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General Comments September 2015

Comments that are not specific to a certain post should go here, for the month of September 2015. Contributions should relate to the cause and goals of this organization and please, keep it courteous and civil.

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  1. Lake County

    Introduced by Senator Pavley
    Heard on August 31, 2015

    An act to amend Section 6603 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to sexually violent predators.

    SB 507, as amended, Pavley. Sexually violent predators.

    I just found this on the Senate Appropriations list. I hadn’t heard of this one before, did we miss it? Is it important? I didn’t hear if this was approved or not. Anyone have any info on this bill?

  2. Justice for All

    Janice, please help!

    Hello, I need some help when applying for Megan’s Law website when it comes to a 311.11 conviction. When filling out the form, I’m clearly eligible through this option:

    ****

    Felony conviction of PC section 311.1, section 311.2 subsection (b), (c), or (d), or section 311.3, 311.4, 311.10, or 311.11.

    Submit a certified copy of a probation report filed in court that clearly states that all victims involved in the commission of the offense were at least 16 years of age or older at the time of the commission of the offense.

    ****

    It is the last part that confuses me somewhat and in my case (almost 5 years ago, completed 3 years of probation successfully without incident). I’ve looked at all paperwork, and I can’t find ANYTHING that mentions age whatsoever. My case revolved around one file that I downloaded and deleted, then lo-and behold, 4-5 months later, I get a knock on the door.

    I should be eligible for exclusion, but I don’t know what I need specifically to satisfy them. I first sent a form when I was still in probation, but it was rejected and informed I needed to submit documentation from probation officer….well that wasn’t gonna happen because he was…less than enthusiastic about ANY support.

    So here I am at this point. Janice, or anyone with Legal insight, please help! I know you are busy fighting the good fight and I am eternally grateful. If it weren’t for discovering this site, I may be in a VERY different state of being today.

    • MS

      Can’t be sure that it’s fact but had an attorney tell me that if/once I get my felony 311.11a reduced to a misdomeanor…I will no longer show up on the site. I wasn’t on the site for about 2 years and then my luck ran out. Have another 10 months of probation to go. Once off probation I can then try to have it reduced and then maybe (if I’m lucky) I vanish from the site. Same attorney said she has never had anybody removed from the site for a 311.11 while it was still a felony.

      Was your conviction a felony? Have you had yours reduced yet? Expunged?

  3. Double A

    I went in last week to register at the college I am currently attending. The detective handling the registrants was very polite and empathetic. People who know me would agree that I am very candid and outspoken. The detective listened and responded respectfully to everything I said. I was telling him about Janice and the prospect of having a tiered registry. I was asking how many registrants are currently at the college, but I answered for him saying “you probably can’t share that with me.” He said, “just put it this way you aren’t the only one.” I wish all people not just those in positions of power were as polite as this officer.

  4. Double A

    Halloween is around the corner. I’ve been off probation/parole (officially it was parole but because of AB 109 it was probation) for one year. I had one Halloween while on probation and one Halloween off probation. I treated last Halloween like I was still on probation. What is required of registrants on Halloween?

    • Justice for All

      If you aren’t on Probation or Parole, there are no requirements for you. Anyone who “strongly suggests” otherwise is full of it.

      • Joe

        Your City / County may have an ordinance regarding decorations and lights on October 31. I would check the Muni Code for that.

        Some jurisdictions had a sign requirement on the front door a few years ago. Janice took care of those.

    • Double A

      Thank you for the information. While I was in custody the last thought in my mind was to do anything to violate my terms. I didn’t have any issues when I was incarcerated. I didn’t have any issues during probation. I just want to keep my streak going. Thanks again for the info.

  5. Bluewall

    So I was going to celebrate my 7 months of employment at the warehouse has a equipment operator and loader night shift.. … until I got called into HR and was informed they need to do a background check on me… gave me some papers to sign… I quickly went to the manager’s office and talked to him, he said he can’t do anything about it and said he keeps a separate file on people who actually told him his crimes and just compares it to the background check… He showed me his file on me with his handwritten notes on my crimes and some paperwork, he said if I am honest I got nothing to worry about..
    It could be a number of things, some clients would like background checks on people who handle their products or if the rumor is right something happened last month during the morning shift..

    I’m worried as shit… why????.. I actually like this job and it pays okay… and no one bothered me… why now… sigh

    • MatthewLL

      Bluewall,

      Man I really hope all goes well with your job and all. I know the constant fear and worry about possibly being outed at work. My employer is not aware and I am not on the public web site in Washington. I got away without answering any specific questions on the employment paperwork. My job takes me to government facilities and local utilities and so far I have not been refused entry, but it may happen at some point. I cannot travel to Canada for work either, and again my employer is unaware. Up until now I have been able to deflect Canadian travel. I too really like my job and it pays really well, and is how I feed my family.

      Brother, you have others in the same situation and We.I are sending you positive thoughts.

      Good luck.

  6. ab

    http://www.rawstory.com/2015/09/texas-man-walks-free-after-alleged-rape-leaves-2-year-old-girl-in-pool-of-blood/

    So we live in a country where people who receive, but delete images and videos from their computer automatically can get 5 years imprisonment in federal prison.

    In a country where a nineteen year old can join an adult dating app on their phone for hookups with other adults end up unknowingly having sex with a fourteen year old who lied, and getting 25 years on the registry in two states.

    In a country where an adult man allegedly paid for sex with sixteen and seventeen year olds. The seventeen year old was legal in the state where the activity occurred. He also had distributed child pornography. His sentence range is expected to be 5 to 12 and a half years if the prosecutors recommendations are followed by the judge.

    In a country where a double standard exists between the consequences faced by female teachers vs male teachers who have sexual interactions with their students. Recently a female teacher was given two years (serving time every other weekend) for assaulting a male student. Where other recent cases involving male teachers and female students ended with much longer sentences.

    In a country where two of age teens can do almost anything they want sexually provided they both consent and it is not filmed or photographed. Because filming or photographing such things when sixteen or seventeen year olds are involved is child pornography under federal law and many state laws despite most states having an age of consent of sixteen or seventeen with the remainder setting age of consent at eighteen.

    In a country where public urination can result in being put on the sex offender registry.

    In a country where children are sent to juvenile detention programs for sex play with other children and then forced to register. Which in some instances means kids who are playing around with other kids and no one involved has any realistic concept of sexual activity other than what adults decided to communicate afterwards leaving the kids confused, ashamed, and probably more damaged than they would have been if matters were handled in a more age/developmentally appropriate manner.

    Yet a man in Texas supposedly rapes or at least brutally assaults a two year old, gets ten years probation and no registration requirements? Typically this sort of story doesn’t get attention from activists trying to reform sex offense laws, but of all the discrepancies throughout this country regarding offenses deemed sexual offenses and their potential consequences sometimes its the more difficult cases that ought to be reminders for why reform is so important.

  7. Harry

    I would like to have the filing instruction, again on the ‘Request for Live Scan Service’ that was mentioned at the August 28, Berkeley Meeting. It was hard for me to hear all the information.

  8. anonymously

    I am now hearing a lot in the media on Prop 47 not being thought through well before voters voted to pass it. I know one way to improve it would be to include registrants to be able to utilize it. Registrants reoffense rate is under 1%. Including registrants in those who would benefit from Prop 47 would improve the numbers on recidivism of those who Prop 47 was applied to. As well as reducing prison population.

  9. Redeemed1

    I was just curious if anyone here had any knowledge of how background checks work in general. In my case, I was taken off the registry earlier this summer in my state, so that part shouldn’t be an issue. I’ve been reading that companies usually only pay to see the last 7 years, but can go further.

    My conviction was a little over 10 years ago, so assuming that the average company does the 7 year check, would I be in the clear? I was curious in that last night I decided to go to the the website of the county that I was convicted in and I was there for everyone to see (at least all of my court appearances). I was unclear if when a company runs a BG check, if the 3rd party running it, intentionally leaves anything over 7 years off? I was just wondering if it was really easy for me to find it (for free for that matter) how will a company not see it?

    I am well educated and have some experience basically doing data analysis before my conviction, so I was wondering if it even worth it trying to get back into the field. I’m almost positive any company that I would be interested in would do a BG check.

    Thanks for any insights.

    • Miranda Veracruz de la Jolla Cardenal

      We simply do a Google Search, if anything nasty comes up, we toss the resume and tell them they are not a fit. Anything beyond that, our clients handle it prior to final offer. Disgustingly hypocritical considering I would not pass my own scrutiny, but if I want to feed my family, I do what our clients want.

      To be fair, I have yet to come across a fellow RSO/CSO. Most of the people we toss are because of what they write on Twitter.

      • anon

        No one here takes credence in what you say anymore. Your whole “victim-baiting” has completely discredited everything you state.

        • Miranda Veracruz de la Jolla Cardenal

          That’s too bad. I did not know you spoke for the entire organization.

        • anon

          If you can’t already see it, you’re pretty blind.
          No one takes your lame “I’m not your victim” accusations and your ridiculous over-the-top statements as anything other than the meanderings of a skewed mind.

        • Miranda Veracruz de la Jolla Cardenal

          “If you can’t already see it, you’re pretty blind.
          No one takes your lame “I’m not your victim” accusations and your ridiculous over-the-top statements as anything other than the meanderings of a skewed mind.”

          Interesting. That is EXACTLY how I coerced my victim into silence, by being aggressive, harsh, mean and insulting. I worked hard to convince her that she was the outsider and I spoke for the entire family if she were to tell.

          I get it anon, it’s very hard behavior to to stop. The power can be addicting. Because I do not agree with the mob think, you are the other “anon” have insulted and attacked me. That whole “terms and conditions” thing does not seem to affect you whether it’s FB or here. But, I forgive you because I was once where you are, unable to let go of the control and power. You just do not understand that people are free to think and express themselves differently than you. Once you can accept that people, even sex offenders, are permitted to freely express themselves, even if it does not agree with the whining mob, then you will understand, but for now, you are forgiven.

        • HOOKSCAR

          Ok. I have heard enough. MVC, spew your rhetoric where you won’t be judged then. The fact that you seem to have been brainwashed by your jailhouse spooks is your issue. There is no “pity me” attitude accepted here. We look at solutions, not problems.
          NOW PLAY NICE!!!!!

        • HOOKSCAR

          By the way, you may hear “whining”, but what you should look for in all this is a solution. Every persons situation is unique in a way, but it really doesn’t matter how you got here does it? Everybody, and this includes you, need a place to talk their personal experiences through. To try and find a solution to an issue. You don’t like it? Well there is the door. Nobody is going to stop you.

        • anon

          LOL.
          There you go again with your moronic attempt to label everyone with the same mentality that you have. Simply because your ridiculous viewpoints and your strange, unsuccessful attempts to bully others are challenged.

          Sometimes (in this case many times) the world will not agree with you – that does not make the world a predator.

          You really have a problem, Miranda. You keep projecting on everyone. You need therapy.

        • anon

          The most amusing thing of all is your indignant reaction to someone telling you that accusing everyone of “needing a victim” has no basis in reality.
          You seem to be arguing for your right to try to label everyone in a one-size-fits-all category. Sound familiar?

        • J

          “I worked hard to convince her that she was the outsider… You just do not understand that people are free to think and express themselves differently than you.”

          Um. You DO realize that no one is working hard to make you feel like an outsider here, right?
          You are doing that entirely by yourself.

          You keep on making huge presumptuous statements about others based on almost pure speculation on your part. Why do you think you would be received well anywhere with that type of approach?

          But you explained it yourself – you find it hard to stop trying because it’s addictive to you. I feel sorry for you.

    • C

      I work in IT and in the mid 90s when I was working on my certifications several people mentioned how important it is not to incur any felonies if you expect people to trust you as a Sys Admin. I ignored this, even though I already had some major felony convictions and just wrapped up an 8 year stint, and pressed on to enjoy an awesome career during the dot-com days. All the start-ups were so desperate for talent they could not care less about your background. They’d hire Ted Bundy if he was an Oracle DBA or knew a little C++. That changed in 2004 with the Megan’s Law website and the incredible ease of background checks. For many of us, IT in general is a double-edged sword.

      After getting fired from a lucrative IT Manager position I decided to strike out on my own. I had accumulated a handful of clients and now enjoy a decent clientele. One of my oldest customers wanted to do a background check on me and I declined it. I told them my wife and I were about to buy a bigger house and I didn’t need another inquiry on my credit to lower my FICO score, besides, I said, “you’ll get a more accurate feel for my skill set and integrity from my other clients.” They never mentioned it again.

      Last year I got call from an old co-worker who was an IT recruiter with a small consulting gig for me. He mentioned there would be a background check and he stressed to me that it only checked for outstanding wants and warrants, nothing more. It was if he knew about my past and, since we live a few miles from each other, I suspect he does. In fact, he might have some legal issues, because he has gone to work for himself, as well.

      Anyway, there are many types of background checks, so before you agree to one I suggest asking what they check for. They can’t run it w/out your consent, as far as I know.

      BTW, this recruiter specializes in a certain area of data analysis. If you can be more specific about your skill set, he might have something up your alley.

      Best of luck!

      • Redeemed1

        Thanks Miranda and C. I really appreciate your honesty in regard to what to expect out there. Seems like the internet is both a blessing and a curse, more of the latter in our case, in that it is so easy for anyone to find anything out about anyone.

        Just curious, is it suggested to basically take a don’t tell and hope they don’t find out method? I’ve tried the lay it out on the line (keeping it to a high level description) but to no avail. I have even tried doing that through Craigslist. So far I’ve only gotten a couple of people trying to get me into some sales (probably MLM) which I stink at.

        My skills are essentially as a statistician. I spent some time with surveys (both creating and analyzing), but more time building models (linear & logistic regression) for prediction, using SAS and Excel. A big obstacle is that I plan on staying in my state (OH) given that there is no way that I want any chance of having to go back onto that Nazi list, and moving to another state would almost guarantee that.

        Thanks again for all your insights, i really appreciate it.

        • C

          Honesty is not always the best policy. I’d not only go with don’t ask don’t tell, I’d expand that to if they ask, don’t tell unless you know you are on friendly turf.

          I agree, sales is tough, especially MLM. See if you can get some work through Elance. I’ve hired a few contractors for small projects through that site. Do you know anything about BI, particularly Cognos?

          Any chance of changing careers and working for a friend or relative?

          Best of luck!

    • Anonymous Nobody

      Redeemed, I think your question can be answered only as what does the law say about how far they can go back. And I don’t know of any law barring them from going back as many years as they want. If another state has a law limiting that, I don’t know. I don’t think these checks come under the federal 10-year limit on information on credit reports (8 years in California for negative information).

      These background-check companies have been around for many, many decades collecting up all the court records — some of them are now tapped right in to a direct computer link to the courts, with the files fed to them automatically. They are typically checking their own records, but some might alternately or in addition run other searches. At least some of them have huge databases of their own. If they have it, and there is no law about handing it out, then they will hand it out if someone wants to pay for it.

      I will note one very scary thing that happened about 15 years ago or so that no one noticed, except maybe me. The FBI is no longer keeping criminal records, it simply has an index listing of names. Thee FBI has outsourced maintenance of the full records. Outsourcing such to a private company is scary enough, but the FBI outsourced it to Western Goals, a fanatically right wing John Birch Society organization that has been involved in trying to collect up all police records for many decades and has been mixed up in illegal police spying in Los Angeles and who knows what else to collect up records all over the country — since way back when such records were legally considered to be private and for police and prosecutors only, they were working to undermine that. Do they also operate one of these background check operations? I don’t know, but they have everything now, and they will NEVER let it go, even if ordered by the government. Of all the places to give the FBI records. I’ve been aware of Western Goals since the 1970s. That is a very scary organization. I can’t see turning those records and record keeping over to Western Goals as anything but an ulterior motive.

      Now, as for who wants to go back how far, that would vary from company to company, but also by positions being applied for. The more sensitive a position, the more certain the background check. Bloomberg is one of the best, stating right on its application form that the only criminal convictions that need to be revealed are felonies of under five years old. (I don’t know if they make an exception for sex offenses!) Another company won’t care if your offense was misdemeanor indecent exposure from 1947 — but how much that company wants to pay to check back how far is up to it. I note, the state of California keeps records of sex offenders longer than any other offenders, even longer than murderers. California keeps the record of sex offenders until the offender turns at least 100 years old — because there are so many 95-year-old flashers, I guess (that age was changed in the 1990s, or was it the 1980s — prior to that, they kept the record to at least age 70). (I say at least, because they are not required to get rid of it at that age, they simply may if they want to.)

      Court records other than the index listing might disappear much sooner. I’m not sure what they might do with sex offender records, but many lesser court records are purged at the 10-year mark. But the Justice Department record remains, as does the prosecution record.

      And different employers will use different background check systems. I expect if you are applying for a license, or for any level of government job, they will make a direct check to the state Justice Department. A private employer will probably use a commercial service.

  10. Kevin

    This story is incredible…

    http://reason.com/blog/2015/09/02/teen-boy-will-be-charged-as-adult-for-ha

    If this prosecution is successful then masturbation during childhood can be considered child molestation and should likewise be prosecuted for EVERY individual who did it (the prosecutor included). However, even though it can be construed as an illegal activity, it is considered by most to be normal and healthy thing. Sexting, consensual sex between minors, etc. is not considered (at least by politicians and the justice system) to be normal or healthy. Thus, our government once again attempts to legislate morality upon us. When will a judge stand up for common sense?

    • The Anon

      Well, in that everyone should immediately be put on the registry, and upon birth that child should be put on the registry for future “crimes”.

  11. Just me

    Just a reminder to wear a tie when you go in for your mug shot..

  12. Double A

    Is anyone else tired of playing defense? I think it would be awesome if we all decided to go on the offense. It’s time we get all of our civil rights back and deter any politician from benefiting from the fear and ignorance of the public.

  13. Paul

    Just finished reading the 4th story this week regarding a teacher being arrested for sex offenses. That’s 4 individual teachers just this week alone!

    Meanwhile, not a single story regarding any registered citizens being arrested.

    But here we are, taking the heat for non-registered citizens committing crimes.

    • The Anon

      Here’s an interesting story on the subject. I’m not sure how old it is, but from 2001-2005 2,570 teachers were in some way punished for sexual misconduct. http://www.komonews.com/news/content/10690766.html

      Glad we have the registry to protect those children.

      • mch

        Anon,
        Thanks for that website about the number of teachers losing credentials for sexual misconduct. I like running numbers and doing comparisons of groups of professions.
        So I ran the numbers over that 5 yr period; 2,570 teachers arrested or lost credentials for sexual misconduct or 514/yr. Now according to nces.ed.gov website we had an average of 4,700,000 primary and secondary teachers in the US during that period. That works out to .010% of teachers committed sexual misconduct.
        Let’s compare to police misconduct now; The National Police Misconduct Statistics Report of 2010 states that our trusted police commit approximately 615 sex offenses per year, or about 1.1% of total sex offenses per year. Of those instances of reported police sexual misconduct, 52% of those are against minors, or about 319, or 6.4 per state. Take the 56,000 sex offenses times 1.1% and you’ll get 616 new sex offenses committed by law enforcement. These largely go unreported and unchecked. Let’s compare the groups by number now: 800,000 police and 800,000 RSO’s; police commit 616 sex offenses per year, RSO’s commit about 53. Police commit sex offenses at a rate 12 times higher than registered citizens. Which group is being watched more closely, has overbearing restrictions placed on them? This works out to about .77 sex offenses per 1,000 officers vs. 0.06 offenses per 1,000 RSO’s.
        Which of these three groups pose the greatest danger to our children? Teachers, police, or registered citizens.

  14. catch 22

    I am presently on parole I have been told that I can not personally look at myself on the Megan’s law website . What is the reason for this ? Everybody else can look at it but not me . How can they enforce this ? What is the penalty for looking ? Have they ever busted anybody over this ?

    • Bluewall

      In law no register citizen can look at themselves or others who are on Megan and Sojuo websites…
      There are many theories behind it.. but I think this one makes sense
      They don’t want register citizens to gather or meet each other (this is enforceable by parole/probation)

      • B

        The theory behind Megan’s Law is that the destruction of RSO’s privacy (a constitutional right) is necessary for public safety. If people know where the RSO lives, they can protect themselves. So what about equal protection under the law (another constitutional right)? If Megan’s Law is designed to protect people, why am I not afforded equal protection by being allowed to view the website?

  15. Agamemnon

    I’m currently on parole and living at a motel. I’m barely breaking even with work. Does anyone know of any places in the greater Los Angeles I can apply to live at? I can afford up to $1200/month.

    • C

      Is Craigslist down?

      • Agamemnon

        No, but a lot of listings don’t have specific addresses for me to cross-reference with nearby schools.

        Then there’s always the possibility of a listing being a scam/trap.

        The good news is my aunt’s now in the market for a new place as well, so we’re looking together.

  16. Justfortoday

    @ Catch 22

    Obviously, I think the registry is ridiculous, but I do have a personal experience I would like to share with you.

    I am a female offender on Parole (FYI…I get off Parole on Friday September 11th!!). I went to the Parole Office to check in and found one man waiting in the lobby.

    I am a friendly person and usually causally chat with whoever is there. He had just got out of prison. We discussed being on Parole and having an ankle monitor. I am also a recovering alcoholic and expressed my joy of being an AA member.

    Nothing more. Very general.

    I said goodbye when my Parole Agent was ready to see me. No harm, no foul.

    About a week later, I received a letter addressed to me with a man’s address and name at the top. (Why would you put your name and address?)

    I had no idea who he was. This man asked about my ankle monitor in the note and I immediately knew who it was.

    At first, I thought it was harmless. It honestly didn’t occur to be to be upset. Or sadly, think of how he got my name and address. Ugh!

    Then another letter came. I did not open it.

    I discussed this with my Parole Therapist. She said I needed to tell my Agent and that it was a violation of my privacy (among other things).

    Long story short…he saw my name on the sign in sheet at the Parole Office. He went to the Megan’s Law website to find where I lived (all information told to me by my Agent).

    Moral of the tale: I should have known better than to talk with someone fresh out of Prison. The “r” in cdcr does not exist. How could I have expected this man to have healthy boundaries and tools?

    Honestly, I wish him well. Parole is a trip!

    I know his Agent talked with him. That was it. No violation which I am grateful for.

    So…if that made sense. Weirdly, that might be a reason why.

    I remember being kind of upset that I could not attend the group therapy sessions. But my therapist said, as a woman, I would be a target and could become a victim.

    Now, I was also able to take away from this how uncomfortable it is to feel unsafe. This man had the control and did not ask my permission to write me or even to know my name.

    Through this experience, I was able to identify with my victim and learn to understand why I know and feel what I did was wrong, not just based on what the Penal Code said.

    I wish all Citizens and their families the best!

    • C

      This goes beyond tacky, extends into the realm of creepy and scary.

      I heard of a case a few years ago when an RSO was contacted through the mail by a non-ROS wanting to hook up and explore shared proclivities. The RSO went straight to the cops and the letter writer was arrested and, I believe, spent time in jail for his actions.

      If I got a letter from a parolee trying to cultivate some kind of relationship I’d go straight to the the authorities. This guy clearly has poor judgement.
      Every year at registration time my past come back to haunt me and I make no mention to my wife that I am going for my annual. Why burden her any more than necessary. I do not talk to anyone but the cops and that is it. My job is to protect my family in general, and from my past.

      I am sorry this happened to you. It underscores the danger we are all in by having our photos, names and addresses exposed like this, particularly women.

      Congratulations on completing parole and I wish you the best!

  17. commenter1

    Can any of you provide advice/personal experience on what it might take for me to find employment and a place to live somewhere in the SF Bay area? I’m a software engineer currently employed as a contractor in another state and would be looking for contract work in California as I think any background check would exclude me from working full-time for any companies. If you are a person with a technical degree I’m curious how difficult finding employment has been for you and if the statewide residence restriction has affected you in any way. Are the police departments in your area enforcing the “statewide” residence restriction in any way? Please share your experience. I would be looking to rent a 2 bedroom house or apartment in the SF Bay area. I am not on probation/parole but would definitely need to register in California after moving there.

    • C

      I can’t speak for the Bay Area, but as an RSO in IT I have had a heck of a job finding work here in LA after Megan’s Law web site went up and, after getting fired once, decided to go it alone and work for myself.

      Get yourself an elance.com account get as many project-based gigs as you can. I’d MUCH rather work for someone else and enjoy all the bennies, but when I lose the job I lose 100% of my income. When I lose a client (rare, thank God) I only lose a percentage.

      Best of luck!

  18. Janice Bellucci

    Senate Bill 448 is scheduled to be heard by the Public Safety Committee in the Assembly on Friday, September 11. It is important that we all make calls to that committee starting at 8:30 a.m. and continue doing so until the bill is heard. The phone number is 916-319-3744. Please call early and often!

  19. NPS

    News from the Bay Area: So those 3 officers out of Santa Clara County Jail are being charged with murder of an inmate and assault of another inmate. The latter is a registered citizen. He is in jail for what else? Missing his annual registration. And to think, this is what all registered citizens risk for not registering within the already tight time constraints.

    Someone mentioned moving out here for work. Don’t, I repeat DON’T move to Santa Clara county. Move to SF, San Mateo or Santa Cruz counties.

    http://www.mercurynews.com/crime-courts/ci_28795581/san-jose-jail-death-inmate-recounts-his-alleged

    • commenter1

      Where can I live in those counties? Are residency restrictions being enforced against those registrants not on probation/parole?

      • NPS

        Residency restrictions aren’t enforced in SF and San Mateo counties because it is so densely populated and only 500 square miles of which most is the Santa Cruz Mountains. Any city would be okay to live, but avoid Belmont. The registering officer is gung-ho and treats you like are still on probation. I only lasted two months there before deciding to move to my current location.

        Santa Clara county is vast with some rural areas. The city of Santa Clara supposedly has a Halloween ordinance; registrants are to stay indoors.

  20. commenter1

    There may soon be significant news coming from the U.S. Supreme Court. A case from North Carolina has been appealed and could be the case where the court needs to decide again whether sex offender registration is punitive:

    http://congress-courts-legislation.blogspot.com/2015/09/alert-former-sex-offenders-case-has.html

    • New Person

      To follow up on the North Carolina case, I found a case in California, People v Jerry Z, that was able to overturn his denial of removal from registration. It came via Ex Post Facto by way of 1203.4 relief. Certain sex offenses were amended to not be able to seek relief by Certificate of Rehabilitation (CoR). 1203.4 was also amended to reflect those offenses to not be eligible for 1203.4. Jerry was granted 1203.4, but later the CoR amended to exclude Jerry due to his offense. His case was remanded and granted immediate relief.

      Here’s a quote from that case that may be pertinent to the punitive portion:

      “Although not identified as punitive for other purposes (In re Alva (2004) 33 Cal.4th 254, 268 [§ 290 not punitive for Eighth Amendment purposes]), we think the state’s promise that appellant could be relieved of registration after ten crime-free years may nevertheless make the consequence of a broken promise a form of increased “punishment” for a given defendant. We cannot call the burdens of registration “insignificant,” nor can we attach such a label to the state’s purported promise that appellant could be relieved of these burdens if he conducted himself properly for ten years. ”

      I reiterate that Jerry Z won his appeal. Thus, making his case a credible source. If it is denoted in this situation that continued registration is a form of increased “punishment”, then registration is a punishment. Otherwise, Jerry Z would still have to register if it is not considered punishment.

      That makes 3 states that utilizes Ex Post Facto that reveal registration IS a punishment: Alaska, Oklahoma, and, now, California.

      What does Jerry Z’s win mean for us in California? Compile that with:
      * CDCR’s report that over 99% of registrants do not re-offend
      * the banishment from certain places are ruled unconstitutional
      * living restrictions deemed unconstitutional (for Parolees – hopefully for all)
      * internet identifier not passed (b/c it’s unconstitutional)

      How many more items must be identified as UNCONSTITUTIONAL under the registration banner for registration to be considered UNCONSTITUTIONAL? Can California be the first state to deem registration unconstitutional, especially since its own CDCR report 99% of its registrants it tracked did not re-offend?

      • New Person

        Follow up inquiry on PEOPLE V JERRY Z, is the following quote from his introduction in the appeal:

        “Appellant claims that as part of his plea bargain he was promised that if he successfully completed probation, and thereafter committed no additional offenses for a period of ten years, his statutory obligation for registration pursuant to Penal Code section 290 would be terminated, he would be allowed to withdraw his plea and have the charges dismissed under section 1203.4, to obtain a certificate of rehabilitation under section 4852.01 et seq., and be relieved pursuant to section 290.5 of his sex offender registration requirements. ”

        Does that set a precedent for registration relief? Does fulfilling the statutory obligation by not committing additional offenses become the necessary standard for registration relief? I know letters of recommendation are wanted, but in reading a CoR from CARSOL, one commenter said a judge wants, “Facts, facts, facts.”

        So
        I) Received 1203.4 (successfully completes probation – is an award denoting rehabilitation), that dismisses the case.
        II) No additional offenses in a 10 year period before application for CoR.

        If you can get the offense to be a misdemeanor, then that’s another feather in facts.

        Those are relevant facts, not opinions or recommendations.

        Or am I missing something here for CoR, to which Jerry Z was awarded? Thanks in advance for any response.

        • Anonymous Nobody

          New Guy, you are showing intelligence and reason, good judgement; unfortunately, as I have to keep reminding people here, that has no relationship to the system in which we are dealing, the system cares nothing for that.

          You are right about 1203.4 relief supposed to mean you have shown rehabilitation. In fact, it once was sometimes referred to as “statutory rehabilitation.” It even explicitly says your conviction is set aside and you enter a not guilty plea and the case is dismissed — but now the courts say that it does not eliminate the conviction regardless of it saying it does.

          But the courts have proven in ruling after ruling after ruling in the past couple decades that they have no interest in truth, in reasonableness, in fact, in anything honest at all. As I keep pointing out, if any of that gets in the way of what the courts want – regardless of the law or good conscience — they will simply rule that red is blue. They hold the power of interpretation, of making the definitions. If they rule that up is down, then so it is. And they have done that over and over and over again when faced with common sense facts and arguments regarding sex offenders.

          Now, when you take this to applying for a COR, you have to consider that a COR has zero standards you can meet to entitle you to it. Further, a COR simply has a collateral consequence that certain lower level registrants can then stop registering. In reality, a COR is an application for a pardon. And the courts consider a COR on the basis of the standards for obtaining a pardon. Those standards are high – and they are not stated anywhere for you to even know what they are so you can address them. They are just a vague idea.

          This means the court can deny your application for a COR for any reason at all — no facts needed. And that is exactly how the courts have been handling them, few people actually get a COR, that is a rarity not a routine. Sure, you can build the strongest case you can, but that still does not mean you will get a COR.

      • Anonymous Nobody

        Good find — except I believe it is outdated. You did not say when that ruling came down. But it flies in the face of the state high court ruling in Doe v. Harris a year or year and a half ago. In that ruling, the high court said that defendants have no claim to the state of the law under which they plead out in a plea bargain. That is, if the law is changed later, as you are citing for the COR, they don’t get the benefits lost in that change, they are subject to the law as it stands now.

        This affected people who had gotten 1203.4 relief, which once was the standard to be relieved of the registration requirement.

        • New Person

          People v Jerry Z was decided in 2011. Doe v Harris was 2013.

          The only thing I can find online line was this:

          Review in the following case was dismissed in light of Doe v. Harris (2013) 57 Cal.4th
          64:
          #12-28 People v. Jerry Z., S199289.

          I have no idea what exactly that means. But I also picked this up online as well:


          #12-28 People v. Jerry Z., S199289. (A127878; 201 Cal.App.4th 296; Contra Costa
          County Superior Court; 9706326.) Petition for review after the Court of Appeal reversed
          the denial of post-judgment relief from a conviction of a criminal offense. The court
          ordered briefing deferred pending decision in Doe v. Harris, S191948 (#11-68), which
          3
          presents the following issue: Under California law of contract interpretation as applicable to
          the interpretation of plea agreements, does the law in effect at the time of a plea agreement
          bind the parties or can the terms of a plea agreement be affected by changes in the law?

          So if this is true that Doe v Harris holds, then retroactive punishment can be applied, BUT the court’s decision to award Jerry Z the CoR with two requirements, get a 1203.4 and remain crime free for a decade, still stands. That specific judgment should remain applicable.

          Granted, how it got there is now deemed invalid, but it doesn’t remove the rubric for the CoR with the two requirements as precedent.

          In short, if you qualify for the CoR now and in the near future, better do it soon before the laws change once again. People v Jerry Z still sets a precedent on acquiring a CoR.

    • commenter1

      Here’s an update on the case:

      http://www.supremecourt.gov/search.aspx?filename=/docketfiles/15-57.htm

      The court filed an order extending the time to file a response to the petition from October 9 to November 9.

      Here’s more on the case:
      http://www.leagle.com/decision/In%20NCCO%2020150106543/IN%20RE%20HALL

  21. NPS

    Lake County,

    I’ve been reading a lot about the fires out there. I hope you’re okay. Prayers to you and yours.

    • Lake County

      Yes the fires have been awful here. Most of 2 towns burned. My neighborhood is good, so we are all supporting the local shelter. This is the second big fire in 2 months, we are running out of things to burn (almost, as my area of Lake county has not had a large burn). 1 dead, 4 injured, many animals killed.

      • Timmr

        And here in the usually sunny south, we just had 2″ of rain fall yesterday, right in the middle of our normal fire season. The world is doing a flip flop and by unanimous vote of our California Senate, the most urgent thing to get passed is another law that takes away the rights of registered citizens, SB448. Luckily there was a Quirk in the system that kept that from happening (sorry, no disrespect, but I couldn’t resist).
        My thoughts go out to you there. I remember living through the infernos here in 2007. They were frightening events in the apocalyptic sense, but the silver lining is they bring people together to help each other. Just a theory and a paradox, but maybe we are hard wired to respond to the violence of nature with cooperation; without it, and the safer we make the world, and arguably we are the safest humans in history, the more we start to look for the danger in each other.

        • Lake County

          Yes, the silver lining was that they bring people together to help each other. But it also showed the in-fighting amongst different public and private non-profit shelter groups that were competing for publicity and cash donations. Whenever there are victims, someone sees it as a way for profit or publicity. Which includes groups like the Red-Cross, Walmart, Moose, Elks and other fraternal lodges. After 1 or 2 weeks, those groups are overwhelmed by the need and then they quickly disappear. Our local Moose Lodge had to reduce the shelter areas to make room for the mountains of unneeded donations (especially clothing). Remember this, the first 48 hrs after a disaster, survival supplies are needed. After that, the big corporate trucks and government agencies start coming in (to also save the day) with more than enough stuff and so then direct cash or shelter is the best way to help the people.

          It’s funny though that this County has no homeless shelter to help house the poor even on days of severe weather. I’m sure the homeless here thought they won the lottery with all the outpouring of food, clothing and shelter they received during this fire disaster.

        • Timmr

          Yes, sounds similar to what happened hear in 2007. There was a Tide truck set up so people could wash their clothes because the water system was down,and Walmart was handing out truck loads of bottled water.
          Yet, we have no local homeless shelters in the area, or any transport if you don’t have a car, so, if you didn’t have a car, you had to run. Many of the homeless live in the creek areas that were in the path of the fires, yet luckily it did not get that far. There were organizations to help evacuate the large animals, though. Nehhh.

  22. Commenter1

    I’m an out-of-state lifetime registered citizen looking to move to California but I’m concerned about being able to find a job and rent an apartment. I’m working closely with an agency that may be able to place me in a contract position that won’t require a background check but I’m concerned about finding an apartment to rent. I was arrested/charged in 2008, convicted in 2010 and served 2 years probation – no jail time. Does the California law on background checks mean that my conviction won’t show up on a commercial background check after 2017 or after 2019?

  23. C

    I am curious who the RSO community likes in the 2016 Presidential race? I tend to be more conservative, but voted for Obama only with the hope that he might appoint more liberal-minded SCOTUS justices and other federal appointees to the bench.

    The thought of Shrill Hill in the White House makes me shudder and, as I am a small business owner, the idea of socialist Bernie Sanders does not thrill me either, but I feel we stand a better chance with a more liberal president appointing judges.

    Ginsberg, Alito and Kennedy are getting a bit long in the tooth and might just be stepping down during the next president’s term.

    Thoughts?

    • D

      Myself being more of a conservative libertarian, I would like to see Rand Paul. He is pretty good with with limiting government and is in favor of criminal justice reform.

    • Eric Knight

      Interesting question. To be blunt, the federal level politicos can’t really do much more damage than they have already unleashed with Smith v. Doe and the AWA, which is largely ignored by many states. That said, the president would have the bully pulpit, as well as being able to assign new justices.

      Basically, it will come down to either Hillary Clinton or the GOP nominee. Unless Hillary steps down, she will be the Democrat nominee despite her email problems. The GOP is another matter. I’m looking at Ted Cruz to win unless Trump can keep everyone bamboozled with his tomfoolery campaign. (Note: We can argue Bush, Walker, Fiorina, etc., but for now, let’s just go with Cruz.)

      Basically, the MAIN factor the new president will have with regard to sex offender litigation will be in his/her assignment of the district-level federal judges, of whom may potentially be involved in important sex offender cases such as residency restrictions, registration periods, and even the constitutionality of the registry itself, all based upon real recidivism rates, coupled with the documented punitive actions enforced in defiance of the assents, as well as confirmation of the dissents, of Smith v. Doe.

      For the Supreme Court, the assumption is that Clinton or any democrat will nominate the most progressive judge possible, while the GOP candidate will nominate may nominate a conservative judge, but may also nominate someone not so far right. While instintively we want more liberal justices, the problem lies in the fact that sex offender cases supercede the normal liberal/conservative law and order paradigm.

      In my opinion, it would be far better to assign a constitutional purist than a constitutional “creative intrepreter” who makes law on his or her own.

      But let’s be very clear: We will NOT see a case go to the Supreme Court that may have a chance at overturning Smith v. Doe while John Roberts is the Chief Justice, UNLESS the tide has turned in our favor to tidal wave proportions. He ain’t gong anywhere for awhile, and will serve at least 20, if not 30, more years. As Chief Justice he has the greatest amount of say in which cases are taken, and to be blunt, his performance during Smith v. Doe caught the eye of Karl Rove, George W. Bush’s key advisor, and essentially fasttracked Roberts from litigator to DC District Court judge, then when then-Chief Justice courteously died, Bush was able to nominate Roberts. There were other factors, but Roberts’ performance was the catalyst that alerted Bush to him in the first place.

      Sorry for the digression. But back to the federal district courts: THIS is where a president would have the most impact on sex offender laws. Even then, though we have a semblance of a chance. Keep in mind that the unanimous Prop 35 decision was decided by two conservative judges along with a liberal judge, so any case PROPERLY litigated would be very noticable for a judge to rule against.

      Hope that answers your question. I’d like to see more discussion on this if possible.

  24. Eric Knight

    A (presumably) financially-secure registrant in Florida is suing Orlando over their residency restriction law.

    http://www.wftv.com/news/news/local/2-sex-offenders-living-near-lake-nona-park-move-af/nngqW/

    While this has nothing to do with California directly, I would submit that we contact the attorney handling the case and offer support; more importantly, make sure that the strategies he uses is based upon sound low-recidivism statistics and other constitutional violations. It is very important for this case to be properly and vigorously litigated with the BEST evidence possible, and no matter the outcome, we need to ensure that the State defend their law despite overwhelming evidence that their laws do not provide for the safety they claim residency restrictions provide for.

  25. anonymously

    C asked “Thoughts?”

    On the Presidential race, I would be happy with Sanders or Lessig, but I think if HIllary stays in the race, she will win. On the Republican side, I would especially hate to see Jeb or Rubio because they are from Florida. I would hate to see Walker, Pataki, or Kasich as I think the first two had articles posted at this website about how harsh they were on registrants. Kasich’s state of Ohio is an AWA state. He’s out when it comes to my vote. Christie, on the other hand, drew the wrath and criticism of Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly for not implementing Jessica’s Law a few years back and for that, Christie earns points with me. Jindal is also not a possibility to get my vote if he gets the Republican nomination since he was especially harsh on registrants as well as being an idiot in general when he was Governor of Louisiana.

    • Harry

      I will lean toward Carson. 1) He is not Politian. 2) He is not crowd chaser. 3) He has the soundness of mind of the bunch. 4) His rags to superior accomplishments provides him with open mind and heart. 5) So far, he appears to me, he embraces the role modeling of Christ, which is, much different from the religiously water down political Christianity that most of the churches, operate under, whom are motivating Trump. Bush, Cruz, Jindal, and host of others to hate RCs. Hillary is a real crook and hates men and Sanders is a dictator.

  26. Gerald

    Comcast reached a $33 million settlement over claims that it published names, addresses and phone numbers for 75,000 VoIP customers who wanted their information kept private. The company will pay customers $100 and refund fees customers paid for the service. Thousands of law enforcement officers, judges, and crime victims said the breach placed them in danger.

    Welcome to the world of vulnerability thanks to irresponsible Internet exposure where all kinds of scary possibilities exist.

  27. NPS

    I just had my annual registration today. The officer was incredibly nice/polite and non-judgmental. He did say, that it was unfair that I have to register considering my case and even encouraged me to try for a CoR. I know there are some horror stories out there with registering officers, but there are some (I’m guessing in smaller cities) that are respectful of all human beings. I only wish there were more of them.

  28. David

    After more than a quarter-century of “registering” I can tell you that they run the gamut.

    Mostly, these days, they are modestly polite but subtly hostile. In the old days they were often snarly and openly contemptuous.

    I think that they now encounter so many people, so obviously broken by their reduced social status, that they are less likely to see it as their personal mission to increase registrant’s misery.

    But that doesn’t mean that they actually care.

  29. Lake County

    Lake County, NorCal Valley Fire. In order for anyone to get screened to be able to return to their homes. What’s a registered citizen supposed to do to be allowed into their homes, when the screening center for entry is at a high school?

    “Brooks said residents should be prepared to present photo identification and/or documentation that will prove residency in the Middletown area within the repopulation boundary.

    Screening locations are as follows:

    – Entering Middletown from Lower Lake: Meet in the main parking lot of the Lower Lake High School.”

    **From there they will probably escort registered citizens strait to the jail. Would not surprise me.**

    • NPS

      What a terrible conundrum. Are the police going to be there or is it strictly volunteers helping out? I believe in the don’t ask, don’t tell policy. Just show the ID that proves you live there. According to Homefacts, there are over 200 registered citizens in Lake County. Are the police really going to arrest that many people simply because they want to go home?

  30. anonymously

    J asked “(BTW – why does Pete Townsend get to perform here if we can’t vacation over there? I’d like to know that answer in a different thread!)”

    Because he was taken at his word by British law enforcement that he accidentally stumbled on those images while doing research and was not convicted, he would have no such punishment. Since Townshend is not a hypocrite like John Walsh who punishs all registrants for the death of his son, when the person responsible was not a registrant and Walsh himself admittedly committed sex crimes that non-Florida AWA states would have him register for, I think Townshend should be taken at his word and left alone already.

  31. patience

    My brother was convicted of armed robbery and only my father spending a bunch kept him out ofive prison and in County jail for 8 months. He then bought the heroine that my stepmother o.d.ed on (father doesn’t know). Now his record is expunged and he makes 80000 as a Hewlett Packard airplane mechanic. But the family thinks I’m the criminal for looking at 40 pics. I’m still wrong, but come on, even families screw us.

  32. D

    So I had my yearly Price Club membership meeting today, and theyou had a next of kin listed as my father with his address. I never stay overnight there, so I’m wondering why they would need his name and address? I plan on asking my probation office tomorrow. It’s not the biggest deal since I don’t show up on the Web, bit I still don’t want his address listed at all. Any thoughts?

  33. Guest

    I have been seeing a lot of advertisements for a new show called “The Grinder” starring Rob Lowe.

    Not wanting to rain on his parade but seriously wondering whatever happened to his sex tape

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rob_Lowe#Sex_tape

    when there are people like

    http://lawreview.usc.edu/wp-content/uploads/Smith-Final-PDF.pdf

    spending 15 years in Federal Prison and life on the RSO list for exactly the same thing.

    Just wondering.

  34. patience

    I have no money left. I can’t find a job. Even the dump won’t hire me for 8.40 /hr. I have little food left. The shelters won’t let me in. I wish I had a chance but I guess god doesn’t feel I’m worth it. My family in Thailand is going to miss me. I tried suicide once, but was found. I think I can do it this time. Thank you all for giving me hope, but it’s over. I’m tired crying and hoping. I’m just tired of not having a chance. I am so sorry to my family.

    • Jojo

      Truly God constantly thinks you are more than “worth it” and everyone else here does too! Perhaps the Salvation Army and other organizations will give you food.

    • Timmr

      I have a spare room until my son comes home for Thanksgiving.

  35. Robert Curtis

    We need to attack this election year like no other. Let get involved in the process at our city county and state level …find out who your representatives are and engage engage engage! Write them text them email them and go to their city counsel meetings and their public events.

  36. Tim E

    @Patience

    I know how you feel. To such a large degree. If you are there let me tell you about me.
    I am homeless, I live in the ‘overflow’ of a homeless center. On the campus,because Registered Citizens Can’t stay in the homeless center itself allegedly because we would rape the women that stay there,but the campus grounds that we can stay in, have lots of women who stay there too. Yeah that kind of logic. I have no money, I have no job or income, its this or the streets. I somehow managed to get into a housing program that this center was affiliated with, I scored 33 out of 34 maximum points to thier criteria, I don’t know how that happened. I barely slipped by, I have told them my legal history, they are aware.
    They will pay deposit,application fee,utilities,rent and any other financial concern for 3 months, then nothing. I have to have a job by then, I have talked or contacted over 100 apartment leasers and have been denied. To save time with applications, I basically call and ask a few questions including the big one “will you rent to…”. Maybe I souldn’t do that but maybe I should, any advice anyone?
    I am on a clock with this opportunity and it is ticking down. I spend time looking for an apartment as opposed to a job because that is all the time i have for is one. And I figure I will get a job after I get stable housing.
    Butt….its not looking to good.
    But I am not suicidal either.
    I was a few months ago, I checked into a mental hospital for two weeks, and got help. I was connected to a clinic that has signed me up for 5 different other housing programs. That have thier own apartments and they know my background too, I won’t be denied housing through them from what i have been told and I have as much as 3 weeks left to wait on one before it can transition me.
    So I have a plan B(and C,D,E…) as it were.
    I have been told they(the clinic) can and will get me into VocRehab program next month and if you know anything about them they are stellar connecting people to employment and paying for education among other things. So I have hope.
    Patience what I am trying to say is maybe you should seek psych help,try checking yourself into a hospital or becoming a client to a behaviour health association clinic, tell them you feel suicidal and why. Think outside the box for help. And you will find it in strange places. I wish you well. Hope this helps.

  37. patience

    Thank you to all of you for your concern, but all this won’t be enough to get me to my family. they have been thinking of moving to Philippines to help a relative. I just want to be with them and know that might never be possible. homeless and jobless and looking for places to sleep is beyond me, no offense. Just the court ordered therapy sessions put me on the edge. I am being set up to fail and I can’t handle that. I’ve lost 30 lbs since this started. I go running in hot weather without fluids just to hope I drop. I got into a motorcycle accident on the highway and the car behind me somehow missed me, the dumb luck. I just want the pain to stop. My family overseas can’t believe I’m being treated like this. Many of you know what I mean. It’s all just too much. All those years of compassion in service toward the aged,miltary service to my country, love for my fellow man, an loss of my wife. For what. some one tell me why. Thank you Janet for calling. I’m sorry we couldn’t conect.

    • wonderin

      “I wish I had a chance but I guess god doesn’t feel I’m worth it.”
      God helps those who help themselves.

    • Timmr

      Life isn’t fair, that is why those have benefited from luck, who realize that life does not deal out luck fairly, even out the score by sharing their luck with those who have none.

    • curiouser

      Do. Not. Let. Them. Win.
      We fight. It’s what we do.
      One person lost diminishes us all.

  38. patience

    Would someone be able to tell me how many interviews they do a week? I’m still trying.
    e-verify calls us all monsters and dangerous. I don’t think I’m like that at all.

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