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June 30, 2014 at 8:03 pm #11792
According to its Rules of Practice and Procedure, the United States Sentencing Commission has once again issued the federally required notice requesti
[See the full post at: An urgent notice]
July 2, 2014 at 2:10 pm #11793
Mary Jo Mitchel
United States Sentencing Commission
Attn: Public Affairs – Priorities Comment
One Columbus Ave, NE
Suite 2 – 500, South Lobby
Washington , DC 20002-8002
Dear Commission Members:
As the Sentencing Commission prepares its 2015 priorities, I am requesting that Commission promote in Congress the commission’s recommendations from its 2012 report regarding nonproduction sentences for Child Internet Pornography offenses. These mandatory minimum sentences with their enhancements are too severe.
Sentences for child pornography crimes in the Federal system have increased drastically over the last fifteen years, due in part to easy access from the internet. I have both a son and grandson that are paying the price. They will forever be linked with child predators and molesters. The easy accessibility and the entrapment on the internet by FBI has made the sex offender problem a nightmare. Many of these criminals, were themselves molested as children. The statistics I have read indicate that these no contact offenders have very low rates of reoffending. Meanwhile, since becoming aware of this crime, I have noted that many charged at the local/state level serve minimal sentences or none at all, with sexual therapy as a parole requirement. Federal and state sentencing should be consistent.
Although I understand that these offenders have committed criminal acts, I believe that not all “sex offenders” are equally culpable. A person who takes a child’s innocence to abuse him or her and then films the abuse for profit should be sentenced to the maximum under the law, as should the internet service providers who knowingly allow their servers to transmit these images. Viewing these images is offensive, but hardly to the same degree.
I strongly believe that the sentencing for these crimes should be reduced. Tax payer money could be greatly saved by lowering the sentences of “viewers”.
Sincerely, Mary Jo Mitchel
July 9, 2014 at 5:52 pm #11794
Robert Dobbertin, FCC Forest City
Our entire judicial system is truly in ruins. We are so far behind the rest of the ‘civilized’ world when it comes to crime and punishment, it is hard to truly comprehend. Currently, there is a fight going on to reduce sentences of drug offenders who, statistics show, have the highest recidivism rate of all crimes. Yet those in prison for fraud and those of us with hands-off sex offenses are ignored. I particularly want to address the sex offenders because I am one and feel it is time for society to know the truth instead of being frightened into ignorance by media and government.
I will never argue with anyone that what I did was wrong. Yet, I do not believe a 10-year mandatory sentence is the answer. If anything, I truly fear how I will be able to survive when I leave prison as the world will be different and the stigma associated with being an internet sex offender is off the charts. From the time a search warrant was issued until my arrest was over 3 1/2 years. During that time I was freely carrying on with my life. I had a job, a car, friends, got to see my daughter, and was a productive citizen. Beyond that, I was also in therapy and going to group to help me deal with my addiction to sex. (Yes, sex addiction is a VERY real issue!) I had cancelled the internet in my home and could only access it from public places such as the library. In doing so, I was able to break my cycle of pornography and internet chatting. I am but one example worldwide of sex offenders who can successfully be treated and allowed to continue in life.
Even though I received a 10-year mandatory prison sentence, ALL sex offenders are basically sentenced to life due to having to register. When your name appears on this registry, everyone automatically thinks you raped someone and this is not true. Most people on the registry are there for hands-off crimes, mostly for pictures. Being on the list opens you up to harassment, deprives a citizen of his/her freedom to move around and conduct life as needed. Sex registrants must be constantly vigilant for someone to attack them and some have even been murdered. This needs to end. The unfortunate thing is, someone guilty of murder serves, on average, less time and no one ever needs to know the extent of their criminal history when it comes to finding a home or job. Even so, non-sex offenders seems to experience less bias in job searches simply because of the stigma of the crime due to misinformation.
I ask the people of our communities, states, and nation to stop letting the government and media blind you to the truth. The amount of research available on the internet to show that sex offenders as a whole RARELY reoffend is prolific. This is especially true of hands-off sex offenders. Further, it is well documented that the “snatch and grab” sex crime is a rarity indeed. Most hands-on sex offenses are committed by family members and friends, not by strangers. The perceived danger is unwarrented. Most hands-off sex offenders would be no more dangerous at your local parks, playgrounds, pools, and other public places than then chance your child may fall and skin their knee. It is truly a shame that, in America, the ‘greatest nation’, people live in such fear that they always need to find someone to blame for their own shortcomings and seemingly need to hate someone.
I thank you for your time in reading this and would be more than willing to talk and share with anyone who wants to know more.
July 10, 2014 at 1:28 pm #11795
Very well written! I am also a registrant with that hands-off crime. I have to register for the rest of my life and live in fear of what the public may do to my family or myself at any given time. Sex offenders have been murdered around the country due to the registry, and in some cases, their family members as well.
There is no excuse for this other than it is an easy way for states to make revenue off of the fees they collect from registrants. Yes, we also have to PAY for the privilege of putting our families and ourselves in danger. In many states, there are multiple web sites which have the same information. So, registrants are penalized multiple times along with their loved ones.
This is a sickening state of affairs in our country. A small number of states are purging their registries of low end registrants like myself. But, unfortunately, my state loves the free money too much.
As long as ignorance continues, as long as you see “pedophile” jokes on television shows, as long as you see sex crime stories on nearly every newscast, as long as there are people who need a “boogey man” to fear, the registry will be alive and well. Not for Police who commit sex crimes (regularly happening), not for their friends, not for politicians, and not for rich people — just for the poor people who aren’t connected enough to keep themselves from wearing the lifetime public scarlet letter.
I’m very ashamed of what our country has become. My ancestors fought and died in the Revolutionary War, and ever war since. Was THIS what they gave the ultimate sacrifice for?
July 24, 2014 at 8:15 pm #11796
Calvin J Stone
All I can state is, it’s not just internet child porn. But of late, all I have been reading is that. Not everyone who has been convicted of a sex crime is guilty. For one. In my case, The victim was 5 years old in 1998, but came out 4 years later stating I touched her. 2010 she found me and begged me to forgive her for the lies she stated about the crime. I had 3 police officers sitting next to me in a restaurant. When she found out they where pd she left. They ” pd ” could not believe what just happened. They took my name and hers. But I never heard from them again. So what do I do? Not much. I’m stuck on a life time of no job, or life. As I just have stated its not just about one type of sex crime. Many men and women are in the same sinking boat.
July 25, 2014 at 12:57 am #11797
I can relate, am on the registry for life for having four images of 16 year olds on a computer that was found after sending a mean spirited e-mail to a very powerful and connected person.I will be tormented for the rest of my life due to a porn addiction that spiraled our of control. Have are we to know the ages of theses models when they are all mixed up together on those tubesites
I did not make this stuff, trade or talk to or touch anyone but, am treated just the same, I’m guilty and know that under 18 is illegal but, why are the ISPs not being prosecuted for allow this stuff on the internet itself?
I’m real sorry for your troubles and hope you well.
The one upside is now am free of the bondage or porn and lust
July 29, 2014 at 2:54 am #11798
Thanks for the reply, Mark.
I, too, had a porn addiction. When I was under 7 yrs old, a teenage girl in the neighborhood had her way with me. I didn’t know any better. So, I always felt nervous and uncomfortable around teenage girls and still am to this day. I was never into little children and never would be.
But, surprisingly enough, what was found on my computer is stuff I did NOT download. I downloaded an unhealthy amount of pornography, but I am 100% sure none of it was little children. But, they found a nice way to shoehorn that in so they could get a conviction by forcing me to plea with threats of decades in prison. I had no defense, only a public defender. So, I had no choice but to take the plea.
I might have had teenagers on my hard drive, but like you said, it’s hard to tell if they are or aren’t. A lot of women in their 20’s masquerade as teens. It happens alot in europe. Courts have even convicted people of files including them because they couldn’t guess the ages either. But, even after it was discovered they weren’t teens, the convictions were NOT overturned. Once you’re in the system, they don’t let you out. At least around here.
So, whoever had my evidence, decided to make the charge stick by putting vile images and videos into my evidence. There is NO other way they could have gotten there. I’m not in denial, I just knew my habits and what I did and did not have.
My addiction ended up doing real harm to me by making it easy to convince the judge that since I had so much pornography, that of course I would have forbidden stuff as well. Amazing. No wonder why people don’t come forward and get help with pornography and sex addictions. They’re frightened of the authorities, and rightly so!
This all has to change! Neither you, nor I belong on a public registry. We are no danger to ANYONE. But, since someone makes money off of us, we stay there.
July 29, 2014 at 7:18 pm #11799
To be honest am on the registry for life but, thankful it is not made public because the law her in California says that if the victims are 16 or older at the time of the offense I can be excluded from public viewing. But there is a internet article that recently surfaced ten years after my offense that has again turned my life upside down.The article makes it sound worse than it is, it does not mention that I was convicted of have four pictures of sixteen year old on my computer but, instead says I was to be charged with multiple counts of CP. It just never ends, I had partial rebuilt my life now its in ruins again.
Why are we being punished so severely forever, when all we did was look ( its like we are being punished for what many men do driving down the street that look at a young women walking down the street) only it was on a computer that we found by doing a click, click and we are somewhere that someone put up stuff that is illegal.
I’m tired and have really just given up, I don,t view porn of any sort today, but that does not matter. Life just seems pretty much pointless now that world knows. There goes all those years in school, any sort or job and a possible lose of new friends I have made.
Thankfully I do have a famliy and many friends that know of this and support me but, if I cant support myself whats the point??
I hope you are able to find some sort of peace in dealing with this nighmare
May God bless you and family
July 29, 2014 at 10:45 pm #11800
Don’t give up, Mark. I know it sucks. But, perhaps RSOL, Ms. Bellucci and the others can change things for us. I know my state will be one of the last to give in. They were the first to adopt the Registry, and even made it worse with the former Atty. General Kelly Ayotte heading the charge based on false data based on discredited research from decades ago. So, now our registry as of 2006 is 10yrs/Life/Life for the 3 Tiers.
Why should I be on a registry for life? Am I that dangerous? The short answer is NO. But, Ms. Ayotte convincingly scared the public into compliance with her ambition, and the prison industry went right along with it since it fills their coffers. Someday, that might change, but I don’t see it happening in my lifetime (I have less than a decade to go due to illness).
So, they won’t get many years out of me. It’s just ridiculous we’ve had our basic constitutional rights violated. They violated mine before I had even been indicted. But, they get away with it because the general public is ignorant and used to hating people.
My family cares about me, but they are elderly and we all aren’t going to be around much over a decade from now. I will be there for them as long as I can physically be. But, once my time is up, there isn’t anything I can do about it. At least I won’t be on any registry then. Until then, I owe it to the people who love me, and the decent people who don’t need to be on a registry, to fight as long as I can and be strong.
Bless you and your family as well, Mark.
July 31, 2014 at 5:46 am #11801
There are states tha do not publicly list low level offenders. Some states base their public disclosure to risk evaluation, some to the offence committed but do not put cp offenders on public page. I think Massachuhets is one with decent public disclosure policy and maybe New Jersey and New yourk… There are others, but some states will require offender moving in to register for life, even when the original reguirement was shorter but they would still not put a low level offenders on public list. Be careful if you plan to move, short registration might became permanent when moving to wrong state. You should try to determine which states are low level SO friendly and consider re-building your lives in one of these. Contacting sex offender boards of these states directly would be adviseble, as would be consulting an attorney. Good place to start searching: http://klaaskids.org/megans-law/
Information is not necessarily complete or up to date for all states, so you might need to dig a litle deeper. Good luck!
August 3, 2014 at 1:55 pm #11802
Robert, what you said is so true. Murderers and actually rapists receive less time than hands-off offenders. The gesture of having someone register is a topic that has struck major controversy in the criminal justice area. I know because I recently graduated with my masters in criminal justice and chose this same topic as my thesis. It is alarming that so many people are quick to blame those who are less guilty then those who have committed the crime. I do not agree with kiddy porn no more than I agree with child abuse. But I feel we can not continue to place such harsh sentencing on those for internet crimes than the ones who are actually committing those crimes.
The problems I have with the registry for non violent sex crimes are first that you have served your time and been released, so why should you continue to be punished when others released are not? Second, we are not just endangering your life but also the life of your family. Third, as you have stated you have been condemned for a life because close minded individuals who don’t think to find out what happened have automatically judged and condemned you.
Recently, I was dating a man we were together for 3 1/2 years before he was found guilty of possession. He was like you; left to live freely from the time he was raided in 2006 to 2013. Seven years this man walked freely, held a job, and was a respected individual in the community. Now he is serving an 8 1/2 year sentence eligible for release in 2020. Fortunately, the laws for possession are changing, but not quickly enough. I urge you to keep your head strong and keep pushing through the nightmare. I know the nightmare isn’t only in prison but also when you return to society. You guys have it rough in both situations in prison. You fear for your life and then, once you’re home, you do too.
August 3, 2014 at 6:54 pm #11803
RSOL has one heck of an uphill climb to make any dents in the Registry in the New England area. Maine, NH, VT, MA, and CT are all stubbornly sticking to their registry policies and not giving an inch. Same with Florida and Oklahoma. The draconian laws are worse in all of the states I mentioned.
NH is now taking DNA from Registrants for the 2ND time. No one knows why. I had to give my DNA again this year when I Re-Registered. It’s amazing how much this violates our Constitutional rights. But, as I was told in Prison by a guard: “You HAVE no rights. NO ONE is going to fight for you. And if I had MY way, all you perverts would be executed or never leave prison.” Nice, huh? Once you are convicted of a sex crime in this country, the general public considers you a child molester, dangerous, and no longer of value to society. You are also something to be afraid of. Paranoia and Fear gets the ignorant public to vote for this unconstitutional legislation. And it also keeps the oath-violating politicians in office. Just wave the fear card in front of the general public’s faces and they’ll dance to the tune every single time.
August 4, 2014 at 9:12 pm #11804
Tabatha, you went to law school so maybe you can answer a question. I am finding court rulings on the internet that are intriguing. This link (http://www.ydr.com/local/ci_26190460/sex-offenders-appealing-stiffer-megans-law-registration) has a case that basically is saying that retroactively lengthening the amount of time a registrant is on the list is a breach of contract. Because the registrant entered into a legal contract when he/she singed their original plea bargain.
It should be obvious from my poor sentence structure that I do not have a good understanding of legal procedure. This is my question: Does this set a legal precedent? Does it mean that it can be quoted and used to change the laws in my state (Texas)?
This link states that registration is punishment, which makes it unconstitutional ( http://sexoffender-decisions.blogspot.nl/search/label/%28%23%20%20Unconstitutional). SORNA’s registration requirements are significantly more stringent than Megan’s Law, Uhler held. Uhler also agreed that the “law is not reasonably designed to fulfill its purported function” and that it constitutes additional punishment.
“This court finds the SORNA provisions pertaining to juveniles are punitive and violate the ex post facto (retroactivity) clauses of the Pennsylvania and United States Constitutions,” Uhler wrote.
It is talking about juveniles but once you admit it constitutes punishment that would seem to make it unconstitutional to anyone as it is ex post facto. Am I correct in my thinking? All along the legislators have been saying that it is a public safety law not a punishment. Once you have officials admitting that it does constitute punishment, you have pulled the thread and the whole thing will fall apart.
Please share your thoughts here on the forum so others can contribute.
Thank you Shawn.
August 6, 2014 at 4:57 pm #11805
Can you imagine if Elliot Rodger “lost it” because he had been a registered sex offender, or maybe was and never caught or convicted?
August 6, 2014 at 8:36 pm #11806
I was placed on the sorna act in 2012 for lifetime in pennsylvania as a result of sending a picture of my junk to a wrong number. The crime happened in 2009 where i was originally sentenced to 10 years megans law,registry. Please tell me is there any programs or organizations out there that help people get housing or jobs for sex offenders. more impotantly is housing.
August 8, 2014 at 6:12 am #11807
Calvin J Stone
I wish there was, im in Maine. There’s nothing that I know of. I’m in the same boat as many of us. It feels like i’m still behind bars, but home. I would love to work.
August 8, 2014 at 3:10 pm #11808
My son was recently charged and convicted of sexual offense with a minor. These cases are all different. In his case, the girl and her friend whom my son trusted to be honest, conspired with each other to lie to my son about the girls true age. There are sworn statements of these two girls that should have been able to use for my son’s defense, but the State of Florida statue 800.04 (a) does not allow anything to be used as a defense. Her age, her chasity, nothing. What angers me about this law is it lumps all of these cases like this into one label. Which is totally unfair, and truthfully I dont think is constitutional. That is why FLorida’s conviction rate on sexual offenders is so high. THEY DO NOT HAVE A DEFENSE according to this statute. Only some of these can be used in sentencing, nothing more. TOTALLY WRONG.
As to other cases with different circumstances, each I think should be looked at and determined if it fits the criteria of a sex offender. And if evidence is present to prove that, it should be able to be used to keep from a young mans life being ruined because of some girls who are older beyond their years,who lie and commit these crimes and yet nothing happens to them because they are being looked at as a CHILD, and they are far from it. When proof is available thru witnesses that these girls who do this all the time, the
defendant should be allowed to use this in his defense. This is just plain common sense. He is no threat to society, He is not violent, He made a mistake in trusting someone as to how old they was.
He becomes a VICTIM of conspiracy and lies, and He becomes a VICTIM OF THE STATE, HE LIFE BECOMES A LIVING HELL. A LIVING NIGHTMARE THAT NEVER ENDS. ALL YOU LAW MAKERS, I WISH YOU COULD WALK IN THEIR SHOES FOR JUST A WEEK…I THINK THEN YOU WOULD’NT BE SO QUICK TO SENTENCE THEM FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIFE TO ANSWER TO COUNTY, STATE AND LOCAL AUTHORITIES. THERE HAS TO BE A MORE SIMPLE WAY OF DEALING WITH THIS ISSUE . EACH CASE IS DIFFERENT, AND EACH CASE SHOULD BE LOOKED AT IN THE CONTEXT IN WHICH IT HAPPENED. NOT ALL LUMPED INTO ONE.
August 10, 2014 at 9:45 am #11809
I am totally in agreement with you! I also have a son it happened to and we live in GA. My son had just turned 18 at the time and the girl was on Facebook with makeup on and looked 14-15, but she wasn’t even old enough to be on Facebook! But nothing happened to her or the parents that let her on Facebook and was smoking pot! Now we have lost our home to foreclosure due to our house to close to church. He couldn’t come home after went to jail, we had to rent apt for him, and it is so hard to find jobs for sexual offenders. These kids are being treated like a sexual pretator! These laws need to change!!!!!
August 27, 2014 at 12:41 pm #11810
No excuses for me. Just the truth. I am a sex offender, but like everyone else, the punishment is strictly harmful, but in some ways my guilt says I deserve it. Many of you should be taken off the registry. I have had jobs and lost them not because the employers wanted me gone but because of pest board turn downs; not being able to get a license. Not sure if it’s my area or people are smarter here? But I dont get harrased by neighbors much. Have a life with my 16-year-old daughter and 18-year-old son. Have a girlfriend; have many friends. I turned myself in ashamed for my crime and did the time, nearly died. I think my community knows when they see me with my daughter and son. I’m friends with their mother, my ex and good friend. But I can’t support a job as of date had one for 10 years after release from prison, but I think I was being pushed out. People want honesty and that’s how I do it; it’s tuff to rehash the past.
I understand the fear, the hate and the pain of a victim. I will get a job again, there are truly understanding people willing to give jobs, this law makes it tuffer. I have been blessed. Homeless less than a month and given a job by friends and family after prison out in 2005 and its now 2014 🙂 There is hope and with the increase in new sex offenders (truly hope that stops) its apparent the laws need to change.
I can not get off the list without a governor’s pardon. I will try at some point, but I have accepted this so what do I do? Keep active, hold my head high, go to the grocery store and not hang my head, spend time with family, taxi my daughter around and keep her safe from strangers. I pay taxes. I vote. I treat others as humans. We have a right to be angry as do those who hate and are blind to just a death sentence for all sex offenders. I am sure that most everyone in my city knows me. When a teacher and mother at a bar talks to me with a smile about work and life, and such.. while I am out with friends for food and drink, a community member talking with me. 🙂 I got home and cried not out of fear, sadness, or desperation, but out of hope. Sex offenders need support. But if you come out not thinking of your victims help, not changed, not caring and turn away all support,that is where your life sentence comes into play for the sex offender. God bless you all.
Find some comfort, grasp it, change will come, I am jobless now but hopeful and never give up hold your head high, some of you might be a military veteran like me,not much help from them but I do find some other than the medical which in my opinion, they would more likely mental case me…… lol. My struggle is addiction, but I will never live a life of a pedophile, I won’t go snatching up any kids, 2nd chances are rare and I am far away from ever harming a soul. I cry, I laugh, I feel, I hurt, I vote, I help….lets not lose sight of our humanity. Hold your heads high, purchase that milk with your ebt card, I pay into the system, I work, that said its hard for an offender to help other offenders, I thank you all who supp
August 30, 2014 at 12:10 pm #11811
our family wants to move from oklahoma to alabama my spouce is no longer on the regestry should we do this are we making a mistake ?
September 10, 2014 at 2:28 am #11812
I know the feeling , I’m also in PA and haven’t been able to find work, any perspective Job I come across I’m told that I have to get permission from my court ordered therapy, I cant even go to church without permission from this group. They even tell us that we can’t wear certain clothes, if we change our appearance with a hair cut they believe were reoffending. Nothing is done, we have no one to turn to. They constantly threaten us with discharging from the therapy group which is a probation violation and a ticket back to jail for a 6 month stay stating were a threat to society. No proof of course, according to them they don’t need proof except these so-called facilitators word.
I was sentenced to 3 months in jail 6 months home monitoring and 7 years probation, These “facilitators” threaten to send some of us back to jail for the remaining years of probation, I’ve served my sentence, truth be told it doesn’t matter how much time I was sentenced to It a life sentence. Murderers get less of a sentence. Im still a human being aren’t I? I feel like they might as well have tattooed a number to my wrist, no other crime is required to register, no other crime stops a person from getting a job or having a career, its difficult for other crimes but not as difficult as a sex offender. I pray everyday for another chance.
September 30, 2014 at 7:41 am #11813
Is anyone else writing a novel about this new McCarthyism, the insane disproportionality by which ‘sex offenders’ are defined and dealt with by the Thought Police and the criminal justice system?
Is no one doing anything on the creative front to influence public opinion? This seems to be missing from the strategy to achieve your aims?
There is so much material in this thread to inspire someone to write a work of fiction to get the message across, and it sucks to be the only one doing it (if indeed I am).
September 30, 2014 at 9:05 am #11814
from editor: yes, indeed; check out A Parallel Universe by Alex Landon. And there are some blogs that utilize fiction. We hear every once in a while of a novel in progress. Good luck to you and yours.
October 12, 2014 at 8:50 am #11815
Thanks Sandy! As fiction writers in this field, we need to network and critique each other’s works-in-progress. Mainstream writers’ circles and critique groups often exclude and threaten us, shooting the messenger.
On the positive side, at least we get a taste of what it’s like to be a registered sex offender on the receiving end of persecution, which can only make our characters more authentic.
August 2, 2015 at 10:54 pm #11816
I sent my letter
August 2, 2015 at 10:59 pm #11817
Thank you for your story this gives me hope for my husband. I have not given up hope that the laws will change and allow him to come back home soon.
August 2, 2015 at 11:13 pm #11818
Thank you Robert you have spoken so much of what is in my heart. I am married to a non contact offender. I was molested as a child by a much older person and i forgave him for what he did. So in turn when my husband was arrested i was devastated. But i got on my knees and ask God what to do. He told me to stay strong and stay with my husband. I knew it was not going to be a popular decision but I didn’t care. I married him for better or for worse. I know in my heart that god will change the hearts of Congress and change these ridiculous sentences. I will be praying for you and your family.
March 27, 2016 at 9:11 pm #11819
I’m new to this site. Whatever became of this this urgent notice?? Did anything ever change??
October 1, 2016 at 1:17 pm #11820
How is this even possible? What state are you in? Is there not a statute of limitations?