RSOL is excited to report that we had a successful exhibit at the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers’ (NACDL) sixth annual Sex Crimes Training Seminar in Las Vegas. This is our second year attending this conference, and we intend to make this a yearly event. NACDL is the premier organization of criminal defense attorneys in the United States, which means the attendees are committed to improving their knowledge in this area of the law. The event exceeded our expectations because more than 400 from across the United States attended the seminar. We estimate that at least 100 visited our exhibit and engaged in dialogue with our representatives.
Janice shared her experience in fighting presence restrictions in California, which seemed to motivate some that these battles can be won and that attorney’s fees would potentially flow as a result. As marketing tools, we handed out little sharks containing the slogan “You Can Win.” The sharks were very popular because those receiving them understood the subtle message. The most common response from the visitors to our exhibit was excitement that RSOL exists. The overwhelming majority took literature with them and expressed a willingness to work with us on future projects.
RSOL is fortunate to have had Janice Bellucci, CA RSOL president; Kathleen Garner; and Larry Neely, National board member, representing us at the seminar, and we are grateful to all three for taking time away from their lives to attend this event.
7 Thoughts to “Success at NACDL Seminar”
You guys are tireless advocates who we owe many thanks. Building a coalition of like-minded attorneys within the justice system is great. Maybe it’s just the cynic in me but I doubt prosecutors and any Supreme Court in the near future will come around unless they meet us. Gays were viewed much differently 30-35 years ago because there were not as many who came out of the closet. Now, every person can say they know at least one gay person and so they have been humanized, as they should be. Same principle applies here. Right now we are just an abstract group of monsters they love to vilify because it helps bolster aspiring careers, whether political or legal. How many of them have ever met us? I think it should be RSOL’s goal to have at LEAST one prosecutor (who could remain anonymous if he/she so chose) to attend next year’s conference. Just one. I mean that. We need those on the “other side of the aisle”, so to speak, to see that our position is not one of radical anarchists who don’t care about protecting children. He or she should also note the credible and extremely distinguished speakers you guys manage to find every year. A prosecutor and maybe a retired judge in attendance. To me, that would be a great goal! It would be a baby step but one in the right direction.
Most of our RSOL’s time is spent fighting the public registry and residency restrictions for former SOs; we should also be fighting mandatory “treatment” for those of us simply guilty of journalistic curiosity. I am currently fighting this battle alone. But I am armed with excellent scholarly articles that point up all the recent research into the serious flaws built into the sex offender laws as relating to “deviance” and the law under supervised release statutes that mandate “treatment”. There are a goodly number of RSOs who are not mentally ill and who do not have paraphilias of any sort. We may be on supervised release, but we have a fundamental constitutional right to refuse so-called “treatment” that is neither wanted nor needed except by those who get their living by providing it.
Personally, I fail to see “deviance” in any straight heterosexual male of any age who can appreciate the beauty and grace of young women who are biological adults in terms of secondary sex characteristics but are currently under age legally. Today the law sees them as “children” and “victims” if any male they become sexually involved with is more than four years older than them. This is an insane situation and a contradiction in and of itself of natural law, as evidenced by the results of the latest scientific research. This research is currently unaccepted by all in the prison industrial complex who are engaged in profiting by casting a very wide net over anyone convicted of a sex offense. If the necessary and progressive legislative corrections are ever made in the criminal justice system, those providing treatment will lose half their clientele and thus half their income. It is now as it has always been – all about the money. Remember the Pledge of Allegiance we all had to recite in elementary school? The ending of it: “liberty and justice for ALL?” All indeed, liberty and justice for all who can AFFORD it. It is been my experience both in prison and out of it now that the judiciary of this country will ignore and deny 99.9% of any pro-se legal filing for habeas relief, no matter how expertly prepared by paralegals. If you can’t afford a lawyer to show up in court on the day your brief is considered – you can forget justice. Justice is expensive – injustice is absolutely free.
Most SO’s feel the same way about treatment and I concur. As I said on another post, it’s the nature of the treatment that bothers me, not so much that treatment exists. Integrity lacks with this therapy because anything said is not confidential and open to interpretation by an RSO’s PO and perhaps Judge for a revocation hearing. It is also completely devoid of human empathy. And then you add Polygraphs into the equation and you’ve got a kind of anti-therapeutic tyranny. Understand that SO therapy is merely concerned with containment. Nothing more, nothing less. If the containment model were to be replaced so that the therapist could use his or her discretion as to when an issue needed to be brought to the attention of the PO, I wouldn’t be as against mandatory treatment. And while CBT is important, it isn’t the ONLY fix. We could also benefit from a multimodal approach.
I know Jill Levinson (who had a telephone conference for RSOL not too long ago) is a proponent of mandatory treatment but I would be interested in her take on the conflict of interest issues as well as the coercive types of therapies that are regularly used.
Excellent points, Ed. I fully concur. Mandatory “sex offender treatment” for adults who have sex with young men and women under age 16 or even 18 is an outrage and travesty. “Treatment” for what exactly? Heterosexuality? Heterosexual adults are attracted to young men and women under age 18 for the same reason they attracted to adults in their 20s and 30s and 40s and beyond. One can argue that having sex with young men and women under age 18 is “wrong” and “immoral” and “inappropriate, but there’s nothing “deviant” about it in the sense that one is afflicted with some kind of “disorder” or aberrancy, perversion or “paraphilia,” and thus in need of years of intensive psychotherapy, mandated by government.
Kudos Paul, for bringing up the polygraph controversy. It is indeed tyranny, the whole atmosphere and attitude of the so-called polygraph “expert” is prosecutorial and weighted toward that interest. I had never taken such a test in all my life, but apparently my meditation techniques lead to large breaths in order to rid oneself of stress in any given situation. This is a habit of mine ingrained over decades with the practice of TM. It can’t easily be turned off. The polygraph expert does not accept such an explanation for inconclusiveness in his machine’s reading. In my case, it was misprision of a question and its answer that led the expert to count that as a lie. Despite getting a truthful response from me on all the questions, truthfully negative answers to basically insulting questions did produce three inconclusive results (meaning that a result could not be judged as either positive or negative) were counted by this expert as untruths – “lies”. For this I had to pay three hundred and sixty dollars?
What I SHOULD have done when confronted with paperwork that the results of this examination should be admissible in court was excoriate the coerciveness of this whole operation and point out that it also violated my right to remain silent and stand on the fifth amendment. But I believed in this process right up until the time I was shafted by it. It’s just one more thing now that I have to fight when I go back into court. Unfortunately I don’t have the money for a “dream team” and such knowledge of the judicial system that I do have came at a horrendous price through psychological torture and coercion by public defenders in league with prosecutors. The public defender’s office is a stepchild of the criminal justice system controlled by the district DA. Prosecutors who don’t win cases are relegated to the public defender’s office by the local DA who controls those assignments. All the dud attorneys the DA wants to get rid of get assigned to the public defender’s office. I know – I had two of them who just couldn’t be bothered to put up a fight and took advantage of my ignorance to throw me under the bus.
i think sex offenders aren’t the only people that should be pushed by rules and regulations. What about murderers, they should have more rules and regulations pushed on them. i’m not just taking up for one or the other but they are both in the wrong for their crimes. I’m dating a sex offender and we are just fine with our relationship and have been for 9 years and his has forgotten to register one time and has already been punished for his crime he got 90 days in jail. He’s been out for a little while and ha abided with his rules and and is doing fine at this time and date. i think if you are close to either of these people think about or not think about what if it was one of your loved ones with this crime and how you would feel about them a that point and time and how your family and friends are hanging with you or under age adults?