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Reform Sex Offender Laws

We are real people

In a recent discussion with other state organizers, I put forth the idea that we need to create a national voice for Sex Offenders. This “Voice” would put for the true statistics and information pertaining to Registered Sex Offenders, to counter-act the fear-mongering and hate speech put out my the mainstream media. Most of us are simply people trying to get on with and live normal lives. unfortunately, most people only see the monsters who make the National Mainstream News by committing horrific and often fatal acts against their victims. To hear that someone is a Sex Offender almost immediately brings up images of young children being molested, raped, and/or killed. It is this image that we need to change.
I’m not saying that there isn’t a small percentage out there like this, but most RSO’s are not monsters. If it weren’t for the registry, we would probably be your neighbors, your co-workers, your friends; and you wouldn’t think that there was anything strange or different about us. But today, we aren’t even given the chance to make a good first impression. We are forced to register, our names and addresses, and sometimes our picture; are publicly displayed. Our children and spouse’s are ridiculed for something they had nothing to do with. Our extended families are drug through the mud, simply because they are related to us. We are denied jobs, housing, and government benefits such as unemployment, simply because of something we did as an 18, 19, 20-year-old. Me, I was 17 when I committed my crime, 18 when I was convicted. I’m 43 now. But when people take a look at my registry, all they see is that I had sex with a 14-year-old girl. They don’t look at the date of the conviction, just the act. 25 years later, and I’m still being punished.
I’m sure that there are many people out there in similar circumstances. Still being punished for crimes that are decades old, for which they’ve served their time. Not allowed to live a normal life because they made a mistake in the past.
Wake up America. We are your sons and daughters, your sisters and brothers, your niece and nephew, your neighbors, co-workers, and employees. We might even be your friend, if you let us. But most of all, we are human beings, and we demand that we be treated as such. We want our lives back. Would you demand any less?

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Filed under: Discussion Posts, General Posts, Uncategorized, , ,

What about the children?

I’m sitting out here in the middle of nowhere, working my paying job.  I’ve finally gotten caught up enough to read some of the other blogs and new sites.  I have noticed a theme that is really beginning to get on my nerves.  I keep hearing this “If it saves a single child, it will be worth it” in regards to all the new sex offender laws that are being submitted to congress.  And while I do believe that the protection of our children is vital to our society, there’s an aspect to that statement that most of you haven’t considered.

What about the children who’s lives have been destroyed by these laws?  Has anyone ever considered them?  Now, I know what you’re thinking… how can these laws destroy children’s lives?  They do so by destroying families, destroying trust, wrecking friendships…  These things happen.  Someone is accused of some sex offense, and even before the criminal investigation begins, it’s all over the newspapers and local television.  Then Social Services gets involved, and removes the person’s minor children from their home, totally disrupting their lives and the lives of their entire family.  Plus, they have to attend school, where the other children speak in whispers about what they’ve heard … and this is usually so blown out of proportion that it’s ridiculous. 

Then comes the investigation, where the police and social services try to convince the children that they are victims, and all they have to do is tell the investigator what they want to hear.  If they don’t tell the investigator what he or she wants to hear, they are accused of lying, and covering up for the accused.  It’s difficult for a young child to stand up to an adult, or in most cases, several adults, and not say what they are told to say.  The younger the child, the easier it is for the ‘investigators’ to get a statement. 

Even if the person’s children don’t give in, there’s the other aspects of the investigation.  Investigators will interview every child that has ever set foot in that house.  This usually causes the destruction of friendships that these children need most at this difficult time.  Parents won’t allow their children to associate with the children of the accused, for fear that they might somehow be drawn into this mess.

Now comes the trial.  That is if the person hasn’t been cowed into accepting a plea bargain.  These are usually offered by the prosecution because they don’t have a deposition from the children that they can use to nail the man.  If it goes to trial, the children have to watch as the person is portrayed as the most evil, sadistic, horrible SOB on the face of the planet.  Of course, his/her defense lawyer, if s/he was able to afford to hire one (a public pretender is worse than useless…s/he will usually only put up a token defense.  This is because s/he doesn’t want to be associated with getting a Sex Offender off), will put up the best defense he or she can, but it’s impossible to prove a negative. Of course, in the trial of a sex offender, most will assume that s/he’s guilty, and if the prosecution can’t prove it, it’s because s/he’s a sneaky bastard. One can only hope that the prosecution’s case is too weak to get a conviction.

If s/he’s convicted, s/he’s going to prison.  There’s no probation for Sex Offenders.  This means the children will probably not see that person again until s/he gets out, if he gets out.  They’ll ether go to foster care, or to the other parent, who might have been the one who started this whole damn thing in the first place.    So their young lives have been totally and thoroughly screwed up. 

If s/he manages to avoid conviction, say by having an actual lawyer who fights for him/her, everyone will assume that s/he got off on a technicality, and will still refuse to allow their children to associate with his/her children.  After all, things like this run in families, you know.   The person’s life is in ruins, and his/hers children’s lives are in ruins as well.  Their best option is to pack up and move, try to start over. 

But technology won’t just let them walk away.  For $19.95, anybody can find out anything and everything about anybody else.  And I know that when you move into a new neighborhood, there’s going to be some snoopy neighbor who’s going to investigate his/her new neighbors.  Of course, this is all for the good of the neighborhood.  We wouldn’t want the wrong type of people living next door to us now, would we.

All this adds up to lives being unnecessarily damaged or destroyed by a single accusation, which is then built upon by all these laws and regulations.  It use to be that the accused had the right to a fair and impartial trial by a jury of his/her peers.  That’s impossible nowadays because the media gets ahold of every criminal report filed, and then plaster it all over television, print,  and the internet.  Most allegations of criminal sexual conduct are so heavily covered that a fair and impartial trial is impossible.  The case has been tried in the media long before it ever reaches a court room.  Families are ostracized by their neighbors and friends, besieged by reporters who know no shame when it comes to getting any kind of statement.  The children are (in my opinion) subjected to mental abuse and criminal influence by investigators trying to force their case.    Is it any wonder that the number of sex offenders in prison  has risen so sharply over the last decade or so. 

We have victim’s rights laws, victim’s compensations funds, support groups, etc.  But where are the groups that should be there for the children of people accused of sex crimes, the mental health counseling, the support groups?  Where is the compensation for people falsely accused of sex crimes?  Where are the groups that help these people rebuild their lives after the police, media, and courts have destroyed them?  What about these victim’s?  What about their children?

Filed under: Discussion Posts, General Posts, Uncategorized

International Megan’s Law must go!

I’ve been sitting here going over U.S. House Resolution (H.R.) 5138.  This resolution, which has no title, is what is being refered to publically as the International Megan’s Law.  The first few pages are yawner’s, but once you reach page 10, it becomes downright frightening for RSO’s. 

Page 9, Line 23 – Page 11, Line 17

(b) DECLARATION OF PURPOSE — The purpose of this Act and the amendments made by this Act is to protect children from sexual exploitation by preventing or monitoring the international travel of sex traffickers and other sex offenders who pose a risk of committing a sex offense against a minor while traveling by —

(1) Establishing a system in the United States to notify the appropriate officials of other countries when a sex offender wo is identified as a high interest registered sex offender  intends to travel to their country;

(2)  Strong encouraging and  assisting foreign governments to establish a sex offender travel notification system and to inform United States Authorities when a sex offender intends to travel or has departed on travel to the United States;

(3)  Establishing and maintaining non-public sex offender registries in United States diplomatic and consular missions in order to maintain critical data on United States citizens and lawful permanent resident sex offenders who are residing abroad;

(4) Providing the Secretary of State with the discretion to revoke the passport or passport card of an individual who has been convicted overseas for a sex offense against a minor, or limit the period of validity of a passport issued to an individual designated as a high interest sex offender;

(5) including whether a country is investigating and prosecuting its nationals suspected of engaging in severe forms of trafficking in persons abroad in the minimum standards for the elimination of human trafficking under section 108 of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (22 U.S.C.7101 et seq.);

(6)  mandating a report from the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Attorney General, about the status of international notifications between governments about child sex offender travel; and;

(7) providing assistance to foreign countries under section 134 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2152d) to establish systems to identify sex offenders and provide and receive notification of child sex offender international travel.

This is a clear violation of the current registration act.  This is a punitive act, which serves to limit the locations to where one may travel.  By informing countries to which a sex offender intends to travel of said person’s status as a sex offender will result in many cases of travel visa’s being revoked or denied.  It will also invite unwarranted scrutiny and harassment by foreign police officials, customs official, and/or other government agencies. 

Is it not bad enough that in the United States, where every other felon, upon completion of their sentence, is granted a second chance; that all sex offenders, regardless of the severity or nature of their crime; are persecuted and hounded.  We, as a group, have the lowest rate of reoffense compared to nearly any other type of felon; yet we are forced to be registered and publically persecuted.  Now, these people want to make that persecution global.  Nowhere will we be able to go and just be normal people again.  Everywhere we go, we will have someone looking over our shoulder at every move we make.

I urge everyone, contact your congressman and your senators.  Tell them that this bill must be defeated.  Do not let them take away one of the few dignities we have left.

Filed under: Alerts, Discussion Posts, General Posts

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