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 The law was repealed," recalls Robinson.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