NARSOL’s chairman to give testimony against civil commitment, mandatory minimums

By Sandy . . . In this piece I presented the situation of Wayne Chapman, a convicted sexual offender in Massachusetts who is due to be released from a ten-year term of civil commitment that he served following the thirty-year prison sentence that he served for his crime.

In response to this situation, the governor of Massachusetts is proposing what he terms an “emergency law, necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, safety and convenience.” Titled “An act relative to child predators,” this law if passed will accomplish two things. It will, first, change the process by which a person may be released from civil commitment so that the testimony of two, independent, state-sanctioned medical professionals that the person in question poses no risk to the community will no longer suffice to effect the release. Secondly, it will create new mandatory minimum sentences of life without parole for certain sexual crimes.

The Boston Globe, in this editorial, throws its full support in favor of the proposed legislation.

An emergency hearing has been called for Tuesday, June 26 to consider the bill. NARSOL’s chairman Paul Shannon, along with others, will testify against the bill at the hearing; additionally, he sent this letter to the editor of a local newspaper.

To the Editor:

I hope that the public will show good sense and see the Governor’s sexual offense bill for the disaster that it would be. It would neither increase public safety nor fairness.

First, the research clearly shows that people convicted of sexual offenses have a very low rate of recidivism. And yet this bill would fill the gulag at the Bridgewater Treatment Center by subjecting many more people who have finished their sentence — and who now pose low or no risk of re-offense — to long or lifetime civil commitment: not for what they have done, but for what they could do. Perhaps temporarily appropriate in extreme cases, civil commitment has become a national scandal. Expanding it should be unthinkable. Second, the legitimacy of mandatory minimum sentences has been seriously questioned in the debates that led to the recent passage of the omnibus criminal justice reform bill. Yet the Governor’s bill would significantly increase the numbers of not just mandatory sentences, but mandatory life sentences. We have been down this road before. It’s a road that takes us to a bad place. Better to tailor sentences to what circumstance and justice demand.

Taking irrational measures that are unrelated to public safety but which satisfy our thirst for blood is bad policy. It leads us to lose our minds — like seeing the 41 years that Mr. Chapman served behind bars for his terrible crimes as a light sentence. In fact, people who commit sexual offenses don’t come from a dark planet. They come from our neighborhoods. They are our parents and children and neighbors. What’s needed are fair trials, sentences that fit the crime and, upon completion of that sentence, access to work, a place to live, and treatment if appropriate. In combination with effective education and prevention measures, these practices will make us a safer and more just society than mandatory life sentences and lifetime civil commitment ever will.

Sincerely,

Paul Shannon

Civil commitment that can last for years or a life time and lifetime mandatory minimum sentences are dangerous weapons. They are especially dangerous in the hands of those who act hastily, who act in opposition to scientific evidence, and who act out of political expediency.

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Sandy Rozek

Sandy is communications director for NARSOL, editor-in-chief of the Digest, and a writer for the Digest and the NARSOL website. Additionally, she participates in updating and managing the website and assisting with a variety of organizational tasks.

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    • #42570 Reply
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      SW

      When are legislators going to grow a spine and fund the scientific studies and research for more fair laws and sentences?

      • #42594 Reply
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        erich w raulfestone

        NEVER!! As long as money is connected to the laws and advocates dont sue in FEDERAL court, NOTHING will ever change…

      • #42648 Reply
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        TS

        Fair laws and sentences in this country are not what you run a campaign on unless they are tougher than the previous law and sentences, which in the mind of some is only fair.

    • #42571 Reply
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      Timothy J. Burch

      Total disbelief. This is not an official who has the interest of the public at hand. He’s on some power trip and wants to be noticed. Nothing back home what is happening here should be going on in this country. I still say the Supreme Court of the United States is to blame. They have the power to stop this and yet they idly stand by and do nothing. Shame on them all.

    • #42573 Reply
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      Brian

      Thank you for doing this. I fear we will continue down this path until people like myself, who have successfully completed their sentencing, will be rounded up and tossed into prison despite having no recidivism.

    • #42562 Reply
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      Dr. Michael Christianson, JUD

      I am firmly convinced that the hyper-inflated fears and hostility that leads to more and harsher penalties for underage sex offenses is because American society has refused to accept that the adults promulgating these draconian punishments are on the opposite side of the sex offense scale. These so-called “advocates” are, in fact, pedocentrists. Plain and simple. (A pedocentrist is a person, generally female, that is fundamentally opposed to rational thought and self-accountability when it comes to their children and safety; primarily, I believe, due to their unhealthy beliefs and egocentric attachments to the child. For a pedocentrist, the fight is more about his or her desire to control and manipulate the child into believing that adult males are wicked; that men, in general terms, cannot be trusted. So, misguided statistics and outright lies are concealed in a fog of social deception.) A Pedocentrist’s jealousy is unmatched. There unhealthy emotional bond for children, unimaginably strong. They are themselves mostly driven with an internal urge to engage in erotic play with children. Perhaps their own. Perhaps not. But what routinely separates the pedocentrist from the pedosexual is the lack of volition. While the pedosexual has acted out, the pedocentrist usually remains crime free (or simply engages in one or two playful acts of fondling), and therefore has a high degree of moral indignation for the pedosexual – who they internalize as weak, wicked, disgusting and unnatural. Aristotle said, Our natures are alike, it is only our habits that distinguish us. He was correct then. And he is correct today.

    • #42563 Reply
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      Anthony

      This is a message for the Governor and Boston Globe! There is no legitimate reason for the civil Commitment of sex offenders period. The existence of these so called therapy sessions are shams and forced on individuals under the guise of treatment indefinitely. Financial gain for these shamans and quacks. Ongoing vindictive and retribution. PUNISHMENT DISGUISED! I WILL DEBATE OR CHALLENGE ANY EXPERT ON A PUBLIC FORUM. DISCREDIT ALL THEIR B. S.

    • #42586 Reply
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      WC_TN

      No doubt this “sexual dangerousness board” will be made up of hacks who will undoubtedly rubber stamp each and every offender civilly committed for child molestation too dangerous to ever release again. I wouldn’t be surprised if this “panel of experts” is comprised solely of ultra-feminist man-hating women who would rather lie on this subject while trying to climb a greased pole backwards than stand with their feet flat on the ground and tell the truth.

    • #42583 Reply
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      Todd Drouin

      Anyone on the sex offender registry is essentially serving a life sentence. Even the slightest negligent mistake can land you back in prison. The term duty to inform is an all encompassing crime that only applies to sex offenders. We are modern day lepers.

    • #42587 Reply
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      Phys Ed

      I concur with Anthony’s opinion about “Treatment” for sex offenders-these people who secure contracts from the feds and state govts are those who cannot qualify for Phds in “forensic” psychology or any other kind, and leave off with Master’s degrees. Would you allow one of these social parasites to operate on YOUR brain? That’s in effect what their methods imply, turning out what they hope are their own brands of “Manchurian candidates”. These so-called treatment providers are inferior minds on a power trip with complete control and domination of a captive clientele who must parrot back to these “shamans and quacks” what is metaphorically driven into their minds like spikes along with a demand for genuflection, and mounds of cash these offenders can scarce afford.
      What comes to mind from this state of affairs is a scene from an old movie from the thirties about “The Island of Dr. Moreau” wherein Charles Laughton as the doctor stands on a cliff looking down at his creations of half-men engineered from animals and repeatedly cracks a whip while declaiming “What is the law!?” And each time his creations cower at the sound of the whip and parrot back answers he has instilled into them. If they fail to answer to his satisfaction he tells them they must go back “to the house of pain”, which is PRISON for sex offenders.
      Just one bad reference to the supervisor or parole officer of these captive individuals and they are immediately sent back to their individual “houses of pain.”
      This is TREATMENT!?

    • #42588 Reply
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      Cathryn Lee Thrasher, Ph.D.

      Mandatory minimum sentences take power away from the judge who has access to to the particulars of each case, and gives it to the District Attorneys, whose political reputation is enhanced by higher numbers of stiff sentences. DIstrict Attorneys serve the public fueled by current emotional outcries.

      Our culture is currently in a rageful frenzy over the various crimes of sexual abuse and molestation. We want to demonize someone charged with an inappropriate sexual act and ostracize him or her from society. Sexually inappropriate behavior is rampant, with one out of twenty men being a child molester according to Gene Abel, M.D. We scapegoat the few who are caught, believing that there is no treatment to remove their inappropriate urges and that nothing can be done to protect society short of putting them in prison and throwing away the key. And if someone who has not yet been caught wants help, the terrible fear of a lifetime of prison keeps offenders from asking for treatment. Our reporting laws for therapists says that if we hear of child abuse we are required by law to report that to the Department of Families and Children Services (DFCS). So a person who is a perpetrator cannot get treatment. And many of these perpetrators have themselves been abused. Without changing our system, we are perpetuating a vicious cycle of sexual abuse.

      PLEASE understand that the public safety is BEST served by appropriate treatment and monitoring of offenders, NOT by extended sentences.

      • #42610 Reply
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        Maestro

        “Our culture is currently in a rageful frenzy over the various crimes of sexual abuse and molestation.”

        The problem here is that not all sex offenses are abuse or child molestation. This is just the crutch these people are using to push their agenda.

        1) Make them explain how teens being typically curious and discovering their own sexuality are being “abusive” or “molesting” someone by taking their own nude photos.
        2) Make them explain how a teen that lies about his/her age is being abused or molested when they obviously wanted to partake in sexual acts with an older person by lying to that person. I’ve seen several 15 yr olds in my lifetime who are 6’ tall for godsakes.
        3) Make them explain the age difference romances that got the older person into trouble with the law only to end up marrying the “victim”. That’s not exactly a “predator”, eh?
        4) Make them explain how when 2 romantic partners are within the age limit while under age it’s a-ok, but when one of them turns 18 before the other reaches their 16th birthday, the 18 yr old is committing a crime for remaining in an already developed relationship. More predation, I suppose.

        These are the majority of what the sex offender registry is made up of. It’s time we tell the entire country to stop watching “Law & Order: SVU” as if it’s a documentary rather than what it REALLY is which is a scripted propaganda show for man-hating feminists.

    • #42589 Reply
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      WC_TN

      I fail to see where further victim input is relevant to the legitimate determination of an offender’s continued dangerousness. The victims are brought in for the sole purpose of inflaming passion and outrage. This is going to be a kangaroo court no matter how one looks at it. One’s freedom is the most sacred of civil liberties. Surely this legitimately demands the strictest of scrutiny by the courts at every level.

      https://www.minnpost.com/politics-policy/2017/09/legal-fight-over-minnesotas-sex-offender-program-could-have-ramifications-th

      You can’t tell me that these justices weren’t “gotten to” behind the scenes. They were probably pressured by state politicians making statements like “If you overturn civil commitment in this state, it will set a precedent that will destroy the program nation-wide.” They cowered and refused to apply strict scrutiny. Had strict scrutiny been properly applied, civil commitment would now be a thing of the past.

    • #42590 Reply
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      obvious answers

      Said it before… You say you have “victorys”. Hahaha.. This is the face of your victory! Michigan has mandatory sentence as well.. So if the legislation can impose the sentence with out even knowing the particular of the case then why do you even have a judge?.. You have no justice.. You never will have.soon to return to the public witch burnings… Laws have blurred into judgments.. And those are created by the most base and corrupt people on earth.. Your legislation and moronic govenors.. Have fun with that.. You will get steam rolled as always.

    • #42591 Reply
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      WC_TN

      The undeniable aim of this bill is to lock up sex offenders and throw away the key. Justice, humanity, fairness and compassion be hanged. Any politician or “expert” in favor of this law who says differently is a bald-faced liar and I’d be more than glad to call them that to their faces.

    • #42625 Reply
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      Joe Snyder

      Most interesting this topic, especially when Gov. Baker’s son was accused a day ago of molesting a fellow passenger on a flight (a federal offense). He was not charged though, go figure.
      How can Gov. Charlie be for civil commitments and mandatory minimums when he should fear it will impact his own son?
      I’ve served time with the worst of predators in Bridgewater, MA. never met Wayne though and have personally told a select few of them that they will re-offend if released, lo and behold one was and did.
      Some people should never get out but that should have been addressed at sentencing by a judge not after his time is served.
      Wayne Chapman is now indicted anew for crimes in prison, I mean “treatment center” which is total BS made up by the staff there to circumvent any possible release which means they feel very strongly about him.
      I guess he’s where he belongs but he should have been convicted with a life sentence in the first place not after the fact.

    • #42629 Reply
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      Totally against public registry

      Thank you for going to this hearing and representing millions of people in this country who suffer these draconian laws on a daily basis. May the force of good be with you

    • #42662 Reply
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      Saddles

      As myself I am glad that Paul Dubbeling and NARSOL stood and adressed the courts or write to the courts in many these venues. I’ve even gotten an e-mail or two from him sever years ago. Yes, I did make a mistake in life.. I even make mistakes on here and I made one about the President when we all vote: its the lesser of the two evils not the beter of the two evils. Now NARSOL’s change policy is good. Even there rehabilitation policy. Sure we all have to understand that abuse is abuse, whether its kids or adults.

      In a courtroom setting the main thing is getting at the truth but one has to understnad principals. Even presenting bills and yes my dad, when he was alive had to listen to a lot of bills in the public utility business. I can even understand what NARSOL’s attorney can go thru when presenting his issues. Court issues are sometimes like one sided affairs but when it comes right down to it, when the judge throw’s that gavel down its over.

      Thats why I like NARSOL they are fighting for a change. Sure if you can throw a few principals in the mixture and a some of the basic truth in there than good. But judging another person as to rather they are reahiblitated that takes a higher Authority. People today want to go by Data, and theories’ but they seem to overlook their own faults when one judges I’ve been to court once or twice in my life but this sex offender is a huge principal that government needs to understand that we are all human and prone to mistakes but yet they seen to write us bills and writs against Sex offenders which is man’s way of overcoming man.
      Had to correct some spelling .. sorry

    • #42660 Reply
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      Saddles

      As myself I am glad that Paul Dubbeling and NARSOL stood and adressed the courts or write to the courts in many these venues. I’ve even gotten an e-mail or two from him sever years ago. Yes, I did make a mistake in life.. I even make mistakes on here and I made one about the President when we all vote: its the lesser of the two evils not the beter of the two evils. Now NARSOL’s change policy is good. Even there rehabilitation policy. Sure we all have to understand that abuse is abuse, whether its kids or adults.

      In a courtroom setting the main thing is getting at the truth but one has to understnad principals. Even presenting bills and yes my dad, when he was alive had to listen to a lot of bills in the public utility business. I can even understand what NARSOL’s attorney can go thru when presenting his issues. Court issues are sometimes like one sided affairs but when it comes right down to it, when the judge throw’s that gavel down its over.

      Thats why I like NARSOL they are fighting for a change. Sure if you can thruw a fre principals in the mixture and a some of the basic truth in there than good. But judging another person as to rather they are reahiblitated that takes a higher Authority. People today want to go by Data, and theories’ but they seem to overlook their own faults when one judges I’ve been to court once or twice in my life but this sex offender is a huge principal that government needs to understand that we are all human and prone to mistakes but yet they seen to write us bills and writs against Sex offenders which is man’s way of overcoming man.

    • #42668 Reply
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      WearethePeople

      Why is it that they want to do this? What is it that makes them feel that this is right? I think it has to stop! The amount of punishment that is put on the people labeled as Sex Offenders just continues. What this is saying to me is that what our Government is doing now when someone is in Prison is not enough. Sex Offenders as well as anyone who is put into the system is there for corrections. They are in there to be corrected is it not why they call them Correctional Facilities. So is our Government failing that they think that they just have to add more? I think that most of the so called Sex Offenders that I had the chance to meet, are really good people that learned not to make the same mistake twice and would never commit any type of crime again. Most of them are really intelligent and need to be given a chance. They want to work and be a contributing member to Society. Is this not what our Government should be trying to do. So why do the people high up think that they are not worth the effort? When my grandson got out his parole officer said just go on like you did before. No I am sorry, but with all the restrictions now. We have to see the parole officer every two weeks and pay for it. We have to go to group every week and individual counselling every two weeks. We are not told how long this will be, and they all take me away from my work. When my grandson got a permit we had to go to the State Police and let them know what car he will be driving and that he got the permit. Every time something changes we have to let them know. Plus go in to report every 3 months for life, because someone High up decided to add false information. The laws are unjust, and I will continue to fight for Justice for everyone, because we are the people and our voices should be heard!

    • #42685 Reply
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      William Gratchic

      So, the witch hunt continues. I wonder how many in Massachusetts know that it is NOT the right of the governor to propose and author a law. That is the right and responsibility of the legislature. Just by the act of doing what he is proposing negates its legitimacy.

    • #42707 Reply
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      Saddles

      Independence Day is coming up soon and so its time for all of us to understand and its also time for all us to understand the document, “We are the people”or has government stepped out of place and answered the aged old question. Why?

      Why does man want to solve man’s problem with man’s wisdom and understanding. Why does man want to make laws against a particular race, group, or even present injustice principals. Why do people want to castrate the sex offender to a greater degree or a lesser degree. Why does man want to overthrow man and keep one’s Government in check (note checks and balance system) Should we call it a human disease disfunction, a human behavior problem of government or man wanting to be right because man wields the power?
      We the People! Are we really the people today? Do we really own our houses? Do we reallyown our cars? Do we really present true values of real justice or a cheap form of justice today, or are we Caesar’s. Sure we render to Caeser what is Ceasars. Does that mean we are all Caeser’s, or we all created equal, or do we all have different human understandings and idea’s to better the people in relationships and human understanding or in true principals.

      We vote for a government and today it seems the Republican’s want to control and it seems the Democrates want to get their fair share of browine points over the Republicans’s or visa versa , if one can say that in a soft way.

      Seems like the old saying was no news was good news but today it seems that news is a bit more than who skipped history class. News media want to spread a lot of this type of infromation or as some said on here propagranda. Sure thats a 60’s term but it goes way back before that.

      Is due process the way to go or a plea deal of justice and send one on his or her way or would proof and reproofing be the way to go.

    • #42796 Reply
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      d

      Someone is gonna snap and in my eyes they will be justified.

    • #42909 Reply
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      Saddles

      I am sure every is against civil commitment and minumun sentencing or mandatory minumuns or are we all stuck in a medicine jar today. So what else does a conceited government do with its poaching of human beings and finding out they got the wrong man.
      Sure that has happened quite a few times in some of these ordeals. Its not about scientific studies or data collected its about human’s and true justice. I wonder if we are all naked or blind today. Now remember I’m no better than you people on here. Is shuffling in a crowd and brushing up to someone and accidently pocking one with a with a hand or if one as at a food booth at an event a minimimum sentence today or a maxium or mandatory if one doesn’t say I’m sorry for bumping into you or someone presses charge. Well she made me do it or the crowd was to pushy that i couldn’t squeeze in without touching you. Just think if it was a kid and the person touched that person by accident and not knowing that the one that was pressing to get to the booth was a sex offender. A lot of judges and people in their own self-conceit today.
      Should all sex offenders stand out in crowds in public place or is it the stigmatisim that goes along with the judge weilding the gavel. A lot of this sex offender minumin’s and mandatory stuff is up to the individual judge so with what measure do they judge another human beingl ok, in my case its the potty language. Its not the actual threat or the direct question of asking, its more of an assume thing, such as assume the position… basically what position are they wanting one to assume .. the thinker statue in Lives of Dobbie Gillis.
      So is human behavior in authorities just as bad or good as in common citizens or should we let police protect our rights their way…. the lawful or unlawful way. I would of said biblical or unbiblical but I get in to much trouble for that on here. Maybe we should all say don’t shoot until you have something physical to work with even DNA could help if it goes in that direction. Data can be undercover tape recordings of someone wanting to cause one to talk naughty…. All things are good but all things are not expident. Talk about principals

    • #44656 Reply
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      Irene Rubio

      The same is going on in Texas along with the Senator and Governor being a part of it,They have a Secret Prison in Littlefield where they are placing Civil Committed people. Yet the Statue on the Bill is not being Followed and the Bill has been edited many times by Senator Whitmire. The Texas VA was being used for veterans to be treated at a free price as they had the men in Austin,but now they are in the Secret Prison in Littlefield. When is this gonna be Stopped,we need to vote for a new Governor and Senator, We must make changes! They are using our Tax payers money for this! Did you know that men being Civil Committed,Tdcj is Behind all of it.Yet it don’t make any sense how men are ready to be Parole out yet they are a Danger to Society. Also the way these men were place as low risk offenders,yet they are such Dangerous Men! Also If they are a Danger to Society,how were they not in Seg while in Prison where Bad people are put.They need to stop using all our money ,We are Tax payers and we Don’t Need anymore Secret prisons with Therapy people whom are just geting paid!When are they going to Stop this Stupid Stuff,We the People need to make a Difference,It is Unconstitutional! No exceptions!! I hope that the Judges can See this Truth! And no more Secret Prisons,Its so bad that they dont even want Reporters at that facility!!! They are doing things as Bad as Mr.Uresti ,,when will they get Caught??

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