last 4 weeks of waiting for Governor McAuliffe to either veto or signHB1366into law I was considering a
court challenge against the new law. Now that ithas been signed by the
GovernorI’ve circled back with a legal group on doing just
A legal challenge requires a plaintiff, facts showing the injury
has or will most certainly occur, and a legal argument (vs. a policy argument)
about why the new law is bad.
In order to challenge any law, you have to have a plaintiff who is
someone who has standing to bring a legal claim (i.e., someone who has been or
will definitely be “injured” by the law), and you have to show what the injury
is and how the injury offends the law.
To get an injunction against a new law from going into effect, you also have to be able to show that your legal case is so strong that you
have a “likelihood of winning on the merits” and that a damages claim would not
be sufficient to remedy the harm caused.
At the moment a civil liberties group is considering this for
Delegate Jeffrey Campbell’s BillHB1366Sex offenses prohibiting entry
onto school or other property; hearing (a deceptive title) was signed
into law by Governor Terry McAuliffe this past weekend.
hoped the statements the ACLU of Virginia made to the media (below) against HB1366
after I single-handedly opposed it in the Virginia House Courts of Justice
Criminal Sub-Committee meeting (even after the Virginia Senate amendments,
weeks later) would have resonated with our Governor, but they fell on deaf
News Articles on this Bill:
·Campbell: Sex offender bill would stir up
February 12, 2015
fear, hate, vengeance and prejudice wins out yet again while facts, equal
justice under the law, unbiased and fair hearings before a judge and the very
foundation of our Rule of Law are not just trampledbut thrown-out-the window by our elected
officials because they deem certain citizens “unworthy” and they continue to
allow their emotions to write and pass our laws.
my best to stop HB1366 from becoming law, I’m sorry
was my 7th General Assembly session and sadly it was one of my most
unsuccessful ones. Right now I feel disappointed and defeated. I can’t believe
after 7 years of advocating for you and your families I am still more often than
not the only person who stands up in opposition to these hateful bills every
year in Richmond.
bills that have nothing to do with me or my family, but I stand up against them
because it’s the right thing to do. And yet, I continue to stand alone (most of
email’s daily from readers complaining about the registry, the restrictions and
the collateral damage but when new and harsher laws are being proposed, where
email’s daily from readers asking for my help to get them off the registry, to
do a court challenge (pro-bono) or to get them exonerated. Most email’s are
about you, what you need, what you want, what I should do to help YOU!
Virginia Delegate David Ramadan’s Face
book page, Governor McAuliffe signed his House version of Robby’s
Rule 2015 into law yesterday. It’s not noted in LIS yet but
there is always a delay.
hoped the letter sent from the ACLU of Virginia to Governor McAuliffe asking
him to veto Robby’s Rule 2015 and the reasons why would have resonated with our
Governor, but sadly naming laws that would not have prevented the original
crime from occurring after a victim and that will do more harm than good is
still the status quo in Virginia.
fear, hate, vengeance and prejudice wins out yet again while facts, due process
and successful re-entries into our communities are claimed to be important and
to matter....... but the proof-is-in-the-pudding.
sincerely hope someone who had not committed a crime in 25 or 35 years and is
placed on this VSP Supplemental Registry challenges Robby’s Rule as a violation
of ex post facto or a denial of due process….and they win......overturning the entire VSP
my best to stop Robby’s Rule 2015 from becoming law, I’m sorry everyone!
"denounces" McAuliffe's signing of sex registry bill, March 27, 2015
Richmond, VA – The American Civil
Liberties Union (ACLU) of Virginia
today condemned Governor McAuliffe’s action on two bills that will create a new
sex offender registry, SB 1074 and HB 1353.
disappointed in the Governor’s decision to sign these bills,” said ACLU of
Virginia Executive Director Claire Guthrie Gastañaga. “Not only does it create
an added punishment beyond any penalty handed down as a part of a criminal
conviction, it also fails to provide any rational connection to public safety.”
Skenazy came to fame for letting her 9-year-old son ride the New York subway home by himself. Or rather,
she came to fame by letting him ride the subway home alone and then writing about it for the New York Sun.
led to an outcry — she was dubbed “America’s worst mom” — which, of
course, meant that the essay had to become a book: “Free-Range Kids, How to
Raise Safe, Self-Reliant Children (Without Going Nuts With Worry).” In the five
years since its publication, the book has inspired a movement among parents who
want to give their children the freedom to do things like walk home from school
alone. It’s a backlash to our age of “helicopter” and “bubble wrap” parenting.
(If you suspect these monikers are exaggerations, consider that a Skenazy
devotee recently had five police cars arrive at his house
after his 10- and 6-year-old were seen walking alone.) Now Skenazy has a show
on the Discovery Life channel, “World’s Worst Mom,” which sees her swooping
into homes and coaching overprotective parents in a style reminiscent of the
ABC reality-TV show “Suppernanny.”
Skenazy has taken on a new, albeit related, cause: reform of the sex offender
registry. Clearly, this lady is not afraid of controversy. On Sunday, she held
a “Sex Offender Brunch” at her house to introduce “her friends in the press to
her friends on the Registry.” One of her guests was Josh Gravens, who at age 12
inappropriately touched his 8-year-old sister and landed on the registry as an
adult, and who I interviewed previously for Salon. The
materials accompanying her press release contend that the sex offender
registry, which was created to “let people identify dangerous individuals
nearby…has failed to have any real impact on child safety, and may actually do
more harm than good.” She’s effectively flinging open the closet door and
saying, “See? There’s no boogeyman in there” (or, if you will, flipping on the
lights to offer assurance that the “monster” in the corner is actually just a
lamp that made some mistakes when it was younger and means no harm). This is
entirely consistent with her “Free-Range Kids” activism, but she’s taking it a
step further now, moving beyond just squashing parental fears about stranger
danger to helping those who have been unfairly labeled as dangerous strangers.I
spoke with Skenazy by phone about how she found her new cause, why the public
registry fails to protect kids and the real risks that “stranger danger”
SB720 has been signed into law by Governor McAuliffe
Be it enacted by the
General Assembly of Virginia:
That the Code of Virginia is amended by
adding a section numbered 8.01-40.3 as follows:
§ 8.01-40.3. Unauthorized dissemination,
etc., of criminal history record information; civil action.
Any person who
disseminates, publishes, or maintains or causes to be disseminated, published,
or maintained the criminal history record information as defined in § 9.1-101 of an individual pertaining to
that individual's charge or arrest for a criminal offense and solicits,
requests, or accepts money or other thing of value for removing such criminal
history record information shall be liable to the individual who is the subject
of the information for actual damages or $500, whichever is greater, in
addition to reasonable attorney fees and costs.
good news….. but what about publications like Gotcha!?
Gotcha! was founded in February 2010. It prints
the mug shots of not just convicted people but of arrested people who may have
charges dropped down the line or who may be found….. not guilty.
Gotcha! might NOT be “black-mailing” the
people they list to be removed from the Internet (as SB720 specifies) but the
damage Gotcha! creates because co-workers, employers, landlords, neighbors,
parishioners and acquaintances see the mug-shot can never be captured.
if signed into law by the Governor which is a terrible, terrible proposal
wouldn’t go back far enough (July 1980 to July 1884) to satisfy Tamara Martin
(1975/76) vengeful goal. If her father has not been accused or convicted of a
sexual crime since 1976 then he has made a successful re-entry and demanding a
public label for someone I’m guessing is a senior citizen doesn’t help anyone
except Ms. Martin’s self-serving goal to humiliate and destroy her father’s
ability to survive in a small town.
Martin might be protected under the right to free speech but this billboard is
harassment, the attempt to defame and an act of vigilantism cloaked under the
typical mantra…… the public has a right to know. A claim I’ve been hearing for
the last 7 years of advocating for data-driven reform of our registry but yet
myth, fear and hate are all too often the genesis and outcome of most of our
newly passed laws.
editorial is not just about what “self-infantilization” and “helicopter
parenting” has done to create an entire generation of young adults who can’t
handle real-life and tough discussions but it shows how the campus sexual assault discussion
and solutions are being handled by those young adult’s……….and it’s just
I just had
to share this editorial. These overly-protected, my feelings and opinions must
be validated by you no matter what…….. young people…….. are our future
Prosecutors, Psychologists, Lawmakers, Parents, Governors, and Judges and that is beyond
terrifying to me......and it should be to you.
BYRON, a senior at Brown
University and a member of its Sexual Assault Task Force,
considers it her duty to make Brown a safe place for rape victims, free from
anything that might prompt memories of trauma.
she heard last fall that a student group had organized a debate about campus
sexual assault between Jessica Valenti, the founder of feministing.com,
and Wendy McElroy, a libertarian, and that Ms. McElroy was likely to criticize
the term “rape culture,” Ms. Byron was alarmed. “Bringing in a speaker like
that could serve to invalidate people’s experiences,” she told me. It could be
and some fellow task force members secured a meeting with administrators. Not
long after, Brown’s president, Christina H. Paxson, announced that the
university would hold a simultaneous, competing talk to provide “research and
facts” about “the role of culture in sexual assault.” Meanwhile, student
volunteers put up posters advertising that a “safe space” would be available
for anyone who found the debate too upsetting.
space, Ms. Byron explained, was intended to give people who might find comments
“troubling” or “triggering,” a place to recuperate. The room was equipped with
cookies, coloring books, bubbles, Play-Doh, calming music, pillows, blankets
and a video of frolicking puppies, as well as students and staff members
trained to deal with trauma. Emma Hall, a junior, rape survivor and “sexual
assault peer educator” who helped set up the room and worked in it during the
debate, estimates that a couple of dozen people used it. At one point she went
to the lecture hall — it was packed — but after a while, she had to return to
the safe space. “I was feeling bombarded by a lot of viewpoints that really go
against my dearly and closely held beliefs,” Ms. Hall said.
It is six
o’clock on a Sunday evening, and like so many other Americans I’m sitting in a
restaurant breaking bread with the local church group.
particular group I’m sitting with is part of the SonriseChurch in Hillsboro, Oregon,
and the banter that rattles back and forth between them is what you might
expect. Praise and critique for Pastor Rocky Wing’s sermon are interwoven with
prayers, favorable reviews of the house cheeseburger, friendly gossip about
common friends, and strategy pitches for the endless mission of saving souls.
of 12 that crowds around this table made for eight even looks like the platonic
ideal of an American church group. There’s the handsome and charismatic pastor,
and the impossibly beautiful young married couple sitting next to the betrothed
couple hoping to tie the knot later this spring. (All of whom met at church,
because of course they did.) There’s the roll-up-your-sleeves blue-collar dad
and the cantankerous guy who looks like everyone’s grandfather. There are a
couple of white-haired ladies whose lives revolve around the behind-the-curtain
inner workings of their house of worship, even as their grown children wonder
aloud why they bother.
picture of us, right here, right now, and the scattered iPhones and Androids
that litter the table are the only clue that we are not some Norman Rockwell
painting miraculously sprung to life.
these people are about as ordinary a slice of traditional Americana as one can hope to stumble across
in 2015: a small, All-American community of All-American neighbors getting
together to share All-American food, sing the praises of Jesus, and share the
weight of the various challenges that face today’s modern American registered
last 7 years of advocating I have been contacted by at least 12 other parents
of Autistic children who are listed on the VSP Registry as Violent Offenders.Belowis the latest notice I’ve received from a
parent of a 25 year old Virginia
male who has Asperger’s Syndrome.
who have been diagnosed with Autism have representation/advocates at the annual
Virginia General Assembly every year for therapies, schooling, insurance and new
resources but NO ONE EVER discusses what happens when Autistic Virginians are
swept up by our criminal or judicial system. No one is concerned about them
surviving incarceration, abiding by the rules of VADOC Probation or what a
lifetime on the VSP Registry as a Violent Sex Offender really means to them or
their family members who look after them.
has “fallen through the cracks” ( a favorite phrase by many Virginia Legislators
and crime victims) in our State it is citizens with Autism who are
interrogated, charged, convicted and incarcerated while EVERYONE involved turns
a blind eye to their disability and mental capabilities treating them as if
they had criminal intent when they did not.
elected officials are raising the punishments, lowering the burden of proof or
refusing to add an age gap allowance to proposed bills they need to know that
their “rewrites” of Virginia Code is actually sweeping up low IQ, mentally
incapable and Autistic citizens who pose no threat to society as Lifetime Violent
Sex Offenders in the Commonwealth.
We have a 25yr old (RSO since
2011) son who is intellectually disabled (Autism: Asperger’s Syndrome) since
birth who is registered as a Violent Sex Offender (no violence ever took
place). Our nightmare is below:
Background on our son: Our son was born on ______ 1990, there was
difficulty during birth, the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck
and cut of oxygen to the brain. Age six, he was diagnosed
as "Developmentally Delayed" while attending school.
Age eight, diagnosis changed to "Autistic" by the Autism Expert
employed by the LoudounCountySchool.
He received Special Education services for his entire time in the school
system. He received a high school diploma but, we have recently
discovered that he did not achieve the state requirements for a regular high
school diploma but was given one anyway. He has an extremely low IQ
(75-81), margin of error +/- 9. Additionally, his Psychological
evaluation at age 18 indicated "he was not ready for the adult
world." I think it is safe to assume his mental age was not at his
Our son was arrested in Loudoun County, VA on 26
Mar 10, for Aggravated Sexual Battery.
Within 30 seconds of applying the handcuffs, I told the arresting officer he
was Autistic, he had a lawyer, and do not ask him any questions. We are
his advocates and we were not allowed to be involved any where in the process
frustrated reader wrote The Fact Checker concerning a statement that had appeared
during a NBC Nightly News report
on Jan. 16: “According to the FBI’s latest study, more than 58,000 kids
were abducted by non-relatives in one year.”
VSP Registry information to harass or intimate an RSO in Virginia is a Class 1 misdemeanor (§ 9.1-918-Misuse of registry information; penalty) in most
States it is a felony. And it should be in the Commonwealth!
Va. woman found guilty of
harassing convicted sex offender, March 16, 2015
ROYAL, Va. —
A Front Royal woman faces a $1,500 fine after being found guilty of harassing a
convicted sex offender.
County Circuit Court jury convicted 61-year-old Delores Ann Harris on a charge
of misusing information from Virginia’s
sex offender registry on Friday.
tells The Northern Virginia Daily (http://bit.ly/1x7YC2k)
that she will appeal to the Virginia Court of Appeals. She had appealed an
earlier conviction in general district court to circuit court.
accused of harassing 43-year-old Scott Costello. Costello has been on the sex
offender registry since 1997 following a conviction on an aggravated sexual
testified during the trial that she only wanted to protect
her granddaughter and herself. She and Costelloformerly lived in the same
Taken from an ACLU
of Virginia Advocacy
03/16/15 Email Alert:
General Assembly isn’t over yet. Last Friday, we sent letters to Governor
McAuliffe urging him to sign, amend, or veto certain legislation passed during
the legislative session. The Governor has until midnight on March 29th to
act. Here’s what we asked him to do:
Vetolegislation to expand the sex offender registry.
SB1074 and HB1353 would mandate the creation of a supplemental sex offender
registry on the Virginia State Police website that does nothing to make us or
our kids safer and lacks basic safeguards to ensure that innocent Virginians
are not labeled as sex offenders.
year old (see below article) needs therapy
and treatment, NOT to spend the next 2-15 years in a juvenile detention
facility/adult prison plus a lifetime on the VSP Virginia Sex Offender
well might have been the victim of sexual abuse himself and was reenacting what
had been done to him.
that turns out to be the case, none of it will matter because in Virginia a 14
year old that has committed a sexual offense will be institutionalized and then
mostly will be labeled a Violent Sex Offender for the rest of their life.
institutionalized his chances of becoming a sexual assault/rape victim (http://goo.gl/ZfV3dU , http://goo.gl/40IqPp) in the juvenile or adult facility
are extremely high and in fact such a sentence makes him more likely to be a
dangerous adult instead of the treatable juvenile that he is today.
If he is
convicted this young male will be banished from ever residing with his parents
as his younger brother was a victim, which means he’ll have NO family support.
have no high school diploma, no college education.
receive no job skills and will never have a “career”.
have no social skills whatsoever.
have extreme difficulties in securing housing or employment.
under lengthy VA-DOC supervision, he’ll have to pay for court-order therapy
sessions, maybe court-ordered polygraphs or GPS monitoring, he’ll probably be
forbidden from having Internet access, but required to find employment, housing
and pay court fines.
year old Virginia boy is required to
register as a public Sex Offender in 2010 and now in 2015 as an 18 year old
high school student WTVR runs a story that he’s allowed to continue his
education in HanoverCounty (my county) as if he shouldn't.
known for running “Sex Offender” and Sexual Predator” sensational stories,
probably more than any other Virginia
news station in the Commonwealth, it seems they try to stir up issues,
conflicts and “news”.
young man needs a high school diploma because the majority of Virginia colleges and universities will deny
him admission because of the public label of Sex Offender. He will never have a
career, just a job to provide for himself and a future family.
If Virginia changed current
law to notify all parents of RSO 's as enrolled students, the chances that
the RSO student would be forced to drop out of school before receiving their
a high school diploma are extremely high and a successful future for the RSO would be extremely low!
Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran, the 3 Deputy
Secretaries and his Policy
Assistant asking them to stop
Governor McAuliffe from signing HB1366 into law:
the remainder of the line and through
petition. on line 35
The newspaper notice
shall contain a provision stating that written comments regarding the petition
may be submitted to the clerk of court at least five days prior to the hearing.
February 13, 2015 passed
through the Virginia Senate 38-0.
Heads to the
Governor to be signed into law, vetoed or amended!
The February 16th amendment means that
the public will not show up in person to court to oppose the parent’s petition
but they can submit written testimony for the judge and Commonwealth Attorney
to review and use as a reason to rule against the parent. When the amendment
was submitted Senator McEachin noted during the meeting that the petitioner should
be able to prepare a defense for any submitted public testimony, but then
notext was added to the amendment to