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Posts Tagged ‘megan’s law’

Canadians For A Just Society

August 14, 2010 Comments off

Canadians For A Just Society

The Canadian government’s policies and procedures for the management of sex offenders have been driven by public outcry over highly publicized sex offenses. Craig Jones, executive director of the John Howard Society of Canada, calls the changes typical of the Conservative government’s “opportunistic” justice reforms. “They are characterized by a kind of reactive emotionalism driven by populist sensationalism. This is tinkering gone crazy.”

Legislators must avoid such reactionary responses that are based on public fear of this population because the evidence has been unambiguous- many of the policies that have been devised to protect society from violent sexual offenders are ineffective. These failed policies must be eliminated and replaced with policies based on the best available and empirical evidence rather than a media driven national panic. Furthermore, every individual must speak out against these failed policies and demand reforms that work towards making our communities safer, protecting our children, and respecting the dignity of human beings. We will no longer accept ‘feel good’ policies that protect no one, lend a false sense of security, and help foster an environment that makes our children and communities less safe..

If journalists, child advocates, lawmakers and police services are serious about wanting to protect society, they should turn away from persecution as a means to an end, and demand laws and practices designed to actually prevent crime while protect the right of people to heal and move forward; this focus should be based upon prevention and rehabilitation. Much of this information exists. The money wasted on tracking ex-felons who are unlikely to re-offend could be much better spent on preventing child abuse in the home and by educational programs designed to teach children how to avoid abusive situations and potential threats. Educational programs designed to give our children information about how sexual predation is perpetrated would bring a far better result.

See related post: Sex Offenders Denied Entry to Canada

OH: Government Collecting Personal Information About Neighbors of Sex Offenders

August 10, 2010 Comments off

Google/AP: In turnabout, Ohio ex-con gets data on neighbors.

Columbus, Ohio — Neighbors routinely get a picture and a name when a sex offender moves next door. In a turnabout, an Ohio sex offender has received private information about his neighbors, including their Social Security numbers.

The material was shown to The Associated Press by convicted a sex offender XXX, who was mistakenly given the information by a prosecutor. The data also contain the names, addresses and birth dates of nine of XXX’s one-time neighbors on Columbus’ east side.

There was no indication XXX misused anything in the files. XXX, 80, says he came forward because he recognizes the irony of it falling into the hands of someone like him. “Someone with a criminal mind could really use that information the wrong way,” he said.

The case also offers a view into a massive and controversial database designed to track criminals with the help of a raft of background information, including data on people whose only connection to a criminal is a similar address.

Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien took responsibility for the error, which he believes to be isolated.(yeah, right)

XXX’s former neighbors, meanwhile, are wondering why the government has data about them at all.
“They don’t need to be running my personal information,” said Don Hickman, 47, who still lives on the street where XXX once worked as a live-in church groundskeeper. “I’m not a sex offender. I’ve done nothing wrong here.”

Neighbor information is useful to police when serving warrants, making family connections and finding fugitives, said Shannon Crowther, who heads technology services for the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office.

The information was released to XXX last summer, as prosecutors were grappling with more than 7,000 lawsuits that sex offenders had filed against Ohio’s first-in-the-nation implementation of the federal Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act. The offenders’ challenges contend the federal law’s stricter classifications and longer reporting periods can’t be applied retroactively. (see Bodyke vs. Ohio)

XXX’s His obligation to stay on the registry expired in July. O’Brien said XXX had zealously sought records held in his county sex offender file. After XXX threatened to take the issue to federal court, an assistant prosecutor turned over the documents.

“They feared he’d say, ‘See, you’re still hiding stuff,’ so they released everything in the file, lock, stock and barrel, and didn’t properly review it,” O’Brien said. “They gave him things they shouldn’t have.”

This is what you deserve when you allow government to post citizens on public registries. Once you allow the surveillance of one person, you give up your own privacy as well. You really didn’t think it would stop at just sex offenders, did you?

This former offender should be applauded. He did the right thing; turning over the information to authorities without using it for his own gain, even as the state of Ohio was violating his constitutional rights by keeping him listed on the sex offender registry retro-actively, which has now been prohibited by the Ohio Supreme Court.

International Megans Law Moves Forward in Congress

August 2, 2010 Comments off

H.R. 5138, The International Megan’s Law of 2010

We have warned about this horrific legislation many times on our blogs. We have asked readers to contact their Representatives to tell them to kill this bill. Now, it has passed the House and will move on to the Senate.

If you are not aware, there is a bill pending in the US Congress which would expand the US Sex Offender Registry (SORNA) Worldwide. This bill must be killed: International Megan’s Law Must be Killed in Congress
Contact your Senators !

See related blog posts: International Megans law EXPOSED! Now, hear the truth …
The International Megan’s Law of 2010
HR1623 International Megan’s Law
International Megans Law Moves Forward in US House
Sex Offender Law Could Go Global

International Travel for Ex Sex Offenders

August 2, 2010 Comments off

Constitutionalfights will be building a new page dealing with the topic of International Travel for Ex Sex Offenders. The intent of this new page is to provide information to former sex offenders who desire, like many other Americans, to travel overseas.

(Note: when we use the term “ex sex offender”, we refer to those who have made a mistake in life and should not be labeled as a “sex offender” for the rest of their lives. We refuse to allow society to brand those who have made a mistake in their past. We are not alluding to whether they are on a registry or not. Most readers of our blogs are on a registry or know someone who is, so we assume most reader reports will be from registered ex offenders)

In our own research, we have been frustrated by just how little information about this subject can be found online. Furthermore, no embassy or country agency which we have contacted will ever give a firm answer on whether a specific ex sex offender can enter their country. It seems to be kind of an unspoken subject which no one wants to talk about. So we ask for your input if you have traveled overseas with a sex offense in your history. Please email us here if you have some valuable information to share with other readers. We thank those readers who have already contacted us with their experiences.

Please limit your email to hard facts about passports, visas, entry,exit and border checks.
State your past conviction category. This will help us to make sense of how different level offenders are treated.

1. Did you apply for an entry visa, or just travel on a US passport?
2. Did they scan your passport at entry?
3. Were you detained or questioned as a result of your past offense?
4. What nations have you entered (or attempted to visit)?
5. Have you found any reliable documentation about any of these policies which you can share with us?

https://constitutionalfights.wordpress.com/international-travel/

Messy Realities of Ohio’s Adoption of AWA Sex Offender Registration Rules

July 26, 2010 Comments off

Sentencing Law & Policy: The messy realities of Ohio’s adoption of AWA sex offender registration rules.
daytondailynews.com: Sex offender reclassifications will take months.

A helpful reader altered me to this local article which provides a window into just some of the many messy issues involved in Ohio’s on-going effort to get conform its sex offender registration rules to comply with the federal Adam Walsh Act. The piece is headlined “Sex offender reclassifications will take months; One case shows how new ruling affects law on registration,” and here are some highlights:

George Anderson, a rapist designed a Tier III sex offender, was convicted by a Montgomery County jury for failing to verify his address. On Friday, July 16, the Ohio 2nd District Court of Appeals voided his conviction, citing the June 3 Ohio Supreme Court decision that eliminated reclassifications under the Adam Walsh Act….

These types of decisions will likely continue during the coming months, said Margie Slagle, staff attorney with the Ohio Justice and Policy Center. “Thousands and thousands of petitions were filed across the state,” Slagle said.

Twenty-eight counties were awaiting the Supreme court’s ruling before taking any action on challenges to Walsh. Nine, including Montgomery, issued county-wide stays, according to a brief filed by the Ohio Public Defender.

Anderson was originally classified a “sexually oriented offender,” the lowest designation under the state’s Megan’s Law. He was required to register his place of residence annually for 10 years. Under the Adam Walsh Act, which replaced Megan, he was reclassified as a Tier III offender — the highest level — and required to report every 90 days for the rest of his life….

The high court’s ruling kept the Walsh system for new offenders, but ordered the 26,000 offenders who were reclassified to be returned to the old system and its requirements. “It’s going to make it confusing,” said Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey, who heads the Buckeye State Sheriff’s Association’s committee on sexual offender notification.

Under the old system, 77 percent of offenders were in the lowest category and 18 percent were in the highest as “sexual predators.” Under Walsh, the highest category, Tier III, contained 54 percent.

That tripled the workload for sheriff’s offices, with more offenders visiting four times a year instead of annually, Grey said. “That’s less time that we have a deputy out physically looking” to see if offenders live at the addresses they give, Grey said.

Attorney General Richard Cordray, whose office notified all affected offenders in 2008 that their designation had changed, has asked the Supreme Court to reconsider its decision. He also has included a request for clarification concerning those offenders who did not have court hearings to determine classification, such as those convicted in other states. Ted Hart, a spokesman for Cordray’s office, said staff was manually going through all records to determine which defendants had court hearings.

“If they did have a hearing, they will be reclassified,” Hart said “If they did not, the cases will remain pending until we receive further clarification from the court.”

Bills in Congress to Deny Loans and Mortgages to Sex Offenders

July 26, 2010 Comments off

sexoffender-reports.blogspot.com: Bills in Congress Will Deny Loans and Mortgages to Sex Offenders.

Small Business Jobs and Credit Act of 2010: HR-5297:

Source of offensive language: House Report 111-506, H.Res. 1436 “(2) LOAN RECIPIENTS.—With respect to funds received by an eligible institution under the Program, any business receiving a loan from the eligible institution using such funds after the date of the enactment of this title shall certify to such eligible institution that the principals of such business have not been convicted of a sex offense against a minor (as such terms are defined in section 111 of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (42 U.S.C. 16911)). “


FHA Reform Act of 2010: HR-5072:

Source of offensive language: House Floor Debate 6-10-2010 which says: “(z) Required Certifications.–Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary may not insure any mortgage secured by a one- to four-family dwelling unless the mortgagor under such mortgage certifies, under penalty of perjury, that the mortgagor has not been convicted of a sex offense against a minor (as such terms are defined in section 111 of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (42 U.S.C. 16911)).”.”


UPDATES, Friday, July 23 : Failure of Ohio AG to Abide by Supreme Court Ruling

July 23, 2010 Comments off

UPDATES, Friday, July 23 : Failure of the Ohio Attorney General Office to Abide by Supreme Court Ruling, which invalidated Ohio’s Senate Bill 10 Adam Walsh Act Re-classification system.

We have been monitoring the ESORN web site since the Bodyke decision on June 3rd. Here is our weekly tracking of the ESORN website numbers.

As of 6-06-2010- Total Number of Offenders: 19,361
As of 6-16-2010- Total Number of Offenders: 19,298
As of 6-21-2010- Total Number of Offenders: 19,206
As of 6-28-2010- Total Number of Offenders: 18,964
As of 7-05-2010- Total Number of Offenders: 18,723
As of 7-12-2010- Total Number of Offenders: 18,617
As of 7-21-2010- Total Number of Offenders: 18,529
As of 7-23-2010- Total Number of Offenders: 18,493

In just over 7 weeks, the Ohio AG office has removed fewer than 900 registrants from their Sex Offender Registry. We are told by the Ohio Public Defender Office that approximately 2300 individuals are slated to be removed. But keep in mind that people are forced onto this corrupt registry every day, as well. So the number removed is probably above 900.

The AG office has refused to answer or return our calls. They have now blacklisted Constitutionalfights. And they have told us so, very directly and rudely. So we must rely on you, the readers, to help do the job of holding them accountable.

Keep contacting the Ohio Attorney General’s Office daily until they get these re-classifications completed and send official letters !

We are hearing from some (not many) readers who have told us of their removal from the registry. We are happy to see these people relieved of their illegal punishments but we urge all readers to remain vigilant until the Attorney General Office sends official letters to registrants informing them that they no longer have a duty to register. Having these letters in hand is very important. Law enforcement is just as corrupt and incompetent as other state authorities are. If a sheriff bangs on your door in the middle of the night because you did not register, you need to have that letter in hand !

Justin Hykes, Assistant Attorney General of Ohio
justin.hykes@ohioattorneygeneral.gov
614-387-4257
FAX 614-466-5087
E-fax 1 866 293 1021

Paula Armentrout ,AG Help Center Manager can be contacted here:
800-282-0515
Dan, Help Center Supervisor can be contacted here:
800-282-0515

Ohio Attorney General Office:
Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray, 30 E. Broad St., 17th Floor, Columbus, OH 43215
(800) 282-0515
Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Email Ohio ESORN at OHLEGsupport@OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov

OHLEG Support
1-866-40-OHLEG (1-866-406-4534)
OHLEGsupport@OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov

Media Contacts:

Kim Kowalski: (614) 728-9692, cell: (614) 893-6018
Ted Hart: Deputy Director of Media Relations
Office of the Ohio Attorney General
PHONE 614-728-4127, cell: (614) 743-2286
EMAIL ted.hart@ohioattorneygeneral.gov (614) 728-4127

We are also now actively seeking advice from any legal professionals who read these blogs, regarding potential legal action against the Ohio Attorney General Office for their failure to abide by this Ohio Supreme Court ruling. Please contact us at constitutionalfights@yahoo.com with any advice or willingness to help. Thank you.

Sex Offenders Receive U.S. Passports

July 15, 2010 Comments off

See related post : Sex Offenders Denied Entry to Canada.

sdp123a.com: Sex Offenders Receive U.S. Passports (includes video report).

(CNN) — Thousands of registered sex offenders have received U.S. passports, including at least 30 federal employees, according to a Government Accountability Office report obtained by CNN.

The GAO report said the Department of State cannot legally deny passports to registered sex offenders, except those specifically convicted of sex tourism.

The report concluded that about 4,500 U.S. passports of the more than 16 million issued in fiscal year 2008 were issued to registered sex offenders.

“Federal statutes authorize the Secretary of State to deny issuance of a passport in certain circumstances, such as while an individual is imprisoned or on parole or supervised release for a conviction for international drug trafficking or sex tourism or is in arrearages for child support,” the report states. “However, there is currently no comprehensive program to deny passports to applicants who are registered sex offenders.”

The State Department called the report “very misleading” and adding it “conveys more ‘shock value’ than factual accuracy.” (Of course, this report is intended to shock and outrage the public)

In a written response, the department pointed out that only a fraction of 1 percent of the 16 million passports issued in fiscal year 2008 went to registered sex offenders. In addition, the title of the report “fails to convey that GAO found no lawful reasons for the department to deny or revoke the passports of the case study sex offenders based on their status as sex offenders.”

“The report appears to suggest, without any foundation, that the Department’s issuance of passports to certain Americans facilitated their commission of sex crimes abroad,” the department’s response said. “There are no facts in the report which show that any of the thirty individuals included in the case studies used his passport to travel to a foreign country to commit a sex crime.”

The original title of the report, “Passports Issued to Thousands of Registered Sex Offenders,” was later changed to “Current Situation Results in Thousands of Passports Issued to Registered Sex Offenders.” The GAO report was requested by Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and Sen. Max Baucus, D-Montana.

The GAO studied data from the National Sex Offender Registry (NSOR). However, the approximately 4,500 sex offenders who received passports in fiscal year 2008 “is likely understated because many of the records in the passport database and the NSOR lacked valid Social Security numbers … In addition, the NSOR does not currently contain a comprehensive listing of all sex offenders from the states.”

The GAO found cases that include a sex offender from Texas who received a passport while in prison, a Delaware man with multiple sex convictions who traveled to the Philippines, Germany and France since receiving his passport, and a Georgia man who has traveled to the Philippines, Ireland and Panama.

Among the federal employees who received passports was an aerospace engineer with NASA, an employee of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, and a Postal Service carrier who traveled to Taiwan and Japan after receiving his passport.

About 50 of those who received passports either lived outside the United States or “their whereabouts were unknown,” the report said.

A new law took effect in December 2008 that prohibits anyone convicted of sex tourism from receiving a U.S. passport. However, the report said, the Department of State was not even aware of the law until April of this year after the GAO “brought this statute to its attention.”

“When Congress passes a law and the president signs it, then the Executive Branch needs to execute it,” Grassley said in a statement. “I’m shocked that GAO had to inform the State Department that Congress made individuals convicted of sex tourism ineligible for passports back in December 2008. It’s inexcusable that the State Department did nothing to enforce that provision for 14 months. Since someone who is late on child support payments cannot receive a passport, then surely these criminals should also be stopped from traveling internationally.”

“It also is disturbing that the GAO found examples prior to that new law where the State Department issued passports to convicted sex offenders who fled law enforcement, received government housing subsidies, and work for the Post Office. This report raises a lot of serious questions about how effectively the government protects us from child predators,” Grassley said. (Grassley doesn’t know the difference between a Predator and a Sex Offender)

The report also studied a group of registered sex offenders — many who held positions of public trust, including a school teacher, religious layman, and health care provider.

“Other cases involve registered sex offenders who owe child support or are currently in prison or whose whereabouts are unknown,” the report said. “… Several of our cases showed that sex offenders left the country and moved to Mexico. According to State officials, Mexico does not have a sex offense registration system, so these offenders are likely unknown to authorities and their neighbors.”

The Department of State “has indicated that it would like to study any proposed legislation to provide additional authority to deny passports to sex offenders, including constitutional, policy and practical issues that may arise in its application and use,” the report said. “A State official said that the department recently began working with [the Department of Justice] to develop a procedure for tracking these convictions and a procedure to notify State of those convictions.”

This report answers a few of the questions we have had regarding travel with a passport as a former sex offender. As the post noted above details, we have first hand knowledge that Canada border agents deny anyone with a sex offense entry into Canada. We believe this is related to how the U.S. and Canada computer databases are so well connected. This may not be the case with other countries. We would like to hear from anyone with knowledge about international travel of persons with a sex offense in their history. We would like to report on this topic.

Please send any information you have regarding international travel to constitutionalfights@yahoo.com.

If you have a sex offense history and have traveled overseas, please tell us how it went for you.
Did you obtain a visa beforehand? Did you declare this felony? Was your history (or passport bar code) checked at the Entry Point before you were permitted entry? If you have official information about this topic, please provide sources.

Contacting Constitutionalfights.org

July 12, 2010 Comments off

Once we see that the Ohio Attorney General Office has finally reclassified the vast majority of those affected by the Bodyke decision, and once we see the AG Office sending letters to most of these people, Constitutionalfights.org will then no longer be responding to emails or blog comments.

So.. if you need or want to contact us, you may have only a few weeks or a month to do so. Make sure to use a subject line related to our blog topic, or it could go unread in the “spam” folder. Anyone who has us on their email address book, or mailing list, please remove us as soon as possible. After we close these blogs, we will no longer receive your messages and will sent up an auto-response just to annoy until you remove us.

Thanks,
constitutionalfights@yahoo.com

Important:
Keep contacting the Ohio Attorney General’s Office daily until they get these re-classifications completed and send official letters !
We are hearing from some readers who have told us of their removal from the registry. We are happy to see these people relieved of their illegal punishments but we urge all readers to remain vigilant until the Attorney General Office sends official letters to registrants informing them that they no longer have a duty to register. Having these letters in hand is very important. Law enforcement is just as corrupt and incompetent as other state authorities are. If a sheriff bangs on your door in the middle of the night because you did not register, you need to have that letter in hand !

UPDATES, Friday, July 9 : New Info from Ohio Public Defender

July 9, 2010 Comments off

From our contact at the Ohio Public Defender Office:

Someone in our SB 10 litigation group was able to get some information from the AG’s office today. Here’s the excerpt from that email:

The AG’s office has reclassified all of the Predators and are now working on the Habitual Offenders (those whose original classifications were either Predator or Habitual before Senate Bill 10). They are reclassifying those two groups first because all of those people clearly have a prior judicial registration order (the court order given near time of conviction which originally classified the offender). The Bodyke decision requires that these original court orders shall now go back into effect.

For the originally-classified Sexually Oriented Offenders, they are pulling the final court order to confirm there was a hearing and reclassifying them.

Out of state offenders will not be changed pending the Motion for Clarification, and neither will anyone without a court order.

They believe approximately 2300 offenders will be released from the sex offender registry. They are checking each one individually to make certain there were no tolling events. They are then notifying the Local Sheriff’s Office of whom should be removed from the registry. Notices will be sent to all but the Predators.

They also believe that all the other provisions of SB 10 still apply to the reclassified offenders.

They are reclassifying people whose original classifications (before SB 10) were either Predator or Habitual, because all of those people clearly have a prior judicial order. If you were originally classified as a Sexually Oriented Offender, you probably won’t be getting an official letter from the AG until they start reclassifying people who were originally SOO’s. And, it looks like they’ll only reclassify SOO’s who have a prior court order labeling them as such. (If you’ve seen the Motion for Clarification that the AG filed last month, they’re unsure of how to classify people who don’t have prior court orders.)

Note: Attorneys for Bodyke have filed a Motion in Opposition to the AG’s Motion for Clarification, which was filed immediately after the decision by the Ohio Attorney General office. We said at the time that this was a stalling tactic by the AG to buy time. Let us hope the Ohio Supreme Court quickly denies the AG motion.