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Halloween Marathon Details

Dear ACSOL members,

In less than two weeks, NARSOL and ACSOL together will be hosting the third annual “Halloween Conference Call and Cop Watch Marathon.”

 

Both NARSOL’s Larry Neely and ACSOL’s Janice Bellucci will be taking questions, reporting on the latest legal developments, and collecting live reports on troubling law enforcement activities around the nation to prohibit Halloween involvement by the families of people on the registry. Our goal is to have attorneys from all over the country participating in the call and willing to opine on the constitutionality of those policing efforts.

How Can You Help?

  1. Tell us about any special Halloween programs or policies being conducted by law enforcement in your town or locality that affect registered citizens who are noton supervision and/or their families.
  2. Let us know if you’re willing to call in to the marathon to report on conditions in your town or county.
  3. If you can do that, during which hour would you prefer? State in terms of Mountain time of either 5 pm, 6 pm, or 7 pm. You can actually call as early as 2 pm as the marathon starts at 5 pm eastern time, but the later three hours is when activity is more likely to be occurring in California.
  4. Tell your friends and associates about the Halloween Marathon. Free sign up is found here:  https://secure.narsol.org/civicrm/?page=CiviCRM&q=civicrm%2Fevent%2Finfo&reset=1&id=354
  5. Give us the names of any attorneys you know who might be willing to participate in the call or to be on-call to offer their views on situations that relate to their areas of expertise or which occur within their jurisdictions.
  6. Send your responses to communications@narsol.org.

We are looking forward to a fun, informative All Hallows Eve and truly appreciate your critical help in making this year’s Halloween Marathon a very successful event. See you there! These are the options for joining in:

The phone number is 605 313-5169, followed by 957605#. You may call in directly with a telephone or, if you have a speaker and microphone or a headset with a mic, you may access the call through your computer by going to https://www.freeconferencecallhd.com/dialer and following the on-screen directions for inputting the number and the code. We will also live stream the call on You Tube. There won’t be any video, just an audio stream, so you can try this if you’d rather not call in. You can use your Roku or ChromeCast and have the call played over your TV.

 

Join the discussion

  1. R M

    “Tell us about any special Halloween programs or policies being conducted by law enforcement in your town or locality that affect registered citizens who are noton supervision and/or their families.”

    Those on some sort of supervision still have rights, albeit lessened. Why is no one willing to fight the unlimited discretion of supervision?

    • Bo

      Go to a law library and read some american law review about some of the factors or items in your supervision you would to push against.

      Then you’ll understand.

      • R M

        @Bo: Fill me in. I’m all ears.

        • Sunny

          Having completed my probation, I was always told that when you’re under supervision (probation, parole, and similar programs) you’re still serving a jail or prison sentence and so it’s a privilege, not a right, to be free. Thereby they can impose strict requirements. You are considered to be under an impediment when supervised, meaning you have the right to challenge the conditions because you are still serving a criminal sentence for which you were granted Due Process. If you are under supervision, you have the legal right to motion to amend your conditions at any time.

          In contrast, registration on its own is, in theory, a purely civil construct with no punitive aspect (again, in theory). Because a registrant is not considered to be serving a criminal sentence and not under supervision (you are allegedly not denied “life, liberty, or property”), you do not have the same rights to challenge your circumstances. Unlike state supervision, most courts have found there are no Due Process rights when it comes to registration requirements. This is a fundamental crux of legal arguments against registration – that it is punishment based in criminal law and constitutes a violation of Due Process.

          Unfortunately, registration requirements often become intertwined with supervision like probation and parole. It’s common to have a probation requirement to register, for example. Probation and parole officers will typically require you to complete a Static-99 or some other pseudoscience. In my case, because I was young (21) at the time of my offense, and gay, my Static-99 results expanded my probation requirements, even though I was not on probation for a sex offense. I had to report in person instead of telephone and deal with monthly house checks (instead of bi-annual), among other things. As with all things related to the registry, the lines between criminal / punitive and civil are always blurred. I think most of us would agree the registry is punitive and that the way it impacts your life, whether under official supervision or not, is unjust and must be abolished.

    • Sandy Rozek

      It is not that we don’t find these sorts of restrictions against those under supervision abhorrent; they are, and we do. It is that a case could most likely not be be made for constitutional rights infringement under those circumstances, whereas limiting and restricting the movements and legal behaviors and activities of those who are free and clear is seen in a different light.

  2. Eric

    Thank you ACSOL for monitoring those who are abusing the system. Harassment does nothing for public safety and does nothing to help the person who made and error in their life move forward.

    • Anonymous

      I fought supervision over their 10 years of “treatment” as condition of probation and won. (Kind of)Ny. Cost me a friggin fortune and a year of court dates missing a ton of work and family time.

      • R M

        I’m been through “treatment”. I initiated it and succeeded. I’m not talking about treatment though. Thank you. If “they” for instance, say you can’t poop in your toilet or whatever, insert restriction here, how do those under supervision fight it and why don’t organizations for reform help?

  3. R M

    Please see NARSOL’s digest question in “The Legal Corner”

    https://view.publitas.com/p222-5250/vol-12-no-5/page/4-5

    United States vs Kappes 782F.3d 828 (7th circuit 2015)
    The court vacated and remanded the case of three defendants based on defects in the conditions of supervised release, and the court stressed the importance of supervised release conditions that are properly-noticed, supported by adequate findings, and well-tailored to serve the purposes of deterrence, rehabilitation, and protection of the public.
    United States vs Reeves 591 F3d 77 (2nd circuit 2010)
    The court vacated a condition requiring the defendant to notify his probation officer when he established a “significant romantic relationship” as not reasonably related to the objectives of sentencing.
    The first general sentencing judge should consider when imposing conditions of supervised release is that it is important to give advance notice of the conditions being considered.
    The second general principle regarding the imposition of conditions of supervised release is that a sentencing court must justify the conditions and the length of the term at sentencing by an adequate statement of reasons, reasonably related to the applicable 3553(a) factors. Bryant 754 F3d 443 (7th circuit 2014)
    The third sentencing principle is that sentencing judges should impose conditions of supervised release which are (a) appropriately tailored to the defendants offense, personal history, and characteristics; (b) involve no greater deprivation of liberty than is reasonably necessary to achieve the goals of deterrence, protection of the public, and rehabilitation; and (c) sufficiently specific to place the defendant on notice of what is expected.
    Yes, these cases involve sentencing judges determining what conditions to put on people subject to supervised release, just like I was. A judge in NJ spelled out my conditions of supervised release, and when I moved to Ga, I had additional conditions imposed by Ga. After those conditions, I’m still confused as to how DCS can impose additional restrictions?

  4. Sunny

    Regardless of what restrictions you may or may not face, I would advise anyone on probation or parole, especially registrants, to be extra conscientious this Halloween as the State of California will likely be conducting another “Operation Boo” like last year:

    https://ktla.com/2018/11/01/110-california-sex-offenders-arrested-in-statewide-sweep-on-halloween/

    Even though the vast majority of those arrested were charged with technical violations, these kinds of “operations” and the media they generate only serve to perpetuate the falsehood that registrants re-offend during Halloween. These “operations” artificially increase the statistical incidence of registrant Halloween offenses.

  5. Les

    thanks for teaming up with NARSOL on this – i know this isn’t the first team up but just wanted to put it out there that more RSOL organizations need to work together. as i’m able i’ll donate and/or use the amazon smile method to contribute!

  6. USA

    Intriguing! I personally have never heard of a registered offender attacking anyone on Halloween? Have there been any cases? Why not do this during Christmas? 4th of July? Summer? Along the river bed? New Years? Shopping malls? My son attends a local HS. The school just started using Raptor (very hateful). You can be a hardcore gang banger, drug dealer, prostitute, drug user or on parole and Raptor will let you in. I reviewed (Raptor only searches the National Sex Offender database. Nothing more. So, if your a non disclosed offender, it will allow you on campus. It’s really kind of a joke. In summary, it targets people who have already paid their debt to society.

  7. TP

    Question… I’m currently on probation and have guidelines to basically act like I am not home on the night of Halloween… I will likely be working that night. I live with my mom, so if my home gets a visit that night can my mother refuse to allow them to enter the house even with my 4th waiver?

    Can she refuse entry at any time to law enforcement of they come over when I am not home?

    This may be a question for an attorney…

    • Bill

      @TP

      The answers to your questions depend on where you live.

      Which state are you in?

      • TP

        California

        • Bill

          @TP

          If you’re on probation in California then refer to the Notice of Sex Offender Registration Requirement and your PO for specific conditions.

          There may be other additions in place on your conditions of release that you may have signed for. Look at those carefully if unwarranted search is in the writing.

          If you have federal charges for example any probation officer could make unwarranted searches at anytime if that was written in the conditions of release.

          Check your papers!

    • Bill

      @TP

      Here is the only case that law enforcement has been going on about in regards to Halloween.

      The incident was in 1973. There hasn’t another one since.

      https://narsol.org/2019/10/the-halloween-tragedy-of-lisa-french/

      • Matt

        This is what I wrote as a response to that video. I would encourage others to “thumbs up” my answer and add facts of their own:

        If you really want to protect yourself and your family from sexual offenses, here is a great way:
        1. Look up your address on the sex offender registry.
        2. Ignore all of the houses which have blue or red dots (indicating a registered sex offender lives there). Only 5% of sex offenses are committed by those people.
        3. Focus on every house which does NOT have a sex offender living in it. 95% of all sex offenses will be committed by someone who does not have a prior offense.
        4. Ignore Halloween. The last time a child was abducted, molested, and murdered on Halloween was in 1973.
        5. Instead, focus on Thanksgiving and Christmas, when you are around family members and close friends. These are the people who are almost certainly going to try and molest your children, not random strangers who are on the sex offender registry.
        5. Talk to members of congress and urge them to reform sex offender laws. Studies have shown that not only have registries not helped reduce offenses, they have only increased the likelihood of their occurrence as they give parents a false sense of security and misdirect their attention away from real danger.
        6. Note: There are no public registries for murders, violent gang members, and even drug dealers who sell to children. While law enforcement is busy going around, harassing a population who has done nothing to trick-or-treaters in 46 years, they are completely ignoring home invaders, murders, drug dealers, and violent gang members.
        7. Final Note: Many people on the sex offender registry have children of their own, and by harassing these people, you are actually victimizing innocent children who may not have even been born when a sex crime occurred. If you don’t care about ALL children, then don’t say you care about ANY children.

        • Will Allen

          I’ve been reading and writing about Registries for well over 2 decades now. I’ve read tens of thousands of articles/comments/etc. and I honestly can’t recall when I’ve seen your points #1 – #3 spelled out like that and I love it!!! Obviously, almost everyone has pointed out that 95+% of all $EX offenses will be committed by someone who is not listed on a Registry. But I really can’t recall seeing it pointed out by using the “$EX offender” maps of the criminal regimes. I expect it’s been done but I don’t recall seeing it. I think it is very powerful but I think I would re-frame it slightly (e.g. skip the 5% part), maybe like this:

          Look up your address on the $EX Offender Registry. Look at all of the homes or businesses near it which are NOT marked. 95+% of all future $EX crimes will be committed by people who live or work there.

          The Registry has never hindered anyone in any marked location from committing any type of crime that they wanted to and it never will. The Registry will incessantly harm all of America, every second of every day.

          Knowing which homes or businesses are marked is useless. If you aren’t wary at ALL locations, you aren’t changing your risk level in any sensible way. If you pay attention to Registries, you are wasting your time and protecting nothing.

  8. Disgusted in Michigan

    @TP I’m not sure what the laws are in your state but in Michigan if you are on parole or probation the police do not need permission to enter and you can’t deny them entry. To do so would be a probation violation. You might want to read the conditions of your probation that your PO gave you because it probably states they have a right to enter your residence to check on you and it would probably apply even if you were not home but your mother was.

    • USA

      Good question! Call or visit your probation officer and ask them in a professional manner what your obligations are while on probation? I think having a job is both awesome and conveys your trying to change your life! I imagine they might have a document outlining your obligations? There isn’t any laws to my knowledge prohibiting you from working. I believe there are some cities that require you (crazy) to stay either indoors or stay at a police station during Halloween? That’s nuts and Nazi. Like! Some people must work.

  9. Facts should matter

    While Halloween is just barely another “traditional” holiday that has largely lost it’s true purpose and meaning, it’s now primarily fallen prey to another American capitalistic and consumer-driven corporate cash grab – just like the other big three. While it’s been commonplace that candy corporations like the Mars Family and Hershey consider this their “Super Bowl” for profit and sales, the local LEO’s are getting in on the act by selling false fear to parents about statistically unlikely threat scenarios happening to their children by one of “those people.”

    The hate, shame and vengeance culture in America is too pervasive to even have legitimate hope of things changing. The bar has been set very low when the county officials are blatantly telling erroneous information about “public safety” with impunity. Public opinion and perception takes decades to correct and reshape. So basically, we’re fighting battles in a large ideological war that sadly won’t be won in our lifetime.

    In the meantime, our “pubic servants” will continue to shamelessly take false credit for promoting public safety on Halloween.

    • Will Allen

      It is a war against hate and vengeance. And an ideological war, as you stated. Which is why I think probably the most important thing to do in this war that will change the impacts long term is to change public opinion so that most people think Registries are useless and that only dumb, immoral, Politically Incorrect, anti-American Neanderthals support Registries.

      I think the critical thing to do is to comment at public forums. When a stupid Halloween “$EX offender” article or whatever comes out, there should be 1,000 people there pointing out how stupid it is and that only stupid, helpless, big-government-dependent “people” support it. Good Americans should work over politicians and people in law enforcement especially hard. No mercy, no compassion.

  10. USA

    Who thinks of these things? If your the general public, laws like this create hysteria and make people think there have been instances of offenders committing crimes during Halloween? What’s next? We already where banned from beaches? Parks? Living in certain areas? Travel bans? This is nuts! My sons school just installed raptor! It will read your ID and search the National Database! What if you aren’t online? Duh. What if your a double murderer? Stalker? Drug dealer? Who on earth would think this program only searched for these dangerous sex offenders? Hmmm. This could be a lawsuit. As noted, Ca just enacted SB 384 and the court experience should be enlightening. It’s going to be 25 years for me! I even read the YMCA is even doing this (raptor)

    • someone who cares

      Halloween, I guess, is a little different than other holidays since kids actually go from door to door for candy. Still, it’s just a hype that people fall for, and as USA said, the parents are not concerned about their kids knocking on doors of murderers, drug dealers, etc. They made up their minds about sex offenders for some reason and don’t care about other “criminals”. They also don’t care about future “sex offenders” as most offenses will be committed NOT on the registry. We’ve been around the block with this topic, and unless people start growing a brain or using common sense, their opinions will remain the same. Every time, I bring up topics like this and educate friends, co-workers, family, I always get the “Oh, I guess, you have a point” answer. That’s all we can do. Educate who we can, and leave those who are dumb or lazy come to their own conclusions.

    • R M

      In my neighborhood, I hardly even see a minor. On Halloween, no one even trick or treats around here (yes, it’s a small poor area).

      People do not and will not care until it’s “in their backyard”, it affects one of theirs, or they “think” someone close to them will offend again because of their past.

  11. Derek W. Logue of OnceFallen.com

    I’m working on a list of Halloween laws across the US.

    So far, I got one notice that Tuscaloosa Co AL just sent out fliers for a mandatory Halloween meeting for ALL RCs in the county.

    A news outlet in SD reports that state has no Halloween restrictions.

    • LS

      Thank you Derek. This is going to be VERY interesting to see, once it’s complete!

  12. Matt

    I’m not on parole or probation anymore. My small-town police came by two months ago as a part of a county sweep to check registrant residency. I didn’t answer the door. I never answer the door for police, even if I am home, and I have multiple cameras at my home to protect us from both criminals and dishonest police officers (one of the reasons I’m on the registry to being with). A single officer came back the next day just as my wife was pulling into the driveway. He asked her if I live here and said he wanted to talk with me. I talked to him from the garage and he asked me to confirm that I was living there and if I was still on probation. Then he left.

    Now this morning (only two months later), I received a visit from three officers arriving in three separate vehicles. After knocking several times they left (I wasn’t home but I can see the cameras from my phone). They didn’t leave any information on the door and I haven’t received ANY notices via mail.

    Last year, while I was still on one-year probation, I didn’t get a single visit from the police and my PO came by about once a month.

    • Will Allen

      Perfect. The Registries are unacceptable and no one should ever talk to anyone about anything related to them. I like to tell law enforcement to go gossip with the neighbors. Since they are the people who “need” Registries.

      These criminals are trying to intimidate and harass you. I would have to have a wall. They could stand outside of it and look at it for as long as they wanted. Could possibly even stop some crimes there.

  13. Sunny

    The California DOC has published the details of its 2019 Operation Boo, along with a four-page brochure:
    https://www.cdcr.ca.gov/parole/parole/operation-boo/

    Some of it sounds good at first. They cite statistics showing that most offenses are not committed by strangers, but they nonetheless continue with the scary narratives, including a photo of a what appears to be a cop knocking on a registrant’s door, ready to pull his gun. They make it sound as if the lack of Halloween offenses is due to Operation Boo:

    “We’ve chosen Halloween as a good time to make parents and kids aware of sexual predators. Instances of sexual abuse have not been prevalent on Halloween night in California during the two decades since Operation Boo started. Sexual predators shy away from scrutiny and now you’re a part of Operation Boo – helping shine an even brighter light on predators.”

    They encourage parents to review the Megans Law website in order to create a map of places to avoid on Halloween and offer other tips to “help ensure your kids and teens are safe from sexual molestation.” Unfortunately I could not find any mention of the fact that many registrants are listed for offenses that have nothing to do with molesting children, although they do point out that 23% of offenses are perpetrated by minors. No mention of recidivism rates, either.

    • Diane

      I was on the Halloween call & we were talking about the sign issue especially in Louisiana. It is unbelievably arrogant that Sheriff Smith has said that he was going to put up the signs in spite of the outcome of the Butts County Georgia lawsuit.
      Janice made the comment about registrants not being the only danger to children & that other close associates including family members, teachers, clergy & even law enforcement have been guilty of sex crimes. It’s especially ironic that Sheriff Smith’s predecessor, Sheriff Jack Strain, has been arrested & charged with sex crimes including crimes against children. If he was found guilty & became a registrant I can only imagine how it would be for Sheriff Smith to try putting a sign in his yard.
      We need to stand firm & not let law enforcement/ prosecuters use incorrect facts or misinformation to reinforce the myths about people labeled as a sex offender. Every time these false claims are aired & go unchallenged, another brick gets added to the wall that keeps registrants locked out of normal lives. If it doesn’t stop, eventually they will have no rights left to lose.

  14. jm from wi

    Janice and all, thanks for participation in the Halloween call. Only caught the last hour. Gratitude for the progress and the message of hope.

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