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