SORNA update. With the constitutionality of Ohio's Adam Walsh Act to be decided by the Supreme Court early next year, the efficacy of sex offender registration laws took a recent hit with the revelation that Phillip Garrido managed to keep Jaycee Dugard, a child he'd kidnapped when she 11, hidden in his back yard for 18 years, despite monthly visits from California law enforcement officers supposedly monitoring his sex offender status. As this Wall Street Journal article notes, the case
There are now so many people on the [offender] registry it's difficult for law enforcement to effectively track them all, and "it's more helpful for law enforcement to know...who the highest-risk offenders are," said Janet Neeley, a deputy California attorney general and member of the state's sex offender board.
A December study of roughly 20,000 registered sex offenders on parole in California found 9% posed a "high risk" of reoffending, and 29% posed a "moderate-high" to "high" risk, said Ms. Neeley. But law-enforcement officials and academics say vast resources are spent monitoring nonviolent offenders rather than keeping closer tabs on more-dangerous ones.
And those in search of more concrete data can look to this research paper (hat tip to Sentencing Law & Policy), which examined various sets of numbers and concluded that "results. . . do not support the hypothesis that sex offender registries are effective tools for increasing public safety."
Surfing the blogs. I like to think of this blog as a resource for attorneys (and even the occasional judge) trying to keep up with developments in Ohio law. Whatever might be said of that, it's a good secondary source: the blogroll on the panel at right contains a number of excellent legal blogs, especially criminal law. This past week, for example, Jeff Gamso has a great post about drug-sniffing dogs and other problems with forensic evidence. At Grits for Breakfast, Scott Henson gives you links to just about everything you'd want to know about the hullabaloo following the disclosure that Texas almost undoubtedly executed an innocent man, discussed here a couple weeks back. And Mark Bennett of Defending People has a nice tip on jury selection, premised on the childhood dare "I'll show you mine if you show me yours.
But there's one blogger you won't find there: Andy Nolen. He's a Houston lawyer, as you can read here and here, in an attempt to bolster his practice, he posted negative comments about other Houston lawyers on the Yahoo Local website. Well, he didn't; someone using the nom de plume "jerry k." posted them. Thirty-two of them. In one day. Actually, only 31 of the comments were negative. One was glowingly positive. It was for Andy Nolen.
That's about as l0w as you can go.
Honor among thieves drug dealers. A Canadian judge recently had to sort out a dispute over a $5 million winning lottery ticket on these facts:
In 2006, after a busy day “conducting illegal drugs transactions”, Daniel “Ears” Carley was driven to a shop from which he purchased 12 lottery tickets. When he got back in the car, Paul Miller, the driver and a childhood friend, scratched one of the tickets to discover it was a winner. After Ears banked the $5 million, Miller sued, arguing that he had given $10 to Ears just before the key purchase and said, “Here, buy me one too.”
As this story about the case relates, the judge ultimately decided in favor of Ears -- er, Carley, despite finding that he had "many credibility issues." He gets to keep what's left of the money; he's been spending it at the rate of $20,000 a week for the past three years.