Thursday, February 20, 2014

Political Scapegoats: HB233 Does Nothing to Address the Reason Given for the Bill. But I Do Know What Will Fix the Problem and it Doesn’t Include Any New Restrictions or Processes (Hoops to Jump Through) for Virginia’s RSO’s

On Monday I was in the Senate Courts of Justice hearing when HB233 was being discussed. 

How name of person may be changed; sex offenders; probationers; incarcerated persons. Provides that applications for a change of name by persons for whom registration with the Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry is required may only be accepted by a court after a finding that good cause exists for such application. The bill provides that if the court accepts an application from a probationer, person for whom registration with the Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry is required, or incarcerated person, a copy of the application shall be mailed or delivered to the attorney for the Commonwealth for the jurisdiction where the petition was filed and the attorney for the Commonwealth for any jurisdiction where a conviction occurred that resulted in the petitioner's restricted status. The bill also provides that the attorney for the Commonwealth where the petition was filed shall be entitled to respond and represent the interests of the Commonwealth. The bill provides that the court shall conduct a hearing on such applications and may order a change of name if the court determines that it would not frustrate a legitimate law-enforcement purpose, is not sought for a fraudulent purpose, and would not otherwise infringe upon the rights of others. The bill also provides that the order shall contain written findings stating the court's basis for granting the order. 

The bill also provides that any order granting a change of name that fails to comport with the requirements is void ab initio and that the attorney for the Commonwealth for the jurisdiction where the petition was filed has the authority to bring an independent action at any time to have such order declared void. The bill also provides that if an order granting a change of name is declared void or if a person is convicted of perjury for unlawfully changing his name, the clerk of the court entering the order or the order of conviction shall transmit a certified copy of the order to the State Registrar of Vital Records, the Department of Motor Vehicles, the State Board of Elections, the Central Criminal Records Exchange, and any agency or department of the Commonwealth that has issued a license to the person where such license utilizes the person's changed name.  

HB233 is a bill I had not been following since I do not oppose the proposal. I had missed the explanation of its intent in the House so I was very surprised by what the patron told the Senate on February 17, 2014. 

On Monday the patron mentioned that a Registered Sex Offender had changed his name and the victim was unable to locate him on the Virginia Sex Offender Registry because of the change. The article (link above) was titled Dodging Google. 

With this information/reasoning for HB233 being proposed I can confidently tell everyone that HB233 will NOT fix the problem. 

But I do know what will.  

ICAC: Southern Virginia Task Force Polices Digital Shadows

I just came across this article today, sorry for the delay.

I’ve selected some interesting tid-bits from it. Click the link to read the entire article. 
Southern Virginia task force polices digital shadows, February 16, 2014

·        In 2010, the first year ICAC had statistics available, the task force investigated 669 cases and had 91 arrests, 51 pleas and 28 trials.
·        In 2011, those numbers jumped to 953 cases, 130 arrests, 60 pleas, and 23 trials.
·        In 2012, cases rose to 1,374 with 180 arrests, 82 pleas, and 44 trials.
·        Last year the agency investigated 2,118 cases with 216 arrests, 119 pleas and 40 trials.
Many of those investigations are outside of Bedford County. When an offender solicits an undercover officer in Bedford County, the crime is committed in both jurisdictions. Generally, Anders said, offenders are prosecuted where they live.
But if the crime is a felony in Virginia and would be a misdemeanor in another state, officers and prosecutors work together to bring the suspect under the harsher penalty.

Andrew Extein- Capitol Punishment: The Troubling Consequences of Federal Child Pornography Laws

 "The media contributes to the hatred and hysteria"
Capitol Punishment: The Troubling Consequences of Federal Child Pornography Laws
By Andrew Extein- a social worker, psychotherapist, advocate, and writer on issues of sexuality and criminal justice.
Co-authored by Galen Baughman- Director of Communications for International CURE, where he advocates for criminal justice reform from a perspective of human rights.
Until Dec. 11, 2013, Jesse Ryan Loskarn was a popular chief of staff for a Tennessee senator. But on that winter day, police broke down the door of his rowhouse in southeast Washington, D.C., and searched for the illegal digital items that had led them there: explicit videos of boys posing nude and engaging in sexual acts.  

On Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014, Ryan was found dead in his basement. 

On Monday, Jan. 27, 2014, there was a twist. Ryan's mother posted his suicide note online, revealing the great complexity to his story. He wasn't a faceless headline, wasn't a cautionary tale, wasn't a vague story of justice. He became what most people didn't want him to be: a human being. 

What most of us have trouble comprehending -- an argument all but forbidden in our current climate -- is that Ryan could be understood as a victim himself. For his suicide note reveals a stunning truth: his own history of sexual abuse, one that had far-reaching, complex emotional effects.