Archive for January 10, 2010

Man Tracked and Killed Registered Sex Offender

January 10, 2010 Comments off Alleged white supremacist charged with killing convicted sex offender.

Palm Springs – An alleged white supremacist has been charged with using California’s Megan’s Law registry to track down and kill an convicted sex offender, it was reported today.

Steven Banister, 28, had been free from prison less than one month when he killed a 75-year-old Palm Springs man in his house on Aug. 28, according to Palm Springs police quoted in the Desert Sun. The victim, Edward Keeley, had apparently been convicted in years past of an undetermined sex crime.

Keeley’s address was listed as the home of a convicted sex offender on the publicly-available roll of such properties created by Megan’s Law. Banister had reportedly boasted while in prison that he was planning to hurt or kill people who had sexually abused children.

More blood on the hands of the State Legislators and Judges who have allowed these draconian branding laws to take effect.

No Registration Needed for Some MO Sex Offenders

January 10, 2010 Comments off No registration needed for some Mo. sex offenders.

A Missouri judge says a federal sex offender registration requirement cannot apply to a person who received a suspended sentence.
The ruling Friday by Cole County Circuit Judge Richard Callahan is the latest in a series of Missouri court decisions clarifying who must abide by laws requiring sex offenders to register their addresses with authorities. Callahan says the person does not have to follow a 2006 federal registration law because it applies only to convicted sex offenders – and Missouri law does not treat a suspended sentence as a conviction.

WI Presentation Examines Sex Offender Myths

January 10, 2010 Comments off Presentation Examines Sex Offender Myths.

The message from a panel of people who work closely with sex offenders was clear on Saturday — education is key in dispelling myths about sex offenders and helping them reintegrate into society after release from prison.

“Education is the most important aspect for the public and politicians,” said Sue Kelly-Kohlman of the Prison Aftercare Network. “We the general public can learn the facts and make better, safer decisions for our community.”

Panel members focused on seven myths they said are often perpetuated in the public, including that most sex offenders are prone to offend again, that sex offense rates are on the rise, that treatment for sex offenders does not work and that residency restriction laws reduce offenses.

“Community concerns are valid and should not be overlooked,” said Bob Van Domelen, executive director of Broken Yoke Ministries. “But if we’re using the argument of recidivism as a reason for legislation, then we have to take a closer look at the numbers.”
A study by the Bureau of Justice Statistics of released prisoners in 2003 shows reconviction rates for new sex offenses were between 3 percent and 4 percent. An earlier study by the same agency concluded that about 86 percent of reported assaults are by family members or acquaintances, not strangers.

Misconceptions about recidivism may have led to the residency restrictions favored by many communities, but there’s no proof those laws work, Neuman said. Noncompliance rates among released sex offenders for the statewide registry have grown in Green Bay since the city enacted that law in 2006.

The Department of Corrections relies on four factors to successfully transition released offenders: residence, employment or education, treatment and positive support. Residency restrictions effectively “have removed all four of those,” Neuman said.

SD Plan To Trim Sex Offender List

January 10, 2010 Comments off Plan would trim sex offender list.

As it is now, Tacy Chrispen’s son probably will spend the rest of his life on South Dakota’s sex offender registry. The then-18-year-old high school senior’s crime: Having consensual sex with his 15-year-old girlfriend, who was 3 years, 23 days younger. Because of that age difference, and the fact that she was younger than 16, he was convicted of statutory rape, spent a year and a half in prison and now is classified as a sex offender. It is this kind of situation – described by some as a “Romeo and Juliet” story, that has spurred state Sen. Gene Abdallah to push for a change in the law.

He and others, including prosecutors, think it’s unfair to treat people convicted of less serious crimes – such as Chrispen’s son – the same as people convicted of rape and other heinous crimes. Currently, both types of convicts appear side-by-side on the registry of sex offenders on the Internet, and most stay on the list for life.

But under the plan being proposed by Abdallah and a legislative committee, the state would move to a three-tier system to classify sex offenders, and those convicted of lesser crimes would have a better opportunity to get their names removed from the list. An Argus Leader analysis of the sex offender registry data shows that 18 percent of the 2,600 people on the list in December were convicted of less severe crimes and could qualify to be placed on the lowest level.

The state’s current system, in which all offenders are required to register for life and all are placed on the same list online is a broad-brush approach that is ineffective in letting people know which offenders are truly dangerous, said Ryan Kolbeck, president of the South Dakota Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. “I think the sex offender registry gives us a false sense of security because we cannot determine who is or is not a real threat,” he said.

The proposed three-tier system, as outlined in Senate Bill 12, would address that problem and has gained widespread support among lawmakers. A recent Associated Press survey shows that two-thirds of all lawmakers support the legislation.

The bill now reads that all current offenders will be placed on Tier III and will have to petition the courts be placed on a lower tier, in addition to petitioning the court for removal from the list at the appropriate time.

There is a provision in the law that a sex offender convicted of statutory rape can petition the court to be removed after 10 years on the registry if they meet certain criteria, such as compliance with registration. To date, no one has gotten off the registry through this provision. The restrictions are too limited and too costly for offenders to petition, Kolbeck said. Adjudicated juveniles also can petition the courts to be removed from the registration if they think they do not qualify and if their sentence was discharged. The proposed legislation would loosen the requirements and give offenders such as Delgado an opportunity to petition for removal.