do No Harm Act – long-overdue legislation to reaffirm that one person’s religious freedom can never be used to deny another one’s civil rights.1

Tell Congress: Stand with Rep. Joe Kennedy III. Pass the Do No Harm Act. Click here to sign the petition.

RFRAs are helping right-wing bigots and lawmakers across the country refuse medical treatment to women and LGBTQ people, deny women reproductive health care, justify discrimination in hiring, override nondiscrimination laws, and challenge the legitimacy of state laws against child abuse and domestic violence.2

In 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court made an extreme interpretation of RFRAs in the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby case. It ruled that for-profit businesses could exclude birth control from their employees’ health-care plans even though the Affordable Care Act mandated a birth control benefit.3 In other words, the Supreme Court allowed Hobby Lobby to withhold basic and vital health care services from their employees all across the country based on the owner’s religious beliefs.

The Do No Harm Act would explicitly prevent the federal RFRA from being used by agencies and organizations that receive government funding to justify or defend discrimination in cases of wages and collective bargaining, access to health care, public accommodations, child labor and abuse, or social services.4

This legislation would create a clear distinction between religious freedom and a license to discriminate. Under the Do No Harm Act, government clerks would be prohibited from refusing marriage licenses to same-sex couples; hospitals that receive government funding would be mandated to provide equal access to appropriate health care to women and transgender people; foster and adoption agencies wouldn’t be able to refuse to work with same-sex couples; and businesses wouldn’t be able to deny reproductive health care to their employees.

Our lawmakers never meant for the federal RFRA to become a tool hateful right-wing bigots abuse to justify discrimination. The Do No Harm Act is a chance to fix it.

Tell Congress: Stand with Rep. Joe Kennedy III. Pass the Do No Harm Act. Click here to sign the petition.

Passing the Do No Harm Act will be an uphill battle, especially with our current bigoted, Republican-held Congress. But now is the moment to build momentum and make sure that all politicians know that the vast majority of Americans support equal protection under the law for LGBTQ people. Standing for equal rights is standing on the right side of history. We have to make sure that Congress feels the pressure to stand with us.

Tell Congress: Pass the Do No Harm Act. Click the link below to sign the petition:


Thank you for standing up to bigotry,

Tessa Levine, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets







New Blogs Part 8 Updated September 29 2017


Tell your Senator: Remove FCC Chairman Pai. Protect Net Neutrality.
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai should be removed from his job immediately.  

Since he joined the FCC, he's worked to undo policies designed to protect internet users, communities of color and poor people. While he's supposed to protect the public interest, he's continuously voted against it and sided with the deep-pocketed corporations — like Verizon — that once employed him.

He's failing at his job. And we need the Senate to fire him.

And we have an opportunity. The Senate has to vote to reconfirm Pai by the end of the year or he's out.

Here's what that means for us: We can get every single member of the Senate on the record about Net Neutrality and a whole lot more. If they vote for Pai, that's a vote to end the internet as we know it by destroying Net Neutrality protections, and to shut off phone and internet service for people who are struggling. Not a single senator should support that agenda.

Please click "start writing" to send an email to your senators. Let them know they need to stand up for what's right and fire FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.

Participating organizations: 
AllOfUs 
Center for Media Justice
Daily Kos
Demand Progress
National Hispanic Media Coalition
People Demanding Action
Presente Action



New Blogs Part 8 Updated October 04 2017 

This was me back in 1997; when I should have pleaded not guilty and plea bargained for deferred adjudicated probation. Even the mean old judge said "I don't know why anyone would plead guilty to this"

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 03, 2017 from: Click here see my comment too.
Why an innocent person would plea bargain
The Atlantic has a good roundup of US Supreme Court cases related to criminal justice coming up in the term which just began, and Grits was interested to note Class v. United States, in which "the justices will ponder an unusual legal question: If a defendant pleads guilty to a crime, does he or she lose the right to challenge that crime’s constitutionality?"

In an era when 97% or so of criminal cases end in plea bargains, this is a significant question.

In Texas the issue of whether challenges to a conviction may arise from a guilty plea arose in Ex Parte Tuley, a case decided in 2002 and which your correspondent hadn't considered in many years. The Tuley case challenged a conviction in which the defendant was in fact actually innocent, but pled guilty to avoid a much harsher sentence in the face of false accusations of sexual abuse by a child victim. The final ruling included a wonderful passage written by then Court of Criminal Appeals 

Judge Tom Price:

I think it is colossal hypocrisy to exclaim, “we are shocked, positively shocked,” that a person who has pleaded guilty pursuant to a negotiated plea bargain would never do so unless he were truly guilty and believed himself guilty. Who are we kidding? It is true that Mr. Tuley did sign and swear to a form stipulation that “the following facts [tracking the indictment allegations] are true and correct and constitute the evidence in this case.” He, of course, did not design the form. It is certainly accurate to say that there was some evidence already admitted in the original trial that would support a finding that the indictment allegations were true. 

It is also true that the trial judge asked the magic question:  “Are you pleading guilty because you are in fact guilty and for no other reason?” and applicant responded:  “Yes, ma‘am.” Does this make him a perjurer? A self-admitted liar? 

Suppose Mr. Tuley had been given a dose of truth serum. Now, in response to the magic question, he responds: 

Your Honor, I do not believe that I am guilty. In fact, I know that I am not guilty.   However, the present jury is deadlocked. Some of those jurors may believe that I am not guilty, but others obviously differ. A different jury could conceivably find me guilty and sentence me to life in prison. That is a very serious risk to me. Furthermore, I do not have enough money to pay my lawyer for conducting a second trial. I am worried that I might have to go to jail just to be entitled to an appointed lawyer for a second trial. I have a job. I would lose my job if I had to go to jail for months waiting for a second trial. Quite frankly, I am out of money and out of time. I just want to go home. The State has made a very attractive offer of ten years deferred adjudication. This is an offer I cannot refuse, given the obvious risks I face if I continue to maintain my innocence and insist upon a second trial. So, even though I am innocent of this charge, I want to plead guilty because I am making a fully informed, free, voluntary and rational choice among the alternative courses of action available to me. 

The trial judge, hearing this unusual response, is likely to say something along the lines of: 
How can you expect me to accept your plea of guilty? This is a very serious offense and it carries a potential life sentence if you should violate the terms of your community service. How can you expect me to accept a guilty plea to the first degree offense of aggravated sexual assault of a child if you say you are not guilty, but you want to plead guilty anyway? And besides, I heard the same evidence that the jury heard and I am not fully persuaded that the evidence is sufficient to support a conviction beyond a reasonable doubt. I refuse to accept your guilty plea and we will set this case for another trial. 

Mr. Tuley, then, is likely to say: 

Judge, whose side are you on?   Are you on my side? I just want to plead guilty.   I didn't do it. I know that, but I also know that the prosecution has a child complainant who says that I did. I have a drug problem and a jury is likely to hold that against me, and, frankly, I look dishonest. Nobody is going to believe me. Now, do me a favor and let me plead guilty and get my ten years deferred. This is a good deal. I want to take it. Don't stand in my way. 

But an honorable trial judge might reasonably respond: 

But, if you're not guilty, I cannot take your guilty plea. I am worried about this man pleading guilty to something he is not guilty of. That is just wrong, and I can't allow that kind of an injustice to take place in my court. 

Mr. Tuley's honest reaction might well be:  “Don't be my friend. With friends like you, who needs enemies?” Instead, Mr. Tuley's lawyer would probably yank him off to the corner and after a certain whispering back and forth, Mr. Tuley will see the light He will now respond appropriately to the magic question:  “Are you pleading guilty because you are guilty and for no other reason?” with the right answer:  “Yes, ma‘am.”

POSTED BY GRITSFORBREAKFAST AT 1:16 PM 







New Blogs Part 8 Updated October 05 2017


Climate change has fueled the devastation caused by hurricanes in Houston, Puerto Rico and Florida, and raging wildfires in the northwest.1 That's why we've worked with Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii to introduce the strongest federal legislation to date to end our addiction to fossil fuels. 

We're already seeing devastating impacts of climate change — violent hurricanes, droughts and floods, warming oceans, altered growing seasons, and more.

We need to move America off fossil fuels and transition to 100% renewable energy if we want to keep a livable planet.

The good news? Representative Tulsi Gabbard introduced legislation to get us there.

The Off Fossil Fuels for a Better Future Act would transition us to 100% renewable energy by 2035. This visionary, ambitious legislation also places a moratorium on new fossil fuel projects and recognizes that the next 10 years are critical. 

It's time to make it clear to Congress that we want it passed into law.

Sign below to urge your member of Congress to support and co-sponsor this urgent, groundbreaking bill.



New Blogs Part 8 Updated October 05 2017

MN: THE LEGAL FIGHT OVER MINNESOTA’S SEX OFFENDER PROGRAM COULD HAVE RAMIFICATIONS THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY
September 29, 2017 
A battle started by a handful of sex offenders in Minnesota has mounted into a constitutional debate that could set a new precedent for civil commitment programs across the United States.

The U.S. Supreme Court could decide early next week if it plans to dive in and hear a case arguing that the Minnesota Sex Offender Program (MSOP) is unconstitutional. Whether or not they decide to take on the case, the justices’ decision will have ramifications for the 19 states that have similar programs, some of which are dealing with the same legal questions as Minnesota. Full Article


FL: SEX OFFENDER SUES ECSO OVER ‘DEFAMATORY’ BILLBOARD CALLING HIM SEXUAL PREDATOR
September 29, 2017
An inmate is suing the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office, claiming one of its billboards mislabeled him as a sexual predator, instead of a sex offender. Full Article

TX: THE COST OF TEXAS’ SEX OFFENDER REGISTRATION PROGRAM
October 1, 2017
As of September 1, 2017, the State of Texas had 90,616 registered sex offenders.

Sex offender registration has been around a long time in Texas—since 1991, in fact. The state legislature has continually amended or tweaked these programs ever since. For example, the legislature mandated that the public be notified about registered sex offenders in 1995 following the 1993 abduction/murder of seven-year-old Ashley Estell in Plano, Texas. Full Article


COLUMN: SEX OFFENDER RESTRICTION ABOUT SCHOOL PROXIMITY UNNECESSARY
October 1, 2017 
I applaud the members of the Lewiston City Council for tabling their decision on a sex offender restriction zone to give the matter more thought.

This is the kind of issue for somebody who has no stake in the matter that seems obvious. Disallowing sex offenders to live within 750 feet of a school or daycare appears, on the surface, to be a smart move but, upon closer inspection, has no basis in history or science. Full Article


MI: MICHIGAN’S SEX OFFENDER REGISTRY NEEDS REFORM, U.S. SUPREME COURT DECIDES (AUDIO)
October 5, 2017 
[Florida Action Committee]

J.J. Prescott, a University of Michigan law professor and expert on sex offender laws, talks about the state of the sex offender registry in Michigan, in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision not to review a lower court’s ruling that the registry violates Ex Post Facto Laws.




New Blogs Part 8 Updated October 10 2017

Sign the petition: Denounce Jeff Sessions' license to discriminate. 


Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued on Friday a lengthy but sufficiently vague guidance on protecting "religious liberty." It is what one observer aptly termed a blueprint for structural inequality that encourages federal agencies to perpetuate discrimination in the name of religion. Women and LGBTQ Americans will bear the brunt of its intent, but once unleashed, so-called "religious liberty" can be used to justify discrimination against any minority.





New Blogs Part 8 Updated October 12 2017



I do not have a Twitter or Facebook account; but if you do this is a great idea. I have; and still do admire, Human Rights Campaign for their incredible ideas. They are genius's. They sent me a email on my input for a t shirt once. I always send my ACLU and Gay Rights contribution's with Human Rights Campaign sticker's all over them. 


“Your silence will not protect you.”

Nearly 40 years after Audre Lorde wrote these words, they still ring true … especially today.

Equality doesn’t have a fighting chance if we stay in the closet!

Yet coming out is a process. It took me a long time to come out publicly … but I mustered the courage –– built up in me by my friends, teammates and others who had come out before me. Their visibility gave me hope, so I could be my authentic self. And I’ve never looked back –– not even when my brother, Newt, became Speaker of the House of Representatives.

That’s why National Coming Out Day is important – it’s a day to proudly be yourself – whether you are LGBTQ or an ally. It’s a way to pay it forward, and strengthen our network of support.

So let’s unite in a visible display of support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people! Take a second to post a message about how you are coming out for equality today. Once you post, a pin will be added to our virtual National Coming Out Day map.

Let’s light up our map and give hope to people who need help on their journeys.

This is a small step to take, but imagine how your post, combined with thousands of others, will help a young LGBTQ person know that they aren’t the only one. Your action today will welcome them into our community with a powerful message: that we believe they are perfect … just the way they are.

Whether you are an LGBTQ person, or an ally –– please make your support of LGBTQ people visible today.




New Blogs Part 8 Updated October 19 2017


Trump regularly mocks Pence’s religion — and even joked he wanted to ‘hang’ all LGBT people: report

Don't miss stories. Follow Raw Story!

A new report from the New Yorker’s Jane Mayer claims that President Donald Trump regularly keeps Vice President Mike Pence in his place by mocking his Christian faith.

According to Mayer’s sources, Trump enjoys ribbing Pence for his right-wing Christian views by portraying him as a Taliban-style fundamentalist who wants to execute all LGBT people.

During a recent conversation on gay rights, for instance, Trump allegedly pointed at Pence and said, “Don’t ask that guy—he wants to hang them all!”

Additionally, Trump likes to ridicule Pence’s commitment to overturning Roe V. Wade by noting that many blue states would simply vote to legalize abortion even if the Supreme Court overturned the landmark 1973 ruling that gave every woman in the United States the right to have an abortion.

“You’ve wasted all this time and energy on it, and it’s not going to end abortion anyway,” Trump told Pence, according to two sources.

Mayer also reports that Trump asks people who have just come out of visiting with Pence if the vice president made them say prayers during their meeting.


Trump Once Joked Pence Wants to 'Hang' All LGBT People: Report

October 16, 2017, 6:46 AM GMT  
  
A new report from the New Yorker’s Jane Mayer claims that President Donald Trump regularly keeps Vice President Mike Pence in his place by mocking his Christian faith.

According to Mayer’s sources, Trump enjoys ribbing Pence for his right-wing Christian views by portraying him as a Taliban-style fundamentalist who wants to execute all LGBT people.

During a recent conversation on gay rights, for instance, Trump allegedly pointed at Pence and said, “Don’t ask that guy—he wants to hang them all!”

Additionally, Trump likes to ridicule Pence’s commitment to overturning Roe V. Wade by noting that many blue states would simply vote to legalize abortion even if the Supreme Court overturned the landmark 1973 ruling that gave every woman in the United States the right to have an abortion.

“You’ve wasted all this time and energy on it, and it’s not going to end abortion anyway,” Trump told Pence, according to two sources.

Mayer also reports that Trump asks people who have just come out of visiting with Pence if the vice president made them say prayers during their meeting.

From: https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2017/10/pence-spokesperson-wont-deny-wants-hang-gay-people/

Pence spokesperson won’t deny he ‘wants to hang’ all gay people

By Bil Browning ·  Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Mike Pence 

Vice President Mike Pence’s spokesperson pushed back against The New Yorker piece that claimed President Trump “joked” that Pence “wants to hang” all gay people. What they won’t say is that he doesn’t actually wish death on LGBTQ people.

“Articles like this are why the American people have lost so much faith in the press,” Alyssa Farah, press secretary for the vice president, told the Washington Blade. “The New Yorker piece is filled with unsubstantiated, unsourced claims that are untrue and offensive.”

When the Blade responded to clarify whether Trump’s claim was one of the “untrue and offensive” claims, Farah didn’t respond.

Pence has a history as a right wing extremist member of Congress and radio host. He has opposed nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people, supported a federal constitutional amendment that would have banned same-sex marriage, opposed the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” and opposed a federal hate crimes law.

As Governor of Indiana, Pence infamously signed into law legislation that would allow businesses to refuse to serve LGBTQ people, spurring a nationwide backlash. When Pence appeared on television to defend the law, he repeatedly refused to say whether or not the law would allow for discrimination and whether or not he supported nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people.

The black eye the law gave the state tanked Pence’s chance of reelection. Most pundits thought his political career was over until Trump offered him the VP spot in order to shore up the support of the religious right.


New Blogs Part 8 Updated October 20 2017

FL: SEX OFFENDERS MAY SOON BE ABLE TO LIVE CLOSER TO SCHOOLS, DAY CARE CENTERS IN JACKSONVILLE
October 10, 2017
Registered sex offenders in the River City may soon be able to live closer to schools, public libraries and other places children frequent if the Jacksonville City Council has anything to say about it.

The city council will undergo a second reading of city ordinance 2017-667 on Tuesday. The bill’s primary function is to reduce the required distance a registered sex offender or predator can reside near various locations from 2,500 feet to 1,500 feet, according to the bill’s description.

The bill also advises, if passed, that new and upcoming day care centers will be required to plan their locations around the 1,500 feet-rule for sex offenders. Full Article

IN: SEX OFFENDER CLASS FOR PRISONERS VIOLATES CONSTITUTION, JUDGE RULES
October 17, 2017
[indystar.com]
A federal judge has ruled that Indiana’s mandated sex offender classes for prisoners who oppose them violates the constitutional right to be free from self-incrimination.

The Sept. 28 ruling in the class-action lawsuit filed in the Southern District of Indiana will affect all convicted, incarcerated sex offenders who opt out of the Indiana Sex Offender Monitoring and Management, or SOMM, program. Three of the plaintiffs will be eligible for release from prison.

The Indiana attorney general’s office has filed an emergency request to temporarily halt the case pending an appeal, saying the decision could put the public at risk by putting convicted sex offenders back on the streets.



CO: COUNTY SEX-OFFENDER REGISTRY PULLED DOWN BECAUSE OF LAWSUIT FEARS
October 17, 2017 
[westword.com]
As we’ve reported, Montrose County, on Colorado’s Western Slope, pulled its sex-offender list offline following a recent court ruling in which U.S. District Court Judge Richard Matsch found that such registries constituted cruel and unusual punishment in the case of three plaintiffs. The ruling is specific to the complainants in question, rather than everyone on the roster, and Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman has announced her intention to appeal. So why make the move now? According to a representative from the sheriff’s office in Montrose, a fear of lawsuits.

“There are attorneys out there going around and finding people to sue for stuff of this nature,” says Undersheriff Adam Murdie. “We know it’s going to trickle down to the counties eventually, so we’re kind of preempting that.”



New Blogs Part 8 Updated October 25 2017



Tell Congress: Transgender people deserve basic civil rights

Anti-LGBTQ Republican extremists in Congress are trying to forbid the federal government from providing basic civil rights protections to transgender people.

The deceptively named “Civil Rights Uniformity Act of 2017”1 would keep laws that protect people from gender discrimination from applying to transgender people – leaving transgender men and women out in the cold and open to bigoted attacks.2

All people deserve civil rights protections. This blatant attempt to undermine the rights of transgender people is despicable. We have to send a message to anti-LGBTQ lawmakers that we will not stand for rollbacks of vital protections.

Tell Congress: Protect the rights of transgender people. Block and resist the Civil Rights Uniformity Act of 2017.

Attacks against LGBTQ people have been relentless under the current regime. Right-wing bigot and Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently rescinded an Obama-era policy to protect transgender people in the workplace.3 Earlier this month Donald Trump became the first-ever sitting president to speak at Values Voter Summit, an event produced by the outspoken anti-LGBTQ hate group the Family Research Council.4 Additionally, Trump is filling courts all across the country with outwardly anti-LGBTQ judges,5 and just last week, The New Yorker reported that Trump regularly jokes about Mike Pence’s horrifying and dangerous personal bigotry against LGBTQ people.6 It’s not funny, it’s dangerous.

The Civil Rights Uniformity Act of 2017 would forbid the federal government from applying any existing protections against gender discrimination to transgender people – including retroactively limiting Title IX, the Civil Rights Acts of 1964, the Fair Housing Act and the Affordable Care Act.7 The authors are doing this by dictating that “the words ‘sex’ and ‘gender’ shall not be interpreted to mean ‘gender identity’, and the words ‘man’ and ‘woman’ shall refer exclusively to a person’s genetic sex.”8

This is not only discriminatory and cruel – it’s absurd, unenforceable and exposes Republican bigots’ deep-seated fear of people expressing their true gender and whole identities outside of an imaginary – yet harshly policed – gender binary.

But science and logic have never stopped anti-LGBTQ Republicans from trying to discriminate. In this climate, it is critical that we stay vigilant in pushing back against any attack on the LGBTQ community. We have to send a message to the bigoted Republicans in Congress that we won’t let them get away with any attempt to strip away LGBTQ rights.

Tell Congress: Protect the rights of transgender people. Block and resist the Civil Rights Uniformity Act of 2017.

Thank you for standing up to LGBTQ rights.

References:
1. Rep. Pete Olson,"H.R.2796 - Civil Rights Uniformity Act of 2017,” June 7, 2017.
2. Andrew Phillips, “Republican Bill Would Stop Civil Rights Protections for Trans People,” OUT Magazine, July 18, 2017.
3. Mark Joseph Stern, “The Civil Rights Ax,” Slate, Oct. 5, 2017.
4. Paige Lavender, “Trump Becomes First Sitting President To Address Anti-LGBTQ Event,” HuffPost, Oct. 13, 2017.
5. Jennifer Bendery, “Trump Is Filling Court Seats With Anti-LGBTQ, Anti-Abortion Judges,” HuffPost, Oct. 8, 2017.
6. Justin L. Mack, “The New Yorker: Trump jokes Pence wants to 'hang' gays,” USA Today, Oct. 17, 2017.
7. Marykate Jasper, “The “Civil Rights Uniformity Act” Is Trying to Write Trans People Out of Civil Rights Protections,” The Mary Sue, July 16, 2017.
8. Olson, “H.R.2796 - Civil Rights Uniformity Act of 2017.”






New Blogs Part 8 Updated October 27 2017

From: Here


WELCOME TO TEXAS JUSTICE: YOU MIGHT BEAT THE RAP, BUT YOU WON'T BEAT THE RIDE.

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 26, 2017

Risk assessments under fire, but critics don't differentiate uses

Grits has been a supporter of risk assessments as part of pretrial detention determinations in lieu of bail, which available evidence suggests leads to far better outcomes. But lately there has been much weeping and gnashing of teeth among liberals over risk-assessment instruments, charging that they result in racial bias depending on which variables are used.

See a critique of risk assessments from ProPublica, a defense of risk assessments from the Marshall Project, and related critiques.

In all these debates, Grits has seldom if ever seen commentators focus on a key distinction between how risk assessments are used at different stages in the process.

Grits is not a fan of their use in any but an advisory capacity for predictive policing or in sentencing. In policing, probable cause must always be individualized to a specific person. And punishments should be decided by judges and juries, not algorithms (although if we're honest, that process is really controlled by prosecutors and certainly isn't immune from racial bias).

But using risk assessments to decide pretrial detention is a horse of a different color, because the alternative is that money bail is required of all. That means people who can't afford bail must rot in jail until their case is resolved, putting immense pressure on even-innocent people to plea. In that circumstance, the benefits to liberty from applying a risk-assessment tool that lets the majority of poor people out pretrial outweighs any detriment from bias in the instrument.

Risk assessments also have well-recognized uses for probation systems which are key to reducing recidivism and encouraging probationers' success. Low-risk probationers subjected to intensive programming (or for that matter, who are revoked to prison) tend to escalate in criminality in ways which are counterproductive, a growing body of research indicates. So assessing risk/needs is key to deciding what programming should be assigned.

In those circumstances, Grits remains unconvinced that bias from these instruments is greater or more harmful than the bias being exhibited by judges. For example, the videos of bail hearings before magistrate judges which arose out of the Harris County bail litigation demonstrated near-universal disrespect for misdemeanor defendants' pretrial liberty interests, whereas the risk assessment would have freed most of them. So which is more biased? And which bias is more concerning?

Predicting "future dangerousness" (as the courts have dubbed risk assessment by juries in the sentencing phase of capital cases) is always a dubious prospect, but also a fundamental part of what the justice system does. In most phases of the process, those decisions should probably be left to the decision-makers traditionally in charge of them.

In the case of pretrial detention, though, where the defendants are still presumed innocent by the system, IMO opposing the use of risk-assessment tools amounts to allowing the perfect to become the enemy of the good. Ditto for probation where there's a pragmatic need to assess probationers' risk in order to make decisions about programming, and risk levels can change significantly over time.

The desire to purge the system of racial bias is understandable, but please let's not throw the baby out with the bath water.


New Blogs Part 8 Updated October 27 2017

If you ad up all the murders of people of the LGBTQ community members, over the years of the earth's existence, and compare them to the racially motivated murders in the same time line: I predict the numbers would be very close. What more could anyone need to understand than that. It is not only wrong to say LGBTQ folks do not suffer basic civil rights violation's everyday, it is counterproductive to everyone's civil rights. 

You know the old saying what is good for the goose is good for the gander? In the case of the RSO "what is good for the scapegoat is good for the gander?" When will people learn; it is only the beginning to condemn RSO's to a life of torture. In the end of this result, no one would be spared torture; especially racist victims and bigotry victims and especially all LGBTQ folks! 

We all need to wake up:



From: Here

Hate groups are trying to use black people to divide the LGBTQ community

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Poster from the Family Research Council to attempt to drive a wedge between African-Americans and LGBTQ people. 

The right wing loves to condemn Saul Alinsky’s transformative progressive organizing book, Rules for Radicals, but the Family Research Council and other hate groups‘ latest stunt employs a strategy straight from Alinsky himself. The groups are using African-American ministers to argue in favor of allowing businesses to refuse service to LGBTQ people.

Rule #12: “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy.

FRC leader Tony Perkins is crowing after holding a joint press conference with conservative African-American ministers who condemned the LGBTQ community for daring to say we want civil rights. But the way they did it, by repeatedly saying that the fight for LGBTQ civil rights doesn’t measure up to the battle for racial equality.

“Tired of hearing the LGBT community compare its experience to the real suffering of the civil rights movement, church and civic leaders decided to speak out…” the Perkins said in a press release. “FRC’s Dean Nelson and FRC Action’s Patrina Mosley spoke, sharing deeply personal stories about the pain and prejudice their families experienced over the color of their skin. Patrina talked about how insulting it is to hear LGBT activists equate their ‘persecution’ to generations of African Americans.”

According to Religion News Service, “ex-lesbian” Janet Boynes, who runs an ex-gay “ministry,” was one of the speakers trying to separate the two communities with false equivalencies.

“I resent having my race compared to what other people do in bed,” she said. “There is no comparison. It only trivializes racial discrimination.”

There are, of course, radical differences between the history of the struggle for both LGBTQ and black civil rights. The fight for equality, however, remains the same and, for LGBT people of color, the struggle is even harder – even without right wing hate groups trying to cause division.

If you had any lingering doubts about the importance of doing intersectional work to tie various progressive communities and causes further together, this should be a red flag. “Divide and conquer” is a successful strategy when successful.

Our job is to make sure it doesn’t by coming closer together instead of drifting apart.




Get pesticides out of your ice cream.

Wow. Ten of 11 samples of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream tested positive for glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s dangerous Roundup herbicide.

The ice cream brand claims its social mission “seeks to meet human needs and eliminate the injustices in our local, national and international communities,” and that its focus is “on children and families, the environment and sustainable agriculture on family farms.”

TAKE ACTION: Tell Ben & Jerry’s CEO Jostein Solheim (aka Scooper Man): Roundup-Ready Ice Cream is neither ‘natural’ nor ‘socially responsible.’ Go 100% Organic!

Ben & Jerry’s (owned by the multinational corporation Unilever) has done an excellent job of convincing consumers that the company cares about progressive issues. But behind the iconic ice cream brand’s greenwashed façade is an unfortunate truth: The company relies on a #dirtydairy industry that produces contaminated food, poisons Vermont’s waterways, abuses animals, exploits workers, bankrupts farmers and contributes to climate change.

Unless Ben & Jerry's goes organic, its practices are responsible for:

•    Running Vermont family farms out of business.

•     Polluting Vermont’s waterways.

•    Abusing animals.

•    Exploiting farmworkers.

•    Contributing to climate change.

•    Putting human health at risk. 

In addition to the above problems, pesticides like Roundup, atrazine and metolachlor—all carcinogens and endocrine disruptors and all used to grow the GMO crops fed to dairy cows—have devastating effects on human health. And some of them are in Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.

It’s time for Ben & Jerry’s to come clean. The only way to do that is to transition to a 100% organic supply chain.

TAKE ACTION: Tell Ben & Jerry’s CEO Jostein Solheim (aka Scooper Man): Roundup-Ready Ice Cream is neither ‘natural’ nor ‘socially responsible.’ Go 100% Organic!


Participating Organizations:

Beyond Pesticides
Daily Kos
Food Revolution Network
Friends of the Earth
Label GMOs
Mom's Across America
Organic Consumers Association
Presente.org
PETITIONING
Ben & Jerry’s CEO Jostein Solheim (aka Scooper Man)
SPONSORED BY
Daily Kos
Our Message to Ben & Jerry’s CEO Jostein Solheim (aka Scooper Man) :
Dear Mr. Solheim,

It’s time for Ben & Jerry’s to stop deceiving consumers and to go organic.

The myth of Vermont’s happy cows and bucolic farms has been busted. The fact is, Vermont’s dairy industry is poisoning the environment, causing unnecessary pain and suffering for dairy cows, hurting human health, exploiting farmworkers and bankrupting Vermont’s dairy farmers.

It’s great that Ben & Jerry’s ice cream doesn’t use GMO ingredients. But who are you kidding? Vermont fields are awash in dangerous chemicals used to grow acres and acres of GMO animal feed -- and those chemicals have been found in your ice cream.

If the iconic Ben & Jerry’s brand were to go 100-percent organic, you could lead the nation in transitioning to an agricultural model that improves human, animal and soil health, combats climate change, provides a fair living to farmers and grows the market for organics.

It’s time to stop supporting Monsanto and the makers of glyphosate, atrazine and other chemicals. The only way to do that is to transition to a 100% organic supply chain.

Thank you.




New Blogs Part 8 Updated October 28 2017

From: Here

A Kentucky judge who refused to hear cases involving gay and lesbian parents just announced his resignation.

In April, Mitchell Nance, a family court judge in rural Kentucky, issued an order requiring lawyers representing gay and lesbian parents in adoption cases to notify him of their clients’ sexuality so that he could recuse himself in advance.

In his order, he said that he believes that “the best interest of the child” can never “be promoted by the adoption by a practicing homosexual.” He cited a state rule that requires judges to recuse themselves in cases where their prejudice affects their impartiality. Gay and lesbian parents would have to get the county court to hire a special judge to handle their cases.

Nance submitted his order to the state supreme court for approval and it was rejected by the chief justice. Local LGBTQ activists called on him to resign and filed a complaint with the judicial disciplinary panel, and he was charged with violating judicial ethics rules.

In his response to the complaint, Nance’s lawyer wrote that he thought he was doing the right thing and being fair to everyone by announcing his prejudice. “His recusal would have facilitated the impartiality of the judicial system and ensured that all families had a fair opportunity for adoption.”

His response goes on to state that it’s his “sincerely held religious belief” that “the divinely created order of nature is that each human being has a male parent and a female parent.”

He stated in the response that the charges against him are moot since he’s resigning. He also sent a resignation letter to governor Matt Bevin.

Usually homophobes cherry-pick a few studies with small samples and that don’t compare gay and lesbian parents with straight parents on equal footing. Simply admitting that they have no reason to believe what they do outside of personal prejudice is a strange strategy, to say the least.

Maybe Nance knew the evidence just wasn’t on his side. In 2004, the American Psychological Association found that an unbiased examination of the social science literature about gay and lesbian parents showed that they do just as well as straight parents when it comes to measurable, objective outcomes.

Whether children raised by gay parents do well in school or have good mental health later in life are facts that have nothing to do with anyone’s “sincerely held religious beliefs.”

Nance’s position is logically untenable, his order put an unreasonable burden on gay and lesbian parents, and resigning will give him some time to reflect on what it means when his “sincerely held religious beliefs” are not supported by real-world evidence.



New Blogs Part 8 Updated November 03 2017

Tell Congress: Protect our privacy and pass the USA Rights Act


Some politicians would have us believe that this week's horrific attack in New York is reason enough to roll back our constitutional rights. When an act of violence shatters our sense of safety, some are willing to give up anything to restore it.

But those who would abandon our rights and civil liberties are throwing away our greatest strengths as a country. At a moment when we could allow fear to divide us, we must stand up for the rule of law and stand up against the Trump administration's abuses of power.

Tell Congress: Support the USA Rights Act and stop warrantless spying on Americans. Click here to sign the petition.

Under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), the government collects and stores hundreds of millions of communications sent and received by Americans – without a warrant or probable cause – yearly. But Section 702 is set to expire at the end of this year, and in the reauthorization process, lawmakers could make the law even worse – or much better. The USA Rights Act represents the best opportunity we have to reform Section 702 to protect our privacy.

Section 702 gives federal intelligence agencies like the FBI and the National Security Agency (NSA) the authority to capture all kinds of online communications – phone calls, emails, social media accounts, text messages and more. Although the law is supposed to target only foreign individuals outside of the United States, agencies end up incidentally collecting vast stores of information on American citizens and residents.

The NSA refuses to give an estimate of the number of U.S. citizens and residents whose emails and phone calls are swept up under the law.1 But a Washington Post review of 160,000 intercepted conversations provided by Edward Snowden found that nine out of 10 of those tracked by the NSA were not surveillance targets, and nearly 50 percent were U.S. residents.2

Once the government has collected your data, it acts as if you are no longer protected by the Fourth Amendment. Even if you've never been suspected of a crime, federal agents can search and share your data collected under Section 702 without a warrant or probable cause. This is what's called the "backdoor search" loophole, and it needs to be closed – now.

Tell Congress: Support the USA Rights Act and stop warrantless spying on Americans. Click here to sign the petition.

Last week, Sen. Ron Wyden introduced the USA Rights Act, Senate Bill 1997, to do just that.3 The bill would limit the federal government's ability to acquire or access communications of U.S. residents and use the information as evidence in court. It would prohibit "reverse targeting," the practice of spying on foreign targets with the real motive of listening to the Americans communicating with them.

The USA Rights Act already has 15 co-sponsors, including Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. But senators and House representatives are under enormous pressure from federal spy agencies to cave and pass a different Section 702 reauthorization bill that would expand spying powers instead of restricting them.

Now more than ever, our elected representatives need to hear from us that warrantless spying on Americans is unconstitutional and unacceptable.

Tell Congress: Support the USA Rights Act and stop warrantless spying on Americans. Click the link below to sign the petition:



Some politicians would have us believe that this week's horrific attack in New York is reason enough to roll back our constitutional rights. When an act of violence shatters our sense of safety, some are willing to give up anything to restore it.

But those who would abandon our rights and civil liberties are throwing away our greatest strengths as a country. At a moment when we could allow fear to divide us, we must stand up for the rule of law and stand up against the Trump administration's abuses of power.

Tell Congress: Support the USA Rights Act and stop warrantless spying on Americans.

Under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), the government collects and stores hundreds of millions of communications sent and received by Americans – without a warrant or probable cause – yearly. But Section 702 is set to expire at the end of this year, and in the reauthorization process, lawmakers could make the law even worse – or much better. The USA Rights Act represents the best opportunity we have to reform Section 702 to protect our privacy.

Section 702 gives federal intelligence agencies like the FBI and the National Security Agency (NSA) the authority to capture all kinds of online communications – phone calls, emails, social media accounts, text messages and more. Although the law is supposed to target only foreign individuals outside of the United States, agencies end up incidentally collecting vast stores of information on American citizens and residents.

The NSA refuses to give an estimate of the number of U.S. citizens and residents whose emails and phone calls are swept up under the law.1 But a Washington Post review of 160,000 intercepted conversations provided by Edward Snowden found that nine out of 10 of those tracked by the NSA were not surveillance targets, and nearly 50 percent were U.S. residents.2

Once the government has collected your data, it acts as if you are no longer protected by the Fourth Amendment. Even if you've never been suspected of a crime, federal agents can search and share your data collected under Section 702 without a warrant or probable cause. This is what's called the "backdoor search" loophole, and it needs to be closed – now.

Tell Congress: Support the USA Rights Act and stop warrantless spying on Americans.

Last week, Sen. Ron Wyden introduced the USA Rights Act, Senate Bill 1997, to do just that.3 The bill would limit the federal government's ability to acquire or access communications of U.S. residents and use the information as evidence in court. It would prohibit "reverse targeting," the practice of spying on foreign targets with the real motive of listening to the Americans communicating with them.

The USA Rights Act already has 15 co-sponsors, including Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. But senators and House representatives are under enormous pressure from federal spy agencies to cave and pass a different Section 702 reauthorization bill that would expand spying powers instead of restricting them.

Now more than ever, our elected representatives need to hear from us that warrantless spying on Americans is unconstitutional and unacceptable.

Tell Congress: Support the USA Rights Act and stop warrantless spying on Americans.

References:

Dustin Volz, “NSA backtracks on sharing number of Americans caught in warrant-less spying,” Reuters, June 12, 2017.
Barton Gellman, Julie Tate and Ashkan Soltani, “In NSA-intercepted data, those not targeted far outnumber the foreigners who are,” The Washington Post, July 5, 2014.
David Ruiz, "The USA Rights Act Protects Us From NSA Spying," Electronic Frontier Foundation, Oct. 24, 2017.
Sen. Ron Wyden, The USA Rights Act," 115th Congress, Oct. 24, 2017.




New Blogs Part 8 Updated November 03 2017

The bill gives massive tax cuts to the wealthy and corporations, resulting in a loss of trillions of dollars in federal revenue, adding to the deficit. 

Help to fight back against amoral tax giveaway for the wealthy. 



Republicans are touting their tax plan as a tax cut for the middle-class but the facts tell a different story. Their bill would result in massive tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations at the expense of the low- and middle- income families. 

If House Republicans get enough votes—and they believe they will—they will pass a tax plan that overwhelmingly benefits the wealthiest and abandons homeowners, schools, fire departments, vital services like rebuilding roads, bridges, and water and electric systems and more.

Once again, we need your help to fight back against amoral tax giveaway for the wealthy. 

Sign and send a petition to your Republican member of Congress: Vote no on the budget that only benefits the ultra-wealthy and corporations and jeopardizes low- and middle- income families.




New Blogs Part 8 Updated November 04 2017

Thanks to the great truly righteous 

Texas Freedom Network of Austin, Texas ( http://a.tfn.org ) for this bazaar, mentally challenged quote! I got this in my email this morning:


I made this a while ago when he was governor. 



New Blogs Part 8 Updated November 04 2017

Check out this; these books are actually banned in schools! 
The ACLU sent me this in a book mark in the mail. 
I found this image of it on Google:  





New Blogs Part 8 Updated November 04 2017


Tell the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission: No handouts for coal and nuclear power

Rick Perry has come up with a creative new way to bail out failing coal and nuclear plants – by forcing electricity customers to pay for them.

As Trump's Secretary of Energy, Perry has proposed a new rule that would actually require customers to subsidize certain coal and nuclear plants, guaranteeing their profits.1 Worried that cheaper, cleaner and safer forms of energy are beating out their favorite industries, Trump and Perry want the Federal Regulatory Commission (FERC) to stack the decks. We must let FERC know that this is unacceptable.

Tell the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission: Reject Rick Perry's plan to bail out coal and nuclear plants.

To justify his plan, Perry is claiming that coal and nuclear power are necessary to make sure the electricity grid stays reliable. But his own agency released a study just months ago concluding that closing coal and nuclear plants has not threatened grid reliability, and neither has the increased use of renewable energy.2 In reality, the main threat to our electricity grid is its aging infrastructure – but forcing customers to prop up unprofitable power plants will do nothing to help with that.

FERC is the independent expert agency in charge of managing the electricity grid, and ultimately FERC commissioners will decide on Perry's proposal. A bipartisan group of eight former FERC commissioners wrote a letter opposing Perry's plan. They said that it won't help with grid reliability but will cost customers more and disrupt energy markets.3

Not only would Perry's proposed rule lead to higher energy bills and more dangerous pollution, it would increase the chances of catastrophic climate change. In a year when climate-fueled storms and wildfires have already left thousands of Americans homeless, we should be investing in the cleanest, most affordable energy sources available. We cannot let Trump and Perry stop our progress to renewable energy.

Tell the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission: Reject Rick Perry's plan to bail out coal and nuclear plants.


References:

David Roberts, "Rick Perry’s plan to subsidize coal and nuclear plants is bonkers," Vox, Oct. 4, 2017
Ibid.
Steven Mufson, "Bipartisan group of former FERC commissioners rejects energy secretary’s bid to help coal plants," The Washington Post, Oct. 19, 2017.


LOL


New Blogs Part 8 Updated November 04 2017

I lived in California for 8 years from around 1986 to about 1994:

If you wanted to arrest everyone in Hollywood for sex offences ( like Kevin spacey and Harvey Weinstein ), in Hollywood, since the beginning of the American movie industry; you would have to arrest the almost the whole state of California. Think about all the most beautiful women of America since then; getting molested, so they would have a part in a movie. If you think about things like that; the media hype; now a days, is tiny, in comparison. My best advise is to only read the news and: skip over all the lies, to get ratings. Do everything you can to block the everyday, soap opera; of today's media lies designed to get ratings, no matter how many lives they destroy. This has been something I have said; since the true beginning of this website around the year 2001. When I lived in California I lived by example. Walking the walk in accordance to every word from your mouth; was still popular between 1986 and 1994. Hollywood runs California. My thought always was and still is; who cares about Hollywood and entertainment? Entertainment will always exist for free; in the everyday life, of every human being that walks this earth. Who cares about entertainment? No one truly cares about entertainment. As we progress into the future, of our inevitable judgement; the number of us as a species, will not care about entertainment at all, ever.

Please; as I have mentioned many times in the blog SOFAQ; think about all those so called groupies of all those rock bands and music employees, that have been molested. If we were to arrest all of those responsible; for mostly women being, molested just because they were fanatical fans of music we would have to arrest one quarter of our country. 

  


New Blogs Part 8 Updated November 06 2017


We are only beginning to learn the full extent of Russian interference in the 2016 election. Last month, Facebook revealed that more than $100,000 in ads were purchased by a Kremlin-linked Russian company in order to influence voters’ opinions and during recent hearings in the Senate Judiciary Committee, Facebook revealed that these duplicitous ads may have reached as many as 126 million Americans.1,2,3

By now, there is no doubt that the Russian sources used Facebook and social media platforms to interfere with the 2016 election – even using Russian rubles to pay for ads they designed to turn out Donald Trump supporters.4

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) is currently taking public comments on whether it should change the rules governing online ad disclosures so that consumers can easily identify who pays for political ads on the internet. CREDO is joining with our friends at Daily Kos, DemandProgress, Public Citizen and many other progressive partners to collect as many comments as possible before the Nov. 9 deadline in support of these important disclosures.

Tell the FEC to require online campaign ads to include disclaimers as to who is paying for them – just like what is done for television and print advertisements. Click here to submit a comment.

Changes in digital communications have far outpaced regulations. While only 18 percent of Americans cited the internet as their primary news source in the 2004 election, 65 percent of Americans identified the internet as their leading source of information in 2016.5,6 The FEC has required television and radio ads to include disclosures for decades, but its transparency rules are extremely outdated – the agency still has rules related to telegrams and typewriters while allowing online platforms to run wild.7

Facebook has long benefited from the lack of disclosure regulations. In 2010, the company argued along with Google to the FEC that ads with character limits should be exempt from disclosure rules. A year later in 2011, Facebook even went so far as to challenge the FEC’s 3-3 decision that ads must at least link to a webpage with a disclaimer by deciding to move forward with the assumption that the law would not be enforced because the commission was split.8

Since its founding, Facebook advertisers have been able to operate in secrecy – with no required disclosures regarding who pays for electoral ads. The company has only come under scrutiny in the aftermath of the 2016 election since special counsel Robert Mueller obtained a search warrant for Facebook ads in connection to Trump's Russia ties.9 In response Facebook, along with Twitter, announced new voluntarily rules for campaign disclosures, but we cannot rely on these companies’ effort to regulate themselves when it comes to electoral transparency.

The FEC is accepting public comment only until Nov 9.10 Now is the time for us to speak out and demand transparency in online ads. Whether it’s foreign influence or corporate interests, we have a right to know who is paying for ads to sway voters.

Tell the FEC to require online campaign ads to include disclaimers as to who is paying for them. Click the link below to leave your comment:


Tell the FEC: Regulate Facebook and other social media campaign advertising
63% We've reached 47,757 of our goal of 75,000.
Send a public comment
The comment to the Federal Election Commission reads:


"Don’t let Putin and his allies interfere in American elections again. Require online campaign ads to include disclaimers as to who is paying for them – just like what is done for television and print advertisements. Americans deserve transparent information about who is paying for communication with a goal of influencing their votes."
By submitting this form, your name, address and comments will be filed with a public agency and become public record.

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 Send Comment 

You'll receive periodic updates on offers and activism opportunities.

Tell the FEC: Regulate Facebook and other social media campaign advertising
We are only beginning to learn the full extent of Russian interference in the 2016 election. Last month, Facebook revealed that more than $100,000 in ads were purchased by a Kremlin-linked Russian company in order to influence voters’ opinions and during recent hearings in the Senate Judiciary Committee, Facebook revealed that these duplicitous ads may have reached as many as 126 million Americans.1,2,3

By now, there is no doubt that the Russian sources used Facebook and social media platforms to interfere with the 2016 election – even using Russian rubles to pay for ads they designed to turn out Donald Trump supporters.4

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) is currently taking public comments on whether it should change the rules governing online ad disclosures so that consumers can easily identify who pays for political ads on the internet. CREDO is joining with our friends at Daily Kos, DemandProgress, Public Citizen and many other progressive partners to collect as many comments as possible before the Nov. 9 deadline in support of these important disclosures.

Tell the FEC to require online campaign ads to include disclaimers as to who is paying for them – just like what is done for television and print advertisements.

Changes in digital communications have far outpaced regulations. While only 18 percent of Americans cited the internet as their primary news source in the 2004 election, 65 percent of Americans identified the internet as their leading source of information in 2016.5,6 The FEC has required television and radio ads to include disclosures for decades, but its transparency rules are extremely outdated – the agency still has rules related to telegrams and typewriters while allowing online platforms to run wild.7

Facebook has long benefited from the lack of disclosure regulations. In 2010, the company argued along with Google to the FEC that ads with character limits should be exempt from disclosure rules. A year later in 2011, Facebook even went so far as to challenge the FEC’s 3-3 decision that ads must at least link to a webpage with a disclaimer by deciding to move forward with the assumption that the law would not be enforced because the commission was split.8

Since its founding, Facebook advertisers have been able to operate in secrecy – with no required disclosures regarding who pays for electoral ads. The company has only come under scrutiny in the aftermath of the 2016 election since special counsel Robert Mueller obtained a search warrant for Facebook ads in connection to Trump's Russia ties.9 In response Facebook, along with Twitter, announced new voluntarily rules for campaign disclosures, but we cannot rely on these companies’ effort to regulate themselves when it comes to electoral transparency.

The FEC is accepting public comment only until Nov 9.10 Now is the time for us to speak out and demand transparency in online ads. Whether it’s foreign influence or corporate interests, we have a right to know who is paying for ads to sway voters.

Tell the FEC to require online campaign ads to include disclaimers as to who is paying for them.
Thanks for your activism.

References:

Scott Shane and Vindu Goel, “Fake Russian Facebook Accounts Bought $100,000 in Political Ads,” The New York Times, Sept. 6, 2017.

Craig Timberg, Elizabeth Dwoskin, Adam Entous and Karoun Demirjian, "Russian ads, now publicly released, show sophistication of influence campaign," The Washington Post, Nov. 1, 2017.
Dylan Byers, "Facebook estimates 126 million people were served content from Russia-linked pages," CNN, Oct. 31, 2017.

Timberg, et al.,"Russian ads, now publicly released, show sophistication of influence campaign."
Pew Research Center, “The internet and the 2004 election,” March 6, 2005.

Amy Mitchell, Jeffrey Gottfried, Michael Barthel, and Elisa Shearer, “Pathways to news,” Pew Research Center, July 6, 2016.

April Glaser, “Should Political Ads on Facebook Include Disclaimers?” Slate, Oct. 17, 2017
Ibid.

Kerry Flynn, “Facebook to hand more than 3,000 Russian ads to Congress,” Mashable, Sept. 21, 2017.

Ali Breland, “Facebook, Twitter, Google invited to testify on Russian election meddling,” The Hill, Oct. 6, 2017.




New Blogs Part 8 Updated November 09 2017

"Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it." The quote is most likely due to George Santayana, and in its original form it read, 'Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.' The phrasing itself certainly is catchy.

image from: https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/George_Santayana

Great Hanging at Gainesville

image from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Hanging_at_Gainesville

On October 16, Colonel William C. Young, who had attempted to moderate the proceedings, was killed while pursuing a group who had killed another man along a brushy creek. This resulted in public outrage. Jurors were replaced, and the acquittals of nineteen prisoners were reversed, resulting in their lynching. Fifty to sixty were released before Confederate and state courts finally halted the Citizens Court. 41 men had been hanged in Gainesville in October 1862, and at least three others shot.






New Blogs Part 8 Updated November 11 2017

from: https://gritsforbreakfast.blogspot.com/2017/11/new-tjjd-sex-abuse-allegations-recall.html

New TJJD sex-abuse allegations recall similar, but different '07 scandals
For anyone paying attention a decade ago, news of sex-assault allegations against staff at a Texas youth prison in Gainesville brings on a deja vu feeling regarding the Texas Youth Commission scandals in Pyote, an episode which ultimately brought down the agency and sent its successor down a tumultuous path toward reducing incarceration levels by 75 percent.

Now, "At least four former staff members at the Gainesville State School, including a woman allegedly pregnant with a youthful offender's child, are facing prison time amid allegations of sexual misconduct at the state lockup for troubled youths," reported Brandi Grissom-Swicegood and Sue Ambrose at the Dallas News.

And everyone who was around in 2007 drops their heads and thinks, "Oh no, not again."

These troubles mirror problems witnessed at the adult system, where sexual misconduct by staff at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) is a big source of federal Prison Rape Elimination Act violations. The Texas Association Against Sexual Assault has recommended the Legislature create an independent oversight mechanism at TDCJ comparable to the Ombudsman created for TJJD after the 2007 scandals.

Which brings us to the big difference between this scandal and the last one: The perpetrators were caught by the government itself, not by reporters following up leads given to legislative staff by family members of raped constituents. And the perpetrators were promptly arrested and prosecuted. The agency culture that tolerated such behavior has shifted dramatically. So that part of the system worked better than last time, one notices.

And to be fair, that's really all the Legislature's reforms after 2007 were supposed to do. As the agency reduced the population in youth prisons, it was pressed along the way for commensurate budget cuts, even though most of the facilities are chronically understaffed and suffer from among the highest staff turnover rates of any state agency. That's because of low pay, crappy working conditions, and the location of the facilities in mainly rural areas where the labor pool is either dissipating or otherwise occupied.

As a result, the agency has mainly improved the lot of youth under its care by reducing their number, with the Legislature financing (mostly cheaper) community supervision programming in lieu of housing them in state youth prisons. If those reductions had afforded  the agency a chance to improve staff-to-youth ratios more aggressively, or to invest the savings in programming, it would be easier to make a case for them.

But in their current state, it's hard to argue for keeping them around at all. When activists like Angela Davis talk about "abolishing" prisons on the adult side, Grits must admit I roll my eyes. But on the juvenile side, I'm all the way there. Funding community-based programs in lieu of incarcerating youth in state-run prisons empirically has worked. Youth crime in Texas plummeted at even greater rates than crime overall when Texas shifted most offending youth into local systems.

Expanding on that model for the last thousand-or-so kids left in Texas youth prisons would also afford the chance to shift to smaller-scale units run on a more treatment-centric basis. In an ideal world, the Lege would finance locally controlled facilities reconfigured according to best practices like those endorsed a decade ago by a "blue ribbon commission," whose recommendations the Legislature first eagerly commissioned and then, when they proved inconvenient and expensive, ignored.

The blue-ribbon panel recommended the state move to smaller facilities modeled after Missouri's juvenile system, and put the era of housing juveniles in large units with hundreds of bunkmates behind us. Instead, they depopulated youth prisons, but continued to run the ones that remained on the old, large-scale warehousing model.

The other option floated periodically is to hand the system over to TDCJ to run. But as noted above, TDCJ has trouble preventing inappropriate staff relations and contraband at its adult units, which fails to inspire confidence that they'd do any better running juvenile facilities. Plus, when TDCJ executives were brought in to run TYC after the original scandals were uncovered in 2007, their skill sets did not translate to the juvenile realm and their leadership was (if we are to be frank) an unmitigated catastrophe. So as solutions go, I see that one as a pig in a poke. It could invite new troubles and wouldn't necessarily solve anything.

Anyway, that's Grits' initial takeaway from this dispiriting news out of Gainesville: The mechanisms the Legislature created to identify, prosecute and punish sexual misconduct by staff actually appear to have worked. But the corrections culture that produces these illicit relationships at TJJD and TDCJ continues to afford opportunities for predatory behavior.

So we're better at catching and punishing predators. What hasn't worked is warehousing youth in large state facilities a decade after the experts recommended breaking them up. Texas was told ten years ago it needed to shift to smaller, treatment-based programs, locally controlled and located near their own communities. And with these problems recurring, maybe it's time state leaders finally heeded those suggestions.



New Blogs Part 8 Updated November 11 2017

KY: JUDGE STRIKES DOWN KENTUCKY’S SOCIAL MEDIA BAN FOR SEX OFFENDERS
October 20, 2017 
UPDATED - Kentucky’s registered sex offenders have the constitutional right to use Facebook, Twitter and other online social media, a federal judge ruled Friday. Full Article Related Plaintiff's discussion on…  Full Article


Legal questions swirl around Megan's Law in Pennsylvania
Jason Davies admitted raping a woman in Wilson after breaking into her home. He's seeking to avoid having to register as a sex offender, citing a recent state Supreme Court ruling.

Jason Davies admitted raping a woman in Wilson after breaking into her home. He's seeking to avoid having to register as a sex offender, citing a recent state Supreme Court ruling.

Jason A. Davies broke into the Wilson home of a woman he had never met and raped her, threatening to kill her if she screamed.

He faces sentencing Friday in Northampton County Court under a plea agreement that recommends six to 12 years in state prison. But when he is one day released, should he be required to register as a sex offender?

That’s a question that until recently had an easy answer: Since 1995, Pennsylvania has had Megan’s Law, which seeks to protect communities by requiring sex offenders to register with the state police, or face arrest if they fail to do so.

But a July decision by the state Supreme Court has undermined that once bedrock certainty, and cases like Davies’ are now testing the law’s reach, under which offenders have their photos, addresses and other identifying information published on a state-run website.

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The ruling found that Pennsylvania’s latest version of the registry — the 2012 Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act — was so harsh that, unlike its predecessors, it had become a form of punishment, and not merely a tool to educate and inform the public.

As a result, the law commonly called SORNA can’t be applied looking backward, to cases that predated its enactment, the court said. Doing so violates the U.S. and Pennsylvania constitutions, both of which ban after-the-fact punishments, wrote Justice Kevin Dougherty.

SORNA greatly expanded the state’s registry, increasing the number of crimes that are considered sex offenses and lengthening the amount of time most offenders must register. The court’s ruling found that by upping the years of registration, mandating routine in-person appearances before state police, and putting more information about an offender online, the requirements had became punitive.

SORNA essentially did away with the prior Megan’s laws and I think the Supreme Court did away with SORNA.

— Philip Lauer, defense attorney
When SORNA was approved, a nearly unanimous Legislature disagreed, insisting the beefed-up rules weren’t meant as punishment. By imposing the requirements retroactively, SORNA forced a raft of ex-convicts to register for the first time — even years after their cases were decided — or to register for longer than they otherwise would have.

Because of this summer’s ruling, the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association estimates that 10,000 of the 22,000 names on the registry could be removed.

State police say the decision could affect more than 17,000 registrants, including over 1,000 who are classified as sexually violent predators, a designation given to those deemed the greatest risk to offend again.

It’ll take future court cases to show just how expansive the ruling proves to be. But defense attorneys are pressing that issue, flooding courthouses with appeals arguing that anyone whose crime predated SORNA — which took effect Dec. 20, 2012 — should no longer have to register.

The defense lawyers say SORNA replaced the state’s prior version of Megan’s Law, and that the old law cannot be resurrected without action by the Legislature.

That’s the stance taken by the lawyer for Davies, the Wilson rapist. Davies’ offense dates to 2004, long before SORNA, though he wasn’t caught until 11 years later.

“SORNA essentially did away with the prior Megan’s laws and I think the Supreme Court did away with SORNA,” said Davies’ attorney, Philip Lauer.

That is an alarm that Cumberland County District Attorney David Freed has sounded. The court’s ruling was made in the Cumberland County case of Jose M. Muniz, who was convicted of molesting a 12-year-old girl. Freed is now asking the U.S. Supreme Court to take up the question and overturn the decision.

In testimony in Harrisburg last month, Freed warned that if the high court does not accept the case, “thousands of sex offenders may well not face penalties for failing to register and thousands of sex offenders may be removed from the registry.

“The Muniz case has the potential to affect every single sex offender convicted before Dec. 20, 2012,” he said.

Certainly as a policy decision, I don’t think the Supreme Court intended to let every sex offender convicted before December 2012 off the hook.
— Assistant District Attorney Rebecca Kulik
The district attorneys association is working with lawmakers on potential legislative fixes — including the re-enactment of the previous Megan’s Law regime, which has withstood constitutional challenges.

In the meantime, offenders are filing appeals arguing they shouldn’t be required to register. Others are seeking to have convictions for failing to register as a sex offender thrown out.

Among the rulings this month in already pending cases:

* The state Supreme Court struck down the registration requirements of Edmund L. Haenig, a former Bethlehem police officer who was sentenced in 1996 to 2½ to 12 years in prison in a Lehigh County sex case. At the time, the charges did not require him to register as a sex offender. But with SORNA’s enactment, Haenig, who lives in West Reading, was hit with a 15-year mandate.

* The state Superior Court vacated the conviction of Shawn Christopher Williams, a 41-year-old Easton man who was serving 33 months to 10 years in state prison after being found guilty in 2016 of failing to register. Williams insisted he was under no such mandate when he was sentenced in 1998 for sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl, for which he spent a decade incarcerated. His lawyer, James Brose, argued that forcing Williams to register years later was unconstitutional.

Given the Superior Court’s ruling, prosecutors last week formally withdrew the failing-to-register charges, Brose said. As a result, Williams was released Oct. 20 from Dallas State Prison in Luzerne County after spending 20 months behind bars, according to Department of Corrections records.

In the Wilson rape case, Northampton County prosecutors maintain Davies should be required to register for life as a sex offender.

With SORNA, what should matter is the date of Davies’ conviction, and not the date of his offense, said Assistant District Attorney Rebecca Kulik. Davies pleaded guilty to rape last year, when the law was already in place, and its requirements thus should apply to him, she said.

If not, Kulik said, Davies should be required to register under the old law. Under it, rape was still a charge that brought a lifetime mandate.

“Certainly as a policy decision, I don’t think the Supreme Court intended to let every sex offender convicted before December 2012 off the hook,” Kulik said.

We need to know where he is. People have a right to know where this predator is.
— Assistant District Attorney Tatum Wilson on rapist Jason A. Davies
On April 30, 2004, Davies broke into his victim’s home early in the morning, waking her in her bedroom, according to testimony. He grabbed her by the hair and pulled her T-shirt over her head to keep her face covered, and warned her that he knew where she lived, police said.

Afterward, police collected evidence but had only a vague description of the attacker to work from. But as the statute of limitations neared, the investigation intensified after a DNA sample taken from Davies in 2014 child-sex case in New Jersey matched a sample from the Wilson rape.

That led to the arrest of Davies, who is 42 and was living in Middletown, N.Y., at the time. The New Jersey case remains unresolved.

Not only do prosecutors say Davies should be required to register, but they also are asking Judge Samuel Murray to classify him as a sexually violent predator, a designation that brings enhanced reporting and counseling requirements.

On Tuesday in Easton, Murray heard testimony from a psychologist, Paula Brust, who concluded Davies is unable to control his impulses.

Brust called Davies’ crime “heinous.”

Assistant District Attorney Tatum Wilson, who prosecuted Davies, said he’s an example of why sex offender registries exist.

“We need to know where he is,” Wilson said. “People have a right to know where this predator is.”

CO: THE FLAWS IN COLORADO’S SEX OFFENDER REGISTRY
October 27, 2017 
The state’s sex offender registry informs me of an allegedly dangerous man living within a mile of my house who was born in 1927.

That’s right: This 90-year-old who committed his crime in the last century is still required to tell the state of his whereabouts on the theory that the information will assist local police in identifying suspects for sex offenses and allow nearby residents to take precautions.

But of course the rate of sex offenses among nonagenarians is virtually zero, even when they have a felony in their past. This man’s presence on the registry reveals one of several weaknesses of the list, and why it is much less useful than it could be for both police and public. Full Article http://www.denverpost.com/2017/10/27/the-flaws-in-colorados-sex-offender-registry/

OCTOBER 26, 2017
The Massachusetts Senate early Friday passed a sweeping bill that would upend state laws on crime and punishment, aiming to reduce the number of people ensnared in the thicket of the criminal justice system and ease the tough-on-crime approach of decades past. The vote was 27-10.

“We have to lift people up, not lock people up,” said Senator William N. Brownsberger, the legislation’s top author, on the Senate floor. “We have to cut the chains that hold people down when they are trying to get back up on their feet.”

The legislation, which passed just before 1:30 a.m. after more than 14 hours of debate, would repeal mandatory minimum prison sentences for several drug-dealing crimes such as selling heroin within 300 feet of a school; make those changes retroactive so dealers will be able to earn release weeks or months early; legalize sex between young teens close in age; raise the age of criminal responsibility from 18 to 19, the highest in the nation; and diminish the procession of fees, fines, and license suspensions that people accused or convicted of a crime often must endure. from: http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2017/10/26/senate-vote-sweeping-criminal-justice-bill/Y6V2XutTQYlyNGoQOR7k3O/story.html?event=event25

ACLU FILES LAWSUIT ON BEHALF OF CA REGISTRANT
November 2, 2017 
ACLU filed a lawsuit in federal district court in Los Angeles last week on behalf of a California registrant who is on parole. According to the lawsuit, the registrant is being denied the ability to access social media as well as to attend and participate in church services.

Subsequent to the filing of the complaint, the ACLU filed an application for a Preliminary Injunction this week. A hearing on the PI application will be held on November 27 at 10 a.m. in Courtroom 9C in the U.S. District Court, Central District, 350 West First Street, in Los Angeles before Judge Dean Pregerson.

“We commend the ACLU for its efforts to protect the civil rights of a registrant in California,” stated ACSOL Executive Director Janice Bellucci.

According to the lawsuit, the parole restrictions in question are not related to the offenses for which the plaintiff was convicted. That is, the offenses did not take place at a church and did not involve use of social media. The ACLU has argued that the parole restrictions violate several clauses within the First Amendment, including freedom of speech and free exercise of religion.

ACLU’s involvement in the case began in June 2017 when the organization sent a letter on behalf of the registrant to officials of the Division of Adult Parole (DAPO) stating that the restrictions at issue violated the U.S. Constitution. The complaint claims that subsequent to receipt of that letter, parole agents have retaliated against the registrant by increasing compliance checks and searches of the registrant’s personal property including his phone and computer. In addition, the complaint claims that parole agents told the registrant to “leave the ACLU alone.”

The Defendants in the case — Jerry Powers, Karen Thacker, Douglas Broome and Sean Wilson — are employed by DAPO, the agency which supervises all parolees in the state of California. All are being sued in their official capacities.



A panel of appellate judges ruled last week that Pennsylvania’s established process to designate a convicted sex offender as a “sexually violent predator” is unconstitutional.

The Superior Court decision in a Butler County case found that the process — the designation carries lifetime registry and counseling under the state’s Megan’s Law — should not be undertaken post-conviction. The current practice of a review by the state’s Sexual Offender Assessment Board and a subsequent hearing with a trial court judge ruling on the board's assessment is not legal, the court found.

The decision could spur a series of appeals by sex offenders previously deemed “sexually violent” and may force state legislators to rewrite the state’s Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).

“We agree the decision weakens Megan's Law. We are in the process of evaluating the decision and its ramifications. Sexually violent predators are the worst of the worst and the ones most likely to commit new sex crimes. Our laws need to reflect the risk that these sexual offenders pose,” said Greg Rowe, legislative liaison for the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association.

Meghan Dade, executive director of the Sexual Offenders Assessment Board, said the board will “operate as normal” and complete all assessments ordered by trial courts. However, the subsequent hearings at trial courts are likely to be delayed.

“Some of those hearings are being postponed because everyone is reviewing the case,” Dade said.

The appellate court decision doesn’t prevent registration requirements. Offenders would still be required to regularly update their registry for either 15 years, 25 years or for life depending on which of the three tiers their convictions fall under.

What it does is prevent a lower-tier offender from potentially being ordered for lifetime registration as a result of a post-conviction assessment.

“Any defendant found to be a sexually violent predator and given the lifetime registration can automatically appeal,” said Snyder County District Attorney Mike Piecuch. “We will have to fight through whether this is retroactively applicable. It’s another chip away at Megan’s Law.”

“I would expect some defendants to try and do that,” Union County District Attorney Pete Johnson said of the prospect of local appeals.

"We need the Legislature to act now to fix this,” Piecuch said, saying existing law needs to be rewritten to make the "sexually violent predator" designation an element of the offense and proven as part of the guilt phase of a criminal trial.

The ruling comes on the heels of a July order by the state Supreme Court that found registry requirements under SORNA are punitive and can’t be applied retroactively. Under previous law, established in 2007, offenders had to register and report for either 10 years or life. In 2012, SORNA created the three-tier system.

A request has since been made for the U.S. Supreme Court to review the SORNA ruling.

More than 20,000 offenders are registered with the Megan’s Law registry maintained by Pennsylvania State Police. Many are impacted by the state’s high court ruling on retroactive registry enhancements or the Superior Court ruling on the “sexually violent predator” designation.

Jennifer Storm, Pennsylvania’s appointed victim advocate, said she’s actively working the state prosecutors and the House Judiciary Committee to come up with a legislative fix.

The assessment to determine if an offender is sexually violent is incredibly important in attempting to prevent repeat offenses, Storm said.

“These are offenders have a higher risk for re-offending. When I say offending, I mean raping children. These are the most egregious sex offenders, people with predatory sex offenses,” Storm said.




New Blogs Part 8 Updated November 12 2017


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: Take a stand now against Roy Moore

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: Take a stand now against Roy Moore

The Washington Post just published a blockbuster investigative piece alleging that Roy Moore, the bigoted, right-wing extremist Republican candidate for Senate in Alabama, sexually assaulted a 14-year-old girl while he was in his 30s and preyed on at least three other teenagers.1

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Republicans were quick to say that Moore should step aside “if the allegations are true.” But coming from the Party that helped put a sexual predator in the White House, those are empty words.2

When tape leaked of Donald Trump boasting about how easy it was for him to sexually assault women, senate Republicans denounced him – but then pulled a 180 after the election. That’s why we must demand that they reject another alleged sexual predator in their ranks and commit to repudiate Roy Moore if he is elected next month.

Tell Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: It is time to use your authority to take a public stand against Roy Moore.

Moore’s entire political career has been based on intolerance and religious-based right-wing extremism. He promoted the birther conspiracy that President Obama was not born in the U.S., has said that Muslims should not be able to hold office and believes that fertilized eggs should have personhood rights.3 He was twice suspended from the Alabama Supreme Court for failing to follow court orders – once for refusing to remove a statue of the Ten Commandments from the courthouse and later for using his authority to block marriage equality.4

If that were not enough to prove his extreme homophobia, while on the Alabama Supreme Court, he denied a woman custody of her children because she was in a same sex relationship – claiming that her “lifestyle” was just as bad for the children as facing physical abuse from their father.5

Not surprisingly, Moore doubled down in the face of the Post’s reporting. He followed Trump’s lead saying the report is “the very definition fake news” – the same line Trump used to defend himself against numerous allegations of sexual assault.6,7

If Sen. McConnell wants to back up his words with action, he needs to make it clear that he will not welcome Moore into the Republican caucus even if he manages to win the election. If McConnell fails to lead, he will be doubling down, just like toxic candidate Roy Moore. He will be confirming that when it comes to standing with women or advancing his party’s dangerous agenda, he chooses party every time.

Tell Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: Use your authority to take a public stand against Roy Moore.

Moore has rejected the calls for him to step aside saying he has a “duty to stand up and fight back against the forces of evil waging an all-out war on our conservative values.”8 Republican leaders in Alabama have Moore’s back. They are rallying to Moore’s defense, framing the story as a “he said, she said” situation and downplaying the seriousness of sexual assault on a 14 year-old, who legally could not consent to any sexual activity, and who recalled that she just “wanted it to be over.”9,10,11

State Auditor Jim Zeigler compared it to Mary and Joseph parenting Jesus saying, “There’s just nothing immoral or illegal here.” A Republican party county chairman even defended Moore staying in the race saying: “Other than being with an underage person — he didn’t really force himself... If he withdraws, it’s five weeks to the election... that would concede it to the Democrat.”12

Clearly partisan politics and their extreme right-wing agenda matters more to Moore and his lackeys than the damage he’s caused as a sexual predator, but Moore’s commitment to staying in the race puts the spotlight back on Republican leaders like McConnell.13

If McConnell really cared about interrupting an entrenched culture of misogyny that lets men get away with demeaning, harassing, objectifying and assaulting women, he would announce now that he will not ever welcome Moore as a member of his caucus.

Can you help keep the pressure on him to act and help us expose him spineless political game playing if he fails?

Thanks for everything you do.

References:

Stephanie McCrummen, Beth Reinhard and Alice Crites, "Woman says Roy Moore initiated sexual encounter when she was 14, he was 32,” The Washington Post, Nov. 9, 2017
Michael Scherer, “Trump, McConnell call on Roy Moore to exit Alabama Senate race ‘if these allegations are true',” The Washington Post, Nov. 10, 2017.

Robin Marty, “All the Ways Roy Moore Will Be Awful for Anyone Who's Not a Straight White Christian Man,” Cosmopolitan, Nov. 7, 2017.
Ibid.

Rebekah Entralgo, “This is what Roy Moore has said about child abuse and sexual assault,” ThinkProgress, Nov. 9, 2017.
Mallory Shelbourne, "Moore campaign: Washington Post story 'garbage' that defines 'fake news'," The Hill, Nov. 9, 2017.

Glenn Kessler, “Donald Trump says sexual harassment claims are 'fake news' — but this is what corroborators say,” Independent, Oct. 29, 2017.

Ben Kamisar, “Moore after sexual allegations: 'I refuse to stand down',” The Hill, Nov. 9, 2017.

Daniel Dale, “Alabama Republicans defend Roy Moore over allegations he had sexual contact with 14-year-old,” The Toronto Star, Nov, 9. 2017.

Julie Alderman, “Breitbart runs defense after women say Roy Moore made sexual advances while they were teenagers,” Media Matters, Nov, 9. 2017.

McCrummen et al., "Woman says Roy Moore initiated sexual encounter when she was 14, he was 32."

Dale, “Alabama Republicans defend Roy Moore over allegations he had sexual contact with 14-year-old,” Nov, 9. 2017.

Addy Baird, “Alabama Republicans are making outlandish excuses for Roy Moore’s alleged sexual abuse,” ThinkProgress, Nov. 9. 2017.




New Blogs Part 8 Updated November 12 2017

Please do ignore this. It seems as though he is provoking a civil war in our country:


John Kelly's praise of Robert E. Lee's 'loyalty to his state' and what that actually entailed

In an interview Monday night on Fox News with Laura Ingraham, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly complimented Gen. Robert E. Lee, who led the South's military in open rebellion against the U.S. government when angry landowners were told they couldn't own human beings anymore.


“Finally, this unsettling incident, on the heels of Kelly's praise for General Robert E. Lee and a disgraceful, unfounded attack on my Congressional colleague from Florida, brings into focus a disturbing picture of a man who many of us thought of as the last hope for instilling honor and decency for this White House,” said Thompson.


we were immediately taken before Gen. Lee, who demanded the reason why we ran away; we frankly told him that we considered ourselves free; he then told us he would teach us a lesson we never would forget; he then ordered us to the barn, where, in his presence, we were tied firmly to posts by a Mr. Gwin, our overseer, who was ordered by Gen. Lee to strip us to the waist and give us fifty lashes each, excepting my sister, who received but twenty; we were accordingly stripped to the skin by the overseer, who, however, had sufficient humanity to decline whipping us; accordingly Dick Williams, a county constable, was called in, who gave us the number of lashes ordered; Gen. Lee, in the meantime, stood by, and frequently enjoined Williams to lay it on well, an injunction which he did not fail to heed; not satisfied with simply lacerating our naked flesh, Gen. Lee then ordered the overseer to thoroughly wash our backs with brine, which was done.



New Blogs Part 8 Updated November 12 2017

I do not normally post negative things here; but I will make a exception for this story: 

Woman may be first sex offender evicted as more Texas towns adopt exclusion zones

METRO-STATE By Eric Dexheimer - American-Statesman Staff    ...

The Houston suburb of Meadows Place has broadened its sex offender exclusion zones by designating sections of the public right of way as pocket parks and placing just enough equipment on them so the spaces qualify as playgrounds under Texas law. The city s sex offender exclusion zone ordinance forbids those convicted of child sex crimes from living within 1,000 feet of any playground.

AMERICAN-STATESMAN:

from: http://www.mystatesman.com/news/woman-may-first-sex-offender-evicted-towns-adopt-exclusion-zones/vEyjZey1cMgDbNmC5SYqgM/

Posted: 12:00 a.m. Saturday, November 04, 2017

Highlights

Police began showing up at KJ’s house 8 months ago for violating the city’s residency restriction.

She has received 15 tickets as a registered sex offender living too close to a city pool.

The city of Meadows Place has created new playgrounds to expand its exclusion zone boundaries.

KJ grew up in Meadows Place, a 1-square-mile Houston bedroom community of modest 1970s and ’80s tree-shaded homes. In late 2007, she returned as a 33-year-old seeking to settle in a community she recalled warmly.
“I have great memories of this place,” she said. KJ — she asked that her name not be used for fear of losing her job; she was fired when her previous employer learned of her background — and her husband purchased a four-bedroom house near her childhood home. Her two boys attended her old elementary school, a three-minute walk away.

The bottom fell out four years later. A baby sitter the couple had hired in 2003 contacted police and revealed the two had pursued her for sex when she was 15. According to police reports and court records, KJ had left after the baby sitter said no. But, while she was at work, her husband later had sex with the girl.

Called into the police station in late 2011 and confronted with the by-then 23-year-old’s charges, KJ’s husband confessed. He was sentenced to 10 years of probation. KJ received 4 years of probation for indecency with a child by exposure as part of a deferred adjudication deal, and she was required to register as sex offender.

Although many sex offenders on probation are prohibited from being around children, KJ wasn’t. She maintained custody of her sons, whom she may pick up and drop off at school and activities.

Yet when she showed up to check in at the Meadows Place police station, she said police refused to register her as a resident and informed her she couldn’t live in her home. A city ordinance prohibited registered child sex offenders from living within a certain distance of places where children gathered; her house was too close to a city pool.

“But I already live here,” she replied.

“You can’t anymore,” she was told. In an unfolding legal battle, KJ stands to become the first Texas homeowner evicted from her own house for violating one of the ordinances.

State and local laws restricting where registered sex offenders may live after completing probation and parole have been around for a decade or longer. Many passed in the wake of a flurry of high-profile “memorial laws” named for children abducted and killed by strangers. While no Texas statute restricts where sex offenders can reside once they are released from state supervision, about 80 municipalities have adopted local ordinances prohibiting registered child sex offenders from living up to 2,500 feet near where children gather.

Violations typically come with a fine between $500 and $2,000 per day. Yet officials concede the restrictions rarely are invoked as criminal cases. More often, they function as a legal keep-out sign warning sex offenders they are unwelcome.

“It puts everybody on notice that we’re not going to tolerate these cases,” said Hutto Police Chief Byron Frankland, who pushed for the Austin suburb to adopt a 1,000-foot residency restriction soon after being hired this year.

Sara Bustilloz, public information officer for the Pflugerville Police Department, said she knew of no instances in which a person had been cited for violating the city’s rule prohibiting child sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a school, day care center, playground, youth center, public swimming pool or video arcade. But she noted the city now has fewer than half the number of registered offenders as when it enacted its residency restrictions in 2007.

“Based on our ordinance, they’re going to know how difficult it is to move here,” she said.

A new state law requires cities with fewer than 5,000 residents and such a restriction to have a process by which sex offenders who want to move into a restricted area can apply for an exemption. Most require a public hearing in front of the city council.

In West Lake Hills — where a city ordinance prohibits registered child sex offenders not only from living within 1,000 feet of schools, playgrounds and youth centers, but also school bus stops — council members must quiz an applicant about his relationship with his mother before granting an exemption, among other criteria. Advocates say such procedures are unlikely to result in many applications or approvals.

Live “somewhere far away”

Residency restrictions reflect a belief that those convicted of sex offenses are uniquely dangerous and incapable of reform. “There is convincing documented evidence that sex offenders are sexual predators who present an extreme threat to public safety, are likely to use physical violence in the commission of their crimes and have a higher recidivism rate than persons convicted of other crimes,” states the ordinance in the North Texas town of Venus.

As the number of registered sex offenders in Texas approaches 90,000, however, studies have found many of those assumptions to be false. Studies show the vast majority of sex offenses are committed against family members or acquaintances, and that convicted sex offenders appear less likely to repeat their crime than those convicted of other offenses.

That means laws based on offenders grabbing random children off playgrounds have little practical effect on public safety. “The research does not support that residency restrictions, or exclusion zones, have any beneficial impact on safety, or recidivism, or any other objective you’re trying to achieve here,” Michele Deitch, of the University of Texas’s LBJ School of Public Affairs, told state legislators this spring. “In fact, there’s a growing body of research that shows residency restrictions increase sex offender recidivism rates” by driving offenders away from family and other support systems.

Offenders say restriction rules can be difficult to untangle. Frustrated with trying to identify where he was forbidden to travel, last year a University of Texas grad developed a mapping app to help other sex offenders comply. (West Lake Hills, whose ordinance requires its map of prohibited zones “be available to the public,” refused to release it to the American-Statesman.)

When Keith Gallegos moved from Florida to Venus in January 2016, he’d been off parole for more than a decade for his 1996 offense. But he was required to register as a child sex offender and abide by the city’s exclusion zones of 1,000 feet from places where children gather.

Using his car odometer to identify the boundaries, he found a house to buy. On the day of the closing, however, police informed him he’d mismeasured the distance from a community swimming pool; his house was only 850 feet away.

He canceled the deal. Three months later, Gallegos purchased another house, this time using Google Maps. Days after closing, Venus police told him their laser measurements showed it was 48 feet too close to the prohibited zone.

Even some police are ambivalent about the restrictions’ value. San Antonio’s ordinance prohibits registered offenders from living within 1,000 feet of city parks, including the River Walk. But Capt. Richard Martinez, supervisor of the city’s Park Police unit, said officers will cite violators only if they catch the attention of police for other matters.

As for actively checking to make sure no offender lives too close to a park, “We’re not going to do that, nor do we have the resources to do it,” he said, adding, “If you want to measure the ordinance in terms of how many citations we issue, it’s not very useful.”

Residency restrictions have been challenged in court in recent years. Massachusetts justices compared them to the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. A pending Chicago case is fighting a state law that required two registered offenders to leave their established homes when a new child-related business opened near them. (The U.S. Supreme Court last week declined to hear a Texas case challenging Lewisville’s 1,500-foot sex offender buffer.)

Yet the fear of child sex predators persists, and many citizens support residency restrictions — the wider the better. In a 2015 study, researchers from Nebraska asked residents their opinion of the state law prohibiting sex offenders from living within 500 feet of schools and day care facilities.

Sixty percent said 500 feet was too close. Half of those thought the buffer should be at least a mile; more than 10 percent simply said registered offenders should be forced to live “somewhere far away.”

Those sentiments tend to be accepted by local officials, even those who understand the laws’ limitations. “I don’t think (residency restrictions) are the end-all and be-all,” said Michael Boese, police chief and city administrator for Venus. “But sometimes perception is important to the community.”

“My father is a child molester and went to prison for that. Trust me — I have no sympathy for sex predators,” said Bobby Jo Newell, mayor of Brazoria, which just enacted a new residency restriction ordinance. “People act like putting these laws on the book will protect children. Do I believe it’s going to stop the majority of them? No. Most of these crimes are within the family. I do feel it’s a false sense of security. But, it’s there.”

Playgrounds not only for children

The city of Meadows Place boasts a school playground with a large attached park, a community center and a nature park for its 4,600 residents. Yet this summer city officials went on a playground-building spree.

New equipment appeared on small lots in the city’s far east side, on Brighton Boulevard; and in its northeastern-most corner, on Kangaroo Court. Meadows Valley Park, near the city’s center, and Meadow Glen Park, on the southern border, each installed new play gear, as well. “We had to cut some expenditures out of the budget to do it, but we thought it was important,” said Mayor Charles Jessup.

A tour of the facilities, however, shows Meadows Place’s newest playground equipment to be an odd assortment of items.

Kangaroo Pocket Park’s additions consist of a single tetherball pole surrounded by a half-dozen tree stumps and a dimensional-lumber balance bar. In Brighton Park, a small tepee-looking structure made of crooked sticks lashed together with rope is paired with a 6-foot length of corrugated plastic sewer pipe and a single cheap plastic-disc swing hung from a tree.

That’s because the city’s newest playgrounds aren’t entirely about child’s play.

Texas law states that a park needs to have three pieces of equipment to be considered a playground. And Meadow Place’s ordinance says sex offenders cannot live near playgrounds.

The city’s eagerness for new playgrounds was spurred by a legal challenge. Two years ago, Texas Voices for Reason and Justice, an advocacy group for sex offender reforms, sent a letter to 46 so-called general law cities — those with fewer than 5,000 population — with residency restrictions, threatening to sue because Texas state law did not give them authority to pass the ordinances. Rather than wage a costly legal battle, about half rescinded the rules (including Venus, rescuing Gallegos from abandoning his new house.)

Texas Voices sued the rest, including Meadows Place. This spring, however, state lawmakers rode to their rescue, quietly slipping language into an unrelated bill in the legislative session’s waning days that gave the small cities legal permission to enact the restrictions. Since it went into effect, municipalities that repealed their laws are reinstating them.

Because the new state rule limited exclusion zones to 1,000 feet from child-gathering spots, however, Meadows Place had to adjust. The previous rule put the boundaries at 2,000 feet. The new playgrounds “gave us a much needed 1000’ Child Safety Zone in that part of the city,” Jessup explained in his September newsletter.

Thanks in part to the small parks and their new equipment, Jessup said all but 147 of Meadows Place’s 1,456 residences are now off limits to registered sex offenders looking to move into the city. He said a new pocket park is planned in the city’s north, which will expand the exclusion zone.

“It’s just a gut feeling”

Meadows Place eventually agreed to officially register KJ as resident sex offender. The pounding on her door began the day after, on March 1, just after 1 p.m. In the following days, it often came late in the evening, when she returned home from her job as a waitress.

“The police have the real rapid, aggressive knock, you know?” she said. “Like, bambambambambam!”

Each time she answered, Meadows Place officers would officially inform her she was in violation of the city’s sex offender residency ordinance because her house was 676 feet from the community pool. (Meadows Place Police Chief Gary Stewart did not respond to an interview request.)

The police issued tickets on March 2, March 6 and March 9. On the 16th, they issued her six separate tickets, the first at 10:45 p.m., the last 12 minutes later. By March 18, they’d issued KJ 13 tickets, each carrying a $500 fine.

“It’s like they were stalking me,” she said. She started driving around her block after work to make sure no cruiser was waiting for her. In the mornings, she peeked out of her curtains to see if she was clear to leave. She disconnected her doorbell.

A municipal judge dismissed the citations during the Texas Voices lawsuit. But Jessup, the mayor, said there was no doubt Meadows Place would fight for its residency restriction. A City Council meeting to discuss the legal threat was packed, he said: “We took a vote, and it was 100 percent” in favor of fighting to keep the sex offender exclusion zone.

Although Jessup said he is aware of research challenging the value of the ordinances, he said he trusts his instincts. “From my perspective as a parent at the playground, there’s enough things for me to worry about without worrying about sexual predators across the street. It’s just a gut feeling as a parent.”

The city passed a new version of its ordinance on Aug. 22. KJ’s attorney, Woman may be first sex offender evicted as more Texas towns adopt exclusion zones

METRO-STATE By Eric Dexheimer - American-Statesman Staff    ...

The Houston suburb of Meadows Place has broadened its sex offender exclusion zones by designating sections of the public right of way as pocket parks and placing just enough equipment on them so the spaces qualify as playgrounds under Texas law. The city s sex offender exclusion zone ordinance forbids those convicted of child sex crimes from living within 1,000 feet of any playground.

AMERICAN-STATESMAN:

from: http://www.mystatesman.com/news/woman-may-first-sex-offender-evicted-towns-adopt-exclusion-zones/vEyjZey1cMgDbNmC5SYqgM/

Posted: 12:00 a.m. Saturday, November 04, 2017

Highlights

Police began showing up at KJ’s house 8 months ago for violating the city’s residency restriction.

She has received 15 tickets as a registered sex offender living too close to a city pool.

The city of Meadows Place has created new playgrounds to expand its exclusion zone boundaries.

KJ grew up in Meadows Place, a 1-square-mile Houston bedroom community of modest 1970s and ’80s tree-shaded homes. In late 2007, she returned as a 33-year-old seeking to settle in a community she recalled warmly.
“I have great memories of this place,” she said. KJ — she asked that her name not be used for fear of losing her job; she was fired when her previous employer learned of her background — and her husband purchased a four-bedroom house near her childhood home. Her two boys attended her old elementary school, a three-minute walk away.

The bottom fell out four years later. A baby sitter the couple had hired in 2003 contacted police and revealed the two had pursued her for sex when she was 15. According to police reports and court records, KJ had left after the baby sitter said no. But, while she was at work, her husband later had sex with the girl.

Called into the police station in late 2011 and confronted with the by-then 23-year-old’s charges, KJ’s husband confessed. He was sentenced to 10 years of probation. KJ received 4 years of probation for indecency with a child by exposure as part of a deferred adjudication deal, and she was required to register as sex offender.

Although many sex offenders on probation are prohibited from being around children, KJ wasn’t. She maintained custody of her sons, whom she may pick up and drop off at school and activities.

Yet when she showed up to check in at the Meadows Place police station, she said police refused to register her as a resident and informed her she couldn’t live in her home. A city ordinance prohibited registered child sex offenders from living within a certain distance of places where children gathered; her house was too close to a city pool.

“But I already live here,” she replied.

“You can’t anymore,” she was told. In an unfolding legal battle, KJ stands to become the first Texas homeowner evicted from her own house for violating one of the ordinances.

State and local laws restricting where registered sex offenders may live after completing probation and parole have been around for a decade or longer. Many passed in the wake of a flurry of high-profile “memorial laws” named for children abducted and killed by strangers. While no Texas statute restricts where sex offenders can reside once they are released from state supervision, about 80 municipalities have adopted local ordinances prohibiting registered child sex offenders from living up to 2,500 feet near where children gather.

Violations typically come with a fine between $500 and $2,000 per day. Yet officials concede the restrictions rarely are invoked as criminal cases. More often, they function as a legal keep-out sign warning sex offenders they are unwelcome.

“It puts everybody on notice that we’re not going to tolerate these cases,” said Hutto Police Chief Byron Frankland, who pushed for the Austin suburb to adopt a 1,000-foot residency restriction soon after being hired this year.

Sara Bustilloz, public information officer for the Pflugerville Police Department, said she knew of no instances in which a person had been cited for violating the city’s rule prohibiting child sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a school, day care center, playground, youth center, public swimming pool or video arcade. But she noted the city now has fewer than half the number of registered offenders as when it enacted its residency restrictions in 2007.

“Based on our ordinance, they’re going to know how difficult it is to move here,” she said.

A new state law requires cities with fewer than 5,000 residents and such a restriction to have a process by which sex offenders who want to move into a restricted area can apply for an exemption. Most require a public hearing in front of the city council.

In West Lake Hills — where a city ordinance prohibits registered child sex offenders not only from living within 1,000 feet of schools, playgrounds and youth centers, but also school bus stops — council members must quiz an applicant about his relationship with his mother before granting an exemption, among other criteria. Advocates say such procedures are unlikely to result in many applications or approvals.

Live “somewhere far away”

Residency restrictions reflect a belief that those convicted of sex offenses are uniquely dangerous and incapable of reform. “There is convincing documented evidence that sex offenders are sexual predators who present an extreme threat to public safety, are likely to use physical violence in the commission of their crimes and have a higher recidivism rate than persons convicted of other crimes,” states the ordinance in the North Texas town of Venus.

As the number of registered sex offenders in Texas approaches 90,000, however, studies have found many of those assumptions to be false. Studies show the vast majority of sex offenses are committed against family members or acquaintances, and that convicted sex offenders appear less likely to repeat their crime than those convicted of other offenses.

That means laws based on offenders grabbing random children off playgrounds have little practical effect on public safety. “The research does not support that residency restrictions, or exclusion zones, have any beneficial impact on safety, or recidivism, or any other objective you’re trying to achieve here,” Michele Deitch, of the University of Texas’s LBJ School of Public Affairs, told state legislators this spring. “In fact, there’s a growing body of research that shows residency restrictions increase sex offender recidivism rates” by driving offenders away from family and other support systems.

Offenders say restriction rules can be difficult to untangle. Frustrated with trying to identify where he was forbidden to travel, last year a University of Texas grad developed a mapping app to help other sex offenders comply. (West Lake Hills, whose ordinance requires its map of prohibited zones “be available to the public,” refused to release it to the American-Statesman.)

When Keith Gallegos moved from Florida to Venus in January 2016, he’d been off parole for more than a decade for his 1996 offense. But he was required to register as a child sex offender and abide by the city’s exclusion zones of 1,000 feet from places where children gather.

Using his car odometer to identify the boundaries, he found a house to buy. On the day of the closing, however, police informed him he’d mismeasured the distance from a community swimming pool; his house was only 850 feet away.

He canceled the deal. Three months later, Gallegos purchased another house, this time using Google Maps. Days after closing, Venus police told him their laser measurements showed it was 48 feet too close to the prohibited zone.

Even some police are ambivalent about the restrictions’ value. San Antonio’s ordinance prohibits registered offenders from living within 1,000 feet of city parks, including the River Walk. But Capt. Richard Martinez, supervisor of the city’s Park Police unit, said officers will cite violators only if they catch the attention of police for other matters.

As for actively checking to make sure no offender lives too close to a park, “We’re not going to do that, nor do we have the resources to do it,” he said, adding, “If you want to measure the ordinance in terms of how many citations we issue, it’s not very useful.”

Residency restrictions have been challenged in court in recent years. Massachusetts justices compared them to the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. A pending Chicago case is fighting a state law that required two registered offenders to leave their established homes when a new child-related business opened near them. (The U.S. Supreme Court last week declined to hear a Texas case challenging Lewisville’s 1,500-foot sex offender buffer.)

Yet the fear of child sex predators persists, and many citizens support residency restrictions — the wider the better. In a 2015 study, researchers from Nebraska asked residents their opinion of the state law prohibiting sex offenders from living within 500 feet of schools and day care facilities.

Sixty percent said 500 feet was too close. Half of those thought the buffer should be at least a mile; more than 10 percent simply said registered offenders should be forced to live “somewhere far away.”

Those sentiments tend to be accepted by local officials, even those who understand the laws’ limitations. “I don’t think (residency restrictions) are the end-all and be-all,” said Michael Boese, police chief and city administrator for Venus. “But sometimes perception is important to the community.”

“My father is a child molester and went to prison for that. Trust me — I have no sympathy for sex predators,” said Bobby Jo Newell, mayor of Brazoria, which just enacted a new residency restriction ordinance. “People act like putting these laws on the book will protect children. Do I believe it’s going to stop the majority of them? No. Most of these crimes are within the family. I do feel it’s a false sense of security. But, it’s there.”

Playgrounds not only for children

The city of Meadows Place boasts a school playground with a large attached park, a community center and a nature park for its 4,600 residents. Yet this summer city officials went on a playground-building spree.

New equipment appeared on small lots in the city’s far east side, on Brighton Boulevard; and in its northeastern-most corner, on Kangaroo Court. Meadows Valley Park, near the city’s center, and Meadow Glen Park, on the southern border, each installed new play gear, as well. “We had to cut some expenditures out of the budget to do it, but we thought it was important,” said Mayor Charles Jessup.

A tour of the facilities, however, shows Meadows Place’s newest playground equipment to be an odd assortment of items.

Kangaroo Pocket Park’s additions consist of a single tetherball pole surrounded by a half-dozen tree stumps and a dimensional-lumber balance bar. In Brighton Park, a small tepee-looking structure made of crooked sticks lashed together with rope is paired with a 6-foot length of corrugated plastic sewer pipe and a single cheap plastic-disc swing hung from a tree.

That’s because the city’s newest playgrounds aren’t entirely about child’s play.

Texas law states that a park needs to have three pieces of equipment to be considered a playground. And Meadow Place’s ordinance says sex offenders cannot live near playgrounds.

The city’s eagerness for new playgrounds was spurred by a legal challenge. Two years ago, Texas Voices for Reason and Justice, an advocacy group for sex offender reforms, sent a letter to 46 so-called general law cities — those with fewer than 5,000 population — with residency restrictions, threatening to sue because Texas state law did not give them authority to pass the ordinances. Rather than wage a costly legal battle, about half rescinded the rules (including Venus, rescuing Gallegos from abandoning his new house.)

Texas Voices sued the rest, including Meadows Place. This spring, however, state lawmakers rode to their rescue, quietly slipping language into an unrelated bill in the legislative session’s waning days that gave the small cities legal permission to enact the restrictions. Since it went into effect, municipalities that repealed their laws are reinstating them.

Because the new state rule limited exclusion zones to 1,000 feet from child-gathering spots, however, Meadows Place had to adjust. The previous rule put the boundaries at 2,000 feet. The new playgrounds “gave us a much needed 1000’ Child Safety Zone in that part of the city,” Jessup explained in his September newsletter.

Thanks in part to the small parks and their new equipment, Jessup said all but 147 of Meadows Place’s 1,456 residences are now off limits to registered sex offenders looking to move into the city. He said a new pocket park is planned in the city’s north, which will expand the exclusion zone.

“It’s just a gut feeling”

Meadows Place eventually agreed to officially register KJ as resident sex offender. The pounding on her door began the day after, on March 1, just after 1 p.m. In the following days, it often came late in the evening, when she returned home from her job as a waitress.

“The police have the real rapid, aggressive knock, you know?” she said. “Like, bambambambambam!”

Each time she answered, Meadows Place officers would officially inform her she was in violation of the city’s sex offender residency ordinance because her house was 676 feet from the community pool. (Meadows Place Police Chief Gary Stewart did not respond to an interview request.)

The police issued tickets on March 2, March 6 and March 9. On the 16th, they issued her six separate tickets, the first at 10:45 p.m., the last 12 minutes later. By March 18, they’d issued KJ 13 tickets, each carrying a $500 fine.

“It’s like they were stalking me,” she said. She started driving around her block after work to make sure no cruiser was waiting for her. In the mornings, she peeked out of her curtains to see if she was clear to leave. She disconnected her doorbell.

A municipal judge dismissed the citations during the Texas Voices lawsuit. But Jessup, the mayor, said there was no doubt Meadows Place would fight for its residency restriction. A City Council meeting to discuss the legal threat was packed, he said: “We took a vote, and it was 100 percent” in favor of fighting to keep the sex offender exclusion zone.

Although Jessup said he is aware of research challenging the value of the ordinances, he said he trusts his instincts. “From my perspective as a parent at the playground, there’s enough things for me to worry about without worrying about sexual predators across the street. It’s just a gut feeling as a parent.”

The city passed a new version of its ordinance on Aug. 22. KJ’s attorney, Richard Gladden, said he believes she is entitled to stay in her home because a grandfather clause in the new state law says anyone who lived in the city before a residency restriction ordinance was passed can stay.

Meadows Place’s attorney, Grady Randle, disputes that, contending the grandfather clause applies only to residents who were in their home when the city passed its original sex offender exclusion zone law, in 2006 — a year before KJ bought her house. He said it’s the city’s position that KJ must move out.

In mid-September, police began showing up at KJ’s house again, issuing her two more tickets. “Since then I haven’t answered the door,” she said. A court hearing is set for Nov. 9., said he believes she is entitled to stay in her home because a grandfather clause in the new state law says anyone who lived in the city before a residency restriction ordinance was passed can stay.

Meadows Place’s attorney, Grady Randle, disputes that, contending the grandfather clause applies only to residents who were in their home when the city passed its original sex offender exclusion zone law, in 2006 — a year before KJ bought her house. He said it’s the city’s position that KJ must move out.

In mid-September, police began showing up at KJ’s house again, issuing her two more tickets. “Since then I haven’t answered the door,” she said. A court hearing is set for Nov. 9.

I will be sending a email to my reps and the ACLU about this also.


Richard Gladden might be considered a superhero among civil rights activists if he weren’t representing one of the most despised segments of the population: sex offenders. The 55-year-old attorney has been defending them in court for more than a decade, fighting for their rights in a society hell-bent on taking them away.
MR. RICHARD SCOTT GLADDEN            
 Eligible to Practice in Texas
Law Office of Richard Gladden
Bar Card Number: 07991330
TX License Date: 05/04/1990

Primary Practice Location: Denton , Texas

1200 W University Dr Ste 100
Denton, TX 76201-1797

Practice Areas: Criminal

Statutory Profile Last Certified On: 11/01/2016

If you want to write your representative about this I composed a letter you can use:

Imagine being told you have to leave your home by police.  I am formally protesting this anti American political harassment.: Woman may be first sex offender evicted as more Texas towns adopt exclusion zones The Houston suburb of Meadows Place has broadened its sex offender exclusion zones  AMERICAN-STATESMAN: from: http://www.mystatesman.com/news/woman-may-first-sex-offender-evicted-towns-adopt-exclusion-zones/vEyjZey1cMgDbNmC5SYqgM/ Posted: 12:00 a.m. Saturday, November 04, 2017… Yet when she showed up to check in at the Meadows Place police station, she said police refused to register her as a resident and informed her she couldn’t live in her home. A city ordinance prohibited registered child sex offenders from living within a certain distance of places where children gathered; her house was too close to a city pool. “But I already live here,” she replied. “You can’t anymore,” she was told. In an unfolding legal battle, KJ stands to become the first Texas homeowner evicted from her own house for violating one of the ordinances Called into the police station in late 2011 and confronted with the by-then 23-year-old’s charges, KJ’s husband confessed. He was sentenced to 10 years of probation. KJ received 4 years of probation for indecency with a child by exposure as part of a deferred adjudication deal



New Blogs Part 8 Updated November 14 2017

I want to clear up some stuff. I am a southerner and proud to be a southerner. I love this land so much I became a well known western artist around these here parts. I remember back in my hometown in Connecticut: I used to draw stuff and pin it to the outside of the door of my room where I lived. I liked the rebel flag back then; because I believed it symbolized, being rebellious to society. I learned back then that the rebel flag meant racism; I was about 21 years old. I know allot of southerners like Robert E. Lee and there is allot of literature trying to say he was not a slave owner. As far as I know; he was not just a slave owner, but involved in torturing slaves. That ain't right!

Also there is only one reason I wanted the Alabama senate candidate Roy Moore not make it:

from: https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2017/11/roy-moore-claims-transgenders-dont-rights-posse-sheriffs-stand-beside/

The day before Alabama senate candidate Roy Moore was accused of molesting a 14-year-old girl when he was in his early 30’s, he was surrounded by adoring county sheriffs endorsing him as a law and order candidate.

Three other women accused Moore of inappropriate behavior while they were between the ages of 16-18, but Moore responded by fundraising off the accusations. He calls the women “the forces of evil” in his money beg and invokes his religion as a defense.

I am sorry my article played the sex offender card; in this case what ever it took to see this person stopped was absolutely necessary. 


New Blogs Part 8 Updated November 15 2017

Tax Cut's for Billionaire's?


Lillian Salerno is a native Texan, entrepreneur, attorney, Obama appointee, and an advocate for healthcare workers, nurses, and patients. 

Now, she is running as a Democrat in Texas’s 32nd district against Republican Pete Sessions. For years, Sessions has ignored the interests of Texas-32 while catering to billionaires-- he’s spent his career helping big corporations stack the deck against small businesses and hard workers. Lillian spent her life advocating for the most vulnerable. 

Over the past few months, we’ve seen Rep. Sessions fall in line with his allies in Congress and special interests. He voted for the disastrous Trumpcare bill and is now supporting a tax reform plan that gives away tax cuts to millionaires, billionaires, and big corporations at the expense of middle-class and low-income Americans. 

Lillian has always put the people first. Her life has been devoted to growing small businesses and fighting on their behalf against corporate concentration. She has seen firsthand how big powerful companies get all they want while the little guy gets shut out. It doesn’t have to be that way, and it shouldn’t be that way. 

We need to act now to defeat this tax bill and ensure that working Americans get a fair shot. 

Sign now and join Lillian Salerno’s campaign for Congress -- because we need leadership in Congress that puts the people first. 





New Blogs Part 8 Updated November 18 2017



The Keystone pipeline just spilled 210,000 barrels of oil near a small town in South Dakota.

Meanwhile, the Nebraska Public Service Commission is about to decide the fate of the Keystone XL pipeline. We expect a decision on Monday.

Oil spills are inevitable when we allow pipelines to cut across our country, threatening our communities and our water supply and fueling the climate crisis. 

We need an immediate stop to fossil fuel infrastructure and a just, rapid transition to renewable energy.


Tell the Nebraska Public Service Commission to REJECT the Keystone XL.

*The Public Service Commission requires the contact information below in order to receive your message.



New Blogs Part 8 Updated November 18 2017


Oppose Trump FCC’s plan to destroy net neutrality and the open internet
Time is running out before Trump’s FCC and Big Cable destroy net neutrality — but we can still stop them.

Trump-appointed FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, a former lawyer for Verizon, is expected to announce a vote on a plan to end net neutrality as soon as November 22, the day before Thanksgiving.

Add your name to send a message (below) to Congress:



New Blogs Part 8 Updated November 20 2017


Right now, Republicans control both legislative chambers in 32 states. Article V of the Constitution states that a constitutional convention can be called at the request of ⅔ of state legislatures – that's 34 states. If we stand by and let just two more legislatures turn red, Republicans would gain the power to unilaterally call a convention at any point.

It gets worse. The Constitution does not specify how a convention should operate, who should be represented, or what would be on the agenda. That means Republicans like Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, and Donald Trump would set the ground rules.

The best way to stop Republicans from rewriting our Constitution is simple: Elect more state Democrats. 

That's why we're fighting every single day to elect Democrats to statehouses all across the country.

Please sign right now to help us push our candidates to victory and STOP the GOP from overhauling our constitution >> 

Paid for by the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC)




New Blogs Part 8 Updated Thanksgiving 2017

I can think of nothing I would rather do, than update this blog this morning: Thanksgiving morning. I thought about what I am most thankful for this morning.: It is for Colorado, my neighbor state, declaring; sex offender registration unconstitutional. (That was the first thing that thought of.)  What better way to start this update than to remind us all; about the first Thanksgiving enjoyed by the pilgrims: 



 "The Pilgrims' story of seeking religious freedom has become a central theme of the history and culture of the United States."

"This made it possible to settle at a distance that allayed concerns of social, political and religious conflicts, but still provided the military and economic benefits of relative closeness to an established colony."


The MAYFLOWER! The Mayflower, the Mayflower, the Mayflower was ponded into my brain as a child in Connecticut and should be to every child today in America. The Mayflower contained the first Americans.


"Many of the passengers were Pilgrims fleeing persistent religious persecution"




If that is not enough for you than get a old American history book and read up on it yourself. If you love America like I do than stand by separation of church and state like you would the flag.

yours in support of the Bill Of Rights and The United States Constitution


New Blogs Part 8 Updated Thanksgiving 2017

NM: TWO SEX OFFENDER BILLS SUPPORTED BY KELLER CONTAINED DIFFERENCES
November 3, 2017
SANTA FE – The 2011 sex offender legislation that’s surfaced as political ammunition against Tim Keller in Albuquerque’s mayoral race came about after repeated – and largely successful – lawsuits against New Mexico’s largest city for enacting local ordinances that went beyond what was then on the state’s books. 

Many of the provisions in Albuquerque’s [Former] sex offender ordinance were struck down by the courts as being unconstitutional after the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico filed suit. Only a few restrictions were left in place.”



PA: APPELLATE COURT FINDS ‘PREDATOR’ PROCESS UNCONSTITUTIONAL
November 7, 2017 
A panel of appellate judges ruled last week that Pennsylvania’s established process to designate a convicted sex offender as a “sexually violent predator” is unconstitutional. Full Article:

PA: UPDATES TO SEX OFFENDER REGISTRATION LAW IN PA. PROPOSED
November 11, 2017 
A member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives said his proposed legislation will adapt the Adam Walsh Act to prevent retroactive application of the law and still require sex offenders to continue registration as sex offenders to the Pennsylvania State Police. Full Article: https://www.law.com/thelegalintelligencer/sites/thelegalintelligencer/2017/11/09/updates-to-sex-offender-registration-law-in-pa-proposed/?slreturn=20171011091424

NJ: TRACKING SEX OFFENDER WITH GPS BRACELET VIOLATES CONSTITUTION (SUPREME COURT)
November 21, 2017 
Approximately two-thirds of all ex-prisoners are arrested within three years of their release.

With a statistic like that, the risk of sexual predators reoffending is particularly concerning. However, strapping criminals who have served their time with a GPS is not a solution, according to the New Jersey Supreme Court. Full Article: http://blog.nj.com/njv_donald_scarinci/2017/11/nj_supreme_court_tracking_sex.html



New Blogs Part 8 Updated November 25 2017

I have been protesting this for years; but it is one of those things that is hard to explain. Hopefully if you watch these great FSTV videos it will help you see the light.


The End Of Net Neutrality Is The Start Of Fascism

The end of net neutrality could be a few steps away from actual fascism. The use of this kind of control is seen all over the world. Governments that want to decide where and when their citizens can go online. For now in our United States this power is in the hands of Internet Service Providers, and only used so far to further their profits... but how long until the merger of state and corporate is complete and this control is used to maintain power as well?



New Blogs Part 8 Updated December 08 2017

I sent my donation to Lambda  Legal; I hope to inspire others to donate similarly.





New Blogs Part 8 Updated December 09 2017

Whaaaaaat!
From: HERE

Roy Moore claims America was better when slavery was allowed

Alabama Senate candidate and disgraced former state supreme court Chief Justice Roy Moore is a well established sexual harasser and abuser. He’s been accused of child molestation, flaunting the law (it got him removed from the bench twice), stealing money from charity, and he’s letting his racism flow freely for all to see.

During a campaign event in September, Moore told his supporters that the last time America was at its best was when slavery was legal.

Related: Roy Moore blames LGBTQ people for his sex abuse scandal as his poll numbers soar

An audience member asked Moore, who repeatedly invokes fellow accused sexual abuser Donald Trump‘s “Make America Great Again” slogan, when he thought the last time America was great. The slogan is widely considered a dog whistle to white supremacists.

“I think it was great at the time when families were united—even though we had slavery—they cared for one another,” Moore responded. “Our families were strong, our country had a direction.”

The person who asked the question was one of the few African-Americans in attendance.

Related: Trump endorses alleged child molester Roy Moore & Mitch McConnell is waffling now

Moore has also described Native Americans as “reds” and Asians as “yellows.” He has said Muslims should not serve in Congress and questioned former President Barack Obama‘s citizenship, implying our first African-American leader is Kenyan.

Moore will face off against Democrat Doug Jones on Tuesday. The two are running neck and neck for the seat as white evangelicals rally around Moore with excuses like “Jesus was falsely accused too.”



New Blogs Part 9 Updated December 09 2017



Tell the FCC: Protect Net Neutrality!

President Trump’s FCC chairman wants to gut the agency’s “net neutrality” rules. If this plan is approved, it will end the free and open internet as we know it today – and fundamentally change how consumers use the internet forever.

This is urgent: The FCC is expected to vote on net neutrality on December 14. We need you to speak out before then. Please, add your name now to tell the FCC: Protect net neutrality!



Roy Moore was defeated! Outstanding!


New Blogs Part 8 Updated December 15 2017

I feel real bad about Representative Dan Johnson. At the same time I am thankful with all my soul for all the brave women, and men too; that have come forward and told law enforcement about being victims of sex offences. If you read what I have wrote over and over again on this blog; you will know: I believe the only way that unfairly labeled RSO's, will ever be treated humanly; is if everyone that has committed even the smallest sex offence is added to the registry.  Once this takes place there will be so many unfairly labeled RSO's; that the legal system will have to treat them according to The Constitution Of The United States. So from the bottom of my heart thank you to all who report being victim's of sex offences.



Kentucky Lawmaker Kills Himself Amid Sexual Assault Allegations, Officials Say

A Kentucky state representative accused of molesting a teenage girl killed himself on Wednesday, just two days after the allegations were made public, the authorities said.

Representative Dan Johnson, a first-term Republican, took his life on a bridge in Mount Washington, Ky., according to Sheriff Donnie Tinnell of Bullitt County, who spoke to the local WDRB television station. The county coroner, Dave Billings, said that Mr. Johnson “died of a single gunshot wound” and that it was “a probable suicide.” An autopsy is to be conducted Thursday morning.

On Monday, the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting published an extensive investigation alleging that Mr. Johnson had sexually assaulted a 17-year-old parishioner at the Heart of Fire Church in nearby Louisville, an evangelical church where he was bishop.

The parishioner, now 21, said that in the early hours of Jan. 1, 2013, after a New Year’s Eve party at the church, she and Mr. Johnson’s daughter slept over at an apartment below the fellowship hall. After falling asleep on a sofa, she said, she woke up to find Mr. Johnson — who was drunk after going to a bar earlier in the night — kneeling over her. He proceeded to kiss her, grope her breasts under her shirt, put his hand down her pants and penetrate her with his finger, she said.

The woman reported the assault to the Louisville Metro Police Department within months of the episode, but no charges were filed. However, her account was corroborated by family members, by her therapist’s notes from the first half of 2013 and by Facebook messages she exchanged with Mr. Johnson, the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting wrote.



New Blogs Part 8 Updated December 15 2017


Tell Congress

The Federal Communications Commission has voted to repeal net neutrality, undoing crucial protections that allowed an open Internet free from Big Telecom's interference.

Over two million fake public comments were submitted to the FCC in favor of repealing net neutrality—according to an investigation by the New York Attorney General's Office.

One comment, for example, was submitted in July 2017—although the person died of cancer in June. Even U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (who strongly supports net neutrality and opposed the FCC rule change) had his identity stolen with a fake public comment submitted.

Congress must investigate this blatant identity theft. Sign the petition to demand hearings.

What the FCC did December 14th on net neutrality was outrageous. What's even more disgraceful is they had to commit identity theft on two million people to generate fake support for this rule change. Please investigate.


By signing this form, you are agreeing to receive occasional emails on this and related campaigns from Daily Kos. You may of course unsubscribe at any time. Here's our privacy policy.




New Blogs Part 8 Updated December 21 2017


'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the home, 
The smartphones pinged cell towers, ne'er did they roam. 
Their location was fixed there all through the night, 
Could be proven in court with no warrant in sight. 
Then what to my wondering eyes did appear, 
But Chief Justice Roberts like a red-nosed reindeer,
Leading the way for SCOTUS to hone 
A warrant requirement for tracking your phone. 
On Roberts, on Gorsuch, on Sotomayor. 
Tracking us isn't what phones are for. 
On Thomas, on Ginsburg, on Breyer, on Kagan. 
Please give Fourth Amendment fans something to cheer again. 
And clearly explain, before it goes out of sight, 
Why not being tracked by our phones is a right.

First up, Scott's holiday poem was a reference to US v. Carpenter. A case in which the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether the government must secure a search warrant under the fourth amendment in order to access cell phone location data, which is stored by your cell phone service provider. Analysts at SCOTUSblog predict that the court is likely to find a warrant requirement based on the Justice's comments and oral argument. Some listeners may be aware that Scott was part of a group called The Texas Electronic Privacy Coalition, which pushed unsuccessfully at the Texas legislature in 2013 and 2015 to require a warrant for the government to gather personal cell phone location data. So Scott, what do you think? Will the court require a warrant for cell phone tracking?

Scott Henson: Well the reason that SCOTUSblog thought that it was likely that the court would end up requiring a warrant is that Chief Justice Roberts came out pretty strongly, really more strongly ... he came out on a more civil libertarian position than the ACLU lawyer who was arguing the case. Justice Gorsuch, who is relatively new to the court, replaced Scalia, also came out pretty strongly on a warrant side, so when you start counting heads from the oral arguments, it really does look like that there are enough votes there to get to requiring a warrant for the first time.





New Blogs Part 8 Updated December 28 2017

Sign the petition to Congress and urge them to save net neutrality and an open internet with the CRA!


The internet as we know it could soon be gone.

On December 14, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to overturn net neutrality, allowing major corporations like AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon to mess with your ability to freely engage with online services.

Repealing net neutrality would put more power into the hands of large corporations, stifle innovation, and obstruct everyday users from accessing content online. But Congress has the authority to overturn the FCC’s decision with the Congressional Review Act (CRA).

Please sign the petition from NextGen America to send a message to Congress: Protect net neutrality and preserve equal access to the internet by using the CRA.


Net neutrality prevents internet service providers (ISPs) from putting content behind paywalls or blocking content altogether. It also prohibits these ISPs from discriminating against certain websites by slowing load times or boosting speeds exclusively for sites that are owned by the provider.

Everyone in the United States deserves equal access to the internet. Net neutrality isn’t just about making sure you can stream the latest TV show or share cute cat GIFs with your friends — it’s about protecting free speech and ensuring that the internet remains open for all.

Now that the Republican-controlled FCC has voted to repeal net neutrality, it’s up to Congress to intervene and save an open internet. Our elected officials in Washington have the authority to pass legislation that stops corporations like Verizon and Comcast from meddling with internet freedom — but they need to hear from us.

Please sign the petition from NextGen America to send a message to Congress: Protect net neutrality and preserve equal access to the internet by using the CRA.



New Blogs Part 8 Updated January 6 2018

I just want to say that all those people out there that say this person should go to jail and that person should go to jail; are not helping things at all. We less people in our all time highest mass incarceration in the history country; in the history of the world: not more. Away's remember every time you point your finger there are 3 more pointing at you. 

Petitions for more people going to jail, for this or that; is fascism at least and Schizophrenia at most.

I do believe in mass incarceration and people that push for it. Having a wife that has served in the US Army 8 years I do support anything like this:

WILL FEMINISM’S PAST MISTAKES HAUNT #METOO?
December 9, 2017
Women’s fight for the right to work free of sexual insult or molestation has been a long, long one. For nearly two centuries, in labor strikes and broadsides, speak-outs, marches, and now in social media, women have protested the ubiquity of sexual harassment and the impunity of its perpetrators. Full Article: http://bostonreview.net/gender-sexuality/judith-levine-will-feminisms-past-mistakes-haunt-metoo#.Wirt6EBRbhV.twitter



New Blogs Part 8 Updated January 6 2018


NH: PUBLIC POOL CAN’T BAN SEX OFFENDER
December 5, 2017 
PORTSMOUTH — City Attorney Robert Sullivan confirmed he recently met with a group of people who are concerned because a registered sex offender has been using the Portsmouth Indoor Pool.

The pool, located near the high school, is used by community members and youth and school swim teams.

After the meeting, Sullivan said, he reached out to the American Civil Liberties Union of New Hampshire to get its input.

“The actions which the city might be able to take or which the city might be prevented from taking would be dictated by the particular aspects of the situation,” Sullivan said this week.

Gilles Bissonnette, the legal director of the ACLU of New Hampshire, said he told Sullivan that it would be “unconstitutional” for the city to bar the registered sex offender from using the pool, just because he’s a sex offender.

“The concern in these types of cases is that there is an equal protection clause problem,” Bissonnette said Tuesday. “That would be the case if regular members of the public are able to access these public facilities but a sex offender is precluded from accessing these facilities. The sex offender would be being treated unequally.”

Read more http://www.seacoastonline.com/news/20171205/public-pool-cant-ban-sex-offender



 OR: AFTER 15 YEARS, EX-LAWYER BRANDED AS CHILD MOLESTER WINS A REVERSAL
December 7, 2017
The Oregon Court of Appeals on Wednesday reversed the conviction of a former lawyer who was found guilty in 2002 of sexually touching a 10-year-old girl in the kitchen of a McMinnville home, in a case riddled with questionable evidence.

Although Bradley Christopher Holbrook has already served a 6 ¼-year prison sentence, the reversal means he will no longer be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life and carry that stigma. It also means that he won’t be a convicted felon anymore and could reinstate his law license.

That’s if the state of Oregon decides against appealing Wednesday’s ruling to the Oregon Supreme Court. And if the Yamhill County District Attorney’s Office — which originally prosecuted him — doesn’t decide to pursue a conviction again in a new trial.

Read more http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2017/12/after_15_years_ex-lawyer_brand.html


CHILDREN ON SEX OFFENDER REGISTRIES AT GREATER RISK FOR SUICIDE ATTEMPTS, STUDY SUGGESTS
December 7, 2017 ·5 Comments
A new study led by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that children who were legally required to register as sex offenders were at greater risk for harm, including suicide attempts and sexual assault, compared to a group of children who engaged in harmful or illegal sexual behavior but who were not required to register. Full Article https://www.jhsph.edu/news/news-releases/2017/children-on-sex-offender-registries-at-greater-risk-for-suicide-attempts-study-suggests.html


DON’T RUSH NEW SEXUAL HARASSMENT POLICIES, SOME WOMEN LAWMAKERS WARN
December 10, 2017 
[governing.com]
One of the top agenda items for state legislatures next year will be to address the rampant sexual harassment in state capitols. Lawmakers in more than a dozen states have been accused of sexual harassment — or worse — since the #metoo movement took off in mid-October.

But several women in the Illinois legislature, which has already passed new laws in response to the outcry, caution that lawmakers should take their time when writing new sexual harassment policies.

“When you’re in crisis mode, you tend to move quickly. I don’t necessarily think crisis-legislating makes the best policy,” says Illinois state Sen. Toi Hutchinson, who is also the incoming president for the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Her advice to lawmakers in other states?

“I would suggest that you invest the time to really dig in. We’re not going to solve this overnight –there’s no need for bills overnight,” she says. “Realize this has to last beyond the next couple of news cycles. It’s that important, that meaningful and that worth it.”

Read more http://www.governing.com/topics/politics/gov-metoo-sexual-harassment-state-capitols.html


#DONTLOOKAWAY: THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PAEDOPHILES AND SEX OFFENDERS
December 10, 2017
[The Star, Johannesburg, South Africa]
Johannesburg – Every now and then police report busting international paedophile rings. The details are gory, adults – usually men – sharing pictures and videos of young children being abused.

In one of the cases early this year, one of the worst paedophiles was sentenced to 32 life sentences and a further 170 years for, among other things, sexually abusing his girlfriend’s two-year-old daughter. Other than raping her, he used a toy dinosaur, thermometer and a sex toy to penetrate the child.

The man, who claimed in court that he needed help, was busted by US authorities who tracked him down after he shared pictures and videos of child pornography on the internet.

Recently, Simon Mofokeng resigned as Emfuleni mayor after he shared semi-naked pictures of a 14-year-old girl on a WhatsApp group.

Mofokeng is accused of grooming the child. After the news broke, a 28-year-old woman came forward, claiming that Mofokeng also groomed her. According to a report by the Saturday Star, the woman now has an 11-year-old child with Mofokeng.

Despite numerous reports on paedophiles and sexual grooming of children, clinical sexologist Dr Marlene “Dr Eve” Wasserman says there’s still confusion on what the difference between a paedophile and a child sex offender is.

Read more  https://www.iol.co.za/the-star/news/dontlookaway-the-difference-between-paedophiles-and-sex-offenders-12310694

CT: SENTENCING COMMISSION TACKLES THREE BIG CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORMS
December 11, 2017 
The public got a chance Monday to weigh in on three proposals that would change Connecticut’s criminal justice system in very different ways.

One proposal would change which sex offenders would have to continue to appear on the sex offender registry; another proposes a constitutional amendment on pretrial release and detention, and a third would reduce a state sentence for a misdemeanor offense by one day to prevent more severe immigration consequences. Full Article https://www.nhregister.com/news/article/Sentencing-commission-tackles-three-big-criminal-12422270.php#photo-14686135


FEDERAL COURT DECISION
December 11, 2017 ·
[Florida Journal Sentinel]


CITY OF OCONOMOWOC – The common council on Tuesday, Dec. 5, voted to repeal and replace the city’s 2011 ordinance outlining residency restrictions for registered sex offenders, joining a handful of other area communities to do so in the wake of lawsuits and a federal court decision earlier this year.

Under the new rules, registered sex offenders who did not live in the city at the time of their offense could petition the common council to move into Oconomowoc. Such offenders are currently barred from attempting to move to the city under the current ordinance’s “original domicile restriction.”

But those offenders, if allowed to move in, would have to find housing in the 9 percent of the city that does not fall within 1,000 feet of a “child safety zone,” areas near local schools, parks or houses of worship.

About 664 housing units fall within that 9 percent, said Oconomowoc Police Chief Ron Buerger.

Read more https://www.jsonline.com/story/communities/lake-country/news/oconomowoc/2017/12/06/oconomowoc-tweaks-sex-offender-residency-restrictions-wake-federal-court-decision/924955001/


SEX REGISTRIES AS MODERN-DAY WITCH PYRES
December 12, 2017 
[injusticetoday.com]


Perhaps the most irrefutable statement that can be made about modern day America is this: we have a penchant for putting people in cages. More than any other nation on the planet, we rely on incarceration as the fix for our social ills.

America’s unprecedented prison boom spawned advocates who work tirelessly to put the police state toothpaste back into the tube. As a result, despite a steady media diet of cops and robbers police procedurals, the rhetoric on crime policy has begun to shift. The country appears to be approaching something akin to apostasy. We have begun to lose our faith in imprisonment as an effective response to problems like drug addiction. For the first time since the data was tracked, state and federal prison populations declined in 2014, albeit slightly, from historic highs.

Yet amidst this wave of reform, one group of people continue to languish in the collective “harsher is better” mindset: sex offenders.



Read more https://injusticetoday.com/sex-registries-as-modern-day-witch-pyres-why-criminal-justice-reform-advocates-need-to-address-the-aca3aaa47f03


VT: JUDGE STRIKES DOWN RUTLAND’S LIMITS ON WHERE SEX OFFENDERS CAN LIVE
December 15, 2017 
[vtdigger.org]


RUTLAND — A judge has shot down an ordinance in Rutland that limited where convicted sex offenders can live in the community.

“The case hinges on the question whether the City of Rutland has the power to declare people nuisances,” Rutland Superior Court Judge Samuel Hoar wrote recently in the strongly worded 13-page ruling. “It does not.”

The ordinance, which the city’s Board of Aldermen adopted in 2008, prohibited any offender convicted of a sex crime against a child from living in the city within 1,000 feet of a school, day care or recreation area.

That restriction precluded child sex offenders from living in much of the city.

“What the City has done here is effectively to declare an entire class of persons to be a public nuisance, by simple virtue of their physical existence,” Hoar wrote. “Plaintiffs have been convicted and punished; the City cannot now say to them, anymore than they could to any other citizen, ‘we don’t want your type in our town.’”

The judge added, “The boldness and breadth of this assertion is virtually without precedent.”

The lawsuit was filed in Rutland Superior Court by the state’s Prisoners’ Rights Office. It was brought on behalf of three convicted sex offenders, identified in documents only as John Does 1, 2 and 3, and includes “parties similarly situated.”



Read more https://vtdigger.org/2017/12/13/judge-strikes-rutlands-limits-sex-offenders-can-live/


VA: ACTION ITEM FOR VIRGINIA 2018 COMPANION BILLS, HB10 AND SB112 TO EXPAND THE VICTIMS UNDER A HATE CRIME
December 16, 2017 
[http://restoringintegritytovirginiaregistry.blogspot.com]
A set of Companion Bills HB10/SB112 have been filed for the upcoming 2018 Virginia General Assembly session to expand the victims under a Hate Crime to also include disability, gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation to the categories of victims.

The definition of a Hate Crime: Hate crime (also known as bias-motivated crime) is a usually violent, prejudice motivated crime that occurs when a perpetrator targets a victim because of his or her perceived membership in a certain social group. Examples of such groups include but are not limited to: ethnicity, gender identity, language, nationality, physical appearance, religion, or sexual orientation.

In Virginia it’s any criminal act committed against a person or his property with the specific intent of instilling fear or intimidation in the individual against whom the act is perpetrated because of race, religion or ethnic origin.

Registered Sex Offenders (RSO), their spouses, their parents, their significant others, their children, their room-mates and their property have become targets of vigilantes across the U.S. because their addresses are public information The property of RSO’s and their loved ones have been robbed, vandalized and set on fire. RSO’s and their loved ones have been harassed, taunted, assaulted and even murdered simply because a stranger found their name and address posted on the public Sex Offender Registry.

Based on the definition of a Hate Crime, Registered Sex Offenders are a “certain social group” and any violence against them should be punished as such.

Read more http://restoringintegritytovirginiaregistry.blogspot.com/2017/12/action-item-for-virginia-2018-companion.html


CT: SENTENCING COMMISSION FORWARDS TWO RECOMMENDATIONS, HIT PAUSE ON MORE BAIL CHANGES
December 18, 2017
[ctnewsjunkie.com]
HARTFORD, CT — A proposal that would allow some on the sex offender registry to petition to shorten their registration period or apply for removal from the registry was unanimously approved Thursday by the Sentencing Commission.

The Sentencing Commission also approved recommending reducing misdemeanor sentencing from 365 days to 364 days. That one day would give immigration judges more discretion in deportation hearings. They decided to continue to study the issue of a constitutional amendment on pre-trial release and detention that would deny release to high-risk defendants and deny detention for lack of funds to secure a bail bond.

The commission’s recommendations will be forwarded to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and the General Assembly for the start of the 2018 legislative session.

On the sex registry proposal, it would give those on the registry an opportunity to petition to shorten their registration period or apply for removal from the public registry. In order to do so the registrant would have to show that they have reduced their risk to the community.

Under the recommendation a person could be on the registry for shorter periods than under the current system, and others would be on for longer periods.

In order to petition the registrant would have to show that they have reduced their risk to the community. Under the new system a person could be on the registry for shorter periods than under the current system, and others would be on for longer periods.

Thomas Ullman, a former public defender from New Haven, said it was a “good proposal.”

Read more http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/sentencing_commission_forwards_two_recommendations_2017_12_15/


FIGHT AGAINST MUGSHOT SITES BRINGS LITTLE SUCCESS
December 18, 2017
[pewtrusts.org]
Mike Anderson was an 18-year-old freshman at Texas State University when he was busted with less than a gram of weed. Police arrested him, took his mugshot, and he spent the night in jail.

The legal consequences for being caught with such a small amount of marijuana — just enough for a joint or two — were minimal, but expensive. Prosecutors offered to drop the charges if he attended a drug program and did community service, and he could later get the record of his arrest expunged for about $500, wiping the history of his arrest from public view.

“After I got it expunged I thought it was pretty much a done deal,” he said of the order granted earlier this year.

But the next time he Googled his name, he realized the ordeal was far from over. His arrest photo was posted on Mugshots.com. The page was one of the top results for anyone who might be looking for him. And as Anderson applied for internships — a graduation requirement for mechanical engineering majors — recruiters who initially seemed interested would offer the spot to someone else.

“It wasn’t right,” said Anderson, a junior, who asked that his real name not be used for fear of drawing further attention to his mugshot.

“I called [Mugshots.com] on the phone, and they told me basically the only way I could get the mugshot to come down was to pay a certain fine. Proof of expunction wasn’t valid.”

Read more http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/blogs/stateline/2017/12/11/fight-against-mugshot-sites-brings-little-success


VA: IT’S TIME TO REDUCE, RECONSTRUCT, RECLASSIFY, RETHINK AND REFORM THE VIRGINIA SEX OFFENDER REGISTRY
December 19, 2017 ·0 Comments
[restoringintegritytovirginiaregistry.blogspot.com]
Virginia Bill HB144- Patroned by Delegate Mark Cole Would Allow RSO’s Convicted of a Misdemeanor to Petition for Removal from the VSP Registry After 7 Years Instead Having to Wait 15 Years

A Bill has just posted in LIS (see below) and I am just dumbstruck. It’s a positive Bill that would only help a small percentage of Virginia RSO’s, but it actually helps instead of hurts and that’s why I’m shocked at the moment.

I have no idea where this proposal came from as I have not been asking for it but for some reason Delegate Cole has decided to sponsor it and I thank him for doing so.

Read more  http://restoringintegritytovirginiaregistry.blogspot.com/2017/12/virginia-bill-hb144-patroned-by.html


WI: SUN PRAIRIE ALDERS EYE SEX OFFENDER RESIDENCY ORDINANCE CHANGES AFTER LAWSUIT THREATS
December 19, 2017
[hngnews.com]
Convicted sex offenders are threatening to file lawsuits over an ordinance that restricts where they can live in the City of Sun Prairie.

City officials plan to head off litigation by considering changes to the city ordinance next week.

It’s something other Wisconsin municipalities dealt with this year after a federal court ruled that ordinances restricting where convicted sex offenders could live were unconstitutional.

Registered sex offenders aren’t allowed to live or loiter within 1,500 feet of a school, daycare center, park, playground, church, and other places where children under the age of 16 might be, according to the City of Sun Prairie ordinance.

They also can’t attend holiday parties where children under 18 of age will be present, distribute candy on Halloween, or wear a Santa Claus or Easter Bunny costume at events. There are exceptions if the children are related to the registered sex offender.

There are 36 convicted sex offenders living in the City of Sun Prairie, according to the Wisconsin Department of Corrections Sex Offender Registry. There’s 939 listed in Dane County.

Sun Prairie City Attorney Mark Leonard said there have been several inquiries from attorneys on the ordinance and that the city has had appeals. He said alders plan to review the ordinance next week.

Read more   http://www.hngnews.com/sun_prairie_star/news/article_efdbf55a-0d0e-5422-9849-4f2babea4cf9.html?mode=jqm


THE PSYCHOLOGY BEHIND MAKING OTHERS THE VILLAIN
December 19, 2017 
[sosen.org]
With all of sexual harassment charges floating around possibly it’s time for us to look at the psychological reason why this is such a touchy subject.

Okay, I don’t know if anybody else sees this, maybe my experiences are different than other people’s, but from my point of view the feminists have opened themselves up to having the pendulum swing the other direction, this could push our society back towards Victorian values of high neck collars and long dresses in the workplace coupled with modern high-tech body cameras on all employees.

First of all I have no problem with women coming forward and complaining about sexual misbehavior by men in power or even men in general, the male ranks need to stop considering any and all females as objects.

The same can be said for the females, is it okay for a woman in the workplace to flirt even though she has no intent of being in a relationship? It is now and has been as long as I can remember the habit of many women to use their feminine wiles to entice men to better their positions or to play with them because it’s fun for the women, at least that is my perspective from being on the receiving end of a bunch of this.

Read more  https://sosen.org/blog/2017/12/19/the-psychology-behind-making-others-the-villain.html

IN: SEX OFFENDERS SUE OVER INDIANA REGISTRY REQUIREMENT
December 24, 2017 
[US News]
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Three men have filed a lawsuit over an Indiana requirement that they register as sex offenders when moving to the state, saying they’re being treated differently than other residents in similar situations.

Patrick Rice, Adam Bash and Scott Rush all were convicted out of state and before the enactment of the Indiana Sex Offender Registration Act, The Indianapolis Star reported. The men’s lawsuit says that in accordance with an Indiana Supreme Court ruling, the Department of Correction does not typically require sex offenders convicted before the act went into effect to register, provided they have never left the state. But the state does require offenders who have temporarily left Indiana or are moving to Indiana to register.

Read more https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/indiana/articles/2017-12-17/sex-offenders-sue-over-indiana-registry-requirement

NJ: NEW JERSEY CHILD MOLESTERS WON’T FACE CASTRATION THREAT ANY TIME SOON
December 28, 2017 
[trentonian.com]


In a year filled with arrests for sexual crimes against child victims, there is a familiar refrain heard each time one of these arrests is announced. “Castrate him,” is shouted from all corners of society and social media.

Almost 80 alleged child molesters or kiddie porn collectors were arrested this year by a regional task force. None of those offenders, however, will ever have to face castration-style penalties if convicted in New Jersey Superior Court.

That’s because New Jersey, unlike a handful of states across America, lacks a law that would require certain sex offenders to be neutered or semi-neutered.

Removing a sex offender’s testicles or doping him up on testosterone-reducing drugs may sound harsh, but that is the law of the land in certain jurisdictions outside the Garden State.

Several states across America have laws requiring certain child molesters to take so-called “chemical castration” hormonal drugs that curtail sexual desire by sharply reducing testosterone levels, but New Jersey state lawmakers have not seriously considered that idea since the turn of the century.

Surgical castration — a medical procedure that physically removes a male’s testicles — is an option for certain Megan’s Law offenders in California who prefer to voluntarily undergo a permanent, surgical alternative to hormonal chemical treatment.

Attorney General Christopher Porrino, during his final weeks as New Jersey’s top cop, has announced this month the arrests of 79 alleged child predators or child pornography offenders under “Operation Safety Net,” a nine-month, multi-agency child protection initiative led by the New Jersey Regional Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force.

Read more http://www.trentonian.com/general-news/20171226/new-jersey-child-molesters-wont-face-castration-threat-any-time-soon


RI: LAWSUIT SEEKS TO BLOCK R.I. LAW LIMITING NUMBER OF SEX OFFENDERS IN HOMELESS SHELTERS
December 31, 2017 
[providencejournal.com]
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — An advocacy group for the homeless is asking a federal judge to block a Rhode Island law set to go into effect Monday that limits the number of convicted sex offenders who can stay at Rhode Island homeless shelters.

In a lawsuit against the state filed Friday in U.S. District Court, lawyers representing the Rhode Island Homeless Advocacy Project and six registered sex offenders argue that the law passed in September is unconstitutional and violates the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The suit asks for an injunction preventing the state from enforcing the new law’s 10-percent limit on the number of shelter beds that can be given to registered sex offenders.

It focuses on people who now stay at Harrington Hall in Cranston, the state-owned shelter operated by Crossroads Rhode Island that has become a place of last resort for sex offenders whose options for housing have been limited by increasingly strict residency laws.

Displeasure among Cranston lawmakers with the number of sex offenders staying at Harrington Hall prompted the 10-percent bill.

“As a direct result of the 10 percent Restriction, many of the Plaintiffs have been or will be denied shelter at Harrington Hall and will be required to sleep or camp on the streets, even when there are beds available to accommodate them and notwithstanding the operator’s willingness to do so,” said the suit, filed by a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island. “Being forced into un-sheltered homelessness, particularly during the winter months, imposes life-threatening conditions upon the Plaintiffs.”

Harrington Hall has 111 beds, so the 10-percent cap limits it to 11 registered sex offenders staying there per night.

The suit says 49 registered sex offenders stayed at Harrington Hall on Oct. 19 and 32 offenders on Dec. 27.

It argues, among other things, that the 10-percent rule violates the 14th Amendment’s equal-protection clause and unfairly denies disabled sex offenders benefits provided by the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act and the Fair Housing Act.

Read full article  http://www.providencejournal.com/news/20171229/lawsuit-seeks-to-block-ri-law-limiting-number-of-sex-offenders-in-homeless-shelters

My favorite women and the most righteous women; in the whole wide world:

DOES SOCIAL JUSTICE EXIST FOR REGISTRANTS? [OPINION]
January 3, 2018
There are dozens of definitions of Social Justice.

Wikipedia defines it as the concept of fair and just relations between the individual and society. This is measured by the explicit and tacit terms for the distribution of wealth, opportunities for personal activity and social priviledges.

The Business Dictionary puts a different spin on it, the fair and proper administration of laws conforming to the “natural law” that all persons, irrespective of ethnic origin, gender, possessions, race, religion, etc., are to be treated equally and without prejudice.

The Center for Economic and Social Justice see it as the virtue which guides us in creating those organized human interactions we call institutions. In turn, social institution when justly organized provides us with access to what is good for the person, both individually and in our association with others. Social justice also imposes on each of us a personal responsibility to collaborate with others at whatever level of common good in which we participate and to design and continually perfect our institutions as tools for personal and social development.

Whatever definition one subscribes to, social justice is an “all for one and one for all” kind of thing. Or at least that’s what it’s “supposed” to be.

Society is “supposed” to come together to accomplish a particular goal, something that is in the best interest of everyone, from the smallest neighborhoods, to towns and villages, to states, countries and the world. The collective nature of humanity is “supposed” to be able to get together and figure out how to promote equality and human rights, fairly administer laws and policies, provide opportunities and resources to everyone, without prejudice. Society is “supposed” to participate in change, personal responsibility, create opportunity and chance through action, and this includes re-tooling actions that don’t work or have proved to be ineffective, for instance, the registry.

That’s what social justice is “supposed” to be.

So when it comes to registrants, where does society stand on social justice?


IL: TASK FORCE RECOMMENDS CHANGING SEX OFFENDER RULES
January 4, 2018
CHICAGO — Major changes in Illinois’ rules for sex offenders, including how long an offender must remain on a public registry, are part of a final report on its way to the governor’s office from the Sex Offenses & Sex Offender Registration Task Force.

The report comes after a year of study by the group of legislators, criminal justice policymakers and advocates for victims and offenders, all appointed by Gov. Bruce Rauner.

The report set for release Thursday recognizes that Illinois lacks sufficient resources to monitor and assess treatment of sex offenders at the state and local level. Full Article

Final Report  https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/pantagraph.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/71/d7152822-d95c-538c-83e0-d2f8a3a97e4f/5a4d8f76bc529.pdf.pdf

RI: CROSSROADS WILL CONTINUE TO SHELTER HOMELESS SEX OFFENDERS AS LAWSUIT PLAYS OUT
January 4, 2018 ·4 Comments
[providencejournal.com]
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Crossroads Rhode Island will continue to take in sex offenders at a homeless shelter in Cranston under an agreement between the parties to a lawsuit challenging a new state law that limits the number of convicted sex offenders who can be housed in homeless shelters.

The parties met in chambers Wednesday afternoon with U.S. District Court Chief Judge William E. Smith.

According to Lynette Labinger, a lawyer for the state affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union, which brought the lawsuit, Judge Smith recognized that there are significant legal and factual issues that the state has not yet had a chance to address. The parties agreed that while they are developing the legal issues, no one would be turned away as a result of the new law that allows only 10 percent of shelter beds to go to sex offenders, she said.

Crossroads has not been turning anyone away since the law took effect Jan. 1, she said.

Read more  http://www.providencejournal.com/news/20180103/lawyer-crossroads-will-continue-to-shelter-homeless-sex-offenders-as-lawsuit-plays-out



New Blogs Part 8 Updated January 12 2018

More than 1% of all Texas men in prison 

from here

How does Texas' incarceration rate stack up to other states? Still on the high side, according to the new Bureau of Justice Statistics report, "Prisoners in 2016."

At year-end 2016, 12 states had imprisonment rates that were greater than the national rate of 450 per 100,000 U.S. residents of all ages: Louisiana (760 per 100,000 state residents), Oklahoma (673 per 100,000), Mississippi (624 per 100,000), Arizona (585 per 100,000), Arkansas (583 per 100,000), Alabama (571 per 100,000), Texas (563 per 100,000), Missouri (532 per 100,000), Kentucky (518 per 100,000), Georgia (512 per 100,000), Florida (481 per 100,000), and Nevada (460 per 100,000) (table 7). ...

More than 1% of all males in seven states were in prison on December 31, 2016: Louisiana (1,469 per 100,000 male state residents), Oklahoma (1,207 per 100,000), Mississippi (1,200 per 100,000), Arkansas (1,095 per 100,000), Alabama (1,085 per 100,000), Arizona (1,071 per 100,000), and Texas (1,040 per 100,000).

So Texas is one of only seven states that incarcerates more than one percent of men. That's an unfortunate club in which to claim membership.

The report also noted a red flag for Texas: Admissions in Texas rose by 2,500 from 2015 to 2016 - one of only three states to see such an increase.

These sorts of data are why Grits sometimes tires of crowing about Texas' 2007 community corrections reforms credited with leveling off prison population growth, which had seen a steep upward trend before then. Even so, Texas remains vastly over-incarcerated. And 2007 was now more than a decade ago. It's nigh past time in 2019 for the Lege to take additional steps.


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