Recently in Sex offenses Category
Currently RCT evidence does not support that psychological interventions reduce the risk of sexual offending. High-quality RCTs with minimal bias and long-term follow-up in the community are required to identify interventions that can reduce sexual reoffending rates.And Dr. Hanson's commentary:
The current review is likely to have little impact on practice. Although their search was thorough and their analysis competent, there was not enough evidence to make strong conclusions. Furthermore, the majority of the available RCTs did not examine sexual recidivism, but only intermediate outcomes (such as social anxiety), which may or may not be valid risk indicators.So the data isn't all that great and we shouldn't throw the baby out with the bathwater. That's fine, but what the Cochrane review said was that current evidence does not support the notion that psychological interventions reduce sexual reoffending. We can believe in our heart of hearts that it should - and maybe it does and those studies just haven't been done yet - but as scientists we need to accurately report what the data shows. Dr. Hanson was accurate in his commentary but all too often what scientists want to be true clouds what the data actually shows.
The number of paroled sex offenders who are fugitives in California is 15 percent higher today than before Gov. Jerry Brown's sweeping law enforcement realignment law took effect 17 months ago, according to figures released Wednesday by the state corrections department.
The increase amounts to 360 more sex offenders whose whereabouts were unknown and who were not reporting to their parole officers last year.
An Associated Press analysis of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation data shows that 2,706 paroled sex offenders dropped out of sight in the 15 months since the new law took effect in October 2011, compared to 2,346 in the 15 months before realignment. The numbers were obtained by the AP before their public release.
That's an average of 180 sex offender fugitives each month, up from 156 before realignment.
The Morales case arises from an incident where the victim's boyfriend left the room, she fell asleep, Morales entered, he began having sex with her, possibly while she was still asleep, she continued consensually believing he was her boyfriend, and he knew that. She says, and he denies, that he continued by force after she realized who he was and pushed him away. The problem arises from some nineteenth century language still in the statute.
There is a provision in the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization bill for certain crimes to be prosecuted in tribal courts. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is against that. Jonathan Capehart at the WaPo has this over-the-top post contending that Cantor's position is "trying to protect white men from prosecution."
Basically, right now, if you are a non-Native American man who beats up, sexually assaults or even kills a Native American woman on tribal land, you'll get away with it. That's because tribal courts do not have jurisdiction to prosecute non-Indian defendants. In addition, federal and state law enforcement have limited resources and might be hours away from a reservation.That's a pretty far-fetched accusation. The statement about law enforcement is irrelevant, because the dispute is not about the investigation of the crime but the prosecution of it. It is not at all unusual for a crime to be investigated by law enforcement officers of one jurisdiction and prosecuted in the courts of another. It happens all the time in drug cases, for example, when local police bust the drug operation and the U.S. Attorney takes the prosecution to federal court.
Capehart cites the percentage of cases declined by federal prosecutors to support his claim that lack of tribal court jurisdiction means the perpetrator gets away with it. But the report he cites notes that the most common reasons for the declinations are weak evidence, "witness problems," no federal offense, or "suspect to be prosecuted by other authorities." The last category obviously does not mean he gets away with it, and the next-to-last often does not. The others mean reasonable doubt of guilt. Is Capehart suggesting we dispense with the reasonable doubt requirement?
If these cases are being insufficiently prosecuted, that is a problem that needs to be addressed. But Capehart has not made the case that the problem exists, and expanding jurisdiction of tribal courts to non-Indians is not necessarily the optimum answer. Capehart's hyperbolic attack on Cantor is unwarranted.
Recidivism, defined as new convictions in this study, was 28.49 percent. This is within the range of 20 to 40 percent found in many other studies (Hanson and Bussiere, 1998; Hanson and Morton-Bourgon, 2005). The current study found that the sample (191 individuals registered as sexual offenders in North Carolina) were at high risk for recidivism for an extended period; however, the greatest risk is during the first several years of tracking. Age was negatively associated with recidivism, but previous convictions had a positive association with recidivism. Registration failures occurred at a rate of 21.51 percent, which doubled the observations from other research (Duwe and Donnay, 2010); (Levenson et al., 2010). Registration failure increased the likelihood of recidivism by 64 percent. The correlates and predictors of recidivism and registration failures are race (Black and White), age, previous convictions, and offender type (adult victims or child victims). All data came from the North Carolina Department of Corrections, North Carolina Sex Offender Registry, and a county sheriff's department. Bivariate analysis and multivariate statistics were used in the study. Study limitations are noted, and implications are drawn for future research. 2 tables, 1 figure, and 28 references.Note the definition of recidivism as new convictions within the 9 year period. While the author considers that to be a "balanced" approach, it significantly understates the actual reoffense rate. A new conviction requires not only a new offense but getting caught and proof beyond a reasonable doubt. The actual number of new offenses is higher, but we don't know how much higher.
What does "previous convictions had a positive association with recidivism" mean in plain English? The more times he's done it before, the more likely he is to do it again.
One of the largest studies of sexual killers ever undertaken in Canada has turned up some surprising findings about how socially normal they may actually appear.
Contrary to previous research, B.C. criminologist Eric Beauregard says his study's larger sample size shows sexually motivated killers aren't generally loners.
"Many of these guys were looking to have social activities with people and they were good at interacting with people," said Beauregard, who teaches at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, B.C.
Beauregard says a significant number of sexual killers developed the social skills necessary to get close to their victims.
"So it's important to consider the fact that some of these guys are actually good with people and instead of using a blitz approach to get their victims, they can actually use a ruse or a con," he said.
The study, which was conducted with Melissa Martineau of the RCMP, looked at 350 solved and unsolved cases of sexual homicide dating back 62 years from across Canada, with the aim of helping police investigators investigating similar crimes.
The defense in Jerry Sandusky's child sexual abuse trial is suggesting that a personality disorder explains some of the charges the former Penn State assistant football coach, but one expert says that may be a stretch.* * *
Sandusky's lawyers, who began presenting their defense Monday, plan to raise the disorder issue to suggest that his extensive correspondence with one of the alleged victims wasn't necessarily "grooming" boys to molest them but instead might be trying to "satisfy the needs of a psyche" with the disorder.
"The jury should not be misled into believing these statements and actions are likely grooming when they are just as likely or more likely histrionic in origin," wrote defense attorney Karl Rominger in the June 11 filing.
But Dr. Glen Gabbard, clinical professor of psychiatry at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, said histrionic personality disorder could in no way be seen as a reason or explanation for the abuse of children.
"That diagnosis, if he has it, would be completely irrelevant to anything having to do with criminal responsibility for acts of pedophilia," said Gabbard, an expert on personality disorders.
If I understand this correctly, the lawyers are not planning to use the "disorder" in the sense of diminishing criminal responsibility for the act. That would be complete garbage, as Gabbard says. They are claiming he didn't commit the act, and they are using the "disorder" to explain certain behavior that the jury might consider to be corroborating evidence. That is still a stretch. Of course, given the number of witnesses and the likelihood of a de facto life sentence upon conviction, stretches are probably all they have.
Meanwhile, back at the APA, histrionic personality disorder is being removed from the main text of the forthcoming edition of the "bible," the DSM-V, and relegated to the appendix of stuff for further study.
Sandusky's defense attorneys are asking the court to let them present evidence that he has histrionic personality disorder.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, people with the disorder suffer from poor self-esteem and resort to dramatics to gain approval.
"They have an overwhelming desire to be noticed, and often behave dramatically or inappropriately to get attention," according to the clinic's website.
OK, well, that's nice, but last I looked, a "desire to be noticed and behaving inappropriately to get attention" could be said of a large chunk of the human race, virtually all of whom have managed to refrain from forcible fellatio and anal intercourse with little boys.
Like the usual ginned-up "syndrome" and fancy-sounding "disorder," this one is less likely to bring about an acquittal than to convince the jury that the defense thinks they're a bunch of fools.
This incident in question 8 years ago, as described by Tristane Banon, was attempted rape. The statute of limitations is 10 years. "The Paris prosecutor's office said -- without offering details -- that Strauss-Kahn admitted during questioning to actions that qualify for the lesser charge of sexual assault." But that charge has a 3 year statute, which has run.
So they can't charge him with any more than he admitted to, no matter what the victim says? Apparently they are not going to.
The consolation, I suppose, is that admitting to sexual assault means his political career is over, even in France.
Update: Now DSK's lawyers deny even the lesser sexual assault. AP story here.
From time to time, I have offered gentle reminders to our friends in the defense bar about what I view as missteps in defense work. But this time, they've gone too far.
Yes, I know they have a half-way plausible argument to make -- indeed, more plausible than a lot of stuff you hear from criminal defense -- but this case reminded me once more why I was happy to take a scruffy salary as a prosecutor instead of going for the big bucks trying to make somebody's "dream team."