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Archive for March, 2008

Vigilantism

March 31, 2008 Leave a comment

Is this the kind of nation you want The United States of America to be?

Most responsible county sheriff web sites which list sex offender registration information place a disclaimer similar to the following: “Any actions taken by you against any person on this list, including vandalism of property, verbal or written threats of harm or physical assault against an individual on this list, their family, or employer, may result in your arrest and prosecution.

Yet, in less than 30 minutes, the following online news headlines and stories were found quite easily to demonstrate the extent to which vigilantism is taking place in this nation against a particular group of citizens, based purely on a crime they committed ( or were accused of committing) :

Vigilante violence has led to instances of stabbings, houses burned, even targeted killings by strangers who found names and addresses through online registries. Other registrants have been driven to suicide.


A Compilation of Deaths, Suicides & Murders of:
Former Sex Offenders, and/or Persons Accused (or Falsely Accused) of Sex Crimes


Clint and Alexis Jurek just bought their first house and got ready to move in with baby, Max. Then a post card came in the mail.
“All of our neighbors think that a sex offender lives at our address,” says Alexis. “And not only that, but our house has been vandalized.” Because of a clerical mistake, it appeared the offender still lived there.

Google News Headlines:

Wrong Place Vandalized, Torched; Meant For Registered Sex Offender

Vigilantes burn rapist out of second home

The Maine Senate has given initial approval to a bill making changes in the state’s sex offender registry.
The changes address concerns raised after two men listed in the registry were murdered in 2006.

Vigilante’s Check Sex Offender List, Hit Wrong House

NY – Vigilantes Use Online Sex Offender Map to Burn Down Wrong House

Russia rallies around killer of ‘pedophile’

No charges against activist who pulled guns on registered sex offender

Did Sex Offender Listing Lead To Murder?

Sex offenders will be named & shamed on web

Vigilantes: Coming soon to a community near you

Making Vigilantism Easier For The Masses

Vigilante Justice – Megan’s Law listing may have led to Slaying

Vigilante Murder spurred by Megan’s Law?

Bring back vigilante justice! (for sex offenders)

SEX Offender vigilante justice!

Sex Offenders Killed by Vigilante

murder of washington sex offenders

Looking For Some Internet Fun? Now You Can Find Your Neighborhood Perv Online!

Vigilante Used Web to Find, Kill Sex Offenders

WA: admitted vigilante killer of sex offenders is arraigned

This April, a vigilante in Maine used a sex offender registry to track down and kill six convicted sex offenders.

tahuya news: vigilante beats sex offender

Megan’s Murder: Once again Megan’s Law has been used by a vigilante to locate and murder a convicted sex offender.

Apparent Vigilante Working Bellingham

Sex Offender Registries: Death Sentence

Police suspect sex offender targeted in arson attempt

Sex Offender News – Canadian suspect in slaying of sex offenders …

Slayer of Sex Offenders Shoots Self Outside South Station

Vigilante action is illegal, yet most people have those reactions that border on rage when they find out someone is a sex offender

Sex Offenders Don’t Deserve To Be Set Up For Murder

California’s Sex Offender Database: Is Your Home at Threat Level Red?

vigilante justice jeopardizes the sex offender registry and the notification – Megan’s Law

The Detroit News and Free Press are reporting that a burned and beheaded body found by a utility crew is that of a convicted sex offender.

One of the two Maine sex offenders killed by an apparent vigilante was listed in the state’s online registry because of a 2002 conviction for having sex with a minor when he was 19

Maine Killings Raise Vigilantism Fears

vigilante mobs terrorising not just the convicted but also the alleged

having their photographs, names, home and/or work addresses posted on the Internet putting them at risk for vigilante justice?

more violence against sex offenders

The ACLU is asking Vermont to take down its online list of registered sex offenders, after vigilante Stephen Marshall tracked down and murdered two convicted sex offenders using a similar list

Seems some hicks near Knoxville found out they had a child-oriented sex-offender and decided to send him a message. Unfortunately, the message they sent him involved his wife dying in a fire.

Vigilante kills two, then himself

Sex offender asks for help from city officials, says he’s target of vigilantes

It’s easy to hate sex offenders

Killings of 2 Bellingham sex offenders may have been by vigilante, police say

murder of washington sex offenders

Death of Sex Offender Is Tied to Megan’s Law – New York Times

Vigilantes Check Online Sex Offender List, Hit Wrong House

Vigilantism Against Sex Offenders Could Jeopardizes Community Safety Tools

Murder May Be Tied to Online Sex Offender List : NPR

Paedophile website raises vigilantism concerns

Law Times – Open sex-offender registry may spur vigilantes

Vigilantes take law into own hands

Teen Suspended for Sex Offender Warning (website, death, claim )

Maine killings raise questions about sex offender registries …

USATODAY.com – Suspected shooter found sex offenders’ homes on website

Murders Put Focus on Sex-Offender Registry Policies : NPR

Sex Offender’s Body Burned, Beheaded

Professionals Respond

March 31, 2008 Leave a comment

Below are memorandum, editorials, and letters written by “counseling and legal professionals:

gimeweb.com: I am a counselor who has worked with sex offenders every week for years. I have put in more hours than anyone I know in northern Nevada working to help prevent new sex crimes in our state. I, too, am a businessman in the community; I, too, am a father and a grandfather. I, too, am outraged by the same events that horrify all of us. First of all, the vast majority of convicted sex offenders are hardly up to the standard of “predator.” Face it, the word “predator” is overused… What’s really going on here though, if you stop and just think, is that we Americans have some sort of weird blind spot when it comes to sexual crimes….Sure, as a parent, I’d like to know about the dangerous people in my neighborhood: but so long as we’re outing sex offenders why wouldn’t we list convicted drug abusers, meth manufacturers, those convicted of domestic violence, and why not all the drunks convicted of drinking in public and DUI? – Steven Ing (read full letter)

Sex Offender Registration and Community Notification: Past, Present, and Future
WAYNE A. LOGAN key note speaker
Florida State University College of Law:
When information on registrants is made available, without reference to individual risk, as the AWA mandates and now occurs in most states, a saturation effect can occur, which can be detrimental to community members. As the Supreme Court observed in an unrelated context, “when everything is classified, then nothing is classified, and the system becomes one to be disregarded by the cynical or the careless”. Secondly, over-broad notification might enhance the prospects of recidivism among otherwise law-abiding ex-offenders.
(read full address; PDF)

Professor Katherine Hunt Federle, Director of the “Justice for Children Project”
The Ohio State University Michael E. Moritz College of Law
Letter to the Ohio House of Representatives, June 2007:
Senate Bill 10 goes well beyond the mandates of the Adam Walsh Act. Moreover, the federal financial incentives to implement provisions of the Adam Walsh Act by July 27, 2007, are illusory.

Let me first address the question of financial incentives. The Adam Walsh Act authorizes a ten percent bonus from Sex Offender Management Assistance (SOMA) funds to those states implementing the requirements of the Act prior to July 27, 2007. 42 U.S.C.A. 16926(c)(1). The problem is that no SOMA funds have been appropriated. The Justice Department’s SMART Office cannot say when or if it expects SOMA funds to be appropriated, and there is no indication that the current Congress has any intention to appropriate funds for SOMA. Accordingly, neither the ten percent bonus nor the general SOMA assistance money that Ohio will need to implement the Adam Walsh Act currently exist, and they may never exist. ( read full letter)

State Cuts sex offender treatment

March 30, 2008 3 comments

Chronicle-Telegram/Associated Press: The State of Ohio has stopped paying for counseling services for paroled sex offenders because of budget constraints, a move that leaves many offenders without the ability to pay for much-needed therapy, critics say. The state-funding cut was part of a $71 million reduction in the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction’s budget. Ohio had spent about $1.3 million a year funding external treatment programs for sex offenders.

*** Now….if sex offenders are such a huge threat to public safety…….why on earth would the state cut counseling treatment services for released sex offenders? This is a very interesting question for Ohio officials to answer. It presents an enormous hypocrisy in their arguments for imposing stricter and retroactive Adam Walsh Act laws! ***

National News Coverage

March 28, 2008 Leave a comment

Age of Consent: Sex Offender Laws – John Stossel, ABC News
Do tough sex offender laws in states ruin some lives while saving others?
Aired 03/11/2008
http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=4432467&affil=wkef

Report Faults Sex-Offender Laws
Human Rights Watch Report Criticizes State, Federal Sex-Offender Laws
http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=3592687

Should 14-Year-Olds Have to Register as Sex Offenders?
Lawsuits Planned Over New Sex Offender Registration Laws

http://abcnews.go.com/TheLaw/story?id=3483364&page=1

Sex Offender Runs for Mayor of Suburb
Registered Sex Offender Caught in Internet Sting Runs for Mayor of Dallas Suburb
http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=4495132