Stop Vigilante Violence and Websites Act of 2010 sign now

This Act is a response to the recent increases of vigilantism both online and in the real world. Over 190 murders have been committed against those accused or convicted of sex crimes, and 40\% of registrants and their loved ones have experienced acts of vigilantism directed against them. It is quite clear this bill is becoming needed. Show your support by sending me a letter of support for this law. Any further comments or questions can be sent via e-mail, also on my comments page. See below for more details.

http://www.oncefallen.com/antivigilantebill.html

Stop Vigilante Violence and Websites Act of 2010

AN ACT

An act to prevent abuse and violence against those listed on sex offender registries, to promote accountability and liability of those entities that misuse registry info, and to promote the proper usage of current sex offender registries.

Sec. 101 - TITLE

This bill may be referred to as the Stop Vigilante Violence and Websites Bill of 2009

Sec. 102: KEY FINDINGS

Megans Law, established in 1996, established the first public sex offender registries, and has become an established part of society. However, studies and reports are showing the negative consequences of public registries are very high. Of particular concern is the high level of vigilante violence against not just those individuals listed on public sex offender registries, but against family members or other individuals living in the same household.

A number of murders, suicides, and crimes committed against those on sex offender registries or family members of registrants have used registry information and/ or news media reports of allegations:

*In April 2006, Stephen Marshall of Nova Scotia slays two former offenders, William Elliot and Joseph L. Grey, after collecting personal info on Maines registry.
*In September 2005, Michael Anthony Mullen slays two former offenders in Washington, Hank Eisses and Victor Velasquez, after collecting personal info on Washingtons registry.
*In Sept. 2007, two men in Tennessee, Gary Sellers and Robert Bell, set fire to the house of a neighbor suspected of possessing child porn; the fire killed the mans wife, Melissa Chandler, instead.
*In Apr. 2005, Florida resident Chuckie Claxton, a mentally disabled former offender, commits suicide after signs declaring him a child rapist were posted in his neighborhood.
*On January 2008, after a half a year of online cyber stalking, harassment, and threats due to speaking out against sex offender legislation, Jan Kruska, a mother of four, is forced to buy a gun, contact the FBI, and sue her harassers. Later, on a national television show, her stalker states she deserves to be harassed by her.
*On December 2006, after two years of harassment by an online vigilante group, which included a contact with his employer and claims victim is a wannabe pedophile, New Mexico resident Taylor Marcell, wins a default judgment against the vigilante group Perverted-Justice.
*In June 2008, Tammy Lee Gibson of Puyallup, Washington, a woman with a lengthy criminal record including assaults and drug charges, assaulted a registrant with a baseball bat and was arrested. She was declared a hero, and prosecutors pleaded down to an eight month maximum sentence as they felt a jury would not convict her. She was given a mere 90 day sentence for the attack.

As of Feb. 2009, eAdvocate lists 190 murdered individuals known to have been murdered due to sex crime accusations or convictions. In addition to murder, a significant number of registrants, as well as loved ones of the registrant, have experienced different forms of vigilantism. Nearly half of the offenders reported experiencing threats, property damage, or physical assault as a result of public disclosure. In addition, almost half of people living with the registrant reported being threatened or harassed by neighbors, 27\% had their property damaged, and 7\% said they were physically assaulted by someone as a result of notification.

Vigilantism is noted as a key barrier to reform. Registrants constantly worry about harassment, which adds to the obstacles in obtaining stable residence, productive work activity, and effective treatment, which are essential prerequisites for managing the behavior of this group of offenders in the community. It is no surprise that registries have been known to exact further vengeance on registrants who have finished their sentences. Furthermore, the registries have an effect of compelling the reader to react as less than responsible citizens. Although these laws were passed as a means to decrease recidivism and promote public safety, the resulting stigmatization of sex offenders is likely to result in disruption of their relationships, loss of or difficulties finding jobs, difficulties finding housing, and decreased psychological well-being, all factors that could increase their risk of recidivism.

THEREFORE, we must take action to ensure the rehabilitation process proven to decrease recidivism and protect American citizens from criminal acts of violence and harassment for the greater good of the public.

Sec. 103: DECLARATION OF INTENT

In order to combat vigilante violence, harassment, and cyber crimes directed at registrants and innocent family members or associates of registrants, to promote the proper usage of registry information, and provide avenues of relief for victims of all forms of vigilantism.

Sec. 104: PROVISIONS AND PENALTIES (this part needs tweaking)

*Enhances penalties for crimes against registrants OR those accused. but not convicted, and similar to 28 USC 994, the US Hate Crimes Sentencing Enhancement Act (actual violence, intimidation, threats, or harassment)
*Creates or enhances penalties for abuse of registry information, improper dissemination of personal information (pictures, videos, contact info, etc.)
*Increased penalties for cyber crimes when committed as a collective organization, as well as when done anonymously
*Compels anti-paedo organizations to be entered in a database, including real names and addresses of all members. In addition, all organizations must maintain a physical address (no Mailboxes, Etc.)
*Attaches or enhances civil cause of action against individuals and/or organizations that engage in criminal activities against sex offenders (Whats a fair cap on civil liability?)-- $250,000 (?)
*Compels states to place bold disclaimers clearly stating the penalties for misusing registry info and/or crimes committed against former offenders on every page of the registry
*Prohibits anyone from disseminating registry information without consent and training/ certification from members of law enforcement (honestly, I say prohibit EVERYONE but LE from ever passing out info period)
*Prohibits individuals from using registry info contact employers, neighbors, or other places of interest used by former offenders
*Extend the increased penalties to acts committed against those merely ACCUSED of sex crimes

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Audra WoodwardBy:
Culture and SocietyIn:
Petition target:
US Congress, US House of Representatives

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