Weekly Update 239

Dear Members and Advocates,

Last week was Halloween and police departments across the country conducted their usual round up of people required to register as sex offenders not committing sex offenses, but violating illogical, confusing and in many cases, unconstitutional laws that would not be crimes for anyone, anywhere, but for the person being on the registry. If you’re thinking last week would have been more appropriate to put out a “Sex Offender on Halloween” weekly update; not for us. Last week news outlets were so inundated with sex offender Halloween scare stories, that FAC’s post would have been buried in the search engines for anybody searching for keywords relating to sex offenders on Halloween, but this week, not so much.

This week’s update will be partially dedicated to keyword-rich content about what parents should know about sex offenders on Halloween and if you care to add any keywords, such as “sex offenders on Halloween in Florida” or “sex offenders on Halloween in Tallahassee”, “sex offenders on Halloween in Polk County”, you can do so in the comments section on the page where this update will be posted.

What parents should know about Halloween and sex offenders is that Halloween presents no threat to children from sex offenders, as there is no increase in sex crime rates against children on Halloween (Chaffin, Mark & Levenson, Jill & Stern, Paul. (2009). How Safe Are Trick-or-Treaters? An Analysis of Child Sex Crime Rates on Halloween. Sexual abuse : a journal of research and treatment.). There is no evidence that children are more likely to be abducted, assaulted, or abused on Halloween than on any other day.

Instead of publishing the facts, online news outlets post Halloween sex offender myths in order to attract attention and to entice users to come to their sites. Halloween “operations” are tremendous honeypots for law enforcement funding and overtime pay. Halloween sex offender operations rarely (if ever) prevent or solve sexual crimes, only technical violations or offenses completely unrelated to sex crimes. Halloween sex offender police stings are a waste of taxpayer money.

Another past Halloween sex offender staple has been the “No Candy or Treats” signs which registered sex offenders have been forced to display outside their homes. Numerous courts, including the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, have declared the forced display of this message to be a violation of the First Amendment and Unconstitutional. If your municipality is still forcing these signs, please contact us and we will try to find a local attorney to correct that in time for next Halloween. Related is the question; can sex offenders can hand out candy on Halloween? That depends on where you live, but here’s an insane headline; one person in Missouri was arrested for doing just that and is currently being held in custody on a $25,000 cash bond.

This raises another important question that is currently being litigated by the Florida Justice Institute in its case against Duval County/City of Jacksonville. Can the government infringe on someone’s freedom of expression? Especially on their own property?!?! (Can a sex offender put up holiday decorations?) We certainly think they cannot. An individual or group should be free to express their beliefs, thoughts, ideas, and emotions, whether that’s putting up a Christmas tree or menorah or handing out candy on Halloween, free from government censorship. A law that restricts First Amendment rights must achieve a compelling government interest and be narrowly tailored to that interest, or be the least restrictive means available to the government. If there is no increase in child sexual abuse on Halloween,  no evidence of sex offenders hiding behind a Christmas tree or using a menorah to abduct kids, and the scientific evidence shows the absence of any credible threat, how is there a compelling government interest in infringing on a person’s rights and the rights of the entire family that lives with them?  We think there is none.

And speaking of infringement on rights, our petition to the United Nations, asking them to declare the registry a Human Rights Violation has broken through 2,000 and is quickly approaching 2,500! We are so thankful to all the organizations and individuals who are helping us get the word out. Now, not only do we now have an easier URL to share (https://www.change.org/FAC-humanrightsforall) but we made up a flyer, which you can print and share with others in your treatment group, at the registration office, or put up on the bulletin board at your local coffee shop. We also put up a post sharing some ideas on how you can help spread the word. Any help in getting the word out to even more people would be so greatly appreciated! Let’s get to 5,000 signatures!!!

Sincerely,

The Florida Action Committee

ANNOUNCEMENTS – MARK YOUR CALENDARS

Next New Membership Orientation Meeting- Thursday November 10 at 8pm ET.  Call 319-527-3487.  No agenda.  Call in to ask about resources, the organization, volunteer opportunities,  or anything on your mind.  Trouble connecting? Text CALL ME to 319-527-3487 to received a call back and be connected to the meeting.

Next Monthly Membership Meeting – Thursday December 1 at 8pm ET.  Call 319-527-3487.  Topic: TBD. Trouble connecting? Text CALL ME to 319-527-3487 to received a call back and be connected to the meeting.

See Calendar of Events – Keep up with Meet-and-Greets in your area, Support groups, Membership Calls, and other events.  For questions and more information contact the Membership Team;   [email protected] or call 833-273-7325,Option 1.

Click Here for Calendar, and double click on the event to view details and RSVP instructions. Just some of the upcoming events below.

Sat Nov 12 -Family Support Group – 11am-1pm ET.  Therapist-led via Zoom.  Must be FAC member with loved one on the Registry.  To participate in the group, email [email protected] or leave message at 833-273-7325 Option 1.

Sat Nov 12 – Meet and Greet in Vero Beach from 1pm-4pm.  For location RSVP to Danell at [email protected] or text 904-479-8806.

Sun Nov 13 – Meet and Greet in Fort Pierce from 2-5 pm.  For location RSVP to Dessie at [email protected] or text 772-226-0304.

Sat Nov 19 – Meet and Greet in Sebring from 11am-2pm.   For location RSVP to Morris at [email protected] or text 863-256-3026.

Sat Nov 19 – Meet and Greet in Tampa from 2-4pm.  For Location RSVP to Daphne at [email protected] or text 757-570-2060.

Sat Dec 3 – Holiday Party and Luncheon in Apopka from 11am-4pm.  Italian Buffet served from noon-3pm.  Come early and stay as long as you want to mingle, play music, and be entertained. For location RSVP to Anita at [email protected] or text 904-452-8322.

Become a County Coordinator.  The only requirement is your desire to HELP us organize your county.  If you are interested in joining the County Coordinator Team, leave message at 833-273-7325, Option 1, or email [email protected]

Letter-Writing Campaigns – If you would like to participate in sending educational information to specific decision makers in Florida, please  contact [email protected].  Volunteers must be willing to proudly identify themselves by using their own name and return address on the letters.

SOME HEADLINES FROM THE WEEK

OK: Municipal league wants retroactive sex offender residency restrictions

The Oklahoma Municipal League recently filed an Amicus Brief in a case brought against the City of El Reno related to the right of a municipality to enforce the provision of the Sex Offenders Registration Act. A suit was brought against the City of El Reno for…

Washington high court says convicted sex offender can practice law

A sharply divided Washington Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that a man who was previously convicted of a sex offense and other crimes can be licensed as an attorney. The 5-4 decision clears the way for Zachary LeRoy Stevens, who graduated from Arizona State…

Oregon sex offender registry doubles

Nearly a decade into an effort to reduce the glut of sex offenders on the state registry to allow more intense focus on the most dangerous, a bureaucratic morass has nearly doubled the registry instead. The Oregon parole board remains bogged down in state-mandated…

Why Is Texas Requiring a Guy Who Stole a Car To Register as a Sex Offender?

In 2014, Rohn M. Weatherly stole a neighbor’s car, in the back seat of which was the owner’s 4-year-old daughter. Weatherly returned the child within a few hours, but his act was dangerous, illegal, and worthy of punishment. What it wasn’t was a sex crime, yet…

With Unity Comes Change -Get Involved and Volunteer Today!

Florida Action Committee

www.floridaactioncommittee.org

[email protected]

833-2-REPEAL     833-273-7325

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