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Archive for January 20, 2009

Sex-offender Law is Unaffordable, Doesn’t Improve Safety

January 20, 2009 Comments off

LATimes : Revisit Jessica’s Law -The sex-offender statute is unaffordable and doesn’t improve safety. If it can’t be dropped, it should be rewritten.

Of all the ill-considered ballot initiatives approved by California voters over the years, few can match Jessica’s Law for sheer self-destructiveness. The measure, billed as a way to protect children from sexual predators when it appeared on the ballot in 2006 as Proposition 83, is worsening the yawning state budget gap amid zero evidence that it’s protecting anyone — in fact, according to a state panel, it may be threatening public safety.

This page warned that the initiative would be an expensive mistake, but that didn’t stop 70% of voters from approving it. That may be because sexual predators are nobody’s idea of a good neighbor, and voters thought that forcing sex offenders to wear GPS tracking devices for life and forbidding them to live within 2,000 feet of schools and parks would keep them at bay. What they didn’t consider were cost and practicality.

(Again, note the improper use of the phrase, “sexual predator”. According to the law, “predators” are defined as the worst sub-group classification of sex offenders. Most sex offenders are lower-tier, lower-risk “sex offenders”, yet the media continues to use the term “sexual predator” in an effort to scare the reader.)

Among its many failings, the measure doesn’t distinguish between criminals who are at high risk of re-offending and those who aren’t. That means a teenager convicted of having sex with his underage girlfriend, as just one example, is subject to GPS monitoring and residence restrictions for the rest of his life, even if he never commits another crime. It also fails to specify what agency is responsible for monitoring those thousands of former inmates, or to devote money to pay for it.

State corrections officials announced Jan. 12 that they are now monitoring all 6,622 paroled sex offenders with GPS devices, after Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger set aside $106 million in last year’s budget for the program. Where the state will come up with the money while facing a $42-billion shortfall over the next 18 months is an open question. What’s more, the state will monitor sex offenders only for as long as they remain on parole — after that, it’s up to municipal agencies, none of which have the staff, equipment or spare funding to do the job.

The expense might be worthwhile if Jessica’s Law were actually reducing sex crimes. Yet research has found no connection between where a sex offender lives and the likelihood that he’ll offend again, nor is there any evidence that GPS monitoring lowers recidivism. Further, it’s very hard for parolees to find homes that aren’t near schools or parks, leading to a 12-fold increase in the number of homeless sex offenders since the law was passed in 2006. A lack of stable housing only increases the odds that an ex-con will return to crime — or as the state Sex Offender Management Board put it in a report Tuesday: “Residency restrictions that preclude or eliminate appropriate offender housing can threaten public safety instead of enhancing it.”

Lawmakers rarely show the courage to fix problems created by get-tough-on-crime voter initiatives, but there will never be a better time to improve Jessica’s Law. The state budget and the prison system are in crisis and must be reinvented, and amending this law — which the Legislature can do with a two-thirds vote — would benefit them both. Ideally, the measure should be overturned, but at a minimum the Legislature should create a review process that allows low-risk offenders to escape the residency and monitoring rules. California simply can’t afford to pay more to be less safe.

Ohio Representative Jon Husted Investigation

January 20, 2009 Comments off

Ohio Representative Jon Husted (R-37th Ohio House District and Speaker of the House) is under investigation by the Montgomery County Board of Elections for violating Ohio’s Residency Laws.
By law, Husted cannot run for the Legislature if he does not live in his district.
A legislator may be forced to forfeit his seat if he is not a legal resident of the district he represents.

Former Speaker of the Ohio House Jon Husted testified before the Montgomery County Board of Elections on Jan 7th, 2009, to answer allegations that he does not live in Kettering, where he is registered to vote.

This is a formal request to investigate the eligibility of Jon A. Husted to vote and run for office in Montgomery County.
“We have independently verified the following facts:
1. Jon Husted is a candidate for the State Senate in the 6th District and is registered to vote at 148 Sherbrooke Dr, Kettering, Ohio 45429.

2. His spouse owns a house located at 2305 Haverford Rd, Columbus, Ohio 43220. Property records attached from Franklin County Auditor Joseph R. Testa indicate that this is the couples permanent place of residence as they take the 2.5% homestead tax reduction.

3. The Ohio Revised Code requires that the 2.5% homestead reduction requires you to own and occupy your home as your principal place of residence. A homeowner and spouse are entitled to this homestead tax reduction on only one home in Ohio.

One can conclude then that either Mr. Husted is committing voter fraud or he is committing tax fraud.”

See our posting : “Ohio Senator Jon Husted: Corruption, Fraud, Arrogance” for more details (including his involvement in Senate Bill 10; Adam Walsh Act).

Watch Video of Husted’s testimony here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O22V0Etbbm0