Wednesday, December 4, 2013

An update on the “Beyond the Label” documentary and A Call to Action

In June 2012, two Registered Citizens were gunned down by a lifelong career criminal named Patrick Drum in Port Angeles, WA. Later that year, I decided to attempt to make this case into a documentary about vigilante violence.

In light of the article, “The Vigilante of Clallam County,” printed in The Atlantic, written by Lexi Pandell, I figured it was time I gave an update on the film.

For the past few months, I have devoted time trying to gather as much information on this case as possible. After fundraising for the money to travel to Port Angeles to collect more interviews and case info, I still lacked some information. I contacted Patrick Drum and even tried scheduling an interview. Unfortunately, the Washington DOC will not all me to film Drum, so I ran out of options. Drum saw my appearance on HLN and the cat was out of the bag, so to speak. I have reached a dead end with extracting information from Patrick Drum.

This year, Lexi Pandell’s article and the LMN show “I Killed my BFF” have each provided an interpretation of the events surrounding the murders of Gary Blanton and Jerry Ray. For the past year, I have also devoted time and research into the case. While the other articles give a pretty good story, it is still a biased and incomplete story. Both stories paint Drum as an “antihero,” a rough character you can still sympathize with because, well, he killed two Registered Citizens.

While I can help fill in the missing puzzle pieces, I cannot offer a complete documentary with the footage I have at the moment. So what I am looking to do is expand the film into a treatise on vigilantism against Registered Persons. That means more work, more interviews…and unfortunately, more money. I was in the process of making a video ad before this story broke, in fact, because being an ACTIVE activist costs money. Traveling, phone calls and stamps, equipment, and projects like this documentary all take resources, and as I previously stated, it is hard to get all I need on my meager income.

In the coming months, I will have to travel to Montgomery, AL to stop an anti-clustering law, as well as a possible trip to Coalinga, CA to join a planned protest. I need lighting for films, and most of all, the funds to keep my website up. This documentary is still needed, but I need more than the footage I have to give a quality product.

There is no better time for me to ask the people for their generous support of my organization than right now, during the Holiday Season. The Holiday Season is always followed up by the Legislative Season, so now is the time to offer your support before you overspend on the holidays.

Donations can be mailed to: Derek Logue, 2559 Eden Ave. #14, Cincinnati, OH 45219

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people: The Hitler quote controversy and its influence

Years ago (2006 to be exact), I wrote an article that was so controversial many on the sex offender reform movement shunned me. After all these years, the debate still rages over whether it is appropriate to compare sex offender laws to events and Nazi Germany. I still say yes.

What inspired me to write that particular article  in 2006 was the often used and debated passage attributed to Adolf Hitler. The quote reads as follows:

“The state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people. As long as the government is perceived as working for the benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation."

As it turns out, Adolf Hitler did not attend this entire quote (the first sentence is a direct quote from Mein Kampf, I might add, but not the second sentence), although a fictional version of Hitler did pen the full quote. In 1999, a rabbi named Daniel Lapin wrote an essay in the style of CS Lewis's famous book "The Screwtape Letters" (a fictional series of letters between Satan and one of his minions named Screwtape).  Lapin's essay is a fictional letter between Adolf Hitler and Julius Streicher.

[You can find a copy of the original article HERE]

The full passage in which this quote is contained is actually far more compelling than the shortened version of the quote that is so famously used. Below is the full passage:

Finally, dear Julius, you will remember what I frequently said and wrote in Mein Kampf: "The state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people." I explained that as long as the government is perceived as working for the benefit of children, the people will happily endure almost any curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation. It is truly heartwarming to see how well this lesson has been learned by the American government. In the name of children, incursions into the private lives of American citizens have been made that we Nazis would have gazed at with open-mouthed admiration. Does it matter that our bodies failed as long as our spirit still triumphs?

It is no secret that the American people have allow their personal freedoms to be curtailed for the sake of public safety. Victim industry advocates have used the mantra for many years, "If it saves just one child, then these laws are worth it."  Of course, there is the matter of whose child we are "saving." Certainly not the ten-year-old boy we have placed on the registry, prosecuted by the federal government.

But even the Nazis needed the public to assist in the apprehension of undesirables. Hitler and his Gestapo would have "gazed at with open-minded admiration" at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement's new "Operation Predator" app. For the small price of hooking your smart phone up to the federal government (for wiretapping purposes of course), you can rat out your neighbors, anonymously accusing them of horrific crimes, and soon Amerika's militarized police forces will be breaking down doors, shooting first and asking questions later. Hitler would have marveled at our public registry system, our residency laws, and our GPS monitoring systems. While the Nazis were innovators of surveillance, they would have envied the American surveillance network, with our giant supercomputers documenting phone calls, emails, and browser clicks.

The Ministry of propaganda would indeed have been in awe of our modern media-- our 24/7 news propaganda, our Internet propaganda, our print media propaganda, and the willingness of the gullible masses to soak up the propaganda like a sponge. "If only we had this in our day," Hitler would exclaim. Hitler would shake hands with victim industry advocates like John Walsh and lobby for guest appearances on Nancy Grace. They would be the face of a new ministry of propaganda.

Indeed, we have learned a lot from the Nazi social experiment. The Nazis were true innovators in many ways. Studying the influences the Nazis held over their constituents gives us insights into the ease by which a group can be demonized and eliminated from society. It is so effective even the thought of a ten year old child on the registry is supported by the masses.

Watching Erin Brockovich defend the practice of putting a ten-year-old child on a sex offender registry on "Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher" was appalling enough, but hearing the audience hoot, clap, and cheer in approval is even more disturbing.

It is chilling to hear the words of Prosecutor Bruce Ferg when he states that the prosecution and conviction of a ten year old child "is the best thing that could've happened to the kid."

Lupin's fictional Hitler then states:

We can be confident America will preserve and develop our Nazi ideas of scientific human perfectibility because of one stroke of genius even Reich minister of propaganda, Goebbels, has to admire: Those who are advocating socialism in America, whether deliberately or inadvertently, have succeeded in turning the term "Nazi" into a slur that may only be used against those on the right, such as Christian conservatives. Never is it used against those on the left who are precisely the Americans doing most to advance our agenda.

However, people are loathe in this country to hear such a comparison. "How can you compare sex offenders to the innocent Jews? The Jews did nothing wrong, but sex offenders harmed a child." I'm not comparing Jews to Sex Offenders(though the Nazis believed the Jews were a blight on society and the cause of many of society's ills, and thus did something wrong), but I am making comments on the similarities between the practices instituted by the Nazis and the propaganda used in America to dehumanize an unpopular group of people. No sacrifice is too great even if it means sacrificing a ten year old boy, right? Remember, Hitler did not jump straight into the Final Solution, but eased into the policy after years of increasingly restrictive laws-- registration laws, signs in the front lawns, residency restriction laws, monitoring programs, and laws preventing undesirables (not just Jews, but homosexuals, the Roma, the disabled, sex offenders, Socialists, trade unionists, and the "work shy" as well) from certain jobs and social activities. We fear making such a comparison, and people shun making a rational comparison, and in doing so, we fail to acknowledge the historical elephant in the room. Those who refuse to learn from history tend to repeat history.

All propaganda has to be popular and has to accommodate itself to the comprehension of the least intelligent of those whom it seeks to reach.

I use emotion for the many and reserve reason for the few.

Hitler understood the power of propaganda quite well. After all the Nazis had the best psychologists in the world dedicated to its use. And we have gleaned the results. Laws like Megan's Law or the PATRIOT Act were based on the most basic of human emotions. Even the mentally handicapped understand fear because it is an instinctual and biological response. These laws were created by these emotions. Propaganda further clouded the issue by creating a monstrous image of a dirty old man in a wrinkly trench coat, luring children into rusty vans with promises of candy and puppies. The 1930s German film "M" uses that image, as well as the illustration of the left, which depicts a Jew as a stereotypical child molester. Is it any wonder that generations later, we are using that same simplistic, monstrous image to discuss the heterogeneous discussion of sex offender laws and sexual abuse in America?

Raw emotion takes precedent over reason. After all, we fear something that happens about as often as someone choking to death on a hot dog. "Don't confuse us we facts, I've made up my mind," the people say. To deflect a rational discourse on the complex issue of sex offender laws or sexual abuse in America is denying the chance at a solution that values human life as a whole and seeks a true solution rather than an eliminationist "Final Solution."

It is too bad emotion blinds reason at this point in time. To quote Lapin's fictional Hitler, "We are winning Julius, we are winning. Heil Hitler."

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Mythbusting in action

Over the past few months, I have been focusing primarily on a number of sex offender myths typically propagated by the media. For those who were unable to attend the 2013 RSOL Conference, I have made my presentation at the conference available both on YouTube and on my website.

I have given a number of tips on how to become a myth buster at the end of my presentation; the most important tips I gave was to consider your source and read the original source material. I have discovered that often times, media reports tend to get things wrong. There are a number of reasons why the media would get a written report wrong. Those in the media are tasks with giving a very brief article on a lengthy research report. Reporters often have short deadlines, so they do not have the time to read a 30 to 100 page report, so chances are they rarely read beyond the summary pages. Spellcheckers may catch grammatical errors, but they do not always catch information that is inaccurate, so at times, glaring errors are sometimes overlooked.

I wish to take a moment to walk you through the process of myth busting by looking at an article forwarded to me this afternoon.

The article I am dissecting today was published by the website; it is a prime example of shoddy reporting. Earlier, I mentioned “consider the source.” What is Breitbart? is a conservative news and opinion website founded by Andrew Breitbart, former journalist for the Washington Times. It is, in essence, an independent Internet news site. Thus, the standards of journalism found at this site are likely of lower standards than those of the mass media. was also been embroiled in controversy over the years, including a number of hoaxes and a doctored video that caused problems for the group ACORN.

Yesterday, published an article entitled “FEDS RELEASE THOUSANDS OF IMMIGRANTS WHO ARE SEX OFFENDERS” by Tony Lee [Link:]. Lee had also published three other articles that day. The article begins with an ominous statement highlighted by its larger size and use of bold script:

The United States government has released nearly 3,000 immigrant sex offenders, some of whom were illegal immigrants, since September 2012. Of those, nearly 3,000, or about 5%, were not even properly registered with local authorities as sex offenders.”

You notice something off about this statement? Look at the numbers. How much is 5% of 3000? I am pretty sure the answer is not 3000. Judging by the following comment, this simple gaffe has the potential to amplify the panic effect this article is trying to achieve:

TennesseeRedDog  mush57 • 7 hours ago −
5% of the 60,000 total is = ~3,000 sex offenders who were not registered at all. That is the only way the math works. But that is not the way it was written. "... of those" should refer to the total of 60,000 who were released. [Comment Link:]

TennesseeRedDog’s problem is not his math or his grammar. The problem lies in his reading comprehension skills. The next statement in the article states the following:

According to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released last week, "nearly 3,000 sex offenders are part of the 59,347 immigrants who the courts have ruled cannot be held" as of September 2012 because they were unable to be sent home. These immigrants were released "under some sort of supervision." As Stephen Dinan of the Washington Times noted, though, the GAO concluded that ‘about 5 percent of the time U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement didn’t ensure that the immigrants released were properly registered with local authorities as sex offenders’.”

The article states that “nearly 3,000 sex offenders” are “part of the 59,347 immigrants” released by the
government. Only about 3,000 of nearly 60,000 immigrants temporarily detained by the government were “sex offenders.” The 3000 number is a rounded total of registrants, not a subgroup of a larger number of registrants. The fact that 3,000 is 5% of 60,000 is a mere coincidence. Five percent of 3,000 is 150.

At this point, I'd like to point out the article is a rewrite of a Washington Times article; the Times article does not round up the numbers. The Times article sets the actual number of registrants as 2,837, so 5% of that number is 142. The Times article does not include the gaffe in the article. It is interesting that the only changes made by the reporter made the myth worse.

So where did this “5% of the time immigrant registrants are not registering” claim originate? The article claims the source was from a recently released study from the Government Accountability Office (GAO). Indeed, the GAO just released an article entitled “SEX OFFENDERS: ICE Could Better Inform Offenders It Supervises of Registration Responsibilities and Notify Jurisdictions when Offenders Are Removed.” This is where reading the source material now becomes important:

What GAO Found
On the basis of GAO’s analysis of a representative sample of 131 alien sex offenders under U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) supervision, GAO estimates that as of September 2012, 72 percent of alien sex offenders were registered, 22 percent were not required to register, and 5 percent did not register but should have. According to officials, offenders were not required to register for various reasons, such as the offense not requiring registration in some states. Of the 6 offenders in GAO’s sample that should have registered, officials from ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ICE-ERO) field offices informed 4 of their registration requirements. However, officials at some of these field offices identified several reasons why they did not ensure that these offenders actually registered. For example, the offender may have moved and no longer resided in the area of responsibility for that particular field office. ICE had not informed the remaining 2 offenders of their registration requirements.

In any study, sample size is important. The larger the sample size, the less likely a solitary case will greatly influence the numbers. The sample size of the GAO study is 131. Therefore, adding one registrant to the number of those who “should have registered but didn't” greatly increases the overall number. Six of the 131 registrants “should have registered but didn't,” or 4.6%. Percentage points are a bigger deal when we're discussing larger numbers. Remember when I divided 3000 by 5% earlier? The more accurate formula is now 2,837 divided by 4.5%; now the magic number is 128 (22 less than our first estimate). These are indeed very small numbers.

Of course, the real issue is the article scares us with “thousands of immigrant sex offenders (scary), SOME OF THEM ILLEGAL (even scarier), are released by the feds (OM-f’ing-G!).” The study is not clear how many of them are here “illegally.” The GAO report does discuss the process by which immigrants are eligible for deportation and the limitations on that ability below:

The Enforcement and Removal Operations directorate of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE-ERO) is responsible for the identification, apprehension, detention, and removal of removable aliens. ICE-ERO prioritizes the removal of convicted criminals, among other groups. However, there are circumstances in which criminal aliens who have been ordered removed from the United States—including those convicted of a sex offense—cannot be removed. For example, a criminal alien may not be removed because the designated country will not accept the alien’s return. The decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in Zadvydas v. Davis imposes strict limits on ICE’s ability to detain aliens beyond 6 months after the issuance of a final order of removal if removal is not significantly likely in the reasonably foreseeable future. In these instances, ICE-ERO may release the alien into the community under an order of supervision. According to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), of the 59,347 aliens under an order of supervision as of September 2012, 2,837 (5 percent) of them had been convicted of a sex offense.

The bottom line is the article cannot accurately portray the source material, since the author did not even read the source material. It is the online equivalent of the “telephone game.” Remember my myth busting tips—consider your sources and read the source material. The article caters to the conservative (assumed anti-immigration) crowd. The article expects the reader to fill in the blanks and, judging by many of the posts in the comments section, most have bought the hype.

Myth busting isn’t easy but it can be learned. It takes critical thinking, reading comprehension, dusting off your math skills, and taking the time to follow the information back to its source. If you want to learn more, be sure to visit my Sex Offender Myth Busterspage on Once Fallen and/or watch my presentation from the RSOL Conference, also available online. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Opposing the Fraternal Order of Police

I have been an "activist" for years, but for the most part, I have been of a someone different stock than those we think of when we hear that term. I am a narrow activist working pretty much exclusively with people labeled "registered sex offenders." I rarely use that term these days-- I will say former offender, registered citizen, or even registrant. I have not been the "sign waving type," though I have joined a protest or two. I am an activists on many different levels. 

Today, I took on a very powerful organization, single-handedly addressing them in the most basic manner possible-- I took on the Fraternal Order of Police just be holding a sign.

I did not know that the FOP was holding a big conference in my city of residence (Cincinnati) until Saturday evening as I was watching the news. I had little time to prepare for this. I do concern myself with issues like police misconduct, felony disenfranchisement laws, and other legislation that affects individual who have served time. Apparently the FOP is very busy in the political realm as of late. Below are some things the FOP has listed on the NATIONAL SITE, that they oppose or support. I took out the ones I have no problem with (related to health care and the like):

OPPOSE (I'd like to note when I compiled the list, I collected info from the past few sessions, not just the current session. You can see the different lists HEREHERE, HERE, and HERE)

  1. H.R. 2711 (Jenkins, R-KS), the "Citizen Empowerment Act," would establish procedures allowing individuals to record any in-person or telephonic interactions with any employee of an executive agency;
  2. S. 1038 (Cardin, D-MD), the "End Racial Profiling Act," which would define "racial profiling" as any consideration of race, national origin or ethnic origin to initiate a traffic stop or vehicle search absent an eyewitness description and requires the collection of race and other data by State and local law enforcement during routine investigatory activities;
  3. Legislation or amendments that would have the effect of weakening P.L. 106-185, the "Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act of 2000";
  4. Legislation which would create or fund "civilian review boards" of law enforcement at any level of government;
  5. H.R. 59 (Jackson-Lee, D-TX), the "Ex-Offender Voting Rights Act," would allow convicted felons to vote in Federal elections if these felons are denied the ability to vote by the State in which they reside;
  6. S. 650 (Feingold, D-WI), the "Federal Death Penalty Abolition Act," would abolish the death penalty option for all Federal crimes which currently carry that penalty;
  7. H.R. 2168 (Chaffetz, R-UT), the "Geolocational Privacy and Surveillance Act," which would significantly increase the requirements that must be met by law enforcement before they could request geolocation information on potential victims or suspects;
  8. H.R. 3618 (Conyers, D-MI), the "End Racial Profiling Act," which would define "racial profiling" as any consideration of race, national origin or ethnic origin to initiate a traffic stop or vehicle search absent an eyewitness description and requires the collection of race and other data by State and local law enforcement during routine investigatory activities;
  9. H.R. 1628 (Nunes, R-CA), the "Public Employee Pension Transparency Act," which would undermine public employee pension systems by requiring them to disclose incomplete data on their assets and liabilities; 
    1. H.J.Res. 8 (Emerson, R-MO), would amend the Constitution to give Congress the power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States;
    2. S.J.Res. 2 (Vitter, R-LA), would amend the Constitution to give Congress the power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States;
    3. Legislation which would protect the personal information of law enforcement officers and their families from public access; 
    4. H.R. 4466 (Latta, R-OH), legislation amending the Hatch Act to allow local and State law enforcement officers to be candidates for the office of Sheriff and permit Sheriffs to engage in political activity; 
    5. H.R. 2711 (Jenkins, R-KS), the "Citizen Empowerment Act," would establish procedures allowing individuals to record any in-person or telephonic interactions with any employee of an executive agency; 
    6. H.R. 1800 (Sensenbrenner, R-WI), the "FISA Sunsets Reauthorization Act," which would reauthorize two expiring provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act and make a third one permanent;
    7. H.R. 6063 (Smith, R-TX), the "Child Protection Act," enhances the ability of law enforcement to combat child pornography by increasing the penalties of possessing child pornography and reauthorizing the Internet Crimes Against Children task forces;
    Now don't get me wrong, I don't necessarily hate all cops. There are Mutts and Jeffs in every group out there. However, the FOP lobbies for laws that disenfranchise felons who have completed their sentences or other laws to increase surveillance of citizens while shielding themselves from citizen accountability. That is the part of the FOP that angers me. 

    Because few question the FOP, many were shocked to see me standing outside holding a sign opposing them. Long story short, most responses could be lumped into a few categories:

    1. The Insults: Many responses were as follows-- Fuck you, go to hell, you're a pedophile (by one cop)/ kook (by someone who worked for the convention center)/ idiot, get a job you smelly hippie, your sign sucks, etc. Many of these were given in the form of drive-by comments--those who made the insults did so with their backs turned to me as they were walking away. Your tax dollars at work.
    2. The Condensation: I can't tell you how many times today I heard variations of "I will still protect you if someone attacks you while you are out here," or "America: Love it or leave it" or about how I am a "coward" because I don't blindly support our pigs. 
    3. The Show: I have had my pictures taken with so many cops today while holding my sign, I could almost be an honorary member of the FOP. But I'd rather not-- the smell of bacon may not wash off anytime soon.
    4. The listeners: I have to admit, a decent number of FOP members were cordial, even human. Some looked at my signs with honest curiosity and, despite disagreeing, were people I could have a decent conversation with. 
    5. The apologists: Those who wanted nothing more than to "prove me wrong" or "trip me up." I haven't received this many loaded questions, "what ifs," appeals to emotions, "do you have kids?" and "walk in my shoes" arguments, not to mention those who never give time to answer a question before proclaiming I am wrong and walk off like they won the Super Bowl. 
    There were a few interesting interactions, but the ones that made the largest negative impressions were those who were telling me they support stuff like the death penalty with a gleam in their eyes, especially when discussing sex offenders. I wonder if the statements would have changed if they knew their words were directed at me. It was not any less disturbing to hear that many actually believe having a ten year old kid on the sex offender registry is just fine. Or my favorite, the schmuck who told me "the rights of the popular will always trump the rights of the few." Of course, we have a Constitution that says otherwise.

    It is amazing how many people can't separate individual issues from the group as a whole. By addressing the problems within the group, the group ameliorates. But it is hard to hear opposition. To be honest, I hate being criticized by anyone. However, while I am angered at first, I do take the time, after cooling off, to look at the criticism. Sometimes, I do adjust accordingly, sometimes I simply take things under advisement. I hope a few do the same. 

    I would not say I had a positive experience overall. To be fair, however, there were many who were decent to me-- a couple even brought me a bottled water, which was a nice gesture. Still, I was Daniel in the lion's den. With some, I wish God had shut their mouths like he did for Daniel.

    Sometimes we have to take a stand, even if we are all alone. 

    Sunday, July 28, 2013

    How the murder of Adam Walsh changed parenting... for the worse

    This morning I read an article on The Examiner (gag) entitled, "How the murder of Adam Walsh changed parenting." I guess we need to be reminded every year around this time that John Walsh still needs our money. 

    The article is a laundry list of the many things the Adam Walsh murder has caused. The most notable effect is the paranoid over "predators." I usually make a short response to articles I read, but today I felt the need to write a longer diatribe. 

    Below is my response:

    I have to dispel a few myths here. The Etan Patz case preceded Walsh (although Walsh was more successful at making a career of it) but there was already a paradigm shift occurring at this time.

    1. The "war on crime" was shifting the correctional system philosophy from rehabilitation to the incapacitation/ containment model. As such, the belief was criminals were "monsters" and can't be cured. This belief obviously extended to "sex offenders." 

    2. The feminist movement, in a strange marriage with Evangelical Christians, formed a sexual counterrevolution, and the focus on "child abuse" (at the time both physical and sexual) as a natural extension of rape awareness served a common goal for both groups. 

    3. After the groundbreaking (and later proven fraudulent) book "Michelle Remembers" was published, there was a belief in Satanic Ritual Abuse and "repressed memory syndrome." Couple it with the belief of vast underground "pedophile" networks that were reinforced with the FBI raids on "NAMBLA," people were already beginning to fear invisible sexual abusers by 1981. In fact, in John Walsh's own book "Tears of Rage," the police he was working with were discussing alleged "pedophile networks" with him (which was irrelevant, and the NAMBLA searches of the time were fruitless, and one member was falsely accused of being responsible for the Etan Patz disappearance). Walsh became so paranoid that he believed every death threat ever made against him was attributed to "pedophiles." In addition, the mantra at the time was "believe the children at any cost," even when the cost included coercive interrogation tactics by overzealous social workers and law enforcement agencies, or stories about abuse include rocketships, underground catacombs, and Chuck Norris. 

    4. Awareness campaigns were already creating a new breed of activist-- the "victims' rights advocate." There were plenty of victim groups in existence, pushing for legislation changes and raising awareness. Walsh was taught how to be a victim advocate by others, but Walsh learned how to make a career of it. 

    John Walsh wasn't the originator of Predator Panic, but he was still very influential in feeding us lies. He lied before Congress claiming 50,000 "mutilated, decapitated, raped, and strangled" children were dying every year. He got very, very rich propagating panic to our society. Lets not forget that Walsh had pushed to name Toole the killer for years, despite no evidence of involvement other than Toole's recanted statements (it does not make Toole any less of a bad man, since he made the claims to troll Walsh).  

    Ironically, the NCMEC teaches AGAINST the "stranger danger" myth. They are aware that most sexual abuse takes place in the home, with someone the victim knows, and most of them aren't on some list. And despite Walsh's claims before Congress, studies found that only 115 out of 71+million kids experience a "stereotypical kidnapping,' the type you see on the nightly news.

    Lets be honest. The only thing Walsh ever accomplished is getting rich at the expense of other people. We are a more fearful society as the result of his lies. Paranoid people keep their kids inside (despite our streets being relatively safe, at least more so than the 1970s and 1980s), where they sit in front of TVs watching ads, eating fatty/ sugary foods, and watching more fearmongering propaganda. 

    The Adam Walsh Act has led to placing over 730,000 people on the sex offender registries, some as young as age 10. We are ruining the lives of thousands of our young people in Adam's name. Today we have more fear from being labeled a sexual predator than encountering one. 

    (I would like to point out the alleged popularity of the registry is a myth. Less than a fourth of the population ever look at the registry, and of those, most do so out of curiosity rather than fear. Many who utilize the registry are members of online vigilante groups.)

    Has Adam Walsh changed parenting? Yes-- It changed parenting for the worse.

    Wednesday, July 17, 2013

    Whatever happened to "innocent until proven guilty?" Ask the media

    This weekend, yet another high-profile trial ended, and there are a lot of angry people. People are protesting, a few attacks have occurred, and the fear of full scale riots are gripping the nation. Of course, this is not the only high-profile case in recent memory. Casey Anthony, Michael Jackson, and OJ Simpson  have all invoked public outrage and divided a nation, sometimes over race, sometimes for other reasons like celebrity or class status. Soon, the hoopla over the George Zimmerman trial will be replaced with the case of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the alleged Boston Bomber.

    We all believed these cases should end in guilty verdicts, but each of these people were found "Not Guilty" by our justice system. How did come to be so sure of a person's guilt even before the trial begins? One word -- MEDIA.

    It is no secret the media is very influential. Even the politicians get most of their information from the media. The media is a business, and the business is selling advertising. Controversy sells. Sex offenders, serial murders, terrorist attacks, random acts of crime are the bread and butter of the "serious news" industry. Crime stories play a central role in both local and national media. Anyone who reads or watches the news knows that. 

    The media is protected by the First Amendment. "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press..." As with any Constitutional right, there are some limits to the right, and the media can be regulated to a point. In fact, in 1949, the FCC introduced the Fairness Doctrine, which required the media to present both sides in controversial issues (though they weren't forced to give equal time to both sides). Unfortunately, that rule was repealed in 1987. The media is no longer obligated to tell the other side of the story, so they often refuse to tell that opposing viewpoint. 

    The media isn't very regulated, nor has the media faced many instances of regulation. As far back as the 1700s, the newspapers were exploited by those who owned the printing presses. Ben Franklin wrote under pen names "Silence Dogood" and "busybody" to influence people. It is subject to bias and personal whims. The media is not objective, yet we rely on a biased media for giving information. 

    To illustrate the impact of the media, think about a great tragedy that was in the news a little over a decade ago -- the school shooting at Columbine in Colorado. What do you remember? You remember those two bullied teens who created their little group called the 'Trench Coat Mafia," and shot up a school in retaliation for their ill-treatment. Don't forget that they targeted minorities and other groups, and most of all, a girl named Cassie Bernall was asked if she believed in God, she replied 'Yes," and was killed for it (there was even a song by Flyleaf about that event). We believe that much about Columbine.

    There is just one little problem-- most of this story was bullshit. The two Columbine killers were actually popular kids, were never a part of the school's "Trench Coat Mafia" goup, or wore Gothic Clothes. The shooting was the result of a botched school bombing-- after they failed to successfully set off a bomb, they just decided to shoot as many people as possible, and the killing was indiscriminate. Cassie Bernall was indeed shot and killed, but it was Valeen Schnurr who was posed the question of her faith after she was shot, and she survived the shooting.

    This does not make the Columbine school shooting any less tragic, but it separates myth from reality, and fact from fiction. Some of the myths were comforting (after all, a movement was started based on Cassie's "martyrdom") but desires do not turn untruths into truths. In order to understand a tragedy, we have to see the events as it truly unfolded.

    Critical thinking and skepticism does not come easily in a society filled with simple anthems and symbols. It is easy to latch onto the symbolism of "Skittles and a Hoodie" or a "Rachel's Prayer" or "Two I-Beams shaped like a cross" because they become symbols of comfort and of innocence. It is a world of black-and-white where the person we call the victims are wholly innocent and the perpetrators are all guilty as sin. Symbols are powerful things, but sometimes we focus too much on the symbol rather than the message.

    In our 24/7 news era, there is no shortage of people willing to talk (and talk and talk and talk...). After a while, there needs to be something new to discuss. In the case of breaking news, there is competition to be the first to bring up something new. The news is more than willing to put something fresh and new, or "get the exclusive." Too often, it comes at a huge price. The old adage "the best impression is the first impression" never rings truer than in the court of public opinion.

    This brings this commentary full circle to my original premise-- the first impression may be the lasting impression but it may not be the right impression. The media flooded the airwaves with a preliminary view of events and that story sticks into people's minds. That initial report is repeated. By the time contradictions are presented, those initial reports have been etched into memory. Once that story is etched into a person's mind, it is hard to convince that person to see things differently. 

    The Sixth Amendment: "In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense." 

    There is nothing in the 6th Amendment about the right to be tried in the court of public opinion (or "trial by media"). In theory, the US Justice system selects a jury of "peers," or at least a jury of people least favorable to media hype. In today's culture of 24/7 braking news, that is a very tall order. The only way to be completely ignorant of an event these days is to be free of the internet, the TV, avert your eyes in the checkout lanes (because of gossip rags), and avoid gossipy friends. 

    By the time a case goes to trial, the court of public opinion has reached its verdict-- GUILTY! So the people watch and wait. But then something happens. The defense presents contractions to the myth. The killer's glove didn't fit. Casey's mom dismantles the myth of the Chloroform Google search. Rachel Jeantel takes the stand and the star witness for the prosecution becomes the star witness for the defense. There was a gap between the man and the myth. In court, this gap is called "reasonable doubt."

    In a court of law, reasonable doubt is the highest standard of proof. When a myth in our minds, given to us by the media, is dispelled in court, and for a moment we feel we have been lied to, that is reasonable doubt. We were so sure it happened "this way," but we were proven wrong. Is there even a small chance that perhaps this person may not be guilty? That is reasonable doubt. That is not the same as "innocence." 

    The court of public opinion has no standards. In the court of public opinion, the first evidence is the best evidence. That explains the discrepancy between public perception and jury decisions in many high profile cases. if people are mad at the court's decision, it is mainly because they already made up their minds and hate being told they were wrong. "Don't confuse me with the facts, I have made up my mind."

    English jurist William Blackstone said in 1765, "It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer." Today, we feel differently, thanks in large part of the media. Until 2008 we had "Court TV" (now TruTV), media talking heads like Nancy (dis)Grace and Dr. Drew run back-to-back to rehash the same news bite, and justice-based TV dramas like Law and Order SVU that further skew our perception of "the system" (we even call the influence of these shows on perceptions of the system the "CSI Effect"). Few, if anyone, is innocent, on those shows. Even the portrayals of the defendants has changed-- a couple of decades ago, we had shows like Matlock and Perry Mason, where defendants were almost always innocent by a witty defense attorney/ investigator. The shows reflect the public attitude, which in turn reflects the media.

    This is a long rant, but I have a point to all this. There are a few things that the media COULD do to end bias. I know they won't and this is a pipe dream, but if they could, the world would be a better place and the system of justice would be restored to its role as solemn seeker of justice:

    1. I think media coverage of criminal trials in America should follow the guidelines set by our friends across the pond. In the United Kingdom, strict contempt of court regulations restrict the media's reporting of legal proceedings after a person is formally arrested. These rules are designed so that a defendant receives a fair trial in front of a jury that has not been tainted by prior media coverage. Our US Constitution was written in a way to favor the defense for a reason-- to ensure we did not lock up an innocent man, even at the risk of letting a guilty man go free.

    2. The media should also bring back the Fairness Doctrine as a rule. One-sided debates, celebrities and washed-up reality stars asked to elaborate on subjects in a "Politically Incorrect" show format does not count. I'd like to see more real, civil debates between experts, not between screeching harpies and dirt truck drivers or hotel managers-turned-celebrity activists with no credentials. 

    3. We must revive the concept of "innocent until proven guilty." Far too often, a person's life is ruined simply because that person is accused of a crime. That person becomes a target because some people equate accusations with guilt We cheer, for example, if a man kills another man and claims he did so because the other man "molested his daughter." Do we know that for sure? There was never a trial, just an execution. It gives the green light for others to do the same. 

    The media wields great power, and with that great power comes great responsibility in wielding that power. It is past time for the media to be held responsible for this power. 

    Monday, July 1, 2013

    Guest Post: Jeanne Sager Tells Moms to “Just Kidnap” Their Children to Save Them from Sex Offenders

    This is a guest article written in response to a CafeMom article written by Jeanne Sager. For the backstory behind the article, CLICK HERE. A court has awarded custody of a six year old girl to a registered man, who may have been falsely convicted. Sager suggests the mother kidnaps the child. It is a hot topic at both Bakersfield Now and Cafe Mom.

    Jeanne Sager Tells Moms to “Just Kidnap” Their Children to Save Them from Sex Offenders
    By Wendy Testaberger

    Jeanne Sager, blogger at “"The Stir," doesn’t seem to realize that her recommendation would, in many states, result in the mother committing the “mercy” abduction to register as a sex offender if found guilty.

    Jeanne Sager
    Like many websites whose content is mainly composed of private bloggers, it appears that The Stir (an offshoot of CafĂ© Mom) has little to no standards when it comes to picking those who will represent them. Obviously, you don’t have to know the first thing about a subject in order to write about it. Apparently, it’s also okay to encourage people to commit felonies as well. You know, in the best interest of children and all.

    A quick review of online comments in reaction to this story – on Ms. Sager’s blog and more reliable news outlets (I use that term lightly) – highlight one of if not the most pervasive problems plaguing the prevention of sexual abuse. The public, particularly women, seem unable to read a five-paragraph story in its entirety, at least not before forming a staunch emotional opinion, which renders the whole picture moot anyway.

    In their quest to “protect the children,” they are fully willing to support a woman who has been accused of forcing her young daughter to fabricate a molestation claim against her own father – and not just by the jilted husband. The “sex offender” father-in-question was convicted during a flurry of false child sex abuse allegations in Kern County, and plead guilty to one of twelve counts of “lewd and lavicious behavior with a child” in exchange for dropping the other eleven. One commenter on happily chortles that she was successful in preventing a sex offender from moving into their neighborhood (so much for the other neighborhood’s children!) and another claims the judge is “pro-pedophilia.”

    It’s people like Ms. Sager who have the power to influence a major demographic on an immeasurably important issue. Sadly, she failed. “Convicted pedophile?” No such thing. Claiming the registry was created to protect children from “creeps?” Not so much. And again, the sweet irony of the entire thing is that if Ms. Sager were convicted of kidnapping her child, she’d be right up there on that list with all the “creeps” to whom she would just as soon deny any sort of parental rights. What was that about when the shoe’s on the other foot? (Oh, and just one more thing – Ms. Sager’s most recent blog post, prior to this one, was a giddy announcement that a new season of Teen Mom is starting. What exactly does she think happens to all those Teen Dads – you know, the ones whose girlfriends don’t star in reality TV shows glamourizing what the registry refers to as “sexual assault on a minor?”)

    I suppose I should not be surprised by the assertion that sex offenders are bad – regardless of guilt or innocence or type or severity of crime – but kidnapping and child abduction is not. After all, this type of sentiment is regularly echoed in every day online commenting whenever the subject is sex offenders. Murder, torture, rape, and genital mutilation are fine and dandy as long as the victim is on the registry.

    Do people fail to see that this makes them murderers, torturers, rapists and molesters too – and that in their quest to protect children, they are teaching them that those things are okay?

    Saturday, June 29, 2013

    "Justice For All" -- The 5th Annual RSOL Conference is almost here

    Hello fellow readers and friends,

    The 5th annual Reform Sex Offender Laws is upon us, and I'm proud to announce I will be giving a presentation on Sex Offender Myths. As much as I hate asking for donations, the conference is in Los Angeles and a little more expensive than Albuquerque, so I am asking for my readers to send in a few bucks of you can spare to help offset the costs of attending.

    If you wish to donate, my Paypal address is or (you can also use the button on the left)

    Or, you can send money in the mail to:

    Derek Logue
    2559 Eden Ave #14
    Cincinnati, OH 45219

    If you would like to attend the RSOL Conference, you can learn more info by going to the official RSOL Conference site @

    I am sure some readers are curious for an update to my documentary on the Port Angeles murders, which I had hoped would be finished by the time of the conference. Well, unfortunately I hit a few snags in collecting some relevant info, plus conversing with the killer -- yes I have received correspondence from Patrick Drum and am trying to set up some way of getting him in the film, but the Washington DoC refuses to allow us to film the event. Plus, I am still in need of a Forensic Psychologist to give an expert opinion of Drum. His letters  are... disturbing, to say the least. And, in light of the "I Killed My BFF" documentary, I wanted to get his response to it.

    As it gets closer to the conference, I'll write about my experiences at last year's conference.

    Monday, June 24, 2013

    Supreme Traitors! The current SCOTUS lineup and the growing Police State

    The US Supreme Court (or, if you prefer the newer acronym SCOTUS, though it sounds like genitalia) have made a few recent decisions that should scare anyone concerned over the growing police state.

    Arizona v. US, 567 U.S. ___ (2012)

    The Immigration law decision allows police to verify the status of an immigrant if there is "reasonable suspicion" the person is in the country illegally. Reasonable suspicion sounds rather self-explanatory-- it simply means a standard by which a person could "reasonably" suspect the individual may be involved in or have committed a crime. 

    Majority -- Roberts, Sotomayor, Breyer, Ginsberg, Kennedy
    Dissented -- Scalia, Thomas, Alito
    Kagan did not vote

    Salinas v. Texas, Docket # 12-246

    Holding: When petitioner had not yet been placed in custody or received Miranda warnings, and voluntarily responded to some questions by police about a murder, the prosecution’s use of his silence in response to another question as evidence of his guilty at trial did not violate the Fifth Amendment because petitioner failed to expressly invoke his privilege not to incriminate himself in response to the officer’s question.

    Majority: Roberts, Kennedy, Scalia, Thomas, Alito
    Dissent: Breyer, Ginsburg, Sotomayor,  Kagan.

    United States v. Kebodeaux, Docket # 12-418

    Justice Breyer wrote for the Court, joined by Justices Kennedy, Ginsburg, Sotomayor, and Kagan.  The Court’s opinion turns on the fact that even after his release from custody, Kebodeaux was still subject to sex offender registration requirements under the federal Wetterling Act.  Consequently, SORNA merely modified registration requirements that applied to him.  Under Article I, Section 8, Clause 14 (the “Military Regulation” Clause), Congress has the power to “make Rules for the … Regulation of the land and naval Forces.”  Applying the Necessary and Proper Clause to the Military Regulation Clause, the Court held that SORNA made reasonable changes to the existing statutory regime governing sex offender registration.  

    The Chief Justice concurred in the judgment, emphasizing that the Court’s holding is not based on any recognition of a “federal police power,” but is instead based on Congress’s power to make rules for the regulation of the Armed Forces. Justice Alito wrote a similar concurrence. Justice Scalia and Justice Thomas each wrote separate dissents.  Justice Scalia would have found that SORNA was not designed to carry the Wetterling Act into execution, and questioned whether the Wetterling Act’s registration requirement was itself a valid exercise of federal power.  Justice Thomas would have held that SORNA “usurps the general police power vested in the States” and is therefore unconstitutional as-applied to Kebodeaux.

    Majority: Roberts, Kennedy, Thomas, Breyer, Ginsburg, Sotomayor,  Kagan.
    Dissent:  Scalia, Alito

    Taken together, these cases show a scary pattern of SCOTUS shifting the power to our military-style police force. We are effectively undoing the constitutional advancements of the Civil Rights Era. We could call this the "Police Rights Era." The burden has shifted on the People to know your rights. That's easy. Under the current court scheme, you don't have rights!

    That song by the Clash is fitting.

    Tuesday, May 28, 2013

    Sex Offender Compliance Checks (Oink Oink! Pigs are here!)

    Today, the Hamilton County OH Sheriff's office released the results of a four-day long compliance check of those being forced to register on the public registry. According to one of my local news stations, 72 of 1350 were found non-compliant.

    The task force checked on 1,114 addresses of the 1,350 registered sex offenders in the county and here are the results:
           720 lived where they said they did;
             72 were out of compliance;
             50 warrants were signed;
             20 warrants are pending;
           237 notices were left on doors where offenders registered;
             19 are homeless;
             66 require additional investigation.

    I have been free for just over a decade now, and while this is not my first compliance verification, this is the first time I have had to deal with the US Marshals. It was a very unnerving experience. Imagine you are just finishing fixing dinner and you hear a loud bang on the door. Not a nice little knock, but the kind of knock that sends wall hangings tumbling to the floor and give heart attacks to easily startled individuals. Then you open the door and see this sight:

    Just like these pricks, only half as many
    The two "officers" at my door never really bothered to identify themselves, but the first thing that came out of their mouths was "May I come in?" My response: "Hell no! No warrant, no entry." They then demanded I step outside. I said, "Hell No!" I made it crystal clear to them I did not appreciate them coming to my door in the manner in which they arrived. The US Marshal fed me a line of BS about how he can't verify my address by simply seeing me open my own door. The Marshal claimed I could have just been "visiting." I guess Ohioans make it a point to visit friends while wearing sleep clothes and house slippers. I signed their stupid form and the Marshal (the Mutt in this Mutt and Jeff duo) said he'll "be back next week." I told him he can come every day of the week and still not get in my house without a warrant.

    But these cops were not done. As I stepped outside my apartment, I noticed the two thugs in blue sitting outside my apartment watching me. I took down their car tags and the stepped out and approached me. I'm still in my night clothes, but what the hey, they feel that is appropriate attire for a night on the town. I gave them a piece of my mind. (You can catch the latter part of our "discussion" by CLICKING HERE; it is on my old ReFORM Radio page if the other link doesn't work).

    I stood my ground and upheld my rights. Am I hiding anything? No. However, you have the right to say NO to a cop. If a person is not on probation or parole, and the police do not have a search warrant, then they have no right to enter your home.

    In this video of a compliance check in Wayne Co. OH, notice the police ask the man if they can enter his house and "see' his "bedroom" to verify his residence. They have no need to go inside to "verify" your residence. Did you notice they asked the man if they can come inside? That is because they don't have the authority to come inside UNLESS YOU GIVE THEM that authority. You have a constitutional right to refuse. You see, once they are inside, they can search your house. If you have a computer, they want to see it. Now they are looking for any way to lock you up. That is how people get arrested in "compliance checks."

    I had already created a page on my main website about this issue. In addition, there is free software allowing you to encrypt your entire computer and surf the web anonymously, tested and approved by fellow activists.
    Remember these important steps and follow them in any compliance check.

    • DO NOT sign anything, ever, at your door! No matter how "innocent" it seems. Politely refuse, unless you can speak to your lawyer first. (NOTE: If you do not have an attorney, be sure to read anything you sign if you feel compelled to do so. Standing up to a cop is scary, indeed, but they know you have to give up your rights willingly in order for them to proceed)
    • DO NOT answer any questions beyond confirming that you are you, and required registration info. Anything else could be used (or twisted) to incriminate you.
    • DO invoke the 5th amendment if necessary. But be prepared to be peppered with more questions (What are you hiding? Eh?), and reply only that you want your lawyer present first.
    • DO NOT let anyone into your home without a warrant, unless you are still "on paper" (i.e., probation/ parole) and it is required. "Uncle LEO" has no right whatsoever to enter a person's home without a warrant, UNLESS you give them permission to enter. Don't fall for the old "can we come inside to confirm you live there" trick. Once inside they are looking for any reason to lock you up. Depending on the state, having toys or other items they consider "paraphernalia" may subject you to arrest or investigation.
    • DO NOT leave your home while LE is still at your door. You have strong protections in your home, but practically none once you are out on the street.
    • If you have easy access to a camera (cell phone in pocket), take a picture of the group on your porch, or better yet record the whole thing. Many cell phones have a "record" feature for you to talk into. Turn it on and keep it aimed at everyone speaking. The last one is highly important, in my opinion. HOWEVER, it may It may be illegal depending on the circumstances and where you live. For more info on police recording laws for your individual state you can visit the following website:
    In regards to videotaping police, the U.S. Supreme Court has refused to review a federal appeals court decision finding it unconstitutional to enforce an Illinois state law that makes it a felony to videotape police officers working in public if a microphone is turned on. The case in the US Appeals Court decision is ACLU of Illinois v. Alvarez, 679 F. 3d 583. (7th Cir. 2012).

    More general tips at my main website HERE.

    Monday, May 27, 2013

    If we truly want equality, then REGISTER Kaitlyn Hunt, not 'free" her

    Kaitlyn Hunt's Mugshot
    The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly.” -- Abraham Lincoln

    I have been thinking about this subject all weekend, and I am going to say something rather controversial and spoken from a completely selfish prospective.

    I say prosecute Kaitlyn Hunt to the fullest extent of the law. Sentence her to prison time, then add her cute, white, blonde face to America's sex offender registry. Sacrifice one of our exalted pretty white girls to the false idol of the sex offender registry.

    Let Kaitlyn Hunt live the life I have had to live for over a decade. Have a dozen US Marshals bang on her door at dinner time in their SWAT attire just to have her sign a piece of paper stating she lives at her residence. Kick her out of one home by proclaiming it is one yard too close to a place where children congregate. Deny her housing and employment, forcing her to live off the good of charities and the government. Bye bye nursing job dreams, Kate! Notify the neighbors. Send fliers in the mail, or go door-to-door. Plaster her in a mugshot magazine. Create an anti-Kate webpage and harass her. After all, this is an "equality" issue, right?

    Lets get something straight here. I would not wish life on "The List" on anyone. Do I really want Kaitlyn Hunt on the registry, suffering as I have suffered? Not really. HOWEVER, maybe that is what it will take to get people to realize the horrors of the public registry.

    All these "Free Kate" sycophants weren't around when thousands of teens and barely-18 adults were being added to the Megan's fLaw Registry all across the USA. They weren't around to protest when a nine-year-old kid was added to Delaware's sex offender registry.

    Yet, the homosexual activists have claimed this case as their own. "Stop the Hate, Free Kate," they say. The media will likely pressure the DA to get Kate off. Quite frankly, I don't think the prosecutor will go through with it. But the pro-gay movement is barking up the wrong tree. Kate is an anomaly. There are thousands of heterosexuals on the list for consensual sex, but you don't hear the gay activists mention that fact.

    In 1692, we killed 19 people in Salem after accusing them of "witchcraft." The infamous Salem Witch Trials were only stopped after the daughter of the Governor of Massachusetts was accused of witchcraft. It seems the rich only care when it is one of their own facing the accusations. What will it take to end the modern Witch Hunt called the public sex offender registry? This could be the case.

    Anyone else see the irony in this statement?
    A series of rare but high-profile sex crime and missing person cases, most notably involving young, cute,
    preferably blonde females (hence the term "Missing White Girl" syndrome) has been the catalyst for America's obsession with sex offender laws. For years, laws have passed without one iota of thought to the consequences. Now, one of America's exalted children is facing the very laws designed to exalt her. Florida's "Romeo and Juliet" statute is woefully inadequate and does not cover this case. The moral panic caused by the sex offender registry has led to the ever-expanding list requiring more names and faces.

    Kaitlyn Hunt has become collateral damage in the "War on Sex Offenders."

    The only solution to end this war is to end the public registry. Simply reforming the registry is not enough. It would only take one "R&J" offender committing a subsequent sex crime in life to undo any mere reforms of the registry. Abolishing the registry is the only way to ensure there will be no more Kates. Think this is a "gay rights" issue? Think again.

    It is not about homosexual rights.

    Here is an article that breaks down the Kaitlyn Hunt case apart from the things told to us by the parents:

    Monday, May 20, 2013

    The Kaitlyn Hunt saga is not just about gays, it is about the sex offender registry

    Over the weekend, the Internet has been abuzz last the story of Kaitlyn Hunt, an 18-year-old Florida girl arrested and charged with “felony lewd and lascivious battery on a child between 12 and 16” for having a consensual relationship with a girl three years younger than her. So far, the news media has made it a point to stress this girl’s sexuality. However, this tragic story is not about discrimination against gays, but our growing obsession with Predator Panic.

    [CLICK HERE for one of the many articles on the Kaitlyn Hunt case]

    Across the USA, children as young as age 9 found themselves listed on public sex offender registries. Behavior that may have been seen as nuisance behavior is now criminalized by an ever-growing industry whose sole mission is to place as many people on a public registry as possible. The sex offender registry was originally intended to be a private list for law-enforcement, with only those proven to be a high risk of re-offense listed in the event of a rare stranger abduction. Today, the registry has over 700,000 names, including thousands of kids under the age of 18 who have engaged in consensual relations with each other or sexting. 

    The state of Florida does indeed have what is called a “Romeo and Juliet” provision, which allows individuals convicted of certain sex crimes, consensual sexual contact between minors and someone less than four years of age older or younger, granted the “victim” is at least 13 years old. If, by some chance, this girl is convicted, she would qualify for the Romeo and Juliet provision. However, the law is written in such a way that Kate would have to actively petition the court to be removed from the registry.

    [CLICK HERE to review Florida's Romeo and Juliet Law]

    We have proven that having a publicly accessible registry does nothing beneficial to society. This girl is charged with “sexual battery” for an obvious mutual sexual relationship. To use that term implies sexual violence. The registry does not differentiate between a case like this and somebody who has committed a real sexual offense. Florida is one of the worst states for the treatment of those on the registry, putting signs in yards, forcing registrants to live under bridges, and allowing a number of violent vigilante groups to exist. 

    This case is only one of many across country. No doubt it is somewhat unique because of the angle, but we have kids as young as 10 years old on the public registry in Texas. Over the years, there've been a number of high profile cases, from the 12-year-olds convicted in Utah of having consensual relations with one another to Ricky's story, which brought the issue of criminalizing teen sex to national prominence.
    It is sad that after all these years there are still a number of people supporting the notion of adding kids to a registry. Even sites devoted to support for Kate have been attacked by trolls demanding she except her punishment.

    [CLICK HERE to see more criminalized teen sex stories]

    To me, there is only one common sense solution that will prevent cases like this from occurring in the future. We must abolish the public aspect of the sex offender registry. I hope that this is the case that becomes the proverbial straw breaking the back of the camel. 

    Thursday, May 16, 2013

    Repeal or reform: Should the registry exist in any form?

    Over the years, there has been a rather large divide within the grassroots campaign to reform sex offender laws, regarding the registry itself. Some people believe that the sex offender registry should merely be reformed to reflect only those registrants deemed a high risk to society, while others, like myself, believe the registry should not exist in any form. Sometimes the argument can be a rather heated, sometimes to the point that activists have left the movement altogether.

    I have told my story many times over the years and I have confessed on numerous occasions that joining the grassroots campaign to end the sex offender registry was not my first choice of careers. When I first got out of prison back in 2003, my only goals were to find my own residence and a job, keep a low profile, and not "rock the boat." In two years since my release, I had achieved what I set out to do, and things were starting to look up. In 2005, all that changed – I was targeted by local politicians who believed the city of Cincinnati was becoming a sex offender Mecca. The city reclassified individuals from out-of-state as sexual predators. With my reclassification team a civil suit to force me out of a residence that was pre-approved by the Sheriff's office. That was when I decided to fight back.

    I got my start in 2004 on my now-defunct website called "sex criminals," a site that debated the need for sex offender laws, and even that long ago, the subject was hotly contested. It was barely a year removed from the US Supreme Court decisions of Smith v. Doe and Doe v. Connecticut Department of Public Safety. In both cases, the registry was upheld. 

    It is a bit ironic that my first year of college began in 1994, the same year the Jacob Wetterling Act created the first national sex offender registry in existence. The Wetterling Act created a private registry for law-enforcement officials and a select number of other individuals to access in the event of a missing child. While the concept of a sex offender registry dates back to the 1930s, the modern era of predator panic coupled with the containment model of justice helped morph and expand the sex offender registry to its current monstrocity.

    In 1996, just two years after the Wetterling Act, Megan's Law made the registry public. As the result of one high-profile case, the registry has been expanded. Over the years, this scenario has written repeated time and time again. Whereas the Wetterling Act was limited to those deemed high-risk, such as repeat or extremely violent offenders, the public registry has expanded to include a number of minor or nuisance offenders, such as people who urinate in public, teens who have had consensual relations with one another or have sent naked pictures of themselves to others, and in some cases, people who have not even committed sex crimes. With the passage of the Adam Walsh Act in 2006, legislators ensured that even more people would be ensnared in lifelong registration schemes.

    The registry has expanded many times over the years, and often is justified by a number of myths and a few rare but tragic high-profile cases. Currently, Massachusetts and Oregon, two states that if only previously listed high-level offenders on their public registries, are considering expanding the public registry. This news story from Massachusetts is typical of the mentality to ever expand the registry:

    "State lawmakers from both political parties are lining up behind bills to allow limited public access to information on Level 1 sex offenders and give the state Sex Offender Registry Board new power to update risk levels assigned to such convicts. The proposed changes are driven by the case of John Burbine, a Wakefield man and Level 1 sex offender who was charged late last year with sexually abusing more than a dozen children at his wife’s unlicensed day care business."

    The situation in Massachusetts serves as a reminder that it only takes one bad apple to spoil the bunch. If we merely reform the registry rather than repeal it, then we're only one high profile case away from a return to the full-scale registry. In recent memory, we have witnessed the same pattern with other laws, such as gun control. After a rash of school shootings such as Littleton or Columbine in the 1990s, a number of restrictions severely limiting gun rights were passed. As the years passed, these laws fell out of favor, but in the wake of more recent shootings such as Sandy Hook and the "Batman movie" shooting in Colorado, there is a renewed push for further restrictions.

    In Oregon, the public registry is being expanded while at the same time providing an opportunity for high-risk offenders to come off the registry sooner. On the surface, it sounds like a feasible option:

    "It's a bill that would add about 400 sex offenders to the 800 currently listed on Oregon's public website. That's out of the 18,000 sex offenders required to register with the state...The crimes include first-degree rape, sodomy, sex abuse, sexual penetration, child pornography, encouraging child sex abuse, compelling prostitution and kidnapping.  If House Bill 2549 passes, the offenders convicted of those crimes can ask to be taken off the state's registry within as few as five years after they're done with probation or parole."

    Personally, I feel as if the Oregon bill should pass without expanding the registry whatsoever. Some people may ask, "What is a mere 400 people if it benefits all registrants in the long run?" If you are one of the 400 people that the law potentially impacts, then you already know the answer. Social ostracism, denial of housing and employment, and vigilante violence are all directly linked to public disclosure on a sex offender registry.

    Since sex offender registries are expanded by rare high-profile tragic cases, the what is to stop us from contracting the registry as a result of high profile vigilante crimes, such as the double murder in Port Angeles, Washington of two guys on the sex offender registry? Where is "Gary's Law?"

    It is often said a picture is worth 1000 words. Perhaps the following better illustrates my point better than any of my words could. Allowing the sex offender registry to exist has led to the monster it has become today.allowing the sex offender registry has led to this:

    Wapello, Iowa

    And this:

    Bradford County, FL

    And this:

    Portland, OR
    And this:

    And this:


    And this:

    And this:

    And this:

    Julia Tuttle Causeway sex offender camp: Miami, FL 2009
    And this:

    Port Angeles, WA
    Get the picture?

    A few activists have tried justifying simple reform over repeal by looking at the few who re-offend. It is an established fact that sex offenders have an extremely low rate of re-offense. One thing the reformists tend to forget it is we are a long way from perfecting the art of determining who is a high risk and who is not. Even the most up-to-date, state-of-the-art actuarial risk assessment tests can predict who is going to re-offend about as accurately as a coin flip. In Massachusetts, the push to expand the public registry is the result of a Tier 1/ Low Risk registrant committing a series of crimes. Ultimately, trying to argue which registrants deserve to be on a public list is about like asking the individuals who rely on the "if it saves just one child" mantra which child deserves to be saved.

    Since 2005, I have been a living example of how an individual can be wrongfully classified. The basis for bumping my tier level up from 1 to 3 was on the basis of coming from a state with lifetime reporting requirements for all registrants, whereas Ohio had a three-tiered risk assessment. In 2008, risk assessment tests were abolished in favor of the Adam Walsh Act, which places people in one of three tiers based upon the offense alone. As a result, the number of individuals on the highest here in Ohio more than doubled.

    Because sex offenders are not a homogeneous group, there is no simple way to weed out the chaff from the wheat. There are fixated offenders, and there are situational offenders. There are people who have committed rape or sexual abuse; there are people who have engaged in conduct with a willing but underage participant; there have been people who have flashed others; there have been people caught urinating in a secluded the public area; others who had consensual adult relations in secluded but public areas; there have been teens who have taken pictures of themselves; there have been teens who have had consensual relations with each other; there are individuals placed on the public registry for crimes that were not of a sexual nature. Only a very small portion are clinically diagnosed with pedophilia, and not everybody who is a pedophile commits sexual offenses.

    Some people feel we should merely fight to reform rather than repeal because they do not believe the registry will never disappear. I do not believe that argument. The main reason that these laws have passed in the manner they have was mainly because nobody was speaking up against them. In the past few years, the movement to reform sex offender laws has indeed succeeded in raising awareness and slowing down the momentum, and in some cases stopping, the myriad of tough on crime sex offender laws. We have encouraged a growing number of individuals to take a second look at these laws and understand the harm they are causing.

    I have lived under the public registry for a decade. I have experienced firsthand the effects of social ostracism, denial of housing and employment, and vigilante violence in my own life. Because I have this label, everything I do is considered suspect. The masses say is part of the punishment, the legislators claim it is not punishment. It certainly feels like punishment. The registry is unconstitutional, unethical, and causes social harm. Allowing it to exist is merely cutting one head from a hydra. Anything less than repealing the registry is not acceptable.