WASHINGTON--The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to consider whether North Carolina can bar individuals on the state's sex-offender registry from accessing social-media websites such as Facebook.
The high court, in a brief written order, agreed to take up the appeal of Lester Packingham, who was convicted of violating the social-media ban after a Durham, N.C., police officer in 2010 found a Facebook post in which the defendant happily announced the dismissal of a traffic ticket. "Man God is Good!" the post said.
Mr. Packingham in 2002 pleaded guilty to taking indecent liberties with a 13-year-old when he was age 21.
A North Carolina law enacted in 2008 prohibits sex offenders from accessing social-networking sites when the offender knows that the site allows minors to become members. The Supreme Court will consider whether that law is allowed under the Constitution.
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Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts has temporarily blocked a Senate subpoena that seeks information on how the classified advertising website Backpage.com screens ads for possible sex trafficking.The order reads in full:
The order Tuesday came hours after Backpage CEO Carl Ferrer asked the high court to intervene, saying the case threatens the First Amendment rights of online publishers.
A federal appeals court ruled Friday that the website must respond to the subpoena within 10 days. Roberts said Backpage does not have to comply with the appeals court order until further action from the Supreme Court. He requested a response from the Senate by Friday.
IT IS ORDERED that the August 5, 2016 order of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, in case No. 16-mc-621, is hereby stayed pending receipt of a response, due by noon Friday, September 9, 2016, and further order of the undersigned or of the CourtThe individual Justice assigned to the circuit (the Chief, for DC) is authorized to stay a lower court's order, but they typically refer the application to the full Court for anything more than a brief stay. I expect that "further order" will come early next week, and it will be from the full Court.
Defendants convicted of possessing child pornography in violation of 18 U. S. C. §2252(a)(4) are subject to a 10-year mandatory minimum sentence and an increased maximum sentence if they have "a prior conviction . . . under the laws of any State relating to aggravated sexual abuse, sexual abuse, or abusive sexual conduct involving a minor or ward." §2252(b)(2).
The question before us is whether the phrase "involving a minor or ward" modifies all items in the list of predicate crimes ("aggravated sexual abuse," "sexual abuse," and "abusive sexual conduct") or only the one item that immediately precedes it ("abusive sexual conduct").
Only the last item, 6-2, opinion by Justice Sotomayor. Justices Kagan and Breyer dissent.
To be a conscious person is to have repressed desires. One need not be a devoted Freudian to accept the plain fact that everyone has desires for what he or she cannot have. It is a mark of maturity (and one would think rather obvious) that life can be lived and even enjoyed without indulging in every desire of the heart. Indeed, wisdom would say that is a life that is mastered.
In resurrecting old crimes, investigators have detected an alarming pattern: Many rapists are repeat offenders.
In Cuyahoga County, home to Cleveland, about 30 percent of cases that have developed from testing so far are serial rape suspects. One of them, Robert Green, assaulted seven women over nearly a decade as evidence went unprocessed. He pleaded guilty last fall and was sentenced to up to 135 years in prison.
I'm not sure I would have said "alarming." We have known that for a long time. The DNA provides irrefutable confirmation, though.
Conviction does not always follow a DNA match, though. The statute of limitations may have run. A claim of consent may be hard to refute in a very cold case.
"It's great entertainment on television that in one hour's time, we have a crime, we take the sample, we get a `hit,' we arrest the suspect and then he's prosecuted and off to jail," says Doug McGowen, coordinator of Memphis' Sexual Assault Kit Task Force. "That's just not the case, clearly."
Sex Predator Gets Second Chance, Reoffends: Michael Shepard, released after serving a 15 year sentence for committing sex offenses against children, faces 14 new charges of raping or assaulting at least seven children after being out of prison 18 months. Claire McNeill of the Tampa Bay Times reports that Shepard initially lied to his neighbors about his crimes, claiming his sex offender status stemmed from a Romeo and Juliet affair with a preacher's daughter. He was released from prison after two psychologists determined that he "did not qualify for commitment" to a treatment facility after his sentence. Shepard claims that the children fabricated their stories.
Today, what scares me the most about the debate raging over Rolling Stone's U-Va. rape story, and the magazine's apparent shortcomings in verifying it, is that the next woman who is raped at that school or any other might not come forward. Even if she does, people may be less likely to believe her, as her individual tragedy will probably be conflated with everyone else's opinion about this particular case.I think this backlash effect is a real problem, not only with loose standards of journalism but also with ill-advised policies on college campuses. Rape is a horrific crime causing long-lasting psychological damage. At this point, we are in real danger of hurting rape victims by misguided efforts intended to help them. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
So it pains me to think about how there are other women out there right now making the same "rational" decision that I did. According to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, 97 percent of rapists will never spend a day in jail. That is largely because most rape victims, myself included, don't report the crime to the police to begin with.
Numbers on sexual assault can vary widely depending on the definition of sexual assault used and whether the numbers reflect survey data or assaults reported to the police. This report finds that reporting rates are much lower among students, 20% versus 32%. The NCVS provides a valuable cross-check to reporting-based numbers such as the Uniform Crime Reports because it is a survey independent of police reporting.
Now, Rolling Stone never has been an exemplar of objective journalism, but reporting inflammatory allegations without the most elementary fact-checking is well below the standard we should expect of any national magazine. An editorial in the Wall Street Journal today pinpoints the underlying problem here:
The larger problem, however, is that Ms. Erderly was, by her own admission, looking for a story to fit a pre-existing narrative--in this case, the supposed epidemic of sexual assault at elite universities, along with the presumed indifference of those schools to the problem. As the Washington Post noted in an admiring profile of Ms. Erdely, she interviewed students at several elite universities before alighting on UVA, "a public school, Southern and genteel."
In other words, Ms. Erdely did not construct a story based on facts, but went looking for facts to fit her theory. She appears to have been looking for a story to fit the current popular liberal belief that sexual assault is pervasive and pervasively covered-up.
The full schedule with links to all the videos is here.
California law has long required registered sex offenders to report identifying information, such as their address and current photograph, to law enforcement. Cal. Penal Code §§ 290.012, 290.015. The Californians Against Sexual Exploitation ("CASE") Act sought to supplement and modernize these reporting obligations by requiring sex offenders to provide "[a] list of any and all Internet identifiers established or used by the person" and "[a] list of any and all Internet service providers used by the person." Id. § 290.015(a)(4)-(5). The Act also requires registered sex offenders to send written notice to law enforcement within 24 hours of adding or changing an Internet identifier or an account with an Internet service provider ("ISP"). Id. § 290.014(b). Appellees Doe, Roe, and the nonprofit organization California Reform Sex Offender Laws filed a complaint alleging that the CASE Act infringes their freedom of speech in violation of the First Amendment. Appellees filed a motion for a preliminary injunction, which the district court granted. Kamala Harris, the Attorney General of California, and Intervenors, the proponents of the CASE Act, appeal. We hold that the district court did not abuse its discretion by enjoining the CASE Act. Accordingly, we affirm.
A New York man who cut off his ankle monitor before killing a woman and raping her 10-year-old daughter was sentenced Wednesday to 30 years in federal prison for possessing more than 11,000 images and 1,100 videos of child pornography.
U.S. Attorney Richard Hartunian said 30-year-old David Renz will begin the 30-year sentence after completion of whatever sentence he receives for his guilty plea in state court for the murder and rape. U.S. District Judge Norman Mordue went beyond the 19 to 24 years recommended by federal sentencing guidelines.
Good grief. The only encouraging part is the next paragraph:
Sentencing on the state charges is scheduled for May, but it has been postponed several times while the U.S. Department of Justice decides whether to charge Renz on a federal carjacking statute that could carry the death penalty if he is convicted.
When a Michigan middle-school teacher was denied $10,000 in severance pay last month, the local teachers union filed a grievance against the school board on his behalf. Given the union's mission to defend the rights of educators, this would appear to be routine. Not so fast: The teacher is a convicted sex offender.
Neal Erickson was sentenced in July to a 15- to 30-year jail term after acknowledging that he had sexual relations with a male student beginning when the boy was 14 years old. The school board denied him severance once he was charged. But the local chapter of the National Education Association thinks this criminal deserves his severance, which says a lot about the mindset of teachers unions, which are also trying to weaken a bipartisan bill in Washington that would help keep sexual predators out of schools.