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Ohio HB 77 Bill Summary – Sex Offender Reclassification

February 17, 2011 Comments off

http://www.legislature.state.oh.us/analysis.cfm?ID=129_HB_77&ACT=As%20Introduced&hf=analyses129/h0077-i-129.htm

Summary, and Content and Operation:

Excerpt:

Court reclassification or classification of pre-S.B. 10 offenders and delinquent children into S.B. 10 Tier classification

Conviction, guilty plea, or adjudication prior to January 31, 2011 -

The bill repeals the existing provisions that contain the reclassification mechanism enacted in S.B. 10 and that the Supreme Court in Bodyke, supra, held to be unconstitutional (repeal of R.C. 2950.031 and 2950.032). It also repeals two existing, related provisions enacted in S.B. 10. One of the related provisions extends the S.B. 10 reclassification mechanism to offenders and delinquent children whose registration and other duties under the SORN Law was scheduled to expire on or after July 1, 2007, and before January 1, 2008. The other requires a sheriff to notify the AG when an offender or delinquent child initially registers an address with the sheriff on or after December 1, 2007, based upon a duty imposed for an offense committed prior to that date (repeal of R.C. 2950.033 and 2950.043; these sections were not addressed in Bodyke, supra). The bill enacts a judicially based reclassification mechanism to replace the repealed, unconstitutional mechanism. It also enacts a provision that extends the new mechanism to offenders and delinquent children whose registration and other duties under the SORN Law were modified as a result of the operation of the S.B. 10 reclassification mechanism and, subsequently, were terminated or scheduled to be terminated as a result of the decision in Bodyke, supra (see “When SORN Law duties terminated or to be terminated under Bodyke,” below).

Fighting Ohio House Bill 77 – Reclassification of Sex Offenders

February 8, 2011 Comments off

This is a letter we sent today to the Ohio Representatives on the eve of the Criminal Justice Committee hearing of Wed, Feb 9th, 2011. We urge all readers to write, email and call the Representatives listed on the previous posting to strongly oppose this House Bill 77:

Representative:

I lead an organization named ConstitutionalFights which strongly opposes House Bill 77, introduced by Rep. Hackett. This bill will come before the House Criminal Justice Committee on Wed. Feb, 9, 2011.

HR 77 is the Legislature’s latest attempt to re-classify citizens who have a sex offense conviction in their past. We strongly urge you to oppose advancement of this bill.

The intent of HR 77 is very similar to that of Senate Bill 10, which was ruled as a constitutional violation on June 3, 2010 by the Ohio Supreme Court in Bodyke vs, Ohio ( R.C. Chapter 2950 — Sex offenders — R.C. 2950.031 and2950.032 violate separation of powers by requiring executive branch to reclassify sex offenders already classified by court order).

The difference with HR 77 is that it orders all affected citizens to appear in court for a second sex offender classification hearing.
This is an attempt to bypass the Separation of Powers violation.

But in the 2010 Ohio Supreme Court ruling, the challenges of Due Process, Double Jeopardy and Ex Post Facto violations were not
even addressed by the Court. Had these challenges been decided, they would certainly have resulted in similar nullification of the law.

HR 77 requires any citizen with a sex offense who had not matriculated off the sex offender registry by January 1, 2008 to appear before a Court for a second sex offender classification hearing. A majority of these individuals had fulfilled all requirements put upon them by the sex offender laws in place at the time of their conviction or plea. To haul them back into Court for a new classification hearing where a new set of registry requirements would be imposed is a violation of the Ohio and U.S. Constitutions. This bill violates the Due Process, Double Jeopardy and Ex Post Facto clauses of our Constitutional rights.

In addition to the constitutional violations of any law which attempts to retroactively reclassify offenders and to impose new and more stringent sex offender registry requirements, there are several other factors which our Legislature must consider when drafting sex offender legislation.

Firstly, there is no empirical or statistical data or evidence to support the contention that public sex offender registries have any
effect on recidivism or public safety. In fact, the only data correlating these two factors is in opposition to popular conception.
Publicly-accessible sex offender registries actually serve to isolate humiliate individuals to the point where they cannot build family and social support systems necessary to live productive and law-abiding lives. Along with residency restrictions, these public registries are no less than a Scarlet Letter which brands individuals, often
for a lifetime from normal social life and interaction.

Public sex offender registries do not prevent crimes. National media sensationalistic news reports of hideous sex offenses actually support this contention. In recent years, the highest profile news stories of sex offenses have involved men who were actively compliant registered sex offenders. These registries are simply a means for legislators to appear tough on sex crimes and an excuse for the public to feel better.
But the harm they do in the lives and families of tens of thousands of Ohio citizens caught up in the registry net is dramatic.

A popular myth is that sex offenders have a high recidivism rate. The statistical data proves this to be false. The U.S. Department of Justice statistics refute this myth. USDOJ data reports that “Recidivism Rates of Sexual Offenders (5.3% re-arrested, 3.3% of Child victimizers re-arrested)”
(http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=1136)

The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation study, “Ten-Year Recidivism Follow-Up Of 1989 Sex Offender Releases”, concludes that the recidivism rate for child -victim sex offenders (outside family) for a new sex-related crime in Ohio is 8.7%. The recidivism rate for all sex offenders for a new sex-related crime in Ohio is 8.0%.
(http://www.drc.state.oh.us/web/Reports/Ten_Year_Recidivism.pdf)

Numerous other studies have reported similar data. I can provide official sources.

Finally, this is just morally unjust. Most of the individuals who would be affected by legislation such as HB 77 are those who made a terrible error in their lives many years ago (often times 10 -20 years ago).
They have been living law-abiding, productive lives in the years since they served their debt to society. All of us make mistakes in our lives, yet sex offenders are the only group to which we give no second chance. If the laws are in place at the time of conviction, we have no argument. But imposing new laws in order to recapture those who completed their obligations many years ago is simply immoral and wrong.

I could continue with supporting arguments but in an effort to be concise, I will conclude. I would welcome the opportunity to provide additional supporting information to the Committee members
for their consideration in these hearings. After the 2010 Ohio Supreme Court ruling (Bodyke vs, Ohio) which we fought for 3 years, we have extensive experience in studying sex offender laws, their effects, and the related empirical data within Ohio and throughout the nation.

We urge you to strongly oppose House Bill 77 and any future legislation which attempts to retroactively classify those who have long since satisfied all registration requirements of their offenses.

OH: House Trying to Retroactively Classify Past Offenders (Again)

February 7, 2011 Comments off

As we posted last week, The Ohio House of Representatives has proposed a new bill (HR 77)

If this bill passes, anyone who had not yet matriculated off of the sex offender registry by January 1, 2008 would be hauled back into court for a second sex offender classification hearing where a judge would instate a new sex offender classification. The result of this bill would be exactly what Senate Bill 10 did in 2008 (to reclassify those who should have graduated off of the registry and impose new registry requirements on them, often a life-long registration requirement).

HB 77 is to be debated in the House Criminal Justice Committee on Wed. Feb, 9, 2011 at 9 am. Everyone affected or concerned with this matter should attend this hearing at The Ohio Statehouse in Columbus Ohio. (update Feb 8: we are told by Rep. Slaby’s assistant that only sponsors will participate in this first hearing, and that opponents will not be permitted to participate).

The hearing is open to the public and opposing opinions are allowed. Just fill out the witness form when you enter the statehouse. If you have any written information for the record, you should submit it as well.

If we act proactively and if we have a large number of people attend this hearing, we can avoid a repeat of the 2-1/2 year debacle which we experienced with the implementation of Senate Bill 10 from Jan 2008 through June 2010 when it was finally ruled to be illegal.

We have a good chance to defeat this bill before it advances to a vote. But only if we have others willing to join in the fight, appear at the hearing and communicate your opposition to the bill.

In the meantime, readers should contact the bill’s sponsors and Committee members to clearly express their opposition to this House Bill 77, which would retroactively classify anyone with a sex offense who was not removed from the ESORN sex offender registry before January 1, 2008. This retroactive bill is a violation of the U.S. and Ohio Constitutions which expressly forbid any ex post facto law. It also violates constitutional rights of the Double Jeopardy clause of both Constitutions.

Bill Sponsors:

REPRESENTATIVES:
Hackett Garland Blessing Combs Grossman Hottinger Patmon

Bob D. Hackett, Representative
Phone: (614) 466-1470
Fax: (614) 719-6984
Email: district84@ohr.state.oh.us

Nancy J. Garland, Representative
Phone: (614) 644-6002
Fax: (614) 719-6959
Email: district20@ohr.state.oh.us

Louis W. Blessing, Jr., Speaker Pro Tempore
Phone: (614) 466-9091
Fax: (614) 719-3583
Email: district29@ohr.state.oh.us

Courtney Combs, Representative
Phone: (614) 644-6721
Fax: (614) 719-6954
Email: district54@ohr.state.oh.us

Cheryl L. Grossman, Assistant Majority Whip
Phone: (614) 466-9690
Fax: (614) 719-6962
Email: district23@ohr.state.oh.us

Jay Hottinger, Representative
Phone: (614) 466-1482
Fax: (614) 719-3971
Email: district71@ohr.state.oh.us

Bill Patmon, Representative
Phone: (614) 466-7954
Fax: (614) 719-0010
Email: district10@ohr.state.oh.us


Criminal Justice Committee:

Lynn Slaby R Chair
Phone: (614) 644-5085
Fax: (614) 719-6941
Email: district41@ohr.state.oh.us

Roland Winburn D Ranking Minority Member
Phone: (614) 466-2960
Fax: (614) 719-6940
Email: district40@ohr.state.oh.us

Bill Hayes R Vice Chair
Phone: (614) 466-2500
Fax: (614) 719-6991
Email: district91@ohr.state.oh.us

Nancy J. Garland D
Phone: (614) 644-6002
Fax: (614) 719-6959
Email: district20@ohr.state.oh.us

Louis W. Blessing, Jr. R
Phone: (614) 466-9091
Fax: (614) 719-3583
Email: district29@ohr.state.oh.us

Connie Pillich D
Phone: (614) 466-8120
Fax: (614) 719-3582
Email: district28@ohr.state.oh.us

Danny R. Bubp R
Phone: (614) 644-6034
Fax: (614) 719-6988
Email: district88@ohr.state.oh.us

W. Carlton Weddington D
Phone: (614) 466-5343
Fax: (614) 719-3581
Email: district27@ohr.state.oh.us

William P. Coley, II R
Phone: (614) 466-8550
Fax: (614) 719-6955
Email: district55@ohr.state.oh.us

Sandra Williams D
Phone: (614) 466-1414
Fax: (614) 719-0011
Email: district11@ohr.state.oh.us

Joseph W. Uecker R
Phone: (614) 466-8134
Fax: (614) 719-3966
Email: district66@ohr.state.oh.us

Ron Young R Member
Phone: (614) 644-6074
Fax: (614) 719-3963
Email: district63@ohr.state.oh.us

Call to Action : OH Legislature Going at it Again – Part 2

February 4, 2011 Comments off

It appears that a similar bill was introduced in the Ohio Senate in Nov. 2010. Senate Bill 316 was proposed by Senators: Seitz, Miller, D. Wagoner, Grendell, Turner, and Smith.

Senate Bill 316 is “to clarify for an offender or delinquent child who had SORN Law duties under the SORN Law in effect prior to January 1, 2008, the offender’s or child’s duties under the current SORN Law and the duration of those duties and to declare an emergency.”

Those who are concerned about this attempt to retroactively re-capture (onto the sex offender registries) all offenders whose crimes pre-dated the 2008 law change, should immediately contact these Senators to voice your opposition.

SB 316 Sponsors:

Bill Seitz (R)
Phone: (614) 466-8068
Email: SD08@senate.state.oh.us

Mark Wagoner (R)
Phone: (614) 466-8060
Email: SD02@senate.state.oh.us

Tim Grendell (R)
Phone: (614) 644-7718
Email: SD18@senate.state.oh.us

Nina Turner (D)
Phone: (614) 466-4583
Email: SD25@maild.sen.state.oh.us

Shirley A. Smith (D)
Phone: (614) 466-4857
Email: SD21@maild.sen.state.oh.us

The intent of SB 316 and HB 77 is to:

“Create a list of all the sex offenders who were reclassified via the 2010 Bodyke ruling, notifying them all by mail, and forcing them into court one at a time to have a judge issue a new Adam Walsh Act sentencing order. It would re-reclassify all of these individuals into the AWA tier scheme, adding thousands to the registry, many for life.”

Both of these bills will be debated within the respective House & Senate Criminal Justice Committees. Readers should contact the members of this committee in order to voice your opposition to these bills.

Senate Criminal Justice Committee (re: SB 316)

http://www.ohiosenate.gov/committees/standing/detail/judiciary-criminal-justice.html



Tim Grendell (R)
Chair

Larry Obhof (R)
Vice Chair

Nina Turner (D)
Ranking Minority Member

Eric Kearney (D)

Frank LaRose (R)

Peggy Lehner (R)

Scott Oelslager (R)

Joe Schiavoni (D)

Mark Wagoner (R)

House Criminal Justice Committee ( re: HB77)

http://www.house.state.oh.us/index.php?option=com_displaycommittees&task=2&type=Regular&committeeId=98


Criminal Justice
Name Party Position Name Party Position
Lynn Slaby R Chair Roland Winburn D Ranking Minority Member
Bill Hayes R Vice Chair Nancy J. Garland D Member
Louis W. Blessing, Jr. R Member Connie Pillich D Member
Danny R. Bubp R Member W. Carlton Weddington D Member
William P. Coley, II R Member Sandra Williams D Member
Joseph W. Uecker R Member


Ron Young R Member

Call to Action : OH Legislature Going at it Again

February 3, 2011 Comments off

CALL TO ACTION:

Ohio Legislators are going at it again. Just six months after having been soundly defeated in the June 2010 Bodyke vs. Ohio Supreme Court ruling, seven Ohio House Representatives have proposed new legislation to retroactively revise Ohio’s sex offender laws to re-capture all offenders who committed crimes before 2008 onto the rolls of the sex offender registry.

Those concerned about this proposed legislation must contact the seven Representatives immediately to express their opposition to this bill. If we are forced to do so, ConstitutionalFights will return to the battlefield to help defeat this latest attempt by the Ohio Legislature to violate the constitutional rights of 30,000 Ohio citizens.

The newly proposed bill, House Bill 77 of the 129th General Assembly would amend and repeal parts of the existing Ohio sex offender statutes to:

“clarify that SORN Law definitions of sexually oriented offenses, child-victim oriented offenses, tier classifications, public registry-qualified juvenile offender registrants, and related terms include the specified offenses regardless of when they were committed and to provide for court reclassification of offenders and delinquent children who committed their sexually oriented offense or child-victim oriented offense prior to January 1, 2008, and had SORN Law duties based on that offense into one of the tier classifications of the current SORN Law.

View proposed HB 77.

Bill Sponsors:

REPRESENTATIVES:
Hackett Garland Blessing Combs Grossman Hottinger Patmon

Bob D. Hackett, Representative
State Representative (R)
District: 84
Term: 2nd
Term Limit: Eligible to run for another two-year term
Address:
77 S. High St
11th Floor
Columbus, OH 43215-6111
Phone: (614) 466-1470
Fax: (614) 719-6984
Email: district84@ohr.state.oh.us

Nancy J. Garland, Representative
State Representative (D)
District: 20
Term: 2nd
Term Limit: Eligible to run for another two-year term
Address:
77 S. High St
10th Floor
Columbus, OH 43215-6111
Phone: (614) 644-6002
Fax: (614) 719-6959
Email: district20@ohr.state.oh.us

Louis W. Blessing, Jr., Speaker Pro Tempore
State Representative (R)
District: 29
Term: 4th
Term Limit: Eligible to run for another two-year term
Address:
77 S. High St
14th Floor
Columbus, OH 43215-6111
Phone: (614) 466-9091
Fax: (614) 719-3583
Email: district29@ohr.state.oh.us

Courtney Combs, Representative
State Representative (R)
District: 54
Term: 5th (includes appointed and elected terms)
Term Limit: Not eligible to run for another two-year term
Address:
77 S. High St
13th Floor
Columbus, OH 43215-6111
Phone: (614) 644-6721
Fax: (614) 719-6954
Email: district54@ohr.state.oh.us

Cheryl L. Grossman, Assistant Majority Whip
State Representative (R)
District: 23
Term: 2nd
Term Limit: Eligible to run for another two-year term
Address:
77 S. High St
14th Floor
Columbus, OH 43215-6111
Phone: (614) 466-9690
Fax: (614) 719-6962
Email: district23@ohr.state.oh.us

Jay Hottinger, Representative
State Representative (R)
District: 71
Term: 3rd
Term Limit: Eligible to run for another two-year term
Address:
77 S. High St
12th Floor
Columbus, OH 43215-6111
Phone: (614) 466-1482
Fax: (614) 719-3971
Email: district71@ohr.state.oh.us

Bill Patmon, Representative
State Representative (D)
District: 10
Term: 1st
Term Limit: Eligible to run for another two-year term
Address:
77 S. High St
11th Floor
Columbus, OH 43215-6111
Phone: (614) 466-7954
Fax: (614) 719-0010
Email: district10@ohr.state.oh.us

We seek legal professionals who are willing to engage in a lawsuit against the State of Ohio should this legislation be put into law. We also still seek legal professionals who are willing to engage in a lawsuit against the State of Ohio regarding the Bodyke Supreme Court ruling of June 2010 for damages of those 30,000 former offenders who were maintained on the sex offender registry 2-1/2 years after they should legally have been removed.

We must collectively hit these legislators squarely in the “front teeth” this time to assure that we do not experience what we experienced between 2008 and 2010.

Ohio Attorney General New Efforts to Track Sex Offenders

September 1, 2010 Comments off

ohioattorneygeneral.gov: Cordray Announces New Efforts to Track Sex Offenders (official announcement).
sexoffenderresearch.blogspot.com: Cordray Announces New Efforts to Track Sex Offenders (important analysis).

8/27/2010(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray announced today that his office has received a federal grant that will help county sheriffs keep better track of registered sex offenders.

The $155,546 grant will pay for two new programs. (your tax dollars)

The first will allow the Attorney General’s Office to develop a phone and e-mail alert system that will send automated messages to offenders and sheriffs’ offices around Ohio, five days before offenders are supposed to re-register as part of their reporting requirements. The system also will track phone numbers or e-mail addresses that no longer are in operation, alerting sheriffs’ offices if the contact information provided by offenders is incorrect.

The second part of the grant will help county sheriffs’ offices fund extradition of offenders who moved to other states without notifying local authorities as required by law.

Analysis from sexoffenderresearch.blogspot.com:
“Of course this new system of tracking likely will catch offenders unaware and maybe arrested, when they are actually compliant. For instance, if a phone is shut off because one cannot pay a bill, that would cause the registrant to be arrested. If a registrant doesn’t use his/her e-mail addresses frequently, the e-mail provider will tag that account for being dormant and eventually close the e-mail account, causing the registrant to be arrested. Next, if a registrant has many e-mail addresses each for different purposes, will s/he be arrested because he decides to no longer use one of them? There is a big difference in having a e-mail address and using it, this new system forces registrants to use ALL e-mail addresses regularly or face arrest.”

Don’t forget: The Ohio Attorney General has still not complied with the Bodyke Supreme Court ruling of June 3, 2010. While 2300 registrants are slated to be removed from the sex offender registry as a result of this ruling, only 1000 names have been removed from the list in three months’ time. We must all continue to call and contact the Ohio AG office to force them to comply with the law. 90 days after Bodyke, the Ohio AG office is in violation with Ohio law. Click Watchdog icon below for contact information:


Help be a watchdog:



Sexual Offender Facts

August 23, 2010 Comments off

BLUESHIFT: The purpose and objective of this site is to distribute data on sexual offender registration laws focusing on Ohio. Including the history and status of proposed legislation and court opinions and ongoing litigation.

Sexual Offender Facts Graphs and Statistics with footnotes and references.

Excerpts:

“Today in Ohio nearly 25,000 (or 99.99%) of registered sexual offenders DID NOT re-offend. Only .75 RSOs in Ohio recidivate sexually each day. (.75/25000)*100 = 99.99%.”

“The ten year recidivism rate for the group of sex offenders in this study was 11%. Eight percent of the offenders returned for a new crime. Another 3% were revoked for a parole violation that was sexual in nature (sex crime), or a relapse behavior (sex lapse).”

Ohio AG Petition for Clarification Denied by Ohio Supreme Court

August 17, 2010 Comments off

SLIP OPINION NO. 2010-OHIO-3737
The State of Ohio, Appellee v. Bodyke et al, Appellants.

“1. On June 3, 2010, the court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals in this case. State v. Bodyke,Ohio St.3d, 2010-Ohio-2424,N.E.2d.
2. Appellee, state of Ohio, and amicus curiae Ohio Attorney General
have filed a joint motion for reconsideration and/or clarification.
3. The motion for reconsideration and/or clarification is denied.”

Therefore, there is no longer any excuse for the failure of the Ohio Attorney General’s office to re-classify all affected former offenders. They have been dragging their feet for ten weeks now, refusing to abide by the Supreme Court’s ruling.

See: UPDATES, Friday, July 23 : Failure of Ohio AG to Abide by Supreme Court Ruling

In just over 10 weeks, the Ohio AG office has removed only about 1000 registrants from their Sex Offender Registry. We are told by the Ohio Public Defender Office that approximately 2300 individuals are slated to be removed. But keep in mind that people are forced onto this corrupt registry every day, as well.

The AG office has refused to answer or return our calls. They have now blacklisted Constitutionalfights. And they have told us so, very directly and rudely. So we must rely on you, the readers, to help do the job of holding them accountable.

Keep contacting the Ohio Attorney General’s Office daily until they get these re-classifications completed and send official letters !

We are hearing from some (not many) readers who have told us of their removal from the registry. We are happy to see these people relieved of their illegal punishments but we urge all readers to remain vigilant until the Attorney General Office sends official letters to registrants informing them that they no longer have a duty to register. Having these letters in hand is very important. Law enforcement is just as corrupt and incompetent as other state authorities are. If a sheriff bangs on your door in the middle of the night because you did not register, you need to have that letter in hand !

Justin Hykes, Assistant Attorney General of Ohio
justin.hykes@ohioattorneygeneral.gov
614-387-4257
FAX 614-466-5087
E-fax 1 866 293 1021

Paula Armentrout ,AG Help Center Manager can be contacted here:
800-282-0515
Dan, Help Center Supervisor can be contacted here:
800-282-0515

Ohio Attorney General Office:
Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray, 30 E. Broad St., 17th Floor, Columbus, OH 43215
(800) 282-0515
Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Email Ohio ESORN at OHLEGsupport@OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov

OHLEG Support
1-866-40-OHLEG (1-866-406-4534)
OHLEGsupport@OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov

Media Contacts:

Kim Kowalski: (614) 728-9692, cell: (614) 893-6018
Ted Hart: Deputy Director of Media Relations
Office of the Ohio Attorney General
PHONE 614-728-4127, cell: (614) 743-2286
EMAIL ted.hart@ohioattorneygeneral.gov (614) 728-4127

We are also now actively seeking advice from any legal professionals who read these blogs, regarding potential legal action against the Ohio Attorney General Office for their failure to abide by this Ohio Supreme Court ruling. Please contact us at constitutionalfights@yahoo.com with any advice or willingness to help. Thank you.


Canadians For A Just Society

August 14, 2010 Comments off

Canadians For A Just Society

The Canadian government’s policies and procedures for the management of sex offenders have been driven by public outcry over highly publicized sex offenses. Craig Jones, executive director of the John Howard Society of Canada, calls the changes typical of the Conservative government’s “opportunistic” justice reforms. “They are characterized by a kind of reactive emotionalism driven by populist sensationalism. This is tinkering gone crazy.”

Legislators must avoid such reactionary responses that are based on public fear of this population because the evidence has been unambiguous- many of the policies that have been devised to protect society from violent sexual offenders are ineffective. These failed policies must be eliminated and replaced with policies based on the best available and empirical evidence rather than a media driven national panic. Furthermore, every individual must speak out against these failed policies and demand reforms that work towards making our communities safer, protecting our children, and respecting the dignity of human beings. We will no longer accept ‘feel good’ policies that protect no one, lend a false sense of security, and help foster an environment that makes our children and communities less safe..

If journalists, child advocates, lawmakers and police services are serious about wanting to protect society, they should turn away from persecution as a means to an end, and demand laws and practices designed to actually prevent crime while protect the right of people to heal and move forward; this focus should be based upon prevention and rehabilitation. Much of this information exists. The money wasted on tracking ex-felons who are unlikely to re-offend could be much better spent on preventing child abuse in the home and by educational programs designed to teach children how to avoid abusive situations and potential threats. Educational programs designed to give our children information about how sexual predation is perpetrated would bring a far better result.

See related post: Sex Offenders Denied Entry to Canada

OH: Government Collecting Personal Information About Neighbors of Sex Offenders

August 10, 2010 Comments off

Google/AP: In turnabout, Ohio ex-con gets data on neighbors.

Columbus, Ohio — Neighbors routinely get a picture and a name when a sex offender moves next door. In a turnabout, an Ohio sex offender has received private information about his neighbors, including their Social Security numbers.

The material was shown to The Associated Press by convicted a sex offender XXX, who was mistakenly given the information by a prosecutor. The data also contain the names, addresses and birth dates of nine of XXX’s one-time neighbors on Columbus’ east side.

There was no indication XXX misused anything in the files. XXX, 80, says he came forward because he recognizes the irony of it falling into the hands of someone like him. “Someone with a criminal mind could really use that information the wrong way,” he said.

The case also offers a view into a massive and controversial database designed to track criminals with the help of a raft of background information, including data on people whose only connection to a criminal is a similar address.

Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien took responsibility for the error, which he believes to be isolated.(yeah, right)

XXX’s former neighbors, meanwhile, are wondering why the government has data about them at all.
“They don’t need to be running my personal information,” said Don Hickman, 47, who still lives on the street where XXX once worked as a live-in church groundskeeper. “I’m not a sex offender. I’ve done nothing wrong here.”

Neighbor information is useful to police when serving warrants, making family connections and finding fugitives, said Shannon Crowther, who heads technology services for the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office.

The information was released to XXX last summer, as prosecutors were grappling with more than 7,000 lawsuits that sex offenders had filed against Ohio’s first-in-the-nation implementation of the federal Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act. The offenders’ challenges contend the federal law’s stricter classifications and longer reporting periods can’t be applied retroactively. (see Bodyke vs. Ohio)

XXX’s His obligation to stay on the registry expired in July. O’Brien said XXX had zealously sought records held in his county sex offender file. After XXX threatened to take the issue to federal court, an assistant prosecutor turned over the documents.

“They feared he’d say, ‘See, you’re still hiding stuff,’ so they released everything in the file, lock, stock and barrel, and didn’t properly review it,” O’Brien said. “They gave him things they shouldn’t have.”

This is what you deserve when you allow government to post citizens on public registries. Once you allow the surveillance of one person, you give up your own privacy as well. You really didn’t think it would stop at just sex offenders, did you?

This former offender should be applauded. He did the right thing; turning over the information to authorities without using it for his own gain, even as the state of Ohio was violating his constitutional rights by keeping him listed on the sex offender registry retro-actively, which has now been prohibited by the Ohio Supreme Court.

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