Total Pageviews

Monday, February 10, 2014

Interment Camps Again ?

Supreme Court justice predicts internment camps in America’s future

"You are kidding yourself if you think the same thing will not happen again," said Justice Scalia.


Americans exit train cars and are "evacuated" into the fenced compounds that would be their new homes.  (Source: Dorthea Lange, 1944)
Americans exit train cars and are “evacuated” into the fenced compounds that would be their new homes. (Source: Dorthea Lange, 1944)
A distinguished member of the U.S. Supreme Court gave a sobering reminder of how history can and likely will repeat itself when the conditions are right.  Justice Antonin Scalia said that he would not be surprised if Americans were once again imprisoned in concentration camps by the federal government.
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia (Source: H. Darr Beiser / USA Today)
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia (Source: H. Darr Beiser / USA Today)
The 77-year-old justice was answering questions after giving a classroom lecture to a group of law students in Honolulu.  One student asked about the deplorable 1944 Korematsu v. United States decision, in which the U.S. Supreme Court verified the constitutionality of the president ordering the mass-imprisonment of Americans in the name of national security.
Scalia cited the wartime “panic” as a reason Americans accepted President Franklin Roosevelt’s hostile treatment of citizens of his own country.
As the Associated Press reported:
“Well of course Korematsu was wrong. And I think we have repudiated in a later case. But you are kidding yourself if you think the same thing will not happen again,” Scalia told students and faculty during a lunchtime Q-and-A session.
Scalia cited a Latin expression meaning, “In times of war, the laws fall silent.”
“That’s what was going on — the panic about the war and the invasion of the Pacific and whatnot. That’s what happens. It was wrong, but I would not be surprised to see it happen again, in time of war. It’s no justification, but it is the reality,” he said.
The Korematsu case stemmed from President Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066, which divided the country into “Military Areas” and in a real sense instituted martial law in the United States.  Control of civilian territory was granted to to military commanders and the Secretary of War, who were authorized to take any freedom-restricting actions they deemed necessary to secure the homeland.
A U.S. Soldier stands ready to shoot any who would try to escape FDR's concentration camps.  (Tule Lake, California)
A U.S. Soldier stands ready to shoot any who would try to escape FDR’s concentration camps. (Tule Lake, California)
In enactment of the order, several segments of the U.S. population were labeled as “enemies” or “enemy aliens.”  They were:  (1) people suspected of “subversive activities” (which included speaking against the war); (2) Japanese aliens; (3) American-born Japanese; (4) German aliens; and (5) Italian aliens.
These so-called enemy groups were ordered to report to military prison camps for an indefinite sentence — a process that was dubiously referred to as “relocation” or “evacuation.”  The reality was that the targeted individuals were stripped from their homes, their lives, their jobs, their families, and their freedom and placed into cages surrounded by barbed wire and U.S. soldiers who were prepared to shoot them.
Fred Korematsu was born in the United States, and as such was considered a naturally-born U.S. citizen who had two parents who were from Japan.  Even though his loyalty to the USA was not questioned, the President had labeled him (and 120,000 others) as an enemy.  Korematsu, who resided in Military Area No. 1 (California), was one of the few who did not report to the prison camp to which he was assigned.  The government’s response was to have Korematsu hunted down, arrested and convicted of disobeying military authorities.
“It was wrong… But you are kidding yourself if you think the same thing will not happen again.”- Justice Scalia
The Supreme Court upheld his conviction, ruling that the 5th Amendment guarantee of “due process” did not apply, and that his conviction was allowed to stand.  The needs of homeland security were considered to be preeminent over individual rights.  To date, the decision has never been explicitly overturned.
Scalia’s statements would suggest that its legal precedence matters less than many would think.  The Latin phrase he quoted, Inter arma enim silent leges, dates back over 2,000 years and has been proven true in every culture since.   During times of crisis — especially during great wars — people are naturally prone to embrace government efforts to empower itself in the name of security and order.  Americans have proven this maxim to be true many times over, notably with the mass roundup of political prisoners during the American Civil War, World War 1, and World War 2.
“The reality,” as Scalia pointed out, is that the next time Americans feel great fear of a foreign threat or a terrorist, they will not only accept the destruction of civil rights — they will demand it.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

SNY Gangs Parts 1

   California calls It's Protective Custody Yards, Sensitive Needs Yards (SNY). I went P.C. in 2008 after spending about 15 years on The Main Line (General Population). What shocked me was the presence of PC Gangs. Only in California. What kind of an idiot goes PC and then joins a gang? Here's a video on PC Gangs in the California prison system:

http://www.myfoxla.com/story/18896032/prison-sny-gangs-part-1

Monday, February 3, 2014

Free at Last !

   Free at Last ! Well, not exactly free, but at least I'm out of jail again. This makes it my 10th parole violation in the last 22 months. For RSO's on parole in California it's a revolving door. At $116 a day to incarcerate someone in Santa Clara Co. the burden to taxpayers is staggering. I've probably have spent 450 days in co. jail due to parole violations since April of 2012. That comes out to over $50,000 of totally wasted taxpayer monies. Due to Jessica's Law here in CA successful parole is impossible. It still amazes me that no one in the media is reporting on the absolute waste of Jessica's Law and how many millions are spent implicating this insane law. I'm forced to be homeless due to bullshit residential restrictions. Got to run and figure out where I'm going to sleep tonight. Take care my friends. I'm back in the fight !

Friday, December 13, 2013

How to Survive in Prison as an Innocent Man Convicted of a Sex Offense (Revised 2013)

From: Issues in Child Abuse Accusations 1997  http://www.ipt-forensics.com/journal/volume9/j9_3_6.htm

I wrote the following way back in the 1997 while I was doing time in Oregon. A rather easy prison system to do time in. I was young, tough, and adamant about my innocence. When I did time in the notorious California prison system starting in 2001 I received a huge wake up call. These are real prisons here. I had never seen so much violence in my life. Every time a riot kicked off I was somehow right in the middle of it. I still walked the mainline, but was always concerned about my safety. If my status as a "convicted sex offender" would of came out I could of been killed. Would not have mattered to "my bros" I was innocent. They would of tried to kill me. In 2006, Jessica's Law was passed by CA voters and I went on the run again. I've lived "underground" off and on for the past 25 years trying to escape The Sex Crime Witch Hunters. I always knew I would be recaptured. I always am. Only this time I decided that when I was arrested I was going to put myself In Protective Custody (PC). That's exactly what I did in 2008. Should of done it years ago! What the hell did I have to prove. If your convicted of a sex crime, even if your innocent - go PC ! It could save your life. Another view of mine that has changed is my attitude on taking Psych. Meds in prison. If you're going nuts in there get on medication. The following is an old article of mine, but still has some useful information.


Psychology Editor's Note: This article includes some strong views that may be surprising and challenging.  We have chosen to publish it because we believe prisoners have a right to seek interaction with those outside the prison walls.  We also believe there are many innocent men and women in prison who are wrongly convicted of sex offenses.  They too, have a right to stand up for their innocence.  One of the more poignant episodes in our lives was in June, 1985, when Lois Bentz, accused with her husband, Robert, of sexually abusing children in Jordan, Minnesota, was told by her attorney about a very attractive plea bargain.  With tears running down her face, Lois said to us, "I did not do it and I will not say I did something I didn't do."  The Bentzes rejected the plea bargain and went to trial.  The Bentzes were acquitted and the Jordan case is often regarded as the beginning of the "backlash" that has led to increased awareness of false accusations and the reversals of several highly publicized convictions in recent years.
Still there are many many lesser known cases where Large numbers of innocent people remain behind bars.  We receive letters every week from men and women in prison who assert their innocence.  For years we have agonized about what we can do in response.  The most we have been able to do is to try to stay in contact and provide information to assist those working on appeals.  Based upon our experience with Ms. Bentz, we have also tried to say what Mr. Anderson repeats several times in this article — maintain your own personal integrity.  Mr. Anderson tells us how he has done this for himself.  It may not be a way that works for everyone, but this is what he tells us works for him.  We believe Mr. Anderson is very likely to walk out of prison when his time is served and be standing up straight and tall.

Your only exposure to what prison is like has been through movies that sensationalize the violence, drug use, and sex in the big house.  The prison bus you're on rounds a lonely highway corner and you get your first glimpse of what is to be your home for the next 10-odd years — a steel, razor wire, and concrete house of pain.  You wonder how you'll ever make it out of this hate factory alive.  You imagine your first day being gang-raped by six huge, tattooed lifers, by the end of the week you're being sold up and down the tier for cigarettes, and within a month, you're found dead in your cell with a twelve-inch "shank" protruding from your chest.  Not only are you the new fish in the cell block, but you have been convicted of a sex crime, and you've heard how convicted sex criminals are abused in the joint.

You're one of the thousands of innocent men wrongly convicted of sex crimes in the U.S. every year.  Won't it matter to your fellow prisoners that you are not a sex criminal and are completely innocent?  Not in the least.  It is possible, though, to make it through prison even though you were convicted of a skin beef.  You can not only live through the prison experience, you can claim some degree of victory at the end of your unjust prison term.  Life will be neither easy nor fun for the innocent man convicted of a sex crime and sent to prison.  But, surviving prison is not impossible.

I have spent over seven years in maximum-, medium-, and minimum security prisons after being wrongly convicted of first degree rape — the result of my having been falsely accused of date rape by a mentally deranged woman with a history of falsely accusing men of sex crimes.  I am writing this from the Oregon State Correctional Institution.  Although life has not been easy for me in prison, I have managed to keep my self-respect, my dignity, and my integrity.  I have spent months in solitary confinement for defending myself when necessary. I have allowed no prisoner, no prison guard, and no member of the parole board to disrespect me due to my wrongful conviction.  I have consistently maintained my innocence, even when doing so has added years to my prison term.

I earned a college degree behind bars, and have even escaped from prison once.  To help other innocent prisoners, I founded the Society Against False Accusations of Rape (SAFAR), and for five years have published the underground prison publication, The SAFAR Newsletter.  Currently, I'm working on my book, Falling on the Deaf Ear: False Accusations of Rape, Child Abuse Hoaxes, Innocent People in Prison and How to End the Sex Crime Witchhunt.  I know first-hand what it is to be an innocent man in prison, wrongly convicted of a sex crime, and I know how to survive the prison experience.

Now that you have been falsely accused of rape or child abuse, been convicted in record time, lost all your assets along with your reputation, and been sentenced to 10 years in prison by a judge who couldn't care less that you are innocent, you would think your troubles are over.  Think again.  You not only have to make it out of the prison with your life and sanity, but with your self-respect, honor, and integrity intact.  Let's face it.  After being wrongly convicted of a sex crime, your sanity, self-respect, honor, and integrity is all you have left.  Prison will not break you if you are a man — or learn to become a man, even though the main goal of prison officials is to sap the soul from men, and spit out castrated, submissive males.  With all the odds against you, it is even possible to walk out of prison a better man with your head held high.  Again, it will be neither fun nor easy, but what battle ever is easy?  You can either walk out of prison with your manhood intact knowing you beat the corrupt prison industry or you can crawl out on your belly as a hated sex offender.

Outside Contacts
Don't fool yourself that the community will be outraged that you were convicted and sent to prison for a crime you didn't commit or that may have never even occurred.  You are now a convicted sex offender and your innocence means nothing.  You're the lowest of the low, in and out of prison.  There will be no mass protests at the prison gates demanding your release.

Most people believe the propaganda of the sex crime witch hunters and probably feel you should die in prison.  Most of your friends will abandon you and even some members of your family will turn their backs on you.  Only your very best friends and your immediate family will stick by your side at first and most of them will fall by the wayside in the coming years as you rot in prison.

One of the most important things for the innocent man in prison is to maintain contact with at least one person on the outside.  This person can help you try to prove your innocence and keep you current on what's happening outside the prison walls.  If you can maintain contact with at least one free worlder to help you, you'll be doing a lot better than some prisoners.  Many prisoners lose their friends and their own families and are isolated in prison with no contact with the outside world.  You are going to be walking into prison alone and will be alone while you do your time.  You need at least one ally in the outside to help free yourself from the nightmare of being thrown in a cage and given the scarlet letter of a convicted sex offender for a crime you did not commit.

Prison violence
For the most part, prisons and correctional institutions are not the hell holes of years past.  The "get tough on crime" craze has mutated into "get tough on prisoners."  Although prisons are not for continued and endless punishment, politicians don't want to educate or rehabilitate prisoners.  Prisoners are to be warehoused like the commodities they've become.  College courses and vocational training in prison are a thing of the past.  With all the new prisons being built in the U.S., doing time has become quite sterile — even safe — because all the new prisons are so controlled and high-tech that prisoners now spend most of their time in their cells.

The idea that prisoners really run the joint is a myth.  Some of the older prisons are still dangerous, but these are slowly being phased out.  It used to be that only the worst, most dangerous, and most hardened criminal was sent to prison.  It was no wonder that penitentiaries were dangerous.  But these days, with so many first-time offenders doing mandatory prison terms and so many people being sent to prison, the nation's lock-ups have become diluted with nonviolent prisoners.  Today most prisons can even be considered safe.

In all my years behind bars, I've never seen a murder, a stabbing, or a rape.  I believe some prisoners try to brag how tough prison is to make themselves look tough.  They romanticize their prison experience by telling their friends and family how brutal prison was and how they had to fight for their lives every day.  Prison, however, may be harder for the innocent man convicted of a sex crime because of the scorn.  In the old days, a convicted sex offender — innocent or guilty — was sure to get physically attacked.  Today, that is not the case.  A man wrongly convicted of a sex crime can make it out of prison unharmed if he stays on his toes and keeps alert.

What about all the violence you read about what goes on in prison?  Of course, violence does happen in U.S. penitentiaries, but with over 1.6 million Americans locked up these days, the chance of being one of the few hundred inmates who are killed or seriously injured is slim.

Standing Up for Yourself
Because you were convicted of a sex crime, you will not be winning any popularity contests with your fellow prisoners.  At first, the other prisoners may mark you to be victimized and harassed.  If you don't stand tall and fight back, you'll be victimized your entire prison term.  You must stand up for yourself when you are tested by some idiot who thinks you're a rape-o, "Chester," "tree jumper," or "freak."  In 1989, I was compelled to beat a man who attacked me with a folding chair.  Besides a little blood, neither one of us was hurt badly.  I did accidentally break a guard's hand in the melee and I've also had to fight a couple of other morons who disrespected me, but I haven't had any trouble in years.  It is well worth it to spend a few months in solitary confinement for defending yourself when the option is being harassed continually in general population.  Another option is hiding for years in Protective Custody (PC), totally separated from the rest of the prison, and locked in a cell for 24-hours a day.  But only the weakest prisoners go PC, and I don't recommend it.

For the most part, even for the wrongly convicted sex offender, if you don't owe debts from gambling or drugs, and if you stay away from the homosexuals, keep your head down, don't bother anyone, and don't act like a wimp and whine about your wrongful conviction, you won't have to worry about prison violence.  There is very little chance that you will be killed or even stabbed.  But, if something does happen and you need to defend your good name, be a man and do it.  In prison, your good name is all you have.  If trouble comes your way in prison, you have to deal with it on the spot.  Where are you going to run?  You're in a cage.

Inmates and Convicts
During my years in prison I have found that there are two types of prisoners — inmates and convicts.  Inmates will not fight if their lives depend on it and they will kiss any ass that comes their way.  Inmates are the type of prisoners who go on national TV to praise prison officials and prison programs for straightening out their miserable lives.  The inmate has no loyalty to anything or anyone except himself.  Inmates will do anything to please their captors and cheerfully inform and rat on other prisoners for breaking prison rules.  Inmates are not men.

Be aware that you can't always tell an inmate worm by his cover.  The biggest, baddest killer on the tier can be the biggest, snitch rat in the joint.  On the other hand, convicts used to be very common in U.S. prisons, but are now a dying breed.  A true convict would never rat on anyone, would take no disrespect, would fight when necessary and would be loyal and live by a code of honor.  Unlike an inmate, a convict is a man.

A convicted sex offender will never be considered a true convict by other prisoners, but you can live by your own code of honor in prison.  Never whine or complain about your wrongful conviction; sniveling will only make you appear weak and make you a target.  Other prisoners don't care about your innocence.  The prison hierarchy has you at the bottom of the prison barrel.  Your jacket is that of a sex offender but it's up to you if you wear this degrading jacket.  You will find that the only prisoners who hang around the sex offender are other wide-eyed, scared, spineless sex offenders.  Even though prison is going to be very lonely for the innocent man convicted of a sex crime, you don't want to befriend confessed sex offenders.  Also, stay away from the prison chapel.  For some strange reason, confessed sex offenders always find God in prison and carry their Bibles for all to see to show how repentant they are.  In short, even though no one convicted of a sex beef can be a true convict, you must strive to be one.

Talking About Your Conviction
You may think that if you don't tell any of your fellow prisoners you were convicted of a sexual offense that no one will be the wiser and you won't be harassed.  You may think that you can tell people you're a bank robber and even be a hero in prison.  Nice try, but lying about what you were convicted of will not work.  There are no secrets in prison, especially on why you are there.  You're in prison now, and any possibility of privacy or keeping secrets is long gone.  Be honest when talking about your wrongful conviction and get ready to defend yourself if it becomes necessary.

All of the convicted sex offenders (innocent or guilty) whom I've heard tell other prisoners that they were burglars or robbers in an effort to hide their convictions were eventually exposed.  If you lie about your conviction, you will be exposed.  Then, any attempts to claim innocence will not be believed and your prison time may get very tough.  Don't advertise your wrongful conviction, or the facts of your supposed crime, but when asked why you're in prison, be honest.

Although a convicted sex offender can never gain full respect in prison, I've managed to gain some measure of respect by being truthful about why I am in prison, and fighting when necessary.  Sure, some punk may call me a "rape-o" behind my back, but no prisoner ever disrespects me face to face.  With so many innocent men being sent to prison these days on false accusations of rape and child abuse, the general prison population is starting to understand how widespread the sex crime witch hunt has become, and how many innocent men are now in prison due to false allegations.  False reports of rape and other sex crimes are so common that an innocent man wrongfully convicted of a sex crime will not be alone.

Prison Guards
The men and women who hold the key to your freedom (the prison guards) should be considered your enemy.  There is a reason that surveys on job status and job satisfaction often rate being a prison guard as the lowest job a person can hold.  No one respects prison guards, and they know it.  What kind of man or woman would want to examine body openings for contraband, turn keys, and stand around and do nothing for a living?  Prison guards hate their jobs and blame prisoners for their unhappy and unfulfilled lives.  It takes no ambition, no talent, no drive, or any creativity to be a corrections officer.  Even police officers know this, and look down on the lowly prison guard.  Think about it.  Does any kid have dreams of being a corrections officer when he or she grows up?

The Golden Rule to remember not only about prison guards, but about anyone that works inside the prison in which you are held captive, is to stay as far away from them as possible and avoid even talking to them unnecessarily.  Even if you happen to run across a prison guard who appears to be halfway human, don't befriend him.  Every inmate whom I've seen develop any type of friendship with any prison employee was, in the end, betrayed and shunned by other prisoners.  Don't collaborate with anyone other than fellow prisoners while in prison.  Every prison official or staff member is your enemy.  Never forget that.  They will gladly shoot you in the back if they feel the need.  Don't make eye contact with the people who work at the prison because if you avoid eye contact they will leave you alone.  The less contact you have with prison employees, the better off you will be.

In all my years in prison, I've observed hundreds of prison guards and only a couple could be considered normal.  The typical male guard I have encountered is not someone you would consider a winner.  He is usually a skinny geek (or is extremely overweight), is undereducated, has no ambition and is sadistic.  His idea of success is a monthly state paycheck, a trailer home, a 12-pack of beer, and nightly TV.  The typical female prison guard is homosexual, physically unattractive, overweight, and more masculine than most male prison guards.  She's mad at the world for not being born a man and she takes her penis envy out on prisoners.

I fully admit my dislike for prison guards because I am convinced that every prison guard in the U.S. has witnessed, encouraged, and/or participated in the torture or murder of prisoners.  Prison guards are cowards with a badge who are protected by the state and prison guard unions.  Your only allies in prison are other prisoners.  Never forget it.

Keeping Fit
One of the most important things to do while doing your prison time is to keep in the very best physical shape possible.  Every prison has a weight room, and I strongly suggest pumping iron.  Being in top shape not only feels good, but it's good for your head and will help you think more clearly.  By working out, running, exercising, and eating as well as possible, you will be physically able to defend yourself in case of any violent situations.  You will also be able to think straight to combat your unjust conviction.  All the guys whom I've seen go insane in prison did not care about their health.  They rotted in front of a TV for years until they were just a shell of a man.  At age thirty-five, I am now in the best shape of my life and feel great.

Another reason to stay healthy in prison is that medical services are notoriously horrid.  One of my worst prison experiences was when our prison doctor told me that blood tests indicated that I had liver cancer.  He smiled gleefully as he told me I had only a year to live.  I tried to learn more, but he refused to answer my questions and ordered me out of his office.  For months I thought I was going to leave this mad house on a slab.  I learned later that my blood test indicated only that I had been exposed to hepatitis in the past.  The good prison doctor told me I was dying for his own sick amusement.

Dental services are just as bad in prison.  I'm currently waiting to have a back molar filled.  I cracked my tooth on a rock in some chili in the chow hall.  I've been on the waiting list to see the dentist for over six months now, and will probably lose the tooth due to neglect.  There is nothing I can do about it.

While in prison, stay in shape, work out, run, and try to eat well — even though that's nearly impossible with the garbage that passes for food in prison.  But, although you may get depressed, lonely, and frustrated in prison, never go to the prison psychologist.  Prison shrinks only want to drug prisoners into submission.  One of the newest fads in corrections is tranquilizers that are given out like candy to pacify and control inmates.  What better way to turn prisoners into submissive zombies than by medicating them for depression and anxiety.  Don't fall into the medication trap in prison.  You need to be clear-headed while doing time, not in a drugged-out haze.

When you go to prison, settle down and find a positive routine.  After the shock of prison wears off, and the other prisoners figure out you will defend yourself, you'll be left alone to do your time.  Don't sit around vegetating in front of a TV, playing cards or reading westerns.  Don't waste your time complaining about your wrongful conviction and what a poor victim you are.  Don't turn into what I call a "prison zombie" who does his time like he's waiting to die.  Your main mission in prison will be trying to get your unjust conviction overturned.  Learn as much about the law and the corrupt legal system as you can.  Get to know the prisoner law clerks in the law library, and spend as much time in the library as possible.  Study every aspect of your case, and stay on top of your attorney.  Your lawyer is not the one in prison, you are.  The appeals process takes years.  Prisoners rarely win a new trial because the criminal justice system is not about truth and justice, but you can't win if you don't try.  Fighting the legal system will be frustrating and depressing, but try not to give up hope.
Not only do we prisoners have to stick together, but we men must also join forces in our fight against feminism.  Become a soldier in the Men's Rights Fight.  Contact the anti feminist, pro-family men's groups in your area, as well as some of the national groups.

Sex Offender Treatment
One of the most profitable scams in the prison behavioral modification business is the sex-offender treatment industry.  Because you were convicted of a sex offense, you are now fuel for the sex-offender treatment profiteers.  You will be expected to confess to your crime, end all appeals for a fair trial, dismiss all delusions of innocence, and participate in sex-offender treatment along with admitted child molesters and serial rapists.  Confession is the main tenet of sex-offender treatment.  It does not matter to prison officials that you have always maintained your innocence and are in the process of appeal.

Thousands of people work in the sex-offender treatment industry and to justify their high-paying state jobs you must confess to your offense.  You are the meal ticket not only of prison guards but also sex-offender treatment providers.  As a wrongly convicted prisoner, you should have nothing to do with sex-offender treatment.  Be a man, and stand up for what is right.  There will be repercussions for you for not confessing and becoming another admitted sex offender.  You will be denied any good-time off your prison term and early parole will be out of the question.  I have always refused to even speak to sex-offender treatment counselors.  Not only have I been denied any time off my sentence for good behavior, but the Oregon Parole Board has labeled me mentally unfit and dangerous to society because I refuse to confess, show remorse, and beg for forgiveness.
Not only should you avoid sex-offender treatment, but I suggest you refuse to participate in any behavior modification programs in prison.  Don't admit anything to prison officials or prison counselors.  Those who work in the behavior modification industry behind prison walls will use anything you tell them against you.  Tell them nothing about your past.  Prison counselors are not your friends.

Never talk to any prison psychologist. There is no faster way to be labeled mentally and emotionally unfit than to trust a prison psychologist.  As a convicted sex offender, innocent or not, you are the bread and butter of the sex-offender treatment industry, prison counselors/psychologists, and prison guards.  The only way they can justify their jobs is to keep you in their prison programs as long as possible.  Be aware of their true motives, don't trust them, tell them nothing, and never doubt yourself.  You owe them nothing.

You are an innocent man in prison.  Act like one, and good luck my friend.

Forced Homeless in San Jose

    I feel like a Leper. A man without a country. This is all so surreal. Being forced to live on the streets by The State? I still can not get over it and I've been dealing with this nightmare for over 25 years now. How in God's name can The State force someone to live outdoors like an animal? I have family I can live with! Due to Jessica's Law in CA and It's residential restrictions I'm homeless. I have never harmed a child in my life. The woman, Donna Jean Rowland, of Albany, Oregon who falsely accused me in 1985 was 24 years old at the time. She was a serial false accuser who made her false allegation against me for a million dollar lawsuit and I was not the first man this wacko had sent to prison. See The J.A. Story at:  http://jessicaslawnightmare.blogspot.com/2013/12/the-ja-story.html . The homeless shelter I am forced to live in has a "lottery" every day at 3:30 pm where only 50 people get in and I hope I make it every night or I am forced to sleep outside in the freezing cold. Recently it was so cold here 4 homeless men died in one night due to exposure. Thank God I had a bed that night. Tonight? Who knows? I could be sleeping outside tonight. Why? When will this nightmare end? The Sex Crime Witch Hunt snared me in It's ever expanding web over 25 year ago. When will this madness stop? I wake up at 4am to charge my GPS Tracking Shackle that is locked onto my ankle because I do not know when I will have the opportunity to charge up again. I have to charge up twice a day for an hour each. It's all I do anymore. Try and figure out where the hell will I find an outlet to use, so The State will not send me back to jail for failure to charge. It is all so unreal. I've got about 10 more months on parole and can finally leave this Police State. Back to Alaska in 2014 !!!

The Ticking Sex Offender Bomb

War on … the Fallout of Declaring War on Social Issues: Symposium Article: The Ticking Sex-Offender Bomb


Corey Rayburn Yung


University of Kansas School of Law

December 12, 2013

Journal of Gender, Race and Justice, Vol. 15, 2012

Abstract:     
Much like the ticking-time-bomb scenario in the public debate about torture, the belief that sex offenders generally, and child molesters specifically, will inevitably commit new offenses has come to effectively frame societal understanding. The concept of the sex offender who is a ticking time bomb waiting to molest more children has served as the basis for sex-offender registration, residency restrictions, community notification, and civil commitment. Relying on strongly held myths about stranger danger, sex-offender recidivism, and sex-offender homogeneity, the criminal war against sex offenders shows little sign of abating. This Symposium Article explores the rhetoric and reality of the War on Sex Offenders and how the ticking-time-bomb metaphor reshaped the debates and policies surrounding sexual violence.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

CA RSOL Meeting on Jan. 11, 2014

From: CA Reform Sex Offender Laws http://californiarsol.org/

CA RSOL Meeting – January 11 in San Diego

The first regular CA RSOL meeting of 2014 will be held in San Diego on January 11 at 10 am.
As always, the meeting will be open and free of charge to registrants, friends & family and supporters. Media and government officials are not invited in order to ensure all attendee’s privacy. The meeting will cover general topics of interest, as well as specific issues pertinent at meeting time, in addition to offering invaluable opportunities to network with others affected by this issue, as well as activists and professionals.
Meeting location is at the California Western Law School on 350 Cedar Street, Room LH2. There is free parking on Second Avenue, one block away from the school, in addition to some free spots on Third Ave. above Elm. Plenty of metered parking is also available.
Thanks to all who make these events possible.
SHOW UP, STAND UP, SPEAK UP.

CA RSOL Meeting
January 11, 10 am
California Western Law School, Room LH2
350 Cedar Street, San Diego, CA 92101

Children on Sex Offender Registries


From: Center of Public Integrity http://www.publicintegrity.org/2013/05/01/12594/report-details-lives-ruined-children-put-sex-offender-registries

Report details lives ruined for children put on sex-offender registries

Nudity, streaking, petting, not just rape, have led to youths put on sex-offender registries



Put on a sex registry for the offense of public nudity as a minor. Harassed by neighbors out of a home and banned from a homeless shelter because of an offense committed at age 15.
The New York-based research group Human Rights Watch issued an extensive report today on the life-shattering consequences of putting minors on sex registries for offenses — sometimes shockingly mild offenses — for the rest of their lives.
Filled with devastating stories of teens and young adults unable to put offenses behind them, the rights group's report is called “Raised on the Register: The Irreparable Harm of Placing Children on Sex Offender Registries in the U.S.”
The report is the product of a 16-month investigation into 581 cases and interviews with 281 sex offenders — median age 15 — in 20 states.  Prosecutors, defense attorneys, child sexuality experts and victims of “child on child” sexual assault were also interviewed.  The investigation explores how a burgeoning national web of laws in various states requiring constant registration and public disclosure of offenders’ identities has affected the lives of young offenders long after time served or rehabilitation. Some on registries have killed themselves, even before reaching adulthood.
The report begins with Jacob C., who was 11 years old when convicted of one count of sexual misconduct in Michigan for touching, not penetrating, his sister’s genitals. He was not allowed to live in a home with other children, was eventually put into foster care and was placed on a sex registry that was made public when he turned 18.  He struggled to graduate from high school, and was shunned because of his registration status. And when he enrolled in college, he said, campus police followed him everywhere. He dropped out.
Now 26, the report says, Jacob’s life continues to be defined and limited by a conviction at age 11.
Another case in the report: “In 2004, in Western Pennsylvania, a 15-year-old girl was charged with manufacturing and disseminating child pornography for having taken nude photos of herself and (posting) them on the internet. She was charged as an adult, and as of 2012 was facing registration for life.”
Sex offender laws, the report says, “that trigger registration requirements for children began proliferating in the United States during the late 1980s and early 1990s. They subject youth offenders to registration for crimes ranging from public nudity and touching another child’s genitalia over clothing to very serious violent crimes like rape.”
Registries can also include “people who have committed offenses like public urination, indecent exposure (such as streaking across a college campus), and other more relatively innocuous offenses.”
The Human Rights Watch report acknowledged that registration laws were designed to protect the public from offenders, and that they are based on assumptions that offenders are likely to violate again.
“But including youth sex offenders on registries assumes that they are highly likely to reoffend, which is not the case,” the report says. “Numerous studies estimate the recidivism rate among children who commit sexual offenses to between 4 and 10 percent, compared with a 13 percent rate for adult sex offenders and a national rate of 45 percent for all crimes.”
The report was prepared by Nicole Pittman, a national expert on the application of sex offender registration laws who was an attorney at the Defender Association of Philadelphia. She specialized in child sexual assault cases and registries, and has provided testimony to Congress and state legislatures on the subject.
The report calls current registry laws “an overbroad policy of questionable effectiveness” that leaves the public often unable to discern who on a registry is actually dangerous.

Police Overkill

From: Salon http://www.salon.com/2013/12/09/police_overkill_has_become_the_default_american_policy_partner/

Police overkill has become the default American policy

The term "police state" used to be brushed off as paranoid hyperbole. Not anymore

                 
Police overkill has become the default American policy (Credit: Reuters/Anthony Bolante)
This piece originally appeared on TomDispatch.
                                   
If all you’ve got is a hammer, then everything starts to look like a nail. And if police and prosecutors are your only tool, sooner or later everything and everyone will be treated as criminal. This is increasingly the American way of life, a path that involves “solving” social problems (and even some non-problems) by throwing cops at them, with generally disastrous results. Wall-to-wall criminal law encroaches ever more on everyday life as police power is applied in ways that would have been unthinkable just a generation ago.
By now, the militarization of the police has advanced to the point where “the War on Crime” and “the War on Drugs” are no longer metaphors but bland understatements.  There is the proliferation of heavily armed SWAT teams, even in small towns; the use of shock-and-awe tactics to bust small-time bookies; the no-knock raids to recover trace amounts of drugs that often result in the killing of family dogs, if not family members; and in communities where drug treatment programs once were key, the waging of a drug version of counterinsurgency war.  (All of this is ably reported on journalist Radley Balko’s blog and in his book, The Rise of the Warrior Cop.) But American over-policing involves far more than the widely reported up-armoring of your local precinct.  It’s also the way police power has entered the DNA of social policy, turning just about every sphere of American life into a police matter.

The School-to-Prison Pipeline

It starts in our schools, where discipline is increasingly outsourced to police personnel. What not long ago would have been seen as normal childhood misbehavior – doodling on a desk, farting in class, a kindergartener’s tantrum – can leave a kid in handcuffs, removed from school, or even booked at the local precinct.  Such “criminals” can be as young as seven-year-old Wilson Reyes, a New Yorker who was handcuffed and interrogated under suspicion of stealing five dollars from a classmate. (Turned out he didn’t do it.)
Though it’s a national phenomenon, Mississippi currently leads the way in turning school behavior into a police issue.  The Hospitality State has imposed felony charges on schoolchildren for “crimes” like throwing peanuts on a bus.  Wearing the wrong color belt to school got one child handcuffed to a railing for several hours.  All of this goes under the rubric of “zero-tolerance” discipline, which turns out to be just another form of violence legally imported into schools.
Despite a long-term drop in youth crime, the carceral style of education remains in style.  Metal detectors — a horrible way for any child to start the day — areinstalled in ever more schools, even those with sterling disciplinary records, despite the demonstrable fact that such scanners provide no guarantee against shootingsand stabbings.
Every school shooting, whether in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, or Littleton, Colorado, only leads to more police in schools and more arms as well.  It’s the one thing the National Rifle Association and Democratic senators can agree on. There are plenty of successful ways to run an orderly school without criminalizing the classroom, but politicians and much of the media don’t seem to want to know about them. The “school-to-prison pipeline,” a jargon term coined by activists, isentering the vernacular.
Go to Jail, Do Not Pass Go
Even as simple a matter as getting yourself from point A to point B can quickly become a law enforcement matter as travel and public space are ever more aggressively policed.  Waiting for a bus?  Such loitering just got three Rochester youths arrested.  Driving without a seat belt can easily escalate into an arrest, even if the driver is a state judge.  (Notably, all four of these men were black.) If the police think you might be carrying drugs, warrantless body cavity searches at the nearest hospital may be in the offing — you will be sent the bill later.
Air travel entails increasingly intimate pat-downs and arbitrary rules that many experts see as nothing more than “security theater.” As for staying at home, it carries its own risks as Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates found out when a Cambridge police officer mistook him for a burglar and hauled him away — a case that is hardly unique.
Overcriminalization at Work
Office and retail work might seem like an unpromising growth area for police and prosecutors, but criminal law has found its way into the white-collar workplace, too.  Just ask Georgia Thompson, a Wisconsin state employee targetedby a federal prosecutor for the “crime” of incorrectly processing a travel agency’s bid for state business.  She spent four months in a federal prison before being sprung by a federal court.  Or Judy Wilkinson, hauled away in handcuffs by an undercover cop for serving mimosas without a license to the customers in her bridal shop.  Or George Norris, sentenced to 17 months in prison for selling orchids without the proper paperwork to an undercover federal agent.
Increasingly, basic economic transactions are being policed under the purview of criminal law.  In Arkansas, for instance, Human Rights Watch reports that a new law funnels delinquent (or allegedly delinquent) rental tenants directly to the criminal courts, where failure to pay up can result in quick arrest and incarceration, even though debtor’s prison as an institution was supposed to have ended in the nineteenth century.
And the mood is spreading.  Take the asset bubble collapse of 2008 and the rising cries of progressives for the criminal prosecution of Wall Street perpetrators, as if a fundamentally sound financial system had been abused by a small number of criminals who were running free after the debacle.  Instead of pushing a debate about how to restructure our predatory financial system, liberals in their focus on individual prosecution are aping the punitive zeal of the authoritarians.  A few high-profile prosecutions for insider trading (which had nothing to do with the last crash) have, of course, not changed Wall Street one bit.
Criminalizing Immigration
The past decade has also seen immigration policy ingested by criminal law. According to another Human Rights Watch report — their U.S. division is increasingly busy — federal criminal prosecutions of immigrants for illegal entry havesurged from 3,000 in 2002 to 48,000 last year.  This novel application of police and prosecutors has broken up families and fueled the expansion of for-profit detention centers, even as it has failed to show any stronger deterrent effect on immigration than the civil law system that preceded it.  Thanks to Arizona’s SB 1070 bill, police in that state are now licensed to stop and check the papers of anyone suspected of being undocumented — that is, who looks Latino.
Meanwhile, significant parts of the US-Mexico border are now militarized (as increasingly is the Canadian border), including what seem to resemble free-fire zones.  And if anyone were to leave bottled water for migrants illegally crossing the desert and in danger of death from dehydration, that good Samaritan should expectto face criminal charges, too. Intensified policing with aggressive targets for arrests and deportations are guaranteed to be a part of any future bipartisan deal on immigration reform.
Digital Over-Policing
As for the Internet, for a time it was terra nova and so relatively free of a steroidal law enforcement presence.  Not anymore.  The late Aaron Swartz, a young Internet genius and activist affiliated with Harvard University, was caught downloading masses of scholarly articles (all publicly subsidized) from an open network on the MIT campus.  Swartz was federally prosecuted under the capacious Computer Fraud and Abuse Act for violating a “terms and services agreement” — a transgression that anyone who has ever disabled a cookie on his or her laptop has also, technically, committed.  Swartz committed suicide earlier this year while facing a possible 50-year sentence and up to a million dollars in fines.
Since the summer, thanks to whistleblowing contractor Edward Snowden, we have learned a great deal about the way the NSA stops and frisks our (and apparentlyeveryone else’s) digital communications, both email and telephonic. The security benefits of such indiscriminate policing are far from clear, despite the government’s emphatic but inconsistent assurances otherwise. What comes into sharper focus with every volley of new revelations is the emerging digital infrastructure of what can only be called a police state.
Sex Police
Sex is another zone of police overkill in our post-Puritan land. Getting put on a sex offender registry is alarmingly easy — as has been done to children as young as 11 for “playing doctor” with a relative, again according to Human Rights Watch.  But getting taken off the registry later is extraordinarily difficult.  Across the nation, sex offender registries have expanded massively, especially in California, where one in every 380 adults is now a registered sex offender, creating a new pariah class with severe obstacles to employment, housing, or any kind of community life.  The proper penalty for, say, an 18-year-old who has sex with a 14-year-old can be debated, but should that 18-year-old’s life really be ruined forever?
Equality Before the Cops?
It will surprise no one that Americans are not all treated equally by the police.  Law enforcement picks on kids more than adults, the queer more than straight, Muslims more than Methodists – Muslims a lot more than Methodists — antiwar activists more than the apolitical. Above all, our punitive state targets the poor more than the wealthy and Blacks and Latinos more than white people.
A case in point: after the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School, a police presence, including surveillance cameras and metal detectors, was ratcheted up at schools around the country, particularly in urban areas with largely working-class black and Latino student bodies.  It was all to “protect” the kids, of course.  At Columbine itself, however, no metal detector was installed and no heavy police presence intruded.  The reason was simple.  At that school in the Colorado suburb of Littleton, the mostly well-heeled white families did not want their kids treated like potential felons, and they had the status and political power to get their way. But communities without such clout are less able to push back against the encroachments of police power.
Even Our Prisons Are Over-Policed
The over-criminalization of American life empties out into our vast, overcrowded prison system, which is itself over-policed.  The ultimate form of punitive control (and torture) is long-term solitary confinement, in which 80,000 to 100,000 prisoners are encased at any given moment.  Is this really necessary?  Solitary is no longer reserved for the worst or the worst or most dangerous prisoners but can beinflicted on ones who wear Rastafari dreadlocks, have a copy of Sun Tzu’s Art of War in their cell, or are in any way suspected, no matter how tenuous the grounds, of gang affiliations.
Not every developed nation does things this way. Some 30 years ago, Great Britain shifted from isolating prisoners to, whenever possible, giving them greater responsibility and autonomy — with less violent results.  But don’t even bring the subject up here.  It will fall on deaf ears.
Extreme policing is exacerbated by extreme sentencing.  For instance, more than 3,000 Americans have been sentenced to life terms without chance of parole for nonviolent offenses.  These are mostly but not exclusively drug offenses, including life for a pound of cocaine that a boyfriend stashed in the attic; selling LSD at a Grateful Dead concert; and shoplifting three belts from a department store.
Our incarceration rate is the highest in the world, triple that of the now-defunct East Germany. The incarceration rate for African American men is about five times higher than that of the Soviet Union at the peak of the gulag.
The Destruction of Families
Prison may seem the logical finale for this litany of over-criminalization, but the story doesn’t actually end with those inmates.  As prisons warehouse ever more Americans, often hundreds of miles from their local communities, family bonds weaken and disintegrate. In addition, once a parent goes into the criminal justice system, his or her family tends to end up on the radar screens of state agencies.  “Being under surveillance by law enforcement makes a family much more vulnerable to Child Protective Services,” says Professor Dorothy Roberts of the University of Pennsylvania Law school.  An incarcerated parent, especially an incarcerated mother, means a much stronger likelihood that children will be sent into foster care, where, according to one recent study, they will be twice as likely as war veterans to suffer from PTSD.
In New York State, the Administration for Child Services and the juvenile justice system recently merged, effectively putting thousands of children in a heavily policed, penalty-based environment until they age out. “Being in foster care makes you much more vulnerable to being picked up by the juvenile justice system,” says Roberts.  If you’re in a group home and you get in a fight, that could easily become a police matter.” In every respect, the creeping over-criminalization of everyday life exerts a corrosive effect on American families.
Do We Live in a Police State?
The term “police state” was once brushed off by mainstream intellectuals as the hyperbole of paranoids.  Not so much anymore.  Even in the tweediest precincts of the legal system, the over-criminalization of American life is remarked upon with greater frequency and intensity. “You’re probably a (federal) criminal” is the accusatory title of a widely read essay co-authored by Judge Alex Kozinski of the 9th Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals.  A Republican appointee, Kozinski surveys the morass of criminal laws that make virtually every American an easy target for law enforcement.  Veteran defense lawyer Harvey Silverglate has written an entire book about how an average American professional could easily committhree felonies in a single day without knowing it.
The daily overkill of police power in the U.S. goes a long way toward explaining why more Americans aren’t outraged by the “excesses” of the war on terror, which, as one law professor has argued, are just our everyday domestic penal habits exported to more exotic venues.  It is no less true that the growth of domestic police power is, in this positive feedback loop, the partial result of our distant foreign wars seeping back into the homeland (the “imperial boomerang” that Hannah Arendt warned against).
Many who have long railed against our country’s everyday police overkill have reacted to the revelations of NSA surveillance with detectable exasperation: of course we are over-policed!  Some have even responded with peevish resentment: Why so much sympathy for this Snowden kid when the daily grind of our justice system destroys so many lives without comment or scandal?  After all, in New York, the police department’s “stop and frisk” tactic, which targets African American and Latino working-class youth for routinized street searches, was until recently uncontroversial among the political and opinion-making class. If “the gloves came off” after September 11, 2001, many Americans were surprised tolearn they had ever been on to begin with.
A hammer is necessary to any toolkit.  But you don’t use a hammer to turn a screw, chop a tomato, or brush your teeth. And yet the hammer remains our instrument of choice, both in the conduct of our foreign policy and in our domestic order.  The result is not peace, justice, or prosperity but rather a state that harasses and imprisons its own people while shouting ever less intelligibly about freedom.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

The J.A. Story

  I'm still staying in a shelter and it is a nightmare. At least I don't have to live on the streets like an animal which The State of California would have me do. Below is a link to a "Sexual Predator Raid" I went through about 2 years ago. Also some of my earlier writings. Take care my friends. Good to be back in The Fight !!!


NBC Bay Area News April 22, 2011


   

*  Californians Against Jessica's Law
       http://nojessicaslaw.org/

 *  His life on the run
      http://runjamesrun2007.homestead.com/

*  His 1995 extensive book on his wrongful conviction
      http://fathersmanifesto.net/falling.htm

*  How to survive in prison as an innocent man
      http://www.ipt-forensics.com/journal/volume9/j9_3_6.htm 

*  Book review
      http://www.backlash.com/content/gender/1996/4-apr96/book04.html

*  Letter to parole board (1997)
*  Excluded Evidence by Cathy Young
      http://reason.com/archives/2002/02/01/excluded-evidence

*  Mad Dog Rapist in Prison
       http://www.backlash.com/content/gender/1996/4-apr96/safar04.html

*  Victim of the Feminist State
       http://www.backlash.com/content/gender/1996/7-jul96/safar07.html

CA Three-Strikes Reform

Posted Dec 1, 2013 4:00 AM CST
By Lorelei Laird
image
Mike Reynolds: "The full impact of Prop 36, either positive or negative, is really yet to be felt." Photo by Norbert Von der Groeben.
In 1992, 18-year-old student Kimber Reynolds came home to Fresno, Calif., to be a bridesmaid. As she left a restaurant, two men rolled up on a motorcycle and tried to snatch her purse. When she resisted, one of them shot her. She died 26 hours later.
As the Reynolds family grieved, they learned that the shooter and his accomplice both had long rap sheets, largely for drugs and petty theft. Outraged that they had been freed, Mike Reynolds, Kimber’s father, wrote a proposed “three strikes and you’re out” law for repeat offenders.
Two years later, California passed that law, both as a ballot initiative and through the state legislature. Advertised as a way to keep violent recidivists off the streets, the three-strikes law doubled prison time for a second felony if there was a prior serious or violent felony, as defined by state law. Offenders with two serious or violent priors faced 25 years to life for the third “strike.”
But to qualify for the life sentence, that third felony didn’t have to be serious or violent. As a result, California began sentencing people to life for crimes like petty theft and drug possession. The law was challenged for 18 years, including two unsuccessful appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court.
In the meantime, second- and third-strikers made up roughly a quarter of California’s large prison population, straining the state budget. Advocates say 3,000 to 3,500 of California’s current third-strikers are serving 25 years to life for nonserious, nonviolent felonies. All of this may explain why 69 percent of Californians voted last year for Proposition 36, a ballot initiative that radically reformed the three-strikes law. Now, defendants may only be sentenced to 25 years to life if their crime was serious or violent, or they have disqualifying crimes—generally very violent crimes or sex offenses—among their priors. All other third felonies will be sentenced to double the time in prison, as if they were second strikes.
And more important, the law permits inmates who are already serving life sentences for nonviolent, nonserious crimes to petition for resentencing. As with new felonies, their new sentences would still be double the normal penalty for the underlying crime. But because such inmates have already served up to 19 years, resentencing usually means release from prison.

TRIAGE UNIT

Los Angeles County, the most populous county in the state and the nation, has by far the most prisoners eligible for resentencing. The Los Angeles Superior Court, the court of first jurisdiction, had received 1,389 petitions as of late October. To handle this flood, the county has set up a special system that consolidates all petitions under one judge, whose job is to handle nothing but resentencing of three-strikes prisoners until at least the end of this year.
The petitions are overwhelming all players in the county’s justice system. “Since Prop 36 passed, we get probably 150 calls a day,” says Harvey Sherman, a deputy public defender. (Though prisoners are not generally entitled to an attorney for post-conviction assistance, his office and many other California public defenders’ offices have agreed to represent three-strikes petitioners.)
“I would characterize it as an avalanche,” says Beth Widmark of the LA County district attorney’s Third-Strike Resentencing Unit.
Usually, petitions for resentencing would go to the judge who originally sentenced the defendant, or—because so many judges are retired—to one randomly selected. But the volume of Prop 36 petitions got to be too much for the leaders of the superior court, so they decided to consolidate the petitions under a single judge.
The job went to Judge William Ryan, who was already the go-to judge in the county for writs of habeas corpus. He says this isn’t the first one-judge system for handling special cases. After the 1990s Rampart scandal, in which corrupt Los Angeles police officers admitted to framing defendants, thousands of petitions for writs of habeas corpus were consolidated in front of one judge.
Sherman, whose Public Integrity Assurance Section was founded in response to the Rampart incidents, says 130 petitioners were ultimately freed in those cases. But under Proposition 36, there are already far more: As of late October, 263 prisoners had been resentenced in Los Angeles County alone. Furthermore, there’s a two-year deadline hurrying the petitions; eligible prisoners must show good cause if they file later.
Another reason the system is overwhelmed is the huge amount of paperwork each case generates. In addition to determining whether to disqualify prisoners with certain priors, Proposition 36 requires Ryan to decide whether the petitioner poses a threat to society. The average time served by the county’s petitioners is 14 years, Ryan says, leaving a backlog of more than a decade of records for each inmate. All must be carefully reviewed, particularly by prosecutors deciding whether to oppose a petition. Each petition requires a response within 45 days, so Widmark’s unit must respond to between 70 and 100 cases a week.
Because neither Proposition 36 nor state law provided a clear system for handling the petitions, Ryan says, the first thing he did after his November 2012 appointment was to agree with the prosecutor’s and public defender’s offices to treat them as if they were habeas corpus petitions.
Then, he says, the parties “triaged” the petitions: They moved those that were unopposed by prosecutors to the front of the line, with the goal of clearing those out quickly.

PATIENCE TESTED

It hasn’t gone as quickly as hoped. At a morning of hearings in mid-August, the court was still hearing unopposed petitions. Ryan says the average time from petition to resentencing in Los Angeles County is 148 days. He will be working on the cases until all are completed, unless the hearings become overwhelming. In that case, the superior court has authorized adding additional judges to the project.
“Some inmates are getting impatient,” Ryan says. “They didn’t use violence when they committed their crime, so they thought the doors of the prison should swing open” the day after voters approved Prop 36.
Discussion at those August hearings focused mainly on the defendants’ re-entry plans. Ryan emphasizes that success after prison, particularly in the first 90 days, depends largely on access to food, housing, jobs and addiction treatment, if applicable. (It often is; Ryan says that 37 percent of his petitioners’ life crimes were tied to drug crimes, and 56 percent more were property crimes that were likely related to drugs.)
“Before resentencing, they have to lay that out for me,” says Ryan. “When they release them, they give them $200 and a bus ticket and say, ‘Good luck.’ And that’s not necessarily the most humane thing to do.”
Because other counties are already hearing opposed petitions, the California appeals courts have begun to consider some of the gray areas in the law. That includes two cases from San Diego that raise the question of whether possession of a firearm by a felon is the kind of serious, violent crime that disqualifies the defendant from resentencing.

THE NEXT STAGE

Thus far, those who have been released have largely stayed out of trouble. The county probation department is supervising only 28 of the 200 people released in the county, but a representative said in mid-August that only two had been arrested again. If that’s every new arrest, it’s a minuscule recidivism rate.
Statewide, a study by the Stanford Three Strikes Project, a law school initiative advocating three-strikes sentence reductions, found a 2 percent recidivism rate in September, when prisoners had been out an average of 4.4 months. That study reported the average recidivism rate after 90 days—the crucial period during which people are most likely to re-offend—for non-Prop 36 prisoners was 16 percent.
But Reynolds, the father of the slain bridesmaid and a driving force behind the three-strikes law, says it’s too soon to determine if that reform has worked.
“The full impact of Prop 36, either positive or negative, is really yet to be felt,” he says. “Only a handful [of offenders] have really come out in comparison to the full number. Once they are fully released, the real question is: Now what happens?”
This article originally appeared in the December 2013 issue of the ABA Journal with this headline: "After Third Strike, Many Now Walk: California begins to release prisoners after reforming its three-strikes law."
Correction
Print and initial Web versions of "After Third Strike, Many Now Walk," December, should have stated that Judge William Ryan was appointed to handle Proposition 36 petitions in November 2012. The article also mistakenly reports that Ryan's appointment ends Dec. 31. He is assigned the cases until all are completed. And if the hearings become overwhelming, the Los Angeles Superior Court has authorized adding additional judges to the project.

The ABA Journal regrets the errors.