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Monday, April 25, 2016

Political Scapegoat Needed? Sexual Predators Always Work in a Pinch, No Matter What the Issue Is!


Update: 

Schapiro: Va. Republicans risk overdoing it in rights debate, April 26, 2016

Original Post:

When a Politician needs to fan the flames of hype, myth and fear to get their Constituents attention what is the never-fail, go-to group you can guarantee they’ll serve up? 

Yep! Those Rapists…Pedophiles….Child-Molesters…Child-Rapists…Child-Pornographers… Human-Traffickers….and when applicable Terrorists are always a sure-fire win. 

So what issue has Virginia Legislators drawing from the “Sexual Predator Well” in recent days? 

The fact that last Friday Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe signed an Executive Order to automatically restore the voting rights to former-felons who are NOT incarcerated AND who are no longer under VA-DOC Probation supervision approximately 180,000 to 220,000 disenfranchised Virginians.  

Before we get to the recent Virginia Political statements made let me cover some facts first: 
  1. These 180,000 to 220,000 disenfranchised Virginians did not just get released from prison yesterday they have been in our communities, working amongst us, living down the street from us, sitting next to us at church, on the city bus and at that outdoor summer concert and they have been shopping alongside us at the local grocery store and Home Depot. Perhaps you even spoke with them briefly or shared a smile.
  2. These 180,000 to 220,000 disenfranchised Virginians were under VA-DOC Probation for years, even decades until they met EVERY mandated requirement and most were relieved of Probation years ago, not yesterday.
  3. If these 180,000 to 220,000 Virginians weren’t contributing and law-abiding members of society today then they would still be under VA-DOC Probation supervision as Virginia does keep many Probationers under supervision for 20 years or even life. 
  4. If these Virginians weren’t contributing and law-abiding members of society today they’d be back in jail or prison and they wouldn’t be included in last Fridays order. 
  5. In Virginia if an Offender owes a Victim restitution (medical bills) that is written into the court-order and is one of the many requirements the Offender must fulfill while under VA-DOC Probation. For an Offender to be released from Probation they must pay all their required restitution and in fact if an Offender falls-behind  in their payments their Probation in VA is extended until they meet that requirement.
  6. Last Friday’s Executive Order is NOT the right to own a firearm, this is the right to vote in an election, a right that most states do in fact automatically reinstate but Virginia doesn’t. With that right being restored so too is the ability to be a notary and to serve on a jury, a task that most Americans avoid like the plague. And a fact that based on the below comments some Virginia Legislators have made, they’ve forgotten isn’t automatic. Potential jurors are required to answer survey questions including prior convictions, they are questioned repeatedly and a Commonwealth’s Attorney (Prosecutor) or Defense Attorney can eliminate any potential juror they don’t approve of or that has a conflict of interest, like a previously convicted rapist hearing a rape case.
  7. The last right that was restored with last Friday Executive Order to “hold an elected office” doesn’t apply to Virginians who have been convicted of rape, child-molestation, child-pornography and human trafficking because Virginia Code for elected-officials already prevents anyone listed on the Virginia State Police Registry from holding office.
But that hasn’t stopped the “Pedophile” and “Rapist” fear-mongering quotes coming from Virginia’s elected officials. 

So far I’ve taken note of these public comments made by Virginia elected-officials attempting to create an urgency of fear, danger and injustice:
 

My Senator…..Ryan McDougle said
Child molesters, rapists and murderers will now be seated on juries beside model citizens,”
“And all because Terry McAuliffe wants to ensure that convicted pedophiles, rapists and domestic abusers can vote for Hillary Clinton and Levar Stoney.”

Delegate and Attorney General Candidate Rob Bell said
“A murder victim won't get to vote, but the man that killed them will,” “You will have child pornographers, human traffickers, robbers, rapists, murderers eligible to sit on juries and hear criminal cases of people who commit similar crimes.” 

Delegate Tim Hugo said
"Why didn't @GovernorVA ask the rape victim if the rapist should get their rights back?"
"He did a broad brush on the rapists, pedophiles, and the worst of the worst." 

Delegate Kirk Cox said
"Should a rapist have paid his victim's medical bills first? He doesn't have to under this order."  

Delegate and Speaker of the House Bill Howell said
“The Governor’s policy applies to criminals who have committed even the most heinous violent crimes including murder, rape, child rape, and kidnapping.  Under this Governor’s policy, violent criminals will be treated the same as lifelong law-abiding citizens.  Not only will these criminals have the right to vote, but they will also be serving on our juries.” 

Gubernatorial Candidate Ed Gillespie said
"I believe in redemption and reconciliation and that a review of restoration of rights for non-violent felons who've paid their debt to society deserves debate, but this sweeping action benefiting convicted rapists, murderers and child molesters is a reckless abuse of executive power." 

In his April 25, 2016 emailed newsletter Senator Bill DeSteph said
“Unbelievably, this executive order allows those convicted of heinous crimes such as murder, rape, robbery, and child molestation to actually sit on a jury, hearing cases similar to the crimes he or she was convicted of committing”. 

In his April 25, 2016 emailed newsletter Delegate Matt Farris said
“By lumping all offenders together, McAuliffe allows no consideration of: (1) the seriousness of the offense, including the injuries or death of the victim, (2) whether the felon has paid his victim's medical bills, (3) whether the offender committed multiple offenses, or (4) whether the felon has committed new offenses since his release.  Far from determining that the felon has "paid his debt to society," McAuliffe's order doesn't even ensure that the felon has paid his debt to the crime victim.  He makes no effort to determine whether Virginia's most violent and dangerous criminals - many of them repeat offenders - have changed their ways.  And in addition to voting, those previously convicted of crimes - including rapists, robbers, and child pornographers - will be eligible to sit on juries hearing similar cases”. 

Delegate Chris Head said
“Now, rapists will be able to serve on the jury for other rapists. Child molesters will determine whether the child molester on trial is guilty or not, and the murderer will be able to serve on the jury, while the murder victim never will. Shameful. Unthinkable.”
 

Sounds like the sky-is-falling doesn’t it? But it’s not. 

I expect there are other rapist/pedophile quotes that I haven’t found yet and there will probably be more in the future and that’s why I had to address these falsehoods today. 

I understand “political-speech” and everyone’s freedom of speech but baseless fear-mongering that largely targets Virginia’s 22,200+ Registered Sex Offenders (RSO) as citizens who have not paid their debt to society and should not be allowed to ever vote for their District’s Representatives.........when these Virginians contact their Reps they ARE ignored if they aren’t registered-voters and they have even been condemned and personally attacked by Virginia Representatives (I’ve seen the email’s) because they are an RSO who has an opinion on a piece of legislation reinforces the need of last Friday’s Order. If it were left up to the Virginia Legislature to restore these tax-paying and law-abiding citizens who have successfully re-entered back into society, it would never happen. 

Anytime a Legislator pulls out the Sexual Predator, Pedophile or even Terrorist verbiage your radar should go up and closer examination of their proposal or claims should occur, immediately.

Mary Devoy