Episode 22 – What The Heck Is 404b

Episode 22
2018/04/29

This is an opinion piece From The Hill written by Jesse Kelley. The Sex Offender Registry: Vengeful, unconstitutional and due for full repeal
http://thehill.com/opinion/criminal-justice/376668-the-sex-offender-registry-vengeful-unconstitutional-and-due-for-full
If 95% of people in prison will be released, why is it that we saddle them with such hardship. This isn’t just an SO issue, although the punishment is more harsh for them. What is the long term gain for society to put one group of people in the dirt for eternity?

  • Does SORNA violate the constitution?
  • Is it OK to violate the constitution in favor of public safety?
  • Does this pass the rational basis test?
  • Does it violate due process having to register for life. I’m taking their side and assuming that you do have a higher risk of reoffending
  • Do you have a right to privacy? The right to be more or less anonymous?

From the Washington Post Opinion: ‘The Watch’ blog: Behind the scenes, prosecutor lobbies wield immense power. The state’s defense attorneys and their assistants have a long history of Brady violations, including in death-sentence cases, and it it has one of the highest wrongful conviction rates in America.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-watch/wp/2018/04/23/behind-the-scenes-prosecutor-lobbies-wield-immense-power/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.556d5baf538d

  • Isn’t it conflict of interest to have the group in charge of prosecuting crimes, also then responsible for what becomes a crime? Not different from the prison guard lobby, or the sheriff’s association lobbying to make xyz a crime. It is in their interest to have more things crime to further entrench their position, their need.
  • Is there a problem for these groups to have people paid w/ taxpayer funds? Isn’t in their interest to have a safer society?
  • Brady Violations are where the prosecution withholds evidence that could sway the decision in court

From The New York Times: Voting Laws for Felons Can Be Hard to Follow. Here’s an Overview.
It is up to states – not the federal government – to say whether convicted felons can vote, and which ones, and when. So the rules for convicted criminals can change, sometimes drastically, from one state to the next. (The issue can be knotty within states, too: This past week, New York’s governor announced plans to sidestep a resistant State Legislature to give the vote to felons on parole.) It’s a lot to keep track of, but here’s an overview of where states stand – at least for now – on felons’ voting rights.
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/21/us/felony-voting-rights-law.html

  • How many people have a felony record in the US? Maybe ~8%
  • Some states ban people for life for any felony. Others, you can continue to vote while you are in prison.
  • Is there evidence to support that this is to further disenfranchise minority voters? Jim Crow?

From The Washington Post: Justice reforms take hold, the inmate population plummets and Philadelphia closes a notorious jail. The American criminal justice system’s gradual realization that too many people are in jail needlessly just got a large, visible boost from the city of Philadelphia. The city announced last week that it would close its notorious 91-year-old House of Correction jail because reforms begun two years ago have dropped the city’s jail population by 33 percent, without causing any increase in crime or chaos.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/true-crime/wp/2018/04/23/justice-reforms-take-hold-the-inmate-population-plummets-and-philadelphia-closes-a-notorious-jail/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.97581791b837

  • Without an increase in crime or chaos? HOW CAN THIS BE? Aren’t felons likely to wreck society when they are released?
  • More petitions for parole are being granted, as well as diversion to treatment vs time
  • This is striking: In July 2015 there were 8k people in Philly jails. Last week, after reforms began in late 2016, as of last week there are 5300. That’s a 33% drop. And why is this?

From The Miami Herald: Lockup guard slugged a skinny kid. Prosecutors say it’s justified. Here’s the video. Broward County prosecutors have ruled that a former detention center officer was justified when he slugged a 14-year-old boy in the face – breaking the teen’s nose in two places – because the juvenile was aggressive with staff and causing a disturbance in the county’s long-troubled lockup.
http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/broward/article209579679.html

  • The kid didn’t comply. Didn’t he deserve to be forced into compliance?
  • The report says the other detainees offer store goods to be aggressive to others. This is like fight club
  • And here again, prosecutors hold the keys to whether an individual is charged or not. He’s not be prosecuted

From North Jersey.com: New Jersey Supreme Court allows juvenile sex offenders to get off Megan’s Law registry
https://www.northjersey.com/story/news/new-jersey/2018/04/24/new-jersey-supreme-court-allows-juvenile-sex-offenders-get-off-megans-law-registry/547858002/

  • Who are they allowing to get off? Are they automatically removed?
  • James Maynard, who specializes in sex crimes, said the most onerous requirements of Megan’s Law were born of misperceptions about the likelihood of sex offenders to commit new sex crimes. He said people convicted as youths have very little chance of re-offending, especially after undergoing therapy.

From the Washington Post: Privately run prisoner transport company kept detainee shackled for 18 days in human waste, lawsuit alleges. The lawsuit filed in U.S. district court in western Virginia against three companies – Brevard Extraditions, which conducts business as U.S. Prisoner Transport; Prisoner Transportation Services of America; and its parent company, Prisoner Transportation Services – illustrates the risks posed by the increasing privatization of prisoner extradition
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2018/04/24/privately-run-prisoner-transport-company-kept-detainee-shackled-for-18-days-in-human-waste-lawsuit-alleges/

  • This makes me wonder about the people who work for companies delivering this kind of treatment
  • Why isn’t there a criminal case against the companies’ for some form of murder?
  • To me it feels like a conflict of interest for private companies to handle people with reduced capacity to support themselves. A private prison or transport company might be able to do it more cheaply, but where do those lower costs come from? From reducing the resources given to the ‘cargo’ they’re handling. Which are people.

Comment from Don:
Ironically, as I am embroiled in legislative wrangling over this very issue, the young son of a good friend of mine has just been caught up in one of these situations.  He was playing with a younger boy at an after-school program and a teacher found them when the younger boy’s pants were part-way down. He said, “Jack (name changed) did it.”  Jack says that he just pulled the boy across the carpet by his hands and his elastic-waisted pants didn’t stand up to the drag. Because our mandatory reporting laws make failure to report incidents a felony, everything that has any possibility of sexual content gets reported and now the case is being referred to authorities for a criminal investigation.  We pray that common sense will prevail, but if the wrong person gets ahold of it, “Jack” could be facing charges of sexual assault with the possibility of being tagged “sex offender” for the rest of his life. It was on his 12th birthday. Happy birthday, Jack.

We received this comment from Travis. He writes:
Guys, Thank you for all your hard work and diligence.  I look forward each week for the next podcast. I hope your numbers are increasing weekly. I’ve spread the word to all the registrants and my therapist.

With this being a midterm election year. How do you see our fight/cause progressing?  If you would please discuss the influence that the media has on the registry. The media loves to blow every sex offender story out of proportion and puts “fake fear” into the public.

I do have a couple of criticisms though:  People want to listen to your podcast for the issues. Not long civics lessons. Explaining the Louisiana bills and committees literally took up half the podcast. Watch or listen too “gayusa”. A great model to go by.  Finally. If I was to have a drink of beer for every time Larry said “So”. I would be passed out after 10 minutes. Gather your thoughts and slow down. It’s really annoying. Ok. That’s it. Guys seriously, I truly appreciate your efforts and voice.

Rule 404. Character Evidence; Crimes or Other Acts
Character Evidence. (1) Prohibited Uses. Evidence of a person’s character or character trait is not admissible to prove that on a particular occasion the person acted in accordance with the character or trait.

  • Isn’t this circumstantial evidence? It is anecdotal
  • Studies show that memory is highly malleable. It isn’t like a VCR (or DVR) recording. Every time you pull a memory out, you alter a little something and then put it back in the changed version
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