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Cotton wields sex offender report to tank prisons bill

GOP Sen. Tom Cotton is locked in an awkward fight with fellow Republicans over their push to change federal prison sentencing guidelines. And now he has a new attack line intended to make his rivals squirm: warnings that sex offenders could get off easy. Full Article

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  1. Dustin

    Once again, some clown looking to make a name for himself by fearmongering against registrants. It get SO tiresome.

    Told you all there’s be efforts to exempt registrants from anything positive in the bill. Or it might have been on SOSEN (I presume most read that site as well).

  2. FinallyOffTheReg

    “The four sex-related crimes on which Cotton sought information are already eligible for the former category of credits under current law, which the new criminal justice bill would expand to a minor degree in order to fix “a flawed interpretation of existing law,” Grassley spokesman Taylor Foy said.”

    If I am not mistaken, a “Failure to Register” is not defined as a “Sex Crime” is it not? I remember a whole bunch of Federal cases in circuit courts that seemed to address this, or not.

    • TS

      FTR falls under SORNA; therefore, has the stink of a sex crime due to its relation with it, despite it not being one. https://www.smart.gov/faqs/faq_registration.htm Question #11 specifically. This is probably where Sen. Cotton is getting his info since DOJ loves SMART.

      • FinallyOffTheReg

        My thoughts similar. Because it’s the “fruit” of that Foul Tree (SORNA) and in fact many in the Club to which Mr. Cotton is a member, I doubt have any understanding of SORNA and its Progeny, including judges, the LEA, probation officers, etc as evidenced by so much litigation. Hence, Mr. Cotton and the reporting entity classify FTR as a separate “Sexual Offense” in order, perhaps to Gin Up the Fear among the generally uneducated House and Senate (See Facebook testimony of Zuckerberg).

        Just a thought.

  3. Eric

    When you are a politician with nothing to offer and many skeletons in your own closet cry loudly, “It is those sex offenders, I will protect your children,” and you are sure to get at least a minimal applause and a modest following of similarly naïve people.

  4. Don’t tread on me

    “Because everyone of y’all sex perverts need killin! No punishment is enough. Anyone on that thar registry belongs there cuz they raped and molested children. They are all sex predators.”

    I have grown so tired of the same old rhetoric. I am not sure how to make our voices heard. There has been improvements over the years but politicians like Tom Cotton seem to suffer from a psychosis. It brings the thought “me thinks thou doth protest too much” . Maybe this pin head needs to be watched a little closer. I would be willing to bet there are skeletons in his closet.

  5. NY won't let go

    I’m just waiting for Trump to realize how much having the registry costs, then hopefully decide that it’s a waste of money because it doesn’t prevent anything.

    • Use it for the wall

      He could use the freed up funds from cancelling the registry and other related items to build the wall…just saying…a simple Congressional reprogramming of funds is needed to do this.

    • mike r

      I like the Trump idea. This needs to brought to his attention as I am sure he knows nothing about it. Doubt if he do anything but never know.

    • R M

      Eh, I sent Trump a letter a few months back about how much money the US could save by getting rid of the registry. No response. Who knows if it even made it to his desk.

  6. AJ

    This would seem like a very prudent time to contact Senators and Representatives to let them know of the true data regarding sex-offense recidivism…and then perhaps add in how the MLs hold back people who’ve paid their debt to society (the ones they are supposedly so concerned to help) for absolutely no reason nor to any good. Providing references to DOJ, CASOMB, etc., studies would also be helpful.

    This level of attention to criminals and reform doesn’t come along very often. We need our voices to be heard and the true data presented.

    If you do write, just remember it’s much easier to attract flies with honey than vinegar. IOW, be highly deferential and respectful if you expect to have your opinion considered or heard. You also don’t have to ID yourself as a POTR; you could just say you have someone in your family suffering the effects of it. This, too, can help get your opinion considered and heard.

    • TS

      @AJ

      Wise counsel there.

      There was a great letter recently posted here with data, etc that could be a template to get the message across. I want to say it went to an editor or something, but don’t remember exactly.

      Could the person who wrote it repost it so it may be used to maximum effect (with many copies sent by all to Sen Cotton’s office in addition to Sens Grassley and Mitchell)? Sen Cotton will know info ops when he sees many copies arrive due to his Army days.

      • E

        It was a letter to the Boston Globe, I think. Hope that might help find it.

      • AJ

        @R M or @Dustin:

        Wasn’t it one of you who posted such?

        • R M

          @AJ: I could have very well written the letter in question. I have written so many over the last few years it’s hard to keep track with whom I write them to or the exact contacts. I did look through my emails but still am not sure which one TS is referring to. If I contacted someone about an article here on ACSOL, I most likely post the message contents here. I have always used the name R M. I’m not sure if a search for R M would reveal it though. Sorry.

          On the other hand, it’s not difficult to write a letter as I have all the recidivism studies and just about everything I am interested in in Word documents.

        • TS

          It was a recent article posting here and Boston Globe sounds about right by this author who has posted several of their good letters here of late. I could reinvent the wheel and do a letter, but this letter was just great the way it was written with citations, verbiage, etc and would be nice to use as is, IMO. I did search here on Boston Globe with no success. No worries, I am sure there will be another one here soon enough that will work the same.

        • TS

          Thank you @E for the redirect there to the letter.

  7. Ricky Fitz

    Here are two quotes that I found particularly troubling:

    1. “‘There is no such thing as a “low-risk violent sex offender” who deserves earlier release than under current law[.]’”

    + Wait a minute, does the Static 99R scam, as one example, not score “violent” sexual offenders at a lower risk than people convicted of non-contact offenses? (And I use the term ‘violent’ in sarcastic fashion—since it has been perverted when it comes to “sex offenders.”)

    2. “All inmates must first pass a DOJ *risk assessment* before they can even begin earning good time credits.”

    + Ah ha! RISK ASSESSMENT! There is the slippery slope that some people have wisely warned regarding the Static 99R scam and Fake Doctor Karl Hanson. Bogus risk assessments, however dumb and stupid, are here to stay. Risk assessments are like The Walking Dead zombie virus, and akin to the new Minority Report come to real life.

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