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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