Thursday, July 19, 2007

So, Where's Troy King on this one?

Those of you that keep up with Alabama politics will remember that during the 2005 legislative special session Attorney General Troy King pushed and helped to pass "Tough Sex Offender Laws". He dramatically wore an electronic bracelet around while the legislation was being debated and even has a nifty picture of himself getting his tracking bracelet removed in front of the state house surrounded by children of different races.

And the following is from an official AG Office Press Release about the bill.

July 27, 2005

(MONTGOMERY)—Attorney General Troy King thanked the Alabama Legislature today for unanimously approving a strong new Community Notification Act to provide true protection of Alabama families and children from dangerous sex offenders. Yesterday, the Legislature passed the bill drafted and advocated by Attorney General King with the support of law enforcement officers throughout the state. The bill passed 101 to 0 in the House of Representatives and 33 to 0 in the Senate.

"With the passage of this legislation, we have made true our promise to protect the children of Alabama from sex predators," said Attorney General King. "We have taken the old, inadequate law that lulled families into a false sense of security, and we have replaced it with a tough and effective new Community Notification Act that will punish sex offenders and give law enforcement the procedures and tools to track sex offenders and to truly keep Alabama's children safe from these vicious predators."

Among the significant changes in the new law are mandatory minimum sentences of 20 years in prison for sex offenders convicted of class A felonies and 10 years for class B felonies. These criminals would also be ineligible for probation, split sentences, correctional incentive time for early release, or parole.

Other substantive changes under the new Community Notification Act are as follows:

• The Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center would be empowered to establish a system of electronic monitoring for sex offenders.

• Sexually violent predators and those who commit class A felony sex offenses against children younger than 12 would be subject to at least 10 years of electronic monitoring after their release.

• Those who commit sex offenses against children under age 12 would be prohibited from working or loitering at or near schools, parks or other areas where children gather.

• All penalties in the Community Notification Act would become class C felonies.

• The new law would extend and clarify those who are covered. Offenders who pleaded "nolo contendere"—not contesting their guilt—to criminal sex offenses in other states would be subject to community notification requirements. It also would cover most offenders convicted under federal laws and in other states without preliminary procedural hearings

• Reporting time periods would be tightened. Sex offenders would have to report to local law enforcement after their release from prison or change of residence within seven days instead of the 30 now allowed. They would have to declare their intended place of residence 45 days before their release from prison, instead of 30. For those who refuse to provide information or give false addresses before their release from prison, the proposed law clarifies the process for re-arresting and criminally charging them.

• In addition to their residence, sex offenders would also have to register to inform local law enforcement of their workplace. They would bear the obligation to biannually verify their residence.

• Sex offenders would be required to possess either a driver's license or identification card that would be marked by the Department of Public Safety to identity them as sex offenders.

If I am reading this press release correctly then it says there are now mandatory minimums and under them Jerry Wayne Love should have been sentenced to a minimum of 60 years on the three Class A sodomy counts, which he plead guilty to, and also be ineligible for probation, split sentences, correctional incentive time for early release, or parole.

Yet he is walking around a free man. I am no lawyer so I won't speculate on what twisted grounds by which this unreality has come about.
But, so much for protecting the children, eh?

I wonder why Troy King's office hasn't commented on this case? Why isn't he all over it? Surely he knows about a case in his state that has been receiving national media attention for over a week....surely!

I'll be contacting Attorney General Kings office today and asking that question and others...Like how could a DA's office offer such an absolute sweetheart of a deal to someone who plead guilty to these horrific crimes against children, especially since we have these new laws he was so gung-ho about during the session? How could a Judge accept such a plea deal? Will he please open an investigation into this case? Surely he will. After all he stepped in and filed an appeal when Judge Bush in Autauga Co. freed a man convicted of possessing child pornography to live in his home where his minor daughter also resides. I'd find it real disappointing if he never made a peep in a far worse case where the child sodomizer will never see jail time at all. That cannot be.

I encourage all of you angry Alabama citizens to write as well and ask him whatever questions you may also have.

Another thing you can do is to file a complaint with the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission. The first thing that must be determined is which part of the Canon of Judicial Ethics Judge Hall may have violated. If there are any legal minds out there who would like to help with this project please feel free to chime in. I filed one of these back in 2004 and will post it here as sort of a guide.

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Anonymous said...

They were charged before the minimum sentencing guidelines.

The DA and Judge felt they had a weak case and would likely lose at trial or get a hung jury.

Would you rather have seen this case lost and Mr. Love completely free or have him registered as a sex offender and closely monitored by the state?

Loretta Nall said...

I would rather have had this man go before a jury of 12 of his peers to decide his fate. As it stands now he is just as well off as he would be if he had never been charged. You do know that the sex offender registry is about 6 months out of date right? So, how is that suppossed to protect anyone? Almost every day there is a story on the news that the state has lost track of a registered sex offender.

Additionally, if the DA's case is so weak then why bring it to trial in the first place if they feel they cannot get a conviction? Is this a regular occurance in Madison Co.?

And how can a DA offer such a sweetheart deal to someone who admits sodomizing his children?

None of this adds up. If nothing else there should be an investigation into the Madison Co. DA's office.

I hope that none of the DA's and the Judge involved have future plans for elected office. I'll personally see to it that the voters do not forget that the DA's office and the judge freed a child sex offender to walk among them Their careers are over.

Anonymous said...

"Is this a regular occurrence in Madison COunty?" You tell me since you are so plugged in that on H& C you could speak for the community being outraged.

Loretta Nall said...

It doesn't take living in Madison Co. to be outraged at the outcome of this case. What a stupid statement. I live in this state, I have family with young children in Madison Co. This scum is walking free in my state and with the sex offender registry being such a joke he could move anywhere and it would be six months before anyone was ever the wiser.

That people are defending this outrageous conduct by the DA's office and judge and trying to infer that I am somehow at fault for being outraged, or that I somehow have no say in this because I reside in a different county is beyond the pale.

Anonymous said...

That is not what I am saying, you can be outraged all you want. But when you are asked if the locals are outraged, how do you know?

Loretta Nall said...

Well let's doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that there are only a few people who could potentially be elated about the outcome of this case.

1. Defense attorneys
2. The child sodomizer
3. His fellow child sodomizers residing in the 23rd judicial circuit.

Which one are you?

Second, I read all of the state papers on a daily basis and the Huntsville Times (and other papers across the state) have been filled with letters from outraged citizens.

Third, I read all state blogs that I am aware of and all of the ones from Madiso Co. and the 23rd Judicial circuit are expressing nothing but outrage.

Fourth, I have friends, family and supporters in that area of the state who have expressed nothing but outrage.

Your problem seems to be more that I am not a Madison. Co. resident but was asked to be on a National news program on an issue that happened in Madison Co. I have no control over who FOX News calls when they want good commentary. They were well aware of the fact that I am not a resident of Madison Co. when they asked me to do the show. If you wish to complain further about how they do demographics then you'll have to take that up with them.

Steve said...

I just stumbled across this blog on a search but I would like to add one rather obvious person to your list of people who might be elated:

4. Libertarians!

I was also struck by the naïveté of the blog in general:

(1) Troy King didn't wear an ankle bracelet for the people of Alabama. He wore it to get Troy King reelected - the same reason that the legislature voted for the new restrictions.

(2) Who here actually believes that state officials actually follow their own rules and/or proposals?

(3) The length of the sentence in a plea agreement is proportional to the strength of the case. Expedience supercedes justice in this country. The stiff penalties were created to scare defendants into plea agreements - not protect the public. A true libertarian should know this.

(4) Finally, the new laws are deceptive and, as a parent, have me fearing even more for the safety of my children.

(a) "An RSO cannot live within 1000 yards of a former victim(s)." Exactly how is he/she supposed to obey the law without always knowing the victim's address? The new law requires the RSO to stalk the victim for the rest of their natural lives.

(b) "Cannot live within 2000 yds of places where children congregate". This requires the RSO to do some reconnaissance and make sure he knows about these locations. What's a fast and effective method of getting that 2000yd radius? "Google Earth" - which also gives a nice satellite image of hiding places and escape routes.

I won't be following up on this. These laws won't stand the test of time anyway. We can't afford them.