Sunday, March 2, 2014

Attorney: Va. 'Revenge Porn' Bill Makes Bad Manners a Crime

Legal Counsel to the Virginia Senate Courts of Justice Committee and NBC12 Legal Analyst Steve Benjamin thinks the Revenge Porn bill is unconstitutional and yet Virginia’s Delegates and Senators passed it anyway!  

Virginia should not be passing laws that are vague, unworkable and violate our Constitution. Lawmakers are placing the burden of proving the validity of laws in the courts onto the citizens of Virginia who must bank-roll a challenge and be willing to invest years of their time to prove it should have never been passed in the first place.  

It’s the Legislatures job to vet proposed State laws, NOT the citizens.   

At best the Virginia General Assembly should have made this a civil matter, not a criminal one! 


Attorney: Va. 'revenge porn' bill makes bad manners a crime, March 1, 2014

Could a bill making "revenge porn" a crime punishable by jail time actually be unconstitutional? 

The bill is now heading to Gov. Terry McAuliffe's desk, but critics say it's a case of lawmakers trying to legislate morality. 

"Revenge porn" is the practice of posting an ex-lover's naked photos online. The bill would make posting "revenge porn" online punishable by up to a year in jail. 

"It's about time," said Richmond resident Anita Denny. "That's pretty good. That's going to stop a lot of people from doing that, and maybe it will stop people from sending those type of pictures also." 

NBC 12 legal analyst Steve Benjamin says the law has flaws. 

"We've made bad manners a crime," said Benjamin. "Because that's really all it is. The crime doesn't apply if you are licensed or authorized to disseminate the photograph. Now what in the world does that mean? I'm a lawyer, and I don't know." 

Edgar Coker Jr.: The Shame and Suspicion Can Continue Indefinitely

Life forever changed by sex offender list
By Pamela Gould              March 2, 2014

At the age of 22, Edgar Coker thinks it’s normal to go straight to work and then straight home every day to spend all of his free time hidden behind closed doors. 

It’s a frame of reference the former North Stafford resident forged from living nearly one-third of his life with the undeserved label of rapist and having that information available to all via Virginia’s online Sex Offender Registry.

Coker’s perspective is one Nicole Pittman has seen repeatedly in studying how children and teens are impacted by being listed on sex offender registries across the country. Pittman, a national expert on the topic, authored the 2013 Human Rights Watch report “Raised on the Registry: The irreparable harm of placing children on sex offender registries in the U.S. 

Juveniles on sex offender registries must continually re-register, are limited in where they can go and are publicly ostracized, all of which create a sense of imprisonment, Pittman said. 

“It’s almost an institutionalized feeling,” she said. 

Like a prison without walls. 

It took a team of attorneys five years of legal battles to correct the injustice that began in June 2007 when a 14-year-old girl told her mother that Coker raped her inside their Aquia Harbour home.

After he was sentenced, the girl admitted she lied to avoid getting in trouble for having sex with her friend.