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Stabbed man charged with sexual assault

1-23-2007 Arkansas:

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. Washington County authorities have filed a sexual assault charge against a 50-year-old man who police say was stabbed on Sunday by his girlfriend.

Officials say Mike Grubb faces two felony counts for alleged sexual assault of the girlfriend's child. He is also being held in the Washington County Jail on a probation violation.

Forty-six-year-old Jill Coon was arrested Sunday after Grubb was stabbed in the lower back. Officials say the wound was not life-threatening and Grubb was treated at a hospital.

The sheriff's department says Coon told investigators that she stabbed Grubb because he had sexually molested her daughter. Grubb was charged after investigators spoke to both him and the girl. ..more.. by KSFM TV

Woman Given Probation In Stabbing

3-29-2007 Arkansas:

FAYETTEVILLE -- A 46-year-old Fayetteville woman was sentenced to probation for stabbing her ex-husband in December for allegedly molesting her daughter.

Jill Coon pleaded guilty to first -degree domestic battery in Washington County Circuit Court Wednesday. She was sentenced to five years' probation, fined $1,000, ordered to provide a DNA sample and pay a $250 collection fee, complete anger management and have no contact with the victim, Mike Grubb.

Grubb, 50, is charged in with two counts of second-degree sexual assault and is being held at the Washington County Jail on a parole violation, stemming from a conviction in 2003 on charges of felony third-degree domestic battery and misdemeanor drunk driving and non-support.

His trial date is April 24.

Coon stabbed Grubb in the lower back. Grubb was treated for a single stab wound at Washington Regional Medical Center. The wound wasn't life-threatening.

Coon told Washington County deputies she stabbed Grubb because he molested her daughter. Deputies arrested Grubb after conducting interviews with the child and Coon.

Grubb and Coon were living together at a home in the Wedington Woods area at the time of the incident. He was arrested after being released from the hospital. ..more.. by Ron Wood

Wife accused of stabbing husband who's accused of sex with teen-ager

12-7-2003 Kentucky:

A Campbellsville husband and wife were both indicted Tuesday after the wife allegedly stabbed the husband after finding him in bed with a 14-year-old girl.

A Taylor County grand jury charged Shana Marie Coulter, 20, with first-degree assault and Tyrone Coulter, 26, with third-degree rape in connection with the incidents.

According to Campbellsville Police, the 911 Center received a call on Nov. 8 about a stabbing on Watson Court. Upon their arrival, police found Tyrone Coulter lying in the street with a stab wound to the abdomen.

During the investigation, Shana Coulter told police that she came home that night and found her husband engaged in sexual intercourse with the girl.

Bond for Tyrone Coulter was set at 10 percent of $20,000. If convicted, he could face as much as five years in prison.

Bond for Shana Coulter was set at 10 percent of $25,000 and she is to have no contact with her husband. If convicted, she could face as much as 20 years in prison. ..more.. by Rebecca Dial

Alleged molester attacked by victim's mother!

12-17-2003 Louisiana:

A man accused of molesting a three-year old boy is attacked by the child's mother, and ends up in the hospital. Investigators say the mom confronted the man at this home in southeastern Bossier Parish, where her child was being watched on Sunday. .

The woman hit the man with a wooden tray, putting a gash in the man's head The man had to be taken to the hospital to get stitches. Bossier Sheriff spokesman Ed Baswell says while being treated the man talked about killing himself, so he is now under observation. ..more.. by KTBS 3 News

Father accused of beating convicted sex offender

1-8-2004 Florida:

Gainesville man was arrested Tuesday morning after authorities said he used an ax handle to beat up a convicted sexual offender who authorities said touched his son.

Roosevelt Henry Reed, 29, just moved into a halfway house at 1580 SE 33rd St. on Monday, Alachua County Sheriff's Lt. Jim Troiano said. Reed got out of prison in July after serving a five-year sentence for lewd and lascivious acts on a child under 16, according to Department of Corrections records.

An 11-year-old boy was staying at the halfway house, which is owned and operated by the boy's relatives.

The boy woke up at about 2 a.m. Tuesday to find a man rubbing his stomach and leg, Troiano said. He screamed and another man sleeping in the room woke up and yelled at the man, who fled. Relatives called the boy's

father, who found Reed walking in the 2300 block of Hawthorne Road. The man hit Reed several times with an ax handle.

Reed was treated by paramedics and then arrested on charges of battery and burglary.

The boy's father, whose name The Sun is withholding to protect the identity of the victim, was arrested on charges of aggravated battery.

Troiano said that while the father's feelings are understandable, authorities can't allow that kind of vengeance.

Reed won't be allowed to return to the halfway house or to go anywhere near the boy, Troiano said. And while some sexual offenders aren't allowed near children, Reed had no such prohibition, Troiano said. Reed has served two prison sentences for lewd and lascivious acts on children. ..more.. by KATHY CIOTOLA

Taking the law into their own hands

5-9-2004 Florida:

People living in the North Boulevard Homes complex in Tampa consider the neighborhood tight knit.

So it should be no surprise that when children are abused, residents want to make sure it never happens again.

"You don't want a baby raped around your children, so when you find out about it, that's when you do something about it," said area resident Richard Morgan, a father of two.

Tampa Police believe Jeffrey Dennis Butler, who is now behind bars on two counts of aggravated child abuse, went into an upstairs apartment Saturday in the 900 block of West Spruce Street, where two young girls were sleeping after a slumber party.

Police reports say Butler put a pornographic movie into the VCR, then molested both girls and raped one of them.

Investigators say hours later, Butler attended a neighborhood party and acted as if nothing had happened. The incident happened at North Boulevard Homes.

When the two girls eventually spoke up about what happened, Butler took off running from the neighborhood gathering, chased by other people from the party. They caught up with him seven blocks down the street, pinning him to the ground and beating him with baseball bats before police arrived.

Butler was treated for minor injuries at Tampa General Hospital before being taken to jail. No one who took part in the beating was arrested.

Asked if the beating was wrong, Morgan replied, "Nope, personally I would have killed him, plain and simple. People like that don't deserve to be on this earth."

A criminal background check reveals Butler has no prior criminal record in Florida. ..more.. by Bay 9 News

Sex Offenders on Campus: University-based Sex Offender Registries and the Collateral Consequences of Registration

12-1-2006 National:

SEX OFFENDERS HAVE long been considered among the most despised and feared criminals in Western culture. Despite the varying circumstances and offenses that may be included by lawmaking bodies as “sex offenses,” the mere mention of the phrase “sex offender” typically conjures up images of sadistic rapists and child predators. Accordingly, prevention of these types of crimes has been a concern of policymakers at all levels of government for many years. Correctional programming for sex offenders and other types of “violent” or “heinous” criminals has traditionally included either simply incarcerating such offenders for purposes of incapacitation, or at times providing treatment in pursuit of rehabilitation for incarcerated offenders. Convicted offenders in community corrections programs have also been subjected to a variety of mandatory treatment programs, medical interventions and strict conditions of probation and parole.


The outcomes of such registries, however, including the effects of such specialized registries on offenders, have yet to be studied. As a result, policymakers and society as a whole are unaware of the potential consequences and considerations that may be associated with such specialized forms of sex offender registries.

This study is intended to promote a better understanding of college and university-based sex offender registries, allowing for the transfer of important practical and ideological knowledge about such entities to policymakers and the public. The data, to be discussed later in greater detail, is gathered via surveys with a sample of offenders listed on university-based registries. Analysis of their experiences and perceptions provides one way of assessing the utility of sex offender registries—both in general and in this specialized form—as a tool for effectively enhancing public safety and promoting community awareness.



The word vigilante is of Spanish origin and means "watchman" or "guard" but its Latin root is vigil, which means "awake" or "observant." When it is said that someone is taking the law into their own hands, this usually means that they are engaging in vigilante activity, or vigilantism, although sometimes the phrase "taking the law into your own hands" is used to describe what some people call a "secret police" force. The phrase does not make for a good definition. Everyone seems to have an opinion about what vigilantism is, but few people have taken the trouble to define it (Johnston 1996). Worse yet, those of us who teach criminal justice and criminology often warn about the dangers of vigilantism without really understanding or explaining why, and the field of criminal justice is way too silent on this topic, gladly substituting state-by-state comparisons on gun ownership and self-defense for real research on the nature and dynamics of vigilantism.

For better understanding, it's important to obtain some theoretical perspective on vigilantism. From a legal perspective, lawyers sometimes call it extra-judicial self-help, and this perspective may or may not (depending upon your point of view) lend itself to promising new approaches in the sociology of law (Black 1983). Philosophers, like French (2001), frequently equate it with vengeance, and tie it into some sort of definition that sounds like it came from a treatise on ethics -- vigilantism being the righting of a criminal wrong by wrongful means. A recurring theme in philosophical treatises is that the sooner we recognize vengeance as an essential part of our inner human nature, the better. Sociologists are almost always silent on the topic, perhaps because the behavior is not mundane enough, as there seems to be an emerging convention in the last couple of decades where sociologists study the ordinary and criminologists study "rare events." Criminologists, like Zimring (2003), don't really study vigilantism per se. They only study it as a side issue whenever it seems convenient to tie in America's vigilante tradition to something else, like capital punishment. A review of the literature would indicate that there is a good deal of consensus on the fact that vigilantism and a vigilante tradition exist, but there also appears to be no adequate theoretical framework from which to analyze the phenomena in systematic fashion.

To be sure, the study of vigilantism involves some complexities. There are a vast number of controversial issues associated with vigilantism. To list some examples would include Good Samaritan laws, the Right to Resist Arrest, Self-Defense Doctrine, the Militia Clause of the Constitution, the Concealed Handgun Debate, Road Rage as a form of Vigilantism, and Digilantism (getting back at Internet deviants by "digital vigilantism"). On the Internet, there are vigilante groups who claim to be the "true" vigilantees getting back at the "false" vigilantees, and it can become quite confusing who is the real "vigilante." Not many of these complex issues will be discussed here, not because they are unimportant, but because new forms of vigilante behavior are constantly emerging, and it is of primary importance, beforehand, to obtain an adequate conceptualization of basic vigilantism. ..more.. by O'Connor, T. (2004)

Not in My Bus Stop

11-30-2006 Florida:

The new fad cities can't seem to resist — keeping sex offenders out of every nook and cranny.

Last year, after the gruesome murder of Jessica Lunsford by a convicted sex offender, the City of Miami Beach decided to do something revolutionary. Even though Florida law already prohibited registered sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of places where children congregate, Miami Beach decided to make it illegal for any registered sex offender to live within 2,500 feet — nearly half a mile — of any school, day care center, public school bus stop, park, or playground within city limits.

It was the biggest buffer zone ever required between sex offenders and children, but soon almost every municipality in South Florida, including most independent cities in Broward County, followed suit. Today, only a handful of Broward cities, including Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood, don't have similar ordinances.

And that means that if you take out a marker and draw 2,500-foot circles around every park, school, and bus stop in a city like Weston or Tamarac that has such an ordinance and then color all those circles in, you're left with a map that is almost entirely inked out.

For someone like Thomas Lacorazza, that means it's incredibly difficult to find a place to live.

The 23-year-old registered sexual offender from Weston recently became the first offender in Broward County to resist a residence restriction. In 2002, when Lacorazza was 18, he and his 13-year-old girlfriend of six months had sex. Soon afterward, Lacorazza thought she might be cheating on him.

"Since I was friends with her parents," he says now, "I thought that if I told her parents that we'd had sex, they'd stop her."


2-8-2007 New York:

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Inspector General Kenneth Donohue, and, Rose Gill Hearn, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Investigation (DOI), announced today that a special multi-agency task force found 78 convicted sex offenders living illegally in public housing.

The task force, comprised of a group of federal and New York law enforcement agencies, focused on identifying convicted sex offenders who have been placed on the sex offender registry permanently and are illegally living in public housing developments in New York City.
Of the estimated 3,000 sex offenders in New York City who have been court ordered to remain on the sex offender registry for life, less than 3 percent were found to reside in public housing developments.

Under federal law, public housing authorities must deny admission to individuals who are lifetime registrants of a sex offender list.
Commissioner Rose Gill Hearn said, “DOI has no tolerance for convicted sex offenders illegally living in New York City’s public housing developments. We forged a strong partnership with HUD OIG and worked with other law enforcement agencies to locate and identify these individuals. As the agency that investigates corruption and fraud in New York City, we take this matter seriously.”

More than two years ago, an initiative called Operation Safe Housing was announced in New York City to reduce crime in public housing. The program includes seeking out registered sex offenders who claim they live in public housing and a special hearing process that expedites the eviction process for criminals who pose the greatest risk. As a result of the program, more than 200 registered sex offenders have been excluded from public housing. ..more.. by HUD News Release

-- Public Housing that is Federally Subsidized --
by eAdvocate

PUBLIC HOUSING: Sometimes cities have public housing that is not "federally subsidized," such public housing is not governed by federal laws (HUD Rules) and the following does not apply in such case. One must first find out if the public housing is "federally subsidized," only then is the following applicable.

There are two circumstances that come into play:
A) A registered sex offender (RSO) who lives alone; or,
B) A family who has a "household member" who is a RSO. Household member means one who is going to, or does, reside in the public housing unit.

One of the following must happen:
A) The family or the RSO is denied an application for housing; or,
B) Management is attempting to evict a RSO, or a family who has a household member that is a RSO.

Whether it is a denial of an application or an eviction, management must give a reason for their action. Usually they claim "federal law prohibits RSOs in public housing" and say no more. That reason is not sufficient. HUD rules clearly say when a application can be denied, or a resident may be evicted:

ONLY when the RSO is required to register for lifetime, under that state registry, can management, deny an application for housing, or evict the RSO or family that has a RSO household member.

The exact wording of the HUD Rules (5.856 and 5.905(d)) are shown below (as of 3-25-2007). However, given that rules and laws change constantly it is always wise to verify the rules. To verify the rules CLICK
When you get there, then click on "Title 24 - Code of Federal Regulations"

Choose "Browse," this is the first page of their rules.

Then scroll to the very bottom of the page and click on "NEXT LIST," you will be on page 2 of their rules, rule 5.856 is a little ways down the page it says "When must I prohibit admission of sex offenders? "
Rule 5.856: You (Public Housing Manager) must establish standards that prohibit admission to federally assisted housing if any member of the HOUSEHOLD is subject to a lifetime registration requirement under a State sex offender registration program. In the screening of applicants, you must perform necessary criminal history background checks in the State where the housing is located and in other States where the HOUSEHOLD members are known to have resided. (See Sec. 5.905.)"

Rule 5.905(d): Opportunity to dispute. If a PHA obtains sex offender registration information from a State or local agency under paragraph (a) of this section showing that a household member is subject to a lifetime sex offender registration requirement, the PHA must notify the household of the proposed action to be based on the information and must provide the subject of the record, and the applicant or tenant, with a copy of such information, and an opportunity to dispute the accuracy and relevance of the information. This opportunity must be provided before a denial of admission, eviction or lease enforcement action on the basis of such information.
Now, notice that rule 5.905(d) is only applicable WHEN a "application is denied" or WHEN management is "evicting" a RSO or a family who has a household member who is a RSO; and, the RSO must be required to register, under the state registry, for a lifetime.

In either case, there are time limits in which to file for an appeal, if one misses those time limts then there is no chance to appeal. Accordingly, once management notifies the RSO or the family, they should immediately goto management and request, the printed explanations for the appellate process, and ask for the time limits.

I would strongly suggest contacting an attorney or legal aid (which does handle evictions) and see what is the best course of action given the individual circumstances, which is usually different for everyone.

Good luck. eAdvocate

Sex Offenders Evicted From Mobile Home Park

12-6-2006 Nebraska:
Eleven residents of a Dakota County, Nebraska, mobile home park are looking for a new place to live, tonight... after they were evicted at the end of last week.

The owner of Lake Village Mobile Home Park notified the tenants, last month, that they would have to find another place to live by December 1st. They're all registered sex offenders... half were listed at "high-risk."

Susie Squires, the leader of a local watchdog group, said many residents couldn't afford to move away from the offenders. She says it was a safety issue for the dozens of other families that lived there.

But, aren't there laws that prevent discrimination when you try to buy or rent property? There are protections in place.

The Lake Village Mobile Home Park is privately-owned. According to the U-S Department of Housing and Urban Development, doesn't have any tenants who receive federal housing help. That means the Fair Housing Act-- which protects people from discrimination on the basis of things like race, color and religion-- doesn't apply to those with a criminal background.

This is not completely correct. HUD does protect CERTAIN sex offenders who receive federal housing help. See HUD Release and eAdvocate explanation.

The evicted don't have much legal recourse... the federal Civil Rights Act doesn't protect them either. "They were, um serving eviction notices on people who were registered sex offenders, that's my understanding, and if that is so, civil rights act doesn't protect people who have a criminal record, which would include sex offenders," said Pat Johnson, Human Rights Commission.

Landlords are allowed to perform criminal background checks on tenants and deny housing based on a criminal past. Something that's been standard practice for years. ..more.. by KTIV News Channel 4

Sex offenders' wives rap bill

10-3-2007 Wyoming:

CHEYENNE -- Some wives of convicted sex offenders say they are disappointed that the House and Senate have approved legislation that would require all convicted sex offenders to be listed in an online public database, regardless of risk of reoffense.

Currently people convicted of aggravated sex offenses must participate in risk assessment hearings to determine whether they pose a low, medium or high risk of reoffense. Only those who are deemed "high risk" are listed on the Internet.

The House and Senate on Tuesday both endorsed changing the sex offender registration policies to eliminate risk assessment hearings and list all offenders online.

"They've passed some good legislation this year banning open containers from vehicles, but they're also passing some real stinkers," Faith Wicks, wife of convicted sex offender Mike Wicks, said Wednesday.

Mike Wicks, who had sex in 1991 and 1992 with teenage girls under 18, is not deemed a high risk of reoffense, so his sex offender status is not currently in the state Internet database.

"I e-mailed every senator and representative and I didn't get a lot of responses," said Faith Wicks, of Powell. "I understand they need to listen to people in their constituencies, but maybe not all these people have as much of a stake in it."
She said she worries about her family's safety, as the legislation would require any vehicles used by her husband to be listed in the database.

"I'm concerned some drunk yahoo will run me off the road," Wicks said. "They'll see one of our vehicles on the sex offender Web site, and run me off the road."

Cheyenne resident Gina Smith, wife of convicted sex offender Gary Smith, who is also not deemed a high risk of reoffense, agrees.

"I think they're making a really big mistake," Smith said. "If they categorize and publicize my husband, who is extremely low-risk, I think they're putting our children in danger and they're putting me in danger."

"Only time will tell. If anything does happen to any of us, the state is going to be hit with a huge lawsuit from me," Smith said. "I bet this bill will cause more offenders to be noncompliant with registration. I hope the governor thinks this through before he signs this."
Gov. Dave Freudenthal said he is "quite prepared to sign" the sex offender registration measure.

"We've been pushing for several years to get stricter penalties for sex offenders and pedophiles," Freudenthal said.

"I'm glad that (the Legislature has) done what they've done. I also believe that it is appropriate to list all sex offenders on there."

Information provided by Bob Brackett, manager of the state sex offender registry program, shows about one in four sex offenders in the state has not had a risk assessment hearing. Brackett, Attorney General Pat Crank and legislators said they were concerned because if hearings aren't held, then some high-risk sex offenders may not be put in the online database.

The bill would eliminate the risk assessment process because of its perceived inefficiency. Instead, it would require all sex offenders, regardless of risk of reoffense, to be listed in the online database, with the offender's license plate number and a list of their offenses accessible to the public.

"With laws like this, no one is going to be allowed to reform," Faith Wicks said. "Every law they've passed since 1996 on has applied to my husband, even though he was done with his probation and parole in November 1996."

"My husband made two mistakes years ago," Wicks said. "I didn't realize that was a life sentence."

If Freudenthal signs the bill, the new registration policies will become law. ..more.. by Kathleen Miller

Idaho publisher harassed after newspaper prints sex offenders' names.

10-25-2000 Idaho:

TWIN FALLS, Idaho (AP) _ Three weeks ago, someone slipped into the home of Times-News publisher Stephen Hartgen with a gun and an unspoken warning about the newspaper's decision to print the names of sex offenders.

Hartgen wasn't home, but his wife saw the gunman and fled with the couple's daughter to a neighbor's home to call police.

Left behind was an envelope containing a clipping from The Times-News listing registered sex offenders living in the newspaper's eight-county circulation area. Also inside was a copy of a 1998 editorial explaining the paper's decision to become the first in Idaho to publish offenders' names, addresses and photographs.

Investigators are trying to track down the intruder.

Hartgen has refused to discuss the incident, and the staff of the 23,000-circulation paper has been told not to speak to reporters about it.

The list of sex offenders, with photos and addresses, remains on the newspaper's Web site,

Ala. counties with state prisons say they're burdened by act

--- Political Vigilantism ---

3-25-2007 Alabama:
Officials in counties with state prisons say they are being burdened by an unexpected side effect of the Community Notification Act, which requires sex offenders to give authorities a valid address 45 days before their sentence ends.

Under the act, failing to give a residential address that isn't at least 2,000 feet away from a school or childcare facility is a Class C felony. And offenders whose addresses don't comply must remain jailed in the county where the violation occurred until they have a valid address.

That usually means offenders - and their costs - are transferred to county jails, said Sonny Brasfield, assistant executive director for the Association of County Commissions of Alabama.

"They're released from the state prison and as they walk into the parking lot, a sheriff's car is already there to pick them up and take them straight to the jail," he said in a recent interview. "The law makes no provision for them to come back and say 'Sorry, I didn't know my address was bad.'"

"They're not going back to inmates to say this address doesn't work - there's not a way for the inmate to correct his problem," Brasfield said.

County officials say there needs to be some recourse for inmates who are homeless or unknowingly give an address that has become invalid while they were incarcerated. Inmates who are homeless are considered violators and charged with felonies because they don't have a valid address to give.

Ron Smith, chairman of the Bullock County Commission, said so far seven inmates have been taken to the county's jail under the act and the same has happened in St. Clair and Barbour counties, which are home to other state prisons.

Smith said something needs to be done soon to change the act.

"I think that's unconstitutional because what are we holding them on? Suppose they never find a good address?" Smith said. "Suppose he was staying with his mother and God forbid his mother died? Now he doesn't have a place to go. We get no money for housing the state inmates and for a poor county like us, we're going to suffer."

Inmates taken to the county jails are kept there until they have a date to go before a grand jury on the felony charge.

Bullock County Sheriff Raymond Rogers said jail officials worked with family members and community assistance programs to get valid housing arrangements for four of the seven sex offenders who have been affected by the act at his jail. The remaining three are homeless and are still in the Bullock County Jail, he said.

"The longest one I ever kept in my jail was for four months," Rogers said. "Their loved ones don't want them. I have to keep calling the county they live in trying to help them find a place. It's kind of like the jail is turning into a halfway house and we don't have the people or the money for that."

Prisons Commissioner Richard Allen said the corrections department is aware of the problem and he's offered to keep the sex offenders in the state prisons while they wait for their grand jury appearance.

But Attorney General Troy King, who pushed hard for passage of the act last year, said a better idea is to force all sex offenders to serve their full sentences instead of giving them less time for good behavior and parole.

King acknowledged the problem would still exist once the offenders served their full sentence, but said it would give them more time to find a valid address. He said the cost of keeping them in county jails is worth it to keep sex offenders off the streets longer.

"We put people in prisons to punish them. I think most people would say if I can keep a predator away from my children, away from hurting my grandchildren by paying to keep them in prison, I'll pay to keep them in prison," he said. "Yes, we're spending (taxpayer) money, but I don't think anybody would say that's not a good investment."

Allen said plans are already in place to expand programs that help inmates transition from prison to life outside the corrections system. Part of the program will be assisting inmates with housing and that will help them avoid giving addresses that aren't in compliance, he said.

Bullock County attorney Johnny Waters said he's eager to see what will be done to resolve the problem.

"You may have a man who's been in prison for 15, 16 years on a rape charge. Now his family's disowned him, momma and daddy says he can't live with us, and he's got no other family. He doesn't even hardly have bus fare to get home," Waters said. "What does somebody in that scenario do? Nobody can answer that question for me. He's basically thrown to the wind.

"There's pros and cons to the law. Mainly it's to keep people protected and I can understand that side of it. But on the other side you've got a person trying to do right. Somewhere there's got to be a better answer." ..more.. by DESIREE HUNTER

Megan's Law puts entire neighborhoods on alert

1-4-1998 N.Y. Times News Service :

WEST HURLEY, N.Y. -- The last time Rudy Hopkins let someone stay at his house, few people noticed. After 30 years of this, no one kept track. Most likely, it was just another of Rudy's persons-in-need, a stray teen-ager, probably, who had run away from home or drugs or trouble.

But this time, everyone knows who is staying at the gray clapboard house, and a lot of people are scared to death.

Children in the neighborhood are not allowed to play outside. A neighborhood watch has been formed. The West Hurley School has reinstituted a "Stranger Danger" program, offered by the Ulster County Crime Victims Assistance Program. And Hopkins, a former teacher who runs a shop on his property, has been shunned, harassed and picketed.

"We've been taking in kids forever," Hopkins said, "and some of them have had criminal histories. We've never had a problem."

This time, his guest is Steven Heins, 32, a Hurley resident for most of his life and a convicted child molester for the last two. Because Heins is a registered Level III or "high risk" sex offender, his offense, address and photo can be made widely public. And they have been: His conviction in Norwich, Conn., two years ago for inappropriately touching two girls, ages 2 and 12, and his subsequent conviction for confessing to touching another girl made front page news when he returned to town last fall.

When Heins arrived, after a Connecticut judge gave him a 10-year suspended sentence and required him to move in with his retired parents in Old Hurley and receive extensive counseling, stories began appearing that called his sentence into question. This led to outraged pronouncements from Gov. George Pataki that Heins ought to be sent back to Connecticut, which in turn stirred community outrage, leading to a new hearing and a new sentence for Heins of 10 years on probation.

Forced to move because the new sentence dictated that he not live within 1.5 miles of a school, Heins contacted Hopkins, who was one of his high school teachers. Hopkins says he believes Heins wants desperately to be rehabilitated. He has allowed him to stay at his house, under 24-hour electronic monitoring, until Heins can find a new place to rebuild his life. Heins can't leave the house except to attend therapy sessions under his parents' supervision. Still, his presence has led to what the local weekly, The Woodstock Times, called emotions "bordering on hysteria."

The authorities have advised Hopkins' neighbors that if they see Heins violating so much as a technical condition of his parole -- like stepping one foot off the property -- the district attorney's office will petition the court to have him imprisoned. So there have been vigilant patrols around Hopkins' property in recent weeks, by both neighbors and police. Neighbors take turns watching the house around the clock.

No one is sure that this is what was intended when the state enacted its version of "Megan's Law." But this is what has happened in this small, handsome town where the unofficial motto has always been live and let live: There are continued calls from the community to get Heins out of here.

Two weeks ago, more than 100 people showed up at a community meeting at the West Hurley firehouse with police, prosecutors and politicians to see what could be done. There were promises. John Guerin, a Republican assemblyman from Kingston, told the crowd that Heins' case could lead to stricter versions of the law in New York state, because "they are listening in Albany."

That has provided no comfort to those worried about the here and now. Hopkins insists he has received lots of support from the community. "We've gotten calls and letters, and some people have even come in today," he said yesterday.

But there are still people watching from cars across from his house on Spillway Road, hoping to catch Heins with one foot off the property. ..more.. by Evelyn Nieves

Vigilante warning to sex offenders

7-4-2003 Editorial in The Scotsman:
SEX offenders living close to where Jodi Jones was murdered have been warned by police they may be the target of vigilante attacks while the schoolgirl’s killer remains at large.

Officers are known to have contacted relatives of at least one suspected offender in Midlothian to advise them on security as the hunt for the murderer enters its fourth day.

Forensic tests on Jodi’s clothing, which detectives hope will yield a DNA profile of the killer, will not be completed until next week and police have admitted they have no firm leads among the 350 calls received from the public.

Although police say they are "extremely confident" of catching the killer, there are fears that elements of the local community may grow impatient at the pace of progress in the investigation.

A spokeswoman for Lothian and Borders Police insisted the murder squad was not issuing a warning to all known sex offenders in the area but said it was possible officers had taken that step in individual cases.

Five years ago, police made a number of arrests when a mob of 300 gathered outside the home of a suspected paedophile in Dalkeith and threw stones at the windows.

Jodi, 14, was stabbed to death in what has been described as a "frenzied" attack while walking to meet her boyfriend on the outskirts of the town on Monday evening.

Her mutilated body was discovered by members of her own family on a secluded woodland path known as Roman Dyke, just 200 yards from her home in Easthouses, a mile outside Dalkeith.

Detective Inspector Tom Martin, a senior officer involved in the investigation, said laboratory tests were being conducted on Jodi’s distinctive dark blue baggy hooded sweat top and dark trousers.

"We have now recovered Jodi’s clothing from the scene of the murder and it is being submitted for forensic examination at a laboratory," DI Martin said.

"It is believed that Jodi struggled with her attacker and it is hoped that any contact between the two may be identified by our forensic scientists."

DI Martin added: "We have had a tremendous response from the public and have received over 350 telephone calls. However, we have no confirmed sightings of Jodi after she left her home around 5pm on Monday. We are appealing again to anyone who saw Jodi or a girl fitting her description to contact the police."

DI Martin said laboratory tests usually take up to three weeks to complete but in this case the results were expected within a week.

If a DNA profile of Jodi’s killer is obtained, detectives would be able to test men in the local area to eliminate them from their enquiries.

Ian Stephen, a forensic psychologist who advised the producers of the ITV show Cracker, said the police were likely to be working on the theory that Jodi was killed by someone who knew her and lived locally.

Mr Stephen said: "In these cases it’s very unusual for the killer and victim not to know each other. Whoever it is, this is someone full of anger."

Education officials have produced 10,000 leaflets to hand out to schoolchildren in Midlothian, warning them to be vigilant while the killer remains at large. In most schools in the area, pupils began their six-week summer holiday yesterday afternoon.

Many of Jodi’s classmates at St David’s RC High School began the holidays by visiting the end of the lane where she met her death to lay floral tributes to the murdered teenager. ..more.. by PAUL GALLAGHER

'Name and shame' court threat: Probation chiefs warn News of the World as paedophiles go into hiding

7-31-2000 News Article in The Guardian:

Probation chiefs are considering legal action against the News of the World if the newspaper does not halt its campaign to "name and shame" sex offenders, it emerged yesterday.

The Association of Chief Officers of Probation (Acop) said it might have to explore ways of stopping the campaign through the courts. Its threat came amid growing evidence that many offenders are being driven underground by the campaign, launched in the wake of eight-year-old Sarah Payne's murder.

Yesterday the paper printed the photographs and details of 34 sex offenders, after naming 49 last Sunday. It also called on readers to sign a petition calling on the home secretary, Jack Straw, to introduce legislation giving the public the right to see a register of convicted paedophiles.

Chris Smith, the culture secretary, questioned the paper's methods. "It is a noble motive to want to ensure the issue of paedophiles is more widely discussed and children are properly protected," he told BBC 1's Breakfast With Frost.

"But I fear that this is not the right way of going about doing it and I feel it would be wise for the News of the World to listen to the advice of the police."

The Home Office minister Paul Boateng, writing in the Observer, said the decision to name offenders should be taken only by the police and probation services.

Child protection and offenders' organisations are to meet News of the World executives tomorrow to argue that the campaign should be stopped.

Among the bodies expected to be represented are the National Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders, the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, the Association of Chief Police Officers and Acop.

Acop has compiled a report on the impact of the campaign and has written to the News of the World and the press complaints commission spelling out its concerns.

Yesterday a spokesman confirmed that Acop would seek legal advice if the paper did not back down, arguing that the campaign was impinging on its ability to carry out its statutory duty. Taking the paper to court, said the spokesman, was "a route we have got to explore".

Acop said: "Offenders under probation are talking to probation staff about moving away from their home area, changing identity/appearance and breaking contact with the services - effectively going underground. Treatment and assessment programmes are being disrupted and compliance is threatened."

Cases cited include a man who committed a sex offence at the age of 19 - 33 years ago - and is considered unlikely to reoffend. He is said to be suicidal over fears of being identified in the paper.

Meanwhile, some prisoners on the south coast have said they are reluctant to participate in treatment programmes, saying they cannot see the point if they are going to be "outed" on their release.

The newspaper publicity has been blamed for a series of vigilante attacks on innocent people. On Friday night a group of around 60 people waving banners and shouting abuse threw paint at a house in Plymouth which they had wrongly identified as home to a paedophile.

In the Midlands, vigilante groups have told police that they intend to use violence to drive out sex offenders.

Probation officers have reported "high levels of anxiety" from wives and children of sex offenders - and from victims.

One officer in Yorkshire told of an adult victim who came to him angry and drunk, threatening to kill the man who abused him. "Prior to this he had been dwelling less on the past and his drinking was more controlled. This has set him back," said the officer.

Probation officers are worried that, because many victims are related to their abusers, there is a risk that they could be identified.

Leading children's charities have said the government should launch a major public education campaign offering practical advice on how to protect children.

The News of the World was last night sticking by its campaign. Referring to tomorrow's meeting, a spokesman said: "We are ready and very willing to meet these important organisations. We will of course listen with the greatest care to everything they have to say. At the same time, we will clearly explain our position and restate if necessary our defined objectives."

• Police last night prepared to clear away the final toys, cards, letters and mementoes from the site where Sarah Payne's body was found 14 days ago. ..more..

Editorial: Sex offender information available

11-16-2000 Editorial in The Acorn:
While youth organizations like American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) and some churches in the area check employees and volunteers against the Megan’s Law computerized system for identifying serious and high risk sex offenders on a regular basis, individuals may not be aware that this system is also available for private use.

Megan’s Law is named after 7-year-old Megan Kanka, a New Jersey girl who was raped and killed by a known child molester who had moved across the street from the family without their knowledge.

The Kanka’s sought to have all communities warned about sex offenders in every area.

A result of the California Child Protective Act of 1994, sponsored by Dan Lundgren, who was California’s Attorney General at the time, parents and organizations now have access to information about every registered sex offender in their vicinity.

According to the law, sex offenders are required to register at local sheriff departments each year between five days before and five days after their birthday.

The database offers a basic description of the offender, including nationality, height, weight and any identifiable marks like scars, tattoos or body oddities. It also lists specific offenses and any aliases along with a picture for most, but not all, offenders.

The State Department of Justice (DOJ) sends updated CD-ROMS monthly to sheriff’s stations throughout California.

For residents of Lancaster, this proved to be a helpful tool to identify a high-risk sex offender who had moved into their community.

A newspaper has reported that state Assemblyman George Runner and city officials in Lancaster including Mayor Frank Roberts and Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford have picketed outside an apartment where Andre Bradford, 41, a registered sex offender, has moved in with relatives.

Bradford was released from Atascadero State Prison on Sept. 18 after serving 22 years for rape and burglary. More than a dozen residents have demanded the eviction of Bradford and passed out fliers alerting passersby that he had moved there.

Becky Ritchie, records supervisor for the East County Division of the Ventura County Sheriff’s department, said that information available to the general public doesn’t include the specific address of the registered sex offender, only the ZIP Code, but added that law enforcement personnel do have more specific and complete information.

Cmdr. Keith Parks at the Thousand Oaks Police Department believes that this is a great tool for organizations and the general public. He added that while it hasn’t happened yet, if a high-risk sex offender would move into the area, there are provisions for distributing public notices. ..more..

––Debbie Sporich

More walls await freed predators

1-7-2007 Oregon:
It's hard to pity a man who once molested three mentally disabled adults in his care, just because years after leaving prison he's still searching for a permanent place to call home.

The man, who was released in 2004, has applied to dozens of apartments and been rejected. The only places that will rent to him are run-down apartments in areas of town where prostitutes make a living and drug addicts get their fix. A former alcoholic and drug user himself, he knows he shouldn't live there.

The 54-year-old man's problem poses a troubling question: What does society do with a class of people whose crimes are so repugnant, few are willing to give them a chance?

A public outraged by cases of sexual predators repeating their crimes has insisted on a blizzard of laws restricting where they can live and what they can do when they leave prison. Yet some of those laws have had an unintended consequence.

Officials charged with supervising the rehabilitation of thousands of sex offenders statewide say they are finding it increasingly difficult to get jobs, inpatient drug treatment and, most of all, housing. Parole and probation officers say if a sex offender can't find a place to live, it's tough to make sure he's getting treatment and staying away from temptation.

"We're not taking their side, saying 'Oh, poor them,' " said Scott Taylor, community corrections chief for the Oregon Department of Corrections. "We don't want them to abandon all hope of being able to succeed."

A debate is growing over which measures help -- and which hinder -- the rehabilitation of sex offenders.

In Oregon, laws in recent years have either allowed or required public agencies to post the home addresses, photos, birth dates and license plates of every predatory sex offender. There are 205 predatory sex offenders on Multnomah County's Web site. About 755 of the 13,425 registered sex offenders in Oregon are on the Oregon State Police predatory sex offender Web site.

State laws prohibit sex offenders from sharing homes, from living within three miles of their victims or near schools, although the law doesn't define "near." The Portland City Council may vote soon on banning convicted child predators from public swimming pools and playgrounds.

Recent high-profile crimes such as the 2005 rape and slaying of a 9-year-old Florida girl -- allegedly by a convicted sex offender living nearby -- have prompted tougher legislation nationwide.

California and Georgia created zones around schools, bus stops and parks where sex offenders aren't allowed to reside. Ohio and Missouri lawmakers approved lifetime tracking of some sex offenders with GPS devices. And some towns in the Northeast essentially banned sex offenders from living there at all. Many of these measures are being challenged in the courts.

Offenders tell of troubles

A dozen sex offenders interviewed by The Oregonian described the challenges they faced finding a place to live. Because they fear harassment or injury, The Oregonian agreed not to use their names. Their accounts were corroborated by their parole and probation officers.
One 68-year-old man spent a few thousand dollars fixing up a rental house and installing new carpet before neighbors told authorities the house was close to a school for pregnant teens and he was forced to move. When he finally found a new place, a neighbor posted signs in front of the house announcing his presence even though Multnomah County officials already notified his neighbors.

Another man in his 20s, who is mentally disabled, lived in a motor home parked off Southeast Powell Boulevard for weeks. No motor home park in the area would have him because of his sex offender status; he had been caught printing child pornography at a public library.

A 37-year-old man, convicted of sodomizing and sexually abusing two young boys when he was a teenager, says managers of ramshackle apartments are the only ones who'll rent to him -- even two decades after his crimes.

Public disgust, he says, has increased each year.
Since Multnomah County's Web site started posting his name, photo, license plate and address last year, he's received a death threat and had his tires slashed.

"I called the police, and the cop who came out said, 'What do you want me to do?' " said the offender. "And he was right, there was nothing he could do."

In July, residents of Sheridan in Yamhill County drove out a halfway house for five sex offenders looking for permanent homes and jobs. The house closed in less than a month after community protests.

"When I hear something like that, I say, 'OK, then where do they go?' " said Bobby James, a Multnomah County corrections counselor.

Staying employed difficult

Studies show that sex offenders who hold down a job and maintain a stable home have the greatest chance of complying with the terms of their court-ordered supervision.

In a Florida survey of 183 sex offenders, 27 percent said they lost a job after the community was notified about their criminal past. About 20 percent said they had to move when their landlords found out about their sex crimes, and 15 percent said they were forced to pack up when neighbors found out. One out of three reported being harassed or threatened by neighbors.

Taylor, the head of Oregon community corrections, said that sex offenders have a markedly lower re-offense rate than the general criminal population. State figures show that three years after sex offenders are released from prison, about 5 percent to 6 percent are re-convicted of felony sex crimes, although 11 percent to 12 percent are convicted of other criminal felonies.

That's compared with about 30 percent of car thieves, drug dealers and other criminals who are re-convicted after three years.

The exception, Taylor notes, is high-risk sex offenders, such as pedophiles who victimized boys and offenders who raped women. Although it may take some years, some studies show, upward of 40 percent to 50 percent reoffend, and officials monitor and treat this group more intensely.

Of the 205 predatory sex offenders under supervision in Multnomah County, 14 are listed as homeless. Approximately 28 sex offenders are listed as homeless countywide. Transient sex offenders must register their addresses, as required by law, but the addresses often are no more specific than "the corner of Fifth and Main" or "underneath the west side of the Burnside Bridge."

"It's much safer to have parole officers know where these people are -- rather than have them randomly roaming out there in the community," said Ed Blackburn, a director at Central City Concern. The nonprofit started renting about 30 of its 1,500 available housing units to sex offenders roughly a decade ago.

Officials worry that homeless offenders are more likely to ignore treatment, polygraph tests and regular check-ins with authorities. Parole officer Ian Clanton said one of the offenders he monitors stopped showing up for his weekly appointments as he accumulated more bedding and possessions.

"They don't want to leave their stuff," Clanton said. "They don't want to lose it." Officials say some sex offenders are homeless by choice. For others, they just couldn't get a break.

"Part of the problem is the public doesn't make a distinction between people who are trying and people who are not -- it's just so easy to say no," said Sarah Frost, a Multnomah County parole officer who supervises the 54-year-old offender who molested the three mentally disabled adults in his care.

Frost says that despite his past, he's one of the ones trying to rebuild their lives. ..more.. by AIMEE GREEN

Sacramento Man Angry Sex Offender Info Released

10-3-2002 California:

Department Of Justice Says Fliers Look Like They Were Illegally Copied

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- A South Sacramento couple is leveling serious allegations of law enforcement misconduct. They say the misconduct surrounds those who have access to confidential information in the state's sex offender database.

Fliers were mailed to possibly hundreds of South Sacramento residents. Inside were five separate official printouts of registered sex offenders. One person was labeled a "child molester," while the others were portrayed as threats to area families.

One of those targeted in a printout is Donnie Johnson, who was convicted of a sex offense committed while in jail 31 years ago.

Johnson and his wife, Malea, are angry because the printouts include the home addresses of every offender. And some include driver's license numbers. The reason they are livid is that it is illegal to print out and mail the personal registration information.

"Someone in the public took it upon himself to disseminate this, and that's illegal," said Sacramento Police Sgt. Justin Risley.

Beyond that, the release of the information has also opened the couple's four children up to ridicule and even threats,
according to Johnson.

"My family's not safe anymore, not safe. My children are being victimized for a crime they didn't commit," Malea Johnson said.

What makes the story even more concerning is that all of these fliers are printouts from the state attorney general's own computer database, meaning someone in law enforcement may have illegally released the information.

"I'm mad. I'm going to turn justice around in their face, try to get the best lawyer I can find, and sue," Donnie Johnson said.

"I want them punished. I want to know who. I don't want a slap on the back and them telling me they won't know who. They can investigate and know who did this. I know they can," Malea Johnson said.

Sacramento Police Department officials say they are launching an investigation.

"We're looking into that. We didn't do it, and DOJ says no one there did it. So we need to find out who did," Risley said.

DOJ officials said that the fliers look as though they were illegally copied off a law-enforcement database. But they say there are some 400 agencies in California with clearance to access that information. So identifying whoever did it could be very difficult.

Johnson says he wants all his neighbors to know his crime did not involve children in any way shape or form. ..more.. by KCRAChannel

Men kidnap, beat and brutalize alleged molester

8-8-1997 Louisiana:

THIBODAUX, La. -- A teen-ager suspected of raping a boy was kidnapped, beaten, tortured and left hanging by the neck in the Louisiana swamp by the boy's father and another man, authorities say.

Adam Trahan Jr., 17, was hospitalized with two fractures of the spine and cuts and bruises on his face and body, including swollen testicles and whip marks on his buttocks. His condition was not disclosed yesterday.

John Bruce, 26, and Jeremy Billiot, 21, were arrested Wednesday and jailed without bail on charges of kidnapping and attempted murder. Investigators wouldn't say which man believed Trahan had raped his son, who is about 4.

"The torture went on for several hours," sheriff's spokesman Larry Weidel said.

Trahan will be charged with molesting the boy and having sex with his underage, 14-year-old girlfriend, the sheriff's office said.

Bruce and Trahan were half-brothers, and Trahan had been living with Bruce's family, Weidel said.

The sheriff's office gave this account of what Trahan said happened on Tuesday:

Bruce and Billiot hit Trahan, threw him in the trunk of Billiot's car and drove him to a sugar cane field, where Trahan was beaten severely.

Trahan again was thrown into the trunk and driven to a swamp, where his pants and underwear were torn off and he was sexually brutalized, punched and whipped with a tennis racket. He was then strung up with a rope tied to a fuel tank so that only the tips of his toes touched the ground.

The men threw bricks at Trahan's feet and continued to beat him until they saw a car's headlights approaching. The men fled, leaving Trahan hanging there in only a shirt.

Trahan worked himself free and caught a ride to the sheriff's office.

"If it wouldn't have been for those headlights, who knows what might've happened?" Weidel said. ..more.. by South Coast Today

Neighbor arrested in Megan's Law vigilante case

7-1-1998 New Jersey:
LINDEN, N.J. (AP) -- Soon after Jimmy Johnson received a flier notifying him that a high-risk sex offender lived in the neighborhood, he shot a gun five times into the house where the man lived, police and a family friend said.

Johnson, 23, was charged Tuesday with aggravated assault and weapons offenses in the June 16 shooting of sex offender Frank Penna's home.

No one was injured in the shooting.

"A lot of children are in this neighborhood, and he doesn't want anything to happen to these children," said family friend Ramone Hamilton. "He did something that he felt was right."

After hours of questioning at the police department Tuesday, Johnson eventually confessed to firing five bullets into Penna's home, said Police Detective Frank Leporino.

The bullets pierced windows and walls of an upstairs apartment, some nearly hitting a woman living there.

Johnson was held on $150,000 bail at the Union County Jail and was to appear in court on Thursday or Friday.

Penna, 55, had lived in the basement of his childhood home since 1992, after he was paroled from a 99-year sentence for raping two teen-age girls in the 1970s. Neighbors were notified in fliers in early June that he was a high-risk sex offender.

Megan's Law, passed in 1995, is named after Megan Kanka, a 7-year-old New Jersey girl raped and killed by her neighbor. It requires authorities to notify neighbors when a high-risk sex offender is living nearby.

The law's notification provision has been challenged in state and federal courts by critics who say it amounts to extra punishment and invades the sex offenders' privacy. A federal appeals court upheld the law in August and the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal this year.

Attorney General Peter Verniero condemned vigilante attacks but defended the law at a news conference on Tuesday.

"Megan's Law is not about violence or retribution," Verniero said. "The law's purpose is to inform those most vulnerable so they might take lawful steps to protect themselves."

Authorities have said the shooting was a Megan's Law vigilante case, but have refused to say what evidence they have. ..more.. by News-Star

Deputies Are Tied to Beatings of Molestation Suspects

2-27-1998 California:

LOS ANGELES | At least six and possibly as many as 14 Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies are under criminal investigation for allegedly encouraging trusties - inmates who have been granted special privileges - to brutally beat inmates accused of child molestation, according to sources and department officials.

The agency's investigation into the deputies' alleged misconduct began several weeks ago, after an accused sex offender told jail administrators that he had been beaten by other inmates. Several trusties later said deputies had urged them to participate in the attacks, the sources said.

The sheriff's internal affairs investigators are looking into a dozen cases in which molestation suspects were either beaten or injured at the jail. The beaten inmates' injuries ranged from bumps and bruises to broken facial bones, said sheriff's custody chief Barry King.

So far, a deputy and a civilian employee have been relieved of duty in connection with the beatings, officials say. More suspensions are expected.

“The deputies would give the trusties the housing location of the inmates so they could go down there and beat the hell out of them,” a source familiar with the investigation said. “Or they would send the inmate into the day room and the trusties would go in en masse ... This is strictly brutality,” the source said. ..more.. by The University of Washington Student Newspaper

'I've Been Treated Like A Monster'

4-16-2003 Washington:

ISLAND COUNTY - "People do think I'm a monster and I've been treated like a monster."

And this week, John Michael Isley's "monster" mug shot has been published throughout Island County. By law, a county must publish the name and photo of a dangerous registered sex offender when he plans to live there. Isley spoke exclusively with KOMO 4 News claiming it's a law that's "railroaded" him out of Island County.

Eleven years ago, when he was 15, he had sexual contact with a 13-year-old female cousin. He was charged with Indecent Liberties which means unwanted sexual contact but not sexual intercourse. After serving 52 weeks in a juvenile facility he has been considered, for a decade, a Level 1 sex offender, the least likely to re-offend.

But Island County decided this week, when it was learned Isley was moving to Oak Harbor, that the county considers him a Level 3 sex offender, the most dangerous level indicating a high potential to re-offend. By law, his picture and the street where he was planning to live were published.

"When I registered, the island railroaded me and sent me away," said Isley. He says the sudden change got him fired from the construction job he'd been commuting to for three weeks on Whidbey Island. "To go and change someone's level just to make sure they don't come to their island is not right," said Isley.

As the sheriff reads the law it is something he can do.

Man Slashed Across Neck, Now Arrested for Rape

2-1-2005 Alabama:

A man stabbed in an attack is facing rape charges.

20-year-old Donald Christopher Hart turned himself in on a warrant this past Friday. Hart is accused of having sex with a girl under the age of 17.

The alleged incident happened in early November near Old Red Mill in the Martling community of Marshall County.

Hart nearly died from stab wounds that morning after police say he was attacked. The man accused in Hart's attempted murder case committed suicide. ..more.. by WAFF

Blog Overview

We hope folks will continue to forward links to News articles, Papers, Research and Studies that is now within this blog.

The purpose of this blog is to document, through credible news reports and other research, incidents of vigilantism and revenge, subtle to severe, occurring to folks whose lives touch on sex offenses or sex offenders, or the lives of persons who are perceived to have committed a sex offense, AND their family members. As of August 2013, we have recorded over 500 incidents related to vigilantism and revenge.

Most folks think they know what this means, but there are many subtle variations, not often thought of. This blog documents all forms of vigilantism. Our definitions of vigilantism are here in this blog.

It is important to remember that in this blog only records what journalists have written about, but that does not consider what formerly convicted sex offenders face day to day in their lives. That is never reported, but here is recognized.

The acts of vigilantism that result in the death of a person/s are stored in our "Killings and Murders" -or- "Suicides" blogs.

Note: Starting August of 2012 we will no longer include "foreign FRN" incidents. Unless there is a special reason to save some, those that have been posted will be removed over time.

What does Congress "Protect" on registries?

Once we find or are notified of an article the first step in deciding whether or not to include it in this blog is:

If in the community, Who or What was targeted? (Person / Place or Thing):
  • RSO: A person or persons (many RSOs) identified as registered sex offender/s were the target.
  • SO Acc: A specific person accused of a sex offense, where there are sufficient other facts to indicate an offense took place.
  • RSOs Home: Home of a RSO was specifically targeted (Arson, graffiti, paint sprayed etc.).
  • RSOs Car/s: Vehicle/s belonging to a RSO (Arson, graffiti, paint sprayed etc.).
  • Family Target: A RSO's family was the target. Given -as of this writing- we only have one case, its too hard to give examples. Yet there is one heartbreaking case where a person was accused of a sex offense and was in jail, vigilantes set fire to his home, and his wife was killed in the fire.
  • Business: Means a business which is somehow related to RSOs (Treatment center, rental home/s, place where a RSO works, etc.(.
  • Non SO: This tag is used to identify all sorts of -non specific- things related to sex offenses or offender issues. Generally vigilantes etc. have targeted the wrong Person, Place or Thing but still related. You would be amazed at the mistakes the public makes when fueled by hysteria, but check these for examples.

If in Jails or Prisons, Who was targeted?:
  • RSO Inmate: Someone who is incarcerated and has a prio sex offense.
  • SO Acc Inmate: People incarcerated awaiting processing of a sex offense.

Who Caused the Incident:
Following above we look to see "Who Caused the Incident" by reviewing the article facts. Now if the facts show this is in retaliation for a prior or alleged sex crime, and the perpetrators here are the victim (or the victim's family) of that sex crime, then we tag article "by Victim - Family members." This is a critical distinction because we move from vigilantism to revenge oriented (see revenge graphic), and we appropriately tag the article one of the following:

There is one exception, if the victim "Lied" -and there is proof- then we tag article "Victim Lies" and revenge is ignored and vigilantism is inferred. See examples of actual "Victim Lies" cases.

If article is not "victim related" then other "Caused by" circumstances are identified and the article is tagged, to see these "Other Caused by" circumstances see right side of blog, they are varied.

Falsely Accused:
When the facts show a person was "Falsely Accused" we will tag the article and include a special graphic indicating falsely accused. It happens more often than most folks realize.

Other Tags:
At this point we assign other tags based on article facts. Articles may have multiple Harm Tags. See right side of blog for other tags.

Blog Type: Incident Based
"Incident Based" means all information about one incident, is stored together (a post may contain different versions of the incident, to gather facts, or later proceedings related to the incident), incident by incident. Within a specific incident, we store all information about that incident which may includes multiple news reports.

Now, if a later news report adds something which earlier reports did not disclose, then we will add the later news report to the same incident file, and give it additional "tag/s" as needed. Then folks can later retrieve the incident by any of those tags and have all relevant news reports, we try not to post duplicate news report.

Bad/Dead News Links:
Unfortunately as time goes on some of the Internet links will no longer work. This is due to various reasons such as the site is rearranged, older articles are removed, etc. There is nothing we can do about this which is why we try to capture the essence of a story initially, the relevant facts, so folks can still see what happened.

So, if anyone has anything which should be added, please forward the link and we will research it, and may include it if it falls with the criteria for this blog.

For now, have a great day and a better tomorrow.

Sex Offender Issues blog maintains this -vigilante- list of known people, blogs, organizations, and websites. If you review it take note of the comment IN RED at the top of the spreadsheet before you access any of those sites.


2006 National:

There is a long history of legal regimes using shaming to punish criminal offenders, a practice that is currently employed throughout the United States to sanction sex offenders. This Article focuses on how policymakers can minimize the cost of criminal punitive measures by utilizing both legal and nonlegal sanctions. After discussing the general economic case for the use of nonlegal sanctions, the Article presents a model of shaming that, unlike existing models, incorporates the endogenous effects of legal and non-legal sanctions.

More precisely, the model demonstrates that changes in the level of legal sanctions can affect the level of non-legal sanctions and vice-versa. The Article then examines current practices in various U.S jurisdictions of publicizing the names of convicted sex offenders. The author concludes that while such policies arguably have limited preventative value, they may still be justiªed as an efªcient way to sanction sex offenders, subjecting them to non-legal sanctions at costs lower than those associated with legal sanctions. ..more.. by Doron Teichman

---------------- Excerpts ----------------

P-356: (Non-legal Sanctions) One of the current debates regarding non-legal sanctions concerns the extent to which legally induced non-legal sanctions such as shaming should be used to punish criminals. At one end of this debate stand scholars such as Toni Massaro and James Whitman, who argue that non-legal sanctions are either ineffective or morally repugnant and therefore should not be used.6 At the other end stand scholars such as Dan Kahan and Eric Posner, who argue that non-legal sanctions may be an efficient and politically viable sanctioning tool.7 This Article sides with the latter group and contributes further economic insights to the debate.

(eAdvocate NOTE: The error of this "non-legal sanctions" argument is, first it fails to recognize that a "sanction" is punishment, and as applied to this class is applied after-the-fact make it additional punishment, and further, that there are no balancing or limits to the non-legal sanctions and finally, they are constanly changing and being retroactively applied. There is no finality, registrants are manipulated like pawns in a chess game, often to their psychological limts with many committing suicide)

6: See Toni M. Massaro, Shame, Culture, and American Criminal Law, 89 Mich. L. Rev. 1880, 1883–84 (1991); James Q. Whitman, What Is Wrong with Inºicting Shame Sanctions?, 107 Yale L. J. 1055, 1087–92 (1998).

7: See Dan M. Kahan, What do Alternative Sanctions Mean?, 63 U. Chi. L. Rev. 591, 630–31 (1996); Dan M. Kahan & Eric A. Posner, Shaming White-Collar Criminals: A Proposal for Reform of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, 42 J.L. & Econ. 365, 366–68 (1999).

P-367: ( ) James Whitman, an opponent of shaming sanctions, points out the adverse effects of these sanctions on the sanctioning public.51 More specifically, Whitman is concerned that delegating the act of punishing to the public could stir up emotions and create an atmosphere of lynch mob justice.52 However, policymakers have the power to take measures to prevent this from happening.53 Prosecution of vigilantes, policing demonstrations against offenders, and harm caused to innocent bystanders are all costs associated with shaming sanctions that must be incorporated into the cost benefit analysis of these sanctions.

The inducement of non-legal sanctions also poses a problem in that it requires reliance on local communities and their own sanctioning norms to punish criminals rather than on a central government. While local norms may serve the narrow interests of a specific community, they may be inefficient from the perspective of the broader community.54 For example, a local community may choose to punish criminals by banishing them.55 Such sanctions are potentially inefficient since they result in a negative outcome outside of the local community, namely the relocation of an offender to a neighboring area.56 As with banishment, housing discrimination may be inefficient since it simply forces criminals to find housing elsewhere. A system based on non-legal sanctions must therefore expend resources on regulating these sanctions, and outlawing certain inefficient sanctions may be necessary.57

51: See Whitman, supra note 6, at 1087–92.

52: See id.

53: Historically, systems using shaming sanctions have been aware of this problem and
devoted resources to controlling the behavior of the sanctioning public. For example, when the pillory was used in England, constables made sure that the event would not deteriorate to wild violence. See J. M. Beattie, Crime and the Courts in England: 1660–1800, at 614–16 (1986).

54: See Posner, Inefficient Norms, supra note 4, at 1720–21 (analyzing the potential
inefficiencies of norms that generate negative externalities).

55: This seems to be the case currently with respect to sex offenders. See, e.g., Abril R. Bedarf, Examining Sex Offender Community Notiªcation Laws, 83 Cal. L. Rev. 885, 908 (1995) (noting that “[s]ometimes the community outrage and rejection forces the offender out of town”). For a review of the non-legal sanctions suffered by offenders, see Part II of this Article.

56: See Doron Teichman, The Market for Criminal Justice: Federalism, Crime Control,
and Jurisdictional Competition, 103 Mich. L. Rev. (forthcoming June 2005).

57: See, e.g., N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:7-11(c)(7) (West 1997) (prohibiting housing discrimination on the basis of registration as a sex offender).

P-386: (Family theme) The significant amount of cases where sanctions are directed against the family members of an offender similarly demonstrates the punitive nature of non-legal sanctions generated by SORNLs.147 In research conducted in Wisconsin, for example, two-thirds of offenders reported negative effects on the lives of their family members.148 It is difficult to categorize ridiculing an offender’s son and causing him to leave his school’s football team as a preventative measure.149 Rather, these cases indicate that the sanctioning of sex offenders has become a focal point for a sanctioning norm in some communities.150 Since norm-driven non-legal sanctions are based simply on the willingness to engage in costly acts, the identity of the target of non-legal sanctions is immaterial. Thus, publicly sanctioning the children of sex offenders can be as effective a signal as sanctioning the offenders themselves.

Additionally, non-legal sanctions that are applied to sex offenders are
often applied inconsistently, singling out specific individuals arbitrarily.151

146: See Doe v. Pataki, 940 F. Supp. 603, 610 (S.D.N.Y. 1996) (describing an incident in which a gas station that employed a sex offender was boycotted); Brief of Amici Curae Office of the Public Defender of the State of New Jersey et al. at 8, Smith v. Doe, 538 U.S. 84 (2003) (No. 01-729) [hereinafter New Jersey Public Defender Brief] (reporting that an offender was refused a job because of the hiring company’s fear of negative publicity); id. at 15–16 (describing a case in which an employer terminated an offender due to public pressure despite the employer’s acknowledgement of the offender’s “outstanding performance”); Brian D. Gallagher, Now that We Know Where They Are, What Do We Do with Them?: The Placement of Sex Offenders in the Age of Megan’s Law, 7 Widener J. Pub. L. 39, 53 (1997) (reporting a case in which a business rescinded a job offer to a released sex offender due to negative public reaction). Not surprisingly, community members who oppose notification are sometimes fearful of voicing their opinions in public. In Texas, a resident who spoke out against the local notification policies refused to identify himself to the media out of fear of retaliation. See Tracey-Lynn Clough, Neighbors Warned About Sex Offender, Dallas Morning News, May 24, 1996, at 1A.

147: See, e.g., Pataki, 940 F. Supp. at 609 (noting a case in which members of a sex offender’s family were harassed); Small, supra note 9, at 1466 (reporting a case in which the offender’s sister-in-law and her children were shot at and harrassed).

148: See Richard Z. Zevitz & Mary Ann Farkas, Sex Offender Community Notification: Managing High Risk Criminals or Exacting Further Vengeance?, 18 Behav. Sci. & L. 375, 383 (2000). This fraction overstates the number of non-legal sanctions that are aimed toward family members since it includes cases in which family members were hurt solely by the publication of the offender’s name. See also The National Criminal Justice Association, Sex Offender Registration and Notification: Problem Avoidance & Barriers to Implementation & Sex Offender Registration & Notiªcation Costs Survey Results 32 (1999) [hereinafter Nat’l Crim. Just. Ass’n Study] (discussing the harassment of children of offenders).

149: See Zevitz & Farkas supra note 148, at 383.

150: See Posner, Social Norms, supra note 3, at 93 (pointing out that norm-based nonlegal sanctions might target relatives of wrongdoers).

151: See Richard G. Zevitz & Mary Ann Farkas, Sex Offender Community Notification: Assessing the Impact in Wisconsin, National Institute of Justice—Research in Brief 9 (2000), available at (last visited Mar. 15, 2005); see also Scott Matson & Roxanna Lieb, Community Notification in Washington State: 1996 Survey of Law Enforcement 16 (1996), available atªles/sle.pdf (last visited Mar. 15, 2005) (pointing out that “communities can be unpredictable in their reactions towards sex offenders”).

P-387-388: (Vigilantism Theme) Sanctions that target offenders are frequently conducted by groups rather than individuals, reflecting a “lynch mob attitude.”153 Group-based non-legal sanctions are another indicator that signaling behavior is at work. Such participation in sanctioning offenders is driven by a need to conform to the norms of the group rather than by an individual decision to protect oneself from future harms.154

Finally, it should be noted that the acts of violent vigilantism suffered by sex offenders are consistent with punitive rather than preventative non-legal sanctions. Since the adoption of SORNLs, sex offenders have been subjected to threats,155 vandalism of their property,156 physical assaults, 157 and gunshots.158 Despite the fact that these acts are relatively rare,159 they are still a signifcant sanction from the perspective of potential offenders since they have such serious consequences.

In sum, the various characteristics of non-legal sanctions generated by SORNLs suggest a social mechanism concerned not merely with precautionary measures. This conclusion is also supported by the only available systematic study of the non-legal sanctions incurred by sex offenders as a result of SORNLs. This study reported that eighty-three percent of offenders were excluded from their place of residence and that over fifty percent were terminated from their place of employment.160 These large numbers reflect a general sanctioning norm to which sex offenders are subject.

153: See Dugan, supra note 95, at 618; Amy L. Van Duyn, Note, The Scarlet Letter Branding: A Constitutional Analysis of Community Notiªcation Provisions In Sex Offender Statues, 47 Drake L. Rev. 635, 650 (1999).

154: See Posner, Social Norms, supra note 3, at 93 (noting that “[t]he reason that people join mobs is that it is better to be a member of a mob than its target”).

155: See, e.g., New Jersey Public Defender Brief, supra note 146, at 7 (reporting that an offender received a letter with a message made of newspaper clippings saying, “[w]e’ll be watching you asshole”); id. at 9 (reporting that a man told an offender, “[s]top fucking little girls. I’m going to kill you,” and that the offender was attacked by another man armed with a gun wearing a ski mask who told him, “[i]f you don’t get out of this neighborhood I’m going to kill you”); Small, supra note 9, at 1466 (reporting death threats made against the sister-in-law of an offender).

156: See, e.g., New Jersey Public Defender Brief, supra note 146, at 11 (describing a series of incidents including placing human feces on the steps of an offender’s home, slashing the tires of an offender’s car, and destroying offenders’ mailboxes); Small, supra note 9, at 1466 (describing a case in which the car of the offender was vandalized); Zevitz & Farkas, supra note 148, at 383 (same); Jenny A. Montana, Note, An Ineffective Weapon in the Fight Against Child Sexual Abuse: New Jersey’s Megan’s Law, 3 J. L. & Pol’y 569,579 (1995) (noting the case of Joseph Gallardo, a Washington sex offender whose house was burned down).

157: See, e.g., Doe v. Pataki, 940 F. Supp. 603, 610 (S.D.N.Y. 1996) (describing an incident in which an offender was punched in the face); New Jersey Public Defender Brief, supra note 146, at 8–9 (describing an incident in which two men broke into an offender’s residence and attacked a man they mistook for the offender and an incident in which an offender was struck with a crowbar).

158: See, e.g., Robert Hanley, Neighbor Admits Firing Gun Into Home of Paroled Rapist, N.Y. Times, Nov. 10, 1998, at B8 (reporting the case of a shooting at the house of a sex offender in Linden, New Jersey).

159: See Matson & Lieb, supra note 151, at 15 (reporting that 3.5% of offenders report cases of harassment); Zevitz & Farkas, supra note 148, at 381 (reporting that in only three percent of cases did sex offenders report acts of vigilantism).

160: See Zevitz & Farkas, supra note 148, at 381.

P-390: (Psychological Effects) From an economic perspective, SORNLs seem to create a problem of marginal deterrence, since in many cases they deprive offenders of the opportunity to regain new social capital. Although SORNLs do not attach a physical mark to sex offenders as did branding punishments in eighteenth century England or scarlet letter punishments in colonial times, they are relatives of such schemes. SORNLs attach specific information to sex offenders in such a way that this information becomes a part of their identity. This information causes detrimental consequences, including loss of housing, disruption of personal relationships, and loss of employment.175

Thus, sex offenders subject to SORNLs find themselves with little social capital and do not feel very threatened by the possibility of future non-legal sanctions. In fact, it has been reported that some offenders have chosen to return to prison since that is their only housing option.176 In extreme cases, SORNLs have made sex offenders feel that they literally have nothing to lose, and they end up committing suicide as a direct result of notification.177 These cases reflect a potentially fatal weakness in a deterrence system, since there is most likely no threat that the law can use in order to deter individuals who are willing to commit suicide.178

175: See supra Part II.C.

176: See Zevitz & Faraks, supra note 148, at 382.

177: See, e.g., New Jersey Public Defender Brief, supra note 146, at 19–21 (describing numerous incidents of offenders committing suicide as a result of notiªcation); Associated Press, Suicide Is Recalled as Maine Revisits Megan’s Law; Released Sex Offender Shot Himself After Neighborhood Notiªcation, Wash. Post, Feb. 17, 1998, at A2 (reporting on an offender committing suicide just two days after notiªcation); Todd S. Purdum, Death of Sex Offender Is Tied to Megan’s Law, N.Y. Times, July 9, 1998, at A16 (reporting two separate incidents of offenders committing suicide after notiªcation).

The link between shaming sanctions and suicide is not unique to SORNLs or to American culture. See, e.g., John Beattie, Other Cultures; Aims, Methods, and Achievements in Social Anthropology 176 (1964) (reporting that shame caused suicide
among Tobriand Islanders); Braithwaite, supra note 68, at 138 (noting that cases of
suicide due to corporate malpractice are common in Japan); Persons, supra note 11, at
1527 (reporting the case of a patron of a prostitute who committed suicide after his name was published in a newspaper as part of a shaming scheme).

178: See Alan M. Dershowtiz, Why Terrorism Works: Understanding the Threat, Responding to the Challenge 29 (2002) (pointing out that in the context of suicide bombers “the usual deterrent strategy of threatening death to the perpetrator will not work”).

P-403-404: (Cruel & Unusual / Punishment Theme) Sex offenders challenge the validity of SORNLs on other constitutional grounds as well, arguing that they are unconstitutional inflictions of cruel and unusual punishment.265 Similar arguments have been made by legal scholars, who tend to focus their attention on the vigilante attacks facilitated by SORNLs.266 Thus far, since the majority of courts have found that SORNLs do not constitute punishment, they have necessarily rejected claims that SORNLs constitute cruel and unusual punishment.267 Under the punitive approach to SORNLs, these laws generally should not be considered cruel and unusual punishment. Despite their harsh effects on offenders, there seems to be no reason to view SORNLs’ sanctions as exceptionally cruel, especially when compared to the alternative sanction of imprisonment. 268

Nonetheless, there may be specific types of public shaming that could be viewed as cruel and unusual punishment in that they contradict the common morals of society.269 Such values are based on a variety of theories, such as human dignity or the disutility caused to the general public by the humiliation of a fellow community member. For instance, one may argue that the provisions of the Louisiana SORNL authorizing courts to order offenders to wear T-shirts and post signs outside their homes indicating their status as sex offenders represent an unacceptable form of humiliation. Evaluating which types of notification are unacceptable should be done on a case-by-case basis and is beyond the scope of this Article.

265: See, e.g., Cutshall v. Sundquist, 193 F.3d 466, 472–83 (6th Cir. 1999). The Eighth Amendment provides that “[e]xcessive bails shall not be required, nor excessive ªnes imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishment inºicted.” U.S. Const. Amend. VIII.

266: See, e.g., Bedarf, supra note 55, at 936–39 (arguing that SORNLs constitute cruel and unusual punishment because they are degrading); Michele L. Earl-Hubbard, The Child Sex Offender Registration Laws: The Punishment, Liberty Depravation, and Unintended Results Associated with the Scarlet Letter Laws of the 1990s, 90 Nw. U. L. Rev. 788, 820–26 (1996) (arguing that SORNLs constitute cruel and unusual punishment because vigilante acts are a foreseeable result of such laws); Andrea L. Fischer, Florida’s Community Notification of Sex Offenders on the Internet: The Disregard of Constitutional Protection for Sex Offenders, 45 Clev. St. L. Rev. 505, 523–30 (1997); G. Scott Rafshoon, Community Notiªcation of Sex Offenders: Issues of Punishment, Privacy, and Due Process, 44 Emory L. J. 1633, 1668–71 (1995). But see Houston, supra note 36, at 747–56 (arguing that SORNLs are a legitimate way to promote public safety and do not constitute cruel and unusual punishment).

267: See, e.g., Cutshall, 193 F.3d at 477. But see In re Reed, 663 P.2d 216, 222 (Cal. 1983) (Finding that requiring a defendant convicted of soliciting lewd or dissolute conduct to register as a sex offender constitutes cruel and unusual punishment under the California Constitution). Recently, the California Supreme Court overruled Reed in In re Leon Casey Alva, 92 P.3d 311, 312 (Cal. 2004). However, one should note that the discussion in Alva was limited to the question of whether registration constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. See id. at 313. Thus, it is still unclear whether the enactment of a widespread notiªcation program is constitutional under California law.

268: See supra notes 72–75 and accompanying text.

269: Courts have generally held that the Eighth Amendment creates a moral limitation on the types of punishments that can be used. See, e.g., Trop v. Dulles, 356 U.S. 86, 100 (1958) (stating that the basic principle underlying the Eighth Amendment is human dignity); Weems v. United States, 217 U.S. 349, 378 (1910) (explaining that the Eighth Amendment “may acquire meaning as public opinion becomes enlightened by a humane justice”).

P-408-409: (Term of Registration and Notification) One point of contention regarding SORNLs involves the duration of registration and notification. The Jacob Wetterling Act requires offenders who are either convicted of aggravated offenses or have multiple convictions to register for life without exception.291 Furthermore, since the Jacob Wetterling Act only establishes minimum requirements, some states have created harsher rules and require all offenders to register for life with no possibility of relief.292 This type of sanctioning is undesirable from the perspective of marginal deterrence since it threatens offenders with a life of stigmatization and a diminished possibility of reacquiring social capital. As one offender stated before committing suicide, “I have no hope . . . . What is left for me? I will be subject to Megan’s Law for the rest of my life.”293 A policy sensitive to marginal deterrence considerations would allow for the removal of offenders from the registry after a specific period of time that reflects a socially desired level of sanctioning. Purging one’s name from the registry could be contingent on meeting certain requirements, such as clean police records, that would motivate offenders to refrain from criminal activity.294 Creating a finite registration and notification period would give offenders something to lose by re-offending and would enable policymakers to utilize non-legal sanctions to deter future crimes.295

The case for a finite registration and notification period may be phrased in constitutional terms. The Supreme Court has yet to make a clear connection between the concept of marginal deterrence and the Eighth Amendment. Nevertheless, in several cases in which the Court was willing to strike down punishments, its decisions appear to have been at least partially driven by marginal deterrence intuitions. This can be seen in the way the Court has read a proportionality requirement into the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment.296 For example, in Coker v. Georgia, the Supreme Court struck down on proportionality grounds a Georgia law allowing the imposition of the death penalty on rapists.297 Although the court did not ground its ruling in a marginal deterrence theory, the decision is consistent with such a theory of punishment. Imposing the death penalty on rapists would give rapists an incentive to kill their victims, since by doing so they could reduce the possibility of detection with no risk of a harsher sentence.298

Similarly, some of the concerns of courts regarding three-strike laws can be framed in terms of marginal deterrence. Under these laws, offenders convicted for the third time of certain crimes are subject to harsh mandatory sanctions.299 For instance, in Solem v. Helm, the Supreme Court evaluated a sentence of life without the possibility of parole imposed on a repeat offender convicted of issuing a no-account check for $100.300 The Court struck down the punishment, finding it was disproportionate to the crime.301 Again, despite the fact that the Court did not base its decision on marginal deterrence grounds, one can point to a connection between the theory and the Court’s holding. A sanctioning regime that imposes harsh mandatory sanctions for crimes of widely varying degrees erodes marginal deterrence.

A two-strike offender who faces the same sanction for shoplifting a videotape as for armed robbery may opt for the latter if his expected payoff from the latter crime is higher.

291: 42 U.S.C. § 14071(b)(6)(B) (2000). The Final Guidelines make clear that “[a] state is not in compliance with subsection (b)(6)(B) (i) or (ii) if it has a procedure or authorization for terminating the registration of convicted offenders within the scope of these provisions at any point in their lifetimes.” The Final Guidelines, supra note 105, at 582.

292: See Mo. Rev. Stat. § 589.400.3 (2000 & Supp. 2004) (setting out lifetime registration for all offenders); S.C. Code Ann. § 23-3-460 (Law. Co-op. Supp. 2004) (same).

293: See New Jersey Public Defender Brief, supra note 146, at 22.

294: Some states have opted for such a regime. For example, the Florida SORNL provides for judicial review of the registration requirement twenty years after the initial registration. Fla. Stat. ch. 943.0435(11)(a) (2004). However, since this provision is subject to the constraints of the Jacob Wetterling Act, offenders in Florida cannot currently ask for such relief.

295: The mere fact that registration ends will not necessarily end non-legal sanctions since the community will continue to hold the information that was disseminated by the SORNL. Nevertheless, the moment that registration is no longer required, the offender has the opportunity to move to a different community and start a new life without non-legal sanctions.

296: See Weems v. United States, 217 U.S. 349, 367 (1910) (“[P]unishment for crime
should be graduated and proportioned to offense.”).

297: See 433 U.S. 584, 592 (1977) (concluding that “a sentence of death is grossly disproportionate and excessive punishment for the crime of rape and is therefore forbidden by the Eighth Amendment as cruel and unusual punishment”). It should be noted that Coker does not represent a complete ban on imposing the death penalty on sexual crimes that do not involve murder. See Louisiana v. Bethley, 685 So. 2d 1063 (La. 1996) (upholding a Louisiana statute allowing the death penalty when the victim of a rape was less than twelve years of age); cert. denied, Bethley v. Louisiana, 520 U.S. 1259 (1997).

298: This conclusion presupposes that law enforcement agencies devote equal resources
to the investigation of rapes in which the victims are murdered as to those in which they are not. If law enforcement agencies in fact increase their efforts in murder cases, the rapist may still have an incentive to avoid murdering his victim.

299: For a comparative description of these laws, see John Clark et al., U.S. Dep’t of Justice, Three Strikes and You’re Out: A Review of State Legislation 6–12 (1997).

300: See 463 U.S. 277, 281–83 (1983).