happens when the statistical basis for a massive, nationwide legislative push
crumbles into dust? Absolutely nothing, if the subject is sexual assault on
year, more than half the states in the country considered legislation dealing
with sexual assault on college campuses. California
and New York enacted affirmative-consent
policies, Connecticut and Virginia announced new laws intended to
prevent sexual violence on campuses and last year President Obama created a
task force designed to deal with what liberal political elites claimed was a
startling rise in sexual assault.
very studies these politicians relied on don’t say what they have claimed — yet
the “yes means yes” juggernaut rolls on.
of Virginia and the Charles Koch Institute are working together to spur
conversation about needed criminal justice reforms in Virginia - reforms that
keep communities safe and hold lawbreakers accountable.
believe the Commonwealth's Commission on Parole Review, made up of a bipartisan
group of legislators, law enforcement officials, and criminal justice experts,
represents a unique opportunity to explore how the commonwealth can enhance
public safety, cut costs and embrace human dignity by making smarter, more
effective choices about how we deal with crime.
commission is responsible for investigating the impact of 1990s-era legal
changes on public safety, the state's resources, and society at large.
its last meeting, on Thursday, the commission heard a presentation about why it
should look beyond just the issue of parole and work toward reforms that would
improve the lives of all Virginians.
See Update at bottom
of this post Back on July
20, 2015 when the first Parole Commission meeting was held
there was media in attendance, a press conference by Virginia Republican
Lawmakers and numerous articles before and after the hearing for against its
past Thursday August 27, 2015 when the second public meeting was held there was
NO media attention and I haven’t found one article on it.
agenda was not available online and they ran out of paper copies very quickly
so I took a photo of the copy the lady sitting next to me, it’s above. I attended having no idea what or who
would be presenting.
“We hear a lot about risk
assessments, risk assessments are not all created equal. With regards to the
risk assessments for Sex Offenders you have one very widely used risk
assessment called the Static 99 used here in Virginia mandated to determine
risk, according to the New York Court of Appeals Jeffrey Dahmer scores low risk
on that assessment tool, I don’t know if you knew that I’ll send you that
opinion if you want to look at it, it’s a deeply flawed tool unfortunately it’s
the only one they have to use, so my concern is when we are talking about
low-risk, moderate-risk and high-risk that we really need to use a surgical
scalpel and not come in with the artillery and start letting people out we need
to be very careful because those risk assessment tool are really incredibly
flawed. Our organizations position is that it is not worth the paper it is
who has been emailing me for years recently shared the best news ever!
Virginia State Police removed him from the VSP Sex Offender Registry website;
he would no longer need to register as a Non-Violent Offender for a 2009
conviction, he received a letter stating this from the VSP after a long drawn
out court petition.
might be thinking 2009 to 2015 that’s
NOT 15 years, the minimum time (per 2008 retroactive change by the VA Legislature)
required for a Non-Violent Offender to register before a petition is allowed to
be filed in court.
You would be correct.
this branded man should NEVER have been forced to register as a Non-Violent Sex
Offender in the first place.
William Quarles, 38, bolts from his desk around 5:30 most weeknights, he’s up
against his most important deadline of the day. Quarles is an audiovisual
editor and social media manager at a Christian television studio in St. Petersburg, Florida.
By the time he gets home, he and Ashley, his wife of nine years, have just over
three hours to make dinner for their three children, squeeze in a half-hour of
playtime, get the kids bathed and dressed for bed, and read to them for a few
sharp, William kisses Ashley, walks out the door and drives his van 12 miles to
a spot at the end of a dirt road off Interstate 275. From there he calls her,
and they read and pray together from the devotional Our Daily Bread before they
fall asleep — Ashley at home and William in the back of the van. Every couple
of hours, William wakes up sweating and turns on the engine to run the air
name and photo appear on Florida’s
public sex offender registry. A state law bans him and most others on
the list from living within 1,000 feet
of schools, parks, playgrounds and child care facilities. The house the family
rents lies inside a banned zone, so William can’t stay there between 10 at
night and 6 in the morning.
deciding whether to file a misdemeanor or felony charge in a borderline case
are likely to engage in “strategic undercharging,” knowing that a conviction on
the misdemeanor carries an expanded set of penalties, according to research
forthcoming in the William &
Mary Law Review. But while misdemeanor defendants have faced a growing
set of penalties since the 1990s, they do not enjoy the same safeguards
as felony defendants.
penalties for misdemeanor offenses, also called “collateral consequences,”
could include being required to register as a sex offender, being prohibited
from owning a firearm and deportation, Paul Crane, a professor at the University of Chicago Law School writes in a study
titled "Charging on the Margin."
Although the penalties for felony defendants are still harsher, the procedural
safeguards they are entitled to include rights to a grand jury, a preliminary
hearing and a jury trial, as well as bargaining chips during the negotiation
prosecutor engages in strategic undercharging when she charges a lesser offense
than she otherwise could, but does so for reasons that advance her own aims—and
not as an act of grace or leniency,” Crane writes. “Prosecutors will sometimes
exercise their charging prerogative by filing a lesser charge and, in so doing,
gain the strategic advantage that comes from significantly reducing a
defendant’s procedural entitlements.”
result of the expanded penalties increasingly triggered by misdemeanor
convictions, Crane writes that the distinction between felonies and misdemeanors
is starting to blur. The study is part of the Public Law and Legal Theory
Working Paper Series.
May of this year the Amherst
County Town Board/Board of Supervisors made a change to local
law that appears to have gone unnoticed by most.
It is Amherst County ordinance #14-151http://www.countyofamherst.com/egov/documents/1431616005_45343.pdf.
As of May
2015 basically anyone that has been convicted of any crime (misdemeanor or
felony) involving “Moral Turpitude” will
have their Amherst County Business License revoked AND any business/company that
knowingly employs someone convicted of a crime involving “Moral Turpitude” could have their Amherst County Business License completely
2002 case McKune v. Lile, the Supreme Court
upheld a Kansas
law that imposed harsher sentences on sex offenders who declined to participate
in a prison rehab program. The substance of the Kansas law the court upheld isn’t as
important as the language the court used to uphold it. In his opinion,
Justice Anthony Kennedy reasoned that they pose “such a frightening and high
risk of recidivism” which he wrote “has been estimated to be as high as 80%.”
Five year earlier,in Kansas v.
Hendricks, the court allowed the states to
detain sex offenders found to have a “mental abnormality” can be continued to
be held indefinitely under civil commitment laws, even after they’ve
served their sentences. The majority justified its decision by
explaining that commitment hearings are administrative, not criminal, and
the intent of such laws is treatment, not punishment.
after the McKune decision, the court then upheld an Alaska law that puts sex offenders on a
public registry, even those who were convicted before the law was passed, which
would seem to be a violation of the Constitution’s prohibition of ex post facto
laws. Here too, Justice Kennedy noted that “a conviction for a sex offense
provides evidence of substantial risk of recidivism. The legislature’s findings
are consistent with grave concerns over the high rate of recidivism among
convicted sex offenders and their dangerousness as a class. The risk of
recidivism posed by sex offenders is ‘frightening and high.'”
In a forthcoming article in Constitutional Commentary, Ira
Mark Ellman and Tara Ellman note that Kennedy’s magic words about the
recidivism rate of sex offenders — frightening and high — have been cited
91 times by courts around the country, most in the course of upholding state
laws allowing for severe ex post facto punishments that can last from years, to
decades, to a lifetime. They include registration requirements for which
compliance can range from burdensome to impossible; residency restrictions that
effectively restrict ex-offenders to living in the shadows (or under a bridge);
and restrictions that can make it nearly impossible to find a job, forge
meaningful relationships, worship, or generally participate in civilized life.
thing is, as the Ellmans explain, there’s no empirical data to
support Kennedy’s oft-cited phrase, and the statistic Kennedy himself
cited is paper thin.
Has anyone been following the St. Paul Prep School Rape Case also
known as the ‘Senior Salute’ Case, I have.
not just a he-said, she-said case with no evidence.
Because of the text messages that were sent between
the accuser and the accused, both before the “rape” and after the “rape”. The
text messages following the sexual encounter show no distress, trauma or claim
of assault in fact…..they are just the opposite.
accuser reported a rape 5 days after the encounter and she originally claimed the encounter was consensual. Only
after other students were talking about the sexual encounter did it turn into a
Is she a
victim? Or did she change her story about the encounter especially when other
students knew about it and regret or self-loathing set in?
Is he a
perpetrator, a rapist? Or did he and a female student have a sexual encounter
that was 100% consensual when it was occuring?
go to prison and become a Registered Sex Offender?
have to wait to find out but I know this…….. there will be no “winners” in the
end, everyone loses in these situations.
Boarding School Sex Scandal: When
Bro Culture Becomes Rape Culture, August 18, 2015
tradition of the ‘Senior Salute’ at St. Paul’s, a top New Hampshire private
school, an innocent sexual game, or did it have a much darker side?
a ton of articles on the Subway spokesman Jared Fogle’s plea from yesterday,
most are condemning him some are asking why.
I’m not going to get in the debate
of his specific case or his plea deal. I am not taking a stand, I am not defending him.
What I am going to do is post two articles (see below) that make very good sense and are based
on facts and avoid the hate, the vengeance, the propaganda of sexual danger being
everywhere or the glee that a celebrity has fallen and he has lost his wealth,
family and freedom.
You can read
these two articles and come to your own conclusion.
1- The Jared Fogle case: Why we understand so little about child sex
abuse, August 20,
Viagra for Sex Offenders” bandwagon (see
Canadian article at the bottom) happened with the U.S. Congress back
in 2010 for those of you who weren’t following RSO issues back then. I actually
wrote and mailed a huge stack of letters to every U.S. Committee member (House
and Senate) telling them to stay out of my bedroom! An action that I NEVER
expected I’d ever have to do in my entire life, but there it was a bill to stop
my spouse from accessing E.D. medication if he (we) ever needed it. Covering or
not covering the cost (Medicaid or Medicare) of an E.D .prescription wasn’t what pissed
me off, if was singling out Registered Sex Offenders for a medical condition
that a prescription is available to fix and
would be covered for anyone else. A past criminal conviction should
NEVER have ANYTHING to do with the medical care, treatment options or if something is covered in America!
essence of the American criminal justice system is reactive, not predictive:
You are punished for the crime you committed. You can’t be punished simply
because you might commit one someday. You certainly can’t be held indefinitely
to prevent that possibility.
that is exactly what is happening to about 5,000 people convicted of sex crimes
around the country. This population, which nearly doubled in the last decade, has completed prison
sentences but remains held in what is deceptively called civil commitment — the
practice of keeping someone locked up in an institution for months, years or
even decades for the purpose of preventing possible future offenses.
authorities have the power to detain people with mental illnesses or disorders
who cannot function independently, or who pose a danger to themselves or
others. But since the early 1990s, this power has been used increasingly to
imprison one distinct group: sex offenders.
that Gov. Mark Dayton can’t make time to see her son, who’s now in his 30s and
has been housed since 2012 in the Minnesota Sex Offender Program (MSOP) at MooseLake.
So she sent the governor a photograph.
her son wears a dark suit and light pink shirt. His full head of brown hair
sweeps to the left with a slight curl. He wears a red tie and a jubilant smile.
He is 4
to make [the governor] say, ‘My God, we need to save this little boy,’” said Dee, who asked that only her first name be used. “He’s not only
a perpetrator locked up in MooseLake. Emotionally, he’s
also still a little boy, who was a victim first.”
Dee is one of many Minnesotans wondering if, finally, it’s
safe to dream that a loved one will be released from the embattled program.
Monday, more than a dozen Minnesota
legislators and other state officials gathered behind closed doors (drawing
media protests) to discuss more workable options for treating offenders. Those
options include re-evaluating current residents, more frequent assessments of
their progress and less restrictive facilities for those deemed no longer a
700 “clients,” only three have transitioned out of the 21-year-old program. A
fourth moves out in September. That Hotel California-esque reality has led to a
Donovan Frank has made it clear that if stakeholders don’t act within coming
months, he will.
Commit an Inadvertent Felony, Which You Have No Knowledge of!
Isent the belowto the current Virginia Legislators
who are running for office in November, the Governors office, the ACLU of
Virginia and a few Virginia
note below states I spoke with 3 different VSP employee today’s about this.
second person Supervisor _________ said during my call that "Offenders must take the initiative"
and that "the VSP is doing the
Offenders a favor even sending them the SP-236-A".
I have to
disagree with both of his statements and I will work to change this
mine-field environment, but I do believe his two claims are a
perfect reflection of the VSP’s attitude I have been up-against for the
last 8 years.
of the law is not an accepted defense but blatantly setting people up for
failure is also not acceptable.
has been charged for NOT registering a website’s user name that was attached to
an email address that WAS registered, please
send me an email about the specifics of what happened to you. I’m not an
attorney and we can’t undo the damage but having an example of a case where
they over-interpreted a vaguely written law might help for other RSO’s in the
Sex Offenders must register within
3 days of their conviction ORmove to the Commonwealth:
Name, Nicknames or Aliases
Address (P.O. Box)
self employment OR unemployment
Vehicles with name on the title
Auto, Watercraft and Aircraft AND vehicles without license plates.
with any high school, technical school, college or university
Then if ANY of this
information changes you have 3 days
(not 3 business days) to register the changes.
Sex Offenders must register within
3o minutes any creation or
deletion of an electronic email address, any instant message, chat or other
Internet communication name or identity information that he uses or
intends to use.
from an RSO today……….it seems that the Virginia State Police (VSP) are
interpreting Virginia law to go even further and they consider ANY User Name
for pretty much any website that you can communicate through as an Internet Identifier.
So even though the RSO has registered their email address with the VSP if they
haven’t elaborated all their User Names connected to that email address the VSP
considers that a Registry violation and will send the information onto the
Commonwealth’s Attorney to determine if criminal charges should be pursued.
called the VSP today and spoke to 3 different people about this issue, two
confirmed what the RSO told me and 1 refused to take a stand.
posted about the Washington and Lee or
this Virginia Wesleyan case (see articles below)
for a few reasons but since they are occurring right here in our backyard I
feel I should post something….so I have
selected a few of the many, many, many articles about it.
You can come to your own conclusion.
Virginia Wesleyan says request for
sexual history has a valid basis, August 13, 2015
The Association for the
Treatment of Sexual Abusers is an international,
multi–disciplinary organization dedicated to preventing sexual abuse. Through
research, education, and shared learning, ATSA promotes evidence–based
practice, public policy, and community strategies that lead to the effective
assessment, treatment, and management of individuals who have sexually abused
or are at risk to abuse.
ATSA is an association of
individuals from around the world committed to achieving a high level of
professional excellence. ATSA promotes the philosophy that empirically based
assessment, practice, management, and policy strategies will enhance community
safety, reduce sexual recidivism, protect victims and vulnerable populations,
transform the lives of those caught in the web of sexual violence, and
illuminate paths to prevent sexual abuse.
Annual Research and Treatment Conference will be held October 14-17 2015 in MontrealQuebec.
Breaking New Ground: Understanding
and Preventing Sexual Abuse
There is always
a stack of research books haunting me to read and I do my best to get to the
bottom of the stack before the annual Virginia General Assembly begins in
preordered this book Sexual Predators: Society, Risk and the Lawback
in June and began reading it yesterday. I was worried it was going to be one of
those books that would be “too scientific” for a regular person to read as a
few others have been, but so far I’m really enjoying it.
decided to post some notes I’ve taken about ‘Fear’ from Chapter 1.
The power of fear has treacherous effects.
Anger, fear and disgust predicate moral
The fear of an immanent threat underlies
ultimately degrades our principle of human fairness and our capacity for
Fear (often whipped up by the media)
can distort public policy and sabotage the most constructive laws.
Fear leads to injustice and irrational
identifying root causes and best-practice responses, our public policy has been
reactive, driven by fear and the
political exploitation of fear.
When fear trumps science, when it silences
good faith discussion of policy, it is prevention that suffers the prevention
of sexual violence.
policy-makers ridicule or ignore science, resulting in countless resources
allocated to reactive legislation that is rarely held to account for its
effectiveness in preventing sexual violence.
Round RockHigh School, just north of Austin in the Texas Hill
Country, sprawls over 88 acres. It feels like a small liberal-arts college:
There is a junior R.O.T.C. Training center. There are basketball courts, a
gymnastics facility, a swimming pool, a football field, soccer fields, and a
baseball diamond that, along its outfield fence, bears a faded sign
commemorating the school’s 1997 state championship victory.
In January 2007, the principal called 17-year-old
Jean Karlo Ponzanelli out of first-period history class and down to the office
to join a waiting detective who took him to the local station for questioning.
A girl he knew had run away from home and the police were curious about her
whereabouts. They also suspected domestic abuse. (The girl declined a request
for an interview, so her name has been withheld to protect her privacy.)
Ponzanelli had known this girl since the last day
of 2005, when he attended a New Year’s Party at her home. “We go to the same
high school,” he remembers her telling him in the kitchen.