California bill would police offenders' internet use

Posted on May 26th, 2010 No Comments

A new bill being reviewed in the California legislature would prevent registered sex offenders from using social networking sites such as Facebook and Myspace. If caught, they could be imprisoned based solely off of that violation.

Harriet Salarno, president of Crime Victims United, said in support of the bill, “Predators have left the playground and are now going to the Internet.”

Parole agents and civil libertarians oppose the bill, questioning whether or not time could be better spent policing the offenders’ physical contact with children, child pornography, and other similar activities.

“All they have to do is go to a public library and use a fake name and we’re not going to find it,” said Melinda Silva, a Sacramento parole agent and president of their statewide union.

The measure would allow the use of social networking sites for work-related purposes if OKed by authorities.

A San Diego State University criminal justice professor, Paul Sutton, cautioned lawmakers to tread carefully. Monitoring Internet use “is all but impossible” and some registered sex offenders need the Internet for work or use it to find jobs, he said.

SCOTUS approves new law to hold sex offenders indefinitely

Posted on May 19th, 2010 No Comments

The United States Supreme Court on Monday announced in a ruling a new law that allows the federal government to hold convicted sex offenders indefinitely after they have served their sentences if they are expected to be “sexually dangerous” following release.

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer wrote in the majority opinion, “The federal government, as custodian of its prisoners, has the constitutional power to act in order to protect nearby (and other) communities from the danger such prisoners may pose.”

Justice Clarence Thomas, in his dissenting ruling, wrote that nothing in the constitution “expressly delegates to Congress the power to enact a civil commitment regime for sexually dangerous persons, nor does any other provision in the Constitution vest Congress or the other branches of the federal government with such a power.”

The Texas judiciary approved a measure similar to this for the state prior to this, but this ruling allows the federal government to fill in any “gaps” in state holding procedures.

Portland police scale back city ordinance

Posted on May 13th, 2010 No Comments

The Portland Police Department has announced a decision to scale back on the ordinance that restricts sex offenders from living near schools. This kind of ordinance is very common, and is found in most large cities in America.

Instead, only “high-risk” offenders would be limited in their place of residence.

Officers from the department will be the ones to assess offenders and determine their risk-level.

Former police officer sentenced in child pornography case

Posted on May 4th, 2010 No Comments

A 59-year-old Mesquite man who served as a police officer in Highland Park, TX, from 1973 to 1978 and as a Plano, TX, police officer from 1979-2004 was convicted this Monday of possession of child pornography. The man was sentenced to ten years in federal prison.

An undercover Plano police officer uncovered evidence of the man’s child pornography while working on an FBI task force in 2007. The FBI was given a warrant to search the man’s home in 2008 and found pornography on his computer. The man was charged with possession of child pornography.

The 59-year-old pleaded guilty in December, 2009, to one count of receipt of child pornography.

In February, the man was given permission from a judge to visit his daughter and grandchildren on supervised trips.

U.S. District Judge Sam Lindsay in Dallas has released the man and ordered him to report to prison by July 6. The man will be registered as a sex offender and be on supervised release for the rest of his life after his release.

Interview with a Former DUI Client