Sunday, July 20, 2014

Some realty sites describe neighborhoods’ racial and ethnic makeup; is that legal?

7-20-2014 National:

When you shop online for a home, some Web sites let you specify the characteristics of the community where you want to live. Maybe you’re looking for excellent schools, low crime rates, affordable prices and low property taxes.

But should you also be able to search for a home based on the racial or ethnic composition of the neighborhood? Should real estate sites supply detailed information on the percentages of African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, Caucasians and people of mixed race in the immediate area?

Some civil rights advocates cite the Fair Housing Act and say absolutely not: Connecting racial data with home sale transactions is barred by federal law, they argue, whether it’s done by a real estate agent or posted on a Web site.

But companies whose sites offer neighborhood-level racial, ethnic, linguistic and similar demographic details strongly disagree. Much of their data, they say, come from government sources such as the Census Bureau. It’s all public information and already available to anyone who makes an effort to find it, so how could its dissemination in connection with property searches possibly violate federal law?

Controversy over all this bubbled up last week when the head of the National Fair Housing Alliance — an umbrella group that represents more than 200 state and local civil rights organizations — said the alliance is investigating the practices of online search firms that have real estate tie-ins, whether as brokerages or as referral-generating services for realty agents.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Is the April 2014 BJS Recidivism report what we have been waiting for?

4-24-2014 Washington DC:

Yesterday we received notice that the BJS published a new recidivism report: "Recidivism of Prisoners Released in 30 States in 2005: Patterns from 2005 to 2010" and we let folks know about the report, but we have received a few e-mails questioning the report; is it what we have been waiting for?

Before we get into that report lets look back, these are the studies we have known about:
1) "Recidivism of Prisoners Released in 1983" Published 4-1989
2) "Recidivism of Prisoners Released in 1994" Published 6-2002.
3) "Recidivism of Sex Offenders Released from Prison in 1994" Published in 11-2003.
Reports 1 and 2 are reports addressing recidivism for all types of crimes, while report 3 is specific to sex offenders and contains extensive information about sex offenders. However, reports 1 and 2 do cover sex offenses but scantily.

The BJS report released yesterday "Recidivism of Prisoners Released in 30 States in 2005: Patterns from 2005 to 2010" is more like historical reports 1 and 2. But, the new report does go further into sex offender information than did reports 1 and 2.

Clearly this does signal a change by the BJS, one major change is, the followup period 3 years to 5 years, but even with that it does not cover sex offenders to the extent that report 3 did. Only time will tell if we are to see another recidivism report extensively covering sex offenders as report 3 did.

Now lets see what the new recidivism report does cover, or omit, some things.

Failure to Register offenses:
pg-22: Rape or sexual assault includes (1) forcible intercourse (vaginal, anal, or oral) with a female or male, (2) forcible sodomy or penetration with a foreign object (sometimes called “deviate sexual assault”), (3) forcible or violent sexual acts not involving intercourse with an adult or minor, (4) nonforcible sexual acts with a minor (such as statutory rape or incest with a minor), and (5) nonforcible sexual acts with someone unable to give legal or factual consent because of mental or physical defect or intoxication.
pg-23: Other public order offenses are those that violate the peace or order of the community or threaten the public health or safety through unacceptable conduct, interference with governmental authority, or the violation of civil rights or liberties. The category also includes probation or parole violation, escape, obstruction of justice, court offenses, nonviolent sex offenses, commercialized vice, family offenses, liquor law violations, bribery, invasion of privacy, disorderly conduct, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and other miscellaneous or unspecified offenses.
What types of nonviolent sex offenses are they speaking of? And is it possible they are including "Failure to Register (FTR)" types of crimes. FTR is considered a sex offense in one state that we know of, and possibly another. Since the start of FTR's we have wondered how, if at all, they will be accounted for, and if FTRs will mess up recidivism statistics.

Most likely to be arrested for, based on commitment offense:,
pg-8: This general pattern of recidivism was maintained across the 5-year follow-up period. A year after release from prison, the recidivism rate of prisoners sentenced for a property offense (50.3 %) was higher than the rates for drug (42.3%), public order (40.1%), and violent (38.4%) offenders. Among violent offenders, the annual recidivism rates of prisoners sentenced for homicide or sexual assault were lower than those sentenced for assault or robbery across the 5-year period.
pg-8: Table-8 Recidivism of prisoners released in 30 states in 2005, by most serious commitment offense and time from release to first arrest.

Easily missed is, that the Table-8 (Rape/sexual assault) does not tell us "what their first arrest was for," same crime as commitment or another type of crime? Arrest does not necessarily mean a conviction. And the percent shown is of ONLY Rape/sexual assault cases, not total released prisoners.

pg-9: Among all released inmates, an estimated 1.7% were arrested for rape or sexual assault, and 23.0% were arrested for assault. During the 5-year follow-up period, the majority (58.0%) of released prisoners were arrested for a public order offense.

Finally we see something to give us a approximate number, estimated 1.7% of all released inmates (404,638 pg-1 of report) = 6,878 were rearrested, not necessarily convicted. But it was some kind of sex offense. Here is where we begin wondering if the rearrest offenses was for "Failure to register" (Considered a sex offense in at least one state). see earlier FTR discussion.

pg-14: Other measures of recidivism
Conviction—Classifies persons as a recidivist if the court has determined the individual committed a new crime. An estimated 45.2% of inmates had an arrest within 3 years of release that resulted in a conviction in criminal court, and 55.4% of inmates had an arrest within 5 years that resulted in a conviction.
Recidivism of sex offenders is unlikely a goal of this new report. Hence, this writer feels we should expect another more telling report covering sex offenders likened to "Recidivism of Sex Offenders Released from Prison in 1994" Published in 11-2003.

For now have a great day and a better tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Truth: Recidivism and Smith v Doe, What went wrong?

March 2014:

The US Supreme court "Recidivism" discussion seemed to be the tipping point of Smith v Doe, but something went wrong, somehow the truth of recidivism data did not control the outcome of Smith. What went horribly wrong? Here we explore that specific issue and reveal facts never before researched and documented. So lets start at the beginning, the first Bureau of Justice (BJS) National Recidivism study.
Known National Recidivism Studies:

1) In 1984 the BJS published the first ever National Recidivism Study: "Returning to Prison." This study took data from 20 states and arrived at recidivism numbers. The problem here was, recidivism was not clearly defined and there were various differences between the data from the states which were part of this study. What we learn from this study is, definitions and standards were created so that there would be consistency in future studies. The published results were mixed at best.

2) In 1989 the BJS then published the second, but first ever "National Recidivism Study" with data consistency between the states collecting data. The study was "Recidivism of Prisoners Released in 1983" Published 4-1989

3) Then the BJS published the second ever "National Recidivism Study." The study was "Recidivism of Prisoners Released in 1994" Published 6-2002.

4) Then from the BJS comes the first ever " Recidivism of Sex Offenders Released from Prison in 1994" Published in 11-2003.

Given "recidivism" seems to be the core of Smith v Doe Oral Argument, we need to explore what occurred in Smith with respect to recidivism studies. Here is a chart of the relevant Smith docket items and the national recidivism studies, relevant of which -at the time- should have played a part in Smith, but did not and the wrong one did. This one wasn't published until after the court decision:

Study Data
Name of Study:
VaryingSee Table-1Nov 1984Returning to Prison
19831984-1986Apr 1, 1989Recidivism of Prisoners Released in 1983
Sup Court  Nov 21, 2001Smith v Doe--(Petition for writ of certiorari filed)
19941995-1997Jun 2, 2002Recidivism of Prisoners Released in 1994
Sup Court  Jun 18,2002Smith v Doe--(Motion of the Solicitor General for leave to participate in oral argument as amicus curiae)
Sup Court  Jun 28, 2002Smith v Doe--(Motion of the Solicitor General for leave to participate in oral argument (GRANTED))
Sup Court  Jun-Aug 2002Smith v Doe--(Note: Many Other Amicus Briefs Filed)
Sup Court  Nov 13, 2002Smith v Doe--(Oral Arguments)
Sup Court  Mar 5, 2003Smith v Doe--(Decision)
Sup Court  Mar 21, 2003Smith v Doe--(Petition for rehearing filed.)
Sup Court  Apr 28, 2003Smith v Doe--(Rehearing DENIED.)
1994 1995-1997Nov 2003 Recidivism of Sex Offenders Released from Prison in 1994

It is imperative to know what the US Sup court, as to recidivism, was hearing during oral argument. Accordingly, besides what was filed in briefs, during Oral Argument the following discussion took place:

MR. ROBERTS: -- Court has recognized, as recently as last June in the McKune case, for the conclusion that those convicted have a high rate of recidivism.

(Note: That is the first mention of recidivism during oral arguments)

QUESTION: May I ask you a question about that? I -- I understand that the -- the percentage of sex offenses in Alaska with children is extremely high, and what is -- has been the effect of this scheme if it's been employed? Has it had some effect there --


QUESTION: -- in reducing the number of sex offenses?

MR. OLSON: I do not know the answer to that, and perhaps Mr. Roberts does.

But what this is -- and I think this is a proper way to think of this statute -- in connection with a class of offenses, where the -- where the rate of recidivism is significantly higher -- as this Court has held very recently -- than any other crime, people are asking their government please allow us to know when we have someone in our neighborhood. When we -- when we're hiring a new --

... ... ... ...

QUESTION: I'm sorry. One -- one thing that makes it more difficult perhaps than it might be to see
your side of the argument -- go back to the Chief Justice's question. What if they put every criminal
conviction on the Internet?

Well, there's one difference between the situation that would obtain then and the situation that -- that you're objecting to here. That is, that there is not the same high recidivism rate for crimes generally that there is, apparently undisputedly, for sex crimes in the State of Alaska. And therefore, when you earlier made the argument that there is something very -- something less than credible in the State's claim that it's merely trying to inform the public when, in fact, it makes no differentiation between current dangerousness and uncurrent dangerousness, the answer is there is -- or an answer is -- there is a very high recidivism rate, and that high recidivism rate does support the claim that there is something that -- that it is credible to say that by publishing this information, we are simply trying to inform people of a probability of dangerousness, leaving them to do what they want.

What is -- is there any -- do you have any response to this claim that the high recidivism rate itself supports the argument that, in fact, this is nothing but a safety information kind of measure, whereas broadcasting all criminal convictions would not be justified as having a good fit between the object and what the State was doing? Do you have any response to that?

MR. THOMPSON: I certainly don't profess to be an expert on the statistical recidivist rates. I think that is --

You don't dispute the State's recidivism figure, do you?

MR. THOMPSON: Well, actually vis-a-vis the brief that was submitted by Massachusetts as an amici in this, sets forth a very different pattern of recidivist rates. I mean, when we say recidivist rates, are we talking about repeat sex offenses? Are we talking about repeated crimes? I mean, there are all different ways in which --

QUESTION: They're making specific -- they're making specific claims. They -- they set out specific percentages with respect to Alaska. Are you disputing those figures or not?


QUESTION: You do. All right.

MR. THOMPSON: We do, but I don't think we did it directly in our brief, but I think other -- other briefs --

QUESTION: That's -- that's the trouble. Yes.

MR. THOMPSON: -- do.

... ... ... ...

MR. ROBERTS: But again, with respect to both the Ex Post Facto Clause and the Due Process Clause, the
question is whether there's a rational connection between the sanction and the legislative purpose.

Now, if it is too extreme, it may cause you to doubt that connection. For example, it may be -- the legislature may say we think safe crackers present a risk of recidivism, so we're going to cut off their hands. There may be a rational connection there, but it's too excessive given the purpose.

There is no doubt that Alaska's high recidivism rate was firmly implanted in the minds of the Justices. The origin of that belief is this 1996 Alaska study: "Sex Offender Treatment Program: Initial Recidivism Study by Anthony M. Mander, Martin E. Atrops, Allan R. Barnes, and Roseanne Munafo (1996). More recent studies (2007-2012) show a much reduced sex offender recidivism rate. "2% of sex offenders were reconvicted of another sex offense."

Summary: This report presents results of a recidivism study of participants in the Sex Offender Treatment Program at Hiland Mountain Correctional Center, Alaska Department of Corrections, from January 1987 to August 1995.

The report provides an overview and history of sex offender treatment in Alaska as well as a literature review of other studies and findings on this area of treatment. The Alaska study, which was the first conducted of the treatment program, found that any level of treatment achieved resulted in less recidivism, with the longer the period of treatment, the lower the recidivism.

The study also noted the high percentage of Alaska Natives in the program and the history of alcohol and substance abuse presented by many sex offenders. The majority of offenders in the program were guilty of assaulting children. The study discusses the program's cost benefits as well as the implications of its findings for probation and parole.

Which includes this series of papers:

Sex Offender Treatment Program: Initial Recidivism Study — Executive Summary by Alaska Department of Corrections and Alaska Justice Statistical Analysis Unit (1996).

Sex Offender Treatment Project: Literature Review
by Allan R. Barnes, Melanie Baca, Melody Dix, Shelly Flahr, Cathy Gaal, Max Whitaker, Samantha Moeglein, and Nicol Morgheim (1994).

Sex Offender Treatment Program: Preliminary Description by Alaska Justice Statistical Analysis Unit (1995).

Now we need to find out what the McClune case (in June of 2002) said about recidivism rates that everyone seems to accept as gospel during Smith's Oral Argument (Nov 13, 2002). The US Supreme court in McKune v Lile 536 US 24 (June 10, 2002) had this to say:

Sex offenders are a serious threat in this Nation. In 1995, an estimated 355,000 rapes and sexual assaults occurred nationwide. U.S. Dept. of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Sex Offenses and Offenders 1 (1997) (hereinafter Sex Offenses); U.S. Dept. of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Crime in the United States, 1999, Uniform Crime Reports 24 (2000). Between 1980 and 1994, the population of imprisoned sex offenders increased at a faster rate than for any other category of violent crime. See Sex Offenses 18. As in the present case, the victims of sexual assault are most often juveniles. In 1995, for instance, a majority of reported forcible sexual offenses were committed against persons under 18 years of age. University of New Hampshire Crimes Against Children Research Center, Fact Sheet 5; Sex Offenses 24. Nearly 4 in 10 imprisoned violent sex offenders said their victims were 12 or younger. Id., at iii.

"When convicted sex offenders reenter society, they are much more likely than any other type of offender to be rearrested for a new rape or sexual assault. See Sex Offenses 27; U.S. Dept. of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Recidivism of Prisoners Released in 1983, p. 6 (1997). States thus have a vital interest in rehabilitating convicted sex offenders. Therapists and correctional officers widely agree that clinical rehabilitative programs can enable sex offenders to manage their impulses and in this way reduce recidivism. See U.S. Dept. of Justice, Nat. Institute of Corrections, A Practitioner’s Guide to Treating the Incarcerated Male Sex Offender xiii (1988) (“[T]he rate of recidivism of treated sex offenders is fairly consistently estimated to be around 15%,” whereas the rate of recidivism of untreated offenders has been estimated to be as high as 80%. “Even if both of these figures are exaggerated, there would still be a significant difference between treated and untreated individuals”)."

Bingo, the McKune court was relying on OLD statistics and "U.S. Dept. of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Recidivism of Prisoners Released in 1983, p. 6 (1997)," 1983 statistical data. A review of the McKune docket it is easy to see why the court did not use later statistical data. Oral Arguments were held on Nov 28, 2001 before the 1994 study and final decision Jun 10, 2002 after release of the 1994 study.

But, that does not explain why the Smith court was not aware of 1994 recidivism statistics ( Recidivism of Prisoners Released in 1994 ) published 5-months before its oral arguments, on June 2, 2002. Was this an oversight or was everyone just ignoring them because it might change the outcome of Smith?

And there is no explanation for not raising "New Recidivism Statistics" when requesting rehearing on March 21, 2003. Published statistical data was being ignored. Why?

Also notice, the 1983 study, the study was published within 3-years of collecting study data. The 1994 study, published within 5-years of collecting study data. Almost twice the time to publish results. Was this study purposefully delayed because of the case in the US Sup court?

Finally the biggest question: The Recidivism of Sex Offenders Released from Prison in 1994 was not published until after the US Sup court case; Nov 2003. Why did it take 6-years after collecting study data to publish results? This study drew from the same study data as the Recidivism of Prisoners Released in 1994 study already published. Did the -then active- US Sup court case effectively delay this study?
Clearly the Smith court was not fully informed about CURRENT recidivism studies BEFORE rendering its decision, and it appears to have been mislead by the absence of CURRENT recidivism data! This scenario further shakes my faith in our criminal justice system.

Will there be future National Recidivism Studies?

Here is what we found:
On this BJS page it says "These are the most recent recidivism data available until a new BJS study on the recidivism of state prisoners released in 2005 is published in 2012." Then on this BJS page it says "These are the most recent recidivism data available until a new BJS study on the recidivism of state prisoners released in 2005 is published in 2013."
So YES something is in the works, but when will it be published? Your guess is as good as ours.

And there is another possibility, is the study being delayed because of one or more cases working their way through the courts? Or is there some other Behind Closed Doors force keeping recidivism data from court decisions?

For now have a great day and a better tomorrow.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

FBI: Child sex offenders turn violent, suicidal

6-18-2012 National:

Gray Alan Combs Jr. was shot to death after he threatened Fairfax County police with a sword last month.

Willis E. Coley, 27, of Alexandria, hanged himself in August.

George N. Kiriacon, 50, committed suicide in a truck in New Carrollton.

The common thread among these three men is that all had been charged with child sex crimes shortly before their violent and/or self-destructive actions.

The FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service have documented a disturbing trend in which those confronted with charges of child abuse react by attacking others or harming themselves.

Law enforcement authorities say they are seeing more incidents as police have increased efforts to apprehend those who produce, distribute and view child porn. Over the past 20 years, federal child sex pornography cases have increased 330 percent -- from 481 in 1999 to 2,069 in 2009.

Ronald Hosko, special agent in charge of the FBI Washington Field Office's Criminal Division, said he noticed the phenomenon in 2008, as an inspector for the FBI's Inspection Division, where he reviewed deadly shooting incidents around the country. Subjects pulled a weapon as FBI agents knocked on their doors to ask questions or execute a search warrant, putting the lives of themselves, family members and the agents in danger.

"It's a life-changing event," Hosko said. "At that moment, their world is collapsed around them. And they think the only way out is at the point of a gun."

Friday, January 24, 2014

The Collateral Effects of Evolving Sex Laws on Sexual Circumstances -Too Often- Result in Deaths of Innocent People

The report below has direct links back into the "Other Deaths" blog where articles are held. Over time, as we post more articles to that blog, the blog may show higher numbers than this report shows, simply due to more cases of Other Deaths.
February 2011:

This is the second of my trilogy of reports examining deaths related to the effects of sex laws and incidents of sexual circumstances over the past ten years. The sex laws that are purposed to prevent future sex abuses (i.e., no more victims), but as this report shows, they have a down side effect, other victims. This report is about the "Other Deaths," deaths lawmakers seemingly ignore, past a fleeting headline! This report as of February 2011 covers 98 cases 133 deaths; none of them are former sex offenders.

These are the "Hidden Victims" whose deaths are somehow related to a sex crime, an sexual accusation or simple beliefs of a crime or who the person may be, or a former offender. The victims here are the innocent victims that no government report recognizes as being tied to sex abuse policies; innocent folks who died. The most recent "Other Deaths" tragedy resulted in the deaths of three police officers in Florida and a fetal death!

  • 25% of the 133 other deaths were children;
  • 22% of the 98 cases had multiple deaths;
  • 47% of the cases originated in 6 states (Arizona, California, Texas, Michigan, Florida and Washington);
  • 83% of the cases occurred from 2006 on, which happens to be when the Adam Walsh Act was enacted;
  • 2 cases involved murders of children of former sex offenders, and 5 cases involved deaths of law enforcement officers;
  • Guns were used in 51 of the 98 cases;
  • Underlying suicides accounted for 28% of all other deaths cases;
  • Children in close proximity to persons newly accused of a sex crime people who have no history of a prior sex crime, but who committed suicide, were MOST likely to be killed by the person accused. However, when a former sex offender committed suicide, children were LEAST likely to be killed by them. i.e., 15 to 3.
Our Topic Blog tracks "Other Deaths" as national Journalists report the stories. These deaths are folks who were, in some way, associated with someone who: A) has previously committed a sex offense; -or- B) someone newly accused of a sex offense who has no history of sex offenses; -or- C) has been mistakenly thought to have committed a sex offense or be an offender; -or- D) sadly, a number of strange circumstances.
Every case stems from incidents of sexual circumstances, or a former sex offender's case. Stories will shock your being, a newborn buried in concrete to hide a crime, likewise a mother killing her child to cover-up the fact she had relations with a minor. A child of a former sex offender, opens the front door of his home and is shot in the face, a man whose stepdaughter just accused him of sexual abuse, takes his family for a ride and commits suicide by driving into an oncoming truck killing five. A woman taunts an former offender about his status as an offender, is killed by that former offender. A man erroneously believes his neighbor has molested his child, breaks into the neighbor's home and stabs him to death while he slept. Ninety-eight stories, ninety-eight sets of circumstances resulting in 133 deaths!
The entire topic of sex abuse has far-reaching effects. Often, years after the -specific or alleged- sex crime has occurred. Even people in the community have caused deaths when fueled by accusations and false beliefs. Remember, if an incident involved a former offender, and some do, the death of the former offender is not counted in these statistics.

The Statistics:

Table-1: Distribution of Cases/Deaths

76 Caseswhere 1 person died = 76 deaths (See Deaths 1)
13 Caseswhere 2 people died = 26 deaths (See Deaths 2)
5 Caseswhere 3 people died = 15 deaths (See Deaths 3)
4 Caseswhere 4 people died = 16 deaths (See Deaths 4)
98 Cases 
22% of the cases had multiple deaths, and represented 43% of all other deaths

Table-2: Gender/Sex of Victims

1 Fetal Death(See Fetus)
32 Children Died(See Sum of: Child (22); Child of FSO (2); Child1 (6); Child2 (2)
42 Women died(See Sum of: Women (36); Women1 (5); Women2 (1)
58 Men died(See Sum of: Men (55); Men1 (3);
133 Deaths 
25% of the 133 other deaths were children and,
5 cases where Law Enforcement Officers died.

Table-3: Years When Deaths Occurred

OlderCases:1989(1)1993(1)1996 (1)
2001 (1)2003(3)2004 (5)2005 (5)2006 (15)
2007 (9)2008 (12)2009 (25)2010 (17)2011 (3)
83% of the cases occurred from 2006 on, which happens to be when the Adam Walsh Act was enacted

Table-4: States Where Deaths Occurred

Alabama (2)
Arizona (6)
California (11)
Colorado (2)
Connecticut (4)
Delaware (1)Florida (8)Georgia (2)Hawaii (2)Idaho (1)
Illinois (3)Indiana (3).Kansas (1)Kentucky (1)Maine (1)
Maryland (1)Massachusetts (2)Michigan (7)Missouri (3)Montana (1)
Nevada (1)New Jersey (1)New York (4)North Carolina (1)Ohio (2)
Oklahoma (2)Pennsylvania (4)South Carolina (1)Tennessee (3)Texas (8)
Virginia (1)Washington (6)Wisconsin (2)  
47% of the cases originated in 6 states (Arizona, California, Texas, Michigan, Florida and Washington)

Table-5: Person Responsible For Deaths

by Person - Former Offender (23)by Inmates (4);
by Acquaintances (17);by Fathers (3);
by Person - Accused of Offense (13)by Mothers (1);
by Victims (10);
by Public Servants (1);
by Vigilantes (10);
by Sex Trafficker (1);
by Family Members (7);
by Bikers Against Child Abuse (1);
by Neighbors (5);
by Unknown (2);

Table-6: Manner of Death

Gunshot (51)
Dismembering (1)
Blunt Force Trauma (9)
Driving car into police car (1)
Stabbed (15)
Driving car into truck (1)
Strangulation (9)
Drowning (1)
Arson of Home (1)
Hammer (1)
Bat - All Types (2)
Throats Slashed (1)
Buried in Concrete (1)

WHEN THERE ARE ACCUSATIONS: This is one of the shocking discoveries of this report, 52 of the 98 cases were triggered by an accusation. Eight cases had actual charges filed, fourteen cases someone alleged abuse at some point in their life, and, twenty-three cases were triggered by someone "believing" a person was a child molester, sex offender or had committed a sex offense of some kind; a belief, and no more than a belief. The remainder were miscellaneous odd reasons. Yes, it was hard to decide where a underlying case should be grouped, but we believe these groups reflect reality.

WHEN THERE WERE UNDERLYING SUICIDES: Twenty-seven suicides: 13 persons had no history of a sex crime, and 14 were former sex offenders. The 13 suicides were all folks charged with a new sex offense, but the same was not true of the 14 former sex offenders.
Six of the former sex offender suicides were breakups of relationships formed after prison; two FSOs were suspects in new crimes (one a murder and the other a sex crime); one FSO was obsessed with a teen who he killed, one FSO was despondent and killed his girlfriend and himself in a murder-suicide, finally there are four FSO cases where there is no way to speculate what caused them to commit suicide.
Table-7: Deaths that Resulted from Underlying Suicides

13 Non Sex Offenders:251510
14 Former Sex Offenders:21318
Accordingly, these 27 cases resulted in 46 "Other Deaths," 35% of all "Other Deaths."
Possible sex offender pre-trial suicides have been recognized only in one paper by a U.S. Government Agency. New Defendants, New Responsibilities: Preventing Suicide among Alleged Sex Offenders in the Federal Pretrial System. Just recently "British researchers have discovered in a study that criminal proceedings, even when not ending in a jail sentence, leads to a high risk of suicide."

More importantly for Lawmakers to consider is, that when a person is accused of a sex crime, and that person has no prior history of a sex crime, if children are in close proximity to the daily life of the accused, those children are in danger. This report documented the deaths of 15 children under those circumstances.
Accusations and suicides seem to be at the heart of this paper, but, lest anyone jump to, former sex offenders are the reason, former sex offenders were only involved in 30 of the 98 cases. So, what is causing the hypersensitivity to sexual issues, so much so, that, many are moved to commit the ultimate act which laws are purposed to prevent. Was it rhetoric that caused the circumstances in Arizona and a Congresswoman to be shot and other people murdered, including a young girl? Is rhetoric behind these accusations and suicides, is society being pressured by policy? These questions still need further examination.

A few more examples, three cases the wrong person was targeted, in 10 cases the offender alleged sexual abuses and may have done so as a defense to the murder charges. Two cases appeared to be execution styled. Eight cases were believed to be extremely violent, only 1 of them by a former sex offender and in that case, a Georgia residency law played a part in the death of a child (a former sex offender's child).

There is no doubt this paper represents complicated issues, and other than the actual statistics, some of the findings may be subjective, but one is not, that is, that 83% of the cases have occurred since the enactment of the Adam Walsh Act in 2006, which followed other similar politically and not therapeutically based policies.

This should be a wakeup call to lawmakers, today's laws may very well be generating hidden public pressures causing average people to do things they might not otherwise do. i.e., kill someone, and some before allowing the Criminal Justice System to act. Study the innocent victims here, we have documented 133 deaths of innocent people!

Finally, these are the stories Journalists have reported, how many others have fallen through cracks, lest national sex offender policy be brought into question?

© Sex Offender Research 2011, All Rights Reserved!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Sex Offender Laws: And the harm that flows from them

December 2013:
The intent of this first ever report is simply to consolidate incident numbers that have occurred over the years, 1990 through 2013. Individually many of the incidents were horrific, and the numbers do not reflect what has occurred by the public vigilante-minded folks; only the individual stories will!

The individual news or other credible reports can be reviewed by going to the specific blogs that contain the stories: Murder Archives; Murders Current; Suicides; Vigilantism; Related Deaths.

To fully understand the blogs you will have to read each blog's "Overview" without doing that it is easy to misconstrue specific reports found in the blogs. The blogs are the result of years of documentation of news or other credible reports of the incidents.

The Deaths column represents murders and killings of registered and accused sex offenders. It is important not to misrepresent what that column means. Based on the circumstances of individual incidents, some would be murders, and others killed better explain the circumstances.

Deaths, Suicides, Vigilantism and Related Deaths
Early 1990 through 2013

YearDeathsSuicidesVigilantismRelated Deaths **
Chart Notes:

1) Court Actions: Publicly demonizing those forced into registries.
2003: U.S. Supreme court cases: Legalizing sex offender registries. Connecticut Dept Of Public Safety V Doe and Smith v Doe. These cases set in motion the permanent social death of registrants, even if they could get off the registry, their community still knows.

2006: The Adam Walsh Act: Immediately inciting the public and registrants! If you disagree, study the chart there is no way to dispute the number of incidents; 2003 to 2005 (U.S. Supreme court case era), and 2006 and beyond (The Adam Walsh Act era). The number of incidents more than double in later years.

2) Murders of Registrant Family Members: Within the "Related Deaths" column of incidents are these murders of registrant family members by someone outside of their family.
Tennessee 2007: Wife of Accused Sex Offender; Georgia 2007: Son of a Registered Sex Offender; Florida 2009: Son of a Registered Sex Offender; South Carolina 2013: Wife of a Registered Sex Offender.
3) Related Deaths**: Innocent folks whose lives touched on the life of a registered or accused sex offender or a sex offense, and that relationship somehow led to their deaths. We have recorded 141 incidents in which 192 persons have been killed. And some were police officers killed in the line of duty. There is no easy way to summarize any of these incidents. You would have to review the Related Deaths blog.

4) The incidents in the "Deaths" column (Years 2012 and earlier) are more fully explained in our 2012 report HERE. We have yet to consolidate similar reports for Suicides, Vigilantism or Related Deaths (UPDATE: We found a 2011 report of Related Deaths which we forgot about).

--- Vigilantism ---

How have we defined this? Well, it is far to long to include here, so we suggest folks review our definitions. Once you review that you will have a better understanding where we are coming from, and just in case you missed this, the Adam Walsh Act, a federal law, says the following:

The Adam Walsh Act:
Section 118(f) (42 USC 16918(f))

(f) WARNING.—The site (registry) shall include a warning that information on the site should not be used to unlawfully injure, harass, or commit a crime against any individual named in the registry or residing or working at any reported address. The warning shall note that any such action could result in civil or criminal penalties.
The essence of that provision is that, Congress Protects
a Registrant's Person, Residence and Place of Employment
and Commands States do likewise.

In the following chart you will see many violations of the essence of that federal law as well as many other laws which protect all citizens. So, in future years we will be focusing on the "Vigilantism" aspect of what is happening in society. Vigilantism does not include reported "Deaths" or "Suicides." So as a starting point we have redesigned our vigilantism blog. This chart reflects what public vigilante-minds have done in the past, and to who or what? Unfortunately there are no news reports of the subtle vigilantism that goes on day to day in registrants' lives.

Vigilantism: Who or What was Targeted
% of Total Incidents Person, Place or Thing
in the Community
No. of Incidents
20%Non Sex Offenders (These folks have no history of a sex offense conviction.)84
37.4%Registered Sex Offenders156
.2%Registered Sex Offender's Family1
4.6%Registered Sex Offender:
Related Businesses
1.4%Registered Sex Offenders' Cars6
10.6%Registered Sex Offenders' Homes44
13.9%Accused Sex Offenders58
% of Total IncidentsIn Jails or PrisonsNo. of Incidents
7.9%Registered Sex Offender Inmates33
3.6%Accused Sex Offender Inmates15

What is the difference between a "Non sex offender (NSO)" and an "Accused sex offender (ASO)," a subtle distinction. If it is clear from the news article that the person has never been convicted of a sex offense, and it is likely someone mistakenly chose the person, then we opted for NSO. However, if the article presents facts that cause a reasonable person to lean towards the likelihood that the accused person is guilty of the act, then we opted for ASO. Now, as we gather facts about an incident, more news reports, that distinction can flip flop, we then make the change.

In order to group incidents it takes reasonable judgment based on the news reports. And it is also possible a later news report will say, the accused really had a prior conviction for a sex offense, then the coding switches to RSO. But, most importantly is what was the perpetrator targeting, if for example it was the person's home (i.e., arson) then that is used in coding.

OK, should readers have other questions a review of the blogs should answer them. Next year this time we hope to follow with a similar report.

For now have a great day and a better tomorrow.

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