American Law Institute recommends sweeping changes to registry

On June 8, 2021 the membership of the American Law Institute gave its final approval to a revision of the Model Penal Code’s chapter on Sexual Assault and Related Offenses. This project was initially authorized by the ALI Council in 2012.  The appointed Reporters, Professors Stephen Schulhofer and Erin Murphy of the New York University School of Law, began work immediately, preparing drafts for discussion with the appointed project Advisors and the Members’ Consultative Group. As is normal with ALI projects, these groups included practicing attorneys, judges, and scholars who are experts in the subject. Portions of the project were presented to the full membership at the annual meetings in 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017. The ALI Council agreed on January 22 to recommend the membership’s final approval of the completed project. Tentative Draft Number 5 was then considered and approved by the Membership at the 2021 annual meeting held on June 8. The Reporters will now prepare the final published version reflecting the discussion at the Annual Meeting as well as editorial improvements.

The complete Tentative Draft, 600 pages long, addresses the substance of the full range of sexual assault crimes. It contains the Blackletter provisions setting forth the code’s statutory language for each section, official Comments interpreting and explaining each section, and Reporter’s Notes providing background and citations to sources relied upon by the Reporters in the draft. The original version of the Model Penal Code was published by the ALI in 1962. It was and remains highly influential. According to Wikipedia more than half the states enacted criminal codes that borrowed heavily from the MPC, and even courts in non-adopting states have been influenced by its provisions. It was a forward looking document. One important and influential contribution of the 1962 MPC was the removal of noncommercial sexual acts between consenting adults, such as sodomy, adultery and fornication, from the criminal law. In 2001, however, the Institute concluded that revision of some portions of the 50-year-old MPC had become necessary. This project, revising the portions of the MPC addressing sexual assault, is one of three separate revision projects on different portions of the code. The original MPC contained no provisions on a sexual offense registry; the inclusion of that topic in the MPC is among the most significant revisions to it now approved by the Institute.

The MPC’s registry provisions are contained in 11 sections. Including an official comment providing an Executive Summary, they are set forth in the final 120 pages of Tentative Draft No. 5. While the MPC adopts something called a registry, its substance departs significantly from existing registry laws, federal and state, as the Comments acknowledge. Key differences are:

  1. Many sexual offenses that are registrable in the federal and most state laws are not registerable under the MPC provisions, which provide that no offense is subject to registration other than those it specifies as registerable. Only these five offenses (as defined by other sections of the MPC) trigger a registration obligation:
  • Sexual Assault by Aggravated Physical Force or Restraint
  • Sexual Assault by Physical Force, but only when committed after the offender had previously been convicted of a felony sex offense
  • Sexual Assault of an Incapacitated Person, but only when committed after the offender had previously been convicted of a felony sex offense
  • Sexual Assault of a Minor, but only when the minor is younger than 12 and the actor is 21 years old or older
  • Incestuous Sexual Assault of a Minor, but only when the minor is younger than 16
  1. There is no public notification that individuals are on the registry, whether through a public website or any other means. Access to the registry is limited to law enforcement personnel. The knowing or reckless disclosure of registry information to others is a felony.
  2. The maximum registration period for the small group who remain on the registry is 15 years, but those who do not re-offend, and comply with parole, probation, or supervised release conditions, are removed after ten years. Failure to register cannot be the basis of parole or probation revocation; it is punishable only as a misdemeanor offense.
  1. General rules that required location monitoring of persons convicted of a sexual offense are barred, as are most restrictions on residency, access to schools or the internet. Judges could impose such restrictions in particular cases, but only on persons currently required to register, and only upon an evidentiary showing that there are special circumstances in that particular case that justify it, and only for a limited period of time. In no case may a judge require public notification. Mandatory restrictions on employment applicable primarily to persons convicted of a sexual offense that are created by other state laws are not repealed by the MPC, but anyone subject to them may petition a court for relief from the employment bar.

The American Law Institute, established in 1923, is the leading independent organization in the United States producing scholarly work to clarify, modernize, and otherwise improve the law. The current Council of the ALI includes 7 members of the United States Courts of Appeal as well as Justices on the highest courts of California, Arizona, Texas, and New Jersey. The recommendations of the ALI Council become the official position of the Institute when (as with these revisions to the MPC contained in T.D. 5) they are adopted by the members, which consists of leading attorneys, law professors, and judges who have been nominated and elected to membership.

Source: https://narsol.org/2021/06/prestigious-american-law-institute-recommends-sweeping-changes-to-registry-including-no-public-dissemination/

Lifetime placement on sex offender list unconstitutional, SC Supreme Court rules

COLUMBIA — The S.C. Supreme Court has unanimously ruled the state’s lifetime sex offender registration requirement is unconstitutional and people who demonstrate a low risk of reoffending should be able to petition a judge to have their names purged.

The June 9 order demands the General Assembly change the law to bring South Carolina in line with other states that provide offenders a path off of similar Megan’s Law-type registries.

The law is named for a 7-year-old in New Jersey who was sexually assaulted and murdered by a neighbor, prompting states around the country in the 1990s to tighten their laws around sex offenders.

Offenders may only be removed if their conviction was reversed, they are acquitted through a retrial or if granted a pardon based on a finding that the subject was not guilty of their crimes.

Otherwise, unlike other states, South Carolina provides prior offenders no recourse to seek relief from a judge.

That now is in line for change based on the high court decision.

The system is the “most stringent in the country,” and deprives offenders of their rights to due process, Chief Justice Donald Beatty wrote in the 13-page ruling.

Because the state does not track which individuals have a low risk of reoffending, the state’s registry “dilutes its utility by creating an ever-growing list of registrants that is less effective at protecting the public and meeting the needs of law enforcement,” Beatty wrote.

The justices did reject an argument that publishing the registry online violates state law, allowing the database to continue to be displayed on the Internet.

The ruling mandates that offenders be offered hearings in circuit court, where they may argue they no longer pose a risk to their communities. Because that change will require an act of the Legislature, the ruling does not take effect until June 2022.

The high court’s decision is already sparking reactions from the law enforcement community and nonprofit organizations that work to support sexual assault and human trafficking victims.

Brooke Burris, who founded and co-chairs the Tri-County Human Trafficking Task Force, said she understands the need to reexamine the registry and provide some offenders a pathway off of it.

But she was concerned justices didn’t mention victims in their June 9 ruling.

“The effects on a victim are for their lifetime,” Burris said.

She hopes the General Assembly takes victims and their needs into consideration as they amend the state’s registration rules.

Rebecca Lorick, executive director of Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands, echoed those concerns.

“It should be totally victim-centered,” Lorick said. “It’s so important to have their voices heard.”

Jarrod Bruder, executive director of the South Carolina Sheriffs’ Association, said the state’s sheriffs welcome the opportunity to work with lawmakers to improve the law.

But, he said, “We must implement a solution that upholds a careful balance between public safety and an individual’s right to due process.”

Jonathan Ozmint, director of the S.C. Department of Corrections from 2003 to 2011, said lawmakers should adopt the system crafted by federal officials and used by other states.

Under this more common process, the lowest-level offenders are automatically purged from registries after 10 years, and most or all nonviolent offenders have a path off the lists.

 

Read the decision here: https://www.sccourts.org/opinions/HTMLFiles/SC/28033.pdf

Source: https://www.postandcourier.com/politics/lifetime-placement-on-sex-offender-list-unconstitutional-sc-supreme-court-rules/article_897733b0-c932-11eb-b5f1-6348f734d73e.html

NARSOL, others, continue battle for those on sexual offense registry

narsol,-others,-continue-battle-for-those-on-sexual-offense-registry

By Sandy and Robin . . . In Wisconsin a new battle is being launched in what is getting to be an old war. Civil rights attorneys Adele Nicholas and Mark Weinberg, seasoned soldiers in this war fought on behalf of persons forced to live as someone on a sex offender registry, have launched this latest skirmish due to a “village’s moratorium on any more sex offenders living there.”

In Texas, NARSOL’s affiliate Texas Voices is unwavering in its battles against legislation that targets those on the registry for special restrictions, most often those that limit the very presence of a registrant within an area designated as a “child-safe area.” These onerous restrictions often make finding housing and employment virtually impossible and can even rip registrants from the support of family. Mary Sue Molnar, the group’s executive director, spends unlimited hours every legislative session ferreting out these bills, organizing the troops, and descending on the capitol in Austin armed with written and oral testimony heavy not only with poignant personal stories but also with researched facts about the issue.

North Carolina has proven to be very fertile ground for these battles. With an extremely active affiliate there, NCRSOL, and a civil rights attorney, Paul Dubbeling, who is no stranger to battles involving restrictions on registered citizens, opportunities abound for challenges on constitutional grounds. The state legislature has continually added blanket restrictions on where registered people can work, live, socialize, and even worship. Mr. Dubbeling is extremely experienced in filing successful civil rights claims on behalf of registered people. Initially an understudy of Atty. Glenn Gerding of Packingham fame, Paul assumed more responsibility in the successful Does v. Cooper challenge to North Carolina’s old premises statute which prevented most registered people from being within 300 feet of schools, parks, playgrounds, swimming pools, etc. In response to its loss, the N.C. Attorney General worked with legislative leaders to enact a new premises statute that ended up being more restrictive than the first. Working with NCRSOL and supported by NARSOL’s foundation, Dubbeling filed an ex post facto lawsuit in 2017 patterned after the ACLU’s challenge to the registration scheme in Michigan.  Styled NARSOL v. Stein, the case finally went to trial in April 2021. We anxiously await a decision from Judge Loretta Biggs some time in summer or fall. In the midst of waiting for an outcome in that case, NCRSOL’s attorneys filed additional successful lawsuits challenging the vague statutory language used to determine whether or not people with out-of-state convictions should be required to register in North Carolina (Grabarczyk v. Stein) and are prepared to accept a substantial settlement in a lawsuit against the sheriff of Cherokee County who rounded up all the registered people in his county on Halloween in 2019 (Crisp v. Palmer). The Halloween case is currently in mediation.

In Arizona a battle waged on for years through court after court, only to be lost on the steps of the United States Supreme Court.  May v. Shinn came about as a result of a legislative statute in which the burden of proof was shifted from the state to the defendant. Rather than for the state to be required to prove that Mr. May had criminal intent in his touching of a child, Mr. May, and others similarly situation, were put in the position of having to prove that they did not. Courts differed throughout the years of this lengthy battle with most favoring the plaintiff’s position that this burden-shifting was in violation of the Constitution. Hopes were high as the case reached the Supreme Court, only to be destroyed when the Court did not grant cert.

NARSOL has participated in other skirmishes whose outcomes are not yet determined. Rhode Island has proved a battlefield of long standing. The issue involves residency restrictions and would evict registrants from the homes where they had been living before the law was passed that increased the restricted distance from 300 to 1,000 feet. The ACLU filed Freitas v. Kilmartin on October 29, 2015. A restraining order was sought and granted the very next day, to remain in effect until trial, which was originally set to begin in January of the following year. The state was not ready, citing discovery issues. The trial has never taken place; the restraining order remains in place, and registrants remain, for now, in their homes.

Georgia saw battles launched on several fronts regarding signage on private property required at Halloween and other requirements not authorized by law. One county backed down after receiving a cease-and-desist letter from NARSOL; the sheriff and other officials in another vowed to fight on, and so did NARSOL. That case is ongoing and morphing into something different from what it started. Wherever it goes, we will be there.

Whether the battles are fought in the courtroom or in legislative chambers, they are fought. Some are lost; some are won. They will continue to be fought; NARSOL will continue fighting, until, one by one, enough are won that we will have won the war. This won’t happen in the next few months or, most likely, not even the next few years.

But it will happen.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

As vice chair of NARSOL, Robin is the managing editor of the Digest, director of development, and provides assistance to the webmaster in keeping our websites running smoothly. He also serves as founder and president of Vivante Espero, NARSOL’s 501(c)(3) foundation and legal fund.

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Sandy Rozek

Sandy is communications director for NARSOL, editor-in-chief of the Digest, and a writer for the Digest and the NARSOL website. Additionally, she participates in updating and managing the website and assisting with a variety of organizational tasks.

Source: https://narsol.org/2021/04/narsol-others-continue-battle-for-those-on-sexual-offense-registry/

Southern Baptists oust 2 churches over LGBTQ inclusion

southern-baptists-oust-2-churches-over-lgbtq-inclusion

The Southern Baptist Convention’s executive committee voted Tuesday to oust four of its churches, two over policies deemed to be too inclusive of LGBTQ people and two more for employing pastors convicted of sex offenses.

The actions were announced at a meeting marked by warnings from two top leaders that the SBC, the largest Protestant denomination in the United States, was damaging itself with divisions over several critical issues including race.

“We should mourn when closet racists and neo-Confederates feel more at home in our churches than do many of our people of color,” said the SBC’s president, J.D. Greear, in his opening speech.

The two churches expelled for LGBTQ inclusion were St. Matthews Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky, and Towne View Baptist Church, in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Towne View’s pastor, the Rev. Jim Conrad, told The Associated Press last week that he would not appeal the ouster and plans to affiliate his church, at least temporarily, with The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, which lets churches set their own LGBTQ policies.

Towne View began admitting LGBTQ worshippers as members in October 2019 after a same-sex couple with three adopted children asked Conrad if they could attend, a decision he defends as the right thing to do.

“The alternative would have been to say, ‘We’re probably not ready for this,’ but I couldn’t do that,” said Conrad, pastor there since 1994.

St. Matthews Baptist was among more than 12 churches that lost their affiliation with the Kentucky Baptist Convention in 2018 because they made financial contributions to the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, which had recently lifted a ban on hiring LGBTQ employees.

SBC officials said Westside Baptist Church in Sharpsville, Pennsylvania, was ousted because it “knowingly employs as pastor a registered sex offender,” while Antioch Baptist Church in Sevierville, Tennessee, has a pastor who was convicted of statutory rape.

The two-day executive committee meeting opened Monday, with a schedule featuring speeches by Greear and executive committee president Ronnie Floyd bemoaning the multiple acrimonious divisions within the denomination.

“This sound of war in the camp of Southern Baptists is concerning to me, and I know it is also concerning to many of you,” Floyd said. “While we hear and see how the American culture is so out of control, my friends, our own culture within the Southern Baptist family is also out of control.”

Floyd noted that the divisions mirror ideological, political and racial differences nationwide.

“In this fever-pitch environment, each of us needs to be very careful with the words we write, speak, tweet or post,” he said. “As SBC leaders and followers of Jesus, our public behavior matters.”

Greear addressed racial tensions in the SBC, a longstanding problem that has recently been rekindled. Some Black pastors have left the SBC and others are voicing dismay over pronouncements by the SBC’s six seminary presidents — all of them white — restricting how the subject of systemic racism can be taught at their schools.

Going forward, Greear said, Black Southern Baptists should be included in discussions on this topic, including the SBC’s stance toward the concept of Critical Race Theory, which the seminary presidents repudiated.

“The reality is that if we in the SBC had shown as much sorrow for the painful legacy that racism and discrimination has left in our country as we have passion to decry CRT, we probably wouldn’t be in this mess,” Greear said

“Do we want to be a Gospel people, or a Southern culture people? Which is the more important part of our name — Southern or Baptist?”

After the two speeches, the executive committee unanimously adopted an expansion plan called Vision 2025. It would increase full-time Southern Baptist international missionaries from 3,700 to 4,200, boost the number of congregations by 5,000 and seek to reverse the decline in baptizing 12- to 17-year-olds.

Floyd said SBC churches are baptizing 38% fewer teenagers than in 2000.

———

Associated Press religion coverage receives support from the Lilly Endowment through The Conversation U.S. The AP is solely responsible for this content.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Source: https://thebrunswicknews.com/ap/national/southern-baptists-oust-2-churches-over-lgbtq-inclusion/article_11b8baa4-bea7-5da5-83a2-9c24e8ff3f95.html

House would let prosecutors use inmate files to fight parole

house-would-let-prosecutors-use-inmate-files-to-fight-parole

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia lawmakers want to give district attorneys access to prisoner disciplinary records to help the prosecutors oppose parole requests.

The House voted 99-66 on Thursday to pass House Bill 168, sending it to the Senate for more debate.

Rep. Jesse Petrea, a Savannah Republican, said the measure is needed because some people are being released who have disciplinary records indicating that they are a risk.

He cited the case of Torrey Scott. Within three months of being paroled, Scott raped two Savannah State University students, raped and killed a Port Wentworth woman, and raped another woman he kidnapped from a Savannah hospital parking lot between December 2013 and February 2014. Scott is now serving life without parole in prison.

”This bill is about how we protect our people and our community from someone like Torrey Scott,” Petrea told House lawmakers.

He said that knowing how someone behaved in prison recently would be a good guide to whether they’re ready to be released, saying many inmates are disciplined for wrongdoing that would bring criminal charges outside prison.

“If individuals are operating that way in prison, it’s a pretty good indicator that they may be a risk to the broader society,” Petrea said.

Prosecutors would only get access to records for people convicted of violent felonies or some serious sexual offenses. The bill would make it a misdemeanor for the district attorney to release the information to the public.

House Minority Leader James Beverly, a Macon Democrat, questioned whether a defense attorney would have access to the records. Petrea said an inmate could share records they are given with a defense lawyer.

But Rep. Josh McLaurin, a Sandy Springs Democrat, said hearings on the bill had raised questions that were never answered.

He said sometimes bad information is conveyed to the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles. He said testimony also showed the state Department of Corrections has given the parole board access to every file for every person in state custody, despite a lack of statutory authority for doing so.

“If all files are declassified, it means none of them are state secrets anymore, which means we wouldn’t need this bill,” McLaurin told House members, saying the Department of Corrections is not following “any systemic policy” on the issue and needs more legislative oversight.

———

Follow Jeff Amy on Twitter at http://twitter.com/jeffamy.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Source: https://thebrunswicknews.com/ap/national/house-would-let-prosecutors-use-inmate-files-to-fight-parole/article_448702b5-bdc0-529b-bfba-be833760bfce.html

“Excellent program; this gives me hope for the future”

“excellent-program;-this-gives-me-hope-for-the-future”

NARSOL’s Litigation Summit was a huge success and well received by over 220 viewers.

Thanks to the work of some extraordinary volunteers as well as the participation of our guests, NARSOL Live | Litigation Summit, NARSOL’s second major webcasting event, came off without a hitch. This was the first time NARSOL relied upon its in-house technology team to facilitate a virtual event from start to close. Much appreciation and gratitude are owed to Andy, Brendan, Craig, Fred, Michael, and Tammy for their assistance with technology and promotion.

NARSOL expresses gratitude for the outstanding presentations by a slate of attorneys throughout the nation: Mark Yurachek of Georgia, Erica Dubno of New York, Paul Reingold of Michigan, Adele Nicholas of Illinois, Aaron Marcus of Pennsylvania, as well as NARSOL’s general counsel and chief civil rights attorney, Paul Dubbeling of North Carolina.

The volunteer members of the Conference Operations Committee in cooperation with NARSOL’s Conference Planning Committee helped to plan and execute the live event which was emceed by our capable and gregarious host, Don Thurber, NARSOL’s state contact for South Carolina, along with appearances by NARSOL’s executive director, Brenda Jones,  the president of NARSOL’s foundation, Robin Vander Wall, and NARSOL board member Philip Kaso.

Thank you all! And thank everyone who signed-up to participate in NARSOL’s first litigation summit! Remember that you will have access to the program for 30 days in case you missed a session or want to see some again. You will be receiving information soon about accessing it. Judging from the initial responses of appreciation and adulation, it is very likely the first of many such webcasting events to come.

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Source: https://narsol.org/2020/11/excellent-program-this-gives-me-hope-for-the-future/

Halloween sign challenge suffers setback

halloween-sign-challenge-suffers-setback

By Larry . . . On September 24, 2019, NARSOL engaged an attorney and filed a lawsuit a suit in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia challenging the Butts County Sheriff’s Office’s practice of placing warning signs at the residences of registered persons before Halloween. The court granted a request for a preliminary injunction which prevented the Butts County Sheriff’s Office from erecting signs on the property of the plaintiffs during the 2019 Halloween holiday. With Halloween 2020 rapidly approaching, NARSOL’s legal team moved for Summary Judgment (decision without a trial) to permanently enjoin the sheriff’s office from placing signs in front of their homes, or, in the alternative, a new preliminary injunction barring sign placement during 2020 Halloween. Unfortunately, the court denied our motion for summary judgment and resolved the case against us, denying the relief we had sought. In addition, most of the assertions raised in the complaint were dismissed with prejudice meaning they cannot be raised again.

Background

One of the registrants lives with his 6-year-old daughter and his parents, who own the home where they all reside. Shortly before Halloween 2018, two Butts County sheriff’s deputies appeared at his door to inform him that the sheriff’s office would be placing a sign in front of  their home. The sign conveyed a “community safety message” from the sheriff’s office “warning” that there could be no trick-or-treating at the home. The other plaintiffs had similar stories.

As amended, their complaint asserted three claims:

  • That the state compelled speech from the plaintiffs in violation of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
  • That the state trespassed in violation of state law.
  • That the state committed an unlawful taking of the plaintiffs’ property in violation of the Fifth Amendment.

Explanation of Summary Judgment

“Summary judgment under Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure is proper ‘if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.’ Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). The moving party bears the burden of establishing that no genuine issues of material fact exist. All facts and all inferences to be drawn therefrom must be viewed in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. The Court’s function at the point of summary judgment is limited to determining whether sufficient evidence has been presented to make the issue of fact a proper question for the factfinder. The Court does not weigh the evidence or determine the truth of the matter. Nor does the Court search the record ‘to establish that it is bereft of a genuine issue of material fact.’ Street v. J.C. Bradford & Co., 886 F.2d 1472, 1479- 80 (6th Cir. 1989). Thus, ‘the inquiry performed is the threshold inquiry of determining whether there is a need for a trial-whether, in other words, there are any genuine factual issues that properly can be resolved only by a finder of fact because they may reasonably be resolved in favor of either party.’ ” Anderson, 477 U.S. at 250.

The standards upon which a court evaluates motions for summary judgment do not change when, as here, both parties seek to resolve the case through the vehicle of cross-motions for summary judgment. “The fact that both parties have moved for summary judgment does not mean that the court must grant judgment as a matter of law for one side or the other; summary judgment in favor of either party is not proper if disputes remain as to material facts. Taft Broad. Co. v. United States, 929 F.2d 240, 248 (6th Cir. 1999) (citations omitted). Instead, “. . . the court must evaluate each party’s motion on its own merits, taking care in each instance to draw all reasonable inferences against the party whose motion is under consideration.” Id. For more details, see our article on Does v. Rausch in the August/September Digest.

What is Trespass?

The plaintiffs brought two claims alleging the signs intrude on their property rights.  It is undisputed that two of the plaintiffs did not own the property where each resided at the times the signs were placed. The defendants argue that as a result, neither of them had “standing to assert any claim that turns on a real property interest.” The defendants contended that a third party who is not a property owner cannot maintain a trespass action, and the Court agreed.   , 214 Ga. 149, 151, 103 S.E.2d 557 (1958) (“To maintain an action for trespass or injury to realty, it is essential that the plaintiff show either that he was the true owner or was in possession at the time of the trespass.”) The plaintiffs accused the defendants of “an inaccurate recitation of the law as addressed” and cited contrary ‘authority.’ That authority consisted of three cases.  The court stated, “None remotely supported their argument.” Order at 9.

Quoting from the Order the court stated, “Under Georgia law, “[t]respass is a wrongful interference with the right to the exclusive use and benefit of a property right.” Bishop Eddie Long Ministries, Inc. v. Dillard, 272 Ga. App. 894, 901, 613 S.E.2d 673, 682 (2005) (citing OCGA § 51-9-1). The plaintiffs argue, perplexingly, that “[t]he facts underlying Petitioners’ trespass claims are wholly undisputed by either party[.]” Doc. 50-1 at 29. Among those purportedly undisputed facts, they say, is that “Respondents were entering private property which was closed to the public[.]” Id. at 30.  But that critical issue is, in fact, hotly disputed: The defendants claim they placed the signs in the rights-of-way.  Doc. 51-1 ¶ 4. But as critical as that issue is, the parties have all been unable to find evidence establishing the location and extent of the rights-of-way, if any, on the plaintiffs’ properties.  Nor have they been able to find legal authority that resolves the relative rights of the general public, the abutting landowner, and the sheriff’s office in the rights-of-way. Order at 11-12.

The court stated, “There is no clearly established law that every temporary physical invasion of property constitutes a taking. Further, if even the parties’ counsel have not yet found law establishing the location of the rights-of-way and the relative rights of the parties in the rights-of-way, certainly a reasonable officer would not have known the placement of the signs interfered with the plaintiffs’ property interests. And again, the officers have adduced undisputed evidence that they at least attempted to place the signs in what they believed was the right-of-way. They are entitled to qualified immunity on the takings claim.” Order at 18-19.

Compelled Speech0

The First Amendment “forbids abridgement of the freedom of speech,” and “freedom of speech includes both the right to speak freely and the right to refrain from speaking at all.”  Now, the record is more developed, and there is evidence that the sheriff’s office does not now have a policy of prohibiting or the intention to prohibit competing speech. The plaintiffs dispute this, citing the sheriff’s testimony at the preliminary injunction hearing before last Halloween. They cite no further evidence showing such a policy or intention. On the issue of injunctive relief, the initial question, then, is whether the record provides evidence that the sheriff’s office intends to bar the plaintiffs from placing competing messages. It does not. Whatever the sheriff’s office planned to do in 2019, it is clear now it will not attempt to impinge the plaintiffs’ First Amendment rights. The plaintiffs are free to offer speech competing with the Sheriff’s Office’s views and to disassociate themselves from those views. Order at 21-22.0

Is There Hope?

Yes, because the court was not able to resolve all issues, particularly the issue of whether the signs were on public right-of-way or private property. Quoting from the order, “The Court first makes clear what it is not concluding. The Sheriff’s Office believes it has the right to post the signs in front of the Plaintiffs’ homes as long as the signs are in yet to be defined rights-of-way and that it can prosecute anyone who moves the signs.  The Court doesn’t reach that issue, but as noted, the Defendants have scant authority to support either proposition.  And the Court certainly doesn’t conclude, given the facts here, that putting the signs in the Plaintiffs’ yards makes sense. Rather, the Court only concludes that, for the most part, the relief the Plaintiffs seek is not available.” Order at 28.

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Larry Neely

Larry serves as NARSOL’S treasurer, publisher of the Digest, and co-chair of the conference planning committee. He also hosts the “NARSOL in Action” and “Can They Do That?” webinars and is a regular on the “Registry Matters” podcasts.

Source: https://narsol.org/2020/11/halloween-sign-challenge-suffers-setback/

2 ‘Op End Game’ Defendants Sentenced For Seeking Sex With Minors Online in Georgia

2-‘op-end-game’-defendants-sentenced-for-seeking-sex-with-minors-online-in-georgia



Two defendants arrested during “Operation End Game,” a multi-agency effort targeting and arresting adult perpetrators in the Athens-area seeking sex with children, were sentenced to prison, said Charles “Charlie” Peeler, the United States Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia.

On Thursday, October 22, U.S. District Judge C. Ashley Royal sentenced Michael Turner, 48, of Columbus, Mississippi, to 46 months in prison to be followed by ten years of supervised release after pleading guilty to one count of use of facilities in interstate and foreign commerce to transmit information about a minor. Morgan Kelby Andrews, 28, of Maxeys, Georgia, was sentenced to serve 20 months in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release after pleading guilty to one count of use of facilities in interstate and foreign commerce to transmit information about a minor. Following their prison terms, both defendants will have to register as a sex offender. There is no parole in the federal system.

“We will never cease working to protect the welfare of Georgia’s children, and we will continue to bring the full force of the law against sexual predators,” said U.S. Attorney Charlie Peeler. “Operation End Game is one of many investigations here in Georgia tracking down online predators and bringing them to justice. I want to thank our law enforcement partners both for their work in this operation and for their unyielding efforts to safeguard Georgia’s children.”

“Operation End Game” was a three-day proactive effort centered in Athens, Georgia in July 2019 to arrest adults communicating with children on-line and then traveling to meet them for the purpose of having sex. The cases were investigated by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Georgia, the Georgia Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes Unit (CEACC), the Athens-Clarke County Police Department (ACCPD), the FBI and the Athens-Clarke County District Attorney’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Lyndie Freeman is prosecuting the case for the Government.

AllOnGeorgia

AllOnGeorgia

Source: https://allongeorgia.com/georgia-public-safety/2-op-end-game-defendants-sentenced-for-seeking-sex-with-minors-online-in-georgia/

NARSOL’s litigation summit webcast; sign up now!

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http://narsol.org/

Fresh on the heels of our record-setting summer NARSOL LIVE web event, the National Association for Rational Sexual Offense Laws will soon be hosting a NARSOL LIVE Litigation Summit on November 19 & 21, 2020. This live virtual event will feature dynamic attorney presenters speaking on the hottest topics in registry litigation, giving us updates and insights to the key court cases recently decided or currently in play that could have electrifying implications for the future of the registry.  Members in good-standing are eligible for a 10% discount, and should have received an email with their special coupon code.    Register Now 

  • Paul Dubbeling, Civil Rights Attorney & NARSOL General Counsel
  • Our presenters include:Erica Dubno, Post-Conviction Counsel
  • Aaron Marcus, Civil Rights Attorney
  • Adele Nicholas, Civil Rights Attorney
  • Paul Reingold, Civil Rights Attorney & Law Professor Emeritus
  • Mark Yurachek, Post-Conviction & Appeals Attorney

Program schedule (all times EST):

Thursday: 

  • 6:30 PM opening
  • 6:45 Mark Yurachek – Georgia
  • 7:45 break
  • 8:00 Erica Dubno – Arizona
  • 9:00 closing

Saturday

  • 10:45 AM opening
  • 11:00 Paul Dubbeling
  • 12:00 Aaron Marcus
  • 1:00 Lunch
  • 1:45 Details
  • 2:00 Paul Rinegold
  • 3:00 Adele Nicholas
  • 5:15 closing

We look forward to providing you with this next installment in our series of World-Class Events to educate, energize, and empower our members and supporters nationwide. The path to registry reform/abolishment starts with knowledge, and we know you’ll find the NARSOL LIVE Litigation Summit a great way to provide you with the critical information you need to be better informed and a more effective advocate for criminal justice reform change.

For 30 days after the event, the recordings will be available for viewing, and access can be purchased after November 21 during the 30 days.

Watch the “electric” video trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZLUeN6QdUA

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Source: https://narsol.org/2020/10/https-youtu-be-c4ojnfpsm7g/

Illegal alien sentenced to federal prison for attempting to lure Georgia teen for sex

illegal-alien-sentenced-to-federal-prison-for-attempting-to-lure-georgia-teen-for-sex

 

A Mexican national who attempted to lure a young teen for sexual activity has been sentenced to more than six years in federal prison.

Alvaro Hernandez, 36, of Bristol, Ga., a citizen of Mexico illegally present in the United States, was sentenced to 76 months in federal prison by U.S. District Court Judge Lisa Godbey Wood after pleading guilty to Attempted Coercion and Enticement, said Bobby L. Christine, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. Herndandez will be required to register as a sex offender and to serve 10 years of supervised release after completion of his prison sentence.

There is no parole in the federal system.

“Alvaro Hernandez was enjoying his illegal access to the American dream, living and working in rural Georgia, when he tried to pay for sex with someone he believed was a child,” said U.S. Attorney Christine. “Our law enforcement partners helped protect our community from this predator by intercepting him during the perverted attempt.”

According to court documents and testimony, in March 2019, investigators with the U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) and the Camden County Sheriff’s Office, along with the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, conducted a joint operation targeting child predators operating near Submarine Base Kings Bay. Hernandez, who responded to an internet message purporting to be from a 14-year-old offering sex for money, was arrested after he drove from his residence in Pierce County, Ga., and arrived at what he believed was the teen’s residence in St. Mary’s, Ga.

“This sentencing should serve as a warning that sexual predators who target vulnerable children will be fully investigated and prosecuted,” said NCIS Southeast Field Office Special Agent in Charge Thomas Cannizzo. “NCIS is grateful to the Camden County Sheriff’s Office for its continued partnership in keeping communities where Navy and Marine Corps families live safe.”

The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Katelyn Semales and Assistant U.S. Attorney and Organized Crime Drug Task Force Coordinator Marcela C. Mateo.

AllOnGeorgia

AllOnGeorgia

 

 

Source: https://allongeorgia.com/georgia-public-safety/illegal-alien-sentenced-to-federal-prison-for-attempting-to-lure-georgia-teen-for-sex/

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