In Honor Of Michael


The unexpected knock at the door.
The crashing sound in the middle of the night.
The phone call from the man who make threats.
The car following every turn.
 The internet stalkers that posts lies and put life and limb in jeopardy.
The websites that list address, photos and details which in turn invites vigilantes to vandalize, attack, beat and kill.

Every day people live in fear. Fear of being beaten, having their home, vehicles or other property vandalized; even to the point of fearing for their very lives. What country could this describe? What could be causing this kind of anguish? Is their reason to fear, real?

 

The country, the United States of America. The cause, The Sex Offender Registry and subsequent vigilante actions. Is there reason to fear? Yes!
Vandalism, and stalking are daily occurrences for former offenders, their spouses, family and friends. In one place or another, beatings occur several times a month and even murders happen far to often.
For those who are registered, their spouses, family and friends, the fear of vigilante attacks are a constant worry. A quick search of the internet will bring up such stories as: ‘Sex offender’s pizza shop vandalized’, ‘Two sex offenders shot dead in Clallam County’, ‘Sex Offenders murdered in Maine’, ‘Sex Offender murdered, body burned’, ‘Proposed House For Sex Offenders Vandalized’, ‘Parents of Convicted Sex Offender Had Their House Vandalized’, ‘Rosewood Drive Sex offender’s home vandalized, seven cars also spray-painted in large, white lettering’ ‘Registered Sex Offender beaten’, ‘Wife of Sex Offender killed in arson fire, registry to blame, murder charges pending.’ And on and on.
The original intent of the registry, ‘to protect children’ has failed. Several studies have brought this fact to the fore-front. However, the unintended consequences of the registry are all too real. The Registry is directly responsible for murder, vandalism and a whole slew of other hate crimes.
Registered offenders, their spouses, families and friend form a disadvantaged group that is unprotected by many of the laws shielding other citizens from vigilante attacks. True, the laws seem to be written in a way that they should protect these disenfranchised members of society, however, when an registrant calls and reports a crime such as vandalism, the response they receive from Law Enforcement is less than encouraging as sometimes the police won’t even bother to make out a report.
Escalation
Since 2003 there has been a sharp increase in the number of vigilante attacks of registrants.
An uniformed or apathetic public, media, and legislators are a major root of the problem. While vigilante elements fill the internet with misinformation and outright lies about registrants, the media continues to perpetuate misinformation and lies. Even in the face of reports that prove conclusively that former offenders are less likely to reoffend than other classes of criminals, the media, some political leaders and vigilante elements continue to promote skewed statistics and data.
At the same time, however, some government officials are coming to learn the hard truth, that they themselves were lied to. Some of these courageous people are setting aside strong personal feelings and prejudice and they are digging into the subject and finding something surprising. Not all sex offenders are the same and only a small percentage fall into the clinical category of being a true predator. Current registry laws, including the daftly constructed AWA, fail to properly identify with any accuracy those former offenders who pose a definitive risk to public safety. The cost of the registry is also escalating. Many locations are struggling with an ever increasing workload due to the estimated 8.5% annual expansion of the registry.
After doing research into the above facts and many others not mentioned, many who are in public office have come to realize that the registry was a bad, costly, ineffective idea. These officials will affirm that they feel that the public registry should be terminated, however they will say this only in private. The fear of reprisals from the public (votes) is too great for them to take a stand and do something that will, eventually, come to pass.
So the question becomes this, how long will the courts and the government allow the murder and terrorizing of United States Citizens (registrants), their spouses, family and their friends?
Is there a way for those in office to move towards deregistering American Citizens? Yes, It starts with two important elements; 1. Run Public Service Announcements which present easy to understand facts taken from government sponsored studies regarding; recidivism rates of registrants, the ineffectiveness of the registry and  the growing cost of the registry. This will expose the public to the facts and an informed public will come to the right conclusions, in time.  3. Criminalize vigilante activities against former offenders both online and in the real world. Give former offenders the same protections that gays, Blacks and Jews now enjoy. Add Sex Offenders to the list of hate crime protectees.
Only then will registrants, their spouses, families and friends find security in ‘the land of the free’.
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If you agree with this article, please take the time to copy send it to the legislators in your state or anyone else you see fit. We must demand equal protection under the law. If we don’t speak up, how can they ever hear us?

 

Source:  SOSEN.org

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Center for the Human Rights of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry


centre

centre (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“The Center for the Human Rights of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry (CHRUSP) provides strategic leadership in human rights advocacy, implementation and monitoring relevant to people experiencing madness, mental health problems, or trauma. In particular, CHRUSP works for full legal capacity for all, an end to forced drugging, forced electroshock and psychiatric incarceration, and for support that respects individual integrity and free will.”

 

Source:  http://www.madinamerica.com/2012/08/center-for-the-human-rights-of-users-and-survivors-of-psychiatry/

Sex offenders face lie detector tests


Downing Street, Whitehall, London (U.K.)

Downing Street, Whitehall, London (U.K.) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Updated 02:18 PM Jul 20, 2012

        LONDON – Rapists and other serious sex offenders in the UK may be forced to take lie detector tests when they leave prison, to reduce the chance of them of re-offending.
Downing Street is pressing for the introduction of mandatory polygraph testing, which monitors heart rate, brain activity and blood pressure, across England and Wales. The tests would apply to the 750 most serious sex offenders currently out on licence. A Downing Street source said two pilot programmes in the East and West Midlands probation regions between April 2009 and October 2011 found that mandatory lie detector tests prompted sex offenders to:
– Be more honest with their offender managers. A No 10 source said they provided probation staff with more information about the potential risks they pose.
– Make twice as many disclosures to probation staff, such as admitting that they had contacted a victim.
– Admit the tests helped them manage their own behaviour more effectively.
Any offenders found to have broken their licence as a result of a lie detector test would be sent back to prison. Strict conditions would still apply once they leave prison. They have to sign the sex offenders register and can be banned from certain areas and from contact with named people. There are around 750 serious sex offenders at any one time living in the community on licence.
A No 10 source said that the plan was still in its early stages. But Prime Minister David Cameron is said to have been impressed with the results of the pilot tests and has asked for the costs of extending the scheme across England and Wales to be assessed.
The No 10 source said: “It’s vital that we protect the public from serious sex offenders. That’s why the conditions after they leave prison need to be both strict and rigorously enforced.
“The pilot schemes using lie detectors to manage offenders in the community have been a success. So now we’re looking at how it could be rolled out to provide probation officers with more information to manage the most serious offenders.” Hertfordshire police said that last November the force tested “low level” sex offenders, and many presented a higher risk to children than previous estimates. Of 15 offenders tested, eight failed and six passed. One was caught trying to cheat by breathing erratically and talking slowly.
Downing Street is confident that extending the lie detector tests across England and Wales will not leave the government vulnerable to a challenge at the European court of human rights. When an offender took a case to Strasbourg under article 8 of the human rights convention the lie detector was deemed a proportionate way of preventing crime. GUARDIAN

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Proscetor May Seek Death Penalty


‘Nobody deserves this’

Published on Wed, Jun 13, 2012

 

2 0f 3

by AMANDA WINTERS

 

Sequim Gazette

Standing in a crowded courtroom, holding her fidgeting 1-year-old baby boy, Leslie Blanton didn’t hold back when a smirking Patrick Drum, accused of murdering her husband, looked in her direction.

“You left them without a dad,” she sobbed as two Sheriff’s corrections deputies led Drum out of the courtroom and back to jail.

Moments earlier, Clallam County Prosecutor Deb Kelly charged Drum with two counts of aggravated first-degree murder in the deaths of Gary Lee Blanton Jr., 28, and Jerry Wayne Ray, 55.

Investigators believe Drum killed the men because they were listed sex offenders. But they also were fathers, husbands and sons, their families say. “He thinks it’s wonderful he’s killed my

husband and my children’s father,” Leslie Blanton said the next day. “All because of the (sex offender) registry.”

Gary Blanton Jr. pleaded guilty in 2001 to third-degree rape in Thurston County. He was 17 and accused of raping a 17-year-old disabled girl. Leslie Blanton said the two were dating and it was the girl’s parents who pursued the charge.

Ray pleaded guilty in May 2002 to two counts of first-degree child rape involving a 7-year-old and a 4-year-old. He completed outpatient sex offender treatment and served court-ordered community custody.

Ray’s father, Paul Ray, said his son was married three times and his current wife lives in Port Angeles. Jerry Ray had three children with his first wife, he said.

 

Helpful son

Paul Ray said his wife, Juanita Ray, died almost two years ago after suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Along with Jerry Ray, they had two other sons and one daughter they raised in Missouri and California, he said. The couple moved to Port Angeles in 1994 and Jerry Ray lived with them off and on until three years ago, when he moved in permanently.

Jerry Ray, who suffered a back injury eight years ago that prevented him from working, would help out around the house, his father said.

In the weeks before his death, Jerry Ray spent a couple hours a day painting the house white with brown trim, Paul Ray said.

Along with being an excellent cook who could make “anything you want,” Jerry Ray drove his father anywhere he wanted to go.

“He was my chauffeur,” Paul Ray said. “He liked to do it. Wherever I needed to go he’d take me. I’ll miss that.”

Jerry Ray was cremated. No service was held.

“I’m hanging in there,” Paul Ray said, adding he’ll turn 84 this month. “I’m by myself now.”

 

Loving husband

Leslie Blanton remembers her husband as a man who was rough around the edges but fought for what he thought was right.

“Gary was so misunderstood,” she said. “He was just all heart.”

The couple met when Gary Blanton was 19, and though people warned him about her bad reputation and told him not to get involved with her, he loved her anyway, she said.

“Gary just made me feel like nobody else could,” she said. “He made me feel like I was the center of his universe and the center of his life.”

When she gained 80 pounds during pregnancy, he painted her toenails. When other girls made advances, he ignored them.

“I liked how Gary made it known when it came to anybody, I’m the one he picks,” she said.

Married in 2008, they had ups and downs just like any other couple, she said. But no matter how badly they fought, he never gave up and always made sure she knew he loved her, she said.

While she gave birth to their sons, Gary Blanton III, 2, and Skylar, 1, it was her husband who caught the babies and was the first to hold them after spending hours kissing her forehead and thanking her for giving him a family, she said.

“Gary always told me, ‘You’re the only one that I love for the rest of my life, Leslie, the only one that’s going to be my wife, the only one that’s going to have my babies,’” she said.

Charged with child abuse, Gary Blanton had to live apart from the family until he stood trial, scheduled for this August. Leslie Blanton said her husband discovered Skylar, who has Down syndrome, had a broken arm after he was in the care of a babysitter all day.

“Being away from us crushed him,” she said, adding he complied with everything the courts asked so he could visit his family as much as possible. “We were still waiting to get him home.”

Leslie Blanton said no courts, monsters or anything else can keep her from her husband.

“When I’m done here in this life and our kids are grown and I have grand-babies and it’s time to go to Jesus, I’m going to go home to my husband,” she said. “We’ll have our life back together.”

Lighthouse Christian Center in Port Angeles has established a donation fund for the Blanton family to cover Gary Blanton’s funeral expenses. To donate, send a check made out to “Lighthouse” for the “Blanton Memorial” to the church at 304 Viewcrest Ave., Port Angeles, WA 98362, or go online to http://www.lighthousepa.org. For more information about the fund, call the church at 452-8909.

“He didn’t deserve this,” Leslie Blanton said. “Nobody deserves this.”

 

Reach Amanda Winters at awinters@sequimgazette.com.
Source: Sequim Gazette
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