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ACSOLCalifornia

Tiered Registry Bill Stopped by Appropriations Committee

The Appropriations Committee of the California Assembly today stopped further consideration of the tiered registry bill, AB 702, this calendar year.  There was no discussion of the bill nor was a vote taken.  Instead, Chairman Mike Gatto (Democrat, Los Angeles) decided to “hold the bill” in the committee’s suspense file.
 
“This is a sad day for registrants in California,” stated CA RSOL President Janice Bellucci.  “Because of this decision, California will remain 1 of only 4 states in the nation that has a lifetime registry for all registrants.”
 
The tiered registry bill could be considered in 2014, however, it will face consideration by the same committee next year as well. 
 
“Dozens of registrants and members of their families showed up, stood up and spoke up in support of the tiered registry bill,” Bellucci stated.  “Their voices were held in the State Capitol at a critical time.”
 
CA RSOL will continue to monitor state legislation affecting registrants and members of their families throughout 2013.  Reports will be provided to members via this website as well as by E-mail.  

Join the discussion

  1. Staying Positive

    You can watch the Appropriations Committee hearing on Video on Demand here: http://calchannel.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=7&clip_id=1318

    Blah!

    • Robert Curtis

      I think again we are attacking the issue from the wrong angle. We shouldn’t be just contacting our legislators but holding our churches accountable for not stepping up and standing up for what they preach and teach. The Gospel is quite clear about redemtion and the registry is a cold hard slap in the face of God and the idea of redemptions. We need a grass roots effort from the base within our individual cammunities. Every RSO and/or their family members need to get into their city councils face as well as their preacher’s face! We have a list to market that idea to! The registry itself could be it’s own undoing if we choose to use it!

    • Anonymous Nobody

      AND AS THE ASSEMBLY avoids any relief for SOs, the Senate is moving a bill to toughen penalties against some sex offenders:

      http://www.latimes.com/news/local/political/la-me-pc-sex-offender-track-20130528,0,4946229.story

      (Sorry, I just didn’t see any place else where I could inform people.)

      * link edited by Moderator *

  2. Staying Positive

    Is it too late to introduce a similar bill into the Senate for 2013?

  3. USA

    Well, Mike Gatto’s actions don’t even make sense. Anyone with any intellectual capital would realize that this tiered registry would do more good than bad. Highly disturbing and purely political.

  4. JH

    I called Mr. Gatto’s office, and they said that they didn’t have any record of it and refereed me to the office of the bill’s author, Tom Ammiano.
    I called his office and spoke with a very nice woman there who explained to me that AB 702 was pulled and non longer in ‘suspension’ and that because it wasn’t ‘read out’ today that it can still come back to the floor in January. Because of that it’s a ’2 year bill’.
    She said that it didn’t pass today because of Republicans and moderate Democrats who are against the bill. (BIG surprise there!)
    I asked who I should start calling and emailing to help pass this bill through, and she put me through to the VM of a Curtis there in that office at extension 2564.

    This is CRAZY!!
    We are one of only 4! States that has lifetime registration, it costs us MILLIONS of dollars of extra money, and yet there is NO extra public safety gain from having lifetime registration!!
    VERY FRUSTRATED…..and ANGRY!!!!

    • Anonymous Nobody

      Excellent followup JH. That is critical followup. And even more is needed. Find out the specifics of what the various lawmakers felt about it. That can only help to know how to proceed again. It doesn’t necessarily mean to cave to anything they say, but you will not be persuasive nor have a strategy to override them or their concerns or to co-opt their argument or them and bend it to our goals if you don’t get all the details about that. I realize CA RSOL was crushed when this action came down today, but I still find it disappointing that they did not grab for the details, as you have JH. After all, these kinds of things are never really dead until a final deadline passes, so find out all the details and then determine if there is any way to make a difference. And what you have found out is that there can be one more chance to get it passed in January before this term of the Legislature ends.

      I must say, it seems so ironic that it is the Appropriations Committee where it was stopped. This bill would have SAVED the state and local governments money, in a time when they are hard up for money! In fact, to do as I have urged, that is, to simplify this by simply conforming to the federal requirements, would save both the state and local government even more money.

      Gee, any number of low level offenders, all misdemeanants but various low level felonies too, would be dropped from SOR altogether if we simply conformed to federal. That approach would allow a simple, clean argument, allowed to push the focus to that, rather than to all the nitty gritty details that are fodder for the naysayers, that are fuel for the fascists, that are food for the sadists who simply seek to destroy anyone who has ever made a mistake and committed a SO. Put it in the context that the federal government says this is what to do.

      But perhaps the most important benefit of that argument is that it gives these lawmakers who forced the action today cover in passing it, they are merely conforming to federal requirements, rather than adding onto them. That gives them cover. I would not be surprised if at least some of these lawmakers who forced this today feared they lacked cover if they voted for it.

      Anyway, I express my sincere gratitude to all those who helped push for this tiered bill, even if I think it should have been altered. I appreciate all your efforts. Of course, Janice as the point person can’t be thanked enough. Do remember, this is not a major defeat, just a bump in the road. This can go a long way to getting something passed at least next year (and hopefully as I have urged, to conform to federal).

  5. Eric Knight

    This is sadly why I’ve lost any reasonable expectation of fairness in legislative processes involving the registry. I made about 150 calls in a period of 5 months to the appropriations committee members. I was able to speak to a few rational individuals, but I held no confidence this would see the floor. When the multitude of other bills have far less documentation, studies, and rational disclosures that nonetheless gets to see a vote, issues involving relaxation of effects of the sex offender registry will rarely get a second look.

    Perhaps it is time to address this from a judicial manner, as we can amply prove that the regulatory effect of the registry is completely overwhelmed by the punitive effects. At this point, meaningful sex offender legislation and reform is irrefutably stuck at the bottom of the slippery slope. If we can’t get even the most progressive legislature in US history to even debate the bill, I fear we have reached a point where legislative action is useless.

    Thanks for everyone who had their feet on the ground in Sacramento, and thanks to all those who hit the phone bank to try to get an ear. But for now, I believe it’s time to start recruiting legal minds to the fold and work through the courts.

    • td777

      There’s no political gain for them in passing it, that’s why they didn’t, pure and simple. Victims are sympathetic and passing legislature in their name gets votes. Passing legislature that helps those they’ve already demonized is not going to get any political gain for them. I think it’s time for a couple of things.

      First, the public needs to somehow find out the truth about registration, registrants, recidivism rates, and the cost of all of the bad legislature that’s been passed before. Maybe CARSOL can have a fundraiser to put out factual information to the public via mass media in the form of CSAs.

      Second, maybe it’s just me, but I can’t help but wonder what would happen if, instead of just a few RSOs being plaintiffs in some of these lawsuits, we were to band together and have tens of thousands of plaintiffs as well as their families suing the state over what we have to go through as a result of our registration.

      • Tired of hiding

        I have been saying we sue the sons of bitches in mass forever! No…just John Doe…whatever, well guess what that is NOT working and will never work or make any real change!!

        WAKE UP POEPLE

    • Anonymous Nobody

      I wish what you propose were a possibility. But the state Supreme Court has already ruled that there is nothing punitive about SOR. In fact, they overturned two previous state Supreme Court rulings to the contrary in order to make their decision. They are not going to rule otherwise. This is why the legislature is the ONLY possibility.

      And incredible amount of every conceivable argument has already been brought before the state courts for nearly two decades now — the volume of cases is astounding — and all shot down — not by truth or reasonable judgement, but by clear corruption of the courts flat out ruling that red is blue — they have the power to rule that the color red is in fact the color blue. That is the approach they have taken any time they hit a wall about SOR, as when they ruled that there is nothing about it that is punishment and that it never has been considered punishment (even as they overturned two previous state Supreme court rulings that it is not only punishment but so much so that it can be unconstitutional cruel and unusual punishment). No matter what you present to show punishment, they simply rule that what you showed is not punishment, that it is inconsequential.

      There is nothing you can tell the courts that they will rule is punishment — they are not trying to determine truth, they have an agenda, which means they are corrupt.

  6. m h

    Thanks to Janice’s encouragement, I will be starting school this September to begin earning a degree as a certified paralegal so that I can aid in the judiciary capacities. I’ll spend an extra year earning a second major that will allow me to transfer to law school, so I can go for a law degree.

    In the meantime, I plan to continue in the legislative arena, educating the politicians, as well as the general public. I will continue to petition support and lobby for or against bills pertaining to the registry and unfair SO laws. Allow me to say this to you all:

    Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat.

  7. m h

    I would like to interject another thought:

    We now have 7 more months to educate and lobby for this bill. It isn’t dead yet.
    The first thing we should all do is write a letter to Tom Ammiano, thanking him and his staff and letting them now that we are still behind them 110% on this bill.

    Tom Ammiano
    P.O. Box 942849
    Room 3146
    Sacramento, CA 94249-0017

    The next thing we should do is continue our efforts to educate the assembly members. We should all be sending letters every couple of weeks, making phone calls periodically…etc…especially to the Appropriations Committee members, and more specifically – Mike Gatto.

    This fight is not yet over.

  8. B

    We didn’t lose a war. We lost a battle. There are going to be other battles. Two years ago, we had nothing. We just took our beatings in the legislature with absolutely nothing to defend ourselves. Today we didn’t make progress, but we are WAY more organized and can see a vision for some real progress. I am certainly disappointed at today’s outcome, but it’s not like we can stop fighting this war. The other side isn’t going to stop until we’re all in little Miracle Villages. Let’s walk this off and work harder.

    • crosman

      I agree! I can’t help but wonder what would have been the out come if Our For Fathers had not continued to battle the Mightiest empire of their time. BTW THIS battle is far from over.

  9. MM

    So sad. I was hopeful …

  10. steve

    I believe this is the same thing that happened to AB602. It eventually made it to the floor. Someone above mentioned there has to be enough proof by now that there are punitive effects from registration. Is the judiciary an option?
    By the way, Gotto voted against AB602 so there isn’t much of a surprise he didn’t back 702.

  11. m h

    I just looked up the history of AB 625. It was introduced in February 2011, had to pass Public Safety, then had to pass Appropriations before finally reaching the Assembly Floor in January 2012. Actually, this is starting to look like business as usual. In fact, we need to start pounding the Capitol even harder between now and January. I will defer to Janice and the other board members at the CA RSOL of course, but if there is anyone else in the Sacramento area then I encourage you to join us in the lobbying effort. I’m far from finished. If this cursed bill doesn’t get passed then its not gonna be because we didn’t try!

    Who is with me?

    • Janice Bellucci

      Thank you for your encouraging words and continued enthusiasm, MH! California RSOL worked very hard supporting AB 702 and it was discouraging to see it stopped so abruptly today. I think a lesson to learn from this is that it is very difficult to stop a “system” (the lifetime registry) that is more than 50 years old. California RSOL will continue its efforts toward the goal of a tiered registry. You can count on that! We now have at least 7 months to plan for its reconsideration next year. Let’s make good use of that time by showing up, standing up and speaking up. By educating the public, we will convince the elected officials that it is safe to vote in favor of a tiered registry bill. Can’t wait until they run in front of our parade.

  12. A FRIEND

    OK…that explains that public employee wasting taxpayers money
    today…wow…this california registration punitive scam will be the
    showcase of proof it has been massive millions & millions of dollars
    waste….misleading ….punitive…scam….taking more taxpayers money
    on a scheme that doesn’t work….the next “sex “crime won’t be from
    someone on a list…there is no money to be made on that kind of
    information …..anyways….this california registration punitive scam will
    will be its own greedy downfall….greed will lose …and STOP wasting
    taxpayers money following ….youre fired.

  13. C

    My mom called this a.m. and she was excited to let me know that Gatto’s office assured her that it would be released from suspense today. Needless to say, like everyone else, I was rather surprised to see the headline here tonight.

    Wow. Just wow. How is it that in this democracy one man – Gatto – has the power to stop a measure that reflects the will of the people before the legislative body has a chance to vote on it? How third world can this guy get?

    I do not want to cast gloom over our efforts. I am so impressed by all of you who post here and I feel honored to be among such an intelligent group of people. You help me reach my goal to be the dumbest guy in the room.

    Thank you, Janice, and everyone else who has worked so hard on this effort. Indeed, this was just one battle in a long, hard war that can have only one outcome for our side: Victory.

    • Anonymous Nobody

      From what I gather, Gatto did this because the Democrats knew they did not have the votes on the Assembly floor to pass it and did not want to have to cast votes that would only come back to hurt them, even devastate them. That is, from what I gather, this was not just one man doing this, he apparently did what his party and the Assembly leaders wanted, blocked it from getting to the floor where they feared it would only serve as devastating campaign fodder against the Democrats.

      In the face of voters consistently casting 80%+ or more in favor of every measure on the ballot to make SOR even worse, the Democrats do not feel the least bit safe in supporting any bill to ease SOR. They need political cover. This bill in the Assembly did not in and of itself provide them any cover, and so far, there is not enough cover otherwise. The “will of the people,” as shown by the electorate’s consistent 80%+ vote to toughen SOR, is what the Democrats fear.

      In fact, the only one man in the Assembly who can single handedly stop a bill is the Assembly speaker, as chair of the Rules committee. If the speaker wanted this bill to move forward, he can pull it from the Appropriations committee and move it forward. That is a rare thing to happen, but that is where the power is. That power is not going to be exercised for this bill.

      • B

        This is a pretty logical explanation, but I note that the Republican Caucus made no mention of it on their web site. The opposition to the bill was very weak in committee. Perhaps they were playing possum hoping that the Dems would pass the bill. It’s hard to say. We need some color from Ammiano. And, most importantly, we need to work this. We need Republican support and we need to line up moderate Democrats in Southern and Central California.

  14. dbradford

    Ya know…All this talk of ‘victory’, and ‘winning the war’..Is that the BEST CA RSOL and it’s members hope for, and can do? ‘Victory’ for everyone in CA RSOL simply means aligning with AWA, whether officially or not, becoming ‘compliant’. John Walsh doesn’t even have to work the crowd in CA. IS that what everyone is willing to settle for? No wonder we’re losing, and if you hadn’t noticed, we’re losing badly.

    • crosman

      …and you are helping?

      • dbradford

        Sigh…They’re are a LOT of ways to help and support a cause crosman, I’d say I do my bit. How long have YOU been in the cause, how MANY organizations have YOU been a part of sport? I’ve been involved since before CA RSOL EXISTED. No, I have’t lobbied in Sacramento, or gone to any of the RSOL meetings, I’m basically stuck in a 3rd world country 7,000 miles away. But believe me, I’ve been a part of the movement for some time, and by the look of things, I’ll be doing this for awhile longer. In case you missed it, a new restrictive law gets rolled out in CA, or some other state, or nationally, oh, about 2-3 a WEEK. HARD laws..we, on the other hand, can visit libraries and the beach in Southern California..wow, color me impressed. I have a 647.6 PC conviction, and I’d be looking at an extra 10 years on the registry, all for nothing, no fault of my own, just because Ammiano has some sort of vendetta. Nothing I don’t think has been amended, discussed, nada. I was told by CA RSOL that, well, after 20 years you can get off! I was told this cheerfully, as in, ‘Every cloud has it’s silver lining!’ way. We’re going to saw you in half, but hey, at least you’ll keep your upper body! These laws are UNCONSTITUTIONAL,ILLEGAL! Where is the outrage? You people treat it like some sort of social tea..THIS IS WAR people, if you all do not wrap your heads around that, nothing will EVER change, and it’s going to get much, much worse. Politically, you have the corrupt legislators, who have apparently nothing better to do than come up with these laws, the media, spewing out false facts, twisted stories, sensationalism. Judicially, you have the Supreme Court ruling it’s NOT punishment, which we know it IS. And then you have probably 70-80% or Joe Public behind everybody, calling for our heads.

        I could go on..I just don’t want someone declaring bringing CA in line with AWA a ‘victory’, because it’s not. Oh, and have you noticed the new trend among lawmakers, it doesn’t matter if you are on the registry, or gotten off, the very fact that you were CONVICTED of a sex offense, gets you denied even MORE rights, for LIFE.Have fun fighting that!

        Dave in the PHILIPPINES

        • Joe

          So you have a 647.6 conviction and if this bill passed you are looking at an EXTRA 10 years? Given that 647.6 is (erroneously – but that is another topic of discussion) placed in Tier II with a 20 year requirement, you are SUPPOSED to get off in 10 years otherwise? How? Please share.

          If you are talking about getting a Certificate of Rehabilitation, you are ELIGIBLE to PETITION after 10 years, this is true. One, this bill has no impact on the COR Process, so there is nothing that says you could not still go that route. Second, I would love to hear how many here with misdemeanor convictions (not even involving a “child”) were shot down for a COR after 10 years? 15 years? 20 years?

          In other words, if this bill were NOT to pass, you are looking at the CHANCE of getting a COR granted and off after 10 years. If this bill DOES pass, you you are looking at the CHANCE of getting a COR granted and off after 10 years or the CERTAINTY to be off in 20 years. I call that a win-win.

          How this bill is not California’s capitulation to the AWA is in how the Tiers are set up. I am not exactly sure (someone please chime in), but e.g. someone with a CP conviction (possession) would be a Tier 1 in CA (10 years), Tier 3 (Life) under AWA. 288(a) in California is a Tier 2 (20 years), Tier 3 (Life) under AWA? Tier 3 (Life) in CA is reserved for INDIVIDUALS as determined (actively) by the state – not a statutory category. That is how I read it.

          I am not sure what exactly Assm. Ammiano’s vendetta could possibly be or against who…

        • dbradford

          Why, why did Ammaino come up with 647.6 being singled out as automatically a Level 2 assignment, eligible for 20 years off the bat? ^47.6 is a MISDEMEANOR, a cath-all, east to score conviction, affecting 100’s, maybe 1,000’s of Californians. It like writing a Bill with all people convicted of jaywalking, giving them life in prison, or the death sentence. It makes no sense, and I have yet to hear it’s been addressed or brought up as a ‘tweek’ to the Bill. Singling out a persons misdemeanor conviction, and assigning it a automatic Level 2, 20 years on the registry, is a vendetta. It needs to become a Level 1, period. You’d think he, with his background, could understand and sympathize with oppression and unfairness.

          As for a registry in the Philippines, it’ll never happen. They were burbling about implementing a death penalty here in the Philippines. Pinoy politicians flat out rejected it, saying with as much corruption as there is here, it would never be implemented fairly. To date there’s nothing like that here now.

          Dave in the Philippines

  15. m h

    Look, Tom’s Chief of Staff told us that Gatto wants to make sure we have majority support from the Democrats. We have 7 months to try and educate them and win support. And I wouldn’t say we’re “losing badly”, Janice has been scoring many a victory on the judicial front. Things are not going to change overnight. But things WILL change eventually. And I’m sorry, but abolishing the registry is nt going to happen anytime soon either. This is something that must be chipped away at, piece by piece. I’m going to do my part. Does anyone have any suggestions or recommendations on how we can better fight this fight?

    It has been mentioned that we must fight this at the judicial level. Well, we have Janice and Jeffrey who are doing just that, plus others behind the scenes. I’m going back to school so that can acquire the training and credentials I need to do the same. In the meantime, what more could I do than try to contribute to and organize campaigns to educate the public and the legislators? What more could I do than propose more bills to change these laws?

    And by the way, Anonymous Nobody, we are trying to find the details. Its like pulling teeth to get these folks to tell us their particular concerns. And that info about Gatto and the Democrats, Tom’s Chief of Staff, Curtis, filled us in on those details last Thursday while Janice was on a phone conference and I was literally sitting in Tom Ammiano’s office. Everyone is trying here, no one is going into this half-cocked

    What we really need is MORE VOLUNTEERS> present at the Capitol.

  16. mch

    Rather than get my hopes up on what politicians do, I keep my mind open and curious for what I can do for myself and others. We know by history and experience that the solution for RSO’s will be more legal than political; we know that it’s up to each of us to find our own solution to lifetime registry and share that with others. When I read of small victories, I rejoice; when I read of defeats, I go on about my business, for a defeat doesn’t change my situation at all, but a victory, no matter how small does. My hope and faith is not in this California government because they screw up everything!
    Janice, thank you for your efforts, all of your hard work and your relentless pursuit of civil rights for us.

    • crosman

      I too thank you Janice, Frank,MH, and all the others I had the great privilege of being with on Capitol Hill April/May. You are truly wonderful folks.

  17. m h

    Dave, everyone understands how you feel. I too went to the Philippines for some time, hoping the laws would change while I was gone. But when I heard that the US and Australian governments were trying to “help” the Philippine government setup their sex offender tracking program I realized that this problem is just going to follow me around.

    While I don’t disagree with your feelings, I recognize that we do not have the higher ground, that we must accept the battlefield as it lies and fight on the enemy’s turf, by their rules, and their premise. No, its not a fair fight, but I believe it can be overcome. I too, am subject to Tier II because of stupid technicalities in the law. I assure that Tom Ammiano has no vendetta, AB 702 is a bold step for this state, and the bill has to find a compromise between giving RSO’s a fair shot, and keeping the ignorant lawmakers satisfied. But it will be a start. The next step is to amend and redefine many of the ridiculous technicalities in the law codes themselves.

    The biggest problem I see is that everyone seems to talk as if AB 702 is the end of the line, that we’re not going to continue fighting at the legislative level after it passes.

    (What part of Phils are residing? Just curious…)

    • dbradford

      Alright, so say some sort of tiered system (ala AWA) in finally put in place. Two things..One, I can see the powers that be dusting off their hands, congratulating each other, and packing it up and calling it mission accomplished, CA is now ‘reformed’. Big, nice addition to a resume. For any REAL, permanent change, a person(s) have to be willing to see the job through, all the way to the end. If you’re going to do something, do it right. Second, the politicians themselves, if for whatever reason, allow a tiered registry, will then turn around ans say, we already bent over backwards for you people, and gave you what you wanted, now you want even MORE!? NO! We’re done!

      Daraga, Albay, Bicol Region

      Dave in the Philippines

      • Anonymous Nobody

        I generally agree. Yes, many things can be dealt with piecemeal, a little at a time and build. But not everything. Overcoming SOR is one of the rare matters that is not going to happen in small increments. If the politicians touch this third rail of politics once, they are not going to do it again, not for generations at least. Some things can be addressed incrementally, but some things can’t, and unfortunately, this SOR is one of the latter. In fact, one of the reasons you can’t get the Democrats to come on board now is because they still remember how they were slaughtered for the more enlightened approach to crime and punishment 30 years ago! 30 years, and they still remember that.

        This is only one reason why I push to go for conforming to the federal requirement, which is notably less than what California has in place, and notably less than this bill for tiers. Yet even as it is less, it changes the discussion to conformance, a much safer argument than the minute details about some sex offense and the hyperbole that brings. In effect, it is an administrative argument about what the courts and the SOR supporters say is an administrative matter. The argument becomes one about efficiency, not about mad, violent sex offenders coming out of the woodwork.

        It would be fantasy to think the lawmakers will abolish SOR, for the state would lose far, far, far too much federal money if they do — the feds are forcing it via money. But the state loses no money by conforming to federal.

        And once conformed to federal, then yes, we can do the next increment — which is to go after the feds to reduce or eliminate that federal requirement for SOR. Give the conservative opposition their argument about state’s rights in order to eliminate the federal requirement. How can they come out against that argument when they push it all the time? Then if the federal requirement could be eliminated or reduced, the fight could come back to the state.

        But if you set yourself up for a multi-generation-long state fight, the feds not only will not reduce or eliminate the federal requirement, they might very well even make it harsher.

        If you do something now, you have to realize that GREATLY diminishes any urgency for what remains, it starts splitting hairs, it starts minute dissection of each and every last criminal offense and judgment of all — and setting up a fight over those minute details is a losing strategy, as those details are the biggest guns the opposition has. To set up that kind of strategy is like loading the guns for the opposition.

        As an analogy, consider the death penalty. There is big fight against that. Yet, when is the last time you heard much of any complaints about life without any possibility of parole no matter how reformed you are, no matter that you have been inside for 50+ years? You don’t hear complains about that, because since they are alive, no one cares, it no longer seems important, it doesn’t even get the constant challenges before the Supreme Court that the death penalty does.

        When SOs can no longer complain about lifetime SOR, they will have a much weaker argument. If you think it has been a tough fight with the stronger argument about lifetime parole, wait until you try to fight without that argument, and after the politicians face the wrath of the electorate and are reminded of their lesson of 30 years ago.

  18. m h

    Dave, I understand your sentiments. I really, really do. I felt the same way before diving into this myself. Its the way Democracy is supposed to work. Plus we have more sympathizers than meets the eye. Assemblyman Achadjian is finally starting to soften his face toward us after meeting with Frank Lindsey, another RSO, AND the father of that RSO’s victim. Achadjian said he never realized that there was no way off the registry. This is a man who none of us ever thought would change his mind.

    And we’ll keep proposing bills and supporting the ones that help us, and lobbying against those that support us.

    Be careful in the Philippines, lots of despicable people from the US and other countries who DO belong on the registry. Don’t get mistaken for one of them, that’s another reason I got nervous and came back. My wife and I used to report them. We were down further south, Surigao del Norte. Beautiful country… 🙂

  19. steve

    If all the politicians are afraid of “being easy on offenders” why don’t we propose a bill that gives it back to the courts to decide who’s on for life. Politicians are off the hook and decisions about individuals are back where they belong.

    • steve

      …or keep the bill we have and add to it that we have to go back to court for a judges final approval.

    • B

      All California judges are politicians. From Superior Court to Supreme Court–they all face elections.

  20. steve

    Any chance we can get Patty Wetterling to come to california to lobby? She has been outspoken on what the registry has become. I will buy her ticket.

    • G4Change

      I’d like to see Patty Wetterling come to the upcoming RSOL Convention in CA.

  21. Joe

    @dbradford – May 26, 2013 at 12:31 am (can’t reply to that comment) –

    I think someone in these comments ventured a guess why 647.6 was included in Tier 2 and I would have to agree – it is entirely the Heading of the Section: Annoy and MOLEST a CHILD under 18. I believe that is correct. Someone in Sacramento saw the word “Molest” and let their imagination run wild. We all know that there are sections for actual sexual conduct, under 18, 16, 14, 10. I know that 647.6 is catch-all for any kind of behavior that might “annoy” a minor. Most often it is inappropriate talk? A kiss on the cheek of a 16-17 year old? A touch on the shoulder? Certainly not what is conjured up by this description. I also believe that there are thousands of people registered for this. Heck, if you were to click around the ML web site (if allowed to), I would guess that half the zip code only listings are for that very violation.

    Look at the evolution of AB 625. It was tweaked. Specifically to bump 647.6 up to Tier 2. Someone must have read the Penal Code and raised a stink. OMG – how can CHILD MOLESTING not be included in the higher Tier??

    Is it absurd? Yes. Do I believe Assm. Ammiano has an ulterior motive? NO. I really do not see why he would. He is sticking his neck out, not once but twice. These kind of bills do not make friends in the Capitol. I believe he understands (not fully – but more than most) and is trying to do the right thing. For this I am grateful and admire him.

    Perhaps if some people described the events that got them into this mess in the first place? Until then it will always say: “Molest”.

    True – this makes no sense and these folks are kind of being thrown under the bus here. But perhaps an “extra” 10 years is better than life – for them, for all 100,000.

  22. Jeff

    This Bill is wrong! I agree with Bradford that there should be no list whatsoever. You do your time you move on. Basically my entire family, Mother, Father, Sons, Cousins, Uncles, Aunts and any other relatives are feeling the affects of this list. It’s time to step it up a notch in my opinion. The people on this site seem pretty well organized. Well here is a thought, organize sit ins on these peoples front lawns. I’m not talking about a couple scary looking guys in trenchcoats hanging out in front of a Politicians house. I’m talking about taking entire families to their front door and protesting. Heck maybe you should contact every rso with a Family by postcard informing them of the planned protest date and time. If you could get just a couple hundred people of all ages to join in it would be on the news. Then all you have to do is line up the rso’s children in front of the news camera and let them tell their stories about how they cannot play in sports or go to the park or have friends or do all the other things normal children can. Also make sure you have all the teenagers they are being put on the list for tweeting pictures. Out of the Nations 750,000 rso’s I’m sure you can come up with a couple hundred that are willing to do this. Get the attention of the American people and let them see how many families this list is affecting!!!

    • B

      Don’t make the perfect the enemy of the good. We are making progress and getting better organized. A legislative battle (win or lose) is far from the end of the war. If we go for the perfect legislation right now, we have zero chance. If we go for good legislation, it is within reach. Then we learn from that, organize some more and make more progress next time. That is how every single civil rights issue in the US has made progress and that is how we will make progress.

      • m h

        Right on! And you know what? I’ve been playing around with some scenarios in my mind. I’m not sure if any of us realized that the floor deadline was next Friday. If this bill had passed Appropriations and reached the floor, we wouldn’t have had near enough time for an extensive lobbying effort as we had thought. Perhaps this delay is more a blessing in disguise? I mean, we do have 7 months now to continue educating the legislators and their staffs. And we can continue lobbying the Appropriations committee in the meantime as well. To me, its feeling less and less like a loss when putting all things in perspective.

  23. m h

    Jeff, it all sounds good in theory but I’m sure the media would spin it back around on us and the politicians would find a legal loophole to have us all arrested. If I had time I dig it up in the law myself just to illustrate that its a likely possibility. A campaign like that could easily backfire.

    And once again, I’m sorry but abolishing the registry is NOT going to happen anytime soon. Maybe someday we can abolish the public Megan’s Law website, but I seriously doubt the registry will ever go away completely. It would be easier to hold back the tide. For now, we must fight fire with fire.

    • Jeff

      How could protesting be against the law? If you are not on parole or probation you can protest together and if they did arrest the protestors in front of their wives and children think of what a mess that would be. I say we camp out on Adam Walsh’s doorstep. And make him feed us.

      • m h

        The problem Jeff, is that we would picketing in private neighborhoods where ordinances vary from municipality to municipality. Not to mention the many presence restrictions that Janice is trying to combat, which are still in effect in some cities and counties.

        And there are laws about public nuisance, disturbing the peace, noise restrictions, privacy laws, trespassing laws….etc…and you must keep in mind, that making a demonstration in a private neighborhood is far different from picketing in front of Wal-Mart. If a mob of people set foot on my private lawn, I’d call the police and have them removed. Then I would press charges against such persons for unauthorized trespass to land, seek an injunction preventing them doing again, and then sue for punitive compensation. If you think these politicians wouldn’t do the same then you may want to take a more objective look at what you’re talking about.

        A bunch of RSO’s on a politician’s front lawn? Do you honestly think they would not try to twist and manipulate current laws in order to furnish themselves with an excuse to arrest us? Not to mention presence restrictions (i.e. anywhere children may congregate).

        And by the way, Adam Walsh is dead. If you are referring to his father, that would be John Walsh. And no, I wouldn’t dare request media attention while making a demonstration on John Walsh’s lawn. There is no way in the world that the media would side with us, not in today’s social climate. If you want to make a demonstration on John Walsh’s front lawn the be my guest. Good luck finding an attorney who is willing to defend you when he presses charges.

  24. alert

    Registry benefits:

    No neighbor’s screaming brats playing outside your windows.
    Mates to celebrate your birthday with plus a free photo op.
    Quiet, peaceful,and inexpensive Halloweens.
    No girl scout salesgirls beating on your door and pestering you to buy cookies.
    A true lifetime contract that never expires.
    Free notoriety for you and your family.
    Kindly officials who make sure you know where you live.

    And so much more!

    • m h

      LOL! I don’t know if your intention was humor or sarcasm (or both), but that gave me a laugh that I needed!

    • mike

      Gee Alert… Thanks to your optimistic observation, I now feel like I’m in an exclusive and privileged group of celebrities. One of .003% of California’s population.

      • Joe

        @mike – I must take issue with your math… with a population of 38 million and 100,000 registrants in the Golden State, the percentage of the overall population required to register is 0.3%. (100,000/38,000,000=.003=>.3%).

        Another way to skin this cat… there are 100,000 CA registrants. 99% are male adults. The CA population is 38 million, half male, 3/4 over the age of 18 => 0.7% of adult male California residents are required to register.

        100,000*.99/38,000,000*.5*.75=.7%

        In other words, 1 in 141 adult California males is on the sex offender registry for life.

        Assuming you are a male over 18 – not so special, after all….

        • Anonymous Nobody

          This comment of mine is a bit of an aside to this thread, but not to the post immediately above. The number of people REQUIRED to register in California is bandied about as anywhere from about 80,000 to maybe 120,000. I cannot for one minute believe even the higher number. It just can’t be so, can’t be even close. And the fact that even the state Justice Department can’t seem to come up with a definitive number, and can’t seem to back up any number of promulgates at any time, makes my deeply suspicious.

          ANYONE convicted of any of the offenses in 290 at anytime in the past about 65 years must register, unless they at least meet the standard of a pardon and are able to obtain a certificate of rehabilitation for some offenses, but the full pardon for other. That standard, and the capricious nature of the court consideration of it, means that nearly everyone ever convicted in the past 65 years must still be registering, even if they are confined to nursing homes now!

          I cannot for one second believe that there are on average only 1,500 people convicted of any one of the offenses in 290 each year, out of a state population of like you said 38 million. Gee, there must be that many convicted of indecent exposure alone! Well, maybe many of those get off on lewd conduct, which is not automatically registrable, although it used to be.

          Still, I just find this number being bandied about as very questionable, and the state’s inability to commit to a definitive, an dhow it is so sketchy about the number, as incredibly suspicious. I have to wonder if it ought to be a lot higher, maybe 300,000, maybe even 500,000. But to seriously lowball the number makes anything you do to an SOR that much more acceptable to the general public. And it makes the public that much more certain that it is being applied only to the most serious and dangerous cases. Maybe there are 100,000 who have actually registered AND ARE POSTED ON THE INTERNET, but about 100,000 whose offenses are not serious enough to get them posted on the Internet. Who knows?

          I don’t know how it could be done, but I sure would like to get hold of the REAL numbers. I sure would like to expose the state’s lie about how many people are affected by this. It could be another point to help argue against SOR.

          Of course, on the other hand, if you have only 100,000, and as the FBI says, only 3% of them reoffend within five years, that means only 3,000 people out of a state population of 38 million are the ones SOR is supposedly after! All this horrendous effort and money expended for a practically immeasurably small 0.0000789% of the people of California.

        • mike

          FROM MEGAN’S LAW HOMEPAGE:
          ‘Specific home addresses are displayed on more than 41,529 offenders. An additional 11,965 offenders are included on the site with listing by ZIP Code, city, and county. Pursuant to Penal Code § 290.46, information on approximately 30,118 other offenders is not included on this site and cannot be posted online, but is known to law enforcement personnel.’

          I don’t know how often this gets updated or if these numbers include minors that are registered. I came to a total of 83,612
          (Joe?). It’s fascinating that the estimated national registry has remained unchanged at 750,000 for so long considering how many states have scrambled to comply with AWA. I suppose it could be argued that this is because the registry is helping to deter people from committing sex offenses; I doubt that’s the case. I agree with A. Nobody that we’re being low-balled and maybe we’re not so special, after all…

        • Anonymous Nobody

          And mind you, even if those numbers on the Website are correct, that is simply who have actually registered, How many more are required to register but have not, for any number of reasons, whether they are in nursing homes, or don’t even realize they have to register because no one told them when this was all made retroactive, or maybe just because they skipped out and haven’t been tracked down, or maybe because they moved here from another state where they no longer had to register and don’t even realize they have to register here for life, or …

          That is, the number who are actually registered is not necessarily how many are REQUIRED to register.

  25. DJ

    Through their indecencies we are being forged into a strong minority group. Some day soon their ignorant comments will be met by universal condemnation and we will be the ones that stand for community, decency and healing.

  26. Sima

    Do you know that sex offender registry is unconstitutional in Canada? How can we get rid of this horrible labeling in this country? The number is getting larger and larger everyday. This is a life sentence. Please tell me how I can help. This task is my number one priority to this task.
    We should not give up. We should continue . Even the psychiatrists are agreeing that this registry does more harm and good and puts every one for a little mistake in the list. Please don’t give up. Let me know what I can do to help.

    • td777

      On what grounds do you believe it is unconstitutional in Canada? I’ve looked into this and find nothing stating it has been done away with.

    • Janice Bellucci

      Sima, we welcome you to the “family” of registrants, family members and supporters. Your help is needed to educate the public about what is truly happening to registrants. That could start with family members and friends if they don’t already know. You can also attend monthly meetings held throughout the state. You can write letters to elected officials. You can challenge sex offender ordinances in your city and/or county. And of course you can make a financial donation to CA RSOL so that we can not only keep doing what we are already doing but increase our level of activity throughout the state.

  27. m h

    Joe, I’m gonna borrow your statistics. 1 out of 141 people on the registry makes California a very unattractive place to live, work, go to school or start a business. And of course, unless we can makes some legislative changes, that figure will continue bloating.

  28. MN

    Clearly we’re neither sufficiently organized or endowed to have much impact on these issues, even when what’s in the interests of RSOs and their families is consistent with the public interest.

    A MASSIVE PR campaign must be launched. It would come at a cost of millions of dollars.

    I suggest we do a better job organizing, including rallying every RSO and supporter we can find. For many of them, we have their addresses already…

    People will need to donate time and money as they can to pull this off. It may take a long time, but with a PR blitz at the right time, we could build enough momentum to establish a sensible comprehensive reform that is fair, just, and equitable, and above all improves public safety at a lower cost to the state.

    Another tactic might be the proposition route. State propositions are so Orwellian in their language yes is no and no means yes and million are duped by them each election. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

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