BaltimoreSun : More than just tough laws needed to prevent sex crimes.
Most sex offenses are committed by someone the victims knows personally (family members, baby sitters, friends, et. al.).
http://www.solresearch.org/~SOLR/rprt/fmly.asp (the low figure is over 75%)
In fact, national statistics show that 85 percent to 95 percent of the time, the offender is someone the child knows.
So the conclusion that this requires more stringent restrictions on sex offenders does not follow. The Dugard case is a prime example which clearly shows that the social branding and banishment laws do not work. No sex offender in California had more strict restrictions than did this monster; parole officials visited his home and interviewed him once each month. And he registered with county officials , as required, for over a decade. This was a case which demonstrates the inability of law enforcement to apply their resources in so many directions. The fact that the sex offender registries have been so flooded now(with the application of the new Adam Walsh Act laws and other restrictions such as residency restrictions), should demonstrate the fallacy of such laws.
The more people we put on these registries, the less abhorrent crimes will be prevented. It really is just a statistical fact. These registries need to be pared down to list only the most violent and high-risk offenders, yet laws like Adam Walsh Act do absolutely nothing to assess risk levels. In fact, in states like Ohio, the AWA implementation replaced a system which did account for risk level… while it increased the number of offenders on registries by instating retro-active application to offenders who committed crimes decades ago, and whom have had no criminal activity since.
The answer is quite the opposite of your supposition: we should limit the registry population to only those deemed by a court to be the most violent and high-risk offenders, with a tool to assess offenders over a period of time to allow them to prove their way “off” these registries. Sentencing any offender to a life-long social banishment (often times retroactively and unconstitutionally) serves no legitimate public safety purpose. In fact, it can make our communities less safe by forcing instability into the lives of those who committed a crime decades ago, and whom by the way, often have families and children of their own who are directly affected by this banishment mentality.
Ohio RSOL is now launched !
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Letter from the Ohio Attorney General:
I have attached an updated version of the Guide to Ohio’s Sex Offender Registration and Notification Laws (SORN). The original version of this guide was issued last year by my predecessor. The updated guide is substantially identical to the original guide, except with respect to juvenile offender registrants.
Since the original guide was issued, four appellate districts have ruled that a juvenile court has discretion to determine which tier it places juvenile offender registrants. While this is markedly different than the requirements for adult registrants, whose tier classification is determined solely based on the offense for which they are convicted, we believe that the recent appellate decisions correctly interpret the statute with respect to a juvenile court’s discretion. We have made this substantive change on page 26 of the guide, and have attempted to better clarify the differences between the requirements for adult and juvenile registrants on page 23.
I should point out that there are two cases pending before the Ohio Supreme Court which separately address the SORN law with respect to juvenile and adult registrants. We are closely monitoring these and other cases and will continue to evaluate the accuracy of the guide in light of future court decisions.
I hope that you find the guide to be of assistance to you. If the Attorney General’s Office can be of further assistance in applying the SORN laws, please feel free to contact Assistant Attorney General Justin Hykes at email@example.com or 614.387.4257.
Ohio Attorney General
30 East Broad Street, 17th Fl ● Columbus, Ohio 43215 ● PHONE 614.466-4320 ● FAX 614.466-5087 http://www.ag.state.oh.us
View the Guide to Ohio’s Sex Offender Registration and Notification Laws “SORN” ;
2009 Update Following Passage of the Adam Walsh Act
This guide is also posted in text form, its entirety at:
The following nightmare was sent to ConstitutionalFights.org by a reader. This is what can happen to a registered ex sex offender who tries to relocated within the state of Ohio, while attempting to satisfy every legal requirement placed upon him.
“This has been a nightmare. My conviction was from Texas in 1995, but I moved back to Ohio after being released. I wasn’t required to register in Texas, but I was once I moved back to Ohio. All was okay until the Adam Walsh Act came about and I filed a petition against reclassification to no avail. Where the problem came in was when I moved from Auglaize County, Ohio to Holmes County, Ohio in June 2008.
As required, I notified Auglaize County on June 2, 2008 that my move was complete. That was when I was told I had to travel over 3 hours back to sign a paper before they could transfer me, but they would give me a couple weeks to do it since I was out of money due to the move. I found out that this was not correct ; the AG office said it was not proper procedure and they offered to do the transfer. Holmes County arrested me the same day. No warning letter, no phone call, or anything else. I had called them to gave my new address and contact info.
Auglaize County admitted at the trial that I was never out of compliance with them and that there was no way for me to appear in the new county until they transferred ownership of my eSORN file.
The AG office says it is wrong, and so does the Department of Justice SMART office, but nobody seems to do anything. Meanwhile I am facing 30 years for failure to change my address, when I was doing all I could to follow the orders given to me.
I need help big time. I have been labeled a monster, but my sex offense was against my spouse during a bitter divorce in Texas. Want to see a real messed up case look at it–my jury was the police officer investigating the case and the court administrator–how’s that for fair? The Judge said I would of had a better trial if I had fully paid my lawyer.”
If any of our readers has the ability to provide assistance to this man, please contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Update Sept 3, 2009: This man was sentenced today to 3 years in prison with an additional 5 years Post-Release Control (probation)- a true travesty and injustice ! His appeal bond was granted, thankfully.
The following cases are expected to be heard by the Ohio Supreme Court this Fall 2009, although we cannot yet locate them on the Clerk of Courts Calendar schedule. We will post any information which is found relating to this cases. If any reader has information about these cases as they approach the Ohio Supreme Court, please send links to email@example.com
Cases Accepted for Review in the Ohio Supreme Court:
Chojnacki v. Dann (2008-0991, 2008-0992, consolidated)
Certified conflict: “Whether a decision denying a request for appointment of counsel in a reclassification hearing held pursuant to Ohio’s version of the Adam Walsh Act, Senate Bill 10, is a final appealable order.”
On March 23, 2009, the Court ordered the parties to brief the following issues:
- Whether sex offender reclassification hearings conducted pursuant to the provision of Am.Sub.S.B. 10 are criminal or civil proceedings.
- Whether sex offenders are entitled to the appointment of counsel for Am.Sub.S.B. 10 reclassification hearings if those proceedings are civil in nature.
In re Adrian R. (2009-0189)
PropLaw I: The retroactive application of Senate Bill 10 to juveniles whose offense was committed prior to the enactment of Senate Bill 10 violates the juvenile’s right to Due Process as guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article I, Section 16 of the Ohio Constitution.
In re Smith (2008-1624)
PropLaw I: The application of SB 10 to persons who committed their offenses prior to the enactment of SB 10 violates the Ex Post Facto Clause of the United States Constitution.
PropLaw II: The application of SB 10 to persons who committed their offenses prior to the enactment of SB 10 violates the Retroactivity Clause of the Ohio Constitution.
PropLaw III: The application of SB 10 violates the United States Constitution’s prohibitions against cruel and unusual punishments.
PropLaw IV: A juvenile court has no authority to classify a juvenile, adjudicated delinquent for a sex offense, as a juvenile sex offender registrant when the statutory provisions governing such a hearing were repealed at the time the hearing was conducted.
*Oral argument will be held on the same day as State v. Bodyke (2008-2502)
State v. Bodyke, (2008-2502)
PropLaw I: Application of S.B. 10, Ohio’s version of the Adam Walsh Act, to offenders whose crimes occurred before its effective date violates the Ex Post Facto Clause of the United States Constitution.
PropLaw II: Application of S.B. 10, Ohio’s version of the version of the Adam Walsh Act, to offenders whose crimes occurred before its effective date violates the Retroactivity Clause of the Ohio Constitution.
PropLaw III: Application of S.B. 10, Ohio’s version of the Adam Walsh Act, to offenders who were classified under Megan’s Law effectively vacates valid judicial orders, and violates the Separation of Powers Doctrine embodied in the Ohio Constitution.
PropLaw IV: Application of S.B. 10, Ohio’s version of the Adam Walsh Act, to offenders who have previously been sentenced for sex offenses violates the Double Jeopardy Clauses of the Ohio and United States Constitutions.
PropLaw V: Application of S.B. 10, Ohio’s version of the Adam Walsh Act, to offenders who have previously been subject to the provisions of either the 1996 or 2003 version of Megan’s Law violates Due Process and constitutes cruel and unusual punishment as prohibited by the Ohio and United States Constitutions.
PropLaw VI: Application of S.B. 10, Ohio’s version of the Adam Walsh Act, to offenders who, pursuant to agreement with the Prosecutor and before the Act’s effective date, entered pleas of guilty or no contest impairs the obligation of contracts as protected by the Ohio and United States Constitutions.
*Oral argument will be held on the same day as In re Smith (2008-1624).
In yet another pathetic display of absurd cowardice and stupidity, Ohio justices Fail to recognize multiple violations of the Ohio and U.S. Constitutions.
Richland County Court of Appeals Fifth Appellate District reversed the Richland County Court of Common Please decision which ruled Ohio Senate Bill 10 (Ohios’ Sex Offender Classification and Registration scheme, a.k.a. Adam Walsh Act) unconstitutional in its entirety.
Again through cowardice on the bench, they refused to acknowledge the retroactive implementation as being a violation of the Ex Post Facto provision of the Constitution, by calling is a “remedial civil statute”. They also deny that SB10 violates the plea agreements of those who plead with an expectation of certain classification and notification requirements which were later extended outside the courtroom through this law.
WBNS : Sex Offender Tracking Consumes Time, Money, Authorities Say.
A law designed to help law enforcement track convicted sex offenders was passed last year, but some authorities said Friday that the law is taking up more time and costing more money.
Fairfield County Sheriff’s Deputy John Baumgardt said keeping the paper trail on the county’s sex offenders has been a full-time job since Senate Bill 10 went into effect. “I’ve had as many as nine, I think, in one day,” he said.
The law reclassified tens of thousands of sex offenders, and required many to register more often and for longer periods of time, 10TV’s Andy Hirsch reported.
Fairfield County Sheriff Dave Phalen said the changes have increased his office’s workload, among other things.
“They want to know where these offenders live, and it’s a good tool,” Phalen said. “But, like everything else, it is labor intensive and it costs money.”
Since passage of the law, the number of times sex offenders walk into the Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office for registration purposes have more than doubled, Hirsch reported.
The bill has been the subject of legal disputes throughout the state. Critics claim the law’s registration requirements are retroactive punishment on thousands of offenders, Hirsch reported.
The Ohio Supreme Court is set to hear the dispute later this year.
recordpub.com : Sex offender law ruled unconstitutional Ruling made in appeals court Monday; Supreme Court decision awaited.
An opinion by the 11th District Court of Appeals in Warren may rekindle the debate over whether Ohio’s Adam Walsh Act sex offender law is constitutional.
It may be a brief debate, since the Ohio Supreme Court is expected to render its decision on the constitutionality sometime this fall.
A three-judge panel of the district court, which covers Ashtabula, Geauga, Lake, Portage and Trumbull, handed down the opinion Monday in a Lake County case in which a convicted sex offender is contesting his reclassification as a Tier III offender.
In a 2-1 decision, the court found the new law that resulted in his reclassification unconstitutional.
Under his original 2002 sentence, Jason Ettenger was required to register annually at the sheriff’s department wherever he lived for 10 years.
Under Ohio’s Adam Walsh Act, Ettenger was reclassified and required to register personally with the sheriff’s office once every 90 days for life. The new law stiffened the penalties for failure to register as a sex offender as well as re-classifying nearly every offender convicted in the past 10 years.
Classification of offenders is now determined by the crime they were convicted of. No evidence is weighed on whether the defendant is likely to re-offend.
When the new law took effect Jan. 1, 2008, hundreds of cases were filed across Ohio (actually nearly 4000), challenging the reclassifications as double jeopardy since they already had been sentenced and classified.
In Portage County, more than 80 cases were headed for reclassification when local judges issued a blanket stay “pending a final decision by the Ohio Supreme Court or the federal district court.”
Judges Timothy P. Cannon and Diane V. Grendell found the new law unconstitutional, but for different reasons. They reversed the Lake County court’s decision and sent the case back for reconsideration.
Judge Mary Jane Trapp, dissented from the judgment and other points by Cannon and Grendell, but concurred on their analysis of the separation between legislative and judicial powers, and due process issues brought up in the appeal.
sexoffenderissues.blogspot.com : OH – SB-10 (The Adam Walsh Act) declared constitutional, trial court reversed.
The Court of Appeals Richland County, Ohio, 5th Appellate District reversed the trial court decision which held that, the changes made by SB-10 (Adam Walsh Act) were unconstitutional.
In a decision June 30, 2009, the appellate court, on four assignments of error, reversed the trial court decision and sent the case back to the trial court for further proceedings consistent with its opinion. The full decision by the Ohio Court of Appeals is here.
However, the Ohio Supreme court will be the ultimate arbiter.
Salem News – Ohio : Judge hears first sex offender to offer challenge.
Lisbon, OH – The first sex offender to challenge new classification requirements last year finally had his case heard by a judge, who said he should be designated Tier I, the level with the least requirements.
Brendan McClaskey, who lived in the Salem when he filed his case, received notification from the state in December 2007 that he was being reclassified as a sexual oriented offender and that his reporting requirements were being extended beyond the time of his original classification. According to the document, he was convicted of corruption of a minor and attempt to corrupt a minor in Erie County, Ohio. The notification from the Ohio Attorney General said the offense under the law was unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.
In a recent entry filed by Judge David Tobin of Columbiana County Common Pleas Court, he found the McClaskey didn’t actually get served with a letter from the state designating his Tier level, but he felt he should be designated Tier I, which means he has to register once a year for 15 years.
If he wants to contest that, Tobin said he could do than in the county of his residence.
In another case, Tobin ruled that the new registration requirement didn’t apply to Randall Culler Jr., 29, of East Palestine, in the manner specified by the state. He was reclassified by the Ohio Attorney General as a Tier III sexual offender, meaning he would have to register his address every 90 days for the rest of his life and the community would have to be notified.
Tobin disagreed and said he should have been designated Tier I considering the facts of his case. He was convicted of sexual battery involving an adult female victim.
Besides Tier I and Tier III, there is the classification of Tier II, which requires an offender to register twice a year, every 180 days, for 25 years, with no community notification required.