Editorial: 'Jessica's Law' one year later: Empty promises

Initiative aimed at protecting children is prohibitively expensive, unenforceable
Sacramento Bee

A little more than a year ago, California voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition 83, popularly known as Jessica's Law. That initiative, aimed at monitoring and controlling sex offenders, now is collapsing under its own excess. Virtually no local government is enforcing the law because its sweeping provisions are both unenforceable and prohibitively expensive. ...

The measure requires lifetime monitoring for sex offenders – not just those charged with child sexual abuse and rapists whose victims were adults, but also those convicted of consensual sex with a teenager and even misdemeanor indecent exposure. It also bars offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a school or park. ...

So for now at least, the law is not being enforced, and there is a real question whether it ever will or even can be. ...

State corrections officials predicted the residency restrictions in the law would drive sex offenders underground and make our communities less safe. Now it also turns out that the measure would bankrupt local governments if it is enforced as written. California will be wrestling with this mess for years to come. Full Story

During evacuations, Texas plan to weed out sex offenders

Houston Chronicle AUSTIN —

Texans who board evacuation buses during hurricanes or other emergencies must first submit to criminal background checks, the state's emergency management director said.
The policy is an attempt to keep sex offenders and fugitives from boarding evacuation buses with children, the elderly and the disabled, said Jack Colley, the chief of the state's Division of Emergency Management.

...
"We're all entitled to privacy, but we're not entitled to anonymity," Colley said. Full Story

Lake County D.A. Explains Why Murdering Someone On Megan's List Is Probably A Bad Idea

Michael Dodele never molested a child, he was convicted of raping an adult. But that didn't keep Ivan Garcia Oliver from misinterpreting Megan's Law website and doing his "moral" duty by slaughtering Dodele with a knife like a farm animal on November 20th.

We waited for Dodele's murder to be revealed by local authorities as the hate-crime it appeared to be but heard nothing for weeks, leading some of us to speculate that the police and D.A. were actively trying to suppress Oliver's motivation in the murder as a means of keeping Megan's website in California from coming under attack. It was not until several confidential sources took their concerns to the Los Angeles Times who then investigated and corroborated their suspicions in a page one story earlier this week, that we began to hear some acknowledgment from Lake County officials confirming "Megan's" role in the slaying.

Today, KCBS-TV (San Francisco) aired a piece on this story, interviewing local people in Lakeport as well as
Lake County Chief Deputy District Attorney, Richard Hinchcliff. He stated, "If people don't know what they're looking at, they might assume somebody has been convicted of a particular crime they haven't been convicted of and people can't take the law into their own hands because they might make a mistake."

Wait a minute, Mr. Hinchcliff. Surely you're not suggesting either:

a) Taking the law into your own hands can be justified if you're not mistaken?
or
b) It would be alright to kill a child molester
if you could be sure that is a molester?

I might be more inclined to let his remark go as a slip of the tongue had it not been for a well-grounded suspicion that his office was not intending to prosecute the case as "Megan-motivated".

KCBS further reports that "People in Lakeport agree the Megan's Law website is for information, not a map to kill."

Do they? I'm afraid I'm not buying that entirely, either. Having read the vicious comments by readers to the various local newspapers supporting Oliver's actions and cheering-on any revenge killing of "molesters" and having my own comments removed not just once, but twice, by the "
Santa Rosa Press Democrat", I think KCBS may be entirely too charitable to the "people of Lakeport". Here's the comment I wrote, not just once, but twice. Both times it was promptly removed by someone at the Press-Democrat:

"This reminds me of how, once whipped-up into a frenzy of anti-Jewish hatred, many Germans felt fully justified in inflicting violent revenge against any Jew at any moment of their choosing and did so with impunity. It is especially disturbing when this sort of blood-thirsty response becomes commonplace and goes unprotested."

Now here are a few of the other comments which the Press-Democrat did not feel compelled to remove and which remain on their website to this day:

"
By saunterelle | Tuesday, Nov 27, 2007 06:47P
Thank you to this latino for taking care of business.

By orvicehole | Tuesday, Nov 27, 2007 06:34P
tIME TO DIE LOSER.

By robert5523 | Tuesday, Nov 27, 2007 04:20P
Why do I suspect nobody cares that the troublemaker got himself murdered? And, who wants to bet that, yes, he goosed the wrong guy & thats what started it.

By saunterelle | Tuesday, Nov 27, 2007 03:58P
Good. One less pederass.
"
Interesting, isn't it? Apparently, the Press Democrat only accepts reader comments if they advocate acts of violence and the abolition of the U.S. Constitution (although I doubt they would like it if "freedom of the press" were also abolished).

I think that this is very telling and extremely disturbing.

Megan's Law of unintended consequences

The recent killing of sex offender shows dangers of legislating punishment by ballot box
Patt Morrison, Los Angeles Times

So now two more lives are ruined.

Michael Dodele is rotting in a grave, and his neighbor, Ivan Garcia Oliver, is rotting in a Lake County jail cell; soon, by his own accounting, Oliver expects to be spending "a numerous amount of years" in a California slammer.

Dodele was a convicted rapist, a 67-year-old registered sex offender who had been living in a Lakeport trailer park for about a month when someone stabbed him to death just before Thanksgiving. Oliver is his accused killer, a 29-year-old construction worker who lived in the same trailer park. He was arrested with more blood on him than Lady Macbeth.

Dodele had spent two decades in prison or a state hospital for raping women, at least one time at knifepoint. The Megan's Law sex offender website -- which tracks most sex offenders, not just child molesters -- described his offenses as "rape by force" and "oral copulation with a person under 14 or by force."

Such a small word, "or." So easy to go right past it, especially when the scarlet phrase "oral copulation with a person under 14" sizzles off the screen. "Or"? Who cares about "or"?

Is anyone surprised that this death happened? Or just surprised that it didn't happen sooner, as it has in other states amid the froth of undifferentiated public and political fury about all sex offenders, from pathetic flashers to bona fide monsters who hurt children?

To get onto the Megan's Law website, I had to acknowledge a disclaimer saying that the state doesn't guarantee that the information is complete or accurate.

Not accurate or complete? Who should that alarm more -- the public or the 65,000 people listed? Some information may be rendered in hard-to-decipher legalese -- as appears to have been the case with that fatal "or." Some of it is flat-out wrong. I interviewed LAPD detective Diane Webb about it on KPCC radio this week. She's the coordinator of the LAPD's REACT -- registration, enforcement and compliance teams for sex offenders and Megan's Law.

Website mistakes, she told me, are sometimes as "mundane" as a "misplaced parenthesis in a code section," which can completely change the description of the conviction. Or they could come down to something as simple as the "capitalization of a letter" in the code, which would make a crime against an adult "show [up as] an offense against a child."

Who usually spots the mistake? The sex offender. "They oftentimes say, 'I'm not a child molester, this was an offense at an adult,' " Webb told me. Police verify it and let the state know the listing needs fixing.

There was evidently no mistake in Dodele's listing. But as Webb said, the penal code section for forcible oral copulation "is very similar to that of child molestation. They're oftentimes misinterpreted."

No politician ever lost votes by crusading against sex offenders. But voters don't always reckon on what happens after the votes are counted. Some of the same law enforcement leaders who persuaded 70% of us to vote for Proposition 83, which among other things mandates the tracking of tens of thousands of sex offenders with GPS for the rest of their lives, now worry that it's unenforceable. The law doesn't spell out who'll run the program or who'll pay for it. California is $14 billion short of this year's budget ante. Maybe we could all send in the money from our Monopoly games -- fantasy dough to pay for a fantasy law.

The Lakeport killing could shake some thinking about such laws. Suzanne Brown-McBride chairs the California Sex Offender Management Board, and she told me that the Megan's Law website is a useful community tool -- but it's only one tool. The point is "not to create vigilantism," she said, or to "have people then act out ... in a way that may put offenders and quite honestly themselves at risk." Vigilantism could make offenders "less stable." Oliver told The Times' Maria LaGanga that he had to take "evasive action ... any father in my position, with moral, home, family values, wouldn't have done any different." He'd seen Dodele watching his son, he declared, "fantasizing, plotting." When LaGanga told him that Dodele's rape victims were adult women -- not little girls or little boys -- Oliver said it didn't matter. "There is no curing the people that do it."

Is there any curing us? Do we have the judgment to take serious crimes seriously without plunging ourselves into policy hysteria? Can we acknowledge that no protection, no punishment, is foolproof? Can anyone suggest that we fine-tune Megan's Law, or conclude that Proposition 83 is goofy, without being labeled a friend of child molesters?

Dodele's name and crimes were listed on the state's Megan's Law sex offender public website; Oliver found them on a computer. Oliver was on parole for assault with a deadly weapon, but his name and crime were not on any such public website.

But just wait long enough. We may get around to voting for a website listing that too. Hey -- we can call it Oliver's Law. Like that?

Neighbor convicted of stalking sex offender

By Beacon Journal staff report

POSTED: 05:04 p.m. EST, Dec 13, 2007

A Springfield Township neighbor who placed large signs with red letters announcing a convicted child molester lives next door has been convicted of stalking the man.

James Z. Cody, 50, was sentenced to 30 days in jail Thursday by Akron Municipal Court Judge Kathryn Michael. The jail sentence came, court officials said, after Cody declined to be placed on probation for six months.

Cody was acquitted by a jury of charges of violating a protection order, aggravating menacing and resisting arrest. He is set to begin his jail stay on Jan. 3.

Assistant Akron prosecutor Gerald Larson said Cody engaged in a personal crusade against Michael Harig, 45, who spent nearly a year in prison for fondling three boys, ages 12, 13 and 14 in 2004. Harig is registered as a sexually oriented offender and lives next door to Cody on Gregory Drive.

Larson said the stalking charge involved an on-going series of events perpetrated by Cody against Harig that included death threats, the placement of several signs outside his home and Cody bursting inside Harig's home and threatening him.

Harig said that he has been harassed, spotlights have been pointed into his bedroom window, a radio has been blared toward his home and physical threats have been made against him.

Hall was charged in August with criminal trespassing for entering Harig's home, but the case was eventually dropped. Full Story

Police monitor Santa's village for registered sex offenders

Linda Strowbridge, Owings Mills Times

Plain clothes officers from the Baltimore County Police Department are wandering among the holiday crowds at shopping centers this month, searching for a hazard that might be lurking near Santa's village, food courts or stores. Specifically, the officers are looking for registered sex offenders who have been prohibited from being near children.

The operation "seemed like a chance to find out if registered sex offenders are using the holidays as an opportunity to be around children when they shouldn't," said Bill Toohey, a police spokesman. "Just being in a place with kids might not be a violation. But if they're circling and watching, that could be."

Toohey declined to comment on the number of officers assigned to the detail or the project's budget. The initiative was funded through a $110,000 grant from the state Sex Offenders Compliance Enforcement in Maryland program, called SOCEM by law enforcement officials.

About 570 registered sex offenders live in Baltimore County. More than two-thirds are child sex offenders. So far this year, Baltimore County police have issued warrants on 40 sex offenders for either failing to sign onto the sex offender registry or failing to notify officials that they had moved.

"We don't know what we'll find" over the holidays, Toohey said.The county has not detected problems with sex offenders casing holiday crowds previously, he said.

Neither Baltimore County nor any other Maryland jurisdiction has previously sent undercover officers to watch for sex offenders in those crowds, said Elizabeth Bartholomew, a spokeswoman for Maryland's Division of Probation and Parole. The agency is working with Baltimore County police in piloting the surveillance program.

"I think Baltimore County will be a trendsetter in this area," she said. "They're trying to aid (offenders') attempts to become law-abiding citizens."

The division has already sent letters to local child sex offenders, alerting them to the surveillance program and reminding them to stay away from malls during high-traffic hours and to stay away from places where children might gather, such as food courts, game rooms and Santa displays, Bartholomew said. Full Story [Ed: Too loopy even to comment upon except to say that, it's great that the police have such prodigious resources that they're able to take care of real threats and do this too! (but oh, what a dangerous assignment!) ]

Murder of Sex Offender Facilitated By the State of California


Monday, 03 December 2007 The cellmate of a prisoner found dead at DVI is now a homicide suspect. Rick Henry Kase, 39, left [Ed: the one who looks like, and is, a sociopath], is suspected of killing Randy James Rabelos, 28.

Officials at Deuel Vocational Institution are investigating the possibility that a man found dead at the prison Saturday was killed by his cellmate.


Lt. Ray Munoz, spokesman for the prison, said the California Department of Corrections has treated the death of Randy James Rabelos, 28, of Tuolumne County, as a homicide. Munoz said the San Joaquin County Coroner reported that Rabelos suffocated because of “blunt force” to his throat.
Investigators have not released the likely cause of the injury, but Munoz said Rabelos’ cellmate, Rick Henry Kase, 39, of Santa Clara County, has been charged with homicide under the prison’s administrative regulations. He has yet to be charged with any crime by the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s office.

Munoz said the prison’s nursing staff discovered Rabelos dead at 7:20 a.m. Saturday in the lower bunk of a two-man cell. The nursing staff checked in the cell during its morning rounds of the cell block, when it gives medication to those prisoners who require it.
Both men were in the prison’s special processing unit, a sort of protective custody separate from the general population for new arrivals, some sex offenders, ex-gang members, ex-police officers and some notorious criminals. Rabelos arrived at the prison Sept. 7. He had just started serving a three-year term after he was convicted Sept. 4 in Tuolumne County of one count of lewd acts with a child.

Kase is serving 11 years for felony assault and weapons-possession convictions. Munoz said he was in the special processing unit because he has been threatened by gang members.
Eric Hovatter, the deputy district attorney from Tuolumne County who prosecuted Rabelos’ case, said Rabelos was convicted of committing a lewd act with a minor after he touched a 10-year-old girl’s chest. He said the girl was a friend of Rabelos’ girlfriend’s daughter and was at the house for a sleepover when Rabelos reportedly got the girls drunk while the mother was at work. Hovatter said the case went to trial in June and initially ended up with a 9-3 hung jury. Rabelos agreed in July to a plea deal on the one count of lewd acts with a child. Full Story
[Ed: Where to begin? The California Department of Corrections doesn't give two shits for the lives of sex offenders they imprison. "Molesters" are routinely housed with some of the most dangerous psychopaths one could imagine, even when being placed into protective custody (wink, wink). Those brutal animals wear a killing or maiming of a "molester" like a badge of honor in their advancement up the prisoner ranks. The "cops" (as they're called in prison, never "guards") make great sport of setting up a child sex offender by tipping off one of the animals who are allowed to openly prey upon and dominate and exploit weaker prisoners. That way, their (the cop's) hands are clean and they get to give full expression to their own perverse appetites. There are some employees in the C.D.C who are the equals of any sociopath imprisoned within its prisons. And I'm not convinced that it's uppermost administrators are not similarly motivated. Now follow the link provided above and look at the reader comments written to the Tracy newspaper where this story appeared. What you will find are some of the most vicious and vile appeals to violence against sex offenders imaginable, despite the fact that Rabelo's high crime was being accused of touching a girl on the chest (and there is grave concern that even this was a false accusation). And then ask yourself this question: are we not in the middle of a witch hunt?

Megan Needs an Editor

Reason Magazine, Matt Welch

Convicted rapist Michael Dodele was freed Oct. 16 after serving two decades in jail. By law ("Megan's Law," to be specific), his name was put on a public database of convicted sex offenders. Thirty-five days later, Dodele was stabbed to death in his mobile home.

Police arrested his next-door neighbor, 29-year-old Ivan Garcia Oliver, who gave the L.A. Times a jailhouse interview:

Oliver said he has a son who was molested in the past, and he took action to protect the child.
"Society may see the action I took as unacceptable in the eyes of 'normal' people," Oliver said. "I felt that by not taking evasive action as a father in the right direction, I might as well have taken my child to some swamp filled with alligators and had them tear him to pieces. It's no different."

Although Oliver did not say he killed Dodele, he said that "any father in my position, with moral, home, family values, wouldn't have done any different. At the end of the day, what are we as parents? Protectors, caregivers, nurturers."

There was a crucial flaw in Oliver's logic.

In fact, Dodele was not a child molester. But a listing on the Megan's Law website could have left Oliver with the impression that he had abused children because of the way it was written.

Although Dodele's listing has been taken down since his death, a spokesman for the state attorney general said the site described the man's offenses as "rape by force" and "oral copulation with a person under 14 or by force."

"He was convicted of other bad things, but nothing involving a minor," said Richard F. Hinchcliff, chief deputy district attorney for Lake County. But "it would be easy to understand why someone might think so looking at the website."

Dodele's crimes involved sexual assaults on adult women, records show.

Story here. Brian Doherty warned us about "Megan's Flaws" a decade ago.

Did Megan’s Law Website Target Rapist for Murder?

ABA Journal, Martha Neil

One common argument against publicly listing home addresses and other identifying information for convicted sex criminals is that it might put them in danger. But proving such cause and effect in real-life cases is difficult, to say the least.

Now, however, officials in California say they might have the first-ever murder of a convicted sex criminal by a neighbor alerted to his presence by an Internet listing implemented by Megan's Law. Ironically, although the website implied that murder victim Michael Dodele, 67, was a child molester, in fact all of the convicted rapist's crimes were committed against adult women, reports the Los Angeles Times.

The man charged with Dodele's murder, a 29-year-old construction worker named Ivan Garcia Oliver, has pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder, burglary and elder abuse. However, he said in a jailhouse interview last week that he has a son who had been previously molested, and hence took unspecified action to protect the boy.

"Society may see the action I took as unacceptable in the eyes of 'normal' people," Oliver said. "I felt that by not taking evasive action as a father in the right direction, I might as well have taken my child to some swamp filled with alligators and had them tear him to pieces. It's no different."

The Megan's Law website in California gives home addresses for some but not all persons listed.

As the website, which is maintained by the California attorney general's office, explains: "Megan's Law is named after 7-year-old Megan Kanka, a New Jersey girl who was raped and killed by a known child molester who had moved across the street from the family without their knowledge. In the wake of the tragedy, the Kankas sought to have local communities warned about sex offenders in the area. All states now have a form of Megan's Law."

Megan's Law listing may have led to slaying

Los Angeles Times
By Maria L. La Ganga

Lake County prosecutors have investigated the possibility that information in the Internet database might have been the motive for the killing of a convicted sex offender.

LAKEPORT, CALIF. — Convicted rapist Michael A. Dodele had been free just 35 days when sheriff's deputies found him dead last month in his aging, tan mobile home, his chest and left side punctured with stab wounds.

Officers quickly arrested Dodele's neighbor, 29-year-old construction worker Ivan Garcia Oliver, who made "incriminating comments, essentially admitting to his attacking Dodele," the Lake County Sheriff's Department said in a statement.

Prosecutors said they have investigated the possibility that the slaying of Dodele, 67, stemmed from his having been listed on the state's Megan's Law database of sex offenders. If so, his death may be the first in the state to result from such a listing, experts said.

Oliver pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder, burglary and elder abuse when he was arraigned Nov. 30.

In a jailhouse interview Wednesday night, Oliver said he has a son who was molested in the past, and he took action to protect the child.

"Society may see the action I took as unacceptable in the eyes of 'normal' people," Oliver said. "I felt that by not taking evasive action as a father in the right direction, I might as well have taken my child to some swamp filled with alligators and had them tear him to pieces. It's no different."

Although Oliver did not say he killed Dodele, he said that "any father in my position, with moral, home, family values, wouldn't have done any different. At the end of the day, what are we as parents? Protectors, caregivers, nurturers."

In fact, Dodele was not a child molester. But a listing on the Megan's Law website could have left Oliver with the impression that he had abused children because of the way it was written.

Although Dodele's listing has been taken down since his death, a spokesman for the state attorney general said the site described the man's offenses as "rape by force" and "oral copulation with a person under 14 or by force."

"He was convicted of other bad things, but nothing involving a minor," said Richard F. Hinchcliff, chief deputy district attorney for Lake County. But "it would be easy to understand why someone might think so looking at the website."

Dodele's crimes involved sexual assaults on adult women, records show.

A neighbor at the Western Hills Resort & Trailer Park, a tattered collection of mobile homes and bungalows, said that two days before the killing, Oliver "told every house" in the park that he'd found Dodele listed on the website of convicted sexual offenders and was uncomfortable living near him.

"He looked it up on the computer . . . ," the neighbor said. "He said [Dodele] can't be around here."

The park resident requested anonymity because of a fear of reprisal, but reported Oliver's visit and statements to sheriff's deputies after the slaying. "A lot of people told them" about Oliver's claims, the person said.

Officials in Lake County -- a patchwork of wealth and poverty, vineyards and mobile home parks just north of Napa Valley -- would not offer a motive for the killing.

Hinchcliff acknowledged, however, that one possible motive investigated by the district attorney's office was that Oliver knew Dodele was on the Megan's Law list and did not want him as a neighbor.

According to court documents, Dodele committed his first offenses at age 15 and spent the last two decades either in prison or at Atascadero State Hospital receiving treatment.

His last attack was the 1987 knife-point rape of a 37-year-old woman on a Sonoma County beach.

Those were the charges that were listed on the Megan's Law website.

"I think [Oliver and Dodele] are both victims of the Internet," said Charlene Steen, a psychologist who examined Dodele on behalf of the defense in two 2007 trials about whether he should be recommitted to Atascadero.

Both ended in hung juries. Dodele was freed Oct. 16 and was hoping to start over in the crowded little mobile home park, where neighbors described him as open and friendly.

"The family is just sick," Steen said. "They finally got him back. They all thought he had made such great progress, and then this happened. It's pretty bad."

At 10:14 a.m. Nov. 20, an anonymous woman called 911 to report that a man was bleeding from his hands and directed medical personnel to Dodele's space at the mobile home park, according to a written statement from the Sheriff's Department.

When deputies arrived, they found Dodele's body.

The dead man's "immediate neighbors and other residents" sent the deputies to Oliver's home, the statement said, because "he had been seen recently leaving Dodele's residence with what appeared to be blood on his hands and clothing."

There was blood on a car in front of Oliver's house and at the front door of the concrete-block duplex. Inside, deputies reportedly found Oliver with blood on his hands and clothing and "injuries to his hands, consistent with having been in a physical altercation."

Authorities will not divulge exactly what Oliver said when he was arrested.

Steen wrote a letter to a local paper decrying Dodele's death "simply because he was a sex offender whose name and picture were on the registry."

Shortly after the letter was published, Steen said, a woman describing herself as Oliver's wife called to complain.

"She said, 'We have a child who was molested, and my husband is very upset to have a child molester living nearby'," Steen recounted, noting the irony that Dodele's crimes all involved adult women.

Steen said she had not talked to police about the phone call. Oliver said that the woman with whom he lived in the trailer park was his girlfriend, and the two were not married.

Attempts to reach the woman failed. One neighbor said she had moved away after the slaying.

Oliver is being held without bail, a police statement said, because he was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon in San Diego and was on parole when Dodele was killed.

Speaking from behind a thick glass divider in the visiting area of the Lake County Correctional Facility, Oliver said his son had been molested, but he declined to give the details of his son's assault or to give the child's name.

Although he spoke of "the action I took," he would not describe what happened in the aging mobile home the Tuesday morning before Thanksgiving.

Oliver would not comment on whether Dodele had ever approached his son.

But Oliver said he saw the older man looking at the boy.

"It was more than watching," Oliver said. "You could see his eyes. He was fantasizing, plotting. Later on down the line, who knows how many other children he could have hurt."

Research indicates that, in general, the older rapists get, the lower their risk of re-offending, said L.C. Miccio-Fonseca, chairwoman of the California Coalition on Sex Offenders, a group of treatment providers, probation and parole officers.

In addition, she said, sex offenders who target grown women over the course of many years are unlikely to victimize children.

But when told that Dodele's victims were women and not children, Oliver seemed unfazed. "There is no curing the people that do it," he said.

Oliver's preliminary hearing is scheduled for Jan. 7.

Asked about what he thinks will happen to him, he said, "It's hard to tell at this point. There's no doubt I'm looking at a numerous amount of years. I'm not a lawyer. We haven't gone over the evidence."

But he also said that he "would never change who I am or what I do because of what society thinks is right or not right. I have always been who I am and always will be." Full Story

County Approves Sex Offender Tracking Van

KESQ.com news services

The Board of Supervisors Tuesday approved the purchase of a $109,000 surveillance van for Riverside County law enforcement agencies to use during compliance checks of registered sex offenders.

The district attorney's office requested the high-tech vehicle for future operations by the county's Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement (SAFE) team, which includes investigators from the D.A.'s office, sheriff's department and several municipal police agencies.

The van will be outfitted with remote-controlled cameras connected to a 900 Megahertz "integrated radio and control system" that will allow an investigator to operate cameras on the vehicle while seated at a desk, potentially miles away, according to the district attorney's office.

The county will cover the cost of the vehicle through funds left over from a $731,950 grant issued by the governor's Office of Emergency Services in May. The grant was intended specifically for SAFE team operations. [Ed: And this is for what "Emergency"? Does the van follow "predators" around as they run errands?] Full Story

St. Lucie eyes fee for registering, tracking sex offenders

SARAH PROHASKA
Palm Beach Post

Detectives in the sheriff's sex offender unit came up with the idea to begin lobbying for the creation of a statewide fee that all sexual offenders and predators would have to pay during the mandatory registration process. The sheriff's attorney last week pitched the idea to St. Lucie County's legislative delegation and this week will attempt to find lawmakers to sponsor the legislation during a trip to Tallahassee. Full Story

[Ed: This is reminiscent of the Chinese government which, upon executing a "criminal" by shooting them in the head, charges the relatives of the executed for the bullet. Or, if you will, the Jewish community being forced to compensate the German government for all of the damage caused by Kristallnacht even though they were the actual victims of the mob violence, not the perpetrators]