Archive for April 12, 2009

Obama’s Sex Offender Brother Denied Visa

April 12, 2009 Comments off

News Of The World (UK) : President Barack Obama’s half brother was refused a visa to enter the UK after being accused of an attempted sex attack on a young girl in Berkshire. Eagle-eyed immigration officials at East Midlands Airport, using the latest biometric tests, discovered he was linked to an incident here last November. The hi-tech database revealed that Samson – who manages a mobile phone shop just outside Nairobi – was the same man arrested by British police after he approached a group of young girls, including a 13 year-old, and allegedly tried to sexually assault one of them. The White House was informed and a Home Office source told the News of the World: “This was obviously an extremely sensitive issue when it was flashed up by the database.

Note: The point of this posting is not to make a political attack – we post this because it relates to sex offender laws. Perhaps this news will shed more light on the issue and make more people aware that anyone’s loved-one or relative can land on these sex offender registries. Yes, one day you could wake up to learn that someone YOU love just became one of those hated sex-offender monsters!

Harsh Federal Law on Shaky Ground

April 12, 2009 Comments off : Harsh federal law on shaky scientific ground.

Did you know that each year, about 10,000 children will have to register as sex offenders for life?

That’s part of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, embedded in the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act passed by the U.S. Congress two years ago. Under SORNA, these arrested juveniles will be subject to warrantless searches for the rest of their lives, despite the fact that as kids they did not have the same types of due process rights that protect adults in criminal court.

Meanwhile, other aspects of SORNA face challenges, and a few such challenges are headed for the U.S. Supreme Court. Specifically, legal challenges assert that SORNA exceeds federal rights by encroaching on state and local decision-making.

As summarized in the current issue of the American Bar Association journal, at least two courts have sided with critics and invalidated some or all of the registry law, and in a third case the new law has been put on hold until arguments are heard. (I reported on one of those cases, U.S. v. Waybright, back in August – the blog post with links is here.)

SORNA-style databases are already being extended to domestic violence offenders, and if they are upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court they are likely to extend even further (to drunk driving, animal abuse, drug offenders, and others) .That is the conclusion of Wayne A. Logan, a law professor at Florida State University and author of the forthcoming book Knowledge as Power: A History of Criminal Registration Laws in America.

So, warn your kids now: Don’t ever get arrested. You may be publicly stigmatized – and perhaps even subject to warrantless searches – for the rest of your life.

Do All Sex Offenders Deserve Scarlet Letter?

April 12, 2009 Comments off (Colorado) : Do all sex offenders deserve a Scarlet Letter?

There are about 11,000 names on Colorado’s sex offender registry. The burgeoning list is growing difficult to manage and just about everyone agrees some of the names don’t belong on it, but don’t look for changes soon. The support groups for sex offenders don’t have much clout.

Colorado Attorney General and former 4th Judicial District Attorney John Suthers acknowledged there are some who don’t belong on the list. “There’s an issue on the periphery, but I don’t want to overstate it,” he said. “What’s driving the numbers is we have a lot of sex offenders.”

“When we enacted some of this stuff we didn’t look at the unintended consequences,” Dell volunteers for Colorado CURE (Citizens United for the Rehabilitation of Errants) said.

Colorado is one of many states that will not be able to meet a July 1 federal deadline for implementing the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act of 2006. Suthers confirmed Colorado asked the U.S. Department of Justice for a deadline extension. California has decided it cannot afford to track everyone on a list created by a strict ballot initiative in 2006.

“What we really want do is protect people,” said Chris Lebanov-Rostovsky of the state’s Division of Criminal Justice. “Let’s make sure that we classify these people based on risk.”