Tuesday, October 3, 2017

As suspected, a Lessley family member was arrested in the arson of registrant's home in Robinwood


Jessie Lessley

The relationship between Jessie, Jeb and Jessica Lessley aren't mentioned but I did call it, I said a member of the Lessleys were involved, and lo and behold, here's a member of the Lessley family arrested for arson.

https://jeffcosheriff.net/news/robinwood-man-arrested-for-arson/

18 AUGUST
Robinwood Man Arrested for Arson
By Sheriff's Office | Posted in Arrest News Update

Birmingham, AL 08/18/2017

35-year-old Jessie Lessley of Robinwood was arrested for arson.

Just after 6:00 pm on July 31, deputies responded to a report of a house fire in the 400 block of 10th Street in Robinwood. It was reported that Lessley had been seen running from the rear of the home shortly before the fire broke out. No one was home at the time of the fire and the home appeared to have been vacant for some time. There was no natural gas or power service to the home.

Sheriff’s detectives requested the State Fire Marshall conduct a determination of the cause and origin of the fire. It was learned that the fire had been intentionally set.

On August 14, detectives obtained an arrest warrant for Jessie Lessley charging him with Arson 2nd Degree. A deputy familiar with the case spotted Lessley walking in Robinwood on August 16 and arrested him.

Lessley posted $15,000 bond for the charge of Arson 2nd Degree and was released pending court proceedings.

Friday, August 4, 2017

It's deja vu all over again: Suspicious fire at same home of registered citizen in Robinwood



That's two times in less than a year. If I was a cop, Jeb and Jessica Lessley would be at the top of my list of suspects.

http://www.wvtm13.com/article/fire-at-home-of-local-sex-offender-raises-suspicion/11430886

Fire at home of local sex offender raises suspicion
Sheriff’s office and fire department investigating fire at sex offender’s house
Updated: 5:25 AM CDT Aug 4, 2017


Sarah Killian  
Reporter

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ala. —
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and Center Point Fire Department are investigating the second fire in less than a year at the local home of a sex offender.

Crews responded Monday afternoon to a fire at a home in the 400 block of 10th Street in the Robinwood neighborhood. The fire caused significant damage to the front of the house. Center Point Fire Marshal Captain Brandon Self said investigators don’t know what started the fire.

Last Thanksgiving, Center Point fire crews responded to a fire at the same Robinwood house. At the time, the cause of the fire was unknown. Self said nearly nine months later investigators are still trying to figure out what started the fire.

Sgt. Jack Self with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said if anything the history of the house makes investigators take a second look at the fire.

The house in Robinwood is home to **** , a registered sex offender. Last fall, Martin’s neighbor posted a large sign notifying the neighborhood of ***'s sex offender status.

Investigators are not calling this fire arson, but there was no power to the house and *** said he was out of town when the fire started.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Time for Alabama to join the 21st century and reform their backwards registry law

First off, what purpose does your interactive map serve? Someone in Bullock County might believe their county is a "sex offender haven," but in reality, few actually live there-- it is home to a state prison.

Second, Cam Ward has proven he is completely incompetent in regards to this topic. There aren't any legitimate studies claiming high recidivism rates, so it is obvious he is lying or just plain ignorant.

Third, Krystena Shuler's opinion means nothing. Her label as "victim" makes her in expert in nothing. And, if she feels the registry is a slap on the wrist, then she's even dumber than Ward. Her comments that fair laws increase recidivism are simply asinine, and simply shows not only her extremely low IQ, but her personal bias as well. Rep. Wood, you need to update your maps too, because most everyone else knows recidivism rates are low. We're in the 21st century, not the Antebellum era.

The reason these backwater bumpkins running the state haven't heard of facts like low recidivism rates is because these Trump loving hillbillies go home every night dreaming "the South will rise again" and these laws are the closest they can get to resurrecting Jim Crow laws.

As far as "mirroring" the federal law, Alabama's law doesn't resemble the federal law much because the federal law suggests a tiered registry.

Unfortunately, the registered citizens in Alabama lack the guts to stand up to the good ole boys like SCAM Ward in Montgomery, so it will be business as usual for the only booming industry down in Alabama, the ever-growing prison industry. Yee-haw!


https://www.annistonstar.com/free/as-some-states-reconsider-sex-offender-registries-an-alabama-resident/article_d8f12a3c-699a-11e7-a777-d71fa6cbf90b.html

As some states reconsider sex-offender registries, an Alabama resident argues the state’s for-life requirements are too much
Cameron Kiszla  7 hrs ago

A lawsuit before a federal appeals court may have broad implications for Alabama’s sex offender laws, which some critics claim are the harshest in the United States.

Montgomery resident Michael McGuire is suing the state of Alabama for relief from the residency restrictions, travel limits, sex offender registration and other punishments that accompany a conviction of a sexual offense. The case is before the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

McGuire was convicted of sexual assault in Colorado more than 30 years ago, before many of the modern punishments around sexual crimes were enacted into law, and his argument hinges on constitutional protections against punishments created after a crime is committed.

After serving three years in prison and another on parole, he was released in 1989. He did not find himself in trouble with the law again until 2010, when he moved back to his native Montgomery to be closer to his mother and family.

Upon returning to Alabama, McGuire went to a Montgomery police station to confirm if, as a convicted felon, he was in breach of any state laws. It was at the station he learned he had to register as a sex offender.

He couldn’t live with his wife, mother or brother in Montgomery, because the state required him to stay away from kids, schools and daycares. Soon he was jobless and living under a bridge, with “Criminal Sex Offender” stamped in red letters on his driver’s license.

“He feels like he’s in prison again, a prison without bars,”  said Phil Telfeyan, McGuire’s lawyer. “He is restricted where he can live, where he can take jobs. It’s like being a permanent prisoner.”

‘Feel-Good Laws’

Alabama’s sex offender laws are among the most stringent in the nation. Home to more than 11,000 registered sex offenders, Alabama is among four states that put sex offenders on a mandatory registry for life and the only state that puts the sex offender stamp on a driver’s license.

And while there’s little sign the state’s voters want to ease up on those restrictions, policymakers in other states are beginning to question whether their registries are doing what they’re intended to do: make the public safer.

“Very few people on the registry are going to commit another offense, and it has nothing to do with the public knowing where they are,” Sandy Rozek, communications director for National Association for Rational Sex Offense Laws, an organization that supports making sex offender registries accessible only to law enforcement.

Critics of registries say they’re based on a flawed perception of how often sex offenders reoffend and where they come into contact with their victims.

“They’re kind of ‘feel good’ laws,” said Emily Horowitz, a professor of sociology and criminal justice at St. Francis College in New York. “We’re all deeply disturbed when harm is done, especially sexual harm, and they came out of emotionally charged, high profile instances.”

She pointed specifically to a study by Ira Mark Ellman, a professor of psychology and law at Arizona State University, and Tara Ellman, who looked at sex offender recidivism in their 2015 study “Frightening and High.” They found the most common statistic, that up to 80 percent of sex offenders reoffend, is a baseless accusation that has been repeated to the point of being held as fact, even by the U.S. Supreme Court.

“The likelihood of re-offense declines for each year after release without a new sex offense, even for offenders initially considered at the highest risk to re-offend,” the Ellmans wrote in their study.

Horowitz said that 95 percent of children who are sexually abused are hurt by someone they already know, making these lists highly unnecessary.

“They also destroy lives of people who served their time, were sentenced and are trying to get their lives together,”Horowitz said. “I’m not against punishment, but registries are like banishment, it’s beyond punishment. It’s forever.”

Only California, South Carolina and Florida also require permanent registry for every sex offense, and California is moving towards a tiered system that would allow those at a low risk for recidivism to have their names removed from the public registry if they remain offense-free for 10 or 20 years, depending on their crime.

“The state’s sex offender registry has lost significant value over time because it contains so many low-risk offenders with decades-old offenses,” Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey said in an emailed statement. “Our bill will improve public safety by creating a tiered system that will allow investigators to focus on those offenders who pose the greatest risk.”

Protecting victims

Lawmakers in California may be looking to change their state regulations regarding sex crimes, their counterparts in Alabama are not pushing for similar reforms in most cases. Sen. Cam Ward, R-Alabaster, said that Alabama’s policy makers created the state’s statutes to mirror the federal guidelines, and while they have created a path for people convicted of consensual statutory rape to be removed from the registry, he doesn’t see any support for removing Alabama’s lifetime registration requirement for most sex offenders.

“For every statistic that points one way, you can get a statistic and point the other way,” Ward said. “From what I can tell from people I talk to around Alabama, they are sympathetic to things like expungement on property crimes and they want to reduce recidivism, but for the most part, I haven’t heard anyone saying I wish sex offenders would catch a break.”

Ohatchee resident Krystena Shuler, who in 2009 encountered the man who pleaded guilty to raping her eight years earlier, agreed with Ward and said that the criminal justice system in Alabama is already too lax on sex offenders.

“He admitted his guilt and they slapped him on his hand, and that didn’t do any good,” Shuler said. “I have horrible complex PTSD, and it affects not just me, but my family.”

Shuler also said the current punishments for sex crimes are not deterring all sex offenders, and she fears that sex crimes will increase if the punishments are lowered further.

“I think more than them trying to bring forth things to make it — however they’re saying it — fair or whatever, I think it makes them far more likely to reoffend,” Shuler said. “These people are raping people knowing that they’re going to have to register as a sex offender, and if that doesn’t scare them, they shouldn’t be mad about the punishment.”

Calhoun County Sheriff Matthew Wade said that he believes the sex offender registry to be a valuable resource in protecting victims of sexual assault.

“Most people I know of on the sex offender registration are truly sex offenders, and they need to be on it,” Wade said. “I’m not willing to do away with tracking sex offenders in my community. I want to know where they are to protect the people of Calhoun County as best I can. If I can help to protect just one citizen, I call that a success.”

Former state Sen. Bill Armistead was the sponsor of the original bill to create a sex offender registry in Alabama. He said that while unintended consequences must be addressed, the focus on sex offender registry laws should be on the victims and their families.

“If we err, we need to err on the side of innocent families and make sure they’re aware of the dangers of a pedophile living close to a school, for instance,” Armistead said. “We should always continue to look to improve that legislation on behalf of the families, but we also need to look at unintended consequences going forward.”

Rep. Randy Wood, R-Saks, agreed with Armistead and said that some sex crimes, like the so-called “Romeo and Juliet” cases of teenaged couples having consensual sex when one partner is old enough to be charged with statutory rape, might warrant some leniency when it comes to lifetime stays on the registry.

“If some young person made a mistake and it was a one-time deal, I think they need to be held accountable for several years and make sure they’re not going to do it again, but I would always keep an open mind and look at the situation,” he said.

However, Wood believes that a permanent listing on the sex offender registry is in Alabama’s best interests when it comes to most sex offenders.

“If there’s any way to rehabilitate anyone on any crime, they need to be rehabilitated, but our information shows us that they can’t be rehabilitated,” he said.

A way forward

Michael McGuire’s attorney Phil Telfeyan said his client is still homeless, still jobless and still must walk miles to his wife's house for visits, which are limited in duration by residency laws.

Telfeyan doesn’t believe Alabama is moving in the right direction, which is why McGuire is suing the state for retroactive punishment. Article 1 of the U.S. Constitution prohibits both Congress and individual states from changing the punishments of crimes that were committed before the laws were enacted, which McGuire and Telfeyan feel apply to this case.

“Alabama sought to punish folks, and the theory doesn’t work,” Telfeyan said. “The surest way is to get people to turn their life around, get into a stable job and stable housing, and the Legislature has actually made those things harder.”

Thursday, June 1, 2017

The unemployment rate for registered citizens across Alabama is 57.1% (Also, SB301 signed into law)

A count of every non-incarcerated Alabama registrant listed on the public registry of legal working age is an astounding 57.1%. ReFORM-AL counted every registrant listed with a job, removing any registrant listed as incarcerated, in jail or prison, leaving 6101 registrants. Of those remaining registrants, only 2620 (42.9% have jobs, while the remaining 3453 (57.1%) were unemployed. 

Among counties with larger populations, Montgomery (69.9%), Calhoun (64.2%), Colbert (62.6%), Talledega (61.4%), St. Clair (61.1%), Mobile (61.1%), Cullman (58.6%), 

There are two reasons for this high level of unemployment rate. First, employers are publicly listed (and shamed) on the registry. Second (and more importantly), Alabama registrants cannot work within 2000 feet of a school or day care center. In 2016, a registrant volunteering as a firefighter was arrested for taking service calls too close to a school. Many registrants are too afraid to even look for work out of fear of violating this law! 

ReFORM-AL is leading the effort to reform Alabama’s severe work restrictions. We will be pushing for repeal of these restrictions. Stay tuned for upcoming events from ReFORM-AL. 

For a complete chart, CLICK HERE. It is in Microsoft Excel format.

In other news, HB 301 was signed into law. Read more about that HERE




Friday, April 28, 2017

Fearmongering abounds in report on Chilton Co. home reopening for registrants

This article was not well written, and there are stupid comments from both CJ Robinson and Debra Morrison. I have contacted the reporter but I don't expect miracles here.

At any rate, I'm glad to see that the home is up and running again!

http://abc3340.com/news/fighting-for-you/sex-offender-sanctuary-back-open-in-chilton-county

"Sex offender sanctuary" back open in Chilton County
by Cynthia Gould
Thursday, April 27th 2017

They fear their community has become a sanctuary for rapists and child molesters. Their efforts to fight back have been shot down by a federal judge. ABC3340's Fighting For You investigated the situation in Chilton County, where residents say the law is not on their side.

Debra Morrison says she expected peace and quiet working her catering business from her home outside Clanton. Instead those dreams were shattered when she started getting sex offender notifications, lots of them.

"We figured it out; the preacher never told us," explains Morrison. Triumph Church Preacher Ricky Martin was setting up a half way house of sorts. The cluster of trailers behind his church and home are now home to convicted rapists and molesters.

"Nobody wants to be here now; it's too unsettling," says Morrison. The trailers are just yards from her backyard, where her grandchildren play. Morrison says she believes in second chances and knows they have to live somewhere, but so many and so close she questions. "We're stuck. It destroyed our community," explains Morrison.

She tells us of a scary incident: a man knocking on her granddaughter's window saying he "wanted the baby." Deputies were called.

Prosecutor CJ Robinson became alarmed seeing all the released prisoners coming from all over Alabama, even other states moving to the church property. The majority of their victims.. young children.

"Just two out of fifty were from Chilton County. It's alarming this has become a sanctuary for sex offenders," worries Robinson. He pushed legislation preventing such clustering of sex offenders. Pastor Martin sued and the ACLU took his case arguing his religious rights were being violated.
"We saw the handwriting on the wall. The law was repealed," recalls Robinson. He says the county couldn't afford a million dollar court fight they would not win. "It's a good example of an overreaching federal government that thinks it knows better how to run a local community," says Robinson. Late last year the lawsuit was dropped in federal court. Not long after, the sex offenders started moving in again.

ABC3340 News tried to speak with Pastor Martin. He referred us to his ACLU attorney. But repeated calls and emails were not returned..

In published reports Pastor Martin has said he is trying to help the men. Some though question his motives. They ask is he really helping them or just taking their money renting out the small trailers so they have an address as required by law? They do not see any rehabilitation or counseling efforts.
Chilton County Sheriff John Shearon says his deputies will continue to work to make sure the sex offenders abide by the law. The total number of sex offenders in Chilton County now stands at 154. ABC3340 News saw three on the church property during our recent visit.

"We're gonna buy a gun and have discussed a security system," says Morrison. But even with that, she says she'll never really feel safe again in her own home.

If Christ is truly Melanie's king, then you'd think she'd remember "Thou Shalt Not Kill!"

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

ACTION ALERT! SB 301 is up before the AL House Judiciary tomorrow @ 1:30pm. We must oppose this bill!

Tomorrow, the House Judiciary Subcommittee meets at 1:30 PM to discuss a number of bills, including SB 301. While it is too late to request a public hearing on the matter, we can still contact the members of the subcommittee to put a stop to SB 301’s progress.

After reading the entirety of SB 301, there are numerous problems with this bill:

1. Residency definition redefined: The definition of residency will be redefined in a vague way; if you spend time at a specific place for over 4 hours a day for 3 straight days or 10 days out of the month, then that counts as a residence. If you spend ANY amount of time in a specific place and act or speak in a way that makes a cop think you'll be there for at least 4 hours a day for 3 straight days or for 10 days out of a month, then that is a residence. If you visit someone between 10:30pm and 6am, that's establishing a residence.
2. Volunteer work restricted: SP 301 also includes volunteer work among the 2000 feet restrictions on employment and residency. As with defining residency, the definition for volunteer work is extremely vague. Last year, a man was arrested for volunteering as a firefighter and answering a distress call within 2000 feet of a school. Obviously, limiting the ability of registered citizens to even volunteer has a detrimental effect on the ability to become productive members of society.
3. Many new “crimes” added to the registry: SP 301 creates new registerable offenses for the crimes of distributing a private image, sexting, sexual extortion, assault with bodily fluids, and directing a child to engage in sexual intercourse or deviate sexual intercourse, and to provide further for the crime of electronic solicitation of a child. I believe that at the very least, a number of juveniles will likely be forced to register by virtue of these laws.

At this point, we have until tomorrow to make our voices heard. SB 301 must be vehemently opposed. This bill has already passed the Senate, but we still have time to at least influence his progress in the House. Below, I have listed all current emails of House Judiciary Subcommittee members as well as the clerk of the subcommittee’s phone number. We need to flood them with letters and phone calls.

Cut and paste to your email: mljatty@andycable.com, jim.hill@alhouse.gov, mikeball@knology.net, paulbeckmanjr@yahoo.com, merika.coleman@alhouse.gov, ddrake1080@aol.com, cengland1@hotmail.com, allenfarley@bellsouth.net, david.faulkner@alhouse.gov, mdfridy@gmail.com, juandalynn.givan@alhouse.gov, mike.holmes@alhouse.gov, thadmcclammy@aol.com, phillip.pettus@alhouse.gov, brandy.allen@alhouse.gov

Judiciary Committee Clerk Brandy Allen’s Phone # -- 334-353-3944

Full text of SB 301 -- http://alisondb.legislature.state.al.us/alison/searchableinstruments/2017RS/bills/SB301.htm

Sunday, April 16, 2017

SB301 is going to change the definition of "residence," and the results will be catastrophic


I have a huge problem with SB 301. The definition of "reside" is being changed by this bill, and not for the better. Most residence definitions deal with where a person sleeps, but this law impacts even where a person spends his time during the day. Below is the relevant text of the bill:

http://alisondb.legislature.state.al.us/alison/searchableinstruments/2017RS/bills/SB301.htm

"(20) RESIDE. To be habitually or systematically present at a place. Whether a person is residing at a place shall be determined by the totality of the circumstances, including the amount of time the person spends at the place and the nature of the person's conduct at the place. The term reside includes, but is not limited to, spending more than four hours a day at the place on three or more consecutive days; spending more than four hours a day at the place on 10 or more aggregate days during a calendar month; or spending any amount of time at the place coupled with statements or actions that indicate an intent to live at the place or to remain at the place for the periods specified in this sentence. A person does not have to conduct an overnight visit to reside at a place.

("(14) OVERNIGHT VISIT. Any presence between the hours of 10:30 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.)

"(20) (21) RESIDENCE. Each fixed residence or other place where a person resides, sleeps, or habitually lives or will reside, sleep, or habitually live. If a person does not reside, sleep, or habitually live in a fixed residence, residence means a description of the locations where the person is stationed regularly, day or night, including any mobile or transitory living quarters or locations that have no specific mailing or street address. Residence shall be construed to refer to the places where a person resides, sleeps, habitually lives, or is stationed with regularity, A fixed residence as defined by Section 15-20A-4 or other place where the person resides, regardless of whether the person declares or characterizes such place as a residence.

To clarify, if you spend time at a specific place for over 4 hours a day for 3 straight days or 10 days out of the month, then that counts as a residence.

If you spend ANY amount of time in a specific place and act or speak in a way that makes a cop think you'll be there for at least 4 hours a day for 3 straight days or for 10 days out of a month, then that is a residence.

If you visit someone between 10:30pm and 6am, that's establishing a residence.

Can you see the problem here? Lets say you are homeless. You sleep under a bridge but hang out at your mom's house part of the day to bathe, eat, and do laundry. You don't do it but every 3rd day. Guess what? Your mom's house is a "residence" under SB 301. What if you go fishing often? (Seeing as how so few of us have jobs thanks to the law, I can imagine lots of time in rural areas revolve around fishing holes.) I imagine hundreds, even thousands of registered citizens will be arrested for violating residence restrictions simply by spending time hanging out a place too long.

This law is bad news. As of this week, it has been read three times in the Senate. This bill must be stopped ASAP.

UPDATE 4/24: It is now before the House Judiciary Committee. Here are all active emails:

mljatty@andycable.com, jim.hill@alhouse.gov, mikeball@knology.net, paulbeckmanjr@yahoo.com, merika.coleman@alhouse.gov, ddrake1080@aol.com, cengland1@hotmail.com, allenfarley@bellsouth.net, david.faulkner@alhouse.gov, mdfridy@gmail.com, juandalynn.givan@alhouse.gov, mike.holmes@alhouse.gov, thadmcclammy@aol.com, phillip.pettus@alhouse.gov, brandy.allen@alhouse.gov,

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Apparently the Parole Board can renege on previously granted pardons. I did not know that.

I am really on the fence with this case. This was the man who sent me away for six years for a petty offense, and he was convicted for doing more than me, got less time than me, and received a pardon all since my own arrest and my time on the registry.

On the other hand, I'm not crazy about the idea that the Pardon board can just take back a pardon. Why did they do it? I included the AG's office release below, but it does not resolve the question as to WHY. Why bother obtaining a pardon if they can take it back on a whim?

http://www.al.com/news/huntsville/index.ssf/2017/02/former_alabama_da_will_go_back.html

Former Alabama DA will go back on sex offender registry for fondling male defendants

By Ashley Remkus | aremkus@al.com
Email the author | Follow on Twitter
on February 21, 2017 at 5:56 PM, updated February 21, 2017 at 6:21 PM

The former Franklin County District Attorney who was convicted of civil rights violations for sexually fondling male defendants will be back on the sex offender registry, the Alabama Pardons and Paroles Board decided today.

Former DA John Pilati was convicted in federal court and sentenced in 2008 to 42 months in prison for five civil rights violations that stemmed from his fondling defendants after making them strip for searches or to take urine tests years earlier. The victims were between the ages of 17-20.

The Pardons and Paroles Board during a hearing today decided to reverse Pilati's 2012 and 2015 pardons, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall announced.

That decision will add Pilati back on the sex offender registry.

"John Pilati violated a solemn oath to protect and defend the people when he violated the civil rights through sexual contact with five different men while he was the district attorney," Marshall said in a news release, in which the AG praised the Board's decision.

Pilati was released from prison in 2011.

Alice Martin, the chief deputy who prosecuted Pilati's case, represented the state during today's hearing.

http://www.ago.state.al.us/News-999

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 February 21, 2017

ATTORNEY GENERAL STEVEN T. MARSHALL:
PARDONS AND PAROLES BOARD MAKES RIGHT DECISION IN DENYING PARDONS TO FORMER FRANKLIN COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY CONVICTED OF CIVIL RIGHTS OFFENSES

(MONTGOMERY) – Alabama Attorney General Steven T. Marshall is pleased with the State Pardons and Paroles Board decision to reverse 2012 and 2015 pardons for convicted former Franklin County District Attorney John Frederick Pilati and require he be placed back on the sex offender registry.

“John Pilati violated a solemn oath to protect and defend the people when he violated the civil rights through sexual contact with five different young men while he was district attorney,” said Attorney General Steven T. Marshall. 

Pilati was convicted in federal court and sentenced in 2008 to 42 months in prison for five civil rights offenses related to sexual assaults on young men who ranged in age from 16 to 20. 

“While Pilati served his sentence and was released in 2011, the nature of his crime against his victims and the violation of his oath of office demand that he should not be granted a pardon,” Attorney General Marshall added. 

During Pilati’s pardon hearing today, Chief Deputy Alice Martin, who prosecuted the case against Pilati, was successful in voiding the earlier pardons. 


“I am pleased that the Board of Pardons and Paroles followed our recommendation to deny his pardons,” Attorney General Marshall observed.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Prefiled bills for the Alabama legislature 2017 session

There are two pre-filed bills, one good, one bad. Regular sessions begin February 7, 2017.

HB 12, Mandatory Minimums:

SYNOPSIS: Existing law does not require a person convicted of a sexual offense to serve a mandatory minimum sentence. This bill would require a person convicted of rape in the first degree, sodomy in the first degree, sexual torture, or sexual abuse in the first degree to serve a mandatory minimum sentence of three years imprisonment without consideration of probation, parole, good time credits, or any other reduction in time. 

http://alisondb.legislature.state.al.us/ALISON/SearchableInstruments/2017RS/PrintFiles/HB12-int.pdf

Verdict: ReFORM-AL opposes all mandatory minimums.

SB 5: Repealing Chilton Co.'s anti-clustering law. 

Relating to Chilton County; to repeal Section 45-11-82, Code of Alabama 1975, relating to residential limitations on adult sex offenders. BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF ALABAMA: Section 1. Section 45-11-82, Code of Alabama 1975, relating to residential limitations on adult sex offenders, is repealed. Section 2. This act shall become effective immediately following its passage and approval by the Governor, or its otherwise becoming law.

Verdict: I thought this issue was resolved already as reported here last fall. Obvious we support this bill.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Shiitake Awards 2016 voting now until January 31

http://shiitakeawards.blogspot.com/2017/01/voting-for-2016-shiitake-awards-going.html --

It is here, the 2016 Shiitake Awards! See the finalists at the link above (Alabama is not represented this year, amazingly, though Steve Hurst put up a fight). If you want to go directly to voting, click here:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/F5NZN2J

The 8th Annual Shiitake Awards is here! For 8 years now, the annual Shiitake Awards spotlights the most insane and inane stories surrounding the "sex offender" topic. The Shiitakes is a parody of the infamous Golden Raspberry Awards ("Razzies"), which parodies award shows like the Oscars or Golden Globes. So we are, in essence, a parody of a parody. Our job at the Shiitakes is to spotlight and ridicule the people who use the "sex offender" issue to advance their careers in the worst way possible, as well as spotlighting and deriding their inane ideas.

This year, we open up voting on January 1st, we open up the voting for each of 8 categories plus a special category. This year, the special category pits two famous victim industry profiteers against each other in our special "Civil War" category, and of course, your chance to determine which state is the worst/ dumbest state in the USA, a.k.a., the legendary ICBS National CHUMPionship. Florida has maintained a stranglehold on this category for much of the existence of the Shiitake awards, but as always, two states have staked their claim for the title. Who was the dumbest politician, newscaster, cop, and wannabe vigilante of the year? What was the dumbest news story or new law of the year? That is up for you to decide.

Vote for one, and ONLY one, candidate in each of the nine total categories. I know that the decision is hard enough for you, but for the Shiitake Awards Selection Committee (tm), we struggled more to whittle down the candidates to three of the worthiest selections. Vote on every category, and share with your friends.

Note: This is a project that I enjoy doing because it is fun and a form of stress relief. All joking aside, it is sad to note that I've been running this award for almost a decade and there is an abundance of nominees every year. This award is "just for fun," but it is also useful for advocates because we point out the worst abuses of registered citizens, and these stories are indictments against the registry. Please vote and share, then follow & send nominations to the official Shiitake-Worthy blog at http://shiitakeweekly.blogspot.com/

-- Thanks for voting!
Derek W. Logue of OnceFallen.com

Thursday, November 24, 2016

"Suspicious fire" (possible arson) at home of Birmingham registrant who has been harassed by a neighbor's sign

Birmingham resident Jessica Lessley has gotten a lot of publicity for posting a giant sign in her yard with info on her neighbor, a registered citizen.

Interestingly, Jessica Lessley has been harassing a registered citizen by posting a huge sign in her yard but when her victim retaliated, HE was arrested for harassment instead. The Sheriff's Office failed to protect the registrant AND his family from harassment from a neighbor. Now, a "suspicious fire" occur at the residence. If it is anything besides Lessley trying to burn the house down, I'd be shocked.

Where has Sheriff Mike Hale an his underlings in all this? Too busy protecting the woman who likely tried to burn this house down.

http://wiat.com/2016/11/24/fire-set-at-sex-offenders-home-in-birmingham/


Fire set at sex offender’s home in Birmingham

By Austin Hasenmueller
Published: November 24, 2016, 11:03 am  Updated: November 24, 2016, 11:05 am

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — A suspicious fire was set at the home of known sex offender Raymond Martin on 10th Street Robinwood. Investigators want to know if someone is sending him a message.

The fire call went out around 9:30 a.m. on Thursday. According to the fire department, the fire started in the back of the house.

A neighbor told CBS42 that the fire started shortly after a lady, who also lives in the house with Martin, left the house with food. Martin was not home at the time of the fire because he is currently in jail on a harassment charge, according to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office website.

Jefferson County Sheriff Deputies said they will be on the scene and are waiting for the Center Point Fire Marshal to arrive in order to determine the cause of the fire.

We will update you with more information as we receive it.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Donation Drive for Miami Homeless Camp now underway

Fellow activists,

Tomorrow officially kicks off the “holiday shopping season,” and while many of you will start shopping for your families, I’ll begin my shopping for a few total strangers at the Miami homeless camp. I am heading to the camp for Christmas, and I want to spread a little holiday cheer to those at the camp who don’t have a family to spend Christmas with at the camp. Thus, I’m reminding everyone to donate to OnceFallen.com to help send some much-needed supplies to the homeless camp. My focus is on hygiene products, socks and underwear, as suggested by my contact at the camp. Socks, underwear and laundry detergent are expensive items that don’t get donated often to programs that assist the poor.

If you want to help me spread a little holiday cheer, you can send a monetary donation to Derek Logue, 8258 Monon Ave., Apt. 3, Cincinnati, OH 45216 or through Paypal to iamthefallen1@yahoo.com (Please don’t write checks/M.O.s to “Once Fallen,” because I can’t cash them that way.) Supplies can be shipped to this address as well if you prefer to send socks, underwear and hygiene products rather than money. If you have further questions, call me at 513-238-2873 or email me at iamthefallen1@yahoo.com.

--Derek W. Logue of OnceFallen.com/ ReFORM-AL



Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Vigilante scumbag Jay Maynor receives 40 years for cold-blooded murder of registered citizen

Looks like Jaybird will be a JAYLBIRD for the next 40 years.

http://www.cullmantimes.com/news/man-pleads-guilty-for-murder-of-sex-offender/article_705d8706-aa94-11e6-9a88-e303172f4272.html

Man pleads guilty for murder of sex offender
David Palmer  Nov 14, 2016

A man charged with murder and shooting into a Berlin convenience store in 2014 pleaded guilty today in Cullman County Circuit Court.

Jay Maynor, 43, of Cullman, was arrested and charged with the June 2014 murder of 59-year-old Berlin resident Raymond Earl Brooks, who was a convicted sex offender. He was arrested by Alabama State Troopers shortly after the shooting occurred. Brooks was a convicted sex offender.

Cullman County District Attorney Wilson Blaylock said Maynor was given a 40-year sentence for the killing of Brooks. He also received 20 years for attempted murder for shooting into the Berlin Plaza Quick Stop.

The Cullman County Sheriff’s Office initially responded to a call regarding gunfire at the Berlin Plaza Quick Stop on U.S. Highway 278 shortly before the shooting death. 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Alabama quietly repeals Chilton County's anti-clustering laws in light of Triumph Church's lawsuit

Earlier, I posted a news article on the push to repeal Chilton County's ordinance which forced registered citizens to live at least 500 feet away from each other. In light of a lawsuit by Triumph Church, the legislature repealed the law, so now it is possible for Triumph Church to resume its ministry. 


SB10 (2016 Special Session)

By Senator Chambliss

ENROLLED, An Act,

Relating to Chilton County; to repeal Section 45-11-82, Code of Alabama 1975, relating to residential limitations on adult sex offenders.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF ALABAMA:

Section 1. Section 45-11-82, Code of Alabama 1975, relating to residential limitations on adult sex offenders, is repealed.

Section 2. This act shall become effective immediately following its passage and approval by the Governor, or its otherwise becoming law.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Alabama's 2000 foot work restriction laws are so absurd, even responding to a fire too close to a school is a violation

Alabama's 2000 work restriction laws are very absurd. I've been told stories by many individuals that the work restrictions are so vague, I've been told delivery or truck drivers could not deliver within 2000 feet of restricted zones nor could registrants work day labor or make house calls in restricted zones. Yet, until I didn't have much in the way of definitive proof that the law was this absurd until I was sent this news story and it makes me sick just thinking about it. 

Personally, I think EVERY registrant in Alabama should collect welfare. To hell with work! I would just let these houses burn, if the law is this absurd. 


Sex offender working at Alabama fire department arrested for being near school, daycare

By Ashley Remkus | aremkus@al.com 
Email the author | Follow on Twitter 
on October 05, 2016 at 2:34 PM, updated October 05, 2016 at 2:55 PM

A convicted sex offender working at an Alabama volunteer fire department has been arrested because he responded to emergency calls that were located too close to a school and daycare.

Bobby Wayne Crow, 54, of Athens, was working for the Oak-Grove Thach Volunteer Fire Department when he responded to calls near Ardmore High School and the daycare program at Ardmore First Baptist Church in Limestone County, sheriff's spokesman Stephen Young said.

Crow was convicted of second-degree rape in Athens in 1987 because two years earlier he had sex with a girl younger than 16, Young said.

Young said Alabama's sex offender registration laws allow Crow to work for the fire department, but he's not allowed to be within 2,000 feet of schools or daycare centers.

"And he knew that," Young said. "He registered in April of this year, so he had signed the papers."

John Pritchard, vice president of the Limestone County Volunteer Fire Departments Association board, said he wasn't aware there was a convicted sex offender working at Oak-Grove.

"Whether they knew or not, I'm not sure," Pritchard said. "Each department carries their own set of bylaws and how they discipline things. Most departments do not allow convicted felons, but I can't speak for any one department."

Pritchard said the board doesn't oversee the 13 volunteer fire departments in the county, but rather works primarily to get funding for the organizations.

It isn't immediately clear whether Crow will be allowed to keeping volunteering.

The fire chief at Oak-Grove wasn't immediately available for comment.

The calls Crow responded to were on First Avenue East and Ardmore Avenue. The school is on Ardmore Avenue, and the daycare is on Fifth Street, Young said.

Authorities got warrants for Crow's arrest after the District Attorney's Office reviewed a list of calls he responded to.

Crow was released from Limestone County Jail a few hours after his arrest Tuesday on $30,000 bail. He is charged with two Class C felony counts of violating Alabama's Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison on each charge.

Further details about his prior conviction weren't immediately available.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Triumph Church could triumph if legislature passes special bill to undo Chilton Co. Anti-clustering ordinance

They should repeal Jefferson County's ordinance while they are at it.

I wish I could see Kurt Wallace's face when he read this :)

http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2016/08/law_that_ended_alabama_ministr.html#incart_river_home

Law that stopped Alabama ministry for sex offenders could be repealed

By  Mike Cason | mcason@al.com
Email the author  Follow on Twitter
on August 23, 2016 at 12:57 PM, updated August 23, 2016 at 1:40 PM

The Alabama House of Representatives could pass a bill today to repeal a law that ended a Chilton County pastor's ministry for sex offenders.

Pastor Ricky Martin provided transitional housing for sex offenders released from prison in trailers behind his church, Triumph Church, which is next door to his house.

The church is on a two-lane highway on the outskirts of Clanton.

A total of about 60 men lived on the property during the several years Martin operated the ministry, with generally 10 to 12 living there at any one time.

Chilton County officials said some residents in the area were concerned about having a group of sex offenders living together near them and began pursuing legislation to address that.

In 2014, the Legislature passed a law, pertaining only to Chilton County, prohibiting sex offenders who are not related from living on the same property unless their residences are at least 300 feet apart.

The law said that violations constituted a public nuisance subject to civil fines of $500 to $5,000.

Martin closed his ministry after the law passed. He filed a federal lawsuit claiming that the law violated his First Amendment right to practice his religion.

He also claimed the law violated the federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, which says governments need a compelling reason for regulations that place a burden on the exercise of religion.

The state asked the court to dismiss Martin's lawsuit. But U.S District Judge W. Keith Watkins has denied those requests, most recently in a July 25 order.

Last Wednesday, during the first week of a special legislative session, the Alabama Senate passed a bill to repeal the 2014 law that Martin challenges in his lawsuit.

The bill is on a proposed agenda the House is expected to consider today.

"It's quite clear, given the timing, that the legislative act to repeal it is a direct result of Pastor Martin's lawsuit," said attorney Randall Marshall of the ACLU of Alabama, who represents Martin.

Marshall said Martin plans to resume his ministry if the law is repealed.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Court rules Martin's lawsuit against Chilton Co. over anti-clustering law can continue

CLICK HERE to read the actual court ruling. The short answer is that the Court has denied the state's motion to dismiss the lawsuit. This court determined that the

https://www.rluipa-defense.com/2016/08/federal-court-rules-alabama-sex-offender-law-is-land-use-regulation-under-rluipa/

Federal Court Rules Alabama Sex Offender Law is “Land Use Regulation” Under RLUIPA
BY EVAN SEEMAN, KARLA CHAFFEE AND DWIGHT MERRIAM ON AUGUST 4, 2016
POSTED IN LAND USE REGULATION, SUBSTANTIAL BURDEN

We previously reported on the case Martin v. Houston,  CASE NO. 2:14-CV-905-WKW [WO] (M.D. Alabama 2016), in which the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama considered a pastor’s religious discrimination claims involving the state legislature’s enactment and enforcement of a sex offender law that prevented the pastor’s transitional housing program.  The law in question (Alabama Code § 45-11-82) (the “Act”) prohibited individuals whose names are listed on the Alabama sex offender list from living together in the same home, and further provides that offenders cannot live on the same property as another offender unless the homes are at least 300 feet apart.  In response to the threatened enforcement of the Act, the pastor discontinued his transitional housing program.  Read or prior post about the case here.

Previously, in considering the defendant’s motion to dismiss all claims, the court ruled that the pastor had to “show cause” why the court had jurisdiction to consider his RLUIPA substantial burden claim.

Last week, the court ruled that it had jurisdiction over the RLUIPA substantial burden claim.  What is particularly interesting about the court’s decision is that it finds that the Act is a “land use regulation” under RLUIPA.  Recall, RLUIPA applies only to land use regulations.  The Court stated:

It first bears noting that the precise definition of “zoning” is difficult to delineate….  In general terms, zoning refers to the “legislative division of a region, esp[ecially] a municipality, into separate districts with different regulations within the districts for land use, building size, and the like….”

The Act makes territorial divisions in the same way.  It divides the state of Alabama into two districts: one where sex offenders may not live within 300 feet of each other, and one where they may.  The former includes the entirety of Chilton County, and the latter comprises all other counties within the state.  Rather than imposing in personam restrictions on adult sex offenders themselves, the legislature opted to limit the acceptable uses of property within the Chilton County zone.  In this sense, for purposes of applying the individualized assessments prerequisite, the Act qualifies as a zoning law, and thus constitutes a land use regulation.  (citations omitted)

The court also found that the allegations supported the finding at this point in the proceedings that the enactment and threatened enforcement of the Act against the pastor’s property was an individualized assessment for the proposed use of his property.  Further, the court concluded that the RLUIPA claim was adequately pled, based on the pastor’s allegation that the Act “applied sufficient pressure … such that it coerced him to cease his settlement ministry, which he maintained in furtherance of his religious beliefs.”

Friday, July 22, 2016

Free Jonathan! Man states he is falsely accused of a sex crime and needs our help

http://freejonathan.weebly.com/

Recently, I was approached by the family of a man who says he was falsely accused of a sex crime, and shared his story and website with me (see the link.).

The story is rather long, but is very detailed, so please visit his website and read it for yourself.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Decatur attorney teaches teens about juvenile laws and their consequences

I'd like to learn more about this program.

http://www.decaturdaily.com/news/morgan_county/hartselle/decatur-attorney-teaches-teens-about-juvenile-laws-and-their-consequences/article_e8b3e5d0-97dc-5db3-b1dc-2426beeae3b5.html

Decatur attorney teaches teens about juvenile laws and their consequences

By Keith Clines Staff Writer

If you're interested

Patrick Caver said he would like to take his presentation about state law to schools, churches, civic groups and other interested parties. He can be reached at 256-751-5991 or patrickcaveresq@hotmail.com

Until recently, The Beacon House female juvenile group home in Jasper was having problems with some of the girls using cellphones to send nude photos of themselves and photos of themselves having sex to people outside the facility.

Joann Pickett, the home’s assistant director, said those practices may have stopped after Decatur attorney Patrick Caver spoke to the girls about state laws governing sending and receiving such photos and about how those photos could spread across the internet.

“They actually responded very well,” Pickett said last week. “The subject of cellphones comes up every day.”

Caver, who represents juveniles in Morgan County District Court, said he goes to classrooms and group homes to talk to youngsters about the legal aspects of some of the things that teens might be tempted to do.

“They teach the biology of sex,” Caver said of schools. “And they teach not to have sex. But they don’t teach what the law says about sex.”

Caver has spoken to Hartselle Junior High School civics teacher Dana Sharp’s seventh-grade classes for the past eight years about the state’s juvenile laws.

Caver uses humor to build a rapport with the students before transitioning into heavier matters such as juvenile drug and sex laws, Sharp said.

“I really don’t think that they think a lot about the consequences of these things,” she said. “I think it’s a real eye-opener for them.”

Sharp said she would like Caver to give the same presentation at a teacher workshop to help teachers recognize signs of improper behavior by students.

Caver said advancing technology has provided teenagers more avenues to get in trouble with the law. Their parents, he said, are not keeping up with the technology that their children have at their disposal and the dangers that accompany new technology.

Caver said he has found that teens sending nude photos of themselves by cellphone or receiving nude photos of someone by cellphone is a common practice. Sending, receiving or possessing those photos is a Class A felony, he said.

“That’s the same as shooting somebody,” he said.

Other aspects of juvenile sex laws that Caver said teens and some of their parents don’t understand are that a 17-year-old who has sex with a 15-year-old can be charged with second-degree rape, and that a 16-year-old who has oral sex with a 15-year-old can be charged with sodomy. Both charges are a Class B felony.

The age of consent in Alabama is 16.

“I don’t think parents know what sodomy is,” he said. “I think it’s probably the parents who don’t know the laws.”

Possibly the most critical aspect of a youth convicted of a sex crime is that person will be a registered sex offender the remainder of his or her life.

“Having to register as a sex offender affects your entire life — where you live, what you have to do, what you can’t do, where you can’t go and who you have to stay away from,” Caver said.

Pickett said counselors at The Beacon House, which is a transitional home for girls ages 12 to 18, also benefited from Caver’s presentation to the girls.

“There were several things that we didn’t know,” she said. “We had spoken to them in broad terms about these things, but Patrick was more definitive.”

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Alabama's registry laws have registrants fleeing to that state up north

Alabama Crimson Tide football fans know to find their way to Knoxville, they go north until they smell it then east until they step in it. So, moving to Tennessee is NOT an ideal place for an Alabamian. I say Tennessee isn't far enough away.

http://wkrn.com/2016/06/15/tenn-law-enforcement-concerned-by-increase-in-sex-offenders-from-alabama/

Tenn. law enforcement concerned by increase in sex offenders from Alabama

By Andy Cordan
Published: June 15, 2016, 5:06 pm  Updated: June 15, 2016, 7:59 pm

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Law enforcement officers are concerned about an increase in the number of sex offenders moving to Tennessee from Alabama.

Sex offenders are telling Giles County law enforcement that they are moving over the state line because Alabama sex offender registry requirements are too tough, especially when it comes to offenders who want to live with their own biological children.

Lt. Shane Hunter with Giles County told News 2 his agency and the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department noticed a major influx 8 to 9 months ago.

The case really came into focus however with the arrest of Joshua Mark Hendon, who is charged with rape of a child, aggravated sexual battery and 45 counts of violation of the sex offender registry.

Giles County authorities arrested the Alabama sex offender on June 3 after the 31-year-old reportedly sexually assaulted a Giles County child that he lived near.

“Allegedly he had contact with a minor under the age of 13 close proximity where he lives in the south part of the county,” said Lt. Hunter.

According to Lt. Shane Hunter, Hendon was arrested in Alabama in 2009 when he was a skating rink manager and accused of exposing himself to four teenage girls there.

According to Lt. Hunter, Hendon has two biological children.

Because he is a convicted sex offender, Alabama law prohibits Hendon from living with his children.

But in Tennessee, Hendon can live with his children because he didn’t commit a crime against them.

Lt. Hunter says that’s why Hendon claims he and many other Alabama sex offenders are now moving in droves over the border to Tennessee.

“Yes, it troubles me, and it troubles the neighboring counties as well,” said Lt. Hunter. “They realize that and word of mouth gets out and one sex offender tells another one that the laws are less stringent, and move up there, because there are less hoops to jump through and that is why they are moving to Tennessee and we have probably seen a 50 percent increase in our sex offenders from Alabama coming to Tennessee.”

Lt. Hunter says law enforcement agencies would like for state legislators to look at the laws in Tennessee and make them comparable with the state of Alabama so people are not jumping across the state line.

In addition, Alabama sex offender requirements are also more demanding when it comes to how far a sex offender must remain from a day care or school.

In Alabama it is 2,000 feet. In Tennessee it is only 1,000 feet.