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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2006 9:32 pm 
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A sample of what is to come?

Texas sex offenders face sign of the crime / Judge's unusual punishment ignites debate

Carlos Valdez, district attorney in Nueces County, Texas, held one of the signs that a judge has ordered posted outside the homes of registered sex offenders. Corpus Christi Caller-Times photo by Paul Iverson via Associated Press

(05-30-2001) 04:00 PDT Corpus Christi, Texas -- The yard sign, 2 feet wide and 18 inches high, is posted near the door of James Williams' first-floor apartment. "DANGER," it warns in bold letters. "Registered Sex Offender Lives Here."

The placard, which Williams, 43, calls humiliating, has been drawing stares for more than a week, since state Judge J. Manuel Banales of Corpus Christi ordered it posted.

Banales placed Williams on probation in 1999 for sexually groping his then- girlfriend's 15-year-old daughter. But Williams is far from alone in his embarrassment. In a judicial initiative that defense lawyers in Corpus Christi describe as highly unusual, Banales ordered identical signs posted at the homes of 13 other first-time sex offenders on probation in this Gulf Coast city.

"It's a return to the days of the scarlet letter," complained Gerald Rogen, president of the Coastal Bend Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. "It's nothing less than public branding."

But Banales argues that it is a matter of public safety.

For the rest of this article: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.c ... 211821.DTL

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 Post subject: Crazy Texas sex laws
PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2006 8:47 pm 
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Those Texans are crazy with their sex laws. Not surprising when you consider our "illustrious" president used to be governor there.

Wasn't it in Texas that they recently banned anal sex? And just how do they think to reinforce that?

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2006 7:51 am 
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To add to the debate, here is another story.

Sex Offender Sues Va. to Keep Name off Web

By Theresa Vargas
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, September 11, 2006; B01

John Doe is 31 years old, received degrees in philosophy and psychology from the University of Mary Washington and is an aquatics coach in the Washington area.

He does not want you to know his name or that when he was about 18 he was convicted of having sex with his 14-year-old sister. The sex started, police said, when she was in second grade.

Now that Virginia's online sex offender registry has been expanded to include all sex offenders -- not just those considered violent -- people such as Doe are being told that they must register or face arrest. That means that their names, photos and professions will be posted on the Internet amid the rapists and child molesters already there. Hidden under the cloak of a pseudonym, Doe is taking the fight to court.

Today, Doe's attorney will stand on one side of a Prince William County courtroom, asking a judge to allow him to remain anonymous and safe from arrest. On the other, attorneys for the defendants -- the county and the state -- will argue that the public has a right to know who Doe is and where he lives and works. And that he was convicted of incest, a misdemeanor.

"The whole purpose of the registry is public notification and tracking," said Sandra Sylvester, a Prince William prosecutor. "From our point of view, it's not the ones we know about, the ones who are compliant, that worry us. It's the ones we don't know."

Although the registry requirements changed in 2003 to include incest, it wasn't until this year that the information was to be made public online. In July, Doe filed suit.

"Any requirement for Mr. Doe to register as a sex offender now, more than eleven years after his conviction, would not serve the community in the fashion that the legislators intended," his attorney, Melinda VanLowe, argued in court papers. "The registry would severely damage Mr. Doe's ability to maintain or gain employment, his standing in the community and general livelihood, causing irreparable injury that cannot be compensated by monetary damages." VanLowe would not comment further.

On the registry's Web site is this disclosure: "Effective July 1, 2006, this website will contain information on all sex offenders required to be registered in the Commonwealth, both classifications of offenders, the violent sexual offender and the sexual offender."

County and state officials said they predict that many more nonviolent offenders will challenge the stricter regulation.

Tucker Martin, a spokesman for the attorney general's office, said it is unfortunate that a registry is needed. But with the high recidivism rate among sex offenders, he said, awareness is a community's best protection.

"The question becomes: Do you let the feelings of a convicted sex offender outweigh the safety of Virginia citizens?" Martin said. "Law enforcement must work in the world we live in, not in the world that we wish we had."

Since July, Virginia State Police have added the names of about 2,800 nonviolent sex offenders to the online database, Lt. Thomas W. Turner said.

The agency, which administers the registry, is also creating a 45-member unit dedicated to ensuring that all sex offenders comply with the law. Turner estimates that at any time, 1,300 sex offenders are noncompliant, and his office often fields "outraged" calls from people reporting an offender in their community.

"It's not a matter of wanting to know," Turner said. "They are demanding to know."

Randi Lanzafama, deputy chief probation and parole officer for Prince William, said that even before the new regulations, her office had treated nonviolent sex offenders the same as violent ones.

"Everybody wants to know, 'Are these guys never going to re-offend?' " she said. "I can't ever say they won't. But I believe in what we do, and I believe we give them the opportunity to change, if they want to."

Doe pleaded guilty to incest in February 1994. According to an arrest warrant at the time, his sister told police that for seven years she and her brother had engaged in a variety of sexual acts, including intercourse.

In April 1994, a judge sentenced Doe to 90 days in jail, with all of it suspended if he stayed out of trouble and got counseling. In March 1995, Doe fulfilled his obligations and was released from probation.

Doe's sister wrote a letter of support for her brother to Prince William Commonwealth's Attorney Paul B. Ebert, saying that she and her brother received counseling and that she is doing well in life. She is a lawyer and is married with two young children.

"We have resolved our issues and maintain a close relationship often sharing in large family holidays and vacations," she wrote of her brother in May. "He is an important part of my family."

She described him as an "excellent uncle" to her children, saying she doesn't fear leaving them with him.

"I have healed from what happened to me as a child and continue to grow despite it," she wrote.

Their mother also wrote a letter, saying the two "enjoy a normal brother sister relationship in the family."

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2006 8:25 am 
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This has all the stink of a police state and fascism to it. Single out any or all people that have "done something wrong", make them available for public scrutiny, prejudice and ostracising and there is no stopping the witch hunt.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2006 8:33 am 
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Outside the Texas courthouse, people support anti-sodomy law

2 Texas men fined for having sex in private home

November 20, 1998
Web posted at: 11:43 p.m. EST (0443 GMT)

HOUSTON (CNN) -- Two Texas men arrested for having sex in a private home pleaded no contest to sodomy charges Friday, setting in motion a court challenge to a state law criminalizing gay and lesbian sexual conduct.

John Geddes Lawrence, 55, and Tyrone Garner, 31, were fined $125 by Justice of the Peace Mike Parrot. They immediately appealed the case to state district court in hopes that Texas' sodomy law will eventually be found unconstitutional.

"I hope we get the law changed. I feel like my civil rights (were) violated, and I wasn't doing anything wrong," Garner said.

"It was sort of Gestapo," said Lawrence.

In September, sheriff's deputies -- responding to what turned out to be a false report of an armed man inside Lawrence's home -- arrested the two men under a Texas law that makes homosexual oral and anal sex a misdemeanor. They spent a night in jail.

The law, which has been on the books for more than a century, is rarely enforced. Gay activists have worked unsuccessfully for years to have it repealed.

Prosecutor Brett Ligon, who handled the case against Lawrence and Garner, said prosecutors have an obligation to enforce the law as long as it remains on the books.

But Suzanne Goldberg, an attorney with the New York-based Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, which is representing the men, called Texas' sodomy law an "outrageous intrusion" into the private lives of gay men and lesbians.

"The government should not be in the business of policing the private consensual sexual relations of people," she said, adding that the case would be appealed on the grounds that the law violates both the state and federal constitutions.

Texas is one of five states that made oral and anal sex a crime for gay men and lesbians but not for heterosexuals. Another 14 states have sodomy laws equally applicable to both groups. In two of those states, Georgia and Virginia, sodomy violations can carry up to a 20-year jail sentence.

Since 1962, 25 states have repealed their sodomy laws, and state courts have struck them down in six other states.

In 1986, by a 5-to-4 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Georgia's sodomy law, ruling that it did not violate the federal constitution.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2006 8:37 am 
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U.S. Supreme Court asked to review constitutionality of Texas "Homosexual Conduct" Law
Lambda Legal charges law violates lesbian and gay Texans' constitutional rights to privacy and equal protection.


(New York and Dallas, Tuesday, July 16, 2002) - Lambda Legal, representing two Houston men, today asked the United States Supreme Court to review the Texas "Homosexual Conduct" Law and declare it unconstitutional. That law bans intimate relations, including oral and anal sex, between consenting adults of the same sex. The Texas law does not apply to heterosexual couples, but instead singles out same-sex couples for this criminal ban. The men represented by Lambda Legal were arrested and convicted for having sex in the privacy of one man's home.

The case, Lawrence and Garner v. Texas, presents the High Court with two independent constitutional claims that Lambda Legal urges it to review, one based on equal protection and another based on privacy. As part of its privacy argument, Lambda Legal asks the Court to reconsider Bowers v. Hardwick, a 1986 decision that upheld Georgia's sodomy law and rejected a federal right to privacy challenge brought by a gay man. The Bowers decision has been widely criticized as anti-gay. The Georgia law applied to all couples and has since been struck down by the Georgia Supreme Court.

"These two men in Texas were arrested, jailed, and criminally convicted for having consensual sex in John Lawrence's home late one evening. The state should not have that power, and we are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene," said Ruth E. Harlow, legal director of Lambda. "There are compelling constitutional rights at stake that make it vital for the Supreme Court to consider this case and strike down this discriminatory law once and for all."

"This law harms all people who believe that their homes should be protected from governmental intrusion," said Lee Taft, director of the Lambda Legal South Central Regional Office, which opened in Dallas in June. "In particular, it brands lesbian and gay Texans as second-class citizens and is used to justify all kinds of discrimination. The first challenge to this law began in 1983, and here we are, almost twenty years later, still confronting its abuse because the highest courts in this state have not addressed it. It is a shame that Texas courts have not had the courage of those in Arkansas, where the state's highest court recently declared its sodomy law unconstitutional."

Lambda Legal won an important victory on July 5 when the Arkansas Supreme Court struck down that state"s sodomy law, which is similar to the Texas statute. The Texas case, Lawrence and Garner v. Texas, began on September 17, 1998, when sheriff's deputies, responding to a false report of an armed intruder, entered John Lawrence's apartment and found Lawrence and Tyron Garner having sex. Both were arrested and jailed overnight. Once convicted, they were each required to pay a fine. The Texas state courts upheld the convictions, allowing the law to stand based on Texas' desire to enforce "moral standards."

"The law intrudes on people's intimate lives and creates a legal double standard for lesbians and gay men. These men literally were arrested behind the walls of the home. Is there any place that should be more private?" said Lambda Legal Supervising Attorney Susan Sommer.

Texas earlier had a sodomy law that applied to everyone, but decriminalized such activities by different-sex partners in 1974.

Only three other states-Kansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri- still have consensual sex laws that target gay men and lesbians. Similar to the recent decision in Arkansas, courts in many states, including Georgia, Kentucky, Montana, and Tennessee, have struck down so-called sodomy laws under their state constitutions. Nine states criminalize private oral and anal sex for both gay and non-gay consenting adults.

Lambda attorneys Patricia Logue, Susan Sommer, and Ruth Harlow worked on the petition for review. Lambda Legal filed the petition with William M. Hohengarten, Paul M. Smith, and Daniel Mach from Jenner & Block, LLC in Washington, D.C., and Mitchell Katine from Williams, Birnberg & Andersen, L.L.P. in Houston, its cooperating attorneys on the case.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2006 8:39 am 
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Perry Calls Sodomy Law "Appropriate"

Associated Press, December 4, 2002

AUSTIN—The Texas law that bans homosexual sex is "appropriate," Gov. Rick Perry said Tuesday, a day after the U.S. Supreme Court said it would decide a Texas case that asks if it is unconstitutional for states to punish same-sex couples for having sex.

"I think our law is appropriate that we have on the books," Perry said.

The court will review the prosecution of two Houston men under a 28-year-old Texas law that makes it a crime to engage in same-sex intercourse.

The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in 1986 that consenting adults have no constitutional right to private homosexual sex, upholding laws that ban sodomy.

Sodomy laws, which ban oral or anal sex, once existed in every U.S. state but have been thrown out in most. Nine states ban consensual sodomy for everyone: Alabama, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Utah and Virginia.

In addition, Texas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma punish only homosexual sodomy.

The Texas case involves John Geddes Lawrence and Tyron Garner, who were arrested in 1998 in Lawrence"s apartment, jailed overnight and later fined under Texas" Homosexual Conduct Law, which classifies anal or oral sex between two men or two women as deviate sexual intercourse.

The Supreme Court was told the convictions would prevent the men from getting certain jobs, and would in some states require them to register as sex offenders.

They were arrested after police responded to a false report of an armed intruder in Lawrence"s apartment, called in by an acquaintance of the men. Police entered the unlocked apartment and found the men having sex.

Sodomy Law Makes No Sense

Houston Chronicle, December 6, 2002

The Chronicle"s Dec. 4 article, "Perry calls sodomy law "appropriate"," reported on Gov. Rick Perry"s galling and archaic position on Texas" sodomy law. What possible sense could there be in locking up law-abiding, tax-paying citizens?

Does the governor really think that gay men and women who get up and go to work on a daily basis, sort out their relationship problems, raise their families, attend church, pay taxes, buy groceries and spend their evenings watching television like most other U.S. citizens really deserve to be locked up for being born with a different sexual orientation than heterosexuals?

His arrogance is frightening.

What if for just one day the reverse were true and heterosexuals were considered criminals because of "aberrant behavior"?

To criminalize private, loving relationships strips us all of protection and demeans humanity in the process.

Ron Gilmore, Houston

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 Post subject: Texas discrimination
PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2006 4:01 pm 
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Interesting read, Victor. In my own mind I never felt like travelling to Texas myself as I heard from family members that their discrimination is also extended to black and latin people. I always found this a little surprising as Texas was not a part of the Southern Confederacy back before our Civil War. I guess they are just a bunch of religious right wing conservatives. Divinia is right in that, it's no wonder this great country of ours is going to shit if people like that are voted into the White House.

As far as anal sex is concerned, that is between my wife and myself, no one else!


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 Post subject: Happy in Belgium!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2006 9:33 pm 
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I find this very disturbing, never thought Americans were like this. What can I say except that I am happy to be and live in Belgium. We have some strange laws but nothing like this. Crazy Americans.


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 Post subject: Texas madness
PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 8:14 pm 
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I was thinking and dreaming about hot Texas cowboys riding hard... I guess I can forget all about that now.

THEY'RE JUST A BUNCH OF SPINELESS WOOSES.

:sad:

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 Post subject: Re: Texas madness
PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 8:36 pm 
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Divinia wrote:
I was thinking and dreaming about hot Texas cowboys riding hard... I guess I can forget all about that now.

THEY'RE JUST A BUNCH OF SPINELESS WOOSES.

:sad:


Hey what's going on? Aren't you going a bit far with that, Divinia?

:boxing: :dammit:

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 10:05 pm 
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Hookers follow workers' dollars

Katrina labor force attracts them to New Orleans

For prostitutes working the streets of New Orleans, the post-flood era has sparked a boom in business, largely owing to the influx of an estimated 40,000 to 50,000 out-of-town workers away from their families with money to blow, police said.

It's "like the Super Bowl" for sex workers, said Deputy Chief James Scott, commander of the Police Department's Intelligence Division, from his division's headquarters in a trailer.

Though police are making more arrests for prostitution than before Hurricane Katrina, Scott said quantifying such results is difficult because undercover officers often can't develop conclusive evidence to make a clear-cut prostitution case. It often takes a transfer of cash, "getting naked with them" and clear evidence that the prostitute wants to trade a sexual favor for cash and not just because "she thinks you're hot," Scott said.

Suspected prostitutes in today's New Orleans, where a lack of bed space in the Orleans Parish Prison has authorities routinely transferring hundreds of prisoners accused of more serious crimes to out-of-town jails, are often being given municipal summonses rather than jail time for lesser offenses such as solicitation. And even when suspected prostitutes are taken into custody, they're often back on the streets in a matter of minutes, Scott said.

With the lure of big money and small consequences, he said, the city has attracted out-of-town prostitutes who ply their trade mostly in the French Quarter.

Before Katrina, most vice officers could identify many of the prostitutes by name, Scott said. "It's just a totally different crowd (in the Quarter now). If you look, you'll see more males in the crowd. They have a tremendous amount of cash to spend. And they're out there and they're looking for women. They're looking to drink and have a good time. They're stuck here without their families, and that has attracted prostitutes."

Prostitutes in this Wild West-like new New Orleans have stepped up their game, Scott said, moving away from street solicitation and onto a more advanced means of selling their wares: the Internet. Prostitutes hand prospective clients a card with an e-mail or Web-site address where they can make "dates."

The new technique makes it much more difficult for vice officers to make cases because they only get the e-mail address on the initial face-to-face meeting, and then only if the prostitute believes they're a real customer and not a cop. Only later, after making the date via e-mail, can they make an arrest at the second meeting. Many out-of-town prostitutes have come to New Orleans for the same reasons they might visit another city during, say, a major sporting event. "They follow the Super Bowls, the big games, conventions, things like that. What we have here is like the Super Bowl," he said.

The pimps who run the lives of sex workers also have become more sophisticated. Some women seeking the opportunity to live and work in the United States are being brought in from Europe, Asia and Latin America as virtual slaves and forced into prostitution, a problem that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is attacking with a grant of $450,000 announced during his visit last week to New Orleans.

Law enforcement officials disagree over whether the abundance of prostitutes visible in some parts of the city is the result of insufficient jail space or light charges against those picked up. An order by Criminal District Judge Calvin Johnson that the parish prison release municipal offenders means eligible suspects must be released unless they have active warrants, are charged with a crime against another person or are involved in a drunken-driving case.

And most of the suspected sex workers are arrested on municipal charges, Scott said. Those who are actually taken into custody and turned over to the Orleans Parish Prison are often set free.

"Prostitution has increased," Police Superintendent Warren Riley said this week through spokeswoman Bambi Hall. Though saying the vice squad is addressing the problem, he said that "the primary issue is the lack of bed space at the Orleans Parish Prison, which creates the inability to keep prostitutes in lock-up."

Orleans Parish Prison spokeswoman Renee Lapeyrolerie disagreed. The prison, she said, is following judicial orders to release people charged with simple municipal offenses. "Obviously Chief Riley is confused," Lapeyrolerie said of the judicial order. Those eligible for release haven't been charged with prostitution, a state charge that would keep them in jail, she said. If police give prostitutes a lesser municipal charge as a way to get them off the street, they may indeed be released, as per Johnson's order.

"No arrested person has been released from OPP because of a lack of bed space or overcrowding," Lapeyrolerie said. Since June, the Sheriff's Office has contracted with other parish jails and the state Department of Public Safety and Corrections to hold any overflow of prisoners, she said.

Another 200 prisoners will be transferred from Orleans Parish Prison to the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola by the end of the week. "There is a constant shuffle of prisoners," Scott said. "We understand that (the criminal sheriff) does not want to fill beds with municipal charges except for domestic violence and DUI."

Criminal Sheriff Marlin Gusman's office has to decide each day which prisoners to hold and which prisoners to release, Scott said, and it's often a choice between a suspected armed robber, burglar, thief or prostitute. Lapeyrolerie said the decision isn't about choice but about the eligibility of prisoners under Johnson's order. Between June 30 and Sept. 29, the Orleans Parish Prison has shipped 2,279 inmates to other jails, Lapeyrolerie said.

Officials in the NOPD and OPP said eight temporary jails under construction by FEMA will allow the prison to house up to 800 municipal offenders, if and when the judicial order is lifted. Lapeyrolerie said the medium-security jails will be completed by the end of the month.

source: NOLA.com, Times-Picayune

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2006 7:16 pm 
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I guess you gotta go where the money is as a sex worker.

I still find it difficult to believe that the U.S. has still not managed to make prositution legal and therefore much more manageable. The amount of manpower and taxdollars this is costing now compared to the tax income it could make in mind staggering.

Grow up, America!

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 Post subject: Texas woosies
PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2006 7:24 pm 
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Sorry about that, HornDog, I know you ain't one of them but come on, let's face it, Texans have a tough image and to let them be ruled by some religious minority, restricting their freedom, telling them what to do and not to do in the bedrooms of their own homes??

Yeah, I'd call that wooses. Or, if you want a more polite term, weaklings. It's weak to give in to a minority that is only set on taking control. It's weak to give in to a small group of people that think they own the world's only right way to live (IF they would actually live the way they preach even). It's weak to give in to a group of people that thinks the whole world needs to die in order for them to get to heaven (the Rapturists).

I'm very sorry, I didn't mean to offend anyone, certainly not you, HornDog, but as a fellow American I can only hang my head in shame. I don't see this kind of thing happening in a place like New York, you know.

:P

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 Post subject: Texas not progressive
PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2006 5:27 pm 
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I have never been to Texas but I thought they would be more liberal there for some reason. They pride themselves so much on being Texans and so, it surprises me they are really so conservative at heart - and misguided.


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