Thursday, October 30, 2008

OH: Franklin County Judge Rules Against Adam Walsh Act

Columbus Dispatch ( Columbus OH) : Franklin County Judge Rules Parts of Adam Walsh Act Unconstitutional.

"I anticipate that one or both of the parties in the case will appeal," Judge Schneider said. "It won't rest until the Court of Appeals and ultimately the Supreme Court rules on this decision. So, I encourage them to appeal. Only the Supreme Court can render the ultimate decision."

Under the Adam Walsh Act, which took effect Jan. 1, 2008 in Ohio, Plaintiff Toles was reclassified as a Tier III offender, requiring him to register quarterly for the rest of his life. He also became subject to community notification, under which the sheriff is required to notify his neighbors and others in the community of his residence.

Schneider ruled that Toles, 38, is not subject to community notification because a hearing at the time of his conviction determined he was not a sexual predator.

The judge also ruled that much of the information required on the registration form under the new law posed an unreasonable burden in Toles' case, such as license-plate numbers of vehicles available to him, where those vehicles are usually kept, telephone numbers he uses, and "any other information required by (the state Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation) without limitation."

"How does anyone know what telephone numbers he might use?" Schneider wrote. "Most troubling is the open invitation to BCI to add additional requirements without limitation."

Although Schneider's ruling applies only to Toles, Skendelas expects it to be "persuasive" when other Franklin County judges consider similar cases. The county public defender's office is handling more than 500 challenges to the law, he said.
Read this court decision here, or here.


Court of Common Pleas, Franklin County Ohio, Judge Schneider (9 Sept 2008):

The issue before the court was the plaintiff's requirement to register to satisfy the requirements of the new Adam Walsh Act law (Senate Bill 10), and the County Sheriff's obligation of community notification.

The challenge was based on the constitutional violation of the law with respect to The Ohio Constitution, which prohibits any law from being passed retrospectively (or retro-actively) This prohibition is also included in the Ex Post Facto Clause of the United States Constitution. (see related case State of Ohio v. Cook 1998 )

Judge Schneider found that the law was applied retrospectively but he failed to recognize that the new requirements of reporting were substantive (i.e. punishment, burdensome). This is a failure that has been seen in other courts. Judges are unable to understand the burdensome nature of the new law's reporting requirements.

Judge Schneider did however recognize as burdensome, some of the requirements of the new law which would require reporting of previously-not required information (travel documents, social security number, license plate of vehicles owned or used by offender, where vehicles are parked, photographs of such vehicles, professional licenses or permits, email addresses, telephone numbers, internet identifiers, and "any other information required by BCI (Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation) without limitation").

Furthermore, the Judge wrote that the change in classification imposes burden to the offender in restricting their ability to move without stigma and burden. Judge Schneider writes "This court concludes that these requirements constitute a new affirmative disability or restraint".

The Court finds that "the new registration requirements go way beyond the limits of the requirements considered by the Ohio v. Cook court. Pursuant to the Adam Walsh Act, the new registration requirements are much more detailed , much more burdensome and much less narrowly tailored and apply to all classifications of sex offenders. In fact, it is impossible for this Court of anyone else to determine exactly what the requirements are because the statute authorizes "any other information required by the bureau of criminal identification and investigation".

Judge Schneider concludes: "Based on the foregoing, the Court finds that the additional registration requirements beyond frequency and duration ... are clearly punitive in their effect and therefore violate the Ex Post Facto Clause of the U.S. Constitution."

Regarding re-classification, the Court holds "that if a previously convicted sex offender had the benefit of a hearing pursuant to R.C. 2950.09 and was found by a court not to be a sexual predator, the community notification provisions of R.C. 2950.11 do not apply." Judge Schneider continued in writing that "an offender who has been adjudged as not being a sexual predator has an expectation that he could make decisions based on that finding."

Georgia Court Rules Sex Offender Law Unconstitutional

Atlanta Journal-Constitution : Court: Sex offender law unfair to homeless. : Georgia Supreme Court rules sex offender law unconstitutional.
Jurist Legal News( : Georgia high court declares sex offender laws unconstitutional for homeless.

The Georgia Supreme Court on Monday declared unconstitutional a provision of the sex-offender registry law that was criticized for making homelessness a crime.

The state registry law, one of the toughest in the nation, made it a crime if a sex offender were homeless and could not register a specific street or route address at the local sheriff’s office.

In a 6-1 decision, the state Supreme Court said the law provides no direction for homeless sex offenders who have no street or route address. This makes them have to guess as to how they can comply with the law’s reporting provisions, the decision said. This lack of direction “leads to arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement,” said the opinion, written by Justice Hugh Thompson. The registration requirements are “unconstitutionally vague,” the court found. Justice George Carley issued the lone dissent.

The ruling was a huge legal victory for William James Santos, charged in Hall County for failing to register a new address in the sex-offender registry. Because this would have been his second failure-to-register offense, he faced a mandatory life sentence. The law requires an offender to report his or her address within 72 hours after being released from custody or moving to a new address.

Santos had lived at the Good News at Noon homeless shelter in Gainesville and, during that time, correctly gave the shelter’s address on the registry. But in July 2006, he was forced to leave. Over the next three months Santos was homeless and could not give an address or comply with the statute. In October 2006, Santos was arrested and indicted for failing to register. In jail for more than a year awaiting trial, Santos should soon be freed, said his lawyer, Hall County public defender Adam Levin.

“The court recognized that fairness is important for everybody, even the unpopular people in society,” Levin said. He added that even though the address requirement is no longer constitutional, he will encourage Santos to let local law enforcement know where he is living.

“This law was so poorly drafted it was contrary to public safety,” Weber said. “It was putting homeless persons in a situation where, if they said, ‘Hey, I’m homeless,’ they’d go to jail. It encouraged them not to report their addresses, which means no one would know where they lived.”

Halloween Sex Offender Law Tossed

AP: Rules limiting sex offenders on Halloween blocked (St. Louis): Halloween Sex Offender Law Tossed.

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A federal judge has ruled that parts of Missouri's new law restricting registered sex offenders' actions on Halloween night are unenforceable, saying the law lacked clarity and could cause confusion for sex offenders and those charged with enforcing it.

The law, signed by Gov. Matt Blunt in June, requires that sex offenders avoid all Halloween-related contact with children from 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Oct. 31. It requires them to remain inside their homes with the outside lights off and to post a sign saying they have no candy. A violation is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail.

After hearing arguments in a case brought by four sex offenders, U.S. District Judge Carol Jackson on Monday granted a preliminary injunction barring enforcement of some parts of the law.

Jackson found no fault with the provision requiring sex offenders to keep their porch lights off. She agreed there was no lack of clarity in the requirement for a sign that reads, "No candy or treats at this residence."
But other aspects of the statute were too broad and raise questions, the judge said.

For example, Jackson said, may a sex offender have contact with his or her own children on Halloween? Passing out candy is clearly prohibited, but what else constitutes Halloween-related contact? And if a sex offender planned to be out of town on Halloween, he or she would not technically be "inside the home" as the law requires, Jackson pointed out. The law allows sex offenders to leave home on Halloween night if there is "just cause" such as work or an emergency, but Jackson criticized the measure for failing to define the term more clearly. Such vagueness would cause confusion among sex offenders, police and prosecutors, she said.

The judge cited a letter sent by the Cape Girardeau County Sheriff's Department to registered sex offenders in the southeast Missouri county. She said the letter's reference to the "Halloween season" could have police trying to enforce the law on days other than Oct. 31.

The injunction stemmed from a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri. Attorney Dave Nelson called the law's requirements a "scarlet letter" for sex offenders. He said the statute also results in additional punishment by requiring what amounts to "house arrest" one day each year.

Anthony Rothert, the legal director of the ACLU of Eastern Missouri, said the order was not limited to the four plaintiffs. But to his understanding, the ruling means that sex offenders in Pike, Cape Girardeau and St. Louis counties — where the plaintiffs live — can spend time with their children on Halloween night and do not have to stay inside their homes. Rothert said the order applies only to this Halloween but that the ACLU will continue working to get the entire statute off the books.

It is part of a nationwide law enforcement trend targeting sex-offense suspects or registered sex offenders on Halloween and more severely restricting their activities that night. (This is UnConstitutional)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Ohio Senator Steve Austria: Corruption, Fraud, Arrogance

Ohio Senator Steve Austria (R-Ohio Senate): Corruption, Fraud, Arrogance...

Multiple issues involving corruption and fraud of Steve Austria have been uncovered in 2008. These facts demonstrate Mr. Austria as a man unfit to serve the people of his District or the people of Ohio. Now, Steve Austria is running for Congress in the 7th District. (OH-7).

Corruption Neuhardt claims new ad exposes Austria for who he really is:

The campaign of attorney Sharen Neuhardt (D-Yellow Springs) released a new TV ad that they say exposes opponent state Sen. Steve Austria (R-Beavercreek) for who he really is.

"Steve Austria is another career politician filling his campaign coffers with thousands of dollars from some of the very people who pushed our country into an economic crisis," said Neuhardt spokesperson Jessica Kershaw. "Austria's best friends are Big Oil and Big Money. He'll be no friend to the voters of this District."

The 30-second ad titled, "Bought and Paid For" highlights what the Neuhardt campaign calls the tens of thousands of dollars Austria has taken from big money special interests.

The Neuhardt camp is saying Austria has taken more than a half million dollars in contributions from "big money special interests, including some of the world's largest health care, insurance, oil, and banking companies - the same people who are responsible for many of the most serious problems facing our country."The Neuhardt office says this includes "at least $111,000 from health care and insurance interests, at least $53,000 from banking and finance interests, and at least $36,400 from Big Oil and energy interests."

Austria is showing he has $271,492 cash on hand compared to Neuhardt's $83,262 for the remainder of the race.

13 Feb. 2008:

According to Congressional candidate John Mitchel (R-Beavercreek), former U.S. senator Mike DeWine (R-Cedarville), retiring Rep. Dave Hobson (R-Springfield), endorsed successor candidate State Sen. Steve Austria (R-Beavercreek) and his spouse, and a variety of local GOP officials have had a long history of cronyism and a recent corrupt scheme that involves steering a no-bid contract to Hobson campaign contributors, which incident Mitchel equates with the corrupt activity that has landed former congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-CA) in federal prison. He has been demanding a full investigation, which he accuses local GOP officials of resisting in order to conceal the conflicts of interests and influence peddling that have occurred.

OhioDailyBlog: OH-07: Austria (R) Called Co-Conspirator in Corrupt Steering of No-Bid Contracts:

Retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. John Mitchel (R-Beavercreek), now running for the seat of retiring Rep. Dave Hobson (R-Springfield), charges that opponent State Sen. Steve Austria (R-Beavercreek) and his spouse Eileen are co-conspirators in a scheme to steer no-bid contracts to campaign contributors of Hobson, who supports Steve Austria in the race and has paid Eileen Austria large consulting fees. Mitchel compares the scheme to the steering of federal contracts by Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-CA) that resulted in his resignation from Congress in November 2005 and guilty plea to federal conspiracy charges. Cunningham is serving an eight year prison sentence.

In an email to Greene County officials, following up on his request for a meeting to discuss requests for information on the matter, Mitchel describes his allegations this way:

Former California Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham is in federal prison for steering no-bid contracts toward his campaign contributors. Steve and Eileen Austria sit on the referenced advisory committee along with Sam Greenwood of the Greentree Group. They were instrumental in causing money transferred by Greene County to the Dayton Development Corporation to be used to award a large no-bid contract to Greentree Group, purportedly to assist in an effort to keep Wright Patterson Air Force Base open during the BRAC (Base Realignment and Closure) process. Mitchel contends, however, that the base was in no real danger of closing, so the transactions in reality amounted to no more than an enormous transfer of public wealth to private hands.

Arrogance Steve Austria ignored constituents’ rights:
Beavercreek, Ohio, Tuesday, January 8, 2008: Today congressional candidate John Mitchel criticized State Senator Steve Austria and Representative Kevin DeWine for failing to defend their constituents’ constitutional right to initiative petition. In March, 2005, Mitchel filed a grievance claiming that over 2,000 citizens were denied their right to place on the ballot an initiative to vote up or down on $14 million of Greene County tax dollars for financing The Greene, privately developed by Steiner and Associates.


thestateofamericasfamily: Ohio Senator Steve Austria’s Bid for US Congress Turns to Desperate Sliming Politics (Mar 2008).

Steve Austria is mired in the muck of dirty tactics because he obviously fears his opponent may win.

Austria is the current Ohio Senate majority leader. He is a Beavercreek Ohio businessman not a lawyer like his mentor Dave Hobson, who is retiring from his career job on Capitol Hill. Remember those words. Hobson is a career politician who never wrote a law and he is Austria’s mentor. Ron Hood also is a businessman and the son-in-law of Bill and Pam Dean. The Dean family is one of Xenia’s prominent entrepreneurs in the service sector. Hood served in the Ohio House of Representative from 1995-2000 and 2005-2006. Unlike Austria who is endorsed only by several party organizations, Hood is endorsed by a number of family associations like Family First, Moms for Ohio and Citizens for Community Values, by several gun owners associations, and by the Chamber of Commerce.

What inspired this post was a slick mailer I received yesterday from Austria. The sliming of Ron Hood advertisement says Hood voted with democrats 80% of the time. Austria’s glossy green with yellow letters oversize postcard accuses Hood of being a RINO, which means a Republican in name only. On the front and back, it says Ron Hood is a Democrat. The real interesting thing about Austria’s sliming tactic is found in the small print. That’s right, in small print Austria acknowledges his accusations are based only on 3 bills and not on Hood’s entire record. Out of the hundreds of bills Hood sponsored and the many more he voted on only House Bill 66, House Bill 23, and House Bill 160 are used as proof of Hood being an undercover liberal. I checked the huge budget bill House Bill 66. I found conservatives Dewine and Widener voting with the Democrats on a lot of legislative items too. Does that make them liberals too?

It is obvious Austria is a real political desperado willing to do any thing to win. It also shows what kind of politician he really is.

Austria’s dirty political tactic against Hood raises the ethics question. Anyone who attempts to deceive the public in such an under-handed but strategic way shows not only desperation but also questionable ethical quality. He is supposed to be pro-life and pro-family. Should we not expect at least honesty from him?

Yet, it was Austria whose ethics have been called into question by Retired Air Force Lt. Col. John Mitchel. His investigation into the BRAC deal led him to bring charges against Austria, his wife, his mentor, and others for using No Bid government contracts to launder money. Citizens should be asking the Governor and Attorney General what is being done about it. (See sources in linked article.)

More Corruption

While out on the campaign trail talking about eliminating wasteful spending and fixing a corrupt system (when he's not bashing his opponent's family), Senator Steve Austria then actively solicites donations from the lobbyists with which he has "long-term working relationships".

In his letter to lobbyist, Mr. Austria seems to make these points:

1. We've been working hard to raise money and build grassroots support.
2. Our opponent is getting support from the Democratic Party.
3. The work we've done on the 'grassroots' part of the campaign can't hold up, so I'm turning to you, my long-time lobbyist friend.
4. Can you get other lobbyists to help me?

It appears that Steve Austria is appealing to his lobbyist friends to help him clean up Washington?? (DailyKos)

OhioDailyBlog: OH-07: Austria (R) Called Co-Conspirator in Corrupt Steering of No-Bid Contracts. (Jan 2008)

State Sen. Steve Austria (R-Beavercreek) and his spouse Eileen are co-conspirators in a scheme to steer no-bid contracts to campaign contributors of Rep. Dave Hobson (R-Springfield), who supports Steve Austria in his campaign and has paid Eileen Austria large consulting fees. Mitchel compares the scheme to the steering of federal contracts by Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-CA) that resulted in his resignation from Congress in November 2005 and guilty plea to federal conspiracy charges. Cunningham is serving an eight year prison sentence.

In an email to Greene County officials, following up on his request for a meeting to discuss requests for information on the matter, Retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. John Mitchel (R-Beavercreek),describes his allegations this way:

Former California Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham is in federal prison for steering no-bid contracts toward his campaign contributors. Based on remarks spoken to me by Ms. [Marilyn] Reid, [the Greene County GOP chair who is running for county commissioner,] I am alleging that is exactly what occurred with the BRAC Initiative Agreement. There is compelling evidence that Dave Hobson and other elected officials, including Steve Austria as well as Mrs. Austria, who both sit on the Dayton Development Coalition Wright-Patt 2010 Advisory Committee, intervened to influence the award of no-bid contracts to The PMA and Greentree Groups. Please note that documents disclosed on the FEC website show that employees from PMA and Greentree donated over $50,000 to "Hobson for Congress" prior to, during and since the period of performance (PoP) of the BRAC Initiative Agreement. Don't hesitate to call if you have any questions prior to our meeting on the 24th.

On the telephone yesterday, Mitchel further explained his accusation. Steve and Eileen Austria sit on the referenced advisory committee along with Sam Greenwood of the Greentree Group. They were instrumental in causing money transferred by Greene County to the Dayton Development Corporation to be used to award a large no-bid contract to Greentree Group, purportedly to assist in an effort to keep Wright Patterson Air Force Base open during the BRAC (Base Realignment and Closure) process. Mitchel contends, however, that the base was in no real danger of closing, so the transactions in reality amounted to no more than an enormous transfer of public wealth to private hands, and in any event the purpose of the contract was lobbying and that is not the business of Greentree, an IT firm. Greentree in turn awarded a $660,000 contract to PMA, which is in fact a lobbying firm. During the period for performance under these contracts, principals or employees of Greentree and PMA gave $50,000 in campaign contributions to Hobson. Eileen Austria was a district director for Hobson, and while so employed Hobson paid her $50,000 as a political consultant. Linking the transfers together, Mitchel sees an orchestrated chain of transactions that acted as a pipeline for public money that ultimately wound up in the hands of Eileen Austria.

Mitchel has aggressively sought information and documents from county officials in this matter, but says that he has been stonewalled. He has kept the other GOP congressional contenders in the district informed of his efforts and has no intention of letting the matter drop. He is attempting to spur the press and local federal prosecutors to investigate further, but has seen little movement to date. He attributes the inaction on the part of prosecutors to the existence of close ties to the Republican establishment, pointing out for example that the wife of prominent Assistant U.S. Attorney Bill Schenck was a staffer for Sen. Mike DeWine (R) in his Xenia district office.

Not Endorsed

The Dayton Daily News has endorsed attorney Sharen Neuhardt (D-Yellow Springs) , and wrote that Austria does not "have the kind of reputation that Rep. Hobson had when he first ran for Congress."

The editorial board criticized
Austria as being "scared of saying anything that might offend" in their endorsement of Neuhardt. They note Neuhardt's never having held office, but say that she "compares well with the experienced politician in her understanding of issues."

The board concludes that
if voters select Austria "they are settling for mediocrity, quite possibly on a long-term basis." But if voters choose Neuhardt, "they are hoping for something better." "She has the potential to develop into a leader in an important policy realm or more than one," The News wrote. "The rookie is the better, bolder, more optimistic choice."

DDN wrote that "Austria's attacks are shameful" and that "Austria has not earned a major promotion" as he has "no compelling record".


Furthermore, in 2007, Mr. Austria thumped his chest in support of the Adam Walsh Act Law ( Ohio Senate Bill 10) which violates the constitutional rights of 30,000 Ohio citizens. He introduced and sponsored the bill, and proudly puffed his chest, even as various Ohio Senators spoke out in concern about the violative nature of the implementation of these laws. Only a voice vote was taken and Mr. Austria voted to enact these laws, which impose ex post facto punishment on citizens whose crimes date back decades.

Both the Ohio and United States Constitutions prohibit enacting any law which imposes punishment for crimes committed before the law went into effect. Mr. Austria either does not understand the constitution or he does not feel it applies to him or his decisions as an elected official in Ohio. has made multiple efforts to contact Mr. Austria and his office and campaign manager. All of our calls to his office over the past 10 months have not been returned. In asking to speak or meet with Mr. Austria, our requests were denied. Our request for a written statement from Mr. Austria for this blog was ignored. If you would like to contact Steve Austria to ask him about these issues, his official contact information is: Ohio Senator Steve Austria - Telephone: (614)466-3780

Ohio Senator Jon Husted: Corruption, Fraud, Arrogance

Ohio Representative Jon Husted (R-37th Ohio House District and Speaker of the House): Corruption, Fraud, Arrogance...

Multiple issues involving corruption and fraud of Jon Husted have been uncovered in 2008. These facts demonstrate Mr. Husted as a man unfit to serve the people of his District or the people of Ohio.

Illegal And Dishonest

Update- 30 October 2008: Montgomery County Elections Board to Investigate Husted.

Jon Husted, contrary to law, does not live in the 6th District. Husted, Speaker of the House, is currently representative for the 37th Ohio House District. A Cleveland Plain Dealer article published Sunday that reported that Husted’s Kettering home looks abandoned. The article said:

“While Husted won’t say how much time he spends in Kettering, his modest ranch-style house had tightly-drawn blinds and a six-week-old stack of newspapers next to the front door on a recent summer day. Cobwebs were beginning to creep over a front picture window.”

The Columbus Dispatch reports
: Residency questions continue to dog Husted; Husted claimed a tax break on a Kettering house; his wife got a break on another home (18 Oct 2008):

DAYTON — Ohio House Speaker Jon Husted, R-Kettering, has long claimed that although he lives with his family in Upper Arlington, his real home is in his district in Kettering. But legal documents involving property owned by Husted and his wife, Tina , raise new questions about his principal place of residence.
Those documents show that Jon and Tina Husted received a property tax break on the Upper Arlington home she owned at the same time he got a tax reduction for his Kettering home.
Tina is Husted's second wife ; Husted is divorced from his first wife, according to

Ohio law says a couple can only take that tax reduction on one home.

Montgomery County Auditor Karl Keith, a Democrat, and Franklin County Auditor Joe Testa, a Republican, said they will investigate to see if the law was broken. Since they married in 2005, Jon and Tina Husted each claimed a separate house as a primary residence on legal documents that trigger the 2.5 percent property tax reduction for owner-occupied homes.

"The 2.5 percent reduction is meant to be on one property and one property only. It's supposed to be your primary residence," said Keith. "Those are legal documents. You are signing those documents under penalty of perjury." A "principal residence" is a person's legal, permanent residence and used to determine where a person can vote, according to John Kohlstrand, spokesman for the Ohio Department of Taxation.

By law, Husted cannot run for the Legislature if he does not live in his district. He is registered to vote in Kettering.

Husted said he stays in an Upper Arlington house with his wife and children. He would not say how often he sleeps in his Kettering home, nor whether he plans to move his family to that house once he relinquishes his Speaker duties this year, or if he is elected to the Ohio 6th District Senate seat.

His opponent in that race, Democrat John Doll, said Husted should forfeit his seat if it turns out he does not legally reside in the district. Husted said he does live in the district and was unaware of the tax issue. "While Husted clearly spends most of his time living in a $343,000 three-bedroom (2436 square foot ) home in the Columbus suburb of Upper Arlington with his growing family, he is supposed to live in his legislative district."

In an Editorial Letter written by Kettering resident,
Marybeth W. Rutledge, Husted was challenged:

"If Rep. Jon Husted really lived on Sherbrooke Drive in Kettering, he would have endured at
least 10 days without power (due to the September hurricane wind storm) . But, of course, he doesn't live there like we do. No, he was happily ensconced in Columbus in "his wife's house."
If Husted really lived on Sherbrooke, he'd have done all he could to help his constituents
(aka neighbors) with their ordeal; he'd know that his constituents include the elderly, small
children, pregnant women and others whose health and safety were at risk. He'd know some
constituents/neighbors had power, but no phone or cable, and he'd have seen what
influence could be brought to bear from his position as state representative to help. But he
doesn't live there.

Jon Husted wants to be elected to the Ohio State Senate from his "home district." Come on,
Jon, you're kidding, right?"
Marybeth W. Rutledge

Kettering resident Lauren Klein wrote:

"Husted's dishonesty is upsetting.

Re: 'Husted's residency in Kettering questioned,' Sept. 13:
As a Kettering resident, I am not upset that Jon Husted owns a home in Kettering, but lives with his family in Upper Arlington. I'm upset that Husted won't admit it. I'm annoyed that he specifies his wife owns
the home in Upper Arlington. He won't admit he doesn't live in the Sherbrooke residence
because it's dishonest, and he knows it. He is not committed to the area or the people he was
elected to represent. He is committed to what works best for him.

I contacted Husted's opponent, John Doll, a labor attorney who lives in Washington Twp.
He believes voters want the person who represents them to live in the district they represent. I'm voting for John Doll."
Lauren Klein

The Dayton Daily News: Questions About Husted's Kettering Residency
13 Sept 2008

DAYTON — Ohio Speaker of the House Jon Husted was accused on Friday, Sept. 12, by his opponent of not living in his district. "Apparently he thinks the residency laws of the state of Ohio do not apply to him," said Centerville school board member John Doll, a Democrat who is running against Husted, R-Kettering, for the 6th District Ohio Senate seat.

Doll said it is impossible for Husted to be in touch with his district and properly represent the community because he spends little time here.

Husted said the home he owns at 148 Sherbrooke Ave. is his residence, but he said his duties as House speaker require that he spend more time in Columbus than the average legislator. He said he also lives in an Upper Arlington house owned by his wife.

Husted's Kettering home frequently looks unoccupied and newspapers sometimes accumulate on the grounds. He said he has a basket by the front door to collect items in and he does not believe that six weeks of newspapers piled up, as Doll contends.

Husted said he does sleep in the Kettering home but refused to say what percentage of the time he spends living in Kettering and how much he spends in the Upper Arlington house with his wife and two children.
"I've answered these questions many times," said Husted.

Doll also demanded that Husted agree to serve a full four-year Senate term should he be elected to the Senate in November, rather than run for Ohio secretary of state in 2010. "I'm flattered that people are considering me for other offices of a statewide nature," said Husted, adding that it is premature to for him to comment on his future plans.

The deadline has passed to challenge a person’s place on the ballot. However, the board can question the validity of a person’s registration, said Steve Harsman, board of elections director.
Ohio law on residency for voting purposes says a person’s residence is the “place where the family of a married person resides.”

A legislator may be forced to forfeit his seat if he is not a legal resident of the district he represents.

Currently things stand with the Montgomery County Board of Elections attorney conducting a review of residency laws. The Board is considering a full investigation of Husted.

More Disception

Jon Husted refused to commit to serving a full term for the people of Ohio, in his run for an Ohio Senate seat in 2008. Mr. Husted is playing coy on speculation that he will leave his Senate seat early if he decides to run for Ohio Secretary of State in 2010.

Opponent John Doll demanded that Husted agree to serve a full four-year Senate term should he be elected to the Senate in November, rather than run for Ohio secretary of state in 2010. "I'm flattered that people are considering me for other offices of a statewide nature," said Husted, adding that it is premature to for him to comment on his future plans. Jon Husted won't say if he's a secretary of state candidate.

buckeyestateblog: Meet Jon Husted: The Eternal Candidate.

The Dayton Daily News seems to have caught everyone's favorite Republican state rep between a rock and a hard place. You see, Speaker of the House Jon Husted is running for a state senate seat even though it's widely expected that he'll run for Secretary of State in 2010.

Of course no one really enjoys being stepped on by someone out to climb the ranks, so Husted has been pretending to care about the Dayton area senate district he's running for. The truth came out however, when Husted refused to commit to staying the full senate term if elected.

In St. Paul last week during the Republican National Convention, Ohio Republican Party Deputy Chairman Kevin DeWine told a crowd of delegates that he looks forward to working along side his friend, Jon Husted, when Husted runs for Ohio Secretary of State in 2010.

Husted, R-Kettering, is now House Speaker and a candidate for a four year term in the Ohio Senate. Despite the open talk of him running for secretary of state, Husted is mum on it and declined to say whether he’s committed to serving his entire term if elected to the Senate. "
Asked about his statewide ambitions in 2010, Husted hedged, saying the decision "hasn't even been approved at the family level yet." Yet he mentioned both secretary of state or treasurer as possibilities."


The House speaker, Jon Husted, a young opportunist from Kettering in the Dayton area, was nailed by the Cleveland and Dayton papers for repeatedly accepting free flights and trips from his lobbyist pals. While Husted’s office denied at the time that the lobbyists were engaging in politics, I looked up their firms’ websites. One site proudly proclaimed that they could create personal relationships with legislators on behalf of their clients! Of course Husted’s office had no comment and the Ohio press, in spite of their occasional good reporting, seems inadequate to hold politicians accountable, especially considering that television news in Ohio does virtually no political reporting. (OhDave) "Trips that Husted has taken as speaker with his son, Alex, and high-powered lobbyists have brought controversy in recent years. On Memorial Day Weekend in 2005, the pair jetted off on a fishing trip with a trio of lobbyists in tow as the state's $51.2 billion budget was being debated. An Ohio State bowl game trip that year on a plane owned by NCR, a Dayton-based Fortune 500 company, with his family and lobbyists along also netted headlines. "You just have to make sure to do things in a way that are more appropriate, and I have tried to follow those lessons," he said. "

"Husted's rise also had a dark side in the form of covert assistance from a little-known nonprofit group known as Citizens for Conservative Values. In 2004, the Dayton-area issue advocacy group began a secret push to help Husted became speaker, even going so far as to ink contracts handing out fat bonuses to consultants if he was named the House leader. After benefiting from the group's work, Husted pushed a campaign-finance bill that forced more disclosure from issue advocacy groups.

"That was a great lesson for me in life, because that is not who I am and I can't affiliate with organizations that are not me," Husted said. "

Husted Fears Free Speech

House speaker considers political blogs dangerous:

Sunday, July 30, 2006 — Ohio House Speaker Jon A. Husted is no fan of political blogs.

“I believe they’re overrated in some respects,” the Kettering Republican said during a taping Friday of ONN’s Capitol Square. “In high-profile campaigns, this is a way for people to use third parties to get bad information out about your opponent.” The fact that people are paying attention to the blogs, Husted said, “is undermining the campaign process in terms of trying to advance ideas.”

Jon Husted should be afraid of political blogs because with his actions in the Ohio General Assembly, they may soon put him out of work. Perhaps Jon Husted thinks free speech is dangerous too?


Furthermore, in 2007, Mr. Husted thumped his chest in support of the Adam Walsh Act Law ( Ohio Senate Bill 10) which violates the constitutional rights of 30,000 Ohio citizens. He presided over the Ohio House vote where various representatives spoke in concern about the violative nature of the implementation of these laws. Only a voice vote was taken and Mr. Husted voted to enact these laws, which impose ex post facto punishment on citizens whose crimes date back decades.

Both the Ohio and United States Constitutions prohibit enacting any law which imposes punishment for crimes committed before the law went into effect. Mr. Husted either does not understand the constitution or he does not feel it applies to him or his decisions as an elected official in Ohio. has made multiple efforts to contact Mr. Husted and his office. All of our calls to his office over the past 10 months have not been returned. In asking to speak or meet with Mr. Husted, our requests were denied. Our request for a written statement from Mr. Husted for this blog was ignored. If you would like to contact Jon Husted to ask him about these issues, you can apparently find him living at his home in Upper Arlington, not in Kettering. His official contact information is: Ohio Representative Jon Husted - Speaker of the House, Telephone: (614) 644-6008

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Issues of cost, content arise over sex offender registry (Vermont) : Issues of cost, content arise over state's sex offender registry.

MONTPELIER – Under the provisions of a new federal act, Vermont stands to lose up to $35,000 in government funding if it doesn't expand its Internet sex offender registry. But officials say the changeover would add about 2,000 new names to the list – and cost upwards of $3 million to implement.

The new act has also spawned a philosophical debate about which offenders belong on the publicly accessible Internet sex offender registry. "I think it's a good idea to have a uniform system, and I support the idea in principle," said Sen. Richard Sears, D-Bennington, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. "But we believe this thing is a little more complex than what first met the eye, and we're going to have to take a hard look at whether we should comply, given that it may cost millions to do so."

Vermont has about 2,400 sex offenders on its statewide registry, but only about 400 meet the threshold required to land on the more public Internet registry. Under the Adam Walsh Act, all 2,400 offenders would likely appear online, because federal guidelines use an "offense-based" classification system to assess risk into a three-tier hierarchy.

Anyone convicted of those crimes – even non-contact mis-demeanors – would appear on the registry for anywhere from 15 years to life, depending on the offense. Vermont, conversely, uses a "risk-based" system that relies on a number of different criteria. And lawmakers and policy makers have thus far reserved the Internet registry for only the more serious offenders.

"I think the committee is in agreement that we ought to expand the Internet registry, but I think it's going to be up to the Legislature, the administration, and perhaps ultimately the courts to decide whether we can comply with this federal act," Sears said.

The Vermont Department of State's Attorneys and the office of the Defender General have said an expanded registry could lead to millions of dollars in additional legal costs for the state, mainly because offenders would prove less amenable to plea deals if the conviction meant a slot on the Internet sex offender registry.

The office of the Defender General estimated it would need an additional $1.8 million if the new registry standards were enacted. The Department of State's Attorneys pegged first-year costs at more than a half-million dollars. An official from the Department of Public Safety, which oversees the registry, said the state is capable of meeting the new federal requirements, but that would necessitate two additional employees and new computer software, estimated to cost a total of $350,000 in the first year.

Juvenile offenders as young as 14 also would qualify for the Internet registry for extreme offenses.
"The question ought to be what makes sense for Vermont and how far do we go?" Sears said. "Should people who had a statutory rape conviction be on there for life? Or someone who committed a non-contact offense? These are some of the issues we need to think about.

Friday, October 17, 2008

ABA Opposes Adam Walsh Act : American Bar Association Opposes the Adam Walsh Act.

Attn: Mr. David J. Karp, Senior Counsel
Office of Legal Policy
Room 4509, Main Justice Building
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20530

RE: Comments on the interim regulations to Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 (Pub. L. 109-248), the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA); OAG Docket No. 117

On behalf of the American Bar Association, I am writing to express our opposition to the proposed captioned interim regulations that would apply SORNA retroactively to juvenile offenders.

ABA juvenile justice policy is set forth in 20 volumes of IJA-Juvenile Justice Standards (“Standards”) developed by the Association in conjunction with the Institute of Judicial Administration. The Standards call for individualized treatment that is fair in purpose, scope and not arbitrary. These goals are set forth in the

Standard Relating to Disposition:
The purpose of the juvenile correctional system is to reduce juvenile crime by maintaining the integrity of the substantive law proscribing certain behavior and by developing individual responsibility for lawful behavior. This purpose should be pursued through means that are fair and just, that recognize the unique characteristics and needs of juveniles, and that give juveniles access to opportunities for personal and social growth.

The Standards set forth clear parameters for juvenile justice sanctions: the definition and application of sanctions should address public safety; give fair warning about prohibited conduct; and recognize “the unique physical, psychological, and social features of young persons.”1 The Standards, as well as accepted research in developmental science, recognize that juveniles are generally less culpable than adults, and that their patterns of offending are different from those of adults.2 Thus, ABA policy supports sanctions that vary in restrictiveness and intensity, and are developmentally appropriate and limited in duration.

Given the goals of the juvenile justice system and the transitory characteristics of juvenile offenders, ABA policy also limits the way juvenile records are compiled and disseminated. The Standards frown on “labeling” offenders, require very careful control of records, and prohibit making juvenile records public. In addition, “[a]ccess to and the use of juvenile records should be strictly controlled to limit the risk that disclosure will result in the misuse or misinterpretation of information, the unnecessary denial of opportunities and benefits to juveniles, or an interference with the purposes of official intervention.”3 This is so because most adolescent anti-social behavior is not predictive of future criminal activity.

Most importantly, ABA policy prohibits collateral consequences for delinquent behavior: “No collateral disabilities extending beyond the term of the disposition should be imposed by the court, by operation of law, or by any person or agency exercising authority over the juvenile.” 4 Lifetime registration violates this Standard and is detrimental to both rehabilitation and crime prevention.

The ABA opposed those provisions of the Adam Walsh Act that apply to juvenile offenders. A large percentage of “sex offenses” occur within families and do not rise to the level of sexual predation that is the target of the Act. The "Lifetime Registration" provisions of the Act are likely to have a chilling effect on the reporting of these crimes and will reduce admissions (guilty pleas) to the charges in the cases that do get reported. Concerns about the prospects of the retroactive application of the Walsh registration provisions already are having an adverse effect across the country with respect to admissions and delinquency adjudications in sex offense cases. As a consequence of its "Lifetime Registration" provisions, the ultimate impact of the Walsh Act here will be far more contested proceedings in these cases; far fewer delinquency adjudications; and far fewer juveniles getting the treatment they need. In addition, the fact-finding and guilty plea (admission of guilt) processes in most juvenile courts have fewer safeguards than in the adult system. Adjudications for sex offenses tend to lack the precision required by ABA policy (See Standards Relating to Adjudication). Furthermore, sex offending in adolescence has limited correlation to adult sex offending (the number of false positives close to 90 percent).

Because the Adam Walsh Act is inconsistent with ABA juvenile justice policy and because we believe the statute is overbroad in this respect, we urge you to draft the regulations so as to not further broaden the reach of the act and to minimize the harm that will result from application of the statute. The clearest way to accomplish this is to reject retroactive application of the Act to those who were under 18 at the time of their offenses. To the extent possible, the regulations should also provide a reasonable method for low-risk offenders to petition to be removed from federal and state sex offender registries. Finally, the ABA also suggests that the Department of Justice urge Congress to reconsider whether the Act should apply to juvenile offenders.


Denise A. Cardman ..Source..

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Sex Offender Mandate Threatens Liberty : Sex Offender Mandate Threatens Liberty.

If ever there was a good time to give short shrift to principled arguments on behalf of justice, the punishment of sex offenders could very well be that time. The caricature of the typical child molester — a man with sunglasses and a mustache, peering out his window as he cruises by the local middle school — is not a figure that should, or ever will, invite sympathy.

So it is understandable that the town of De Pere, in the interest of wiping clean such a stain on the fabric of civil society, would want to impose harsher restrictions on sex offenders. De Pere’s city council passed a law this past Tuesday mandating that registered sex offenders avoid loitering within 200 feet of public parks, schools or other areas where one would conventionally expect to find children. The ordinance applies to all sex offenders and will be pertinent to them even if they are not under state supervision.

The measure is not alien to the universal human urge to defend its young — perhaps that is why the city council passed it unanimously — but the casual disregard of De Pere’s city council for the rights of society’s most detested individuals is an act of insanity all the more troublesome because it is so excusable. De Pere’s ordinance may make a city council feel good about their ability to defend a threatened community. It may make police feel as though they have the legal muscle to nip pedophilia in the bud. It is also a drastic violation of human rights.

The idea that all sex offenders — every individual who has committed a crime that is remotely sexual in nature — are a threat to children reeks of a paranoia with no interest in hearing the voice of reason. Every class of offender, whether his or her crime victimized children or not, will now be painted with the stigma of pedophilia, the most egregious brand of sexual crime it is possible to commit. And while the bitter pill of reality may be difficult to swallow, it is impossible to see how certain classes of sexual crime — with their own psychological motivations and underlying causes — can in any way make an offender more disposed to harm children than the average citizen. The drunken partygoer who became too aggressive in a moment of alcohol-induced self-confidence is no more likely to be De Pere’s next pedophile than its average inconspicuous male park-goer.

Society has the right — and the responsibility — to protect itself from any individual who would do it harm. However, if such restrictions are truly necessary, it begs the question as to why these offenders, so unworthy of loitering in parks, are worthy of living in civil society at all. Parks, above any other public area, are where someone would be most expected to “loiter.” If this amount of latitude, so willingly given to any other member of society, is denied to sex offenders, then it is challenging to see how the city council of De Pere has any true willingness to see sex offenders rehabilitated. It is not an act of insensate brutality to acknowledge that the average pedophile may very well never be fully capable of existing in society. And if that is the case, attempting to make him or her stay away from parks will do little to discourage an underlying disorder that renders an individual more fit for a prison cell than the tree-lined streets of De Pere.

One must also question whether the measure is not simply designed to drive sex offenders out of De Pere altogether, so that another town in Wisconsin can bear the proud mantle of a municipality that is friendly to sex offenders. During a discussion on the ordinance, Alderman Bob Wilmet cited his concern that De Pere could become a dumping ground for sex offenders that are fleeing neighboring areas, where ordinances are stricter. As a patchwork of local regulations concerning the conduct — and in many cases, the living circumstances — of sex offenders begins to spring up across the state, it will be increasingly difficult for them to not only find a place to live in a state that has supposedly welcomed them with hesitant arms, but to be able to travel at all without fear of violating a draconian ordinance drafted upon the whim of well-intentioned councilmen.

TX Sex Offender Registry Toughest in Nation : AG wants online IDs of sex offenders listed.

AUSTIN — Not sure who your kid is chatting with online? If Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has his way, the state's public sex offender registry would include e-mail addresses and online names.

In what some are calling the toughest reporting proposals in the country, Abbott on Wednesday called for giving the public more information about the state's 53,000 registered sex offenders. Aiming to crack down on cyberpredators, Abbott hopes to expand the state sex offender registry to include e-mail addresses and Internet screen names.

He said his proposal would provide Texans with the “most comprehensive reporting requirements in the country” and would provide law enforcement, and ultimately the public, “with new and better tools to track and monitor sex offenders.” The attorney general's plan would need the Legislature's approval; Abbott said he plans to meet with lawmakers in coming weeks.

Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, chairman of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee, said he doesn't have any problems providing the public with more information on sex offenders and thinks Abbott's proposals have a good chance of passing the Legislature next year. Texas leaders have enacted increasingly strict registration requirements for sex offenders. This year, the Texas sex offender registry expanded to include an offender's school or place of work.

Some question whether the focus on online predators creates a false sense of security. Jill Levenson, a clinical social worker and professor of human services at Lynn University in Florida who has studied how sex crime policies affect sex crime rates, said children “are most often molested by people who are acquainted with the family, relatives and friends of the family, people who are trusted and use that trust to gain access.

“Parents certainly need to take precautions (regarding who their children are communicating with online) but in a way, all of this attention to Internet predators and stranger abductions and sexually motivated homicides takes away from important information we need to be giving parents, which is that children are much, much more likely to be abused by people (the family knows).”

As for whether tougher reporting requirements are effective in lowering the rate of sex crimes, Levenson said the studies she and others have done have been, at best, mixed. “Overall, the totality of research so far looking at the impact of registration and notification with sex crime rates does not really indicate there is a strong deterrent or preventive effect,” Levenson said.

She said she knew of no public registry in the nation containing offenders' e-mail addresses or online names.
But Congress continues to pass stricter laws, as do states. Many registries, including the Texas registry, include at least some juveniles, their names, addresses and photos. Critics in Texas complain that the state registry includes anyone convicted of a sex crime, whether the offender had sex with a teen who was a few years younger or whether the offender repeatedly used force against a young child.

Bruce Siegel, 38, a convicted sex offender in the Dallas area, complained that Abbott's proposal targets all offenders, not just the ones he believes the public needs to be warned about. “Now you're asking police departments to monitor more, which spreads them pretty thin when they really need to ride herd on 10 or 30 percent of (all offenders), Siegel said. “It's going to cause more paperwork and a lot of wasted time.”

Abbott's proposal also would require offenders to report their cell phone numbers to law enforcement, though the numbers would not be made public. It would also restrict some high-risk offenders from using the Internet at all.

...UN-CONSTITUTIONAL ! And many courts still are unable to see that these restrictions are "punishment".

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Recidivism of Alaska Sex Offenders

Alaska Justice Forum: University of Alaska Achorage. : Recidivism of Alaska Sex Offenders.

A recent study of sexual offenders released from incarceration in Alaska shows that for the three years after the offenders left prison in 2001, the rates of recidivism for sexual offenders were, by most measures, no higher than for offenders in general. The study, which was done by the Alaska Justice Statistical Analysis Center, a subdivision of the Justice Center, compared recidivism for sexual offenders released from prison in 2001 with a random sample of non-sex offenders also released in 2001. The analysis used the three measures most commonly used to determine recidivism: incidents of remand to custody, rearrest, and re-conviction on any new offense. The results are similar to those found in an earlier study done by the Alaska Judicial Council. (See Alaska Felony Process: 1999, Alaska Judicial Council, 2004.)

In the case of rearrest for a new sex offense, there was a slight but statistically insignificant difference between the sex offender group—3.4 percent—and the non-sex offender group—1.3 percent.

This finding figure is similar to that of other studies posted on this blog (e.g. California Department of Corrections study and others). Once again, these studies debunk the myth of sex offenders having high rates or recidivism. The fact is that sex offenders actually have lower recidivism rates for sex-related crimes than non-sex offenders have for any crimes. For methodology and charts, see links above for full study text. Also see our "Truth over Myth" post on this blog.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Children required to register as sex offenders for life : Challenge to juvenile sex offender risk prediction.

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. SORNA marks a huge departure from past juvenile justice practices, which recognized that children are different, and that most juvenile crime is "adolescent-limited."

So, here's some food for thought:

* What if it turns out that this new practice is not just extremely harsh, but paradoxically puts the public at heightened risk by impeding rehabilitation, and consigning kids who would otherwise move on with their lives to the status of permanent social pariahs?

* And what if it turns out that the "scientific" methods the states use to determine which juveniles are at high risk for sexual reoffending are completely worthless?

Well, it looks like both of those things are true.

Prediction tools don't work:

This month's Psychology, Public Policy, and Law published an important study showing that the systems in place to determine which juveniles are at high risk for recidivism simply don't do the job.
The researchers followed high-risk juvenile males for an average of about six years. They rated them on the highly touted Juvenile Sex Offender Assessment Protocol (J-SOAP-II) and the risk protocols developed by three states (Texas, New Jersey, and Wisconsin). Not only did the systems not work, but they were not even consistent with each other!

"This finding suggests that a juvenile's assessed level of risk may be more dependent on the state he lives in than on his actual recidivism risk," the authors concluded. And SORNA's own tiered risk system fared even worse: Juveniles designated as high risk actually recidivated at lower rates than others.

In summary, the researchers concluded that the risk tools that have such important implications for the lives and futures of adolescents are both "nonscientific" and "arbitrary."

Treatment works:

Although the efficacy of sex offender treatment among adults is contested, among adolescents the study findings were clear: Developmental factors play a big role in adolescent sexual behavior, and risk for reoffense can be reduced through high-quality treatment.

This is consistent with other recent research showing that even the most intractable offenders can be rehabilitated -- and at a cost far lower than the cost of punishment. The authors concluded that SORNA as it applies to youth is not only misguided but is likely to do more harm than good:

"The legislation … is based on the assumption that juvenile sex offenders are on a singular trajectory to becoming adult sexual offenders. This assumption is not supported by these results, is inconsistent with the fundamental purpose of the juvenile court, and may actually impeded the rehabilitation of youth."

Now, consider these facts:

* Most juvenile sex offenders stop offending by early adulthood.

* Among delinquents, just as many non-sex offenders as sex offenders go on to engage in adult sexual offending.

* At least one in five adolescent males commits a sexual assault. (See Abbey, referenced below.)

What do these facts add up to?

The need for widescale prevention efforts, instead of ineffective stigmatization of a few unlucky individuals. (Funding for such efforts has dropped precipitously, probably not coincidentally to the rise of increasingly punitive sanctions; see Koss citation, below.)

Other challenges to SORNA

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. 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.

For further information:

Caldwell, M.F., Ziemke, M.H., & Vitacco, M.J. (2008). An examination of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act as applied to juveniles: Evaluating the ability to predict sexual recidivism. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 14 (2). 89-114.

Abbey, A. (2005). Lessons learned and unanswered questions about sexual assault perpetration. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 20 (1). 39-42.

Koss, M.P. (2005). Empirically enhanced reflections on 20 years of rape research. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 20 (1). 100-107.

For further information on the juvenile registration requirements of SORNA, see the U.S. Department of Justice's online fact sheet; this month's Police Chief magazine also has a summary of SORNA that includes the juvenile provisions (online here). The full text of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act is here.

The American Bar Association article, "The National Pulse: Crime Registries Under Fire -- Adam Walsh Act mandates sex offender lists, but some say it's unconstitutional," is available here.

Most of these points also apply to adult offenders. See source post for hyper- links.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Privacy, Safety Balance At Issue (Maine): PRIVACY, SAFETY BALANCE AT ISSUE As information on sex offenders becomes more public, state officials are seeking ways to find common ground.

Maine officials sought guidance last week from experts across the United States on keeping society safe while protecting sex offenders' rights.

"Sex offenders have always lived in our community," said Detective Bob Shilling of the Seattle Police Department in Washington. (...and always will, by the way)

The difference today is that community notification and Internet posting of convicted sex offenders can increase worry among neighbors and make offenders targets of harassment.

Maine policymakers brought in the Department of Justice's Center for Sex Offender Management for aid in dealing with snags with its own policies, partly because having sex offenders' information on the Internet-- including those convicted a decade before the registry began -- raises their profile and can bring more problems.

In an article in the Winter 2008 "Washburn Law Journal," Lara Geer Farley framed the challenge for lawmakers: "At a time when national polls indicate that Americans fear sex offenders more than terrorists, legislators will have to show they have the intelligence and courage to create a society that is safe yet still protects the human rights of everyone."

He noted a tragic parallel between the two states on opposite sides of the country: Washington state, like Maine, has seen two sex offenders shot and killed by men who learned their whereabouts through information posted by authorities on a sex offender Web site.
Over the years, the Washington state notification system has been refined so a committee does a risk assessment of each inmate before release, and the exact address is provided only to police who verify it in person.

Maine state Sen. William Diamond, D-Windham, chairman of the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee, described a delicate balance between community safety and sex offender rights. "We need to distinguish the high risk from the low risk within our sex offender registry for the public's interest in particular," he said. "Our immediate task is to make a recommendation to the next Legislature on how a tier system can be implemented which includes developing a system for assigning risk levels to each (person) on the sex offender registry."

"I am convinced we need to have an end-of-sentence review board," said Rep. Gary Plummer, R-Windham, another committee member.

McCormick said he sees problems arising from Internet posting of sex offense convictions from as far back as 26 years ago, even though the person has lived a law-abiding life since the conviction. "We hear some horror stories," he said. "They have established their lives and they're really traumatized. They haven't reoffended."

"We are expecting the Maine Supreme Court to rule on one of those cases early next year, which may tell us that our sex offender registry is at least partially unconstitutional," Diamond said after the conference. "We learned that some other states avoided this problem by not requiring registration during the times before they had a registry."

Walter McKee, a past president of the Maine Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, said he would like to see a repeal of the provision that back-dates registerable offenses to include convictions between 1982 and 1992. "They're the least fair of all," he said. "I think that repealing the retroactivity would be appropriate and fair." Going forward, McKee said he wants to trim the list of registerable offenses.

"Take off some of the lower-end offenses that do not have any higher degree of recidivism than any other crime," he said. "I think everyone agrees that there are a number of sex offenses that we don't need people to register for."

Court challenges to the retroactive provisions of Maine's Sex Offender Registration & Notification Act have counterparts in other states as well.

Ohio officials decided to conform early to the federal Adam Walsh Act and passed enabling legislation that carries retroactive registration requirements.

So far, the Ohio Attorney General's Office has received more than 4,000 challenges to the state statute, said Erin Rosen, general counsel of the Ohio Law Enforcement Gateway, in the Attorney General's Office.

Rulings in some of those cases favor the challengers: One found sex-offender residency restrictions punitive and said they violate constitutional protections. The Supreme Court of Ohio has said it will decide the issue.

McKee also objects to Maine complying with the Adam Walsh Act. He said the penalty for noncompliance is an estimated $40,000 loss in federal grant money while the compliance cost is estimated to exceed $1.5 million.

Friday, October 3, 2008

74 Sex Offenders Due To Leave State Registry

Hartford Courant (Connecticut): 74 Sex Offenders Due To Leave State Registry.

The purpose of the 10-year provision is to recognize that — as disturbing as sexual assaults may be — not all of the people who commit them are threats to public safety, said state Rep. Michael Lawlor, D- East Haven, co-chairman of the legislature's judiciary committee.

Lawlor cited as an example an 18-year-old who carries on a high school romance with a 15-year-old girl, which is a violation of state law, but they marry and start a family. That man should not be viewed in the same light as other sex offenders, he said.

Under the law, those convicted of a "sexually violent offense" and repeat offenders register for life. An offense classified as a "criminal offense against a victim who is a minor" or a "nonviolent sexual offense" requires a 10-year registration.

Lawlor would like to see the registry pared further. He supports putting only the most dangerous sex offenders on the list, which has doubled in size since 2003.

"There are so many names, it's hard to decide who's really dangerous and who's not," said Lawlor, who also is an associate professor of criminal justice at the University of New Haven and a former prosecutor.

Attorney Al Mencuccini, who initially represented Daley, said he thinks the 10-year clause makes sense.

"I'm not sure a person should be labeled the rest of their life for something that happened a long time ago," he said. Being on the sex offender registry, which is easily accessed on the Internet, is like having a scarlet letter, he said. "That's a brand we don't even put on people who have murdered someone."

Thursday, October 2, 2008

ME Legislature Considers Adam Walsh Act Changes : Statehouse Testimony targets sex offenders.

AUGUSTA -- Victims of sex crimes and the offenders often live in the same home, where the crimes also occur.
That was part of the message brought by Kurt Bumby, senior manager of the Center for Sex Offender Management, to a committee of legislators wrestling with the problem of how to manage sex offenders and increase public safety. "Being grabbed in an alleyway sometimes happens, but those are the exceptions," Bumby said. "Strangers tend to be the exception."

The Committee on Criminal Justice & Public Safety met Monday at the Department of Public Safety offices in Augusta for a briefing on Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act. In the second of three informational meetings, the panel heard from Bumby as well as from officials in four other states where policymakers have grappled with similar issues. "We either reinvent the wheel or take a day and bring in the experts," Sen. Bill Diamond, D-Windham, said. "This should enhance the effectiveness of what we're trying to do."

Diamond, Senate chairman of the committee, said the committee is dealing with three issues:

* legal challenges of Maine's retroactive registration requirement filed by sex offenders;

* the federal Adam Walsh Act, which is aimed at expanding the national sex offender registry and keeping track of sex offenders no matter which state they live in, while increasing penalties for crimes against children; and

* a tiered system to classify offenders based on offense or risk to reoffend or both.

"We have our hands full," Diamond said.

Sen. Earle McCormick, R-West Gardiner, said he was looking for information on how the state's sex offender registry can be more effectively administered. "If we have a three-tier system, how do we figure who are the high risks?" McCormick said.

Bumby told committee members that sex offenses are a small percentage of all crimes committed, but get a disproportionate amount of publicity.

He also said offenders are a diverse group. "Research is clear that sex offenders don't all look the same, and those variations have important implications for management strategies," Bumby said. "One-size-fits-all strategies are not likely to get us the results we want."

"Depending on whom they target, recidivism rates vary," Bumby said. "Sex offenders are not all alike. Do we want policies to treat them alike? Will that serve the public?"

He recommended concentrating on higher risk offenders to lower the recidivism rate.
"It seems we do better to increase public safety when we focused on higher-risk offenders," Bumby said.

Bumby also said a federal study showed that longer sentences do not result in much variation in the rate of committing another sexual offense. He also said that despite a sharp increase in restrictions on where convicted sex offenders live, there's no evidence those restrictions affect the recidivism rate.

Later, Roger Werholtz, secretary of the Kansas Department of Corrections, said the state legislature there imposed a permanent moratorium to prevent municipalities from restricting where sex offenders can live.

Update to Ohio Supreme Court Decision Supreme Court upholds man's predator' status ;
Stricter classification went into effect after his sentencing.

... But since the case was based on Ohio's former sexual predator statute, the court's 4-3 ruling is actually less significant because larger challenges to the current offender classification system are looming.
In January, Ohio's Adam Walsh Act kicked in with a far stricter, three-tier, retroactive sexual offender classification system that requires frequent registering with local police and listing in a public database.

That new system is already being challenged in lower courts across Ohio -- with some judges, including one in Cleveland, already having declared it unconstitutional. It is expected to eventually reach the high court.

"If they had decided that the old law was unconstitutional, then that would have had a huge impact on Adam Walsh," said Amy Borror, from the Ohio public defender's office, which is challenging the new laws and had awaited Wednesday's ruling.

In State v. Ferguson, the case decided Wednesday, Andrew J. Ferguson of Cleveland argued that a 2003 amendment to the former sex offender law reclassifying him a predator for life was a form of added punishment.

Writing for the court's majority, Justice Maureen O'Connor said retroactive classification in this case is not punitive because the General Assembly intended the provision to be a public safety issue.

"It is a remedial, regulatory scheme designed to protect the public rather than to punish the offender," O'Connor wrote.

She was joined by Chief Justice Thomas Moyer and Justices Robert Cupp and Terrence O'Donnell.

Justice Judith Ann Lanzinger wrote a dissent that was joined by Justices Paul Pfeifer and Evelyn Lundberg Stratton. Lanzinger questioned why the majority did not use the same analysis the court had used in a case earlier this year when it concluded that residency rules for sexual predators were not retroactive.
Even if she were persuaded the old law was retroactive, Lanzinger said, "I cannot accept that the challenged amendments are merely remedial and do not impair vested, substantial rights."

Justice Lanzinger clearly understands the Constitution, along with Justices Pfeifer and Lundberg. They grasp the concept of expost facto provisons of the United States and Ohio Constitutions. However, Justices O'Connor, Moyer, Cupp and O'Donnell have demonstrated their incompetence, which insists on their immediate removal from the Court.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

OH Supreme Court: Upholds Retroactivity

ColumbusDispatch: Ohio Supreme Court upholds sex offender rules. October 1, 2008 1:45 PM

The Ohio Supreme Court today upheld as constitutional the retroactive application of a 2003 law that tightened reporting and community notification rules on registered sex offenders (Adam Walsh Act) .

Applying the law to sex offenders whose crimes predate it doesn't violate federal and state constitutional prohibitions against "ex post facto," or retroactive, laws, wrote Justice Maureen O'Connor, who authored the court's 4-3 majority opinion.

That's because the law's provisions are remedial and designed to protect the community, and not punitive and designed to punish the offender, she wrote.

The 2003 law toughened a 1996 law, called "Megan's Law," which classified convicted sex offenders and required them to register with their local sheriff.

The Ohio Supreme Court rejected a constitutional challenge in 1998 to the 1996 law. The court ruled then that the law's requirements could apply retroactively because the law's intent was to protect the community from future sex crimes rather than impose additional punishment on the offender.

O'Connor used the same standard in upholding the retroactive application of the 2003 law.

The 2003 law toughened "Megan's Law" by, among other things: requiring lifetime registration for offenders classified as sexual predators; requiring offenders to register not only with their home county sheriff but with the sheriff of the county where they go to school or work; and expanded community notification by allowing photos and other information provided to sheriffs by offenders to be included in a database accessible online.

O'Connor noted that the court already upheld retroactive application of the 1996 law and that that the changes in the 2003 law reflect the same intent to protect the community.

"We determine that the legislative history supports a finding that it is a remedial, regulatory scheme designed to protect the public rather than punish the offender a result reached by many other courts," she wrote in the majority opinion, which was joined by Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer and Justices Terrence O'Donnell and Robert R. Cupp.

Justice Judith Ann Lanzinger, joined by Justices Paul E. Pfeifer and Evelyn Lundberg Stratton, wrote a dissenting opinion saying the tighter rules amount to punishment.

In a separate case earlier this year, the court ruled that the 2003 law's residence restriction prohibiting sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of a school could not apply retroactively because there was a lack of clear legislative intent. Nothing in the law stated that the residence restrictions could apply retroactively, the court ruled.

This is the manner by which courts will take away our rights. They re-define terms, like "punishment" in order to justify unconstitutional laws. They simply refuse to acknowledge the fact that these laws impose restrictions and punishments on citizens who committed crimes up to decades ago. Just three justices were able to understand the obvious fact that these laws impose punishment. We must fight them to forcefully take back our rights !