Friday, March 27, 2015

Bill Alerts for March 27, 2015 -- ACTION NEEDED!

A couple of new bills to watch out for in the current legislative session:

  • This bill would make technical revisions to the Alabama Sex Offender Registration and Community Notification Act, would change certain references from the Department of Public Safety to the Alabama State Law Enforcement Agency, and would update internal citations in various sections of the Code of Alabama 1975 to reflect the appropriate section under current law.
  • This bill would clarify that a petition for relief from registration, employment, or living restrictions must be filed in the civil division of the circuit court.
  • The bill would provide a penalty for a sex offender who absconds and fails to register in the county where the sex offender declared intent to reside.
  • This bill would require a sex offender to provide to law enforcement a list of all Internet providers used by the sex offender.
ANAYSIS: Most of the bill is merely administrative changes (such as changing "criminal" sex offense to "felony sex offense" and 'Dept of Public Safety" to "State Law Enforcement Agency" in places), but the part that bothers me is proposed requirement of providing a list of Internet identifiers. 

Apparently, this law will also add confusion as registrants living inside a municipality will be required to check in with the city police rather than the county sheriff, yet to get a travel permit, the registrant must go to the sheriff's office. 

On the upside, this bill will provide the means by which a person can petition the court to obtain relief from residency law requirements AND the requirements to stay away from the alleged victim under specific conditions:
  1. The person was convicted under 13A-6-62, 13A-6-64, 13A-6-65, or 13A-6-67 (Second degree rape, sodomy, sexual misconduct, or sexual abuse, or a similar conviction in another state. That means the alleged victim has to be at least age 12)
  2. The victim is now over 19 years old and appears in court at the time of the hearing and requests the exemption in writing.
  3. The prosecuting attorney in the original case gets a notice of the hearing. 
On the downside, it requires public posting of where a homeless registrant is planning to sleep. 

It is also good a registrant in need to assistant care can also petition for residency law relief. 

VERDICT: This bill is a mixed bag of the good and the bad. I'd like to see the Internet Provider part and the homeless notice removed. But the provision allowing some registrants to seek relief from Residency laws and the victim bans is a good thing. I'd say the good outweighs the bad.

  • Under existing law, sodomy in the second degree requires both lack of consent due to mental defect and that the perpetrator be more than 16 and the victim be under 16 years of age, but older than 12 years of age. Under existing law, sodomy in the first degree requires forcible compulsion or that the victim possess a mental defect or be physically helpless, or the perpetrator be more than 16 years of age and the victim less than 12 years of age. Under existing law, a person under age 16 is incapable of consent.
  • Under existing law, one circumstance in which a person commits the crime of sexual misconduct is when he or she engages in deviate sexual intercourse with another person under circumstances not covered by sodomy in the first degree or sodomy in the second degree, and consent is not a defense to prosecution under this circumstance regardless of the age of either party. This provision of the existing sexual misconduct law was declared unconstitutional by the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals in Williams v. Dallas County.
  • This bill would revise the sexual misconduct law to require lack of consent or obtaining consent through the use of fraud or artifice.
  •  This bill also would create the crimes of rape in the third degree, sodomy in the third degree, and sexual abuse in the third degree to apply to circumstances where the perpetrator of the crime is less than 16 years of age and the victim less than 12.
  • This bill would also add rape in the third degree, sodomy in the third degree, and sexual abuse in the third degree to the list of offenses defined by the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act as sex offenses.
ANALYSIS: This law is is horrible! This bill allows for teens under age 16 to land on the public registry. The state is creating a new "Third Degree" level of crimes which are misdemeanor offenses and applies to juveniles under age 16, and this bill will add these Third Degree crime to the registry. This bill needs to be stopped.

VERDICT: SB 272 must be stopped!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Bill Alerts for March 10, 2015


SB 67 is a very long bill, so I won't post the whole bill here. Nor is this bill exclusively about sex offenders. I am merely going to highlight some of the key facts to watch.

It seems SB 67 is going to require the state to settle on an "actuarial" risk assessment test for "certain offenders;" I'm sure this means sex offenders, of course. Alabama currently lacks a standard for risk assessment. Also, this seems only to apply to juvenile offenders. 

SB 67 introduced a "Class D felony" with a maximum 5 year sentence and a maximum $7500 fine, half the penalty of a class C. It seems sex offenses are not given class D felon status, however. 

SB 67 extends the time by which alleged victims are notified of a registrant's release or pardon or parole review from 30 days to 45 days. 


SB 68 changes the time that an alleged victim can sue for damages from two years after the act to two years after the alleged perpetrator is convicted. 


ReFORM-AL opposes SB 67's extension of alleged victim notification from 30 days to 45 days, and opposes SB 68. However, neither bill has that much of an impact on the lives of Registered Citizens and is considered low priority. 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

McGuire v. Strange, Case No. 2:11-CV-1027-WKW(WO), (US Dist. Ct, MD AL, Northern Div, 2 Feb. 2015)

A recent decision in US District Court has declared portions of the state's registry law unconstitutional when applied retroactively. Specifically, it declared two requirements of the state registry unconstitutional as applied in the following two situations:

(1) in-town homeless registrants to register (or check-in) on a weekly basis with two separate law-enforcement jurisdictions as provided by § 15-20A-12(b) in conjunction with § 15-20A-4(13) and
(2) all in-town registrants to complete travel permit applications with two separate law-enforcement jurisdictions as provided by § 15-20A-15 in conjunction with § 15-20A-4(13).

Unfortunately, the court still regards registration, residency restrictions, employment proximity restrictions, and the imposition of fees "nonpunitive" taken individually; however, the Court's decision leaves open the possibility that given the proper argument and evidence, the Court could indeed determine Alabama's sex offender registry law, taken as a whole, could be declared punitive. It simply was not the case this time.

Here is a brief summary of the recent decision, courtesy of eAdvocate:

If you want to read the entire case, click here:

MICHAEL A. McGUIRE, Plaintiff,
LUTHER STRANGE, in his official capacity, et al., Defendants.

Case No. 2:11-CV-1027-WKW(WO).
United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Northern Division.

February 5, 2015.

The section of most interest to us is Secion IV (findings of law) subsection f. Whether, in Their Necessary Operation, ASORCNA's Provisions are Excessive with Respect to the Provisions' Nonpunitive Purposes

But ASORCNA does not stop there. Rather, it supplements in-person registration, registration fees, residency and employment restrictions, and community-notification measures with additional provisions creating a scheme that regulates sex offenders far beyond the scheme in any other state. For example, excluding legislation aimed at sexually violent predators, no other state has a scheme whereby sex offenders are retroactively regulated for life through residency, employment, and travel restrictions. In fact, only one other state — Tennessee — employs residency, employment, and out-of-county travel restrictions, and it tempers the effects of these provisions, providing for partial retroactivity and allowing offenders who have successfully complied with the act for ten years to petition for termination of participation in the registration program. T.C.A. § 40-39-207. No other state requires dual registration or dual travel permits for in-town sex offenders, instead allowing registrants to report to any single local law enforcement agency -- whether municipal or county. See, e.g., Colo. Rev. Stat. § 16-22-102(4.5); 739 Ill. Comp. Stat. 150/1 § 2(d); Kan. Stat. Ann. § 22-4902(m). Only five other states -- Arizona, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, and South Carolina — join Alabama in applying sex-offender regulations retroactively for the entirety of a registrant's life, but not one of those five states imposes travel restrictions, and only one of the five imposes residency and employment restrictions. See Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 13-3821 et seq.; Del. Code Ann. § 4120 et seq.; Haw. Rev. Stat. § 846E-1 et seq.; Idaho Code Ann. § 18-8301 et seq.; S.C. Code. Ann. §23-3-400 et seq.

ASORCNA is the nation's most comprehensive sex offender regulatory scheme; it is designed to enhance public safety, prevent recidivism, and to protect vulnerable populations. Such a regulatory scheme, by its nature, will have a greater effect in its sum than when each of the scheme's individual components is examined in isolation, but that in and of itself does not make the scheme's cumulative effects unreasonable. That is not to say, however, that the features that overlay the entire scheme &mdash: no risk assessment, lifetime application, retroactive application for all-time, felony enforcement by the gross, border-to-border (rather than parcel-to-parcel), Ala. Code § 15-20A-11(g), residential and employment restrictions, and the chosen method of printing "SEX OFFENDER" in red lettering on the face of driver's licenses &mdash: are entirely nonpunitive and non-retributive. These provisions are, especially when considered in toto, in excess of every other scheme operating across the country, and such a stark comparison highlights areas where ASORCNA's effects have a very real potential to exceed their nonpunitive benefits. But that is not enough -- Mr. McGuire bears the burden of showing by the clearest proof that ASORCNA's provisions are excessive with respect to the Legislature's stated nonpunitive purposes, and Mr. McGuire has failed to carry that heavy burden, with two important exceptions.

First, Mr. McGuire has shown that the provision requiring double, weekly registration for in-town homeless offenders -- totaling up to 112 registrations in-person a year -- is excessive. No credible reason was given in support of this requirement. The argument that such a provision increases contact with law enforcement begs the question and falls into the State's misplaced view of unlimited effects being constitutional: If weekly double registration is good, then daily double registration would be sevenfold better? Considering the additional burdens of felony enforcement for violations, lifetime residential and employment restrictions, and lifetime travel restrictions (with yet more double-registration requirements), the weekly double-registration feature of the scheme for in-town homeless offenders is clearly excessive in relation to ASORCNA's stated nonpunitive purposes. Requiring a homeless individual to travel to two different law enforcement agencies to complete a substantially identical check-in process every week is so excessive in effect as to be punitive, especially in view of the combined weight of the other features on a homeless offender. And as established in Section C.II.c, infra, this requirement is a direct, affirmative disability or restraint.

Second, Mr. McGuire has shown that the provision requiring the completion of two identical travel permit applications prior to any three-day or more trip outside an in-town registrant's county of residence is excessive. Again, no credible reason was given in support of this duplicative procedure. While the State could again point to increased communication with law enforcement, as was discussed above, this is an instance of highly diminished returns coupled with substantially increased burdens. Additionally, § 15-20A-15(e) already requires the sheriff in the registrant's county of residence (not the municipal jurisdiction) to "immediately notify local law enforcement in the county or the jurisdiction to which the" registrant will be traveling, so it would be logical to conclude that the sheriff could also inform any applicable municipal law enforcement entity of the impending travel once a singular permit is completed. Ala. Code § 15-20A-15(e). When considering the double travel permit requirement in light of the other burdens borne by those subject to ASORCNA and the absence of any increase in benefit to ASORCNA's state nonpunitive purpose, the requirement is excessive to the point of being punitive.

As to all other of ASORCNA's provisions, Mr. McGuire has not shown that the Legislature's chosen regulatory means, individually or cumulatively, are clearly excessive in relation to the statute's nonpunitive purposes, and this factor does not point to a finding that ASORCNA as a whole is so punitive in purpose or effect as to negate the Legislature's stated intent. This finding is entered with serious reservations as to some features (especially the red-lettered branding of the face of required identification), but is consistent with the court's understanding of deference due to the judgment of the Alabama Legislature in regulating sex offenders in Alabama, and the State's discretion in implementing the various provisions of the scheme.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Vann Thomas Motel in Anniston closed, registered citizens forced out

When a stable home for Registered persons closed, why are people surprised that the result is homelessness? Are people really so stupid to believe that residency laws don't negatively impact their precious registry? No home means no monitoring. I'm sure that "building code" crap was a convenient excuse for shutting down the hotel. 

Vann Thomas Motel closed, registered sex offenders forced out
Posted: Thursday, February 5, 2015 6:48 pm | Updated: 8:41 pm, Thu Feb 5, 2015.
by Eddie Burkhalter

The state Fire Marshal's Office has forced the closure of the Vann Thomas Motel in Anniston, according to the owner’s son.
That means the registered sex offenders who had lived there are now scattered across the area, said Calhoun County Sheriff Larry Amerson.
Amerson said as of Thursday afternoon 11 registered sex offenders who had lived at the motel, located at 3002 McClellan Blvd., had reported to the Sheriff's Office that they would have to move. Registered sex offenders are required by law to report when they relocate.
“The issue for us is, they don’t have a place to go, and so we’re going to have a group who are essential homeless at least for a short term,” Amerson said.
Asked what the offenders will be required to do by law after leaving the motel, Amerson said the law allows for them to be homeless, but they must check in each week and report where they are living, whether that be under a bridge or elsewhere, he said.
Bill Wilkens Jr., standing outside his father’s motel Thursday, said an inspector from the state Fire Marshal's Office came to the motel Jan. 29 and informed him the business would have three days to close.
“The building wasn’t up to code,” Wilkens said was the reason the state inspector gave him for the closure. Wilkens said it was an old building, adding, “Of course it’s not going to be up to code.”
Attempts to reach the state Fire Marshal’s Office Thursday were unsuccessful.
Wilkens said 26 people who were staying at the hotel had to leave. Most had done so by Thursday, but one couple loaded garbage bags of belongings into a Ford truck as Wilkens talked to a reporter outside the motel. Most had already left, he said.
A sheriff’s deputy who is responsible for helping keep track of the county’s registered sex offenders came to the motel Thursday to ask Wilkens where the offenders who had lived there had moved, and Wilkens said he told the deputy “I don’t know.”
“The police department used to bring people up here, because they’d know where they are,” Wilkens said. “We’ve got some good managers here and they know who’s who and what they’ve done. They’ll report a problem.”
“This isn’t the Hilton,” Wilkens said. “But it serves a need. Now you’ve got people that are homeless. Have no place to go. One guy told me he was going to be living in his truck."

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Bills related to sex offenders as of February 3, 2015

At the moment, there are no bills directly affecting sex offenders in the Alabama legislature. There is a bill that is of interest, however, and we can offer support to the bill.

HB 8, sponsored by England, concerns so-called "mugshot" websites that demand fees to remove mugshots from people, which has become a big issue in recent years. Sites like Offendex have targeted Registered Citizens, demanding money for removal of mugshot info from their websites, only to place them up elsewhere. 


This bill would require the operator of a website containing an arrest photograph and personal information of a person charged with a crime to remove, at no charge, the photograph and information within a specified period after notice that the person was acquitted, the charges were dropped, or the charges were otherwise resolved without conviction. This bill would also provide that the failure to remove the photograph and personal information upon request is a deceptive trade practice and that an aggrieved individual is entitled to all rights and remedies under the Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

This may be a good year to push for reforms to sex offender laws, given the legislature is considering overhauls to the sentencing and correctional policies. However, it will be a tough sell in Alabama, as the legislature already introduced a bill to bring back the electric chair (SB 11, sponsored by Ward). 

Stay tuned as new bills are introduced regularly. With Wallace gone, we may not have to deal with anti-cluster bills this year, but you never know. 

Friday, January 2, 2015

Announcement: Voting for the 2014 Shiitake Awards runs now until February 1, 2015

As ReFORM-AL gears up to tackle the next round of legislation in a few weeks, I want my readers to help out one of my side projects. The Shiitake Awards, much like ReFORM-AL, is a project of Once Fallen. Every year, I spotlight the worst sex offender stories of the year. Often, there is an Alabama candidate or two. Alabama might not bring home a college football title this year, but it can bring home a Shiitake Award.

To vote, click here:

It is time once again to vote for the 2014 Shiitake Awards!
Vote on the dumbest sex offender stories and the worst among those who exploit sex offenders for person game. Vote and share the awards with fellow activists! Voting ends February 1. It is free and fun. Most of all, you get to stick it to those who stick it to Registered Citizens.

For a full list of finalists to review before taking the survey, go here:

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Should child sex offenders receive rehabilitation in prison?

The answer should be yes, but the victim industry and the "good ole boys" in Montgomery are our biggest barriers to reform. They are far too interested in money and about harmful punishments like the Hitching Post and chain gangs to care about things that are beneficial. But they merely repeat the cycle of victimhood and violence by their actions.

This article is better than Sherri Jackson's Halloween fearmongering article on "protecting children from sex offenders," which included an interview from ReFORM-AL founder Derek Logue, which could have been more informative and insightful, but ended up being a typical fluff piece. But I digress.

Should child sex offenders receive rehabilitation in prison?
By Sherri Jackson
Published: November 24, 2014, 5:00 pm

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – In early November, WIAT 42 ran an investigative report that featured collected letters from sex offenders to see what they would tell parents to protect their children from abusers. That report caused us to take a closer look at what’s going on behind bars in Alabama.

It turns out Alabama is one of a few states that does not offer treatment programs for sex offenders who are in prison.

“If they leave and they are untreated they are two to three times more likely to re-offend than if they are treated and if they are treated re-offense rates are spectacularly low,” says Dr. Barry Burkart, a psychology professor at Auburn University.

Burkhart has spent 40 years studying sexual violence in society. At first he treated victims, but then he decided to tackle the source of the crimes, the offenders themselves.

“I had this kind of epiphany where I realized I could treat all the victims for the rest of my life and not make a dent but if I could treat offenders and prevent victimization,” he said.

His epiphany led him to the Alabama Department of Corrections where he sat on the board and helped develop the only sex offender treatment program at Bullock Correctional Facility. It was a state of the art program at the time ,says Burkhart.

“We were 10 years ahead of the rest of the country, when can you say that Alabama was ahead of anything except football?” added Burkhart.

Alabama had a program that addressed treating sex offenders who had been incarcerated, but got rid of it. So why remove the program?

Burkhart says the state’s administration did not believe the program to be necessary, “It was done during the administration of Fob James…he never talked to me but what I read in the newspapers [was] he did not believe the treatment programs were necessary and, coincidentally to closing the treatment programs, he reintroduced two old style ‘rehabilitation’ methods. He reinstated the chain-gang and the hitching posts.”

That was in 1995, now in 2014, State Senator Cam Ward says he has people asking to bring those methods back, “I have people today who say we should go back to chain gangs we should go back to how Fob did it.”

Ward heads the Alabama Prison Reform Task Force. He says prison reform is a hard push, “So prison reform just the slogan itself is a hard push. But if the face of prison reform becomes how do we help child molesters…the mama and daddy of that [victim] is going to say I don’t care about that.”

He says what they care about is where the money will come from and is the legislature taking it away from victims to treat criminals.

Dr. Burkhart says, “the rehabilitation side is not coming into the discussion, maybe it should, what’s coming into the discussion when I go these task force meetings unanimously is if this is anything about helping sex offenders we are not supporting anything with that going on.”

The discussion is clear for those working on the front lines to end child sexual abuse, “we want criminal justice to do two things, provide justice to the citizens of this state, which includes safety, and also deter, prevent, preclude criminal conduct, and nobody can tell anybody in this state that prisons in Alabama do any of those. They just don’t.”

Right now youth in DYS custody do receive treatment for illegal sex crimes they commit. The governor’s office says if Alabama is to treat adult sex offenders in prison that money needs to come from the legislature.

Copyright 2014 WIAT 42 News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Madison Co. Schools try to set up an entrapment sting but ends up setting up an alleged rape

What do you do when the people entrusted to educate your kids are blithering idiots? I wonder if these "edumacators" got the idea from that idiotic Dateline NBC show, TCAP. If you can't trust police with conducting a proper sting, then how reasonable is a plot where school officials hire a mentally handicapped girl to be bait for a potential rapist? It is more fodder for feminist legal groups, which no doubt will attribute the incident to "patriarchy." Groan. 

Plan to use teen as bait leads to rape at school in Alabama, lawsuit alleges
By Victor Blackwell

(CNN) — It’s an unimaginable horror. A 14-year-old girl with special needs allegedly was raped at school after a teacher’s aide persuaded her to act as bait to catch an accused sexual predator, a fellow student.

“It has essentially devastated her life,” attorney Eric Artrip — who represents the girl and her father — said of the alleged January 2010 incident.

The Department of Justice and U.S. Department of Education filed an amicus brief Wednesday supporting her family’s federal lawsuit against the Madison County School Board in Alabama.

An amicus brief is a legal argument offered to the court by someone who is not a party to the case. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in Atlanta will decide whether to accept the argument.

“School administrators knew the student’s extensive history of sexual and violent misconduct and were alerted to the substantial risk he posed” to other students, according to the brief.

About a week before the alleged rape, Sparkman Middle School vice principals Jeanne Dunaway and Teresa Terrell received a complaint that the boy had touched a female student inappropriately and was assigned in-school suspension, according to federal attorneys.

A few days later, June Simpson, a teacher’s aide at the Huntsville-area school, told the principal, Ronnie Blair, that the boy had “repeatedly tried to convince girls to have sex with him in the boys’ bathroom on the special needs students’ corridor” and had actually had sex with one student, according to the brief.

The boy and his alleged sexual partner denied having sex in the bathroom, but Simpson recommended the boy be “constantly monitored,” according to the brief. Blair said the boy could not be punished because he had not been “caught in the act,” the brief reads.

School policy requires allegations of student-on-student misconduct be substantiated.

Trying to “catch him in the act”

On January 22, 2010, the boy approached a 14-year-old girl with special needs who had already declined his “recent, repeated propositions” for sex, according to the brief.

“She was not physically or mentally handicapped, although she does qualify for special education classes,” Artrip told CNN.

When the girl told Simpson, she encouraged the girl to “meet (the boy) in the bathroom where teachers could be positioned to ‘catch him in the act’ before anything happened,” according to the brief.

The girl initially refused, but then agreed, according to Artrip.

Simpson and the girl went to Dunaway’s office to explain the plan. Dunaway “did not respond with any advice or directive,” according to the brief.

“If this was problematic for the administration it would have been better to express that on the front end instead of the back end,” said attorney McGriff Belser III, who represents Simpson.

The girl left Dunaway’s office, found the boy in the hallway, and “agreed to meet for sex,” according to the brief.

“Something went wrong,” said Artrip.

Instead of meeting in the boys’ bathroom on the special needs students’ corridor, the boy told the girl to meet him in the sixth-grade boys’ bathroom, in another part of the school, according to the brief.

“No teachers were in the bathroom to intervene,” the brief reads.

“She stalled for time. She continually tried to fight him off but ultimately was anally raped by this young man,” Artrip told CNN.

“It was evident that this had been a severe trauma for her,” said Artrip.

Police were called and the girl was taken to the National Children’s’ Advocacy Center in Huntsville, where a rape kit was taken, Artrip told CNN.

Medical personnel found evidence of trauma “consistent with (the girl) being sodomized.” The boy claimed he had only kissed her, according to the brief.

Attorneys: Boy had a long history of serious misconduct

The girl was uncommunicative after the incident, Artrip said. The district attorney in Madison County investigated the incident, but with a victim who was unable or unwilling to talk about the incident, the office didn’t think they had a good case, and did not pursue it.

Even after viewing photographs of the girl’s injuries, vice principal Terrell “testified that she didn’t know whether (the girl) had consented to the assault,” according to the brief.

The school listed the alleged rape as “inappropriate touching a female in boys’ bathroom,” on the student’s computerized disciplinary report. He was suspended for five days and sent to an alternative school, but later returned to Sparkman after about 20 days, according to the brief.

Vice principal Dunaway testified that the girl was responsible for herself once she entered the bathroom, according the brief.

DoJ and DoE attorneys claim the boy had a long history of sexual and other misconduct in school and Sparkman Middle School administrators knew it. Several pages of the 126-page brief detail years of disciplinary problems.

The boy had been involved in 15 violent or sex-related proven incidents of misconduct before the alleged rape, according to the brief.

Federal attorneys say details about the severity of the incidents are unavailable because school administrators shredded the boy’s disciplinary files.

The girl’s father filed the federal lawsuit in October 2010 against the boy, the three administrators, the teacher’s aide and the Madison County School Board.

“We felt, (that) the teacher putting her into this position, because of the policy as interpreted by the school board and the principal, violated Title IX,” Artrip told CNN.

Title IX is a federal law aimed at ending sexual discrimination in education. In part, it dictates how schools that receive federal funds must respond to claims of sexual harassment.

In 2010, a district court judge allowed the father’s claims of state violations, including negligence, against Simpson and Dunaway, while dropping the boy from the lawsuit because he was a minor. The judge tossed out the federal claims — that the school district violated Title IX and that Simpson and school administrators deprived the girl of her civil rights.

Both sides have appealed.

Fighting for a jury trial

According to the rare amicus brief, written in part by an attorney with the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, the school, in its capacity as a recipient of federal funds is “liable for [its] deliberate indifference to known acts of peer sexual harassment.”

On the same day the federal brief was submitted, the Women’s Law Center, joined by 32 national and local organizations, submitted a joint brief supporting the family’s lawsuit. Earlier this month, the National Women’s Law Center and Artrip submitted a joint brief to the Eleventh Circuit.

Artrip told CNN his client deserves her day in court and a jury should weigh in on the Madison County District’s requirement of substantiation of allegations of student-on-student misconduct.

“We hope that the attention that this case is getting will spur a movement on these kinds of policies so that a girl can simply report sexual harassment without having a need to bring a witness with her or roll up her shirt and show bruises,” Artrip told CNN.

The girl was withdrawn from Sparkman Middle School and underwent extensive counseling. She went to live with her mother in North Carolina, but her mother died soon after. Instead of moving back to Huntsville, she and her brother were placed with Child Protective Services in North Carolina, the attorney said.

Geraldine Tibbs, the head of public relations for the Madison County Board of Education, said the board and school officials “are confident that the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals will rule in favor of the Board and the administrators.”

“Our attorneys recommend that we not discuss ongoing litigation,” she said.

Ronnie Blair and Teresa Terrell are still principal and vice principal at Sparkman Middle School.

Jeanne Dunaway is now principal at Madison County Elementary School.

June Simpson resigned shortly after the incident.

“My client has gone from being a teacher’s aide to being a scapegoat,” said Simpson’s attorney.

When asked why his client thought it was a good idea to use a special needs teen as bait to catch a suspected attacker, Besler told CNN, “I don’t personally think it is a good idea. The events of this case have shown us that it was not.”

™ & © 2014 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

AP: Alabama pastor sues over closure of sex offender camp

I knew it was coming, I just didn't know when. Kurt Wallace's segregationist anti-clustering law comes

Alabama pastor sues over closure of sex offender camp
Jay Reeves 12:02 a.m. CDT August 28, 2014

BIRMINGHAM – An Alabama pastor who let convicted sex offenders live in a camp behind his rural church filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday claiming a state law that forced him to shut down the operation violated his religious rights.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed the complaint on behalf of Ricky Martin, pastor of Triumph Church in rural Chilton County south of Clanton.

The lawsuit claims Martin believes it is his Christian duty to help people, including sex offenders being released from prison. The suit cites scripture in saying Martin's act of letting the former inmates live in campers behind the church was a ministry.

The suit seeks to overturn a law passed this year to shut down the camp following complaints from area residents.

The law, passed by the Alabama Legislature but only affecting Chilton County, bars convicted sex offenders from living within 300 feet of each other on the same piece of property.

The law took effect July 1, forcing Martin to make the men leave the property where some had lived for more than three years.

"All I am trying to do is follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and care for those who are in need of assistance," Martin said in a statement released by the ACLU. "But now the government is prohibiting me from doing what the Lord is asking of me."

The suit names the sheriff and district attorney in Chilton County, where officials said the camp posed a threat to public safety.

Assistant District Attorney C.J. Robinson, who spearheaded work to pass the law, said he had not seen the complaint and declined comment. Sheriff Kevin Davis did not return a message seeking comment.

Martin, in a June interview with The Associated Press, said he opened the camp in 2010 after meeting inmates while working as a volunteer chaplain in state prisons. Many had nowhere to live after finishing their sentences because Alabama and other states restrict the areas where sex offenders are allowed to live, he said.

County officials began noticing an influx of inmates to the same address at the church after receiving notices under laws that mandate public notices about residences of convicted sex offenders.

A legislative sponsor and county prosecutor said the law was aimed at shutting down the camp.

"This law directly targets our client — a minister — because of his deeply held Christian beliefs. The government cannot single out and strong-arm people of faith in this way," ACLU attorney Heather Weaver said in a statement.

Monday, July 7, 2014

"Achtung! Your papers please. You forgot your license? You're under arrest."

A man gets arrested for forgetting to carry his "papers" with him at all times. Is this 1930s Germany, or Alabama in 2014? It is hard to tell. First, the story:

Sex offender jailed for failing to carry ID
Posted: Jul 07, 2014 3:17 PM EDT
Updated: Jul 07, 2014 3:25 PM EDT
By Chase Erwin

ATHENS, AL (WAFF) - Athens police arrested an adult sex offender for not having identification.

Officers encountered Bennie Jean Nance walking at the intersection of West Hobbs Street and Lucas Ferry Road just before 10:30 p.m. Saturday. He told officers he was leaving a friend’s house on Ezell Street and was walking to a nearby apartment complex.

The officers offered to take Nance back to the friend’s house. While on the way back to Ezell Street, dispatch advised the officers Nance was a convicted sex offender.

Nance was taken to the police department, booked, and transferred to the county jail.

Here is the actual statute:


Section 15-20-26.2 (Effective September 1, 2006) Adult criminal sex offender - Documentation of identity.

Section 15-20-26.2
(Effective September 1, 2006) Adult criminal sex offender - Documentation of identity.

(a) Every adult criminal sex offender who is a resident of this state shall obtain and always have in his or her possession either a valid driver's license or identification card issued by the Alabama Department of Public Safety. If any offender is ineligible to be issued a driver's license or official identification card, the Department of Public Safety shall provide the offender some other form of identification card or documentation that, if it is kept in the offender's possession, shall satisfy the requirements of this section. If any adult criminal sex offender is determined to be indigent, an identification card or other documentation in lieu thereof shall be issued to the offender at no cost. An adult criminal sex offender who knowingly violates this provision shall be guilty of a Class C felony.

(b) Whenever the Department of Public Safety issues or renews a driver's license or identification card to an adult criminal sex offender, the driver's license or identification card shall bear a designation that enables law enforcement officers to identify the licensee as a criminal sex offender.

So forgetting your ID Card is a Class C Felony? How stupid!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

New law forces Chilton. Co. sex offenders to leave pastor’s backyard

I don't know why Pastor Martin lacks the backbone to speak out on this. CJ Robinson is a blithering idiot. One has to wonder if Cracker Jack gives Alabama law degrees as prizes.

New law forces Chilton. Co. sex offenders to leave pastor’s backyard
By Kaitlin McCulley
Published: June 27, 2014, 6:53 pm Updated: June 27, 2014, 7:00 pm

CHILTON COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — A man’s dream to rehabilitate convicted sex offenders is coming to an end.

Since 2010, 53 sex offenders released from prison have moved in to trailers in Ricky Martin’s backyard. The property is located at 40 County Road 374 in Chilton County. Of those 53 convicted offenders, 32 are convicted rapists and 21 have been convicted of molestation. 43 committed crimes against children.

Martin pastors Triumph Church, also on his property. Neighbors tell WIAT 42 they do not feel safe in their homes.

Debra Morrison lives next door to Martin and the sex offender camp in his backyard.

“Usually when you go to grandma’s house and you want to go swing on the swing, usually that’s ok,” Morrison said. “But not here.”

Morrison’s young grandchildren are frequent visitors to her home.

“When they come to Nana’s, they know that we’ve got to be with them at all times,” Morrison said. “And they’re scared. There’s always fear, even when we go to bed at night.”

Chilton County Chief Deputy District Attorney C.J. Robinson said neighbors will not have to feel that way much longer. A legislative bill was passed recently,requiring sex offenders in Chilton County to live at least 300 feet apart from each other. The seven remaining offenders living on Martin’s property must leave by July 1st.

“This might be the only chance I ever have as a prosecutor to try to take steps on the front end,” Robinson said. “If there’s something I can do to keep a child from being victimized.”

Morrison is thankful her worst fears have not become a reality. She hopes soon, “Nana’s house,” will be a place of carefree fun.

WIAT 42 Reporter Kaitlin McCulley talked with Martin, but he declined to be recorded on camera for this report and would not answer questions on-the-record. His only comment regarding the sex offenders is this: “I hope they continue their relationship with Christ when they leave here.”

(Copyright WIAT 42 News 2014)

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Jay Maynor is no hero: Vigilante Violence is NEVER "Justice"

Jeremy and Christine Moody--Skinhead "Heroes"
How do we rehabilitate a sex offender? They cannot be fixed, what they can do, is convinced the Psychologists that they are ‘fixed’ and they are safe to be released into society. The only cure for child abusers and molesters is to have every member of their immediate family killed. These nefarious crimes and people should not be allowed to procreate. By destroying their immediate family members, you purify the blood line. This is the only way to ensure that they (the pervert or family) cannot ever hurt a child again. Liberals will think that these statements are immature and that I must be empty headed. How many people consider the children that were abused or molested? What about the mental destruction that this child has to live with for the rest of their lives? How these children will find it difficult to ever trust another person. How these children may possibly never be able to have children of their own, because they were raped so severe, that it damaged them permanently? I don't think my suggestion is immature, I think it's the only answer, and if you don't agree, then you two should be destroyed[1][i].” – Jeremy Moody, “Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow.” Lulu Publishing, 2012. p.5

On Sunday, June 8, 2014, Jay Maynor[ii] of Cullman, Alabama shot and killed Raymond Earl Brooks, a registered citizen, who had served time for a sex crime against Maynor’s daughter 12 years ago[iii]. As with any story involving so-called “vigilante justice,” there are plenty of individuals coming out of the woodwork proclaiming this man a “hero.” The killer’s family has set up a Facebook page[iv] and a defense fund[v], and has raised $1500 in 10 days (the listed goal is $5000). A few of the comments from the fundraiser page are frightening and disturbing indeed:

There is no room in this world for pedophiles. They cannot be rehabilitated, and there is no cure. They should all be chucked off a boat and left for sharks.” – Holly Perkins

We have several sexual offenders living around us. Unless they start neutering them, I am with Mr. Maynor kind of justice.” – Kat Perry, who donated $5.00

As a survivor of abuse I support Mr. Maynor for seeking justice for his daughter. This demon should have never been allowed to walk the streets again, to have the chance to abuse another child. You are a hero to me Mr. Maynor.” – Jeanna Phillips, who donated $20.00

Jay Maynor's Mugshot
A woman by the name of Kayla Maddux[vi], whose Facebook picture is a blue variation of the “Keep Calm” internet meme proclaiming “Keep Calm and Free Jaybird,” posted a comment to detractors at the Cullman Times, stating, “Dont [sic] go trying to tell facts when you dont know them.” When has the lack of facts stop the mass media from exploiting the tragedy for ratings? Even though the AP story didn’t mention the shooter’s name to “protect the victim’s identity,” they had no reservations posting the victim’s mug shot and proclaim him a sex offender[vii]. The lack of details didn’t stop Catherine Connors, an executive with the Walt Disney Company and “award winning blogger,” from writing a post on the Nancy Grace HLN site hinting that what Maynor did, although legally wrong, is understandable and she would be tempted to do the same thing. Connors states, “I know, if something like this happened to me, I might be tempted to do wrong, too[viii].” Michelle Lund from called the victim’s father a “pedo-sympathizer” and claimed that Cullman County Sheriff Mike Rainey cares more about sex offenders than “a father who had to watch her child suffer[ix].” Dr. Drew’s “Behavioral Bureau” also added their two cents[x]. HLN is notorious for focusing on stories such as this one.

The Dr. Drew show deserves a more in-depth critique. I have had the privilege of taking on Dr. Drew’s “Behavior Bureau” on two occasions in the past year. This is how the Bureau works – the show invites a panel of personalities to come on the show to discuss various topics, and not all of the panelists have explicit knowledge of the subject at hand. For this particular episode, the panelists were Leeann Tweeden, a TV sportscaster for poker and baseball’s Anaheim Angels, Anahita Sedaghatfar, a civil defense attorney and TV analyst, and Jason Ellis, a journeyman MMA fighter (who only fought two matches) who hosts a show on Sirius XM radio. Out of three individuals, only one has any degree of criminal justice experience, so the outcome of the show should come as no surprise.

Defense attorney Anahita Sedaghatfar stated she was against vigilante violence and that we can't be allowed to take the law into our own hands, but in the end, she still stated, “I would definitely defend [Maynor]. I think he has a strong case for mitigation in terms of sentencing.” As expected, the discussion simply went downhill from this point. Leeann Tweeden stares glaringly into the camera and proudly proclaims, “You do that to my child, I will shoot you in the head.” Jason Ellis gave the strangest statement of all. So, I don`t wanna -- I already said what I had to say, this -- when you bring up the extra -- I mean, I didn`t remember until I was 40 who the guy was that molested me. So, I didn`t know until I was about 26 that I`d been molested. I had to take a bunch of acid and they also recall it. Then, at 40 I find out who it is, because my body can`t even handle knowing who it is. You did that to that girl in that fashion, I don`t need to be related to the girl, I`ll kill him right now [xi].” It is interesting that Jason Ellis just stated that he “recalled” abuse that happened decades ago. (The False Memory Syndrome[xii] controversy continues, but that is a discussion for a different day.) The point is whether we want a person who took headshots for a living (like Ellis) or some “eye-candy” model who peddles her body for a living (like Weeden) to dictate the rules of society, especially not knowing the whole story behind the murders.

Returning to Kayla Maddux’s statement about knowing “all the facts,” supplemental articles have put together the facts. This is the complete story up until this point. The day of the murder, Jay Maynor got into an argument with his stepdaughter’s boyfriend (investigators say there was “bad blood” between the two men), and apparently, somewhere along the way, the boyfriend used the sexual abuse narrative to criticize Maynor, sending him into a rage. Maynor pulled out a gun and shot into the Berlin Quick Mart gas station where the boyfriend was sitting. Painter then went to the home of Raymond Earl Brooks and ambushed him, killing him in the home of his parents. The defense made the claim that a “catalyst” or “triggering event” that should considered mitigating factors for lowering his bail[xiii].

It is rather ironic that the term “trigger” was used Maynor’s defense since pulling a gun trigger landed Maynor in jail. The term “Trigger Warning” (or TW for short) is a relatively new buzzword. “In the area of mental health, a trigger is something which causes instant distress in a vulnerable person. If you know what can trigger a bad reaction, you can try to avoid those triggers in the same way that someone with an allergy might take steps to avoid dogs.” Trigger warnings first appeared on feminist websites to flag up stories of abuse[xiv]. This word is particularly dangerous because, in the words of Rhiannon Cosslett, triggers “smacked to me of victimhood.” Cosslett does not believe triggers hinder free speech, but states, “they do display an increasingly nannying approach to language that is being used to shut down discourse and to silence. Often, it is coupled with a sense of passive aggressive glee…I do not doubt that they are of enormous service to survivors with specific triggers likely to reoccur on feminist websites, but it has got to a point now where I feel women I have never met are trying to wrap me in cotton wool, and I detest that. PTSD can make you hypersensitive and hyper-aware…[xv]”Furthermore, trigger words perpetuates cultural victimhood; as one example, college campuses are considering placing trigger warnings on classic literature because people do not like feeling even slightly uncomfortable. As one RT reporter proclaimed, “Our kids WANT to be nannied. They WANT to be protected, and feel safe, and coddled [xvi].” And fear justifies some very atrocious behavior, like canonizing a man who shoots into a business establishment because he later killed a pariah of society.

When society canonizes a vigilante, society overlooks a lot of things; however, we should not forget Maynor’s actions have harmed many people, not just the murdered Registrant. Those victimized by Maynor’s actions found Maynor to be anything but heroic.

At Maynor’s bond hearing, “Cullman County District Attorney Wilson Blaylock called two witnesses, Jeremy Trimble and Bobby Weeks, who were present for the gas station shooting. Trimble testified he was present in the store at the time of the shooting and claimed one of the stray bullets came within 10 feet of hitting his child. ‘I was alarmed for my son’s safety and it made my heart stop,” he said. “He tried to shoot someone and shot another man.’Weeks was attending a child’s birthday party at the karaoke business located beside the gas station and said he heard a gun shot then looked outside to see Maynor with a gun drawn chasing another man. At that point, Weeks said he gathered the children together and took them inside for safety. ‘It sounded like he was yelling, ‘Come here you motherfucker,’ Weeks testified. ‘It scared me and the kids[xvii].’”

Jay Maynor showing how he feels about society's laws
“Mike Hays, who cooks and operates a small barbecue restaurant inside Berlin Plaza Quick Stop, where the shooting occurred, said he came face-to-face with the shooter after the man opened fire outside and then entered the store looking for his intended victim, who wasn't hurt. ‘People here are calling him a hero for killing a child molester. I'm calling him a psychopathic lunatic for endangering peoples' lives, including mine,’ Hays said. After stopping his motorcycle at an intersection outside the store, the father fired once at a man who was standing beside an ice cooler, Hays said. The bullet entered an exterior wall of the store and chipped a window but no one was injured. Hays said he retrieved his own weapon and confronted [Maynor] near the cash register. ‘He had the gun down by his side. He was calm, as calm as you are standing there now. But he had that look in his eye,’ said Hays. ‘I have no problem with him shooting a child molester, just not 12 years later. If it was my daughter he would have died back in 2002[xviii].’”

“Brooks' father, Ralph Brooks, told WBRC-TV in Birmingham that his son did not deserve to die. He said Raymond Earl Brooks turned his life around after his conviction and lived a godly life that included being active in his church. Because his son's conviction happened so long ago, he said he couldn't be sure if the shooting was a form of revenge. ‘It would be unbelievable to hold animosity in your heart for 12 years,’ Brooks said[xix].”

It should not be surprising with anyone that Jay Maynor had a criminal history. Maynor had made several court appearances over the years—once for DUI and three times for domestic violence (though the domestic violence charges were eventually dropped). It is laughable Maynor’s defense attorney brought these prior charges up in attempt to show the court that Maynor would come to court responsibly and should thus receive a lower bond. Thankfully bail was not reduced[xx].

This story has played out numerous times over the years. This brings me to the statement by Jeremy Moody at the beginning of this article. Moody’s proclamation could have been written just as easily by any anonymous commenter. But Moody’s proclamation was written in a self-written skinhead manifesto, alongside discussions on racial purity and ethnic cleansing. (Ironically, the head of Moody’s skinhead group, known as “Crew 41,” is a Registered Citizen[xxi].) Patrick Drum, who murdered two registrants in Washington State in 2012, had 47 criminal convictions over a 15 year period, including assault, drug, and burglary charges. One of his victims landed on the list for a consensual act with a teen when he was 17 years old. Drum and the Moody clan were unrepentant thugs with disgusting pasts. Had they killed anyone else, society would not have given any of them a second thought except to call for the heads of these men on a silver platter. But because their victims were Registered Citizens, people want to give murderers a free pass.
Even the Neo-Nazi skinhead Jeremy Moody had support from the public, as illustrated by this statement from a CNN commenter:

Kimberly269life – “In this case the dude had been convicted of a sex crime on a child!where is the good old killemall mindset we normally apply to pedophiles?What is your prob people? Pedophilia is a well known incurable condition-even castration doesn not cure this despicable condition in many men! He def needed killing.His wife on the other hand seems to have been collateral damage-but thats the price you pay for being connected to child molesters! Its true that many wives allow crimes against children-their own and others-by doing nothing and turning away.They are culpable.They are helping ! Nazis and other white supremists are really disgusting people-yes-but the pedophile is probably even lower ...frankly its a win/win from what I can see[xxii]” [Kimberly’s grammatical errors included]

The vigilante violence and the people who support them are definitive proof the registry, or any degree of public disclosure of Registered Citizens in the community, should be abolished. Until the registry is abolished, we will see this same story play out repeatedly in the coming years. Patt Morrison from the LA Times says, “Justice in a democracy cannot be some tit-for-tat clan vendetta, or determined by bribes or bias. It must be the dispassionate act of the people and the state, whose good order and laws have been violated. Vigilante justice erodes the authority and regard for a legal system that can’t be about vengeance or passion… And when an Alabama father or a California mother usurps that role, they are not heroes, because vengeance is not justice. And justice, not just someone’s child, becomes a victim too[xxiii].”The registry is a “catalyst” and a “trigger event” that enrages the community, and when a person is assaulted or murdered because of this registry, justice is perverted.

[ii] In terestingly enough, the AP did not publish the perpetrator’s name, stating “The Associated Press doesn't identify victims of sex crimes, and it isn't naming the man charged with murder to protect his daughter's identity.” Yet, they published the victim's name and picture and proclaimed him a sex offender. See Jay Reeves, “ALABAMA MAN CHARGED IN SLAYING GAINS SUPPORT.” AP, June 10, 2014.
[iii] Trent Moore, “Cullman man charged with murder in Berlin shooting.” Cullman Times, June 9, 2014.
[vi] Apparently Kayla the daughter of Jay Maynor, though she does not list him as her father on her Facebook page.
[viii] Catherine Commons, “Avenging a horrid crime: Right, but still wrong?” HLN, June 18, 2014.
[ix] Michelle Lund, “Jay Maynor, Hero Shoots Man Who Molested His Daughter.”, June 14, 2014.
[x] Dr. Drew staff, “Father charged in shooting death of daughter's molester.” HLN, June 12, 2014.
[xiii] Trent Moore, “Maynor’s attorney: ‘Trigger event’ caused shooting, seeking bail reduction.” June 12, 2014.
[xiv] “Trigger warnings: What do they do?” BBC, Feb. 24, 2014.
[xv] Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett, “Why I don’t agree with trigger warnings.” New Statesman, Jan. 29, 2013.
[xvi] “Our Kids Want to be Nannied. We’re Screwed.” The Resident (Russia Today), May 27, 2014.
[xvii] Trent Moore, “BREAKING: Bond reduction denied in Maynor murder case.” Cullman Times, June 19, 2014.
[xviii] Jay Reeves, “ALABAMA MAN CHARGED IN SLAYING GAINS SUPPORT.” AP, June 10, 2014.
[xix] Ibid.
[xx] Moore, “Breaking”
[xxi] “Killing Sex Offenders: The Apparent Hypocrisy of Crew 41.” Southern Poverty Law Center, July 29, 2013.
[xxiii] Patt Morrison, “Opinion Does an angry parent killing a child molester ever serve justice?” LA Times, June 17, 2014.