Friday, March 29, 2013

Dishonorable Migna Sanchez-Llorens Disregards Jury's decision to release person who served 25 years

It is rare for a judge to override a jury. It happens but it is very, very rare. Apparently in Florida, this is so rare, it is actually the first time a judge overridden a decision by a jury in a civil commitment hearing. This unethical judge should be investigated by the ethics commission. But it is FloriDUH, Miami-Dade no less.

Judge’s decision in sexual predator case sparks controversy

3-3-2013 Florida:

After ******* completed 25 years in prison for a series of violent rapes and kidnappings, Miami-Dade jurors were asked to decide whether he posed a danger to society if released.

Their decision surprised courthouse observers: Let him go, they said earlier this month. V*** should not be confined to a locked-down therapy center for sexual predators.

What happened next was equally surprising: Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Migna Sanchez-Llorens disregarded their decision and ordered V*** into indefinite civil confinement anyway, drawing howls of protest from defense attorneys.

Sanchez-Llorens’ decision is believed to be the first time in Florida that a judge had sent a convicted sex predator into civil confinement over a jury’s verdict. The unique legal battle, bound to be settled at a higher court, has rekindled debate over the Florida law that allows sexual predators to be detained indefinitely after their prison terms.

“To consider overturning the finding of this verdict just to keep ***** in is an insult,” defense lawyer Andrew Rier told the judge, adding later: “Are we really going to say that our desire to keep V*** in is more important than following the rights of the jury in Dade County?”

But after listening to psychologists who deemed him a risk to re-offend if released, the judge said, “There is no reasonable evidence upon which a jury could rule in favor” of V***.

The evidence “points to but one possible conclusion: that [V***] is a sexually violent predator,” Sanchez-Llorens wrote in her order.

For now, Vega remains at the Florida Civil Commitment Center in Arcadia, as lawyers meet Monday for another hearing.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Sen. Rick Jones tries to squeeze blood from a turnip

We here at the Shiitake Awards love political blowhards that misbehave while in office. MI State Senator Rick Jones apparently loves making nasty comments to constituents. He compared one person he disliked to a "prostitute" and asked another if she was "taking meds". I guess he feels giving "20 Gallons of Blood" balances out his bad behavior. Now he wants to bleed more constituents dry. He has already harassed registrants by adding more to the public registry, now he expects Michigan registrants to pay a $50 annual fee.

A bill to require the more than 40,000 people on Michigan's sex offender registry to pay an annual fee is igniting a debate over who should bear the costs for operating and maintaining the state's system used to track offenders.

Registered sex offenders already are required to pay a one-time $50 fee, but some lawmakers want to charge them $50 every year to cover the $600,000 a year cost to operate the database. The state says the move could bring in about $540,000 more in revenue each year.

Sex offenders "put themselves onto this registry by their actions," said Republican Sen. Rick Jones of Grand Ledge, who is sponsoring the legislation that is headed to the Senate floor, but not yet scheduled for a vote. "Therefore, they need to pay a fee to maintain it."

But opponents, which include the American Civil Liberties Union, say it's merely a feel-good measure that ignores experiences in other states where the promise of more revenue falls well short of expectations and is an overly burdensome cost for registered sex offenders who already struggle to find housing and jobs.

I agree, Shelter Pets deserve better than being held by this guy

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Kurt Wallace: Segregation today, tomorrow, and forever

This guy has been a pain in the ass for a while. But his reason for being here is because he has made it clear he is exploiting the law to chase a halfway house out of his neighborhood. I wonder if he's related to that other segregationist George Wallace.

Community concerned over sex offenders living at a church

Posted: Feb 05, 2013 11:51 AM EST
Updated: Feb 06, 2013 10:47 AM EST
By Clare Huddleston - bio | email

Straight down is a direction

FOX6 News discovered that 36 sex offenders have listed this church as their place of residence since 2010. Source: WBRC video

Triumph Church on County Road 374 looks like many churches in Chilton County. It has a cross above the door, an inspirational message on the sign out front, but it has also become home to 36 sex offenders. 

"I don't like them living that close to me because my wife works in the yard a lot and they walk up and down the road all the time," explained Gordon "Duck" Burkhalter. 

Burkhalter says Triumph Church popped up a few years ago. He does not mind the ministry, but he does not think it needs to be in a group setting and he does not like their living conditions. 

"They got 4, 5, 6 trailers with 3-4 people in each trailer as far as I know," said Burkhalter. 

As more sex offenders started moving into the trailers behind Triumph Church, it caught the eye of Chilton County Chief Deputy District Attorney, CJ Robinson. 

"When somebody is released from the Department of Corrections and they are a registered sex offender, the DA get an info packet from the department of corrections and it lists the address, names, and info about the offense," said Robinson.

Since August 2010:

36 sex offenders have listed Triumph Church as their address once they got out of prison.

29 of them committed their crime against children; the youngest victim was 4 years old.

13 cases involved some form of child molestation.

Another concerning stat for Robinson, these convicted criminals don't appear to have any ties to Chilton County. "Only one committed their crime in Chilton county," said Robinson, "That offense was a misdemeanor, it was a non-jail sentence, it was a probationary sentence." 

"It's a scary thought," said State Representative Kurt Wallace, "I wouldn't have a problem with us taking care of our own but don't send me your problem children." 

Wallace isn't happy these sex offenders are moving into his district. He has pre-filed House Bill 85 for the 2013 legislation session. The bill states two sex offenders must live 500 feet apart from each other; they can't live under the same roof unless they are related or in a state-approved facility. 

At this time there is no treatment center for sex offenders and if Wallace's bill passes it could severely limit where sex offenders can live. 

Wallace said, "The biggest concern that people have is where are they gonna go? I don't know. I would suggest they go back to their families and I know where I don't want them to go. I don't want them in my neighborhood.

Ricky Martin who runs Triumph Church declined to talk to Fox 6 News on camera. However, last year he told our sister station in Montgomery, WSFA, that all of the sex offenders who have come through his church have left as success stories. 

Martin confirmed to Fox 6 News he's against Wallace's bill and he believes his ministry is helping. One sex offender agrees. 

"He has helped us out," said Selid Holt. Holt was convicted of first degree sexual abuse of a 9-year-old female. He moved to Triumph Church from Barbour County. 

Robinson confirms the sex offenders like Holt, who have moved to Triumph Church, have not committed another sex crime that he's prosecuted. Still he thinks in this case it's better to be proactive than reactive. 

"If we wait until there is a child that has been victimized we've waited too late," said Robinson.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Bill O'Reilly calls pol a "villain" for opposing Jessica's Flaw

Can we ever find anything good about loudmouthed political pundit Bill O'Reilly? Of course not. His mouth is big enough to insert both his feet when he speaks. But he is here for blasting the Colorado legislature for rejecting the Mark Lunsford Act, aka "Jessica's Law." Colorado feels it is a bad law, and I agree. But O'Reilly has other ideas.

Political accusations fly after Colorado's "Jessica's Law" dies
POSTED:   02/26/2013 08:28:19 AM MST
UPDATED:   02/26/2013 11:41:39 PM MSTBy Lynn Bartels
The Denver Post
The death of a bill dealing with sexual predators who target kids has become a rallying cry for Republicans, who say their legislation would do more to make Colorado safe than gun bills passed by the Democrat-controlled legislature.

But Republicans aren't getting any getting support from Dave Kopel of the Independence Institute, an expert on Second Amendment issues who has studied prison sentences. He's critical of both the gun bills and the Republican measure known as "Jessica's Law."

"I don't think either of those are constructive steps toward public safety," he said.

And in a rare moment of unity, the Colorado District Attorneys' Council, Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Colorado Office of the Public Defender all agree Jessica's Law isn't necessary.

But Republicans have turned to social media and conservative talk shows to lament its assignment to the House's so-called "kill committee."

"You're not crazy there. Why aren't folks getting more upset about this?" Fox News' Bill O'Reilly asked the bill sponsor, Rep. Libby Szabo, R-Arvada, during his show Friday.

House Speaker Mark Ferrandino — described by O'Reilly as a "villain" — said not a single Coloradan testified in favor of Jessica's Law.

"What shocks me is for the two years Republicans had the majority, they didn't introduce this bill," said Ferrandino, a Denver Democrat who took over the speaker's post after Republicans lost the majority in the 2012 election. "This is all about politics and not good policy."

A nearly identical bill that died in 2009 in the Democratic-controlled legislature was used in attack ads against Democrats in the 2010 election.

Ferrandino added that after the O'Reilly show aired, he received nasty e-mails, including one that he said was from a viewer telling him he hoped Ferrandino's 14-month-old foster daughter gets raped.

House Bill 1149would have imposed a mandatory sentence of at least 25 years before parole on an offender who commits a sexual assault against a child.

It is named for Jessica Lunsford, a 9-year-oldwho was sexually assaulted and buried alive in Florida in 2005 by a career criminal who previously had been convicted of exposing himself to a 5-year-old girl. Her father came to Colorado from Florida to urge passage of the bill.

Szabo noted that Colorado is one of only five states that hasn't adopted some version of the law, and her bill would have been a tool prosecutors could have used when appropriate.

But Laurie Rose Kepros, the director of Sexual Offense Defense for the public defenders office, said Colorado's complicated and nuanced sentencing laws "already go beyond what Jessica's Law mandates."

"Jessica's Law is a 25-year sentence, and we have life sentences for all of the crimes covered under the bill," she said.

Both Szabo and the House minority leader, Republican Mark Waller of Colorado Springs, are upset that the bill was sent to the State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee, best known as the committee where the majority party sends minority bills to die. Her bill died Feb. 13 on a party-line vote.

"That bill should have gone to the Judiciary Committee," Waller said. "I don't think State Affairs is the place to have a discussion about sentencing laws."

Waller said Ferrandino wanted to protect four Democrats on the Judiciary Committee who are in swing districts: Daniel Kagan of Cherry Hills Village, Pete Lee of Colorado Springs, Mike McLachlan of Durango and Brittany Pettersen of Lakewood.

Ferrandino pointed out that two attorneys sit on State Affairs, and one of them, Rep. Mike Foote, D-Lafayette, is a prosecutor.