Tagattorney general

Consequences of Megan’s Law

After spending 20 years in prison for rape, Michael A. Dodele was stabbed to death. Police are investigating the possibility that his death was motivated by a listing on the sex offenders registry:

Although Oliver did not say he killed Dodele, he said that “any father in my position, with moral, home, family values, wouldn’t have done any different. At the end of the day, what are we as parents? Protectors, caregivers, nurturers.”

In fact, Dodele was not a child molester. But a listing on the Megan’s Law website could have left Oliver with the impression that he had abused children because of the way it was written.

Although Dodele’s listing has been taken down since his death, a spokesman for the state attorney general said the site described the man’s offenses as “rape by force” and “oral copulation with a person under 14 or by force.”

“He was convicted of other bad things, but nothing involving a minor,” said Richard F. Hinchcliff, chief deputy district attorney for Lake County. But “it would be easy to understand why someone might think so looking at the website.”

Full Story: LA Times.

71 year old Harry Berlin hasn’t been killed yet, but he’s being harassed even though he isn’t even listed in a sex offenders registry:

Christopher Risdon is a 35-year-old sex offender who was busted for child porn. But Risdon doesn’t live at this Tropicana Avenue apartment. Hasn’t for years. So when the curious (if that’s really all they are) come calling, they’re now ringing the wrong doorbell. Despite what sex offender-tracking Web sites say, this apartment belongs to Harry Berlin, 71 years old, frail and, frankly, petrified.

Full Story: Hit and Run.

Worst Mayor in America: Jackson, Mississippi’s Mayor Frank

How “Mayor Frank” got away with tearing down an innocent person’s home, a completely unauthorized act of vigilantism, and other repeat violations of the law, all in the name of the “war on drugs.”

The duplex demolition, however, got Melton in more trouble than usual. The rental property Melton sent his army of young drug warriors to destroy was owned by a single mother who rented it to a young schizophrenic man with no history of drug-dealing. The district attorney charged-and a grand jury indicted-Melton and his two police bodyguards of multiple felonies, ranging from burglary to directing a minor to commit a felony. At the same time, the state attorney general charged Melton with violations of various gun safety laws as well , including wearing a weapon in church and carrying a concealed weapon on a university campus; Melton pled down to misdemeanors on those charges. Still, a notable achievement for one of the founders of “Mayors Against Illegal Guns.”

Melton and his defense team-led by a conservative former mayor of Jackson who is also suing the city in an annexation battle, and the attorney who defended Byron de la Beckwith (the man who murdered civil rights leader Medgar Evers)-ratcheted up the mayor’s paternalistic populist appeal by pushing the meme that the duplex destruction was part of the mayor’s passionate war on crime. Despite all evidence to the contrary, Melton’s people painted the place as a ‘crackhouse,’ and his antics little more than a creative effort at getting another drug dealer off the street.

Full Story: Reason.

Straight Talk: Videotaping Police

Last month, Brian Kelly of Carlisle, Pa., was riding with a friend when the car he was in was pulled over by a local police officer. Kelly, an amateur videographer, had his video camera with him and decided to record the traffic stop.

The officer who pulled over the vehicle saw the camera and demanded Kelly hand it over. Kelly obliged. Soon after, six more police officers pulled up. They arrested Kelly on charges of violating an outdated Pennsylvania wiretapping law that forbids audio recordings of any second party without their permission. In this case, that party was the police officer.

Kelly was charged with a felony, spent 26 hours in jail, and faces up to 10 years in prison. All for merely recording a police officer, a public servant, while he was on the job.

There’s been a rash of arrests of late for videotaping police, and it’s a disturbing development. Last year, Massachusetts Attorney General Tom Reilly threatened Internet activist Mary T. Jean with arrest and felony prosecution for posting a video to her website of state police swarming a home and arresting a man without a warrant.

Full Story: Fox News.

MSNBC runs story on Skull and Bones

CNN may have chickened out on their expose, but the Today show is running an interview with Alexandra Robbins on her new book about the Skull and Bones, and MSNBC is running an excerpt from it.

While in Germany, Russell befriended the leader of an insidious German secret society that hailed the death’s head as its logo. Russell soon became caught up in this group, itself a sinister outgrowth of the notorious eighteenth-century society the Illuminati. When Russell returned to the United States, he found an atmosphere so Anti-Masonic that even his beloved Phi Beta Kappa, the honor society, had been unceremoniously stripped of its secrecy. Incensed, Russell rounded up a group of the most promising students in his class-including Alphonso Taft, the future secretary of war, attorney general, minister to Austria, ambassador to Russia, and father of future president William Howard Taft-and out of vengeance constructed the most powerful secret society the United States has ever known.

MSNBC: The Legend Of Skull and Bones Update: MSNBC has taken this down but you can find the excerpt here.

(via The Revolution mailing list).

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