Friday, March 06, 2009

Washington State Democrats Block Stronger Sex Offender Laws

Shortly after the murder of 13 year-old Alicia Nipp in Hazel Dell, Washington State Republican Senator Don Benton tried once again to get stronger sentencing for sex predators in Washington State.

Benton said,

Clark County is up in arms about this. All of us representing Clark County are receiving e-mails asking what can be done. It is just horrific.”

Ladies and gentlemen I ask you to join me today to send a strong message to these heinous criminals, these horrific predators that prey on our children and our communities that Washington state will not be a haven for this kind of activity.”

He tried to attach an amendment to a bill and was met with resistance from Senator Debbie Regala, D-Tacoma, upheld by fellow Democrats and Lieutenant Governor Brad Owen.

Listen to Senator Benton’s own words in a March 5, 2009 interview conducted by Erich Ebel of the Senate Republican Caucus at Benton amendment would enact ‘Jessica’s Law’ bottom right of page.

You can also read Senator Benton’s press release for more information.

I am left speechless that Washington State Democrats have such little regard for the safety of our children that they continually fight and oppose efforts to protect our children from these predators who are allowed to freely walk our streets with minimal supervision.

UPDATE: Alycia's Godmother, mother, aunt and others, have a facebook page up now, Mothers Against Sex Crimes and a MySpace page, MASC - Mothers Against Sex Crimes. Please lend your support to the struggle to keep these predators off of our streets.


Anonymous said...

Well, you can always tell when a politician or party isn't doing well. The always jump on the sex offender laws to garner votes.

The end up with laws that "do More Harm than Good..

LewWaters said...

You can always tell those who prey on or support those who prey on children, they complain that strengthening laws doesn't work.

Sorry, son, but our elections were months ago with none coming up soon.

Benton is in a fairly secure seat, as much as one can be.

And we still have a murdered 13 year-old that should be home in her comfortable bed, while known Level III sex offenders roam freely through our community, listed as "homeless," with minimal supervision.

You see, we don't embrace child molesters and murderers here.

LewWaters said...

You know, MSLGWCEO or whoever you are, the more I look over your pro-child molester site, the more I think you are a molester yourself who is upset that your free access to children is being hindered.

Good for Tulsa if they prevent you from harming children.

witchywoman said...

MSLGWCEO we are a party that is tired of trying Democratic leniency. We are sick and tired of scum like you and your advocates that prey on our children. Our children, all of them are not safe today because we have tried to be "nice" to the underbelly of society. Our children being taken away from us by filth like you needs to stop. If it takes the Democrats crossing the aisles to work with Senator Benton. SO BE IT.

We have lost one precious child, that is one child too many.

Anonymous said...

House Judiciary Committee
Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and
Homeland Security
Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act
March 10, 2009

This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now

Detective Bob Shilling

House Judiciary Committee
Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security
Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA)

March 10, 2009

Mr. Chairman, Committee Members, Guests, I am honored to be given the opportunity to testify today. My name is Bob Shilling. I am a twenty-nine year veteran of the Seattle Police Department. I have spent the last nineteen years as a detective in the Special Victim’s Unit, Sex and Kidnapping Offender Detail. I have written or co-authored 12 pieces of sex offender legislation that have been passed into law in Washington State, and testified on the Community Protection Act of 1990, which became the first community notification law in the United States. I am the only municipal law enforcement officer in the United States who is a member of the Interpol Specialists Group on Crimes Against Children. I currently serve as Chair of the Sex Offender Management Theme Group.

My experience in protecting the public from sex offenders spans two decades. It’s not a job to me it’s a passion. Perhaps my most significant experience related to this work comes from the fact that I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. The abuse spanned a four-year period and without question marks the darkest days of my life. I have dedicated my life to doing whatever I can to stop sexual abuse, not only in this country, but also around the world.

Prior to becoming a detective in the Special Victims Unit, I like many citizens, believed the only way to manage sex offenders was to put them on a distant island where they couldn’t victimize anyone else. My feelings were na├»ve, yet a heartfelt response to a very complex problem. My focus then and now has always been victim centered. What can we do to ensure we don’t have additional victims? What can we do to stop sexual abuse before it happens? What has research taught us? How do we hold sex offenders accountable while making sure they have the tools to succeed once they are released from incarceration?

Washington State has been in the national forefront of sex offender management and in ensuring public safety from sex crimes. We have an End of Sentence Review Committee that looks at the risk each sex offender poses to the community prior to their release from prison. We have a highly regarded sex offender treatment program within the prison system, and statewide certification of sex offender treatment providers in private practice. We do actuarial risk assessments on each of our sex offenders in an effort to identify those who are most likely to re-offend. This helps put precious public safety resources where they are needed the most; monitoring the highest risk offenders. We proactively educate our community about sex offenders. We want the public to be able to protect themselves from known sex offenders, as well as those who haven’t been caught yet. We also educate the community that it’s in the best interest of public safety to be invested in the offender’s success when they are released.

I’ve trained law enforcement officers from all over the world in the art of educating the community about sex offenders. I’ve stated: “You can’t do community notification without community education. To do so is like smoking a cigarette while standing in a pool of gasoline.” Without education there’s misinformation. Misinformation leads to heightened anxiety, which in some cases, leads to vigilantism. The community deserves to know who the high-risk sex offenders are in the community, about the relatively low sex offender recidivism rates, and what research tells us. Citizens can and will act responsibly if we are honest with them. They are better able to protect themselves and their loved ones when we educate them about sex offenders.

I ask that you consider how the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) impacts the public safety aims of effectively managing sex offenders in the community. The SORNA does not mandate community education as a component of community notification. This is a recipe for disaster and leaves citizens trying to sort out fact from myth, truth from emotion, and what to do next. This creates public safety concerns and does not have the citizens invested in offender success. It has the opposite effect.

The SORNA mandates offense based tiering, which is a faulty alternative to actuarial risk based tiering used in over 20 states. Citizens have grown used to level one sex offenders being low risk, level 2 moderate risk, and level three high risk. Under SORNA, most sex offenders will be tier 3. That will cause great confusion and anxiety for the citizens, as they believe each of these offenders is a high risk to re-offend. That just is not true. Sex offenders differ greatly in their level of impulsiveness, persistence, risk to the community, and their desire to change their deviant behavior. Assigning sex offender tiers based on crime of conviction tells us very little about who this sex offender is and what his or her risk for re-offense may be. In Washington State, I have the ability to aggravate someone’s risk level if dynamic risk factors indicate an escalation in risky behavior. I won’t have that ability under SORNA. Their tier is their tier. It is not an effective way of doing business with the public.

Research tells us that 90% of victims under age 12 knew their abuser. That number is 66% when the victim is between 18 and 29 years old. (Tjaden & Thoennes 2000) Under the SORNA, all sex offenders will be subject to broad based Internet dissemination (community notification) regardless of risk. When we know that most victims of sexual abuse know their abuser, and in a large proportion of cases it’s a family member, Internet notification increases the likelihood that the victim will be identified. Victims tell us that their greatest concerns are their family knowing about the assault (71%), and people outside the family knowing about the assault (68%). (Kilpatrick, Edmunds, Seymour (1992) Rape in America.) The last thing we want to do is create disincentives to victims and their families to report.

Finally, I ask you to consider the retroactivity aspect of the SORNA. Research tells us that most sex offenders do not re-offend sexually over time. In a 2004 study done by the pre-eminent researchers Harris and Hanson, with a sample of 4,724 sex offenders over a 15-year follow-up period, “73% of sexual offenders had not been charged with or convicted of another sexual offense.” Under the SORNA, law enforcement will be responsible for reviewing the criminal history of anyone brought back into the system even for a non-sexual criminal offense. If they were once convicted of a sex offense, regardless of how long ago that conviction was, the offender will be required to register as a sex offender. This will be very labor intensive and costly. Our time, efforts, and resources are more effectively spent focusing on moderate to high-risk sex offenders, not sex offenders who committed their sex crime 25 or 30 years ago have not reoffended in a sexual way.

Thank you for your time and your thoughtful consideration.

LewWaters said...

How refreshing andconsoling to know that statistically, Alycia Nipps murderer posed "no threat" to the community. We all feel so much better now.

Locate a copy of the book, "For One Sweet Grape" and read how another sex offender society deemed not much of a threat, traveled through "treatment," learning how to manipulate the system and appear how powers that be desired him too. Read how he was given chance after chance and complained about the "treatment" not being good enough, but still left prison with a job and artist skills, met a wonderful woman, married her, related well with her 4 year-old daughter, couldn't control his urges and ended up raping and killing a 16 year-old girl and just weeks later, murdered his new wonderful wife, raped and murdered her best friend on Christmas Eve.

You continued smoke screen about "lesser offenders" just clouds what I have written and will end up allowing another murderer to go free to kill again.

You continue to ignore that my writings are about those deemed dangerous to society because they have shown a propensity to rape at will, or even kill.

Incidentally, every single one of those who eventually murdered began their spree as one of those "lesser offenders" too.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that with all the murders,drunk drivers,domestic violence in this world why dont these people have tto register?
The same politicians that try and put laws into effect are the ones out there doing the same things that hurt our children. Checkm out the statistics.
Not every sex offender has done something to a child.
How many of you people out there have took a pee in public/ well in some states that would make you a sex offender.
How many times has your child been on the computer and recieved a pic of a child sent by a stranger? Well you looked at it so that makes your child a sex offender. How many of you peole out there slept with a girl/ guy who was unnder 18 while you were 18 or older? Well that makes you a sex offender.
People need to get some education on what makes a sex offender a sex offender.
We live in a country where our ploitical leaders say "its wrong to sleep with a person under 18", but its ok to marry a woman under 16 in some states.
I just think that people need to get educated on what really makes a sex offender.
I expect to hear some negative feed back on this comment but I dont care.
Thanks for listening

LewWaters said...

NO negative feedback, Kenneth, just wondering if you even read what I wrote.

You see, as I keep explaining to sex offender apologists, this post is about those Level III most likely to reoffend predators, not kids sexting or teens with one barely over the age of consent and the other barely under.

I am addressing those that have already been convicted of a serious crime, not misjudgement.

If you figure out what meks these particular monsters tick, please inform all. Last I heard, these particular ones are incurable.

Thanks for the comment, but please in the future, try to make your comment releavant to the article.

Anonymous said...

I made a mistake I apologize

Anonymous said...

I know this post is older, but I stumbled upon it while perusing your blog, and as I have a strong opinion about this matter, couldn't resist commenting.

First of all, "sex offender" laws are entirely political. You and I want to protect our families and children, and while it is that desire that purchases our approval, it is not that end that motivates the laws' creation.

But, who cares? If the laws work, they are worth it, right?

There's the crux: they don't work. In the long list of burdens our politicians have conspired to levy upon people (whether they are a risk to you and I or not), there is not one shown to significantly reduce the number of crimes. Long sentences, residency restrictions, registration, castration, GPS tracking. These all do the same thing: harm a lot of people who just want to "start over" having paid their price for some wrong doing (and a few creeps who will indeed offend again), but they do not protect anybody.

In fact, 95% of sex crimes are committed by people who have not been adjudicated for any sex offense before. Hence, if we arbitrarily murder every sex offender when (s)he is convicted, we would at best reduce those crimes by 5%.

Is that what you want? Does that satisfy you? Not me.

So rather than apply some reason and/or method to really protecting people, we play political games and spend public dollars by the tens of millions to placate people with words like "get tough."

So, when either political party chooses to oppose new laws that BOTH parties know will not work, all they are doing is choosing not to participate in the other side's political campaign. They are not making a statement about their level of concern about public safety. In fact, refusing to "placate the public" could arguably be much more "pro safety" than just going along with it.

Finally, I too am a native Vancouver resident, a father, and I care about this issue (and any safety or fiscal issue) much more than I do politics. I'm not party-affiliated.

LewWaters said...

Don't even go there with me. This post is about level III repeat sex offenders, those most likely to reoffend.

You know, ones that are likely to and have murdered children?

There is no need to muddy the intent and leave children more exposed to those who should be locked away for ever.

Anonymous said...

Such a term, "repeat sex offenders" is rather vague, but I don't see even that term in your blog post. You mention Jessica's Law, and give two links to Benton's website, one of which does not access the indicated content, the other of which is a bad link.

In WA, repeat sex offenders are already sentenced to life (under the 2-strikes law for such offenders), so that doesn't seem to be the target.

Jessica's Law, as first enacted in Florida, is about giving long (generally 25 year) mandatory sentences to FIRST TIME offenders, and adding lifetime GPS monitoring. The law applies to far less serious offenses than murder or even rape.

I understand that you're just a plain guy (like me) who likes to voice your opinion (like me), but I'm very curious: what exactly is your intent here? Is it public safety, or partisan politics? If it is the former, I invite you to join me in discussing it--and correct me wherever I am mistaken. If it is the latter, admit it and I'll not waste your time with the other.

LewWaters said...

My intent is to see no more Alycia Nipps or Anna Svedersky's murdered by these animals like Wesley Allen Dodd from years earlier.

I'm curious what your intent is that you would want these animals that prey on children walking around free?

You also leave me wondering what sex offense you have been convicted of that you throw your lot in with these types.