Monday, May 27, 2013

Alabama's legislation is officially over, and HB 85 dies from neglect. For now.

On May 20, 2013, the Alabama state legislature officially ended. And HB 85 is still "indefinitely postponed." Unless there is a "special session," HB 85 is dead in the water. For now. (This is the best we can expect, as no pol will go on record as opposing this law.)

Does this mean we'll never see this bill again. As I stated before, this bill has existed in the past (and failed just as it did this year). I will be keeping a twice-weekly watch over the legislative website in the meantime. For now, victory is ours!

Keep in mind one thing. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. But the prevention is not a one-time event. Each new legislative session means new people we have to educate. Our work is never truly finished.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Birmingham attorney wants to change how juvenile sex offenders register

A great find from the Sex Offender Issues Blog.

It is nice to know even in the cesspool of bad legislation that is Alabama, there are a few people willing to address the laws. Kudos to this attorney, Richard S. Jaffe, for speaking out against Alabama's juvenile sex offender laws.

Local attorney wants to change how juvenile sex offenders register

Posted: May 09, 2013 10:53 PM EDT
Updated: May 09, 2013 10:53 PM EDT
By Vanessa Araiza

If you look up sex offenders online you're hit with hundreds of names, addresses and photos.

The current sex offender registry includes juvenile sex offenders and trial lawyer Richard S. Jaffe wants to see that changed.

"I think it should be an individual basis. I also think that if a person demonstrates rehabilitation and successful treatment that they shouldn't have to register for the rest of their lives," said Jaffe.

He said studies have shown a person's brain doesn't mature until between 22 and 25 years of age. Jaffe believes juvenile sex offenders can be rehabilitated.

"I'm not saying that a 15-year-old shouldn't be held accountable for their actions but at the same time there's a limit to the type of punishment and the extent of punishment that anybody should have to undergo," said Jaffe.

Right now Jaffe is working a case involving an offender who is now 19-years-old.

He said when his client was 14 he was playing a game with some other teens and ended up being charged and convicted of a sex crime. Now he is registered as a sex offender.

His father talked to FOX6 News about his son's conviction. He wanted to remain anonymous but said before all this happened he was fine with the way the laws were laid out.

"I was one of those people until this happened to us. And I will say this, I will never see a news story or read an article and automatically believe someone is guilty," he said.

If the law doesn't change he said it could mean an ill future for his son who he believes was wrongly convicted.

"It's going to affect him in many ways. His career, his personal life. And even if he's fortunate enough to marry and have children I mean he would never be able to even coach his kids ball teams," said the teens' father.

Jaffe wanted to emphasize that all cases are different and each one should be handled that way.

FOX6 News reached out to Chief Deputy Randy Christian with Jefferson County Sheriff's Office for his input.

He said the department works very hard to make Alabama's law one of the toughest in the country and obviously they want it to stay that way.

Copyright 2013 WBRC. All rights reserved.

Here is the link to Richard S. Jaffe's lawfirm: