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ACSOLAction ItemsCalifornia

Tiered Registry Bill Introduced

A tiered registry bill, which would end the state’s lifetime registry, has been introduced in the state Assembly. The Public Safety Committee will conduct a public hearing on the bill (AB 702) on April 16 in Sacramento.

If passed, the bill would create three tiers in which some registrants would be removed from the registry after 10 or 20 years. The language in the bill is similar to AB 625 which was defeated in 2012.

“Passage of a tiered registry bill is the highest priority of California RSOL and the 100,000 families it represents,” stated Janice Bellucci, President of CA RSOL. “A tiered registry bill will make more efficient use of law enforcement resources by focusing solely upon those who pose a current danger to society.”

California is 1 of only 4 states in the nation that has a lifetime requirement for all sex offenders to register regardless of the severity of the offense. The remaining 46 states have tiered registries which allow some registrants to be removed from the registry in 10 to 25 years.

“In order to get this bill passed, every registrant and his/her family members need to be heard in Sacramento,” stated Frank Lindsay, Treasurer of CA RSOL.

CA RSOL recommends that letters be written, calls be made and E-mails be sent to the elected officials who represent registrants. A list of Assembly members and their contact information can be found online at www.assembly.ca.gov. A sample letter and talking points are below.

Reasons to Support AB 702

  • In a time of declining budgets (state, county and city), a tiered registry would increase public safety and make more efficient use of available additional law enforcement and prison resources to protect the public from those who pose a current threat to society
    • The registry includes many individuals who pose little threat to society such as those convicted of the non-violent crimes of “sexting” on a cell phone, urinating in public, and engaging in consensual teen sex.
    • The registry also includes individuals who pose significant threat to society such as those convicted of multiple sexual assaults against children and adults.
    • Most registered citizens will not re-offend. The recidivism rate for registrants is extremely low, only 1.9 percent for those on parole, according to the CA Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
  • Tiered registries exist in 46 of the nation’s 50 states and successfully protect the citizens of those states
    • California is only 1 of 4 states with lifetime registries along with Alabama, South Carolina and Florida.
    • AB 702 is a moderate example of a tiered registry now existing in the 46 states.
  • A tiered registry would end a life-time sentence for registrants who do not currently pose harm to society
    • Registrants often lose their jobs solely because they are registrants and remain unemployed for the same reason.
    • Some registrants lose housing opportunities and become homeless solely because they are registered. For example, Section 8 housing is not available to individuals listed on a lifetime registry. 
    • Some registrants are physically harmed, even murdered, by vigilantes.
  • All individuals required to register under Penal Code Section 290 would remain on the registry for at least 10 years
    • Those convicted of lowest level of offenses could leave registry in 10 years
    • Those convicted of moderate offenses could leave registry in 20 years
  • A tiered registry would continue life-time registration for those who pose a significant harm to society

Sample Letter

Dear Assembly Member:

The purpose of this letter is to request your support for Assembly Bill 702 (AB 702), which would increase public safety and improve the effectiveness of law enforcement by eliminating individuals from the sex offender registry who no longer pose a public risk. Those individuals include people who had consensual sex while a teenager, sent a “sext message” to a loved one and/or urinated in public.

The current sex offender registry law in California is outdated and ineffective because it treats all persons convicted of a sexual offenses exactly the same. In addition, California is 1 of only 4 states in the country which requires lifetime sex offender registration regardless of the nature of the offense or the offender’s risk of re-offending.

The current sex offender registry law is an ineffective method of combating sexual re-offending. Further, itignores the fact that paroled sex offenders carry 1.9 percent rate of re-offense, according to a California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation report issued in October 2012. A tiered registry, similar to that proposed in AB 702, is recommended by the California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB), which is comprised of state experts on this topic.

California’s current budget challenges demand a fiscally responsible change to our social policy designed to prevent sexual assault. It has simply become illogical, irrational, and cost-prohibitive to expend our limited critical resources by treating all sex offenders the same.

By supporting AB 702, you will increase public safety and improve the effectiveness of law enforcement thereby protecting Californians from repeated sexual assault. Thank you.

Letter in text format for customization: Letter-AB702-April2013 (should open in MS Word)

 

Join the discussion

  1. JAH

    My question would be: My husband was convicted back in 1985 for one count of 288(a), we tried to have him removed from the internet in 2006 but they would not do it because they didn’t have his papers that he completed probation because they had been destroyed by Kern County. Because it is a 288(a), it was his step-daughter and there was touching and no sex. Is it likely that he will have to stay on the registry. It is now going on 28 years and there has been nothing since other
    than he failed to register when he moved in 1999. Can anyone shed any light on this? Thank you

    • Joe

      @JAH – if the only thing that stood between getting my husband (and my address (?)) off the internet was shoddy record keeping by the County, I would be down at the courthouse first thing in the morning to rattle some cages!

      If what you say is accurate, he totally should be able to get off the Megans Law web site. Like you say – it is all according to this:

      http://meganslaw.ca.gov/pdf/Application.pdf

      Even if you cannot find the paperwork, I would think you should be able to find a judge with half a brain between their ears or an ounce of common sense who will state for the record that your husband must be off probation after 20+ years. Or a lawyer who can find said judge. If that is not possible, get them to state that he is currently on probation. It has got to be one or the other. As long as he is not incarcerated or on parole, it should not matter.

      If he has not been in the system in all this time I read it that the Static99 provision does not apply, either, unless there was an evaluation at some point.

      This is only about getting off the web site. To my knowledge there is no way to terminate registration with a 288.

      Good Luck.

  2. MCH

    @ JAH, it’s my understanding that certain 288 charges have no remedy, no removal, no hope. My charge was also a 288 (a), but I continue to pursue any remedy for removal.

  3. MM

    What about a 289(a) charge? I pray … If after 25 years it’s good news …. Anyone have any ideas?

  4. Robert Curtis

    The 288(a) and 289(a) convictions…Maybe they can be reduced to a misdemeanor assault or a removal qualifying other charge? Janice might know but perhaps check with your local public defender’s office or the attorney that represented you in court.

    I hope soon to have more funds available to help support California RSOL. They’re doing so much to help us! Thanks guys!

  5. AnonymousNobody

    I have some serious reservations about this bill. I will speak to it in the context of Tier 1.

    I think it is not clear whether your requirement to register as Tier 1 simply ends 10 years after the date of your conviction. Isn’t there some kind of application needed to obtain the end of registration, as in they will decide whether you had any other convictions that nix that 10-year mark — I saw some mention of an application previously. It is not acceptable to have to file an application — I guarantee you that will come back to bite you in the ass, that will become an enormous loophole.

    Or, is it simply that anyone who is beyond the 10-year mark is not subject to registration. But if they do stop, and they did have another offense that would have blocked that stoppage, they can be prosecuted for failure to register? I think this is the only sensible way to end registration; frankly, everyone knows whether they have had a subsequent conviction, do not need to be told by some board after filing an application. And the state already knows, so doesn’t need an application for you to inform them. If a police agency notices you did not register this time, they simply look at your record — which is right at their fingertips — and see you are beyond the 10-year mark, no problem. Why do they instead have to look at some report from a board after you file an application — they gain zero by that?

    I also have a big problem with the assessment under SARATSO, at least for Tier 1 offenses. No misdemeanor should ever be more than Tier 1 –and no board or probation officer should be able to say otherwise. Something like indecent exposure should automatically be Tier 1 without any assessment required! And this bill should state that. If the conviction was a mere misdemeanor, no argument for a Tier 2 or higher assessment should be allowed. This assessment bit is another major loophole that is going to evolve into serious problems for people. This should be handled by directly setting the tier on the basis of the specific offense for which one is convicted. Any assessment board should only get to lower that upon your appeal, never to raise it.

    Also, this assessment. So, what if someone convicted of a misdemeanor in another state 30 years ago should move to California. Do they have to apply for a SARATSO assessment, and have to start registering in the meantime, until they get an assessment in a tier that allows them to stop?! I think they do have to do that under this bill. This bill requires an assessment before you can be in a tier that can get you out from under SOR. This is another reason why this assessment is bullsh–, rather than directly tie the offense to the tier automatically. If it were automatic based on the offense, then no misdemeanant from another state moving here would have to apply for assessment if their conviction was more than 10 years ago. And, other circumstances.

    In previous threads, I saw some suggesting that any offense prior to such and such a date did not need any assessment — although I don’t know what tier that put them in. Nonetheless, I see nothing of that in this bill or in 290.06 concerning SARATSO and assessments.

    I also find the language used in his bill less than clear – and that will open a window for twisting this all out or shape. The way this bill jumps back and forth with language, I’m not sure if it is saying that you must register for 10 years, or if it is instead saying that you are subject to the registration law only for 10 years after your conviction, after which it does not apply to you no matter what. The latter is the goal, the need, as the former is a sentence of time physically spent registering. For instance, if you are convicted here, and a year later move out of state, and six years after that move back, well, you have only registered for 10 years here, so could find you have nine more years of registration to do. And various other circumstances and situations.

    Make this language clear — and make it more like a statute of limitations, not as a sentence to be served. That is a VERY important point. As it is, it is written as a sentence to be served — and that puts much more onus on the SOR than it should. It must clearly say they can only go after you for 10 years from the date of your conviction, and after that you are simply beyond them.

    This is it. If this gets done, this will NOT be revisited in our lifetime, at least not to make anything better for any SORs — that just is not going to be politically feasible. What gets done wrong now will haunt us for the duration.

    For readers, you can see the bill at:

    http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/13-14/bill/asm/ab_0701-0750/ab_702_bill_20130319_amended_asm_v98.pdf

    And you can see 290.06, about SARATSO and the assessments, at:

    http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/cacode/PEN/3/1/9/5.5/s290.06

  6. Ron

    My offence was not with a minor, But being on the web people think that. A neighbor has been telling others in the area and handing out copies from the web about me. This offence happened over 35 years ago. I served no prison time, sentenced to 5 years probation only served 2.5 years, was granted early release for good behavior. My conviction 261 by force.

    What rights do I have to stop this invasion of my family and mine privacy. I own my home and lived here for 28 years. Some neighbors know about my past, and overlook it.

  7. Fish in a Net

    OK, My conviction is on a single count of 314.1 and I served no prison time with three years informal probation, was released from probation early at a year and a half. Was granted a 1203.4 expungment at 3 years and have now been a registrant for 13 plus years. How do I find out what my official STATIC 99 score is? I am not on any website… And once I do find out my score how do I question who scored me? Did they even have a clue about the correct use of the tool?

    • Anonymous Nobody

      Frankly, as it is now, for 314.1 indecent exposure, you can seek a Certificate of Rehabilitation at 7 years, and if granted, your registration requirement is over. This tier bit is saying you should have a minimum of 10 years!

      This is another important point. These tiers come from the federal requirements. As such, in pushing these tiers, we should not deal with them in so much of a vacuum. That is, we should insist on overall simply conforming California to the federal requirements — and no more. So doing would eliminate registration for any number of offenses, including your 314.1 indecent exposure misdemeanor, as the federal government does not require registration for them.

      What is going on here in seeking these tiers in a vacuum is that we would be saying SOR for misdemeanor indecent exposure is OK, in fact increase it to 10 years minimum! NO! We should be arguing here to drop offenses for which the feds do not require SOR and set all others in the fed tiers.

      This is VERY sellable in conjunction with a move to tiers — and will be very difficult to accomplish later, once tiers are in place. This is the time for that — and it very likely is now or never. This push for the tiers is being looked at far too narrowly, to the disadvantage of many SORs.

      Why ever should we go to the federal minimum tier of 10 years for offenses the feds don’t even require SOR?! That is insane.

      • fish in a net

        …and if it is granted… I know my county’s record on granting these and I also know the cost of compiling the evidence of rehabilitation, with or without attorney fees the cost is very high. Not just in dollars. There are people who have kept being on the list a secret, a secret from everyone in their lives. For me, outside of law enforcement, there in one person who knows me privately that knows about my conviction, my wife. So the investigation of me and my life that the DA would launch would be counterproductive to what I am trying to do.

        Also, get the tier legislation in first. Once we have it and the politicians realize that they can address “sex offender” laws in other ways than just making new more abusive (to the RSO) laws. We can then focus on simple straight forward fixes, like misdemeanor vs. felony, like COR at 7 years vs. 10 years for tier 1, like 1203.4 vs. COR. Once the main body of the law and the concept of tiers is part of the process, getting refinements will be easier. Also, once the tier concept is in place plea deals will be impacted, individuals will hold out for a tier 1 charges and this system of ours will feel some pain that will push the process away from the abusive end of the spectrum.

        The momentum has shifted friends, brothers. It has, we have groups fighting for us, the media is starting to run stories and not just the hang them all stories. We have state legislative bodies passing bills that help us; we have government sponsored bodies doing research that benefits us. Things are changing we have reason to hope. So even if you are a tier 3, these things will help you because they put out the argument that the registry and its founding logic is flawed. That lifetime is too final, that GPS is too far reaching, that residency restriction are blind to the real issue, that barring law abiding citizens from publicly funded locations is unconstitutional, and maybe one day that registries are ignorant.

      • Ricky Napolitano

        I was convicted of a misdermeanor 314.1 back in 2007 and i still have to register its been over 10 years how do i get off this it has ruined my life and its getting worse i cant handle it no more what do i do please help.

  8. USA

    Does anyone know what Sexual Battery (243.4) would be considered? I plead to a wobbler in 1997, year in county and informal probation. Charged reduced to a misdemeanor pursuant to 17(b) and eventually expunged pursuant to pc1203.4? Any ideas? It’s been 16 years since my initial registration?

  9. Janice Bellucci

    It is important for everyone to remember that the tiered registry bill being introduced may not be the tiered registry bill that gets passed. Therefore, I will not answer any questions regarding on which tier an individual is currently located for now. It is even more important for everyone to understand that any tiered registry bill is better than no tiered registry bill. Without one, everyone will be required to register for the rest of his/her life.

  10. JM

    This is where I have a problem with the tiered registry bill.

    1) A person was charged in 2004, on one count. Offered a plea, and would have served 6 months in county jail, with 3 years probation.
    2) Refused to plea, and instead went to trial. The DA then stacked the charges to five counts.
    3) It took two years to go to trial (the court kept continuing the case)
    (The attorney took his money and ran)
    4) The attorney was removed from the case by the judge for abandoning his client.
    5) The person was then forced to trial with a attorney who claimed “not ready”
    6) The person was then convicted, sentenced and was released from parole in 2012.

    Because of these circumstances, he will be on a registry (if this passes) until 2032, instead of 2014. All because he chose to try to defend himself, which we all know now is impossible. Yes, the person should have accepted the plea, but was too naïve to know any better.

  11. Tom

    I have an attepmted 288(a) in 2001 that was the result of a sting and I served my time and was released in 2003. I have NO other convections on my record and I am wondering if the attempted will be treat under this new law, if passed, as a 288(a) and will I be able to get relief since it has been over 10 years already?

    • steve

      It seems anyone with ANY violent felony 288,88a etc…will be on for 20 years. If you committed ANY another felony after your initial registration or conviction (repeat offender) your on for life.

  12. td777

    I can’t support this, because while on probation, my probation officer was not happy about me not doing any time on my initial offense, so she collaborated with an investigator and my counselor to set me up on a second charge. I had an attorney who tanked the case at the last minute, replaced by a public defender who also tanked forcing me into a plea rather than continue to sit in jail for who knows how long fighting a bogus charge against manipulated and manufactured evidence. As a result, I find myself fitting into that 1.9% convicted on multiple cases, all the while with 5 felonies I still only served 14 months, most of it county time(prison would have been even less time) and 3 years of parole(which I did without any added time for violations). This bill would place me on tier 2, though NONE of the felonies were violent, none included a victim(all based on stings). My risk assessment is low-moderate in spite of the fact that I have multiple convictions and have never taken a risk assessment with the state. I do not belong on tier 2, yet this bill as it is now would place me there.

  13. USA

    No offense guys, but no one wants to be on the registry. The only reason I plead was because my attorney (wobbler) told me I would no longer have to register after the charge was reduced to a misdemeanor? You guys can’t blame it on your probation officer or court? I’m presently conviction free and not happy about still registering? A tiered system that will eventually allow you to fall off the registry is better than nothing? Don’t get arrested? I’m presently conviction free and even afraid to getting a parking ticket? Support Janice! She is doing more for you than anyone else?

    • C

      Amen. I have been registering since 1994. Funny how that date once seemed so far into the future and now seems so far in the past. I’m mot yet sure this will spell relief for my particular case (no child involved, so that’s a bonus I suppose), but if I can get off that list – or just the darn web site – I will have a new lease on life and will be one happy mo fo!

    • td777

      My original case was a wobbler and I was told the same thing. This doesn’t change that if someone manufactures a bogus case, someone who has already been convicted, even on a wobbler, has no chance for a defense unless they have a lot of money to hire the best attorneys.

      This does not mean that I don’t support Janice and CARSOL, it simply means this bill in its current state is not something I can support.

  14. C

    Well, my support letters are off to my elected officials in support of AB 702. Anyone else? Let’s go people!

  15. Eric Knight

    There is a danger here. Please understand what I’m about to say.

    As I read it,I see NOTHING in the bill that retains certain levels of current Internet exposure severity. To specify, all registrants have three different levels of public exposure with regard to the Internet.

    The most severe level of exposure results in RSO’s being included with their complete address listed. The next severe level of exposure results in RSO’s being included with only their zip codes listed with no address information. Finally the least severe level of exposure results in RSO’s completely omitted from the Internet registry. It must be noted that no matter the severity or exposure level, any resident can visit his law enforcement facility and obtain anyone’s address information relative to his (the person searching) address of interest, but this information has to be sought out, not shown on the Internet.

    My concern is that, even with tier levels that would specify an exit time of 10 or 20 years, if someone is currently completely off the Internet registry right now, would he have to be put on the Internet registry? And if someone is on the registry who is currently required to show ONLY his zip code, would he now be required to show his full address?

    If I had to choose between being on the registry for 25 years with full address showing, or lifetime with just my zip code showing, then I would choose lifetime. Please understand the difference and communicate it to the legislators as such.

    MY RECOMMENDATION: Include a clause on the bill that anyone who currently has no requirement to show up on the Internet registry REMAIN off the registry, while those who are only shown by zip code REMAIN shown only by zip code.

    If this was not clear, I’ll try to write a more expansive explanation, but hope this is good enough to express my concern.

  16. Eric Knight

    Oh, I forgot: Ensure that the new law is retroactively applied so that the clock starts when they were convicted (or, at best, released from the court system). In short, if they are at a level that has a registration period of 10 years, and they were released from the court jurisdiction 8 years ago, they would only have 2 more years. If they were released farther back than their level shows, then they should immediately be removed (or at least go through some reasonable removal procedure that doesn’t involve a lawyer and several court dates).

    • steve

      Eric correct me if I’m wrong but doesn’t the bill state it it would start at “time of initial registration” isn’t that retroactive? I think we would be hard pressed for them to make it when convicted unfortunately because they would want some community notification.

      • Eric Knight

        Then if the bill states the time starts at the date the initial registration started, and some registrants are already past their expiration date, how do they get released from the registry? Is it automatic, do they have to fill out paperwork? Will the process be so muddied that law enforcement won’t have the ability to figure out how this will work?

        I don’t mean to be a nitpicker. But having seen the state try to first imposed Jessica’s Law which opened the door for the entire residency restriction fiasco, then follow it up with the email identifiers, along with other sex offender laws that have been passed in the legislature, I just want to make sure that this is a law that is passed that has an actual process to enforce this bill. Finally, I want to ensure that putting people on tiers do not just reflect the current state of the registry, but actually ensure that the tier levels accurately pertain to the registrant’s situation, not just his registry status or criminal act that put him on the registry.

        I’m just bringing out some fair points that we can rehash over. I am amazed and thankful at the efforts being made in the first place by very unselfish, intelligent people. My main concern is that the opposition will be looking for ANYTHING they can hack away at so they can scream to their constituents about this or that, and we have to make sure those niches to hack at are not visible.

      • Anonymous Nobody

        Steve, read the bill in full. It defines “time of initial registration:” as being time of conviction. Thus, the terms are one and the same.

        But what you said about “they would want some community notification”: That alarms me. And in fact, it is one of the things I have warned about above if an application is needed to end your registration. Any such application comes with a LOT of dangers — others being that you can be sure prosecutors will end up arguing that the simple need for application IMPLICITLY means this or that can be raised to require continued registration.

        Instead, no application should be required, your registration requirement simply expires that long after conviction, as in a statute of limitations rather than a sentence to be served.

        Right now, I’m not even sure if it simply expires or if people will have to apply for it to be ended.

  17. An American Citizen

    I can honestly say that I am truly disgusted with what I am reading in these comments here. A forum such as this should be bringing people together for the common good, and for the most part, all I see is, “how can this law help me, me, me, me?”

    In an attempt to make yourselves look better than the 288a registrant, some of you are trying to convince others that you’re not so bad because your crimes didn’t involve a minor, there was no touching, or you’re attorney hung you out to dry. Well, I say bullshit! I don’t care what you did, or didn’t do, you people still share the label of a REGISTERED SEX OFFENDER!

    Infighting in any organization is always the result of selfishness of a few individuals trying to take more for themselves, while trampling on the common good. We are all in the same boat together, and the rising tide raises us all up, or lowers us all back down.

    I for one WILL NOT support a tired system, and I WILL NOT leave anyone behind to save myself! I want to see more people placed on the registry, and none taken off. Only then will people have the power of the masses to abolish it altogether.

  18. Janice Bellucci

    It is troubling me to read comments that don’t support a tiered registry. What don’t you understand? The state has had a lifetime registry for virtually all sex offenders for more than 50 years. We are trying to break that dam. This is an incremental process. Think evolution not revolution. We shall overcome…eventually. Help your fellow registrants get off the registry and before you know it, you will be off the registry, too. How? Write to your elected officials and let them know you support AB 702.

    • steve

      Yea I don’t get it either. Be happy there is a chance to get off of it.

    • Anonymous Nobody

      Actually, it has not really been lifetime in the past. This is because anyone who got 1203.4 relief following probation no longer needed to register. Simple 1203.4 relief was the standard for ending registration. This means only the more serious offenders who were denied probation had lifetime registration — and those in tier 3 are still getting lifetime in these tiers.

      That standard of 1203.4 was changed for felonies in the mid 1980s. It was changed for misdemeanants in the mid-1990s. And that new standard was applied retroactively.

      In fact, until the 1980s (maybe even later), if you got only one year of probation, you would never have to actually go in and register, because your information was automatically sent in by the court, and you would not have to go in and register until a year later, but by that time your probation ended and you got 1203.4 relief so did not have to register.

      Janice, I strongly applaud you for all your efforts, you are a godsend. I am sure even the people making the most negative comments here have nothing but extreme praise for you and your work, so please do not let any contrary comments make you feel unappreciated — quite the contrary.

      Still, with all you have shown that you understand about how unacceptably harsh things have been on SORs, perhaps that you don’t understand some of the less that laudatory comments about the tiers means you would have to actually be subjected to SOR to completely understand. (I also believe I feel and understand politics and have been a watcher and even minor player for decades, and I sense this as a finality on the topic, not a starting point.)

      • fish in a net

        Anonymous – I understand what you are saying, but I do not think that the system once having balanced and logical check points that kept the process from becoming too broad and over reaching is different than saying 290 has been anything other than a lifetime requirement. By the very lauguage of the code it is lifetime. What has happened is that the very things that kept the law in check and protected us from an abusive system were removed. I would be all for an expungment actually being an expungement. The shifts that were done in the 1980s and the 1990s impact far more individuals than 290 and I believe has a better arguement but it is not up to me. This legislation is what we have today and it will help all of us. If not allow you to get off the list, it does make a whole bunch more educated citizens that are not sex offenders educated to the issue of the registry and voting in ways that benefit you.

        • Anonymous Nobody

          Thanks for your comment, fish in a net. Just to clarify one point: what I was referring to changing in the 1980s and 1990s was another statute that specifically ended registration once you got 1203.4 PC relief. I wasn’t talking about the court decisions that whittled down the value of 1203.4 directly, as I think you are. That is, I was talking about a statue that specifically was for SOR, although not part of 290. A few years ago, after it already had been changed so that 1203.4 no served to relieve anyone of SOR, it finally was incorporated into 290.

  19. MCH

    I’ve tried to live this one principle in my life. If we’re all on a ladder climbing upwards, the person below must push the one above while the one above must lift the one below. The task, whatever it is, becomes much easier for all involved. Let’s keep encouraging each other on the way up.

  20. JAH

    I wish that stupid registry had never been created. I would like everyone to be off this darn registry. I just wish it was clear that after 20 years you are off, or 10 years you are off. I think that if you haven’t done anything else, it is justified that one should be able to get on with their lives and not be punished for the rest of it. I am just concerned about my children. They are the ones that are being hurt by this. No friends being able to stay, they have been bullied and shunned. And it has had nothing at all to do with them. For a conviction in 1985 and they didn’t come along until 1999 and 2001. I in no way was saying a ME,ME,ME…
    I wish the best for all of us and if it were not for Janice we would all be in a world of hurt here. She has taken it upon herself to fight for ALL of us. I didn’t know that my question would have started a firestorm. For this I am so sorry. We all need to work as one.

    • alert

      Nothing to be sorry about. Just different personalities with different viewpoints, problems and expectations.
      As far as your children are concerned, trust me, they are more resilient than you might imagine. Everything will turn out better than you expect for them.
      After all, they are loved, which is obvious.
      However, it’s obviously unconscionable that legislators fail to focus on the passionate sounds of mothers and fathers unable to protect their children from the apathy of irresponsible laws.
      Certainly, they are discharged by their lofty positions to safeguard our most precious and innocent resources, regardless of their heritage.

  21. B

    I have lost count of the number of jobs I have lost or opportunities lost or applications rejected or …. because I am registered. Of course, Megan’s Law made everything much worse, but this is a terribly debilitating thing. This organization, particularly with the potential of a tiered system is the only thing (aside from my family) that gives me hope.

    I remember reading about the German treatment of Jews during WWII. One of their “games” was to line up a number of Jews and fire a bullet into the chest of the first one to see how many Jews could be killed with one bullet. I often wondered why the Jews cooperated in any way with that. The answer is fear. And fear has paralyzed us. But that seems to be ending. Collectively, we can make progress. I think the tiered system is the beginning. If it can bring us together, we can make more progress than we can imagine right now.

    • Tired of hiding

      I have been saying this forever BUT no one seems to want to get on board with the idea of massive law suits with 100’s of people being represented for violation of civil rights.

      Sure, it is NOT necessary and 1 person can do it…but that is NOT the point…the point is that we need media attention to affect real change…as in changing Jane and Joe American. They need education before politicians who feed on the masses ignorance and fears. If we can show them that it’s not just a few random “perverts” who are effected then change might finally happen.

      Remember the gays didn’t get any rights until they came out of the shadows and out of the “closet” and we RSOs are not going to get any attention until we put a face to the boogeyman fear that politicians use to get these laws passed!

      I would love to finally see a news story on CNN about 1000 RSOs suing the city, state, or federal government!

      Come on and lose the fear!

      Fight for your rights!

      If you don’t fight for yourself who will?

      • Eric Knight

        That’s an interesting point. I’m sure that Janice, who has more practical experience with federal sex offender legislation that virtually any other lawyer in history, would have a greater insight into that possibility. Personally, I don’t see the advantage of such because it’s not just about the number of plaintiffs, but the quality of plaintiffs, not to mention their availability, their weaknesses (remember, plaintiffs can be put on the stand in certain circumstances), etc. Finally, it’s just too damn complicated to burden oneself with sheer numbers when the arguments don’t reflect quantity, but quality of litigants.

        Anyway, that’s just my layman’s opinion. Perhaps someone more affiliated with the court process can give a better explanation. I, for one, would love to read it, as I like to learn more about the process as a whole.

      • Anonymous Nobody

        I have expressed similar, especially using gays as an example. But I think it is much, much more difficult for an SOR to do it than it was for gays, even as gays had to come out of the closet to do it. But I also think that a vocal, visual movement is needed, masses of SORs all marching down the street demanding basic human rights. But god forbid if it were to turn into a riot — as that would only encourage all the haters to come up with yet more draconian laws, as they already say all SORs are dangerous.

  22. BillG (again)

    The Registry should be abolished.

    These complicating modifications will serve the prosecuting authorities.

    Remember: The Local Policewoman charged with the RSO detail will make hell of your life regardless of whatever tier you occupy.

    Jackie Speir will intro a bill defining pedophilia as a sexual orientation, and the prosecutors will have your head on a stake anyway…forever.

    Any modification to the current system will devolve to the benefit of the prosecution. It always does.
    A tiered system will become a point of argument at trial and will cost you money to no avail. They will beat you senseless for the rest of your life regardless.

    Let them flail you with a chain for five years, or if you are really some predating pervert, go to jail for fifty year..BUT!

    These registries are a Bill of Attainder and provide for double, if not multiple jeopardy.

    We need to abolish the entire system, not just tweak it, damn-it.

    • Anonymous Nobody

      BillG, your comment about the tiers making complications that will only serve the prosecutors: While there is something good in the tiers, I also see them creating a HUGE bureaucracy that will backfire on SORs by creating a powerful lobby very similar to the prison guard lobby. All those people to do assessments, all those people review applications makes a ready made lobby to maximize SOR so as to preserve and create jobs and union dues, just like the prison lobby fights for harsher sentences.

  23. Capt. Jack

    I’d like to say thank you to Janice, the RSOL board members, and all the volunteers helping in this fight. You are doing an outstanding job, and although we won’t always agree on everything, all of us beneficiaries sincerely appreciate your dedication and efforts.

    Janice, I can understand your frustration with some of the holdouts, I myself am on the fence on this issue. On one hand I know this fight will be a long term endeavor and winning the little battles will lead to winning the war. But on the other hand, the little battles that are won to free a few, I also fear will diminish our ranks.

    My question is, and perhaps on the minds of others as well, could our time and resources be better spent in pursuit of loftier goals that would benefit all registrants equally?

  24. Brody

    I was convicted of a misdemeanor count of PC 647.6 (annoying a minor)for sending an inappropriate email to someone under the age of 18 (over the internet, someone I’d never met in my life). As the law is written now, since my crime was a misdemeanor I would be eligible to petition the court for removal from the list after ten years. This current bill (AB 702) places violations of 647.6 in the tier 2 category (20 years of registration) without making any distinction between felony and misdemeanor offenses. Is this an over-site by the authors of the bill? I would think that it would still be the intention of the legislature to place misdemeanor convictions in the less serious category. Can anyone clear this up for me?

    • Guest

      To understand this one needs to look at the evolution of things.

      AB 702 has not had any hearings in any committees. It is currently the same as the final AB 625, which went down in flames in January 2012. AB 625 went through several modifications before its demise. You can see its evolution here: http://totalcapitol.com/?bill_id=201120120AB625

      The original bill language did not include the specific reference to PC 647.6. This was added along the way. I did notice this at some point and inquired about this with the Bill Author’s office (Assy. Ammiano). I was told that they were advised that ‘Child Molestation’ was to be included in the higher Tier. Which it already was, since, by definition, a ‘violent offense’ per PC 667.5 (PC 288 – L&L Conduct with child) is automatically Tier II. But I am convinced that someone looked at the Penal Code and saw PC 647.6 and its description (Annoying or MOLESTING a Child), and felt the need to include this, specifically. I could be mistaken, but this all happened when the whole Jerry Sandusky Child Molestation fiasco hit the press.

      This specific mention of 647.6, of course, makes no sense. To equate inappropriate email (your 647.6) with a great many of the 288 offenses is ludicrous. Plus, 647.6 is always misdemeanor (unless there is a prior conviction for the exact same thing, which does not change the conduct required to satisfy a violation). Again, I am convinced that this inclusion was done solely on the section description.

      AB 702 will be modified as it goes along, that is certain. The best way to rectify this error is to educate the Bill Author and legislators what 647.6 actually is by providing true life examples (backed up by court records?). That all it takes is being rude to anyone under 18.

      The way I see it AB 702 has no effect on the ability to petition off via the Certificate of Rehabilitation route where possible by the laws that regulate the COR process. But the COR is subject to judge’s orders, based on subsequent conduct, and the Tiered Registry is not. So, you MAY get off in x years but WILL in y.

      Violent Felonnies: http://law.onecle.com/california/penal/667.5.html
      AB 625 (2011-12): http://totalcapitol.com/?bill_id=201120120AB625

      • Brody

        Thank you Guest,

        I had assumed as much and am hoping the author of the bill and/or his staff will make the appropriate amendment to the bill before (if) it becomes law.

        I wish the original law hadn’t used the word “molest” as part of the offense description as in this context “annoy” and “molest” (‘to bother’, in Spanish) are synonymous. Certainly to the general public the word “molest” connotes a physical and lewd sexual act with a minor. Had I been guilty of such an act I would have been charged with PC 288 offences.

        What is also frustrating is that when a potential employer runs a background check before deciding whether to hire me what comes back is “CHILD MOLESTING” and not “Bothering a Minor”, which would be a more succinct and appropriate description. Needless to say I have yet to find employment almost 3 years after my conviction.

        • Joe

          Whether or not AB 702 becomes law remains to be seen. What is likely is that it will be modified on its way to approval or rejection.

          What is certain is that this will not be a good bill unless the people affected by it provide input. “Hoping” the author of the bill will amend it is not going to do it. How would legislators know what “Annoy and Molest a Child” entails unless someone told them what this means in real life? The immediate association is Jerry Sandusky or Phillip Garrido et al.

          I would hope you write down your story and are prepared to back it up with court and police reports. And then get it to the people who need to learn about this. This can probably be done using a pseudonym. But its gotta be done.

          And what do you really have to lose? Three years without a job should provide a clue about how this is going to play out.

          Show up, stand up, speak up.

  25. John Doe

    Delete my last post… and use this format instead for fast emailing.

    Assemblymember.Achadjian@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Alejo@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Allen@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Ammiano@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Atkins@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Beall@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Berryhill@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Block@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Blumenfield@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Bonilla@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Bradford@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Brownley@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Buchanan@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Butler@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Calderon@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Campos@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Carter@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Cedillo@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Chesbro@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Conway@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Cook@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Davis@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Dickinson@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Donnelly@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Eng@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Feuer@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Fletcher@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Fong@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Fuentes@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Furutani@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Gaines@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Galgiani@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Garrick@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Gatto@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Gordon@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Gorell@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Grove@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Hagman@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Halderman@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Hall@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Harkey@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Hayashi@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Hernandez@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Hill@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Huber@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Hueso@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Huffman@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Jeffries@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Jones@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Knight@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Lara@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Logue@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Lowenthal@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Ma@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Mansoor@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Mendoza@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Miller@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Mitchell@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Monning@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Morrell@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Nestande@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Nielsen@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Norby@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Olsen@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Pan@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Perea@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Perez@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Perez@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Portantino@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Silva@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Skinner@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Smyth@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Solorio@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Swanson@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Torres@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Valadao@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Wagner@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Wieckowski@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Williams@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Yamada@assembly.ca.gov

    you should be able to copy and paste that in your “TO:” field

  26. USA

    Oh boy. I can’t keep up with the comments. The bottom line is that the Tier System will allow people to eventually get off the Registry. Furthermore, maybe someone should go over how to reduce a wobbler to a misdemeanor pursuant to 17(B) and then expunge the crime pc (1203.4). I actually did this on my own. So, for all intense purposes, I’ve never been convicted of a Felony regarding the law. If you have some intelligence, you can do this quite simply without a lawyer.

    • Anonymous Nobody

      BTW, an aside. I have heard it suggested many, many times that 1203.4 relief is only for misdemeanors, and that you have to get a felony reduced to a misdemeanor in order to get 1203.4. Actually, there is nothing in the 1203.4 law limiting it to misdemeanors. It says it is for any offense for which the person was granted probation, so even a felony if you got probation.

      Yes, I’ve heard too many lawyers say to the contrary; I’ve also seen that they haven’t really taken a look at the statue, as surprising as that might sound (actually, I doubt too many people in this thread will find that surprising). I have to think the misguided presumption is simply because few people get probation for a felony.

  27. G4Change

    Janice, et al:

    In 1999, I pled to one count of a wobbler 288(something) – it was “Lewd/Lacivious Act with person 14/15 years old”. I then successfully had it reduced to a misdemeanor 12 years later. That is the only offense on my record – period!
    This may be a stupid question, but here it goes. In the bill, where they talk about Tier 1 requirements: “(C) “Violent felony” means a felony described in subdivision
    line 18 (c) of Section 667.5.”
    What if you had one conviction of a “wobbler” under 288 and then successfully had it reduced to a misdemeanor like I did. Is this offense still considered a “violent” offense? Or, by means of the reduction to a misdemeanor, is my offense no longer a violent offense? And, therefore, am I qualified for Tier 1 assuming I satisfy requirements B, C and D?
    By the way, regardless of what this does for ME, I am in full support of this bill…any relief for any person is better than NONE!

  28. USA

    Great question G4. I’m wondering the same thing. In essence, once 17(B) is granted, by all intense purposes, you have never been convicted of a Felony

  29. mh

    I will be at the capital next week lending my support for the lobbying effort. I was convicted of an offense committed when I was 13 years old. I’ve been living like a broken refugee for nearly 10 years now. I’ve had enough. Not just for myself, but for all ex-offenders who made a mistake and deserve a chance at life, especially the juveniles. When I meet with these legislators and tell them my story, I stand for all of the children who ruthlessly being prosecuted by fanatical DA’s and caught in the dragnet of fear and hypocrisy. It’s time for change. I will fight this until the day I die. These legislators need to look us in the eye and see face-to-face the people whose lives they are destroying. Perhaps if they peer into our eyes, they will see our souls and thereby the most frightening and horrifying image they could possibly imagine – perhaps they will see a mere reflection of themselves!

    “…we’ve cast such a broad net that we’re catching a lot of juveniles
    who did something stupid or different types of offenders who just screwed up. Should they never be given a chance to turn their lives around?” -Patty Wetterling

  30. willow

    I was convicted of a 288 in 1989 , me 18 victim 13 no sex no foece no voilence, was given 3 years probatiuon and 6 mo weekns, was supposed to register for one year only per yerms of plea , then go bac court n charge would be dropped to a 243 sexuall battery. never the less i didnt complete probation was voilated 2 yrs latr sent to state prison 3 years . no other charges of any kind ever , do i quilify for relief under the tier system should it pass , been registering now for 22years?

  31. Tired of hiding

    I had my unfortunate incident that led to my designation as a RSO in another state. I didn’t serve a day in jail, never claimed guilt and have always maintained innocence. I got bad legal advice and took one of the infamous plea bargains. That was back in 1999.

    So since this occurred in another state that I am no longer a resident in how would my situation (and all of those in similar circumstances) be dealt with now that we are registering in California?

    So many questions…

    • Janice Bellucci

      Under current law, a person convicted in another state needs to register in California only as long as that person is required to register in the state of conviction. The current language of AB 702 would not change that requirement.

      • Tired of hiding

        Unfortunately, the state I have the original conviction in is Florida. But since I am no longer a resident of Florida I am wondering how this change in California law would impact me and my requirement to register here in California.

        Thank you

  32. John M

    The problem that I see, is just getting this bill passed THIS YEAR! In spite of close to a 2/3 democratic majority in BOTH HOUSES of the CA legislature, the fact that this bill was introduced late (two days before the deadline to introduce bills in FEB!), that it still has to go through an Appropriations Committee hearing (in EACH HOUSE!), and with the state budget taking priority (must be PASSED BY June 15!), and the legislators going on vacation, the ENTIRE MONTH OF JULY, it is unlikely this bill will make it through BOTH HOUSES of the CA legislature before its Sept. adjournment date! This is a bill that DOES NEED TO BE RUSHED, if its contents are to be implemented in 2014! What all can anyone on this list do to EXPEDITE passage of AB 702, given all the obstacles mentioned?

    • Janice Bellucci

      In order to get AB 702 passed in a timely manner, we need EVERYONE to write a letter, send an E-mail and/or call their elected officials in Sacramento. It will take some effort, but it will be worth it. WE CAN DO IT! We can have a tiered registry in California…just like 46 other states. It’s time to Show Up – Stand Up – Speak Up. We will be testifying on Tuesday, April 16, in support of AB 702 before the Public Safety Committee and then lobby members of the Assembly for two days. Help us help you and every registrant and family member by letting your voice be heard!

  33. Moham

    How can I be a part of this ? , I don’t live in California, but would love to support your efforts. Also are you aware of similar efforts being made in any other states?

  34. CX

    Thank you Mrs Janice Belluci. For all your activism and your compassion. I plead no contest, given probation, no jail time, and subsequently my one 288 charge was reduced to a misdemeanor, and then dismissed. I am still registering after 21 years. I have never had any prior or any conviction ever since. I live an upright citizen, but in constant fear of losing my job (because I’ll never get another one) or my apartment manager finding out – even though I am an examplary employee and a perfect neighbor to everyone. I am a father and will never be able to go on any if my son’s field trips. I feel fear even taking him to a park or the beach for violating some laws I don’t know about. But most if all I want my son to be proud of me. I feel this life time requirement is the worst injustice of it all. I am sure I speak for many. Let’ s assume that I was really guilty, I feel the registration requirement is a second punishment, and for life! Even the policeman who registers me feels the same! He wonders why I have to register at all after all? THANK YOU again with my deepest appreciation for all you and your organization are doing for us and our families.

  35. mh

    Ok, I guess this is it. I’m coming out of hiding tomorrow to tell the lawmakers how these laws are affecting good people who made a mistake and now deserve a chance at being the respectable adults that they have become. I will fight this as long as there is breath in my lungs. God be with us…

  36. oncefallendotcom

    Just to be sure, I assume this new law will not mean compliance with the Walsh Act?

  37. steve

    Just listened to hearing of AB 702..It PASSES Public Safety committee.

  38. alert

    “California is only 1 of 4 states with lifetime registries along with Alabama, South Carolina and Florida.”

    If for no other reason for abolishing lifetime registration, I would think that Calif would want to disassociate itself from these other 3 backward states.

  39. USA

    Note: I believe the law once allowed most sexual offenses to be reduced to a misdemeanor pursuant to 17(B) and eventually expunged. I think it changed at one point and eventually only allowed certain convictions to be expunged.

  40. LandJ

    My husband has been out of prison for 15 years without incident.
    We recently purchased a home and moved to a new are and it all started over again with the flyers and phone calls and harassment and on and on and on….
    After 15 years of working everyday and TRYING to live normal these people should be off of this list. It’s so very cruel. Trying to live a normal life is almost impossible.
    Also, we were all set to open a new business and the owner of the building called me and said my husband wasn’t allowed in the building at all. They also took his fishing rights from him as we live near several lakes. He can’t even go fishing anymore.
    He contemplated suicide. Can you imagine after all of these years going through this. I am sure some of you know exactly what I am talking about.
    The newspaper here even did a blow out sensationalized article on him. This happened in 1980 33 years ago and one offense was 1984. He was sent to a mental hospital. As a patient I am surprised that the Feds can break their own laws by publicizing his disorder because of the HIPAA Laws the the Feds have passed.
    For any of you that live in California, youtube has now uploaded all the sex offenders in the State to it. They are listed under sexoffense and it just happened a few days ago.
    What are the laws about the listed on megans law site? How can people just take this information and use it how they want and harass and harass and harass? I am so lost on all of this. Is there no protection? The local law enforcement contacted him and we did some flyer advertising in the area to let people know out business was going to open. The Sheriff told him what he was doing wasn’t against the law but he needed to stop handing out flyers and said how would you feel if a Doggy Door Rapist came to your house? He didn’t even go to any homes. He put the flyers on fences. Only one flyer was handed to a lady and that all. I went one way on the street to hand them out and he went the other. The next day, the lady sent flyers to the schools which in return sent them home with all of the kids. She faxed every business in the area and every resident in the area got a flyer with false information on it. Way way false information. The law would not do anything about it at all. Yet they called him on the phone and said they are watching his every move and to stop handing out flyers.
    Back to my point, after all of these years of being out of prison, there should be some solace and laws about harassing sex offenders. We were even told these hillbilly’s here have plans for my husband. Not sure what it means but I am sure it isn’t a welcome party. We get no help from anyone. The lawyer we went and talked to about this was just as bad, he said “what difference does it make his reputation is ruined anyway and to basically live with it”.
    That’s the attitude people take and have.
    I wish all of you luck and hope someone can contact us to help this situation.
    Good people do bad things. When you are 20 years old you are a whole different person then when you are 55 like my husband is. He is terminal as well. Just rest we just want rest before he dies.

  41. Dc

    I would like to ask a question? I am in favor for a tier system to be in place. My conviction took place in 2008, it was a wobbler I pled guilty to a 288(a) I am currently on parole my Agent tells me that I am considered a low risk offender I originally served county time and received probation for five years would I be able to fall in the tier one or two. I Hope this bill helps everyone who has to register regardless of their crime. I am very curious to see if their is life after parole without registering for life. In the beginning my public defender advised me that it was a wobbler but didn’t really push for it like I thought he would. I would love to hear your responses

    • td777

      who told you a 288(a) was a wobbler? It isn’t, it’s strictly a felony.

  42. mh

    Dc, sorry to say, you would fall under Tier 2 as a 288(a) offense is considered a “violent felony”, as per California PC 667.5(c). But at least there’s some light at the end of the tunnel. If the bill passes, that is…

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