Dear Members and Advocates,
It was a good week in courts across the country as three opinions came out that were favorable to our advocacy. The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals (the Federal circuit covering Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming) held that while a court can still ban internet use, a special condition of release that gives the probation office discretion to completely ban a defendant’s internet use can’t be upheld because it blocks a means of communication that has become a necessary component of modern life, which is a greater deprivation than necessary. What’s great about this decision is that Courts are beginning to acknowledge that the internet is indispensable in modern life and if they want people who are released into the communities to have any shot at functioning in society, they need to reconsider complete bans on its use.
In North Carolina, that state’s Supreme Court struck down lifetime GPS-monitoring for persons required to register as sex offenders who are not on parole or probation. The Court held it was an unreasonable search and seizure and violation of the Fourth Amendment. Just like the 10th Circuit, this decision had it’s own nuggets of ancillary usefulness in that it also found that the State of North Carolina’s “legislative findings”, upon which the laws were based, were flawed because registered persons do not have high recidivism rates. It’s another example of a State Supreme Court looking at a component of the registry scheme and not buying into unsupported findings of “frightening and high” without any evidence.
Finally, in Florida, the 4th District Court of Appeals overturned Senator Lauren Book’s restraining order against Derek Logue. This was a significant win for Derek because it gave him back his voice and protected his First Amendment right to speak out for what he believes in. Even though the Books have a lot of money, power and influence and they appear to stop at nothing to silence anyone that opposes their agenda, apparently it was not enough to overcome the constitution and we are grateful to the Judges who saw through her allegations and to the incredible attorneys who represented him.
Just like the 10th Circuit and North Carolina Supreme Court cases, Derek’s case also had it’s own nuggets of ancillary usefulness. Through his own advocacy and the support of other organizations, Derek was not alone in his fight. He had the support of many people in the advocacy community. If not for that, it’s doubtful he could have appealed his case on his own. We are all in similar situations. Many of us don’t have the time, resources, money or knowledge to do the advocacy work we do, or to mount the legal challenges we bring. If it were us alone, we’d all be dead in the water, but when we pool those resources and all pitch in, we get somewhere. Like our motto says… “With Unity Comes Change”.
Keep doing your part. Whether it’s showing up to help us oppose a residency restriction in New Smyrna Beach or it’s getting our legal challenges funded. Let’s make more change!
The Florida Action Committee
Fri Aug 23- Family Support Session in Hillsborough County at 7pm. Family/loved ones only.
Sat Aug 24-Meet and Greet in Orange County 11am-1pm followed by a viewing of “Untouchable” from 1-3pm. Welcome to attend one or both sessions; the Documentary is open to the public and non-members as well.
Sat Sep 7- Family Support Session in Central Broward County -RESERVATIONS ARE CLOSED.
Sat Sep 14- Meet and Greet in Sarasota County from 2-4pm. Everyone Welcome. RSVP for location and details.
Mon Sep 16- Meet and Greet in Lee County from 6-8pm. Everyone Welcome. RSVP for location and details.
For more information about these events, or to RSVP email [email protected] or call 904-452-8322. No children please.
SOME HEADLINES FROM THE WEEK
The North Carolina Supreme Court has just struck down lifetime GPS-monitoring for persons required to register as sex offenders who are not on parole or probation as unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment (Search and Seizure). The importance of this case is that the…
I just read a story in My San Antonio about a man who died after he was hit by cars while trying to run across a highway. I get to the end of the story and they add that the man was “listed as a registered sex offender in Texas. He was convicted of sexually assaulting…
10th Circuit Rules Special Conditions Allowing Probation Complete Discretion over Internet Use is Excessive
The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in US v. Blair, ruled that a special condition on the Defendant’s Internet use that was “limited to those the defendant requests to use, and which the probation officer authorizes” involved a greater deprivation of liberty than is…