For a few
days now I have lamented about the South
Carolina couple who were murdered in their own home
by a white-supremacist and his wife.
has received some press (http://goo.gl/o28y7K
, http://goo.gl/Io5GFB, http://goo.gl/8Z0rHm
, http://goo.gl/vznIiJ ) that I have posted in the
articles page of this blog but the story certainly has not been picked up by
mainstream outlets. Why would it be? Most citizens would consider the murdered
couple deserving of the hate driven attack by these supposed KKK followers/members. Oh,
not because the murdered couple was a minority, they weren’t Jewish or even homosexual;
if they had been then it would be more widely publicized. Citizens would be
outraged if anyone from those three groups were the target of a vigilante
know the murdered couple or the presumed perpetrators.
happen here in Virginia.
can’t I get this story out of my mind? Why do I care?
of Charles Parker, 59, and his wife, Gretchen, 51 being savagely
stabbed and shot to death in their home after offering to assist a supposedly
stranded Jeremy Moody, 30, and his wife Christine, 36 ….it could have happened to my
family or 20,000+ other Virginian families.
were the Parker’s targeted?
Parker was a Registered Sex Offender. His photo, name, home address and a map
of how to get to the front door of that address were all publicly listed on the
South Carolina Sex Offender Registry.
Charles and Gretchen Parker decided to take it upon themselves to murder some registered
sex offenders because they assumed all RSO’s are “pedophiles” and “demons” all they
had to do was print some pages from their states public registry (found inside
their vehicle). The Moody’s were the Parker’s first stop and if there hadn’t
been video recordings of the Parker’s on the property during the crime they had
more names and addresses to move onto that week.
Moody’s like so many registered sex offenders installed not only a basic
security system but cameras that dated, stamped and recorded all activity
surrounding their home and property because they feared a vigilante attack of
I attended today's
meeting at the Capitol, there might be one more meeting for 2013, in the
autumn. But otherwise the Secretary of Public Safety will be working on the
"recommendations" to the Governor for funding, programs, positions and proposed legislation.
that more Department of Criminal Justice Services
employees are taking the lead on the issues that are being discussed by the
Board. So I will begin keeping an eye on the DCJS’s website, summits, training
and public meetings.
It seemed that more
Department of Criminal Justice Services employees are taking the lead on the
issues that are being discussed.
This Board was formed by
an Executive Order (E.O), and it turns out Executive Orders can only be carried out 2
years in a row. So for the work of this group to carry on either a new
E.O. will need to be made with a mission that is not identical
to this one and a new or "tweaked" title or legislation would need to
be submitted for a permanent board to be formed but funding would be required
so that's not likely.
I expect a new E.O. with
a new group name and a revised mission/goal will be the way the Administration
goes before the November election and a then the new Governor and Secretary of Public
Safety take office in January.
The Virginia Domestic Violence Prevention and
Response Advisory Board schedules First Meeting of 2013. They used to include the term “Sexual Assault” in its
title and still covers sexual issues, usually meets during the summer and
The Commonwealth Calendar (as opposed to
the LIS calendar) tracks these meetings and
lists the first meeting of the Advisory Board as Tuesday July 30, 2013 at 10:00 AM. Location: Senate
Room 3, VirginiaState Capitol.
agenda for the upcoming DVPRAB meeting can be found here, which includes Campus Safety and
though the Commonwealth established a Governor’s Task Force on School and
Campus Safety after the December 2012 Sandy Hook shootings in Connecticut. This group/board is managed by
the Governors Office meetings are scheduledfor July 31st, August 13th,
and September 25th 2013 at 1PM, no draft agendas are posted ahead of
time for these meetings but afterwards an agenda can be found here.
why there is an overlap of topics (Campus Safety) between the two groups.
by either board/taskforce do not automatically become law in the Commonwealth.
Any proposal approved by these groups must be submitted as a bill by a State
Delegate and/or Senator during the yearly General Assembly session in Richmond which convenes
on the second Wednesday in January. That bill must pass through both chambers
(House and Senate) to then be sent to the Governor to be amended, vetoed or
signed into law.
But recommendations by any State Board that are drafted into a bill are
considered more valuable by the Legislature than a regular bill during session
so it’s success rate is much higher.
why anyone who is interested in legislation surrounding sexual, juvenile and
school issues in Virginia
should be knowledgeable about these two groups and what they are studying,
discussing and recommending.
If you aren’t already following eAdvocate you should!
follows National Legislation plus State issues and news too.
Here is an Alert from eAdvocate on a Federal Bill.
Yesterday we reported that Sen. Vitter presented an
amendment affecting certain sex offenders in a new bill S-1243. At that time we did not have
the details of the amendment, but in the Congressional record we found where he
presented the amendment (see below).
Pay particular attention to the fact, that, he asks the clerk to "dispense
with reading the amendment" i.e., to not read it into the record. He
doesn't want the public to know what it says!
Thankfully the clerk reads some part of it to give us an idea of its intent,
but we still do not have the exact wording to properly analyze it. In addition,
the bill text on Thomas was not updated to reflect what it says either. So
below is all we have to report.
Note: ONE Senator voted AGAINST this amendment,Senator Rockafeller of West Virginia. He should
be commended for standing up against this harmful amendment. His contact
information is at the link.
below article, Oklahoma
lawmakers admit their states Conviction-Based Classification System for
Registrants is flawed and wasting valuable resources.
I have personally asked Governor McDonnell’s staff (2
times-December 2009 and June 2010) The Virginia State Crime Commission (2
times-2009 and 2011) and numerous State lawmakers to eliminate our current 2
tiered (Non-Violent and Violent) Conviction-
Based Classification System for Registered Sex Offenders in Virginia.
crimes of varying degrees are “registerable” offenses, the plain and undeniable
truth is there are even innocents listed on the Virginia Registry. The current
laws that stigmatize someone as a “Sex Offender” in Virginia DO NOT distinguish
between dangerous and stupid behavior. More than 94% of criminal charges in
Virginia end with a plea deal mainly due to ignorance of the system, fear of
prison time, lack of financial abilities to cover legal fees and the
inevitablefear of losing ones steady
employment, housing and family. As opposed to actual guilt, believed by most
citizens as the reason for any person would accept a plea.
listed on the registry all are considered the same, all are assumed to be a
“pervert”, a “pedophile” and a “predator”.
reality only a fraction listed is a danger and should be monitored.
mention the “due-overs” the Virginia General Assembly has done without any due process.
In 2006 and 2008 the
Virginia General Assembly retroactively re-classified Virginians who were
classified as Non-Violent to Violent. The offenders were notified via
letter of the new mandate to register for another 5 years after the law
went into effect that July. When this change occurred it meant the
offender would not be able to petition to be removed from the registry..
…ever. They would be listed for life. It also meant instead of
re-registering in-person with the VSP once per year they were mandated to
do so every 90 days for life. A lifetime with no option to be
removed, a lifetime of state resources and monitoring on people who were
originally deemed Non-Violent by the courts.
In 2008 the Virginia General
Assembly retroactively increased the mandatory time Non-Violent offenders
were required to register from 10 years to 15 years before they would be
allowed to petition the courts to be removed. A few Virginians that had
successfully petitioned and were removed before 2008 were notified via
letter of the new mandate to register for another 5 years after the law
went into effect that July and were put back on the list. Everyone else
had 5 years added onto their time-frame but weren’t even notified of this
change by the state.
approximately 83+%*** of the 20,000+* Virginian RSO’s are classified
as Violent due to Virginia's
inferior 2-Tier, Conviction Based Classification System. That's approximately 16,600
Virginians who are incorrectly classified as the “Worst-of-the-Worst”
when in fact that category should be 12-22% of our total based on States
that have a 3-Tiered, Risk-Based
Classification System. That’s 12,200+ too many people in the lifetime
I previously posted the 2013 VSCC meeting schedule and issues here.
the Work Group held their second meeting at
the Capitol to finish discussing these issues.
HJ 595directed the
Virginia Crime Commission to study one issue but as with many bills and resolutions
during the yearly General Assembly session it was merged with another study and
has 2 different parts.
Part 1 – to study the laws and policies
governing the investigation of alleged child sexual abuse in the Commonwealth; this
is the reason for the Work Group.
Part 2 – to study feasibility of
creating a criminal penalty for sexual conduct between secondary school
teachers and adult (18 year old) students.
2014 General Assembly session begins in January I will add a G.A. page which
could be updated daily and the VSP Monitoring Report page will also
get updated with the new report that comes out the first week of January.
I spend a
lot of time making sure this site is user friendly, informative and current and I hope
everyone who visits it finds something new each visit.
#2- Watch MSNBC's Larry O'Donnell dissect the Virginia Sodomy/Crimes Against Nature Statute and Cuccinelli's misleading and false claims.
It's a shame Mr. O'Donnell did not go into how the 90 RSO's would not "just be removed from the Virginia Sex Offender Registry" as claimed on Cuccinelli's new website and to the media. It would take each and everyone of them filing a habeas corpus which would have to go through the courts and we've all seen the Norfolk 4's denial on that. Cuccinelli's claim that these 90 Virginians are just going to be released from the registry is completely false and he knows it. But hype and fear is what incenses the public and wins elections!
since Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli began his Federal challenge(see article below) to keep Virginia’s anti-sodomy
statute I’ve been saying the Virginia General Assembly could have fixed the
issue of adults and minors engaging in oral or anal sex by changing the verbiage
in the statute years ago. But NO the Commonwealth must be perceived as
conservative, as anti ANY sex that isn’t “regular” and if it looks like the
state is anti-homosexual, well that’s a bonus!
Well the refusal
over the last 10 years to edit/amend Virginia’s
unconstitutional statute could now backfire against the entire Commonwealth who’s
Prosecutors (Commonwealth Attorney’s) kept using it as the main charge with
adults who had contact with minors in such a manner.
does Cuccinelli do? His Campaign-for-Governor announces they are creating a
website or a link (I haven’t been able to find it yet) that lists the 90 Registered
Sex Offenders who were convicted under the unconstitutional statute because
they might have a case against the state to have their convictions overturned.
Many of these 90 RSO’s are living their lives in our communities; they are
compliant and there are attempting to provide housing and food for their
families. All their information can be found on the Virginia State Police Sex
Offender Registry, but our “Governor-Wanna-Be” is now using these 90 citizens’
photos, names, residential addresses and employment information as fuel to the
fire he wants to keep burning under the guise of public safety.
RSO’s are just a “stepping stone” for Mr. Cuccinelli, he doesn’t care that by
holding them up as examples of Virginia’s unconstitutional convictions could
very well result in them losing their jobs, losing their homes, losing their
families who are now put under even a brighter spotlight than the registry already creates or that their property might be damaged, they could be verbally harassed or worse. All
because some vigilante believes this political hype and decides to take matters
into their own hands. An RSO who has a job, has a home and can provide for
their family who gives that offender support and love is an offender
who registers and so the public know who they are and where they are. But an
offender with no job, no home and no support is an offender that the public does not
of their whereabouts and is an offender that has nothing to lose meaning they are much more likely to commit a
new crime, creating a new victim.
holding these 90 Virginians up as an example Mr. Cuccinelli has actually put a
target on their backs. Either as a failed re-entry back into society or as a public
punching bag by anyone who believes they might get removed from our registry.
personally feel that this shameless action by Mr. Cuccinelli is harassment and
intimidation against the 90 Virginians, but I’m not an attorney so I can’t be
I just hope
and pray that none of these 90 Virginians or their family members suffers a
backlash based on Mr. Cuccinelli’s reckless political maneuver to appear tough-on-predators.
If any of the RSO’s do lose employment, a rental property or worse we will all
know it’s not because they’ve been an RSO for years but because Mr. Cuccinelli
used them as a sacrifice to justify 10 years of refusing to fix our sodomy
their just Registered Sex Offenders, who cares anything about them or their
families, certainly not the Virginia Administration?
Cuccinelli looks to go on offense
against McAuliffe over Virginia
When Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II challengeda federal appeals court
ruling that deemed the state’s anti-sodomy law unconstitutional, Democrats
pounced, accusing the Republican of pursuing an anti-gay agenda.
Now Cuccinelli’s campaign for governor
is looking to turn the tables on opponent Terry McAuliffe, casting it as an
issue of protecting children from predators and pushing the Democratic
gubernatorial nominee to take a side.
Cuccinelli’s campaign is launching a Web site Wednesday that shows 90 Virginia sex offenders
who have been prosecuted under the state’s anti-sodomy law since 2003, when the
U.S. Supreme Court ruled that sodomy statutes criminalizing sexual activity
between consenting adults were unconstitutional. Visitors can enter their Zip
code and see “offenders who live or work near you, who may be removed from the
Sex Offender Registry if Ken doesn’t win this appeal.”
McAuliffe, the site says, is “playing politics instead of protecting our
an association of individuals from around the world committed to achieving a
high level of professional excellence. ATSA promotes the philosophy that
empirically based assessment, practice, management, and policy strategies will:
enhance community safety, reduce sexual recidivism, protect victims and vulnerable
populations, transform the lives of those caught in the web of sexual violence,
and illuminate paths to prevent sexual abuse.
Annual Research and Treatment Conference is scheduled for October 30 - November
2, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois, Shouldering Responsibility:
Making Society Safer.
Registration Information can be found here.
The 2013 Brochure
includes Schedule, Events, Sessions, Speakers/Presenters and registration form.
House Judiciary Committee (Federal laws) hasscheduled a second public
meeting/hearing on the issue of the Over-Criminalization of America for July 19th
at 9AM (EST) and the topic/subject is Mens Rea: The Need for a Meaningful Intent
Requirement in Federal Criminal Law. You should be able to watch the hearing live or later in the
day and thetestimonyof the invited speakers will
be posted afterwards.
House Judiciary meeting was held back on June 14, 2013; you can watch thevideo of the hearing and read the written testimony from the Chairman and
all the invited speakers.
Mens Rea is a point that I bring up regularly during the yearly
Virginia General Assembly (State laws) sessions when new laws are being
proposed and debated. In the last 4 years pointing out that the simple
existence of a Registered Offender on their way “to” or “from” a reasonable
location like their home, place of employment, public grocery store or corner
gas station has stopped quite a few outlandish bills in their tracks which would
have created new felonies in our state. The Virginia Senate Courts of Justice
Committee seems to get this point more than the Virginia House Courts of
Justice Committee, sadly. The benign acts of daily life, running errands and completing
tasks should never result in a criminal charge in America.
expect any changes to be made in the Federal criminal codes from this
initiative in the viewing or sharing of child pornography images on-line or the
extreme sentences with these two convictions, but there should be.
and downloading free on-line images have resulted inprison sentencesof a 100+ years
whereas being the person who commits the abuse and produces the image can be a
sentence of 5-15 years. In 2009 there was a case here in Virginia where a college professor spent 45
minutes on one website with child pornography and he was facing 140 years in
and DUI that kills someone won't result in a 50 year sentence let alone 140 years, so why does
viewing an image?
Federal code needs to be flipped when it comes to these specific child
pornography viewing/possessing and downloading/sharing issues.
U.S. Government isn’t going to shut down, crash or block these free websites
(that anyone can accidently stumble into) from being on the world-wide-web but
in some cases actually use them as bait for more convictions and more
funding against citizens who had no physical contact with the victim in the
image then the cycle of Over-Criminalization will just continue……..and the
prisons and public registries will just keep expanding.
Articles on the Formation of the U.S. House
Task Force Aims to
Lighten Criminal Code: Bipartisan Congressional Initiative Targets Bloated Federal
Provisions Cited by Critics for Driving Up Incarceration Rates, May 5, 2013
This is NOT the U.S. Senate Bill thatI
postedabout last week, but we still need to watch
all the Federal Food Stamp bills for “sex offender” amendments since Senator
Vitter set the bad example and if any such prohibition is added I will post
about it so you can contact your Federal
WASHINGTON — Republicans muscled a
pared-back agriculture bill through the House on Thursday, stripping out the
food stamp program to satisfy recalcitrant conservatives but losing what little
Democratic support the bill had when it failed last month. It was the first
time food stamps had not been a part of the farm bill since 1973.
216-to-208 vote saved House Republican leaders from an embarrassing reprisal of
the unexpected defeat of a broader version of the bill in June, but the future
of agriculture policy remains uncertain. The food stamp program, formally
called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, was 80 percent of the
original bill’s cost, and it remains the centerpiece of the Senate’s bipartisan
Even in a
chamber used to acrimony, Thursday’s debate in the House was particularly
brutal. Democrats repeatedly called for roll-call votes on parliamentary
procedures and motions to adjourn, delaying the final vote by hours and
charging Republicans over and over again with callousness and cruelty.
shouted protests, trying to silence the most strident Democrats, and were
repeatedly forced to vote to uphold their own parliamentary rulings.
Frank D. Lucas, Republican of Oklahoma, the chairman of the House Agriculture
Committee, said he would try to draft a separate food stamp bill “as soon as I
can achieve a consensus.” But conservatives remain determined to extract deep
cuts to the program — cuts that members of both parties in the House and Senate
have said they cannot support.
Senate negotiators could produce a compromise measure with the robust food
stamp program the Senate wants, but such a bill would almost certainly have to
pass the House with significant Republican defections.
before the vote Thursday if he would allow a compromise bill to come to a final
vote in the House, Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio shrugged and said: “If ands and buts
were candy and nuts, every day would be Christmas. You’ve heard that before. My
goal right now is to get the farm bill passed. We’ll get to those other issues
splitting farm policy from food stamps, the House effectively ended the
decades-old political marriage between urban interests concerned about nutrition
and rural areas who depend on farm subsidies.
wanted separation, and we got it,” said Representative Marlin Stutzman,
Republican of Indiana, one of the bill’s chief authors. “You’ve got to take
these wins when you can get them.”
denounced the bill as a naked attempt to make draconian cuts in the food stamp
for this bill is a vote to end nutrition in America,”
said Representative Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut.
driving yesterday I was listening to the radio and caught a morning show
talking about John St-Onge being denied admission to Legoland (see article
despicable that modern society has become so paranoid of all men that public areas are now
off-limits to them because “we” believe they pose a risk even though they’ve
done nothing wrong.
have been mandated to bear the public label “sex offender” face discrimination
and banishment daily by state laws banning them from museums, parks,
campgrounds,lakes, beaches, golf
courses, ski resorts, state and county fairs, fast-food establishments with
playgrounds and this list goes on. Plus private establishments with policies like
Six Flags and Disneyworld
denying admission to all registered sex offenders, no exceptions. Then there
have been airlines
forcing men to move seats away from minors and water
parks calling the police on grandfathers. These fear mongering, knee-jerk over-reactions
or policies being projected onto every adult man are truly heartbreaking. What
has happened to our society?
Skenazy has written
about this before “when almost any man who has anything to do with a child
can find himself suspected of being a creep." She dubs it
"worst-first" thinking: Immediately assuming the worst, even if it's
highly unlikely. "Then we congratulate ourselves for being so
like these are based on assumptions and you know what your mother told you about
assuming something. You make an ass-out-of-you-and-me.
that a 63 year old man and his adult daughter are at Legoland Discovery Center not
to admire the Lego’s but to create an unsafe environment for children might be
one of the most pathetic policies I’ve come across in the last 5 years of being
an advocate for reforming our sexual laws, registries and legal restrictions
and I’ve shaken my head in dismay too many times to even count.
what a zero-tolerance mentality does to society, destroys it.
John St-Onge, was barred from
entering a Legoland Discovery Center because he
was not accompanied by a child. His adult daughter, Nicole, had traveled with
St-Onge on the three-hour drive from their hometown of Windsor, Ontario,
to realize her father's long-time dream, but that was not enough to get them
through the door, CTV News reports.
“I felt discriminated against,” St-Onge recalled to the National Post. “[I was thinking]
‘What, are you painting a label on my back, that I'm a pedophile?’ That's what
really, really, really bothered me. What do you think I'm going to do in
March 2013 I emailed the Virginia Legislators with a link to an article
advising them of pending legislation in Texas
that was inspired from two past bills that I lobbied for here in Virginia. Mary Sue of
Texas Voices contacted me a few years back for the verbiage used in our Virginia bill.
I am so
very pleased to announce that the Texas Legislature did the right thing not
just for the successful re-entry of their registered sex offenders and families
but for employers across their state. Governor Perry has signed SB369-Removing the Employer Name
and Address of Registered Sex Offenders from the public registry. The
employment information is expected to be removed from the registry after the law
takes effect September 1st. Representative Burnam and Senator Whitmire
were the sponsors.
attempted twice to get just the employer/company name removed from the public
Virginia State Police Sex Offender Registry. The address would have still been
listed and the map would still have been available but by removing the name of
the employer the business would have no longer been publicly punished for
giving an ex-offender a job. The practice of publicly shaming employers for
hiring the best candidate is counterproductive and allows for customers,
clients, contractors and anonymous callers to harass and condemn an employer for
hiring a registered Virginian. Most employers don’t want to be bothered with
the constant headache and pressure from those who choose to hate a person based
on this label.
Here in Virginia the 2012HB413
was quickly stopped in its tracks but the 2010
version SB635passed the Senate 40-0 only to be “killed” in the House Courts of Justice Criminal
The Federal Adam Walsh
Act/SORNA guidelines mandate the address to be listed but not the company name. Yet the SMART
Office has claimed AWA/SORNA compliance for 16 states and of those 7 do not publicly list the employer
address. Certification is possible without meeting the address requirement.
As of September 2013 Virginia will be one of only 6 states who publicly list
both the employer name and address.
As of September 2013 29 states will not list any employer information publicly.
Back on July 1, 2012 Kansas took similar
steps and removed the employment information from their public registry and
they are Certified AWA/SORNA compliant by the SMART Office.
Shaming businesses within
our state, plus ensuring 20,000+ Virginians will never find more than a
temporary job benefits no one but ensures a failed re-entry back into society.
It seems based on the
2010 vote such a bill has the approval of most of the Virginia Senate; the
issue at hand is the House.
I just have asked all 140
Virginia Legislators (11 who are not running for re-election this November and
89 who are) if anyone is willing to sponsor such a bill at the upcoming 2014 Virginia session. Perhaps
even companion bills, a House and a Senate version.
RICHMOND — With a
week left until Virginia
has to determine how it will restore the voting rights of certain nonviolent
felons, some advocates helping to shape the program are concerned about how the
new policy will work.
Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) announced
in late May that he would waive the waiting period and automatically restore
the voting rights of nonviolent felons who have completed their sentences and
satisfied certain conditions.
Grass-roots groups working with the McDonnell administration to streamline
the process have spent weeks wrestling with details such as how to determine
who will qualify, how to find the thousands who could be eligible, and whether
felons should be required to pay outstanding fines before they can regain
Restoring the rights of nonviolent felons has been a priority
for McDonnell, who is in the final year of his term and cannot run for
reelection. About 100,000 of Virginia’s
estimated 350,000 felons are nonviolent, supporters of the governor’s program
McDonnell’s administration has restored the voting rights of more felons
than any previous governor’s administration — more than 5,000 since 2010 — and
the governor’s announcement in May was greeted by advocates as a departure from
the Republican Party’s efforts to toughen voting laws.
Despite their concerns about the details of the program, advocates working
with the administration praised McDonnell’s efforts and said they are hopeful
that the new guidelines will help more felons regain their voting rights.
In the US
Supreme Court's recent
decision upholding sex offender registration requirements (SORNA) under the
Adam Walsh Act [PDF],
the Court's opinion [PDF]
included the following statement: "SORNA's general changes were designed
to make more uniform what had remained "a patchwork of federal and 50
individual state registration systems ... with loopholes and deficiencies"
that had resulted in an estimated 100,000 sex offenders essentially
disappearing off law enforcement's radar.
astounding that in this age of widespread information and access to research,
the Court is relying on inaccurate statistics. The commonly repeated statistic
of 100,000 missing sex offenders is often erroneously attributed to the NationalCenter
for Missing and Exploited Children or the US Marshals Service, both of which
continue to proclaim on their websites that 100,000 sex offenders are missing —
despite published evidence to the contrary. This misinformation is frequently
included in congressional testimony and in media reports, influencing social
policy, public opinion and funding allocations.
Astudy published in 2012
disputed the claims that 100,000 registered sex offenders in the US are
"missing." The study, conducted by University of Massachusetts
Lowell criminologist Andrew Harris and myself,
was published in the scientific journal Criminal
Justice Policy Review. It analyzed data downloaded directly from online sex
offender registries in 2010 and also surveyed states' registry managers.
utilized a sample of more than 445,000 registered sex offenders listed on
public registries. Harris and I were able to identify sex offenders designated
by states to be transient, homeless, absconded, non-compliant or whose address
or whereabouts were otherwise unknown. Nationwide, about 2.4 percent were
officially listed as absconded, unable to be located or non-compliant with
registration mandates. When including those designated as homeless or
transient, the rate grew to slightly over four percent.
more liberal four percent figure to estimate the number of sex offenders living
in the community whose whereabouts could not be verified, the count was
calculated to be somewhere between 23,000 and 30,000. The study emphasized that
these numbers included technical non-compliance as well as true absconding.
Ultimately, no evidence was found to support the frequently repeated statistic
that 100,000 (or about fourteen percent) of the nation's sex offenders are
missing or unaccounted for.
and I also reported on data obtained in 2010 via e-mail and telephone surveys
of state registry managers. Rates of registration non-compliance among
registrants living in the community varied greatly, ranging from about one
percent in some states (e.g., Florida, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, North Dakota, Vermont and West Virginia)
to approximately thirteen percent in others (California,
Hawaii and Oklahoma). Nationally, the median rate of
non-compliance is about 2.7 percent. The variation in how state systems defined
and categorized offenders made it difficult to estimate exactly how many sex
offenders have truly gone missing.
and courts should make decisions armed with current, published, peer-reviewed
research utilizing appropriate methodologies. Those providing testimony (especially
federally funded agencies) should be expected to inform legislative bodies,
courts and media with current and credible data. To do otherwise breaches the
Levenson is an Associate Professor of Psychology and Social Sciences at
Lynn University in Boca Raton, FL. Recognized internationally as an expert on
sexual aggression and sex crime policy, she has published over eighty
peer-reviewed articles and book chapters and has co-authored three books on the
treatment of sex offenders and their families.
25, 2013the Oklahoma Supreme Court
ruled that restrictions imposed upon registered sex offenders in their state are
in fact punitive
and not administrative. Also in the ruling the court stated that any
retroactive application of laws upon registered offenders including re-classifications
and prolonging their required time to remain a registered offender are both
must now take steps to return the original classification and to remove
anyone who had already met their original requirement of registration this in
the end will cost the state tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of
dollars. The real ramifications of this ruling will be unfurling for
months because numerous
inmates currently serving time for violating state sex offender registry
laws should have their convictions overturned and be entitled to release.
Ohio previously had to adhere to
similar rulings from their state Supreme Court and their costs did reach into
the hundreds of thousands.
June 2010- Retroactive/mass re-classifications
April 2011- Retroactive mandate to registration for convictions
before Adam Walsh Act/ AWA existed
July 2011- Adam Walsh Act/AWA mandated registration declared
punitive not administrative
April 2012- Retroactive mandate of lifetime registration for
All determined to be unconstitutional.
does any of this matter here in Virginia?
the last 5 General Assembly sessions I have been the one voice of reason
pointing out that the majority of proposed bills here in Virginia against
registered sex offenders has nothing to do with public safety, they aren't
simply administrative but are actually punitive and they are all based
on myth and fear instead of on any facts or empirical evidence.
most bills proposed here in Virginia
are still being written as retroactive and are only amended if I point out the
issues with ex post facto. Some of the more senior and knowledgeable
Senators and Delegates have also recognized this and agree that the bill can
not move forward as retroactive.