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Archive for May 6, 2009

Charges Dismissed as Result of IN Supreme Court

May 6, 2009 Comments off

Indianalawblog.com : Ind. Decision – Charges dismissed as a result of last week’s Supreme Court decision.
(See earlier story : https://constitutionalfights.wordpress.com/2009/05/04/rulings-affect-sex-offender-registry/)

Both motions for dismissal were prompted by an Indiana Supreme Court decision handed down last Thursday in a similar case involving Richard Wallace, a convicted sex offender. Patterson is a convicted violent offender. Both were required to register under Indiana law.

In both cases, they were charged, convicted and had served their sentence for their crime before the requirement for them to register was enacted. In Wallace’s case, it was the requirement to register as a sex offender, in Patterson’s, as a violent offender.

The defense motion to dismiss pointed out, “The Indiana Constitution provides that ‘no ex post facto law … shall ever be passed.'” “Ex post facto” is a Latin term for “after the fact.” A general explanation of an ex post facto law is a law that is retroactive, or that changes the consequences of a crime after the crime was committed.

In the Wallace case, he had already completed a sentence for child molesting before the Act was enacted. When the decision was made last Thursday, the court said Wallace’s conviction violated the state constitution’s prohibition of retroactive laws.

The state’s motion requested the court dismiss the case for the reason that it cannot proceed with prosecution due to the recent Indiana Supreme Court decision in Wallace v. State.

Prosecutor Jarrod Holtsclaw said he had read the Wallace decision. “We have no choice,” said Holtsclaw. “The Indiana Supreme Court does have the final say on Indiana laws. Unless it’s taken to the United States Supreme Court, we have to abide by the Indiana Supreme Court’s decision.”

Holtsclaw said most people in Indiana’s judicial arena have been waiting on this decision for quite some time.

Not only does the ruling affect the Patterson case, but it is expected to affect many other cases in the state.
“This could affect hundreds, maybe thousands, of other cases. We’re trying to see how many other cases in Greene County will be affected. I’ve asked the Public Defender’s Office to take a look at other cases,” said Holtsclaw.

UT Football Scholarship Despite Troubled Past

May 6, 2009 Comments off

GoVolsXtra.com : Catholic star gets UT football scholarship despite troubled past.

Knoxville Catholic High School’s Daniel Hood signed a football scholarship with the University of Tennessee on Tuesday afternoon. That the once sought-after recruit signed nearly three months after many of the nation’s elite players is a result of Hood’s role in the sexual assault of a female relative when he was 13 years old. But it is also a result of supporters who emphatically say that Hood, now 19, has earned the continuation of a second chance he was given by Catholic High School.

“We didn’t go about this lightly,” UT coach Lane Kiffin said in a statement Tuesday. “We spent a lot of time researching the issue and talking to a lot of people who are well-respected in the community. Everyone spoke very highly of Daniel. He’s a very bright young man who wants to move past this incident and be a good representative for the team, the university and the community.”

Kudos to University of Tennessee and their football program for giving this kid a chance in life !
We applaud them and encourage readers to send them notes of encouragement.

Sex Offender Placed On County Board

May 6, 2009 Comments off

browardbeat.com : Commission Puts Sex Offender On County Board.
(See earlier story: https://constitutionalfights.wordpress.com/2009/05/04/sex-offender-wanted-to-serve-on-task-force/)

The offender is part of a task force that will make recommendations about laws governing where sex offenders can live.

A number of lawmakers in Tallahassee shook their heads in disbelief when they learned Broward County would appoint a registered sex offender to a board. The task force will contain one sex offender, two cops, home owners association and American Civil Liberties Union representatives, two members of the Broward League of Cities and representatives of a college and the state Department of Corrections.

Some of the people labeled sex offenders are not a wild-eyed predators that Kair and everybody else rightfully fears. Those offenders should be controlled. But others are stigmatized for life because of youthful indiscretions, usually made when they are drunk. They get caught for urinating in public or being in an Internet sex chat rooms. Somewhat victimless crimes.

The offender appointed to the task force appeared at the commission meeting.
He said he had recovered. His victim appeared with him, according to Mayor Stacy Ritter.

Do people like this – who paid their debt to society — deserve input into laws governing their life? You bet. “They are people too,” says Ritter.

We all agree. And we encourage other counties to do the same in including ex sex offenders on commissisons which formulate practical sex offender laws