Archive

Archive for March 21, 2010

PA RSOL Newsletter

March 21, 2010 Comments off

March 2010: PA newsletter from Pennsylvania State Organizer for RSOL
Download entire newsletter here.

  • Senate Bill 428. SB 428 is Pennsylvania’s version of the Adam Walsh Act. This act makes offender’s lives considerably more difficult. In addition, it severely increases their registration periods. This piece of legislation will increase an offender’s registration period to a minimum of 15 years. On average most ten year offenders will be stuck registering for at least a 25 year period depending on their tier. This Bill needs to be aggressively scrutinized and opposed.

  • House Bill 2002. HB 2002 entails that an employer’s address be posted on the Megan’s Law website. It is hard enough to find employment for offenders without them making it even more difficult.

  • Primary Bill Sponsor: Hon. Julie Harhart
    2030 Center Street
    Northampton, PA 18067
    Phone (610) 502-2701 Fax: (610) 502-2704
    Home Page: http://www.julieharhart.com

  • House Bill 989. HB 989 wants to put internet restrictions on sex offenders and make offenders register all their information (e.g., e-mail addresses). Not very realistic in an age that requires a computer for just about everything.

  • Primary Bill Sponsor: Hon. Steven J. Santarsiero
    277 North Sycamore Street
    Newtown, PA 18940
    Phone (215) 968-3975 Fax: (215) 968-4674
    Home Page: http://www.pahouse.com/santarsiero

  • House Bill 356. HB 356 requires GPS monitoring devices to be worn by certain sex offenders; increases sentences and registration requirements. This Bill is another example of an over-zealous law-maker attempting to win votes. It gives judges no discretion in their sentencing and mandates lengthy prison sentences ranging from 25 to 50 years incarceration for first time offenders.

  • Primary Bill Sponsor: Hon. John D. Payne
    250 West Chocolate Ave.
    Hershey, PA 17033
    Phone (717) 534-1323 Fax: (717) 534-1457
    Home Page: http://www.reppayne.com

  • House Bill 484. HB 484 pretty much eliminates any type of pre-release for a sex offender currently incarcerated. This piece of legislation is specifically geared towards sex offenders and is solely met to keep them incarcerated.

  • Primary Bill Sponsor: Hon. Mark Longietti
    2213 Shenango Valley Freeway
    Unit 2-E
    Hermitage, PA 16148
    Phone (724) 981-4655 Fax: (724) 981-6528

  • Senate Bill 1231. SB 1231 is geared at making it a criminal offense for a homeless sex offender who fails to register for Megan’s Law. Another piece of completely irresponsible legislation that is geared at sending a sex offender back to prison. Perhaps finding shelter is more of a priority for them?

  • Primary Bill Sponsor: Hon. Gene Yaw

330 Pine Street
Suite 204
Williamsport, PA 17701
Phone (570) 322-6457 Email:
gyaw@pasen.gov Home page: http://senatorgeneyaw.com

  • House Bill 344. House Bill 344 wants to remove the Statute of Limitations on a Civil Action against a sex offender. So, when an offender finally rehabilitates themselves and perhaps makes a little money; the victim can come back from the past, and for all practical purposes, sue the offender for everything they just worked for.

  • Primary Bill Sponsor: Hon. Louise Williams Bishop
    1991 North 63rd Street
    Philadelphia, PA 19151
    Phone (215) 879-6625 Fax: (215) 879-8566
    Home Page: http://www.pahouse.com/bishop

  • House Bill 1024. Wants to add additional registration requirements. Just what offenders needed the most; more registration requirements. When will they figure out that registration prevents absolutely nothing?

  • Primary Bill Sponsor: Hon. Ronald G. Waters
    6027 Ludlow Street Unit A
    Philadelphia, PA 19139
    Phone (215) 748-6712 Fax: (215) 748-1687
    Home Page: http://www.pahouse.com/waters

  • House Bill 2082. This bill entails the State terminating the parental rights of a convicted sex offender. Another attack on an offender’s constitutional right to have a family.

  • Primary Bill Sponsor: Hon. Ronald G. Waters
    6027 Ludlow Street Unit A
    Philadelphia, PA 19139
    Phone (215) 748-6712 Fax: (215) 748-1687
    Home Page: http://www.pahouse.com/waters

What each individual needs to do:

  • Contact these legislators via phone and mail. Let them know the facts about these laws and why passing legislation like this is simply irresponsible.

  • Let them know how this piece of legislation affects you. Give them real-world scenarios. Let them know how it counter-acts your rehabilitation and reintegration back into society.

  • Contact your local district representatives to oppose these Bills. Advise them on passing responsible legislation that makes sense; not “feel good” legislation that accomplishes nothing.

  • Be brief, respectful, and to-the-point with these legislators. Tax-payers do not have the money to waste on frivolous legislation that truly fails to prevent sexual violence.

  • Back up your material with facts; not just conjecture. Do some research; quote from reliable sources. There are plenty of resources out there that will back up our position.

The aforementioned Bills are currently being considered. The time to attack these Bills is now; not later after they have already passed. There is no guarantee that these Bills will become law; however, there is a strong possibility that the majority of these laws proposed will indeed pass because of the political environment and societal ignorance to the subject matter. The time to act is now!

*Additional info can be found on: http://www.legis.state.pa.us should you require it.*

*If you require assistance on research please email reformpennsylvanialaws@yahoo.com*


Georgians For Reform – Conference Video

March 21, 2010 Comments off

Georgians For ReformConference Video from March 6, 2010, Atlanta, GA

Watch Dr. Chrysanthi Leon as she guides you through the facts.

Download Dr. Leon’s Presentation and follow the links that lead to her conclusions.

Download the Presentation Here

Editorial: Sex Offender Registry

March 21, 2010 Comments off

winnipegsun.com: Editorial: Sex Offender Registry

Not only is the sex offender registry notoriously incomplete and will continue to be under the proposed new legislation, but it is also a misguided and misdirected law that casts far too wide a net, in the process preventing authorities from dealing with the really big problem at hand, that is, sexual abuse against children. More than 95% of sexual crimes against children are by family members or at the hands of people they know.

A statistically insignificant number of these despicable, heinous attacks are ever reported, with the result that the number of charges and subsequent convictions resulting from these crimes, albeit very important, are few and far between. Child protection laws must be reported, given adequate resources, both from a financial and human resources point of view, and enforced. It is scary and unthinkable to consider the consequences of failing to deal with child abuse when this, in the grand scheme of things, continues to be a low national priority.

-Emile Therien, John Howard Society

WI Supreme Court Upholds Sex Offender Registration for Non-sex crime

March 21, 2010 Comments off

jsonline.com: Supreme Court upholds sex offender registration for non-sex crime.

State v. Smith (2008AP1011, March 19, 2010
Wisconsin’s sex offender registry statute, Wis. Stat. § 301.45

Wisconsin’s Supreme Court on Friday upheld the requirement that a man convicted of a crime with no sexual component still must register as a sex offender.

James W. Smith was convicted in Brown County in 2001 of false imprisonment of a minor for making the victim ride with him while he attempted to collect a drug debt from the victim’s friend. Both he and the victim were 17 at the time.

Under Wisconsin’s original 1993 statute, only those convicted of first- or second-degree sexual assault were required to register. In 1996, the law was expanded to require registration by those convicted of other crimes, including kidnapping or false imprisonment of a child.

After Smith failed to register as a sex offender, he was charged with that crime in 2005, convicted and sentenced to a year in prison. Smith appealed on the grounds that, as applied to him, the state’s registry law was irrational, arbitrary and unconstitutional. The state Appeals Court upheld the requirement and the Supreme Court granted review.

Writing for the majority, Justice Annette Ziegler found that the requirement, stated clearly in the statute, is rationally related to a legitimate government interest – protecting children and assisting law enforcement. Despite its name, the sex offender registry’s goal is not to identify those convicted of sexual crimes.

More than 41 other states require sex offender registration for those convicted of kidnapping or false imprisonment of a minor, even when there is no sexual element involved, according to the opinion.

Ziegler wrote that in many cases, people who kidnap children do have a sexual motivation.

In a dissent joined by Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson, Justice Ann Walsh Bradley wrote that by failing to define the sex registry statute’s purpose clearly, the majority abdicated its obligation to provide meaningful review. Under the majority view, Bradley wrote, anyone convicted of just about any crime should register if the broad purpose of the sex offender registry is protect the public and assist law enforcement.

The dissent notes that Smith was originally charged with taking a hostage, party to the crime, conviction of which would not have required listing on the sex offender registry. He plea-bargained down to the false imprisonment charge, and Bradley says neither the sentencing judge nor the writer of the pre-sentence investigation contemplated that Smith would have to register as a sex offender.

The dissent found there was no rational basis for making Smith register as a sex offender.

This is all good. Here’s to diluting the registry to such an extent that it fails completely and is abolished.