Saturday, October 12, 2013

Action Alert! Federal Farm Bill: Denying Food Stamps / SNAP Benefits to Registered Sex Offenders, Their Spouses and Children

Majority Leader U.S. Congressman Eric Cantor (VA) Photo Opportunity/Volunteering at a Virginia Food Bank

eAdvocate has a new alert/post about the Federal Farm Bill coming up for a vote next week.
We've both been following the various "Food Stamp" Bills and tracking the versions. 

Past Postings on the issue: 

·         September 29, 2013: Food Stamp
·         September 20, 2013: Food Stamp
·         July 3, 2013: Food Stamp 


10-12-2013 Washington DC 

Folks may remember my earlier post about all the different versions of the Farm Bill floating around in Congress (See HERE if you want to read that).

Well the US House has decided to consider ONE version next week: HR-2642 and -as written right now- if passed it will deny certain sex offenders Food Stamps if they apply for them. However, this version is NOT RETROACTIVE (the House recently removed the retroactive portion from this version. Confusing, yes), so it would only affect certain sex offenders with conviction dates -in the future-, assuming it passes as written today (See version 5 on the Thomas website).

So I think it best to keep the pressure on your US Representatives in Congress, asking them to REMOVE that section from the Farm Bill. In HR-2642 that section is titled "SEC. 4037. ELIGIBILITY DISQUALIFICATIONS FOR CERTAIN CONVICTED FELONS."

Just remember the nation needs a new Farm Bill, but without that particular section. So, e-mail, write and call your Reps. Right now that is the best we can suggest, and get your family members to do the same.

For now have a great day and a better tomorrow.


The Recanters: What Happens When Abuse Claims Come Undone? By Maurice Chammah

We will never know how many Registered Sex Offenders in Virginia have been wrongfully convicted. 

We only know of the Exonerated Offenders where DNA was uncovered… because Virginia’s 21 Day Rule ONLY allows newly discovered biological evidence to be admitted after three weeks from sentencing. Yet 80% of criminal cases don’t have any DNA evidence. 

We’ve adjusted our statutes to allow victims of abuse for come forward many years later. 

But when it comes to a recant its 21 Days or NOTHING! The very same person that the State based their entire case upon is ignored.  

Most of us know the story of NFL hopeful Brian Banks in California. 

Then there is Jonathan Montgomery who is still appealing the Virginia courts and don’t forget Sean Lanigan in Fairfax, VA whose family mortgaged everything to go to trial (less than 5% of criminal cases in Virginia go to trial) and there his accuser admitted she lied before the jury adjourned. He came so very close to being a wrongly convicted registered sex offender. 

It’s not that the list of false accusations is low it’s that the ability to challenge the cases after the fact is impossible so very few make it into the news and into the courts. 

Defenders of the archaic Virginia 21 Day Rule perpetuate the myth that our criminal justice system almost never convicts an innocent person, that they are the exception AND that frivolous claims of innocence would cripple our court system. This has not been the case in other states with broader opportunities. 

We’ve created a system where it is all too easy for a vindictive, selfish, confused or scared person to brand innocent citizens a “Sex Offender” for life. 

There should be no deadline for the truth OR on justice being served in Virginia. Every recant should be taken seriously and investigated thoroughly as would be done with every new accusation of abuse no matter how old. 

The alternative is to allow liars a license to harm innocent men and boys, undermining our system of justice and creating total mistrust among our citizens. 

It's time to overturn the 21 Day Rule in Virginia! 

Please read the below article. 


The Recanters: What Happens When Abuse Claims Come Undone?
Beverly Troupe once claimed her stepfather abused her, but now she says it never happened. She's not alone.
October 9, 2013       by Maurice Chammah

One morning in late 1986, Beverly Troupe approached her mother and said she felt a burning sensation when she urinated. This wasn’t the first time. LaVern Troupe had taken her 8-year-old daughter to the hospital with similar symptoms twice before: once in Germany, where they had lived earlier that year, and again in Killeen, where they were now stationed. LaVern’s husband, Brian, served in the military as a telecommunications officer, and the family moved with him from base to base. LaVern and Brian had married five years earlier, when Beverly was 3, and had two boys and a girl together. Though he wasn’t her biological father, Brian considered Beverly his daughter. 

He was running drills that morning at Fort Hood and LaVern was alone with the children when Beverly started complaining of pain. LaVern took her daughter to the Darnall Army Community Hospital at the base. A doctor examined Beverly, found nothing wrong and sent them home. But the pain didn’t go away. Beverly complained again that night, so her mother waited for Brian to get home and they returned to the hospital. They were young parents, in their mid-twenties, and the pediatrician who examined Beverly, Dr. Samuel Mujica, was 29. When he conducted a pelvic exam, Mujica noticed something unusual: Beverly, he scribbled in his notes, was missing her hymen. There were several small cuts around her vaginal area. She was “very reserved,” he later said. She wouldn’t laugh. She wouldn’t make eye contact. He came to suspect that she had been sexually abused. 

Mujica decided that Beverly should stay the night, and he told Brian and LaVern about his findings. LaVern responded that her daughter had been playing with a rope swing across the street from their house with other children. Beverly was regularly bullied, Lavern explained, and, because she was small and had short hair, other kids would say she looked like a boy. So she would insist on wearing dresses, and when leaping onto the rope swing she would have little protection.