Monday, June 14, 2010

AFFECTS OF SEX OFFENDER LAWS

For those who stumble upon my blog, please know that though I've not blogged recently, there is still a lot of information for you here to read and discover.
If you want more information, help, or support, I am still here and available to recieve e-mails, just e-mail me!
There are many emotions that we go through as a family, each member of a family suffers from the laws against sex offender's.
The laws are made from those who are truly ill and are a threat to society...who will never be released from prison (or SHOULD NOT)...yet it is 'we', who pay THEIR price.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Living Life

We are all alive & well. Keeping a fairly low profile...but want to thank all for their support & please know....I WILL be back posting!!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

RSOL in Miami: Registry Laws Cause More Problems Than Homelessness

Registry Laws Cause More Problems Than Homelessness

Someone with an organization out of Virginia called Reform Sex Offenders Laws read about South Florida's struggle with the unintended consequences of the sex offender residency laws -- essentially consigning offenders into homelessness. RSOL's response raised a series of troubling questions about other problems with overreaching sex offender laws. The statement:


Are Americans aware that their teenagers are having consensual sex which could result in the older teen being convicted of sexual assault, battery or rape a prison sentence and being listed on a Sex Offender Registry for 15 years, 20 years or for a lifetime?

Are Americans aware that their teenagers are e-mailing and texting nude photos of themselves and others? This could result in both teens being charged with creating, distributing and possessing child pornography with time in prison and being listed on a Sex Offender Registry for a lifetime.

Are Americans aware that if they receive one unwanted e-mail or text of child pornography on their computer or phone and a service technician finds the old/deleted file they will be charged with possessing child pornography? Resulting in time in prison and being listed on the Sex Offender Registry for a lifetime.

Are Americans aware that if they have knowledge that their juvenile child is having consensual sex with someone of 18 years or older, they (the parent) can be convicted of indecent liberties by person of supervision and listed on a Sex Offender Registry for 15 years, 20 years or for a lifetime?

Are Americans aware that middle schoolers have been convicted and listed on Sex Offender Registries for pinching other middle schoolers on their rear-end?

Are Americans aware that because of the “Victim’s Rights Laws & Rape Shield Laws” an ACCUSATION ALONE is sufficient for a conviction, a prison term of 5 to 25 years or even life and then being listed on a Sex Offender Registry most likely for life?

Are Americans aware that NO evidence, NO witness, NO dates or times have to be given by an accuser?

Are Americans aware that they CAN NOT defend themselves by supplying evidence or witnesses that can prove an accuser is lying and had motive to lie?

Are Americans aware that some States (Virginia) allow an accuser only 21 DAYS to recant a lie? Any amount of time after 21 days the wrongful conviction, the prison term and remaining on a Sex Offender Registry stands. If a witness was found 15 years after a murder case that could convict the murderer or if DNA was discovered to free a wrongfully convicted person 25 years later why can’t an accuser recant and the conviction be stricken from the record?

Are Americans aware they are no longer innocent until proven guilty in America when there is a sexual claim. They are guilty and not allowed to prove their innocence?

There is a huge difference between stealing a newspaper and robbing a bank, both crimes are considered theft but both are differentiated by law and society. Are Americans aware that the current laws that label someone as a Sex Offender in the U.S do not differentiate? Whether you are accused of teenage consensual sex, urinating in public, mooning or streaking, pinching or touching someone or being a serial rapist upon your return to society, conviction and sentence will be the same.

Are Americans aware that a VERY large number of Registered Sex Offenders have never touched or raped anyone, let alone a child? But guilt by association on the Sex Offender Registry labels them all as a “pervert” a “pedophile” and a “predator” for life.

Are Americans aware that somes states' legislatures (Virginia 2006 & 2008) broadly re-classified Non-Violent Offenders to Violent Offenders? This includes many offenses that had NO physical contact. The situation that has been imposed upon the “Registered” is that, under the guise of protecting our children, the Legislators are in fact repeatedly trying, convicting and re-sentencing Citizens without even notifying them that this has occurred. To re-sentence a Citizen of the United States without giving them the opportunity to testify on their own behalf is clearly a violation of their Constitutional Rights.

Our Legislators have taken a group of people and used them as a platform to win elections and instill fear into the parents of our country so that they look like heroes. People that are not "child-molesters", "pedophile's" or perverts" have all been bucketed into one massive Registry and must endure a lifetime of shame. The Sex Offender Registries are extremely costly both financial and to the families of the registered. Contrary to popular belief among the Legislators there is indeed hardship related to being listed on a Sex Offender Registry. The lives being destroyed are not just the “registered” but their spouse, their children and every family member sharing their name and address. When you are a “Registered Sex Offender” you struggle to find and keep housing, employment and your family because of the stress and humiliation that the Registry creates within yourself, your neighbors, your co-workers and vigilantes looking for justice for a victim they don’t even know. The Sex Offender Registries are not protecting anyone, they are a means to humiliate, degrade, re-prosecute and destroy the lives of thousands of innocent citizens.

The Studies below have proven that the current Sex Offender Laws, the Registries and the Residency Restrictions are ineffective and damaging. Our Legislators repeatedly state inaccurate recidivism rates (the rate to re-offend) of “sex offenders” to the public to gain support of voters and to push through flawed legislation. The recidivism rate for “sex offenders” is significantly lower than that of murders, drug dealers and users or armed robbers. An interesting fact since Sex Offender Legislation is based on the assumption that “sex offenders” will recidivate with new sexual offenses.

There is also a study conducted by the Attorney General’s of numerous states that proves the Internet is not as dangerous as our Attorney Generals and Legislators have convinced you to believe that it is.

• No Easy Answers: Human Rights Watch Study, September 11, 2007

• The Adam Walsh Act: Scarlet Letter by Lara Geer Farley, April 17, 2008

• Fact Sheets Examine Impact of Sex Offender Registries: Justice Policy Institute, September 22, 2008 • Collateral Damage: Family Members of Registered Sex Offenders by Jill Levenson Ph.D. January 2009 • Enhancing Child Safety and Online Technologies: Final Report of the Internet Safety Technical Task Force to the Multi-State Working Group on Social Networking of State Attorneys General of the United States. December 31, 2008

• Residential Proximity to Schools and Daycare Centers: Influence on Sex Offense Recidivism, An empirical analysis by Jill Levenson Ph.D. December 23 2008

• New Jersey DOC Study on the Effectiveness of Sex Offender Registration February 11, 2009

• Registering Harm: How Sex Offender Registries Fail Youth and Communities, Justice Policy Institute November 21, 2008

A new book written by Dr. Richard Wright titled Sex Offender Laws: Failed Polices, New Directions concludes that the proliferation of “Sex Offender” legislation over the past 20 years in America that were meant to memorialize an assaulted, murdered or missing child have largely failed. They have NOT reduced Sex Offender recidivism rates (5.5%), provided safety, healing or support for victims, reflected the scientific research on sexual victimization, offending and risk or provided successful strategies for prevention. Dr. Wright interviews Patty Wetterling, the mother of an abducted child says twenty years later that there are many issues with current policy and “We have not built into the system any means for success”. If Jacob Wetterling’s mother can see that current laws and policies are failing why can’t our government?

The fear and loathing against Registered Sex Offenders that is currently considered acceptable needs to stop before additional Citizens and communities are harmed. Our Legislators need to rectify this mess they have created by bucketing ALL sexual related acts into Sex Offender Crimes. The broad brush that the Legislators have been allowed to use across our population will continue to grow until it reaches into your home and labels you and your family.

The Registries need to be returned to their original intent, to list only the most dangerous, untreatable and repeat offenders.


http://miamiherald.typepad.com/grimm_truth/2009/05/registry-laws-cause-more-problems-than-homelessness.html

Thursday, May 28, 2009

FLORIDA STATE 'GETS IT' WILL MORE STATES FOLLOW TO CLEAN UP THE REGISTRY?

State needs to fix the sex offender mess
By FRED GRIMM
fgrimm@MiamiHerald.com


http://www.miamiherald.com/news/5min/story/1068989.html

Thoughtfulness comes too late.

The task force charged by the Broward County Commission with finding a way out of the conundrum created by sex offender residency restrictions has listened to experts, crunched numbers and discussed a dismaying array of unintended consequences.

By its second meeting on Tuesday, none of the task force members were defending the notion that draconian restrictions actually protected children from sex offenders.

They discussed better solutions than laws that forced registered sex offenders into homelessness; that left parole officers with no alternative but to send them to live under a highway bridge; that encouraged sex offenders to cluster in neighborhoods with less restrictive ordinances.

FAILURE OF LAWS

They talked about the documented failure of these laws in other states.

They talked about laws, instead, that would keep sex offenders from loitering around places where children congregate. They talked about re-zoning industrial areas to allow sex offender housing.

They talked about restrictions that fail to distinguish between less dangerous offenders and sexual predators.

They pushed beyond the emotional stuff and dug for what made sense.

It was the kind of thoughtful examination needed to sort out a complicated and volatile problem.

Except, it comes too late. Most of South Florida's cities (and Miami-Dade County) have already passed 2,500-foot restrictions around schools, parks, day care centers, even school bus stops. The County Commission holds sway over less than three square miles of unincorporated Broward.

''That's just a tiny portion of the county,'' lamented Lori Butts, a forensic psychologist on the task force. The task force was wrestling Tuesday with the perverse effect of leaving those unincorporated areas without jacked-up restrictions, creating a kind of refuge for sex offenders driven out of nearby cities.

Nor can the Broward County Commission (unlike the Miami-Dade Commission) pass a superseding ordinance, replacing the 2,500-foot restrictions passed by Broward cities with something sensible, said Task Force Chairwoman Jill Levenson, Lynn University's expert on sex crime policies.

OBVIOUS IRONY

An obvious irony hangs over the Broward sex offender task force, with members from law enforcement, corrections, academia, government and with a victim and a sex offender at the table. Best I can tell, it's the first in the state. Other cities and counties passed a frenzy of residency restrictions without bothering to examine the consequences.

You'd think Miami-Dade, with that festering homeless colony under the Julie Tuttle Causeway, would have appointed a sex offender task force months ago.

It's probably too late. It'll take a state law now to sort out this mess. Lori Butts said her group can't do much more than deliver a ``well thought out, well researched idea we'd like to see happen statewide.''

The state must either fix the mess, Butts said, or pay the tab to keep sex offenders in prison. Forcing potentially dangerous predators into homelessness, she said, ``is just crazy.''

Homeless sex offenders are beyond treatment, she warned. ``If they're living under a bridge, they can't get better. ''

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

SEXTING STUDY_ANYONE LISTENING?

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5j-nCv_kH_YA6AKV7_qS-wajxamkw

By Michel Comte –

OTTAWA (AFP) — Youths exchanging nude photos of themselves over cellphones, known as "sexting," should not face child pornography charges, as some have in the United States, a humanities conference heard Tuesday.

Peter Cumming, an associate professor at York University in Toronto, presented a paper on children's sexuality at the 78th Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences defending the practice as a modern variation on "playing doctor or spin-the-bottle."

"Technology does change things, and there can be very serious consequences" Cumming said.

"But that obscures the fact that children and young people are sexual beings who have explored their sexuality in all times, and all cultures and all places.

"A distinction has to be made between nudity and child porn," he added.

The annual conference, held this year at Ottawa's Carleton University, brings together 8,000 researchers from around the world to discuss the latest social trends.

Sexting -- a combination of the words "sex" and "texting" -- made headlines earlier this year after students in a dozen US states were charged with child pornography for sharing nude and semi-nude photos with friends and classmates.

In March, three teenage girls sued a Pennsylvania prosecutor who accused them of peddling "child pornography," after a teacher discovered a waist-up image of two girls covered just by a bra, and another image of a girl topless.

District Attorney George Skumanik called for the girls to undergo five weeks of behavior courses and take a drug test or face prosecution, according to a letter apparently sent to the teenagers' parents.

The American Civil Liberties Union, a cosignatory to the complaint, said Skumanik's threat was unconstitution al, and prosecution could have landed the girls on the sex offenders register, blighting future job prospects.

In other cases, a "bored" Florida boy was charged for sending a photo of his genitalia to a female classmate, while another was listed as a sex offender for emailing nude photos of his 16-year-old girlfriend to her family after an argument.

According to a survey by a US family planning organization, published in December, 20 percent of American teenagers said they had participated in sexting.

Cumming said that to consider labeling a teen a sex offender because of a sexting incident -- a label that will stick for life -- defies common sense.

"It would be very unlikely to see dozens of news stories announcing that some children were caught playing spin-the-bottle, or doctor, or strip poker," he said in his presentation.

"Yet many of the cases brought forward have been on the same level of innocence and experience as those activities. In other words, kids are playing spin-the-bottle online."

Cumming also argued that such online activities are safer than traditional sexual games because there is no immediate physical contact and thus are less likely to lead to pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases

OHIO SEXTEXTING LAW DOES NOT COVER IT ALL REP MAAG OF OHIO!~

When Rep. Maag decided he wanted to do something about 'teens' being branded 'sex offenders' for 'racey' photos taken via cell phone I called him personally at his home.
I discussed with him what happened to my son. He said what happened to my son should have never happened and what happened to the girl who killed herself should not have happened either.
Too bad for my son, as there was nothing he could do about that now, but he did ask if I would send him a written testimony he could submit. He also asked if there were senators that had compassion for what happened to my son and if I would forward those senator's name onto him. I forwarded those names and I took the time to write up a testimony and sent it to Rep. Maag. Whether or not he will use it, I do not know. I've not heard anything back from Rep. Maag, assistant or even a staff member.
I suppose the net casted too many teens. No one cares what happens to our sons and daughters who are over the age of eighteen
concerning a sex offense......
Sacrificing our sons and daughters to the registry for consensual sexual matters is 'okay', because our government is doing us all a big favor, by protecting the United States citizens.
Most know of my daughter Ali; she has spoken out as a sibling of a sex offender in public, on Internet Radio and even at her school's Communication class.
If you read enough of my blog, you also know the harmful and emotional affects Ali has gone through.
I've not blogged enough lately or even posted much. My son finally came home from prison and I'm onto another chapter of being a mother to a sex offender.
Part of my son's probation is no camera's or any picture-taking devices, cannot purchase toys (??) and no access to the World Wide Web.
Tonight my son will finally have his first chance to have his own voice on ARC, America's Reality Check hosted by Kevin and Mary (www.americanrealitycheck.com).
He will not be breaking his probation, because he will not be accessing the web, he will be talking on the phone and the interview will be broad casted on the WWW.
I don't know what my son will have to say or talk about.
I hope you will come this evening and listen in or even ask him a question.
If you read this posting too late, you can always download the interview and listen to it. Feel free to leave me a comment on this.
I am blessed to have my son home and safe.....and through it all thus far, he still has his sense of humor.
Here is the link:
American’s Reality Check

May 27, 2009

9:30 p.m. Eastern

Dial: 724-444-7444

Code: 29521

Chat: http://www.talkshoe.com/talkshoe/web/talkCast.jsp?masterId=29521&cmd=tc




Wednesday, May 13, 2009

RELEASE BRANDON_ANOTHER YOUTH RAPED BY THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM

I read the story of Brandon this evening and my mind has been restless since. (WWW.FREEBRANDON.ORG)

I was invited to listen to Brandon's mother Jane on ARC (www.americanrealitycheck.com), but couldn't bring myself to even listen. I know of the heartache and I know of the anger...but most of all, the feeling of helplessness.
Brandon will be released. The media will expose the injustice and there will be an attorney that will take his case.

Our children must STOP paying the price for the John Couey's of the world. Is the government only conditioning our youth? This sickens me and leaves me speechless at this time.

Please, all pray for Brandon.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

MY SON, THE FUTURE FOR A SEX OFFENDER LIFE

Today we bring my son home. He has been gone for over two years. He has been locked away between the county jail and prison.
It has been a long hard journey thus far. None of us knows what the future will hold.
We hope that we can make a difference in this world of what is known as the Sex Offender Registry.
My mother and I spoke last night and one thing is for certain.....we do not know why this happened to our family and everything we have experienced has been a horrific nightmare!
My son was still a boy, just 20 when this started and now at age 23, he has become a man through our grand judicial system. It will not be interesting to see how he has grown into a man these past three years.
He will still be my son, forever he will be my son, and I can only pray that one day the chains that enwrap him as a slave by our government will be released BY the people of the United States!
For this I pray for all the offenders who have served their time, are offense free, those who were accused falsely and especially our young sons who had to learn and live through hell at such an early age.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

DO YOU WANT TO KNOW YOUR NEIGHBOR'S SON IS A SEX OFFENDER?

My son comes home this week.
I've debated if I should go to my neighbors and talk to them of my son's offense.
Should I? Or should I say nothing?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT SEX OFFENDER!

I cannot believe for the life of me how the American people are not any smarter than the German's were with Adolph Hitler.
Just as Hitler banned smoking, started registries and DECLARED to the citizens of Germany "It is for the CHILDREN" Americans still do not GET IT!
Americans have become WEAK! Americans can no longer THINK and rationalize for themselves that they depend on the government to do their thinking and decision makings for THEM -- No questions asked and worse, they ACCEPT all that is fed to them.
I am just downright pissed off and hate the idea of being forced to take a bite of a shit sandwich the government feeds!
My son is a sex offender and what 'other' Americans fail to conceive is how EASILY their family could be the NEXT VICTIM!
So the story goes.....until it affects YOU..... you do not CARE!!
AHhhhhhhhh.....but the affect HAS started.....with the teens with their cell phones of nudity!
When SORNA captures MY SON on the the registry, then believe you me, the registry is WORTHLESS and I will repeat myself, IS NOT PROTECTING THE PUBLIC NOR ANY CHILD!!!!

Here is a word from Constitutional Fights:

Notice:
Ohio County Sheriffs are now imposing mandatory fees (up to $100 per year)on those who are required to register on sex offender registries across the state. See also “Forcing Sex Offenders to Pay Fees”.

We obtained this letter from the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office from a reader:

The imposition of fees on the 30,000+ registered sex offenders in the state now debunks the false notion that the retro-active Adam Walsh Act lifetime registration laws are not “punitive” in nature, as courts across the state have ruled. Fining citizens up to $100 per year for each forced registration reporting is indeed punitive…without question. When will our state courts recognize this fact? What happens if a sex offender does not have $25 at the time of registration? Will they then be denied the ability to register until they pay (thereby putting them in violation of registration laws and exposing them to incarceration)?

Where are the Ohio indigency policies for those who are unable to pay these fees? How many registered sex offenders will be imprisoned because they do not have the $25 fee to pay at the required time of registration? And where are the attorneys and civil rights organizations who should be suing the state over these imposed fees?

WDTN.com : Sex offenders Will Pay Fee to Register

Constitutionalfights spoke with the Montgomery County Public Defender office and the Montgomery County Sheriff office today:

The Public Defender is awaiting direction from the Ohio Public Defender office. We will keep you posted.
The Sheriff SORN office states that the only exemption to these imposed fees is providing proof that an individual falls below 125% of the poverty level (approx $9735 per year for one person, gross).
Any inability to make fee payments will be deferred for one year, after which they will be forwarded to the Montgomery County Prosecuter for prosecution (bill collection). Once this collection process begins, an individual would have 90 days to make full payment. Constitutionalfights never condones violation of any law, but neither do we condemn acts of civil disobedience. For instance, if every sex offender in the state refused to pay these fines for the one year period, it would certainly put the County Sheriff’s departments on notice, would heighten public awareness of the issue as it would become a state-wide news story, and would put the squeeze on the already-cash strapped Sheriff Departments across the state

Saturday, April 25, 2009

FINDLAY YOUTH RAPED BY THE ADAM WALSH ACT

Michael S. Mitchell, 19, of Findlay, was placed on community control sanctions for five years by Judge Niemeyer on a fourth-degree felony unlawful sexual conduct with a minor conviction. Mitchell was convicted last month of engaging in sexual activity with a 14-year-old girl in Findlay in February 2008. While on community control, the defendant will have to serve 30 days on electronic monitoring. He will have to serve 17 months in prison if he fails to complete his sanctions. Mitchell was also found to be a Tier II sex offender, which means he will have to register with law enforcement every 180 days for 25 years.

Monday, April 20, 2009

COMMENT OF CONTROL BY THE SEX OFFENDER MOM

While watching a documentary over the weekend, I heard these words:

"There are three ways to control people; fear, demoralize and people of poverty, the poor."

Saturday, April 18, 2009

OHIO HB 11 PROPOSED & SPONSORS

The following link will take you to HB11 as it is being proposed, along with the sponsors of the bill.

http://www.legislature.state.oh.us/bills.cfm?ID=128_HB_11

Friday, April 17, 2009

REVISION LETTER TO OPPOSE THE ADAM WALSH ACT

Below is the letter being used to send to senators concerning the Adam Walsh Act. Please feel free to edit this letter to OPPOSE the act.
For Ohio citizens, the Judiciary Committee Members are in the previous blog. Remember to send a letter to Bobby Scott!

Congressman Bobby Scott's Contact:

Washington, DC Office1201 Longworth House Office BuildingWashington, DC 20515
202) 225-8351 FAX (202) 225-8354

Hampton Roads Office2600 Washington, Ave, Suite 1010Newport News, VA 23607
757) 380-1000 FAX (757) 928-6694

Richmond Area OfficeThe Jackson Center501 N 2nd Street, Suite 401Richmond, VA 23219-1321
804) 644-4845 FAX (804) 648-6026

Dear (YOUR) Senator:

I am sure you share my belief that we must do everything in our power to help protect our children from sexual predators in our communities. That is why I am asking for your help today.I am extremely concerned about how we track registered sex offenders in our country. According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, an estimated 100,000 sex offenders are unaccounted for and not living where they are registered. Because law enforcement agencies are too underfunded and overwhelmed to track them, these dangerous predators are free to roam undetected from state to state, targeting and re-offending more innocent children.The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, which was signed into law in 2006, created a National Sex Offender Registry, but recent news reports reveal most states will not be in compliance with the law by the upcoming July deadline. Supporters of the law acknowledge there are adjustments that should be made to the law, but they are adamant, as am I, that the basic purpose and spirit of Adam’s act must be upheld. The act calls for a National Sex Offender Registry, which is critical to the safety of our children.I implore you to reexamine this law with fellow lawmakers, reauthorize it and see that it is fully funded. I realize our country’s current economic crisis will not make this charge an easy one, but what could be more urgent and of greater importance than the safety and well being of our children?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

I MAY NOT BE FAMOUS OR RICH LIKE OPRAH AND JOHN WALSH BUT I'M SMARTER! IS OUR GOVERNMENT?

I read Oprah was having an exclusive show for John Walsh to fund his Adam Walsh Act. I didn't watch it! I don't need to watch it!
Here is MY breakdown. John seems to think that in order to promote the Adam Walsh Act, he can BUY it! Oprah believes this is true too, otherwise, why would John be her guest? Other than she was molested and raped as a young child by her UNCLE. Anyone who would GIVE money to this cause BELIEVES they can BUY safety for our children; furthermore, if this works, than I say our government is CORRUPTED! Isn't this like a BRIBE?
If there is a better word for this, please correct me.
Oprah and John are going to PURCHASE laws against sex offenders and they want the United States citizens to invest as well.
Since when is our government up for sale? Since when can we BUY laws? If they're purchasing laws, we all know the buyers are our elected officials. Isn't this a lawsuit of some kind waiting to happen? I would think it should be possible!
John must have watched Bobby Scott address SORNA/Adam Walsh Act. Cost is an issue, but more so is its EFFECTIVENESS!
Does John and Oprah think if they donate money to our government to enact the Adam Walsh Act that it will be a done deal? Is our government going to BUY this? Are WE the PEOPLE going to BUY this? Are we going to ALLOW this to happen?!?!
I say if this is allowed, our President is Oprah and our Vice President is John Walsh!
I'm so livid about this insanity, I can't even rationally blog about it!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

MOTHER OF SEX OFFENDER URGES TO KILL OHIO HB 11!

First, here is the article link and the mother's email address so you can read it yourself and send her an email on what you think of HB 11. Please remember to CALL or E-MAIL the Judiciary Committee (Provided at the end of this blog) who will review the bill that you OPPOSE this HB 11!!
The state representative who will draft the proposed bill is Gerald L. Stebelton, so be sure and CALL HIM!! Tell your friends and family to call too! (614) 466-8100 district05@ohr.state.oh.us

The headline:

Mother urges stricter guidelines on sex offenders

http://www.journal-news.com/news/hamilton-news/mother-urges-stricter-guidelines-on-sex-offenders-80474.html?cxtype=rss_local-news

kbenton28@gmail.com

Here we go again with another hysterical, uneducated mother, who must believe we live in a Communist United States (dictatorship is running close!) as she runs to our government to protect her child!
As a parent, I say if you're worried about your child crossing the street, than YOU walk them across the street! Same as Benton, either she is worried about her child's safety or she isn't! A LAW will not protect her eleven-year-old, only SHE can! I mean, what she is actually saying and what others are agreeing is to let your children run unsupervised! She's worried about the sex offender who is on the registry, yet she is NOT worried about someone who is NOT?
If you know your child cannot swim and go to the beach, its okay to lay down and catch a few rays? Or, do you WATCH them to ensure their safety? OR, if you're like me, you have them in a life jacket AND you watch to ensure their safety! Same concept, only the parent IS the life jacket to the child!!
They say Americans are lazy and parenting falls right into that category. The only generation to have a Sex Offender Registry is the generation of TODAY! The ONLY person possible to protect their child is THEIR PARENTS! Hasn't anyone figured out that all these laws are NOT protecting ANY child? HELLO?!~ Is there any intelligent LIFE left on this planet? Only the politic ans who continue to gain votes for promoting they can PROTECT your child! Where are the STUPID signs so I can start handing them out!
I was always told I was an over-protective parent. I never allowed my children to run around at a ball park to play or ride their bike alone, take a walk alone, or ANY activity alone! No, they were not allowed to look at toys without me! I don't care if it WAS an isle over, if I couldn't see them, reach out and touch me, then they were too far away from me~~too far away from safety! They were lucky to walk to the bus stop alone!
It really irritates me (an understatement) when I see children that cannot be any older than seven or eight years of age riding their bikes or playing without adult supervision! I always say, usually out loud...."Where are their parents?"
Yes, WHERE ARE THE PARENTS? Sitting on their lazy butts, not wanting to attend to their child or as long as they are out of their hair and in someone elses, it's 'okay'! Give me a STUPID sign!
More STUPID and pathetic is when our legislators pass another bill to 'PROTECT' our children, it covers EVEY SINGLE SEX OFFENDER ON THE REGISTRY! HA! Yeah, everyone needs to protect their child from my son! Sure they do! GAG!*# CHOKE*#!
Have Americans become BRAIN dead? Can they NOT think for themselves? COMMON SENSE PEOPLE!~ COMMON SENSE!
I'm done with this entry! I think anyone who reads this gets the picture; If there IS intelligent life still roaming in the United States!

OHIO JUDICIARY COMMITTEE CONTACT:

Senator Timothy Grendell - CHAIR
(More famous for the belief in the 'OFFENDAR '-A GPS tracking system for ALL offenders to wear....which they can just cut off! Good way to continue spending our tax dollars!)
SD18@senate.state.oh.us
Telephone: 614/644-7718

Senator Jim Hughes - VICE CHAIR
SD16@senate.state.oh.us
614/466-5981

Senator Joseph Schiavoni
sd33@maild.sen.state.oh.us
614/466-8285

Senator Kevin Coughlin
SD27@senate.state.oh.us
614/466-4823

Senator Shirley Smith
senatorsmith@maild.sen.state.oh.us
614/466-4857

Senator Keith Faber
SD12@senate.state.oh.us
614/466-7584

Senator David Goodman
SD03@senate.state.oh.us
614/466-8064

Senator Bill Seitz
SD08@senate.state.oh.us
614/466-8068

Sunday, March 29, 2009

SEXTEXTING 'NOW' PUNISHABLE AS A SEX CRIME?

There is a vast array of sex offenses that prosecutors have to choose from.
The Sex Offender Registry was NOT intended for child's play with adult consequences!
It is a moral issue!
We, as 'adults' do not understand the 'thinking' of our youth today, simply put, they are NOT thinking!
Adults did not understand the time era of "Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll" either.
I am sure it is this same youth of yester-year, as adults, that are 'not' understanding our youth of today!

Underage "Sexting" Now Punishable as a Sex Crime in a Growing Number of Jurisdictions

www.philadelphiacriminaldefenselawyerblo...g_now_punishabl.html
As cellular telephone technology advances at an extremely rapid pace, more and more teenagers are possessing phones with the capabilities to snap still photos or record short videos. Coupled with the fact that as a society, children are becoming acquainted with sex at younger ages, this technology has led to the practice of sexting; sending nude photos or other sexually explicit photos and/or videos to a recipient via cell phone. The practice of sexting has led to numerous ethical and moral arguments, but the practice amongst teens has caught the attention of law enforcement. In many jurisdictions, these sexually explicit images and videos, sent amongst teenagers, are violations of child pornography laws.An online survey conducted by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy showed that one-in-five teenage participants have sent and/or received sexually explicit material via cell phone. Nearly two-thirds of those who admitted to sexting only did so within a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship; however teens in the other one-third admitted to sexting for the purpose of “hooking-up”. It is this culture of a casual sexual relationship which causes worry amongst advocacy groups who blame society’s attitude for the first rise in teenage pregnancy rates in the past fifteen years.A Delaware middle-school recently dealt with an incident where cell phones were confiscated during class because they were forbidden in the classroom, only to find sexually explicit material upon inspection of the phone’s content. The school determined the images were not sent at or during school and decided to notify the students’ parents to deal with the problem. Other teens have not been as lucky. Another student in Delaware faces obscenity charges for sending nude photos of himself to classmates. In Pennsylvania, seven students were charged with sending or receiving child pornography when their phones were discovered to contain explicit images sent between the students. Convictions for these offenses not only will carry potential confinement, fines, and psychological evaluations, but may also require those convicted to be registered as sex offenders.Many oppose prosecution in these cases for the simple reason that the participants do not have a criminal intent, but rather are merely conforming to society as they see it. There are no penalties for the same consensual actions amongst those of age. Many agree that the responsibility stems with the parents to talk to their children. Children should understand that once an image is sent, they no longer have any control over it; and with today’s technology, such material can easily end-up on the internet. Teens should understand that cellular phone technology does not come with a guarantee of privacy.Child PornographyFederal Law defines child pornography as “a visual depiction of any kind, including a drawing, cartoon, sculpture, or painting, photograph, film, video, or computer-generated image or picture, whether made or produced by electronic, mechanical, or other means, of sexually explicit conduct, where it a) depicts a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct and is obscene, or b) depicts an image that is, or appears to be, of a minor engaging in graphic bestiality, sadistic or masochistic abuse, or sexual intercourse, including genital-genital, oral-genital, anal-genital, or oral-anal, whether between persons of the same or opposite sex, and such depiction lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.” Possessing, Making, and Distributing child pornography is illegal in all 50 states, including Pennsylvania, and it is an offense which carries serious legal penalties.If you have been arrested and charged with owning, making, or distributing child pornography, the Law Offices of Marc Neff can help. There are defenses which are available to you, so do not hesitate to contact the Law Offices of Marc Neff immediately.
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MAUREEN KANKA_SEXTEXTING TEENS

http://www.examiner.com/x-2446-North-Jersey-Crime-Examiner~y2009m3d26-UPDATE-Megans-mom-urges-help-for-teen-who-posted-nude-pixThe mother of the girl for whom Megan's Law is named says prosecutors shouldn't treat teens who take nude pictures of themselves the same as they do adults.Maureen Kanka said a 14-year-old North Jersey girl facing juvenile complaints for posting naked photos of herself on MySpace needs help, not prosecution.“This shouldn’t fall under Megan’s Law in any way, shape or form,” Kanka said. "The only person she exploited was herself.”If deemed "delinquent" by a judge, the girl would have to register with the state as a sex offender, under Megan's Law. (See my story from earlier today: Do 14-year-old's naked pics make her a Megan's offender?)New Jersey's measure has varying degrees, but its basis requires convicted sex offenders to notify authorities where they live.When the most dangerous sex offenders move to a neighborhood, police go door to door to personally notify citizens and past victims. Those considered to have a lower risk of re-offending are listed on an Internet registry available to the public. The lowest risk offenders must register but aren't subject to notification laws.Lawmakers adopted the measure in large part due to Maureen Kanka's diligence, following the 1994 rape and murder of her 7-year-old daughter by a twice-convicted sex offender who'd moved into the family's neighborhood. Several other states then followed suit.Since then, however, technology and overly proactive local governments have created problems that couldn't have been foreseen.In just the past four years, 118 towns in New Jersey have OK'd ordinances limiting where sex offenders can live. Most of them have put a 2,500-foot perimeter around schools, parks and libraries.A state appeals court nullified the measures in December, ruling that state authorities -- and not town fathers and mothers -- should be drawing the red lines. The state Supreme Court is now deciding what should be done. (See my story: Sex offenders are people, too.)Branded sex offenders end up quietly moving in with friends or relatives, taking work (if they can get it) that pays under the table, and generally committing other minor violations or petty crimes.This includes not only those who might reoffend but also those trying to get their lives on track.In fact, one of the cases were brought on behalf of a college freshman who couldn't live in a dorm because he was branded a sex offender for an incident that happened when he was barely into high school.Now comes the Clifton girl who posted nude photos of herself in an album for her boyfriend. Thus far prosecutors are treating her like a delinquent -- which means Family Court hearings, legal expenses for her mother, and the possibility she could be entering the prime years of her life carrying a tremendous burden for what looks like a foolish mistake.Similar cases are being reported nationwide. It's such an exploding topic that a plotine of tonight's "Private Practice" dealt with a 12-year-old girl who'd sent her boyfriend a nude photo of herself.The worst many of these real-life youngsters have done is decide poorly, Kanka said.“These kids aren’t sex offenders,” she said.On top of all that, a report released earlier this year by the National Institute of Justice says Megan's Laws nationwide haven't reduced either the number of child victims or the likelihood that tagged predators will strike again.Based on hard data and not anecdotes, the report suggests that the costs of these programs nationwide "may not be justifiable" any longer.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

SORNA WITNESS AMY BORROR

U.S.HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
SUBCOMMITTEE ON CRIME, TERRORISM, AND HOMELAND SECURITY
HEARING ON THE SEX OFFENDER REGISTRATION AND NOTIFICATION ACT
(SORNA)
TUESDAY,MARCH 10, 2009
WRITTEN TESTIMONY OF:
AMY BORROR
PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER
OFFICE OF THE OHIO PUBLIC DEFENDER
1
Chairman Scott and Members of the Subcommittee on Crime, thank you for this opportunity to
testify about the barriers to states’ implementation of the Adam Walsh Act’s Sex Offender
Registration and Notification Act, the potential legal ramifications of the Act, and Ohio’s
experience attempting to comply with the Act’s requirements.
The Office of the Ohio Public Defender is, of course, concerned about the constitutional rights of
our clients who are affected by this Act. But we are also concerned about our clients’ futures,
and any obstacles that may prevent them from leading crime-free lives. We work with law
enforcement, prosecutors, victims groups, treatment providers, and child advocates on this
issue because we are all committed to a common goal: reducing the incidence of sexual abuse
in our society.
And personally, as someone who has several friends who have been victims of sexual abuse, I
am concerned with not just the stated goals of policies aimed at improving public safety, but
also with the practical effects those policies have on my safety and the safety of my loved ones.
It is for all of these reasons that I am here today.
Ohio’s implementation of the Adam Walsh Act
On June 30, 2007, Ohio Senate Bill 10 (SB 10), the state’s attempt to implement the
requirements of the federal Adam Walsh Act, was signed into law. In late November 2007, the
Ohio Attorney General’s office mailed letters to thousands of registered sex offenders in the
state, informing them that their classification status and registration duties were changing under
the new law.
In the 15 months since those reclassification letters were mailed, at least 6,352 petitions
challenging the new law’s retroactive application have been filed in 78 of Ohio’s 88 counties.
Ohio courts of appeals have issued decisions in at least 59 cases.1
The Buckeye State Sheriffs’ Association estimates that the new law has increased sheriffs’
workloads by 60 percent.2
The Adam Walsh Act, which is intended to create uniformity in sex offender classification and
registration requirements across states, has instead resulted in tremendous variation in the
application of Ohio’s sex offender registration laws across Ohio’s counties.
The implementation of SB 10 across the state of Ohio has been uneven, at best. County courts,
prosecutors, and sheriffs have interpreted the massive new law differently. Many courts have
1 See http://www.opd.ohio.gov/AWA_Attorney_Forms/AWA__Attorney_Forms.htm
2 The Cleveland Plain Dealer, “Ohio's tougher sex offender law being met with lawsuits, confusion,” Jan.
21, 2008.
Office of the Ohio Public Defender
8 East Long Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215-2998 www.opd.ohio.gov
(614) 466-5394
TIMOTHY YOUNG Fax (614) 644-9972
State Public Defender
2
issued blanket orders staying enforcement of the new law and allowing persons retroactively
affected by the law to continue registering under Ohio’s prior sex offender classification and
registration scheme until the Supreme Court of Ohio issues a ruling on the constitutionality of
SB 10.
The impact of the new law on offenders varies greatly, depending on the county in which they
reside. An offender may have to file a challenge to his reclassification as a civil motion or as a
motion in his original criminal case. A civil filing fee, ranging from $10–$300, may be assessed.
If the offender is indigent, counsel may or may not be appointed at state expense. While the
challenge petition is pending, the county sheriff may or may not send out community notification.
And, the judge considering the offender’s challenge petition may consider constitutional
challenges to the offender’s reclassification, or may simply view the hearing as an opportunity to
correct any errors that may have occurred in the reclassification.
The effect of SB 10 on Ohio was stated succinctly by Franklin County Common Pleas Court
Judge David E. Cain: “It’s a mess created by politicians, and it’s going to be a mess for the
courts to sort out.”
Changes to Ohio’s sex offender registry and classification scheme
The transition from a risk-based classification system to an offense-based system has turned
Ohio’s sex offender registry upside down.
Prior to adopting SB 10, Ohio had a risk-based sex offender classification system. After a
conviction of or plea to a sexually oriented offense, a hearing was held to determine whether the
offender was likely to commit another sex offense in the future. While these proceedings were
deemed to be civil in nature, the Ohio legislature recognized that the offenders needed
procedural protections. At the hearing, the offender and the prosecutor could present evidence,
call and examine witnesses and expert witnesses, and cross-examine witnesses and expert
witnesses. The offender had the right to be represented by counsel and, if indigent, to be
provided counsel at state expense. The state had the burden to prove, by clear and convincing
evidence, that the offender was likely to reoffend. And, the offender had the right to appeal an
adverse ruling.
Simplifying Ohio’s risk-based classification system a bit, offenders could be classified into one of
three categories. An offender who had been convicted of or pled to a sexually oriented offense,
but who had not been found likely to re-offend, was labeled a sexually oriented offender. An
offender who had a prior conviction for a sexually oriented offense, but had not been found likely
to re-offend, was labeled a habitual sexual offender. And an offender who had been convicted
of or pled to a sexually oriented offense, and had been found likely to commit another sex
offense in the future, was labeled a sexual predator. These three categories roughly translate,
in duration and requirements of registration, to the Adam Walsh Act’s Tier I, Tier II, and Tier III,
respectively.
The state’s risk-based classification system had resulted in a registry that looked much like what
scientific research tells us about the likelihood of sex offender recidivism: 77% of Ohio sex
offenders were classified as sexually oriented offenders, 4% were labeled habitual sexual
offenders, and 18% were labeled sexual predators. After implementing SB 10, Ohio’s registry
became top-heavy: only 13% of offenders are classified in Tier I, 33% are in Tier II, and 54%
are in Tier III.
3
Ohio’s Sex Offender Registry
Previous, risk-based system Senate Bill 10/Adam Walsh Act
SOO Habitual Predator Tier I Tier II Tier III
The number of people in the highest tier of Ohio’s registry has tripled. Nearly 8,000 of Ohio’s
sex offender registrants were moved from one of the two lower classification levels into Tier III—
not because they had committed a new crime or because of new evidence of their future
dangerousness, but only because of the crime of which they had been previously convicted.
Ohio’s old registry was, potentially, a useful public safety tool. It included more than 22,000
offenders; however, only 4,000 of those offenders were labeled sexual predators. Those 4,000
offenders, found by a judge to be likely to reoffend, would rightly garner the most attention from
the public and require the closest supervision by law enforcement. Now, however, Ohio’s
registry includes more than 12,000 people labeled as Tier III offenders. Their propensity to
reoffend is not known, but the public will certainly perceive them as dangerous, and law
enforcement must expend tremendous resources to supervise them.
Under Ohio’s old law, a person convicted of rape for consensual sex with a person four years
and one day his junior might have been classified a sexually oriented offender, if that person
had not been found likely to commit another sex crime. Also under Ohio’s old law, a person
convicted of sexual imposition, a misdemeanor, might have been classified a sexual predator, if
a judge found him likely to reoffend. Now, however, Ohio courts are mandated to classify the
person convicted of rape as a Tier III offender and the person convicted of sexual imposition as
a Tier I offender.
The person convicted of rape could lead a law-abiding life and could even, as happened in at
least one Ohio case, marry the “victim” of his offense and have a family, but he would forever be
labeled a Tier III offender, the supposed worst of the worst. Even though the person convicted
of sexual imposition is likely to commit future sex offenses, a judge would not be able to classify
that person into a higher tier until that person committed and was convicted of a subsequent sex
offense. Instead of being able to properly label a high-risk offender, the court must instead wait
until another offense is committed and another victim is created.
Sex offender registration and notification laws are supposed to be forward-looking, aimed at
protecting the public from future crimes. Risk-based systems, like Ohio’s prior scheme, do a
4
much better job of addressing the stated aim of sex offender registries: protecting the public
from future criminal acts.
In its position paper on the Adam Walsh Act, the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence
(NAESV), a victim advocacy organization that conducts the public policy work of state sexual
assault coalitions and rape crisis centers, states that, “over-inclusive public notification can
actually be harmful to public safety by diluting the ability to identify the most dangerous
offenders and by disrupting the stability of low-risk offenders in ways that may increase their risk
of re-offense. Therefore, NAESV believes that internet disclosure and community notification
should be limited to those offenders who pose the highest risk of re-offense.”3
The Adam Walsh Act, however, is not concerned with the likelihood of future crimes. It looks
only at past offenses and labels offenders based on those past offenses, without considering
what those offenders might do in the future.
Retroactivity
One of the primary objections to the Adam Walsh Act concerns the requirement that states
apply the law retroactively to persons who offenses predate the enactment of the Act. It is
important to remember, however, that the Adam Walsh Act as passed by Congress was not,
itself, retroactive. Rather, the Act delegated authority to the Department of Justice to interpret
and administer the Act’s registration provisions, and to determine the applicability of those
provisions to offenders who were convicted prior to the enactment of the Act.4 The Guidelines
for implementation of the Adam Walsh Act, issued by the Department of Justice’s SMART
Office, require that the Act be applied retroactively to persons with convictions for sex offenses
who are incarcerated or under supervision; who are already subject to a pre-existing sex
offender registration system; and who re-enter the justice system because of another crime,
regardless of whether it is a sex offense.
Congress did not mandate that all sex offenders be reclassified, and certainly did not require
that those offenders who have completed their period of registration be re-registered under the
new provisions of the Adam Walsh Act. Applying the Adam Walsh Act’s classification,
registration, and notification requirements retroactively, as required by the Guidelines,
unnecessarily subjects states to lengthy and expensive constitutional challenges that could be
avoided simply by applying the Act prospectively only.
Retroactive application of the Adam Walsh Act presents separation of powers issues, as state
legislatures, acting on a directive handed down by the executive branch of the federal
government, will be reversing decisions made by judges. In Ohio, the retroactive application of
SB 10 legislatively overturned thousands of legal decisions of trial court judges—to not label
offenders as sexual predators—simply because offenses committed many years ago fall into a
certain Tier, as defined by the Act.
Plea deals that predate the enactment of the Adam Walsh Act and states’ implementation
legislation raise additional legal problems. There are thousands of offenders in Ohio who, since
the enactment of Ohio’s prior sex offender registration system, had pled guilty to sex offenses.
3 http://www.naesv.org/Policypapers/Adam_Walsh_SumMarch07.pdf
4 42 U.S.C. Sec. 16913(d) provides that “[t]he Attorney General shall have the authority to specify the
applicability of the requirements of this subchapter to sex offenders convicted before July 27, 2006….”
5
Many of them pled guilty to offenses that would, under the Adam Walsh Act, be Tier III offenses.
But those offenders were labeled, by a judge, as sexually oriented offenders (similar to Tier I),
not as sexual predators (similar to Tier III). In many cases, that label of sexually oriented
offender was part of a plea bargain, agreed to by the State of Ohio, through the office of the
county prosecutor.
Those plea deals are contracts: the defendant agreed to give up his or her right to trial and
agreed to go to prison, and in exchange, the State agreed that the defendant would not be
labeled a sexual predator. But now, with SB 10 being applied retroactively, thousands of
offenders will be notified that, because of the offense to which they pled guilty, they are being
reclassified as Tier III offenders and subjected to lifetime registration and verification duties.
The State of Ohio, which years ago entered into these contracts and agreed to less-severe
labels, has now unilaterally altered thousands of contracts. And, as a result, has made onerous
changes in thousands of people’s lives, changes that were neither anticipated nor necessary.
The cost to states and their court systems of the retroactive application of the Adam Walsh Act
could take many forms: class action lawsuits; thousands of motions to withdraw pleas; and
lawsuits for damages after offenders lose their jobs, are forced to move, or appear on an
internet registry after being told they would not. And, perhaps most costly, defendants’
unwillingness to enter into future plea agreements, knowing that at any time, any branch of
government at any level may choose to breach the State’s obligations in that contract.
The retroactive application of the Adam Walsh Act’s classification, registration, and notification
requirements runs afoul of fundamental fairness. It has, and will continue to, unduly burden
court systems and prove costly for the states. Congress, with its one-sentence delegation of
authority to the Department of Justice, surely did not intend to levy such a cost on the states
and their courts.
The Act’s application to juveniles
The juvenile court system is based on the fundamental belief that children can be rehabilitated.
Indeed, juveniles’ inherent amenability to rehabilitation has been recognized by the United
States Supreme Court. In its 2005 opinion in Roper v. Simmons, which declared the death
penalty for juveniles unconstitutional, the Court stated:
The reality that juveniles still struggle to define their identity means it is less
supportable to conclude that even a heinous crime committed by a juvenile is
evidence of irretrievably depraved character. From a moral standpoint it would
be misguided to equate the failings of a minor with those of an adult, for a
greater possibility exists that a minor's character deficiencies will be reformed.
The emerging field of neurological science tells us that children’s brains are physically different
from the brains of fully mature adults, and that as a result, they are not only more likely to
engage in risk-taking behavior, but also more amenable to treatment. In children and
adolescents, the prefrontal cortex is not yet “hardwired” to the rest of brain. It is this part of the
brain that plays a critical role in decision making, problem solving, and being able to anticipate
the future consequences of today’s actions. Until the prefrontal cortex becomes fully connected,
children must rely on another part of the brain for decision making: the amygdala, which
processes emotional reactions and is the part of the brain known for the “fight or flight”
response.
6
While this period of brain development can lead to children behaving irrationally, making poor
decisions, and overreacting to perceived threats, it is also what makes children especially
amenable to treatment. Treatment provided during this critical stage of development to a child
who is sexually inappropriate or abusive will impact the way that child’s brain continues to
develop; as a result, juvenile sex offenders are known to be especially amenable to treatment,
and thus significantly less likely to reoffend.
According to the Ohio Association of County Behavioral Health Authorities, research shows that
“with treatment, supervision and support, the likelihood of a youth committing subsequent sex
offenses is about 4–10 percent.”5 And a compilation of 43 follow-up studies of the re-arrest
rates of 7,690 juvenile sex offenders found an average sexual recidivism rate of 7.78 percent.6
Additionally, the American Psychological Association has noted that because “adolescent
sexual offending is different from adult sexual offending in its motivation, nature, extent, and
response to intervention … [r]esearch has consistently shown that the majority of children and
teenagers adjudicated for sex crimes do not become adult offenders.”7 The National Center on
Sexual Behavior of Youth has conducted an extensive review of the available research on
juvenile sex offenders, and has concluded that adolescent sex offenders have fewer numbers of
victims than do adult offenders, and engage in less serious and aggressive behavior.8
The inclusion on a public registry of all children who are adjudicated delinquent of certain sex
offenses is fraught with problems that undermine both the history of the juvenile court system
and the purpose of the Adam Walsh Act. It ignores the very foundation of this country’s juvenile
court system: a belief, confirmed by scientific research, that children can and should be
rehabilitated. And it dilutes the effectiveness of the public registry as a public safety tool, by
flooding it with thousands of juvenile offenders, 90–96 percent of whom will never commit
another sex offense.
Juveniles who are amenable to treatment and who are successfully rehabilitated have no place
on a public registry of violent adult sex offenders. Those who interact with each child
individually—juvenile court personnel working in conjunction with treatment providers—should
continue to be allowed to determine whether a child’s offense was a youthful indiscretion, a
manifestation of a mental illness or other behavioral health problem, or a sign of a child who is
not amenable to treatment and who poses an ongoing threat to public safety.
Including children on an internet-based registry also puts those children at risk of being targeted
for harassment and abuse. A pedophile could use the online registry to find victims. The
registry will provide him with the names, pictures, and home addresses for children as young as
14, as well as the names of the schools they attend, the cars they drive, their license plate
numbers, and other identifying information. Many juvenile sex offenders were themselves
victims before they committed their offenses, and are especially vulnerable to further
victimization.
5 https://secure.digital-community.com/english/oacbha.org/includes/downloads/volume3issue1.pdf
6 Michael F. Caldwell, What We Do Not Know About Juvenile Sexual Reoffense Risk. Child
Maltreatment, Vol. 7, No. 4, Sage Publication, November 2002 (291-302).
7 http://www.apa.org/ppo/ppan/sexoffenderaa06.html
8http://www.ncsby.org/pages/publications/What%20Research%20Shows%20About%20Adolescent%20S
ex%20Offenders%20060404.pdf
7
Additionally, many juvenile sex offenses are intra-familial. During deliberations in the Ohio
General Assembly on SB 10, testimony was heard from several parents with a child who
sexually offended on a sibling. Those parents testified about the conflicts they face, as parents
of both a juvenile sex offender and a victim of sexual abuse. In these situations, the offender
and the victim receive much-needed treatment only if their parents are willing to speak up and
seek help. Undoubtedly, many parents will be unwilling to ask for help if doing so resigns one
child to a lifetime of inclusion on an internet-based registry, with all the restrictions on schooling,
employment, and residency it entails, as well as potential threats to that child’s safety. As a
result, in many instances, neither offender nor victim will receive the treatment they need.
The risk of mandatory, lifetime inclusion on a public registry will also mean that children facing
charges for sex offenses will be less likely to plead guilty and more likely to go to trial, thus
exposing the victim and others to the trauma of testifying and to other intrusive aspects of the
criminal justice system. And children’s defense counsel will certainly work to get sex offense
charges reduced to non-sex offense charges, such as assault, in order to avoid the severe
consequences of lifetime inclusion on the public registry. But a child adjudicated delinquent for
assault is unlikely to receive sex offender treatment, which results in tremendous lost
opportunities for treatment and the prevention of further harm.
The list of offenses to be included on the public registry may seem to target only the “worst of
the worst” of juvenile sex offenders. But in Ohio, the offenses recognized as equating to the
federal definition of “aggravated sexual abuse”—rape, sexual battery, and gross sexual
imposition—include a wide range of behaviors.
Several years ago, my office represented “Brian,” a 16-year-old boy. On the school bus, Brian
sat next to a 15-year-old girl whom he had dated previously. He touched his former girlfriend’s
breasts through her clothes, and attempted, unsuccessfully, to put his hand down her pants.
The girl testified at trial that Brian had put his hand down her pants “[a]bout to the knuckle line.”
Brian was adjudicated delinquent for attempted rape and gross sexual imposition.
In another example of a client my office represented, “Zach,” a 14-year-old boy, and several
other children had been at a friend’s house without parental supervision. Zach and some of the
boys had stolen bottles of alcohol, and the girls had set up a tent in the yard. At some point in
the evening, Zach and a 10-year-old girl, who “had become boyfriend and girlfriend earlier that
day,” were lying on their sides next to each other in the tent. He put his arm over the girl’s
midsection and touched her “below her beltline” but “did not put his hand in between her legs.”
Zach was adjudicated delinquent for gross sexual imposition on a victim under the age of 13.
My office also represented “Michael,” whose case highlights many of the problems typically
found in juvenile courts. Michael was removed from his mother’s custody at the age of 11, after
being physically abused, and over the next several years was placed in seven different foster
homes. He is very low-functioning and has been diagnosed with attention deficit disorder,
extreme mood swings, and reactive attachment disorder. Despite this, Michael was adjudicated
delinquent for gross sexual imposition without being represented by counsel. Michael certainly
should have been evaluated for his competency to face the GSI complaint, but he had no
attorney to raise the issue, and Ohio lacks a competency statute for juveniles.
The Adam Walsh Act purports to protect society from dangerous sexual predators, like the adult
pedophiles, unknown to their victims, who kidnapped, sexually assaulted, and murdered Adam
Walsh, Jacob Wetterling, Jessica Lunsford, and the other children for whom the legislation is
8
named. But, with the overly broad requirements of the Adam Walsh Act and Ohio’s SB 10,
Ohioans instead find themselves “protected” from children like Brian, Zach, and Michael.
The year that Ohio implemented the Adam Walsh Act also marked the 40th anniversary of In re
Gault, the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that granted many basic due process rights to
children in juvenile court, including the right to advance notice of the charges, the right to a fair
and impartial hearing, and the right to be represented by counsel. But Gault did not grant full
due process protections to juveniles facing delinquency complaints. Notably absent are a
child’s right to a grand jury determination of probable cause and the right to an open and speedy
trial by jury. And, at least in Ohio, juveniles have yet to fully realize the promises of Gault. A
recent study found that two-thirds of children facing unruly or delinquency complaints are not
represented by counsel when they appear in Ohio’s juvenile courts.9
The failure to fully protect juveniles’ constitutional rights is certainly not limited to Ohio. Last
month, two Luzerne County, Pennsylvania judges pled guilty to receiving $2.6 million in
kickbacks to send juveniles to certain juvenile detention facilities. A lawsuit filed by the Juvenile
Law Center on behalf of 70 families affected by this scandal alleges that the two judges violated
the rights of juveniles in ways that went beyond the kickback scheme.10 The lawsuit asserts that
in “a wave of unprecedented lawlessness,” the judges failed to advise youth of their right to
counsel, accepted their guilty pleas without explaining the charges against them, and garnished
the wages of their parents to pay the costs of detention. If Pennsylvania were to adopt the
Adam Walsh Act’s overly broad offense-based system, some of these youth, forced to enter
admissions to sexual offenses in courts that showed complete disregard for their constitutional
rights, would automatically be labeled Tier III and subject to lifetime registration and notification.
The Guidelines for implementation, issued by the SMART Office, instruct that “registration need
not be required on the basis of a foreign conviction if the conviction ‘was not obtained with
sufficient safeguards for fundamental fairness and due process….’” The Guidelines fail to
acknowledge, however, that only limited due process protections are offered to children in
juvenile court. By placing juvenile sex offenders on a public registry, the Adam Walsh Act
imposes adult sanctions on juvenile defendants. It treats a select group of children who appear
in juvenile court differently than other children who appear in juvenile court; it treats them more
like adult sex offenders than like children. And it does so without regard to the limited due
process protections offered to children in juvenile court.
Limited due process protections make the retroactive application of the Adam Walsh Act
especially inappropriate for juveniles. Children who have already been through the juvenile
court system—without full due process protections and perhaps without even being represented
by counsel—could never have anticipated that lifetime inclusion on a public registry would
someday be a consequence of their juvenile court proceeding.
Recognizing the unique qualities and needs of children, the juvenile court system was
established to focus on treatment, supervision, and control, rather than solely on punishment.
Inclusion on a public registry, though, will significantly limit treatment and aftercare options for
juvenile sex offenders. Many group homes, foster homes, and community placements will not
accept children with sex offenses in their histories. Children on a public registry with community
notification requirements will be nearly impossible to place for or after treatment. As a result,
many juvenile sex offenders will be kept in juvenile correctional facilities far beyond the time it
9 http://www.aclu.org/pdfs/ohiowaiverpetition20060309.pdf
10 http://www.jlc.org/news/25/luzernelawsuit/
9
takes them to complete treatment. Children will be incarcerated not because they need further
treatment or pose a risk to public safety, but only because public policy will prevent them from
going anywhere else. This is a dramatic, and ill-advised, shift in the focus of the juvenile court
system from treatment to punishment.
Subjecting juvenile sex offenders to the same sanctions as adults raises legal and scientific
questions about culpability and punishment, and the registration and notification requirements
are inconsistent with the purposes of juvenile court: treatment and rehabilitation. Inclusion on
an internet-based public registry will subject juveniles to social ostracism, limit access to
educational and work opportunities, make it more difficult for juveniles to be placed with family
or friends, and limit residential treatment options. And treating juvenile sex offenders in the
same manner as adult sex offenders with respect to reporting, notification, and length of
classification, even though juveniles have fewer legal rights and protections than adults,
presents legal and Constitutional problems.
The plain language of the Adam Walsh Act requires that all children age 14 and older who are
adjudicated delinquent for offenses “comparable to or more severe than aggravated sexual
abuse” be included on the public, online registry of sex offenders. But the negative
consequences of doing so—fewer intra-familial crimes being reported, fewer offenders and
victims receiving treatment, and children on the registry being targeted for abuse and
exploitation, to name only a few—would actually put states out of compliance with the stated
intent of the Adam Walsh Act: protecting children from violent sex offenders.
Substantial compliance and SORNA as a “floor”
The Adam Walsh Act requires substantial implementation, and the Guidelines issued by the
SMART Office purport to require substantial compliance. But the definition of “substantial” is
unclear, and leaves states uncertain about their options to tailor the Act to their systems and
needs.
The Guidelines offer that the “substantial” compliance standard “contemplate[s] that there is
some latitude to approve a jurisdiction’s implementation efforts, even if they do not exactly
follow in all respects the specifications of SORNA or these Guidelines.” However, the
Guidelines also say that the Adam Walsh Act presents a set of “minimum national standards,”
and that the Guidelines “set a floor, not a ceiling,” for states’ registration systems.
These two statements, taken together, imply that a state’s implementation efforts do not have to
“follow in all respects” the Adam Walsh Act or the Guidelines, but only if the state chooses to
exceed the requirements of the Act or the Guidelines. These two statements seem to define
“substantial” compliance as something at or above 100 percent compliance. That, of course, is
an illogical and unfounded definition of “substantial,” and clearly goes beyond what is required
by the Adam Walsh Act. The Guidelines instruct that nothing less than strict compliance will be
sufficient, while the Act requires only the substantial implementation of the federal law.
Further, the characterization of the Guidelines as a “floor” is disingenuous. It is akin to
Congress declaring that a speed limit of 95 miles per hour is now the floor for speed limits
across the nation. States could feel free to exceed that requirement and set the speed limit
within their jurisdiction at a higher rate, but 95 miles per hour would be the new national
minimum. Ohio and other states, with speed limits ranging from 55 to 75 miles per hour, would
be left staring upward at the 95-mile-per-hour floor, wondering how to achieve that level,
10
whether doing so would be worth the effort and cost of implementation, and most importantly,
what impact the implementation of this new federal requirement would have on public safety.
States should be allowed to substantially comply with the Adam Walsh Act not by blindly
enacting federal mandates, but by crafting good public policy that both achieves the Act’s goals
and is tailored to the unique systems and public policy goals of each state.
Cost to implement
Especially now, as the country faces the most serious economic downturn in at least three
decades, the cost to implement the Adam Walsh Act must be considered.
Virginia’s Department of Planning and Budget, which has developed one of the most detailed
fiscal analyses to date, estimated that implementing the Adam Walsh Act would cost the
Commonwealth nearly $12.5 million the first year and nearly $9 million every year thereafter, to
maintain the system. While the Virginia fiscal analysis included cost estimates for law
enforcement and the adult prison system, it did not include estimates for expenditures by the
juvenile justice system, courts, prosecutors, or defenders.
And, compared to the estimated $12.5 million Virginia would have to expend to implement the
Adam Walsh Act, it risks losing only $394,304, were it to choose to not comply with the federal
Act.
Virginia costs vs. financial penalty
0
2000000
4000000
6000000
8000000
10000000
12000000
14000000
Implementation
Cost
Ten Percent
Penalty
Using the Virginia cost estimates, the Justice Policy Institute estimated the cost of
implementation for all 50 states and the District of Columbia, based on population, and
11
compared those numbers to the amount of money states would lose in Bryne Grant funds11 if
they chose to not comply with the requirements of the federal Adam Walsh Act.12
Other states show a similar disparity between costs incurred to implement the Act and the
potential financial penalty for non-compliance.
Texas
Implementation cost: $38,771,924
Ten percent penalty: $1,404,571
0
5000000
10000000
15000000
20000000
25000000
30000000
35000000
40000000
Implementation
Cost
Ten Percent
Penalty
California
Implementation cost: $59,287,816
Ten percent penalty: $2,187,682
0
10000000
20000000
30000000
40000000
50000000
60000000
Implementation
Cost
Ten Percent
Penalty
11 Based upon 2006 allocations for Byrne grants.
12 http://www.justicepolicy.org/images/upload/08-08_FAC_SORNACosts_JJ.pdf
12
New York
Implementation cost: $31,300,125
Ten percent penalty: $1,127,984
0
5000000
10000000
15000000
20000000
25000000
30000000
35000000
Implementation
Cost
Ten Percent
Penalty
Florida
Implementation cost: $29,602,768
Ten percent penalty: $1,204,269
0
5000000
10000000
15000000
20000000
25000000
30000000
Implementation
Cost
Ten Percent
Penalty
13
Tennessee
Implementation cost: $9,985,946
Ten percent penalty: $481,778
0
1000000
2000000
3000000
4000000
5000000
6000000
7000000
8000000
9000000
10000000
Implementation
Cost
Ten Percent
Penalty
While not an exact measurement of the necessary state expenditures, the Justice Policy
Institute’s calculations provide a picture of the serious fiscal impact on states that choose to
implement the Adam Walsh Act. For states to just break even between expenditures and the
potential loss of Byrne grants, Virginia’s cost estimates must have been overestimated, or
allocations to the Byrne grant funds must increase from their 2006 levels, by a factor of 31.
These are significant costs to implement an act, the efficacy of which is being questioned not
only by defense attorneys, civil libertarians, child advocates, and treatment providers, but also
by social science researchers and a growing number of concerned state attorneys general,
prosecutors, law enforcement officers, and victims groups.
Conclusion
The effects of the Adam Walsh Act, once implemented, contravene the Act’s well-intentioned
goals. An act intended to unify registries across the country has instead placed an incredible
burden on courts and law enforcement and created confusion from one jurisdiction to another.
A law aimed at protecting children from sexual predators instead places thousands of juveniles,
many of whom have been sexually abused, on an online registry and into harm’s way. A
system meant to simplify sex offender classification has instead muddled the meaning of
offenders’ designations, and left the public to only speculate about which prior offenders might
pose a future risk.
Respectfully, I urge the Members of this Subcommittee to consider an extension of the deadline
for states to comply with the Act; the establishment of task forces, comprised of experts in the
field of sex offender management and representatives of all stakeholders in this complex issue,
to examine the practical effects of the Act on public safety; and possible statutory reform.
Chairman Scott, Members of the Subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to testify today

SORNA WITNESS DETECTIVE BOB SHILLING

Testimony:
Detective Bob Shilling
House Judiciary Committee
Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and
Homeland Security
Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act
(SORNA)
March 10, 2009
2
Mr. Chairman, Committee Members, Guests, I am honored to be given the opportunity to
testify today. My name is Bob Shilling. I am a twenty-nine year veteran of the Seattle
Police Department. I have spent the last nineteen years as a detective in the Special
Victim’s Unit, Sex and Kidnapping Offender Detail. I have written or co-authored 12
pieces of sex offender legislation that have been passed into law in Washington State,
and testified on the Community Protection Act of 1990, which became the first
community notification law in the United States. I am the only municipal law enforcement
officer in the United States who is a member of the Interpol Specialists Group on Crimes
Against Children. I currently serve as Chair of the Sex Offender Management Theme
Group.
My experience in protecting the public from sex offenders spans two decades. It’s not a
job to me it’s a passion. Perhaps my most significant experience related to this work
comes from the fact that I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. The abuse spanned
a four-year period and without question marks the darkest days of my life. I have
dedicated my life to doing whatever I can to stop sexual abuse, not only in this country,
but also around the world.
Prior to becoming a detective in the Special Victims Unit, I like many citizens, believed
the only way to manage sex offenders was to put them on a distant island where they
couldn’t victimize anyone else. My feelings were na├»ve, yet a heartfelt response to a very
complex problem. My focus then and now has always been victim centered. What can
we do to ensure we don’t have additional victims? What can we do to stop sexual abuse
before it happens? What has research taught us? How do we hold sex offenders
accountable while making sure they have the tools to succeed once they are released
from incarceration?
Washington State has been in the national forefront of sex offender management and in
ensuring public safety from sex crimes. We have an End of Sentence Review Committee
that looks at the risk each sex offender poses to the community prior to their release
from prison. We have a highly regarded sex offender treatment program within the
prison system, and statewide certification of sex offender treatment providers in private
practice. We do actuarial risk assessments on each of our sex offenders in an effort to
identify those who are most likely to re-offend. This helps put precious public safety
3
resources where they are needed the most; monitoring the highest risk offenders. We
proactively educate our community about sex offenders. We want the public to be able
to protect themselves from known sex offenders, as well as those who haven’t been
caught yet. We also educate the community that it’s in the best interest of public safety
to be invested in the offender’s success when they are released.
I’ve trained law enforcement officers from all over the world in the art of educating the
community about sex offenders. I’ve stated: “You can’t do community notification without
community education. To do so is like smoking a cigarette while standing in a pool of
gasoline.” Without education there’s misinformation. Misinformation leads to heightened
anxiety, which in some cases, leads to vigilantism. The community deserves to know
who the high-risk sex offenders are in the community, about the relatively low sex
offender recidivism rates, and what research tells us. Citizens can and will act
responsibly if we are honest with them. They are better able to protect themselves and
their loved ones when we educate them about sex offenders.
I ask that you consider how the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA)
impacts the public safety aims of effectively managing sex offenders in the community.
The SORNA does not mandate community education as a component of community
notification. This is a recipe for disaster and leaves citizens trying to sort out fact from
myth, truth from emotion, and what to do next. This creates public safety concerns and
does not have the citizens invested in offender success. It has the opposite effect.
The SORNA mandates offense based tiering, which is a faulty alternative to actuarial
risk based tiering used in over 20 states. Citizens have grown used to level one sex
offenders being low risk, level 2 moderate risk, and level three high risk. Under SORNA,
most sex offenders will be tier 3. That will cause great confusion and anxiety for the
citizens, as they believe each of these offenders is a high risk to re-offend. That just is
not true. Sex offenders differ greatly in their level of impulsiveness, persistence, risk to
the community, and their desire to change their deviant behavior. Assigning sex offender
tiers based on crime of conviction tells us very little about who this sex offender is and
what his or her risk for re-offense may be. In Washington State, I have the ability to
aggravate someone’s risk level if dynamic risk factors indicate an escalation in risky
4
behavior. I won’t have that ability under SORNA. Their tier is their tier. It is not an
effective way of doing business with the public.
Research tells us that 90% of victims under age 12 knew their abuser. That number is
66% when the victim is between 18 and 29 years old. (Tjaden & Thoennes 2000) Under
the SORNA, all sex offenders will be subject to broad based Internet dissemination
(community notification) regardless of risk. When we know that most victims of sexual
abuse know their abuser, and in a large proportion of cases it’s a family member,
Internet notification increases the likelihood that the victim will be identified. Victims tell
us that their greatest concerns are their family knowing about the assault (71%), and
people outside the family knowing about the assault (68%). (Kilpatrick, Edmunds,
Seymour (1992) Rape in America.) The last thing we want to do is create disincentives
to victims and their families to report.
Finally, I ask you to consider the retroactivity aspect of the SORNA. Research tells us
that most sex offenders do not re-offend sexually over time. In a 2004 study done by the
pre-eminent researchers Harris and Hanson, with a sample of 4,724 sex offenders over
a 15-year follow-up period, “73% of sexual offenders had not been charged with or
convicted of another sexual offense.” Under the SORNA, law enforcement will be
responsible for reviewing the criminal history of anyone brought back into the system
even for a non-sexual criminal offense. If they were once convicted of a sex offense,
regardless of how long ago that conviction was, the offender will be required to register
as a sex offender. This will be very labor intensive and costly. Our time, efforts, and
resources are more effectively spent focusing on moderate to high-risk sex offenders,
not sex offenders who committed their sex crime 25 or 30 years ago have not reoffended
in a sexual way.
Thank you for your time and your thoughtful consideration

SORNA WITNESS MARK LUNSFORD

Jessie was a beautiful baby. I can remember when she was about one year old, and she
would laugh at me and give me kisses and hugs and pick the raisens out of my cereal as we sat
at the kitchen counter.
I remember when she was about 4 and she would run through the house telling on her older
sister Elizabeth and her brother Gerald, all the time. They're about 10 years older or more than
Jessie. They learned to give her what she wanted. I got more hugs and kisses and I love
you's.
I can remember how she missed her brother and sister when they got older and moved out,
I got more hugs and kisses, she got nephews and a niece. She was about 7 then.
She could drive the bratz through the house in their bratz car. She can operate a D-9
Dozer and a rubber tire loader from her fathers knee. From bumps to bruises, from bandaids
to bicycles, she was a tomboy with her daddy and a very nice young lady for her grandma.
I could go on and on but the best way to describe Jessie is for you to think about the small
child in your life. You know the one, the one you would change the world for.
We were more than father and daughter, we were best friends. As a single father i learned
alot of things about my children that only a single parent could understand. Me and Jessie
would argue about who loved each other the most. (description of how we would show each
that we loved one another).
One day we left North Carolina to see her two nephews and one niece in Ohio. That is
where my older children moved to. We spent two weeks with them that was the first time the
met and the last time they would ever play together. We then ended our trip in Florida where
my parents lived.
My mom and dad are good christian people. They sang gospel music all over Ohio. I can
remember people like the Rambos and Bill Gaither and throwing rocks on top of the church. I
learned to be a good father to my children by being raised by good parents.
Well it was February 2005, we had lived in Florida for a year now with my parents. Now
we really had a house full of love.
On February 24 in the early morning hours about 2 or 3 a.m. she was taken from her bed
from a stranger. For the first few days detectives told me my father knew where Jessie was,
they even said they found her blood on his under clothes. They said he showed no remorse for
Jessies disappearance. They asked me to go into the room I was broken hearted, angry and
confused and I asked my father what he did with Jessie? My father looked at me and said,
Marky honey I dont know where Jessie is and he began to cry.
My father told the detective that he had enough and he was going home. They grabbed
him by his arms and put them behind his back and told him he was not going anywhere. A few
days later, they told me they thought that my mom and dad gave Jessie to someone else to
raise.
Then they said on national T.V. that my mom raised red flags on her polygraph.
Three weeks went by and they found her killer and he confessed and told them where to
find her. She was repeatedly raped, tied with stereo wire and kept in a closet for 3 days. She
was only 150 yards from her bedroom.
John Couey convicted sex offender arrested 23 times or more in his 46 year life took my
little girl, put her in a trash bag and buried her alive at the back door of his home.
I'm sure that when she was dying she was crying for me. I still hear her cries.
As a parent i will never be able to get over the grief of knowing that she was only
150 yards away from me for at least 3 days, while i prayed for her to come home.
Her death was a result of a system that failed her and us. For if we had tougher laws for
registration and good programs for notification this may have prevented her death. Although
John Couey was on probation his probation officer didnt even know he was a convicted sex
offender. The sheriff was advised by the AG office 3 months before the kidnapping to round up
the absconded sex offenders, John Couey was on that list.
But there is more, much more. The day Jessie disappeared, the law enforcement went to
John Couey's address and asked his housemates if they had seen him and they said no and
they never asked to search the trailer.
My heart sank at the trial when another resident of John Couey's trailer admitted that had
the police asked to search the trailer, she would have let them.
On the second day of Jessie's disappearance, one of the residents of the home was visibly
shaking and openly nervous when the police came to the door. This was actually in the police
report. But the never asked to search the trailer. Even worse on February 25, 26 and the 28,
police received tips from people who said that John Couey was a sex offender who was living
across the street from Jessica. They even identified his address.
No crime victim, no individual or family, should ever have to go through what my family
and I have been through. This has changed everything i ever knew. From the grass being
green and the sky being blue.
My job now is to declare war on child sex offenders and predators and to get you to join
me. Instead of them stalking our kids, we will stalk them. And instead of them being our
worse nightmare we become theirs.
Jessie's law, was past in Florida and is tougher legislation to stop these kinds of crimes.
Since the law first passed in Florida, I have been to many states to speak about Jessie's Law
and at least 37 states have passed it in their jurisdiction.
I lobbied the halls of congress for the Adam Walsh Child Safety Act which the President
signed in 2006. I've lobbied for I.C.A.C and the U.S. Marshalls funding.
You, the Federal Legislator appropriate the money that the Adam Walsh Child Safety Act
needs now. Our childrens very lives depend on you to make that decision. I know Jessie did.
And know that these types of crime are just to heavy for mercy. It's more than mercy can
do. It is an eye for an eye for a child.
On February 12, 2007 jury selection began for the murder trial of Jessica Marie Lunsford
and it was followed by a 3 week trial.
The jury came back with 4 guilty verdicts and recommeded the death penalty. Judge
Howard gave John Couey the death penalty.
Sitting through the trial was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I can't tell you
how many times I wanted to kill him.
Remember people watch out for our children. The child you save could be your own.
Through sexual offender registration and tracking system, properly funded and enforced
may have protected Jessie and will protect other children.
In Florida, the law is so slacked that the public is only notified of sexual offenders, and that
is at the discretion of each sheriffs department. The public is not notified when a sexual
predator moves, So we need better notification for the public. We must know where every
John Couey is so that we can take the necessary steps to protect our children.
In addition to a strict registration system, Congress must empower law enforcement to go
after these guys. If law enforcement is not empowered and funded to go after these predators
the system fails all of us. Additionally if we are not going to empower law enforcement, as has
been the case in failing to fund AWA then registration and notification became that much more
important. So fathers and mothers have the information they need to protect their children.
It's simple, you as legislators and all organizations, whether you are surviving parents
coalition or NCMEC or ACLU we are all for human rights and it's time we all realize our children
need our help to protect their rights for a safe life.