The Prosecutor Paradox – Premal Dharia, James Forman & Maria Hawilo – Inquest

Source: inquest.org 6/20/24 This article is part of a roundtable about the authors’ coedited collection, Dismantling Mass Incarceration. Next week, we will publish a set of responses from progressive prosecutors, scholars, and activists, followed by a concluding essay from Dharia. In the popular imagination, lawyers argue each side of an issue, while the judge or jury makes the decision. But when we worked as public defenders, we learned that prosecutors were often the true power brokers: They chose what charges to bring, how much discovery material to provide, and whether…

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Congress can score another bipartisan win for safety and justice

Source: thehill.com 6/18/24 As a recent eruption between members of the House Oversight Committee demonstrated, Congress doesn’t always model good behavior. But beyond the theatrics and gridlock that make headlines, many Americans might be pleasantly surprised to find encouraging examples of serious lawmakers working together.  The bipartisan Safer Supervision Act is just that. The legislation, co-authored by Senators John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Chris Coons (D-Del.), aligns with the research on what works to make communities safer and provide second chances, building on the success of the First Step Act, on which a Democratic Congress and…

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EU cancels vote on child sexual abuse law amid encryption concerns

Source: politico.eu 6/20/24 A vote scheduled today to amend a draft law that may require WhatsApp and Signal to scan people’s pictures and links for potential child sexual abuse material was removed from European Union countries’ agenda, according to three EU diplomats. Ambassadors in the EU Council were scheduled to decide whether to back a joint position on an EU regulation to fight child sexual abuse material (CSAM). But many EU countries including Germany, Austria, Poland, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic  were expected to abstain or oppose the law over cybersecurity and privacy…

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Porn addiction a serious mental health issue

Source: uintacountyherald.com 6/19/24 Most people recognize the harm and dangers of drugs, alcohol and nicotine addiction, but porn addiction is often overlooked and not recognized due to the taboo nature of the subject. Most people don’t want to think about it, let alone talk about it. Porn addiction often begins at a young age due to technology and the internet making it more available than ever before. Gary Wilson, teacher of anatomy and physiology in Scotland and author of “Your Brain on Porn,” wrote, “The neurological impact of frequent exposure…

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Judge Tosses Biometric Data Suit Against X

Source: reason.com 6/19/24 X’s child porn detection system doesn’t violate an Illinois biometric privacy law, the judge ruled. A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit concerning the software X (formerly Twitter) uses to find illegal porn images. The suit was brought by Mark Martell, who objected to X using Microsoft’s PhotoDNA software. Martell argued that PhotoDNA—which is used across the tech industry to detect and report child porn—required the collection of biometric data and that this collection violated Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). A win for Martell could have imperiled…

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Save the Date: ACSOL Zoom Conference to be held on September 20 and September 21

The 2024 Conference for the Alliance for Constitutional Sex Offense Laws (ACSOL) will be held on Friday, September 20, and Saturday, September 21.  The conference will begin both days at 9 a.m. (Pacific) and end about 5 p.m.  Conference signs up will begin in early July on this website.   “This year’s conference will be virtual in order to help registrants and their loved ones in every state,” stated ACSOL Executive Director Janice Bellucci.   One keynote speaker for the conference is attorney Molly Nixon of the Pacific Legal Foundation.  She will…

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CA Action Alert: Please Call and Send Letters Opposing Senate Bill 1128 that Could Add up to 32,000 to Registry

It’s time to be heard!  The Assembly Public Safety Committee will consider CA Senate Bill 1128 about two weeks from now on July 2.  We need to strongly oppose this bill because it could add up to 32,000 people to the registry.  Prior to the hearing, it’s important to call members of the committee as well as send letters to both committee members and the committee itself. Below is a list of committee members that includes office phone numbers and mailing addresses.  Letters can also be sent to the Public…

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ACSOL Online Meeting July 20, 2024

You are invited to join ACSOL Executive Director and civil rights attorney Janice Bellucci and an ACSOL board member for our next meeting.  The meeting will be held on Saturday July 20 online on Zoom beginning at 10 a.m. Pacific time, 1:00 PM Eastern, and will last at least two hours. You can use the Zoom app or you can call in using a Zoom phone number. There is no registration needed for this meeting. No government officials are allowed to attend the meetings. This meeting will be recorded.  Within a…

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AR: A 30-year sentence for sex offender failure to register: How far over the top will this go?

Source: NARSOL.org 6/14/24 By Sandy . . . It happened in Arkansas, in Garland County, and, according to local media, the jury deliberated for 17 minutes before recommending the highest allowable sentence plus a $5,000.00 fine. Granted, this registrant does have a rather colorful history of failing to register. He has several convictions for that offense in three states, including this one and another in Arkansas. However, his criminal record reveals only one other conviction, his sexual crime conviction in 2002. Making this situation even more ludicrous, this most current…

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Join ACSOL on July 2 to Oppose SB 1128

Senate Bill 1128, that could add up to 32,000 people to the registry, will be considered by the Assembly Public Safety Committee on July 2. The hearing is: CA State Capitol Room 126 Tuesday, July 2 Will begin at 9 a.m. Other bills will also be considered that day. “It is extremely important that as many people as possible attend the July 2 hearing,” stated ACSOL Executive Director Janice Bellucci. “We must stop Senate Bill 1128 and attendance at this hearing may be the last opportunity to do so. Although…

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CA: Currently individuals convicted of PC 261.5, unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor are not required to register regardless of the age gap. SB1128 would make them register.

Source: ACSOL Up to 32,000 people could be added to the California registry if Senate Bill 1128 is enacted into law, according to the California Department of Justice.  That is because the bill would require individuals convicted of Penal Code Section 261.5, unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor, to register if the age gap was 10 years or more.   Currently individuals convicted of PC 261.5, unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor are not required to register regardless of the age gap.  If enacted into law, the bill would be applied…

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CA: CASOMB Reports Increase in Petitions Filed, Decrease in Persons Required to Register

Source: ACSOL The California Sex Offender Management Board (CAOSMB) met today and during that meeting several reports were presented that reflected both an increase in the number of petitions filed, a decrease in the number of persons required to register and other information.  Below is a chart listing those and other statistics presented during today’s meeting. Category Current Former Change Total number of registrants 104,795 104,894 -99 Registrants in violation 19,602 19,539 +63 Transient registrants 6,578 6,433 +145 Petitions filed 8,982 8,646 +336 Petitions granted 6,927 6,704 +223 Petitions denied…

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Read the responses from convicted police officers and their agencies

A Washington Post investigation found hundreds of police officers have sexually exploited kids. The Washington Post obtained thousands of court filings, police records and other documents to report on law enforcement officers accused of crimes involving child sexual abuse. Read the findings of our investigation, Abused by the Badge. Information about some of the officers, including whom they worked for, what they were convicted of and any comments they provided, appear in this key. The Post tried to contact them and the lawyers who represented them in their criminal cases.…

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LA: Louisiana lawmakers approve surgical castration option for those guilty of sex crimes against kids

Source: apnews.com 6/3/24 BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana judges could order surgical castration for people convicted of sex crimes against young children under legislation approved Monday, and if Republican Gov. Jeff Landry signs it into law, the state apparently would be the first with such a punishment. The GOP-controlled Legislature passed the bill giving judges the option to sentence someone to surgical castration after the person has been convicted of certain aggravated sex crimes — including rape, incest and molestation — against a child under 13. A handful of…

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NY: This Law Effectively Banishes People from New York City (podcast)

Source: nyclu.org 6/6/24 SARA is billed as a way to protect New Yorkers from people who could harm children. But research shows these types of geographical restrictions don’t increase public safety. The NYCLU recently filed a lawsuit challenging the misleadingly-named Sexual Assault Reform Act, or SARA. SARA is a New York law that prevents certain people required to register on the state’s sex offender registry from knowingly being within 1,000 feet of a school at any time and for any reason. It’s also been interpreted to prevent people subject to…

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Here Are the States That Allow Chemical Castration as Punishment

Source: newsweek.com 6/6/24 Louisiana lawmakers passed legislation this week that allows judges to sentence child sex offenders to surgical castration. Assuming the bill is signed into law, as is expected, Louisiana will become the latest member of a growing list of states to have a castration law on the books. … Several states have laws allowing chemical castration. Alabama passed a bill in 2019, a year after Oklahoma legislators made a bid to do the same. California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Montana, Oregon, Texas and Wisconsin also have some form of…

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Action Alert for CA: Stop Face Surveillance/Recognition AB 1814

Source: CA ACLU [ACSOL is passing on this action alert because facial recognition can also be used against registrants. CA registrants and supporters, please take this fast and easy way to fight against this!] AB 1814 is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Do not be fooled. This bill emboldens police to expand dangerous face surveillance, while writing into law the same failed rules that played a role in the wrongful arrests of innocent people, mostly Black men. If passed, it would effectively greenlight an invasive surveillance technology that is racist,…

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WI: Washington Co. challenging placement of violent sex offender in Town of Trenton

Source: washingtoncountyinsider.com 6/8/24 The chairman in the Town of Trenton is speaking out about steps being taken to proactively protect the people in his community as Washington County officials have been notified about the possible placement of a violent sex offender. Mike Lipscomb was notified by the Washington County Sheriff prior to the news being released that Outagamie County was looking to place a violent sex offender in a group home in the Town of Trenton. Lipscomb, Sheriff Martin Schulteis and the county attorney jumped into action in an effort…

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