Court Denies Request for Preliminary Injunction

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Janice’s Journal: IML – Court Denies Request for Preliminary Injunction

Posted On 13 Apr, 2016

Today the dragon won.  That is, the federal government was given permission to continue its implementation of the International Megan’s Law (IML).

The U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California denied our Motion for Preliminary Injunction which attempted to stop the government’s addition of a Scarlet letter to the passports of American citizens as well the government’s notifications to foreign countries that citizens intend to travel there.

The court’s denial was based, in part, upon the legal concept of ripeness.  That is, whether the issue was ready (or ripe) for judicial review.

The court declared it was not.  Why?  Because the federal government has not yet determined the appearance or placement of a “conspicuous unique identifier” on a passport.  In making this declaration, the court avoided the broader issue of whether any identifier placed on any part of a passport could pass constitutional muster.

The court’s denial was also based, in part, upon the legal concept of standing.  That is, whether the plaintiffs in the case have identified a “certainly impending” future injury caused by the IML.

The court declared they have not.  Why?  Because any injury that plaintiffs suffered could not be traceable to the IML.  In making this declaration, the court failed to consider the harm already done to plaintiffs in this case as well as to thousands of others including the inability to live with one’s spouse, assist an elderly parent or conduct lawful business overseas.

Although today’s decision was not unexpected, it is disappointing.  It is one more decision in which a court ignores empirical evidence and relies instead upon myths.

The big picture is this.  Today the dragon won.  Tomorrow we fight again.  Our challenge to the IML will continue.

Parole Board Member Accused of Blowing Off Prisoner Interviews Gets Indicted Five More Times

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http://www.houstonpress.com/news/parole-board-member-accused-of-blowing-off-prisoner-interviews-gets-indicted-five-more-times-8261376 

Parole Board Member Accused of Blowing Off Prisoner Interviews Gets Indicted Five More Times

By Meagan Flynn – Tuesday, March 22, 2016 at 11 a.m.
 

If you believe Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles member Pamela Freeman, then you believe that six prisoners declined an interview with her that could have led to their release because it was fried chicken day at the prison cafeteria.

The inmates had been waiting 20 years behind bars for the interview.  For many of them, it was the first chance they had to try to persuade somebody how much they’ve changed in the past two decades, how they’ve kept busy and how sorry they are for what they did.
 
Freeman was indicted in Walker County for one count of tampering with a government record in October 2014 — and this past February, she picked up five more indictments for the five other men, as Scott Henson over at the popular criminal justice blog Grits For Breakfast recently pointed out

State’s first sex predator trial under new law held in Fort Worth

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State’s first sex predator trial under new law held in Fort Worth

By Mitch Mitchell  March 3, 2016 8:41 PM

mitchmitchell@star-telegram.com 

State’s first sex predator trial under new law held in Fort Worth 

FORT WORTH

A violent sexual offender convicted of a list of crimes in Tarrant County dating back to 1991 will be sent to the state’s new facility for repeat sex offenders under the civil commitment program, a Tarrant County judge decided Wednesday. 

Short was due to be discharged from prison in the fall after serving 25 years for his most recent convictions, the release said.

Instead, prosecutors sought to have Short civilly committed. So after he is released from prison, he will be sent to the state’s secure Littlefield facility, where the state sends all felons admitted to its civil commitment program.

The prosecution called three witnesses, including a forensic psychologist, a psychiatrist and Short.

Salvant ordered that Short be committed after a jury found that he has a behavioral abnormality that makes him likely to engage in predatory acts of sexual violence, the news release said.

“Von Short is a sexually deviant and dangerous individual,” Vassar said. “During his 25 year imprisonment he never had sex offender treatment from a licensed professional. The jury’s verdict ensures that he will get the treatment he needs, and guarantees the citizens of Texas that he will be monitored 24 hours a day.”

 

Motion Filed to Stop Implementation of International Megan’s Law

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Come meet Janice at our Texas Voices Conference in Dallas on April 9th and 10th!

Motion Filed to Stop Implementation of International Megan’s Law

Janice Bellucci has filed a motion for ‘preliminary injunction ‘on IML. Read below for more info:

http://californiarsol.org/2016/02/motion-filed-to-stop-implementation-of-international-megans-law/ 

Motion Filed to Stop Implementation of International Megan’s Law

Posted On 20 Feb, 2016  

A Motion for Preliminary Injunction was filed on February 19 asking the U.S. District Court to stop implementation of International Megan’s Law (formerly HR 515 and now Public Law 114-119). If granted, the motion would temporarily prohibit the federal government from both adding a conspicuous, unique identifier to the passports of registrants and notifying foreign countries of registrants’ plans to travel internationally.

Six declarations were Included with the Motion, including declarations from the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA), Dr. Tom Tobin of Sharper Future and criminal defense attorney Alex Landon. The declarations of by ATSA and Dr. Tobin included statements that International Megan’s Law will not halt child sex trafficking and could result in significant harm to hundreds of thousands of registrants.

“We are grateful for the support of ATSA in our efforts to stop implementation of International Megan’s Law,” stated CA RSOL president Janice Bellucci. ATSA is an international organization dedicated to preventing sexual abuse through research, evidence-based practice, public policy and community strategies that lead to the effective assessment, treatment, and management of individuals who have sexually abused or are at risk to abuse.

A hearing date of March 30 was requested when the motion was filed. The federal government’s response to the motion is currently due on March 4, however, both dates could be postponed if the government requests a delay.

 

Lawmakers push for mercy on sex offender registry

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Lawmakers push for mercy on sex offender registry  (Click Here For Complete Story)

Lawmakers push for mercy on sex offender registry

By Larry D. Curtis and Rod Decker Wednesday, February 17th 2016
 

Salt Lake City — (KUTV) There is some sympathy on Utah’s Capitol Hill for sex offenders.

Some offenders, convicted of only minor crimes, are punished for a decade through the sex offender registry. Wednesday, a group of women spoke up for husbands and sons who are on the registry.

People on the sex offender registry don’t usually get much sympathy and that is part of the problem.

 

Defending Sex Offenders One City at a Time

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Wow- this is really good!  Our two favorite lawyers in the news……
By the way, come to our Texas Voices Conference in April and meet them.

Defending Sex Offenders One City at a Time  (Click Here to Read The Full Story)

By Christian McPhate

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Richard Gladden might be considered a superhero among civil rights activists if he weren’t representing one of the most despised segments of the population: sex offenders. The 55-year-old attorney has been defending them in court for more than a decade, fighting for their rights in a society hell-bent on taking them away.  

 

 

Small Texas Cities Face Challenge over Restrictions on Sex Offenders

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Small Texas Cities Face Challenge over Restrictions on Sex Offenders

Monday, February 15, 2016
 
Gladden argues that the general welfare statute doesn’t delegate the authority for general law cities to pass sex offender residency restrictions, and 20 Texas towns agreed and repealed their ordinances after receiving Gladden’s demand letter. “People are so fearful of protecting their children,” he says. “It’s instinctual, and they become so overwhelmed by it that they don’t use their heads to implement policy that actually makes children safer. They instead respond to hysterical fear and implement policies that make children less safe as they push child molesters off the grid.”
 
 

West Lake Hills set to defend its registered sex offender ordinance, city council says | Community Impact Newspaper

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West Lake Hills set to defend its registered sex offender ordinance, city council says | Community Impact Newspaper

General-law city, nonprofit organization face off over residency restrictions

By
 

Texas Voices of Reason and Justice filed a lawsuit Dec. 28 against several cities, including West Lake Hills, alleging the city’s restrictions on where registered sex offenders can reside violate the Texas Constitution, said Richard Gladden, Texas Voices of Reason and Justice attorney.

The nonprofit organization provides information and education about the state’s public sex offender registry and its impact on community safety.

West Lake Hills prohibits registered sex offenders from establishing permanent or temporary residence within 1,000 feet of a playground, school, video arcades, youth center, day care center, public swimming pool or bus stop, according to the city ordinance.

Because it is a general-law city—cities with fewer than 5,000 residents—West Lake Hills cannot pass ordinances without authorization from the Texas Legislature, Gladden said. As a general rule, Texas does not prohibit registered sex offenders from living or going near places frequented by children, he said. The city’s laws that define where registered sex offenders can live is unconstitutional, he said.

“The goal is to provide a safe and secure environment for all of our residents, especially our children,” West Lake Hills Mayor Linda Anthony said of the ordinance.

There are areas within West Lake Hills where registered sex offenders are able to reside under the current ordinance, she said.

In November, Texas Voices for Reason and Justice sent letters to 46 Texas general-law cities, raising concerns over the legality of the municipalities’ registered sex offender residency ordinances, Gladden said. Twenty of these cities repealed their sex offender ordinances shortly after receiving the letter and Texas Voices of Reason and Justice sued 14 of the remaining cities, he said.

“Many [registered sex offenders] are no longer on probation—they’ve already paid their debt to society,” Gladden said. “Now, they and their families are having a hard time finding a place [to] live.”

During its Jan. 13 meeting, West Lake Hills City Council agreed to file documents denying the allegations in the lawsuit.


Rollingwood, Bee Cave, Lakeway registered sex offender ordinances

Rollingwood is a general-law city with a population of less than 5,000 and does not have any additional ordinances regulating where registered sex offenders can live, Rollingwood City Administrator Charles Winfield said.

With populations exceeding 5,000 residents, both Lakeway and Bee Cave are home rule cities and do not have any additional ordinances regulating where registered sex offenders can live other than state law.

Lakeway became a home rule city in 1990 and Bee Cave adopted home rule status in 2013.

Home rule cities do not need additional approval from the Texas Legislature to pass residency restrictions for registered sex offenders, said Richard Gladden, attorney for Texas Voices of Reason and Justice.

Texas Voices of Reason and Justice is a nonprofit organization that provides information and education about the state’s public sex offender laws.