Good or Evil vs. Sick or Well - Gonzales' SORNA rule will overflow US prisons 
Dr. B. Cayenne Bird
 


Dr. B. Cayenne Bird is an ordained minister and a 37-year veteran op-ed journalist and publisher. She volunteers her time as founder and director of United for No Injustice, Oppression or Neglect UNION. The UNION is active in prison reform and criminal justice issues. She is a mother and grandmother and focuses on human rights and restorative justice. She is also the host of television series "Cayenne Common Sense" and publishes a daily online newsletter to subscribers.
 

 Dr. B. Cayenne Bird 
April 24, 2007

 Of course I know why none of the politicians are questioning US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on the “Interim Rule” called SORNA which he has been bragging about as his great crime fighting contribution.

But the timing of it with the comment period ending next week on April 30, 2007 compels me to do the right thing by bringing this sneaky, under-handed move by Gonzales to everyone’s attention. And to go one step further and urge that we make an outcry to put an end to all his initiatives in progress.

Somebody must be the watchdog of our Constitution and stand up against all the ridiculous fear and hatemongering that the Republican party thinks is going to work to build their party and create more law enforcement jobs across the country.

So I guess that once again it falls to me to sound the alarm on something that will have devastating effects on millions of lives, most of whom had nothing to do with molesting a child. SORNA is an end run cooked up Gonzales and cohorts, no better than criminals in office for political purposes only and it needs to be halted immediately.

Yesterday’s news in Oklahoma and Florida where newspapers carried articles that this sex offender hysteria isn’t working out in their states.

In Kentucky today, sex offenders won a lawsuit after a judge ruled that residency restrictions are nothing more than a "political placebo." link

It's good that the impracticality of monitoring people who had nothing to do with a violent crime against a child is becoming more apparent. But the destruction of families such as those in the Duke Rape Case is shattering to a young person, even when justice is finally served which is extremely rare.

Most people who read my column don’t know any actual child molesters. The snatch-and-run type is just a big bogeyman scare tactic that Republican politicians have dreamed up for the most part. About 50 children per year are actually killed by a severely mentally ill child molester according to statistics from the Bureau of Justice. About one child per state, yet such laws are merely vengeance on the mentally ill and do nothing to prevent the mental illness, costing billions and taking away from other programs which really do benefit ALL children. 

More than 93% of child molestation cases that are actually real and not the result of a nasty divorce or child custody dispute occur within the circle of family and friends. About half the “child molesters” are under the age of 18 years old which means that kids are being destroyed for life, a counter-productive practice that is more mean-spirited as mistakes than the mistakes they may have or may not have made.

In California, we don’t have tiers, so the minor violations such as urinating in public, mooning, and indecent exposure are lumped into the same category and child murder. It’s ridiculous and it’s a huge lie told by people who were elected to office to serve the interests of law enforcement labor unions and that who ugly-machine bureaucracy.

Unlike another other junior prison reformer who has taken dirty money to promote and lobby for the pornography industry, as a mother and grandmother I would never take one dime to that kind of sleazy work. I believe that exposure to pornography at a young age worsens the problems. Next year, 2008 marks my 40th year as a California journalist and while I do truly love the First Amendment, I would never take tainted money to promote pornography.

What I am standing up for here is the Constitutional rights of mostly young men (some women) who are being destroyed for life by a political party that pretends to want to limit government and build families. What hypocrites! There are more than one million women and children connected to a “sex offender” in California alone who are on the verge of having to live under a bridge. We have little or no justice in our state with the prison guard’s union buying all the legislative votes and putting them into office. I am here for those women and children who are at risk of being forced to live under a bridge or having their family members attacked over false and/or ridiculous allegations.

Until injustice knocks on your own door, it probably isn't real that a minor act can destroy your son or daughter for life. But the goal of the Republican politicians is to keep these prisons stocked with fresh humans by any means possible. All it takes to be swept off for life and marked with the Scarlet Letter is an accusation. There need not be any evidence, DNA, witness or anything solid.

We even have sentences being extended in prison because the mentally ill masturbate in their cells. No kidding, the district attorneys in California are prosecuting mentally ill prisoners and there is a CDC rules change hearing coming up on May 7 to impose even harsher rules that mentally ill people who should be in hospitals, not prisons, won’t be able to follow.

I don’t want to get too far off topic in this particular column, what I am asking everyone to do to help prompt an investigation into SORNA, a harsh, ridiculous, deceitful “interim rule” is write to National Level Journalists at the Washington Post, New York Times, so they can see that what Gonzales is bragging about is nothing that any American should be proud of doing.

Expanding government and destroying more families for life when retributive justice does nothing to protect children. These are certainly not the Republicans of my father's day. Who are these people in power over us anyway and why the heck are we allowing them to be there?

Below is a sample letter that I’ve drafted for you. Please word it in your own language and send it today in a large red, white and blue envelope. Of course nobody is going to vote on this because Gonzales has the total power to pass something this horrible all on his own, even though he is thoroughly disgraced.

But we need to mark the record that some patriots cared about justice and objected to SORNA and the hatemongering that it promotes.

Besides the letter to Washington D.C., please reach out to the journalists who have courage to call out wrongs. My educated guess is that we certainly aren’t going to find courage for this first demand for an investigation into SORNA in a politician. It is very good news that politicians of both parties have scorned Gonzales, now he can know what that feels like although his crimes in perverting justice are much worse than some of the other "perversions" he’s persecuting to please the President and members of his own party.

It is very good news that CNN reports that the Vermont Senate has called for the Impeachment of Bush and Cheney. It would be a good idea to stop all critical legislation since we do not have trustworthy leaders running the country, and we can start with SORNA which appears to be an end run around the regular process of deciding something so important.

Here’s the letter which I drafted on the run, there are so many stupid bills coming at us that we don’t which hole in the dam to plug first and so many people not helping out there who should be as their liberty goes up in smoke. Our UNION people are posting and writing but when we are protesting an issue on the national level, it takes tens of thousands of people participating to be noticed. On the State level it takes a few thousand. There is a big difference. So pitch in, all women and children should matter and nobody should be banished from society because they’re mentally ill. This destruction of families must stop now.

We could all use a lot more healing and restorative justice and bigger emphasis on prevention to put an end to this witch hunt mentality meant to scare voters into building the bureaucracy. Don’t fall for it and fight back with your pen and your vote. If you subscribe to my daily newsletter and live in California, you are already learning to become a real activist for change instead of just a complainer. An eighth grader can stand up for their liberty if they can write seven sentences, and so can you!

The entire call to action is posted here


Begin Call to Action
 

You are objecting to an interim rule created by the now disgraced US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. The rule if passed into permanent law will affect every sex offender in the United States and the one million women and children in California connected to them. 

Please send your letter via priority mail today or tomorrow in a red, white, blue envelope so we feel like a force on the receiving end. The cut off date is April 30, 2007. Please also post comments to national level journalists who are currently missing this important change in the law done by a criminal trying to save himself - Gonzales. A sample letter for you to post online to journalists follows the sample letter that goes to David Karp, Senior Counsel. Power of numbers is the only prayer we have of being heard. Just do YOUR share. 

David J. Karp, Senior Counsel,
Office of Legal Policy, 
Room 4509,
Main Justice Building, 950 Pennsylvania Avenue,
NW., Washington, DC 20530. 

To ensure proper handling, please reference OAG Docket No. 117 on your correspondence.

You may view an electronic version of this interim rule at Regulations.gov. You may also comment via the Internet to the Justice Department's Office of Legal Policy (OLP) by e-mail to:  olpregs@usdoj.gov  or by using the Regulations.gov comment form for this regulation. When submitting comments electronically you must include OAG Docket No. 117 in the subject box.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Laura L. Rogers, Director, Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking; Office of Justice Programs, United States Department of Justice, Washington, DC, 202 514-4689.

David J. Karp, Senior Counsel
Office of Legal Policy, Room 4509
Main Justice Building 
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., 
Washington, DC 20530.

Re: OAG Docket No. 117

Dear Senior Counsel Karp:

Please allow me to voice my grave concern and opposition for the Interim Rule issued as a result of the Adam Walsh Act (AWA) and SORNA by Attorney General Gonzales. This law will allow double jeopardy which is legal only because federal jurisdiction and state jurisdiction are separate. A person can now be punished by both the federal; and state government for the same violation of registration. Every state has a registry in place and this is certainly a duplicate effort and an excessively expensive and unnecessary law. 

A great many people who have moved on with their lives and living law abiding and productive lives will now be re-exposed with the retroactive clause of SORNA. This is tantamount to the Salem witch hunts only now it is the families of sex offenders who will brought down with this draconian and vindictive law. This is cruel and unusual punishment, not public safety as SORNA will show places of employment in the Federal Registry which will be an open invitation to the fear and hate mongers to protest their places of work and/or physically attack them.

Posting places of employment in a federal database will stand in the way of any sex offender in California (and the nation) from being able to earn a living, no matter how minor their crime. This is completely counterproductive to the goal of reintegrating ex-felons back into society as self supporting, productive citizens. The Attorney General has said that SORNA's applicability will be to "virtually the entire existing sex offender population". Clearly the intent is cover "virtually" everyone, but there is no mention about whether Congress specifically limits what he can do. Why was this left out?

Please consider the effect this will have on the one million women and children attached to a sex offender when they cannot earn a living. Current laws have forced a group of people to live under a bridge in Florida. This is an excellent example of how this law will further affect the offenders and their families. They are unable to work and support their families or themselves The one time sex offender is lumped together with the violent sexual predator. In California, there are already laws in effect to handle the truly high risk offender and considering all sex offenders one and the same is simply not right or just. 

The tiny fraction of a percentage of sex offenders who are guilty of raping and/or murdering a child are mentally ill and they belong in places of healing. They are the people who need to be removed from society for the purpose of public safety, but even this should be done in a much more healing manner, as they are most often severely mentally ill. 

More than 90% of sex crimes involving a child occur within families. No registration, residency restriction or monitoring system will stop these crimes. This law is targeting an entire group of people and only a fraction of the group would possibly be stopped from a crime. We are so scared that those people who have been convicted of sex offense will re-offend, but look at the statistics. 

The Department of Justice states that the average rate of recidivism is 5%, one the lowest rates among all felonies. It is an invented lie that has been perpetrated to the public that sex offenders cannot be rehabilitated and that they have a high rate of recidivism. This is simply not true. Our conservative leaders are constantly preaching about building the family and knocking the liberals for not having stricter morals, but laws such as this are destroying families over mental illness. It's barbaric, opportunistic and political grandstanding at its worst.

SORNA can be passed as Federal Interim Rule because Congress empowered Attorney General Gonzales, whose character is now being assassinated to do so. All of his initiatives should simply be cancelled. He has proven not to be trustworthy and everything he has touched is now tainted, including SORNA. He most likely wrote this rule anticipating he would need the support of fellow Republicans over the firings of the Attorneys. How can it be a good rule when Conservatives are so hell bent to over punish the severely mentally ill in order to build political careers and Gonzales so desperately needs their support. The fact that SORNA touches so many millions of lives in a destructive manner makes it as much, if not more important than the other probes.

In addition, the Attorney General fails to point out anything relative to Sec. 117 (Duty to Notify Sex Offenders of Registration Requirements and to Register) which places a requirement on him (and his office). Notification is a basic tenet of due process, is it not? Why was this left out of the Interim Rule? This is an ill conceived, poorly thought out Rule and I ask that it be struck down before we allow the invented hysteria that has pervaded our country continue to destroy families. A child is 40 times more likely to be killed by a drunk driver than a sex offender. Why are these people being ostracized, forced to live in exile and banishment, on the streets of our FREE country? This is all too reminiscent of the nightmare of Nazi Germany. That is a frightening state of affairs for our country. SORNA should be discarded immediately

Rev. B. Cayenne Bird

UNION 
 
 

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Make your letter express your view and the impact on your own life or that of people whom you love, do not simply copy my letter word for word. Where's the focus on prevention and healing of the mentally ill? There are many issues not mentioned here. Please copy me on what you wrote 

Please mail in a red, white and blue priority mail envelope by Tuesday night so we feel like an army because we all mailed within 48 hours of one another. Get your family members to write. Thank you for fighting for your liberty by standing up for yourself and others.

Here’s some photos of but a few of our past campaigns over the last decade. The page is being updated but you can see the thousands of hours our UNION members have invested fighting for everyone’s rights. Imagine if the 3 million people connected to a prisoner in California all voted. Better yet, imagine if they brought 20 other people to vote. We’d have none of our current problems.

If you’d like to subscribe to my daily newsletter and learn how, when, where to fight back focused on a few California campaigns at a time, please sign up here. Most of the news you see out there was written by someone who reads the UNION Daily interactive newsletter.

Rev. B. Cayenne Bird
UNION
P.O. Box 340371
Sacramento, Ca. 95834
 http://www.1union1.com