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JESSICA'S LAW, IF PASSED BY POORLY INFORMED PEOPLE...
I AM A 22 YEAR OLD THAT WAS CHARGED...
SOME NOTICE THE ISSUES, MOST DON'T...
THE INSANE JESSICA'S LAW WOULD BE AN INEFFECTIVE WAY...
|ii) F. Lopez
THIS PROPOSITION 83,JESSICA'S LAW, HAS [WHAT MANY BELIEVE] GOOD INTENTIONS BUT...
| iii) F. Lopez
I CAN'T BELIEVE ANGELIDES IS ENDORSING THIS REPUBLICAN INITIATIVE...
I HAVE A 10 YEAR OLD RAPE CONVICTION...
|Dr. Gary Swenson
ONE CANNOT OPEN A NEWSPAPER IN IOWA WITHOUT...
CALIFORNIA PROPOSITION 83 (JESSICA'S LAW) IS AN EXAMPLE OF POORLY-WRITTEN LEGISLATION...
I AM SHOCKED TO READ THAT THE TRIBE...
I RECENTLY READ YOUR ARTICLE ABOUT "SEXUAL OFFENDER HYSTERIA...
JESSICA'S LAW: NOT THE ANSWER...
RECIDIVISM RATE OF SEX OFFENDERS IS VERY LOW...
SOMETHING TO REALLY THINK ABOUT ????...
VOTERS LOVE FEAR, RIGHT?...
|v)Dr. B. Cayenne Bird
CHILD MOLESTERS HAVE A RECIDIVISM RATE OF ABOUT 5%...
MODERN DAY WITCH HUNTS...
MODERN DAY WITCH HUNTS...
SAY NO TO JESSICA'S LAW OR ANY OTHER LAWS!!...
I AM AGAINST JESSICA'S LAW BECAUSE...
DO NOT PASS JESSICA'S LAW. THE LIFE YOU SAVE MAY BE YOUR OWN SON'S...
CHILD MOLESTATION WITCH HUNTS HAVE ALREADY COST BAKERSFIELD...
I WAS DELIGHTED TO SEE THERE IS SOMEONE WHO UNDERSTANDS THE REAL ISSUES WITH REGARD TO SEX OFFENDER...
WHY IS IT THAT THE REPUBLICANS ARE CONSTANTLY GETTING TOUGHER ON CRIME AND STILL THERE'S NO SOLUTION?...
Jessica's law will further punish sex offenders and all of us too !!!
Jessica's law, if passed by poorly informed people, will be a major catastrophe.
This will bankrupt the state of California and explode our already dangerous prisons.
Our courts will be completely backlogged because every person will want a jury trial. This is because of the major consequences associated with any sex crime allegation coming from Jessica's Law.
We all should know that only corporations and over zealous politicians will profit from all these unnecessary "tough on crime" laws that only generate more cheap inmate labor for years to come which insures their profits.
Sentences are already long enough!
The manufacturers of the GPS devices will be making huge profits and those pushing tough sex crime laws probably have stocks in that company. Governments should put their energy towards social services that could prevent crime and reduce incarceration rates.It's time for our government to stop letting private interests guide their decision making. The new slave plantation is the prison industrial complex,that is preparing a space for you and your loved ones. It is time to wake up and smell the corruption. It is not about public safety nor our well being.
It's our duty to change this corruption, vote against,and say "NO" to Jessica's Law !!!!
I am a 22 year old that was charged with lewd or lavious act with a minor, under the age of 14, when I was 18. My life has been hell ever since from the near impossibility of getting work to even schooling.I read your article and believe you are correct. I just wish that Californians would see the way you do.I am for Jessica's Law if they were to redefine it in a more pinpoint form.
I made a mistake like many others my age and most likely half the planet. I understand that grown men/women touching younger boys/girls is wrong, very wrong, but as for people around the age of 18, they aren't adults yet, they have no experience in life, and therefore should not be damned for the rest of their lives for one misguided mistake.
I am very compliant with my probation officers; I have gone through the therapy and passed with flying colors; I have done nothing but good before and after the incident from countless hours of community service.
I wasn't the best student, but I strengthened others in school and told them to shoot for what they dream no matter how hard it may be. So as you can see I'm not by any means a violent or angry or hurtful person. I assume others are in the same boat and would like some kind of justice! I don't know if this letter will help anything, but I thought I'd write it to show you that I appreciated the article very much and let you know there are people that you discuss out there in the world that see the same way as you.
Thank you for your time
Some notice the issues, some are blind to it. Some care, most don't.
In the state of Oregon, you become a sex offender for many things. Say indecent exposure, smacking someone's butt, or even being in a relationship. When I was 17, I was really good friends with a girl from school, she was 2 months away from 15. This was the first (and only) time that I dated someone younger than me. We had an alright relationship, and a month into it I graduated. I was two weeks over 18, and she was a couple weeks away from 15. We had sex in my room (still lived with my parents.) Although some may dispute the definition of "sex" because 30 seconds into it, she asked to stop and I agreed.
She was too nervous I guess which made sense. We got dressed and everything was good from there; we had a great time at graduation. Then we broke up after I learned she had been sleeping with her ex-b/f before, during, after our relationship. He was two years older than I and had dated her years before I came along. Her mom and I told her we did but so did her ex-b/f Danny. She said don't worry she wasn't going to press charges against me as long as I never bothered Erin again. We went out separate ways; all was good for a year on my end.
Then in April I walked back into my school to talk to my old counselor (it was an alternative school for "at risk teens/learning disabled" kids) to tell her about my new job and college plans; she was basically my second mom during school as well. Well Erin saw me and told someone about her and me, and then from there it's been hell. Investigations, charges, lawyers, etc. In the end I pleaded guilty to a lesser charge to avoid a felony. Sex Abuse 3, a misdemeanor. I don't care about the probation, fines, community service, etc. What I'm losing it about is the fact that I am a registered sex offender for the next 10 years of my life. Now I'm not allowed to see my family unless they're 18. (e.g. my niece and nephew and soon to be another niece and nephew.) It got me fired from my job because it involved customer service, etc. Also guess what your government does to you to make you feel worse: show's you child porn. Yup, you heard me. Big Brother has their own stash. They show you those sick, vile photos to see if you get aroused. I felt like I was going to puke after seeing that.
Do you agree with this form of treatment over something so minor?
First of all, a survey done at local schools revealed 92% of the juniors/seniors didn't know there was a law preventing them from having an intimate relationship from a sophomore/freshman. I didn't have a clue I was breaking a law because I never had knowledge of it. But apparently women are immune to this law; it's only for the boys. This means when I was her age and I was dating my ex-g/f Laura who was 18, she wasn't doing anything wrong. If I had been 3 weeks younger there wouldn't be a case, 30 seconds turned me from a normal citizen to what society apparently defines are a "rapist" or "pedophile". The state chose to charge me versus someone who was nearly 6 years older than her. And people think every sex offender does something wrong.
Thank you very much for the article relating to Jessica's law in California. I have spent many sleepless nights and have lost about 10 pounds after finding out what was on the Jessica's law agenda.
I have a ten year old rape conviction;a case misconstrued when I was young and ill-equipped to defend myself. I am also a loving husband and a father of two teenage sons, one three year old son and 17 month old daughter. We live about 800 feet from a park, that my children go play at, 1800 feet from a catholic school and just over 2000 feet from a public school. If this law passes, we are praying every night that it does not, I will be forced to move from the home that we have worked so hard to buy and fix up.
Do you know how unaffordable homes are now a days? Where could we possibly move to? It seems like every community out there has a school or park very close together. How do I just get up and leave my family? My home? I will not be able to walk my children to a park take them to Disneyland or when the two young ones are old enough drop them off at school. I have cried every night while praying because of the pain and suffering my children will have to endure if I am forced to move.
Your article has made me feel better today knowing that people out there do care about those of us that were falsely accused of a sex crime and now we have live with this for the rest of our God given lives. May God bless us all and hope this law does not pass.
i) F. Lopez
The insane Jessica's Law would be an ineffective way to control molesters
Re: "DA tells candidate to take a position on Jessica's Law," June 29.
Must all sex offenders suffer for the crimes of a few?
We have to many crazy and misinformed politicians and law enforcement officials backing the insane law (Jessica's Law). It was written by a politician, Sen. George Runner, R-Lancaster, who just wants to make a name for himself.
How can we possibly make all registered sex offenders comply to a zoning requirement and have them all tracked by GPS? The entire sex offender community cannot be blamed for the actions of a few individuals that have committed atrocious crimes.
Many more children have been killed by drunken drivers than by child molesters. Fewer than 50 children per year have been killed by mentally ill child molesters. More than half of child predation is by the victims own family member or family friend (taken directly from the Department of Justice Web site). Politicians are creating a sex offender hysteria that does not exist.
Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley is no longer backing Jessica's Law! He is backing an alternative law that was passed by legislation earlier this month. Why? Because he knows that the zoning and GPS requirements go way too far. Not every registered sex offender is a child molester! Runner cites a similar zoning law that Iowa passed for his idea. Well, Iowa prosecutors are working to have that law repealed. In their words, "It simply has not worked!" Offenders in Iowa have been registering as transients and or not registering at all and it has put a tremendous strain on law enforcement there. Also, what good is that going to do for us if all sex offenders become transients? Won't that defeat the purpose of this law or even Megan's Law? No one will know exactly where they are! Oh that's right the GPS device will find them - if they keep it on or if they don't wrap it in aluminum foil. A 10-year GPS costs to tax payers $200 million estimated. ...
This proposition 83 Jessica's law has, what many believe, good intentions but goes way too far by requiring all RSO's to move 2000 feet away from parks and schools, "Predator Free Zones", and to wear a "GPS" device for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately it doesn't stop there. The law will also encourage cities to designate other parts of their city "Predator Free"? So where are these people suppose to live? Especially those that have already served their time? The last time I checked the California Department of Justice website, it says hat the courts have to deem a person a Sexually Violent Predator. Jessica's Law is referring to all sex offenders as "Predators" and that is wrong.
You take a look at the Megan's Law website and it makes it appear that these individuals committed there mistake yesterday, wrong! Many are 10,15 or even 20 year old crimes. This is unjust and not fair. As you all know similar laws in other states have not worked and Prosecutors in Iowa (the first state to enact this kind of law) are working on having the law repealed. L.A. District Attorney Cooley is no longer backing the initiative. Many Democratic law makers don't support it.
Most of our politicians are creating a sex offender hysteria that does not exist and many have taken a cookie cutter approach to sex offenders. Too much fear mongering going on here. They pick on these types because they know they wont stand up for themselves.
Many are ashamed and just want to lead a quite life. Many, I am positive they are out there, have spouses and children they are raising. What will the ramification be on the spouses and children of these Non-Child Molesting sex offenders? Not all sex crimes are the same. Not all sex offenders are child molesters. Recidivism rates for sex offenders is lower than any other group of criminals. Statistics on the Internet have the recidivism rate between 2 to 5 %!
We have 100,000 RSO here in California so California, our politicians, will spend millions, hundreds of millions of dollars to enforce these silly laws. This is Money that the state doesn't have and money that should be going to our schools to educate our children or even to start programs for sex offenders that are similar to AA for alcoholics.
I believe Angelides jumped on the band wagon to get campaign money from all of these Law Enforcement Unions that are pushing for this proposition!
I can't believe Angelides is endorsing this Republican initiative. Like your reporter stated in their article, Angelides throws his support behind tough sex-offender initiatives. Democrats have been criticized for not backing the measure. The democrats already have similar bills pending that are better thought out than Jessica's Law. The zoning restriction goes way too far. We can't make all sex offenders comply to zoning restrictions and GPS tracking for life. That is ridiculous! We have close to 100,000 registered sex offenders in our state. Not everyone on the sex offender registry is a child molester. This law is suppose to protect our children from child predators. There are thousands of sex offenders on that registry that did not commit a crime against a child. Why should they have to suffer?
I have found information on line about recidivism rates for sex offenders and the numbers are far lower than any other criminal group...between 2 and 5%! That is astonishing given the fact that Senator Runner is claiming that the recidivism rates are at 40 to 50% maybe those are for new and unrelated crimes.
Governor Schwarzenegger and Senator Runner are out pushing this law despite the fact that the FBI has reported another straight year that sex crimes are down another 5% across the country!
So the FBI reports sex crimes as being down, again for another straight year, yet we are asking California voters to vote Yes and pass this law so we can pay more taxes, give people a false sense of security and get caught up in a legal battle over constitutional rights.
Dr. Gary Swenson
One cannot open a newspaper in Iowa without seeing an article pertaining to the recently enforced law prohibiting convicted sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of schools and daycare facilities.
In the emotional aftermath, several communities, like dominoes in a line, have fallen prey to the temptation to make the standards even more stringent, effectively barring sex offenders from making their homes anywhere within the city limits.
How safe we feel when our vigilant city council keeps these people from our neighborhoods! We kiss our children and send them off to play, secure in the knowledge that there are no sex offenders left in our community. The great tragedy is that our children are less safe than they were before the ordinance was enacted.
Because of this law, more children will be molested, abducted and possibly even killed than would have been the case had we left well enough alone. This seems counterintuitive, but a bit of research into the situation may help clarify the facts.
My interest in sex offenders began 36 years ago, when as a child of 7, I was enticed to accompany a stranger to his home. I spent a day subjected to experiences better left unspoken, yet through some quirk of fate, I found myself at the end of the day back on my home porch instead of in a shallow grave in the nearby woods. I was left with memories and scars that have followed me my entire life.
I know what it means to be a victim of this crime. I live it every day. So it seems unlikely that I, or other victims of sexual crimes, would be opposed to the 2,000-foot rule.
But each newspaper article I read and each new community that jumps on the “not in our town” bandwagon causes me to shake my head in dismay. We must remember that not all sex offenders are the same. In actuality, very few are the pathologic predators that have become the stereotype. Most individuals who have been convicted of a sexual crime are persons who simply made a serious mistake. These individuals feel a deep sense of remorse for their actions, and during their time of incarceration actively cooperate in intensive therapy regimens.
When released on parole or probation, these low-risk individuals must register with the local police department in the town where they live, attend regular therapy sessions and subject themselves to regular polygraph tests in which they are asked very detailed questions, not just about their activities but also their very thought patterns.
They are subjected to constant monitoring, either wearing ankle bracelets with transmitters embedded in them or else enduring six to 11 random phone calls every night between 10:30 p.m. and 6 a.m. to ensure they are at home. If they don’t toe the line, they go back to prison. They are a highly motivated and exceptionally well-behaved group of people. High-risk individuals are readily identifiable as they do not cooperate in prison, refuse any attempts at therapy and usually serve their entire sentence without parole or probation. Unfortunately, once their prison term has been completed, their only requirement is to register with the local police department when they find a place to live. Because they are not on parole or probation, they cannot be mandated to attend therapy sessions, take polygraph tests or subject themselves to any monitoring.
These individuals often quickly become fugitives from justice, usually fleeing to another state where they somehow forget to register with the local law enforcement agency.
Before we feel all safe and cozy about our cities’ new ordinance banning sex offenders, we should remember that the most violent sexual crimes against children, those that are most feared by parents, are rarely perpetrated by someone who is registered in the city where the child lives. No law, no matter how stringent, will save these unfortunate children. What the new restrictions have done, however, is to take the low- and intermediate-risk offenders and totally turn their lives upside down. Forced to move, many of these individuals can no longer find transportation to work, or even affordable housing.
Some, despairing of finding a place to live, have simply sought to return to jail. Unfortunately, you cannot just check in at the local penitentiary as you would a hotel. You have to commit a crime. Good plan, eh? Those who do somehow find a new place to live do so at the cost of substantial emotional and financial stress.
Probation officers have noted that low-risk individuals who were doing exceptionally well before the law was enforced have now regressed, many to their initial states of psychological disarray. As a direct result of the stresses associated with the 2,000-foot rule, intermediate-risk individuals are returning to thoughts that may transform them into high-risk persons. Police officers who once knew the location of all the registered sex offenders in their communities are now scrambling to familiarize themselves with the new addresses and locations of those who were forced to move. In the meantime, several offenders have simply vanished. Doesn’t that make us all feel safer? Suicidal thoughts have surged in the sex-offender population in the weeks since the law was enforced. This puts everyone at risk. When a desperate man contemplates suicide, there is no reason to hold himself in check. “If I’m going to die anyway,” he may think, “I might as well act one last time on these impulses.” Children are going to be harmed.
The fatalistic offender may even determine that murder/suicide is the best way out. “If I’m going to kill myself, I’ll take that SOB legislator/councilman with me.” Given the circumstances, I certainly wouldn’t want my name listed on any public record as the sponsor of one of these ordinances.
Let’s look at the logical conclusion to this mess. Once every community in Iowa passes restrictions that prohibit sex offenders from living in the city limits, the only places they will be able to live are rural, isolated and poorly monitored areas — not the places we want sex offenders to spend their time. Once the counties become alarmed by the rural migration of sex offenders and start passing ordinances to prevent them from living anywhere in the county, the offenders will either go underground, flee the state or commit a crime so they can go back to jail. In any case, Iowa’s children will be less safe. I would much prefer to know that Mr. Smith lives two houses away than to not know the whereabouts of Mr. Smith at all. If I know where the sex offender lives, I can caution my children to avoid his home and avoid contact with him. We must remember that most sexual offenses against children are perpetrated by individuals who have no prior record of sexual crimes. These individuals frequently live in the same home as the children. Stranger abductions, while sensational and frightening, are rare. Our children are in more danger from step-parents, uncles and aunts than they are from a registered sex offender who lives next door.
The greatest irony of this situation is that we claim to be doing all this for the children. Interestingly, more children are harmed by those who use methamphetamine and crack cocaine than are harmed by sexual predators. Why then don’t we mandate that convicted drug users and dealers not be allowed to live within 2,000 feet of a daycare facility or school?
Many more children are harmed by second-hand cigarette smoke from their parents or from family alcohol abuse than are molested by sex offenders, yet we don’t hear anyone raising the cry of alarm, refusing to allow anyone who smokes or drinks alcohol to live within 2,000 feet of a school or daycare center.
The hypocrisy is sadly amusing.
As is typical for our society, we pick a minority demon, blame all our ills on him and then chase after him with our pitchforks and fire-irons crying, “Kill the beast!”
Well done, Iowa! We have placed the salve of irrational hysteria on our wounded conscience. The adults feel better and have news conferences and get re-elected. The children, whom we are supposed to nurture and cherish, pay the horrifying price of these emotion riddled decisions.
— Dr. Swenson is a Mason City radiologist.
California Proposition 83 (Jessica's Law) is an example of poorly-written legislation that will hurt public safety. It is being used by Governor Schwarzenegger and other politicians for political gain with complete disregard for the negative consequences that will arise if Prop 83 passes.
Prop 83 is a complex array of numerous sex crimes laws, with one in particular that has proven to be ineffective in other states. A residency rule that would mandate no sex offenders be allowed to live within 2000 ft of a park or school.
A similar law in Iowa has caused so many problems, the legislators and police officials who originally backed it are now trying to get it repealed.
The 2000 ft residency rule makes most urban and suburban areas off-limits to offenders. In Iowa, thousands of offenders were forced into rural communities where it was harder for them to be tracked by small-town police departments with inadequate resources, causing thousands to stop registering and to go into hiding.
It's been horror for many rural communities in Iowa that became "dumping grounds" for sex offenders.
The expelled offenders were no longer able to maintain employment due to forced moving miles from jobs, causing the once employed offenders to loiter around all day while tax payers flip the bill for their living through government programs.
There was also a sharp decline in compliance with sex offender registration due to the troublesome law, a problem that plagues California even without the residency restrictions.
When you consider that California has tens of thousands more sex offenders than Iowa, and far bigger cities that would need to expel sex offenders, one can see what a nightmare Prop 83 would be for California if passed. It is a scary prospect that thousands of offenders would go into hiding during these mass expulsions.
Perhaps some offenders are so dangerous they warrant these restrictions. But, Proposition 83 does not isolate the most dangerous offenders. Instead, it mandates all of California's roughly 100,000 sex offenders comply with the residency restriction - regardless of how long ago their crime was or how serious their crime was.
As a tax payer, I don't want to pay for the expulsion and intense lifetime monitoring of a 25 yr old who had sex with a 16 yr old once 15 years ago. The law should only target the truly dangerous serial molesters and rapists, which Prop 83 does not do.
Most child molesters prey on someone they know, and the incidence of someone being assaulted by a stranger on their way to school is very rare. Even the title of the bill "Jessica's Law" is based on a very brutal but rare crime that happened in Florida, not in California.
The authors and public supporters of Prop 83 know the law will do nothing for public safety and will cost tax payers millions, yet the political gain they receive for backing sex offender legislation in an election year is too much for them to pass up. Hopefully Californians will do their own research (simply go to google.com and type "IOWA, SEX OFFENDER, RESIDENCY RESTRICTION" and read for yourself what these laws are about) and vote No on Proposition 83.
Jessica's Law: Not the Answer!
Neither the Democrats' expanded version of Jessica's Law, which passed in the State Senate on June 1, 2006, nor the Republicans' November ballot initiative addresses the vast majority of sex crimes against children! These measures are fear-based band-aids that can be effective for only 10% of cases. Increasing penalties, restricting housing locations, and GPS monitoring have little direct effect on 90% of actual child molestation cases, which according to the Bureau of Justice occur within the offender's own family!
The Sex Offender Registry contains few names of potential child molesters because only 5% of those 90% will re-offend -- another Bureau of Justice statistic. Don't be mislead by fear into believing that what may be effective for this 10% will be effective for the 90%.Citizens of California, help address this problem head on with courage and intelligence. Be committed to learning about alternative and more effective ways to prevent the majority of child molestation cases. Do not support expensive and minimally effective laws! Educate yourself, your family and others! Support solutions that make sense!
Recidivism Rate of Sex Offenders is very low.
"Megan's Law" works just fine,it is successful.Now politicians want another "tough on crime," "Jessica's Law", aimed to further punish all sex offenders even when their sentence has been satisfied. A study in 2003 found that (within three years) child molesters were arrested for committing another sex crime against a Child 3% to 5%. This is hardly a high repeat offender rate. In the largest and most comprehensive study ever done of prison recidivism,the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics study found that sex offenders were in fact less likely to re-offend then other criminals.
The 2003 study of 10,000 men convicted of rape,sexual assault, and Child molestation found that sex offenders had a re-arrest rate of 25% lower than all other criminals.Part of the reason is that serial sex-offenders,those who pose the greatest threat, rarely get released from prison, and the ones who do, are unlikely to re-offend.
So if sex offenders are no more likely to re-offend than murders or armed robbers there seems little justification for the public's fear, or for the monitoring laws tracking them.Studies also suggest sex offenders living near schools or playgrounds are no more likely to commit a sex crime then those living elsewhere.
Something to really think about ????
Imagine this:two under age kids, have sex,the girl becomes pregnant,her parents find out,they are angry and report the boyfriend to the police.This young man is arrested and is charged for rape even though the act was consensual and they are in love.The courts decide to charge him as an adult; he goes to prison,then he is violently raped. Guards do not help him, and there is nowhere to get medical or psychological help especially at our prisons,which are under federal receivership due to medical neglect and abuse.No help at all! He suffers alone and may have to continue to be passed around as a sex tool just to survive prison life.
This young man happens to make it out of prison,to be paroled and is branded as a sex offender for life. His parole is extended because of this label, and he has to wear a GPS monitor for life.He goes out to find a job and no one will hire him. He walks by a school,on his way to a bus stop,and has violated his parole so his parole is extended again,or he is sent back to prison.Who will hire him and his tattoo for life? As a sex offender how will he support himself or ever be able to help support his child?
This young man, is destroyed for life. This young man could be your son,your brother,your family member.He will become depressed and suicidal. He sees no hope for a future.Sadly our tax dollars can not help him.More sadly our tax dollars were used to finance, "Jessica's Law," which has failed and destroyed this young man.We must demand education,treatment,and preventative help,rather than waste money on GPS monitors for all sex offenders.Not all sex offenses are the same.Our lawmakers should be more intelligent. Shame on them and anyone who supports their destructive laws of one size fits all !!!,.
Voters Love Fear, Right?
When selling politicians to the voters, nothing works better than fear and loathing--especially if you've really got little else to say. Pete Wilson leaned heavily on Mark Klaas's shoulder while running for Governor. Now Wilson's protege, Arnold Schwarzenegger, is using public fear and loathing of sex offenders to garner votes. Even though the Legislature has worked hard to create longer prison terms and more intensive monitoring of sex offenders, it's not enough for the Governor. His initiative on the November ballot would not only increase punishments for future sex offenders, it would call past sex offenders back for further punishment.
The US Constitution calls that double jeopardy. But what do the voters know about double jeopardy until it happens to them? Anything politicians can do to strike fear in voters will get them to the polls. In the early 1990s, politicians used the drug wars between street gangs to create the Three Strikes Law. That increased attention on street gangs led to accusations of racial profiling. It's no longer publicly correct to lump street gangs into a group for potential prosecution (but we still like to watch "Cops"). Hey white-bread homeowner, do you know that some of your stand-up neighbors might be former murderers, drug dealers, robbers, or rapists? Be very afraid.
v)Dr. B. Cayenne Bird
Child Molesters have a recidivism rate of about 5%
the lowest of all criminals. In the entire U.S. about 50 children per year are killed by a child molester (one per state) as opposed to 2000 killed by drunk driving. This is all about Republican politics, fear mongering and does nothing to prevent the mental illness that actually causes child molestation.90% of the time, child molestation occurs within families. In this category of crime, all it takes for a conviction is an accusation, there need not be DNA, witnesses or any proof. How convenient for people involved in child custody and divorce disputes.
GPS devices can be covered up with aluminum foil, and what if the "offender" gets on a bus? He/she is going to drive past all kinds of schools. It would take a mobilization the size of Iraq to track 100,000 sex offenders in California alone.No consideration is being given to the one million children and wives, other family members connected to a sex offender. It's all about politics and keeping the prisons stocked. Vote NO on all these bills and Jessica's law and demand an investment in the prevention of mental illness and stronger families
Modern Day Witch Hunts
It's very upsetting to continue reading that our politicians, led by Senator Runner and his wife, are out hunting down and trying to hang thousands of sex offenders that have already served their time in our prisons and have discharged their parole. Senator Runner isn't looking at facts, studies, reports, etc that show that everything he is preaching is WRONG. The truth of the matter is that the recidivism rate for sex offenders is very low. People of California, do your own research online and see what you find. What you will find will amaze you. These politicians are tricking us into something that is not only false but will end up raising our taxes. The state will spend Millions and millions of our tax dollars to fight the constitutionality of the ridiculous residency and GPS aspects of Jessica's Law. America is a great country, lets not show the rest of the world how stupid we are if they pass this and similar laws.
Modern Day Witch Hunts
Our politicians have started a modern day witch hunt against registered sex offenders. They are scaring Californian's into thinking that we have an epidemic. All the evidence I have found on the internet dispells all the lies we are being told. Do your own research. There is no high recedivism rates amongs sex offenders like the comment above indicates....less than 5%. These poor people, which if we have forgotten, are human just like you and I, have already a lot to deal with. They have to register every year for the rest of their lives. They have to deal with the fact that their name and address appears on the Megan's Law website. They are constantly being sctrutinized by mean-spirited people. Many are married and have children they are raising. Their children are being ridiculed at school because of this.
Do you all think this is right? No it is not! It's not their fault their father made a mistake. Now these poor innocent children could lose their fathers if we try and pass this ridiculous law. I think that treatment centers for sex offenders would be more effective than kicking all of these people out of our neighborhoods. Like AA for the drunks. I feel safer knowing that there is a registered sex offender living down the street from me than to be wondering where he moved to. Could he find a place to live? Did he become a transient? If he became a transient then that defeats the purpose of these laws. Then we really won't know where they are, GPS or not.
Say No to Jessica's Law or any other laws !!
A staggering amount of public funds,in the hundreds of millions of dollars, will be spent to keep an estimated 85,000,sex offenders behind bars or on a satellite monitoring system (GPS) for life. Parole will be extended for life not to mention exploding prisons,jails and especially juvenile offenders!! For years, politicians eager to be elected by appearing "tough on crime" have been adopting legislation to increase sentence lengths and impose mandatory minimum sentences for thousands of offenders.Thirty years ago,there were 300,000 people in U.S.prisons and jails.Today,that number is 2.1 million.
The U.S. has been the world's leader in incarceration.One in every 138 people in the U.S. is incarcerated. African American statistics is even more distressing.One of every 8 black males in his 20's is in prison or jail.This over-reliance on incarceration needs to stop.Promoting more constructive alternatives to prison and jail are needed.Prisons, originally designed to reform,to rehabilitate,and to protect the community from the most severe or violent offenders, have become the primary response to social problems like drug addiction,mental illness and even poverty.In many cases,judges no longer have discretion to determine if underlying drug or alcohol problems, or circumstances like domestic violence or lack of opportunity ,should be considered at sentencing.
I am against Jessica's Law because 1) it includes all sex offenders, 2) it is too expensive, 3) it will force a large amount of people to move into areas where they cannot make a living, 4) it will not stop people from being victimized since the root of the problem is not being addressed.
Remember, not all sex crimes are violent like the Jessica case. Many sex crimes do not involve children. In fact many sx crimes aren't even violent, e.g., a 25 year old man dating and/or having sex with a 16 or 17 year old woman. While many people will be offended by this, I do not consider such a person a monster that needs to have his whole life turned upside down by mandatory GPS devices for life and strict living requirements. The law should deal with each person individually and decide whether he/she is a genuine threat.
Think about the expenses this law will incur. It will cost the tax payers a fortune to monitor every sex offender in California. Many offenders do not have the resources to pay for their GPS device so the cost will be burdened by YOU the tax payer. The California Department of Corrections will be forced to find offenders places to live because of the strict living polices which require sex offenders to live 2000 feet away from schools and parks. Again, YOU the tax payer will pay for that.
This living requirement will put offenders in areas where it will be very difficult to earn a living. If they cannot live in the city (e.g. San Francisco) where will they go. Nobody will want them because of all the hostile attitudes and misconceptions, so what will they be forced to do? We are creating a sub-human group of people that will be disrespected everywhere they go. This will adversely affect their family members and friends (if they're lucky enough to have any.) It will cause undue stress for many that may result in more violent crimes. Remember, with more crimes there are more victims. All the prisons in the world won't undue that.
I do not have a sex offender in my family but that is a miracle givn the large population of Californians who do! I am shocked to read that the tribe (The Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians) has decided to support Jessica's law not only with their vote but with their money.
Not one Indian in this Country should ever forget the oppression and torture they suffered at the hands of their so-called protectors. The Indians have had to fight for everything they got, it was not freely given to them by the Government.
There are laws on the books to protect children, and Jessica's law should not be passed. It is oppression for the ones who will voluntarily register. The real predators will not register, they will hide out, and commit their dirty deeds with no way to track them.
Any minority group should never vote fot this law because, they are the ones who get the least representation when they are accused of a crime. Also they serve the most time in prisons.
Please remember one thing. In this United States "you get just exactly the amount of justice you can afford to pay for." Unless you are rich, very rich, you should not be voting for Jessica's law.
James (retired Pilot with Delta Airlines)
Dear Rev. Bird
I recently read your article about "Sexual Offender Hysteria Good For Getting Votes...." and would like to tell you how much I appreciate your point of view. I totally agree with everything you said in the article and wish that somehow this information could be put out on all of the media to try to help everyone learn the real facts.
I am the father of a now 37 year old son who made one very brief mistake in 1988 at the age of 19 and he is still being persecuted for it now and, from the way things are going, will still be forced to pay a heavy price for years to come. We live in Georgia and have lived here since I got out of the Air Force in 1967. My son was born in Marietta and we have lived in the same home since he was a child of 7. Now, due to the changes in Georgia's Sex Offender laws that will become effective on July 1st of this year, he is being forced to move because we live too close to a school bus stop.
If he has to move, I will have to move also. I am now 63 years of age, retired on January 1, 2005 after a little over 34 years with Delta Air Lines. My health has been declining in recent years, and aside from high blood pressure and high cholesterol, I was diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis in early 2003. Symptoms of the disease began showing up about two years earlier when my wife of nearly 37 years was experiencing heart problems which included two heart attacks.
In late April of 2002, she was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer. She succumbed to the combination of lung cancer and heart problems about 14 months later in July of 2003. The stress that I was living with brought out some symptoms that were eventually attributed to the MG. My son has been living with me, but now he will have to move and I will probably end up selling my home and moving also because I will have a very difficult time taking care of home and yard maintenance without my son to assist me.
I know that you may not be able to help me much in regard to my son's problem. However, just the fact that you seem to share my opinion about this whole situation, and the fact that I can at least write this letter and 'talk' to someone about the situation will probably help a little bit. If you could give us a few tips about some things that we might be able to do or some legal assistance that we could find, it would be much appreciated. My son and I are currently trying to locate a lawyer in the local area in an effort to petition the court to get his name removed from the registry, if possible.
To help you understand my son's position, here are some basic facts about his case:
1. In December of 1988, my son was age 19 and sharing an apartment with two of his friends. My son was in the apartment alone one day and he was taking a shower. After taking the shower, and while he was still not completely dressed, he opened the curtains of the sliding door to look outside in order to see what the weather was like. The apartment was on the ground floor, there was a playground outside at a distance not far from his window. A young girl, age 11, happened to see my son standing nearly naked at his window. The girl ran home and told her mother what she had seen. Her mother then called the police.
The police came to the apartment complex office to find out who lived in a certain apartment. The apartment was rented in the name of one of my son's friends so when the police came to the door, they weren't sure they were speaking with the correct person. They asked my son if he had earlier been standing in the sliding doorway of this apartment. My son admitted that he had. The police then arrested my son under suspicion of 'child molestation' because in the state of Georgia there are many things that seem to fall into that category of the law.
Even telling the wrong kind of joke in the presence of a minor would, if someone pressed the issue, get you arrested and charged with something that could be construed as 'child molestation'. Unfortunately, even though my naive 19 year old son had basically confessed to the police that he had been naked in front of the girl, the lawyer that we later obtained seemed to accept my son's guilt, but did little or nothing to help ease his sentencing.
2. My son was arrested, served several weeks in jail, and had to appear in court in late January 1989. He was officially charged with Child Molestation and was given First Offender status. He was required to attend counseling sessions, avoid the use of drugs and alcohol, and to not associate with anyone under the age of (16, 18, or some similar age. I forget exactly which age.) In order to avoid people under a certain age, he was forced to lose the few friends that he had. Many of the counseling sessions were difficult for him because he was put into a group of older men with more serious problems than my son had. It was difficult for him to relate to them and their situations. Anyhow, after completing certain requirements of his sentence, he was placed on Probation for 7 years. To begin with, he had to pay a fee and report to a probation office monthly. As a First Offender, he was told that if probation went well, he could eventually go back to court and have all records of his sentencing removed.
3. For almost the total 7 years, my son did well on probation. He had no problems with satisfying the court's requirements. However, he did have some problems with finding or being able to keep a job. During this time, my son was attending a local Technical School and was studying Computer Programming. He did very well at the school and was even asked to assist the instructors occasionally. But, when the school found out about his status as a sex offender (even on Probation) they refused to help him find employment after graduating from their school.
One of the promises of the school to get students to apply was that they would help their graduates find employment in a computer related field, but they failed to do that. During this time he was trying to find some part time work. He was working at a fast food restaurant, but lost that job when his employer found out about his status as a sex offender. My son thought that he had already been convicted of a crime so he had entered the appropriate information on the job application which was not immediately checked when he was initially hired.
On a later job, my son was fired because he had failed to put information on his application about being on probation for a sex offense. In other words, he lost jobs because he told them about what he 'thought' was a felony conviction AND he lost another job because he didn't tell the prospective employer about any felony convictions that, at that time, did not really apply.
4. In June or July of '96, the final year of my son's 7 year probationary period, he was stopped due to a burnt out taillight when he was driving my truck. The officer 'thought' they he smelled marijuana so he arrested my son. We hired another lawyer who worked with us during the remainder of the year to try to keep these false charges from affecting my son's status as a person on probation.
5. In January of '96, my son appeared in court with his lawyer, his Mother, and I were there for his hearing to determine if he could be removed from probation status as a sex offender and have his record cleared as a First Offender. No charges were made from the arresting officer due to the traffic stop when the officer 'thought' he smelled drugs.
They had no evidence to prove this so this charge was dropped. A woman from the Prosecutor's Office presented arguments to the Judge that 'apparently this young man is having a hard time following the rules and is constantly breaking the law'. He has not adhered to the condition of his probation so he should be convicted and go to jail!
The judge let Mike's Mother and I say a few words and we managed to convince him that Mike had been trying very hard to satisfy the court's requirements, but he was having a hard time finding a job or keeping it once the employer found out about his status.
The judge was somewhat satisfied, apparently, and instead of sending Mike to prison which was his option, he put him on probation for another 7 years. This, on top of his original 7 years, seemed a little excessive to me. I checked around on the internet and found some statistics from the Department of Justice website that the AVERAGE time that ANYONE is placed on probation was seventeen months. Mike had already been on it for the original 7 and was now given another 7 years. This was in January of '96 so his time on probation should be up in 2003.
6. Mike has been doing very well as far as satisfying his court requirements. As of his court appearance in January of '96 he has not been rearrested or charged with anything! He does have the title of Convicted Sex Offender even though he has never physically touched or harmed anyone. He has to continue to register annually, cannot vote, cannot work in many different job categories because of his record, and beginning in July of this year, he will be forced to move. He will find it extremely difficult to locate a residence that satisfies the boundary requirements.
7. Mike was able to find a good paying job in a field that he enjoys and can do very well at it. He started working in Northeast Atlanta as a Computer Programmer in 1995. His employer knows of Mike's situation, has known about it since his problems developed in '96. So far, he has supported Mike and even sent a company representative when Mike had to appear in court for his probation hearing in late '96.
Mike has recently informed him about the new residential and workplace restrictions. So far, Mike's boss has said that he will work with Mike as much as he can, but they need him on the job. I understand this to mean that, at the moment, Mike's job is relatively secure, but may not remain like that if we can't find some sort of solution.
We have no other relatives living in our area. However, we do have some relatives in south Georgia, Lake City Florida, and a relative in Kentucky. I have been looking at some information on the internet about the Sex Offender Registry in other states, especially Kentucky and Florida. Just about any state appears to be better than Georgia. I especially like the laws of Kentucky related to sexual offenses. They don't have the stringent requirement of being too close to a bus stop. They have some rules to actually help an offender to get treatment.
They also have laws to prevent anyone from harassing someone on the sex offender registry. They actually seem to be making laws for the benefit of the victim, offender, and the general public. I really like their way of thinking. However, with my health the way it is, when I have to move I will need to move closer to my relatives in south Georgia or Florida. I haven't read all of the Florida laws pertaining to sex offenses yet, but I did notice that they don't seem to have the bus stop restriction.
Like I said earlier, I don't think that you will really be able to help us much. Eventually, I feel that some of these ridiculous laws will be overturned, but that will be no time soon. Meanwhile, my son is likely to lose his good paying job and we will be forced to move from the home we have lived in for the past 30 plus years. Many thousands of innocent people all over the country will be hurt by the laws that are about to be implemented.
I feel certain that there will even be many suicides by depressed individuals who feel that they have lost all meaning to their life. If you can think of anything that may help our situation, it would be greatly appreciated. If nothing else, a few encouraging words that I can pass along to my son would really help.
Do not pass Jessica's Law. The life you save may be your own son's.
A simple statement by someone in the wrong frame of mind can cause a major court case costing thousands of dollars. The justice system is as corrupt as politics and voting taxpayers need to call a cease to laws that protect nobody. This is another of those laws.
Get the facts and stop the hysteria. Child molesters are family members and close friends, not strangers who snatch your child off the streets. There is a very low percentage who do that and all the laws in the land will not stop it. Education and treatment of the mentally ill are the only answers.
Wake up America and stop the insanity and hysteria. This law is doomed to place many young men behind bars for life. The life you save from voting against this ridiculous law could be your son.
Child molestation witch hunts have already cost Bakersfield about 5 million in wrongful imprisonment payouts. This initiative, jessica's law, is a constitutional violation that
extends incarceration beyond time served and parole. It really does nothing to prevent or heal the mental illness that causes child molesters to act out. That would be a more
sensible vote getter which is what this is all about.
The recidivism rate is 3.3% for child molesters. Out of those, 90% of the cases occur within families. Often the accusations are part of a child custody dispute or divorce. All it takes is an accusation to be branded and marked for life. I urge that people not sign jessica's law since harsh laws already exist. What happens when a person wearing a tracking device gets on a bus? This is important because 40% of all child molesters are under the age of 20. Studies shows that rehabilitation works. Go to www.google.com and researh this topic.
A one size fits all law is very destructive to the people and doesn't really protect anyone. Keep in mind in less than 10% of the cases child molestation was committed by a stranger and very few are the snatch-and-run type of crime. This is political hype and voters shouldn't be sucked in.
Go to a href="www.sosen.org">www.sosen.org and read the myths.
The idea that all sex offenders committed heinous crimes just isn't the truth.
Hello Reverend B. Cayenne Bird,
I heard you on the John and Ken Show today as many certainly did. I had been driving and while I rarely listen to their show I flipped it on today. I was delighted to see there is someone who understands the real issues with regard to sex offender lists. It is a very ingrained societal myth that a person who is convicted of a sex crime will definitely repeat that crime. I have looked up the DOJ recidivism rates and know the truth of the matter based on the studies. It is appalling that the larger part of society is so ignorant as to believe the hype. Keep up the good fight. You have my prayers. It is wrong that John and Ken shut you down.
I request that you do not disclose my identity, but I want to tell you that I am one who was caught up in this witch-hunt.
You see, in 1990 I was 20 and I had one situation in which I had a lewd interaction with a 17-year-old friend I knew at that time. They happened to be in counseling and mentioned this event to their psychologist, which triggered them to contact the police. It was not sex and that has never been alleged or disputed, but the1 misdemeanor charge of then 647a, now named as 647.6, reflected that fact. The police did interviews and this person refused to press charges, so the county did instead. I was very lean of means at that time and had a Public `Defender'. This PD advised me that I ought to plea no contest and avoid a trial, but warned me I would need to register as a sex offender during the probation period I would be assigned, but would not be obliged to do so after successful completion of probation. Counseling was ordered for me as was a 3-year formal probation when this court case was dispensed with in 1991. I verified the terms of registering with my Probation Officer and they also confirmed to me that once I was done I no longer had to register. I have lived a decent life since than and have had no legal interaction with police as a suspect in any crime.
Well, I finished my probation and the officer again verified I was released of my obligation to register as a sex offender. I was pleased and knew I had an enormous amount of personal growth as comes with maturing, for most anyway. I had believed my time was served and the indiscretion I had so long ago was a distant past. In 2001, I felt compelled to try and expunge my record using the 1203.4 form. I went to the probation department and spoke with the officer who handled that and paid a fee of $121 for the processing and background check with the state. Several weeks later I received a call from this probation officer telling me the state claimed I had failed to register for many years, and I was subject to arrest and imprisonment. Obviously, I was alarmed. I had to obtain an attorney to consult on this matter. He said there is not much he could do for me aside from setting up my getting registered without being arrested or imprisoned. That was itself a great relief, but I objected to having to register again. He explained that is how the matter stands and I must do it, so on his advice, and his setting up an associate of his to accompany me to register, I did so and brought my compliance to date. I have since maintained my registration as I am said to be required.
Again, I was 20 and had a lewd interaction with a 17 year old. In 2005 I was 35. That was when the state website went online, way ahead of anticipated schedule. One day at work I had my boss come to me and ask if they could ask me a personal question. I said `sure'. So they carefully lay out that they were told of me being on the state website, which I was unaware of, and he did not believe it and looked it up himself. He verified I was there. And he asked what I was on there for? I was devastated but articulated to my boss the truth. 1 misdemeanor count of lewd conduct when I was 20 with a 17 year old. To my relief he was not condemning me. He simply wanted to know what it was about and then disclosed how he heard about it and who else did as well. My heart fell as the biggest gossip in the place was in that small circle. My boss went to that person and defended me. The gossip took the same tone as John and Ken and assumed I was a hardcore rapist of multiple 6 year olds and actual said that as a possibility to which my boss told them a brief outline of what I had said and warned the gossip not to spread this rumor unless they wanted to be sued. The rumor did not appear to spread far but I was treated different by some.
So, I went to the Attorney General website and found I was eligible to be excluded from the website as a 1 count misdemeanor 647.6 person. I filed that and about 5 weeks later my boss let me know I was off the site. That boss is now a very close friend to me for they did what was honorable and true. They did not engage in gossip, but came to me for the facts and defended me. At my most recent annual registration, the clerk told me she has a couple people who had recently been granted pardons and no longer have to register and suggested I locate an attorney who does that. She knows the facts of the case as the clerk who does my file. Unfortunately the state of California has a largely murky description of misdemeanor vs. felony convictions and the various descriptions on the Penal Code and booklets of explanation go from a felony conviction standpoint but seem to imply either nothing or a misdemeanor conviction cannot be done that way yet offers no alternative. Thus, I am at square one again.
From what I have researched at a legal library and the web, when I was convicted in 1991, the law required I register but did not specify for how long. The court minute order did not have the box checked to even register pursuant to PC 290, but it was referenced to the probation department to handle. It was some time after 1994, in 1995 I think, that the opening language to PC 290 changed to state register for life, but that was well after my conviction, still they make me register and claimed I was remiss in not doing so. I have considered this as an ex post facto situation even as the state defines this but case law suggests the courts do not see it as a punishment "because, as noted by the court in People v. Fioretti, supra, 54 Cal.App.4th 1209, 1216, since the time of that holding "sex offender registration laws [have become] a widely accepted means of aiding law enforcement authorities in preventing and investigating sex crimes, and have been found by courts addressing the issue to have a legitimate regulatory purpose."
Regulatory purpose. That is what the court sees this as. Unfortunately, it still punishes unfairly. I am hoping you may know of an attorney who can help me and maybe refer me to them. Anything you can refer me to is a great assist. I am at a dead end currently.
Why is it that the republicans are constantly getting tougher on crime and still theres no solution? Our prisons are still filled to the max and growing. The fact is it's not getting better, it's
worst than ever. They keep using fear tactics to gain votes and using our kids to justify there lies, when in fact all they want is to ensure that this generation and future children will be
sucked up in there evil laws and corrupt penal system. Their experience speaks for it's self....the lack of Medical care, also cruel and unsual treatment of the mentally ill suffering in our
prisons. These evil Laws are destroying families not bring and kind of security to our children.
"Dont sign Jessica's Law!" Enough is enough!