This blog holds various articles and research referenced by other blogs. Blog is likened to a Topical archive. Article dates will be original date of when first posted in the news or research.
See right side of blog for "Issue Grouping" based on subjects.

Friday, August 15, 2014

There’s Hope Even for Sex Offenders

4-9-2012 National:

by Chris Dorin

The war on sex offenders makes sense only within a large historical context. My generation grew up practicing air raid drills in classrooms where the teachers made us crawl under our desks in case the real thing took out Cleveland or Buffalo. Neighbors were stocking their bomb shelters with canned goods and ammunition. We lived through the Cuban Missile crisis unsure if hour by hour the human race would survive.

There was a doomsday pressure on everyone. Sen. Joseph McCarthy tapped into it to wield as much power as President Eisenhower for a brief time. His aggressive Senate hearings on Un-American activities blackballed dozens of alleged communists in labor unions and Hollywood. Even a Pulitzer Prize winner like Arthur Miller fell into temporary disgrace.

The Colonists hanged 20 accused witches in Salem in 1692 and crushed another under tons of stone. Consorting with the devil was a sexual offense in those days. The judges and juries were dealing with huge stress from failed crops and the fear of Indian raids.

While the article is worth time to read, our reason for posting it as a "Personal Story" is, the comments following the article. Comment after comment of how the registry tragically harms people and families. So please read those comments ignoring the occasional hater in that crowd.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

9 Investigates crackdown on sex offenders inside Disney World

4-25-2013 Florida:

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — A six-month-long Eyewitness News investigation has uncovered sweeping background checks at Disney parks in central Florida -- checks targeting registered sex offenders.

Investigative reporter Christopher Heath dug through hundreds of pages of Orange County Sheriff’s Office trespass reports, and they show a consistent pattern of documented sex offenders getting kicked off of Disney properties.

During the last few weeks, Heath spoke to many of the sex offenders trespassed from Disney, including a man named Mike, who is married with two adult children.

Mike, who agreed to talk on the condition that he not be fully identified, said Disney officials clearly told him, “We don’t want you at our park.”

"I didn't realize anything was happening until they wanted to talk to me in private," he said.

Mike's narrative of what happened is the same as those of more than 20 other convicted sex offenders Heath interviewed. All of them were recently trespassed from Disney properties.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Sex offender's lobbyist job leads to arrest

4-3-2013 Iowa:

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Michael Byars' effort to modify the state's sex offender laws was a case study for effective citizen activism at the Iowa Legislature -- right up until last week, when he was arrested and fired from his job. Byars, 24, of Davenport has been the driving force behind legislation allowing sex offenders to have their lifetime parole sentences lifted under certain circumstances.

But now Byars, himself a registered sex offender, faces up to two years in prison. The reason: He didn't update the state sex offender registry to reflect his voluntary, unpaid and, so far, largely successful attempt to convince lawmakers to change the law -- something his attorney calls a big misunderstanding.

It's a deeply personal issue to Byars, who was convicted in 2008 of lascivious acts with a child following what he describes as a short, consensual relationship with a 13-year-old high school freshman while he was an 18-year-old high school senior. The conviction landed him on the state's sex offender registry and saddled him with a lifetime parole sentence that requires him to check in regularly with a parole officer and stringently limits his interaction with children, including his own son.

The bill he's pushing would allow individuals in so-called Romeo-and-Juliet cases to seek an early discharge from lifetime parole sentences and has won what some Capitol insiders describe as a stunning series of legislative victories.

Bill targets Missouri lobbyist with sex offender conviction

4-2-2014 Missouri:

JEFFERSON CITY — A registered sex offender who works as a lobbyist said Tuesday that, to keep working, he will comply with any new reporting requirements lawmakers might choose to impose.

The House General Laws Committee yesterday held a short hearing on a bill to require lobbyists to disclose whether they are registered sex offenders on forms filed annually with the Missouri Ethics Commission. Rep. Genise Montecillo, D-St. Louis, said she filed the bill in response to a notice from House Chief Clerk Adam Crumbliss about restrictions on the activities of Parker Bena, a lobbyist since 2007.

"Most people view this building as a safe building, and sometimes folks let their guard down," Montecillo said during the hearing. "I think people should at least be aware that there is one in the building."

The committee, chaired by Rep. Caleb Jones, R-Columbia, did not vote on the bill.

In a telephone interview after the hearing, which he did not attend, Bena said he had no objections to the new reporting requirement. "I know it is a matter of procedure, and I am fine with that," he said. "I will do what the law requires of me."