Twitter

Sunday, June 29, 2014

364 Days Later and More than 30,530 Page Views: Thank You All for Following RSO Legislation, News and Action Items!

 
On July 1st 2013 this blog began with a post that summarized 5 years of advocacy.  

364 days and 257 posts later I want to take a minute and thank you all. 

I try to be the voice of reason for those listed on the Virginia Sex Offender Registry, their spouses, their parents, their siblings, their significant others, their roommates and their children when new and harsher laws and restrictions are being considered and passed against those labeled “Sex Offender”. 

If anyone had  told me in 2006  that I’d become a full-time volunteer advocate for a cause that is so polarizing and insights such hate, fear and anger from the public like that of Sex Offenders and the Registry, I would have told them they had lost their mind.  

You never know where life may take you but you are the one that decides how to use that knowledge and experience you’ve gained and move forward.

Some might say 30,500+ page views in 12 months (2,541 per month) is not really that impressive. Well, I’m pleased knowing that this blog has become a resource for so many people looking for information. We’ve picked up new followers/readers everyday and returning readers check back weekly and monthly. 

This blog has received hits from all over the globe, even though its main goal is to keep Virginians up to date on RSO issues. 

Even with the Feedburner email-subscribers routinely missing out on new posts because it works less than 25% of the time, seriously less than 25% (7 weeks off, 3 weeks on, then off again). Hopefully one day Feedburner will fix this issue.  

Thank you all for following this blog and for those of you who’ve emailed me in the last year, I don’t do this work for myself......... I do it for you and your family. 

Sincerely, 

Mary Devoy

Friday, June 27, 2014

2008-2014 RSO Totals from National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC)


OK, I kept updating the June 25th post so I decided to just make a second follow-up post today. 

So if you have not read the earlier post on NCMEC’s RSO counts, scroll down first read it and then scroll back up to this one and click on read more.

Mary
 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Why Does the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) Count of Sex Offenders in the U.S. Not Add Up?

 
In the last week a revised Missing and Exploited Children’s Organization U.S. Count of Registered Sex Offenders has been posted on-line. 

Back in a December 13, 2013 post per the annual Virginia State Police Sex Offender Monitoring Report I shared as of October 16, 2013 Virginia had 20,360 RSO’s. 

As you can see from the above image as of June 3, 2014:
  • There are 774,600 Registered Sex Offenders in the U.S. and its Territories
  • Virginia has 20,829 of those Registered Sex Offenders 
Officially these numbers could already be a month or more out-of-date and knowing the official VSP growth over the last 6 years in Virginia is 860 to 1,380 new RSO’s every year (12 month timeframe), I find the NCMEC growth of Virginia from October 16th to June 3rd , difficult to believe. 

So is the overall NCMEC growth accurate? 

Going back to previous Missing and Exploited Children Maps that I’ve saved:
  • September 2008:          664,731 in the U.S           and        15,189 in Virginia
  • December 2009:            704,777 in the U.S           and        16,163 in Virginia
  • June 2010:                        716,750 in the U.S           and        16,813 in Virginia
  • June 2011:                         739,853 in the U.S          and        18,131 in Virginia
  • November 2011:             747,408 in the U.S          and        18,552 in Virginia
I was unable to locate a NCMEC map for 2012 or 2013. I can’t remember if I looked for updates those years and never found one or if I just forgot to look for two years in a row and now they aren’t available. 

So let’s compare the NCMEC Virginia totals above to the Virginia State Police Sex Offender Monitoring Report totals:
  • December 2008:                                                                          15,297 in Virginia
  • December 2009:                                                                          16,238 in Virginia
  • December 2010:                                                                           17,623 in Virginia
  • December 2011:                                                                            18,663 in Virginia
As you can see, in 2010 there was a huge discrepancy (810) between NCMEC’s numbers and the VSP’s numbers. 

NCMEC’s total quantity of RSO’s in the U.S. from November 2011 of 747,408 to June 2014 (30 months) of 774,600 does not make sense.  

That would be ONLY 27,192 additional RSO’s in 30 months (2,277 of the 27,192 are in Virginia alone) for the entire U.S.? Not possible! Not when states (like Texas and California) increase their individual registries by 10,000+ in one or two years. 
 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Ken Cuccinelli and and Deborah Daniels: Less Incarceration Could Lead to Less Crime

 
Less incarceration could lead to less crime, June 20, 2014
By Ken Cuccinelli and and Deborah Daniels

Ken Cuccinelli II was attorney general of Virginia from 2010 to this year and is president of the Senate Conservatives Fund. Deborah Daniels was assistant U.S. attorney general for the Office of Justice Programs from 2001 to 2005.

When crime rates began rising in the 1960s and too many Americans felt unsafe walking in their neighborhoods, the idea of putting more people in prison — and keeping them there longer — made sense. 

For the next three decades, our nation did just that, as public unease propelled lawmakers to promote longer sentences, curbs on parole and other measures making our correctional system ever tougher. 

Now more than 2 million American adults are behind bars and nearly one of every 33 is under some form of correctional control — either incarcerated or supervised in the community. During Ronald Reagan’s presidency, the rate was one in 77.

As conservatives with backgrounds in law enforcement, we embraced the orthodoxy that more incarceration invariably meant less crime, no matter the offense or the danger posed by its perpetrator. But crime rates have been falling since the early 1990s, and a growing body of research combined with the compelling results of reforms in many states prove it is time to adjust our approach. 

In short, we must reserve our harshest and most expensive sanction — prison — for violent and career criminals while strengthening cost-effective alternatives for lower-level, nonviolent offenders. The latter lawbreakers must be held accountable for their crimes, but they pose less risk and hold greater potential for redemption.

With today’s sophisticated assessment tools, we can better sort offenders and match them with the levels of treatment and community supervision that offer the best chance for them to stay crime free. Specialty courts that use swift and certain sanctions to promote compliance with drug tests and other conditions of probation are another key plank in this approach. 

Let us be clear: Society’s treatment of dangerous, violent felons should remain as punitive as ever. Communities need protection from such predatory criminals, and incapacitation — for a long time, no matter the cost — remains the proper response. Widespread incarceration has played a role in making our streets safer. Estimates vary, but many social scientists believe that expanding imprisonment can be credited for up to a third of the crime reduction of recent years, with demographics, advances in policing and a hotly debated mix of other dynamics accounting for the rest.

However, when it comes to the public safety benefits of incarceration, at least for some offenders, it is clear that we are well past the point of diminishing returns. And given that recidivism levels remained disappointingly high as incarceration rates rose, we would be foolish to ignore the need for a course correction.
 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Patt Morrison: Vigilante Justice Erodes the Authority and Regard for a Legal System that Can't be About Vengeance or Passion

 
Opinion Does an angry parent killing a child molester ever serve justice?
By Patt Morrison              June 17, 2014

What do you think of a man who has been charged with killing an unarmed man? Inexcusable, right? 

Now, would it change your mind if the dead man had molested a child and the accused shooter was the child’s father?
 
All right, here’s more information: The molestation happened a dozen years ago. 

Finally, would it change your thinking to know the dead man had already served time in prison for the crime and paid restitution? 

That’s the whipsaw nature of a murder case in Alabama, where Jay Maynor is accused of murdering sex offender Raymond Earl Brooks. 

Brooks pleaded guilty in 2002 to molesting Maynor’s young daughter and served 27 months of a five-year sentence; he also paid restitution. 

Maynor’s attorney says that although so many years had passed, it’s not premeditated murder but a crime of passion because of “something that happened that same day,” which the attorney called “a catalyst event, a trigger event.” 

Maynor’s friend, Jason Lackey, says he was told that that event was a family argument over Maynor’s stepdaughter’s boyfriend, which went incendiary when somebody brought up the 2002 case. 

Maynor has already gathered supporters on Facebook, as well as several hundred bucks’ worth of support. It’s an unsettling cheering section for someone who allegedly meted out a private punishment against a sex offender who pleaded guilty and served prison time. 

As described so far, this shooting is not like the “clear and present danger” that provoked Texas authorities to decide not to prosecute a father who found a man raping his screaming 5-year-old daughter in 2012. The father beat the man unconscious, then called 911. The man died. Authorities said what the father did was not a crime under Texas law. 

It’s not even like the case of Californian Ellie Nesler. In 1993, she was in court, walking to the witness stand during a preliminary hearing related to a man accused of molesting her son. She pulled out a handgun and shot the defendant in the back of the head. 

To a lot of people, what she did made sense viscerally if not legally. T-shirts with slogans appeared: “Nice shooting, Ellie.” There was a TV movie about her as a righteous mother. 

But it wasn’t a simple story of a mother avenging her son. Nesler was high on meth when she shot the defendant. She also had a criminal record of her own. She pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and was out after three years because of juror misconduct. (She then changed her not-guilty-by-reason-of-insanity plea to a voluntary manslaughter plea and was sentenced to the time she had already served.) 
 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Center for Prosecutor Integrity: Innocence Summit 2014, June 20-21 Washington, DC

 
Center for Prosecutor Integrity: Innocence Summit 2014
Friday June 20 and Saturday June 21
The McPherson Building
901 15th Street Northwest  #700
Washington, DC 20005

Schedule:

Friday, June 20 2014 

9:00 am — 2:30 pm Congressional Staff Meetings 
5:00 pm — Conference registration opens 
6:00 pm — Meet and greet dinner
7:00 pm — Phillip Kuhn: A Vision for Restoring Ethical Conduct to Prosecutorial Practice
Former assistant attorney general for Shelby County, Tennessee; Chairman, CPI Advisory Board
7:20 pmE. Everett Bartlett, PhD: Process of Developing the Agenda for Prosecutorial Reform
7:30 pm — Jim Petro: From Rogue Prosecutor to Minister of Justice: How to Change the Prosecutorial Culture
Former attorney general of Ohio; Author of False Justice: Eight Myths that Convict the Innocent 

Saturday, June 21 2014 

8:00 am — Registration opens 
9:00 am — Gordon Smith: From Allegation, to Exoneration, to Activism: One Man’s Quest for Justice
Victim of repeated wrongful arrests; Libertarian Party Candidate, 30th District, Delaware
9:45 am — Angela Davis, JD: How Defendants Lose the Presumption of Innocence: Perspectives from a Former Public Defender 

WORKSHOPS: 11:00am – 12:00 pm 

A  Summit Room: Bill Bastuk: Building Bridges For Statewide Criminal Justice Reform: Addressing the Pressure Points
Founder and chairman, It Could Happen to You, New York 
B  Center Room: Nancy and Jim Petro: Electing a Just Prosecutor: Citizens’ Guide to Elevating Criminal Justice
Authors of False Justice: Eight Myths that Convict the Innocent 
C  Brian Banks Room: Mara Leveritt: Equipping Reporters to Examine Criminal Justice Issues

12:00 pm — Lunch
12:30 pm — Pat Nolan: Building the Case for Public Support of Prosecutor Reform
Former Member and Leader of the California State Assembly; Director of the Center for Criminal Justice Reform of the American Conservative Union Foundation
1:15 pm – Radley Balko: A Veteran Reporter Speaks Candidly about the Challenges of Prosecutor Reform
Journalist; Washington Post criminal justice reporter 

WORKSHOPS: 2:15 – 3:15 pm 

D  Summit Room: Jeffrey Deskovic: Innocence Denied: The Jeff Deskovic Story
Criminal Justice Advocate and Exoneree 
E  Center Room: Sakeena Farhath, JD: Registry of Prosecutorial Misconduct: Foundation for Policy Reform
Director, Registry of Prosecutorial Misconduct
F  Brian Banks Room: E. Everett Bartlett, PhD and Teri Stoddard: Update on Campus Sexual Assault  

3:45 pmE. Everett Bartlett, PhD: Forum: Developing a National Agenda for Prosecutorial Reform
Member, CPI Board of Directors
4:30 pm — Ronald Henry, JD: Getting Smart on Crime: Reconciling Policy and Politics
Attorney, Washington, DC
5:00 pm — Adjournment
5:15 pm — After-event dinner

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Virginia Delegate Dave Ramadan is Working on a Revised Version of Robby’s Rule for 2015

 
Many of you may remember a bill during the 2014 Virginia General Assembly nicknamed “Robby’s Rule”. 

Here are past posts about HB195 for anyone who doesn’t remember:
·         February 4, 2014
·         January 13, 2014
·         January 4, 2014
·         December 27, 2013 

Well late last night a Dave Ramadan email newsletter titled Belated May Newsletter & Community News and Announcement went out to his subscribers and it included this: 

On May 1st, I met with Rob Buswell about HB195, commonly called ‘Robbie’s Rule’. This bill, which I introduced this January in Richmond, would require the Superintendent of State Police to establish and maintain a supplement to the Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry that would include the names of individuals who committed offenses prior to the creation of the original registry. We must make sure that we do everything we can to protect our children against all crimes and especially sexual assaults. However, the bill was not heard due to a disagreement with the Virginia State Police on the cost of implementing this program. I will continue to work with my House colleagues and the State Police to determine the real cost of this proposed supplement and to find a way to fund this addition; and get this bill passed next year. Protecting our children is one of my highest priorities. Join the effort: www.facebook.com/robbysrule 

In May on his Facebook page, Robby mentioned his May meeting with Delegate Ramadan so I was already aware there could be a new bill (with a new number) next January, and I’m prepared to oppose it. 

What I learned from last nights Ramadan newsletter is that the Virginia State Police opposed this “supplemental registry”, which is very good news. I’m concluding their opposition is one of the main points I had prepared for my public statement (it’s not just the initial high financial costs) which I never had the opportunity to give as the 2014 bill never made it to sub-committee.  

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

2 Quick Summaries: June 9th VCSC Meeting and June 11th VSCC Meeting

 
I-  

Two days ago (on Monday the 9th) I attended the second meeting for the Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission (VCSC) for 2014.

I previously posted about the April 14th meeting. 

The Presentations  from Monday’s meeting have not yet been loaded on the VCSC website (it usually take a week or more) you’ll be able to read everything that was covered.  

No surprise, they decided to go with Option 3 for the Possession of Child Pornography Study. It was the easiest (no additional work) and carried no additional expense. But it will be for FY2014 AND FY2015 whereas the presentation states just FY2014. 
 

Virginia State Crime Commission 2014 Meeting Dates Announced


Early this morning the VSCC emailed out the 2014 Meeting Schedule: 

·         Tuesday, September 23rd at 10:00 a.m.
·         Tuesday, October 21st at 10:00 a.m.
·         Monday, November 10th at 2:00 p.m.
·         Tuesday, December 2nd at 10:00 a.m.  

All meetings will be held in the General Assembly Building, Richmond, VA.  Note that the November meeting will be held in the afternoon.  All meetings are open to the public. 

Check the legislative calendar LIS Meetings Web page or our website http://vscc.virginia.gov for changes or updates.  Visit our website for additional information about the Commission http://vscc.virginia.gov. 

There still is no list of 2014 Bills or planned Studies to conduct and as I mentioned back on May 23rd, this is not typical of how the VSCC operates. 

If any sexual or registry issues are planned for 2014 I will be sure to post about it, so everyone is aware. 

Mary

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Make Sure Your Voice is Heard: Virginia’s 11 Federal Congressional Seats and 1 of 2 Senate Seats are up for Grabs in 2014!


Update: 


Tuesday’s Primary Winners are:
  • Incumbent Rob Wittman-              Republican nominee for 1st District of Virginia
  • Dr. David Brat-                                 Republican nominee for 7th District of Virginia
  • Donald Beyer Jr. -                            Democratic nominee for 8th District of Virginia
Don Beyer wins VA-08 primary, June 10, 2014
Don Beyer scores strong victory in congressional primary, June 10, 2014
Former lieutenant governor heads to general election as big favorite to succeed Moran
US Rep. Rob Wittman Wins GOP Primary in Virginia, June 10, 2014
The biggest surprise was the upset for current Congressman and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in the 7th District . 
Eric Cantor, No. 2 House Republican, loses primary in big upset, June 11, 2014
'Richmond Hubris' Drove Eric Cantor's War With Grassroots, Led To His Demise, June 11, 2014
Tea Party activist who defeated Cantor focused on budget, immigration, June 11, 2014
GOP leader Eric Cantor loses in shock Tea Party upset, June 10, 2014
Stunner: Cantor Upset Changes Everything, June 10, 2014
GOP strategists try to assess impact of Cantor loss on other primaries, June 10, 2014

Original Post:

There are 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives (Congress) and 100 members of the U.S. Senate. 

November 2014 is not an election year for any of the 140 State Representative seats in Virginia, or the Governor or the Attorney General but it is a year for almost all of our Federal Representatives in Washington D.C. 

Virginia has a total of 11 Congressional Districts/Seats and one of them represents you! Virginia also has 2 Senate Districts/Seats in Washington D.C. and they both represent you! 

Friday, June 6, 2014

Action Alert Federal Bill HR4573: International Megan’s Law

 
First a quick summary of HR4573 's movement and amendments patroned/sponsored by New Jersey Representative Chris Smith.  

  1. May 6, 2014 - Submitted and titled, To protect children from exploitation, especially sex trafficking in tourism, by providing advance notice of intended travel
  2. May 9, 2014 - “marked up” by the House Foreign Affairs Committee and ordered to be Reported in the Nature of a Substitute (Amended) by Unanimous Consent.
  3. Unknown date – Re-titled to International Megan's Law to Prevent Demand for Child Sex Trafficking.
  4. May 20, 2014 – News article announces Virginia Congressman and Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s office along with other Republican Representatives built an anti-Human Trafficking website promoting 5 completely different bills all claimed under the Human Trafficking umbrella including the Bring Back Our Girls Nigerian Africa campaign against Muslim extremist group Boko Haram, ensuring the successful passage of all 5 bills.
  5. May 20, 2014 – per Congress.gov
    1. Ordered to be Reported in the Nature of a Substitute (Amended) by Unanimous Consent.
    2. 5:33pm
·        Mr. Royce moved to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended.
·        Considered under suspension of the rules.
·        DEBATE - The House proceeded with forty minutes of debate on H.R. 4573.
    1. 5:57pm
·        On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended Agreed to by voice vote. 

  1. The substitute/amended text of HR4573 that was passed out of Committee on May 9th and debated and passed by the entire House on May 20 was still NOT posted on-line to review.
  2. Only on Congress.gov (not on GovTrack.com) on May 21, the amended version of HR4573 was available to read.
One of the two objections I had had been removed:
Sec. 5.Authority to restrict passports

  1. Number of Co-Sponsors/Patrons for HR4573 for has grown to 20.
  2. HR4573 has now been sent to the U.S. Senate Foreign Affairs Committee
The Secretary of Homeland Security would still establish within the Child Exploitation Investigations Unit of United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) of the Department of Homeland Security a Center, to be known as the Angel Watch Center. The U.S would notify other countries of all Registered Sex Offenders (RSO) who are traveling to their country. And all countries would notify the U.S. of all foreign Registered Sex Offenders (RSO) who are traveling to the U.S. 

What RSO’s would be included?