ACSOL’s Conference Calls

Conference Call Recordings Online
Dial-in number: 1-712-770-8055, Conference Code: 983459

Monthly Meetings: Nov 21, Dec 19 – Details / Recordings

Emotional Support Group Meetings 2020 (Phone only)

General News

IML Lawsuit Media Articles (updated 2/19)

Added 2/19

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/02/19/21st-century-public-shaming/

http://www.downtownexpress.com/2016/02/18/dont-brand-sex-offenders-passports/

http://www.sfweekly.com/sanfrancisco/news-sex-offenders-megans-law-obama/Content?oid=4486073

Added 2/12

https://nonprofitquarterly.org/2016/02/12/civil-rights-group-files-lawsuit-questioning-constitutionality-of-international-megans-law/

http://kron4.com/2016/02/10/sex-offenders-to-be-identified-federal-passports-law/

Added 2/11

https://pcjc.blogs.law.pace.edu/2016/02/11/international-megans-law-h-r-515-necessary-constitutional/

http://wemeantwell.com/blog/2016/02/11/u-s-passports-of-sex-offenders-to-be-marked/

http://nationalrsol.org/blog/2016/02/09/first-lawsuit-challenging-intl-megans-law-filed-in-ca-federal-court/

2-10-16: International Megan’s Law Conference Call (National RSOL)

https://www.ice.gov/news/releases/ice-authorized-create-angel-watch-center-expand-child-protection-efforts-following

Added 2/10

http://reason.com/blog/2016/02/10/lawsuit-says-scarlet-letter-passports-fo

http://www.courthousenews.com/CNSNEWS/Story/Index/86768

http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2016/02/09/civil-rights-group-opposes-law-identifying-sex-offenders-on-passports/

http://www.newsweek.com/civil-rights-group-sex-offender-passports-marking-state-department-424754

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-sex-offender-passport-20160209-story.html

http://fox40.com/2016/02/09/sex-offenders-challenge-new-federal-passports-law/

http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2016/02/obama_signs_international_megans_law.html

Join the discussion

  1. ma.concerned.citizen

    Not really sure of the steps it would take, but if this lawsuit is successful, could it be used as leverage to prove that the registry is unconstitutional and a form of additional punishment? Just curious…

    • Jason

      It depends on the nature of the ruling.

      First, the ruling would have to be based upon the idea that the passport mark is punishment. (lawsuit makes multiple arguments, and it depends which argument(s) win) If for example, the argument that wins it for us is a violation of free speech, then no, we couldn’t use this ruling to help using the punishment argument.

      Further, if a district court decides in our favor, and the government does not appeal, then the decision would carry less weight than if it were decided at the appellate level. Of course, a Supreme Court ruling would carry even more weight.

      So to summarize, the best case scenario would be for this to get appealed up to the Supreme Court, and then to prevail on the Ex Post Facto argument.

      • Timmmy

        The term “ex post facto” need to be brought to the court again. Nowhere does tit say it is only for criminal offenses.

        • Timmr

          “An ex post facto law is a law passed after the occurrence of an event or action which retrospectively changes the legal consequences of the event or action.” I just copied that out of the ‘Lectric Law Library, but similar phrases occurred in the search results. The Constitution in two places says no ex post facto law, not no ex post facto punishment only. I would say that having an identifier required on your passport is a consequence, even if they can somehow say it is not a punishment.

        • Jason

          Under the letter of the law and philosophically, you guys are absolutely correct.

          But remember, this is a country that has a constitutional protection against cruel and usual punishment, and we execute mentally ill people, and send people to prison for decades for drugs.

          Slavery was fully legal for almost a hundred years under this Constitution. And women haven’t had the right to vote for more than of the country’s existence.

          We execute criminals (including US citizens) using drones with no due process. We torture prisons directly and indirectly by sending them to “black sites” in 3rd countries.

          We have the 4th amendment that says “no search without a warrant” and yet we have a program to spy on all Americans.

          I agree 100% to bring up ex post facto, but just because something is unconstitutional, doesn’t necessarily mean jack shit in the US. The Supreme Court is divided, which means we have a chance, so definitely need to take a shot.

        • Timmr

          Well if they don’t see this as violating the Constitution, then I hope it goes to the United Nations. If they don’t see it as violating civil rights, then I think the best thing is to pool all our resources and buy a remote island in the arctic. But we have to do it before the ice melts anymore and the speculators raise the prices.

  2. Harry

    This law suit challenging just the indemnifier or the whole law? How about the previous activities of the USMS and these pre-alerts. This needs to be challenge, as well?

    • Timmmy

      it only affects what has been brought up before the court, however it could affect the previous actions as there is not even a law permitting them to perform such actions.

  3. James

    What I find curiously under reported or emphasized is the fact (?) that this hellish piece of legislation passed on the House Floor with approximately 5 voice votes…out of 435 possible.

    This was reported here by people that actually watched the proceedings on c-span…and I was just astonished that this was possible; even under a Suspension of Rules.

    If this is true, and I am posting this at least in part for confirmation of what I remember, then the whole passage part seems a farce…and un-American.

    If Congress wants to so callously brand me, the least they can do is have a real vote. Maybe a voice vote…but five only?

    This just seems wrong.

    Best Wishes, James

  4. Timmmy

    If the suit is successful, how about a suit against every member of congress who voted “yea” and against Obama for violating their oath of office?

    • Friend of RSOL

      I read this and it is fantastic. Thank you, Janice!

      • James

        This wonderfully well written and well reasoned Complaint by Ms. Bellucci should be mandatory reading for everyone.

        Great Stuff!!!!

        I might further note that this is exactly why people need attorney’s. We are all too emotionally involved, with too much at stake and…just too angry, to rationally approach this subject as it should be.

        Kudos to Janice, she is carrying all of us on her back because, honestly, we are incapable of it.

        Thanks to Janice and her very capable staff! (new contribution on the way)

        Best Wishes, James

        • David Kennerly

          A big YES and NO.

          Yes: “…this is exactly why people need attorney’s.” Absolutely correct in that we need attorneys with a strong sense of purpose, rationally directed.

          Somewhat correct: “We are all too emotionally involved, with too much at stake and…just too angry, to rationally approach this subject as it should be.”

          For many of us, our anger is directed towards (mostly) productive goals.

          But NO: “she is carrying all of us on her back because, honestly, we are incapable of it.”

          Janice is doing a fantastic amount of work, there’s no doubt about it, and with great success but she can only do it with the help of many of us who, angry and ineffective though we sometimes may be, are a force to be reckoned with when we put our heads together and focus upon the challenges before us.

          This is absolutely teamwork that can only happen with the combined efforts of many different players.

          We are seeing this, rather dramatically, with our current efforts to destroy IML. It’s very impressive and something I have never before seen, to this extent, in our sphere of Registrant civil liberties.

          We should all be very encouraged by what we have done and what is clearly possible.

        • James

          David, I often find that my anger turns into fear and is thereby crippling….I want to craw and hide away in a dark closet.

          If you are better at this than I, God be with you; at least one of us can remain sane….;>}}}

          Still, if goals are to be reached…some actual rational political influence over our own lives…

          I think that it need be recognized that many of us, I venture to say most of us, are more(ish) like me than brave like you.

          I also think that you and maybe Janice and Cash also, need to understand the visceral, stomach churning like tendency to go to ground on this stuff.

          You can’t lead us if we are not there.

          Best Wishes, James

        • Timmr

          I don’t think you will reach that potential until everyone that wants to be included is included in some way. Nor should anybody ignore the power of anger and think that reason is going to cancel it out. Anger is a powerful force, like a flash flood. Resentment is the water accumulating behind a damn. It doesn’t just go away if you ignore it. It will go to be used by someone else, who knows how to use it. But if that anger is not channeled one way, it finds another path. For example, looks like Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump know how to tap into that stream. By downplaying that real anger stemming from the division of the classes, Hillary is turning the stream against her. There are angers that large groups of people don’t even realize they have, trapped behind a damn, suppressed, until a charismatic leader like a Hitler or a Ghandi or an event like a person standing in front of a tank or someone that is so fed up, they set themselves on fire, and the damn bursts. That is spontaneous organization and will destroy the structures that have held the anger back.

    • steve

      Wow!!! The listing’s of of the registrants who have been killed or injured gave me the chills. Very powerful and so well written.

    • David

      I just read through this, and I just want to say for so long I felt so so alone and that to get out of where I am one day I would have to convey to someone in my own words all the things I felt that have been captured here: artfully done, beautifully constructed, articulate, to the point and well supported.

      There’s not enough anyone could pay for–the injustice and suffering this would relieve is incalculable!

      Thank you from the bottom of my heart

  5. David

    Thank you, Janice, for filing this lawsuit! I hope you crush this unconstitutional law with every single argument!!

  6. webstuff56

    hi i was on the call last night, And I believe someone indicated they would be posting a list of countries that were on this I guess it’s called angle watch list.

    I’m trying to figure out how I can meet my fiance: some where she and i can both travel to to comply with at least that part of immigration law! then on to the AWA crap!!!

    Anyone know of a good immigration attorney who works with AWA would also be appreciated too.

    Thank you and may God bless us all!

    • AWA referral

      Evita Tolu

      Allan Lolly

      Both can be found easily via Google

    • Concerned Citizen

      If your fiane is from the Philippines perhaps you could consider Israel as a meetup location. It is one of the few countries that Filipinos don’t need a visa in advance to visit.

  7. Q

    Seems to be the case with most of the sex offender laws.

    “The IML provides no empirical evidence in any form, including facts,
    statistics, reports, or analyses, to justify the significant punitive burden imposed on
    Covered Individuals by this law, as summarized herein.”

    And do we really need a new law when there are already laws that more than adequately address any concerns anyone could have?

    b. “Congress has already provided the Department authority to deny
    passports to individuals convicted of the crime of sex tourism involving
    minors and who used their passports or passport card or otherwise
    crossed an international border in committing an offense.”

    This law in it’s entirety completely disregards the safety of the children and every other family member, friend, business associate, etc of the registrant and ex registrant. It seems clear to me that this is either the worst slop job of legislation in recorded history or the government doesn’t really give a damn about child exploitation; more than likely it’s allot of both.

  8. steve

    Could it be Chris Smith is our saviour? How hilarious would it be if this asinine law is the start of serious questions into SOR registration laws everywhere. Could IML expose all of this? I have long thought the harsher these laws became the eventual downfall would follow.
    In another thought, from another thread, someone should be doing a documentary on JANICE. Following her battles fighting an injustice for a perceived despised segment of society. Makes a great story. I’ll edit it if someone shoots it.

    • Harry

      Steve, I have worked in a automotive shop. Everyone want make sure that nut ‘good and tight’, however, the nut do get over-tighten and when it does it breaks the bolt and it completely loose it hold and it is worthless. These SO laws are the point of being too tight and they have lost it’s effectiveness and is worthless.

    • Friend of RSOL

      Documentary on Janice: What an incredible idea and perfect angle. Fantastic story line. We could start a Kickstarter campaign. I, for one, would help fund this. I think that if it were done well, we could submit it to film festivals or TV programs or somewhere. A relative is a producer, although I would not want to reveal my situation. LOTS of potential in this. Best idea ever. Should be required viewing for law schools and universities and people interested in civil rights. Let’s try to make this a reality. We need a good filmmaker.

      • steve

        Friend,

        I also have the same position as your friend. Ask Janice for my email. Everything you mentioned is exactly what I’m thinking.
        This lawsuit going on needs to be part of it. In fact, should be built around it so we need to start now.
        Maybe I found found my purpose in all of this.

        • Friend of RSOL

          I will, Steve, thank you.

          Do you know any filmmakers?

          Anybody on this website a filmmaker or know a filmmaker?

        • steve

          I google searched companies looking for doc ideas and a few came up start there.

        • Timmr

          How about the guy at Sundance?

        • Rob

          Look up http://www.joeberlingerfilms.com He was my best friend growing up and is an award winning filmaker. He would be very interested in this. He is filming in Europe now, but when he comes back, I will see him and talk to him about this.

        • Friend of RSOL

          Info about Sundance film on RSOs (2015 Festival):
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pervert_Park

        • Friend of RSOL

          Great ideas –

          I will look into it. I am also asking around among friends. If this works, I might even be able to raise funds among people out in the community with good jobs. Not sure, though, but it’s worth a try.

          This is a way we can work together on several fronts.

          I will try to see if I can contact the filmmakers from Sundance as well. Any other ideas/connections are welcome, as are sources of funding.

  9. Mike

    I am no lawyer, but I sure like the points made in the suit. To me it seems like any reasonable, non biased jurist would look over at the state’s attorney and remark that the law, “does not pass the smell test.” I hope that we can attack the registry itself.
    I know that when I returned to the USA for medical treatment and after the treatment, when I flew back into Mexico, I was met at the airport and returned leaving probably $16,000 or $17000 worth of property in Mexico, lost with no due process or prior notification. I have been contributing and will contribute specifically for this suit.

    • Jason

      Dude… that’s sucks. What kind of visa were you living in Mexico with? Just a tourist card or something more?

      And to anyone in Mexico considering flying back to the US for medical reasons… if you have to fly out for treatment, go to Europe. I assume there’s no Angel Watch notification if you are legally living in another country and fly to another non-US country. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

  10. rs

    It seems like the passing of the bill and the subsequent signing of the bill by the president was literally a non-story in the media. But the second someone stands up for our community, it all of a sudden starts to appear in the papers and evening news. How heart breaking it is to have the governments crime against our very humanity be completely overlooked by the media and the people who follow the news. I actually think that besides those of us on this forum and the lawmakers that passed this atrocity that not a single soul has heard anything about this. I actually believe that we are coming to a point in society where far more people than before are realizing that A. the registry is not effective and B. that a violation in our Constitutional protection today is just a stepping stone to violating a new class tomorrow. I wish I was just being paranoid when I lose sleep wondering what else they will come up with to continue to punish us. But the reality is that as long as we remain an unpopular cause to support on a political level, we will continue to pay for our indiscretions. People like Janice are not only a blessing but an actual miracle for registered citizens. I cant imagine how often she has to explain herself when asked why on earth she would dedicate this much effort to help what society has been fooled to believe are a bunch or rapists and murderers. I read so many of your guys’ comments and I’ve posted a few of my own. If the average person were to read how much pain there is in our words, many would realize that people are just people and we make mistakes. I personally don’t care what anyone here has done to end up in this position. However, my thought has always been that if you are at home and on a computer and on this website, than you certainly have paid your debt to society and should be allowed to live as such. I highly doubt that any of us are contributing to this site from a jail cell. I truly believe that if our community were given a chance to rejoin society and escape the second class status we’ve been assigned, we would prove so many doubters wrong. There are so many men in this room that are husbands, fathers, sons, brothers and friends that are dying to contribute to society from the bottom of their hearts but are forced to remain in the shadows wishing life was different. I hope that all of us and our families and friends stay strong and keep fighting for each other. I truly have not given up on society’s ability to understand that the registry is a money making machine utilized the very politicians we choose to represent us. One day soon we will be talking about this website in the same context as issues like same sex and biracial marriage. It wasn’t that long ago that our white fathers weren’t allowed to marry our black mothers and it was only a year ago that a woman had to love her wife in secret. We’ll have our day in the light.

  11. Terry

    Bravo Janice,
    Very well done indeed, and very thorough.
    I got turned back in Colombia, which should be on a compiled list of countries that won’t permit entry. GB, Australia, Mexico, Philippines, etc.
    Another issue…medical needs. Cost of care in the US is, for many of us with certain conditions, prohibitively expensive. This is one of the reasons I wanted to go to Colombia, or one of many other countries with great health care at 1/5th the cost. I apparently cannot. So my knee work must wait. Obamacare will pay, but my insurer, Ambetter, will not reimburse anesthesia, so I could have it done but I’d have to be awake and bite a stick, I guess! So, this can be added to the long list of punishments and restraints.
    In any case…thank you Janice.

  12. Robert

    I will be a major contributer to the defense fund when I get back home. Cause if this identifier is put on my passport i will never be able to see my wife or children again. They cannot come to the US because of the AWA. But if I was a convicted murderer I could petition them. I am in Asia now possibly seeing them for the last time. I was just removed from the registry in New York and the Politicians there are back at it again. Assemblyman Dean Murray is introducing a bill to have all Level 1 offenders like myself put back on the registry for 10 more years. This leech is using the fear factor like Chris Smith. If someone could please give me an address to send donations.Im sick of this witch hunt. Can Paypal be used also?

  13. PK

    Here is a really good article from Appellate Squawk that discusses the Sex Offender Registry and International Megan’s Law.

    “We come not to praise SORA but to bury it. For the courts say its purpose is not to punish, but to protect public safety. And courts are honorable persons, otherwise they wouldn’t have “Hon.” in front of their names.”

    “How is [SORA] different from parole, you ask, which nobody denies is punishment? If risk prediction under SORA is purely regulatory and non-punitive, shouldn’t it be based on scientific knowledge about what factors predict recidivism, not moral judgments?

    That’s the consensus of psychologists who conduct empirical research on sex offender recidivism, but who cares what they think? Especially when their findings contradict entrenched beliefs. But the courts say that SORA risk prediction is a simple matter of, “if he did it before, he’ll do it again.” And courts are honorable persons.”

    https://appellatesquawk.wordpress.com/2016/02/12/happy-20th-birthday-sora-may-you-die-soon/

    • Timmr

      Actually, psychologists helped dispel the last moral panic about sexual deviants during the 50′ (A Parallel Universe by Landon and Halleck) so I would not downplay their significance. “Who cares what they think?” Well very few at this time. But as with the scientists who warned about the effects of smoking, and later those that warned of dumping CO2 into the atmosphere, it will take time before they are believed. Right now they will be fought by the media, elected officials and big business who profit from the hype, the votes, the incarceration money.

  14. anonymously

    Jason wrote “Under the letter of the law and philosophically, you guys are absolutely correct.
    But remember, this is a country that has a constitutional protection against cruel and usual punishment, and we execute mentally ill people, and send people to prison for decades for drugs. ”

    Those, as bad as they are, seem more like cruel punishment than ‘cruel and unusual’ whose conditions are present in the punishment-restrictions meted out to registrants, often in violation of ‘no ex-post facto’ laws rules. Strange, new, and sinister restrictions are what registrants are being subjected to which usually means whatever some tough-on-crime billionaire spins off the top his head or devotes money to support some sinister restriction already proposed by someone else ( like Chris Smith ) that needs money to get the wheels spinning.

    “Slavery was fully legal for almost a hundred years under this Constitution.”

    Ben Franklin, even though he himself was once a slaveowner, tried to introduce ‘gradual emancipation’ of slaves at the 1787 Constitutional Convention. Georgia and South Carolina walked out of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 to prevent that. True, almost 80 years later, slavery was abolished. But it’s not like everyone at the time was pro-slavery. The Union states didn’t all of a sudden decide slavery was wrong in the 1860’s. The anti-slavery sentiment was present for many years in many people. …

    We have the 4th amendment that says “no search without a warrant” and yet we have a program to spy on all Americans.”

    Not if Ted Cruz has his way. He has come out against NSA spying.

    “I agree 100% to bring up ex post facto, but just because something is unconstitutional, doesn’t necessarily mean jack shit in the US.”

    Eventually it should work itself out.

    ” The Supreme Court is divided, which means we have a chance, so definitely need to take a shot.”

    20th century appointments to the SCOTUS are less ideological appointments than 21st century appointments, and the SCOTUS 21st century appointments I do not find particularly exciting. Of the 21st century appointments, of course the worst ones are Roberts and Alito. Scalia, who is getting up there in age and is predicted to retire soon, and Clarence Thomas are more wildcards. Look at Scalia’s comments on the US being rife for concentration camps. Look at Clarence Thomas support of states rights to legalize Marijuana. On that note, Ginsburg is not a sure-win on everything imaginable since she did validate civil commitment in 2010. But that is not exactly validation of the registry. Just as Ted Cruz, as Solicitor General of TX argued for Texas MDSO civil commitment, he did argue in favor of sex based offender laws, but not the same as arguing for the registry itself. In any case, Kennedy is a wild card currently. But he’s getting up there and is one of the 4, along with Scalia, Ginsburg and Breyer who may leave in the next Presidents first term. Kagan and Sotomayor seem more into diversity in terms of ethnic and sexual diversity, but not in terms of diversity of thought. I am hoping for the next 4 SCOTUS justices to be more anti-authoritarian than 2 of those being replaced, Scalia and Kennedy. That would leave it to 3 Justices, Thomas, Kagan, and Sotomayor as possibilities to vote our way. Of course Alito, Jr and Roberts will not. So that if any one of them ( Thomas, Kagan and Sotomayor ) votes to dissent Smith V Doe, its overturned. I do recall a recent decision where I was let down by Sotomayor, so I think she is not so freethinking. For this reason, I think a lot of this is in the hands of Kagan. Thomas too, but he seems to be a harder case, even if nominated in a time of generally less ideological appointments. This is all assuming Bernie wins in November. If Bernie does not win, then there are different scenarios.

  15. IML Confused

    I am a CA registrant since 2003. My offense was a dubious CP possession (misdemeanor). The misdemeanor was expunged in 2007, but I remain on the registry as an unlisted registrant who checks in 1X per year. Next week as it turns out. I will be pursuing a COR at the end of the year.

    I will donate to Janice this weekend. And I thank you from the depths of my heart for the work you do at CA RSOL.

    The IML language confuses me. It says the “covered” registrants are those where there is a child offense. Is misdemeanor CP considered a child offense given that there was no person involved in my case other than me. It was one image on a computer of someone I couldn’t prove wasn’t under 18. Any guidance would be appreciated. This IML development has just hit me like a ton of bricks. It feels like a visceral reaction of being attacked. My heart sinks every time I read an RSO development in the news. Thank you.

    • Jason

      Yes, all CP are “child offenses”. (I’m not a lawyer)

    • PK

      Oh don’t worry they will include you too, even though your conviction didn’t involve a minor. Just like Customs and Border Protection has been sending notices to other countries, for EVERYONE involved in ANY SEX OFFENSE. They’ve done this for years, without even being authorized or having a law in place. The next time you pass through Immigration and they steal your Passport, what are you going to do about it? Sue the federal government?

    • IML Confused

      Thank you for the responses. That is pretty much what I expected after studying this site for a while. It is absolutely terrifying to me that these laws keep getting passed that completely rewrite the rules. I learned from this site last week that my offense — 311.11A — can no longer be expunged for cases after 2013. It is like having vultures circling above our heads while they think about how they will next impose ruinous laws that will destroy our lives. This has all gotten so completely out of control.

      Obama must realize this yet he signed the bill anyway and went on with the rest of his week of fundraising and dancing with Ellen. I completely misjudged him.

      • PK

        Of course President Obama realized it, prior to being President, he was a Harvard Professor for Constitutional Law.

        I think it’s been an issue for this Group and our attempts to have a movement against this new law that would take away our rights as US Citizens. The vast majority of Offenders don’t know about this new law, until either they stumble upon it by doing an internet search, or attempt to fly to another country and get turned away.

        For some RC’s it is not a huge deal, because they just travel internationally casually, or for vacation. For others, this law would have a huge impact as they have work and family actually outside of the United States.

      • MS

        IML…

        To my knowledge…a 311.11a case can’t be expunged if the conviction took place after Jan 1, 2014. I was arrested in 2012 and convicted May 2013. I had my conviction expunged last month.

        • IML Confused

          Good on you MS. When I went through the process in 2007, it just would have never dawned on me that several years later, some new exception in the law for my specific misdemeanor would have suddenly precluded all ability to expunge and later pursue a COR. And then I read a passage here last week and see everything changed in a bill I had never heard of.

          It is like the sands never stop shifting. The whole thing is totally out of control.

        • Harry

          All these law changes are plan harassment. This is another of propose litigation, that should be considered, is to sue the State for harassment under the 290.??

  16. Robert

    2/17 article: “Sex Offenders’ Scarlet Passports” in SF Weekly
    http://www.sfweekly.com/sanfrancisco/news-sex-offenders-megans-law-obama/Content?oid=4486073

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