Saturday, April 14, 2018

The Forgotten Victims of National Crime Week

The Forgotten Victims of National Crime Week
By Derek W. Logue of OnceFallen.com
4/13/2018

The week of April 8th to April 14th of 2018 has been declared “Nation Crime Victim’s Rights Week,” and while discussions about crime victims are commonplace, this recognized memorial week provides a greater platform for the victims’ rights group to promote their advocacy. There is, however, a narrative that has been neglected this week—the victimization of registered citizens and their loved ones by virtue of the public registry and the laws they inspire. 

In 2012, Patrick Drum of Port Angeles, WA used the sex offender registry as a personal hitlist, ambushing two people in their own homes and planned to murder at least two others before getting caught by the police. Days later, the widow of one of the victims, Leslie Blanton, a mother of two children, had to pick up the pieces of her life. She lost a loving husband and father to her children. Over the next few months, Leslie would have to endure a media blitz, harassment by neighbors, and even online movements to free her husband’s killer because some hailed career criminal Patrick Drum a “hero.” It also gave Drum a platform to espouse his views. He proclaimed to the courts that “This country was founded on vigilantism,” and while the court ignored ramblings of Drum in sentencing him to two life sentences without parole, the media repeated Drum’s statements to the cheers of the online vigilantes. 

Even in this narrative, Paul Ray was largely forgotten. He was in his own home when his son, Jerry, was ambushed by Patrick Drum. Paul watched his own son die in his own house. Paul, who was already quite old, relied on his son to help him around the house. But Leslie made for a more compelling story to the story as a grieving widow with children. In the months following his son’s murder, Paul Ray was in the background and hardly discussed. 

Patrick Drum was not the only vigilante who would target registered citizens using the public registry; during a previous stint in prison, Drum met Michael Anthony Mullen, who also used the registry to murder two registered citizens in Washington back in 2005. Mullen disguised himself as an FBI agent to ambush two registered persons he found on the public registry. According to Drum, the two men planned a killing spree while in prison but Mullen died before the plan could be implemented.

Less than a year later, Jeremy and Christine Moody made headlines across the country for murdering Charles Parker, a registered person, and his wife, Gretchen, after pulling the man’s name from the registry. The Moodys were Neo-Nazi skinheads who wrote a self-published book proclaiming, among other things, that the entire families of registered citizens should be slaughtered to “purify the bloodline.” They went by the last name Mengele, a nod to Josef Mengele, the infa­mous Nazi doc­tor who performed medical experiments at Auschwitz and sending thousands of women and children to the gas chambers. Yet, these two were declared “heroes” in the eyes many people. Little time was spent by the media discussing Charles and Gretchen Parker since the stars of the story were a Neo-Nazi duo who showed no remorse and bragged about their crimes in court. 

Not every vigilante story involves murder, but in every news article, the victims are overlooked other than the shining of the spotlight on the label carried by the victims. 

In 2016, just days after his own release from jail for probation violations stemming from burglary charges, Alaska resident Jason Vukovich attacked three registered citizens. Vukovich, who claimed to be an “avenging angel,” carried a notebook with a list of nine names that he planned to target. Vukovich said he collected the names from acquaintances. He said they told him the people were “pedophiles.” Three of those named in the notebook, Charles Albee, Andres Barbosa and Wesley Demarest, were assaulted in their homes by Vukovich. Vukovich knocked Demarest unconscious with a hammer and robbed the victims during his crime spree. Only when faced with a lengthy sentence did Vukovich change his narrative, presumably in hopes of receiving a lenient sentence. As sentencing day drew near, Vukovich told the media, “There is no place for vigilante justice in an ordered society and I want to deter others that find themselves in a similar position as I found myself in the summer of 2016.”

The victims of Vukovich’s crimes received little acknowledgement from the media, same Wesley Demarest, whose bruised faced was used repeatedly in the media to show the brutality behind the attack. Of course, media outlets and independent websites used the pictures and the comments by the victim as mere window dressing for the narrative on Vukovich’s attack. 


Perhaps individuals like Patrick Drum and Jason Vukovich received some kind of punishment for attacking registered citizens, but there is no accountability whatsoever when the perpetrator has the backing of the government. The ongoing saga of the homeless registered citizen camps in Miami is a prime example. For over a decade, Miami-Dade County has forced registered citizens into homelessness through the “Lauren Book Child Safety Ordinance,” the county’s 2500 foot residency restriction laws. The ordinance is named after the daughter of South Florida’s arguably most powerful lobbyist, Ron Book. There has never been a more blatant example of the abuse of registry laws than in Miami, but even in the face of public scrutiny, the emphasis has been on the Books rather than on those registered humans the Books have forced into homelessness. 

While the registrant camps have been a source of international embarrassment for the area, the county continues to justify the ordinance, and Book uses the constant media attention to espouse his vengeful views. In report after report, the Books have attacked camp residents as the cause of their own homeless problems while denying that the laws they created played any role in the homeless crisis. The media repeatedly focuses on the Books, and their words merely serve to incite and inflame the ignorant populace. Even the “Untouchable” documentary, a film largely approved by those in the registry reform movement, placed the spotlight largely on the Book family, with those in opposition to the Books, along with those suffering under the laws espoused by and named after Lauren Book, largely pushed into the background. Many voices of the Anti-Registry Movement were silenced in the very film that was at least partly intended to speak about the registered citizens who continue to lack a voice. 

It is not often registered citizens get the opportunity to speak out, but when registered citizens do get a chance to speak out, they are often identified by the label rather than their identities. Last month, I was featured in a Dayton Daily News article discussing the struggles I face on the registry, and while the article was mostly great, the headline of the article read, “Sex offender says Ohio’s registry ‘destroys lives,’ should be abolished.” It is as if my name is not Derek Logue, but “sex offender.” I am described as an adjective, not a noun. I am titled by an action committed in the last millennium. The media is aware using the label invites the worst comments. The reporter interviewing me for the news article acknowledged this fact, asking if I was aware the first few comments in the article were going to be negative and possibly threatening in nature. People are aware the label largely excuses the worst atrocities committed by Americans against those shamed on the public registry, especially if the registered citizen is male. (By contrast, articles regarding female registrants tend to be more sympathetic in tone, such as Vice.com’s October 2017 article, “The Sex Offender Registry Leaves Female Sex Offenders Open to Abuse,” another article in which I was quoted.) 

How much discussion was there during National Crime Victims’ Week was devoted to discussing the victimization of America’s registered citizens? I am not aware of any discussions of the perils and pitfalls of the public sex offense registry. If America is expected to celebrate a week of victimhood, then it must include all types of victimization, even those for which Americans lack sympathy. When registered citizens are murdered in cold blood or forced into homelessness or poverty, the focus should be on the wrongfulness of these atrocities instead of the arbitrary label of the victim. It is time Americans recognize that people can become victims of bad public policy as well as by individual criminals. 

Friday, March 16, 2018

What selling the OnceFallen website will mean to the Anti-Registry Movement

Yesterday, I formally began my efforts to find someone to take over operations at my main website, OnceFallen.com. I created OnceFallen in December 2007, and for an entire decade, I have worked tirelessly to turn that website into one of the most vital resources on the Internet for people forced to register on the public "sex offender" registry. 

My journey of 15 years as a registrant has not come easy for me. I have struggled with depression and anxiety all these years, yet I cannot trust the therapy industry due to the harm they have caused me over the years. I became an advocate because I struggled to make a life outside of prison and I wanted to help others that are about to face what many of us have faced over the years. You'd be amazed how fearful those currently incarcerated are about registration and the like. 

I created OnceFallen.com initially to showcase my personal writing and sell an eBook to raise funds for bigger projects, but I also wanted the site to be a repository for information to help both activists and those looking for housing, employment info, and support. My site is antiquated but it has arguably the best consolidated info on a variety of subjects on the Internet. My site has grown to over twenty thousand monthly visitors and I have helped thousands of people find desperately needed resources. I have done this despite facing discrimination, harassment, and even threats of violence. I have done this in spite of the lack of support and the harsh criticism from other registrant activists over the years, and I don't just mean financially. At times, I've had to fight registry reformists with the same zeal as I fight those who want to round up registrants into concentration camps. 

However, all this activism has taken a toll on my health. I was in my mid-20s. I jogged daily, ate right, and weighed 190. Now, I'm 41 and now I'm 255, I have sleep apnea and low-T, needing hormone replacement. I have frequent nightmares about being locked up for false allegations. I'm starting to experience chest pains and dizzy spells, and my energy level is extremely low. My health insurance is so bad that I haven't received new eyeglasses in 7 1/2 years and my skin is slowly corroding the titanium frames I bought myself back in 2010. Now my blood pressure is high and my legs have poor circulation. But yet, I still will myself to do my life's work. 

It is a struggle for me to get out of bed every day, and when I do, I get to work on this issue, reading depressing news article after news article after news article. My email has become a constant stream of negative news. I hate reading constant stories of the latest atrocity committed against those who have served their sentences and are not allowed to live productive lives. I've dealt with more 3am death threats than you can shake a stick at, and I spend hours of my life answering calls, emails, and letters from people who are suffering like I'm suffering, if not worse. My life has truly really grown to revolve around this issue to the point that I have no life outside this issue whatsoever, except to play video games. 

Up until now, only a handful of people even knew this has been going on. Despite all my personal struggles, I have spent 10 years trying to help as many registrants as I can. I tried in vain to encourage people to engage in bold activism. I still believe bold activism is the key, but I never had leadership qualities and have never had a desire to be a leader. OnceFallen isn't a group where I play King and my followers swear fealty; it is merely an informational site run by me with an occasional assist from supporters. 

Despite the lack of support shown to OnceFallen over the years, OnceFallen has grown into a valuable resource. My only real talent besides beating hundreds of video games is my ability to compile massive amounts of info and consolidate it into the writings on my website. I've developed into a leading expert on the laws, used by attorneys, researchers, college students, the media, and even politicians. That is no small feat. I've dedicated over a decade to OnceFallen.com. 

I don't want to abandon my work. However, the victim cult has pooled their resources to derail my activism, and taking me down (and with it, the OnceFallen website) has become a priority for them. Before that can happen, I want to relinquish the rights to the OnceFallen trademark and website. I want someone else to take over the website, modernize it for mobile use, and continue the work I have done the past 10 years. However, I do not want to just hand my website to anyone, no siree Bob! I want someone trustworthy to handle the work that needs to be done in the event I die or the victim cult succeeds in their efforts to silence me. 

I don't just run a website. OnceFallen takes calls, letters, and emails regularly from people looking for support, housing, employment info and advice. You'll get complex questions, hear horror stories from people oppressed by the government, and even talk people out of suicide. You get interview or at least research assistance requests from college students, the media, attorneys, and the like. I engage in prison outreach, sending info and answering questions from prison inmates. To top it off, you do all this while being spit on by both the opposition to our cause and the very people you are trying to help. 

If you think you can fill my shoes, then feel free to contact me at iamthefallen1@yahoo.com and we can discuss the proper way to transfer ownership of my website to you as well as my terms for turning over the website. 

What does this mean for the anti-registry movement? Well, I might still be around, though in a different capacity than I have been over the past decade. I'm big enough to admit that my efforts to raise awareness and embolden people to become better activists did not go according to plan. I still believe sucking up to the cult of victimhood and acting self-righteous isn't helping matters, either, but I guess I can see why you folks are too afraid to take them on. They will win a war on attrition alone. We simply don't have the resources to take on the multimillionaire industry with our meager resources. It is like David fighting Goliath without the benefit of a sling and a stone.

I wanted to be a pro wrestler in my younger years. Recently, I watched one of my all-time favorite wrestlers, The Undertaker, retire. This man's persona was larger than life in the wrestling industry, but even a legend reaches the end of his in-ring career. But many wrestlers still maintain a presence after they retire from the ring, such as announcer or training new wrestlers or working the corporate office. Maybe I can still find a place in the movement. If not, I'd be content with spending the end of days in relative solitude and obscurity playing my video games. I never won a single award or accolade and I'll never be in anyone's hall of fame, but I don't care about all that, I served my purpose. I still have a few projects left in need of finishing. I simply do not abandon things I start, although I don't always finish them as quickly as I like. 

To be honest, only pride and not wanting the enemy to declare victory over me giving up kept me going, but life is getting too short to fret over what a few worthless scumbags think about me. It is time that I start looking for things that make me happy. I have not had much joy in my life over the past 15 years. This registry and the discrimination and hate we receive as registered humans make me bitter and angry. The fact that most people on this list are too fearful in 2018 to speak out does not help my growing cynicism of my life's work. But in light of recent events, I can understand why these folks fear speaking out. 

So here I stand at the crossroads, deciding what to do with the rest of my life. The question is, does anyone really feel at this point that my life's work is worth saving? I guess we will know the answer if my site is traded to someone else or if it is simply abandoned. 

Thursday, March 15, 2018

ACTION ALERT! Tell NY State to oppose reinstatement of residency/ proximity laws, Shelter Bans & ending Statutes of Limitations

The NY Senate site gives you the chance to voice displeasure of a bill if you live in NY, so my NY followers (or anyone with NY contacts), please sign up to the NY senate site and tell them to void Cuomo's Sex Offender residency/ proximity law amendment to A9505 (Assembly version) and S7505 (Senate Version).

https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2017/A9505/amendment/C#no

and

https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2017/s7505#no

As of this day, 3/15, both bills are in their respective finance committees. This proposal also impacts registered humans access to shelters by banning them from shelters where children may be present. All of us should contact the finance committees to oppose these amendments.

Here were the proposed changes to the budget from Cuomo's office related to this issue:

https://www.budget.ny.gov/pubs/archive/fy19/exec/30day/PPGGArtVIIAmendments.pdf

In the Senate Version of the bill, the residency/proximity proposal is under Part XX
The ban from emergency shelters is under Part II (that's the letter I, not roman numeral 2, as in the part between HH and JJ)

At this time, I do not see either of these provisions in the Assembly version,.

STATUTES OF LIMITATIONS

Provisions also include eliminating statutes of limitation for sex crimes so that must be opposed as well.

In the Assembly version, the statute of limitation provision is in Part P.

The Senate version does not seem to have the Statutes of limitations section at this rime.

Links to the committees currently responsible for the bills are listed below:

Senate Finance Committee:

https://www.nysenate.gov/committees/finance

Assembly Ways and Means Committee:

http://nyassembly.gov/comm/?id=41

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Lauren Book is using her position as Florida State Senator as a position for revenge

We al know daddy Ron's pulling the strings
"He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you."
--Friedrich Nietzsche: Beyond Good and Evil, Aphorism 146

Lauren Book is the worst kind of monster. She is someone who blatantly abuses her position of power in every way possible on her quest of vengeance. We all know that, though most folks are afraid to say it. 

I think she's just a puppet for her convicted criminal daddy Ron. While registered citizens cannot get jobs anywhere, Ron Book still works as a lobbyist even after his conviction for illegal campaign contributions.  I think her role as puppet came out this week when she inexplicably pulled an anti-sex trafficking bill that had unanimous support. (For the record, the bill was bullshit.) Still,  I'm willing to speculate she pulled the bill because daddy Ron likely represents the hotel industry (or at the very least, the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America). Going against daddy's wishes would lead to the end of her dubious tenure as a state "senator."

Lauren Book has not really accomplished much in her time as state Senator. In fact, Lauren's sole accomplishment in 2017 was exploiting a legal loophole to allow herself to vote to give her own organization, Lauren's Kids, an extra $1.5 MILLION in taxpayer dollars while sitting on the Senate Appropriations committee. Think about this-- the daughter of a lobbyist who was convicted for illegal campaign funds sat on an appropriations committee (the committee that hands out money) and gave her own organization $1.5 million. To top it off, she even lied about stepping down as CEO if her organization (not that it matters much since Ron Book is still the chairman).

So what is her only real accomplishment of 2018? She got a bill passed that reduces the time a registered citizen can visit Florida before having to register (from 5 days to 3) and expands the use of  mandatory electronic monitoring as punishment for various offenses. I would not be surprised if Ron Book lobbies for the electronic monitoring industry given the fact that GEO Group, the private prison company, has donated to Lauren Book and has hired Ron as a lobbyist. Let's be honest, there is one key reason she wanted to pass this bill -- anti-registry activism. Specifically, my anti-registry activism. 

She is still smarting over getting embarrassed by the Anti-Registry Movement in 2015. Since that time, she has constantly changed up her method of marching across the state. By pushing the law to reduce registration time while visiting, Book hopes to stymie anti-registry protests. If you think that was not the reason for this bill, then I'd like to share statements from her closing statement in her attempt to obtain a restraining order against me in her efforts to prevent me from protesting:


The reality is she cannot handle any form of protest. Our protest was peaceful. Hell, one person who showed up even tried to offer an olive branch to Lauren, which was rejected. The Book family retaliated against my peaceful protest by calling my registration office in an attempt to get me in trouble. However, I was not in Tallahassee long enough to register in Ohio (which already has a three day rule). The fact she suggests protests should be at least 1000 feet from her places of business (that presumably includes the state capitol) is proof enough that Lauren Book's true intention with her vexatious litigation was to silence anti-registry activism. 

 
It is abundantly clear that Lauren Book is using the law to attack the Anti-Registry Movement. This statement is also a look into the mindset of a woman who is extremely paranoid. Lauren Book believes that everyone who supports OnceFallen is a "pedophile/ sexual predator compatriot." She believes that the film crew from the BBC paid me to protest her (they didn't, and they didn't even use my interview in the final project). The only person intoxicated is Lauren Book, intoxicated with her own power by using unlimited resources to silence a man from Ohio who collects a $750 a month disability check and food stamps. 


Again, Lauren Book used the term "pedophile" to describe everyone who shared my viewpoint that the registry should be abolished. In the eyes of Lauren Book, if you don't support her efforts, YOU are a "pedophile." Still not convinced?



If posting her address was threatening (it is a matter of public record), then how much more is the posting of the addresses of America's registered citizens? I bet I can think of a handful of examples of registered citizens murdered or assaulted by someone who used the registry as a tool for vigilantes. You know, vigilantes like Bikers Against Child Abuse, who rode with her in 2015. 

Whatever happened to Lauren Book does not excuse the fact that Lauren Book is abusing her power in the worst possible way. She is mentally unstable, and as seen by the current state of our Presidential office, it is never a good idea to allow someone as mentally unstable as Lauren Book to have a position of power.
"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men." -- Lord Acton

Friday, February 9, 2018

OnceFallen's Opposition Statement to SB 1226 & HB 1301

http://www.flsenate.gov/Senators/#Senators

http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Representatives/representatives.aspx
In response to the FAC Call to Action, here's my letter I'm sending in the mail to the FL legislators (Except Lauren Book, because what's the point?):

From: Derek W. Logue
Registered Citizen Advocate
Founder of OnceFallen.com

To: Members of the Florida Legislature
RE: SB 1226 & HB 1301

Dear Florida State Legislators,
I am writing you today to oppose both SB 1226 and HB 1301, similar bills which will have a detrimental impact on the lives of thousands of individuals.

These bills will impact both the ability of free humans to travel as well as shackle individuals with costly and ineffective electronic devices that will cost the state tens of millions of dollars. I will address each of these parts individually.

REDUCING TRAVEL REGISTRATION

I am an advocate for the restoration of individuals forced to register for life as “sex offenders.” I live in Cincinnati, Ohio but I have taken numerous trips to your state in order to assist those on the registry improve the quality of their lives. I have engaged in a peaceful protest right outside the State House while Lauren Book completed her march across the state in 2015. I have visited (and stayed at) the homeless registrant camp on multiple occasions in order to report on conditions at the camp as well as provide much-needed supplies to the camp.

I know for a fact that “Senator” Lauren Book came up with this idea of lowering the time I can visit before registering specifically to try to deter me from visiting Florida to help the homeless registrants of Hialeah, the camp a law named after her was responsible for creating. Unfortunately, Senator Book has become a master of using the law as a weapon of vengeance against those who are forced to register. It is important to keep this in mind since I am currently engaged in a legal battle with Lauren Book. She is filing vexacious litigation against me trying to prevent me from exercising my 1st Amendment right to protest and speaking out against her reprehensible actions. This bill is just another attempt to bend the law to her will. Justice isn’t supposed to be about vengeance!

Of course, even if this bill passes, I will continue to engage in protests against the Book family, as I already live in a state that requires me to notify my travel plans, so forcing registration when I . Quite frankly, I would not want to visit your state much less live there, but many registered humans have ties to Florida and this would impact them as well. I am well aware of the fact that only 45% of those listed on your registry actually live in Florida communities. However, you force individuals to register for life even if they haven’t lived in Florida for years. You are also one of the only states that allow registry info to pop up on a Google search. This encourages vigilante violence against registered citizens. I have endured vigilante violence, including harassment by associates of Senator Book.

It also raises concerns that individuals not publicly registered in one state will have their registry information plastered all over the Internet. For example, Washington and Massachusetts are among the states that do not post registry info online. If one were to visit from those states, then they would be forced to register for life and be placed on the internet even though their conviction state does not do either.

Finally, it should be worth noting that there is already a lawsuit in the works over keeping out-of-state registrants on the Florida registry, so passing this bill will add the number of people eligible for this costly class-action suit.

ELECTRONIC MONITORING

When I had visited the homeless registrant camp (Lauren’s Kingdom) in Hialeah, I was shocked to see the number of homeless registrants wearing these bulky, uncomfortable, radioactive devices. Imagine the time it takes recharging your smartphones, only with that smartphone strapped to your body. I imagine it would be hard to do things like go job hunting or shop for groceries while recharging. Imagine trying to find a place to recharge at a homeless camp. Who is paying for this? Your constituents, that’s who!

I am concerned the GPS devices are costly and ineffective in reducing sex crimes, as well as constituting such a great burden to both law enforcement and to the former offenders who have served their time and are struggling to successfully reintegrate into society.
It was estimated back in 2007 that the cost of GPS is around $10 per day per device. (I imagine that number is higher now.) If the law was applied to 6,660 offenders currently on the list, the state will have to shell out $24.3Millions dollars per year just to maintain the devices by the $10 a day rate. The chances of passing the expenses onto former offenders is unlikely, as most former offenders struggle to find steady employment in a slumping economy and employers hostile to people with criminal records.

The use of GPS devices should be reconsidered, as the technology suffers from numerous limitations. Among the common technological problems: “Geometric Dilution Of Precision” (GDOP), meaning if the angle of the receiver to the satellite is too small, the satellite may give a false reading; satellite visibility- buildings, metal, and other terrain obscures the signal; speed limits- if it is going above a certain speed, it will not work; and temperature limits- will not work in extremes of temperature.

Washington state did a test run with “passive” devices (passive devices merely record where the person has been and must be uploaded to read, whereas active devices send out constant signals), and found 4000 “notices of violation,” the vast majority of which were false alarms due to technical difficulties [Jonathan Martin, “GPS tracking beset by problems of terrain, technology, and time.” Seattle Times, Sept. 28, 2005].

The batteries could fail to charge, be defective, or possibly leak or even explode. What about the health concerns? There is growing evidence that these radioactive devices can negatively impact your health. The overall health of those struggling with homelessness is already poor to begin with, so these devices can exacerbate an already existing problem.

GPS use also raises a number of ethical and constitutional issues. One senator who voted against the Wisconsin bill stated it would create a “big brother bureaucracy” and was unnecessary [Steven Waleters et al. “GPS tracking for sex offenders OK’d.” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, April 25, 2006]. Most states are imposing the devices on all offenders, even low-risk offenders. It raises questions on the limits states can invade in the private lives of freed citizens. There is also a question of whether the devices violate the fourth amendment ban on unreasonable searches and seizures.

With all the concerns and limitations regarding GPS, it makes little sense to pass such sweeping legislation. Both the state and the offender will be burdened with the number of false alarms, as noted in the Washington study. Furthermore, GPS does not monitor the offender’s actions, just location, and can easily be removed by an offender who is determined to re-offend. In other words, GPS will not prevent crimes, but places an undue burden on the registrants who cannot afford to pay and state taxpayers/ constituents who will end up footing the bill. . Former offenders are concerned of being “branded for life,” a mark of infamy which lowers his chances at successful rehabilitation and reintegration. Such expenses would be better spent on prevention, treatment, and reintegration programs that are proven effective in reducing sex crimes in general and reducing recidivism rates for registrants.

THEREFORE, I strongly urge you to not advance this terrible piece of legislation. Both of these bills will end up costing constituents millions of dollars without offering any benefits. For those who are religious, remember, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:20. This is not about preventing sexual abuse but about vengeance and harming an unpopular group of people. That was why we created a Constitution in the first place. No victim advocate turned State Senator should advance laws based upon hatred and revenge, lest we return to the days of inquisitions, trials by ordeals, and witch hunting.

_____________________________
Derek W. Logue of OnceFallen.com
Registered Citizen Advocate
iamthefallen1@yahoo.com
513-238-2873

Monday, January 8, 2018

Who would Jesus leave out in the cold? Calling out ministries turning away registered humans

[Note, if you have not taken my disaster preparedness survey for registrants and their loved ones, pleasev do so now -- http://esurv.org/online-survey.php?surveyID=MIJKMM_923b5434 . This issue certainly falls into the natural disasters that would cause one to seek shelter.]

Much of the USA has been stuck in the freezing cold for the past couple of weeks. There's still snow on the ground from Christmas at my home in Cincinnati. We are finally going to climb above freezing for the first time in two and a half weeks, so relief is in sight. During these cold weeks, a number of stories came out with smiling shelter directors proudly proclaiming they have shelters open to ANYONE* who needs it. Of course, the asterisk was for those on the registry.

NARSOL members had contacted a number of shelters in the news stories, and while all cited the shelters accepting children and being too close to schools as reasons for turning away registrants, not one shelter gave specifics on alternative housing for registrants. Read their efforts by clicking the link below:

https://narsol.org/2018/01/shelter-discrimination-blurs-separation-of-church-state/

I had a computer crash this week but was able to contact two ministries, one from Alabama (Christ-N-Us) and one from tennessee (MATS, Inc.). Below was their responses.

Christ-N-Us, a ministry from Mobile AL, responded through a FB post after deleting numerous comments from anti-registry activists.

https://www.facebook.com/ChristNUs2/posts/747152562136506

"We do not make the law, but we do have to abide by it. We will give them a hot meal, a hot shower, warm clothes, coats and blankets. We will also find the somewhere they can go. There are numerous other shelters available. They simply cannot reside in our facility, we are a family shelter, a great deal of our clients and children are under safety plans through DHR and the court system. Jesus would not kick them out into the cold and neither do we. We do the very best we can do within the limits of the law we must abide by. Perhaps if more people would get involved something could be done to rectify the situation and open a facility that will allow these individuals more help and resources. God Bless you and Happy New Year!"

In the comments section, Donald Anthony Floyes Jr, who runs a ministry called Joy Unspeakable Ministries, praised the shelter for not taking in registrants, adding, "Don’t apologize for turning away potential threats/predictors. Pastors have to watch over the flock!"


It took a week to get even a vague answer from MATS, Inc. of TN Director Gary Brewster. He didn't understand what I meant by "registered citizens" (even after putting an explanation of the term in parentheses) and it took nearly a week and a couple of emails to receive a response, and didn't exactly help by passing along any useful information.

We have two other shelters they can go to that are merely blocks away. One for males and one for females. Also, we have a shelter down the road that we can drive them to. In addition to this information, we only had one person who fits your description who did not want to go to any of the shelters in the area and we were able to find a home for him.

Thank you for your compassion and hard work for your fellow man. Please discontinue correspondence with MATS. We will continue to be diligent and faithful to do our job here and I'm sure you will do yours there. But I see no reason for further correspondence. 

Dr. Gary Brewster
MATS
"Mats" <directorofmats@gmail.com>

These ministries turning away registered humans are not truly standing up for Christ as far as I am concerned. Christ would not turn a registered person away any more than he turned away murderers, prostitutes, tax collectors, and other ruffians when he walked this earth. But it seems some of these ministries need to be reminded the Scripture that the mission of helping others in need is of the utmost importance to Christ.

James 1: 22-27 - English Standard Version (ESV)
22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. 25 But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing. 26 If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless. 27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

Matthew 7:21-23 
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

Matthew 25: 41-46
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Finally, those of you who do not want to listen to my words yet claim to follow Christ, I leave you with what I am doing to your "ministry." I hope others do the same. 

Matthew 10:14-15
 14 And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town. 15 Truly, I say to you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town.

Thankfully, there HAVE been programs willing to stand up for their right to minister to those in need. 

Triumph Church in Clanton AL sued under religious freedom laws with help from the ACLU (yes, the same ACLU many Christians deride as the the "Anti-Christian Liberties Union") to run a halfway house for registered persons. The ministry reopened after a long legal battle in the spring of 2017. 

CrossRoads Shelter in RI (a secular program) is also getting help from the ACLU in stopping the state from enforcing a new law limiting the number of beds for registrants to 10% of available bed space. 

I don't want to hear any more excuses from churches. It is not Christian to turn away the "least of these." Get behind me, Satan!

Monday, January 1, 2018

Once Fallen' 2017 Annual Report -- Request for assistance greatly increases, contributions greatly decreases

ONCE FALLEN 2017 ANNUAL REPORT

OnceFallen celebrated 10 years of operation on December 5, 2017. In time for our 10 year anniversary, we reached 1 million visitors and had the biggest year ever in amount of assistance offered by OnceFallen.

Doing more with less could be the unofficial motto of the 2017 OnceFallen annual report. While financial support decreased by a third for OnceFallen, requests for assistance from OnceFallen increased by the largest amount in its 10 year history (roughly 40%). Thankfully, a donation surge at the end of last year following the Xmas at the Camp event kept OnceFallen from plunging into debt (barely). Expect to see a decrease in activist activity for OnceFallen in 2018 as support for this organization has dried up considerably since the early part of the year.

Part 1: CONTACT STATS

This stat covers how I was initially contacted by a new contact during the year:

TOTAL INDIVIDUAL FIRST CONTACTS: 422

2016 total contacts and difference: 297 (+125 or 42.1% increase)

Total Number of States: 38 plus DC: 35 FL, 28 OH, 26 PA, 26 AL, 25 TX, 22 CA, 17 IL, 16 NY, 15 NC, 14 GA, 10 WA, 9 IN, 9 MI, 8 MO, 8 TN, 6 AZ, 6 NJ, 5 AR, 5 OK, 5 OR, 4 KY, 4 LA, 4 MN, 4 SC, 4 WI, 3 MD, 3 NE, 3 VA, 3 WV, 2 KS, 2 UT, 1 AK, 1 O, 1 DC, 1 IA, 1 MA, 1 MS, 1 RI, 1 WY
Include 3 UK, 1 EU, and 71 who did not specify a location; 11 were from the media

First contact locations:

Email 152, Phone 138, Mail/ Letter 70, Corrlinks 25, Texting 23, social media 10 (all from FB)
By Month: Jan. 45, Feb. 32, Mar. 32, Apr. 60, May 32, Jun. 27, Jul. 47, Aug. 36, Sep. 31, Oct. 34, Nov. 26, Dec. 24

Total Inmate Letters: 180 (2016- 121 letters, + 59, 48.76% increase) A number of letters are of ongoing correspondence, and dozens were merely requests for printouts of 50 state spreadsheets from ACSOL and CCRC. To offset the costs, OnceFallen has requested prisoners send two stamps for each of the printouts. Even then, some prisoners cannot afford the stamps but requests are still fulfilled.
Corrlinks Mailing list as of 12/31/17: 221 subscribers (2016- 155 subscribers, + 65, 41.7% increase)

Media appearances: Eight (down from 13 in 2016), though one documentary won’t be released until next year.

WEBSITE USAGE

Total Visitors: 228,275 (133,491 visitors in 2016, +94784 or 71% increase)

Sometime on 11/27/2017, OnceFallen.com logged its one millionth individual visitor. Interestingly, during the week of September 20-27 and for three days between 11/17 and 11/19, there were interruptions in the access logs, so some visitors for that week was seemingly not counted. It is possible there were unreported service interruptions to OnceFallen operations during that time or even online attacks on the site that went unnoticed.

FINANCIAL CONTRIBUTIONS

Financial support for OnceFallen declined by roughly a third over last year’s totals, with 55% of support coming from just three contributors. Expenses exceeded donations by 35% this year but was offset by a surplus of funds left over from last year that came in after Christmas and a surge of support early in 2017. However, contributions have fallen off a cliff since May, so the surplus quickly dried up.

Travel is always the largest expense because travel is expensive, even on a budget. OnceFallen traveled to Nebraska, Florida and Oregon to engage in activism projects (and Washington DC to witness the Packingham v NC case in person), and though we strive to find the cheapest hotels and travel possible (we never count food, souvenirs or any personal purchase as “business expenses”), travel is simply expensive, especially to Florida. Thus, 56% of the expenses for 2017 came from travel.

Office supplies is the next largest expense, including phone, letters, envelopes, stamps, printers and ink, paper, and other supplies necessary for answering inquiries. This represented 21% of the 2017 budget expenditure for OnceFallen.

It is a little known fact that OnceFallen sometimes sends care packages or other financial support to some who are newly released from prison as well as homeless registrants. I do not advertise this because I would be overwhelmed with requests, and rarely do I have the budget to offer much to those who request it. Funds that went to this purpose included donations to other websites, cash or supplies for homeless or stranded registrants, and stamps or free info packets for those in prison. This comprised 20% of the 2017 expenses for OnceFallen.

The Shiitake Awards is a fun project but by far the least expensive project, save for costumes and props. Cost for props for two award shows (got the 2017 awards show finished early) only represents 3% of OnceFallen expenses.

FINAL THOUGHTS

OnceFallen will be slowing down operations for 2018. There are a few things that are needed for this year (new computer, possibly an upgraded website) but travel-related expenses should be minimal, as we are expecting to engage in fewer in-person public awareness events in anticipation of a larger project to be announced for either 2019 or 2020. The main focus will be on implementing new ideas for the website and a larger focus on resource-gathering for prisoners and the recently released.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

MUSINGS ON KINTSUGI AND THE PHOENIX

I wrote this for the ICoN Newsletter but I thought it would also make a nice end-of-the-year message as we enjoy the last holiday before the next round of legislative sessions begin. I needed this message this morning as much as anyone, as quite frankly, I've been depressed and grumpier than usual as of late.

MUSINGS ON KINTSUGI AND THE PHOENIX

I was trying to come up with a last minute idea to fill space for this month’s newsletter when I just happened to turn on CBS Sunday Morning. With December 31st falling on a Sunday this year, the show was filled with discussions of the events over the past year (as expected), but they discussed something interesting I felt was worth sharing. They discussed something called “Kintsugi.” Kintsugi (or Kintsukuroi, which means “golden repair”) is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with a special lacquer containing powdered gold (sometimes silver or platinum) which not only breathes new life into a broken vessel, but increases the beauty of the once broken piece. This repair method celebrates each artifact's unique history by emphasizing its fractures and breaks instead of hiding or disguising them.

“Kintsugi art dates back to the late 15th century. According to legend, the craft commenced when Japanese shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa sent a cracked chawan—or tea bowl—back to China to undergo repairs. Upon its return, Yoshimasa was displeased to find that it had been mended with unsightly metal staples. This motivated contemporary craftsmen to find an alternative, aesthetically pleasing method of repair, and Kintsugi was born.

Since its conception, Kintsugi has been heavily influenced by prevalent philosophical ideas. Namely, the practice is related to the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi, which calls for seeing beauty in the flawed or imperfect. The repair method was also born from the Japanese feeling of mottainai, which expresses regret when something is wasted, as well as mushin, the acceptance of change.” [From “Kintsugi: The Centuries-Old Art of Repairing Broken Pottery with Gold.” MyModernArt.com. Apr. 25, 2017. https://mymodernmet.com/kintsugi-kintsukuroi/]

We in America live in a throwaway society. If something is broken or has imperfections, we throw it away or donate it to a thrift store. Vegetables that do not meet a specific standard for shape and overall looks are rejected for sale in grocery stores. This principle seemingly applies to people as well. We are considered “broken vessels,” useless and ready to be discarded. However, those of us who are considered broken can not only repair our lives, we can strengthen what were once our imperfections and make them beautiful.

Two ways of applying Kintsugi on our souls is through personal healing and through an activist lifestyle. Whether you are still in prison or are in the “free world,” we all have great struggles to endure. You don’t have to face it alone. There are treatment organizations willing to help those still struggling with personal issues. There are online support groups like SOSEN that can help those in the “free world” but struggling with life on the list.

Even in prison, there are ways to prepare for life as an activist; activist organizations like OnceFallen help those adjusting to life on the registry and gain knowledge needed to navigate the confusing world of registration. (On a related note, OnceFallen turned 10 year old on December 5, 2017). This newsletter offers up resources and activist tools each month.

My slogan for OnceFallen.com is “Through Knowledge and Wisdom, We Rise from the Ashes.” (It is by design my logo is a Phoenix).  Like a repaired piece of broken pottery or the legendary Phoenix, we can overcome and be made whole again. That slogan I shared was for a treatment-focused group I was forming with some prisoners called SOPHIA (SOs Pursuing Healing In Adversity). I believe that knowledge (“book smarts”) and wisdom (“street smarts”) IS power. You may not be able to stop every bad thing that happens from here on out, but you can make the most of your life in whatever life situation you currently face. Many of us find contentment, peace, and life a good life even in the midst of this persecution.

To me, there is no greater beauty than one who can rise from the ashes of a broken life. Your success, however, won’t be measured by income or material possessions, but in finding happiness in whatever situation you find. Imagine the looks on the faces of the “haters” when what were once cracks and imperfections now glitter with gold!

Friday, December 8, 2017

Remember, Remember the 5th of December: OnceFallen.com turns 10!

Long before I knew there was even a movement against the registry, one of my dreams while incarcerated was to create a resource for registered citizens. In Alabama, a registrant was not allowed to register as homeless; people who could not find housing before their release dates were being charged with FTR and sent back to jail. I remember when I was in the county jail, one man had lived there for months past his end-of-sentence date. I didn't have anyone searching for housing for me. I was at a disadvantage. I was a week away from an FTR charge myself when I found a church in Cincinnati willing to take me in, and I've been here ever since. 

Before I became an activist, I had already endured the similar struggles we all faced as registered persons-- homelessness, job discrimination, housing search difficulties, and harassment. Many local charities refused to help me get on my feet. I eventually found a menial job and a sleeping room, but eventually, the state of Ohio decided I didn't receive enough punishment, arbitrarily reclassifying me as a "predator" and forcing me to move away from a GED program for people ages 16-21 (16 is the Age of Consent but the GED program counted as a school under the law).

I first discovered an online network of registrants while looking for housing and employment online from a defunct site that debated the need for sex offender laws. I started chatting with a woman named Jan, who was a registrant, and through her I was introduced to a group known as SOHopeful. Jan helped me fight the residency restriction laws and even though I lost after a year-long battle in the courts, it bought me time to find a new place to live. However, no sooner than I moved into my new home, I was forced to defend it again, this time at Cincinnati City Hall (On December 5th, 2006). I won a partial victory, inspiring others to speak out against the bill and getting the city to water down the law to where it impacted fewer people. It was my first taste of activism, which I shared in a video:



I had shared an article I wrote as part of my battle against the city [CLICK HERE to read it], and people told me I should write an entire book. I spent the first half of 2007 writing, going to the law library at the University of Cincinnati, printing out researching before returning home to write up part of the book, and repeating. (I did not have home Internet back then.) During this time, our movement was small but growing. RSOL was a petition site, SOSEN was still a Yahoo Group but looking to create their own website, and there wasn't even an activist group in California. SOHopeful was the big dog at the time, but leadership was lacking. Having tasted street-level activism and seeing how it can be effective, I always found behind-the-scenes work to be dull and lacking impact. That is why I was excited to learn the organizations not named SOHopeful was having a rally in Columbus, a mere 100 miles away, I just had to be there. 



There was a lot of behind-the-scenes drama surrounding the event, of course, and SOHopeful was in utter chaos. While the top brass there hated the rally and didn't support it (in fact, they condemned it), many folks supported it. The result of the in-fighting was a mass exodus from SOHopeful to SOSEN and RSOL, and SOHopeful quickly faded into oblivion. I pretty much figured SOHopeful was on the decline, and I had already written a handful of useful articles, so I decided it was best to publish my writings elsewhere. I did a little research, and even though I did not have home Internet, I had a laptop, and I found what I thought was the best deal at the time. Thus, on December 5, 2007, one full year to the day that I walked into the Cincinnati City Hall to fight for my right to live in the city, Once Fallen went online. 

This journey has not been easy. For the past decade, I've had to balance my life as a voice for the voiceless with a personal life. I'm on call almost all the time, and since I'm a one-man operation, I have to do everything myself, from taking calls to speaking to legislators and media personalities. My operation continues to expand (as well as my website) as I continue to take on more projects like inmate newsletters and taking on more out-of-state legislation. I get burned out at times from the annoying aspects of life as an anti-registry activist, like dealing with drama from fellow activists (and with some that term is rather subjective), dealing with online idiots, and the overall lack of support from most of the other groups for even simple things like sharing my latest survey on disaster preparedness. However, I remain 100% committed to offering support services to those who needed, and unlike some other organizations out there, I won't ever shed my status as a grassroots activist or forget that support also includes resource information gathering and sharing. 

So here's to a decade of OnceFallen.com, and hopefully, I'll survive another decade of this. Better yet, here's to the hope that in a decade, there won't even be a need for a site like mine because the registry is abolished. 

Friday, December 1, 2017

A somewhat premature requiem for "Innocent Until Proven Guilty" and the right to a fair trial


"It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer" -- William Blackstone in his seminal work, Commentaries on the Laws of England, published in the 1760s.


Alas, poor US Constitution. We knew you well. Well, some of us did.

In particular, this requiem is for the parts of the US Constitution that deal with the right to a fair trial. We once placed safeguards to protect the rights of the accused because we recognized our system of punishment destroyed human lives to the point we wanted a high degree of probability of the guilt of the condemned. Obviously, those days have long since passed. Today, innocent until proven guilty is little more than a myth. 

I had a recent conversation with my doctor during a routine check-up and the conversation progressed to what I spend my days doing. My response was that I advocate for the rights of those who served time to become productive members of society. he brought up Brock Turner, of all people, as an example of the system not being "tough on crime," to which I brought up the fact that for every case like his, there are thousands more where the person gets far more time. We didn't even discuss the registry, a punishment even worse than prison. Stories like Turner's make the jobs of the victim cult easier. 

I've heard an old mantra that the US Constitution began eroding the day it was committed to paper. Perhaps it is true to some extent, but it had also strengthened. Numerous groups fought in the past to become part of that wonderful concept of all persons being "equal." Blacks, LGBTQ+, women, the disabled, Native Americans, Hispanics, and Transgendered people have fought for that right, as many of us that are placed on the arbitrary government blacklist known as the "Sex Offender Registry." While those of us condemned to a life of shame and discrimination struggle to fight for the right for opportunities to become equal members of society, thousands more human lives potentially face life on the list.

Our movement tends not to focus much on the rights of the accused, and that is understandable given the fact we're all struggling just to find jobs and housing or trying not to get murdered by vigilantes who thinks every human on the registry molested a stadium full of toddlers. However, our fight for our lives began the day we were accused of a sex crime. 

As everyone likely knows by now, there are already limitations on the right to confront accusers thanks to Rape Shield Laws, a concept that largely began in the 1970s. Now, states across America are trying to pass "Marsy's Law," a "victim's bill of rights" to amend state Constitutions across America. This bill is very dangerous because Marsy's law includes a provision that allows accusers "to refuse an interview, deposition or other discovery request made by the accused or any person acting on behalf of the accused." The accuser under Marsy's law would not have to turn over potential evidence that could prove she was lying about the crime! 

Marsy's Law passed in Ohio by a margin of 82.5% to 17.5%, showing that people placed little value on the rights of the accused. Why would they, when our airwaves were flooded with commercials supporting Marsy's law, like THIS ONE:






Marsy's Law is a marvel of victim industrial engineering, funded by celebrity star power and one of the richest men in the world (Henry Nicholas). Marsy's law's key selling point, repeated in Marsy's Law ads, is ripped out of the victim industry playbook:

"Currently in the United States, the U.S. Constitution and every state constitution has enumerated rights for individuals accused of a crime and those convicted of a crime. Yet, the U.S. Constitution and 15 state constitutions do not extend enumerated rights to victims of crime. Marsy’s Law for All seeks to amend state constitutions that don’t offer protections to crime victims and, eventually, the U.S. Constitution to give victims of crime rights equal to those already afforded to the accused and convicted.

We can all agree that no rapist should have more rights than the victim. No murderer should be afforded more rights than the victim’s family. Marsy’s Law would ensure that victims have the same co-equal rights as the accused and convicted – nothing more, nothing less."

People bought it hook, line, and sinker. There weren't any ads warning people that Marsy's Law was designed to take away an important right to confront accusers. That provision is carefully worded and hidden deep within a ballot initiative that also included provisions like notifying crime victims of a convicted perpetrator's release or the right to restitution (something Ohio already had without needed to attach a name to a bill). 

Of course, that's official law, and we haven't even gotten to the "Court of Public Opinion" yet, where accusations pretty much equal guilt. I still remember the infamous Duke Lacrosse case and the infamous Wendy Murphy statement she made, stating, "I never, ever, met a false rape claim, by the way. My own statistics speak the truth." Once the accusations hit the airwaves, the presumption of guilt already permeates the conversation, driven mainly by feminists like Murphy. Feminists also use dubious stats to dismiss or minimize the notion that false allegations ruin lives by claiming only 2%-10% of rape allegations are false. (Using that mantra, then that means of the 861,837 registrants in the US, between 17,236 and 86,183 potentially innocent people are on the registry.) 

Now, as much as I've enjoyed seeing celebrities and politicians (both purveyors of Predator Panic) get a dose of their own medicine, it also illustrates this mantra in action. We've already condemned the accused without benefit of a trial. Surely having multiple allegations means that the accused is 100% guilty right? We've never been wrong on that before, right? (*cough*cough* Satanic Ritual Abuse *cough*cough*). It is amazing how we seamlessly transferred the same moral panic from roving bans of satan worshippers to "pedophile priests" or to Illuminati congressmen buying kids off a Pizza menu stored underground bunkers in DC. No matter how outlandish the story, we are taught the accused is to be believed until proven otherwise. 

This brings me back to the original premise of this article, the erosion of our rights. The current state of our system of justice has been influenced by the feminist media and by those with lots of money. The erosion of our rights comes packaged in the name of a person, much in the way a land was once conquered in the name of Jesus Christ. The religious imagery is relevant; after all, many victim's rights advocates look at their work as a Crusade, much like a tent revival preacher from the previous generation saw his work. But the Original Crusades were about conquering the Holy Land by the sword, not by preaching. The victim industry's crusade is no less of a bloody war. Human lives aren't destroyed in a movement but in a war. We're no longer allowed to doubt the intentions of these Victim Crusaders, mind you, that's pure blasphemy. And, much like the religious zealots of our day, victim advocates claim they are persecuted every time their stories are questioned or when one of their own are accused of lying.

Perhaps the Constitution isn't dead just yet, but rather on life support, but the victim advocates are seeking to pull the plug.

Marsy's Law is but the latest in a series of laws spanning a generation eroding the rights of the accused, nor will it likely be the last. Blackstone's formula no longer seems valid here is the "Land of the Free." We are becoming more willing to erode our Constitution. Many don't even know what they support (as in the case of Marsy's law supporters) because people are far too quick to believe an ad campaign featuring a celebrity like Kelsey Grammer. However, all hope is not lost and we are not doomed to accept this march towards a less balanced court system. At least Marsy's law was struck down in Montana courts. As advocates for the rights of former offenders, we have to take on these proposals -- and the cult of victimhood-- head on.


The right of the accused to a fair and impartial trial and the rights of the accused should never be compromised. Human lives are at stake here, and someday, that life at stake may be your own.