Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Minnesota - Unconstitutional Civil Commitment??

Is Minnesota sex offender program illegal?

Critics say mistreatment and an overriding, unspoken directive to keep clients locked away make the state program unconstitutional

By: Brandon Stahl, Duluth News Tribune

To many former employees at the Minnesota Sex Offender Program in Moose Lake, the unspoken reason that no client has ever been released is that’s the way state leaders and program administrators want it.

“They felt (the clients) couldn’t be cured,” said Nicci Trierweiler, a former security counselor at the facility and one of a dozen former employees who made similar comments to the News Tribune. “Most of the men that are in there will tell you, if you ask them, that they don’t think they’re going to get out of there. They will tell you that it’s a life sentence and they’ll be going out feet-first.”

“It’s a waste of taxpayer dollars,” said another former security counselor, Jeremy Jatkola. “I don’t think the patients there are getting the treatment they should be doing.”

“The overriding directive is not to progress patients,” he added.

MSOP senior administrators deny those claims. But if the allegations are true, it’s a problem.

While supporters of MSOP argue that public safety is served by locking up sex offenders deemed to be sexually psychopathic, sexually dangerous or both, the stated purpose of MSOP isn’t to incarcerate but to rehabilitate.

Nearly all the resident offenders have served their prison or juvenile sentences and are committed for treatment at the facility for potential reintegration into the community. The sex offenders aren’t called inmates but patients or clients.

State and federal courts have held that the program is legal only if adequate treatment is provided. If not, the program could be found unconstitutional, which is what happened in the state of Washington in 2000. A federal court judge ordered the state to revise its program after finding it provided a punitive treatment environment and inadequate treatment, staffing and staff training.

A review by both the legislative auditor and the Duluth News Tribune has found many similar problems at MSOP: The treatment environment is violent and punitive toward offenders. Treatment averages six hours a week, and the program has had trouble hiring and keeping qualified staff. Some clinicians and therapists don’t have the educational backgrounds necessary to treat sex offenders.

And, among both current and former employees, there is a history of infighting and troubling behavior.

Those problems, along with the fact that no one ever has been permanently released from the program since it began in 1994, raises questions about whether MSOP is constitutional, said Eric Janus, dean of the William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul.

When the program was created by the state Legislature and approved by the courts, Janus said, it was done with the understanding that offenders would eventually be treated and released.

“A legitimate program, among other things, releases people when they no longer need civil commitment, when they’re no longer dangerous enough to justify being locked up in a secure facility,” Janus said. “We know the program has not provided for that kind of a system.

“You have a picture, in my view, of an unconstitutional program,” he said.

They say it is NOT unconstitutional???

Burlington adopts sex offender ordinance after months of debate

BURLINGTON - After months of debate and tweaking since its original inception hailed by supporters as a move to protect children, Burlington has adopted a controversial ordinance that limits some sex offenders' whereabouts within the city.

The City Council unanimously approved it last week, making Burlington one of the few municipalities in the county to do so.

The ordinance is expected to take effect on Friday, the day after it is published. It creates "child safety zones" in parcels of property where children congregate, like playgrounds, schools or day cares, where sex offenders would not be allowed to reside near or loiter at.

The approved measure applies only to sex offenders whose offenses have been against children or were violent in nature, to the actual parcel of property where children often are and does not restrict offenders' access to religious facilities. Under a recent revision, however, sex offenders visiting religious facilities are not allowed near any school or playground on the premises. That revision, city officials said, was provided in an effort to protect children in parochial schools.

Sex offenders living in a designated child safety zone will be grandfathered in, but city officials said they may not otherwise loiter in restricted areas. The same idea applies for those living within 300 feet of a safety zone.

Officials previously scrapped a 300-foot residential restriction around the zones saying it could cause more challenges for an ordinance that is already a "lightning rod" for legal battles.

Union Grove and Caledonia enacted similar ordinances in 2008 whereas other communities like Racine and Sturtevant dropped the issue due to enforcement and legal challenges.

A sex offender, according to City Attorney John Bjelajac, could potentially claim the ordinance unconstitutionally infringes on his or her rights. But he said he believes it to be fully constitutional, especially with the recent revisions.

Bjelajac quoted a high recidivism rate for child molesters compared to other sex offenders according to studies, adding it's important to reduce the risk of re-offense.

Mayor Robert Miller has also been a staunch supporter of the ordinance, calling the plan a set of "hammers and tools" for local police.

Burlington Police Chief Peter Nimmer has told city officials that officers did not have a way to deal with registered sex offenders who are discharged from their sentences and can go or live where they wish. There are about two dozen registered sex offenders in the city of about 10,500, according to police.

While ecstatic the ordinance was finally approved, Miller said it is not as "strong" as he would have liked; he preferred stricter restrictions, but he said it was at least something to protect the children.

Read more: http://www.journaltimes.com/news/local/article_f096b20e-a076-11e0-bd53-001cc4c002e0.html#ixzz1Qa7b7gIg

Monday, June 27, 2011

Equal Protection Under the Law? Really???

Actor Dough Hutchinson (51) married Courtney Alexis Stodden (16). Is he a child rapist?

Is actor Dough Hutchinson a child rapist?

51 year old Dough Hutchinson married a 16 year old child (yes, by law she is a child) . Do you think, that, before marriage, Dough Hutchinson never touched Courtney Alexis Stodden indecently? Because that would be a heinous crime of child rape and grave victimization of poor Alexis. Or if he chatted with her on the internet, he would be in violation of grooming laws.
doug-hutchinson-courtney-alexis-stoddenShe is 16 y, he 51 y (35 years difference)
Age ain’t nothing but a number – just ask 51-year-old actor Doug Hutchison. Hutchison, whose film and TV credits include ‘The Green Mile,’ ‘Lost’ and ’24,’ said ‘I do’ to 16-year-old aspiring country star Courtney Alexis Stodden on May 20 in Las Vegas.
While the couple’s 35-year age difference has already raised many eyebrows, the newlyweds insist they are truly in love.
‘We’re aware that our vast age difference is extremely controversial,’ the couple told E! Online. ‘But we’re very much in love and want to get the message out there that true love can be ageless.’ NY Daily News
The age of consent in California is 18, for sex law purposes she is a child. If Dough Hutchinson ever had sex with Courtney before marriage, this is rape. All rapes are equal. Nowadays, marriage does not remedy such heinous felony.
Courtney Alexis Stodden’s mother claims:
"Courtney was a virgin when she married Doug," said Krista Stoddden. "She is a good Christian girl. NY Daily News
If he just engaged in oral sex or indecent touching, indecent acts with a minor are rape too, at least sexual assault. Even if he never touched her, then he might have sent her seductive emails and thus run afoul of grooming laws. If he crossed state lines with the intent of having as much as oral sex with her in a state where it 16 is the legal age of consent, he would be violating federal law in the USA.
Even if he consumated the sexual acts only in marriage, it still leaves open the significant question:
  • why is Courtney unable to *consent to sex, but she can consent to marriage.
  • And why, after marriage, can she consent to sex?
We need a criminal investigation. This husband needs to be arrested without bail, the minor child needs to be saved. Obviously she has been brainwashed. Furthermore, it is just disgusting how an old guy like that can be with an innocent child of 16. We need new laws to outlaw such behavior, to protect innocent 16 year old children from such a marriage. 
In California, any person, of any age, that has sex with a minor, is a child rapist and felon. Most ( teens have sex before 18 years. 65-70% have sex before they are 18.  That means, the average teen gets raped at least once and one person should go to prison.  So Millions of Californians need to be locked up in prison. The law is the law, and the law has to be obeyed.
Do you think our proposals are stupid, wrong, immoral?  Well, stand up and fight for all these laws to be revoked.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Oddly enough, none of the men arrested were registered sex offenders.

32 Arrested In Child Sex Sting Operation

Undercover detectives went online posing as children or the parents of children trolling for sex. Police said 32 men showed up at a house looking for sex and some brought gifts and candy, all of them were not registered sex offenders.

The Lake County Sheriff's Office held a press conference on Tuesday to announce the arrests and show what they said were the faces of men who want to have sex with children.

"Honestly, I was a little surprised at the number," said Lake County Sheriff Gary Borders.

Detectives said the 32 men traveled to a vacation home that the Lake County Sheriff's Office rented in the Four Corners area. Each of the men was expecting to have sex with a child. One man came all the way from Georgia with two young children of his own in the car, detectives said.

"It's bad enough he's driving to Lake County to meet with what he thinks is a child to have sex with, but to bring his own children with him. The best place for him is jail," said Borders.

The youngest man arrested was 19 and the oldest 63. Every one of the men were considered dangerous, which is why the sheriff's office said they had plenty of manpower during the take downs.

"We're just trying to make a safe arrest. One of the suspects had a gun in his pants," said Borders.

Each time a suspect came to the door of the home, detectives said they were waiting inside and during the operation things got very busy.

"At some points, they had three or four members sitting in cuffs on the floor of the home trying to get them processed and taken out before others showed up. So, it was very much a difficult operation to pull off," said a lieutenant of the Lake County Sheriff's Office.

Borders said his cyber crimes team has been in place for a few years, but this is the unit's largest sting. While the 32 men were essentially tricked by detectives, Borders said that trolling for sex with children is very real.

"I would tell you that there is that type of real activity going on on the Internet," said Borders.

Detectives said some of the suspects are in jail on Tuesday night and they all face felony charges. The men could receive a maximum of 25 years in prison if convicted.

Oddly enough, none of the men arrested were registered sex offenders.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

News... News... News...

Juvenile Justice Information Exchange
Alabama, Iowa, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are among ... Most troubling of all, he'll be listed as a sex offender until he's 43. ...

Monday, June 13, 2011

Mark Foley - Sex Offender by Today's laws? Arrested, NOPE.

Here is an excerpt from the end of this interview that happened on June 9th.

Interesting that he, the former Chairman of the Missing and Exploited Childrens' Network, wrote the Adam Walsh Act, yet does NOT think that he did anything that should be prosecuted or arrested.


HANNITY: Do you think somebody who sends e-mails and has instant messages with children like you did, should that be a crime, should people go to jail for that? Because, you know, one of the things you said you had to deal with is your exploitation. If somebody talks the way you spoke to these kids, should they go to jail?


HANNITY: Should they be arrested?


HANNITY: How do people trust people that talk like that with kids, how do they trust them around kids?

FOLEY: Well, I think, again, it goes to behavior.

HANNITY: You can write anything you want to a kid on the internet?

FOLEY: No, again, Sean and I'm not going to sit here and try and excuse my behavior. But should I have gone to jail? No, absolutely not.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Is He a Sex Offender by Today's Standards? Or Do the Rules NOT Apply to Him?

Anthony Weiner Facebook Chats: Lisa Weiss Conversations Revealed: Report 

A female Las Vegas blackjack dealer has released to RadarOnline.com what appear to be Facebook chats she exchanged with embattled Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.). The messages, which came to light on Tuesday, are sexual in their nature and surface on the heels of the congressman's admission that he engaged in "inappropriate" conservations online with six women in recent years.


Click here to read the messages in full relayed by RadarOnline.com.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Free Speech... It covers more than just what comes out of your mouth...

The U.N. Declares Internet Access a Human Right
By Adam Clark Estes Jun 06, 2011

The United Nations counts internet access as a basic human right in a report that bears implications both to on-going events in the Arab Spring and to the Obama administration's war on whistleblowers. Acting as special rapporteur, a human rights watchdog role appointed by the UN Secretary General, Frank La Rue takes a hard line on the importance of the internet as "an indispensable tool for realizing a range of human rights, combating inequality, and accelerating development and human progress." Presented to the General Assembly on Friday, La Rue's report comes as the capstone of a year's worth of meetings held between La Rue and local human rights organizations around the world, from Cairo to Bangkok. The report's introduction points to the impact of online collaboration in the Arab Spring and says that "facilitating access to the Internet for all individuals, with as little restriction to online content as possible, should be a priority for all States."

The UN report overwhelmingly supports the internet as a communication platform, a boon to all democratic societies, but it also warns how the internet's unique architecture threatens power brokers in those societies:

The vast potential and benefits of the Internet are rooted in its unique characteristics, such as its speed, worldwide reach and relative anonymity. At the same time, these distinctive features of the Internet that enable individuals to disseminate information in "real time" and to mobilize people has also created fear amongst Governments and the powerful. This has led to increased restrictions on the Internet through the use of increasingly sophisticated technologies to block content, monitor and identify activists and critics, criminalization of legitimate expression, and adoption of restrictive legislation to justify such measures.

La Rue's mention of reach and anonymity celebrates Twitter and Facebook role in Egypt as much as it validates WikiLeaks in the United States. The Electronic Freedom Foundation says that the UN's support for anonymous expression and the protection it affords should inform how governments regulate security and surveillance. Forms of online surveillance--be it Facebook's privacy policy or the United States government's expanding treason law to document leaks--"often [take] place for political, rather than security reasons in an arbitrary and covert manner," La Rue argues. In short, broad surveillance powers or the erosion of privacy online endanger anonymity's ability to protect dissenters and journalists alike when they speak out.

Stacked against the administration's assault on whistleblowers, La Rue's warnings are condemning:

The Special Rapporteur remains concerned that legitimate online expression is being criminalized in contravention of States' international human rights obligations, whether it is through the application of existing criminal laws to online expression, or through the creation of new laws specifically designed to criminalize expression on the Internet. Such laws are often justified as being necessary to protect individuals' reputation, national security or to counter terrorism. However, in practice, they are frequently used to censor content that the Government and other powerful entities do not like or agree with.

La Rue acknowledges the logistical barriers that some nations face when it comes to delivering internet service. Without the proper infrastructure, some nations simply can't engage the internet as the "revolutionary" and "interactive medium" it's proven itself to be. However, all nations should make plans to offer universal access and also maintain policy that won't limit access for political purposes. In doing so, La Rue calls on governments to decriminalize defamation, do away with real-name registration systems--including the parameters in Facebook's terms and conditions that allows governments to collect users' names and passwords--and restrict rights only in the face of an imminent threat.

The United Nations' strong position on anonymity online reads like a hat tip to WikiLeaks and its campaign for transparency, but it also sounds scolding towards governments like the United States' that have waged wars against transparency. Likening the Obama administration's increasing number of convictions using old treason laws against information leakers is censorship in no uncertain terms, the UN seems to say. And the government's bad track record of protecting this type of free expression is ideologically just as bad as shutting the internet down altogether.

United Nations report: Internet access is a human right, Nathan Olivarez-Giles, Los Angeles Times

U.N. Special Rapporteur Calls Upon States to Protect Anonymous Speakers Online, Katitza Rodriguez, Electronic Freedom Foundation

It is good to see that Judges are learning....

In the news by Karen Franklin PhD

Monday, June 6, 2011

Pornography sentence unconstitutionally cruel, judge rules

"C.R." grew up in a chaotic, highly conflictual home. He was immature, socially klutzy, anxious and depressed. Friends introduced him to online pornography, readily accessible for free via peer-to-peer file sharing. He took to smoking marijuana and escaping into sexual fantasy. Between the ages of 15 and 19, he downloaded pornography, much of it involving boys ages 10-12, and shared files with other users.

When he was 19 years old, the FBI ensnared him in a sting and the world came crashing down. Under federal law, “C.R.” faced a statutory minimum of five years in prison.

Until Judge Jack B. Weinstein intervened, ruling that the 5-year minimum is unconstitutional in C.R.’s case, due to the youth’s age and immaturity.

Full Article

Thursday, June 2, 2011

At Large with Tom Williams > Zero Tolerance – and missing the circle

Shore News Today
A six year-old-boy from Wisconsin was accused of first-degree sexual assault for “playing doctor” with a five-year-old girl. Prosecutors presented the allegations to a judge, even though the boy is too young to face criminal charges, to “make sure he ...