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Monday, July 6, 2015

July 5, 2015 Virginian Pilot Editorial - Mary Davye Devoy: Has Virginia’s Sex Offender Registry Kept Us Safe?


Remember the June 28th Action item I posted? 

I shared the original version I had written with the Virginian Pilot that morning and yesterday in the Sunday July 5, 2015 edition they printed it (with an unattractive 2012 V.P. photo of me) and didn’t even let me know. I completely missed it when scanning their site yesterday morning and only learned of it this morning when an acquaintance sent me a "good job" note. 

The print version of my editorial was directly below an editorial written by Delegate Glenn Davis against the Governors Parole Commission. 

Also in the July 5th edition was a column by Kerry Dougherty against Governor McAuliffe’s Parole Commission. Back in 2010 some of you may remember Ms. Dougherty included me in a hateful column prompting me to share how easily an innocent Virginian can become a dreaded “Sex Offender” and 5 days later the V.P. printed my first editorial in their paper.

Mary Davye Devoy


Devoy: Has Virginia’s Sex Offender Registry Kept Us Safe?     July 5, 2015
A program that claimed it would better protect society has been in place for 20 years. We owe it to our citizens to see whether it has done what was promised, is cost effective, whether justice is being served or reforms are needed.

Recently, Gov. Terry McAuliffe set up an independent commission to look at the 20 years since parole was abolished and determine whether it should be revived. "It's time to review whether that makes sense," he said during a radio appearance. "Is it keeping our citizens safe? Is it a reasonable, good, cost-effective way? Are we rehabilitating folks?" he asked. "Are sentences too long for nonviolent offenses? Are we keeping people in prison too long?"

All great questions! 

But almost immediately some state lawmakers spun the governor's order into a fear-mongering, the-sky-is-falling, political issue. 

A program that claimed it would better protect society has been in place for 20 years. We owe it to our citizens to see whether it has done what was promised, is cost effective, whether justice is being served or reforms are needed. 

That's the work of a state that leads: It establishes accountability, checks and balances. 

The Virginia legislature had an opportunity this year to do so with another 20-year-old law that needs an accountability check, and it refused. 

Sen. Emmett Hanger's bill, SJ282, would have studied the data on the Virginia Sex Offender Registry and considered possible reforms. 
 

Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Taskforce - No Longer Using the Term ‘Sexting’ for Teens Who Knowingly Take and Share Sexual Images of Themselves, Now They Call it’s ‘Self-Victimization’. Sounds Like the First Step in Creating a New Criminal Statute or Perhaps for Additional Federal Funding. There has to be a Reason for the Change in Verbiage, What is the End Goal?


Christiansburg taskforce cracks down on online predators, July 5, 2015
By Cameron Austin

CHRISTIANSBURG — Sometimes it takes weeks. Other times months. But town police Investigator Moe McClanahan knows exactly what it takes to bait men who lurk on the Internet, waiting to prey on children. 

McClanahan, along with Sgt. Curtis Brown, runs the Internet Crimes Against Children task force out of Christiansburg that protects children from dangerous Internet activity and investigates sexual exploitation. 

ICAC is a national task force that was created to help federal, state and local law enforcement agencies catch suspects who use the Internet to sexually exploit children. The program, funded by the Department of Justice, is in charge of investigations, raising community awareness and examining forensic evidence on electronic devices. 

In the region, McClanahan and Brown say they’ve recently seen a spike in teenagers sharing pornographic images with each other. In the past, McClanahan previously spent significant time doing undercover work, but she says this year has been different.