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CaliforniaJanice's Journal

Janice’s Journal: When Will They Learn?

The CA state legislature began a new two-year session just last month. And in that short period of time, legislators are already heading down the wrong path.

What path? The path which identifies all individuals convicted of a sex offense as dangerous and likely to commit a new sex offense.

For example, Assemblymember Kevin McCarty who is known for his compassion for those who are or have been incarcerated, introduced a bill (AB 277) that would allow parolees to earn “reintegration credits” that could ultimately allow them to travel greater distances from their homes. Under this bill, a successful parolee could travel as far away as 125 miles instead of the current 50 miles.

The problem with AB 277 is that it arbitrarily excludes anyone “who is required to register pursuant to Section 290.” This exclusion ignores the fact that a person may be required to register due to a conviction that occurred many decades ago or involved a non-contact, non-violent offense such as public indecency.

As another example, Assembly member Melissa Melendez introduced a bill (AB 884) that would disturb the balance struck during the recent passage of the Tiered Registry Bill. Specifically, the bill would assign anyone convicted of violating PC 288(a) to the highest tier which requires lifetime registration.

If this bill becomes law, the hopes and dreams of at least 40 percent of the individuals required to register in California would be dashed. That is, instead of being eligible to petition for removal from the registry after “only” 20 years, these individuals would be required to register for their entire lives.

These bills must be stopped in order to prevent further punishment of individuals who are currently required to register! Opportunities to stop them are coming soon in the form of a hearing to be held by the Assembly Public Safety Committee on March 12 in Room 126 of the State Capitol.

Please Show Up – Stand Up – Speak up on March 12 at the hearing which is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. You can even join ACSOL at the nearby Starbucks restaurant (12th and L) at 8:30 a.m.

For if the legislators refuse to learn the “easy” way, we will need to teach them the “hard” way by speaking in opposition to the legislation that they offer during committee hearings at which the legislation will be considered. And when you join ACSOL at a committee hearing, you will feel the power because you will be empowered. For it is inevitable that we shall overcome. That reason will be the ultimate victor.

Join the discussion

  1. jesse

    You knew this was coming. This vile woman just beat everyone else to the punch.

    Unless I am wrong, the “worst” thing one could do – before the introduction of PC 288.7 in 2006? (penetration of a person 10 or under) – was PC 288(a) (L&L with a person under 14) – which included everything from touching a 13 year old over clothing on the upper thigh to anally raping a 2 year old. Right away, super helpful.

    The current tiering law is 100% offense based, and as it stands now…

    – any number of “intent” crimes (288.2, 288.3 and 288.4 – talking to, meeting for or displaying images of sex to) with a 17.5 year is Tier 3, while PC 288(a) is Tier 2.

    – 288(a) is Tier 2, while 288(c) is Tier 3. Again, before 2006 anally / vaginally raping a 2 year old would be 288(a), after 2006 sex with / raping an 11 year old would be 288(a), while a 25+ year old hugging and kissing a 15 year old would be Tier 3.

    – having sex with a 16/17 year old (that that even is a crime boggles the mind) is Tier 1, while having photos of a 16/17 year old having sex is Tier 3.

    All while…

    – torturing any number of children is no Tier whatsoever (like the recent case in Perris).

    – killing children, on purpose or as a (repeat) drunk driver, is no Tier whatsoever.

    – getting a 14 year old to be the lookout for your robbery sees that child prosecuted and sentenced to life as an adult.

    None of that makes any sense.

    The sex offender registry is stupid, evil and useless. Modifying the sex offender registry is nothing more than polishing a turd. The sex offender registry must be abolished, not modified. Let’s pool our efforts and resources to make that happen. I am in.

    • Mr. D

      @jesse – I don’t know where you are getting your
      Info but a 288c is not Tier 3, especially if it’s a misdemeanor (it’s a wobbler offense). I’ve had a very good attorney look at this and he has confirmed its not. You might want to take another look.

  2. AO

    Janice, politicians will never learn if there are no consequences for their blatantly bad laws. When a politician can ignore all the evidence and continue doing things based purely on fear mongering in order to garner votes, even though the consequences actually make the public less safe, they have no reason to stop. When the highest of courts basically rules that facts have no rational bases to laws written (and I mean facts, not “rational” as defined by the law), we have an incredibly broken system.

    • Tim Moore

      The Constitution is helping us today little more than it helped free slaves in 1859. A constitutional ammendment that recognizes a basic right to rehabilitation into full citizenship is needed. It would help end a lot of mass incarceration and police surveillance wrongs. Unfortunately such great changes come about through conflict and great sacrifice –which will happen if they keep ratcheting up the draconian laws.

  3. AERO1

    These bills wont pass LE is just as tired of all this fear mongering as we are. Law enforcement knows that the public registry is flawed and useless the way it is right now and it has to be broken down into tears so it can be manageable and make sense I keep people safe and track the people who need to be track and to make every single 288(a) case a tier 3 that’s 50% of the registry and then you got the tier 3 S.O that’s about 85% of the registry so basically even with the tier law the registry would completely stay the same.Misdemeanor 290 cases with a certificate of Rehabilitation could allways be taken off of the registry we all known that for years so there’s no way the state of California is going to take one step forward and two steps back I don’t see it happening

    • Mr. Target

      I don’t know what LE you are talking about butt, here in good ol alabam they sure luv a good lynching and hounding the poor bast@$# is lots a fun boy ! Life is not like you say at all…when they come to arrest you, they yell In your face provoking you and make you talk about your situation. ..self incrimination or get your face smashed In…is the game here ! Just that plain an simple! !!!

  4. Timothy I WI

    When men start compelling former government officials to testify by summons concerning the use of statutes containing the words “Was in prison for a crime” in registration violation cases things will start changing.

    that so many registrants refuse to acknowledge their plain indenture by mass protest in D.C. says a lot about the bunch. Complaining to fed courts has its limitations. Observe the state of Michigan. Their state’s Congress unmoved by declaration. Their ability to move intact but the state’s legislature is hard against limiting governmental utilization of database for public safety. Indeed efficacy proven considering “aid to law enforcement” but not before a crime done only subsequent is SORNA effective.

    • RegistrantNotAnOffender

      I’m sorry but thats just dumb. Many registrants are on probation or indigent so this wet dream of a march on the capitol is just silly. If you’re able to do it great but I’m on probation.

  5. Eric

    Sounds like the assembly hate mongers are getting ready for battle against the tiered registry. They are probably suspecting the new governor might be sensible and reasonable and that worries them. The CA state legislature has so many problems in CA that they don’t know how to deal with (massive homelessness, soaring housing cost, worst fires in history, water shortage, traffic, energy efficiency). These problems take ingenuity, insight, research, time investment, and inspiration to solve. Obviously the legislature is severely lacking in these areas, so better to scream “Get the Sex Offenders!!” and constituents will really think they are doing something for the state. Gavin Newsome is smart, and has some understanding of human nature. I don’t think he will give in to the emotional knee-jerk of these simple minded politicians.

  6. ron

    Does anyone know if this includes attempts? I know a huge number of us are internet sting cases. I wonder if this only includes actual commissions of the crime.

  7. G4Change

    Janice, I love reading what you write. You are so inspirational! Thank you for everything you do. We are blessed to have you fighting for us and with us!

  8. USA

    Well state Janice. I do have a few questions regarding SB 384? There is a big difference between PC 243.4 A Felony and misdemeanor. I would imagine if the charge is reduced to a misdemeanor pursuant to 17B, it’s legitimately a misdemeanor? This is the difference between a Tier 3 and 1! Expunged?

  9. FinallyOffTheReg

    Okay, I am confused. Thoroughly confused.

    Full Disclosure: Am here in Connecticut

    So wait a second. I know how States’ enact SORNA Laws far more aggressive than the Federal SORNA Requirement.

    Now, isn’t this an argument about an important thing. That thing is when a person has FULFILLED a SORNA requirement in terms of Registration (10 years) and now these states want to dial this pack and say “anyone who has ever been in history convicted, regardless of the SORNA fulfilment must now re-register based on California??? WTF?

  10. USA

    Great job Janice. I do have a question/I’ve never seen this topic. SB 384 is coming. How does SB 384 affect those who have had their offenses reduced to a misdemeanor? (17B). Ie: battery reduced to a misdemeanor makes a huge difference. Also, what if you had a 288 misdemeanor expunged? Anybody have clear understanding of this? Or, what if you had a felony reduced to a misdemeanor and later expunged?

    • steve

      Hire a lawyer to get your answers.

      • AJ

        Clearly that’s not a path he wishes to follow. Much easier to snipe others on here who share their experiences of having gone through the processes. But that’s useless, right? Also, why hire when you can try to get pro bono here?

    • Janice Bellucci

      @USA – It is not yet known whether the CA Dept. of Justice will assign an individual originally convicted of a felony that was later reduced to a misdemeanor to Tier 1 or a different tier. We have asked that question of the agency, but we don’t have an answer yet. In addition, the agency has stated that they do NOT intend to issue regulations implementing the Tiered Registry. Instead, the agency plans to issue “Answers to Frequently Asked Questions” which don’t require public input and are don’t have the effect of law.

      • AO @ Janice

        Interesting how they keep moving the goal post on these things. Not “all disabilities” are removed via 1203.4, and now possibly your reduction isn’t a real reduction.

      • So little left to hope for

        Well, if they don’t , then why did I even bother with the reduction? It hasn’t helped in employment, my health, or anything else. If it won’t assist in getting me off this list, then what a waste.
        I am slowly getting closer to the old saying “ If I have nothing left to lose, then things can get ugly”.

      • Mike

        Much of the destructive, extra-punishment punishment we inflict on sex offenders is due to the widely held belief that they’re more likely to re-offend than the perpetrators of other classes of crimes. This has been the main justification for the Supreme Court’s authorization of sex-offender registries and for holding sex offenders indefinitely after they’ve served their sentences. Lower courts have then cited those rulings to justify a host of other measures, from severe restrictions on where sex offenders can live to GPS monitoring of their every move.

        The problem, as Adam Liptak writes at the New York Times, is that the claim just isn’t true.

        Last week at the Supreme Court, a lawyer made what seemed like an unremarkable point about registered sex offenders.

        “This court has recognized that they have a high rate of recidivism and are very likely to do this again,” said the lawyer, Robert C. Montgomery, who was defending a North Carolina statute that bars sex offenders from using Facebook, Twitter and other social media services.

        The Supreme Court has indeed said the risk that sex offenders will commit new crimes is “frightening and high.” That phrase, in a 2003 decision upholding Alaska’s sex offender registration law, has been exceptionally influential. It has appeared in more than 100 lower-court opinions, and it has helped justify laws that effectively banish registered sex offenders from many aspects of everyday life.

        But there is vanishingly little evidence for the Supreme Court’s assertion that convicted sex offenders commit new offenses at very high rates. The story behind the notion, it turns out, starts with a throwaway line in a glossy magazine.

        The quote came from Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, and it claims that the recidivism rate for sex offenders is 80 percent. If true, that would indeed be “frightening and high.” But it isn’t true. At Slate, David Feige brings the data:

        In the most comprehensive single study on reoffense rates to date, the U.S. Department of Justice followed every sex offender released in almost 15 states for three years. The recidivism rate? Just 3.5 percent. These numbers have been subsequently verified in study after study. The state of Connecticut Criminal Justice Policy and Planning Division did a five-year study that found a recidivism rate of 3.6 percent. A Maine study found that released sex offenders were arrested for a new sex crime at a rate of 3.9 percent. Government studies in Alaska, Delaware, Iowa, and South Carolina have also replicated these results—all finding same-crime recidivism rates of between 3.5 and 4 percent, so why don’t we attack the registry in way because this there reason for making these laws, thank you

  11. USA

    Interesting. I imagine per the law that if your charge is reduced to a misdemeanor pursuant to 17 B, for all intense purposes you have never been convicted of a felony and your gun rights can be reinstated as well FYI

  12. USA

    Intriguing. I (Janice Comment) can possibly understand if a Felony is expunged, but the 17B is a must. It’s clearly noted in the law. What do you mean by they won’t implement regulations for the tiered registry (in layman terms)? Thank you

    • Benny

      USA, thank you for addressing a question of such for I as well am on edge with wonder if my reduction was futile and places me on a higher tier for my index offense as a felony puts me in tier 2 as oppose a misdemeanor in tier 1.

  13. USA

    Well stated Benny! I’ll bet 1000000/1 they must respect the reduction pursuant to 17B! It’s the law! I might only wonder about if a Felony is expunged? Most layers recommend having the wobbler reduced to a misdemeanor and later expunged for this purpose. This is clearly stated. Please keep us posted Janice and I think God you exist. My plea was a PC 243.4 A reduced per 17B and later expunged with Summary Probation.

    • Mr. D

      I believe that your assessed tier if you have a 17b reduction may come down to their definition of the word conviction. It also sounds like perhaps your local judge might have some leeway with their decision making if the state fails to further define? I’m not putting a ton of faith in my 1203.4 especially for a 288c but am hoping the reduction via 17b will get me to where I need to be. A letter to Senators Wiener and Anderson regarding application of 1203.4 is in need, which I plan to compile and send this weekend.

    • Benny

      USA, I have the exact same index offense as yours. It was later I learned on this site I could of filled the 1203.4 along with the 17d rather than having a lawyer do it which I paid $$$. Anyhow going on 25 years of this madness on a plea bargain that did not include any form of registration 😫. My heart goes out to anyone on that torturous shame list (website) which I’m not on and will literally destroy all I’ve worked for if I’m placed on tier 2 based on a felony rather than a misdemeanor.

  14. USA

    Well stated D! I concur

  15. Robert Curtis

    Approaching the registry and fighting it differently. Why not go after the outrageous to make a point of clarity on how outrageous having a registry is. Fight to allow registrants to be able to carry firearms (CCW-Conceal Carry Weapons). We have many cases of violence against registrants and there families. If they push laws to exclude to applying relief bc of being a registrant then way not seek to have amended laws that keep them from protecting themselves like that of acquiring a CCW? Perhaps the fight for such will loosen the nuse applied elsewhere…

  16. USA

    Well stated Benny. I have no doubt the 17B will prevail. The law is very well stated regarding this. Now, if you had your felony expunged, that could make a big difference. It’s been years, but this is an interesting note:

    [7] A “wobbler” still may be reduced to a misdemeanor under section 17(b) even after the case is dismissed under section 1203.4. See Meyer v. Superior Court in and For Sacramento County (1966) 247 Cal.App.2d 133.

    So, there you go! I remember (21-22 years for me) when the Megan’s Website first came out. I was on it for 1 day. I called and they removed me because of the misdemeanor

    • AJ

      “I have no doubt the 17B will prevail. The law is very well stated regarding this.”
      Weren’t you recently rebuking some on here for being armchair lawyers? Huh.

    • Benny

      USA, thanks for those encouraging words. Coincidentally I too was on the Megan’s site for one day up until I immediately jumped on the internet exclusion application I was qualified for based on the offense. And yes my case was a wobbler having served only county time. I must say that I didn’t know anything about the 1204.3 and 17b til about 2 years ago as a result of reading various post on this site on the subject matter which goes to show us that a lot of good info is put out on this site that is quite helpful for registrants. So it was approx 2 years ago I hired an attorney who took care of it. I wanted to b sure I did what I could to possible help my situation to hopefully land in the lowest tier possible. I understand nothing is for sure as of yet until that bill (tiered) goes into effect, I wish the best for all and basically want, desire what most do, my life completely back and to rid of this ball and chain once and for all.

  17. Anonymous Nobody

    Balance! Balance!! You ADVOCATE balance! That is the entire problem with the thrust of this group! You think BALANCE is perfectly good for registration, that registration is OK at minimum for many.

    You are thinking wrong, and that is why we got a BS tiered registry bill and why these bills for more and harsher registration continue — because this group hysterically advocated and cheerleaded for a horrible bill that for some even increased the time of registration from 7 to 10 years minimum but possibly more and which will not provide the promised relief for many when it finally takes effect.

    Registration is not OK for ANYONE! That is what probation and parole is for, those by law are the test of whether someone is reformed.

    What this group did in cheerleading on that BS tiered registry bill gives the foundation for these bills that basically advocate hate and sadism. We already said it is OK to have registration and to apply it worse to some and even lifetime for others — so why should these bills not say similar? This group hysterically advocated and cheerleaded that tiered registry bill and those distinctions.

    It is ludicrous to argue over a bill about whether a parolee can travel 50 miles or 150 miles rather than argue that the parolee should not even be subject to registration, they already are more closely monitored by parole itself – and if they weren’t registering, the bill would not even apply to them!

    You don’t ever see this — because this group has taken the stance by what it supports that registration is OK at least for many, this group has supported that distinction as it hysterically and very wrongly advocated for the tiered registry that sets up all the same qualifications as a COR.

    Worse yet, there was no real challenge to bringing in the computerized decision of whether someone is safe to even stop registering under the bill — that is an extremely dangerous thing to accept, that PRETENDS to be science, but it is rife with prejudice and has not even been subjected to a legitimate vetting. For instance, if you are single, not married, it judges you as that much more likely to reoffend. It will stand in court as effectively unchallengeable, as the most expert of expert witnesses – that’s why the haters want it.

    Think, how can you be offense-free for 10 years, for 20 years, yet have that thing judge you as likely to reoffend?! The test of time is the best test of all — and that is the time set for probation or parole. Five years is the time frame SCIENCE has found after which recidivism rates plunge dramatically, leaving relatively few likely to reoffend — and we advocated at least 10 years for the most minor of offenses, for many 20 years, but then let this BS computer model override that anyway. To substitute some BS computerized prejudice to override proof positive of the test of time — I cannot say how stupid it was not to raise hell about that.

    So of course, after the BS tiered registry bill, we will continue to have bill after bill, and worse going forward when the progressive movement of today is over before long. The advocacy of this group supports making distinctions for sex offenders in these new bills. This group let itself be co-opted by the ACLU, which has NEVER opposed registration in all these years and does not now; it at best merely opposes some of the worst things, and for those only seeking half measures.

    And I mention Los Angeles DA Jacki Lacie, whom this group touted as our hero for the tiered registry, only last week taking to screaming “Sex offenders, Sex offenders” when criticized for her harsh approach on prosecutions in a topic not even about sex offenders! She is one of those to hype up and exploit such scare tactics at our loss just to divert attention! I told you she was not our friend, was the enemy! She’s out here screaming “Sex offenders,” one of those hyping things up against us. No wonder she wanted this BS tiered registry — it does a LOT less than meets the eye, its design was to actually prevent something that actually would be good — this group supported the best tactic to deny us!

    What this group should at least do now is jump into this progressive movement and strongly advocate to eliminate registration for ALL misdemeanors, but without ever indicating it is OK for anyone else — how can mere poor demeanor be “dangerous,” by law and definition it is minor. Even if they were to reoffend, it would be only a MINOR issue, maybe offensive but not a danger — not that that makes it at all acceptable, but it should not be subjected to registration. But again, giving misdemeanants probation as the test is OK if ending that registration with an expungement, although to register while on probation is simply redundancy and pointless expense.

    A minor offense is not one to justify registration, which is always justified on the basis of DANGER. In fact, until the Clinton administration, with Hillary Clinton’s choice of attorney general, made registration a national requirement, successfully completing probation and so obtaining an expungement was the standard to stop registering — in other words, lower level offenses never did face lifetime registration! Point this out, that was never done before this hysteria. And it was never 10 years either, it was the time of probation, a year, maybe a few years.

    That expungement route to relief was overridden when the registration laws, and their new requirements, were made retroactive and the expungement route was very quietly eliminated at that same time — the two together taking away the relief that already had been earned and given.

    Simply eliminating that retroactivity would return the relief from registration all those people already earned and were granted! They would not have to fear a computer saying otherwise, or loony district attorney challenging them. Even those who do not live in California any more would get the relief (the tiered registry bill requires California residency as you must be doing your registration here in order to qualify).

    Stop all registration for misdemeanors. At minimum! Whether new offenses or old ones. Or, at minimum, make an expungement provide relief from registration once again – serious offenders do not get probation, although some low level felons do.

    Stop all registration for non-violent felons. Stop registration for anyone, that is what parole and probation is for. In fact, if they are that bad, obviously they should not even be in the criminal system, they should never have been prosecuted, or imprisoned, they should have been handled by the medical system instead, if you actually believe in a “correctional system” — what they did was a symptom, even if tragic, not a crime.

    That is, start the elimination of registration — start moving up the ladder. For god’s sake, if you think registration is broken, how can you think it is OK for misdemeanors?! In the tiered registry debate, they said registration is broken. Eliminating it for misdemeanors should not be big deal, that is about the most broken thing about registration — even federal registration does not require registration for misdemeanors! In fact, eliminate registration for all offenses for which the federal government does not require it — as I had advocate from day one or this group.

    • Mark Judkins

      Anonymous Nobody – I have been part of this group since nearly its first meeting in LA. Janice has always said that her goal is to eliminate the registry. And frankly, your comments that the people that went to Sacramento cheered on the current law flies in the face of the facts. No one who was there cheered on that legislation. We ALL were disappointed by it, but felt it was a step toward our eventual goal, elimination of the registry. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and NO civil rights group has ever achieved a complete victory in the first round. Change is progressive and step wise. Your histrionics will not get the change. But a fact-based, thoughtful approach will. Riots never evoke change, they only invoke more hate and punishment. An all or nothing approach does us little good. We will get nothing. But over time, we have made a difference. We eliminated housing restrictions. We eliminated presence restrictions. We have gotten some people their professional licenses back. My life is better because of those steps. In 2021, some will get off the registry. Its time to work for getting all of us off. Your undue, ignorant criticism of Janice, and the other people who are trying to make a difference only shows that you have not been involved in the process and are standing on the sidelines as a spectator. I suggest you get involved. Come to Sacramento, make your voice heard, and be a part of the process in eliminating the registry.

      • Anonymous Nobody

        Unfortunately, you do not understand the situation, it is far more complex than you realize, there are details going back decades that make the difference now that you don’t even know about, but the other side does and has not stopped pushing them — I would explain things about how I know but that would be too revealing, and I care to stay private.

        The tiers are not a step toward anything, they are the beginning AND END of anything, and are little more than the status quo, since they use pretty much the same standard as a COR but worse, and add in unchallengeable computerized “expert” prejudice, while going a long way to weakening any argument against registration rather than to eliminate it.

        That tier proposal was twisted to actually continue the decades-long INCREMENTALISM the other side has been using, and they made long-thwarted gains in that tier proposal, and you don’t even know that. You were duped, especially by scurrilous Jackie Lacey, and did not know enough to realize that — and would not listen.

        IF you want to eliminate registration, than at least push to go back to the method before this hysteria brought into high speed in under the Clinton administration — when an expungement eliminated your registration requirement — that probation was your test of time, not a secondary system with flat time terms that don’t matter anyway since you still have to apply and meet a standard other than the time. Push to eliminate ALL registration for misdemeanants, even during probation — why should misdemeanants have to register, its just poor demeanor, not a danger! (In fact, the courts were starting to implement that before the hysteria went into action, registration for misdemeanors was being “incrementally” eliminated as unconstitutional cruelty, first for lewd conduct, then for indecent exposure — lewd conduct even subsequently was taking out of the registration law, but unfortunately indecent exposure was not taken out before the hysteria took hold. And the tier proposal for it just changed the time before relief for it from 7 years to 10 years!)

        Get something real done, don’t instead be manipulated and duped. At least learn how to lead, not follow — and follow the enemy like Jackie Lacey.

      • rocky

        Hi Mark,
        Can we talk employment issues sometime?

  18. Mike

    Hi, what i believe is the government. Is keeping everyone side tracked on all these little things to us busy fighting and not seeing the truth! People there are studies by every state and government that shows recidivism is below 4.7% they know this and don’t want anyone to know this because the registry is about money nothing more & the report the legislature used to enacted these laws has retracted his paper & did an actual study n guess what? His shows recidivism below 4.5%, so why doesn’t everyone find an make copies and blast this on every media source and bring it to the legislature to take the registry down & what they did is defined by law is FRAUD and they can be sued for that according to the law!

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