Monday, July 7, 2008

Not with a bang, but with a whimper.

We, as a people, are a nation of conscience. Our nation is founded in specific principles and practices that were judged to be in the best interests of the people. But sometimes, all the best intentions can result in a perversion of what is just, and what is good.

Such as Sex offenders. Let us first discuss what a sex offender is. A sex offender is, simply, anyone convicted of what is considered a 'sexual' crime, of any kind. The term conjures up, however, a monster that is maladjusted, unclean, hiding in the bushes waiting for unwary prey. But what is the truth? A sex offender can be someone who had bowel problems in the park, and the door to the restroom was locked. It can be a child who pinched another child's bottom. It can be two fourteen year olds that decided to have sex together, along with the rapist, the pedophile, and the incest offender.

This is a difficult subject, at best, but, in the interest of truth, it must be approached. Congress is fond of statistics. They quote the 'fifty thousand' potential sexual predators online at any one time to enact a great deal of legislation. Whence, however, does this come? Is it from the FBI? Surely it's from the Department of Justice... no, it's from Chris Hansen. Ignoring his past, let us explore what he does: To Catch A Predator. Numerous shows of excessive force on this video, in spite of the lack of resistance. Could it be a marketing ploy?

Remember, now, if you will.. the 80s craze of the 'satanistic murders'. How many a year? Estimated, 50,000. Which is ironic, as to accomplish this, they would have had to murder two people for every person found to be murdered.

How about that 'high recidivism rate'? To discuss this, we must turn to the Department of Corrections.

Arizona has 2444 offenders released from its custody in 1998. These offenders were tracked for ten years. The average period of follow-up was 54.5 months.

Out of these offenders, 509 returned to custody at least once. (20.8%.) Out of the offender group of 2444, 346 returned for a new felony offense. (the remainder, 163, were evidently from non-felony parole violations). 3.2% returned for a new sex offense, and 3.7% for a new violent offense.

in addition, the number of crimes decreased over time.
Among the 78 sex offense recidivists, the timing of the commission of new sex offenses was as follows:

35 (45%) were committed within the first year after release;
19 (24%) were committed within the second year after release;
8 (10%) were committed within the third year after release;
3 (4%) were committed within the fourth year after release;
6 (8%) were committed within the fifth year after release;
4 (5%) were committed within the sixth year after release;
3 (4%) were committed within the seventh year after release.
(end quote)

State of Washington:


Out of 28,000 offenders, Sex Offenders were the least likely to recidivate for any crime. (note that this includes convictions for non sexually related crimes).

30% of Sex offenders committed a new crime. This compares those convicted of the following crimes: 26% recidivism for manslaughter, 64% recidivism for burglary, 66% recidivism for property, 61% recidivism for drug offenses, 57% recidivsim for robbery. and 58% for assault.

The state of Pennsylvania: Department of corrections, state of Pennsylvania.

*Recidivism of Sex Offenders Highlights*
* The level of sexual recidivism in sexual offenders is much lower than is commonly believed.
* Studies consistently find sexual recidivism rates in sex offenders to be around 13-14% during 4-6 year follow-up periods.
* Even after lengthier follow-up periods, most sexual offenders do not re-offend sexually. In fact, research found nearly ¾ of sex offenders were not charged/convicted of another sexual offense even after 20 years.
* The overall sexual recidivism rate of sex offenders is significantly lower than in other types of offender “specialists”, such as property offenders (e.g., thieves, larcenists, and burglars).
* As a heterogeneous group of offenders, not all sex offenders are equally likely to re-offend. Certain sub-types are much more likely to recidivate with another sex offense than others.
* Research studies commonly report the following results in order of likelihood of sexual recidivism from highest to lowest risk by sex offender sub-type: non-contact sex offenders (e.g., exhibitionists, voyeurs, etc.), extra-familial boy-victim child molesters, rapists, extra-familial girl-victim child molesters, then incest offenders.
* Sex offenders who feel emotionally closer to children, have paraphilic interests, and/or are sexually pre-occupied are more likely to sexually recidivate.
* Non-contact sex offenders are more likely to recidivate sexually than those who touch or penetrate their victims.
* Sex offenders who are adolescents and adults over age 50 are less likely to re-offend with a sexual crime than sex offenders from other age groups.
* Research examining the relationship between sentence length and sexual recidivism has produced mixed results, suggesting there is currently no clear, agreed-upon association between how long sex offenders are incarcerated relative to their rates of re-offending sexually.
* Sex offenders with prior sexual offense convictions have recidivism rates nearly double the rates observed for first time sex offenders.
* Sex offenders are more likely to recidivate with a non-sexual crime than a sexual crime.
* The general (any) recidivism rate of sexual offenders is lower than that observed in other types of criminals, including property, drug, and public order offenders. Both National and Pennsylvania findings indicate that sex offenders released following incarceration for rape or other sexual crimes were found to be among those with the lowest rates of recidivism.
* Research has found that ¼ of sex offenders recidivate with a violent crime (including sexual and non-sexual), and rapists are much more likely to re-offend with non-sexual violence than child molesters. As well, relatively low rates of non-sexual violent recidivism were found for those who selected related victims and male victims.
* Sex offenders who recidivate are more likely to be re-arrested for less serious crimes than non-sex offenders.
* Most general (any) recidivism by sex offenders within the first three-years following release occurs in the first year (56%). In fact, studies found 40% of sexual crimes were committed within the first 12 months following release from state prison. And, the longer sex offenders remained offense-free, the less likely they were to recidivate.

This message, of course, deals with the new S 431 law that is going through the senate today. While theoretically designed to put 'sex predators' off the internet, it doesn't simply deal with sexual predators.

Let me give you an idea. Sexual activity not in the missionary position is illegal in some states, as well as illegal in technicality under Military law. Sexual activity with any alcohol involved (no matter the degree of impairment) is also a sex offense in the military, even if both parties were consenting. Psychologically consentual (though illegal and legally nonconsentual) activity between two fourteen year olds. Patting someone on the butt. Mooning. Sexual activity between consenting adults within two degrees of consanguinuity (incest). Fellatio. Cunnilingus. Sex toys. Pornography of any kind displayed in a public place.

All these are now considered 'sexual crimes'. And that's ignoring the serious ones, the ones where control or force is exerted, or manipulation, drugging, etc. It's not all one classification, no matter how much paint you slap on it, and how broadly you brush it.

Why am I concerned about this bill? Primarily, because the right to communication and discourse is central to our country, and the statistics show (as well as evidence) that the problem is overstated. Out of the tens of thousands of sex offenders which were removed from Myspace, only one had contacted a child. He is, however, in trouble for it, as it was in violation.

It is the right for a web site to throw out any user. There is no guaranteed right for a user to use a site. There is, however, a vested interest in keeping the web open and free for all users. Part of this relates to truth, and the freedom of information. Part of it relates to the protected rights of stating your viewpoint. Part of it relates simply to the ability to compare what one news service is saying to another, and seeing what new laws are coming that will soon affect you.

The wording of the law, further, is such that it creates a standard that cannot be met. The provisions of the law in question follow.

`(1) IN GENERAL- It shall be unlawful for any person who is required to register under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (42 U.S.C. 16901 et seq.) to /knowingly/ fail to provide an electronic mail /address, or other designation used for self-identification or routing in an Internet communication or posting/ to the appropriate official for inclusion in the sex offender registry, as required under that Act .

Routing or other designation for self-identification.

Definition of internet routing, by persons creating networks, and working on the internet.


Before we get into the details, a clarification. When you hear people refer to "non-routable addresses," they are talking about RFC 1918 IP addresses, i.e. private addresses. Despite the misleading label, they certainly *are* routable. You can and should have some 10.x.x.x networks for local access and management. They can even be co-mingled with your real routers. They are called “non-routable” because the Internet routers will drop them. You should drop these packets at your border, as was pointed out in this Border Security article last year. This is a point of confusion for a lot of people.

On to the topic at hand.

Routing, in essence, is the act of finding a path from one place to another on which a packet can travel. To find this path, we need algorithms. They will generally be distributed among many routers, allowing them to jointly share information. Routing is said to contain three elements:


Routing protocols, the things that allow information to be
gathered and distributed


Routing algorithms, to determine paths


Routing databases to store information that the algorithm has
discovered. The routing database sometimes corresponds directly to
routing table entries, sometimes not.

(end excerpt)
(begin excerpt)
The previous paragraph really embodies what routing is. You get packets closer to the destination. Of course, you have to know what’s at each destination, and that’s what routing protocols tell you. It’s really easy to jump back and fourth when talking about routing, so take note that all of the above was with the picture of a single network in mind. This is also known as a routing domain. A routing domain is a set of routers that are all under the same administrative control; presumably all running the same routing protocols.
(end excerpt)

These routing informations are ephemeral. They change without notice, without any ability of the user to control them, but can be checked, using the TCP/IP trace command.

The key here is 'knowingly'. If you are a sex offender and a computer engineer, you'd be held to a far higher standard for 'knowingly' involving MAC addresses, TCP/IP routing, DHCP discovery packets, etc. Each of these can be, and are, valid internet identifiers. However, there is no way to know them prior to using them. The act of gaining an IP address is a use of the IP address. Registration of this IP address upon gaining it would become an admission of guilt before use, under the letter of the law. Further, to gain an email address, one must attempt to find an email address or identifier for the website that is unused. To do this one must create said account, but the creation is also a 'use'.

This amounts to a de facto denial of internet use for offenders who are, or have ever been, working in the computers, Information Technology, or networking industry. Further, it is a de facto denial of civil rights, when such limitations are placed without the intervention of a court, and jury.

Further, the stated goal of the legislature is to 'prevent sex offenders from communicating with one another'. This is from the senate hearings and discussion. At least if they're talking with one another, they're occupied with that. How is this wrong or immoral? Unless they're comparing notes, and revealing the statistics and double standards of the law.

For instance, the Barret case in Arizona. According to record, the son of the ex-congressman Barret attempted to shove a broomstick up the rectum of 18 youth. Further, this occurred approximately 40 times, according to testimony. He received... a misdomeanor.

It is the duty of government to establish punishments for crimes, within the Constitution. It is not, however, the job of the legislature to judge what a punishment should be, or to restrict the rights and privileges of citizens. Neither is it just, or good, for the government to legislate to one class of criminal, without affecting all classes of criminals. Selective enforcement has long been, and is against the rules.

Further, where the Adam Walsh act passed and was designed as a 'regulatory scheme' and designed ex-postfacto, there has been some argument among the attourneys general, if the use of the internet prior to the creation of the law becomes illegal. By the same token, we have 'used' these email addresses prior to the creation of the law, and not registered them. These email addresses, further, have no method for legally registering them. They literally create a new crime, which is punishable by ten years in prison, and counts as a felony against the 'three strikes' rule.

I once swore an oath to sustain and uphold the constitution, against all enemies, foreign and domestic. I swore an additional oath to bear true faith and alliegance to the same. I have devoted what remains of my life to educating people, about offenses, about their rights,a nd about the constitution, and the fact that the best way to deal with an abuser is to break the silence.

Just as I've broken the silence now about a new type of abuse, an abuse once again, against people innocent of any new crimes, and an abuse that is so egregious as to be calculated. Added to the use of the registry to create 'exclusion zones' similar to those in Russia near the turn of the last century, added to the fact that the judges have gone back to the old system of Roman law, added to the civil law of the country today sliding rapidly toward Roman Law, and rule by legislature.

Numerous laws have passed passing minimum sentences. This removes the right of the jury to determine appropriate punishment for the case, which was enshrined under the Magna Carta in the 11th century.. and restored once again under Bushnell's case in 1670, along with the right of the jury not only to try the facts of the case, but to try the underlying law itself. Since 1990, however, the right to jury nullification is largely ignored, in spite of long discussions of the right by the Founding Fathers, as being central to the nature of a jury. Judges have since that time prohibited prosecution, defense, or the judge themselves from revealing that right, and removing those who know thereof from voir dire.

From Wikipedia:

Standard jury trial practice in the USA during the Founding Era and for several decades afterward was to argue all issues of law in the presence of the jury, so that the jury heard the same arguments the bench did in reaching his rulings on motions. This is evidenced by such decisions as the 1839 case /Stettinius v. U.S./, in which it was held that "The defense can argue law to the jury before the court gives instructions."^[8] Later, judges began to demand the parties submit motions in writing, often before the jury was empaneled, to be argued and decided without the jury being present. This transition began with motions in /limine/, to exclude evidence, on which it was felt the jury should not hear the argument because they would be informed of the evidence to be excluded. Later that was expanded to include all legal argument, so that today, that earlier practice of arguing law before the jury has been largely forgotten, and judges even declare mistrials or overturn verdicts if legal argument is made to the jury. However, since the original understanding of "jury" at the time the U.S. Constitution was framed included the making of legal argument to them, this raises the question of whether a trial before a jury in which legal argument is kept from them is a constitutional jury trial.

End quote.

Add to this, the patterns of erosion of ex-postfacto rulings and bills of attainder under Article 1, Section 9 of the Constitution, and equally prohibited the states under article 1, section 10. A bill of attainder includes bills of pains and penalties, which are forfeitures of property, or rights. Perhaps the best definition thereof is the following, from Cummings Vs Missouri.

"A bill of attainder, is a legislative act which inflicts punishment without judicial trial and includes any legislative act which takes away the life, liberty or property of a particular named or easily ascertainable person or group of persons because the legislature thinks them guilty of conduct which deserves punishment."

add to this the statement made by the Honorable Congresswoman Ginny Brown-Waite of Florida, in the discussions of the Adam Walsh act.

(Quote from House hearings on HR 4472)

Ms. GINNY BROWN-WAITE of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of the bill that we have before us, the Children's Safety and Violent Crime Reduction Act.

February 23 marked the 1-year anniversary of Jessica Lunsford's death. I knew the family; I knew the grandmother. If Jessica were still with us, she would have been in the fifth grade. She would be learning about decimals and fractions and the solar system. Instead, her life was taken by a sex offender who assaulted and murdered her, and then buried her in his backyard. That is what this bill is all about; it is going after those, as someone once described, pond-scum predators.)

(End Quote)

If this is not punitive intent... what is?

From the same record

"Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Madam Speaker, I once again skirt the rules of the House by taking note of the fact that people not in this Chamber may be watching us.And I am particularly concerned about members of the Iraqi National Assembly, the newly elected Parliament which we are trying to instruct in democracy. They may be observing this procedure by which this House deals with a number of very important and controversial issues, some of which I fully support, some of which I question. But as they watch us deal with this, it is being dealt with in a manner in which no amendments are allowed, in which only 40 minutes total of debate are allowed. And it is a bill brought forward because the committee leadership didn't like what happened when the House actually voted on it in a democratic manner"
You will remember this bill came before us, many of the elements of this bill some time ago, and the House, working its will, voted to include an amendment to the hate crimes section. That appalled many Members of the majority. In fact, we read in some of the newspapers, members of the majority of the Republican Study Committee lamented the fact that the leadership had actually given the House membership a chance to vote. They said, we can't allow that to happen, we can't allow democracy to be running rampant on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives."

Is this the part of a wise and just government? Is the suspension of the process of government necessary now to pass laws?

Further, where the votes were taken by a voice vote, and not recorded, is it a true law? Is there proof there was no chicanery involved?

And where this law has no review, and no sunset, and is written to make any effect added to it go back to the beginning of the effect of the law... is it fair and just to have a law that can be altered into an ever-changing legal quagmire, guaranteed to cause stress and harm? Is it just that even the worst offender should have their rights removed... after the end of their onus under the court, not by additional crime, but by writ?

No, ladies and gentlemen... this is tyranny, and fascism come to America. It creates a minority, names the minority, blames the minority, shames the minority, and the minority ever keeps growing. 700,000 sex offenders in the US now... and over 1% of the total population of the country in prison. Ask yourselves, if these offenders are so dangerous that they must be kept on the registry, how is it that they have not been convicted and placed back into prison, thus increasing the population by another seven hundred thousand there. How is it that we have a larger criminal population than China and Russia combined, when they have a large population to work with?

Is this sanity, or is it the last gasp of freedom? Is it just, good, or right to see these things and do nothing?

For my part, I believe that some of the vigilantes are right. *sighs* But not for the reason they think. It is far *kinder* to die, and have an end, than to be subjected to the torments of the Registry for the rest of one's life, to be extorted into paying for your own registry under pains of prison, then to be denied places to work, housing, and opportunity for being on the registry by compulsion. It is kinder to die than to live in a situation where the people from on high can remove anything that they wish, and force you to comply.

There is nothing moral, or good about these laws. While the original closed registry served a legitimate purpose, these bills have gone beyond that purpose. They have gone beyond the powers granted the Federal Government, and beyond the walls erected around the rights of the People, breaking them down and opening them to attack, not just for the offender, but for all people.

Thomas Paine said it eloquently. in his 'Common Sense' of 1776.

"Some writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher."

And this is why ex-postfacto laws were prohibited, and attainder. This is why there was to be no removal of rights without a jury trial, with the right to try the law as well as the facts of the case, and why the right to speak, and assemble, and the prohibitions on searches and siezures and all the rest were enacted. It was a concern of the Founding Fathers, Federalists and Antifederalists, that these things would occur. It was a concern that the President, Congress, or the Judiciary would decide that they were above the constitution, and thus become a law unto themselves.

I am sworn to uphold and sustain the constitution, against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Are you?

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