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National

MA: Sex offenders have access to kids on Halloween

[bostonherald.com – 10/7/18]

Sex offenders are forbidden under state law from driving an ice cream truck, but they can hand out all the candy they want on Halloween in what one child advocate is calling a risky oversight.

“Halloween is like Christmas for sex offenders,” said attorney Wendy Murphy.

“They know they’ll have lots of access to kids and that they can’t get in trouble even though they’re required to stay away from children.”

Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee and Texas all have “no candy” laws that ban sex offenders from handing out treats on Halloween.

In Florida, sex offenders out on parole cannot hand out candy or wear costumes on Halloween night.

Both California and New York have similar laws that allow police to perform unannounced visits to sex offenders’ homes on Halloween night, Oct. 31.

Read more

 

Related links:

MA: Fearmongering Article Falsely Claims ‘Halloween Is Christmas for Sex Offenders’ [reason.com – 10/9/18]

 

Join the discussion

  1. Gralphr

    Um…do murderers have access to kids on Halloween? Can murderers drive ice cream trucks, go to the park, library, or their child school? So if I understand correctly, murderers are ok, sex offenders are the worst of the worst. What about an adult who killed a child out of hate? Can they give out candy, go to schools, etc.?

  2. Facts should matter

    The real “monsters” are the lawmakers. THEY are the ones that manufacture outrage and fabricate unwarranted fear. Too bad they don’t have “access” to common sense.

  3. Joe123

    I’m going to try to get in touch with the moron who wrote the article and the idiot attorney attorney Wendy Murphy.

    • R M

      From his contact page: If you have a news tip, or a comment, send an email to joed@bostonherald.com or call 617-619-6493.

    • R M

      From her contact page: To learn more or to have Wendy present a lecture, please email her at wmurphy@nesl.edu or call 617-422-7410.

      • Joe123

        This is what I wrote to them, I’ll be emailing Wendy as well:

        Re: http://www.bostonherald.com/news/local_coverage/2018/10/sex_offenders_have_access_to_kids_on_halloween

        CC:
        Massachusetts Senator Bruce Tarr
        Attorney Janice Bellucci
        Boston Herald Newspaper
        ACSOL (Alliance for Constitutional Sex Offense Laws)
        NARSOL (National Association of Rational Sex Offense Laws)
        FAC (Florida Action Committee)
        WAR (Women Against Registry)

        Good Day Joe,

        I understand that you are one of the editors at Boston Herald, which is the go-to newspaper that informs Boston’s nearly 700,000 citizens. Your article was brought to my attention by a non-profit group which helps families reestablish their lives after being harmed by unconstitutional laws. I had to personally reach out to you after reading what you wrote. I normally do not do this as I am busy with running a growing business, but I felt the need to stand up to the Bullying, Abuse and in some cases, vigilante-caused deaths, that approximately 900,000 of your fellow United States citizens have to face on a regular basis, in-part due to articles like yours.

        I see the issue at-hand has gotten out of control, and writing this letter is giving a voice to these law abiding citizens, their children and their families. It is 2018, we’ve had nearly 2 decades to study the effects of Sex Offense laws and it is time to start putting an end to the Blatant Lies, Myths and Brainwashing of US citizens regarding the Sex Offender Registry.

        Here is the headline that you wrote:

        “Sex offenders have access to kids on Halloween
        No Mass. law to stop monsters with candy”

        We both know, among many others, that this is a classic sensationalist headline, backed up by Zero actual facts and verifiable statistics, which further erodes the credibility of the Boston Herald, and the US media which has had a bad reputation lately, based on what is going on in the United States.

        As the Boston Herald has always been known for insightful reporting and quality journalism, I expected to see an article that tells people the truth, includes content which does good for the people, and does not feed off of their fears and spreading Propoganda against their fellow citizens.

        Your brief response during our 30 second phone call when I asked how much research you’ve done into sex offenders was, “Yes I have done lots of research on sex offenders”, before you had to abruptly end our phone call.

        Please go ahead and read over the critical information I have outlined below which you have Completely Missed and then if you don’t agree, feel free to present verifiable opposing evidence that you have which is to the contrary and which would have compelled you to write what you wrote, and as a result, inciting more hate, division, discrimination and Completely unwarranted fear amongst the public. Based on what you wrote, one can only assume that you must have Vastly different statistics on ‘Citizens with a Sex Offense’, than what official government agencies have released which places Citizens on the Registry at the Bottom of all recidivism rates. Contrary to your extreme headline, a human being can use logic to deduce that much of the registry is unnecessary due to such low re-offense rates.

        I ask that you immediately refrain from further publicly using the term ‘Sex Offenders’ which is a term that means people who are Continually Offending in the Present Tense, and instead use Logical terms such as, ‘Citizens with a Sex Offense’. We are not a country of labels, Joe. That is part of the greatness of America. I am sure you do not use labels on citizens who have robbed a bank 10 years ago, are productive members of society, and now you call them, “Bank Robbers” in the present tense. Similarly, you do not place a label on habitual ‘Domestic Violent and Dangerous Abusers’, in other words, people who beat their wives or children nearly to death. Isn’t it odd and absolutely fascinating how those people don’t get a label for being violent and an imminent threat to the public? Maybe we should give them a pat on the back as well, because that is exactly what you or those in positions of influence are doing each time you use the label ‘Sex Offender’ on a ‘Citizen who Previously Committed a Registerable Sex Offense’; you are Knowingly misguiding the Public by directing fear towards a class of citizens that have the lowest rate of recidivism.

        Now that we have the terminology 100% correct:

        The CCed parties and myself would like to see the statistics of Sexual Assaults of children on Halloween specifically, since your article clearly shows that the public has much to fear. I await your response. Please note that I will reach out to you again if I don’t receive a response within a reasonable amount of time.

        I have CCed a number of groups and attorneys in this email thread which represent thousands of families. They would benefit from hearing what you have to say since you have so much influence over the American people.

        Also, please provide us with the contact information of the Attorney ‘Wendy Murphy’, who stated, “Halloween is like Christmas for sex Offenders”. I believe there is a defamation lawsuit that will take place regarding this.

        While I am personally disgusted by the lack of (frankly) intelligence of Wendy Murphy and her disregard for nearly 900,000 people and their children and loved ones as well as the countless statistics and emperical evidence proving the complete opposite of what she publicly said, I would love to hear the facts which back up her Reckless, Malice, Un-American and In-Humane statement. People like her who clearly lack any knowledge on the subject should not be the primary ‘interviewee’ in a publicly read paper, unless of course, we have a hidden agenda to misinform the Massachusetts public by You or the Boston Herald. If that is the case, then this agenda should be made known to the people of Massachusetts. This is why Senator Bruce Tarr has been CCed in this letter, so he is made aware of what is happening and the Sham being pulled over the American people.

        Here is an example of quality reporting and journalism from the New York Times on this same topic:

        Title: Did the Supreme Court Base a Ruling on a Myth?

        https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/06/us/politics/supreme-court-repeat-sex-offenders.html

        Please read below for the actual facts on the topic that you wrote about:

        “According to the NCMEC map there are over 859,500 men, women and children (as young as 6, 8 and 10 in some states) required to register and the “crimes” range from urinating in public (indecent exposure), sexting, incest, mooning, exposure, false accusations by a soon-to-be ex-wife, angry girlfriend, or spiteful student, viewing abusive OR suggestive images of anyone 18 years old or younger, playing doctor, prostitution, solicitation, Romeo and Juliet consensual sexual dating relationships, rape, endangering the welfare of a child, the old bate-n-switch internet stings (taking sometimes 12 months before a person steps over the line) young guys on the autism spectrum or with intellectual disabilities and many others.

        If you multiply the number on the registry by 2 or 3 family members you can clearly see there are well over 2 million wives, children, moms, aunts, girlfriends, grandmothers and other family members who experience the collateral damage of being murdered, harassed, threatened, children beaten, have signs placed in their yards, homes set on fire, vehicles damaged, asked to leave their churches and other organizations, children passed over for educational opportunities, have flyers distributed around their neighborhood, wives lose their jobs when someone learns they are married to a registrant….all these things occur when these people try to hold their family together and provide the three things that professionals state are needed for successful re-integration; a job, a place to live and a good support system. Residency restrictions, ranging from 500 ft to 2,500 ft are ludicrous and not supported by the Association for Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA).

        A study reviewing sex crimes as reported to police revealed that:

        a) 93% of child sexual abuse victims knew their abuser;
        b) 34.2% were family members;
        c) 58.7% were acquaintances;
        d) Only 7% of the perpetrators of child victims were strangers;
        e) 40% of sexual assaults take place in the victims own home;
        f) 20% take place in the home of a friend, neighbor or relative (Jill Levenson, PhD, Lynn University)

        The public needs to decide if they want to continue to focus on those who, for the most part, are one time offenders or if they see a greater need to fund programs like “Stop It Now” that teaches about grooming behaviors and other things in their Circles of Safety.

        Women Against Registry ~ Fighting the Destruction of Families

        Further facts:

        https://youtu.be/GBoy2FB27yg

        Here are some facts from the leading authorities on this subject which indicate that there is no need or justification for these laws.

        California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) End of Year Report 2014. (page 13)

        Under the current system many local registering agencies are challenged just keeping up with registration paperwork. It takes an hour or more to process each registrant, the majority of whom are low risk offenders. As a result law enforcement cannot monitor higher risk offenders more intensively in the community due to the sheer numbers on the registry. Some of the consequences of lengthy and unnecessary registration requirements actually destabilize the lives of registrants and those -such as families- whose lives are often substantially impacted. Such consequences are thought to raise levels of known risk factors while providing no discernible benefit in terms of community safety.

        The full report is available online at. http://www.casomb.org/index.cfm?pid=231

        National Institute of Justice (NIJ) US Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs United States of America.

        The overall conclusion is that Megan’s law has had no demonstrated effect on sexual offenses in New Jersey, calling into question the justification for start-up and operational costs. Megan’s Law has had no effect on time to first rearrest for known sex offenders and has not reduced sexual reoffending. Neither has it had an impact on the type of sexual reoffense or first-time sexual offense. The study also found that the law had not reduced the number of victims of sexual offenses.

        The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/app/publications/abstract.aspx? ID=247350

        The University of Chicago Press for The Booth School of Business of the University of Chicago and The University of Chicago Law School Article DOI: 10.1086/658483

        Conclusion. The data in these three data sets do not strongly support the effectiveness of sex offender registries. The national panel data do not show a significant decrease in the rate of rape or the arrest rate for sexual abuse after implementation of a registry via the Internet. The BJS data that tracked individual sex offenders after their release in 1994 did not show that registration had a significantly negative effect on recidivism. And the D.C. crime data do not show that knowing the location of sex offenders by census block can help protect the locations of sexual abuse. This pattern of non-effectiveness across the data sets does not support the conclusion that sex offender registries are successful in meeting their objectives of increasing public safety and lowering recidivism rates.

        The full report is available online at. http://www.jstor.org/stable/full/10.1086/658483

        These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of conclusions and reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community.

        People, including the media and other organizations should not rely on and reiterate the statements and opinions of the legislators or other people as to the need for these laws because of the high recidivism rates and the high risk offenders pose to the public which simply is not true and is pure hyperbole and fiction. They should rely on facts and data collected and submitted in reports from the leading authorities and credible experts in the fields such as the following.

        California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB)

        Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 0.8% (page 30)

        The full report is available online at http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Adult_Research_Branch/Research_Documents/2014_Outcome_Evaluation_Report_7-6-2015.pdf

        Document Title: Indiana’s Recidivism Rates Decline for Third Consecutive Year BY: Indiana Department of Correction 2009.

        The recidivism rate for sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05%, one of the lowest in the nation. In a time when sex offenders continue to face additional post-release requirements that often result in their return to prison for violating technical rules such as registration and residency restrictions, the instances of sex offenders returning to prison due to the commitment of a new sex crime is extremely low. Findings: sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05%

        Link to Report: http://www.in.gov/idoc/files/RecidivismRelease.pdf

        CA 00.8% The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) “2014 Outcome Evaluation Report“ http://californiarsol.org/2015/08/new-cdcr-report-reduces-rate-of-re-offense-to-less-than-1-percent.

        CA figure 11 01.9% California sex offender management Board 2012 in looking at this one I realize that this is another attempt to increase the visual concept of a higher reoffend rate than actually exists you will note in table 11 , that there are 8490 released sex offenders and that 5870 are returned to prison or 69.1% going onto figure 11. The pie chart does not represent the 8490 but rather represents the 5870. When you take this into account and do the math. 1.9% of 5870 comes out to 111 and 111 people involved in the new sex crime, out of 8490 comes out to an actual reoffend rate of 1.3%. This is just another way that the government is using razzle-dazzle techniques. In doing their statistical analysis.
        https://onedrive.live.com/view.aspx?resid=A754C96E86E37F71!8943&cid=a754c96e86e37f71&app=WordPdf

        More state studies;

        CT page 9 01,7% And prisoners with no prior sex crime are six times more likely to be involved in a new sex crime Recidivism among sex offenders in Connecticut, State of Connecticut
        Office of Policy and Management, Criminal Justice Policy & Planning Division, February 15, 2012

        DE Table 26 03.1% REARREST 6 offenders and on table 27 3 Offenders were not found guilty of a crime that makes the percentage of people convicted of a new sex crime. 01.5%. Rearrests should never be used as a determining factor. Delaware Sex Offenders, Profiles and Criminal Justice System Outcomes, January 2008
        https://onedrive.live.com/view.aspx?resid=A754C96E86E37F71!8622&cid=a754c96e86e37f71&app=WordPdf

        IA page 7 #4 “With the overall recidivism for sex offenses as low as 2% “ Iowa Sex Offender Research Council Report to the Iowa General Assembly January 22, 2009
        https://onedrive.live.com/view.aspx?resid=A754C96E86E37F71!8618&cid=a754c96e86e37f71&app=WordPdf

        IA ARREST 02.3% page 7 Iowa Department of Corrections Report to the Board of Corrections
        Third in a series of reports highlighting issues contributing to corrections population growth April 2006 Sex Offenders
        https://onedrive.live.com/view.aspx?resid=A754C96E86E37F71!8616&cid=a754c96e86e37f71&app=WordPdf

        IN bottom of page “1.05%of identified sex offender’s recidivated for a new sex crime within 3 years.” Indiana Department of Correction Recidivism Rates Decrease for 3rd Consecutive Year
        https://onedrive.live.com/view.aspx?resid=A754C96E86E37F71!8935&cid=a754c96e86e37f71&app=WordPdf

        IA table 4 0.3% new sex crime THE IOWA SEX OFFENDER REGISTRY AND
        RECIDIVISM Iowa Department of Human Rights Division of Criminal and Juvenile Justice Planning and Statistical Analysis Center
        https://onedrive.live.com/view.aspx?resid=A754C96E86E37F71!8617&cid=a754c96e86e37f71&app=WordPdf

        MI 8/10 of 1% three-year study has come out of Michigan looking at the number of people on parole that were returned to prison for new crimes they found that of the sex offenders who were released from prison and found that they were involved in the new sexually related crime at 8/10 of 1%, or in other words, that 99.2% DID NOT Reoffend in the new sex crime. And that they had the lowest reoffend rate of all the criminal classes released.

        The full report is here http://nationalrsol.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/CAPPS.pdf.

        Document Title: SEX OFFENDER SENTENCING IN WASHINGTON STATE: RECIDIVISM RATES BY: Washington State Institute For Public Policy. A study of 4,091 sex offenders either released from prison or community supervision form 1994 to 1998 and examined for 5 years Findings: Sex Crime Recidivism Rate: 2.7%

        Link to Report: http://www.oncefallen.com/files/Washington_SO_Recid_2005.pdf

        Document Title: Indiana’s Recidivism Rates Decline for Third Consecutive Year BY: Indiana Department of Correction 2009.

        The recidivism rate for sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05%, one of the lowest in the nation. In a time when sex offenders continue to face additional post-release requirements that often result in their return to prison for violating technical rules such as registration and residency restrictions, the instances of sex offenders returning to prison due to the commitment of a new sex crime is extremely low. Findings: sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05%

        Link to Report: http://www.in.gov/idoc/files/RecidivismRelease.pdf

        Once again, these are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community.

        Then we have those that are attempting to use under-reporting to justify the existence of the registry which is another myth and misrepresentation of the facts. This type of misinformation that is based on hearsay and not on facts or evidence is also being used in order to create harsher penalties or further punishments.

        These laws only effect people who have already paid for their crime by loss of their freedom through incarceration and are now attempting to reenter society as honest citizens. Once again I want to emphasize that these laws only effect innocent family members and those individuals who most just want a second chance to become a respectable, productive and law abiding citizen and have absolutely zero effect on anyone who’s interested and intent on committing a crime.

        No one can doubt that child sexual abuse is traumatic and devastating. The question is not whether the state has an interest in preventing such harm, but whether current laws are effective in doing so.

        Megan’s law is a failure and is destroying families and their children’s lives and is costing tax payers millions upon millions of dollars. The following is just one study showing examples of the estimated cost just to implement SORNA, which many states refused to do. This list doesn’t include the cost to maintain the entire registration processes for the plethora of official state and federal agencies that is a product of these laws.

        From Justice Policy Institute. Estimated cost to implement SORNA Here are some of the estimates made in 2009 expressed in 2014 current dollars: California, $66M; Florida, $34M; Illinois, $24M; New York, $35M; Pennsylvania, $22M; Texas, $44M. In 2014 dollars, Virginia’s estimate for implementation was $14M, and the annual operating cost after that would be $10M.

        For the US, the total is $547M. That’s over half a billion dollars – every year – for something that doesn’t work.

        http://www.justicepolicy.org/images/upload/08-08_FAC_SORNACosts_JJ.pdf.

        None of these failed policies have not achieved any positive results in the US and are in fact destroying the lives of thousands upon thousands of innocent children and their families because one of their parents or family members are on such a registry.

        There has not been a single incidence in which a person was apprehended or prevented from committing a crime anywhere or anytime in this country because of any of these laws.

        Please take the time to research all the real facts and evidence on this subject and all the collateral damages to individuals and thier family members that are being caused by these laws.

        Thank you for your time.”

        • CL

          @Joe123 Bravo and a standing ovation to you!

        • E@ Joe

          Dang, dude. HAT OFF. will copy and paste this for reference and future use!

      • Joe123

        I forwarded the email thread to her as well, thanks for the info!

  4. alienated

    If this is true maybe the Accusers should cite some real data. This all BS used to feed the media frenzy. Really , Sex offenders are what going to lure kids in their home with Candy? If the public is so worried then chaperone your children. Gotta Love Fake News!

  5. AnotherAnon

    Because it was a little difficult to follow in the General Comments threads, I’m going to post the links relating to a possible defamation suit against Wendy Murphy and the newspaper. Note that the subtitle to the article is “No Mass. law to stop monsters with candy.”

    Defamation of Groups or Individual Members
    Can I defame a group or class of people?
    https://www.minclaw.com/legal-resource-center/what-is-defamation/defamation-groups-members/

    Publishing Information that Harms Another’s Reputation
    http://www.dmlp.org/legal-guide/publishing-information-harms-anothers-reputation

    Can i get in trouble for posting sex offenders addresses on public forum
    https://www.avvo.com/legal-answers/can-i-get-in-trouble-for-posting-sex-offenders-add-1938220.html

    Answer:

    “If you are re-posting this information from the government’s sex offender web site, you will be in the clear as that is public information.

    “However, if you editorialize in such a manner that crosses the line to defamation or harassment, you could be creating liability for yourself.”

    Can An Opinion Be Defamatory?

    Labeling a statement an opinion does not automatically make it an opinion or make it safe from the possibility of it being defamatory. If a reader or listener could reasonably understand that the communication as stating a fact that could be verified, the communication will not be considered an opinion, especially if it is sufficiently derogatory to hurt the subject’s reputation. Also, a communication that is presented in the form of an opinion may be considered defamatory if it implies that the opinion is based on defamatory facts that have not been disclosed.

    In other words, the fact that a statement is one’s opinion does not necessarily make one immune from a defamation lawsuit.

    Expressions of Opinion

    An expression of opinion may be “simple” or “mixed.” A “simple” expression of opinion is made after the facts on which the opinion is based are presented. A “mixed” expression of opinion is not accompanied by the facts. They may be implied by the speaker or assumed by those receiving the communication.

    This distinction is significant in light of a Supreme Court decision that holds that an expression of opinion cannot be the basis of a defamation action. Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc., (1974) 418 U.S. 323, 339. If an expression of opinion is based on disclosed, non-defamatory facts, an action is not supported no matter how unreasonable or derogatory the opinion is. However, if the expression of opinion is based on undisclosed or implied facts, support of an action depends on the understanding of the recipient of the statement, since the meaning of a communication is that which the recipient reasonably understands it to be, even if he/she is mistaken in that understanding. So if the recipient reasonably believes the truth of an undisclosed or implied defamatory fact about the subject of a statement, the speaker is liable.
    https://www.minclaw.com/legal-resource-center/what-is-defamation/can-opinion-defamatory/

    Meaning of the Communication

    The meaning of a communication is what the recipient understands the meaning to be. The recipient may be incorrect in that understanding, but if the incorrect interpretation is reasonable, the recipient’s understanding of the communication is taken to be the meaning of that communication. Generally, words are construed according to the meaning a recipient typically gives them. Southard v. Forbes Inc., 588 F.2d 140 (5 Cir. 1979).

    Likewise, the recipient’s understanding of the communication determines to whom the communication refers. A defamatory communication must refer to the plaintiff in order for the plaintiff to have a claim, but the reference is determined by the understanding of the recipient, not the intention of the defamer.

    The full context of any communication is considered when identifying the meaning of a communication and determining whether it is defamatory. Therefore, two statements could be identical, but if the context is different, one could be defamatory and other not. Hoffman v. Washington Post Co., 433 F.Supp. 600 (D.D.C. 1977). For example, the headline of a newspaper presents a different context than the newspaper article itself, because many people read only the headlines.

    The circumstances during which a person is presented the communication may also affect the meaning of the communication and how the person understands it. An otherwise obviously defamatory statement made as a joke to a person or group of people may have been made in circumstances in which no reasonable person would have taken it seriously. In such a case, the statement would not be defamatory.

    Elements of Group/Class Defamation

    An individual member of a group may be defamed by a statement if:

    The group or class is small enough that a reader or listener can reasonably understand that the statement refers to the plaintiff; and
    The reader or listener can reasonably infer that the statement refers to the plaintiff based on the circumstances of the publication.

    Although the size of the group is not defined by common law, generally plaintiffs have recovered damages when groups have included 25 or fewer people. The circumstances surrounding how the statement is presented has a significant influence on the success of such a claim. A defamatory statement alleging that “most members” of a group of 25 are guilty of bad behavior may defame the members of that group, but the same statement alleging “one member” of the group is guilty of the behavior would probably not be considered defamatory. Neiman-Marcus v. Lait, 13 F.R.D. 311 (S.D.N.Y. 1952)

    Source:

    Defamation of Groups or Individual Members
    Can I defame a group or class of people?
    https://www.minclaw.com/legal-resource-center/what-is-defamation/defamation-groups-members/

    Fearmongering Article Falsely Claims ‘Halloween Is Christmas for Sex Offenders’
    “Pushing for new laws aimed at keeping kids ‘safe’ from ‘sex offenders’ on Halloween is nonsense.”
    Lenore Skenazy|Oct. 9, 2018 2:10 pm
    https://reason.com/blog/2018/10/09/halloween-sex-offenders-boston-safe

    The History and Theory of the Law of Defamation (pointing out that defamation laws were passed in large part to prevent duels and violence, also forms of speech).
    https://www.jstor.org/stable/1109121?seq=1#metadata_info_tab_contents (at least read the last line, lol).

    I argue that not taking defamation action when possible is too passive, especially when confronted with the lies and fake news of the press. A little comment to an article is like slapping it with the little finger. One article like the one above is enough to wipe out and render helpless a million words of our resident activist, David Kennerly, a free speech lover. While I would agree that commenting can be helpful and is worth the time, that does not foreclose the use of heavy artillery where possible.

    That is not to say and defamation action would succeed. That is yet to be seen. I only suggest further research is needed because it would be a powerful weapon, and like all weapons, it must be understood.

  6. td777

    “like Christmas for sex offenders?” You’ve got to be kidding me! Wendy Murphy is obviously campaigning for more clients or to become the DA or something along those lines, and Joe Dwinell must be her campaign manager. What a bunch of garbage! And shame on you Boston Herald for publishing this!

    • Dustin

      Wendy Murphy is an insignificant anti-SO Nazi who had a little bit of spotlight when the Duke Lacrosse team was falsely accused of sexual assault. She sided with the accuser and repeatedly claims there is no such thing as a false accusation. You’ll have better luck convincing her she’s a 9-legged, cross-bred alien hippo than you will that her opinions regarding sex offenses and registrants are misguided.

      Pretty sure nearly anyone with a little knowledge would shred her in an honest debate. Equally sure she would never agree to participate in such a debate.

    • Hostage in Texas

      Wendy Murphy???? Give me a break. I cant believe they are talking to that irrelevent, no talent hack. She needs to go crawl back unde her rock and spare us her ignorrance.

  7. Will Allen

    I added some comments at the source article. Please do the same.

    What would that article look like if there were 100 comments following it that condemned it?

    How about 500? 1,000? There are easily enough of us. Easily. It should be an avalanche.

  8. Mike G

    Just wondering, how many thousands of children have been sexually assaulted on Halloween by a Registered Person?

    Or hundreds?

    Or dozens?

    Or count with fingers on one hand?

    Someone must have this extremely significant figure to justify this article. Right?

  9. Joe123

    I will be emailing a long, brass, letter to the editor, the Boston Herald, and all of the groups such as NARSOL, A4CSOL, WAR, FAC and possibly a MA state senator. Everyone will be CCed. I’m not going to let this Bullshit slide. I’m getting really fed up with the endless harassment of people and their families. These bastards propogating the myths and scare mongering need to face jail time.

  10. Eric

    As far as I know, and this was backed up by an attorney I know, there has never been a child sexually assaulted by a person on the registry giving out candy on Halloween. Definitely not ever in California. So Wendy Murphy like all the fear and hate mongers is a little of with her demagoguery stats.

    • Tired of this

      And while Ms. Murphy is out there crusading against this imagined threat, I see news stories year after year of numerous kids getting hurt and killed while out trick-or-treating by drunk drivers and other motorists who didn’t see them. For someone supposedly championing the cause of child safety, she’s awfully silent on these real, actual, well-documented dangers to kids out on Halloween.

      I’m guessing she has political aspirations.

  11. kat

    In TN not only is it CANDY that the authorities think will lure kids to the home of registrants, they also have a
    ban on outside and inside Fall Decorations!
    Has any kid ever been so taken with a decorative fall wreath and mums on the porch that they just couldn’t resist?
    These laws keep getting squirrelier and squirrelier! When will it end?????????

    • Will Allen

      “Squirrelier” is too nice of a word, LOL. Better words are: idiotic, illegal, immoral, anti-American.

      I added some comments at the source article. Please do the same.

      What would that article look like if there were 100 comments following it that condemned it?

      How about 500? 1,000? There are easily enough of us. Easily. It should be an avalanche.

  12. AnotherAnon

    The problem is that 5 times more people read the headline than read the body of the article. So what do most people see in big bold type?

    Sex offenders have access to kids on Halloween
    No Mass. law to stop monsters with candy

    And that is all they will see and remember.

    If anyone actually reads the body all the way through (and most will not) they likely do not read the comments. Even if they read the comments, they likely don’t read all of them.

    Don’t get me wrong. I’ve been commenting where I thought it counted for almost 15 years. It’s like spitting into the wind and tugging on superman’s cape. I made enemies, but that’s ok. Success is measured by the number of new laws based on evidence-based solutions. Failure is new laws based on fear-mongering. I lost, over and over, but at least the debate isn’t as one-sided as it was years ago. Anyway, there are few other options. I think nothing-personal comments with evidence-based facts are most effective.

  13. nylevel1

    WRONG
    Both California and New York have similar laws that allow police to perform unannounced visits to sex offenders’ homes on Halloween night, Oct. 31.

    NEW YORK HAS THIS FOR PAROLEES AND CERTAIN PROBATIONERS ONLY

    • Will Allen

      Interesting. But why do they even need a law? I expect that probably in any state that LE can make unannounced visits any time that they like. And I know they do all over the place. That is precisely why every Registered Person should have their homes inaccessible to LE always. Don’t allow them to get close to you. Anywhere.

      • AJ

        @nylevel1:
        @Will Allen is exactly right. Neither NY nor CA, nor any other State, needs a law “allowing” it. See KY v. King (https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/563/452/):
        *****
        When law enforcement officers who are not armed with a warrant knock on a door, they do no more than any private citizen might do. And whether the person who knocks on the door and requests the opportunity to speak is a police officer or a private citizen, the occupant has no obligation to open the door or to speak. [] When the police knock on a door but the occupants choose not to respond or to speak, “the investigation will have reached a conspicuously low point,” and the occupants “will have the kind of warning that even the most elaborate security system cannot provide.” [] And even if an occupant chooses to open the door and speak with the officers, the occupant need not allow the officers to enter the premises and may refuse to answer any questions at any time. (Citations removed.)
        *****
        This concept was reaffirmed in FL v. Jardines (https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/569/1/),
        which cited KY v. King and even included the useful example of trick-or-treaters:
        *****
        This implicit license typically permits the visitor to approach the home by the front path, knock promptly, wait briefly to be received, and then (absent invitation to linger longer) leave. Complying with the terms of that traditional invitation does not require fine-grained legal knowledge; it is generally managed without incident by the Nation’s Girl Scouts and trick-or-treaters. Thus, a police officer not armed with a warrant may approach a home and knock, precisely because that is “no more than any private citizen might do.” (Citations removed.)

        • TS

          @AJ

          I have wondered recently about the knock and talk you describe here in relation to using a locked screendoor vs an apartment frontdoor where no screendoor is possible. Using a locked screendoor should allow one to talk but does maintain the inability for LE to enter.

          However, what about the other with no screendoor?

        • Will Allen

          TS (October 12, 2018):

          You can open your door to talk to LE and that does not mean at all that you are giving them permission to enter your home. However, if they see, smell, hear, or whatever, anything that is illegal or a problem, they can bust in. And they might just say they smelled or saw something, just to bust in. Best to avoid the possibility completely.

          The worse case is that a person has a front door that cannot be blocked for whatever reason. For those people, I think they should simply tell LE that they won’t be answering the door if they happen to stop by. And then don’t answer the door. Anyone that can block access to their doors/home, should.

          If people want “compliance checks” to stop, then they must act. If you don’t act, you’ll just have to accept them.

          Personally, I don’t think that “compliance checks” are really a big deal. And if I were a member of LE, I would try to verify addresses. BUT … I do think that Registered People (RP) should NEVER allow them. It is a simple matter of principle. RPs should never do anything that is not forced that gives any hint or indication that the Registries might be acceptable. Doesn’t matter how tiny of a thing it is, it should not be done. It is that simple to me.

          Additionally, I think LE and the anti-Americans who support the Registries, cry so much about having to “verify” information and they lie so much about how they are “monitoring” people that I think it just sends the perfect message if EVERYONE knew that in reality that LE couldn’t get near anyone’s homes. That is the perfect message. Their “monitoring” is pure lies.

        • TS

          @Will Allen

          Thank you. Talking to them through a chained door then is ok (which is not technically open and must be busted open to further any LE advance into the house) when a screen door is not possible.

        • AJ

          @TS:
          Once again, @Will Allen is spot on and I wholly agree. Aside from their seeing/smelling/hearing something that creates an exigent circumstance (whether or not something was truly seen/smelled/heard being debatable and suspect), they’re like vampires: they can’t enter (i.e. break the plane of the threshold) in any way unless invited (further comparison to being life- and blood-sucking inhumans is left for others).

          Personally, I would not given them any opportunity to let them see into my residence. You could perhaps speak to them through a slightly open window, but that then allows them to look through the window into the house. I suppose you could also ask them for a cell phone number and call them on the other side of the door. You could also simply shout back and forth through a closed door, but that may be a problem if trying to maintain a certain amount of discretion and privacy.

          Personally, I will never answer the door for any Thin Blue Liar, regardless their reason for being there. Likewise, I will not roll down my car window any further than necessary to give what limited answers I must (which are quite few…or even none) and to pass documents back and forth. Remember, too, that even if your door is open, you’re 100% within your rights to stop the conversation and close the door in their face at any time you choose. From FL v. Royer, citing Terry v. OH:
          *****
          “The person approached, however, need not answer any question put to him; indeed, he may decline to listen to the questions at all, and may go on his way.”
          *****
          Here, “approached” = their being at your door, and “go on his way” = closing the door.

          To answer your question: Personally I find “talking to them” at *all* is not okay. But yes, a screen door is fine. A chain-locked door is fine. A wide-open door is fine. But all of these introduce risk. The safest door is one that remains closed, even if unlocked. If a door is opened in any way, I’d be sure to have my foot or some other doorstop propped against it. I’d also probably have audio and/or video recording being made, just in case.

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