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Sex offender revamp in works under state bill

California’s sex offender registry didn’t protect Chelsea King. A registered child predator abducted, raped and murdered the 17-year-old high school senior after she set off for a jog on the trails around Lake Hodges in San Diego County in 2010.

Authorities used DNA to track down John Albert Gardner III, who confessed to killing Chelsea and another teen, Amber DuBois, who had gone missing near San Diego a year before on her way to school.

Chelsea’s father, Brent King, has been fighting ever since for stricter punishments and closer monitoring of sex offenders whose victims were children. So it might surprise some that he thinks California should end its practice of requiring all sex offenders to register with authorities every year for the rest of their lives. Full Article

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  1. Thoughtasweak

    I have been telling the legislators for the past several years that the registry only gives parents a false sense of security, especially when 90% of abuse is committed by someone who’s not on the registry. I’m glad this man partially agrees with reform, and I hope he’s there on Tuesday to stand in support.

    • fedup

      Tell them that there should be a murderer registry. It was a murderer who was a sexual deviant and killed to conceal what happened

  2. Timmr

    I didn’t get how the registry would have prevented Morales’ molestation, maybe someone can tell me the connection, but heck, why not present her view on the registry as equally thought out as Dr. Ellman, a person who has deeply studied the issue.
    This is what the media likes to do, present some counterpoint no matter how unverified to give the impression they are being fair and journalistically analysing the issue. Well as long as there is someone disaggreeing, an expert’s testimony must be suspect. This is the old Fox News “fair and balanced” script that you see used everywhere, whether the news outlet leans conservative or progressive, it is the same.

    • Nicholas Maietta

      Timmr, Fox has dropped the “Fair and Balanced” slogan as of last month. 🙂

      • Timmr

        Yeah, I thought they dropped that years ago, but I don’t listen to Fox News. Still, very few news outlets seem to write a story without automatically bringing in an opposing view, even if the view is unsupported by facts or even critical reasoning. The more emotional the opposing view the better for their ratings. Now a lot of people think that way. Fact is news is mostly entertainment and they have to present it as some sort of conflict, as if directing a theatrical play, so that people who are not really interested in learning anything can find their preconceptions represented.

  3. Nicholas Maietta

    If it’s about public safety, the’ve done the complete opposite. I remember the serious attacks on anyone who ever questioned a bill targeting sex offenders. Thankfully people have finally grown spines.

    Cities and towns living with self-created hysteria, like the Hysteria in Hispaira has never, ever once protected a child. Unable to see and think, these people will jump on any law that sounds at the surface like a good idea.

    We can finally breathe a sigh of relieve that people have been waking up and moving forward in balancing freedom with public safety. The ultimate goal is to have 100% public safety while having 0% crime. Neither of that will ever happen, but the balance needs to on the side of protecting the integrity of The Constitution. Trample over that, you and you trample over everything.

    I am hoping common sense will continue to prevail.

    • Michael

      Public safety is how it is rationalized. The public at large has never been in danger where sex offenses against children are concerned, and the data proves it. I realize I sound like a broken record because I say this a lot, but no sex offender registration law will protect a child when the threat, for the most part, comes from within because 68% of abusers are family members.

      Fact is, the reason is just plain willful ignorance and alarmism. It’s also the reason why the country is so polarized. Opinions are like assholes, everyone has one. The fact that you have an opinion does not make you or that opinion right. Having all the information needed to make intelligent, informed decisions takes time, and most people are too damn lazy to go the distance.


  4. T

    That is sad and horrible for what happen and at least they caught the guy, but is that really worth going to their legislators to pass stricter laws and more monitoring of registrants? For the horrific death of Megan Kanka they pass the Megan’s Law and the IML, to protect families and children which does nothing good but harm and vigilante violence is also a result. Do the parents want Justice which they already got from that guy they caught or is that not enough for them that they want more strict laws and monitoring of every registrant for revenge?

    • Timmr

      They say they want to prevent future crimes like that happening. Why are they focusing on people who are not like John Albert at all? He was a sadist and a murderer first. They want to tie us all together under the sex thing. They are far from the mark and won’t prevent anything except former offenders from reintegrating.

      • David Kennerly, Thank you for not confusing me with John Wayne Gacy

        We can thank the media for their grotesque mis-characterizations of us. The truth is, the average person actually believes that we are all potential serial killers.

        The fact that no Registrant has yet gone off on a revenge-fueled spree killing of our enemies should tell them a lot about our capacity for violence.

        • AJ

          @David Kennerly
          No, you have it all backwards. The general populace sees it as the registry working its magic. The mere publishing of data is keeping all of us reckless maniacs at bay. (Insert sarcasm)

        • Timmr

          Boy, there must have been loads of sex driven murders before Megan’s Law. I can’t find anything that proves that, but who needs proof, when ingorance sounds better.

  5. Bruce H.

    I wonder what Mr. King thinks about the STATIC 99 “assessments?” Another thing someone a while back brought up is how Ms. King’s killer scored a 2 — “low risk” — on the STATIC 99. When her killer is rescored on the new STATIC 99R, he *still* would have been given a 2 before he murdered Ms. King. Scott Kernan, who was then CDCR undersecretary, defended the junk STATIC in 2010. Now that he is the secretary, he’s doubled-down on the b.s. You can read about it here. The 10 question scheme is a joke:

    • Timmr

      I don’t remember a section on the Static 99 that scores weather you beat or torture your victim. Maybe if they had that….

      • Edie

        Question #8 on the Static 99 floors me. So, if your alleged crime was with a relative, you’re less likely to reoffend??? Disgusting!

        • Timmr

          Well incest offenders, no matter how disgusting it seems, do have a slightly lower reoffense rate than some other sex crimes. The diffences between different sex offender reoffense rates is small and all are low. The disgust factor proves to support the inverse of risk. Sex offenders, generally viewed with disgust, are about the least likely to reoffend. I think if the big fear is that a registrant will murder someone, there should be a question on a risk survey about intent to harm and the use of violence in the crime. I mean real violence, the conscious intent and action to bring about pain, not this thing now calling anything with a youth victim as violent.

    • Tobin's Tools 2.0

      There is no way the Static-99R’s 10 questions have the ability to predict a person’s future. The Static-99R is a scam!

      • AlexO

        It really doesn’t. The first question in particular sets up bogus statistics since there are somewhat of ways to manipulate it and someone a day short of their qualifying B-day is now listed as more dangerous. Sadly, at the moment, it’s almost primarily what is used to deny people certain actions (if you’d otherwise qualify for internet exclusion, a score of 4+ auto bans you from filing the app) and unless things change, will be a huge driver in the upcoming tier system.

        Hopefully by the time the tiered system actually goes live, they’ll start using a couple of the other risk assessment tests that have been around for a few years in conjunction with the Static-99R (if they don’t dump it all together).

  6. Gralphr

    The problem I see is people keep speaking out against the registry, but then still throw age of victim into what should change as if a victims age can determine if someone will offend again. Is there any solid data that shows a offender with a victim 16 years of age will reoffend less than one with a 12 year or victim or less?

    • AlexO

      Are you referring to the Static-99R or the court in general? The Static-99R doesn’t use the victims age. Just the offender’s. The law uses the victims age in regards to sentencing (the younger the victim the harsher the penalty, in most cases). The proposed California tiered system may use the victims age for tiering but isn’t clear on how. All it states is that the court may consider it, but doesn’t offer any guidelines in the bill.

    • David Kennerly Thanks for not confusing me with John Wayne Gacy

      It’s another unexamined assumption that people make. Younger = “icky” and so they must have a greater propensity for all things we detest.

      Completely missing is any discussion of specific acts with younger victims. That’s never taken into consideration.

      • Timmr

        Yes, it is the gateway drug kind of mentality, but instead of a taking a toke leading to hard herion abuse, it is a caress (or even viewing a picture) is deemed to lead to rape and murder. The legislatures are puposely eliminating proportionality. Now there may be real concerns over some types of caressing, but mischaracterizing them is going to do nothing but create the wrong institutionalized solutions or, as we have now, social engineering by the shotgun approach of penal code.

  7. NPS

    I still think that anyone and EVERYONE who has an expunged record needs to fall off the registry in addition to those who have a pre-1987 conviction. There is no reason for someone to continue with the registry when his/her record has been expunged. THIS needs to be suggested to the state.

    • AlexO

      California doesn’t have a real expungement. Our “expungement” only sets aside the original guilty verdict. Its doesn’t seal your records nor does it restore any rights lost such as no fire arms for felons (it’s a separate action to get your felony reduced to a misdemeanor under 17b). It basically makes it somewhat easier to obtain a job and a home as your records won’t show a “conviction”. But given the fact that you still show up as registered, it often doesn’t really help you having that “expungement”.

      Anyway… They can probably do the whole still needing to register with an “expungement” because of how it’s structured in our laws.

      • New Person

        1203.4 is expungement, or cased dismissed. That means your conviction doesn’t exist.

        The 2003 Smith decision did make a comment about only convictions are public information. That public information is what is being disseminated.

        There is a problem here. If your conviction doesn’t exist, then your information shouldn’t be disseminated.

        The 1203.4 is supposed to relieve you of all penalities and disabilities. For an unknown reason, only registrants are not allowed to take advantage of this trait of 1203.4. Please note that “pursuing and obtaining privacy” is an “inalienable right” for a California citizen. Privacy cannot be withheld like firearms to a felon b/c privacy is an inalienable right within the California Constitution. 1203.4 was that distinct pathway to obtaining privacy.

        The inequality of distribution of 1203.4 to other convicts is disturbing (Civil rights anyone?). The statute to negate release from the registry via 1203.4 is contrarian with California Constitution’s “inalienable right… to pursue and obtain… privacy.” Registry is only about privacy.

        • AJ

          @New Person
          I’m not a CA resident, but you seem to have a misunderstanding of what an expungement is and does:

        • Timmr

          Just wondering, how does “removing all penalties and disabilities” and given a “fresh start” phrases used in your linked article, differ from the jist of New Person’s argument?

        • AJ

          As I posted to New Person, what part of “[s]ealing and destroying your criminal record is a distinct form of relief from a PC 1203.4 expungement,” is unclear? Obviously expungement does not mean the conviction is “erased,” “undone” or anything along those lines. It’s hidden from public view and, as you pointed out, “remov[es] all penalties and disabilities.” I completely agree with you that’s what expungement is. It is not, however, a removal or erasure of the fact of conviction, which is what New Person stated. That is what I was addressing.

          I would love for someone to explain how “removing all penalties and disabilities” or “fresh start” means “never convicted” or “conviction vacated” or “records are destroyed”? They may be held confidentially by the State, but the records, and the conviction, do still exist. How that all works out vis a vis the CA Constitution and such, I don’t know nor care, as I don’t live in CA.

          I was not challenging the jist of New Person’s argument. I limited my point and posting to the statement, “[t]hat means your conviction doesn’t exist.” NP is patently wrong in this statement. The conviction DOES exist, but the information is held back from public use or viewing. The conviction DOES exist, but the offender is under no legal obligation to reveal it–in most cases (apparently a qualified “fresh start”–more like “day-old start”). The conviction DOES exist, as it still prevents owning firearms. The conviction DOES exist, as it can be used to enhance sentencing and as “strikes.”

          That was the jist of my posting. Period.

        • Mr. D

          AJ – there is another bill in play here that might possibly assist those who risk reached an expungement via 1203.4 I believe it’s SB 393 and it has to do with ceiling records for those who have been arrested but not convicted. It will be interesting to see how the courts interpret its application for those with a 1203.4

        • New Person

          Curious, AJ, what part of “conviction doesn’t exist” is not true? I never ventured into any other avenue about 1203.4.

          I think you fail to see how I tied non-public, private information to a) 2003 Smith decision that only “convictions are public… and disseminated” and b) California Constitution’s Article 1, Section 1 “… have inalienable rights… such as… to pursue and obtain… privacy.”

          Here’s a quote from your link:
          The value of a PC 1203.4 expungement has increased significantly in recent years.

          This is because, in the past, a person’s criminal history was unlikely to be discovered by anyone but law enforcement.

          But then information companies began indexing criminal court records into vast national databases that could be searched by name and date of birth. This new technology allows potential employers, licensing agencies and professional organizations to conduct a background check of your criminal record in moments.

          This is where the benefits of an expungement come into play. It may now be easy for potential employers to find out about a past criminal conviction–but if a conviction has been expunged, they may not refuse to hire you on the basis of that conviction.

          Odd isn’t it? The registration is directly tied to your criminal background, yet you’re unable to escape not having that criminal background hurt you. This is why I say there in inequality in the distribution of 1203.4 – past criminal information cannot deter you from a job EXCEPT IF YOU’RE A SEX OFFENDER. Again, we’re talking about just information – private information.

          1203.4 was supposed to relieve you of all disabilities and penalties – especially for the purposes of keeping your past history hidden to increase the chances of acquiring a job (fastest way to become a part of society).

          California Constitution is supposed to protect inalienable rights:
          All people are by nature free and independent and have inalienable rights. Among these are enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining safety, happiness, and privacy.
          – A former convict can “possess” firearms once the charge is reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor.
          – Privacy doesn’t do anyone else harm like a firearm can do, but privacy isn’t given to a specific group of convicts under 1203.4.

          So why is the level of threshold to “possibly” obtain privacy go to greater lengths such as a CoR? I said “possibly” because not even that can get you off the registry and you must request for a Governor’s Pardon.

          1203.4 was supposed to be a “reset” for your life so you may start over again. It’s supposed to relieve one of all penalties and disabilities stemming from your conviction. Not everyone can get 1203.4 ~ implying, in general, only those who don’t go to state prison can qualify. Yet, for a registrant, it doesn’t matter. You must continue carrying your burden unlike your other convicts. Essentially, the state is telling all registrants went to State Prison b/c although you can say you were never convicted, your Registration says something completely contrary – which not only affects your job applications, but job opportunities as well as where you can live and travel.

          AJ, you’re more than welcome to read 1203.4. You can read what it’s supposed to do. But with the link you just gave, it’s basically stating the same thing that I’m finding contradicting – no one can look into your past information since your conviction does not exist. Well, unless you’re a registrant, where your past information is still being used against you despite your conviction not existing any longer.

          Conviction is key to 1203.4 and the 2003 Smith decision. Conviction is public. Dismissed convictions are not and should not hurt you in finding employment, living arrangements, or travel. Yet, the courts have purposely turned a blind eye to registrants – conviction or dismissed conviction, you still share the penalties, disabilities, and stigma. 1203.4 doesn’t mean much because your registration trumps your dismissed case in all situations.

          Ask HUD if you qualify if your case is dismissed as a registrant. LoL

        • AJ

          @New Person
          Curious, why would the attorneys waste their, your and the court’s time to have a felony changed to a misdemeanor if it’s going to just disappear anyway?

          Curious, what part of “[s]ealing and destroying your criminal record is a distinct form of relief from a PC 1203.4 expungement,” is unclear? Obviously expungement does NOT destroy record of the conviction.

          I’m not disputing any of your other points, mostly because, not being in CA, I really don’t care. But to think expungement means you’ve never been convicted is to think incorrectly.

        • Timmr

          Astute observations. Wish custom was as rational as your words and NPS’s statement. The justification for the registry has always been that the conviction is public record anyway. If it isn’t, then the registry shouldn’t. Nonetheless, your present location and other characteristics is not public information as you point out in the privacy clause of our CA constitution. “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to … the people.” Question is when did we become non people, that any right reserved to us is so easily wiped away by statute?

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