MA Supreme Judicial Court rules no on mandatory, blanket GPS monitoring

By John R. Ellement . . . Convicted sex offenders retain a constitutional right to privacy, and those rights are being violated by a state law mandating that everyone convicted of some sex crimes wear a GPS monitoring bracelet as part of their sentence, the state’s highest court ruled Tuesday. In a 7-0 ruling, the Supreme Judicial Court decided that…

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MA court says burden of proof on state to prove dangerousness still exists

Associated Press: The Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry Board has the burden of proof when determining whether a sex offender should not be moved to a less dangerous classification, the state’s highest court ruled Wednesday. The Supreme Judicial Court also ruled in separate cases that indigent sex offenders have a right to legal counsel in reclassification hearings, and that those hearings…

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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…

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Can there be life after civil commitment?

By Sandy . . . Over forty years ago, Wayne Chapman was convicted of raping two boys. He claimed to have had as many as a hundred victims. He was sentenced to thirty years in prison, and when that was completed, under Massachusetts’s civil commitment laws, was confined further in a non-criminal facility where he was to be treated and evaluated…

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Former sex offender makes positive difference in others’ lives

By Sandy…. In the wake of the release of long-time incarcerated convicted sexual offender and former priest Paul Shanley, journalists are rushing to find a different angle to present the situation. Elaine Thompson found an excellent one.  The focus is on another convicted offender, former attorney Joel Pentlarge who, since he has been released, has done everything he could to…

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RSOL Chair to Mass lawmakers: registration is government-sanctioned prejudice, segregation of citizens

By Katie Lannan, State House News Service . . . A host of bills dealing with sex offender registration encountered pushback Tuesday from advocates and offenders who urged lawmakers to consider whether the measures were meant to prevent recidivism or to serve as additional punishments. Legislation now before the Joint Committee on the Judiciary includes measures that would establish restrictions…

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