Data from the DOC shows low rates of recidivism –– the rate at which those formerly incarcerated commit crimes again –– for sexual offenders in comparison to other offenders.
Nearly 250 renowned legal and political experts and advocates have signed an open letter to Wisconsin’s governor requesting clemency for Brendan Dassey.
Louisiana’s Supreme Court has sidestepped, for now, the question of whether juveniles convicted of sex crimes can be required to register as sex offenders for the rest of their lives.
Excerpt from the article….
“Advances in law and science recognize that juveniles are developmentally different from adults, with significant psychological difference,” Hughes wrote in a brief dissent, adding: “The law should alleviate unconstitutional results, not avoid them.”
Two other judges agreed with the majority ruling that the man couldn’t appeal – but they said the requirement is unconstitutional and should be changed by lawmakers.
Retired Judge Michael Kirby, appointed to temporarily fill in for Justice Marcus Clark, wrote a separate concurring opinion, agreeing the appeal was barred on procedural grounds.
“Nonetheless, I write separately to express my opinion that the imposition of lifetime sex offender registration on a 14-year old child violates the Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution and the Louisiana Constitution’s prohibition against excessive sentences,” Kirby wrote. The Eighth Amendment prohibits excessive fines and “cruel and unusual punishment.”
Thirty people personally attended the recent special Judiciary Committee hearing on the public sex offense registry. The message is clear — the registry needs to be abolished, not merely reformed.
“A state-issued ID can be the key to finding opportunity after incarceration, from connecting with social services, to opening a bank account, getting a job, securing stable housing, and pursuing an education,” Northam said in the press release. “We are fully committed to ensuring returning citizens have access to the support they need to successfully reintegrate into society, and having identification that is REAL ID-compliant will be a valuable tool in reducing recidivism and helping them start out on a positive path upon release.”
Such fees have escalated in recent decades. The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled in a 9-0 decision that financial penalties levied by states may be so high as to violate the federal Eighth Amendment constitutional protection against excessive fines. Noting that excessive fines for “vagrancy” were used after the Civil War to re-enslave freed men, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in his concurrence:
The right against excessive fines traces its lineage back in English law nearly a millennium, and … has been consistently recognized as a core right worthy of constitutional protection.
In Wisconsin, each county decides whether or not to charge non-working jail inmates a daily room and board fee. Many Wisconsin counties charge inmates with Huber privileges, which allow the inmate to leave jail for work, school or other reasons.
Inmates on work release in Wisconsin state prisons are also charged room and board. The heaviest burden of jail fees is often borne by low-income individuals.
The average income for someone arrested is a little more than $19,000, according to the Prison Policy Initiative, a think tank that works against what it describes as over-criminalization.
In total, the plans would cost the state about $113 million, roughly $33 million short of the state funding already set aside.
“I think it’s been very clear from the beginning of this debate that there was always going to be more dollars required,” Carr said.
“If I could create a perfect system to maintain inequality, create inequality and sustain it over time, this is the system,” University of Washington sociology professor Alexes Harris said. “The process perfectly labels, stigmatizes, financially burdens and imposes further legal consequences to poor people.”
Then he lied about checking on Marciniak. And lied. And lied. He lied to officers from the Greenfield Police Department, called in to investigate the death, on three separate occasions between Aug. 15 and Aug. 31, 2016, according to a criminal complaint. Smith admitted the truth only after he was confronted with a surveillance video clearly showing that he hadn’t checked on Marciniak at 4:10 a.m.
Smith was fired and was charged with one misdemeanor count of obstructing an officer. It took until March 23, 2017, seven months after the hanging, to issue the complaint, but the case got wrapped up very quickly -– within five days – after that.
The U.S. Supreme Court On Prison Law Libraries
“We hold, therefore, that the fundamental constitutional right of access to the courts requires prison authorities to assist inmates in the preparation and filing of meaningful legal papers by providing prisoners with adequate law libraries or adequate assistance from persons trained in the law.” Bounds v. Smith, 1977.
“… An inmate cannot establish relevant actual injury simply by establishing that his prison’s law library or legal assistance program is sub par in some theoretical sense … The inmate therefore must go one step further and demonstrate that the alleged shortcomings in the library or legal assistance program hindered his efforts to pursue a legal claim.” Lewis v. Casey, 1996.
Incarceration rates have tripled in the US and almost doubled in Western Europe over the past 50 years. This column uses data on the criminal behaviour and labour market outcomes of every Norwegian to show that in contrast to the US, where incarceration appears to encourage reoffending and damages labour prospects, the Norwegian prison system is successful in increasing participation in job training programmes, encouraging employment, and discouraging crime. It argues that Norway’s high rehabilitation expenditures are more than offset by the corresponding benefits to society.
“Not ‘guards’,” admonishes Hoidal gently, when I use the term. “We are prison ‘officers’ and of course we make sure an inmate serves his sentence but we also help that person become a better person. We are role models, coaches and mentors. And since our big reforms, recidivism in Norway has fallen to only 20% after two years and about 25% after five years. So this works!” In the UK, the recidivism rate is almost 50% after just one year.
It can be hard for many people to sympathize for the plight of convicted sex offenders, but this program appears to confer little if any additional safety for the public. Furthermore, we can all recognize the need for due process. Courts, not prosecutors, should order punishments.
Universities’ efforts to endorse sexually profligate lifestyles often result in cringey attempts to normalize bizarre, risky, and even destructive behavior. Events, curriculum, and programs prodding fornication, kinky activity, and pornography feed off the naiveté of freshman boys and girls to normalize particular avenues of sexual pleasure and “disinfect” campus of “heteronormativity.”
Anthony Leslie v. State of Tennessee, et al.M2018-00856-CCA-R3-HC
Petitioner, Anthony Leslie, appeals from the dismissal of his petition for writ of habeas corpus relief. Petitioner alleged that an amended judgment of the Davidson County Criminal Court adding a provision requiring community supervision for life is void because it was entered after his sentence had expired. Upon consideration of the record and the applicable authorities, we reverse the judgment of the habeas corpus court and grant habeas corpus relief to Petitioner. The amended judgment of the Davidson County Criminal Court is vacated, and Petitioner shall not be subject to community supervision for life in Davidson County Criminal Court case number 99-D-2865.Originating Judge:
Judge Royce TaylorDate Filed:
Wednesday, August 14, 2019
“For a university to ignore a jury verdict and basically upend (Cephus’) civil rights is not what this university is about. This is a final plea to Chancellor Blank and the Board of Regents to make a decision based on its own ideals and mission,” a notice announcing the press conference says.
Editor’s note: This past year has seen a burgeoning of scholarship dealing with collateral consequences broadly defined, from lawyers, social scientists, and philosophers. CCRC’s good friend Alessandro Corda has selected fifteen notable articles published in 2018-19, with information, links, and abstracts.
They are organized into five categories:
(1) Legal collateral consequences
(2) Collateral consequences and criminal procedure
(3) Sex offender registration laws
(4) Informal collateral consequences
(5) Criminal records, expungement, sealing, and other relief mechanisms
A complete and regularly updated collection of scholarship on issues relating to collateral consequences and criminal records can be found on our “Books & Articles” page. From time to time we will preview and comment on new articles, and Alessandro has promised to provide another round-up by the end of the year. We hope he will continue indefinitely in the role of CCRC’s official bibliographer.
Former Wisconsin wide receiver Quintez Cephus was found not guilty of two counts of sexual assault Friday in Madison, Wis.
The jury needed only 30 minutes of deliberation to reach its conclusion.
Cephus, 21, was charged with second- and third-degree assault. Two women said Cephus sexually assaulted them at his apartment in April 2018, and the two women testified they were too drunk to give consent.
Cephus testified for two hours during the trial, giving his account of what transpired that night. He said one of the women asked him to have a “sleepover” and he took the women back to his apartment.
When they arrived, Cephus said he explained the layout of his apartment and one of the women went to his bedroom, undressed and got into his bed. He then invited the other woman into the room, where she also undressed and got into his bed.
Cephus was suspended from the Wisconsin football team and expelled from the university following the claims last year.
After the trial concluded, Cephus did not say if he would return to the university.
Muab-El knows how easy it is to seemingly violate the Rules of Supervision and be put behind bars. “As long as you are on parole, you have one foot in the cell and one foot in the free world,” he says. “At any time, both feet could be back in jail.”
He knows because it happened to him.
On Feb.7, 2018, Muab-El was picked up by police and sent to the Columbia County Jail in Portage. The reason? An allegation was made that, four years earlier, Muab-El had committed a crime and had violated his Rules of Supervision.
The investigating police officer found no evidence to substantiate the allegation and no charges were filed. The Department of Corrections, however, has the authority to apprehend someone who is alleged to have violated their Rules of Supervision.
In the case of Muab-El, it did so. The case centered on allegations by the mother of Muab-El’s son that they had sex that she now claimed was non-consensual. Muab-El’s case finally came before an administrative law judge that summer.
In her decision, the judge noted that the allegations were brought four years after the fact “without any corroborating evidence,” and that the woman “has an obvious and clear bias against Mr. Muab-El.” The judge went on to note that that “the entire claim smacks of retaliation and an attempt to manipulate custody of the child.”
On July 24, the judge ruled that Muab-El had not violated his Rules of Supervision and ordered him released. He had spent six months in jail awaiting the decision.
According to the data obtained by the outlet, the NYPD, during these eight years, arrested people who committed minor violations, like submitting paperwork days late, or people who struggled to keep up with reporting requirements because they were living in homeless shelters or on the street. The numbers and details of these arrests, when compared to Epstein’s evasion of punishment, suggest a stark example of selective enforcement within the criminal justice system.
The children of many of the 25 John and Jane Does seeking removal have also joined as plaintiffs in the lawsuit filed recently in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri, claiming the lifetime requirement of their parents has deprived them of their constitutional rights as well.
More than 3,100 people will leave Bureau of Prisons custody starting Friday, part of what Justice Department officials call “a truly monumental effort” to comply with the First Step Act, a criminal justice law passed by Congress last year.
Most of the offenders being freed have been convicted of drug-related crimes and have been living in halfway houses across the United States in preparation for their release, acting BOP chief Hugh Hurwitz told reporters at a news conference in Washington.
Facebook updated its community standards to allow for users to call for “high-severity violence” against sexual offenders, including death threats.
Judge Barrett was unsparing in her criticism of the university’s procedures. In perhaps the most telling critique, she noted that Purdue’s process, with its permanent, devastating consequences for the student’s career, “fell short of what even a high school must provide to a student facing a days-long suspension.” Withholding evidence from the plaintiff by itself was sufficient to render the process unfair. So was the failure to provide any means of meaningfully examining the accuser’s credibility. As Barrett wrote, the evidence suggests that the committee “decided that John was guilty based on the accusation rather than the evidence.”
Revocations for rule violations — and not the commission of new crimes — is the No. 1 cause of incarceration in Wisconsin, accounting for 40% of new admissions, Wisconsin Department of Corrections figures show.
Gov. Tony Evers, who is aiming for sharp reductions in the state’s prison population, said he wants to end these so-called crimeless revocations.
The proportion of offenders reincarcerated for violating rules while on community supervision in Wisconsin has risen quickly. Such revocations made up 31% and 34% of new prison admissions in 2016 and 2017, respectively.