Vol. 6, Issue 3 • SPECIAL ISSUE
Sex Offender Solutions & Education Network
by Lynn Gilmore
A TRAGIC LOSS
On June 18, 2011, our SOSEN family lost not only one of our own but the very pioneer we have in the movement to change the sex offender laws. SOSEN CEO Mary Duval passed away after having slipped into a coma about a week earlier. We are all so greatly saddened by this loss, someone who many of us at SOSEN regarded as nothing less than a hero.
completely. Mary had unwavering vision to restore the rights of every person who has served their time for a sexual offense. Through hard work and determination she was able to remove her son from the state registry and get his record expunged. This success paved the way for many successes to follow. Mary’s son Ricky. Photo taken the day after Mary
Mary began her journey fighting the sex offender laws after her son Ricky was convicted of a sex offense for having sexual relations with a 13 year old female. Ricky was only 16 at the time and believed that the girl was the same age. The story was available on www. rickyslife.com for many years (the site has recently been taken down, but steps are being made to put it back up). I wrote about Mary in my book, Consensual Consequences; how I learned about her and her son and my first surprise phone call from her. I only met Mary once in person, this last St. Patrick’s Day. I am so glad I got a chance to meet her but I am very sad that I will never see her again.
Although Mary is gone, her determination and vision still remains. We cannot just meekly retreat into the woodwork. Now, more than ever, we need to come together and continue the work that Mary started for us. SOSEN will go on and SOSEN will never, ever give up. We are continually working for YOU and everyone to restore what is constitutionally your rights to a normal life.
Mary had touched so many lives and she will never be forgotten. She bravely stood out in the spotlight and declared war on the sex offender registry, even at the risk of harm to her and her family from vigilantes.
Mary and Ricky at the Julia Tuttle Bridge
Mary went to Miami and met the residents under the Julia Tuttle Bridge, appeared on the John Stossell show and attended the congressional hearings on the Adam Walsh Act in Washington, D.C. Mary fought for the constitutional rights of EVERY American and fought to abolish the national registry
If you have been wondering, “Well, what can I do?” just give us a call or drop us an email or even write us a letter. We will be more than happy to accept anything you can do to help us help YOU. If you wish to contribute your time or just a donation, we would welcome your support with extreme gratitude. Let’s not allow Mary’s work to be in vain. Now, more than ever, we need to work together and band together and stand together in this, a dawn of a new age: Constitutional rights for ALL American EX-Offenders! In Loving Memory of Mary Duval 1
The New CEO of SOSEN by Lynn Gilmore After learning of SOSEN CEO Mary Duval’s passing, the board of directors held an emergency meeting to appoint a new CEO. I was very surprised to be nominated for the position and very humbly accepted. I immediately knew I had to... for SOSEN, for my own family, and especially for Mary. I knew she would want someone to carry on her work towards reform of sex offender laws. I figured it might as well be me. The position of CEO is at this point temporary, with the possibility of being permanent. The board of directors is going to give it six months and then decide if we want to keep me in the position or appoint someone else. While I have never, ever, been a leader of anything, I do feel ready for this. This is not to say I don’t have a LOT to learn, I know that I do, but I feel just as strongly about the laws as Mary did, and I’m willing to put forth a great deal of effort to work toward the cause. My husband is always telling me, “You have too many irons in the fire,” and while I cannot disagree with him on that, I know that I cannot simply turn my back on this either. This is far too important. I know I have a huge job in front of me, and I also know I am going to need help, and a lot of it... Mary’s largest project was working to abolish the public registry. When I first heard about this, I admit, I wondered why not just leave the truly violent pedophiles, perverts and predators on the list? But, after talking with Mary about this, she spoke how the registry affects our basic constitutional rights and if you remove the constitutional rights of even one person, you open the door for many more rights to be eliminated and lives will be destroyed. We are already seeing this. Other registries for murderers,
arsonists and robbers, child abusers, people charged with DUIs, etc., are already on the horizon... If we allow even one registry to exist, then others will follow until eventually, just about everyone in America will find themselves on some unsavory public list. The simple fact is, the public can’t handle this kind of information. So, I will work to continue on with Mary’s vision to abolish the public registry completely. I would also like to see SOSEN diligently continue to work towards educating the public and their children about the crimes that can get them convicted of a sexual offense. I also feel that people should get out there and fight for the cause in their respective states. We’re doing a great job writing letters and posting comments in the forum and on the various online news articles about sex offenders. We need to take it another step further and actually physically get out there. If you are worried for your safety and your family’s safety, then assume an identity for those purposes. Wear sunglasses, hats or wigs. Dress differently, anything. The more we can get out there and be seen and be heard, the more effective we are going to be. We cannot fear vigilantes. If we do, they win. Talk to the media, politicians, school officials, librarians, members of law enforcement, church members, pastors, and youth leaders. Carry with you some literature that you can leave behind wherever you go, whatever you do. The largest obstacle we face is that very few people are willing to do what Mary did and go public with their stories and risk humiliation and harassment from vigilantes. We cannot fear this. The only way we are going to succeed with our fight to restore constitutional rights for ALL American EX-Offenders is to get out there, step in the spotlight, and fight. 2
Do this for yourself, for your family, for SOSEN and do this for Mary. If we stand together and fight, we can and will win and the laws will change. n
Donations for the Duval family by staff member Topwop, as posted on the member forum I know we are all interested in how much we at SOSEN have donated to the Duval family for Mary. The receipts as of June 29, 2011, stands as follows; from our PayPal we have received and passed on to Mary’s family $561.42 with a prior donation of $125.00 making our total sent $686.42 from 23 donors. Since sending this money two more donations have been received, totaling $115.92 for a new total of $802.34 from 25 donors. As we are currently in the process of recovering the contents of our post office box from Stillwell, please understand if anyone has sent anything there it will be a bit longer to cash your checks and tally the final total. Donations may still be sent to SOSEN, PO Box 235, Dixon, IL 61021. Speaking for the BOD/Staff we are very pleased with the way our membership stepped up to help Mary and her family in her final time of need. When the situation was at it’s very worst for the Duval family, SOSEN members were at their very best. Thank you so much, Topwop n
SOSEN RESOURCE CENTER Our new toll free number is now available for the public, media and lawmakers to contact us for educational materials and information on sex offender laws and issues. Call 800-773-4319.
The True Cost of the Sex Offender Registry By Lynn Gilmore Currently, Delaware, Florida, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, South Dakota and Wyoming have already complied with federal standards of the Adam Walsh Act (AWA), enacted by the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), while many other states struggle to comply. Texas, with more than 60,000 registered sex offenders, won’t take action anytime soon. “The Legislature just went home and won’t reconvene until January 2013,” said Tela Mange, spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Public Safety. “We won’t be in compliance with the Adam Walsh Act.” By not complying, Texas would be denied about $2 million, based on 2010 Justice Department statistics. But implementing the law would require spending as much as $14 million a year, the Texas Legislative Budget Board, a research body for lawmakers, has estimated. It is simply a no-brainer: The cost to states to comply with the AWA would far exceed the loss of their Byrne grant funding. The Justice Policy Institute has calculated the expected costs for each state, and that the costs far exceed the amount that would be forfeited for non-compliance. Here are some of the estimates: Ohio: Cost - $475,000 the first year for implementing software to create a registry, with $85,000 annually for maintenance, exceeding the loss of Byrne funding. Virginia: Cost - $12,497,000 for implementing SORNA the first year. The yearly annual cost would be $8,87,000, and with inflation, Virginia would be paying more than $10 million by
2014, far exceeding the loss of Byrne funding. In every state, the first-year cost of implementing the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act outweighs the cost of losing 10 percent of the state’s Byrne funding. See http://www.justicepolicy.org/images/ upload/08-08_FAC_SORNACosts_ JJ.pdf for the entire list. “It’s the worst it’s ever been because of the economic crisis,” says Ernie Allen, president and CEO of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, which estimates 100,000 sex offenders are not even currently registered with states. Allen says, “The greatest expense to states is incarceration. Sex criminals, along with drug offenders, are the fastest-growing part of prison populations.” States require registration and community notification for an ever-expanding list of offenses — including public urination, “sexting” (minors sending nude pictures to each other via cell phones) and “Romeo and Juliet” cases involving older teens who had consensual sex with younger ones. There is less differentiation between various categories of offenders — as states move away from “tiered” systems that imposed different notification requirements depending on the severity of the crime. In Tulsa, Police Sergeant John Adams says, “It is difficult [for former sex offenders] to find employment just because of the misconceptions that every sex offender is a child molester or that every sex offender is a rapist and that is not the case.” In one Florida county where costs were analyzed, SOSEN staff members discovered that more than $6,000 per offender were spent last year in registry and supervision costs. 3
If this cost is representative of costs across the nation, now that there are more than 764,000 registered former offenders, that would mean our government is spending over 4.5 trillion dollars per year for these laws to provide monitoring of former offenders, many of whom have completed their sentence and probation but are still be supervised. Continued supervision shows how the intent of the registry is punitive rather than civil in nature. Supervision is linked to additional punishment such as parole and probation supervision is an element of the sentence for the crime. n
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An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity. ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
SOSEN is working to maintain the constitutional rights for ALL of our citizens
PLACE POSTAGE PO box 235 u Dixon, IL 61021
Special Issue devoted to Mary Duval, CEO of SOSEN.