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News Scan

More CA Fugitive Sex Offenders Than Originally Reported:  Paige St. John of the Los Angeles Times reports that California has twice the number of fugitive sex offenders than the state previously reported. According to new data released Wednesday, there was a 65% rise in the number of warrants issued for paroled sex offenders that absconded from October 2011 to January 1, 2013. The prior report had the number at an increase of 30%. Nearly 5,000 warrants were issued over the period since Realignment took effect far more than the 3,251 the department reported in March The discrepancy comes because multiple releases for the same offender were not originally accounted for. Parolees disabling or removing GPS devices suffer little to no consequences when caught due to overcrowding in county jails. Some parole violators go on to commit very serious offenses, including rape and murder. Sen. Ted Lieu introduced SB57 which would make it a felony to remove a GPS monitor punishable by prison time. Discussed in this News Scan.

OH Baby Killer's Plea Denied: 
Andrew Welsh-Huggins of the Associated Press reports that the Ohio Parole Board denied Steven Smith's plea for mercy on Wednesday. On September 29, 1998, Smith, 46, raped the six-month-old Autumn Carter, the daughter of his girlfriend. The attack that lasted up to a half hour and resulted in the infant's death. His attorneys argued for his sentence to be commuted, claiming Smith had only intended to rape but not kill the little girl. Smith, a known alcoholic, has taken no responsibility for his crimes, instead blaming it on being drunk. The parole board was not convinced. Though not directly charged with rape, prosecutors used it as an aggravating circumstance in the murder to secure a death sentence. Prosecutors say Smith beat the girl to death in the course of the rape, while expert witnesses testify the baby may have suffocated while Smith lay on top of her.

OH Rapist's DNA Identified: 
The Associated Press reports that a grand jury in Ohio has indicted an unknown man for a rape committed 20 years ago based on his DNA. The six count indictment is over the separate rapes and kidnappings of a 13-year old-girl on April 21, 1993 and a 37-year-old woman on June 15, 1996. The indictment will keep the statute of limitations from running out for "John Doe (hash)1, unknown male." An arrest warrant has been issued for his DNA profile. According to Cuyahoga County Assistant Prosecutor Brian McDonough, DNA technology will keep rapists from getting away with their crimes. Over 2,300 untested rape kits have been sent in by police from across Ohio as part of an initiative begun by OH Attorney General Mike DeWine.

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