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AZ: Prescott starts new program to monitor sex offenders

Getting aggressive with sex offenders – Sex offenders living in the City of Prescott are now under an additional layer of supervision. Full Article

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  1. ml

    It is clear that the purpose is to reduce the number of RC’s in that community. Harassment.

  2. JB

    The number of registering citizens living in the area has dropped since this program huh? So if they continue this harassment it sounds to me they can make more leave. This is harassment at it’s worst.

  3. wonderin

    As judge Judy would say ” Don’t pee on my shoe and try to tell me it’s raining”.

  4. Lovecraft

    “Percentage wise, it’s a pretty small amount that aren’t complying,” he said. “And some of them recently were just smaller issues, like they messed up and missed the deadline to change their address by a couple of days.”

    Those “small” issues (like failure to register) still carry years in prison. Most likely the time for the infraction will far supercede the time they received for their registered offense.

  5. mike r

    so basically they’re just harassing and victimizing all the people that are complying with the laws while just like the gun laws has no effect on those that are intent on breaking the law and don’t give a sh….about any of these laws…llawmakers have absolutely nothing to do anymore because any useful law they could pass has already been passed in the last hundred years….they have no justification for their paychecks and are just sucking on the teets of the government. we’re the only targets left…

  6. Hmmm...

    And Arizona is a tiered state. Right?

    Here is a troubling quote:

    “Prescott Valley Police Department, for example, only recently increased their sex offender compliance checks from once a year for all levels to every six months for level 2s and 3s and once a year for level 1s.”

    • Lake County

      Fortunately Janice has already shown that in California it is unconstitutional for communities to impose harsher restrictions than what the state already imposes. That’s why she has won all the additional present restriction cases.

      • Timmr

        Compliance checks are not imposed by state law in California.

        • Timmr

          …and yet they get away with doing them.

        • Lake County

          They get away with it because there is no CA law. If there was a law, we could argue that it is unconstitutional. If a city or county had a law requiring compliance checks in CA, that would also be something we could challenge. So far they get away with it because they are not breaking any law by doing these checks. We would be so lucky if they would arrest and charge just one person (not on probation or parole) for not responding to a compliance check. Then we could easily challenge all this and get it to stop.

        • David Kennerly, the Entrenched Client

          I wonder if they are mandated in Arizona law. If not, then Arizona Registrants should be organized to create as much friction for the “checkers” as possible.

      • Hmmm...

        True that compliance checks are not imposed by state law, yet they are done nonetheless.

        As for Lake County: unless I am mistaken, Janice and ACSOL have only challenged the presence and residency restrictions. Challenging compliance checks, as well as the requirement that Tier 2 and 3s register more than once a year when tiered registry passes, will be uncharted territory. In Smith v. Doe, I believe that 90 day registration periods were upheld as constitutional by the Supreme Court. So challenging harsher ‘restrictions,’ at least when not of presence and/or residency restrictions, will be an uphill battle against Supreme Court precedent.

        • Sort of.

          @Hmmm…
          SCOTUS sort of said 90 days is okay. What they said was that Alaska having an annual registration for first-time and/or non-violent offenders, and a quarterly registration for others was not punishment and that the State could make those periods based off categorical, versus risk-based, assessment. They also said the registration itself, never mind how frequently, was not burdensome or punitive, as it was not required to be done in person. Well, we know THAT has all changed.

          There are so incredibly many things that have changed since Smith that I think if/when SCOTUS hears a registry case, they will have significantly different views. The scientific research has completely swung away from what was presented in Smith. And the examples of punishment-like requirements SCOTUS mentioned as not being present, now are.

          Everyone should read Smith every now and then to keep up on it as a comparison. Be warned, it can make your blood boil when reading how far legislatures have exceeded where things were in 2003 (https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/538/84/case.html).

          –AJ

        • Lake County

          Just the fact that we have to take (at minimum) one day off work each year and loose pay or potentially loose our job for taking the day off shows that it is now punitive. We will eventually get our second chance with SCOTUS on whether the registry is still constitutional, but we must be very sure it is the right case. Of course I suppose the states could adjust the registry to go back to being for law enforcement eyes only and we register by mail only.

        • Lake County

          Good idea, I haven’t read it in over 3 years now, so I’m going to read it again tonight or tomorrow night. Thanks for posting the link.

        • Interesting tidbits from CT DPS, too

          I decided to pick through the other 2003 decision, Connecticut DPS v. Doe (https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/538/1/case.html), and found some items of great interest that seem to indicate SCOTUS was telegraphing some things in their opinions (there were multiple ones written).

          In the main opinion, SCOTUS said, “It may be that respondent’s claim is actually a substantive challenge to Connecticut’s statute ‘recast in “procedural due process” terms.’ [] Nonetheless, respondent expressly disavows any reliance on the substantive component of the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections…and maintains…that his challenge is strictly a procedural one. But States are not barred by principles of ‘procedural due process’ from drawing such classifications. [] Such claims ‘must ultimately be analyzed’ in terms of substantive, not procedural, due process. []
          Because the question is not properly before us, we express no opinion as to whether Connecticut’s Megan’s Law violates principles of substantive due process.”

          That sure sounds to me like SCOTUS was saying, “if Doe hadn’t relied purely on a procedural claim, we may have determined a substantive claim.”

          Reading further, Souter and Ginsburg separately wrote a concurring opinion with some really juicy items within.

          “I…agree with the observation that to day’s holding does not foreclose a claim that Connecticut’s dissemination of registry information is actionable on a substantive due process principle. To the extent that libel might be at least a component of such a claim, our reference to Connecticut’s disclaimer…would not stand in the way of a substantive due process plaintiff. I write separately only to note that a substantive due process claim may not be the only one still open to a test by those in the respondents’ situation.”

          That sure sounds like Souter was saying, “there’s still the possibility of a substantive principle if someone takes it up,” and also that one might be able to sue CT DPS for libel! Souter continued:
          “Connecticut allows certain sex offenders the possibility of avoiding the registration and reporting obligations of the statute. A court may exempt a convict from registration altogether if his offense was unconsented sexual contact…or sexual intercourse with a minor aged between 13 and 16 while the offender was more than two years older than the minor, provided the offender was under age 19 at the time of the offense. [] A court also has discretion to limit dissemination of an offender’s registration information to law enforcement purposes if necessary to protect the identity of a victim who is related to the offender or, in the case of a sexual assault, who is the offender’s spouse or cohabitor. []
          “Whether the decision is to exempt an offender from registration or to restrict publication of registry information, it must rest on a finding that registration or public dissemination is not required for public safety. [] The State thus recognizes that some offenders within the sweep of the publication requirement are not dangerous to others in any way justifying special publicity on the Internet, and the legislative decision to make courts responsible for granting exemptions belies the State’s argument that courts are unequipped to separate offenders who warrant special publication from those who do not.”

          Here, Souter seems to have been saying that the State is talking out of both sides of its mouth. On one hand they claim they/courts cannot determine who is dangerous and who isn’t, yet they grant courts the ability to do just that! Reading further:

          “The line drawn by the legislature between offenders who are sensibly considered eligible to seek discretionary relief from the courts and those who are not is, like all legislative choices affecting individual rights, open to challenge under the Equal Protection Clause. [] The refusal to allow even the possibility of relief to, say, a 19-year-old who has consensual intercourse with a minor aged 16 is therefore a reviewable legislative determination. Today’s case is no occasion to speak either to the possible merits of such a challenge or the standard of scrutiny that might be in order when considering it. I merely note that the Court’s rejection of respondents’ procedural due process claim does not immunize publication schemes like Connecticut’s from an equal protection challenge.”

          Here, Souter raised the distinct possibility of an Equal Protection issue regarding the line the legislature drew with ages, but it was beyond the purview of SCOTUS in this case. This is almost exactly what happened in a case in MN that I previously posted (https://ryangarry.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Memorandum-redacted.pdf).

          It really seems like Doe made a big misstep by pursuing the procedural, not substantive, claim. It also seems someone in CT should go after the State for libel, and those with the right circumstances should attack the Equal Protection issue.

          This case may not have been the loss it has long been fashioned to be. It may actually be a list of “if only” statements from SCOTUS that have gone untried since.

          I am not anywhere near an attorney, so this is all a layman’s reading of the opinion. But, boy, it sure sounds like SCOTUS was even in 2003 open to other cases, if properly presented.

          –AJ

  7. Registry Rage

    “The safety of this community is our first priority and we believe that by knowing which offenders are in our area and by making sure they are complying with the law, we are being proactive in keeping this community safe.”

    ^So basically they’re exploiting and promoting unwarranted fear (in a pathetic attempt to appear relevant) while being a burden and dead weight on the taxpayers. Got it.

  8. JohnDoeUtah

    Unconstitutional! This is essentially an investigative stop. In order for law enforcement to initiate a stop, they must have reasonable suspicion.

    The legal definition of reasonable suspicion is: “Reasonable suspicion means that the officer has sufficient knowledge to believe that criminal activity is at hand. This level of knowledge is less than that of probable cause, so reasonable suspicion is usually used to justify a brief frisk in a public area or a traffic stop at roadside. To possess either probable cause or reasonable suspicion, an officer must be able to cite specific articulable facts to warrant the intrusion.”

    What are the articulable facts that the individual is committing a crime? I would wager that being on the registry does not satisfy such level of suspicion, and more is required. I had an issue here in my new city, weeks before I was removed for this very thing. I gave the officer and his supervisor a verbal lashing over why they were at my home, and what reason they had to believe I was committing a crime. Neither could answer, except to say, “it’s just the way we do things here.” (Trying to verify information I had given them a week before, and for me to sign a document that it was truthful (which I had done when registering). My retort was: 1) was their action authorized and required under state law (I knew it was not); 2) whether they felt such reasoning, without individualized reasonable suspicion that I was committing a crime, would hold up before a federal judge. They both left my premises promptly.

    This has Fourth Amendment all over it.

    • Agreed

      @JohnDoeUtah
      I like your way of thinking–and speaking. I would normally say, “why even answer the door or talk to them?” but given how you bitch-slapped them with that pesky U.S. Constitution, I can only say rock on!

      I can’t believe you didn’t mention the line from John Morris, Chief Officer of Yavapai County Adult Probation.: “They’re totally under surveillance.” Gee, that’s not profiling or singling out people based on conjecture, is it?

      More and more the way to tell who’s a criminal is by seeing if they have a badge and a gun.

      –AJ

  9. Nondescript

    @JohnDoeUtah

    Brilliant.

    The modern world is drowning in fear and it is a great weapon to force compliance. EVERYONE who is no longer on supervised release should be asking home compliance officers if their policy authorizing repeated and random visits to your home would hold up in Federal Court. They know the answer, and that is why they leave quickly.

  10. Nondescript

    As an addendum to that, I live in Los Angeles where the police here like to project a air of menacing authority. A few years back a couple of my neighbors, both female, were having neighbor disputes and one went so far as making criminal complaints against the other ( who was an attorney) . One evening 2 police cars showed up at the attorney lady’s house to question her, and she just stood out on her deck overlooking the street and gave them a tongue lashing as they stood outside her locked gate below. I was quite shocked. She yelled that she knew her rights and she had nothing to say to them. The commotion went on for 20 min or so, and then the police just left. I asked her about it a week later, and she said ” if they don’t have facts, they rely on our fear”. I learned something very important that day.

  11. Eric Knight

    While the entire focus on repressive supervision is bad enough, this statement is actually far more troubling:

    “Additionally, all sex offenders go through some period of probation… In fact, a majority of them are on lifetime probation,” said John Morris, Chief Officer of Yavapai County Adult Probation. “

    WHAT? Do you mean to tell me that MOST of the registrants are under jurisdiction of the court? Probation or parole would allow LE to search premises without warrant, and provide conditions that would allow them to violate registrants and return them to jail for up to life.

    I don’t believe this statement. I believe that they are conflating registration, which entails full Constitutional protections including prevention from search and seizure, with probation/parole, which would limit some of the Constitutional protections for registrants. Which is it???

  12. USA

    I just recently read an article regarding Los Angeles’s new budget! The Police Union was outraged that their overtime budget was being cut! I bekieve the budget was currently 100 million! When I read things like this, it makes me wonder? Additional grants? Federal Funding? Overtime? We have thousands of felons, gang members, 2 strikers and the list goes on and on! If you knew how many people where on Parole in the US, you might pass out! Yet, we have cities monitoring those with 1st time misdemeanor convictions/summary probation! Wake up American’s!

  13. Renny

    Anyone experienced the new method of home and work address verification? I am not absolutely sure, but I had one of the Riverside unmarked pick me up on my way out of me neighborhood and follow me on my way to work. Since I felt I was being followed, I took a new route that gave me a chance to circle around on them and get a look at them. They were definitely the enemy. So I stopped at the Home Depot and watched them… they circled the lot a few times and left.

    I drove to work. About 2 hours later a marked car drove through the work lot. I guess then the work address verification was complete.

    I felt I was in mortal danger, what if they were not cops, but someone trying to kill me. Since sex offenders get killed more that they repeat their crimes, my fear are justified. Should I have tried to kill them first?

    • 911 next time

      @Renny
      Call 911 next time and report that some strangers are following you and you fear for your safety. 🙂 Since it was an unmarked, it may take a little bit for the LEO driving the B&W to figure things out.

      –AJ

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