Sunday, September 7, 2014

Photographer Noah Rabinowitz Goes Inside the Tiny Town Built for Sex Offenders

Inside the tiny town built for sex offenders: Photographer captures the spiritual 'safe haven' in Florida where 200 convicted sex criminals and their relatives live side by side, September 7, 2014  By Joel Christie

  • Miracle Village, just outside Everglades in south Florida, was established in 2009 by the late evangelical pastor Dick Witherow
  • Borne out of religion, it is place where registered sex offenders can live without judgement and repent their sins
  • Many offenders find it near impossible to find housing in Florida, where they are not permitted to come within 1,000 feet of children
  • Brooklyn-based photographer Noah Rabinowitz spent three days in the village capturing the people who live there
  • Rabinowitz says he was more interested in capturing a self-governed society, rather than what had brought them together

Arkansas Advocates Question Effectiveness, Fairness of Sex Offender Registry By Dave Perozek

Advocates Question Effectiveness, Fairness of Sex Offender Registry September 7, 2014
Prosecutors See No Need For Change
By Dave Perozek

Carla Swanson doesn't object to Arkansas' sex offender registry, but she thinks it should contain a lot fewer than the 14,000 names currently listed. 

"So many on the registry are not a threat to society," Swanson said. "I'm against it being flooded with so many sex offenders" the predators can't be adequately tracked. 

Experts and some studies agree with Swanson, director of Arkansas Time After Time, an organization formed in 2010 to advocate for reforming the sex offender laws. 

Registering sex offenders and notifying neighbors for those deemed at a higher risk to re-offend isn't necessarily bad, but there are problems, said Jeffery Walker, chairman of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock's criminal justice department. 

"Notification has never been known to do much except scare the crap out of people around the offenders," Walker said.

Survey: Virginia Law Enforcement Agencies Lack Written Interrogation Policies By Frank Green

Survey: Virginia law enforcement agencies lack written interrogation policies September 7, 2014
Study author urges overhaul to help prevent wrongful convictions
By Frank Green

Nearly one-third of more than 180 recently surveyed law enforcement agencies in Virginia lack written interrogation policies, and only a handful require that questioning be recorded. 

The survey, the first of its kind in the country, was released today, less than a week after the DNA exonerations of two mentally disabled North Carolina men who “confessed” to the 1983 rape and murder of a girl during faulty police interrogations. 

In Virginia, two mentally disabled men, Earl Washington Jr. of Culpeper and Curtis Jasper Moore of Emporia, were wrongly convicted of rapes and murders as a result of false confessions. Washington came within nine days of execution.

Properly conducted and recorded police interrogations can go a long way toward preventing false confessions, said Brandon L. Garrett, the author of the study, “Interrogation Policies,” and a professor at the University of Virginia School of Law.